“Should I call you Ji Dongyang, or should I call you… the Ji Clan Patriarch?!” As Meng Hao looked at Ji Dongyang, his eyes narrowed, and his heart filled with vigilance. The sensation of deadly crisis continued to grow, to an extent that it was even clearer than when he had been fighting Lord White.
After all, Meng Hao was now at his absolute weakest, and the fact that Ji Dongyang was making his appearance right now proved one thing: he had been waiting and watching for quite some time. It would have been impossible for him to come across an opportunity like this based on chance alone.
One thing that led Meng Hao to suspect Ji Dongyang’s true identity was how he had been able to follow him and spy on him for such an extended period of time without being detected. Therefore, Meng Hao had given voice to his guess as to who this person really was.
Furthermore, Ji Dongyang had slipped up and revealed a bit of vital information, perhaps because of his excitement at finally gaining the opportunity he had been waiting for. If he knew the truth, that Meng Hao had guessed who he really was based on a single sentence, he would be completely flabbergasted.
Ji Dongyang gaped for a moment, then chuckled and realized it didn’t matter that Meng Hao knew who he was.
“Nowadays I prefer to go by Ji Dongyang, but in the past I was known as… Ji Tian!”
The instant the words left Ji Dongyang’s mouth, Meng Hao’s pupils constricted. Ji Tian was none other than the Ji Clan Patriarch, a powerful expert from the same era as the first generation Patriarch of the Fang Clan. In the struggle for the Lordship of the Ninth Mountain and Sea, he had come out on top.
“There’s no need to try to buy time to heal. Your injuries are too serious to recover from in a short period of time. Even I would have to worry about Lord White, considering the level of his battle prowess. In fact, if I fought him, I would definitely lose.
“As for you, you’ve made me very, very happy….
“Deciding that you would be my ninth life was definitely the best choice I could have made…. Come now, Meng Hao, become one with me. Become my ninth life. Then I will restore things to how they once were, taking the Ninth Mountain and Sea to fight back against the 33 Heavens and to resist their return.
“Sacrifice yourself, and you will help not just me, but the entire Mountain and Sea Realm! I can even promise you that I will take good care of the Fang Clan….
“Everything that is yours… will be mine.” Ji Dongyang laughed heartily, and his eyes sparkled. However, he still didn’t get close to Meng Hao. The battle he had just witnessed from a distance had left him completely shocked.
Meng Hao’s face was very grim, but he didn’t respond. He merely hovered in place, looking coldly at Ji Dongyang.
Meng Hao didn’t move, nor did Ji Dongyang do anything rash. They stared at each other for about ten breaths of time, after which Ji Dongyang frowned, then suddenly took three steps toward Meng Hao.
As those three steps fell, Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with killing intent, and he began to stride toward Ji Dongyang. That sudden movement caused Ji Dongyang’s heart to tremble with surprise, and without even thinking about it, he fell back.
However, in the moment that he retreated, Meng Hao suddenly did the same thing, and in the blink of an eye, was far off in the distance.
Ji Dongyang’s eyes flickered coldly, and he gave chase, sighing inwardly with relief. As he closed in, he extended his right hand, performed an incantation gesture, and pointed out. Instantly, a black stream of light shot toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao also sighed inwardly. He knew that dealing with Ji Dongyang would be difficult; for him to have reached the level he had indicated that he was the type of person who tested the waters before making a move. Obviously, he was an extremely cautious person.
Furthermore, Meng Hao was not in a position to be wasting energy. His injuries were very serious, and he had only just begun to recover. Frowning, his eyes flickered as he waved his hand toward the black beam of light, shattering it.
A boom echoed out, and the backlash caused blood to ooze out of his mouth. Behind him, Ji Dongyang laughed softly.
“Brother Meng, don’t be so anxious. We still have plenty of time left. Your injuries are severe, and I’m patient. I’ll just wait until you can’t hold out any longer and pass out.
“Of course, you can always turn and fight if you want. I can guarantee that… before you manage to kill me, you’ll lose consciousness. So you should really consider… whether or not you want to fight me.” Ji Dongyang’s eyes glittered as he looked at Meng Hao for a moment, then performed an incantation gesture with his right hand, causing ten beams of black light to shoot toward Meng Hao, each one filled with Karmic power.
Meng Hao didn’t do anything in response, other than shoot off with increased speed. In the blink of an eye, he had increased the distance between them and was shooting, not in the direction of the Heavengod Alliance, but rather… toward the rift connecting the Seventh and Eighth Mountains and Seas!
He was now following exactly the same path Lord White had when he had fled.
Meng Hao moved with incredible speed, shooting past the red-haired old man and the other cultivators of the Seventh Mountain and Sea, who looked on in shock.
Ji Dongyang was hot in pursuit, face flickering in surprise. He had already made plans for what to do, regardless of whether Meng Hao attacked or not. If he didn’t attack, he would force him into fighting. If he fought, then he would run him ragged. However, he had never predicted that Meng Hao would actually choose to enter the rift.
If he did that, he would be teleported to the Seventh Mountain and Sea. Doing that would put him in a situation of extreme peril, but it seemed Meng Hao felt the chances of survival were slightly better there.
Of course, the danger would be the same for Ji Dongyang. His chances of surviving… would be small. After all, if he went to the Seventh Mountain and Sea, his clone would be two Mountains and Seas away from his true self, adding latency to his reaction time, which could end up proving fatal.
Thus, his original plan had been to possess Meng Hao while in the Eighth Mountain and Sea. However, when the Seventh Mountain and Sea invaded, and Meng Hao had chosen not to leave, he had to delay his plan.
“Dammit!” Ji Dongyang’s face flickered, and rumbling sounds echoed out as he pushed forward toward Meng Hao with greater speed. Even as Meng Hao closed in on the rift, killing intent flickered in Ji Dongyang’s eyes, and he reached out and made a grasping gesture. Countless Karma Threads swirled out to form a huge hand which grabbed toward Meng Hao.
However, the hand was slow, and Meng Hao was already halfway into the rift. He seemed to be on the verge of escaping, and in this most critical of moments, Ji Dongyang had no time to think, no matter how cautious he wished to be. If he hesitated for even a moment, Meng Hao would vanish. Gritting his teeth, he surged with cultivation base power, and in conjunction with power from the Ninth Mountain and Sea, his energy spiked, and the majesty of a Mountain and Sea Lord erupted out.
The extra power came in the blink of an eye, and he transformed into afterimages as he shot toward Meng Hao, who was now eighty percent into the rift.
“Possession!” Ji Dongyang howled. His body seemed to be melting, and his soul was on the verge of flying out to possess Meng Hao. However, in that very instant… just as he was opening his mouth to spit out his soul, Meng Hao suddenly turned back, a derisive expression on his face. His mouth twisted into a cold smile, and from the look on his face, it seemed he had no plans whatsoever to flee. In fact, it appeared that everything had been a ruse to lure Ji Dongyang into a trap!
This was a tactic that he had just picked up from Lord White.
Ji Dongyang’s eyes went wide.
“The Wolf Consumes All!” Meng Hao roared. Meng Hao truly did have only a tiny scrap of energy left inside of him, and the question had been how to use that scrap. And yet, this last bit of energy would be able to decide whether he won or lost against Ji Dongyang.
What he did was use that scrap of energy to stimulate Greed’s life force Essence, which existed within his Dao Fruit. Instantly, the image of an enormous, Heaven-shaking, Earth-shattering Heavenly Wolf appeared behind him, which threw its head back and howled!
Even as Ji Dongyang attempted to possess Meng Hao, the wolf attempted to consume Ji Dongyang!
One was attempting to possess, the other was attempting to consume, and it was impossible to determine who would succeed. Ji Dongyang’s soul pierced into Meng Hao, all the way to his sea of consciousness, and simultaneously, Ji Dongyang’s body transformed into life force quintessence which was consumed by the Heavenly Wolf.
Rumbling could be heard as Ji Dongyang vanished. A tremor ran through Meng Hao as an explosive power rose up from within him, propelling him away from the rift, whereupon he vanished.
Neither Meng Hao nor Ji Dongyang had any desire for any further consuming or possessing to play out in front of the cultivators of the Seventh Mountain and Sea. Both of them simultaneously teleported away. In the blink of an eye, they were gone, to reappear once more in a remote corner of the starry sky of the Eighth Mountain and Sea.
Meng Hao looked like a corpse as he floated there, his body occasionally emitting pulses of life force. Occasionally, rumbling could be heard, and at the same time, the injuries he had sustained in his battle with Lord White healed up, the result of the restorative powers gained by Meng Hao from consuming the life force of Ji Dongyang.
At the same time, his internal injuries were also healing rapidly!
However, there within Meng Hao’s sea of consciousness, a Heaven-shaking, Earth-shattering battle was unfolding between the powers of consuming and possessing! The struggle had reached a critical moment, and whoever lost would definitely die!
Furthermore… it was certain that the price paid by one of them dying, would help the other party to grow stronger.
Ji Dongyang, in his craftiness and malevolence, had waited for this very specific moment to attack Meng Hao, when he was extremely weak in terms of cultivation base and divine sense. Therefore, if all had gone according to plan, Ji Dongyang would have been able to possess him with relative ease.
Ji Dongyang had prepared for a very long time for this one moment of possession. He had studied Meng Hao extensively, and was aware of his fearsome divine sense and extraordinary cultivation base. He knew that he was the future Lord of the Mountain and Sea Realm, which, although terrifying in some ways, actually fueled his obsession. He had waited oh-so-patiently to possess Meng Hao, and just when he thought Meng Hao would escape his clutches and that everything had been for naught, the moment he had waited for had arrived; Meng Hao fought Lord White and ended up being in an extremely weak state.
That had been a moment of extreme excitement!
However, in all of his careful planning, there was the one area… in which he had slipped up.
Despite the fact that he had gone to the extent of following Meng Hao into the 33 Hells, he had not been able to follow him into the necropolis therein. In that moment of extreme crisis when everyone was sucked into the necropolis, he, like the Chief Dharma Protector of the Heavengod Society, had chosen to flee. Therefore, he had no idea about everything that had occurred with Greed.
Therefore, he had no idea about the very power which Meng Hao drew upon at the last moment, the life force Essence of Greed. Greed’s Essence could consume everything, including Ji Dongyang’s life force and his soul. Even the possession power he had unleashed was consumed!
“NO!!” Several days later, something like an illusory howl of rage echoed out inside of Meng Hao. A tremor ran through him, and his eyes opened. As for his mouth, it had the same smile of derision that it had before.