The Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea looked at the violet-robed man behind the shield and coolly said, “Lord Wu, you must surely know you can’t succeed. Why keep trying?” 1
Off to the side, the Outsider Dao Sovereign’s clone smiled, and a flicker of derision appeared in his eyes.
The violet-robed man inside the shield, Lord Wu, didn’t respond. His eyes were tightly shut, and his face was pale white. Based on the cultivation base power swirling within him, he was obviously trying to achieve a breakthrough.
Earlier, he had been fighting with the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea, and the two of them were evenly matched. But then the Outsider Dao Sovereign’s clone suddenly appeared and, when he joined forces with the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea, they were just too powerful. Lord Wu had been forced to put his own status as Lord of the Fifth Mountain and Sea on the line; he had shattered his Mountain and Sea crown to create the shield which was currently keeping him safe. Then he took advantage of the brief respite from the fighting to attempt to force a breakthrough.
He knew that the only way to be able to continue fighting would be to break through from the 5-Essences level to 6-Essences. If he couldn’t… then the Mountain and Sea shield he created would eventually fail, and he would be at their mercy.
Now that he was inside the shield, he had few options. In fact, he was trapped, and the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea and the Outsider Dao Sovereign clone had far too many methods of slowly refining him.
In fact, that was exactly what they were doing right now. Black flames emanated off of the clone, surrounding the shield. The raging inferno caused cracking sounds to ring out; Lord Wu was slowly being refined into a medicinal pill.
The Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea laughed. “You might have destroyed your Mountain and Sea crown, but you’re still a Mountain and Sea Lord. After refining you into a Mountain and Sea pill, I’ll consume you and once again be able to wield the power of the Mountains and Seas!”
As soon as the 1st Heaven descended, he had been stripped of his status as a Mountain and Sea Lord. However, if he could consume Lord Wu, then he would once again be able to unleash Mountain and Sea power!
When Lord Wu continued to ignore him, the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea gave a cold snort. “Stubborn fool!”
Lord Wu’s eyes snapped open, and he glowered at the old man. “I might be a stubborn fool, but that’s better than being like you… a traitor to the Mountain and Sea Realm!”
During the course of their battle, it had become clear that the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea was not an Outsider, but rather, was a cultivator of the Mountains and Seas!
When the Lord White of the Seventh Mountain and Sea defected, that was a completely different matter. He was an Outsider in disguise, who had plotted and schemed his way into his position. The Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea, however, was a complete and utter traitor!
“Traitor?” The Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea stood there quietly for a moment, then threw his head back and laughed. It was a sinister laugh, filled with madness and obsession. “That’s right, I am a traitor. So what?!
“Considering my latent talent and good fortune, if I hadn’t been born in the Mountain and Sea Realm, and hadn’t been held back by my status and bloodline, then I could have long since stepped into the 6-Essences level. In fact, I might even be a Paragon!
“I’ve practiced cultivation for 33,000 years. I’m a Mountain and Sea Lord at the peak of the 5-Essences level. Yet what does that get me?
“The Mountain and Sea Realm is sealed by the 33 Heavens, cursed. Held back! The highest cultivation base is the peak of the 5-Essences level. Was turning traitor for the purposes of increasing my cultivation base really so wrong?
“Cultivators practice cultivation for themselves. Who cares about one’s family and one’s people? Everything can be cast aside in the pursuit of a great Dao. To further my cultivation, I cast off all past Karmic ties!
“Besides, the Mountain and Sea Realm… can’t possibly win this war. A wise man submits to the circumstances. Can you really find fault with my choice?” As the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea spoke, his voice grew louder and louder until he was shouting. It was almost as if he wasn’t speaking to the violet-robed Lord Wu, but rather, himself.
The Outsider clone stood off to the side, laughing, and the scorn in his eyes grew deeper. Apparently, that scorn was directed, not just at Lord Wu, but also at the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea.
The Lord Wu looked at the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea, the pain in his heart visible on his face. “With our home gone and our people gone,” he said, “what is the point of existing?”
He had known the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea for ten thousand years, and had considered him a close friend. And yet, this was how things were ending.
“You say we’re sealed, and that’s true,” he continued, “but that doesn’t mean we’re without options. Look at Ksitigarbha! He’s the perfect example!”
“Ksitigarbha? He controls reincarnation. The Fourth Mountain is unique. That’s the only way he can sidestep the sealing of the 33 Heavens, by means of the power of reincarnation. Considering he has his own Dao, he can even step into the Daosource!
“In all of the Mountain and Sea Realm, who can do that besides him? Nobody! Not a single person can step into the true Dao Sovereign level!
“Well, there are those old-timers, but their qi and blood is on the decline, and they can only explode with power by harming their longevity. What good is that?!
“As for me, I will leave the Mountain and Sea Realm. I will become a cultivator of the 33 Heavens. I might lose my position and my freedom, but… at least I will have a great Dao!
“It won’t take long. In a few thousand years, when the Mountain and Sea Realm is gone, I will still be here. At the very least, I’ll be a true Dao Sovereign, but if luck is with me, I might be a Paragon! I will definitely have an important place in the 33 Heavens!” The Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea began to laugh loudly.
Lord Wu could only look on bitterly. No matter how rapidly his cultivation base rotated, the gap separating him from the 6-Essences level was too great.
Actually, this was not the first time he had faced such a situation. It was over 10,000 years ago that he had first reached the point of being able to break through. However, despite trying on multiple occasions to do so, he had always failed.
Even now, when everything was at stake, when he was stuck in a corner, he was still unable to force his cultivation base past that point. The sealing of the 33 Heavens was always there, radiating invisible pressure, which of course was why they were so arrogant.
The Outsider clone laughed heartily, a laughter filled with cruelty and scorn. He loved being able to watch two Mountain and Sea Lords in such a mutually destructive scenario. One had turned traitor, the other was trying to break through. He just loved it!
In the past, Immortals had always seemed so aloof and remote. But now, he could cause them to live or die on a whim. It was a wonderful feeling, and he couldn’t get enough of it.
Laughing, the Outsider Dao Sovereign’s clone turned to the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea and said, “All cultivators who capitulate to the 33 Heavens will be qualified to make cultivation base breakthroughs. Fellow Daoist Cang, perhaps it won’t be too long before you’re on equal footing with me. 2
“Finish refining this man and then consume the resulting Mountain and Sea pill. Help us to wipe out the rest of the Mountain and Sea Lords. That will earn you quite a bit of merit.”
The Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea, Lord Cang, took a deep breath. Then, it was with excitement and other mixed emotions that he clasped hands and bowed to the Outsider.
More cracking sounds could be heard as rips and tears spread out across Lord Wu’s shield. He then began to laugh bitterly as he realized that he had failed once again.
“Like I said, there is no way you can succeed,” Lord Cang said coldly. “What a stubborn fool. Other than Ksitigarbha, nobody in the Mountain and Sea Realm can become a true Dao Sovereign!” With that, he swished his sleeve, apparently ready to begin consuming Lord Wu.
However, even as the words he had just spoken continued to echo out, a cold voice suddenly spread through the starry sky.
“You think that Ksitigarbha is the only one who can become a true Dao Sovereign?”
The voice came as a complete surprise to Lord Cang, and even the Outsider clone, neither of whom had sensed anyone approaching. The Outsider Dao Sovereign’s jaw dropped, and he turned his head.
Lord Cang’s eyes went wide. Cultivation base rumbling, he spun around.
Even Lord Wu suddenly looked up.
The gazes of all three immediately locked onto a figure who was approaching through the starry sky.
It was a handsome young man in a long green robe, with flowing hair. He almost didn’t look like a cultivator, but rather, a scholar. In fact, if he were wearing a scholar’s traveling case, people would most likely think he was on his way to the Imperial examinations.
It was none other than Meng Hao!
As he approached, no ripples spread out into the starry sky. And yet, naturals laws were wiped clean as he passed, and an indescribable pressure radiated off of him.
He almost seemed like an enormous ocean, backed by huge waves which could crush down on anything.
The first one to recognize him was the Outsider Dao Sovereign, whose face flickered as he said, “Meng Hao!”
In the entire Mountain and Sea Realm, the only person he feared, other than Paragon Sea Dream and Ksitigarbha… was this very person. Meng Hao!
Back on the Eighth Mountain, one of his other clones had been killed by the combined efforts of Meng Hao and the Lord of the Eighth Mountain and Sea.
As for Lord Cang, this was his first time ever laying eyes onto Meng Hao. After sensing the fluctuations of Meng Hao’s cultivation base, his eyes narrowed. “Peak of 5-Essences?”
Although Meng Hao was not a Mountain and Sea Lord, he still had the power of the Mountains and Seas on him. And despite his lack of Essences, Lord Cang’s senses were telling him that Meng Hao was at the peak of 5-Essences.
In the moment that Meng Hao appeared, the Outsider’s eyes flickered with killing intent, and he could sense the towering murderous aura emanating off of him.
It was a murderous aura that no one else would be able to detect, a murderous aura that came into being because of… Outsiders!!
The only way someone could emanate such a murderous aura was… to kill countless numbers of Outsiders!
“Are you looking to die!?” the clone said. Leaping into action, he performing an incantation gesture, sending a black sea of flames out, filled with Essence power. It became a huge black flame python, which lunged toward Meng Hao with gaping maw.
“If you were here in your true form, I might be worried,” Meng Hao said coolly. “But you’re just a clone. You think you can stand in my way?” With that, he waved his arm.
It was a casual gesture, but when his cultivation base rotated and his fleshly body power was unleashed, shockwaves spread out into the starry sky. The huge flame python seemed to slam into an invisible obstacle; it let out a miserable shriek and then completely exploded.
The clone’s face fell, and his heart began to thump. However, he didn’t back down. Instead, he flickered into motion, the scales on his body rising up and transforming into a windstorm. Lightning crackled and danced, thunder boomed, wind screamed, and rain went wild. A sea of flames roared up, and the power of emptiness raged, causing his body to turn illusory and merge with the powerful, killing attack.
The power of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning transformed into four vicious dragons. At the same time, the black flames turned into a face which shook the starry sky as it bore down on Meng Hao.
Lord Wu’s surname is a character which, although a real Chinese surname, also means “wizard.” Incidentally, this is the only time that he is actually referred to by name in these next few chapters. The rest of the time he is referred to as “the violet-robed man” or “Lord of the Fifth Mountain and Sea.” Er Gen does this pretty often with minor characters. In order to make the narrative flow a bit more smoothly, I’m going to use Lord Wu in most places, instead of the other two ways of referring to him. ↩
Lord Cang’s surname is a real Chinese surname which can also mean “blue-green” or “cold.” This is also the only time he is referred to by name, but to make things smoother I’m going to do the same thing with him as with Lord Wu. (see above footnote) ↩