Meng Hao’s expression was tranquil. No one moved to interfere with the woman. The man in the gray robed sat meditating with his eyes closed. Xu Youdao was aware of Meng Hao’s extraordinariness, so naturally he did nothing.
As for Han Bei, she had speculations regarding Meng Hao’s incredible power, but wasn’t certain. She just knew a bit of secret information, which had fueled her conjectures. For her, this situation would be a good chance to observe Meng Hao’s battle prowess.
She still wished to offer some words of caution, but would the Li woman really listen? The woman’s Cultivation base was at the late Foundation Establishment stage, but in terms of thinking ability, she was one of the weakest present. The only way she had reached late Foundation Establishment was good fortune accumulated by her ancestors that had been passed down to her.
Regarding Xie Jie, he had intentionally manipulated the whole thing, so obviously did nothing to stop it from happening. He watched Meng Hao from off to the side, a smile on his lips. He was very curious as to why the Elders of the Sect had instructed him to keep an eye on Meng Hao. After arriving at the Blessed Land, he hadn’t paid too close attention, but having run into Meng Hao again, he wanted to feel him out.
Everyone had their own plans and schemes. Meng Hao glanced them over, and although he wasn’t able to fully grasp their various motivations, he had a pretty good idea. He watched the Li woman approaching, her pink whip whistling through the air. His face was expressionless, and he didn’t take even a single step backward. In fact, in the midst of her approach, he took three steps forward.
As he did, he lifted his right hand and struck out.
As his palm struck out a fierce wind sprang up, causing the surrounding grass to whip about in a frenzy. Without pausing, Meng Hao struck out a second time, then a third, a fourth and a fifth time!
These five strikes were the Nineteen Clear Sky strikes that Meng Hao had acquired from the violet-robed young man, by means of the rattan vines. The manual was incomplete, but the first five strikes were whole.
Each of these five strikes were filled with the complete power of Meng Hao’s Perfect Dao pillars. After striking out five times, an enormous magical palm the size of a person appeared in front of him. Wind whipped about in all directions as the palm shot forward.
When the five Clear Sky strikes appeared, Han Bei and Xie Jie’s expressions changed. They instantly recognized the enormous palm. This was a magical technique from the Black Sieve Sect; there was no way for outsiders to know it. Yet, here was Meng Hao, using it right in front of their eyes. There was no denying it, and this caused their hearts to tremble.
The Li woman was of the late Foundation Establishment stage, but she only had seven Dao Pillars. Furthermore, they were not even Cracked, but Fractured. Disdain covered her face as her illusory whip slammed into Meng Hao’s enormous palm. She knew in her heart what was going to happen. The palm would collapse into pieces as her whip sliced through it like a hot knife through butter. After it disintegrated, her whip would fall upon her opponent’s body, severing tendons and crushing bones.
An explosion reverberated out. There was a collapse. But it wasn’t Meng Hao’s palm. A soon as the middle-aged woman’s magical whip made contact with the giant palm, it shook, and then broke apart into pieces. The Li woman’s face fell when she saw this unexpected turn of events. A look of disbelief covered her face.
How could she possibly have imagined that this would happen? She had used a magical whip powered by late Foundation Establishment. Her opponent’s palm exceeded her wildest imagination; dread seeped into her eyes.
Meng Hao’s giant palm instantly destroyed the whip. It shot forward with shocking power, accompanied by gale force winds. The Li woman no longer scorned Meng Hao; instead, as the area began to shake, a sense of imminent danger rose up inside her. She retreated immediately, raising her right hand, into which a small shield appeared. She bit down on her tongue and then spit up some blood from her Cultivation base. When it landed on the little shield, it began to spin, expanding outward and meeting Meng Hao’s giant palm.
Another explosion rippled out. The shield shook, and was tossed backward several meters, just barely able to resist the palm. Meng Hao continued to stride forward. His Spiritual Sense, which far outmatched any late Foundation Establishment Cultivator, exploded out, crushing down onto the Li woman.
She screamed under the pressure. It felt like a sharp sword was stabbing through her brain, as if her own Spiritual Sense were about to shatter. She coughed up blood and staggered backward. By this time, Meng Hao had reached the small shield. He waved his hand, causing the massive illusory palm to wrap around the shield and drag it back to him. Using his Spiritual Sense, he erased the branding mark on the shield and then put it into his bag of holding. He looked at the woman surnamed Li.
The woman was in shock, her Spiritual Sense suppressed, her treasure un-branded and taken by Meng Hao. She retreated backward at top speed, coughing up blood, her face pale, her head buzzing. After she had moved backward a dozen or so meters, she finally came to a stop. She looked up at Meng Hao, astonished.
“You….” Her scalp was numb. It was clear that Meng Hao’s Cultivation base must not be at the early Foundation Establishment stage. She had never seen an early Foundation Establishment Cultivator display such incredible battle power. Nor had she ever experienced such terrifying Spiritual Sense.
Not even a Flawless Foundation could be like this, as far as she was concerned.
“This art contains a total of nineteen strikes,” Meng Hao said coolly, his expression the same as always. He didn’t even mention anything about the treasure he’d snatched from her.
Hearing his words, the Li woman sucked in a breath, and her face went a few shades more pale. Her body began to tremble. The attack just now had rattled her Dao Pillars, caused her to cough up blood, and had forced her to utilize a treasured item. If more than five strikes had been used, she wasn’t sure if her treasure could have resisted it. In that case, her Dao Pillars would surely have been damaged.
“Fellow Daoist, your Cultivation base is unfathomable,” she said in a strained voice. “I was crude and rash, please don’t take offense. Please keep my Cloud Peak shield as a token of my apology.” She clasped hands and bowed deeply to Meng Hao, her eyes filled with dread.
It wasn’t just her. Xu Youdao’s gaze was fixed on Meng Hao. He was now completely reassured that he had made the right decision not to attack Meng Hao earlier. Meng Hao could not be an early Foundation Establishment Cultivator. If he really was… then that was exponentially more frightening.
The gray-robed man’s eyes flickered open and came to rest on Meng Hao. He nodded.
Han Bei looked at Meng Hao thoughtfully, a light smile appearing on her face.
“Fellow Daoist Meng, you’re not late. The hour has arrived. Our chances of acquiring the Classic of Time has now increased thirty percent.”
Xie Jie laughed and said nothing. He didn’t bring up the Nineteen Clear Sky strikes. Fear of Meng Hao now existed in his heart, and he now knew that Meng Hao was not a person to be provoked lightly. After all, he had only seen Meng Hao’s colossal Spiritual Sense, and had no inkling what magical techniques or items he might have.
Whenever he dealt with people he didn’t understand, he would be careful not to provoke them. Only after coming to understand them completely would he strike like lightning.
“Forget about the Classic of Time for a moment,” said Meng Hao calmly. He looked at Han Bei, his expression the same as ever. “I came to this Blessed Land at the request of Fellow Daoist Han. However, your Sect controls this place. I’m very curious. If I help you to acquire the Classic of Time, will my Dao Pillars be ripped out afterward?”
Han Bei and Xie Jie’s eyes flashed. Before they could respond, Xu Youdao laughed grimly and said, “Fellow Daoist Meng doesn’t beat around the bush. I’m also very curious about this matter. Would the two Fellow Daoists care to provide an explanation to dispel our doubts?”
“I, too, would like to know the answer to this question,” said the gray-robed man. His eyes flashed with a cold light as he looked at Han Bei and Xie Jie.
It seemed the Li woman was also concerned with her safety. She said nothing, but moved back a few paces, effectively closing a circle around Han Bei and Xie Jie.
Han Bei smiled. “Fellow Daoists, I must request that you do not press us regarding Sect matters. I really can’t speak about it. Even if I did, you most likely wouldn’t believe me. In any case, it’s a Sect secret. Even though I’m a Conclave disciple, I don’t know a lot about it. However, as for the place we’re going to, I will of course take responsibility for your safety.” She waved her hand and four jade slips flew out toward Meng Hao and the others.
Han Bei continued, “Within this jade slip is a detailed explanation of how to exit this place. Use the method described therein, and you can leave without a hitch. There are several exits to this ancient Blessed Land. If you don’t believe me, read the jade slip and then check to see where the exits are. Then you’ll understand why I selected this location as our rendezvous point.” She smiled, looking as earnest as always.
Meng Hao’s Spiritual Sense swept over the jade slip, and he looked around the area he stood. According to the jade slip, there were three exits. One of them… was the area they were standing on top of.
Meng Hao’s hands flashed the incantation method recorded within the jade slip and he immediately felt a teleportation power rising up from beneath his feet. However, now was not the time to test it out, so he did not continue to bind the incantation.
“Here are four Spirit Seal insects,” said Han Bei. “If you wish to conduct further inspection, you can. Send some Spiritual Sense into them and then send them out of the exit. Then you can be assured that my words are not false.” She waved her right hand. Four white, thumb-sized insects flew out toward Meng Hao and the others.
Xu Youdao grabbed one. After examining it for a moment, he nodded. Branding it with Spiritual Sense, he used the technique described in the jade slip to send the insect down into the earth. It disappeared.
The Li woman did the same. The gray-robed Cultivator completely ignored Han Bei’s insects, instead slapping his bag of holding to produce a scorpion.
“Of course I believe you, Fellow Daoist Han,” said Meng Hao. He glanced at the insects and then selected one. He continued with his incantation, sending the insect through the exit using the method from the jade slip. However, in addition to the bug, he sent one of the rattan vines that were hidden deep in the earth. From the insect, he caught the indistinct impression of another location. It was definitely somewhere else, somewhere far, far away.
However, at the same time, he suddenly caught a sense of intense danger from the vine. Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed.
Almost immediately the vine died. As it did, it transmitted a final image to Meng Hao. It appeared clearly in his mind, an enormous bronze cauldron. It was incredibly imposing, appearing to be tens of thousands of meters tall.