Standing in the square beneath the platform, Shangguan Xiu’s lips twisted with a grim smile. He didn’t care at all whether Meng Hao lived or died. He only wanted the treasures within in Meng Hao’s bag of holding.
After Meng Hao had registered for the Inner Sect promotion training, he had gone to find Zhou and Yin to inquire after the events which had occurred in the black mountain. He knew that Meng Hao had provoked masses of Demonic beasts with some supposed Demonic magic.
Shangguan Xiu was convinced that it was no Demonic magic, but rather a magical treasure.
Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed. He watched the two-colored Mist Spirits approaching. He raised his left hand and waved it in front of him. An invisible Wind Blade appeared and shot toward the Mist Spirits at high speed.
At the same time, Meng Hao quickly swallowed a handful of Demonic Cores, then slapped his bag of holding and flicked his sleeve. A stream of sword auras flew from the bag. In the blink of an eye, twenty had appeared, filling the air. It was quite shocking. The swords also shot toward the two-colored Mist Spirits.
Many of the flying swords appeared to be in bad condition or of different colors.
Upon seeing this, the surrounding Cultivators gasped with astonishment, but before they could even begin to discuss the matter amongst themselves, the Wind Blade reached the Mist Spirits, and a bang rang out. The Mist Spirits vibrated. Then, the flying swords hit, and two miserable shrieks could be heard. The two-colored Mist Spirits were extraordinary, but there were just too many swords.
The Mist Spirits were torn to pieces, and the swords continued on to slash into the five-colored banner. A massive explosion occurred and the banner disintegrated, along with about half of the swords. Han Zong watched on, stupefied. Meng Hao slapped his bag of holding, swallowing another Demonic Core and produced ten more flying swords, which shot forward.
Han Zong had never imagined Meng Hao would have so many flying swords. He retreated backwards, waving his right hand. A shining, two-layered shield appeared around him. But he was still concerned. The hairs on his body stood on end, and his skin felt numb. He knew that life and death hung in the balance here. His right hand moved again, and a jade pendant appeared in front of him, adding another layer of shielding around him. With three shields in place, he felt a bit better.
Then, the sword rain descended. Sword auras flashed ceaselessly. They slammed over and over into the first shield layer, and it shattered almost immediately. Shortly after that, the second shield layer broke into pieces, unable to withstand the sword rain.
“How can he have so many flying swords!?” Han Zong’s pupils constricted, and he looked terrified. He retreated further.
In the blink of an eye, the third shield fell apart, and the jade pendant split into pieces, unable to hold up against the multitude of swords. And then the sword rain descended upon Han Zong, and he screamed. Sword after sword stabbed into him. They lifted his corpse up into the air, then slammed it back down onto the platform. He twitched a few times, then rattled out his final breath. He had so many swords sticking into him that he looked like a hedgehog. Everyone watching gasped, their faces filled with astonishment.
“How… how.. how can there be so many flying swords!?”
“So many flying swords, no wonder he owns a shop. A few days ago I saw him sell at least ten! He hasn’t just been selling medicinal pills, recently. He’s also been selling magical items.”
“Meng Hao must have had some sort of windfall. His Cultivation base has grown incredibly fast. Maybe he obtained a bunch of treasures in some sort of adventure.” The buzz of discussion filled the air, and as it did, Shangguan Xiu frowned, his face dark.
Meng Hao stood on the platform, face pale. He still had some spiritual energy left. His attacks, especially the last one involved twenty flying swords, had quickly drained him. He was only at the sixth level of Qi Condensation, after all. Fortunately, he had been consuming Demonic Cores throughout the battle to replenish himself. This made his attacks even more effective. Meng Hao had invented this fighting method himself, and was quite familiar with it, having practiced it often.
He waved his right hand, and the swords lifted up from Han Zong’s body and returned to him, dripping blood along the way. They circled around his body before returning to his bag of holding.
He descended from the platform and sat down cross-legged next to Fatty. He popped a Demonic Core into his mouth and felt it dissolve. He didn’t care if people saw him consuming so many. As far as they were concerned, after the affair at the black mountain, he should have been able to acquire quite a few Demonic Cores.
Furthermore, he had another battle to be concerned about. The humiliation he had endured under Wang Tengfei’s four finger attacks would be repaid today in full measure. He had been waiting for this day a long time!
Grand Elder Ouyang looked at Meng Hao, his eyes filled with obvious approval. His admiration of Meng Hao had continued to grow from the day he entered the Sect. In his eyes, Meng Hao was growing up. His face radiated contentment.
Grand Elder Ouyang didn’t care what stroke of good fortune Meng Hao had. As a Cultivator, good fortune was a blessing dictated by fate. He especially liked people who were blessed with good fortune. His smile filled with kindness, but inside, he felt regret and nervousness.
“Regardless of who lives or dies in the battles of the Inner Sect training, Wang Tengfei’s latent talent is something rarely seen in the span of a hundred years. His Cultivation base is extraordinary at this young age. If he manages to perfect his foundation, he will be a talent rarely seen even during the Sect’s glory days. Meng Hao just isn’t a match for him….” He sighed.
Standing there in the crowd, Shangguan Xiu’s face grew even grimmer. He narrowed his eyes.
He had never imagined that Meng Hao would be able to defeat Han Zong, especially since he’d bestowed a powerful treasure to him. The power of the Mist Spirits summoned by the five-colored banner should have been able to destroy Meng Hao with no problem.
And yet Meng Hao’s dozens of flying swords had ripped it to shreds. Even Shangguan Xiu had been shocked to see so many flying swords. Even though they were low-level swords, they were still sharp. Even scrap iron in such large numbers could shock and amaze.
At this moment, far away on the East Mountain, stood a middle-aged man of approximately forty years of age. He wore a black robe and had the look of a scholar. As he watched the battle unfold in the Outer Sect square, his eyes filled with strange light and came to focus on Meng Hao.
“This kid… He wasn’t worth noticing before. His latent talent is nothing extraordinary, but he seems to possess incredible good fortune.” This man was none other than the amazingly powerful Sect Leader He Luohua, who had already reached Core Formation.
“If he wasn’t up against Wang Tengfei, this kid might be able to join the Inner Sect. But it’s Wang Tengfei… it will be difficult.” He Luohua watched Meng Hao with kind eyes. As a Core Formation Cultivator, and the Sect Leader of the Reliance Sect, he didn’t pay much attention to the twists of fate and fortune that occurred amongst disciples who still practiced Qi Condensation. Things would play out naturally.
If a disciple was lucky, then he would be happy. But with Wang Tengfei present, He Luohua didn’t give much stock to Meng Hao’s chances to gain victory.
“It’s too bad there are only three pieces of Vorpal Jade… Wang Tengfei’s spot was decided upon long ago, otherwise…” He Luohua shook his head, trying to decide whether or not to intervene if it seemed Meng Hao would die. He sighed.
Time slipped by. Grand Elder Ouyang watched on in approval as Meng Hao’s spiritual energy slowly restored. He was clearly showing partiality to Meng Hao, but none of the onlookers dared say anything.
As for Wang Tengfei, he didn’t pay attention to anyone. Even though Meng Hao’s rapid advancement in Cultivation base was astounding, Wang Tengfei didn’t think about it too much because of Grand Elder Ouyang’s intervention that time. Deep in Wang Tengfei’s heart, he didn’t think or even consider it possible that Meng Hao could be the person who took his treasures. He was convinced that it was the other dim light he had seen.
Thinking of this, Wang Tengfei’s heart throbbed with pain, and he nearly wept tears of blood. As of now, the Legacy had nothing to do with him. He could not sense even a sliver of it. He was an outsider as far as it was concerned. Even if the person who now possessed it stood in front of him, he would have no idea.
“The Legacy is no longer mine, but the treasure…” Wang Tengfei’s hands clenched into fists. He had only been able to catch a glimpse of the sword from a distance. Other than that, he had only been able to read about it in the ancient records. He didn’t even know what it could do. He only knew that the ancient records stated clearly that the sword was one of a kind, and that its spiritual power could overwhelm everything in heaven and earth.
He had planned to thoroughly study it after acquiring it, but now… all of that was just wishful thinking.
Wang Tengfei closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Sitting there cross-legged, he appeared as mild and gentle as ever, as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
“I am Wang Tengfei. Even though the Legacy and the treasure were stolen away, the Reliance Inner Sect belongs to me. It is the second of my main goals. Even without the treasure or Legacy, I will join the detestable Inner Sect of the Reliance Sect. That will be my fortune!
“One defeat is nothing! I am Wang Tengfei!” On the outside he was peaceful and calm, so he forced himself to be equally calm on the inside, to emerge from the depths of defeat.
He was arrogant because he was Wang Tengfei, a perfect, blessed god, Chosen.
He was indifferent because he knew that the Inner Sect training had been opened especially for him, and was merely a show, carried out simply to comply with Sect Rules. From the moment he had entered the Reliance Sect, he was different. To the members of the Outer Sect, he had long since already become a member of the Inner Sect.
He was calm because he didn’t care a bit about the Reliance Sect. A small Sect like this meant nothing to him. Even a single member of his Clan could lay waste to the entire Sect. Were it not for his insistence to come to this backwater State of Zhao, he would never be here. Not considering his status. He should be shaking heaven and earth back home in his powerful Clan.
So he was arrogant, indifferent and calm. He let the time pass, allowing this person whose name he could not even remember to recover his Cultivation base.
Enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, and then Meng Hao suddenly opened his eyes. They glittered with the desire for battle. He had killed a man of the fifth level of Qi Condensation. He had killed Han Zong. Never before had he killed so many people in one day. But his heart filled with anticipation. He would place Wang Tengfei underfoot and repay in full the humiliation he had endured that day.
Without a word, Meng Hao slowly stood up.