The Ji youth’s expression was one of unyielding pride, his words aloof and remote. He didn’t seem to think Meng Hao was even worth looking at, and spoke to him as he might a servant.
Meng Hao frowned. However, he thought of the fearsomeness of the Clan, as well as the fear An Zaihai had shown. He thought about everything he had experienced, and all the stories regarding Ji. Then, he immediately suppressed any feelings of displeasure he felt.
Now was not the appropriate time to attack; his Cultivation base had reached a critical juncture, the time when the important transformation would occur. Meng Hao knew that to attack now would affect the growth of his Cultivation base.
Furthermore, the Ji youth’s Cultivation base was at the peak of the early Core Formation stage, even higher than the azure-masked Cultivator from the Black Lands he had fought.
“Your excellency, I’m not quite sure what you mean,” said Meng Hao, looking surprised. “I just arrived here myself, and haven’t been able to find anything. Don’t tell me there’s some sort of treasure here?” The glow of greed shone in his eyes as he spoke.
The Ji youth’s eyes glittered as he glanced at Meng Hao, and an expression of utter disdain covering his face. He looked around, heart still filled with suspicion.
“This guy’s Cultivation base is at the Foundation Establishment level,” he thought. “No matter how weak the Immortal is, there’s no way this guy could penetrate his Immortal Sense. Plus, he’s slumbering. Even I couldn’t forcibly break into the Immortal Sense, not even with the device given to me by the Patriarch. So, could it have been taken earlier by someone else?” Within the Ji youth’s mind appeared the image of the girl surnamed Fang. He glanced over at Meng Hao. “Did you encounter anyone on your way here? Whatever it is you saw, tell me immediately,” he demanded. “If you leave out anything, I will wipe you and your Sect and Clan!” He made no attempt to cover over his disdain and superciliousness.
Meng Hao hesitated, then lowered his voice. “Someone else? Yes, I did see someone, actually, wearing a green robe. I couldn’t really see clearly which Fellow Daoist… it was… This place….”
Before he could finish, the Ji youth seemed to have made his mind up. He flicked his sleeve impatiently. “Screw off!” he said.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with an imperceptible coldness. However, a cowardly look appeared on his face, and he immediately backed up, then turned to leave.
It was at this exact moment that suddenly, the wall next to him exploded outward, and a person in green emerged.
Along with this person came an incredibly potent aura, which immediately enveloped the entire area. Not only did it contain power, but also feeling of extreme conceit.
As the aura roiled out, the figure emerged slowly, a young woman. This was none other than the girl surnamed Fang, who was also from the Eastern Lands. As soon as she appeared, her eyes fell onto the Ji youth.
Meng Hao was standing right next to her, but she completely ignored him. The arrogance which emanated from her was virtually palpable.
“Ji Hongdong, give the Immortal’s scripture to me!” said the young woman coolly. She was beautiful, and emanated icy arrogance. 1
When he saw the girl appear, Meng Hao’s heart began to thump, and he backed up a few paces. Before he could get very far, the Ji youth’s eyes narrowed.
“Fang Yu, it turns out you took the Immortal’s scripture, and still….” He only finished half of his thought when his heart suddenly trembled. He abruptly looked at Meng Hao, and as he did, he blinked his right eye seven times in rapid succession. Suddenly, two pupils could be seen within his eye. They seemed to possess some power of psychic sight! As he looked at Meng Hao, he immediately was able to see the white diamond in Meng Hao’s dantian. 2
In addition to the diamond, there was a blurriness. Even the diamond by itself was enough to cause killing intent to spring out from the Ji youth’s eyes. However, just as soon as it appeared, it then vanished.
The speed with which all of this happened was such that if you blinked, you wouldn’t be able to pick up even the slightest clue that something was happening.
“Preposterous!” said the Ji youth with a cold laugh. Ignoring Meng Hao, he immediately shot toward Fang Yu. As he neared, he waved his right hand, causing a field of stars to appeared behind him. Fang Yu gave a cold snort and also advanced. She lifted her hand, forming a fist and punching out into the air. A huge boom resonated out in all directions.
Meng Hao immediately tumbled backward, then picked a random direction and sped off.
His face was grim. He could see that Ji Hongdong had seen through him; he didn’t point it out and immediately pursue Meng Hao because of the Fang girl. Instead of saying something, he planned to come after Meng Hao later, alone.
The walls continued to fill with cracks, although Meng wasn’t sure how long it would take until they completely crumbled. He slapped his bag of holding to retrieve the good luck charm. He pressed down on it, after which a frustrated look appeared on his face.
For the first time ever, the good luck charm was powerless to teleport him away.
“I can’t place all of my hope on the collapse of this place….” thought Meng Hao. He knew full well that before the place fell to pieces, he had somewhat of a chance to flee. However, once the collapse was complete, if Ji Hongdong came after him, he would be in a very bad position.
Ji Hongdong’s status, his place in the fearsome Ji Clan, made it such that if he were killed, it would be equivalent to deliberately invoking monolithic disaster. Meng Hao wasn’t sure if the Violet Fate Sect would even be able to fight back. The two powers weren’t even on the same level.
His face grim, Meng Hao continued on for a bit less time than it takes half an incense stick to burn. Finally, he gritted his teeth and stopped, sitting down cross-legged on the ground. Ignoring the crumbling of the walls around him, he began to meditate, rotating his Cultivation base and pushing as fast as possible toward Core Formation.
“Regardless of anything, I will only be able to seize the initiative… after I reach Core Formation!” A bright glow appeared in his eyes. This was a moment of crisis, leaving him little time to think things through. He closed his eyes and spit out a mouthful of mist, which immediately crackled with lightning as it surrounded him. At the same time, a halo the color of blood emerged from Meng Hao, and a Blood Clone materialised and began to guard over him.
Meng Hao’s ten Dao Pillars emitted a roaring sound that only he could hear. Massive amounts of Violet Qi poured forth, causing the Dao Pillars to begin to melt and then merge together.
After the Dao Pillars fully melted he would be able to form his Core. Thanks to the Immortal Qi, this process would happen much more quickly. Once Meng Hao reached Core Formation, he would set the record as the fastest person to do so since ancient times.
Time passed by. Meng Hao wasn’t sure when Ji Hongdong would come for him. However, it would happen quickly, he was sure of that. Ji Hongdong had picked up on the clues. Once he shook off the young Fang woman, he would be coming for Meng Hao.
“Must go faster!!” thought Meng Hao, circulating all the power within his Cultivation base. Suddenly, a shocking roar filled his mind. His tenth Dao Pillar was now melting.
As the Dao Pillar melted, vast quantities of Violet Qi poured out, wrapping around and around the collection of violet mist which already existed around the Immortal Qi. The globule of violet mist rotated rapidly, emitting countless strands of Violet Qi throughout Meng Hao’s body.
A brutally powerful aura appeared within Meng Hao; his physical body grew more powerful, his Spiritual Sense expanded, and most obviously, the Blood Clone and the Blood Death World he was within slowly began to grow stronger.
As the true self grew stronger, so did they!
Meng Hao wasn’t satisfied, though. The speed was too slow. Veins bulged on his face as he pushed everything into rotating his Cultivation base. Amidst the roaring, his ninth Dao Pillar began to melt. More Violet Qi poured out. The violet mist globule rotated even more rapidly; it was now showing signs of condensing into a Core.
Next, his eighth Dao Pillar, then his seventh. They melted one after another, filling him with rumbling booms. Boundless spiritual energy exploded out, causing the violet mist to roil at even greater speed. It sucked in Violet Qi. As of this moment, Meng Hao’s body was emitting a bright violet glow.
The globule of violet mist spun at high speed. All signs pointed to it forming into a Violet Core at any moment. Seeing this, Meng Hao quickly consumed a large amount of Three Mortalities Pills. It still wasn’t enough. Meng Hao could clearly sense that he was… immeasurably close to Core Formation!
“Even faster!” thought Meng Hao with an inward growl. A thunderous noise could be heard as his sixth Dao Pillar, fifth Dao Pillar and fourth Dao Pill all melted. It was at this time that off in the distance, Meng Hao could hear a loud noise; someone was using a magical technique.
“It’s not Ji Hongdong….” thought Meng Hao. He was focused on rotating his Dao Pillars, but he had long since sent his Spiritual Sense out into the area. He immediately caught sight of a figure making its way toward him at high speed.
Meng Hao sighed inwardly and opened his eyes. Off in the distance was Li Daoyi, wearing a thoughtful smile.
Catching sight of Meng Hao, he gave a slight smile and said, “I was wondering who it was that Fellow Daoist Ji wanted me to pursue and delay. So, it turns out it’s Grandmaster Fang Mu.” He slowly approached. As he neared, he suddenly stopped and gaped at Meng Hao. “Core Formation aura? You picked this moment to form your Core?” He laughed, his expression filled with a sneer.
“You really live up to your reputation, Grandmaster Fang Mu,” he said. “Very audacious! However, you took something that belongs to Fellow Daoist Ji. That’s a no-no. The mere sight of you fills me with the desire to kill.”
“Make a move against me and you’ll cause a war between the Li Clan and the Violet Fate Sect,” said Meng Hao coolly, his expression the same as ever. He was in a race against time; his Cultivation base was rotating rapidly, causing his remaining three Dao Pillars to begin to melt away.
“I would of course never attack you,” said Li Daoyi with a hypocritical smile. “I’ll just block your way, make sure you stay behind and don’t leave. Your life does not belong to me, but rather, Fellow Daoist Ji. The Clan Patriarchs will be more than happy to allow something like this to happen.” He lifted his hand, extending it toward Meng Hao’s forehead.
Meng Hao sighed. It seemed he would not be able to make his breakthrough at the moment. Killing intent glittered in his eyes, and he was just about to make a move, when suddenly, his face flickered.
At the same time, Li Daoyi’s face also changed. He spun, and then dodged to the side.
Just as he did, a clear, melodious snort rang out, filling the air. A band of white light flashed through the spot where Li Daoyi had just stood, then shot after him.
Next, a prismatic beam shot toward them, coming to a stop next to Meng Hao.
There, wearing a white robe, facial expression icy cold, was Xu Qing.
She glared at Li Daoyi.
“Make your breakthrough,” she said calmly to Meng Hao. “I’ll take care of him.” Her voice was cold, but as her words made their way into Meng Hao’s heart, they transformed into gentle warmth.
Ji Hongdong’s name in Chinese is 季鸿东 jì hóng dōng – Ji is a family name. Hong means “great” and also “goose.” Dong means “east” ↩
Fang Yu’s name in Chinese is 方瑜 fāng yú – Fang is a family name. Yu means “beauty” or “jade” ↩