The sight of Meng Hao consuming the pill sent all of the Cultivators, even the Patriarchs of the three great Sects, into a frenzy. Their minds spun, and they couldn’t control themselves; they rushed madly toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao was calm as he placed the medicinal pill into his mouth. However, his eyes shone with an extraordinary light. His hair whipped in the air as the Heavenly Tribulation roiled above him. He sat straight and tall in the middle of the golden lake, filled with a sort of divine grace.
The pill did not dissolve, but instead instantly slid down into his abdomen. When that happened, the descending lightning bolt suddenly stopped in mid-air and exploded. Countless sparks of electricity showered out, forming into something that looked like a face.
The face’s eyes were closed, but it still seemed as if it could see everything in the world. And it appeared to be concentrating on Meng Hao.
The face faded away, and the Tribulation clouds in the sky seethed with unprecedented intensity. The clouds had been 50 kilometers in diameter, but now they grew with explosive speed. 250 kilometers. 500 kilometers. 1,500 kilometers…. It only took a moment for them to cover a radius of 5,000 kilometers.
For 5,000 kilometers in all directions, black clouds covered everything. Thunder boomed and lightning danced. Flashing light from the Heavens seemed to be preparing to sunder the Earth!
A few hundred kilometers away from Meng Hao, in the field of rubble, the sound of ragged panting could be heard. The old man who was sealed there was observing the proceedings from within his black mist. No one could see him, but as he looked up, he could see the lightning, and it made him laugh. His laughter was hearty and filled with excitement and pleasure.
“A Perfect Immortal Body!” laughed the old man. “One of the three great Immortal Bodies, the Perfect Immortal Body! This kid will reach Immortal Ascension soon!”
Meanwhile, Meng Hao’s body began to shake as the Perfect Gold Core Pill slid down into his abdomen. A fierce expression covered his face, and veins bulged out on his forehead. His body felt as if it were about to be violently ripped into pieces.
The pain was indescribable. After forming his Violet Core, his pupils had taken on a violet hue, but now, the violet was being replaced with gold.
Within him, his Violet Core shook, and cracking sounds could be heard as fissures spread out across its surface. It seemed to be on the verge of breaking into pieces.
At the same time, the hundreds of Cultivators in the area began to descend upon him, their eyes burning red. They seemed to have lost their minds; the only thing that remained was frenzy and greed. Meng Hao had consumed the golden pill, so they wanted to consume him!
It seemed the thought of even taking a single bite of his flesh was enough to drive them to infinite madness.
However, even as they neared him, Meng Hao lifted his head up toward the sky and roared. The sound of the roar slammed into the approaching Cultivators like a wave. Blood sprayed from their mouths as they tumbled backward.
Even the Patriarchs of the three great Sects were sent spinning away, bodies shaking and blood shooting from their mouths.
As they spun away, out of control, Meng Hao’s Violet Core shattered. The pain caused by its disintegration caused Meng Hao’s roar to become even more shocking. His pupils were now more than half gold, and a golden light filled his entire body.
Inside of him, where his Violet Core used to exist, a Gold Core suddenly appeared, whereupon it instantly swept up the shattered remnants of the Violet Core.
Massive amounts of golden light poured out from the Gold Core, spreading out through Meng Hao’s Qi passageways. His entire body was filled with the color of gold.
The pain was instantly replaced with a rapturous feeling. His hair whipped about him as he felt power surging through his body. His heart began to pound. Every rotation of his Cultivation base sent roaring booms in all directions.
His skin was a bit pale, and a bit of a demonic air seemed to seep into his features. He was more handsome, his body taller and straighter. He was surrounded by golden light.
Power! He felt something similar to what he had felt back near the Rebirth Cave, when he reached Core Formation. Back then, the difference between Foundation Establishment and Core Formation had been clear; that was the same feeling he had now.
His Spiritual Sense grew, his physical body became stronger, his bones tougher. Even his mental faculties were quicker than before. Everything about him changed, as if he were going through a massive transformation.
This transformation equated to stepping foot onto a great Dao.
The great Dao of the Golden Core!
Meng Hao’s eyes opened, and when they did, a dazzling golden glow shot out. Golden light shone through his green robe, making his entire person seem like some sort of Celestial warrior!
Off in the distance, the parrot and the meat jelly were cautiously observing. The parrot’s eyes were wide and filled shock. It had been with Meng Hao for years, but most of that time had been spent in the copper mirror; Meng Hao actually had many secrets that it wasn’t aware of.
As for the meat jelly, it really had no idea about Meng Hao’s true level. It only knew that he seemed relatively strong.
Now, both of them watched as he underwent his transformation.
“How bizarre!” muttered the meat jelly. “It’s a Perfect Immortal Body! I never noticed it before!”
“Inhuman!” said the parrot, sounding hurt. “What incredible good fortune! What amazing destiny! Only a Sublime Spirit Doyen can have a Perfect Immortal Body, and yet, he actually does! Only big shots like Lord Fifth should have a Perfect Immortal Body!
“Three Heavenly Scriptures: Sublime Spirit, Dao Divinity, Heaven Severing. Each scripture contains secrets of the Heavenly Mountains and Seas. Using them, the three great Immortal Bodies can be cultivated. From ancient times until now, only a Sublime Spirit Doyen and a Dao Divinity Doyen have appeared. A Heaven Severing Doyen has never been seen.
“This kid really has Heaven defying good fortune. A Perfect Immortal Body…. Ahhhhh, with a body like that, if he reaches Immortal Ascension, he could become a Legacy Apprentice of the Sublime Spirit Doyen.
“Ah, Doyens, truly powerful experts within the Nine Mountains and Seas, Cultivators who can oppose the Lords of the Nine Mountains and Seas. Sure, Lord Fifth doesn’t care too much about them, but… Lord Fifth is in a weak position now, dammit, so he has to rely on their help.”
The parrot was getting more and more animated. “And then there’s that damned legend, which is the reason I’ve met such calamity…. According to the legend, if all three of those scriptures are collected and combined, they will form the Mountain and Sea Scripture! That scripture….” As it started to recall the terrifying Mountain and Sea Scripture of legend, it seemed on the verge of going crazy. 1
As for Meng Hao, he took a deep breath as he felt his Cultivation base rotating along with the Gold Core. Great waves of power washed through him, filling him with determination.
“So, is this the power of the Perfect Gold Core…?” he murmured, his eyes glowing with golden light. His entire person radiated dignity. He waved his right arm, and power exploded out of his Cultivation base.
As it did, a vortex of golden wind sprang into being around him, sweeping across everything.
The hundreds of Cultivators stared in shock. The frenzy was still visible on their faces, but they couldn’t stop themselves from backing up, pushed away by the invisible power of the golden wind generated by Meng Hao.
In the blink of an eye, the golden wind swirling around Meng Hao had turned into a screaming cyclone. As it spun through the air, a face appeared within the wind, that of Meng Hao.
“As of this moment,” Meng Hao said coolly, “I no longer need to hold back my Cultivation base. It is time to enter the mid stage of the Perfect Gold Core!” The Gold Core within him began to spin rapidly and Cultivation base power surged up. As it grew stronger, the cyclone caused the hundreds of surrounding Cultivators to be thrown backward.
Astonishment filled their faces, especially the Patriarchs of the three great Sects, whose eyes shone with disbelief. It felt to them as if Meng Hao could crush them at any time; the Cores inside of them were even beginning to show signs of instability.
The same question was spinning in the minds of everyone: “What… what pill did that guy just consume?!”
It was at this moment that Meng Hao’s Cultivation base reached the pinnacle of its climb, and a great roaring filled his mind. It seemed like his Cultivation base had reached a bottleneck, and that at any moment, it would break through.
The golden storm winds surrounded Meng Hao for a radius of fifty kilometers. He felt himself suddenly break through from the early Gold Core stage to the mid Gold Core stage!
He felt his body grow tougher and his Spiritual Sense stronger. The Gold Core fused with him, forming what seemed like a second soul.
The Gold Core contained his memories, his soul, his life. It was as if his life force and very life itself existed inside of it. In fact it actually felt like a seed.
The seed of a Great Dao!
The instant he entered the mid Gold Core stage, the golden glow around Meng Hao intensified until it seemed like a golden sun hovered above his head, shining out across the land, turning everything the color of gold.
“It’s about time to form my Core Qi. I wonder what the essence of my Core Qi will be….” He closed his eyes as the golden cyclone whipped around him. In his mind appeared images… from when he was small until now: the Tower of Tang, Yunjie County, Mount Daqing, the Reliance Sect, the State of Zhao, the Southern Domain, the Violet Fate Sect… all the way to the events at the Rebirth Cave.
“Core Qi essence can be abstract or literal….” he thought. Suddenly, he recalled the starry sky he had seen just before he met Choumen Tai.
In that land… he had looked up and seen an ancient starry sky.
Meng Hao also remembered that Ji Hongdong’s Core Qi had taken the shape of a starry sky, except, that was the starry sky of the Ji Clan.
“The starry sky of ancient times, that is the essence of my Core Qi.” He opened his eyes, and as he did, the golden sun exploded. Massive amounts of golden Core Qi expanded out. At the same time, the golden tempest around him suddenly shrank inward. In the blink of an eye it melded into Meng Hao’s body, causing the golden glow which bathed the surroundings to disappear.
The only thing left was roiling Gold Core Qi which took the shape of… a starscape!
It was not a golden starscape, but a black one. However, within the blackness was a myriad of golden stars. Those stars were stars that few people could ever see… the starry sky of ancient times!
The blindingly bright starscape which floated above Meng Hao’s head immediately began to emanate an unprecedentedly shocking pressure. The surrounding hundreds of Cultivators were shaken, especially the Patriarchs of the three great Sects. The instant they saw it, they gasped in astonishment.
“His Core Qi… its essence… is a starscape!!”
“The power of Core Qi is manifested by the grandness of its essence. What could possibly be more grand than the stars?”
“From ancient times until now, only the truly Chosen of Heaven and Earth have manifested Core Qi as a starscape. This guy….” The three of them began panting, looks of fear on their faces as they slowly backed away.
The name of the “Mountain and Sea Scripture” is exactly the same as the actual historical Chinese text entitled “Classic of Mountains and Seas” ↩