“Mid Nascent Soul stage!” thought Meng Hao, his eyes narrowing. Of the Cultivators he had personally battled with, the highest Cultivation base he had faced was that of Eccentric Li Tian. Even Li Tian had only been at the peak of the early Nascent Soul stage. There was a vast difference between that and the mid Nascent Soul stage.
The difference between the various levels of the Nascent Soul stage was far greater than the difference of the various levels of the Foundation Establishment or Core Formation stage. Meng Hao possessed two totems and was wearing the blood-colored mask, which enabled him to slay early Nascent Soul stage Cultivators; however, battling the mid Nascent Soul stage would be very difficult.
However, considering that he had chosen to attack Zhao Youlan, how could he not have been on guard against the Spider Branch’s High Priest? At the same time that he backed up, both hands flickered in an incantation gesture, and then he pointed forward.
“Eyeless Larva!” he said coldly. Immediately, the Eyeless Larva silk surrounding him opened up, and the Eyeless Larva itself appeared in front of Meng Hao. It flickered, then shot toward the High Priest. As it did, massive amounts of silk appeared, wrapping around the High Priest, entangling him.
“You’re right, I can’t beat the mid Nascent Soul Stage,” said Meng Hao coolly. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t tie you up!” The High Priest frowned, and he prepared to perform a minor teleportation. But then, Meng Hao waved his hand.
“Eighth Demon Sealing Hex!” he cried. Immediately, Demonic Qi covered over everything, rumbling as it shot toward the High Priest. The High Priest’s face fell; although he could shake off the effects of the Eighth Demon Sealing Hex rather quickly, the slight delay was all the time the Eyeless Larva needed to wrap him up in layer after layer of silk. Soon, he was almost completely covered.
Booming sounds could be heard as the High Priest employed divine abilities. However, the Eyeless Larva was incredibly powerful, and its silk was indestructible. The silk whipped around faster and faster, completely covering the High Priest.
Meng Hao coughed up a mouthful of blood; this was the power of the Eighth Demon Sealing Hex backfiring on him because of exceeding the limits of his Cultivation base. However, Meng Hao ignored it, shooting past the High Priest even as the nine other Nascent Soul Elders closed in on him from behind. He was now directly approaching Zhao Youlan.
Zhao Youlan’s face finally flickered, and she began to breath heavily. Now that Meng Hao was almost upon her, she finally moved, shooting backward. She continued to hold the Exotic Heartdevil Flower above her head so that it could emit the power of its blooming.
She was well aware that she could not allow the glow of the flower to fade; if that happened, she would truly be on the path to death. Her current situation seemed dangerous, but she knew that all she had to do was hold out for the space of a few breaths. Once the nine Nascent Soul Elders caught up, the situation would be resolved.
As she retreated, she began to speak the words of some bizarre spell.
The spell caused the air in front of her to distort and turn into ripples that spread out in all directions. These ripples suddenly caused a dozen or so different images of her to appear in front of Meng Hao. It was almost impossible to tell the difference between any of them.
Meng Hao gave a cold snort. Not pausing for even a moment, he lifted his right hand. At the same time, golden light erupted out from the Metal-type tattoo on his chest, which caused his entire right hand to turn into the color of gold. He pointed toward the ripples, sending out a will of gold which infected the ripples, dyeing them the color of gold.
The golden color rapidly spread out to the dozen or so retreating images of Zhao Youlan. Each time the gold completely covered a figure, it would shatter.
In the blink of an eye, the figures disappeared. Then, the distorted ripples popped like a bubble, revealing a shocked Zhao Youlan. She coughed up a mouthful of blood.
Meng Hao’s body flickered as he shot forward. He was now about ten meters away from Zhao Youlan. The incredible pressure and feeling of imminent death felt by Zhao Youlan was greater than any she had experienced in her life. Her face was pale and her lips quivered. Suddenly, a white glow emanated out from her, transforming into a protective shield that began to surround her….
Meng Hao snorted coldly, pulled his right arm back, and then unleashed a punch. A massive boom filled the air as the white shield collapsed into fragments. Some of the pieces shot backward, slashing across Zhao Youlan’s body and leaving behind bloody cuts.
When the shield shattered, more blood sprayed out of Zhao Youlan’s mouth. However, she continued to hold up the Exotic Heartdevil Flower. As Meng Hao closed in, she flickered an incantation with her right hand. Then, her phoenix-like eyes flickered with killing intent as the white spider totem tattoo on her forehead began to emit a white glow.
As the glow emanated out, a spider magically appeared. It imitated a shrill call which transformed into a raging wind that swept across everything. Meng Hao’s body trembled, and it felt like his soul was about to be ripped out of his body by the wind.
However, it only took a moment for Meng Hao to suppress the feeling. He was capable of suppressing the Resurrection Lily, so some trifling Soul Extermination wind was like nothing. Had Meng Hao not dealt with suppressing the Resurrection Lily in the past, or if the wind was created by someone with a higher Cultivation base, it might have been a different story. His soul would immediately have been absorbed, and he would have been left in a trance.
However, because of the various factors in play, this totemic divine ability, which only a Holy Daughter of the Spider Branch could gain enlightenment of, was incapable of shaking Meng Hao in the least.
He flicked his wide sleeve, causing Wood-type totemic power to manifest. A green glow shot toward the white spider, slamming into it. The white spider let out a miserable shriek and then turned into a white beam of light that returned to Zhao Youlan’s forehead. Once again, Zhao Youlan coughed up some blood. For the first time, despair appeared in her eyes.
It quickly vanished, though. She bit the tip of her tongue to spit out a glob of blood. The blood instantly began to emanate a thick odor of gore. Zhao Youlan suddenly looked older than before. She watched listlessly as a bloody aura rose up into the sky.
Meng Hao suddenly felt an intense feeling of crisis. Behind him, the nine Nascent Soul Elders were howling as they began to teleport toward him. Then, they stopped all of a sudden, shocking Meng Hao. However, it was at this time that, up in the sky, a huge roar could be heard from the area where the totemic Sacred Ancients of the Five Tribes were locked in battle with the Holy Spider.
In concurrence with the roar, an enormous black shadow suddenly appeared as something began to descend from the sky toward the area Meng Hao was in. If you looked closely, you could see that it was nothing other than a spider leg!
It moved with incredible speed as it approached. Meng Hao sensed grave danger, and could feel everything shaking. An aura of death filled the area fifteen hundred meters in every direction.
It was at this same moment that Zhao Youlan took her chance. Utilizing the power of the blood she had spit out, she rapidly increased her speed as she retreated. Considering how fast she was moving, she would be able to escape the danger zone in the blink of an eye.
Her body began to grow blurry, as if she were being stretched out. Meng Hao now had two choices. The first choice was to abandon his pursuit and dodge the attack of the fearsome Holy Spider. The other choice… was to continue to try to kill her.
The situation was urgent, and there was no time to sit around thinking. Meng Hao’s eyes gleamed with coldness and he suddenly shot forward. He lifted his hand and grabbed onto Zhao Youlan’s slender arm, the one that held aloft the Exotic Heartdevil Flower.
Her arm was as graceful and smooth, but also so ice-cold that touching her was shocking. Nonetheless, killing intent glittered in Meng Hao’s eyes.
“Get back here!” he said, wrenching her arm violently and at the same time flooding it with power so strong it could crush Cultivation bases.
Up above, the sky seemed to fill with dark clouds as the leg of the Holy Spider descended like a gigantic sickle. It moved with incredible speed, and seemed as if it were cutting open the very air.
Zhao Youlan’s face flickered in surprise. However, this was a critical moment, and her eyes filled with vicious determination. She suddenly lifted her left hand, within which appeared a flying sword. She knew that she was no match for Meng Hao, so when she chopped down, she did not target him, but rather, her own arm, which he was holding. It was already numb, and filled with terrifying power that threatened her entire being.
The sword fell and blood sprayed everywhere. The instant the exterminating power from Meng Hao appeared, Zhao Youlan had made the difficult decision to sever her own right arm. Her body suddenly shot away at incredible speed. Soon, she was fifteen hundred meters away, where she coughed up eight mouthfuls of blood. Her face was pale, and the flesh and blood contracted around the stump of her severed arm. Her aura was weak and her Cultivation base in decline. This was the most severe injury she had ever received in her entire life; she had narrowly escaped death!
Her hair was in disarray; her entire person in extremely poor straits. Her beauty was now twisted because of the pain of having her arm severed; it was almost enough to render her unconscious. She lifted her head and glared at Meng Hao, her entire body shaking.
“I will pay you back ten times over for this!”
The nine Nascent Soul Elders teleported into being next to her to protect her as she retreated. All of them were staring at Meng Hao with intense killing intent in their eyes.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered. He knew that as of this moment, it was highly unlikely that he would be able to kill her. Her determination made an intense impression on him; from the time he had begun to practice Cultivation until now, he had not run into many people who could show such decisiveness at a key moment.
If she had hesitated for even a moment longer, or reacted slightly slower, then the only thing she would have found was death.
Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed as he gestured with his right arm, causing Zhao Youlan’s severed arm to fly over. She obviously had a very high position in the Five Poisons Tribe; perhaps he would be able to benefit from studying the totemic power contained within the arm.
Now that enmity existed between the two of them, he would no doubt need to figure out how to kill not just her, but her entire Tribe. In the Cultivation world, the law of the jungle prevails. When fighting against Heaven and Earth, when forcing one’s will upon the masses, soft-heartedness gets you nowhere.
It was without hesitation that, in addition to the severed arm, Meng Hao also collected up the box containing the Exotic Heartdevil Flower. He immediately closed it, causing the glow of the flower to cease. This instantly affected the entire battlefield. Without hesitation, he put the destructive precious treasure into his bag of holding.
Precious treasures like that were not frequently seen in the world. As a Grandmaster of the Dao of alchemy, Meng Hao would no doubt make significant progress by studying it. Perhaps he could even concoct medicinal pills with similar properties. There was no way he would pass up such an opportunity.
Meng Hao looked up at the gigantic black shadow descending toward him and at the same time pointed toward the bound up High Priest.
The Eyeless Larva silk suddenly dissipated, revealing the shocked High Priest. He had used virtually every method he could think of but had been astonished to find that he wasn’t able to even make a mark on the silk.
The silk rapidly shot back toward Meng Hao and began to wrap around him. He stood there, his hands clasped behind his back as the black shadow loomed over him. He flicked his sleeve, and his eyes filled with coldness.
“My Eyeless Larva can stand up to Tribulation Lightning. I don’t care how profound your Demonspider’s Cultivation base is, do you really think it can measure up to Tribulation Lightning?”
This chapter was sponsored by Joseph Pellettiere, Gabriel Löhner-Raak, Terho Jaakko Reuhkala, William Karan, Jesper Hansson, Abdulrahman Mohren, and LBd