As soon as the words left Meng Hao’s mouth, the Flame Phoenix enveloped him. Suddenly, his Fire-type totem tattoo caused shocking flames to erupt off of Meng Hao.
Using fire to defeat fire!
The fire exploded out, instantly encircling the Flame Phoenix. Meng Hao stood there in the midst of the sea of flames, looking like some sort of devilish divinity. He waved his hand, causing the enormous image of a tree to magically appear around him. It melded into the flame sea, causing the intensity of the flames to increase rapidly. Meng Hao flicked his sleeve, sending the flames shooting toward Zhao Youlan.
It moved with incredible speed, and in the blink of an eye, was closing in on Zhao Youlan. Her delicate brow furrowed, and she waved her hand to cause a small white shield to appear.
The shield immediately began to expand, spreading out in an instant to completely cover her. The flame sea slammed into it, but was completely blocked.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered coldly. With a cold harrumph, he caused his Metal-type totem to appear, melding it into the flame sea. Golden droplets appeared which shot toward Zhao Youlan. She once again used the white shield to defend herself. However, the golden droplets began to spread out and merge with each other outside of the white shield.
In the blink of an eye, while the white shield expanded out to completely cover her body, she was, in turn, completely surrounded by the golden droplets, which formed something like a sphere. All of this happened before Zhao Youlan could do anything.
“You….” she said, her face flickering.
Moving at incredible speed, Meng Hao shot out from within the sea of flames, appearing directly beneath the white sphere. He lifted his hand up, causing the golden sphere to begin to vibrate. He roared as he used all the strength he could muster to heave the golden sphere in the direction of the mist.
“Since you like to hide in the protection of that shield, well, I’ll add another layer of protection for you!” he said as the golden sphere whistled throughout the air toward the mist, with Zhao Youlan inside.
All of this takes quite a bit of time to describe, but actually happened in an instant. In the battle between the two, neither had been able to acquire the upper hand. However, Meng Hao’s quick thinking prevailed; as soon as the golden sphere touched the mist, the mist began to churn violently. Suddenly, a sharp cry could be heard coming from inside the golden sphere.
The sound of it was shocking, causing much of the mist to roil away. In fact, now the buildings down below were somewhat visible.
Cracks spread out over the surface of the golden sphere, and within the space of a single breath, it shattered. The sound of the cry entered Meng Hao’s ears and caused his mind to tremble. It was like a sharp blade was stabbing into his brain, causing blood to seep out of his eyes, nose and mouth. His mind became a blank.
It only lasted a moment before fading away. As soon as the sound was gone, Meng Hao’s body returned to normal. Zhao Youlan emanated fierce killing intent as she appeared in front of him. Her delicate hand rose up and pushed down onto the Eyeless Larva silk which was surrounding him.
A bang sounded out and Meng Hao tumbled backward, blood spraying from his mouth. Before he could fall backward very far, Zhao Youlan teleported toward him. A white glow rose up from her hand as she pointed her finger out. For some reason, the Eyeless Larva suddenly stopped moving momentarily.
As the finger attack descended on Meng Hao, a bloody hole appeared on Meng Hao’s chest, and strands of black Qi began to spread out through his flesh.
Meng Hao’s mind was spinning. He was sure that her finger hadn’t actually touched him. However, it had injured him, and in a bizarre way at that. The black threads burrowed into his flesh, rapidly sucking away at his life force.
Meng Hao’s face fell. From the time he had left the Southern Domain, be it during his time in the Black Lands or in the Western Desert, he had never been injured like this. Blood sprayed from his mouth as the Eyeless Larva rapidly continued to spin silk. Were it not for the Eyeless Larva, Meng Hao would surely be dead by this point.
Even still, her divine ability just now was something he couldn’t fight back against. He needed a buffer, time with which to retrieve a magical item from within his bag of holding, or perhaps perform an incantation.
However, time was not something that Zhao Youlan would give him. Blood sprayed from Meng Hao’s mouth as she continued to press closer to him, once again raising a finger.
This time, it did not touch him, but he coughed up blood nonetheless. The bones in his left arm shattered, and the black strands continued to spread out through his body. Vast amounts of life force were vanishing, and his hair had turned white. Death Qi filled him.
Zhao Youlan got even closer, her killing intent extremely intense. For a third time, she raised her delicate hand. A sense of deadly crisis washed over Meng Hao like floodwaters. His eyes suddenly glowed with a bright light.
With all the strength he could muster, he roared: “Are you Zhao Youlan, or Demoness Zhixiang!?”
At this moment, Zhao Youlan’s hand suddenly stopped moving.
Taking advantage of this sudden pause, Meng Hao ignored the wounds to his body. He knew that this was a critical moment, and that his best option now was to teleport away. He needed to heal his injuries, otherwise his life would be in danger. However… he did not choose to do that.
When it came to lifesaving measures, he had the Agarwood as well as the Alcohol Core and the Dancing Sword Qi. However, Meng Hao had experienced many things throughout his years of practicing cultivation. As far as this particular deadly crisis was concerned, it had not reached the point where he needed to use those lifesaving methods.
Instead, he chose to use this precious instant of time to slap his bag of holding. The Lotus Sword Formation appeared, rotating rapidly and exploding with the power of Time.
Even Zhao Youlan could never have predicted that during the short moment in which she paused, Meng Hao would actually choose not to flee. Instead, laughing in the face of death, he actually chose to attack.
This caused her to hesitate in surprise. She and Meng Hao were relatively evenly matched. The only reason she had been able to dominate him so easily just now was because she had managed to get the upper hand by taking him by surprise.
Killing intent flickered in her phoenix-like eyes. She was just about to make an attack, when suddenly her face fell. As of this moment, she could feel her longevity slipping away. Her face flickered as she abandoned any thoughts of attack and suddenly shot backward.
Despite that, her moment of hesitation just now had caused three hundred years of longevity to disappear. As she fell back, face flickering, a look of savagery appeared on Meng Hao’s face. He quickly produced a medicinal pill which he popped into his mouth, and then shot forward.
“Now, it’s my turn!” he said. Followed by the Lotus Sword Formation, he appeared in front of Zhao Youlan. He pulled his fist back and then punched her in the pit of the stomach.
A boom rang out. Zhao Youlan was able to avoid being hit in a vital spot. However, blood sprayed from her mouth as she was flung backward. Meng Hao continued to move forward, once again attacking her with the Lotus Sword Formation. Another three hundred years of longevity vanished. Zhao Youlan’s face was deathly pale as she continued to retreat.
“Allow me to help you retreat,” he said. His fist slammed into her belly, causing blood to shower out of her mouth. She tumbled backward, now in much the same position Meng Hao had been in moments ago. She had lost her position of superiority and couldn’t even fight back. Now she was being dominated.
Meng Hao’s body flickered, and he appeared in front of her once again. Intense killing intent roiled out as Eyeless Larva silk shot out toward Zhao Youlan. It was at this point that she let out a disconsolate wail. At the same time, an indistinct figure appeared on her shoulder. It was very small, about the size of a hand. It looked like a small person, a woman. However, it was not Zhao Youlan.
She wore an anxious expression, and as soon as she appeared, she let out a scream. The scream caused Meng Hao’s mind to reel once more. Blood sprayed out of his mouth as he backed up. He employed the full power of his Cultivation base to send the Eyeless Larva silk out to strangle Zhao Youlan.
Seeing the Eyeless Larva silk nearing, the eyes of the tiny person on Zhao Youlan’s shoulder filled with a fierce look.
“You insect, do you really dare to mess with an Immortal!?” A mysterious glow appeared in the little person’s eyes. Suddenly, a bizarre red flower appeared in front of Zhao Youlan. Faces could be seen on the petals of the flower… Meng Hao’s face!
The flower… suddenly shattered. As it did, Meng Hao’s mind reeled. It felt as if his soul were about to shatter.
“Immortal? So what?!” he responded. It was at this moment that Meng Hao suddenly caused the Alcohol Core within him to begin to rotate. Using the method that was fused into his mind, he spit out a mouthful of Alcohol Qi. Instantly, it began to transform into the shocking will of a sword. Rumbling sounds immediately emanated off of Meng Hao.
The sword will roiled up, instantly filling the entire continent he was on. All of the Cultivators here felt their hearts shaking and trembling.
The face of the tiny person on Zhao Youlan’s shoulder instantly filled with fear and disbelief.
“That’s Sword Immortal Han Shan’s Dancing Sword Qi!”
The Alcohol Qi swept about outside of Meng Hao. Within him, Sword Qi began to condense. At the exact moment in which the Sword Qi was about to explode out… the sky suddenly turned gray, and a mist began to rise up.
“Dammit! The Bridge Slaves again!” Meng Hao’s entire body was suddenly stuck in place. However, this time, he wasn’t completely incapable of motion. The Alcohol Qi spread out, and the Sword Qi continued to condense inside of him. He could still move, but it felt as if he were trudging through mud.
Zhao Youlan’s face instantly fell. The little person on her shoulder vanished. Suddenly, Zhao Youlan, like Meng Hao, was capable of slow, simple movements.
Alarm filled her eyes.
At the same time that this was happening, a group of figures appeared within the mist in the basin. Faint voices could be heard as the Bridge Slaves walked past Meng Hao and Zhao Youlan to head off into the distance.
“Don’t tell me this place is where the Bridge Slaves reside?” thought Meng Hao as he watched the Bridge Slaves walking out from within the basin. His mind and heart reeled. It was at this point that he noticed the last Bridge Slave in line. It was a young girl, about fifteen or sixteen years old. As she walked, she suddenly turned and looked at Meng Hao and Zhao Youlan. Her expression shifted from one of frustration and confusion, to viciousness. Her body flashed as she shot toward them.
An intense coldness instantly pressed down onto Meng Hao, filling him with shock.
Zhao Youlan suddenly began to speak, her voice filled with unprecedented fear. “Meng Hao, we need to join forces. Otherwise we will both die this day!”