Meng Hao was shocked by Xu Qing’s words. His eyes flickered, and then narrowed. He didn’t respond immediately.
He focused his attention on examining his physical appearance. His facial features really were his own. There was no change whatsoever.
It was at this moment that he realized he had completely overlooked this point!
Xu Qing, Ji Mingfeng, and most assuredly, the rest of the Cultivators from the lands of South Heaven, all looked completely different. In coming here, their souls had fused with another body.
But that was not the case with Meng Hao. He could open his bag of holding and remove items from within. Although he couldn’t take things from here and put them inside, he was still clearly in a completely different position than the others.
Earlier, he had hesitated a bit regarding this matter, but hadn’t given it too much thought. However, Xu Qing had just hit the nail on the head with her observation. Meng Hao’s heart and mind suddenly felt as if it were being struck by lightning.
He began to breathe heavily. Xu Qing looked at him and, seeing that he was lost in thought, did not ask any further questions. He was clearly thinking about some matter that was important enough to cause his countenance to change.
Meng Hao thought back to what had happened in the First Plane. After stepping onto the top of the Fourth Peak, he had found no corpse, only an empty coffin.
“Don’t tell me… that I actually came in person to this place?!?!” he thought.
“Others came by means of a host body, which means that their souls entered into a dream. But I have no host body, which means that I am actually here!” Meng Hao almost couldn’t believe it, and could think of no possible explanation.
“But that’s the only way to explain why I can open my bag of holding, and why my appearance hasn’t changed! Although… if my appearance didn’t change, then how much Ke Yunhai and the others didn’t notice…?” After a long moment of thought, an answer occurred to him.
“Because Ke Yunhai, and this place… are nothing more than an illusory version of ancient times.” He sighed lightly and kneaded the bridge of his nose. There were too many contradictions to be had in all the different aspects of the situation. The only thing he could do was come to this much of an understanding. Complete understanding was beyond him currently.
“If all of that is true, then when the others wake up, does that mean they will be able to tell who I am?” Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with a cold light. The light faded away quickly, though, and he suddenly chuckled.
“Well, who cares if they do? Considering my status, even if they do recognize me, they’ll be the ones hiding from me, not the other way around.” Having reached this point in his train of thought, Meng Hao looked at Xu Qing and was about to say something when suddenly, an audacious, almost insane, thought occurred to him.
As the idea began to develop, Meng Hao realized that it was virtually unthinkable, almost delusional. However, he couldn’t stop thinking about it. The idea sank deeper and deeper into his mind, and his eyes began to flow with a fearsome glow.
Xu Qing looked at him and hesitated for a moment before softly saying, “You….”
“I’m fine,” Meng Hao said with a smile. The glow disappeared from his eyes, to be replaced by a profound expression.
“If you have something you want to do, go take care of it,” Xu Qing said. “You don’t need to worry about me.” She rose to her feet and then pointed toward the door of the Immortal’s cave. “I’ll need to use your Immortal’s cave,” she said.
Meng Hao nodded. He retrieved a jade slip from within his robe, the one that contained the three hundred Daoist magics from Ke Yunhai. He handed it to Xu Qing.
“Take a look at these Daoist magics and see which ones you can gain enlightenment regarding,” he said.
Xu Qing took the jade slip and scanned it with Divine Sense. Her eyes instantly went wide with disbelief. She stared blankly at Meng Hao, her mind spinning. She was well informed about the ancient Demon Immortal Sect, but that caused her to be even more shocked by the jade slip.
“They are all Daoist magics of the Demon Immortal Sect,” said Meng Hao, chuckling.
Xu Qing looked at him for a long moment, then nodded. A strange expression could be seen on her face as she began to search through the fused memories of her host body. Finally, she found information regarding Meng Hao’s identity.
After becoming aware of who she was, Xu Qing realized that as far as Meng Hao was concerned, it wasn’t necessarily impossible for him to eventually acquire all three thousand Daoist magics….
As Xu Qing entered the Immortal’s cave, Meng Hao stood there staring out at the lands. A bizarre glow could be seen in his eyes as he rubbed his bag of holding.
“To everyone else, this is an ancient, illusory world, like a dream…. But I am actually here. Does that mean that it’s possible to make changes that could affect history?” Meng Hao knew that such a prospect was outrageous, and also paradoxical.
However, he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about the possibility.
“Although there is a 99% chance that I’m wrong, even that slight possibility….” He began to breathe heavily, and his eyes glowed.
“Even that slight possibility means that a gamble would be worth it!” With that, he left the area of his Immortal’s cave to search around the Fourth Peak for what he was looking for.
It didn’t take long before he ran into an Inner Sect disciple, floating through the air like a ghost as he patrolled the mountain. When he saw Meng Hao, he instantly stopped in place and clasped hands.
“Greetings, Little Patriarch,” he said.
Meng Hao may have been stripped of his status as Elite Apprentice, but in the Fourth Peak, being an Elite Apprentice was secondary to his eternal status as Little Patriarch.
“Do you have any medicinal pills?” asked Meng Hao, his eyes gleaming. The disciple seemed a bit confused, but immediately nodded his head and produced a medicinal pill bottle from his bag of holding, which he then handed over to Meng Hao.
Meng Hao nodded and departed, leaving the Inner Sect disciple behind, confused.
After returning to his Immortal’s cave, he sat down cross-legged and took a deep breath. He opened the medicinal pill bottle, within which were seven medicinal pills the size of longan fruits, that pulsed with a medicinal fragrance. After smelling them, Meng Hao realized that most of the ingredients were unfamiliar to him. However, he could still reach the general conclusion that these were pills which could increase Cultivation base.
The quality of the medicinal pills was incredible; they had at least eighty percent medicinal strength. Most importantly, these pills were no ordinary product. They were medicinal pills belonging to an Inner Sect disciple of the ancient Demon Immortal Sect. To Cultivators from the lands of South Heaven, they could be described as Immortal Pills.
In fact, if this pill bottle surfaced somewhere within the lands of South Heaven, it would cause a huge commotion even among the various great Sects.
Meng Hao hesitated for a moment, gritting his teeth before finally taking one of the pills and putting it into his mouth. Even before the pill could dissolve, a roaring sound filled Meng Hao’s mind. At the same time, and indescribable, boundless power completely inundated him. It was like an endless, furious sea, and he was a tiny, leaf-like boat, weak enough to be destroyed with a single blow.
Meng Hao immediately spit the pill out of his mouth. A few hours passed, and it was light outside, before he finally opened his eyes.
After opening his eyes, he checked his Cultivation base, and quickly frowned. It hadn’t increased even in the slightest. It was as if everything truly was illusory.
“Useless….” he said, sighing. Although he had assumed this would happen, he still couldn’t help but feel some regret. He stood and looked out at the rising sun, and suddenly, his heart trembled.
“Medicinal pills don’t work, and I can’t increase my Cultivation base. However, what about the various techniques and regions of the Demon Immortal Sect focused on cultivating the fleshly body?” It was not very likely that techniques existed that could quickly be learned and used to increase the power of the fleshly body. However, there were areas in the Sect specifically set aside for fleshly body cultivation. Meng Hao knew this from Ke Jiusi’s memories.
One of them was none other than the Underworld Cave of the Fourth Peak.
Within the Underworld Cave was an inexhaustible supply of Underworld Death Sand, which came from the Underworld River. Any Cultivator who entered the Underworld Cave without a powerful body would have their skin shredded off, their blood and muscles ground into a paste, and their bones crushed.
At the same time, because the Underworld Death Sand was filled with the pinnacle of death, that meant it was also filled with the pinnacle of life. It contained the power to cause one’s Qi and blood to develop with vigor. By practicing cultivation inside the Underworld Cave, it was possible to cause one’s fleshly body to grow stronger and stronger.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he headed toward the cave. As soon as he arrived, the guards, two Fourth Peak Conclave Disciples, instantly stared in shock. In all the years they had stood guard here, they had never once seen the Little Patriarch step foot inside.
They immediately greeted him with clasped hands. After hearing his demands, the Conclave Disciples’ foreheads began to drip with cold sweat. They immediately tried to advise him against such a course of action, but seeing that he was determined, could only brace themselves and begin to open the cave.
“Little Patriarch, it’s very dangerous in there. You… you could always find some other places to temper your fleshly body, you know? You really shouldn’t go inside….”
Meng Hao nodded in response. As the Conclave disciples opened the cave, a glowing light appeared in the stone wall. Meng Hao strode forward into the light.
As soon as he entered, everything went pitch black. Before he could see anything clearly, stabbing pain covered his entire body. It seemed as if an innumerable amount of gritty sand covered everything, surrounding his body. In the blink of an eye, Meng Hao’s body was on the verge of collapse.
Enduring the pain, he instantly entered the Seventh Anima.
His body grew larger as the battle prowess of sixty-four great circle Nascent Souls filled him. His fleshly body exploded with intense power. However, the pain that he felt only continued to grow stronger.
After ten breaths of time passed, blood spouted from his mouth and he tumbled backward. He shot out of the exit at top speed, leaving the terrifying world of flying sand.
As soon as he emerged, he sat down cross-legged to meditate. His entire body was a bloody mess, and looked shocking to the extreme. The Conclave disciples responsible for the Underworld Cave felt their hearts pounding with fear that he might unexpectedly pass away.
Four hours passed. Meng Hao’s fleshly body was now completely recovered. He opened his eyes, and although he looked exhausted, he quickly checked his body. An intense light gleamed within his eyes, a look filled with excitement.
“My fleshly body… can be cultivated!” Although he wasn’t sure he would be able to keep such a powerful fleshly body after he left this place, he did know that the feeling of power he was experiencing in his fleshly body seemed completely real.
“If I can combine some body refining techniques like the Mountain Consuming Incantation or the Demon Animas Nine Transformations… then my efficiency would be incredible!” His eyes shining with anticipation, he turned and headed back toward the Immortal’s cave. The instant he stepped foot inside, Xu Qing opened her eyes and looked with excitement at Meng Hao. A warm smile appeared on her face.