Outside the Demon Immortal Pagoda, a million Cultivators scattered to the area outside of the various mountain peaks. That was the only place where they could view its exterior.
A million disciples formed a ring around the pagoda, which they all stared at fixedly.
What they saw was nearly a 100,000 bright dots of light appear on the 1st level of the pagoda. They were densely packed together, and each one represented a disciple of the Demon Immortal Sect.
“I wonder what it’s like inside?” murmured a Conclave disciple from the First Peak as he looked at the dots of light.
Similar questions were going through the minds of all the disciples who were watching the Demon Immortal Pagoda.
However, before they could put much thought to it, roughly half of the 100,000 dots of light suddenly vanished. A moment later, tens of thousands of Cultivators were ejected out into the air, blood spraying from their mouths as they tumbled backward.
There were even some who were knocked completely unconscious.
The sight immediately caused everyone to gasp. However, at the same time, a dot of light appeared on the previously dark 2nd level!
“Someone made it past the 1st level!”
“How much time has passed? Someone already made it past the 1st level!” The buzz of conversation filled the air.
Fang Yu’s pupils constricted as she watched on silently.
Wang Lihai was also in the crowds of people, frowning.
The young man from the Northern Reaches stood there, his eyes glittering brightly. Generally speaking, South Heaven Cultivators would not be the first ones to rush into the Demon Immortal Pagoda. Most would wait on the outside to observe.
After the first person made it to the 2nd level, gradually, more lights began to appear. All of the observers settled their Qi and calmed their minds as they focused completely on the proceedings.
Some, feeling confident in their ability and experience, decided to enter the pagoda.
When Meng Hao entered the 1st level of the pagoda, the first thing he saw was a land covered in blackness. The reek of blood wafted through the air, as if he were standing on some ancient battlefield.
Looking around, he suddenly noticed that the air up ahead was rippling. Ten figures appeared, all of them blurry and unclear. However, their Cultivation bases were all at the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage.
The ten figures emanated a raging killing intent as they charged toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered, and suddenly he laughed as he realized what was being tested in the Demon Immortal Pagoda. As the ten figures neared, he did not retreat, but instead shot forward to meet them.
Rumbling echoed out as Meng Hao transformed into a green smoke. All it took was a fist or a finger attack. The ten great circle Nascent Soul figures were incapable of fighting back. In the blink of an eye, they were destroyed.
All of it lasted only the space of five breaths, and ten opponents were slaughtered.
Next, however, black smoke began to rise up from their bodies. It seethed and churned, forming together into one single pitch-black figure. He wore a long black robe, and a black mask. His black hair floated up into the air, and an aura emanated out from him that caused Meng Hao’s pupils to constrict.
Even more shocking was that although this man also had a Cultivation base at the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage, it was completely different than those of the figures from before. If you likened those figures to fierce dogs, this man was a lone wolf.
He eyed Meng Hao coldly, then suddenly raised his hand up. Shockingly, a mountain appeared above his hand.
The instant the mountain appeared, Meng Hao recognized it. This was the Mountain Consuming Incantation!
Next, the mountain vanished, and the man appeared directly in front Meng Hao. A palm strike descended. Meng Hao’s eyes flickered; it was as if he saw a mountain rushing directly toward him.
“A great circle Nascent Soul expert from ancient times!” Meng Hao’s eyes shone with the desire to do battle. Any of the items inside the beastskin bag he carried could instantly wipe out this expert. However, Meng Hao just couldn’t make himself use the items given to him by Ke Yunhai on the 1st level.
Without even entering the Second Anima, he struck out with his fist. He wanted to use this opportunity to test out exactly how strong or weak he was compared to a person of the same stage as himself, except from ancient times.
A booming rang out as the two of them fought back and forth. Divine abilities and magical techniques caused multicolored light to explode out shockingly in all directions!
A moment later, the black-robed figure turned and then made a strange writhing movement to appear directly in front of Meng Hao. Meng Hao laughed, not retreating, but rather, punching out with full force.
The two of them fought back and forth within the 1st level of the Demon Immortal Pagoda. After enough time had passed for an incense stick to burn, an explosion could be heard. The black-robed figure shook and then collapsed into pieces. It transformed into a stream of magical symbols that quickly surrounded Meng Hao.
Meng Hao panted a bit, and his eyes glinted as if they contained lightning. The battle hadn’t lasted for too long, only the time it takes an incense stick to burn. However, during that short time in which he had battled with the illusory figure, he had gone all out with his magical techniques before finally shaking his opponent and eventually destroying him.
Most importantly, Meng Hao’s body was currently as strong as it normally would be in the Third Anima. Were it not for that, he would never have been able to achieve victory while only in the First Anima.
“A powerful Nascent Soul expert from ancient times. Incredible!” Meng Hao took a deep breath as he looked at the magical symbols floating around him.
There were thousand of them, flickering between lightness and darkness, emanating fearsome pressure. In the blink of an eye, one of the magical symbols rushed toward Meng Hao.
It was as if the symbol had chosen him; eyes flickering, Meng Hao did nothing to evade the incoming symbol, but rather, allowed it to fuse into his body. Gradually, it transformed into a Daoist magic.
“Demonfire?” Meng Hao took some time to feel it out. This art was not one of the three thousand Daoist magics, but rather, a simple, miscellaneous technique.
Well, it could be called simple as far as the Demon Immortal Sect was concerned. However, if you revealed such a magical technique to the Sects of the lands of South Heaven, even this simple Demonfire would be incredible and extraordinary.
A strange glow appeared in Meng Hao’s eyes. He closed them thoughtfully for a moment, and when they opened, they shone with enlightenment. It was an enlightenment that had nothing to do with the Demonfire technique, but rather, this examination as a whole.
“This examination is different for every person, based on the level of their Cultivation base. The difficulty will be the same for everybody!”
“If I were in the Dao Seeking stage, then I would have faced ten Dao Seeking experts…. Actually, my true prize from the 1st level is not the Demonfire technique, but rather… a look into how the Mountain Consuming Incantation is used!
“I never realized that the incantation could be utilized in such a way.” With that, his body flashed as he headed toward the 2nd level.
Even as Meng Hao stepped into the 2nd level, the disciples surrounding the Demon Immortal Pagoda were all observing with rapt attention. All of them had looks of determination in their eyes.
In order to acquire the good fortune that lay within the Demon Immortal Pagoda, what was required had nothing to do with Cultivation base, but actually, destiny!
By now, everyone could see that more than half of the remaining dots of light from the 1st level had already vanished and reappeared on the 2nd level. There were even few that had reached the 3rd level.
The greatest cause for envy among the Demon Immortal Sect disciples, however, was that there were more than ten dots of light on the 5th level.
The scene caused the hearts of the observers to seethe with excitement. Quite a few finally decided to enter the pagoda themselves.
The young man from the Imperial Clan of the Northern Reaches watched on, a flicker of disdain in his eyes.
“All these illusory people are actually dead. They don’t even know that they don’t exist. Yet even in an illusory world, their greed can be aroused. How amusing!
“Unfortunately, even if somebody does manage to reach the 99th level, only those of us with living souls can actually acquire good fortune for ourselves!” A bright light glittered in his eyes as he flew up into the air. An air of scorn emanated off of him as he shot toward the Demon Immortal Pagoda.
Wang Lihai, Han Bei, and Fang Yu all watched with flickering eyes. They didn’t fly out toward the pagoda. As for the rest of the Cultivators from South Heaven, some hesitated, some had looks of decisiveness on their faces.
Zhao Fang’s face was pale, and his eyes glowed with an intense light. The identity he had acquired was not that of the Inner Sect disciple he had originally been watching over, but rather, an Outer Sect disciple.
Even the corpse of this Outer Sect disciple had been difficult to come by when the critical moment arrived. Although Meng Hao had scared off Wang Lihai, in the end, a Cultivator from the Northern Reaches had come to snatch it away.
“The hope of my Tribe rests on me! I WILL acquire some Daoist magic!” Gritting his teeth, Zhao Fang flew up into the air toward the Demon Immortal Pagoda.
At almost every moment, more disciples flew up from the Demon Immortal Sect to charge toward the pagoda. As everyone else watched the dots of light on the various levels, Meng Hao finally ascended to the 2nd.
As soon as he entered the 2nd level, he instantly found himself surrounded by a huge sea. Massive waves rolled across its surface. Crashing sounds could be heard as ten statues rose up from within the waters.
Shockingly, each statue seemed as powerful as the black-robed expert he had just faced up against. Apparently, the difficulty level had just increased by a factor of ten!
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered, exploding with an overflowing will to fight. What he needed right now was an unrestrained, massive battle. He would refine his Cultivation base with fire, temper his fleshly body, making it so that the two worked together in perfect harmony.
As soon as the statues appeared, their eyes opened. An incredible aura blasted out as they shot toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s body expanded and his Cultivation base exploded out. His battle prowess rocketed up, revealing the power of two great circle Nascent Souls. As for his fleshly body, it also exploded up in power. Now that he was in the Second Anima, its strength was comparable to that of the Fourth Anima. He directly shot toward the incoming statues.
The ten statues were incredibly realistic; Demonic Qi roiled out from them, just barely discernible on their foreheads were totem tattoos.
Roaring sounds exploded out across the sea as the battle raged. It lasted for a little less than an hour. One statue after another was crushed by Meng Hao’s Second Anima attacks. Their magical techniques landed onto a body that was comparable to the Fourth Anima, and were completely blocked.
When the last statue exploded into pieces, the seawater which had formed them rose up into the air and formed together into a shocking, enormous mountain peak!
The mountain was the color of the sea. This was a sea mountain, and when it appeared, it shone with brilliant, colorful light as it smashed down toward Meng Hao.
The mountain neared and the wind raged. A crater-like depression appeared in the seawater below. Meng Hao’s hair whipped about, along with his robes. He looked at the descending sea mountain, and his eyes filled with a strange light.
“The Mountain Consuming Incantation again?”