Ke Yunhai took up the lead and Meng Hao followed. The two of them left the valley and headed off into the void.
Meng Hao felt a bit uneasy. Considering his personality and ability to concentrate, it shouldn’t be this way. After all, everything here was illusory. Furthermore, he hadn’t attempted to deceive Ke Yunhai. Therefore, there was nothing to feel uneasy about.
And yet, he was still somewhat nervous. He feared losing this identity. You might say that his original goal had been good fortune; now that he had acquired it, there was no reason for such uneasiness.
But the feeling didn’t go away. He feared waking up from this dream. He feared that after Ke Yunhai discovered that he was not Ke Jiusi, he wouldn’t look at him with that thoughtful, loving expression ever again.
In one breath, I can call you father. With the next breath, I can’t even open my mouth.
This was the feeling that caused Meng Hao to feel such uneasiness.
He feared losing what he had acquired.
Fatherly love. In Meng Hao’s memory, the image of his father was already blurry. During his time spent in this illusion, he continued to be distracted to the point that he was forgetting that he wasn’t Ke Jiusi.
“Dad….” he said softly. His heart was filled with bitterness as he saw Ke Yunhai moving forward, getting further and further away from him.
Ke Yunhai stopped and turned back, his eyes filled with a smile, and that same old doting expression. He softly tousled Meng Hao’s hair.
“Don’t let your imagination run wild,” he said.
Meng Hao stared back, somewhat in a daze. His eyes felt moist, and at the moment, he didn’t want to think about whether or not Ke Yunhai knew the truth about everything. He didn’t want to consider all of that. There was only one thing he wanted to consider.
If there really is such a thing as destiny that caused us to become father and son in this place, then… I really am your son.
If this illusory world can count as my previous life, then you are my father from my previous incarnation.
Perhaps I am doomed to leave this ancient, illusory world, doomed to no longer have you as my father, doomed to no longer be your son. In that case, let the feelings we have between father and son that exist in this illusion… be something that I never forget.
Sir, you are my father.
I, sir, am your son.
Meng Hao nodded his head.
With a smile, Ke Yunhai clasped his shoulder and then the two of them flickered, disappearing from the 99th level and appearing outside of the Demon Immortal Pagoda.
As soon as they appeared, they became the focus of attention of all of the Demon Immortal Sect disciples. The gazes were filled with envy, jealousy, internal conflict and helplessness.
As soon as Ke Yunhai and Meng Hao left the Demon Immortal Pagoda, it began to shrink down, eventually transforming into a beam of light that shot up into the fissure up in the sky. As it did, the fissure rapidly began to mend itself; in the blink of an eye, there was no fissure at all left behind.
There was only….
A transparent staircase. It was hard to say when it appeared, but it stretched down from the heavens all the way to the ground, floating there above the pit between the Third and Fourth Peaks of the Demon Immortal Sect.
The light of the staircase did not emanate out, but rather, seemed to circulate about inside. It rose up far into the heavens, and if you looked closely, you could just barely make out a huge vortex at the top.
When he saw the staircase, Meng Hao gasped in shock. However, he quickly realized that the other Demon Immortal Sect Cultivators seemed completely indifferent to its appearance, almost as if… they couldn’t see it!
However, as Meng Hao glanced out at the crowds, he suddenly saw Ji Xiaoxiao. From her expression, he could guess that she had seen the staircase.
“Could it be that only outsiders can see it?” he thought.
Now that Meng Hao had appeared, the South Heaven Cultivators were now concealing themselves within the crowds of other Demon Immortal Sect disciples.
They had no choice but to hide from and avoid Meng Hao. Although they had been going wild with jealousy moments ago, and despite the fact that this was an illusory version of ancient times, considering that Meng Hao had the identity of Ke Jiusi, if they tried to fight him, they would lose, even if they had a hundred lives.
They could only avoid him with great care. If they revealed their identities, they put themselves in critical danger. In contrast, of course, Meng Hao had no qualms about revealing himself.
That was because… with their identities, none of the South Heaven Cultivators could do anything to threaten him even the slightest bit.
Even still, despite how they were all concealing themselves, they could all see the staircase stretching up into the sky above the mountain peaks, and it caused their minds and hearts to tremble.
“That’s….” The young man from the Imperial Bloodline Clan of the Northern Reaches once again lowered his head and hunched his back. However, he was now panting, and his eyes glowed with a bright light.
“Could that be…?” Fang Yu’s pupils constricted. After a moment’s thought, her eyes went wide.
“The critical element needed to open the Third Plane!” thought Zhixiang. She stood off in the distance, breathing heavily, her hands clenched into fists and her eyes shining with excitement.
Even further off in the distance was Patriarch Huyan, who had left quietly much earlier. He was also starting to get very excited.
Even as everyone was thinking their various thoughts, Ke Yunhai led Meng Hao away. The ripples from the Demon Immortal Pagoda faded. There were others who had acquire some smatterings of Daoist magic. However, the Demon Immortal Pagoda had been opened specifically for Meng Hao, and he was the only one to have acquired the indescribable good fortune that he had.
Withering Flame Demon Magic True Self Dao, Nine Heavens Destruction, Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal, and finally, the secret technique of Fleshly Sanctification. These were Meng Hao’s shocking acquisitions.
That was not even mentioning how he’d gotten the chance to punish Patriarch Reliance, as well as many other subtle matters. To Meng Hao, the Demon Immortal Pagoda had been nothing less than Heavenly destiny.
He returned to the Fourth Peak without stopping anywhere along the way. When he got back to his Immortal’s Cave, Xu Qing was there meditating, her body surrounded by swirling light. A slight smile could be seen on her face; clearly she was immersed in gaining enlightenment of Daoist magic.
He didn’t disturb her, but rather, sat down cross-legged to study the seeds of Daoist Magic which existed inside of him.
There was one that looked like a crimson flame, which was none other than the Withering Flame Demon Magic True Self Dao!
As for the Nine Heavens Destruction, the Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal, and the last one… the secret art of Fleshly Sanctification, these arts existed in Meng Hao’s mind, and could be seen, but not felt.
Meng Hao had the feeling that these three great Daoist magics would require continued contemplation before he could employ them. Thankfully, he would not forget them after he left this ancient, illusory world.
Having reaching this point in his train of thoughts, Meng Hao started to get excited. That was because in addition to all of that, there was one more thing he had acquired… the Mountain Consuming Incantation!
As of now, Meng Hao had fundamental control over the technique. Although he could only employ it up to the first level, according to the introductory information, that was enough to incarnate the body of a mountain outside of his fleshly body.
That in and of itself would make the power of his fleshly body exponentially higher.
“By cultivating it to the peak, I can extract the souls of mountains and then incarnate their wills, and cause the power of myriads of mountains to descend!” Meng Hao’s eyes filled with a look of satisfaction. It was truly possible to say that his journey into the Demon Immortal Pagoda had pushed his good fortune to the pinnacle.
There were other magical techniques, restrictive spells, and other miscellaneous methods that he had picked up. Currently, they all existed in his mind. However, unless he actively gained enlightenment, then once he left this place, they would disappear.
He tried to brand the information onto a jade slip, but experienced no success and eventually gave up.
“The Mountain Sea Scripture… is most likely impossible to acquire,” he thought. A bright glow appeared in his eyes as he contemplated the matter for a moment. In the end he put it aside. However, within his mind, he could remember that voice he had heard in the 80th level.
Time passed, half a month. Meng Hao sat in meditation in his Immortal’s cave for the entire period of time, gaining enlightenment of the Daoist magic.
Xu Qing emerged from meditation a few times. They would simply look at each other and smile. They knew that their time here was limited, and that they needed to take advantage of every moment possible to be enlightened regarding Daoist magic. There was little time for idle chatting.
Finally one morning, Meng Hao sat cross-legged outside of his Immortal’s cave, studying the Fourth Peak. Within him, the enlightenment of the Mountain Consuming Incantation had already been branded on his mind. The first level of the incantation was almost completely cultivated when someone arrived, who, although he hadn’t been expecting, did not surprise him.
It was a female Conclave disciple from another of the peaks. She was pretty, with bright, flickering eyes. She carried herself with a graceful bearing, and as she neared Meng Hao, she attracted quite a bit of attention from the other Fourth Peak disciples.
What they saw was a young woman, blushing, apparently finally have overcome her shyness and mustered some courage. She came to a stop before Meng Hao and bashfully said, “Big bro Jiusi, I have a few questions about cultivation that I was hoping you could help me with.”
Her features, her voice, and her figure transformed into something shockingly alluring. Anyone who looked at her would feel their heart pumping with eagerness. Quite a few of the Fourth Peak disciples were looking at her, and all of them seemed to view her as being so amazing that she was nearly god-like.
Her face was beautiful, as was her body. Her skin was so delicate it seemed the wind could break it. She had a pure expression that was at the same time naturally charming. All of it made it so that the term ‘extraordinary beauty’ couldn’t even be used to describe her.
Meng Hao recognized her instantly. His entire body covered with goosebumps when he heard her speak. “I don’t have the time,” he replied.
She looked delicate and charming, as if she might fall over from the slightest blow. She bit her lip, seemingly mustering her courage. Anyone watching on would surely feel that it was a crime to refuse this young woman.
Meng Hao was about to do just that when he suddenly noticed a flicker of ill intent in the young woman’s eyes. Clearing his throat, he rose to his feet and then proceeded forward.
The young woman was none other than Zhixiang. She lowered her head and followed Meng Hao off into the distance, surrounded by the envious murmuring of the other Fourth Peak disciples.
As they proceeded along, all of the Demon Immortal Sect disciples who saw the two of them stared with wide eyes, their hearts filled with fury.
“Another female disciple has fallen into his hands!”
“Dammit! How many has it been so far? When will it be my turn for something like that to happen?!”
Eventually they reached the vicinity of the Second Peak, whereupon Meng Hao turned impatiently to look at Zhixiang.
“Alright,” he said, “tell me how I can help you.”
“Straight to the point, I see,” she said with a smile. “Well, you’re a man, and you know that you owe me. However, what I’m most curious about is, what exactly did you encounter in the 80th level to cause the voice of Lord Li to bestow you with Daoist magic!?” Although she spoke with a smile, she clearly took her words very seriously.
When Meng Hao heard this, his pupils constricted. He looked at Zhixiang, his heart thumping.
“That was… the voice of Lord Li?” he thought.