To use the expression “indescribably beautiful and striking” to describe Zhixiang would only be enough to portray part of her. Meng Hao had no choice but to admit that in his entire life… he had never seen a more beautiful woman.
This was not a situation of her being “one of the most” beautiful women. Any other woman placed next to her would pale in comparison, and could do no more than play a supporting role.
She wore a light red gown, along with a wide smile. Her each and every move was dazzling, and her body let off a unique aura, resembling both the air of a Demon and a spirit.
The feeling Meng Hao got was that her body had become something like Heavenly materials or a Earthly treasures. It was something that completely stood out from the masses, and the aura she emitted seemed to fill the entire area.
Her current body did not belong to anyone except herself…. This was the true Zhixiang.
Because of her earlier fall in Cultivation base and the various plans to be carried out by her on behalf of the Demon Immortal Sect, her Immortal Realm Cultivation base had been degenerated back to the edge of Spirit Severing. In fact, most of the time, she only revealed the power of the Nascent Soul stage. Right now, though, it was obvious that she had succeeded with the Demon Immortal Body.
Because of her success, her Cultivation base had now begun to restore itself. In a very short period of time, she would once again have… the power of an Immortal!
When the time came, the others would return to the lands of South Heaven, but she… would leave by a different route. She would return to the Demon Immortal Sect of the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
There was even a high likelihood that the Cultivators of the Demon Immortal Sect were already gathering at some unknown location to prepare to receive her.
Upon hearing Zhixiang’s request, Meng Hao’s expression did not change at all. He nodded slowly.
She gently bit her lip and smiled, then took Patriarch Huyan’s rapidly fading Nascent Divinity and crushed it. A popping sound could be heard. Patriarch Huyan, a Spirit Severing Patriarch in his generation, had his Nascent Divinity crushed into tiny pieces. They transformed into dots of shining light that Zhixiang then slowly absorbed in through her forehead.
Zhixiang’s countenance became a bit more beautiful, enough to cause anyone who looked at her to be shocked and feel their heart palpitating with eagerness.
“Thank you,” she said. She lifted her hand up to place a veil over her face, covering over the features that would cause anyone to be infatuated with her at first sight. Her eyes flickered with a bizarre light as she looked at Meng Hao.
“Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Zhou Zhixiang. The ‘zhi’ character is from the expression ‘that which is noble and lofty.’ The ‘xiang’ character is from the expression ‘a woman of ethereal color and celestial fragrance.’ I am Zhixiang, Holy Daughter of the Demon Immortal Sect. However, I prefer it when people call me Demoness.” With a smile, she gave a curtsied bow to Meng Hao.
Her words were simple, as were the movements she made. However, an indescribable energy wafted off of her, forming together into an incredible pressure, which weighed down on the entire area.
“You owe me,” said Meng Hao coolly. “And not just a simple favor.”
“Don’t worry, Fellow Daoist Meng. I acknowledge it, as does the New Demon Immortal Sect of the Ninth Mountain and Sea. We will absolutely never forget it.” She cocked her beautiful head as she looked at him. Then her beautiful hand waved, causing a jade slip to fly out.
The jade slip was ancient and crude; on one side could be seen the character ‘Demon,’ and on the other side the character ‘Immortal.’
“This is the command medallion of a Demon Immortal Sect Elder. Whoever holds this medallion is a vassal Elder. Fellow Daoist Meng, if you need assistance in the future, you may come to the Demon Immortal Sect at any time.”
Meng Hao accepted the command medallion, looked it over, and then put it into his bag of holding. He nodded toward Zhixiang, then, without another word, turned to leave.
“I would like to thank you in a more personal way, Fellow Daoist Meng,” said Zhixiang with a smile. “Therefore, I’ll give you a bit of information. The pit located between the Third and Fourth Peaks is critical to entering the Fourth Plane.”
Meng Hao stopped in place and turned to look back at her.
“Most likely, the other Sects and Clans have this information already. In fact, the Fourth Plane will never close. Anyone in the Third Plane who has the requisite skill can enter it.
“Without the skill, one can only gaze at the figurative ocean and lament one’s inadequacy.” Zhixiang chuckled, once again bowing to Meng Hao. Then she turned and disappeared.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered. He could sense Zhixiang’s power, and he knew that she was completely different than before. A thoughtful look appeared as he looked down at his bag of holding, and thought back to all his previous contact with Zhixiang.
In his heart, he was eighty percent certain that the small bit of assistance he had provided here would later result in receiving help from Zhixiang and the Demon Immortal Sect, although it was impossible to predict whether that help would be of great use or not.
A relaxed smile appeared on his face. He had long since come to realize that in the Cultivation world, one must rely on oneself. One could not expect too much help from outsiders. Therefore, whether the New Demon Immortal Sect provided him with a lot of help, or just a little, it didn’t really matter to him.
His greatest acquisition in this affair was not the promise of Zhixiang and the New Demon Immortal Sect. Instead, it was his Eighth Nascent Soul, and his incredibly powerful fleshly body.
He took a deep breath as he examined his body, as well as the fearsome damage done to his longevity while in the Eighth Anima 1. As for the power of worldly expulsion that he had felt, he wasn’t sure when, but it had vanished. That caused his eyes to glitter brightly as he looked over at the Fourth Peak.
After a moment, he looked away, and his body flickered as he left the Eighth Anima state and returned to the First Anima.
Then he took a step forward. Before speeding off into the distance, he collected up the soul whip. From what Meng Hao could tell, it looked as if it was meant to be part of Patriarch Huyan’s other whip.
At the moment, though, he would not allow them to fuse together. Instead, after he left this place, he would take some time to thoroughly study both of them.
Right now, he wanted to see if he could find any more of good fortune within the Third Plane. He whistled through the air as he passed the Seventh Peak and then the Sixth Peak.
As he neared the Fifth Peak, his eyes suddenly glittered, and the corners of his mouth turned up into a smile. He changed directions to speed directly toward the Fifth Peak. Not much time passed before, shockingly, the light of a restrictive spell appeared up ahead of him.
The restrictive spell had three layers. The outer layer was dim, the light of the mid layer was flowing smoothly, and the inner layer was completely solid.
The three-layer restrictive spell covered an area of about three hundred meters. Clearly visible underneath it was a house, leaning up against the wall of which was a corpse.
The corpse was different than most of the corpses on the outside. It was not completely dried up, but rather, retained some life-like qualities.
It was an old man, who had been looking regretfully off into the distance when he died. As for what he was thinking, it was impossible to tell, but in his hand he held a bamboo flute. The flute was no magical item, but rather, completely ordinary. It even seemed to be a bit shriveled.
In front of the old man was another object, a drum about the size of a person’s head. It was completely violet-colored, and emanated a faint glow. Just barely audible was a pulsating thrum from the drum that echoed about the entire area.
Outside of the restrictive spell were eight or so frowning Cultivators from the lands of South Heaven. A few of their number were currently trying to break through the restrictive spell.
Among their number were four members of the Ji Clan, including Ji Xiaoxiao. Also present was Liu Zichuan from the Imperial Bloodline Clan of the Northern Reaches, who Meng Hao had frightened earlier.
The others were from the Eastern Lands or Northern Reaches, and all were frowning as they looked at the violet drum inside of the restrictive spells. Their expressions were that of desire.
Meng Hao’s arrival in a beam of multicolored light instantly disturbed the quiet in the area. The group of people immediately went on guard and began to look around. However, once they saw that it was Meng Hao, their faces filled with unsightly expressions.
The way Meng Hao had extorted them in the Second Plane had caused all of them to gnash their teeth. Liu Zichuan was the only one who immediately backed up a few steps, trembling.
“You’re all here, huh?” said Meng Hao, laughing heartily as he approached. “I haven’t seen you in quite a few days, but I missed you! I hope you’ve all acquired a lot of items here in the Third Plane!” Meng Hao’s expression was sincere; in fact, he really did sincerely want for everyone to acquire a lot.
However, the more he expressed himself in such a way, the more unsightly were the expressions on the faces of the others. They stared at Meng Hao, faces filled with displeasure. Some even seemed to be contemplating trying to attack and kill him, to solve all troubles in one fell swoop.
Meng Hao didn’t seem to notice this. He was all smiles as he sighed and then said, “Eee? How come you’re all ignoring me? Well, it doesn’t matter. Fellow Daoists, I, Meng Hao, truly desire for all of you to make great acquisitions here. In that way, I will also benefit a bit more.”
By now, killing intent was flickering in the eyes of the others, and a few people stepped forward, their tempers seemingly on the verge of exploding.
Meng Hao still didn’t seem to notice this point. He had a bashful smile on his face, and even looked a bit emotional. However, from the point of view of the others, he was clearly showing off, and was in the need of a bit of punishment. His expression might even be one of courting death.
Only Liu Zichuan felt his heart pounding nervously, and was crying out inwardly:
“Contemptible! Far too brazen! This bastard… this bastard is somebody I absolutely cannot afford to provoke. He has obviously grown powerful to the point of Spirit Severing, and yet he only shows off this level of power….
“He’s obviously… obviously provoking the others into attacking him!! How shameless!!” At this point, Liu Zichuan couldn’t help but think back to his own grievous situation earlier. He could only imagine that if some of these people attacked Meng Hao right now, they would quickly find themselves in exactly such a miserable state.
As he looked at Meng Hao’s smile, he only found it more and more horrifying. Yet, at the same time, he somehow was looking forward to seeing these other people meet a similar fate as he had….
“Brothers,” continued Meng Hao, “I know that I displeased you in the Second Realm. Please, don’t take it to heart. Now that we’re in the Third Plane, I hope that we can all work together toward a common purpose. Brothers, whether or not I can find sufficient good fortune here, depends all on you.”
After he finished speaking, Meng Hao, looking incredibly appreciative, and even clasped hands to bowed to them.
The bow caused everyone including Ji Xiaoxiao to clench their teeth. As for Liu Zichuan, his face merely twitched, but everyone else seemed to be on the verge of exploding into a rage.
“Oh, there’s also….” Meng Hao had straightened up and was about to smilingly continue when one of the Cultivators from the Northern Reaches couldn’t hold back any longer. His temper flared and, with a howl, he shot forward.
“Shut up, bastard! So, you admit that you displeased us in the Second Plane?”
As soon as the Northern Reaches Cultivator went on the attack, Liu Zichuan’s eyes went wide and filled with a look of anticipation.
“Take him out! Drop him dead!” he thought excitedly.
The Northern Reaches Cultivator closed in on Meng Hao, his face twisted viciously. His right hand lifted up to perform an incantation gesture and then pushed out toward Meng Hao.
At the same time, another of the Northern Reaches Cultivators shot forward, as well as a member of the Ji Clan. Eyes flashing, they fell upon Meng Hao.
Another bashful look appeared on Meng Hao’s face.
This chapter was sponsored by Deden Hermawan, Kamryn Rowe Boyle, Ly Ho, and Daniel Jung
1.I’ve seen a lot of comments/questions/confusion about the issue of his longevity in the Animas. Although the explanation wasn’t extremely clear, it was implied that Meng Hao can restore any damage to his longevity using medicinal pills. As long as he doesn’t run out of longevity within the Eighth Anima, any damage is inconsequential. Think of his “longevity” as a health bar, the total capacity of which slowly reduces over time, but can also be drained or re-filled by various means. The total capacity might be reduced while he’s in the Eighth Anima, but once he leaves, it returns to normal, and any “missing” years of life can be made up for with medicinal pills. As for Meng Hao’s current “normal” longevity, it doesn’t really matter too much. He can freely duplicate longevity-increasing pills. That having been said, he still is confined by the limit of 1,000 years. It doesn’t matter how many pills you take or what you do, you can’t live past 1,000 without reaching Spirit Severing ↩