Everything was all to give the wooden swords a chance at a kill!
Ding Xin’s eyes narrowed as a feeling of sudden, intense danger welled up in his heart. This was the first time he had experienced this feeling in the backwater State of Zhao. Even in the Southern Domain, he had never provoked the wrath of Foundation Establishment Cultivators; he’d only ever been in tousles with people of the same stage as himself.
Astonished to be in such a perilous situation, he raised his right hand and pushed down on his forehead. An exploding sound rippled out, and a massive amount of Violet Qi poured forth from his head. It rapidly congealed into the figure of a person, his back facing Meng Hao.
The vague figure was dressed in a violet robe. An explosive pressure burst out from it, and Violet Qi roiled out everywhere, causing the net to stop in place.
Ding Xin’s face paled as the massive net slowed to a halt. He immediately shot backward. The two wooden swords gave no indication that they would stop. They continued to shoot forward without the slightest hesitation, passing through the violet cloud and speeding toward Ding Xin.
“Impossible!” Ding Xin’s scalp went numb and his face filled with astonishment. How could he ever have imagined that Meng Hao’s two wooden swords could defy the power of his lifesaving magic!?
This lifesaving magic was bestowed upon disciples of the ninth level of Qi Condensation, and was capable of resisting the complete power of a Foundation Establishment Cultivator. It could only be used once, and even after all these years, he had never employed its power. Finally, in the face of imminent peril, he had used it today. And yet, it couldn’t stop the two wooden swords.
“What type of sword is this!?” The blood drained from Ding Xin’s face. At such a critical moment, he didn’t have time to think about it. He clenched his jaw and then let out a mighty roar. He bit his tongue and spit out some blood. This was blood from his Cultivation base, and was connected to his longevity. As soon as he spat it out, his Cultivation base dropped a bit. It would take a significant amount of time in secluded meditation before it could recover.
As soon as he spit the blood out, it transformed into a red mist that was sucked in by the violet mist form that had emerged from his head. He let out a shout:
“Violet Qi from the East!” Immediately, the purple-robed figure turned around. Its face was blurry, but its eyes were clearly radiating a powerful, violet glow.
When the violet glow appeared, Meng Hao’s body shook and pain washed over him like floodwaters. He retreated backward, blood spraying from his back. A roaring sound filled his body, and his consciousness began to waver. He floated backward like a kite with its string cut, then dropped down onto the surface of the North Sea. He slowly sank down into the water.
At the same time, the two wooden swords started to shake. One of them turned violet, seemingly no longer under Meng Hao’s control. It spun out of control, then fell down into the North Sea.
But… that was only one sword. Ding Xin had gone all out, reducing his own life expectancy and damaging his Cultivation base to employ the full power of the lifesaving art. But he had only been able to target one of the wooden swords. The second one, though it was shaking, continued onward. In an instant, it passed through everything to stab into Ding Xin’s chest. Then, it seemed to lose the spiritual power which controlled it. It too fell down into the North Sea.
The sword had stabbed Ding Xin, but not in through the heart. With the aid of the Violet Qi from the East, he was able to avoid being critically injured. Even still, he let out a miserable scream as blood showered out of his chest and mouth.
His hair flew around wildly, and his white robe was soaked with blood. His eyes bloodshot, he covered the wound in his chest and let out a horrified howl. In all the battles he had fought from the beginning until now, he had never received a serious injury. Now here, in this backwater State of Zhao which he looked down on so much, he had been severely injured by a nobody Cultivator who he had completely disregarded. Furthermore, he had been forced to use his lifesaving method. His eyes were grim as he looked down at the North Sea.
“Your life has been taken by my Violet Qi from the East. But since you dared to injure me, I will drag up your corpse and hack it to pieces!” Ding Xin’s chest burned with pain. He had used blood from his Cultivation base and had damaged his longevity. At this point, he had sunk to the eighth level of Qi Condensation. His face was pale and filled with fury. He produced a medicinal pill and consumed it. And then, suddenly, his facial expression changed. He looked down at the wound in his chest, and his face was seized with terror.
“My spiritual power is being sucked out through the sword wound….” This was something Ding Xin had never experienced before. He gasped as he suddenly realized how amazing Meng Hao’s two wooden swords really were. He immediately shot down into the waters of the North Sea to search for Meng Hao’s corpse, and the two swords.
Deep down in the North Sea, Meng Hao’s body slowly floated down. His eyes were shut, and he didn’t move. It seemed as if he were dead. Ding Xin’s Violet Qi from the East had wrecked his longevity and his Cultivation base. Even though Ding Xin’s power could not compare to that of the Foundation Establishment stage, he was at the peak of the ninth level of Qi Condensation. Meng Hao was at the eighth level. He simply had no chance of surviving.
Right now, his body was cold, and the only thing that remained was the tiniest spark, flickering inside his spirit. It wouldn’t take long for that spark to vanish, and then there would be no more Meng Hao.
His Qi passages were shattered, his flesh devoid of life force. His Core sea seemed to be completely dried up.
But he was not willing. He was not willing to die. Unfortunately, this was the Cultivation world’s law of the jungle. He couldn’t fight or resist that. As his body sank deeper and deeper, the spark of life grew more and more faint. Everything was quiet. The spark was about to go out.
A wisp of Qi flowed out from within the North Sea. A droning sound could be heard, and deep within the waters, ripples flowed out to surround Meng Hao. His body suddenly began to glow.
As the glow spread, spiritual energy from the North Sea poured into Meng Hao from all directions, filling his body, mending his Qi passages. Violet-colored blood spilled out from his orifices and pores.
All of the damage inflicted by the Violet Qi from the East was mended. In fact, every single one of his numerous injuries were healed as the spiritual energy of the North Sea poured into him.
Popping sounds rang out from within him as his Qi passages began to flow again. His lifeless body was reformed, and in an instant, once again hummed with life force.
A thunderous roar sounded out as vast amounts of spiritual energy rushed into his Core sea. Once again it rippled boundlessly. He was still at the eighth level of Qi Condensation, but had actually made significant advancement, and his current power level was almost as much as someone at the ninth level of Qi Condensation.
Within his Core sea, the Demonic Core undulated, sending out a Demonic aura. It began to absorb all of the Demonic Qi that Meng Hao had accumulated. Its Demonic aura grew stronger and brighter.
Finally, Meng Hao opened his eyes.
He looked calm. He was not excited or shocked or astonished. He had intentionally picked the North Sea as the spot for the showdown. It had all been a gamble, in the hopes that the North Sea Demon would help him.
As he opened his eyes, he straightened his body. There was only water beneath his feet, although some distance away he could see the bottom of the lake. Everything should be pitch black. But because of the silvery sand that spread out, there was a little bit of a glow, which faintly illuminated the surroundings.
Within the murky waters, Meng Hao could see a boat.
The boat was dilapidated, sunken and resting on the lake floor. Meng Hao suddenly realized that he recognised this boat. It was… the boat he had ridden in that day when he crossed the lake!
He stared silently at the boat, and then cupped his hands and bowed in respect.
Even as he bowed, he heard the twittering laughter of a young girl echoing out across the lake bottom. The laughter circled around, making it impossible to determine its origin. Meng Hao narrowed his eyes, looking down at the floor of the lake.
As the laughter rang out, he saw arms emerging from the silver sand at the bottom of the lake. The hands were all as white as jade. Along with the arms appeared corpses. They were the corpses of young women, floating up from the silver sand.
Black hair swept across the faces of the dozens of them as they floated up from the depths of the lake. Their eyes were closed, their faces pale white but beautiful. Amidst the rippling lake water, Meng Hao watched on, an expression of astonishment on his face as he realized that all of the women… looked exactly the same!
At that same moment, a small girl appeared, standing there in the dilapidated boat. She gave Meng Hao a bashful smile. She seemed to be filled with childlike innocence, but as Meng Hao looked at her, his mind began to spin, and he felt a roaring inside his head.
He had just noticed that the faces of the corpses strongly resembled this girl’s face, as if they were her after she had grown up!
“Big brother, will you stay with me here forever?” said the little girl with a light laugh. Her voice was young, and when she spoke, the dozens of corpses floating around her stopped moving, and despite their eyes being closed, it seemed as if all of them were looking straight at Meng Hao.
Meng Hao mind spun, and the roaring sound seemed to consume his thoughts. Everything in front of started to grow dim, and then to shatter.
He suddenly opened his eyes. He was still floating in the lake water, some distance away from the lake floor, further away than he had been just now. Had it all been a dream? There was no boat, no corpses, and no laughing little girl.
Meng Hao gaped in shock. After a moment, he realized that his body had been healed. He gave a silent nod to the distant lake floor, even though he couldn’t see anything down there.
He knew that everything he had just seen had not been an illusion. It was real!
He raised his hands and bowed deeply with clasped hands.
“Meng Hao will always remember your two great kindnesses. I speculate that you wish to become a sea, and that this is what is most important to you. I, Meng, of the junior generation, promise that one day, when my Cultivation base soars to the heavens, that I shall come to your aid. If there is any other way that I can aid you, please tell me.” Meng Hao bowed again, holding the bow for the space of ten breaths. Everything was quiet. He straightened up. He looked down one last time, then shot up towards the surface of the lake.
At the exact moment that he began to move toward the surface, his two wooden swords, which had sunk into the water, began to shake. Then, they shot toward Meng Hao.
One of the swords had just been tracked down by Ding Xin. His eyes gleamed as he reached out to pick up the sword. But then it began to move. Ripples spread out from it, and then, in the blink of an eye, it shot off into the distance.
When Ding Xin saw this, a look of surprise appeared in his eyes. Without hesitation, he raced in pursuit.
“This treasure is sentient!” thought Ding Xin. His heart began to thump wildly as he eagerly sped even faster to intercept the wooden sword.