The next day, something completely shocking rocked the Third Ring. 100,000 disciples from the three Sects left Seahold to spread out throughout the entire Third Ring. Each one held a jade slip within which was the picture a person for whom they searched!
The entire Third Ring was shaken by the event. Even the Three Saints emerged to join the rigorous search. If that were all, it might not be a big deal. However, the next thing that happened was that notices appeared in all the shops of Seahold, offering valuable treasures to any Cultivator who joined the search.
Thus, Cultivators could be found virtually everywhere, searching on the surface of the sea. The Third Ring was in a state of complete lockdown.
The 10th Wang Clan Patriarch stayed in Seahold. He had divided his Divine Sense up into countless strands which were imbued into the jade slips. If anyone even got near Meng Hao, he would instantly be able to sense it.
The 10th Wang Clan Patriarch was even prepared for the possibility that Meng Hao had changed his appearance and aura. He would rather kill the wrong person by mistake than let Meng Hao escape.
Even as the Third Ring boiled into a frenzy, Meng Hao sat cross-legged on an island, his face grim. In his hand was the jade slip that Saint Sun Soul had given him.
“I don’t want to put someone else’s loyalty to the test,” he murmured softly, “nor do I want to place my hope in the hands of others.” He crushed the jade slip, then stood up and flew down into the sea. Since he couldn’t hide on the surface of the sea, then he would conceal himself in its depths.
In the moment that the jade slip was crushed, Saint Sun Soul was flying along in mid-air. He suddenly stopped in place, then smiled broadly. He understood Meng Hao’s decision, and that was because… he had been waiting to make his own decision.
“This way works, too,” he thought. “I have one more friend and one less enemy.” He sighed inwardly, thinking back to everything that had happened in the past month, and all of their battles with the Sea Demons.
At the same time, Meng Hao sped along at the bottom of the sea. The aura of the Resurrection Lily was completely suppressed, with not a bit emanating out. Occasionally he would look around the area; if anything abnormal appeared, he was ready to take out the war chariot the instant anything abnormal appeared.
“To leave the Third Ring would require passing through the Stormwind Divide. However, the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch is no doubt prepared for that. Going to the Stormwind Divide would be casting myself into his net.
“However, I definitely can’t stay in the Third Ring. If I do, then I’ll definitely be found eventually, and then….” His eyes flickered.
“But the Second Ring… is where the Dawn Immortal lurks.” He thought silently for a moment.
“A fiend up ahead, and an army chasing from behind. Ah, who cares!” His eyes shone with a cold gleam.
“In life, one can only hope to have freedom and independence; in life, one can only seek his own happiness! I knew all along that the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch would be coming. Therefore, what’s the point in hesitating?
“My only option is the Second Ring. That’s where the Dawn Immortal lurks, and that’s where I’ll lure the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch. It is only within ultimate danger that I can go all out to snatch a chance to survive!
“Although, for the Flying Immortal Sect and the Sea Divinity Sect to choose to help the Wang Clan Patriarch so quickly indicates that the compensation they were offered was incredible!” Killing intent flickered in his eyes. He had already had enough of hiding and fleeing.
After returning from the Demon Immortal Sect, all he had done was flee nonstop. The resentment and desire to kill had reached a peak of intensity. It was something that killing no amount of Sea Demons could resolve. He needed to kill… people!
“First sow chaos in the Third Ring, then lure the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch to me. After that… determine victory or defeat in the Second Ring!” Meng Hao was just about to carry out his plan when suddenly, he stopped in mid-stride.
A sinister, vicious aura was once again approaching him. Yet again, the Resurrection Lily was nervous and trembling with terror.
The terror of the Resurrection Lily shook Meng Hao; he took out the war chariot, but didn’t immediately spur it into action. Instead, he looked down toward the bottom of the sea.
This place was actually the same location where he had heard the voice last time.
The same ancient voice once again spoke, shattering the stillness. “Immortal Ascension failed, and a Whitebone Lily appeared….
“I was unable to sever the Resurrection Lily, so I could only sever myself…. From then on, the Resurrection Lily was no more, and the Whitebone Lilies bloomed from shore to shore….”
As he listened to the voice for a second time, Meng Hao could sense grief, indignation, and monstrous resentment in it. Others who heard the voice would be so terrified their hair would stand on end. Meng Hao, on the other hand, actually felt twinges of sympathy.
He stood there silently for a moment before determination shone in his eyes. He sent the war chariot forward in the direction of the voice. Not much time passed before Meng Hao caught sight of the nearby region on the seafloor that was the origin of the sinister and vicious voice.
It was an area filled with countless white bones. They were the bones of both Cultivators and Sea Demons, and seemed never-ending. From a distance, all of them seemed to form the shape of a lily.
A Whitebone Lily.
At the very center of the Whitebone Lily was a patch of black seaweed, within which was a skeleton, sitting there cross-legged. Its skin had long since rotted away, and it floated there gently amidst the seaweed, which curled and wrapped around it.
Meng Hao’s mind trembled as he slowly neared. The closer he got, the more the Resurrection Lily trembled. In fact, it had even started to emit terrified shrieks inside of him. When he got within 300 meters of the Whitebone Lily, veins bulged out all over his body. A five-colored Resurrection Lily appeared behind him, and it appeared to be going mad.
In the exact instant in which the five-colored Resurrection Lily appeared, the skeleton swaying within the seaweed suddenly stopped moving. It looked up, staring at Meng Hao with its empty eye sockets.
Meng Hao’s mind roared as what seemed to be memories from the corpse poured into him from the corpse’s empty eye sockets.
He saw an old man wearing a long golden robe, sitting cross-legged at the bottom of the sea. In front of him was a silver-colored lamp that emanated a gentle glow. Even at the bottom of the sea, the lamp’s flame could not be extinguished, and its light enveloped the old man.
The old man’s face was twisted ferociously, and occasionally twitched as if he were struggling against something. It seemed that he was experiencing an indescribable pain. Veins bulged out on his face, and he suddenly lifted his head up and roared angrily.
“I am Reverend Silverlamp! I have practiced cultivation for a thousand years, and am at the peak of Dao Seeking! How could I possibly lose to a trifling Resurrection Lily!?!?
“I clearly succeeded! I clearly expunged it! How could it have come back to life!?!?” As the man howled, an enormous illusory image appeared around him.
It was nearly a thousand meters tall, and shockingly, had six colors…. This was… a six-colored Resurrection Lily!!
When it appeared, the old man began to tremble, and his body started to wither. It was as if all of his life force, all of his Cultivation base, all of his memories, were all being sucked away by the Resurrection Lily.
“Immortal Ascension…. If the Resurrection Lily achieves Immortal Ascension, it sucks away the life force of the host. If I want to reach Immortal Ascension, then I must make use of the destiny of the Resurrection Lily!
“I will not yield!” As the old man howled, his eyes filled with hatred and determination.
“I shall reach Immortal Ascension!
“It is all for Immortal Ascension!
“I am destined to be Immortal, and I have my path to Immortality. I was an Immortal in my last life, how come… I cannot continue as an Immortal in this life?!?!
“If I cannot sever the Resurrection Lily, then I must sever myself! Sever my Immortal destiny, sever my path to Immortality! Use the cultivation of my past life to transform my resentment into a sea of white bones!
“Henceforth, my bones will float at the bottom of the Milky Way Sea, and my blood will stain the waters. I will use my bones to disperse the will of the Resurrection Lily, and cause countless Whitebone Lilies to bloom!” With that, the old man lifted his right hand and slapped his own chest. Blood sprayed from his mouth, and his body withered rapidly. However, his blood oozed out into the water, spreading out in the currents and attracting large numbers of Sea Demons.
“From this day on, my soul will become white bones, which will live as parasites in countless other life forms, and will be… the archfoe of the Resurrection Lily!” The old man began to laugh maniacally, and then once again spit out blood. His blood and even his flesh began to balloon outward, and at the same time, countless Sea Demons pounced on him.
The sounds of crunching and tearing could be heard, as if countless fangs and mouths were consuming the old man’s flesh and blood. Meng Hao couldn’t see the old man, but he could hear his voice, filled with enmity and hatred.
At the same time, the six-colored Resurrection Lily behind him began to wilt. It was one with the old man, so as the old man was consumed, it too was devoured. It struggled, but to no avail.
After a certain amount of time had passed, a rumbling boom echoed out and the Sea Demons were all driven away to reveal a white skeleton completely devoid of any flesh or blood. It slowly sank down into the seaweed below. The black seaweed encircled it, wrapped it up, and then it began to float there back and forth.
As for the Resurrection Lily, it had completely vanished. Everything in the area grew quiet. As for the Sea Demons that had consumed his flesh and blood, suddenly they began to explode. Their flesh and blood attracted more Sea Demons, which consumed the flesh and blood, and in turn, exploded.
The process repeated for a full sixty-year cycle. By this time, the Third Ring of the Milky Way Sea was filled with the aura of the old man’s flesh and blood. Because of that aura, all of the Sea Demons in this part of the sea were branded with the Whitebone Lily.
Meng Hao’s mind trembled as the vision faded away and everything returned to normal. He was still surrounded by countless white bones. The skeleton in the seaweed lowered its head and once again began to sway back and forth.
Meng Hao began to pant, and his face was ashen.
“The Resurrection Lily…. It seems I’ve underestimated it!
“That skeleton is Reverend Silverlamp. He once traveled to the Violet Fate Sect, and Master said that he helped him dispel the Resurrection Lily!
“And yet… in the end, he died here, perishing together along with the Resurrection Lily to become its archfoe, the Whitebone Lily!
“And he… didn’t have a seven-colored Resurrection Lily, but rather, a six-colored one!
“Reverend Silverlamp was unable to control a six-colored Resurrection Lily, and the Resurrection Lily inside of me already has five colors!” When he thought about this, Meng Hao’s face fell.
He once again realized that he had made a serious misjudgment when it came to understanding the Resurrection Lily.
“If my Resurrection Lily blooms with six colors, then my fate will be exactly the same as Reverend Silverlamp’s!” His face flickered, and his eyes flashed as he looked around.
“The Resurrection Lily inside of me is currently terrified to the extreme…. I might not be able to thoroughly dispel it using my own power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be impossible if I borrowed the power of Reverend Silverlamp!” His eyes narrowed and then began to shine with a bright glow. His body flickered as he headed directly toward Reverend Silverlamp.
Allowing the Resurrection Lily inside of him to struggle madly, it was without hesitation that he crossed his legs and sat down next to the seaweed. In that instant, a faint, sinister voice could suddenly be heard drifting toward him from far off in the distance.
“Leave that place, my child….”
This chapter was sponsored by Brett Flowers, Bjorn Jeune, and Roderick Sinnamon