As he walked, he grew more and more excited. The road he walked was filled with blood and gore…
The blood and gore of scores of wild animals, whose butts had exploded violently.
“Bang!” Another furry animal in front of him screamed shrilly as an invisible attack struck its rear end, three times, until it exploded, sending a mist of blood spraying into the air.
“Boom!” A foraging giant condor, not even landed on the ground yet, shrieked miserably, as if it were experiencing a nightmare. Then its butt exploded.
“Bang, boom.” That was a fierce, human-sized tiger that had been about to pounce on Meng Hao. In mid-air, it emitted a terrifying roar that changed into a horrific squeal, whereupon its butt blew open, showering gore and blood everywhere. Perhaps because it had so much fur, it actually exploded five times in succession.
“What a treasure. What a mighty treasure.” Before he knew it, dusk had fallen, and Meng Hao’s expression could not be more excited. He looked down at the copper mirror. Throughout the day, he had exploded the rear ends of over one hundred animals.
Fortunately, he was out in the multitudinous wild mountains, otherwise the stench of the blood and gore would be overwhelming.
“The mirror isn’t completely effective, though. When I tried it out on that python, and the fish, it didn’t do anything at all. It seems it doesn’t work on animals with scales. But it’s still awesome.” He had tested it out in many ways and had discovered that it didn’t work when inside the bag of holding. It only worked when he held it. He also got a strange, excited feeling when it was at work exploding wild animals’ rear ends. It also looked like the corrosion was beginning to fade, as if it had been hidden away for years and finally was able to stretch its legs.
As dusk fell, Meng Hao found himself some distance out in the wild mountains. The night wind blew, and he took in a deep, excited breath. He was just getting ready to head back to the Immortal’s Cave. After all, these mountains were filled with wild animals. Meng Hao had even heard that demonic beasts that practiced cultivation lived out here. Despite his excitement, he also knew that it could be dangerous.
He had come to this place while searching for wild animals, so the going had been slow. But on the way back, he could go much more quickly. Meng Hao sped along through the wooded mountains, and before long, a bright moon hung high in the sky. Soon, he could see that only three mountains lay between him and the Immortal’s Cave. Suddenly, he felt a hot wind on his face, accompanied by an acrid odor. He stopped, his heart thumping, then retreated a few steps.
As soon as he stepped back, the air about him shook with a mighty roar, and once again the hot wind and acrid odor swept over him. There in front of him was a monkey-like creature about the size of a human. Its red eyes radiated cruelty, and its entire body was covered with thick, luxuriant fur.
The fierce beast gave Meng Hao a bloodthirsty stare. Meng Hao’s expression changed as he looked back at the creature. His mind reeled, as if he were about to be blown away by the creature’s gaze. He could sense the creature’s Cultivation base fluctuating.
“Second level of Qi Condensation!” Meng Hao took another step back, his expression horrified. This was no wild beast; it was a demonic beast. It must have been attracted by the reek of blood from all the slain animals.
There was no time for him to think. The long-furred monkey-like demonic beast leaped into the air, and then suddenly, its entire body was covered in fire, a fire that did not singe its fur in the least. It shot toward Meng Hao.
At this critical juncture, Meng Hao’s expression changed. He wasn’t sure if the copper mirror would be effective against the demonic beast, but there was no time for consideration. Even as it leaped into the air, he ducked to the side, pulled out the mirror, and shined it toward the demonic beast.
Then a miserable scream filled the air. In mid-air, a geyser of blood shot out of the demonic beast’s butt. Its face twisted in horror, its eyes no longer filled with cruelty, but rather confusion. It was as if in the beast’s entire life, it had never experienced anything so painful…. But, it didn’t retreat. Moments later, more blood exploded out.
Now the confusion in its expression turned into complete astonishment. It stared in horror at the mirror held in the hands of the young man standing in front of it. It turned, covering its rear end with its claws. The fire went out, and it made to flee, but before it could go more than a handful of meters, its butt exploded again, this time, five explosions in succession. Its screams rang out as it ran about thirty more meters. Meng Hao felt the copper mirror trembling as if with excitement. A powerful boom rang out, shooting straight toward the demonic beast’s rear end.
An incomprehensible scream rang out over the wild mountains as half of the demonic beast’s body exploded. A cloud of blood and gore shot up, then slowly descended to the ground. Confusion filled its face as it gasped a few last breaths, then died.
Everything had happened so fast. The entire time, Meng Hao just stood there gaping. Finally, he took a breath, then looked down at the mirror, panting.
“Even demonic beasts can’t avoid having their rear ends exploded. This mirror…” In his excitement, Meng Hao felt even more awe. He put it away, then looked over at the corpse of the demonic beast, his heart thumping.
“The Qi Condensation Manual has an introduction to demonic beasts. It says that they have a Demonic Core inside their bodies which contains spiritual energy. I should be able to just eat it.” He quickly walked over to the corpse. Sure enough, in the abdomen of the creature he found a pristine Demonic Core, about the size of a fingernail. It emitted a delicate, fragrant aroma which left him feeling extremely comfortable.
Having retrieved the Demonic Core, Meng Hao hurried along his way. Unfortunately, demonic creatures were not common in these parts. He didn’t see any more on his way back to the Immortal’s cave. He felt a little disappointed.
By the time he got back, it was deep into the night. He sat down cross-legged and looked at the Demonic Core and the copper mirror, his eyes shining.
“I can just eat the Demonic Core, but I still have the Spirit Condensation Pill that the Sect distributed. I’ll take that first, then take the Demonic Core.” His mind set, Meng Hao put the Demonic Core and the copper mirror down next to him, as well as the Spirit Stone. With the Spirit Stone at his side, it would allow him to absorb a little more spiritual energy.
Next, he took out the Spirit Condensation Pill and swallowed it down. As soon as it entered his body, strands of spiritual energy began to spread out slowly. Meng Hao rotated his Cultivation base, quickly absorbing the power of the medicinal pill.
When he opened his eyes an hour later, they glittered brightly. Taking this pill was definitely much faster than actually practicing cultivation, he thought to himself. Unfortunately, the Spirit Condensation Pill just did not have enough energy. There wasn’t anything he could do about that, though. His gaze shifted to the side and he picked up the Demonic Core and popped it into his mouth.
As soon as it entered his body, spiritual energy far outmatching that of the Spirit Cultivation Pill poured into him. It was almost too much to take in. He quickly rotated his Cultivation base and poured the energy into it. His body began to tremble, and strands of filth were pushed out of his pores. Eight or ten hours later, his head buzzed, and he felt as if his body would begin to float. Now, there was not a strand of spiritual energy inside him. The strand had fused to form a stream.
“Spiritual energy like a stream, the body excretes the mortal filth. This… Don’t tell me this is the second level of Qi Condensation?” Meng Hao opened his eyes. They shined with an indescribable expression. He looked down at his body, then cast his senses inside and took a long moment to examine himself carefully. Sure enough, he had broken through the first level of Qi Condensation into the second.
“Demonic Cores really are incredibly effective.” Meng Hao’s eyes sparkled. He stood and strolled around the Immortal’s Cave, enjoying the feel of the stream-like spiritual energy circulating through his body. He was incredibly happy.
“I am now a second level Qi Condensation Immortal!
“Too bad Demonic Cores are so rare. Otherwise, I would be able to practice Cultivation much more quickly. And it’s all thanks to my treasured mirror.” Meng Hao looked at the mirror. When he did, his body suddenly trembled, and he unconsciously rubbed his eyes. He looked even more closer, an incredulous expression filling his face.
The copper mirror lay there just like before. But there was no Spirit Stone on top of it. Instead, there was a Demonic Core!
“This… this…” Meng Hao’s brain spun, filled with confusion. He felt as if he had lost his mind. He stared mutely at the Demonic Core sitting on top of the copper mirror and began to hesitate. He had placed a Demonic Core and a Spirit Stone onto the mirror. He remembered clearly. But, he had eaten the Demonic Core already. Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure. Had he eaten the Demonic Core? Or had he eaten the Spirit Stone?
“I couldn’t have eaten the Spirit Stone…” Meng Hao gaped for some time then slowly picked up the Demonic Core. He hesitated, then put it in front of his mouth and sniffed. The smell made him certain; what he had eaten moments ago was definitely a Demonic Core.
“What… what’s going on? There’s another one? Don’t tell me I was mistaken, and the demonic beast actually had two Demonic Cores in it?” Meng Hao’s felt even more confused. He shook his head, forcing himself to clear his thoughts. He looked at the Demonic Core, then the copper mirror. His body began to tremble and his eyes shone with an incredible brilliance, as if he had just glimpsed ten thousand pieces of gold. It seemed as if he would drop the Demonic Core at any moment.
“Could it be… the mirror absorbed the Spirit Stone and produced a second Demonic Core!” His voice quavered. He originally felt that the mirror’s ability to explode wild beasts was powerful enough. He had never imagined that it would have an even more profound ability.
After a while, he recovered a bit, although his heart was still filled with a multitude of thoughts. Right now, he didn’t have a Spirit Stone to test out, so his heart was filled with anxiety. He was filled with an aching desire to get one to experiment with.
“Spirit Stones. I need Spirit Stones!” His eyes shone like a ferocious wild beast. At this moment, Spirit Stones were more valuable than gold in his eyes. His desire for them was even stronger than his previous desire to become an official.
Spirit Stones are indispensable to Cultivators, especially Meng Hao. When worrying about personal gains and losses, one’s heart will be filled with nervousness and anxiety. As of now, Meng Hao’s desire to acquire Spirit Stones was stronger than anything he had ever experienced.
Unfortunately, the Reliance Sect was a small Sect. Other than the monthly Pill Distribution Day, there were almost no chances to get them, other than by taking them from others.
“There’s one month until the next Pill Distribution Day.” Meng Hao looked at the copper mirror, and his expression grew ferocious. Moments later, the ferocity disappeared, hidden away. Right now, his Cultivation base was only at the second level of Qi Condensation. Even if he wanted to take something by force, he wouldn’t be a match for anyone.
“Back in Yunjie County, I had no money,” said Meng Hao helplessly. “Now I’m an Immortal, and I still have no money.” In his mind, he pondered how he could get his hands on more Spirit Stones.