The Li Clan was destroyed.
Not a single clan member was left behind. All were killed. It was nothing Meng Hao could do to stop. Nearly seventy percent of the disciples of the Blood Demon Sect had died. Although there was a certain coldness between disciples of the sect, this was war, and when fellow disciples passed away, the survivors would pay any price to exact vengeance.
Vengeance became an obsession!
The Solitary Sword Sect was the first to surrender, so the Blood Demon Sect disciples could choose to endure.
Because the Blood Prince’s dear friend was a member of the Golden Frost Sect, they were able to hold on to survival.
But when it came to the Li Clan, they could endure no more. Perhaps the Blood Demon Sect disciples did not hate the Li Clan any more than the others, but they needed to kill. They needed their revenge. They needed an outlet for their obsession.
The Li Clan was awash with rivers of blood. What had once been glorious, was now in ruins. In the years to come, the clan would eventually turn into nothing more than barren dirt.
Of course, many mortals live in the Li Clan’s headquarters. However, the Blood Demon Sect had not sunk to the level in which they would massacre mortals, so they were left alive.
Finally, the Blood Demon Sect disciples left. They returned to the Blood Demon Sect, and at long last, the slaughtering was over in the Southern Domain. Peace and quiet returned. However, all of the Southern Domain’s cultivators were well aware… that from now on, the Blood Demon Sect was not just the number one sect in the Southern Domain, it was… the ruler!
There was no power that could resist them. The Blood Demon Sect now had… four peak Dao Seeking cultivators!
Patriarch Blood Demon, Patriarch Golden Frost, the 3rd Li Clan Patriarch, and the fourth member, Meng Hao’s clone!
With four peak Dao Seeking experts, the Blood Demon Sect had the power to sweep unhindered across the Southern Domain. They were even comparable to some of the true super sects of the Eastern Lands.
Furthermore, the level of power they had displayed recently was just the tip of the iceberg.
After the destruction of the Li Clan, the Southern Domain was once again stable and quiet. Unfortunately, the overall number of cultivators in the land as a whole had been significantly reduced. There were even some areas that were noticeably empty.
Meng Hao didn’t immediately go back to the Blood Demon Sect. First, he went to the Violet Fate Sect, which of course sent the entire sect into a stir. When he arrived outside the main gate, he looked up silently at the enormous statue of Reverend Violet East.
The Violet Fate Sect was silent for a short while, and then the East Pill Division and the Violet Qi Division appeared in solemn, ceremonial form. Meng Hao saw many familiar faces, and he sighed.
His desire had not been to reunite with the Violet Fate Sect in such a way. This type of meeting… made him feel like a stranger.
The elderly Violet Fate Sect Sect Leader strode forward, an old man who was very familiar to Meng Hao. He looked very nervous as he clasped hands and said, “Blood Prince, your gracious presence is a bright light shining down upon our humble sect. Please, come in!”
The Violet Qi Division and the East Pill Division made similar welcoming declarations. Among their number was the sect Elder from years ago who had identified Meng Hao’s incredible latent talent. He saw Violet Furnace Lords Lin Hailong and An Zaihai, as well as the man he had become entangled with all the way back in the State of Zhao, Wu Dingqiu. 1
All of them approached Meng Hao and clasped hands in respect.
Hanxue Shan made an appearance, but not Chu Yuyan.
The respect shown to him by the Violet Fate Sect made Meng Hao sigh in his heart. He couldn’t help but speak up and ask them not to treat him in such a way, but unfortunately, he could not change the murderous air which swirled around him. The events that had occurred in the Black Sieve Sect, the Solitary Sword Sect, the Golden Frost Sect, and the Li Clan had struck fear into the entire Southern Domain. It all turned into something like a palpable pressure which radiated out from Meng Hao.
He could tell that Wu Dingqiu was nervous, and could sense the fear in the hearts of An Zaihai and the other Violet Furnace Lords. Even Hanxue Shan seemed reluctant to approach him.
There were other familiar faces, and it was the same with all of them. Apparently, his murderous aura was too strong, like a stabbing needle that prevented people from getting near him…. Meng Hao stood there, silent, his heart twinging painfully.
“After someone gets too powerful,” he thought, “must he grow apart from the people he used to know…?” Meng Hao suddenly felt very lonely. It was the kind of isolated feeling that came when you were with your friends, then suddenly realized that you felt as if you were all alone in the vast world.
Meng Hao thought of Chen Fan and Fatty. For some reason, he even thought of Grand Elder Ouyang from the Reliance Sect, and Sect Leader He Luohua. Throughout the hundreds of years, Meng Hao had never run into them. 2
Feeling both like a friend and a stranger, Meng Hao entered the Violet Fate Sect.
Normally, the peak Dao Seeking Patriarch of the Violet Fate Sect would never appear in public, but now that Meng Hao had arrived, he emerged from secluded meditation.
He was a middle-aged man with an ancient, transcendent air. He was skinny, and had no brilliant glow in his eyes, but his peak Dao Seeking aura was not weak. He peered out from within the temple, watching Meng Hao approaching with Violet Fate cultivators crowding around him.
“Fellow Daoist Meng, please have a seat.” With a slight smile, the man waved his hand, causing a long table to suddenly appear in the center of the temple’s main hall. Alcohol and spirit fruits could be seen on the table, and off to the side were floating figures playing beautiful music.
The rest of the Violet Fate Sect members stopped outside of the temple hall. They clasped hands and bowed deeply, then slowly left. Soon, only Meng Hao and the middle-aged man remained.
“Patriarch, there’s really no need for all of this,” said Meng Hao.
“You’re a guest, Fellow Daoist,” the man said with a smile. “Even though you used to be a disciple of the Violet Fate Sect, now that you’ve come in this fashion, how could I not entertain you? Please, have a seat.”
Meng Hao stepped forward and then sat down at the table. With a smile, the middle-aged man sat down across from him.
“I am Sun Tao, and to be honest, I’m not a Patriarch. I am simply an apprentice alchemist, so there’s no need for you to address me as Patriarch. Actually, to be most correct… I should actually call you Young Lord.” The man laughed and then poured Meng Hao a cup of alcohol.
Meng Hao stared at him in shock.
“In the past, I was apprentice alchemist to Reverend Violet East.” Sun Tao looked at Meng Hao for a moment, and then smiled. “In fact, I still am.”
At this point, Meng Hao’s eyes glittered.
“It is neither necessary nor proper for you to ask the question that is on your mind,” continued Sun Tao. “I know exactly why you have come here. Unfortunately, your master is in secluded meditation, and cannot come out….”
Meng Hao’s heart trembled. The reason he had come to the Violet Fate Sect was because he wanted to see his master. They had been separated for many years, but he had never forgotten the three kowtows.
“Your master sent me here to explain something to you,” Sun Tao went on. “When practicing cultivation… one must cultivate the heart!
“As long as the heart is there, it doesn’t matter if it is red or black. Your will is the most important factor. Your will is like a blade, and that blade… can still be used in your Third Severing. There is no need to be swept up with confusion.
“Life is a series of decisions. Whether you make the correct decisions or not doesn’t matter. The important thing is to keep going forward. Years later, when you look back, perhaps you’ll find that the incorrect decisions you made… weren’t really incorrect. Similarly, the correct decisions… might not necessarily have been correct.
“Why struggle with frustration? Why proceed with confusion? In all things… resolution only comes from continuing to move forward.
“Following this line of reasoning, if there is no such thing as ‘incorrect,’ then how can the ‘correct’ exist? Similarly, if there is no ‘correct,’ then how can the ‘incorrect’ exist?
“Another matter,” said Sun Tao, gazing at Meng Hao. “The Dao of alchemy is a great Dao. Your master wished me to remind you to never abandon it. Although it might not be of much use to you in your cultivation here in the lands of South Heaven, your future path… will take you far away from here.
“At that time, the Dao of alchemy… will be of incredible assistance. It will ensure that regardless of whatever hardships you face, your alchemic flame will never be extinguished.”
Meng Hao sat there silently. After a long moment, he lifted his glass and took a long drink of alcohol. Then he stood, clasped hands, and bowed deeply to Sun Tao.
“Many thanks for the enlightenment, senior,” he said. “Please pass word to my master that I will never forget his teachings!”
Sun Tao remained seated, but gave a slight nod in response. Meng Hao took a deep breath and then turned to leave the temple hall.
At the same time, in an Immortal’s cave in the number one mountain peak of the East Pill Division, a white-haired old man sat cross-legged in meditation. The air around him twisted and distorted as if due to a great Dao.
His eyes opened a crack as he looked out at Meng Hao leaving the main temple, and an expression of contentment could be seen on his face.
As soon Meng Hao emerged from the temple hall, the Violet Fate Sect Leader, Elders, and others hurried forward. At the same time, Meng Hao suddenly stopped in place and turned his head to look toward the mountains of the East Pill Division.
After a long, long moment, he looked back at the Sect Leader. “I’d like to visit my old Immortal’s cave,” he said. The Sect Leader immediately nodded, and the group escorted him to the East Pill Division.
Almost as soon as he entered the East Pill Division, a strange expression appeared on Meng Hao’s face.
He had just caught sight of… an iron spear!
After all these years, the spear was still here in the Violet Fate Sect…. It was stabbed into the ground, surrounded by an ornate barricade. The spear had now become a landmark in the Violet Fate Sect.
Seated cross-legged by the spear were two old men. Despite their age, Meng Hao still recognized them. They were none other than…. Lu Song and Qian Shuihen. 3
As of now, they were both Core Formation cultivators and Honor Guards of the Violet Fate Sect. The moment Meng Hao laid eyes on them, they rose to their feet, expressions of deep respect on their faces. They immediately clasped hands and bowed deeply to Meng Hao.
“Greetings, Senior Meng.”
The Violet Fate Sect Leader laughed heartily. “Hahaha! Blood Prince, do you still remember this spear? It was originally brought back to the sect by Wu Dingqiu. This area is now a famous place in the sect.”
“Senior Meng, you can rest your heart at ease,” said Lu Song excitedly.
“Yes, senior, we will definitely care well for the spear!” agreed Qian Shuihen.
Lu Song and Qian Shuihen had long since forgotten their resentment from years ago. Now, they viewed Meng Hao with almost feverish adoration. In fact, everything that had happened between them and Meng Hao years ago was a source of pride for both of them.
Meng Hao cleared his throat and then rubbed his bag of holding. Only he knew that inside was a gold spear that he still hadn’t found a chance to con someone with…. 4
Off to the side, Wu Dingqiu shuddered. Grumbling inwardly, he was just about to edge backward when Meng Hao suddenly looked over at him.
A tremor ran through Wu Dingqiu, and he immediately plastered a smile onto his face. However, his heart was pounding, and he could not stop cursing Eccentric Song for instigating the spear incident.
Even as Meng Hao was in the Violet Fate Sect, reminiscing about old times, a desolate and frightening scene was playing out on the border of the Northern Reaches, near the Milky Way Sea.
Nearly a million cultivators were standing at combat readiness near the shore. They were divided into more than ten battalions according to the various sects and tribes they were from.
There were also numerous 300-meter-tall beasts, shackled so tightly with iron chains that they couldn’t free themselves no matter how fiercely they struggled.
Up in the sky were countless vicious flying beasts that emitted piercing cries as they circled about. Their wings cast enormous shadows down below as they nearly blotted out the entire sky.
Further off in the distance were dozens of roaring giants as tall as mountains that wielded bone cudgels.
Even further off in the distance were dark clouds that circulated about, apparently concealing countless savage and evil spirits.
This was the army of the Northern Reaches which had gathered next to the Milky Way Sea. Apparently… they were waiting for something!
Most shocking of all were the eleven unbridled and lofty auras which roared high into the sky. These auras… were all peak Dao Seeking auras!
Note from Deathblade: For those of you who don’t read the chapter releases, I recently changed my translation schedule. My translation “week” now starts on Saturday and ends on Friday. Because I instituted this arrangement on Sunday, this week technically only has 6 days in it. Despite that, I will stick to the usual “7-per-week guaranteed free chapters” arrangement, although the maximum sponsored chapters will be 7 (two less than normal). As such, this is how the current week stacks up:
5/7 guaranteed chapters and 3 sponsored chapters, for a total of 8 chapters so far. Therefore, between now and Friday, there will be a minimum of 2 chapters and a maximum of 9.
If you’re digging the story, please consider making a donation toward a sponsored chapter (if that’s appropriate for your current situation in life!). Patreon sponsors, your donations on Patreon will be processed starting on June 1, and will be added to the queue sometime in the next week or so.
1. Wu Dingqiu was the one who made the bet with Eccentric Song in chapter 48, and was involved in the incident with the spear. He last appeared in chapter 717 when Meng Hao went to the Ancient Dao Lakes ↩
2. Grand Elder Ouyang and He Luohua last appeared in chapter 43, although they were mentioned a couple times throughout the story when Meng Hao thought back to the State of Zhao ↩
3. Lu Song and Qian Shuihen were the disciples who got sucked into Meng Hao’s spear scam in chapter 55. Both of them made appearances later on at the Song Clan, and also during Meng Hao’s time in the Violet Fate Sect ↩
4. I think many of you still remember the gold spear that Meng Hao had made in chapter 46. It was part of a set of three, one being iron, another silver, and the third gold. ↩