Storm clouds were gathering.
Up above the Violet Fate Sect, dark clouds formed in thick layers. Flashes of lightning could be seen, accompanied by the rumble of thunder.
The rain would soon begin to pour down.
When it came to weather like this, with rain or snow, most sects would do nothing to shield the sect from the elements. Instead, they would allow the rain and snow to fall onto the sect itself. They believed that rain and snow were part of the Dao of living things, and that by experiencing such weather, the spiritual energy in the sect would thrive.
By preventing the rain and snow from entering the sect, the sect might have the appearance of an Immortal paradise but, in fact, it would lose some of its connection with nature.
Meng Hao glanced one more time at the iron spear, then cleared his throat and spoke a few polite words. Then he headed further into the East Pill Division, toward the small mountain that had once been his home. Throughout all the years that had passed, no one had ever been allowed to occupy the mountain. It was as if the mountain had been reserved for him for all eternity.
From this detail, he could tell that, as far as his master Pill Demon was concerned, Meng Hao… would always be a disciple of the Violet Fate Sect.
When Meng Hao entered his old Immortal’s cave, the Violet Fate Sect Leader, Elders, and others could all see the reminiscence in Meng Hao’s eyes, and they discreetly took their leave. Meng Hao was left alone in his old residence.
Before long, the thunder overhead grew louder and the rain pattered onto the ground as it began to fall in earnest. A fine mist was kicked up, but it didn’t rise too far before it was seemingly beaten back down by the oncoming rain. Small rivulets of water could soon be seen.
Everything grew hazy as the sheets of rain descended. The entire scene was one of charm and peacefulness.
Meng Hao stood at the door of his Immortal’s cave, looking out at the rain, thinking about his days as an alchemist.
Time passed. The sky grew dark, and the rain continued to fall harder and harder. Meng Hao stood there for a long time, expecting… a certain someone to appear. However, by the time the glow of dawn appeared in the sky, she hadn’t.
Meng Hao smiled and shook his head silently.
As the sun rose, the rain ceased. The sky was clear, and the moisture left behind by the rain made the air thrum with exuberant life force. Meng Hao walked out of his Immortal’s cave and prepared to leave the Violet Fate Sect.
On his way out, he visited Bai Yunlai and gave him a hefty sum of spirit stones and medicinal pills.
He also went to see Hanxue Shan and some of his other old acquaintances. He gave gifts to all of them, even… Chu Yuyan.
After a moment of silent consideration, he left her a jade slip with a strand of his divine sense, which would protect her in a moment of deadly crisis. He gave the jade slip to Hanxue Shan and asked her to pass it along to Chu Yuyan. With that, he flew up into midair, then transformed into a beam of colorful light that shot off into the distance.
In the moment that he left, Chu Yuyan sat in her Immortal’s cave in the East Pill Division, gnawing on her lip as she looked up into the sky.
“You made your choice, and I have my pride!” she murmured softly. Eventually, Hanxue Shan came. She hesitated for a moment before offering the jade slip to Chu Yuyan.
Chu Yuyan was silent for a moment. At first, she didn’t want to accept the gift, but in the end, she couldn’t control herself. She lifted her hand up and took the jade slip.
Hanxue Shan gave a slight sigh and then left.
Chu Yuyan trembled as she held the jade slip in her hand. It was hard to say when, but at some point, tears began to roll down her cheeks.
Meng Hao left the Violet Fate Sect and flew through the boundless sky over the familiar lands of the Southern Domain toward the Song Clan!
The Song Clan was in the south, in a special area that did not suppress the cultivation base of cultivators, but made it impossible for them to absorb the spiritual energy of Heaven and Earth.
Years ago, Meng Hao had no way to understand why the Song Clan was like that. However, considering the current level of his cultivation base, he now knew that it was a feature created by a peak Dao Seeking expert.
Dao Seeking cultivators could form their own personal natural laws, which grew more and more powerful as they approached the peak of Dao Seeking. Eventually, such natural law could create special regions, just like the Song Clan.
When Meng Hao entered the territory of the Song Clan, the entire clan was thrown into a commotion. The Song Clan Patriarch, who had been in secluded meditation under the surface of the clan, immediately opened his eyes and went out to meet Meng Hao.
The clan would not allow the slightest bit of disrespect to be shown to Meng Hao. In fact, there was not a single cultivator in the entire Southern Domain who would treat Meng Hao disrespectfully now.
Perhaps Meng Hao himself was not incredibly strong, but his second true self was a peak Dao Seeking cultivator, and Meng Hao was the Blood Prince of the Blood Demon Sect.
The entire Song Clan arranged a grand banquet to honor Meng Hao, the scale of which was completely unprecedented. As he sat there, Meng Hao looked around at the Song Clan and mused that this was his second time visiting this place.
The first time was for the Song Clan’s search for a son-in-law. That was when he had acquired good fortune and met… Shui Dongliu.
The Song Clan Patriarch sat next to Meng Hao and couldn’t help but sigh emotionally.
Even more emotional than the Patriarch, however, was Eccentric Song…. He was still a Nascent Soul cultivator, and he sat in a position not too far away from Meng Hao, his head bowed, fearful that Meng Hao would look his way.
Despite his bowed head, Meng Hao still noticed him.
“Fellow Daoist Song,” he said coolly, “How are all those wild beasts that you collect?” After all, Meng Hao had never viewed himself as the type of person to hold a grudge….
Eccentric Song shivered, and thought back to what he had witnessed Meng Hao do back at the Ancient Dao Lakes. After it was all over, Eccentric Song had assumed everything was water under the bridge, but now that Meng Hao was actually in the Song Clan, he was more nervous than ever.
As soon as Meng Hao asked his question, Eccentric Song lurched to his feet and clasped his hands toward Meng Hao, bowing repeatedly. His face was covered with a flattering smile that was even more unbearable to look at than if he had begun to cry.
“Senior, I am honored by your concern. However… I don’t collect wild beasts any more….”
“Oh….” replied Meng Hao. As he gazed at Eccentric Song, he noticed the pleading look in the man’s eyes.
Meng Hao smiled slightly and then looked away.
Eccentric Song heaved a sigh of relief and quickly sat down, whereupon he picked up his glass and took a long drink of alcohol. Although his fear had been allayed, moments ago he had been frightened to death. He had long since heard stories of Meng Hao’s shocking, murderous air. Meng Hao could kill without blinking an eye. He had exterminated Dao Seeking experts, and slaughtering Spirit Severing cultivators was as easy to him as killing dogs. As for Nascent Soul cultivators… he could blot them out of existence by simply breathing.
Meng Hao’s presence, and the fact that he was sitting next to the Song Clan Patriarch, left Eccentric Song completely terrified. Ever since Meng Hao returned to the Southern Domain, Eccentric Song had begun to regret his past actions. Then the Blood Demon Sect rose to prominence, and his fear grew.
“I absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt should NOT have provoked that jinx all those years ago…. Who would have ever guessed that the brat would eventually become so terrifying…. Aiiiii, nobody could have predicted it.” Sighing, Eccentric Song thought back to the events in the State of Zhao, and how Meng Hao had slaughtered a path all the way to the top of the mountain with the iron spear. Eccentric Song almost seemed to be in a trance as he remembered all the spirit stones and medicinal pills that were taken away.
“Although,” he thought, “how many people in the Southern Domain can say that they caused that jinx, Meng Hao, to flee from them? I guess this just goes to show how great I am.” Now that he thought about it, Eccentric Song felt a bit pleased with himself. “Besides, it was that old bastard Wu Dingqiu who instigated the whole incident!”
There was another person at the banquet who sighed emotionally, and that was Song Jia’s mother. As for Song Jia, she sat next to her mother, her expression indifferent. Her mother was the one with the excited expression.
“According to what that woman said all those years ago,” she thought, “Jia’er can become Meng Hao’s maidservant…. Not bad, actually! How do I bring it up to him, though?” She frowned and then looked over at the Song Clan Patriarch, only to find that he was looking at her. 1
She immediately understood what he was thinking, and abandoned her previous plan.
The banquet lasted for a few hours. Meng Hao’s primary objective in coming to the Song Clan was to reassure and pacify them. After all, the Blood Demon Sect was now the greatest power in the unified Southern Domain. The Song Clan had maintained neutrality, so it was necessary for the Blood Demon Sect’s Blood Prince to personally visit them.
There was no need for formal agreements. Meng Hao’s visit was enough to explain the stance of the Blood Demon Sect. Similarly, for the Song Clan Patriarch to personally entertain him showed the Song Clan’s attitude.
As evening fell, Meng Hao politely refused the Song Clan’s urgings that he stay behind for longer. When he rose to leave, his gaze fell upon Song Jia, and he hesitated for a moment before producing a jade slip.
The jade slip contained a strand of divine sense similar to the one he had given to Chu Yuyan. Meng Hao knew that he was beholden to Song Jia. His youthful hot-headedness had influenced her search for a husband, and was the reason she had never married. Meng Hao had always felt like he owed an apology for the matter.
Considering that he had personally gifted her with the jade slip, and also helped her in the ancient Demon Immortal Sect, he finally felt as if there was some resolution to the matter.
Song Jia accepted the jade slip and bowed her head in thanks, her expression as calm as ever.
Off to the side, the Song Clan Patriarch smiled as he looked on, and his eyes glittered. Finally, he laughed heartily and then escorted Meng Hao out of the Song Clan ancestral mansion.
“Patriarch, there’s no need to see me out,” said Meng Hao. “If I have some free time in the future, I’ll come back to visit.” He clasped hands, then made to leave.
“Meng Hao, my young friend,” said the Patriarch with a laugh, “there’s no need for such formality. Actually, we’re already like family, right? My little granddaughter Song Jia has long since become your maidservant, so there’s no need for you to treat the Song Clan as if we’re strangers.”
“Maidservant?” said Meng Hao, stopping in his tracks. He looked back at the Patriarch with a strange expression.
“Oh? You didn’t know, young friend?” The Song Clan Patriarch could tell the truth from Meng Hao’s expression, but he feigned astonishment nonetheless. “Back during the Song Clan search for a son-in-law, your mother came personally to ask us to make my little granddaughter your maidservant.”
Meng Hao’s heart began to pound with great waves of shock. However, after practicing cultivation for so many years, he was not the novice he had been years ago, and his expression remained the same as ever. However, a profound gleam appeared deep in his eyes as he looked back at Patriarch Song.
“Patriarch, there’s no need to beat around the bush,” said Meng Hao.
Considering Meng Hao’s countenance, Patriarch Song’s expression became solemn.
“Well, I’m not entirely sure if it was your mother, young friend. After the incident occurred, I realized that there are two possibilities. Either it really was your mother, or… it was the mother of the Resurrection Lily!
“I have no way to determine for certain, but what I can tell you for sure is that she is an Immortal. As to whether she is a false Immortal or true Immortal I don’t know…. However, she definitely came from the Eastern Lands!” Patriarch Song slapped his bag of holding to produce a jade slip, which he handed to Meng Hao.
“This is her likeness, which I inscribed onto this jade slip from my memory.”
Meng Hao silently accepted the jade slip. He almost didn’t dare to look at it. Taking a deep breath, he sent his divine sense inside, whereupon he saw the image of a woman. Instantly, towering waves of shock filled him.
Even if his composure were even stronger, it would still be shattered nonetheless. He suddenly felt as if a hundred thousand thunderclaps were exploding in his ears. His body trembled, and his eyes shone with intense attachment and obsession.
He had long since stopped trying to track down information about his parents. He had long since assumed that his childhood dream of traveling to the Eastern Lands was something of the past.
But now, he had an intense impulse to immediately go to the Eastern Lands to ask… WHY?!
That was because the woman in the jade slip….
Looked exactly like the image of his mother that existed in his memories!!
This chapter was sponsored by: Susanto Ali Budiman, Fabian Müller, and Joshua Evans
1.The incident with “that woman” occurred in chapter 190 ↩