Seven days went by. Ling Yunzi and the other two old men gradually began to decrease their speed, and looks of concentration appeared on their faces. Although they had made this trip on numerous occasions, every time they did, it was with the utmost caution. These were the Ruins of Immortality, not some other random location. Although not every single step was filled with danger, there were still many shocking things that could fill even them with senses of deadly crisis.
One misstep, and they might end up being buried in this place. Furthermore, this was a trial by fire, so if there were any accidents, they wouldn’t be the only ones who died; all of the people stored inside their massive sleeves would go along with them.
If that happened, it would be a huge blow to the entire Ninth Mountain and Sea.
Ling Yunzi and the others stopped in place for a moment to perform some incantations of augury. Then they exchanged glances, and one of them commented, “Are the lives of the Chosen from the great sects really that much more valuable than all the other lives?”
Ling Yunzi shook his head and declined to answer. Whereas the three of them were personally escorting all of the trial by fire competitors, the Chosen from the great sects would simply wait for them to arrive at the ancient Dao Tree. There, a teleportation portal would be set up, and they could go to the place directly.
The teleportation portal would only be able to remain active for the space of about ten breaths of time, and could only handle a volume of about one hundred people. Even that would require a huge expenditure of resources.
That price would be split between the various sects, all to ensure that their Chosen would reach their destination without any complications.
“There are still ten hours left before the entrance appears,” said the old man who carried the Spirit Severing competitors. “Why don’t we rest for a bit?” With that, he sat down cross-legged.
The one who had complained before was the old man carrying the Nascent Soul cultivators. He gave a cold harrumph and looked off into the distance.
“Let’s bring the competitors out and let them take a look around,” said Ling Yunzi. “This ten hour period should be relatively safe.” He swished his sleeve, and the one thousand Dao Seeking cultivators, including Meng Hao, immediately appeared. Many of them gasped as they were finally able to personally see the surroundings. Their minds were clearly shaken, but none of them spoke a single word.
Moments later, the Spirit Severing and Nascent Soul experts appeared in vast groups. They looked around at their surroundings and sharp inhalations of breath could be heard everywhere.
“Do nothing rash, and do not stray too far,” Ling Yunzi said, his voice echoing about. “We are now in the real Ruins of Immortality, and there are many dangers lurking about. Considering the level of your cultivation bases, you would never normally be able to come to a place like this. Since you’re here with us now, take a moment to experience what it feels like. You can consider this one of your rewards.”
Meng Hao took a deep breath as he looked around. They were surrounded by mists, some thin, some thick. Many areas radiated intense pressure. Clearly, there were different areas, some of which were possible for people of greater power to enter, other areas not so much.
The area they occupied contained the weakest pressure of all. Furthermore, the three old men were pushing back, reducing the power by at least half. Even with much of the power being deflected by the three old men, it was still difficult for many of the competitors to hold up.
The majority of the Nascent Soul and Spirit Severing cultivators were meditating cross-legged. The remainder that were not forced to focus fully on fighting back against the pressure, were examining their surroundings. Among the Dao Seeking cultivators, about half were meditating, with the remaining several hundred moving about in the area.
Meng Hao walked ahead until he was about three hundred meters out. There, he stopped. He suddenly had the feeling that the pressure would increase explosively if he proceeded any further. He stood there silently for a moment before smacking his bag of holding to produce a flying sword. He gradually extended it out, and when it went past the three hundred meter mark, cracking sounds could be heard. Fissures spread out across the sword, and after a few breaths of time, it disintegrated into ash.
“Five breaths of time,” he thought, his eyes glittering. The flying sword he had used just now was a Spirit Severing treasure, and yet here, it could only last for five breaths of time.
Shaking his head, Meng Hao began to back away from the three hundred meter mark, when suddenly, a voice echoed into his mind.
He stopped in his tracks, and his eyes began to shine with a brilliant light. As he looked out into the Ruins of Immortality, the voice continued to echo in his mind. He turned to look at the people behind him, but apparently, not even Ling Yunzi and the other two could hear what he was hearing. It seemed that only he could detect the voice.
At the same time that the voice echoed out, the ancient Demon Sealing Jade in his bag of holding suddenly began to emanate flickering light.
The Demon Sealing Jade had remained dormant for a very long time, but now it was glowing once again. However, unlike the previous occasions, it did not speak.
The voice from moments before continued to speak.
“League of Demon Sealers… come here… come to me….” As the voice spoke, the mist in front of Meng Hao seemed to weaken and change, as… a path appeared.
Meng Hao’s mind trembled as he looked at the path. He did not walk forward, but rather, began to edge backward. He knew that the level of his cultivation base placed him at the peak of his peers. However, when you considered the Mountain and Sea Realm as a whole, he was merely in the Spirit Realm, which made him very weak.
This path might lead to good fortune, but considering the level of his cultivation base, that good fortune could very well lead to his death.
In the moment that he stepped backward, the voice continued on with even more urgency.
“The League of Demon Sealers…. I am a member too. Come to me, I shall give you good fortune…. I shall give you destiny to step upon the Heavens, to achieve a meteoric rise! You can directly become Immortal!”
The more the voice tried to persuade him, the more Meng Hao backed up. When he had backed up about thirty meters, the mist in front of him suddenly began to churn, as if some incredible power were approaching, heading directly toward Meng Hao.
His face fell, and he began to speed backward. By this time, Ling Yunzi and the others had sensed that something was happening. Faces flickering, the three of them immediately sprung into action, pulling all of the trial by fire competitors back into their sleeves, and at the same time, striding forward to stand next to Meng Hao. By this point, the swirling mists had spread to reveal a figure.
It was a cultivator whose body was in a state of decomposition. His head was half destroyed, and his clothes were tattered. An archaic, rotting aura emanated out from him, and he was surrounded by swirling mists. In his hand, he held a tattered banner, and he stood there, staring listlessly at Ling Yunzi and the others with his one remaining eye.
Ling Yunzi and the other old men stared at the man as if he were a deadly enemy. Their energy surged, and the light of magical techniques began to swirl around them.
“Senior, you have already perished,” said Ling Yunzi. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We of the junior generation are still alive, and are just passing through here. We disturbed your rest, please forgive us. Senior, kindly return from whence you came!”
The half-headed figure slowly raised his right hand and pointed a decomposing finger directly at Meng Hao.
“I… want… him….”
Ling Yunzi’s face fell, as did those of the other two old men.
Breathing heavily, Meng Hao backed up until he was behind the three old men. As he stared at the figure, his heart trembled. It was at this point that he noticed that the half-headed man… had a sword stabbed into his waist.
The sword was pitch black and emanated a freezing aura. However, Meng Hao could also tell that the sword possessed Demon Sealing power. It only took a moment for him to realize that it was the power of a Demon Sealing Hex!
It was at this moment that the ancient Demon Sealing Jade in his bag of holding finally spoke into his mind with its archaic voice.
“Sixth Demon Sealing Hex!”
Ling Yunzi placed his right hand onto his bag of holding. “Senior,” he said, “Please don’t push us too far!”
The half-headed man suddenly looked over at him, and flames leapt up within his single remaining eye. He suddenly lurched forward, the mists surrounding him seething, as if they contained countless vengeful souls, screaming miserably. He waved the banner, and rumbling sounds could be heard as mist poured toward the three old men.
Ling Yunzi’s face flickered and he let out a roar, unhesitatingly slapping his bag of holding to produce a talisman.
It was an ancient talisman that emanated a boundlessly archaic aura. It seemed to have existed through countless years of time. All it depicted was a simple, smiling face. However, as soon as it appeared, the half-headed man stopped in place, and even the incoming mists stopped, seemingly stuck permanently in place, not daring to get any closer.
Ling Yunzi took a deep breath, performed an incantation gesture, and then pointed out. The talisman immediately floated up into midair. At the same time, Ling Yunzi grabbed Meng Hao and then shot backward at top speed. The other two old men also retreated, leaving the talisman floating there in the air.
“I can’t believe we ran into a revenant here. That talisman should hold it in place for twenty hours.” Ling Yunzi frowned and looked over at Meng Hao. “How did you draw its attention?”
Meng Hao smiled wryly, unsure of exactly what to say.
“It probably has nothing to do with him,” said the man carrying the Spirit Severing cultivators, who happened to be from the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite. “The revenants here usually just look for people they think will be suitable to help them to return to life. We’ve run into them before, haven’t we?”
Meng Hao hesitated for a moment, then asked, “Seniors, what is… a revenant?”
“Some ancient cultivators left strands of resentful will behind when they died. Those strands of will exist outside of the natural law of the Mountain and Sea Realm, and continuously attempt to return to life. Those are revenants.”
Meng Hao nodded and looked back at the half-headed man. He had a mind to go and try to retrieve the sword, but he knew that it was impossible to do so. Inwardly, he sighed with regret.
Soon, ten hours had passed, and the surrounding mists were churning. Meng Hao was back in Ling Yunzi’s sleeve, and yet, was still able to see the world outside. Shockingly, off in the distance… was an indescribably large corpse.
It was so huge that Meng Hao could do nothing less than gasp. It seemed larger than a planet, seemingly without end. A cultivator who stood in front of it would be smaller than an ant.
The corpse appeared to be almost like an enormous continent, hanging there in the void.
As Ling Yunzi and the other two old men flew forward, they each produced a magical symbol that caused their bodies to emanate a gray light. They shot toward the huge body, and in the blink of an eye, touched down onto it and then sped forward.
Meng Hao looked on gaping as Ling Yunzi and the other two continued onward for an entire month at an indescribable speed. Despite that, they still had not crossed the entirety of the corpse. Eventually, a tree appeared up ahead.
It was a gargantuan, shocking, ancient tree.
Apparently, the tree was growing directly up from within the corpse, as if it were feeding off of its lood and flesh.
The trunk of the tree stretched high up into the air, until, at a certain point, two huge branches split off in opposite directions, making it look like an enormous fork.
The tree was covered with innumerable leaves, each one of which was fully three hundred meters wide. The leaves did not bend downward, but spread out evenly like platforms.
“We’re here!” said Ling Yunzi. He and the other two came to a stop, then waved their hands, causing all of the competitors to fly out from within their sleeves and land on the tree leaves.
Chapter 865: Sixth Demon Sealing Hex!