“Meng Hao….” Patriarch Reliance ground his teeth. He felt quite grieved, and was even more regretful. If he had known things would turn out this way, he would have said some nicer things to Meng Hao.
How could he have imagined that Meng Hao would be so cruel? Forget his cruelty, he had a bag of the Cosmos! Forget his bag of the Cosmos, he had entered into the tenth level of Qi Condensation!
The scene unfolding before him made him want to weep, except he had no tears to do so. He gnashed his teeth as an even further sense of trepidation filled his heart. He remembered the requirements of the Demon Sealing Jade; it could only be taken away and used by someone who had reached the thirteenth level of Qi Condensation. When those old bastards had said that back in the day, his heart had filled with contempt. He’d believed that he could prevent the legacy of the Demon Sealing Sect from continuing on to future generations. But, now that he saw Meng Hao passing into the eleventh level, his trembling heart filled with anxiety.
Unfortunately for him, there was nothing he could do other than grit his teeth and continue to absorb as much spiritual energy as possible. He needed to get more than Meng Hao did, and be faster at doing so. He needed the Feng Shui compass in front of him to be completely repaired, and prevent Meng Hao from advancing any further.
The spiritual energy being sucked into the ground and absorbed into the Feng Shui compass was bright red in color. It seemed as if it were sucking something out of the very earth it passed through.
“Dammit, Meng Hao. All I did was give you a low-grade Spirit Stone and not dispel your poison. Haven’t you gone far enough? Haven’t you? I’m still your Patriarch after all.” Patriarch Reliance felt profoundly wronged.
As for Meng Hao, a roaring sound filled his entire body. With twenty percent of the lamps’ spiritual energy being absorbed into him, his body was trembling, and he felt himself changing. The change was occurring to his Core sea. It grew larger, and as it did, his Qi passageways grew thicker. A bang rang out in his head, and he felt the sensation of breaking through to another level.
The eleventh level of Qi Condensation!
His Core sea spread out to fill his entire body. This type of Core sea really was impossible for someone of the Qi Condensation stage. Its majesty would ensure unending future growth and fighting power.
It would be more difficult for Meng Hao to reach Foundation Establishment with such a Core sea but… if he succeeded, then he would be twice as powerful as someone of the same stage!
The eleventh level of Qi Condensation does not refine the body, but the Core sea!
The extent of his Core sea caused Meng Hao’s body to be filled with a thunderous sound. Spiritual energy as boundless as a sea filled him. The waves of the Core sea crashed and churned limitlessly.
Meng Hao opened his eyes and took a deep breath. The sound of the intake of his breath was like a clap of thunder. He stood up, his eyes gleaming with persistence. He took another step forward. Then two. Then three!
He now stood directly next to the seven oil lamps, close enough to touch them. He was absorbing thirty percent of their spiritual energy.
Thirty percent might not sound like a lot, but it would be impossible for Meng Hao were it not for the abilities of the tenth level of Qi Condensation. That was the stage of Qi Condensation that could steal good fortune from the Heavens, after all.
“Meng Hao, aren’t you finished yet….” Patriarch Reliance watched Meng Hao take his three steps forward, his anxiety increased even more. If Meng Hao reached the twelfth level, he would be only one step away from being able to use the Demon Sealing Jade.
“Many thanks for your help, Patriarch,” said Meng Hao calmly. “I’ll be finished soon.” He closed his eyes and began to absorb more spiritual energy into his body. His body shook as he stepped into the twelfth level of Qi Condensation.
Since ancient times, no one had ever entered… the twelfth level of Qi Condensation.
The instant he did so, Meng Hao felt a severe pain in his mind. His Spiritual Sense didn’t go anywhere. But he felt as if his mind were being split in two. Now he felt… something like a stream within his mind.
This was… the Sea of Perception!
In modern times, Cultivators who broke through from the Qi Condensation into Foundation Establishment would form a Sea of Perception from nothing. Usually, this type of Sea of Perception would not be very large. It had nothing to do with latent talent, but rather with the method used. Obviously, the larger the Sea of Perception, the more power it could wield, and the more boundless the Cultivator’s Spiritual Sense would be.
In ancient times, Cultivators preferred to break through to Foundation Establishment in the twelfth level of Qi Condensation. This is because the twelfth level is when the Sea of Perception opens up. By practicing Cultivation in this fashion, the Sea of Perception would be far more powerful than others of the Foundation Establishment stage.
In the modern Cultivation world, Meng Hao was the first Cultivator to ever enter the twelfth level of Qi Condensation. If news of this spread, it would shake the entire Cultivation world.
At the moment, Patriarch Reliance was shaken. He stared dumbly at Meng Hao, able to watch unimpeded as Meng Hao’s previous ninth level of Qi Condensation now rose to the twelfth. He didn’t know what to say.
“….In ancient times,” he muttered, “the legends said that the great circle of Qi Condensation could be completed at the thirteenth level. But even in ancient times, such a thing was rarely seen. It was said that the thirteenth level of Qi Condensation was related to the good fortune of Heaven, and…. could change the latent talent of a Cultivator! It wouldn’t change much. But latent talent is birthed from the Heavens, so even the slightest change would definitely be a defiance of the Heavens.
“I don’t remember how many years ago it was that the old bastards from the Demon Sealing Sect boasted that I was incredibly lucky… but compared to me, this kid is the lucky one. Dammit, he’s too lucky! How could I have possibly provoked this reaction!”
As Patriarch Reliance spoke, Meng Hao opened his eyes. They shined with a profound light. He felt splitting pain within his head, but within that pain, he also could sense an unprecedented clearness.
The world seemed different when he looked at it, although he couldn’t quite tell which particular things weren’t the same. It was as if everything now shone with radiances that he had never noticed before.
At this time, the massive gravitational power seemed on the verge of dissipating, as if his body knew that he was reaching his absorption limit.
Soon, the amount of spiritual energy he was absorbing from the oil lamps dropped from thirty percent to twenty, and then to ten.
This caused Meng Hao to frown. He could tell that his Cultivation base had not reached its peak…. he could sense that there was another layer beyond his current layer. He could feel the great circle of Qi Condensation.
It was a powerful feeling, but as the gravitational power grew weaker and weaker, it seemed as though that next level would be forever closed off to him.
“Haha, it’s like I said,” laughed Patriarch Reliance, his eyes glittering. “The thirteenth level of Qi Condensation was even rare in ancient times. It was such a thing of legends that you could basically say it didn’t exist. The twelfth level is the limit. Meng Hao, there’s no need to try any further. Quickly, back away. Don’t get in the way of my master plan. If you do, then just wait till I get out of here and see how I mop the floor with you! You need a spanking, you little bastard!” Even though Meng Hao had sucked away some of the spiritual energy, it actually wasn’t very much. There was still enough left to accomplish his master plan. And if Meng Hao didn’t reach the thirteenth level, then there was no way for him to have the required latent talent to use the Demon Sealing Jade.
“Seems this kid’s good fortune isn’t that amazing after all,” said Patriarch Reliance complacently. But then, Meng Hao’s eyes flickered. He had a stubborn personality. Now that he had reached the twelfth level of Qi Condensation and caught a glimpse of the next level, he would do everything possible to break through.
“The gravitational power is weakening…. How can I continue to add spiritual energy…” Meng Hao’s mind spun with thousands of possibilities until finally his eyes began to glitter and he smacked his bag of holding. The two wooden swords whistled out.
He looked at them, then gritted his teeth and caused one of them to fly straight toward himself. Patriarch Reliance watched on in astonishment as the sword slashed Meng Hao. Soon, over ten gaping wounds covered his body.
Meng Hao clenched his jaw as the sword slashed the bloody marks across him. His eye shone with determination. As the blood splashed from the wounds, Meng Hao felt the spiritual power in his body seeping out as well.
This was exactly what he wanted!
As the spiritual power leaked out of his body, the gravitational power within him suddenly trembled, then gradually grew stronger. When this happened, Meng Hao’s mind was set. Taking control of the second sword, he sent both of them flying around him, slashing his body with wound after wound. In the blink of an eye, nearly one hundred cuts covered his flesh.
The wounds sent the physical power of his body into action, and at the same time caused the gravitational power within him to grow more and more powerful.
Patriarch Reliance was simply dumbstruck. He could never in his wildest dreams imagine that Meng Hao would use such a method. When he saw the multitude of bloody wounds, and the determination in Meng Hao’s eyes, it gave him a deep sense of how ruthless Meng Hao could be. If he could treat himself with such cruelty, how ruthlessly could he treat others?!
The more wounds that covered him, the stronger the gravitational force became. The amount of spiritual energy he siphoned from the lamps jumped from ten percent to forty. And yet, even though the spiritual energy poured into his body, he couldn’t break through to that next level.
After some time passed, Meng Hao laughed. With a cold smile, he raised his right hand, causing one of the wooden swords to whistle around and fly toward his chest. It stabbed through him, sending out fountains of blood. Blood also sprayed out of his mouth. Instantly, the spiritual power in his body dropped by a huge percentage. This, in turn, caused the gravitational power to climb higher by several percentages.
By now, he was absorbing fifty percent of the spiritual energy coming from the seven oil lamps.
A booming sound rang out. Filled with boundless spiritual energy, Meng Hao launched everything at the barrier between the levels. Blood sprayed from his mouth, and the wooden swords once again slashed through his body. The spiritual energy from the seven lamps surged; as of now, Meng Hao was sucking away seventy percent of it!
It was in this way that Meng Hao launched his attack from the twelfth level of Qi Condensation into the thirteenth.
Time slipped by. More wounds appeared on his body, a product of Meng Hao’s ruthlessness. Soon, his body began to tremble and his vision grew blurry. He was now absorbing ninety percent of the spiritual energy from the seven oil lamps. It was as if he were bathing in thick, pure spiritual energy.
“You’re going to kill yourself….” Patriarch Reliance watched the scene, his breathing agitated. Meng Hao’s stubbornness left him reeling.
“I will become powerful! There’s no reason. I must become powerful!” Meng Hao began to lose consciousness, but his stubbornness wouldn’t allow him. Despite his current condition, he wouldn’t even think of giving up. He continued to murmur to himself, that he, must, become, powerful!
Meng Hao MUST break through to the thirteenth level of Qi Condensation.
“This is his Dao…” Patriarch Reliance took a deep breath, finally understanding.
This chapter was sponsored by Patrick Nguyen, Nur Arif, Sai Pakalapati, Subtle Inc., and Hein Haugeberg