The flying shuttle was a beam of bright light that shot through the starry sky at a speed far, far greater than that Meng Hao was capable of achieving. At the same time, the rate with which it consumed spirit stones was terrifying.
Meng Hao’s heart hurt, but he had no other options at his disposal. He could only continue to feed the high-grade Spirit Stones into the slot.
This type of flight method was something most people only used over short distances. To use it over a long period of time in the way Meng Hao was using it right now was quite rare.
“Just to be safe….” Meng Hao patted his bag of holding and the meat jelly appeared. It immediately began to jabber on and on but, this time, no matter what Meng Hao said in response, it wouldn’t agree to help him.
Having no other choice, he finally produced the copper mirror and brought out the parrot.
As soon as it emerged, it began to wail and shout.
“Dammit, Haowie! Dammit!” it cried, seemingly on the verge of tears. “Dammit, Lord Fifth is finally out!” It had been sealed in the mirror for a long time; from its perspective, it seemed almost like 10,000 years. Now that it was free, it flew out squawking.
Meng Hao looked at the meat jelly and the parrot, and suddenly felt a headache coming on.
“Have the meat jelly change my appearance again,” he said. “Otherwise I’ll seal you back inside.”
The parrot was enraged and refused to cooperate, but then it thought of the pain of being sealed away, and recalled being unable to have furred and feathered lovers, and was suddenly extremely frightened.
Finally, they reached an agreement. As long as the parrot agreed not to do anything out of line, it wouldn’t be sealed away again. It immediately flew up to the meat jelly and began to arrogantly use some unknown method to get the meat jelly to suddenly look very anxious. Finally, with a dour expression on its face, it helped Meng Hao change his appearance, as well as the appearance of the flying shuttle.
The flying shuttle then whooshed away, taking a circuitous route toward Planet East Victory, instead of heading directly toward it.
Several days later, the black-robed man with a cultivation base exceeding the Immortal Realm appeared in the location where Meng Hao had fought the other black-robed men. After looking around for a moment, he was visibly moved.
“What flame was it that burned them up…?
“Don’t tell me he has a Dao Protector who cultivates a flame power of the Ancient Realm!” An unsightly expression appeared on the man’s face. After a moment, he sent his divine sense out, but couldn’t find any traces of Meng Hao. Most importantly, he couldn’t detect Meng Hao’s aura, and thus couldn’t lock down a specific area in which to search for him.
Finding someone in the middle of space is like looking for a needle in the middle of an ocean.
“If I say you can’t escape, then escape you shall not!” said the man with a cold harrumph. He lifted his right hand, within which could be seen an archaic turtle shell which was obviously very, very old.
“His excellency even gave me this precious treasure to use, all for the purpose of seeing you dead! With this item, I can definitely track you down.” Eyes glittering, he slowly raised up the turtle shell and began to chant a complicated, awkward-sounding incantation. Finally, he spit out some blood onto it.
“Fang Hao!” he growled. The turtle shell sucked in the blood and then began to quiver. Slowly, bubbles began to rise up from it, and images floated within each of them.
The black-robed man stared intently at the bubbles, chuckling coldly. He was very confident that this strange treasure would be able to find Meng Hao because of the clan blood that ran in his veins.
A moment later, the treasure began to shine with flickering light, and Meng Hao’s image appeared. However, in the exact moment that he appeared…
The strange treasure began to shake, as if during the process of searching for Meng Hao, it had encountered some indescribable force of interference. Then a boom could be heard as the treasure exploded into countless fragments.
As it exploded, a shocking aura surged out from the treasure that caused the black-robed man to tremble, and a roaring sound to fill his mind.
It happened so quickly that he didn’t have time to react. The force of the explosion sent him flying thirty thousand meters away, where he coughed up three mouthfuls of blood. A look of shock filled his face.
“His fate is untraceable?!” he said, his face ashen. Then he thought of the aura just now, and his scalp went numb.
Time passed. Three months. The atmosphere in the Fang Clan on Planet East Victory was a strange one during that time. Three months before, a clan member had been set to return, and yet no one showed up.
The welcoming ceremony was cancelled. Eventually, they realized they had lost contact with Prince 19, who had been sent to escort the direct bloodline grandson back. His disappearance made the atmosphere even stranger than before.
All of the members of the direct bloodline were furious. Many of them even left Planet East Victory to conduct searches of their own, but it was all in vain.
It wasn’t just the direct bloodline clan members who went out searching. Ordinary clan members also went out to search for Meng Hao. Of course, the black-robed men were out searching as well, to find either Meng Hao or his corpse.
No one dared to deliver the news to Fang Xiufeng on Planet South Heaven. When Prince 19 finally returned and made his report to the Grand Elder, his face was extremely dark.
The Grand Elder appeared to be enraged, and even personally went out to where the teleportation tunnel had collapsed. Eventually, he determined that it had been an ambush set up by a sect who had harbored enmity with Prince 19.
The fact that Meng Hao had been dragged into this situation caused quite an uproar, and the Fang Clan eventually sent some experts to destroy the offending sect completely, which was quite a shock.
After three months with no news from Meng Hao, his 19th Uncle wallowed in guilt on a daily basis. He would constantly go out to search for Meng Hao, but never found anything. 19th Uncle felt especially guilty towards Fang Xiufeng, but didn’t dare tell him about the matter.
Of course, he had been scared of his older cousin from the time he was small, and knew exactly what type of personality he had. If Fang Xiufeng found out what had happened, who knew what could happen as a result. One thing was for sure… a catastrophic storm would definitely occur.
Slowly, things calmed down in the Fang Clan. Fewer people went out to search for Meng Hao, until eventually, only the direct bloodline members were interested in the matter.
The Fang Clan was huge, and the direct bloodline had once been at the peak of glory. Meng Hao’s grandfather had a monstrous cultivation base, there were other direct bloodline Patriarchs, and of course Meng Hao’s father was a Chosen who struck awe into the hearts of everyone in his generation.
Now, however, Meng Hao’s grandfather was missing, the other direct bloodline Patriarchs were reaching the point of Nirvanic Rebirth, and were in secluded meditation, and Fang Xiufeng had gone to Planet South Heaven.
In addition to all that, Meng Hao, the eldest grandson, had been born crippled. Gradually, the direct bloodline was now losing its power and influence. Before, it had been at the height of power, but now, only about ten percent of the other clan members were still loyal to the direct bloodline.
As the direct bloodline declined, auxiliary bloodlines rose. There was one bloodline in particular from which the Chosen Fang Wei descended. His father, and other Patriarchs of the bloodline, were shining radiantly, and in the past few hundred years, had worked hard in service of the clan. Their reputations had even spread outside the clan, and therefore, their power only continued to grow. Soon, they commanded the loyalty of roughly thirty percent of the clan.
The remaining sixty percent remained in a position of neutrality, maintaining their own power structures and assisting each other as needed.
An entire half year passed. It was now almost a year since Meng Hao had gone missing. By now, even the direct bloodline had little hope that he would return, and ceased virtually all searching.
Even the cultivators in the black robes gave up, having assumed that Meng Hao died out in space. Not even the black-robed expert whose cultivation base exceeded the Immortal Realm was able to find traces of Meng Hao. Space is an enormous place, and it was impossible to completely lock down the starry sky which surrounded Planet East Victory; there was simply too much activity there.
Planet East Victory gradually returned to normal, and people stopped thinking about Meng Hao.
On one particular day, two thirty-meter flying shuttles limped and tottered into the starry sky outside Planet East Victory. As they gradually approached the planet, Meng Hao could be seen sitting cross-legged in one of the shuttles. His clothes were in tatters, and his face was withered and yellow. However, his eyes shone brightly. At first glance, he seemed to cut a sorry figure, but deep in his eyes, he seemed even more powerful than when he had left Planet South Heaven.
He had been traveling for nearly a year to get to the planet up ahead; at long last, he was almost there.
The number of spirit stones he had wasted had reached a shocking level. Whenever he thought about it, he gnashed his teeth, and his heart hurt painfully.
Throughout the year of travel, he had been forced to be extremely cautious in order to avoid being tracked down and killed. Even so, he had faced many dangers and run into many evil cultivators. Magical battles had ensued on multiple occasions.
It could even be said that he had experienced tough training throughout that year. He quickly forgot about the protection he had enjoyed from his father and mother. Once again, he experienced what it was like to be on his own.
“Finally… I can see Planet East Victory with my own eyes!” he thought, looking at the planet up ahead. It was huge, composed of about thirty percent blue ocean water, and seventy percent land. One of the continents spread out over nearly half the planet, was red in color, and emanated a bizarre aura.
The planet also had a glowing ring surrounding it, composed of countless drifting asteroids. The sight was spectacular.
As he looked over the scene, Meng Hao was shocked to find that there were cultivators sitting cross-legged in meditation on many of the asteroids. There were even some asteroids that had Immortal’s caves cut into them.
The planet seemed to teem with powerful experts, and their shocking auras combined together to emanate dazzlingly out into the starry sky.
Without even setting foot onto the planet, Meng Hao was able to tell that it was a flourishing place. Countless cultivators entered and exited the planet. Colorful beams of light flashed to and fro, and the whole scene looked very different than Planet South Heaven, causing a cold light to shine in Meng Hao’s eyes.
A young man sat cross-legged in the flying shuttle next to Meng Hao’s. Smiling, he used divine will to transmit a message to Meng Hao.
“Elder Brother Meng, this is Planet East Victory. Once you take care of your affairs, don’t forget to come visit me in the Medicine Immortal Sect. I can introduce you to some nice friends.”
The young man’s name was Feng Xun. Meng Hao had rescued him from the clutches of a gang of rogue cultivators, for which Feng Xun had been eternally grateful. After they had begun chatting, Meng Hao found out that he was a disciple of the Medicine Immortal Sect. Upon hearing that Meng Hao was traveling to Planet East Victory, he had immediately volunteered to personally escort Meng Hao there.
“Many thanks, Elder Brother Feng,” Meng Hao replied with a smile. “I definitely will.” As he looked at Planet East Victory, the bright light in his eyes suddenly turned cold.
“According to my analysis,” he thought, “the people in the Fang Clan who tried to kill me are definitely also afraid of my father. There seem to be some other reasons as well. Perhaps because of certain clan affairs, they feared anyone finding that they were the ones who killed me if they succeeded.
“That’s why they lured 19th Uncle away, and then sent those black-robed men to kill me. Plus… those men had their memories erased, which lends proof to my speculation.
“Well then, although the Fang Clan might seem to be a dangerous place for me, I should actually be pretty safe there. They won’t dare to kill me right in the middle of the clan!
“I have a high position in the Fang clan, so they definitely wouldn’t be so bold as to do something in the open.” Chuckling coldly, Meng Hao sent the flying shuttle closer to Planet East Victory. As soon as he neared, a powerful divine sense shot out from the planet. It swept over him, then vanished and transformed into a vortex.
Simultaneously, a cold voice transmitted into his ear.
“Foreign cultivator: enter the vortex up ahead of you, and it will take you to the planet. Prepare your travel permits and jade identification plaque.”
An imperceptible gleam flickered in Meng Hao’s eyes. A vortex had appeared in front of Feng Xun as well. Looking around, Meng Hao saw similar scenes playing out with other arriving cultivators. Apparently, this was how things worked on Planet East Victory.
“Elder Brother Meng, there are a lot of rules on Planet East Victory. Everyone who arrives here is treated like this. If you have no travel permits and no identification plaque, then you’ll have to pay dozens of times as many spirit stones, but will still be able to enter. Of course, the amount of spirit stones you pay will depend on how long you plan to stay on the planet.
“If you try to force your way in, you’ll be killed.
“There’s really nothing you can do about it. The entire planet is under the power of the Fang Clan. Years ago, Lord Ji actually gave the entire place to them….” Smiling wryly, Feng Xun collected his flying shuttle, clasped hands to Meng Hao, and stepped into the vortex.
After a moment of thought, Meng Hao also put his flying shuttle away and stepped into the vortex.
Glittering light filled his eyes, and when everything became clear, he was no longer out in space. A sparkling shield of light stretched out beneath his feet, allowing him to see the lands below.
Directly in front of him was an enormous gate!
The gate was thirty thousand meters tall, forged from bronze, and was completely ancient in appearance. Carved with designs that appeared to have come from ancient times, it was completely shocking. However, if you looked at it closely, the images on the gate would be too blurry to make out.
There were three characters inscribed on top of the gate that were visible to all.
East Heaven Gate!
It was just a gate, but when Meng Hao looked at it, his pupils constricted. This gate… actually resembled the Door of Immortality.
Arranged in formation in front of the gate were over a hundred cultivators, looking around coldly at the over 1,000 other people who were lined up, waiting to enter.
On either side of East Heaven Gate were three other gates, much smaller. One of those gates was inscribed with the characters Puppet God, and on the other was a carving of a Blood Orchid.
The last gate was special. It looked archaic and bizarre, but it pulsed with a power that stimulated the bloodline power within Meng Hao.
Feng Xun appeared next to Meng Hao and began to explain.
“Elder Brother Meng, this is East Heaven Gate. Those other two gates are for the Church of the Puppet God and the Church of the Blood Immortal. The last one… is only for children of the Fang Clan.”