“Years ago, the Patriarchs who are now in secluded meditation personally said that these Nirvana Fruits were to be returned to Hao’er when he came back to the sect. What once belonged to him, will always belong to him!
“It doesn’t matter that he only just arrived and is not yet familiar with the clan, or that his cultivation base is not at the proper stage to assimilate the Nirvana Fruits, or that he has not performed any meritorious service to the clan!
“No…. He is the eldest grandson of the direct bloodline, and was once a blazing son of the Fang Clan. He has endured many hardships over the years, and as such, now that he has returned to the clan, none of those other things matter. It is as if they don’t exist!
“These two Nirvana Fruits are his!
“Today, I will take the responsibility to give him these Nirvana Fruits! If the Patriarchs come out of meditation in the future and ask about the matter, I will assume all responsibility!” The Grand Elder’s words were spoken decisively, and his face was very solemn. When it came to the part about the past, he sighed emotionally.
Many of the surrounding Elders had looks of surprise written on their faces, and those from the direct bloodline seemed, at first shocked, but then excited.
Meng Hao was panting as he looked at the Grand Elder speaking so warmly. Meng Hao had never imagined that the Grand Elder would say such things in front of so many people.
“Don’t tell me… I really misjudged the situation?” thought Meng Hao. “Impossible! He’ll definitely say something more.” Meng Hao took a deep breath and calmed himself.
“Fang Hao!” the Grand Elder said suddenly. His eyes shone as he looked at Meng Hao. “Remember, you will always be a member of the Fang Clan. The blood of the Fang Clan runs through your veins. You can always determine what will happen to you in the future, but you can never make any decisions regarding your birth!
“Your surname is Fang!
“We Elders are old, and the Patriarchs are even more ancient. Even if they are still alive now, they will eventually perish. But you… you are a future blazing sun of the Fang Clan! You are the hope for the future.
“You must work hard in your cultivation. The day will surely come in which you will grow into a mighty tree that stretches up into the Heavens!” Grand Elder Fang Tongtian seemed quite excited. As he spoke, he raised his hands up, clasped them together, and then bowed toward the rear of the temple.
“Respected Patriarchs. On this day, I, Fang Tongtian, ask all of these clan members to bear witness to the return of the Nirvana Fruits to Fang Hao!” With that, he lifted his right hand up into the air and made a grasping motion.
Immediately, shocking rumbling filled the sky, echoing out in all directions. A huge vortex appeared in midair, and as it spun, it slowly revealed some sort of celestial abode.
A tall pagoda could be seen, glowing with boundless light that attracted all eyes. The nearby Fang Clan members saw the pagoda and began to cry out in shock.
“It’s the Ancestral Treasure Pagoda!!”
“In the Fang Clan, only precious treasures can be placed within the Ancestral Treasure Pagoda!!”
“The pagoda itself is a precious treasure left behind by the first generation Patriarch!”
“Even if Heaven and Earth were destroyed, the Ancestral Treasure Pagoda would survive. Even the Grand Elder can only exercise limited control over it to retrieve items. He says the name, and the pagoda will send the item out.”
Meng Hao couldn’t believe it. What was happening went completely contrary to his sense of judgement. Everything that was happening was the opposite of how he had expected it to be. His heart was now starting to pound with shock.
He had great faith in his sense of judgement, but what was happening right now was impossible to disbelieve.
The Grand Elder took a deep breath, then performed a double handed incantation gesture. Finally, he shouted, “Ancestral Treasure Pagoda, please produce the Nirvana Fruits!”
Immediately, rumbling could be heard, and more beams of brilliant light shot out. At the same time, a jade box flew out from the pagoda. In the blink of an eye, it had already sped out of the vortex and landed in the Grand Elder’s hands.
After that, the vortex up above gradually faded away, obscuring the treasure pagoda, which disappeared from sight.
Meng Hao was panting as he stared at the jade box. Even now, he still couldn’t believe that the Grand Elder was simply going to hand the Nirvana Fruits over to him.
He had assumed it would be difficult to get them, but it had turned out to be quite the opposite. It all seemed too simple.
The Grand Elder unhesitatingly opened the box and lifted it up for all the surrounding clan members to see.
Meng Hao immediately caught sight of two withered fruits. They were so dried up that it seemed as if the slightest breeze might cause them to vanish. As soon as he laid eyes on them, Meng Hao’s blood surged in his veins, and he felt a sensation like that of a summoning. He was immediately able to tell that these were, in fact, Nirvana Fruits.
“Years ago, I saw Hao’er’s two Nirvana Fruits, and those are definitely them!”
Many of the surrounding direct bloodline clan members were shocked, especially Meng Hao’s 19th Uncle.
“Those are Nirvana Fruits!”
Meng Hao panted as the Grand Elder looked over at him with glittering eyes. Suddenly, a thought occurred to Meng Hao.
“Maybe he’s giving them to me because he intends to send someone to steal them from me?” Meng Hao still had faith in his own judgement, and he just couldn’t believe that the grand Elder would hand over the Nirvana Fruits so lightly.
The Grand Elder suddenly tossed the jade box out into the air toward Meng Hao, who caught it. As soon as he touched the box, the blood in his veins seemed to boil.
“There is one more thing that I must say in the presence of all you clan members,” said the Grand Elder, looking around with coldly glowing eyes. “Let me make one thing very clear.
“These Nirvana Fruits belong to Hao’er, and now, he has them in hand. Perhaps there will be people who harbor malicious intentions. However, in all of Planet East Victory, neither the Church of the Blood Orchid nor the Puppet God Sect would dare to try to steal a precious treasure of the Fang Clan. Even now that they are in Hao’er’s possession instead of the clan’s, they still wouldn’t dare.
“Regarding the other sects around here, they would be even less willing. When it comes to people not from Planet East Victory, we have the East Heaven Gate, which restricts most people from entering. Therefore, if Hao’er’s Nirvana Fruits turn up missing, then the only culprits would be other members of the Fang Clan!
“Therefore, do not blame me for reminding all of you that if any person steals the Nirvana Fruits from Hao’er, I will have no choice but to carry out the will of the Patriarchs and exterminate that person’s entire bloodline! Fang Heshan, your bloodline would do well to keep this in mind!” As he spoke the final words, the Grand Elder’s eyes shone with cold light as he stared at Fang Wei’s grandfather. The old man’s face was unsightly, and he bowed his head in acknowledgement. 1
“The rules of the clan must be complied with. Today, I swear an oath that if anyone dares to steal Hao’er’s Nirvana Fruits, I will without fail take action. Furthermore, if I myself have any selfish thoughts regarding the matter, the Heavens shall eradicate my soul!” As soon as the words left his mouth, rumbling sounds could be heard up above; Oath Thunder, which indicated that he was swearing upon the Dao.
The other clan members were shaken. Moments ago, some of them had actually harbored some malicious intentions. As of this moment, however, those malicious intentions were completely wiped away.
Meng Hao’s mind trembled even harder. He really couldn’t believe everything that was happening. However, the facts were right in front of him, and the Grand Elder had even gone so far as to swear an oath.
“Perhaps I was actually wrong….” Meng Hao thought. “But, how come I still feel like the Grand Elder is putting on an act…. Of all the things he’s said, what is true and what is false?” Meng Hao didn’t say anything. He took a deep breath, put the Nirvana Fruits away, and then bowed deeply toward the Grand Elder.
The Grand Elder looked at Meng Hao, his kind smile wider than ever.
“Hao’er,” he said loudly, “I’ve already made arrangements for the Rainbow Immortal Evanescence Pills. Seven batches are really too much, so you’ll be given five batches!
“As for the Immortal’s cave, you can switch at any time. It doesn’t matter what arrangements have been made, I have the authority to make these decisions!” The surrounding clan members’ hearts trembled.
Now, they looked at Meng Hao in a completely different light than before.
“All of you are dismissed,” said the Grand Elder, waving his arm. “Hao’er, you come with me.” As he led Meng Hao inside the temple, the surrounding clan members burst into conversation. The events that had just occurred would surely spread through the entire clan in a very short period of time.
Meng Hao took a deep breath and suppressed his suspicions as he followed the Grand Elder into the temple.
The temple was quiet, and nobody was inside other than Meng Hao and the Grand Elder.
As soon as they were inside, the Grand Elder turned and looked at Meng Hao. His expression was one of approval and reminiscence, as if looking at Meng Hao caused him to remember things which had happened in the past.
“Grand Elder….” Meng Hao said softly.
“When no one else is around, you can call me Third Grandpa,” said the Grand Elder. “Your grandfather is my older brother, and he used to occupy the position of Grand Elder. However, he went missing, and your Second Grandpa and his bloodline are up to no good….” He sighed.
“Therefore, the Patriarchs asked me to assume the title of Grand Elder. The Fang Clan has no Clan Lord, and since the Patriarchs are normally in secluded meditation, the Grand Elder is responsible for just about everything in the clan.
“I… am also a member of the direct bloodline,” he said quietly. “Your grandfather and I are blood brothers.
“However, from the moment I took on the position and responsibilities of Grand Elder, I officially belonged to no bloodline. I maintain the entire clan’s operations, and have to keep a balanced relationship with all the different bloodlines.
“There are many things in which… I have no power. My heart lies with our bloodline, but my position forces me to be unbiased in everything. All my decisions… must be in accord with the clan rules!
“This is the only occasion in which I asserted my authority and made a decision unilaterally, and gave you your Nirvana Fruits!” The Grand Elder looked kindly at Meng Hao, almost as if he were looking at his own grandson.
“I have no son, and since your grandfather is my Senior in the bloodline, it means that his grandson is also my grandson.
“Grand Eld—“ almost as soon as Meng Hao began to speak the words, the Grand Elder scowled. Meng Hao quickly said, “Third Grandpa!”
His heart was filled with complex emotions. He still felt that something fishy was going on, but he couldn’t figure out what it was that made him feel so uneasy.
“Hao’er, these two Nirvana Fruits are now several hundred years old, and have long since dried up. However, they are precious treasures formed from the Fang Clan’s bloodline. Therefore, they won’t wither away. As long as you have some Spirit Extract, you can return them to their previous state.
“The next step you need to take is to cultivate these Nirvana Fruits on a daily basis. Fuse as much Spirit Extract as you can into them. Because they belong to you, you can actually absorb them very easily. Once you absorb them… your cultivation base will advance by leaps and bounds. You can easily advance to be the Number One Chosen in the Fang Clan, and become the blazing sun that you once were!
“Remember, you must absorb them as quickly as possible. This might be shocking to the clan, but the longer you wait, the more likely it will be that someone will recklessly try to make a move against you. However, once you absorb them, they won’t be able to do anything.
“Hao’er, remember, absorb them as quickly as possible. Third Grandpa has bought you some time, but I’m afraid it won’t be much.”
Meng Hao nodded in acknowledgement, but inside, his heart was thumping.
“Spirit Extract….” he thought. “Is it possible that my feelings of suspicion have something to do with the Spirit Extract?”
“Another thing,” said the Grand Elder. “The Spirit Extract you need to absorb the Nirvana Fruits requires your own blood to be part of the mixture. That’s something nobody else would have access to. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about that aspect. How about this: I noticed that the Immortal’s cave you selected has a medicinal plant garden. Assumably, you know something of the Dao of alchemy.
“Why don’t you go to the Fang Clan’s Dao of Alchemy Division. You can use your merit points to get some medicinal plants and Spirit Extract formulas. Spirit Extract is easy to concoct, so making it yourself will be the safest thing.” The Grand Elder seemed very sincere in his words. Perhaps what he had said was coincidental, but the result was that all of Meng Hao’s conjectures were shattered.
Fang Heshan’s name in Chinese is 方贺山 fāng hè shān. He means “congratulations.” Shan means “mountain.” Fang Wei’s Grandfather’s name is similar to Meng Hao’s Grandfather’s name in much the way Fang Xiushan’s and Fang Xiufeng’s names are similar. With Fang Hehai and Feng Heshan, the final character difference is that Meng Hao’s grandfather has the character “Sea” and Fang Wei’s grandfather has the character “Mountain” ↩