Meng Hao trembled, his face pale white. At first, he tried not to calculate how much he had lost, but in the end, he couldn’t stop himself. His mind filled with a terrifyingly huge number of merit points, and he almost coughed up a mouthful of blood.
“Screwed! Royally screwed!!” He felt like weeping, but no tears would come. All he could do was curse his horrible luck at having completely wasted such a good opportunity to earn merit points.
At this thought, he threw his head back and roared, which caused quite a few nearby birds to scatter in flight.
Trembling, heart bleeding, face ashen, Meng Hao felt completely drained of energy. Listless and depressed, it was at this point that he suddenly noticed that someone was flying through the air behind him.
He turned feebly and saw a young woman; his lifeless countenance caused her to stare in shock.
She was graceful and beautiful, with an entrancing face. She wore a long pink garment, and her fragrance was delicate and pleasing.
She looked at Meng Hao in shock for a moment, before tentatively asking, “Um, are you… Elder Cousin Fang Hao?”
Meng Hao listlessly nodded his head. He was still inwardly tied up in knots over the huge sum of merit points he had lost. In his mind, even the sky had turned completely black.
The young woman’s face grew serious as she looked at Meng Hao. She thought to herself that this person was willing to drive himself crazy before giving up, all for the sake of skill with plants and vegetation. She could see a level of unswerving determination in Meng Hao that she did not possess.
“Elder Cousin Fang Hao, I saw you in the Medicine Pavilion just now, and I, Wan’er, couldn’t help but admire you.” She clasped hands and bowed, then held out a tome toward Meng Hao. “This… is a tome that his excellency Pill Elder wanted me to give you.”
Meng Hao was still in a daze. Face blank, he muttered, “I just had an unimaginable amount of merit points placed in front of me, but I didn’t cherish them as I should have… what a waste!!”
The young woman gaped for a moment, unsure about the meaning of what she had just heard. “Elder Cousin, what did you just say?”
Meng Hao shook his head and dejectedly accepted the tome. Then he turned and, looking incredibly depressed, headed off into the distance. The young woman watched him make his way off, and couldn’t help but feel even more admiration for him.
“He is definitely worthy of being the eldest grandson of the direct bloodline. Elder Cousin Fang Hao is crazy about the Dao of alchemy. He created more than 70,000 medicinal plants on the seventh level of the Medicine pavilion, but he still feels disappointed. It’s almost like he’s lost his faith and ideals. A person like that is really rare. No wonder his excellency Pill Elder wanted me to give him that tome.
“Wan’er,” she said to herself encouragingly, “you have to work hard and study more, like Elder Cousin!” She looked at Meng Hao leaving, and was filled with reverence.
Meng Hao had no idea how much encouragement his expression had given to that fragile young woman. He continued along his way toward the ancestral mansion, drowsy and out of sorts.
As soon as he entered the ancestral mansion, his mood worsened. Even as he transformed into a beam of light and shot forward, a group of seven or eight people strolled out ahead of him, chatting and laughing.
Among that group of people was a young woman who Meng Hao recognized from when he had first arrived at East Heaven Gate. She was a female cultivator named Fang Hong. She was clearly a natural born beauty, and she currently wore a long, pale garment. She held her hand in front of her mouth and laughed as she walked along. Among those walking with her, three had cultivation bases at the peak of Dao Seeking, similar to false Immortals. There were a few others who were in the Spirit Severing realm.
All of them were people Meng Hao had seen following Fang Wei back in the temple.
Behind them trailed an old man with salt-and-pepper hair and an apathetic expression. He held his hands in front of him, tucked into the opposite sleeves, and followed the group with a slight bow, almost as if he were a servant.
He was not a member of the Fang Clan, but had a different surname, and had taken shelter with the Fang Clan in exchange for acting as a Dao Protector to members of the younger generation.
The young cultivators around Fang Hong chatted and laughed.
“Hong’er, I heard that when you went out for training this time you ended up taking Reverend Shui Yun as your master. Senior Shui Yun might be just a rogue cultivator, but his cultivation base is incredible. Congratulations! Oh, and now that you’re back, don’t be in a hurry to leave again. It won’t be long now before the centennial rising of the East Ascension Sun. Prince Wei will be in charge of the East Ascension Pavilion, and he’s already invited Chosen from quite a few other sects to come enjoy the spectacle. When the time comes, you can meet all of them.”
“Yeah, that’s right! Princess Hong, of all the Chosen in the Fang Clan, there are few whose cultivation bases exceed yours. You’ll definitely be a blazing sun in the East Ascension Pavilion.
In response to what everyone was saying, the young woman smiled slightly and shook her head, although her expression revealed traces of pride.
“Prince Wei and Prince Han both have cultivation bases higher than me,” she said. “And as for you, Prince Tao and Prince Hai, with your cultivation bases, as long as you make the proper preparations, you should be able to use an Immortality Illumination Vine at almost any time.”
“Not necessarily,” said one of her companions. “The clan has Immortality Illumination Vines, but they’re rare. There are only a few available in this generation. Unless you’re one of the top three in the current generation, then the only way to get one is to pay a ton of merit points. It’s really difficult.”
“That’s not the case with you, though, Hong’er. With the help of Reverend Shui Yun, you have a much better chance than all of us.” Sighs could be heard. It was at this exact moment that Meng Hao flew overhead in a beam of light. The people down below looked up, and the three youths with cultivation bases similar to false Immortals all frowned.
Even the young woman Fang Hong was frowning.
In the Fang Clan ancestral mansion, there were only two people who were qualified to fly. One was Fang Wei, and the other… was none other than Meng Hao.
“Sir Chen, I don’t like people flying over my head,” said Fang Hong, her voice calm. In response, the old man who had been following the group looked up, and his previously calm eyes began to glow brightly. He looked up at Meng Hao flying through the air.
“Get down here!” he bellowed. He didn’t attack, he just spoke. His words didn’t echo out very far; they were directed solely at Meng Hao, and appeared to contained natural law that required his orders to be followed. They transformed into something like explosive, muffled thunder that only Meng Hao could hear.
Meng Hao suddenly screeched to a halt in midair as an enormous force built up around him. It was as if the air around him had been restricted, and he was suddenly forced downward. Something like a huge hand pushed down, forcing him out of the sky.
His body trembled, and he felt incredible pressure like that of the peak of the Immortal stage, that of a stage 7 Immortal.
“Huh?” thought the old man, frowning. Seeing that he hadn’t instantly suppressed Meng Hao, he gave a cold snort and caused his cultivation base to explode out with power. Massive pressure swelled out, and Meng Hao lost control of his body completely and fell out of the sky.
It wasn’t until he landed on the ground that the pressure faded away. The old man’s face was calm as he lowered his head, almost as if nothing had happened.
Fang Hong and her followers all looked over at Meng Hao.
Immediately, Fang Hong’s followers spoke up.
“So, you’re Fang Hao, the one who caused all the ruckus in the Dao of Alchemy Division?”
“Don’t forget, it doesn’t matter if the Grand Elder gave you the qualifications to fly in the ancestral mansion. If you don’t have enough power, don’t randomly fly over people’s heads.”
“You may go now.”
These people didn’t know much about Meng Hao. After all, the first thing he had done after returning to the clan was spend most of his time in the Dao of Alchemy Division.
All they knew was that his Bloodline Gatebeam was 30,000 meters. This made them feel a bit self-conscious. When it came to the Dao of alchemy however, they viewed it as a lesser type of Dao that wasn’t worthy to share the stage with cultivation.
Having spoken their words, they resumed chatting and laughing, completely ignoring Meng Hao as they brushed past him.
Meng Hao had already been in an abominable mood. He had just been flying along, minding his own business, when suddenly he was forced down to the ground. Considering his personality, how could he possibly accept such a thing? His eyes grew cold, and a smile slowly spread out across his face.
It was a smile, but it was a very cold smile.
“So,” he said indifferently, “you people see me but don’t offer formal greetings! It seems you’ve forgotten all about the clan rules!”
The eight people frowned and stopped in place, slowly turning back to look at Meng Hao.
“Sir Chen,” said Fang Hong, “get him out of here, why don’t you.”
Sir Chen’s expression was as calm as ever as he nodded, then stepped toward Meng Hao. He pushed out with his right hand, causing an incredible force explode out toward Meng Hao. His goal was to physically push Meng Hao completely away.
As he advanced, the force rumbled out ahead of him. Meng Hao flicked his sleeve, causing a black beam of light to fly out, which transformed into the crocodile. It swished its tail, causing an incredible energy to surge out.
The old man’s face flickered as the tail slammed into him, causing a huge boom to fill the air.
“You, a foreign servant, dare to raise your hand against me?!” Meng Hao said coolly. Then he stepped toward the group of eight.
The eight young cultivators’ faces fell as they first saw the old man fighting the crocodile, and then saw Meng Hao walking toward them.
“And then, you people! I can’t believe you see me but refuse to offer greetings!” He advanced toward them, his energy surging and a cold gleam flickering in his eyes.
The three young men with cultivation bases equivalent to false Immortals immediately stepped forward.
“Why the hell do you think we would offer greetings to you?” said one of them.
“Why the hell do I think you would offer greetings to me? Because I’m the eldest grandson of the direct bloodline! It doesn’t matter which bloodline you people are from, or which branch. All members of this generation call me Cousin!” Even as Meng Hao’s voice echoed out, he slapped out with his right hand.
The three young men snorted, and were just about to attempt to fight back, when all of a sudden, their faces fell. They were completely incapable of doing anything; Meng Hao’s shocking wave of power completely destroyed all of their divine abilities and magical techniques.
Booms rang out as Meng Hao’s hand slapped into all three of their faces in succession. Blood sprayed from their mouths as they were sent tumbling backward.
In that same moment, Meng Hao stepped forward, and his leg blurred into a whirlwind as he kicked the three young men over and over again. Booms mixed with bloodcurdling screams as they were sent hurtling backward, where they slammed into the ground.
Cracking sounds could be heard as more than half of their bones were broken.
“What do you think you’re doing!?” said one of them, his face falling. “We’re inside the clan, you—”
“Oh, so it turns out you do know that we’re in the Fang Clan,” said Meng Hao coldly. “Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten that I’m also surnamed Fang!?” He stepped forward again, then waved his right hand, causing Fang Hong’s Spirit Severing acquaintances to cough up blood as many of the bones in their bodies were crushed. Miserable shrieks rang out.
“You see me and actually don’t extend greetings!? I’m the eldest grandson, so I guess all I can do is teach you a lesson about the clan rules. And then there’s you….” He turned to face Fang Hong. As soon as he stepped forward, a voice called out from the distance.
“Stay your hand!”
Fang Hong’s face flickered, and she quickly lifted her right hand into the air, causing a huge, illusory cauldron to appear, upon which the character ‘Fang’ could be seen. It immediately crushed down toward Meng Hao.