Being glared at by 100,000 cold eyes is something that would cause many people to be so terrified their hair would stand on end. These black-robed men had profound cultivation bases, and might have been able to disregard the phenomena, were it not for the fact that Meng Hao had opened his eyes at exactly the same time.
There was also a brutality that seemed to surround Meng Hao. Add the fact that he had just recently killed two Ancient Realm experts, and it caused the faces of the nearest two black-robed men to flicker.
However, they were decisive people. Killing intent flashed in their eyes. Having come this far and having no path of retreat, they decided that they might as well attack!
“He’s as weak as an arrow at the end of its flight! Killing him will be easy!”
“His precious treasure is probably difficult to activate! Considering his current state, he definitely can’t use it! Kill him!”
Their eyes flickered coldly, and their killing intent raged. Their cultivation bases surged as their nine Soul Lamps, eight burning and one extinguished, caused the aura of the Ancient Realm to swirl about. The natural law in the area was affected, and ripples spread out.
They also pulled out magical items. One of them had a jade cauldron; the other, a piece of green bamboo. Inside the jade cauldron were several flying swords engraved with dragons, and the bamboo was surrounded by arcs of crackling lightning. Both objects were clearly extraordinary.
They waved their sleeves, causing the magical items to speed toward Meng Hao, as they sped close behind. Bolstered by the power of their Soul Lamps, their killing intent surged, and their greed was impossible to conceal.
In almost the same moment that they attacked, the terracotta soldier, which was still covered by the mist, suddenly stepped forward.
The ground quaked, and some of the mist dissipated from around the terracotta soldier, making it mostly visible.
A ring-shaped ripple surged out, with the terracotta soldier and Meng Hao at the center. When it passed over the jade cauldron, the swords inside shattered as if they were nothing more than dried up twigs. The cauldron itself cracked and then collapsed.
As for the green bamboo, it was the same; it shattered into countless pieces that became nothing more than flying ash. The lightning in the bamboo was also snuffed out, and vanished without a trace.
As the ripple spread out, the pressure it emanated caused the two black-robed men’s hearts to tremble. Blood sprayed out of their mouths as they fell backward in retreat, almost falling into one of the rifts behind them.
When they finally came to a stop, they looked at the terracotta soldier, and their faces fell as they were almost struck speechless.
The greatsword it held in its hand, the suddenness with which it its aura had burst out, as well as the familiarity of its figure, immediately caused the men to feel roaring in their minds, as if an enormous, shapeless hand were ripping apart their psyches.
“That’s the aura of a Quasi-Dao Paragon!!”
“There’s actually a statue here!!”
“That statue looks so familiar….”
“That’s… that’s… the Dao Guardsman!!” The two cultivators’ eyes went wide with disbelief. They felt as if a mountain were crushing down onto them; their minds reeled as they realized their lives were about to meet an uncertain end.
“This is impossible!!” They were thoroughly astonished, and now that they could sense the terracotta soldier’s aura, they had no doubt in their mind as to how the other two Ancient Realm elders had suddenly died.
“He… he can actually control the Dao Guardsman!” They no longer had any desire whatsoever to engage in battle. Their scalps were numb, and they were scared out of their minds. They thought back to how they had bravely charged into this situation, and they suddenly realized that doing so was potentially the most foolish and stupid thing they had ever done in their lives. They backed up at top speed, cursing their weak cultivation bases, and cursing all of the rifts in the area that made it impossible to escape.
The other black-robed man was also looking on with wide eyes, panting in disbelief.
Fang Daohong was the only one whose facial expression was calm. Inwardly, he heaved a sigh of relief, and his eyes began to flicker. His cultivation base had long since recovered, and he was now trying to decide how he could perform some meritorious service in aid of Meng Hao.
In the exact moment that the two black-robed men up front began to retreat, Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with killing intent. The terracotta soldier raised its greatsword and then slashed it down toward one of the two men. In the blink of an eye, everything went still and quiet. Scintillating, blinding sword light appeared, slashing toward the black-robed man’s throat.
“Bring him to me, alive,” Meng Hao murmured weakly.
The world returned to normal. The terracotta soldier’s blade twisted, turning the strike from a slash into a slap. Blood sprayed from the black-robed cultivator’s mouth as his body crumpled. The terracotta soldier reached out, grabbed him, and pinned him down on the ground in front of Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s face was pale white as he reached out and pushed his hand onto the black-robed man’s forehead. He took a deep breath, and his eyes shone with the glow of blood as he utilized the Blood Demon Grand Magic.
The black-robed man’s eyes went wide, and he let out a bloodcurdling scream. When the other people present heard the scream, their minds trembled because of the indescribable tragic wretchedness therein.
The black-robed man’s body withered. His cultivation base rapidly faded away. Even his soul was absorbed by Meng Hao. Everything, even his life force, was used by Meng Hao to aid in his recovery.
It took only a moment for the screams to fade away. The only thing that remained behind was a terrifying desiccated corpse that lay motionless beneath Meng Hao’s hand.
Meng Hao’s face was no longer as pale as death. His skin had a bit of color, and his breathing was steady. His eyes shone brightly once again.
As he thought back to how he had accepted the legacy of the Fifth Hex, Meng Hao realized that he had narrowly escaped from death. He really should have died, and had only managed to survive by a fluke.
Considering the level of his cultivation base, he was really incapable of acquiring the Fifth Hex. The price he had paid was actually his life. The flame of his life force really had been extinguished, leaving him hovering on the brink of death. Thankfully, just as he was about to die… these black-robed men came, giving him a second lease on life.
He had only slightly recovered, but this caused the other two black-robed men to feel an even greater sense of deadly crisis.
“W-what technique was that!?!?”
“Damn you, Fang Xiushan! For sending us in here to kill this kid… you deserve to die a horrible death!!”
The two men retreated, looking back in fear at Meng Hao.
However, they were surrounded by rifts that made it impossible for them to escape.
Up above, the Seventh Patriarch watched with a serious expression. He slowly retracted his hand, and looked over thoughtfully at Meng Hao.
“Is that the legacy technique he just acquired?”
Back on the ground, Meng Hao slowly rose to his feet. His face was mostly back to normal, and a profound look gleamed in his eyes. He seemed to be filled with a sea of power that caused anyone who looked at him to feel as if their souls would be absorbed.
“Grab me another one,” he said calmly.
In response to his words, the terracotta soldier immediately strode forward toward the nearest black-robed man. The man howled and, having no other options, leapt into the nearest rift.
The third of the black-robed men was a bit further away from Meng Hao. He gritted his teeth and was about to jump into a nearby rift, when Fang Daohong suddenly blocked his way. The man roared in rage, and the two of them began to fight.
Booms echoed out in all directions. The terracotta soldier stepped into the rift in pursuit and emerged after the space of only a few breaths, holding the black-robed cultivator who had been trying to flee.
The man was trembling, and his face was pale. Even as he looked over at Meng Hao, Meng Hao raised his hand, causing an illusory rift to appear. That slight movement, though, caused the bit of his life force that had been painstakingly restored to be sucked towards the palm of his hand. This caused Meng Hao to immediately stop what he was doing. After a moment of analysis, Meng Hao realized why.
“Although I’ve accepted the legacy, I’m incapable of actually using the Fifth Hex. Considering the level of my cultivation base, if I try to force it, even if I use all of my cultivation base to cast it, I still can’t form the Inside-Outside rifts of the Fifth Hex!
“Perhaps I’ll be able to after I reach the Immortal Realm! This Fifth Hex is similar to the Paragon Bridge. I’ll be able to use it as a trump card when I reach the Immortal Realm!” With that, he pushed his hand out toward the black-robed man, who was then surrounded by blood-colored light.
Miserable screams rang out as the man was transformed into a desiccated corpse. Meng Hao’s face finally looked normal, and he was completely recovered. He then closed his eyes and rotated his cultivation base.
In response to this, the black-robed man who was fighting Fang Daohong looked terrified. What he was seeing was far beyond any other deadly crisis that he had ever experienced.
“This guy can’t be a near-Immortal Realm cultivator,” he thought. “How could someone of that level have such a terrifying divine ability!?!? Fang Xiushan, if I don’t die in here, then after I get back to the clan, you and I are going to have a reckoning!!”
Fang Daohong’s expression was the same as ever, but inwardly he was trembling. The mysteries surrounding Meng Hao only seemed to grow deeper. After a moment of hesitation, he looked over at the man he was fighting with.
“Fang Linhe, if you want to get out of here alive, then listen to me and don’t fight back!” These words caused Fang Linhe to gape in shock. Then he thought back to how Fang Daohong hadn’t died despite being near Meng Hao for so long. Suddenly, the hope for life appeared in his heart. Gritting his teeth, he allowed Fang Daohong to strike him in the chest. 1
Blood sprayed out of his mouth as Fang Daohong struck him over and over, seriously injuring Fang Linhe and causing his cultivation base to drop. Soon, it was comparable to a Spirit Realm cultivator, whereupon Fang Daohong stopped his attacks. Giving a meaningful glance to Fang Linhe, he immediately turned and bowed respectfully to Meng Hao.
“Prince, it would be quite a waste to let this man die. Why not use your restrictive spell on him? Once we get back to the clan, he and I will both want a chance to get revenge on Fang Xiushan.”
Meng Hao’s eyes opened, and he looked coldly at Fang Daohong, then at Fang Linhe, who was acting very subserviently. Without another word, streams of black and white qi appeared in his hand. After rotating around each other for a moment, he sent them flying toward Fang Linhe’s forehead. Fang Linhe screamed, then began to shudder. Sweat soaked him almost instantaneously as magical symbols appeared all over his body. Eventually, they converged on his forehead into the form of a single magical symbol that flew out of his forehead and then merged into Meng Hao. Fang Linhe then let out a weak sigh.
Meng Hao looked up at the rifts in the area, and now, they seemed familiar to him.
It almost seemed as if he could control their opening and closing.
“Let’s go,” he said. “We’re going to find out what else is past this Ancient Burial Ground.” With that, he stepped forward. Immediately, the rifts all closed, allowing him to walk directly off into the distance.
Meng Hao strode along like a monarch to these rifts that contained the Fifth Hex. He looked like he was simply taking a stroll through his own Immortal kingdom.
Fang Linhe’s name in Chinese is 方临河 fāng lín hé. Lin means “to face” or “to overlook.” He means “river” ↩