“Meng Hao, give me my treasured dagger back!” howled Patriarch Reliance. Before losing the flying dagger, he actually hadn’t cared about it very much. But now that it wasn’t his anymore, countless memories about it suddenly flooded into his mind.
Every memory that surfaced filled his heart with pain.
Meng Hao pretended not to hear as he lifted his hand and waved his finger a few more times, employing the Seventh Hex. Patriarch Reliance’s scalp went numb as Meng Hao then switched to the Sixth Hex.
Glittering light could be seen as numerous magical symbols appeared on Patriarch Reliance’s body. Next, another magical symbol appeared on his forehead, a symbol which was different than Meng Hao’s own Sixth Hex.
When Meng Hao saw it, he suddenly understood everything.
“Aha! Somebody else already used the Sixth Hex on you!
“Well then, I guess I’ll try out the Fifth Hex!” Looking very excited, he performed an incantation gesture with his right hand; shockingly, a tiny rift appeared in his palm. When Patriarch Reliance saw it, he was nearly scared out of his mind.
“MENG HAO!!!” he howled miserably.
“What are you planning?” howled Patriarch Reliance. “Just what do you think you’re going to do!? You’re pushing things TOO FAR!!” His body trembled violently, and he seemed to be on the verge of going mad.
“I swear there’s nobody who bullies people worse than you! Unlucky? I’ve got enough bad luck for eight lifetimes! I was bullied by the League of Demon Sealers back in the day, and now I’m getting bullied by you!
“I ran all the way to Planet East Victory to hide from you, you know!? You think that was easy, huh? You think it was a walk in the park!?!?
“Hey, what are you doing!? You already stole my treasured dagger! W-what!? What are you doing? Come on, tell me! Do you know how old I am?! I’m your Patriarch, remember!?”
Meng Hao scratched his head, starting to feel a bit awkward.
“Alright, how about this,” he said, clearing his throat. “If you take me to the Nine Seas God World, I’ll let you go for the time being. Then you’ll have another chance to hide from me.” He still happened to have the jade slip given to him during the Three Great Daoist Societies’ trial by fire, the one that was supposed to take him to the Nine Seas God World. Unfortunately, Fang Shoudao had somehow found out about that, and had managed to negate the jade slip, making it useless.
Patriarch Reliance suddenly quieted down. After a moment of thought, he bitterly nodded his head. Of course, inwardly, he felt quite pleased, and was even laughing coldly.
“This little bastard is still a bit inexperienced. I’m adept at scheming and have deep foresight, so how could I possibly acquiesce to him!”
Outwardly, he sighed and allowed Meng Hao to stand on him as he headed toward the Ninth Sea. After flying for a short time, however, Meng Hao lifted his right hand and caused a Fifth Hex rift to appear in his palm.
“Patriarch,” he asked with an enigmatic smile, “are you trying to take me into the Ruins of Immortality?”
Patriarch Reliance suddenly trembled, and his heart filled with rage. However, when he thought about Meng Hao’s restrictive spells, he once again began to bemoan his plight to himself as he immediately changed directions to skirt the Ruins of Immortality.
Based on his current speed, it wouldn’t take very long for him to get Meng Hao to the Ninth Sea.
Meng Hao beamed at Patriarch Reliance as he slapped his bag of holding, causing the parrot to fly out. The meat jelly was attached to its foot as usual, and the jingling of a bell could be heard when the two of them appeared.
As soon as the parrot flew out, it looked Patriarch Reliance up and down, then blinked and squawked, “Eee? What a big turtle! So strange! How come he seems so familiar?
“Hey, it’s you! I remember now! You’re that big ol’ turtle from the Milky Way Sea!!” The parrot was now very excited. It flew out next to Patriarch Reliance’s head and said, “You know, I was always very curious about what you ate to get so big! You’re huge! Come come, tell Lord Fifth, and you’ll get a reward!”
Not wanting to be outdone, the meat jelly bellowed, “Hey, Lord Third has rewards too!”
Meng Hao stood on Patriarch Reliance’s head, completely ignoring the parrot and the meat jelly as they harassed Patriarch Reliance. With the two of them dogging the turtle, Meng Hao wasn’t the least bit worried about any tricks he might attempt to pull.
It was at this point that he turned back to look at the State of Zhao. A look of reminiscence appeared on his face as he took a step forward and then vanished. When he reappeared, he was on a mountain peak somewhere in the State of Zhao.
The mountain looked different than the way he remembered it. It had been moved and been transformed throughout the years, but it was still the same mountain that he remembered… Mount Daqing.
He stood there, recalling the past. He was currently standing in the same location he had been when he first stepped into the cultivation world, when he had met Xu Qing.
“Mount Daqing….” he whispered with a sigh. As he looked down the mountain, he noticed that the river that had been there once was now nowhere to be seen. He turned his head again and saw that Yunjie County had also disappeared; it would never again exist.
The only thing left was this mountain, and the memories of Meng Hao’s that it contained.
After standing there quietly for a long, long time, he stepped out off the mountain. As he floated there, he could see that same cave from long ago, which still existed on the side of the mountain.
After another long moment, he sighed and turned. Instead of leaving the State of Zhao, he went to the North Sea. Despite the vast changes to the lands, which left the entire State of Zhao different than before, this lake was still here, just as it had been.
The water was calm and mirror-like, and when Meng Hao looked at it, he recalled all the events which had occurred in connection with the lake. Eventually, he caught sight of an actual boat out on the water. It was an old vessel, and an old man could be seen at the till, who looked at Meng Hao as he steered the boat toward the shore.
A pot of alcohol was being warmed inside the boat, and a moment later, a beautiful young woman stuck her head out of the cabin and looked over at Meng Hao.
“Do you remember my name?” she asked with a grin.
“Guyiding Tri-Rain,” he replied, smiling. As he stepped forward onto the boat, the old man smiled and bowed at the waist, then continued to steer the boat out across the water. The young woman sat across from Meng Hao, lifted up the pot of alcohol, and poured a cup. 1
“Do you remember what you promised me?” she asked, her eyes glistening as brightly as the waters of the lake.
“I promised that one day, I would help you become a sea,” he said. Smiling, he raised his cup and then drained it.
The young woman smiled radiantly.
“I want to become a huge, calm sea,” she said earnestly. “I don’t want there to be any waves or tides. I want to be peaceful. Peaceful and quiet. A sea like a mirror.”
Meng Hao nodded.
“How many things have you promised to do in your life?” she asked.
“Four,” he replied.
“And how many of those promises have you fulfilled?”
“None so far.”
“In that case, doesn’t that mean I’ll have to wait a lot longer?”
Meng Hao smiled, raised his glass again, and took another drink.
Almost in the same moment that Meng Hao and Guyding Tri-Rain were reunited, something happened not too far away from where they were in the starry sky. The same ship appeared that all of the cultivators of the Ninth Mountain and Sea had been unable to detect.
Two people sat on the ship, one older and one younger, who had watched as Meng Hao opened the Door of Immortality, and then his Immortal meridians. The old man was looking out into the starry sky, where he could see Meng Hao and Patriarch Reliance. At that point, his eyes shone with a strange light, as well as interest toward Meng Hao.
Next to him sat the young man, upon whose face could be seen a look of scorn.
“A man and a turtle,” the young man said with a sneer. “How well-suited for each other. And then there’s that parrot. They all match each other.”
“That man is no simple man,” the old man said calmly. “And that turtle is no simple turtle. As for that parrot, well… it’s not just a simple parrot either.” He looked over at the young man, and he seemed somewhat disappointed, but didn’t say anything further.
“What do you mean, not simple?” the young man said loftily. “Alright, so he opened the maximum number of Immortal meridians, and even became the Immortal Realm Paragon. However, there are tons of people like that in our Spiritstar Realm! They might not actually be Immortals, but… Immortals are worth squat!”
“He’s a true Immortal,” the old man said with a frown.
“True Immortal? What a joke! Isn’t this the same Paragon Immortal Realm that, years ago, innumerable almighty beings viewed with such desire? But now look at it! The only things left are nine mountains!
“If I wanted to kill that guy, all I would have to do is wave my hand, and he would be dead!” Killing intent flickered in the young man’s eyes. Apparently, he felt that killing Meng Hao would be as easy as crushing an ant.
“I might as well target this guy for my training…. I’m need to kill an Immortal and bring that person’s head back to the Spiritstar Realm…. I imagine they’ll make it into a battle trophy.” The young man licked his lips. 2
Cold light gleamed in the old man’s eyes as he looked over at the young man.
“He’s a true Immortal, not the type from this age, but rather, the type from primordial times. He embodies what Immortals truly are, the type that in ancient times, could descend to our Spiritstar Realm and cause everyone in the world to bow in worship.
“In the past, our Spiritstar Realm was nothing more than one of the 3,000 Realms below the Paragon Immortal Realm. When the Paragon Immortal Realm collapsed due to various reasons, the role that our world played was microscopic!
“You look down on that turtle, and think it’s ordinary. But you know what? When I look at it, it frightens me!
“I can sense some terrifying undulations coming off of that thing.
“And finally, about that man you so look down upon… don’t tell me you can’t detect that there’s something about him connecting him directly to the Nine Mountains and Seas?!?!” As the man spoke, his wording grew sharper and sharper. By the end, he was clearly rebuking the young man.
The young man sat there quietly, his face slowly growing blue with rage. He didn’t dare to backtalk, but when he lowered his head, his eyes were venomously icy.
“Although this place has crumbled down to its present level,” continued the old man, “you cannot rashly provoke the people here! Actually, I never wanted to come face the dangers of this place, but since your father insisted, I brought you here for your Immortal-Killing Baptism….
“I was forced to agree, and here we are. If you want to try to kill that man, I won’t stop you. However, your father will be able to see all the records of our journey, and cannot blame me… if you seek your own death!” As his cold words rang out, the old man waved his right hand, causing a vortex to appear up ahead. Within the vortex was an image of Li Ling’er, who was currently in the middle of fleeing from her wedding.
“This girl is a bit weaker, and is also an Immortal. Why don’t you kill her for your Baptism?” As the old man spoke, the young man looked up at Li Ling’er within the vortex, and his eyes began to shine with a strange light.
“Wow, she’s pretty. Master, you wouldn’t mind if, before killing her, I indulged in the… services… of an Immortal, would you?”
The old man frowned and looked a bit disgusted, but didn’t say anything.
The young man licked his lips, and then stepped toward the vortex.
Li Ling’er sat cross-legged atop a flying shuttle which sped through the stars. She was also heading toward the Ninth Sea, although not to the Nine Seas God World, but rather, to find an island where she could practice cultivation.
She hoped to borrow some of the power of the Ninth Sea to stabilize herself in the Immortal Realm.
She wasn’t unfamiliar with the Ninth Sea, considering that she had been there on clan training on several occasions in the past. To her, this would all be a walk in the park. However, all of a sudden, the starry sky up ahead distorted, and a vortex suddenly appeared.
An arrogant young man stepped out of the vortex, and as soon as he looked over at her, an evil and bizarre glow could be seen in his eyes, almost as if he were a hunter looking at prey.
Li Ling’er’s eyes instantly flickered with vigilance. She had never seen this young man before, but she could instantly sense that he was dangerous. Furthermore, the way he was looking at her didn’t please her one bit.
“Hello, Immortal beauty! Remember my name! I’m Zheng Linfa! You can call me Yi Fazi! 3
“Remember it because, very soon, I’ll provide you with the most unforgettable experience of your whole life! And also… the last!” the young man said with a smile. He stepped toward Li Ling’er.