It was a land covered with endless grasses that seemed very different from the first time Meng Hao had laid eyes on it. Most of the grasses here were violet; they rose up tall and swayed back and forth gently.
Rustling sounds floated across the land, but other than that, everything was silent.
Nestled amongst all the violet grass could be seen a variety of medicinal plants. There were Sun Blossoms, Immortality Illumination Vines, and other similar plants. There were even some types of plants rarer than those.
You could say that this place… was like an indescribably valuable medicinal plant garden.
However, Meng Hao would never be able to forget how, although this quiet and peaceful place might look like a treasure trove to any other cultivator, it was actually filled with countless terrifying black beetles!
The black earth… was actually black because it was covered by the beetles. That was not even to mention the fact that… the entire area actually rested on the back of a shockingly gigantic black beetle.
It wasn’t just Meng Hao. Even someone in the Dao Realm would be so scared their scalp would tingle, and they would be forced to avoid the entire area.
Almost as soon as Meng Hao caught sight of the land of violet grass, the grass swayed so much that the ground was visible in some places, and it seemed to be writhing and undulating.
Meng Hao’s face flickered, and he instantly lifted his right hand and performed an incantation gesture. Numerous sealing marks appeared on him, stacking up one on top of another, forcing his cultivation base down at rapid speed.
Within a few breaths of time, a droning sound rose up from the land. Next, the ground itself looked as if a layer of it were peeling upward as innumerable vicious, black beetles flew up into the air.
As soon as they flew up, they transformed into something like a windstorm that swept screaming up into the air. Their target was none other than Meng Hao, hovering there in midair.
Apparently, there was something on him that aroused extreme aggressiveness on their part.
Meng Hao’s face fell. He had almost forgotten that these black beetles behaved in such a way. The higher the cultivation base, the more sensitive they were, and as of this moment, Meng Hao was vastly more powerful than he had been the first time he had come here. After considering it for a moment, Meng Hao decided that it was only natural for the black beetles to be able to sense him despite the fact that he wasn’t very close.
Having reached this point in his train of thought, Meng Hao immediately fell into retreat. At the same time, he continuously sealed and suppressed his cultivation base until its aura was similar to the Qi Condensation stage. However, even then, the black beetles didn’t stop. In fact, there were more and more, vast amounts that caused Meng Hao’s scalp to go numb, and his mind to spin.
“Could it be that they’re still holding a grudge?” Shocked, he quickly retreated, but they continued to chase after him, crimson eyes filled with hatred and madness.
“Something’s off!” he thought, heart pounding. Based on his previous experiences with them, he was sure that he was far enough away that they shouldn’t be continuing to pursue him.
His face flickered as he watched the black beetles getting closer and closer. All of a sudden, he realized that virtually all of the black beetles’ eyes were fixed, not on him, but rather… his bag of holding!!
Gaping in shock during this critical moment, he quickly sent his divine sense into his bag of holding. However, everything seemed normal. There was nothing different about it at all. In fact, the black beetle remaining from the group he had captured the first time he was here was covered in sealing marks, and had not awakened.
“Is it because of this thing?” He quickly pulled out the beetle and threw it toward the incoming army, but… they didn’t stop charging toward him.
“Why exactly are they acting like this!?!?” His face fell, and he lifted his right hand, causing his cultivation base to surge. The power of Immortal meridians exploded out toward the black beetles as he directly fought back against them. Booms rang out, and numerous black beetles died. However, the vast majority were merely wounded by his divine abilities, not killed. In fact, it seemed to just make them angrier, causing them to attack him even more frantically. Furthermore, he saw that even more black beetles were flying up, beetles that were similar to the Immortal Realm and the Ancient Realm. His heart skipped a beat.
“No, there’s definitely something in my bag of holding that’s attracting them. But what?!?!” Without hesitation, he began to seal all of the objects in his bag of holding, preventing their auras from emanating out. At the same time, he fell backward in retreat. Eventually, he sealed a certain ring, and all of a sudden, the black beetles stopped in mid-flight. Then they flew around for a bit, as if they were searching for something. They looked very irascible.
When he saw this happening, Meng Hao broke into a cold sweat. Eventually, the black beetles flew back to their original position in the medicinal plant garden, where they landed, once again making the ground look as if it were black.
Meng Hao hovered in midair. Not even taking time to wipe the sweat from his brow, he stared at the ring in his bag of holding. That was the ring… he had recently acquired from Yi Fazi!
“Is it this thing? Or something inside of it?” Eyes flickering, he pulled the ring out. He had only given it a cursory examination when he had acquired it. It was actually a ring of holding, and required significantly powerful divine sense to open. Meng Hao was being extra careful due to the fact that he was in the Ruins of Immortality, and had planned to wait until after he had left before opening it up. Now, though, he decided that even if it took significant effort with divine sense, that it was definitely time to open it.
Most of the holding-type treasures that Meng Hao had seen were bags of holding. It was actually his first time seeing a ring exactly like this one. After a moment, he slipped the ring onto his finger and then sent his divine sense into it.
His divine sense sense instantly went as wild as horse with the reins loose as it was sucked into the ring. After only a moment of trying to open it, Meng Hao felt like he couldn’t take it any longer.
“Don’t tell me that because this ring is from another world where the natural laws and cultivation systems are different, I have to expend much more divine sense to open it!?” Frowning, he took out some medicinal pills, swallowed them, and then spent another hour working with the ring. Finally, after pouring vast amounts of divine sense into the ring, cracking sounds began to echo out in all directions.
Next, everything inside of the ring of holding became visible to Meng Hao. After only a brief look, his eyes began to shine brightly.
There were many things inside, and at first glance, Meng Hao had no way of knowing which one was causing the black beetles to act so aggressively. At first he thought it might be the medicinal pills inside the ring. Meng Hao saw many types of pills that Yi Fazi had consumed during their chase. One by one, he took the pills out and then looked over at the black beetles in the medicinal plant garden.
Although he didn’t know the names of any of the pills, based on his skill in the Dao of alchemy, it only took a whiff for him to understand them. The result was that he was more and more moved.
These medicinal pills were clearly concocted based using a completely different system of alchemy than that which existed in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, which led to quite a bit of thought on Meng Hao’s part. After a bit more searching through the ring of holding, he found an incense stick.
“An incense stick? Don’t tell me this is what I’m looking for?” The incense stick was surrounded by a five-colored glow, which Meng Hao couldn’t identify. However, when he pulled it out of the ring of holding, there was no reaction at all from the black beetles.
He frowned, and then sniffed the incense stick. He only took one whiff, but in that instant, his Immortal meridians surged as if they had been intensely stimulated. In the blink of an eye, all of the Immortal qi inside of him was sent spinning.
“What kind of incense is this!” he thought. “One whiff caused my cultivation base to erupt….” He scanned himself with divine sense, and could tell that in this very short period of time, his cultivation base… had progressed significantly.
His eyes shone brightly as he looked at the incense stick, which he now realized was a valuable treasure.
“Incense sticks are meant to be burned. I wonder what would happen if burned this one…?” His heart trembled, but now was not the time to perform such an experiment. He carefully put the incense stick back into the ring of holding, looking very satisfied.
“This incense stick is definitely extraordinary,” he murmured. “It must be a precious treasure useful for practicing cultivation.” Next, he looked back into the ring of holding at one of his favorite things in the world, which, in his opinion, were the least likely thing to attract the black beetles.
They were black stones, stones that contained natural law. They looked very much like Immortal jade, each piece emanating a mysterious glow, and an aura of life.
Obviously, this was a type of cultivation resource from Yi Fazi’s home world, something akin to Immortal jade or spirit stones.
Meng Hao had no way to assess their value, but this ring of holding was far, far larger than any of Meng Hao’s bags of holding, leaving plenty of room to collect the stones.
In fact, there were at least 1,000,000 of the black spirit-immortal stones.
Meng Hao took one out to look at it closely, and was even more assured that his previous speculations about them were correct.
However, in almost the same moment that he took out the black spirit-immortal stone, all of a sudden, the land in the medicinal plant garden seemed to explode. Droning sounds filled the air as countless black beetles, even more than before, flew into the air. They turned hungrily toward Meng Hao and then began to fly toward him at top speed.
Meng Hao was so frightened he started trembling. With a final glance at the black spirit-immortal stone, he unhesitatingly sealed it back in the ring of holding, and then retreated at top speed.
The black beetles continued to fly around the area for a few hours before slowly and reluctantly returning to their places in the medicinal plant garden.
“So, that’s what was causing it!!” Heart pounding with fear, he looked at the spirit-immortal stones in the ring of holding, and his eyes began to shine with a strange glow. Finally, he once again began to examine the ring of holding.
There were jade slips, one of which Meng Hao took out and examined, after which his eyes went wide.
“This is….” The jade slip was imprinted with information. In fact, after further examination, he found that all of them were similarly imprinted. Each one was some type of record, almost the type of receipt a mortal would get at a bank. Essentially… they were notes that allowed one to withdraw spirit-immortal stones at pre-specified locations.
Each one of the slips was worth 1,000,000 spirit-immortal stones, and there were fully a hundred or more inside the ring of holding. After getting a basic idea of how much the jade slips were worth, Meng Hao’s eyes went red. All of a sudden, he was extremely interested in the place that Yi Fazi came from.
At the moment, though, he was most interested in the medicinal plant garden.
Looking over at the medicinal plants, he couldn’t help with palpitate with the same eagerness he had the first time he came here.
“When opportunity knocks…!” he thought, rubbing the ring of holding. When he thought about the black stones, his eyes glowed with anticipation. This time, he was prepared to make a killing!
It wouldn’t be like the first time, where he only managed to grab a handful of medicinal plants. This time, he would make significant gains, both in terms of medicinal plants, and black beetles!
That was especially true considering that back in the clan on Planet East Victory, Pill Elder had given him the first volume of the Laws of the Dao of Insects. Having studied it a bit already, Meng Hao was confident that he could subjugate some of the black beetles.
“I’m going to subdue over a thousand of them….” he thought, licking his lips. Then he thought about what it would look like if he had a trump card of over a thousand black beetles, charging in attack, and he got even more excited.
The last time Meng Hao was in this area was in chapter 883