Of those two beams of light, one contained a colorful parrot with a meat jelly in the form of a bell attached to its ankle. The bell continuously let out tinkling sounds which echoed about.
The other beam… contained a young woman. A grim expression covered her face, and blue veins popped out on her forehead. She actually looked a bit haggard, as if she were so aggravated she was about to go crazy. It was… Li Ling’er.
The parrot looked scraggly and somewhat gaunt as it flew through the air. Behind it was an enormous creature, tens of thousands of meters wide and terrifying to the extreme.
It was like a giant sphere, covered with endless amounts of fur which drifted about. It had a single eye that stared out with boundless coldness. Occasionally, the fur which covered the creature would form into tentacles that would slash around, destroying anything they touched. Currently, this bizarre creature was chasing the parrot and Li Ling’er.
Although the creature had a terrifying aura, and was physically shocking to look at, it wasn’t moving incredibly fast. It was almost as if it was in conflict with the natural laws that existed in the Ruins of Immortality, resulting in constant pressure weighing down on it. Therefore, as it moved along, it was surrounded by vaguely flickering light.
“I was just messing around with you!” the parrot cried angrily. “What are you being so vengeful for!?”
“Yeah, that’s exactly right! He’s being immoral! That’s wrong! Just wait until Lord Third gets a bit more powerful, I’ll definitely convert him!”
“Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!!” shouted Li Ling’er, who was on the verge of going crazy. Being around the parrot and meat jelly made her feel that her sanity was crumbling away.
After being flung out into the Ruins of Immortality by Patriarch Reliance, she had spent her time exclusively with the parrot and meat jelly. They had cautiously made their way through the Ruins of Immortality, trying to figure a way out.
At first, things had gone well. She could deal with the meat jelly’s constant chatter and the parrot’s extreme arrogance. After all, before giving a dog a beating, one still has to consider who its master is. Meng Hao had saved her so, naturally, she had chosen to put up with his little pets.
However… for some reason, the damned parrot seemed to have some completely perverted addictions. Li Ling’er had watched wide-eyed on several occasions in which the parrot, upon simply encountering creatures with fur or feathers, would suddenly act like a complete moron. Regardless of how powerful the creature it encountered was, the parrot would whoop with delight and speed excitedly toward it.
What happened after that was an assault on Li Ling’er’s eyes, and yet she couldn’t help but gape. She almost felt like her head was going to explode, and everything she had always believed was toppled over.
The most recent time it happened was when the parrot assaulted the gigantic sphere. Originally, that sphere hadn’t even been moving. However, after several hundred rounds with the parrot, it got as mad as a hornet. The sphere-like creature couldn’t take it any more, and let out a roar that almost shattered Li Ling’er’s cultivation base.
They had fled immediately, but the sphere had apparently endured too much humiliation, and chased them in a rage.
As they fled, they had sensed the ripples of magical techniques, and had surmised that they came from people. The parrot had then suggested they go in that direction, which they did immediately, preparing to plead for aid in this moment of disaster.
Almost as soon as they got close, Meng Hao saw the parrot and Li Ling’er, as did Su Yan. However, Su Yan’s attention was more drawn to the gigantic sphere following them.
“Mooneater!” she breathed. Her face fell and her heart began to pound. The sudden appearance of the Mooneater cut off her path of escape. In front was Meng Hao and his black beetles, and behind her was the Mooneater. She was caught in a dragnet, and the result was that she lost almost all hope.
“Dammit, how could this be happening? There are only a few Mooneaters in all of the Ruins of Immortality. Normally they just sleep, and wouldn’t wake up even if Heaven and Earth collapsed. Even if they do awake, the natural laws are different, so they don’t move around. Wh-what’s going on? Why is this Mooneater chasing those people?
“How could that woman and that parrot possibly have provoked a Mooneater into such heights of rage that it would pursue them!?” Su Yan’s scalp was numb; she was well-aware of how terrifying an enraged Mooneater could be. She was just about to try to flee, when Meng Hao blazed toward her with his Essence of Divine Flame.
Su Yan immediately performed an incantation gesture, causing a divine ability to appear to fight back against Meng Hao. It only took a moment for the two of them to be locked in a raging battle. As they fought back and forth, Su Yan suffered multiple defeats. Blood sprayed out of her mouth, and she realized that although she was well-matched with Meng Hao, she was constantly distracted by the need to avoid the surrounding black beetles. This caused her to have several close calls.
At the same time, the Mooneater was getting closer and closer. The coldness in its eyes seemed capable of destroying any living thing that it encountered.
“Dammit!!” Her face flickered as blood oozed out of her mouth. She knew that she couldn’t hold on very much longer, perhaps ten breaths of time at most. Then she would be defeated.
Gritting her teeth, her expression became one of incredible resolve. She allowed Meng Hao’s Essence of Divine Flame attack to slam into her, causing blood to spray from her mouth as she was seriously injured. However, she borrowed momentum from the attack to break out of the encircling black beetles, and then head… directly toward the Mooneater.
As she sped forward, she extended her right hand, causing all of her blood to surge. Moments later, a strange, sweet odor began to emanate off of her.
No cultivator would be able to detect anything unusual about that fragrance, but it instantly caused the Mooneater to look over. All of a sudden, a huge opening appeared on its body that almost looked like a mouth.
It looked completely savage as it opened up directly in the middle of the single eye, giving the creature two eyes. The mouth was filled with rows and rows of razor-sharp fangs, tens of thousands of them, glinting coldly. It almost seemed as if the creature’s entire body was made up of fangs!
The gigantic mouth breathed in, and Su Yan tumbled forward like a kite with its string cut, heading directly toward the Mooneater.
In the blink of an eye, she had flown past the parrot, as well as Li Ling’er, who were still gaping in sight after having caught sight of Meng Hao moments ago.
Now, the two of them, as well as the meat jelly, watched as the Mooneater open its mouth. When they saw the innumerable ghastly fangs inside, their shock turned into terror.
Meng Hao frowned. Su Yan appeared to be on the verge of being swallowed up by the Mooneater. Even if he used the Lightning Cauldron to switch places with her… unfortunately, he would then be swallowed by the enormous creature.
“What a clever plan!” he thought. He instantly realized what Su Yan was trying to do. She had obviously incited the creature into trying to swallow her up. Presumably, she had a way to get out of the creature’s mouth even if it did swallow her. She was using this as a way to escape, and also to ensure that Meng Hao couldn’t use his Lightning Cauldron. “Well, you still won’t be able to get away!”
Meng Hao was too entranced with Su Yan’s Daoist magics. Despite the sudden turn of events, his eyes still flickered as he slapped his bag of holding to produce a Nirvana Fruit!
This was not his Nirvana Fruit, it was the Nirvana Fruit of the first generation Patriarch of the Fang Clan!
Without the slightest bit of hesitation, Meng Hao shoved the fruit into his forehead. Rumbling filled his mind as it sank down into him. At the same time, he felt something swelling up inside of him.
RUUUUMMMBLE! As Meng Hao looked up, he could clearly sense his Immortal meridians exploding with power, growing stronger as his cultivation base climbed higher.
33 Heavens collapsed, transforming into boundless Immortal light that poured over Meng Hao, transforming into an Imperial robe. As Meng Hao hovered there in the void, he no longer looked like the Immortal Realm Paragon. He was a step beyond that… he was the Immortal Emperor of ancient times!
Li Ling’er’s eyes went wide. She had observed this same thing happening before, although on a screen. Meng Hao was now bursting with a powerful energy that made him capable of killing even Ancient Realm cultivators with three extinguished Soul Lamps.
However, this was her first time sensing what it was like in person, and it sent her heart pounding. Her cultivation base trembled, and her Immortal meridians felt compelled to acquiesce to Meng Hao.
Su Yan was terrified. She could never have imagined that Meng Hao would have a trump card like this. Her scalp was tingling as she pushed with everything she had to fly toward the Mooneater. She was well aware that reaching it was her only hope.
An indescribable energy rose up from Meng Hao as he stared coldly over at Su Yan nearing the Mooneater. Face expressionless, he took a step forward.
That single step took him past Li Ling’er and the parrot. He then flicked his sleeve, causing a gentle power to push Li Ling’er and the parrot backward, far away from the Mooneater.
His second step caused him to vanish and then reappear between Su Yan and the Mooneater.
Su Yan was now filled with hopelessness. She exploded out with all of the magical techniques and divine abilities she could muster. However, Meng Hao’s hand snaked forward, shattering them all before… clamping onto her neck.
His hand was icy, and as soon as it touched Su Yan, her cultivation base was locked down by Meng Hao’s Immortal power.
“We don’t have enough enmity built up between us for me to kill you,” he said. “So be a good girl, and I won’t slaughter you.”
Simultaneously, one of the Mooneater’s tentacles shot toward them. Just when Meng Hao was about to dodge out of the way, the tentacle suddenly stopped moving. It was almost as if it had sensed something on Meng Hao, causing it to instantly shrink back.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered, and he turned to look at the Mooneater and its gaping maw, which was now only about 30 meters away. The Mooneater was actually so terrified it was trembling, and… it gradually began to back up. Slowly, its huge mouth closed.
Within its solitary eye was a terror that caused Su Yan to be filled with astonishment!
It was almost as if the thing was afraid of Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s eyes shone brightly. Just now, when he had been on the verge of dodging to the side, he had felt something inside of him… the sealing mark placed on him by the white-robed woman when she had made him 13th in the Echelon!
The mark suddenly appeared on Meng Hao’s forehead, flashing brightly.
Meng Hao began to think about the white-robed woman’s status as a Paragon, and his heart trembled. Continuing to hold Su Yan with his left hand, he raised his right hand and made a dismissive gesture toward the Mooneater.
“Get out of here,” he said experimentally, all the while preparing to back up if necessary.
The gigantic Mooneater was trembling visibly, and Li Ling’er, Su Yan, the parrot, and the meat jelly were all watching with eyes wide. The Mooneater almost seemed to nod in response to Meng Hao before backing up and disappearing off into the distance.
Li Ling’er gaped at Meng Hao, hovering there clad in his Imperial robes of Immortal light, energy surging. He was almost like a Paragon of Heaven and Earth as he waved his hand, causing an enormous, terrifying creature to back down. That image was almost like a scene from a painting, becoming something firmly implanted in Li Ling’er’s mind, and would never go away.
The parrot blinked, and the meat jelly stared in shock.
As for Su Yan, a complex expression suddenly appeared on her face regarding Meng Hao.
“You’re… in the Echelon?!”