The people of the Mountain and Sea Realm had no way of knowing what was happening outside of their Realm.
Back in the Nine Seas God World, in the valley between the two mountain ranges, the pool of water continued to build up above the shield. At the same time, a figure stepped out noiselessly from within the residence.
Meng Hao had sensed this person earlier, and as such, his expression did not change when the young boy walked out. He looked to be about seven or eight years old, wore a red robe, and had a completely expressionless face. As soon as he stepped out, he clasped hands and bowed to Meng Hao.
“What an incredible puppet,” Meng Hao murmured, walking up to the boy and looking him over. The boy looked almost as if he had been carved out of a lustrous piece of rare jade.
Meng Hao reached his hand out and pressed it down onto the puppet. Immediately, an additional puppet-controlling mnemonic appeared in his mind.
“This Immortal’s cave must be one of the best within the Nine Seas God World,” the thought. “Only a place like this could be deserving such a puppet. Whenever I have to deal with acquiring cultivation resources, I can just sent him out to handle things.
“Furthermore, it looks like he has battle prowess equivalent to a stage 7 Immortal.”
Meng Hao was very pleased. This Immortal’s cave far exceeded any other Immortal’s cave he had ever lived in. Regardless of whether or not the pool of water was being fed by the waterfall, it was as blue and crystalline as ever. Furthermore, the pond itself was actually made, not from freshwater, but seawater.
“How considerate of them,” he said. Then he waved his hand, instantly causing the 33 Demonic cultivators to fly out of his bag of holding and splash into the pool.
Before they could even react, he performed an incantation gesture and then waved his finger. Popping sounds rang out as all of the 33 Demonic cultivators were sealed. All of them reverted to their original forms, whereupon they spun and began to howl at Meng Hao in rage.
“Shut up!” he growled. His voice echoed out like thunder, instantly causing all of the Demonic cultivators to tremble. Moments later, everything was quiet. The Demonic cultivators now looked like sea beasts, but they were still glaring angrily at Meng Hao.
That was especially true of the gigantic shell, which had now cracked open to reveal a pair of venomous eyes staring out at him.
There was also a huge sea turtle, who looked especially fierce.
In addition to those two, there was a big shrimp, a crab, a seahorse, and others. Meng Hao looked them over, and then a grotesque idea suddenly popped up in his head.
“This pool of water almost looks like a giant pot. If I heated the water up….” He swallowed, then quickly shoved the wicked idea away. However, it was in that moment that the Demonic cultivators, who had just quieted down moments ago, suddenly lost control and began to roar again. A few of them even tried to charge at Meng Hao in attack.
With a cold harrumph, Meng Hao pointed his hand downward, causing all of them to tremble, as if great pressure were weighing down on them. It was impossible for them to escape from within the pool of water, so once again, the sound of vehement curses rose up into the air.
Ignoring them, Meng Hao waved his right finger, causing a strand of the Essence of Divine Flame to fly out from his Immortal meridians. It landed in the water, and in the blink of an eye, the water began to bubble.
Meng Hao cleared his throat and then somewhat embarrassedly said, “If you don’t keep your voices down, there are no guarantees that I won’t boil you up and have a taste!”
His words, combined with the fact that the water in the pool was rapidly getting hotter, caused the Demonic cultivators to tremble. They looked at Meng Hao, not with hatred, but rather… terror and shock.
They had never imagined that Meng Hao would actually boil them into a stew!
Seeing that the Demonic cultivators had quieted down, Meng Hao waved a hand, retracting the strand of the Essence of Divine Flame. The water temperature in the pool instantly began to return to normal.
“That’s better. Now!” he said earnestly. “Remember to be good and do as you’re told. You people owe me money and can’t pay it back. That was why you handed yourselves over to me. Now, I’m going to provide you with a master to help you learn how to achieve your goal, which is… to sell yourselves!” With that, he slapped his bag of holding, causing the parrot to shoot out in a beam of black light.
The tinkling sound of a bell could be heard, along with a torrent of squawks.
“Lord Fifth is out! Lord Fifth swears to never go back into that bag of holding! Lord Fifth is free! Lord Fifth is going to… Eee?!” Even in midst of its tirade, Lord Fifth suddenly looked down at all the Demonic cultivators in the pool of water.
The bell-form meat jelly was also in the midst of howling in rage, when suddenly it realized the parrot had grown silent. It, too, looked down at the Demonic cultivators.
After staring for a moment, the meat jelly got excited and said, “Are we taking a bath together?” as if it wanted to join in.
The parrot flew around in a circle, looking closely at the situation and then roared: “Moron! Idiot! Can’t you see he’s making some seafood stew? They’re not taking a bath! Dammit! How come none of this seafood has fur!?!?”
Meng Hao cleared his throat and then addressed the meat jelly: “These are all bullies. You can count if you want, there are three. Three bullies. I caught them just for you and brought them here for you to practice your divine ability of converting people!”
The meat jelly quivered with excitement as it counted. When it was done, it looked over at Meng Hao as if he were the best person in the whole world. In the meat jelly’s opinion, it had never met a master who treated it is well as Meng Hao did.
Meng Hao smiled slightly, as if the two of them were best friends. Then he glanced over at the parrot and glared threateningly.
“We can sell every one of these seafood dishes that you can get to behave for a handsome profit. For each one, I’ll find one extremely furry creature for you.
“If you can train them all, then later, I’ll give you a thirty percent split!”
When the parrot heard the words ‘extremely furry’ it instantly got very excited. It suddenly began to visualize all sorts of extremely furry creatures, and that only increased its enthusiasm. It immediately agreed to Meng Hao’s proposal.
Meng Hao promptly ignored the parrot and meat jelly as they began to torment the Demonic cultivators. He was sure that, considering how “strong” they were, getting the Demonic cultivator seafood dishes in line wasn’t an impossibility for them.
“Then there’s that wench Su Yan,” he thought. “I’ll wait a few more days and then hand her over to the parrot and meat jelly for re-education. I just can’t believe that she’ll continue to hold out after that.” Having made up his mind, he entered the residence.
The residence itself wasn’t very large. However, there was a stone door on the second floor. Behind the stone door were three chambers, each of which were relatively large.
After examining them, Meng Hao muttered to himself for a moment. Then, eyes glittering, he slapped his bag of holding, causing 30 black beetles to fly out, ten for each chamber.
Glancing thoughtfully at the Ghost Eyes on their backs, he thought, “I heard Su Yan call these things Ghost Eye Beetles….
“They like eating spirit-immortal stones. Well then, I might as well let them eat their fill… and see what kind of Ghost Eye appears in the end!” He had come up with this idea some time ago, so, clenching his teeth, he didn’t hesitate any further. He hated losing spirit-immortal stones, but he also knew that on the path of cultivation, you had to lose some to win some.
He waved his hand, causing thirty spirit-immortal stones to fly out into the three chambers. Instantly, the Ghost Eye Beetles went mad, clawing their way forward to grab the stones.
He threw out one stone per beetle in order to prevent them from fighting too much. After all, he only had 500 Ghost Eye Beetles, and wanted to avoid a situation in which they killed each other.
It didn’t take long for the Ghost Eye Beetles to consume the spirit-immortal stones, after which they sat there, motionless. However, their auras grew wildly stronger and their bodies grew tougher, as if they were in the process of absorbing energy from the stones they had swallowed.
After a moment of consideration, he decided that since the Ghost Eye Beetles were taking some time to absorb the energy, he would make use of the puppet boy. Summoning him over, he handed some spirit-immortal stones over and then left some divine will instructions that the puppet continue to feed the stones to the beetles as necessary. Then he left the stone chambers and sat down cross-legged on the second floor of the residence.
He took a deep breath, and determination gleamed in his eyes as he extended his right hand. Immediately a bag of holding appeared, which he scanned with divine sense. He saw quite a collection of spirit stones and Immortal jade, as well as an incense burner.
The incense burner had an ancient feel to it, as though its aura was filled with years of time.
“This thing must be the Immortal artifact that Patriarch Granny Nine mentioned,” he thought. Ignoring it for the moment, he excitedly searched through the bag of holding to find the most precious item it contained.
A jade vial!
The vial was only the size of a pinky finger, and it contained… a drop of red fluid. It was none other than… Paragon’s blood!!
He carefully retrieved the vial from the bag of holding, then placed it onto his palm. Panting, he thought back to the Three Great Daoist Societies’ trial by fire, and how he had taken first place. For some reason it seemed like a very, very long time ago.
“I finally got my prize! But I wonder… which Paragon did this blood come from? Was it the white-robed Sea Dream, or was it Immortal Ancient? Or could it be from… Paragon Nine Seals?” He took a deep breath, and without any further hesitation, opened the jade vial. Instead of pouring the Paragon’s blood out, he slowly sent his divine sense into the vial.
Almost as soon as his divine sense made contact with the Paragon’s blood, a bloody mist rose up. In the blink of an eye, it swept back through his divine sense toward him. He was shocked, but after a moment of hesitation, he gritted his teeth and sat in place without moving.
That strand of blood mist bored into his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. In the same moment, he closed the jade vial, ensuring that the Paragon’s blood remained inside. Apparently, that drop was only a thirty percent sample.
However, even that thirty percent created a massive power that surged madly through his body.
Blue veins popped out on his face, and his whole body shook. The blood mist transformed into millions of strands which bored into his Immortal meridians. Gradually, the vague power of a Dao Fruit began to form.
Moments later, it collapsed, battering around the inside of Meng Hao’s body.
Shaken, he quickly produced a Nirvana Fruit and pushed it into his forehead. In that moment, the tens of millions of strands inside of him all seemed to have found their exit.
His body shook, and his aura exploded upward. All of his Immortal qi was unleashed. His energy surged as the Nirvana Fruit apparently began to fuse into his blood vessels and qi passageways.
If he absorbed it completely, that would indicate that he had fused successfully with the Nirvana Fruit. That would also mean… that he would rise up in his position in the Immortal Realm, and would be be incredibly close to being able to remain in the Immortal Emperor Realm… eternally!