Chapter 195: Suppressing Everyone
The chance Meng Hao had now was sudden and unexpected. Thanks to this lucky break, his Cultivation base was climbing upward at incredible speed. Furthermore, the closer he got to the tree, the thicker the spiritual energy became.
He took a deep breath, completely ignoring the strange looks everyone was giving him. He was completely focused on the enormous tree and the bizarre spiritual energy it emitted that only he could absorb.
It had been a long time since he had been able to enjoy the refreshing feeling of absorbing spiritual energy. His eyes glistened brightly as his body flashed onward.
The spiritual energy beneath the tree roiled madly. His body was like a whirling black hole, sucking all the spiritual energy in, without exception.
His Cultivation base continued to climb, and the image of his fifth Dao Pillar grew clearer. Soon it would no longer be illusory.
Ten percent, twenty percent, thirty percent….
Meng Hao grew more and more excited as he absorbed the increasingly thick spiritual energy. He leaped forward, heading directly toward the base of the enormous tree.
Next to the towering tree, Meng Hao was little more than an insect, tiny and weak. It was essentially impossible to even compare. They were as different as a firefly and the shining moon.
Meng Hao was the first to step into the tree itself. The other Cultivators closed in. Within the space of about ten breaths, Wang Tengfei and Wang Youcai also stepped onto it.
They, of course, could not absorb the spiritual energy of this place, and therefore had no way to replenish themselves. There is no need to even mention how difficult it was for them to proceed forward. On the other hand, Meng Hao was like a fish in water. In an instant, he was already three hundred meters away from them.
After observing this, the eyes of the spectators shone with a strange glow. This was especially true of the Song Clan Patriarch. His eyes glittered brightly as he watched the cloud vortex, and Meng Hao.
“So he can absorb the spiritual energy there….” he thought. “But that place is merely a painting of the World Tree. It couldn’t even be considered a projected image. However, it does contain some of the World Tree’s will, as well as dense spiritual energy, although not much….” His eyes glittered, although they contained some amount of hesitation.
Eccentric Song too felt shocked, but was also about to go wild with joy. A wide smile emerged on his face. He looked at the shifting expressions of the other Nascent Soul Cultivators and smiled even wider. He flicked his sleeve to collect the Soul Fruits together.
“Fellow Daoists, I shall collect my winnings. Do you wish to make another wager? I bet this kid will become the next son-in-law of the Song Clan. What do you say? Wager, or no wager?”
The other Nascent Soul Cultivators ignored him, refusing to be provoked, and instead focused on what was happening in the cloud vortex. They gazed thoughtfully as Meng Hao ascended the gigantic tree.
Eccentric Song continued to prod a few more times, but seeing that the others refused to speak, he simply put away the Soul Fruits and laughed. The ill feelings toward Meng Hao from years ago were now completely gone.
“This Meng Hao kid isn’t bad,” said Eccentric Song, eyeing the cloud vortex. “Ai, if I had known he was like this, I would have bet on him against Wu Dingqiu all those years ago.”
Within the cloud vortex, Wang Tengfei’s eyes were red. He was on the tree now, proceeding up. The spiritual energy in the area pushed against him, and he had no way to absorb it whatsoever. The wind whipped about, but he forged on without regard to caution. He knew that if he were knocked off the tree, then he would have to start over from the very bottom.
Making progress was incredibly difficult, but every time he looked up and saw Meng Hao speeding along, it would cause him to ignore the screaming wind and intense pressure. Insanity and intense jealousy filled his heart, and he would proceed onward through the thick pressure.
“How could I possibly lose to him!?!?” he raged inwardly. “I am a Wang Clan Chosen! He stole my legacy and my beloved! Today, I shall wrest away his good fortune. Why are you always so unfair to Wang Tengfei, Heavens?! I refuse! I will not give in!!” Setting his teeth, he shot upward. The wild wind buffeted him, but he held doggedly onto the tree. It felt as if his arms were about to rip off.
To his astonishment, Wang Tengfei suddenly realized that the unabsorbable spiritual energy of this place, which exhibited such strong pressure, was actually lessening around Meng Hao. The closer he got to Meng Hao, the easier it was to progress.
Behind him, Wang Youcai, Qian Shuihen, Lu Song as well as Fatty and the others, had all reached the tree, and were relentlessly pursuing.
All of them noticed Meng Hao’s significant increase in speed.
Meng Hao had already sensed that although the spiritual energy in this place seemed thick and abundant, actually, the entire place was divided into different areas. The spiritual energy of the area he was currently in was almost sucked dry. Because of that, Wang Tengfei and the others were able to move more quickly.
However, although the spiritual energy below him was decreasing, he continued moving upward. Soon, he encountered more dense spiritual energy, which he began to absorb immediately. His fifth Dao Pillar was already about forty percent complete.
“The spiritual energy here is organized in layers,” he thought, his eyes shining brilliantly. “Each layer can be completely absorbed into my body. Although it looks incredibly dense, there’s actually not very much of it. However, if I absorb all of it, I should be able to complete my fifth Dao Pillar.” He continued onward, and the spiritual energy continued to pour into him. Whenever it began to grow thin, he would continue on upward to a new layer.
Behind him, Wang Tengfei and the others were continuing to increase their speed. The spiritual energy having dried up, the resisting pressure was gone. The only thing they had to deal with was the raging wind. Their progress now was much easier, so the gap between Meng Hao and them was slowly lessening.
The enormous tree was many dozens of meters in diameter, and from a distance, didn’t seem very far away from the cloud layer above, where the Nascent Soul Cultivators watched the proceedings. Seeing what was happening caused them to sit there quietly in contemplation. The Wang Clan Cultivator let out a cold harrumph. “Eccentric Song, let’s make another bet. This time, the stakes are two Soul Fruits!”
Eccentric Song hesitated for a moment, his brow furrowed.
The Black Sieve Sect Nascent Soul Cultivator coughed lightly. “I’m in,” he said.
The Nascent Soul Cultivator from the Li Clan chimed in. “So, another bet,” he said coolly. “Eccentric Song, why don’t we all join in? Two Soul Fruits per person. Winner takes all.” His words made Eccentric Song even more hesitant.
After a long moment passed, he gritted his teeth. He actually had incredible faith in Meng Hao’s ability to perform, so he flicked his sleeve.
“We’re on!” he said.
Subsequently, all of the Nascent Soul eccentrics produced Soul Fruits. Seeing so many in one placed caused all of the Cultivators to palpitate with eagerness. The stakes of this wager were significantly greater than the previous bet.
At the same time as all the eccentrics made their bets, Meng Hao shot up at top speed. He had passed through three layers of the enormous tree, and had now progressed roughly thirty percent up. By now, Wang Tengfei and the others were a mere thirty meters behind him. It seemed they might soon pass him.
Meng Hao’s face was calm. The good fortune of this place lay in the spiritual energy; as far as he was concerned, it didn’t matter who was in first place. Suddenly, Wang Tengfei roared. Employing some unknown magical technique, his body began to glow, and he shot up with incredible, explosive speed. In the space of a few breaths, he had progressed more than thirty meters. This caused him to pass Meng Hao by nearly ten meters.
However, before he even had a chance to rejoice, an enormous force caused his body to tremble. The pressure caused him to cough up blood as it enveloped his body. Just then, Meng Hao passed him, sucking the spiritual energy of the area into his body. The pressure began to subside. If it hadn’t, Wang Tengfei felt as if he might have been crushed down into the tree by a giant, invisible hand.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever as he proceeded onward, ignoring Wang Tengfei. He passed the area that was covered with the blood Wang Tengfei had coughed up, continuing to absorb the spiritual energy. After absorbing all of it, he moved onto the next layer.
Clearly, anyone who wanted to try to pass Meng Hao could do so by merely charging forward.
However, seeing what happened to Wang Tengfei shook the hearts of all the Cultivators below. They stared at Meng Hao with strange expressions. As for Fatty, he took a deep breath, and looked completely disbelieving.
As of this moment, none of the pursuing Cultivators dared to pass Meng Hao….
Meng Hao continued on slowly, which gave them no other option than to do the same. Looking embarrassed and helpless, they followed Meng Hao. Clearly, many of them had various plans in mind. They would wait until the very top of the tree, whereupon various techniques would explode out as they attempted to pass him!
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