All of these figures were somewhat blurry, nor did they seem to have Cultivation bases. There were old people and young people, men and women. All of them seemed frustrated as they hauled along the chunks of Immortality Bridgestones. They trudged through the mist like specters.
As Meng Hao watched the spectacle, a sense of intense danger rose up within him. It made him feel as if he had encountered a dangerous predator. He had the feeling that if these bizarre figures ran into him, he would be dead for sure!
“What are they…?” he thought as he looked at the ghostly figures. There were more than a hundred of them walking through the mists. As they neared and then passed Meng Hao, he felt an intense coldness, similar to what he had felt out in the void.
Next, Meng Hao saw one of the strange figures within the group pass through the giant rock that was floating there in mid-air. When it came out the other side, it was carrying an illusory rock on its shoulders that was completely identical to the gigantic rock.
It was as if it were carrying the soul of that rock as it made its way off into the distance.
Although the one thousand meter wide Immortality Bridgestone still hung there in the air, Meng Hao could sense that it was somehow dead, as if it had lost its power to travel through the void.
As the figures moved off into the distance, their voices continued to echo out.
“When will the Bridge of Immortality reappear like new…? Sir, on what day will we again lay eyes on you…?”
The voices gradually faded away. The churning mist suddenly transformed into storm winds. The storm caused the gray cracks in the sky to begin to spin together, sucking in Yi Chenzi, Meng Hao and even the one thousand meter Immortality Bridgestone.
In fact, many of the ruins and objects within the area were also swept up into the tempest.
There was no resisting it; everything was sucked up. Then, the storm suddenly collapsed, sending everything inside shooting out in all directions.
Meng Hao got the same sensation he had all those years ago when he had been swept up by the wings of the roc. Wind tore at his body, threatening to rip it to pieces as the storm sent him shooting off into the distance.
Were he an ordinary Core Formation Cultivator, he would have been killed beyond the shadow of a doubt. However, Meng Hao had three totems of the five elements, which pushed him across the gap that existed between Core Formation and Nascent Soul. He gritted his teeth and rotated his Cultivation base to dispel the effects of the wild wind.
After about two hours passed, Meng Hao was able to suppress the force of the wind. He performed a minor teleportation to escape from within its devastating power.
When he finally removed himself from the region affected by the wind, blood sprayed from his mouth and his face turned ashen. He had teleported into a mountain range, where he quickly excavated an Immortal’s Cave and sat down cross-legged to meditate.
A few days later, the wind gradually died down. Meng Hao left the Immortal’s Cave and flew up into the air. He floated there, looking at the chaotic scene left behind by the wind. The wind had swept across the entire land, causing even many mountaintops to crumble.
“Just what exactly are those specters…?” Meng Hao frowned. He had a strange feeling about this mysterious Realm of the Bridge Ruins.
He could find no traces of Yi Chenzi. Considering the level of the man’s Cultivation base, he was likely capable of escaping from the wild wind. Furthermore, since he was so fearful of Meng Hao, it was highly likely that he had left this land mass as quickly as possible.
Muttering to himself, Meng Hao looked off into the distance. He was suddenly shocked to find that not too far off, a glowing mass could be seen. Within the glow were some granules of dirt. It was Celestial soil!
His body flickered as he shot toward it. He quickly collected it up, his heart beating wildly. Next, he sent Spiritual Sense out in all directions. Shockingly, he found three more locations in which Celestial soil was floating in mid-air.
Although they were only granules, they were still Celestial soil nonetheless.
“Now I get it,” he thought. “That wind kicked up the Celestial soil that was concealed in the area…. In that case, there must be quite a bit of Celestial soil in the air right now!” His eyes gleamed with joy. Without hesitation he teleported away. It didn’t take long for him to collect the three pieces of Celestial soil, after which he shot off into the distance.
After some time, Meng Hao began to breathe heavily. It had only taken a short while for him to collect together enough Celestial soil to form a clump the size of a fist.
During this time, he saw other Cultivators who were also madly rushing around looking for Celestial soil kicked up by the wind. Some of them were even fighting, although it was never more than a blow or two. After all, time was better spent searching than fighting.
“Celestial soil is critical to forming my Earth-type totem!” thought Meng Hao, his eyes bloodshot as he snatched up every bit of Celestial soil that he could find. If anyone tried to compete with him, he would attack explosively without hesitation.
Two hours later.
Meng Hao’s fist descended onto a Cultivator of the early Nascent Soul stage, sending him flying backward. Meng Hao grabbed the Celestial soil in front of him and then proceeded on his way.
The Nascent Soul Cultivator looked at Meng Hao as he left, and his eyes filled with fear. The blow just now had rattled his Nascent Soul and filled him with shock.
“Who is that…?”
Six hours later.
Three figures were locked in combat in mid-air. Meng Hao was one of them. He flashed an incantation gesture with both hands, causing a flame sea to roar up. It shot out in all directions, forcing his two opponents to fall back. Meng Hao flicked his sleeve, collecting up the Celestial soil and then shooting off into the distance.
The other two Cultivators gritted their teeth. Their hearts were filled with dread, and they didn’t dare to take up chase. The only thing they could do was stamp their feet and then head off in another direction to search for Celestial soil.
Time want by. A day later, Meng Hao’s eyes were completely bloodshot. He had snatched enough Celestial soil to form a clump the size of a baby’s head. All of it was in his bag of holding. He continued to fly through the air, searching for more. However, it had been almost four hours since he had seen any at all. It seemed all of it had been collected.
“Others collected it up? No problem!” he thought, killing intent filling his eyes. In the Cultivation world, the law of the jungle prevails. Robbing Cultivation resources was common, and something that Meng Hao had long since gotten used to. His eyes shining with killing intent, he shot off to search for other Cultivators.
A day later, the sound of explosions filled the air. An enormous face could be seen collapsing in mid-air. As it did, a middle-aged Cultivator coughed up blood, his face pale and his eyes filled with astonishment. Without hesitation, he pulled a handful of Celestial soil out of his bag of holding and threw it out in front of him, then turned heel and fled.
Meng Hao emerged from roiling mists to snatch it up. Without a moment’s pause, he sped off in another direction to search for more Cultivators.
Two days later, a ruddy-faced old man, flanked by two Nascent Soul Cultivators, savagely slaughtered another Cultivator to snatch up his Celestial soil. The moment they joyfully collected up his bag of holding, a red mist suddenly appeared off in the distance. From within the mist, an enormous face suddenly appeared.
As soon as the ruddy-faced old man saw the face, his heart and mind filled with a roaring sound, and his scalp went numb. He recognized this face. It had appeared days before when he was involved in the 7-person battle, and then met that fearsome Cultivator who had nearly crushed them all.
The two Nascent Soul Cultivators next to the ruddy-faced old man saw the roiling mist. Voices hoarse, they exclaimed, “It’s Eccentric Bloodface!”
Their faces immediately fell, and they turned around to flee.
During recent days, the name ‘Eccentric Bloodface’ had been spread about quite a bit. According to the rumors, he was a fearsome Cultivator who wore a blood-colored mask. His Cultivation base was astonishing, and he robbed people of their Celestial soil. Victims of his robbery were numerous, making it so that few people were willing to stay in this region.
Any who did were extremely vigilant. As soon as they saw the blood-colored mask, they would flee.
The three men from just now immediately began to flee in three different directions. Booming sounds filled the air, and two of the men coughed up blood. Without hesitation, they retrieved the Celestial soil from their bags of holding and threw it out. They knew what Eccentric Bloodface wanted: Celestial soil! If you gave it up to him, he wouldn’t kill you. However, if you fought back, then your death was assured.
“Dammit…. If I had known this would happen I would have left with what I acquired earlier. Damn you, Eccentric Bloodface!” The two fleeing Cultivators were panting, and had hearts filled with frustration. However, there was nothing they could do about the situation except consider leaving this area.
A few days later, there were no Cultivators left in the area, only Meng Hao. He had robbed the majority of the Cultivators, and now had a clump of Celestial soil the size of a human head, as well as a fearsome reputation.
After attempting to gain enlightenment regarding the soil, Meng Hao realized that he still had not collected enough!
Unfortunately, all the other Cultivators had fled, and further searching turned up nothing. It was at this point that a three hundred meter wide rock came whistling toward him. He immediately teleported onto the rock and sat down cross-legged to meditate. The rock shot out into the void as it proceeded on toward the next land mass.
Meng Hao didn’t know that the fleeing Cultivators had taken the name ‘Eccentric Bloodface’ with them and spread it to other regions. It was only a matter of time before almost all of the Western Desert Cultivators heard about him.
As the rock shot through the void, everything turned black. Meng Hao sat there cross-legged, his eyes glittering.
“I ran into a lot of people, but I didn’t see that Demoness Zhixiang with any of them…. Although, I didn't see Zhao Youlan either. I wonder where she is.” Lost in thought, Meng Hao pulled out the jade slip map and looked it over to confirm his destination. He was currently heading toward the largest of the Immortality Bridgestones in the whole area.
“The Realm of the Bridge Ruins is huge. Every Immortality Bridgestone is a whole world, and there are probably tens of thousands of such worlds. However, the Western Desert Cultivators are only able to explore a few dozen of them.”
A few days later, the void was growing even colder. Even with his cold-repelling treasure, Meng Hao was forced to continuously ignite his Everburning Flame to stay conscious. As he looked out into the blackness of the void, his eyes suddenly went wide.
Off in the blackness, he saw a man moving through the void. He wore a long azure robe, and had a sword strapped to his back. He held a flagon of alcohol in one hand as he strolled directly through the void. He took occasional sips of alcohol, his expression morose and filled with melancholy.
The coldness of the void seemed to be reduced to nothing more than a crisp breeze around him. It blew his hair, and did nothing to cause his stride to falter. He was simply walking along as if everything were normal. The void around him seemed to ripple and distort, and the coldness didn't seem willing to near him, but rather, avoided him of its own volition.
Meng Hao’s mind was reeling, and his expression was one of astonishment.
He looked at the man, and the man looked back.
This chapter was sponsored by Noah Lee