Chapter 82: The Great Art of Demonic Life
Upon the forehead of the giant face appeared seven ancient-looking oil lamps, all of them extinguished. A massive and ancient aura emanated out in all directions. The exquisite aura seemed to contain the essence of heaven and earth.
When the giant face appeared, the State of Zhao Cultivators all looked shocked, and some of them made to flee.
“Don’t panic,” said Lord Revelation, his voice booming out. “I knew from the beginning that Patriarch Reliance wasn’t dead. He’s incredibly weak, and we are of the Core Formation stage. If we join hands, we can easily wipe him out.” Everyone from the State of Zhao stopped moving.
A laugh rang out from the giant face, hoarse and potent. Filled with crazed excitement, it pierced the ears and hearts of everyone present.
As the laughter echoed out, the faces of the floating Cultivators changed. Without saying a word, the dignified old woman turned and shot toward the exit, panting.
Even as she attempted to fly away, a massive, indistinct hand popped into being next to her and wrapped itself around her body. A boom rang out, along with a blood-curdling shriek, as the hand crushed her to death. Everything shook. Meng Hao looked on in shock.
The giant hand opened, and inside could be seen a three-colored mixed Core. The hand made a flicking motion, and the Core shot toward the first of the seven lamps below on the ground. The lamp was now alight, burning the Core as fuel and emanating flames composed of life force!
Flickering firelight emanated out, filling the darkness with light.
“We cannot flee!” barked Lord Revelation, his face growing pale. “Kill what is left of Patriarch Reliance, and our spoils of victory will be immense!” The other Cultivators had looks of astonishment on their faces after watching the miserable fate of the old woman. They clenched their jaws.
Suddenly, a booming sound could be heard. The area around the mouth of the giant face suddenly collapsed, and a black, shadowy figure emerged.
Laughter accompanied the figure, echoing out in the Immortal’s Cave.
“Patriarch Reliance!” The echo of the laughter thundered out, and the Immortal’s Cave shook. The shocked Cultivators coughed up blood.
Amidst the blackness, Patriarch Reliance could be seen. His body was gaunt, almost nothing but skin and bones, as if he had just climbed up from the grave. His eyes were dim and dark, yet seemed to be filled with ferocity and power.
Up above them, clouds roiled, and around Patriarch Reliance’s body, ripples began to emanate out. It seemed as if he were standing on top of the world. His power, arrogance, and thirst for blood struck fear into the hearts of the other Cultivators.
“Patriarch Reliance….” The red-faced old man from the Cold Wind Sect suddenly looked pale, and his body trembled. He was a Core Formation Cultivator, but facing Patriarch Reliance, he was as powerless as a cricket. The only reason he had dared to come to this place for the Sublime Spirit Scripture was because Lord Revelation had divined that the Patriarch was weak to the point of death. At the moment, however, Patriarch Reliance seemed anything but weak.
“Revelation, things aren’t settled between us!” he said, spinning and rushing toward the exit. The others with him moved to follow, one by one. Their bodies transformed into prismatic beams as they shot away.
Meng Hao stood down below staring up at them, his fists clenched.
Patriarch Reliance laughed, and it was filled with both excitement and bloodlust. His body flickered, and suddenly he was floating in mid-air. He moved his hand in a downward motion, and a booming sound filled the air. A massive pressure pushed downwards, and the red-faced old man and his followers spat up blood. They fell down to the ground, their bodies no longer under their own control.
Patriarch Reliance’s body flickered again, and then he was standing in front of the red-faced old man. The old man’s pupils shrank in astonishment as Patriarch Reliance’s body suddenly fused with his own.
A blood-curdling scream sounded out, causing the scalps of the onlookers to go numb.
The red-faced old man’s body began to wither. His hair fell out as his flesh and blood dried up. A blackness appeared that seemed capable of consuming all blood and life. In the blink of an eye, it had completely swallowed him up.
His skin grew as thin as paper, and his bones began to crumble. Soon, his entire person had turned into a mist of blood, which then coalesced into another figure; Patriarch Reliance. Except now, he was not as gaunt as he had been moments ago. His figure was more fleshed out, and a slight death aura radiated out from him. It seemed as if some of his life force had been restored. In his hand, he held the red-faced old man’s three-colored mixed Core. He flicked his sleeve, and it shot into the second oil lamp.
“The Great Art of Demonic Life!”
“It’s the legendary Great Art of Demonic Life! Unending life! The Great Art of Demonic Life which can borrow bodies and spirits!” A buzz of voices sounded out. When the remaining Core Foundation Cultivators and the trembling Foundation Establishment Cultivators watched the scene unfold, looks of despair appeared on their faces.
“This is a Demonic magic from the Demon Sealing Sect, before the Sect’s name changed!” A strange look flashed through Lord Revelation’s eyes.
Meng Hao watched in astonishment. This was the second time he had heard of the Demon Sealing Sect. The first time had been from the lips of Shangguan Xiu. At the time, Meng Hao hadn’t paid it much heed. How could he believe what Shangguan Xiu had said? If Meng Hao truly was connected to such prestigious name, how could he have so many enemies in the State of Zhao?
At that time, Meng Hao had committed the name to memory, with the intention of getting further corroboration later.
Now, having seen the shocking events of moments ago, he’d heard the name again. Currently, the three words “Demon Sealing Sect” seemed to float in his head.
He thought back to the rumors he’d heard when in the Sect. It was said that a thousand years ago, the Reliance Sect had gone by a different name. However, no one had ever spoken the original name. Now that he thought about it, it seemed as if the name were taboo within the Sect.
He thought of the Demonic beasts in the black mountain outside of the Sect. Then he thought of the North Sea, and grew even more confused. When he had encountered the North Sea for the first time, why had it helped him?
Even though he didn’t completely understand everything, at least now he was gaining a bit more understanding.
“Demon Sealing Sect….” Meng Hao took a deep breath, thinking to the Demonic magic that Shangguan Xiu had used, and the fearsome power that had erupted out of Mount Daqing.
“If Shangguan Xiu reached Foundation Establishment, the power of his Demonic magic would have been extremely potent….” Meng Hao’s heart began to race as he realized that as a member of the Reliance Inner Sect, he was also… an Inner Sect disciple of the ancient Demon Sealing Sect!
A new question appeared in Meng Hao’s mind. “Why did Patriarch Reliance change the name of the Sect?”
As Meng Hao considered these things, the slaughter above him continued. Patriarch Reliance’s body had transformed into a fiery mist that filled the air. From the cries that rang out, it was clear that the Foundation Establishment Cultivators were completely incapable of escape. One by one, their bodies spasmed and began to dry up. Their life force was sucked out of them until they turned into nothing more than bones, which in turn were crumbled into dust. Every thread of life force shot toward Patriarch Reliance.
The remaining five Core Formation Cultivators couldn’t flee either. Under the command of Lord Revelation, they produced various magical items and prepared magical techniques, launching them toward Patriarch Reliance in a last ditch effort to defeat him.
The four Foundation Establishment Cultivators from the Cold Wind Sect had died miserably, their bodies reduced to little more than dust. Their counterparts from the Winding Stream Sect and the Upright Evening Sect suffered the same fate. These were people who could shake the Cultivation world of the State of Zhao by simply stamping a foot. Yet here, they were as weak as children.
A partially intact head rolled to a stop in front of Meng Hao’s feet. His face grew pale. The bloody slaughter was causing his heart to tremble. Looking down at the head, he recognized the face as that of the Foundation Establishment expert who had attempted to kill him a year ago in the Reliance Sect. A white aura emanated off of the head. Within moments, the head dissolved into blood, which soaked into the ground.
Just then, a horrified scream rang out from one of the Winding Stream Sect’s Core Formation Eccentrics. His body began to rot. He continued to scream as he dried up. Even before he was dead, a third three-colored mixed Core flew out to land in the third lamp, which then began to burn brightly.
As of now, Patriarch Reliance’s body was no longer gaunt and shriveled. Instead, he was a middle-aged man.
His long hair swept about his tall frame. A dignified air emanated out from him, making him seem powerful to the extreme. And yet, buried deep within that power, was a Demonic aura.
However, there were still areas on his chest that were still withered, as well as some parts of his face and the rest of his body. There, the flesh seemed to twitch and writhe; clearly he was not completely recovered yet.
“I can already use the full power of my Nascent Soul,” he said with a smile. Combined with his partially recovered, writhing skin, the smile was utterly gruesome. Four people were left to observe this. With the exception of Lord Revelation, their faces drained of blood. One of them lifted up a trembling hand. In it was a jade slip, which he snapped. Instantly, his body began to grow blurry; it seemed he was attempting to teleport away.
At the same time, one of the Core Formation Cultivators from the Winding Stream Sect retreated rapidly. Suddenly, a burning fire shot out from his feet, which then wrapped around his body, enveloping him. He seemed to turn into a burning pillar of light as he shot away.
The other person, a Grand Elder from the Cold Wind Sect, suddenly seemed to be growing younger. His face, originally filled with wrinkles, now suddenly appeared to be middle-aged. His aura billowing, he took three steps, during which time he transformed into a beam of light.