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The League was the soul, the Hexing magics were the bones, and the Mountains and Seas were the flesh!
The doctrines of the League of Demon Sealers held sway, which were the same as the doctrines espoused by Meng Hao. By following such precepts, he had become the Crown Prince of the Mountain and Sea Realm. The year he became part of the League of Demon Sealers, he was acknowledged as the future Lord of the Mountain and Sea Realm.
The first version of the Mountain and Sea Realm was forged by Nine Seals, who also left behind the League of Demon Sealers as his legacy. Now Meng Hao was using that legacy to remould the Mountain and Sea Realm into something new.
Anyone who became a Mountain and Sea Lord had to become a successor of the League of Demon Sealers. Furthermore, anyone who wanted to be the Lord of the Mountain and Sea Realm itself had to master all of the Nine Hexes.
As for Transcendence… that would depend on one’s personal fortune.
Meng Hao looked at the Fifth Mountain and Sea for a long moment, and then his right hand flashed with an incantation gesture. The power of Transcendence erupted out to shake the starry sky as he waved his finger, a profound light shining in his eyes.
“Sixth Mountain and Sea!
“I call upon the power of my name to take the Sixth Hex, the Life-Death Hex, and embody it in the Sixth Mountain and Sea. Henceforth… you are the Life-Death Mountain and Sea, responsible for the Tribulations and punishments within the Mountain and Sea Realm!
“Cultivators in this Mountain and Sea may cultivate my Life-Death Hex, and gain enlightenment of the Essences of life and death. This hex will now be called the Sixth Hex of the Mountains and Seas!”
Meng Hao’s voice was natural law embodied. Magical symbols erupted in a tempest which radiated the power of life and death. They formed together into the outline of the Sixth Mountain and Sea, then began to rapidly absorb the surrounding rubble until the Sixth Mountain and Sea became visible.
As it descended to join the other five Mountains and Seas, a black and white aura appeared upon it. At first, there was a sharp contrast between the black and the white, but as it swirled and mixed, it became gray. Then, just as quickly, the black and the white separated again.
It was as if the difference between the realms of death and life were incredibly clear in the Sixth Mountain and Sea. This type of life and death was similar in some ways to the Fourth Mountain and Sea, and yet, was also very different.
That was because this type of life and death had to do with Tribulations and punishments, which could be unleashed upon the entire Mountain and Sea Realm. Anyone who practiced cultivation had to experience Heavenly Tribulation. Furthermore, those who committed grave mistakes would undergo Heavenly punishment. That punishment was like a blade raised aloft, transformed into a natural law. Everything had to be subject to natural law to be complete, and thus, instead of saying that the Sixth Mountain and Sea was the embodiment of punishment, it would be more accurate to say that it was natural law!
Whoever was the Lord of this Mountain and Sea could control the power of punishment, and enforce compliance with natural law.
As the Mountain settled into place, rumbling sounds echoed out. The Mountain and Sea Realm was already completely different than it had been before, as if it were more flexible and powerful, a state which was only beginning.
Without pausing for a moment, Meng Hao spoke yet again, his voice echoing out like thunder to be heard by all of the Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators, as well as the cultivators of the Vast Expanse School.
“Seventh Mountain and Sea!”
“I call upon the power of my name to take the Seventh Hex, the Karmic Hex, and embody it in the Seventh Mountain and Sea. Henceforth… you are the Karmic Mountain and Sea, responsible for Karma within the Mountain and Sea Realm!
“Cultivators in this Mountain and Sea may cultivate my Karmic Hex, and gain enlightenment of the Essence of Karma. This hex will now be called the Seventh Hex of the Mountains and Seas!”
Instantly, magical symbols appeared, and the fragments of the Mountains and Seas came together. The Seventh Mountain and Sea appeared, along with an astonishing power of Karma. The power which exploded out instantly eclipsed the power from the other six Mountains and Seas, and yet just as quickly, faded away. Everything went calm. It was as if the explosion of Karma had transformed into a net which came to settle over the entire Mountain and Sea Realm.
The Seventh Hex, the Karmic Hex, had been of incredible use to Meng Hao throughout his practice of cultivation. It was also the most enigmatic. Karma existed everywhere in Heaven and Earth. It was like a circle with the starting point being the cause of the Karma, and the apex being the effect. Those two points, of course, always connected.
All worlds required Karma, although it was usually an invisible and mysterious thing. Now that Meng Hao had Transcended, he had the power to make Karma the bones of the Seventh Mountain and Sea. Cultivators of the Seventh Mountain and Sea would now be innately adept regarding the Dao of Karma.
Whoever became the Lord of the Seventh Mountain and Sea would understand Meng Hao’s Seventh Hex, and would be able to unleash Heaven-shaking, Earth-shattering power.
Each of these majestic seven Mountains and Seas were different, yet they were all incredibly powerful and awe-inspiring. The Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators continued to offer worship, and many among the army of the Vast Expanse School were left gasping.
Even the countless souls of the Outsiders submerged within the sea of flames were shaken.
What was happening now was something miraculous, something unbelievable, the likes of which no one had ever witnessed before.
That was the nature of Transcendence.
What I want, the Heavens shall NOT lack! What I don’t want, had BETTER not exist in the Heavens!
Meng Hao waved his sleeve, and his eyes shone with brilliant light. After one last look at the Seventh Mountain and Sea, he thought about the Eighth Mountain and Sea, and everything he had done back when he had been there.
“Eighth Mountain and Sea!” he said. Instantly, that particular area in the starry sky began to distort.
Grandpa Meng was the most excited of all; he was now watching something occur that he had never imagined could actually happen. Not only was he able to see the Mountain and Sea Realm once again, he was also able to once again lay eyes on… the Eighth Mountain and Sea.
His reaction was the same as Ksitigarbha’s when he saw the Fourth Mountain and Sea. He threw his head back and laughed uproariously, tears of joy streaming down his face.
“I call upon the power of my name to take the Eighth Hex, the Body-Mind Hex, and embody it in the Eighth Mountain and Sea. Henceforth… you are the Body-Mind Mountain and Sea, responsible for space within the Mountain and Sea Realm!
“Cultivators in this Mountain and Sea may cultivate my Body-Mind Hex, and gain enlightenment of the Essences of body and mind. It will be called the Eighth Hex of the Mountains and Seas!”
And then the Eighth Mountain and Sea appeared in full!
Boundless light rose up, along with countless ghost images. Instantly, the space around the Eighth Mountain and Sea suddenly went completely still.
That was Meng Hao’s Eighth Hex, the first Demon Sealing Hexing magic he had learned. It had accompanied him throughout his life, and been used in battle on numerous occasions, always giving Meng Hao a shocking advantage and allowing him to turn the tide of the fight.
Meng Hao had a powerful attachment to the Eighth Hex, as did he to the Eighth Mountain and Sea. That was the place his mother’s clan had called home, and where his Grandpa Meng had been a Mountain and Sea Lord.
It only felt right that the Eighth Hex become the bones of this new version of the Eighth Mountain and Sea.
With the Body-Mind Hex, cultivators from the Eighth Mountain and Sea would have incredible control over the Essence of space. Later on, they would be able to manipulate space in a way that could hardly be matched in the entire Mountain and Sea Realm.
In addition to that, their control of such power gave them the responsibility of defending the Mountain and Sea Realm. That was the Dao of space, something vast and limitless.
Whoever was the Lord of the Eighth Mountain and Sea would have a very high position. Not only would that person be on equal footing with all of the other Mountain and Sea Lords, their control over the power of space would, in some ways, allow them to disregard everything else.
The cultivators of the Eighth Mountain and Sea were bursting at the seams with excitement, and followed Grandpa Meng in shouting out at the tops of their lungs.
By now, the Mountain and Sea Realm was more than ninety percent complete. Eight Mountains and Seas rose high up, radiating dazzling light. They were all different, as were the cultivators from the respective Mountains and Seas, and when it came to measuring them up against each other, it would be very difficult to determine who was the most powerful.
That was because they were all powerful, and were all critical parts of the Mountain and Sea Realm as a whole.
The First Mountain and Sea controlled beginnings and endings, and was the source of everything. The Second Mountain and Sea controlled what was real and unreal, and could clear inner devils from the hearts of cultivators. The Third Mountain and Sea had the power of the ancient and the present, and could manipulate time. There was almost no need to mention the Fourth Mountain and Sea, which housed the underworld and reincarnation. Most critical was the Fifth Mountain and Sea, the axis of the realm, a place of utmost importance regarding the five elements, the foundation of all cultivation.
The Sixth Mountain and Sea controlled life and death, the punishments and tribulations of the entire realm. Then there was the Seventh Mountain and Sea, where the Dao of Karma set all natural law.
These were the eight Mountains and Seas. And yet… a dragon without a head is no dragon. And the Mountain and Sea Realm was the same.
The Mountain and Sea Realm required… a Mountain and Sea more powerful than all of the others. It needed a symbol, a head, something with ultimate power that could cow any other Mountain or Sea which wavered from the true path.
If any other Mountain or Sea considered betraying the realm, there had to be a force which could unleash power to bring everything back into balance.
That was a power that wouldn’t be placed within the hands of a single person, but rather, would be placed… within the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
Back when the Mountains and Seas had fallen in battle, the last stand had been taken in the Ninth Mountain and Sea. It had been the final line of defense. That was also where the Mountain and Sea Butterfly had come from, which now contained Meng Hao’s parents as the incarnations of the wings.
Some of the most important and critical events of the war centuries ago had played out there!
If that alone didn’t make the Ninth Mountain and Sea deserving of being the most powerful, there were two other reasons which were even more significant.
It was the location where Meng Hao had been born, and it was also the place he considered his ancestral home!
The starry sky shook, and lightning crashed. Everything twisted as colors flashed everywhere. Meng Hao’s eyes shone with radiant light as he took a deep breath, and shifted his gaze to the empty spot behind the Eighth Mountain and Sea.
“Ninth Mountain and Sea… my home…” he said softly.
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