Chapter 1614: A Ship Approaches From the Horizon!
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A few days later, Meng Hao and Xu Qing left, having left his parents with his eternal blessings.
As for the cultivator who had tried to interfere with the silk ball, it goes without saying that he met a bad end. He had offended Meng Hao, the lord of the starry sky, and had done so in a way that was no better than slaughtering a sect or even wiping out a world. To Meng Hao, it was actually worse than any of those things.
The cultivator vanished without a trace. He was completely wiped out, along with the memories of him which existed in the minds of people who had known him. It was as if he had never even existed within the starry sky to begin with.
Considering Meng Hao’s status and position, he normally wouldn’t do such a thing. However, that insignificant cultivator... had encroached upon the most precious place in Meng Hao’s heart.
The cultivator was destroyed in body and soul, never even aware of the monumental disaster he had brought upon himself.
There was one last thing Meng Hao did before leaving. He took Xu Qing down the river to a fishing village.
There, they caught sight of a fisherman, a burly fellow who was in the middle of tossing out a fishing net. The river was teeming with fish, so the man was shocked when he pulled the net in to find only a gourd inside.
He looked curiously at the gourd, wondering why it would be lying at the bottom of the river. It seemed almost like it was brand new, but the top was stoppered up, turning it into a storage container.
The fisherman stood there, curiously examining the gourd, and was just about to open it when he noticed Meng Hao and Xu Qing.
“You’re Mr. Zhou from the Zhou Clan, right?” Meng Hao asked, eyes glittering as though he was very happy to be talking to this man. He smiled. “Would you mind selling me that bottle gourd?”
The burly man stared back in shock for a moment, apparently surprised that this person even knew his surname. He looked at the bottle gourd and grinned. “It’s just a bottle gourd. It's hardly worth anything. If you want it, big bro, you can have it.” With that, he handed the bottle gourd over to Meng Hao.
Meng Hao took it, but shook his head, and his eyes sparkled. Xu Qing stood off to the side, watching in surprise. It almost seemed as if this burly fisherman were an old friend of Meng Hao’s. However, she always felt a sense of familiarity toward Meng Hao’s old friends, and this man seemed like a complete stranger.
“I insist on buying it,” Meng Hao said. “How about this: I’ll give you ten pieces of silver for it. Okay?” With that he extended his hand, within which were ten pieces of silver.
The burly fisherman’s eyes went wide. Apparently, he thought this young man was a complete imbecile. He took a deep breath and then accepted the silver, looking a bit embarrassed. Then he scratched his head and said, “Uh, this....”
“Don’t mention it, Mr. Zhou.” With that, Meng Hao took out three more pieces of silver and put them into the fisherman's hand. “Here are three more silver pieces. Take them. All of this is to pay for a debt I owed to the Zhou Clan years ago.”
This time, the fisherman’s jaw dropped.
Meng Hao wasn’t finished. “Here are some medicinal pills. Boil them in water and drink the resulting elixir. It will bring blessings to the Zhou Clan for all generations to come in this starry sky. I wish you health and good fortune, sir. This... is the interest for a debt of three silvers, incurred countless epochs ago.” After Meng Hao gave the silver and the medicinal pills to the burly fisherman, it seemed as if a great weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. Apparently, even his cultivation base had inched closer toward a breakthrough.
It was as if a Karma Thread stretching back countless ages into the past had finally been satisfied.
Meng Hao laughed heartily, then clasped the bottle gourd in one hand and Xu Qing’s hand in the other as he took a step forward. That step took him out into the Heavens, into the vast starry sky.
Out there among the stars, Xu Qing looked quizzically at Meng Hao and asked, “Who was he?”
“Back when you pulled me into the world of cultivation, I was a scholar,” he said, chuckling. “I owed Steward Zhou from Yunjie County three pieces of silver.... After all the epochs which have passed, I've finally managed to pay back the debt, principal and interest!”
Xu Qing’s eyes went wide with disbelief for a moment, then she started laughing. Eventually her eyes came to rest on the bottle gourd.
“I threw this same bottle gourd off Mount Daqing, all those years ago. I guess we’ve come in a big circle. Now that I have it back, I might as well write down a new ambition, and toss it out into the Universe.” Meng Hao’s eyes shone brightly with anticipation as he gazed out into the far reaches. His expression was actually a bit bashful, and when Xu Qing noticed that, she couldn’t hold back from laughing out loud. She could only imagine the scene... of Meng Hao traveling the depths of the Universe... bashfully handing out promissory notes.
There was now nothing holding him back. He had resolved all pertinent matters, and now, his old personality was finally showing through.
“It’s about time to go,” he said. “Somewhere out in the Universe are the Ghost, the God, and the Devil. They've been waiting out there for ages now.... I wonder if I can get any of them to write me a promissory note.” Heart bursting with ambition, face filled with pious ardor, he took another step forward. Xu Qing was laughing so hard her sides hurt, and the parrot was squawking up a storm to the babbling meat jelly. They vanished, and when they reappeared, they were no longer in the starry sky of the Mountains and Seas, they were out in the boundless Universe.
In the majestic Universe, there were unending possibilities. There were infinite mysteries, and countless worlds, like seeds, filled with limitless life.
Up ahead, a ship appeared, which also happened to be heading toward the deeper parts of the Universe. The deck of the ship was covered, making it impossible to see inside. It was an old, dilapidated ship, and yet somehow, it radiated boundless power.
An old man sat cross-legged at the prow, and at the stern was a young man in a black robe, with an icy cold expression and a murderous aura swirling around him.
The man at the prow was Old Man Extermination!
The youth at the stern was Slaughter!
When Meng Hao saw them, he smiled. “Fellow Daoists, would you mind if my wife and I join you on your travels?” He took another step forward, and he was on the ship.
Slaughter opened his eyes, looked over, and nodded. Then his eyes closed again. However, the faintest of smiles could be seen on his face.
Old Man Extermination opened his eyes, and they shone with a strange light. He looked at Meng Hao for a long moment, then smiled.
Turning his head, he called out, “Apprentice, we have some new guests on board. Please bring out two cups of wine.”
A female voice could just barely be heard inside the cabin, acknowledging the words spoken by Extermination. Then the screen hanging at the cabin door was pushed aside, and a beautiful young woman appeared, upon whose face was a faint, enigmatic smile.
She looked at Meng Hao, and then at Xu Qing, and her eyes began to shine. At the same time, her cheeks seemed to flush with embarrassment.
“Elder Brother Fang Mu, Big Sister Xu Qing, I'm not here to cause trouble,” she said. “This is my Master’s ship, and... my Master wanted me here.” She smiled.
Meng Hao's eyes went wide.
Xu Qing looked at her, then covered her mouth and laughed. Stepping forward, she clasped the young woman’s hands in her own.
If that beautiful young woman wasn’t Chu Yuyan, then who could she be?
The End of I Shall Seal the Heavens
Note from Deathblade: Have we really reached the end? The answer is: yes and no. This is the official end, but Er Gen wrote three “other tales” which I will be posting shortly. That’s right, there is a bit more to the story, and in fact, at least one of these “other tales” has some bombshell information in it (assuming these “legendary” tales are true)! Stay tuned. P.S. The “other tales” do not count as part of the contest!