Chapter 170 - Stepping into True Essence
The Ninth Level Essence-Gathering Formation was formed by five magic pillars, each engraved with arcane runes. Some runes shifted around like tadpoles in a pond, giving off a bright light, while others had the inexplicable air of ancient texts, releasing an awe-inspiring aura.
Xiao Yun didn’t understand formations, and he couldn’t learn now, so he only took a look before turning away.
“Hopefully you can help me step into the True Essence realm.” After muttering that to himself, Xiao Yun sat cross-legged in the Essence Gather Formation and took out his Identity Token. He did as Zhang Tianlong had instructed and began to channel his Essence Qi into the Identity Token, in order to prompt the formation into drawing out Heaven and Earth Essence Qi.
As he imbued the Identity Token with Essence Qi, there was a flash of light, and several nearby pillars seemed to be affected as well. They began to give off a light that enveloped Xiao Yun, and at the same time, the runes on the pillars shifted around as if they had come to life.
At this moment, Xiao Yun condensed the Essence Qi in his body to form a magic seal. The seal was very strange, almost like an ancient script. Zhang Tianlong had taught him to do it.
Xiao Yun did not hesitate. As the seal condensed into shape, he moved his palms and pushed the seal into the light of the formation. As the seal sank into the formation, the pillars shifted drastically, and five beams of light shot into the sky and pooled into a cyclone at the top of the Martial Refinery Chamber.
The cyclone seemed to interact with the air and connect to the air outside, and if one looked closely, one could see that even the ceiling of the Martial Refinery Chamber was carved with runes that were smooth as a mirror. Now, these runes had been activated and started to move around.
As the formation was activated, a thick Essence Qi began to flow from the cyclone. Each of the five pillars had also formed several cyclones that were emitting dense Essence Qi. Not only could this Ninth Level Essence Gathering Formation condense Essence Qi from the heavens, the earth, and the air, it could also draw out the Essence Qi from veins deep underground.
This formation really is efficient at drawing out Essence Qi. Xiao Yun had only just activated the formation, but he could feel the ceaseless waves of Essence Qi flowing towards him, several times faster than the Essence Gathering Formation in the Feng Clan’s royal palace.
This was a high-level formation, but the fact that the Heaven Origin Sect already had such dense Essence Qi also helped.
The Heaven Origin Sect was very large, and the land between the mountains was covered with underground veins of Essence Qi. The ability of these Essence Veins to produce Essence Qi was not something that the royal Feng Clan could rival. Not only that, there were Fire Essence Veins in these mountains as well, and even Lightning Essence Veins, and even rarer Essence Veins. But those Essence Veins had all been forcibly absorbed by the founders of the Heaven Origin Sect, and they were now incredibly thin.
“Heaven-Devouring Art, devour!” Feeling such thick Essence Qi, Xiao Yun couldn't wait any longer, and began to activate his Heaven-Devouring Art. A cyclone formed from his stomach, and he began to absorb the Essence Qi with a crazy, wolfish hunger.
The Essence Qi was swallowed by the cyclone, and they were quickly refined and converted into Xiao Yun’s own Essence Qi.
Just as before, the Martial Spirit within his consciousness began to stir, and two green branches penetrated Xiao Yun’s dantian and began to absorb the Essence Qi. Xiao Yun was helpless at this, and could only continue to absorb the Essence Qi, so that he could provide for his greedy Martial Spirit. He knew that if he wanted to step into the True Essence realm, he would have to satisfy his Innate Martial Spirit.
If he stopped cultivating because of this, then he’d never improve.
As of now, his Innate Martial Spirit was already more than two meters tall. Its branches swayed with sparkling green light, and the green halo of light was even more eye-catching. It seemed like it was beginning to really take shape, but Xiao Yun had no clue when it would be able to advance.
Xiao Yun tirelessly absorbed the Essence Qi of the formation, even though he couldn’t receive a drop of it himself. Five days passed in the blink of an eye, and those branches gradually became thicker. The two green buds had grown to the size of his palm, and they didn’t show any signs of stopping. After half a month, the Martial Spirit shook with a bright light, finally showing some change.
Within his consciousness, there was a flash of light, and the brilliant green light shuddered violently. The top of the tree rippled, and the blinding green light began to flow inwards. Originally, the green halo was huge, like an enormous umbrella covering the whole tree, but now, in the center, the green light began to collapse inwards, and it formed into a ring hovering in midair.
It’s really going to turn into a Spirit Ring. Xiao Yun’s heart leaped with joy after he felt his Martial Spirit’s transformation.
The tree did have a huge ring above it before, but the light was spread into an umbrella above the tree, so it wasn’t really a Spirit Ring and was in more of a fledgling stage, but now it was different. The light was clearly shifting inward on itself to form a Spirit Ring.
The light of the Spirit Ring was incessantly flowing inwards, about to evolve into a real ring. At the same time, the branches of the Martial Spirit were doing all they could to absorb the Essence Qi within Xiao Yun’s body, so he had to desperately absorb the Essence Qi that the formation offered him.
The formation was high level enough that the speed at which it drew out Heaven and Earth Essence Qi was at an unimaginable level.
In addition, the Essence Qi in the Heaven Origin Sect was dense and was able to meet Xiao Yun’s needs. Otherwise, even if the Martial Spirit sucked him dry, it wouldn’t be able to advance. As Xiao Yun discovered the difficulty of advancing his Martial Spirit, he realized how important resources were to him.
If he hadn’t been recruited into the Heaven Origin Sect and received the best Ninth Level Essence Gathering Formation, it would’ve taken him months or even years to step into the True Essence realm. In addition to that, his Spirit Ring hadn’t even shown signs of becoming fully formed, and it took a straight five days for it to improve.
In the blink of an eye, Xiao Yun was approaching twenty days of seclusion in the formation. Because he’d stepped into the Innate realm, his body had already surpassed that of an ordinary person. Added to his special constitution, he had absolutely no problem going a month without food or drink.
In Xiao Yun’s Martial Spirit, the green halo of light had completely collapsed onto itself, and it formed a glowing green ring floating above the Martial Spirit Tree. The Spirit Ring was dripping with green light, and it was only as thick as a finger, hovering above the Martial Spirit.
Under careful scrutiny, one could sense runes sparkling within the Spirit Ring, and there was a faint, unknown scent filling the air. Unconsciously, Xiao Yun felt that his perception of the Martial Spirit had become clearer. As he directed his senses to the Martial Spirit, he discovered that the Spirit Ring was formed from green runes, connected to each other by veins like those in a leaf.
These are Intrinsic Runes. Has the Spirit Ring finally fully formed? Xiao Yun was filled with joy at the change in his Martial Spirit. He had a vague hunch that he would soon be able to uncover the Martial Spirit’s secrets.
Is it really going to be a Life Martial Spirit? Xiao Yun was full of hopes and expectations.
The Spirit Ring had formed, and the branches of the Martial Spirit didn’t stop absorbing Essence Qi for another hour.
As Xiao Yun was feeling around in his consciousness, he suddenly discovered a second consciousness forming in his Martial Spirit. And he could clearly feel that this consciousness had a mystic quality to it, as if was inextricably linked with himself.
As he continued probing, it seemed as if there was a second him developing.
Is there a second me being born? Xiao Yun couldn’t explain how he came to such a conclusion, but he was startled nonetheless.
He then shook his head, resolving not to overthink it. Sooner or later, the secrets of his Martial Spirit would be fully revealed.
After the branches of his Martial Spirit retreated into his consciousness, Xiao Yun could finally focus on the Essence Qi that his Heaven-Devouring Art gave him, and he could turn that into his own Essence Qi.
Now, it’s time for me to break through to the True Essence realm. Xiao Yun hardened his gaze and channeled his martial arts in preparation.
Not only could his Heaven-Devouring Art devour all kinds of Essence Qi, it was also a powerful inner art for cultivation, and it would greatly benefit a cultivator’s later development. Since he was in the Innate realm, he needed to refine Essence Qi and convert it into True Essence before he could step into the True Essence realm.
It was hard for regular cultivation techniques to refine Essence Qi into True Essence. Even if they managed it, it was far from being enough to satisfy the vast needs for True Essence within the cultivator’s body. Because of this, many people were unable to step into the True Essence realm, and even if they managed to do so, they wouldn’t be able to improve any further, because whether it was their resources or their martial arts, none of it would be able to support their continued cultivation. But since Xiao Yun had the Heaven-Devouring Art, he didn’t have to worry about any of this, and he didn’t have to switch to another inner art.
After two days, Xiao Yun had accumulated enough Essence Qi to convert into True Essence for breaking through to the True Essence realm. The Heaven-Devouring Art was activated, and it continuously refined and compressed, till the Essence Qi in Xiao Yun’s body was dense as water.
To turn Qi into liquid was to transform it.
Essence Qi surged violently within the body of a cultivator in the Innate realm, and after being compressed, it would only become even wilder, like a river that could drown everything. To turn Qi into liquid meant that all the energy within the Qi would be completely compressed, so that the human body could store more Essence Qi. Once it all exploded outwards, it would have an unthinkable power, at a level that was impossible for ordinary people to defend against.
For that reason, cultivators in the Innate realm could not compete with those in the True Essence realm.
I’m almost there. Xiao Yun looked within himself, and he could feel that his inner Essence Qi was being completely compressed. In his boundless dantian, there was a new, liquid True Essence. Compared to the size of his dantian and his meridians, there was still not enough True Essence.
But it symbolized a metamorphosis and a transformation.
I’ve finally made it to True Essence realm. Xiao Yun was ecstatic. After so much perseverance, he finally stepped into the True Essence realm.
The True Essence realm may not seem insignificant to others, but for Xiao Yun, it was a huge step forward!
He could have entered this realm long ago, but because of his Innate Martial Spirit, he was greatly delayed. He had endured others’ mockery for years, and they had taken every chance to claim that he only had a mediocre talent. But now, that was all in the past.
Stepping into the True Essence realm was only the beginning. Xiao Yun believed that as long as he had the Heaven-Devouring Art and this Ninth Level Essence Gathering Formation, he’d be able to reach the Early Stage Initial State True Essence realm or even the Peak Initial Stage True Essence realm. As long as he had the resources, he would definitely be able to achieve more than anyone else.
After calming down, Xiao Yun continued to absorb Essence Qi and convert it into True Essence to stabilize his realm of cultivation. It was another half month before Xiao Yun stopped cultivating.
Now, he had stepped into the Early Stage Initial State True Essence realm.
The True Essence realm was split into Initial State, Intermediate State, Final State, and Completion. Each state was divided into Early Stage, Late Stage, and Peak.
Next, I should go check out the techniques in the Martial Techniques Temple. Xiao Yun got up and left the Martial Refinery Chamber.