Step. Step. Step.
A figure dressed in a black-colored martial robe with metallic bracers and a scabbard at his hip walked. His aura and presence was phenomenal for his age and cultivation base. Just it could cause countless hearts to shiver at the mere sight of him.
Wei Wuyin calmly took each step, followed by a serene inhale and exhale. While his expression was the pinnacle of calm, his heart was churning and throbbed with emotional waves. Today was the day. For some reason, he knew that today will likely define the rest of his life. While this was an understandable sensation considering the importance of ascending to the next realm for any cultivator—the enhanced longevity, the rise in strength, and newfound view of the world that accompanied it—it was different for him.
In the depths of his soul, he knew this was true.
Before making this decision, he sent Zuhei, Su Mei, and Xiao Bai off elsewhere. The resulting tribulation will cause immense destruction to his surroundings. Fortunately, the eighth-level had very few Sky Palace and each was separated by a vast distance.
At the moment, he was in a large courtyard with the Sky Layer and various formations as its foundation. With its stability and durability, there shouldn ’t be too much damage. After settling his mind, he lifted his head towards the sky, his silver eyes were gorgeously radiant beneath the luminescent sunlight.
”Astral Tribulation; the first tribulation of a cultivator ’s life. To ascend, one has to withstand the tempering forces it unleashes. This force is often described as fighting against a world, going against the heavens, and invoking changes that seem nearly species changing. ” Wei Wuyin calmly revisited his knowledge of the first Astral Tribulation, the Mortal Star Formation Tribulation.
To ascend into the stars, you must become one!
Each of his Natal Souls stirred, sending their feelings of excitement, anxiousness, indifferent, and curiosity through him. These were similarly his own emotions, and feeling theirs made his mind feel somewhat relieved. He wasn ’t alone in this, and while he might not admit it openly, he was human and felt a tinge of fear.
If he failed, would there be any purpose in living any longer? If his road of cultivation was blocked, life in a cultivation world would lose its purpose.
”… ” He stilled. Never did he realize that his life had taken cultivation the same as a beating heart and a healthy brain—needed to survive; needed to thrive.
He closed his heart and assimilated all their emotions and thoughts into his own heart, mixing it into his own until they were indistinguishable. ’Let ’s do this. ’
”Let ’s. ” – Alchemic Eden Natal Soul.
”Tch. ” – Divine Saber Natal Soul.
”Will it be colorful? I hope its colorful! It has to be colorful! ” – Divine Elemental Natal Soul.
”… ” – Draconic Void Natal Soul.
A soft smile suffused his lips. ’When all this is over, I think I should give you guys proper names. What do you think about that? ’As he thought this, he felt a surge of confidence endlessly flow through his heart. While none of them answered him, he felt their joy. Names were crucial to any sentient existence, and it declared that they existed beyond their own thoughts, but in the thoughts of others.
They, specifically, were remembered and mattered.
Nodding slightly, he lifted his eyelids to reveal a set of resplendent silver eyes that were as stable as a star at a center of a starfield.
Unlike the previous cultivation realms, assailing the Astral Tribulation to ascend to the Astral Core Realm was exceptionally easy to do. All one needed was a Qi Condensation cultivation base at the Ninth Stage and a 4th Mortal State. There was no comprehension required. In fact, it was truly that easy.
At that point, it was merely connecting with one ’s Natal Soul and interfacing with them, connecting with an ethereal sensation that connected with the grander world. This sensation was noticeable the moment all requirements were met. However, while the qualifications were easily met, the Mortal Star Formation Tribulation was a notorious killer of dreams.
Wei Wuyin had witnessed first-hand the demise of an Evil Cultivator in the Myriad Yore Continent who attempted to ascend. Using his own power, he failed to weaken the tribulation by thirty-percent. This included setting up an expansive Spiritual Qi Array, drawing endless power from the surroundings, and detonating tens of thousands of Hearts of Qi and three Spirits of Qi that he had taken from others at it and refined into his own strength.
He inevitably failed in the most horrendous way, and his body was turned into bloody mist, broken bones, and smashed brain matter. That scene of his eyes that revealed hopelessness despite a valiant showing prior could invoke unfathomable fear in most.
Moreover, there were tens of trillions of cultivators in this starfield, and many of them could cultivate to the Ninth Stage with a 4th Mortal State, yet even still, only five million Astral Core Realm cultivators were active.
This was simply the first tribulation, but it gated so many cultivators that the numbers would cause any to feel dizzy and disturbed.
Wei Wuyin spread his fingers completely outwards, then clenched them into fists. He did this a few times until he was completely relaxed. Unlike Phantom Rogue, the Evil Cultivator, he hadn ’t set up any Spiritual Qi Arrays. Arrays were sources of external strength, and even if he succeeded using it, his cultivation would never progress another step. He could only rely entirely on his own power, this meant no pellets! However, this didn ’t dissuade him as he decided within his heart.
”Start. ” Wei Wuyin muttered. He hadn ’t known if the Natal Souls would challenge their tribulation together or alone, but he immediately realized the truth. They were to overcome the tribulation alone!
His Alchemic Eden, Draconic Void, and Divine Saber Natal souls became dormant, their various movements subsided until it became almost entirely unnoticeable. The one that stirred the most was his first Natal Soul in his life! The Divine Elemental Natal Soul!
”Yes! Yes! I ’m first! ” – Divine Elemental Natal Soul.
The excitement reached Wei Wuyin ’s mind and was reflected in his eyes as they glowed brilliantly. Within his body, he realized his other Natal Souls might ’ve gone dormant, but they were not entirely inactive. Their innate energies were being continuously funneled into his Divine Elemental Natal Soul, bolstering its reserves of energies by four times.
In the matter of seconds, his various energies he had cultivated throughout his life were drawn, gathered, and condensed entirely within his Divine Elemental Natal Soul. This was the state deemed as a Pseudo-Astral Core Realm! It was as if his entire Natal Soul was simultaneously igniting and detonating all at once, yet it was stuck in a profoundly mysterious limbo state.
This invoked miraculous and vigorous transformations of his cultivation base, and his strength reached an entirely new level. He felt tremendous power that seemed to shake the world with every motion circulate ceaselessly within his body!
In this state, not only was he at his strongest, but he felt as if he could face anything in the world!
RUMBLE! RUMBLE!! RUMBLE!!!
He felt the world violently rumble, causing the atmosphere to feel stale, extremely oppressive and suffocating. Up in the sky, he felt as if there was a gigantic invisible door opening, connecting with his entirety and assessing his existence. It seemed to wash over him, deciding what he needed to fully progress into an Astral Core Realm!
Perhaps this assessment was the heavens ’ attempt to suppress those who ’ve reached this step, a trial that could only be overcome by those with exceptional talent, fortune, and skill. At that instant, his eyes subconsciously focused on a speck.
This speck was exceptionally tiny to his vision. It floated high above and seemed to exceed the Sky Layer, touching the Dark Void. His eyes widened.
’No way! ’ His thoughts erupted with an extremely potent degree of disbelief. ’Is that a fucking sun?! ’The more he looked at that speck, the more he felt it was a simple star that had just popped out into existence randomly, and this star was simply very, very, very far away.
The most confusing matter was that it was brightly lit in the current world, and the starry skies were almost entirely concealed by the sunlight emissions. While he might be at the eighth level, within the Sky Layer, only at night or piercing through the final Sky Layer would one be able to truly witness the starry skies!
This was a sun that was visible during the day!
Furthermore, he felt an unreasonably intense connection to it. Was the Mortal Star Formation Tribulation ’s origins a legitimate star?! Before he could investigate or ruminate over the matter, he felt an unfathomably fierce oppressive might shake the world, and the mana of this world became volatile and violent. With his Celestial Eyes, he could see that the worldly energies were contaminated by some unknown force.
He tried to absorb the surrounding worldly energies or essence, but found it impossible. ’I see! This is why using arrays are considered external forces; its no longer unowned power, but power of the tribulation. No wonder it didn ’t help Phantom Rogue! Using the tribulations power against itself, how could you hope to exhaust its strength? ’
A truth to a question he had never even considered was answered. The changes didn ’t stop there, however. The star was growing larger and larger, approaching and expanding within his field of vision. It was coming closer! Closer and closer!
He stood his ground, but his heart was shaking slightly. When he had observed Phantom Rogue fight against his tribulation, it was as if he was fighting an invisible enemy, but it seemed it was invisible only to observers. It must ’ve been this star!
He tightly clenched his fists. Within his palms, elemental qi started to manifest. Every passing second, his elemental qi grew in intensity.
When the star finally seemed to stop growing…the Mortal Star Tribulation was here.
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