Chapter 99: Foundation Establishment!
“The Demonic Core just keeps moving, and that prevents the Core sea from entering Foundation Establishment. It just can’t form the Dao Pillar…. I must form the Dao Pillar! I must reach Foundation Establishment! I must stop the Demonic Core from moving. And that requires more Spiritual Energy!”
The three Foundation Establishment Pills dissolved in his mouth, and a shocking amount of spiritual power erupted. It poured into Meng Hao’s Core sea, which moments ago had been in the midst of condensing, but was then interrupted by the Demonic Core.
The lashing power caused the Core sea to shine with blinding golden light. The Demonic Core, which seemed as if it would never stop spinning, suddenly began to slow. The spiritual energy within the Core sea seemed endless. A roaring sound could be heard which suppressed any indication that the Demonic Core would begin to spin furiously again.
It stopped, unmoving. Popping sounds rang out from within the Core sea and echoed throughout Meng Hao’s body. His entire Core sea seemed as if it were freezing over. In the space of a few breaths, it suddenly became completely solid.
At that moment, it seemed almost as if Meng Hao’s life had ended. His breathing slowed, and his body began to shake. His eyes shined, and he took a deep breath as the Qi Condensation Manual of the Sublime Spirit Scripture appeared in his mind. The solidified Core sea began to slowly shrink.
It grew smaller and smaller, changing into a diamond-shaped crystalline rock which contained the Demonic Core. More spiritual energy from the Foundation Establishment Pills poured down, and slowly the Core sea emerged again.
Even as it replenished itself, it began to shrink again upon itself to form an additional diamond-shaped lump of crystalline rock. Then, more spiritual energy poured in, and the process began again.
Meng Hao knew the process would take a long time, and would require a lot of spiritual energy, which was why he had selected this valley. He smacked his bag of holding and began to consume more medicinal pills.
Over and over again, his Core sea replenished itself and then solidified into the diamond-shaped crystalline rock. Meng Hao lost track of time.
One month. Two months. Three months… six months….
Spring passed and autumn arrived, then the cold of winter. A year had passed since Meng Hao entered the Immortal’s Cave to practice secluded meditation. Every full moon during that year, the seven Cultivators would come to pull on the red rope.
Their best effort resulted in pulling out four-hundred ninety-nine meters. They were never able to pull out the final one meter. As time passed, the seven men noticed that the spiritual energy of heaven and earth in the area seemed to have been reduced.
Of course, it was being absorbed by Meng Hao, but they didn’t know that, and couldn’t figure out why it was happening. They searched the area, but came up with nothing. They didn’t even think to connect the phenomenon to Meng Hao. A year had passed, which in their minds was evidence that he had died.
The man who had lost his Spirit Snake that year would often look toward Meng Hao’s Immortal’s Cave with a cold sneer. The death of his Spirit Snake had left him with a deep hatred of Meng Hao.
He tried several times to break into the cave to collect Meng Hao’s treasures from his corpse. But he was never able to succeed.
Time passed, another half year. Meng Hao had now been in secluded meditation for a year and a half. One late night, his Core sea was again solidifying into a diamond-shaped crystalline rock. This was the one-hundredth piece.
A roaring could be heard, and the hundred diamond-shaped rocks suddenly began to fuse together. Slowly, they formed into a transparent, crystalline Dao Pillar!
Foundation Establishment Dao Pillar!
As soon as the Dao Pillar appeared, Meng Hao’s agitated breathing calmed down. His eyes grew dim, and the functioning of his internal organs slowed. He was motionless; even his blood seemed to stop circulating. His entire person seemed to be in a state of suspended animation.
Everything was completely still.
Meng Hao knew that this was the second phase in the process of reaching Foundation Establishment. This was Recuperation.
He sat there cross-legged, his mind echoing with the Qi Condensation Manual of the Sublime Spirit Scripture. He sank into a very strange state. Even though his blood and flesh did not seem to be undergoing any change, in actuality, they were. They were changing in a way that made it much easier to absorb spiritual power.
His Qi passageways enlarged. No spiritual power circulated through them. However, they grew tougher, firmer, and smoother. His bones were different as well, even crystalline in some places. He was transforming, becoming something other than mortal. These changes shook his entire body. His hair grew much longer and he became taller than before.
There was no Core sea within him anymore, but rather, a golden Dao Pillar. It was a flat, circular platform that did not shine, but rather seemed dark and somewhat lonely. It floated in the place where the Core sea had once existed. If you looked closely, you could see Meng Hao’s Demonic Core, right in the center of the Dao Pillar.
It sat there motionless, completely and perfectly fused with the Dao Pillar.
His heart did not beat, his blood did not flow. His Qi passageways were motionless, and his Qi had disappeared. Meng Hao sat there looking withered up. His Dao Pillar was in a similar state. All of his Qi had been sucked away.
He sat that way for another half of a year. Breaking through into Foundation Establishment had taken him two full years. Others would be shocked if they knew of this. Generally speaking, the longest amount of time a Cultivator needs to reach Foundation Establishment is half a year, often it will take only a few months. The amount of spiritual energy required was not immense either, nothing close to what Meng Hao had needed. The amount of time and spiritual energy wasted by Meng Hao was far and above the norm.
Toward the end of the last half-year, Meng Hao’s Dao Pillar began to tremble and vibrate. This was the first thing that began to move within his body. Next, his heart began to beat. All of his systems kicked into motion. His blood began to flow, his Qi passageways began to operate, and his Qi filled with signs of life force. Slowly, he began to awaken as if from sleep.
Soon, the Dao Pillar began to shine brightly with golden light, which grew more and more intense. His heart thumped so wildly it seemed as if it might burst out of his body. Its sound filled the Immortal’s Cave. Every beat of his heart sent blood flowing throughout his body. His Qi billowed out, and it seemed he would soon be filled with power and would be able to open his eyes at any moment.
This power was not to to be used simply to open the eyes, but rather to awaken his body. It moved about within him, growing stronger, imbuing his body with strength!
It was at this moment that the Dao Pillar within him emitted a thunderous roar. A powerful spiritual power burst out from it, blasting out into Meng Hao’s Qi passageways, flesh, blood and bones. Like the life of spring which causes a withered tree to sprout, his body awakened. His Qi grew stronger, and massive amounts of filth exuded from his pores, replaced by a fragrant aroma which arose from him. His long hair floated around him. He looked completely different than he had half a year ago.
As the spiritual power emanated out, his Qi passageways filled with power, and his blood flowed faster. His heartbeat caused the Immortal’s Cave to tremble, and his eyes… it was at this moment that his eyes flashed open.
A blinding light shot out from within them. If a Qi Condensation Cultivator saw it, their mind would reel and their Cultivation base would be damaged.
The moment he opened his eyes, the spiritual energy in the valley was swept up. It was as if Meng Hao had become a black hole, swallowing up all of the spiritual energy in sight. It was absorbed through his pores and into the Dao Pillar, which grew brighter and brighter. Meng Hao’s Qi grew even more powerful.
His heart thumped as the feeling of power blossomed in his mind. He knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that by simply lifting his hand, he could cause the entire Immortal’s Cave to collapse. This was a confidence based on his physical body, his mind, and his Cultivation base.
The Spiritual Sense in his mind grew larger. Because of what he had experienced in completing the great circle of Qi Condensation, his Spiritual Sense leapt to up to a higher level. At the moment it was far more powerful than that of the average Foundation Establishment stage Cultivator.
In fact, his Spiritual Sense completely exceeded that which a Cultivator should have at the early Foundation Establishment stage. It was actually equal to that of the middle Foundation Establishment stage.
And to Foundation Establishment Cultivators, Spiritual Sense was everything!
Meng Hao’s breathing echoed out. The spiritual energy of heaven and earth poured into him, and the Dao Pillar grew more and more bright. Soon, his entire body shined with golden light.
The power of Foundation Establishment Cultivators far exceeds that of Qi Condensation Cultivators. By moving his mind, he could see everything within five hundred meters as if it were within his own heart. This… was Spiritual Sense!
A Cultivator at the beginning Foundation Establishment stage could normally only cast Spiritual Sense two hundred meters ahead.
“The beginning Foundation Establishment stage….” said Meng Hao slowly. As his voice echoed out, his face shone with vigor. His eyes glowed, and he breathed deeply, feeling the power of the spiritual energy emitted by the Dao Pillar. His was a hundred times stronger than the power he could utilize half a year ago when at the peak of the thirteenth level of Qi Condensation.
Of course, that difference of one hundred times was not in comparison to the ninth level of Qi Condensation, but rather the thirteenth. To Meng Hao, this was a complete and utter change.
This was why Foundation Establishment Cultivators could so easily wipe the ground with Qi Condensation Cultivators. The Core sea of Qi Condensation is congealed a hundred times to form the Foundation Establishment Dao Pillar. The change that Meng Hao had experienced this night sent his power leaping upward. It was without comparison!
This chapter was sponsored by Michelle Blanco, Sai Pakalapati, Tjandra Johannes, Tu Ha, and Hein Haugeberg