Heaven-Dao Gold Core!

Qi Condensation. Foundation Establishment. Core Formation!

In the Lower Reaches, the gaps between those three stages were like enormous gorges that separated the cultivators into groups. With the exception of some extreme circumstances, someone in a higher stage could easily crush anyone from a lower stage!

During Qi Condensation, cultivators absorbed the energy of heaven and earth and then transformed it into rivers and lakes. During Foundation Establishment, those rivers and lakes became spiritual seas, giving the cultivators such strength that Qi Condensation couldn’t even compare to it!

Overall, that transformation wasn’t so much an improvement in the quality of the power, just the sheer amount!

However, Core Formation was different!

After crystallizing the spiritual seas and then merging them together into a core, unprecedented levels of battle prowess could be unleashed. Furthermore, it wasn’t just a situation of increasing the amount of power; the quality was also vastly improved!

Depending on how many spiritual seas were merged together, different types of cores could be formed: Mortal Core, Earth Core, and of course, Gold Core!

If Bai Xiaochun were not a Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment cultivator, but the more common Earthstring type, then he would form an Earth Core, and follow the path trod by most other cultivators.

But he was different. He was a Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment cultivator, and as such, he walked the path of the Heaven-Dao Gold Core!!

A Heaven-Dao aura was spreading out in all directions, causing crushing pressure to weigh down on cultivators of the Sky River Court and the River-Defying Sect alike. Everyone was forced to stop fighting, and none of them could even emit cultivation base fluctuations.

It was as if some mysterious natural law was at work!

Gasps rang out without cease across the field of battle, and countless eyes were all focused on the enormous Gold Core which hovered in the air above Bai Xiaochun!

Everyone was shocked, but different thoughts were going through the minds of different people. For example, Shangguan Tianyou’s hands were clenched into fists, and a defiant gleam could be seen in his eyes. Not only was he jealous, he simply refused to admit that he was falling behind.

Song Que was also trembling, and his heart was filled with anything but calm. However, even he wasn’t sure exactly what he was feeling as he watched Bai Xiaochun. It was similar with all the other Chosen.

Zhou Xinqi, Ghostfang, Master God-Diviner, the three blood masters, as well as Nine-Isles from the Profound Stream Division, were all people who fully deserved to be called Chosen. However, they were now being forced to watch Bai Xiaochun rise to prominence, the first among their generation to reach Core Formation. The emotions which rose up in their hearts were complicated and difficult to put into words.

Then there was Chen Manyao from the Pill Stream Division. A strange look could be seen in her eyes, and since no one was paying attention to her, no one saw as she slowly lifted her right hand. However, even as she did that, a gaze from afar locked down onto her, a gaze filled with iciness and menace.

A tremor ran through Chen Manyao as she suddenly felt extremely cold. Looking around, she realized that the person who was looking at her was one of the disciples of the Spirit Stream Division, the same person she had seen on the Heavenspan River back at the Blood Stream Division headquarters. It was a young woman named Gongsun Wan’er!

As various thoughts ran through various minds, a sound suddenly crashed out from within the nine spiritual seas, a sound that surpassed heavenly thunder!

RUMBLE!

All light went dim, and all hearts were shaken. It was as if the heavens were roaring. At the same time, a bolt of golden lightning shot out from the clouds above, filling the air around the nine spiritual seas and transforming into countless hands that shoved against them!

In response, the nine merged spiritual seas began to shrink down!

Among the forces of the Sky River Court, the most powerful cultivator, the old man who was half a step into the Deva Realm, suddenly blurted, “Nine lightning bolts smelt the core!!”

In almost the exact same moment, the Nascent Soul patriarchs from the River-Defying Sect also began to cry out.

“It really is Heaven-Dao Gold Core! In the moment of this type of Core Formation, the heavens form lightning that assists in the smelting of the core itself!”

“It seems like assistance, but the truth is it’s like a Tribulation! Only by withstanding nine strikes of lightning can success be had….”

Even as the hubbub of conversation echoed out, the nine spiritual seas shrank down, and Bai Xiaochun trembled. Blood began to ooze out of his mouth, and a terrifying aura radiated out from him. That aura seemed like an aura of complete madness; if he made the slightest mistake, he would be destroyed. Not only would he fail to succeed at his Core Formation, but he would be ripped to shreds, destroyed in body and soul!

Attempting to reach Core Formation without being fully prepared was an extremely dangerous task!

When the River-Defying Sect cultivators saw blood oozing out of Bai Xiaochun’s mouth, they started to get even more nervous than before. However, they could do nothing to help him. Outsiders could not interfere during Heaven-Dao Gold Core Formation. Everything was up to Bai Xiaochun and Bai Xiaochun alone.

His eyes were completely bloodshot as he looked up into the sky at the spiritual seas, which was also the exact moment when another crackling boom filled the air.

RUMBLE!

A second golden lightning bolt appeared, even bigger than the last one. As it descended, it wrapped around the nine spiritual seas and began to crush them with pressure!

Things weren’t over yet, though. A third boom came, then a fourth and a fifth. Each golden lightning bolt which appeared was bigger than the last, and the pressure they exerted onto the nine spiritual seas caused them to shrink down rapidly. Soon, the core formed by the spiritual seas was only about 300 meters wide, and it glittered with golden light!

As for Bai Xiaochun, he was trembling, and blood was pouring out of his eyes, nose, and ears. He truly seemed like he was hovering on the verge of collapse.

And yet, the end had not yet been reached. A sixth boom could be heard, then a seventh. More golden lightning appeared, and the nine spiritual seas seemed to be trembling on the verge of collapse, as if they might explode at any moment!

Six bolts of lightning were difficult enough, but then a seventh appeared, and a Heaven-Dao aura even more shocking than before spread out. The core formed by the merged spiritual seas began to ripple and distort!

By now, the spiritual seas had shrunk from 300 meters to 30, and looked more than ever like they might collapse.

“Xiaochun!!” More than one person among the River-Defying Sect was calling out Bai Xiaochun’s name. That was especially true of those who were his close friends. They were more nervous than anyone. Hou Yunfei, Big Fatty Zhang, and Li Qinghou were all wracked with anxiety. Hou Xiaomei and Song Junwan seemed completely on edge.

In sharp contrast, the cultivators of the Sky River Court were already beginning to sigh with relief now that it seemed that the Core Formation process was going to fail. That was especially true of the Core Formation youth who had been fighting Bai Xiaochun. A vicious smile spread out on his face, and the regret in his heart began to fade. He began to sigh with relief, and killing intent once again rose up in his eyes.

“So, it seems I won’t even need to do anything. I can just watch him die!”

However, even as the sigh of relief left his mouth, Bai Xiaochun gritted his teeth and struggled to lift his head, staring up at the nine spiritual seas as an eighth rumbling sound caused heaven and earth to shake!

As the deafening sound spread out, an eighth golden lightning bolt appeared, larger and wider than any of the previous ones. It looked like a golden dragon as it wrapped around the nine spiritual seas and began to crush them!

Heavenly lightning was shaking the sky!

The Gold Core formed from the nine spiritual seas shrank from 30 meters down to a mere 3. The core rippled and distorted out of shape, and cracks could even be seen on its surface!

Bai Xiaochun was trembling so hard that blood was seeping out of his pores, turning him crimson. His eyes were bloodshot and filled with madness. That was when his Undying Live Forever Technique kicked into effect, and golden light spread out from him. Behind him, his Asura Body manifested!

“Form!!” he shouted. Booms like thunder filled him, and his life force power erupted, healing him. After the eighth lightning bolt vanished, the Gold Core formed from his nine spiritual seas was still there, and it was no longer misshapen!

People gasped loudly in shock, but even as they did, a rumbling crash filled the sky, the ninth!

“The last lightning bolt!!” said Master Godwind softly, even as he shook visibly.

“Either he succeeds, or he dies!” said the old man from the Sky River Court, his voice low. As he looked at Bai Xiaochun, mixed emotions could be seen on his face. He knew that if Bai Xiaochun successfully reached Heaven-Dao Gold Core, then as long as he didn’t meet an unexpected end, he would surely reach Nascent Soul, and most likely, the Deva Realm!

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Making Contact With The Second Shackle!

Intense rumbling sounds could be heard as the ninth bolt of golden lightning shot through the air. It was far larger than any of the preceding lightning bolts, and caused the entire sky to turn the color of gold as it sped toward Bai Xiaochun’s three-meter Gold Core.

The crushing pressure exuded by that lightning bolt was both the strongest and the final round!

Bai Xiaochun let out a long cry as he released all the power of his cultivation base. His Undying techniques were in full swing, and his will, soul, and everything else about him was completely and utterly focused. Nothing else in the world even existed at the moment. His mind was devolving into chaos, and yet, there was one thing that remained….

“I must form this Gold Core! I want to live forever!!” Without even realizing what he was doing, he threw his head back and roared, then shot up into the air toward the Gold Core.

RUUUUUUUUMBLE!

From a distance, it was just possible to see him arriving at the Gold Core at the exactly the same time as the bolt of lightning!

As of this moment, heaven and earth were turning blurry, the sky was shaking, and the land was being rocked back and forth!

As of this moment, so much golden light filled the world that it became the only color in existence!

As of this moment, it was almost impossible to even distinguish Bai Xiaochun from the lightning, as both merged into the Gold Core!

As of this moment, every person on the battlefield was completely focused on the events playing out above!

No longer was the lightning visible, nor Bai Xiaochun. Not even the Gold Core itself could be seen.

The only thing it was possible to see now was a field of endless gold!

No one was able to determine whether Bai Xiaochun had succeeded. The ancient records didn’t contain detailed information about what could happen in a scenario like this. They only contained a general overview; currently, no one had any idea to judge what was happening.

The only thing they could do now was wait!

The Heaven-Dao pressure slowly began to dissipate, and the golden light started to fade….

Everyone was looking anxiously up into the sky, countless thoughts running through their minds. However, all of them realized that this would likely be both the first and last time any of them ever saw someone reach Heaven-Dao Gold Core!

It was the same in both the River-Defying Sect and the Sky River Court.

As for the young man who had been fighting Bai Xiaochun earlier, he was shaking all over. The idea of Bai Xiaochun reaching Heaven-Dao Gold Core filled him with a level of dread he could never have even imagined before.

“There’s no way he’s going to succeed! “he shouted to himself, his expression distorting with rage. “There’s no way!!”

However, even as the young man shouted to himself, the gold light faded away completely, and everyone caught sight of Bai Xiaochun!

There he hovered, his eyes closed, his hair floating around him, his arms outstretched. Golden light shone from him, making him look like a celestial being. Everyone was completely shaken.

That was when his eyes suddenly snapped open!

Instantly, rumblings like thunder echoed out in all directions, and at the same time, terrifying cultivation base fluctuations rolled out.

That was something that a Foundation Establishment cultivator could not accomplish. That was something that came only with the power of a Gold Core!!

“Impossible!” the young man cried, his mind spinning. Cries of alarm rang out from the Sky River Court, whereas cheering could be heard from the River-Defying Sect.

“Did it work!?!?”

“Junior Patriarch!!”

“Xiaochun!!”

Even as the cheers rang out, Bai Xiaochun hovered there, somewhat in a daze. He could sense the cultivation base power coursing through him, and felt his previous injuries and wounds vanishing. The power he was experiencing was not just from his fleshly body; it was a comprehensive power that gave him the feeling that a mere wave of his hand could crush everything around him.

“So, this is Gold Core, huh…?” he murmured. He could clearly sense that the nine spiritual seas inside of him were gone, and had been replaced by a spinning Gold Core!

This was true Heaven-Dao Gold Core!

Every time the Gold Core spun, it released more power than the last time. As the cultivation base power poured through him, his body underwent a heaven-shaking, earth-toppling transformation.

It wasn’t just an addition to his longevity; he was ascending to a higher form of life. Everything around him now looked different than before.

There were more colors, everything was more crisp and detailed, and he seemed closer to everything!!

Furthermore, a Heaven-Dao aura erupted out from him that far surpassed the aura from his days in Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment. It connected him to heaven and earth in such a way that he almost felt as if he had the power to summon heavenly lightning!

There was another indescribable feeling that existed inside of him, something like what he had experienced in the world of the Blood Ancestor. It was almost as if he were being doted upon by heaven and earth; when he looked up into the sky, it seemed strangely familiar to him.

“Gold Core!!” Clenching his hands into fists, he threw his head back and let loose a long cry. Everything around him shook, and the cultivators of the River-Defying Sect began to cheer even more loudly than before.

“I think I can keep going!” he thought. Taking a deep breath, he sent his Undying Live Forever Technique into motion. Shockingly, an asura appeared behind him, then a second, a third, and a fourth….

One asura after another appeared, causing his energy to skyrocket. By this point, he was already far beyond the ordinary early Core Formation level. Everyone, especially the Chosen, were completely shocked.

“He’s… he’s going to keep going?”

“How is this possible?!?!”

“That’s fleshly body power. Don’t tell me he’s going to form a fleshly body Gold Core?!?!” Numerous onlookers were crying out in shock.

Stepping into Core Formation in the middle of a battlefield was a shocking thing in and of itself. But then he actually reached Heaven-Dao Gold Core, and after that, continued to increase his fleshly body power. The cultivators of both the River-Defying Sect and the Sky River Court were so shocked that they were going into a daze.

Even as they went silent, a fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and finally, a ninth asura appeared behind him. Rumbling sounds filled heaven and earth as the energy of nine asuras caused everything to shake violently.

Bai Xiaochun’s breakthrough was not limited to his cultivation base; he was actually making progress with his Undying Asura Body!

The nine asuras were like nine Dharma Idols, surrounding Bai Xiaochun and roaring into the heavens just like he was.

It was a sound that surpassed heavenly thunder, and caused everyone to be shaken to the core. Even the plants in the jungle were trembling, and all Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, and ordinary Core Formation cultivators felt their cultivation bases teetering unstably.

Gasps and cries of astonishment could be heard everywhere!

But then, a tenth asura appeared next to the ninth one, and a massive tremor ran through Bai Xiaochun.

It was in that moment that he could sense a shackle inside of him!!

“The five great shackles….” he murmured to himself. He had already broken through the first shackle back when he had mastered the Undying Skin. Now, the second shackle had appeared!

Although he couldn’t break through it at the moment, he could at least make contact!

To him, it felt as if four enormous mountains were weighing down onto him. It was something he couldn’t detect before, but now his senses were heightened, and the feeling couldn’t be clearer. He suddenly had the urge to destroy those mountains, to break free and truly rise up!

“I’m almost at the point of achieving the Undying Heavenly King Body. Once that happens, I can form an Undying Heavenly King Core!” As he thought back to the details of the second volume of the Undying Codex, his eyes shone with anticipation, and his heart thumped with excitement. At that point, he looked down at the young man he had been fighting before, who was now trembling with terror.

Almost as soon as their gazes met, the Heaven-Dao aura vanished, and the pressure faded away.

The young man’s hair began to stand on end, and he started to back up. He really had no choice other than to give up on the fight; as of this moment, Bai Xiaochun filled him with indescribable terror.

The fact that Bai Xiaochun was looking directly at him caused his heart to pound wildly. That gaze was like two sharp swords stabbing into his heart at mind, causing his Earth Core to shake.

In the same moment that the young man turned to flee, several streams of divine sense, as well as a group of cultivators, began to race toward him from the Sky River Court to save him. However, Bai Xiaochun was much closer to him than they were. He already had shocking speed back in Foundation Establishment, and now that he was in Heaven-Dao Gold Core, he was even faster!

“You’re not getting away!” he said, his voice as cold as ice. The young man had forced him to take the dangerous and potentially deadly choice of forcing Core Formation early. As a result, Bai Xiaochun’s killing intent surged with completely intensity.

He took a step forward, and wings sprouted behind him. The Mountain Shaking Bash gave him an explosive burst of speed, causing him to leave behind afterimages and a series of sonic booms. In the blink of an eye, he was right in front of the young Core Formation cultivator!

“You just hit me with a palm strike. Now it’s my turn!” His voice echoed out like the winter wind as he reached his hand back and then sent his palm flying toward the young man.

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