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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One Palm Eradicates Core Formation!

The palm strike caused an illusory golden wave to sweep through the air, and thunder to boom up above. It contained the power of Bai Xiaochun’s Heaven-Dao Gold Core, as well as fleshly body power that had already made contact with the second shackle. It was a domineering power that no one in the same cultivation stage as him could possibly stand up to.

The young Core Formation cultivator let out a howl like a caged animal. The sensation of deadly crisis he felt caused his heart to tremble. In his madness, he realized that he couldn’t flee, and that his only chance to get out of the situation alive was to withstand this palm strike. Suddenly, he was in almost the exact opposite situation as before!

There was little time to consider the situation at the moment. Howling, he slapped his bag of holding to produce a vast array of magical items. Then he performed an incantation gesture, and stabbed his finger toward Bai Xiaochun. He even went to the lengths of spitting his own Earth Core out of his mouth!

“I refuse to believe that you can kill me right after you stepped into Core Formation!!” he shrieked.

Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shone with intense coldness as his hand shot forward with lightning-like speed. When it made contact with the magical items, they couldn’t stand up to the power for even a moment. They were destroyed like dried twigs as Bai Xiaochun’s palm sped forward to the young man.

Then the palm made contact with the young man’s extended finger, and it was almost instantly blotted out of existence. As the golden Heaven-Dao power reduced it to ashes, the young man screamed miserably. However, Bai Xiaochun didn’t pause for even a moment; his palm continued forward, smashing into the young man’s Earth Core!

Instantly, rumbling sounds filled heaven and earth, and the Earth Core collapsed into nothing more than fragments. Blood sprayed out of the young man’s mouth, and a look of despair filled his eyes as Bai Xiaochun’s palm made contact with his chest!

“You want me dead? How about I kill you first!?” Bai Xiaochun’s words were spoken softly, but they were filled with a ferocity that could chill the soul.

Even before he finished speaking, his words were drowned out by a blood-curdling scream….

The young man was shoved backward, tumbling through the air. Before he could come to a stop, his body exploded, sending a rain of blood spattering all over the Sky River Court Core Formation cultivators who had come to aid him.

From the moment Bai Xiaochun began to strike out until the end of the fight, only a moment had passed. Quick and efficient!

The Core Formation cultivators who had just arrived were clearly shocked. Only now did they understand how truly frightening a Heaven-Dao Gold Core expert was!

He had only just stepped into Core Formation, and could already cut down someone in the same level. Furthermore, he had completely dominated his opponent. How could these other Core Formation cultivators be anything other than astonished?

Everything went silent for a moment, after which the River-Defying Sect cultivators began to cheer again as their fighting spirits rose. As for Bai Xiaochun, he hovered there, looking up at the Nascent Soul cultivators some distance off.

For the first time, he felt that he wasn’t so far removed from them after all.

Master Godwind from the Blood Stream Division threw his head back and laughed uproariously. “Children of the River-Defying Sect,” he cried, “attack with full force! Storm the Sky River Court!”

In response, the River-Defying Sect cultivators located in the jungle on either side of the river all roared and began to attack!

Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, and then caused a blood-colored light to explode out from him that vastly exceeded what he was capable of in Foundation Establishment. As it spread out, the cultivators of the Blood Stream Division yet again found their battle prowess increasing!!

Rumbling could be heard as the fighting resumed in full force, and in ever more bitter and deadly fashion than before!

From high up in the air, it was possible to see River-Defying Sect cultivators swarming through the jungle on both banks of the river. They were like two sharp blades, slicing toward the Sky River Court headquarters with deadly abandon.

The Sky River Court couldn’t fight back for much longer. They were being pushed back relentlessly, and the signs of imminent defeat were clear!

That was when an emerald green lantern suddenly flew out from the Sky River Court. As it rose into the air, it grew larger and larger, until it was fully 300 meters tall, and emanated shocking pressure. Surrounding the lantern were countless vengeful spirits, who let out vicious screams as they flew with the lantern toward the left bank of the river.

That lantern was none other than one of the Sky River Court’s precious treasures!

Before the lantern could fly very far, a black sun shot up from the right bank of the river. Inside of the sun was a white raven, whose opened eyes emanated intensely cold light. It let out a cry that could shake the soul as it shot toward the lantern!

As the pace of the battle increased, the time had arrived for the River-Defying Sect to release their reserve powers. Of course, a reserve power like the black sun was little more than a precious treasure to the Sky River Court.

When the precious treasure and the reserve power closed in on each other, a huge gravestone, hundreds of meters tall, appeared in the air above the right bank. It instantly began to smash down toward the ground, emanating a profoundly archaic air. As it descended, the ground down below began to bulge up, as if it were forming a grave.

Then, a withered hand shot up from the dirt, and a hoarse howl echoed out over the right bank.

How could the River-Defying Sect not be prepared for something like this, though? As soon as the gravestone appeared, a white sun shot up over the right bank, within which was a black raven. It let out a piercing cry as it shot toward the gravestone. As it neared, the hand which had emerged from the dirt dissolved into ash, and a face floated out from the gravestone. Howling, the face shot toward the white sun as if to consume it.

The fighting was proceeding with utter intensity as reserve powers and precious treasures were unleashed. Cultivators fought fiercely with other cultivators. Slowly but surely, the River-Defying Sect was pushing the Sky River Court back, and getting closer and closer to the Sky River Court headquarters itself!

The time had come for the third offensive, the assault on the headquarters!

As the offensive proceeded, large numbers of River-Defying Sect cultivators poured out of the jungle and began to fight on the Dire Skybanyan itself!

Booms rang out. The light of magical techniques rose up into the air. Bitter screams echoed here and there.

The battle between the patriarchs was growing more intense. People on both sides were receiving grievous injuries, and yet none of them were willing to back down, and instead, began to fight with even more madness.

Battles were going on between the Gold Core cultivators everywhere, both on the river banks and within the sect headquarters itself!

Bai Xiaochun was no longer tangling with the Foundation Establishment cultivators. Instead, he was higher up, battling the Core Formation cultivators from the Sky River Court. The River-Defying Sect had already had the upper hand in that regard, so there was little danger involved for him. Furthermore, it was giving him valuable experience in fighting other Core Formation cultivators.

As his battle prowess continued to climb, the Core Formation cultivators of the Sky River Court were increasingly shocked.

**

Meanwhile, on a towering mountain some distance away from the Sky River Court, three figures materialized. Despite the distance, they were able to clearly see everything that was happening on the field of battle.

Two of those figures were men, and one was a woman. The woman was beautiful, and emanated an aura that resembled the starry sky itself. She was there in illusory form, sometimes taking clear shape, sometimes blurring visibly. Anyone who stared at her too long would feel themselves growing dizzy.

Of the other two men, one was middle-aged, and emanated a pulsing black mist that formed into the shape of numerous black skulls. The grass near the man was all dead, and even the rocks were beginning to decay. Clearly, that black mist contained shocking power, and closely resembled devil qi!

Finally, there was an old man wearing a Daoist robe. He bore the demeanor of a transcendent being, and possessed a profound and mysterious aura. Anyone who got close to him would be able to hear a faint sound like the music of a Dao.

These three people came from the other three great sects in the Middle Reaches, the Starry River Court, the Polarity River Court, and the Dao River Court!

The woman who was phasing in and out of visibility, she came from the Starry River Court, which was widely known to wield the power of the starry sky! The man with the devil qi came from the Polarity River Court, which was widely regarded as a devilish sect! As for the old man, he came from the top sect in the Middle Reaches, the Dao River Court!

“The Sky River Court will be defeated this day. Interesting.”

“It seems our new neighbors aren’t weaklings, either. That will make things a bit more fun.”

“They even have a Heaven-Dao Gold Core cultivator. The Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect will surely take note of that….”

“You know, since the Sky River Court is going to meet defeat, their shares will need to be redistributed….”

The three of them exchanged slight, knowing smiles. Apparently, their true hope was that neither side came out truly victorious.

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