Instead of taking the jade bottle back to his immortal's cave, he spent a moment of thought before deciding to take advantage of his access to the arcane pocket realm, which he had earned during the Chosen battles.
In the arcane pocket realm, he could seek enlightenment of secret magics, as well as his own personal techniques. There was something profound and mysterious about the arcane pocket realm that made enlightenment much easier, although Bai Xiaochun didn’t quite understand the mechanics of it all.
In the Qi Condensation stage, techniques were somewhat limited, so it was best to wait until Foundation Establishment to go into the arcane pocket realm. Furthermore, no one would dare to state with utmost certainty that they would be able to reach the Gold Core stage. Even Bai Xiaochun with his Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment had, at best, a high likelihood of succeeding.
Therefore, it wasn’t very practical to wait until the Gold Core stage.
The entrance to the arcane pocket realm was in a secret location on Mount Daoseed. When Bai Xiaochun handed the jade slip to the prime elder in charge of the entrance, the white-haired old man looked at him with a profound gaze.
Bai Xiaochun felt incredible pressure accompanying that gaze, almost the same type of pressure he remembered feeling as a Qi Condensation cultivator when a Foundation Establishment expert looked at him. He immediately put on his most charming front.
“You took first place in the Chosen battles,” the old man said. “That gets you one day of enlightenment. Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment gets you three days. Peak Lord Li Qinghou from Fragrant Cloud Peak previously accumulated two days of time, which he has passed on to you. The sect leader has also gifted you with two days.” Upon hearing these things, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide.
He had never been told that Li Qinghou and Zheng Yuandong had gifted him time in the arcane pocket realm. However, he hadn’t even been aware that there was a time limitation to begin with. A few days certainly didn’t seem like enough time to gain enlightenment.
“A total of eight days!” The old man’s right hand flashed with an incantation gesture, and then he waved his finger at a nearby boulder. The boulder began to blur, and then rumbling sounds echoed out that caused Bai Xiaochun’s heart to tremble. Shockingly, the boulder transformed into a huge stone golem more than 30 meters tall. It threw his head back and howled, then reached out with both hands and began to rip the air apart.
An instant later, a huge fissure could be seen.
“What are you waiting for?!” the prime elder said. Although he spoke in a cool voice, it still echoed like thunder. Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath, then clasped hands and bowed before flying toward the fissure and disappearing inside.
A moment later, the fissure closed up, and the stone golem transformed back into a boulder. Then the prime elder closed his eyes to meditate.
When Bai Xiaochun reappeared, he was in a strange world of complete grayness. As he looked around, he realized that he was standing in the exact spot he had been standing in moments before.
He could see the boulder, although the prime elder was gone. The entire Spirit Stream Sect was visible around him, but he couldn’t sense even a trace of life within it. After a moment, he flew up into the air to get a better look around.
“This....” The Spirit Stream Sect looked exactly the same as he remembered. However, not a single person could be seen in any of the buildings.
The desolate feeling he got caused Bai Xiaochun to grow very nervous. Then he looked over and realized that the Heavenspan River was completely dried up, and his scalp began to tingle.
“What kind of arcane pocket realm is this?” He felt extremely uneasy, although he wasn’t exactly sure why. With that, he headed to the very peak of Mount Daoseed, a place where he would normally never be able to go.
From that vantage point, he could look out on the entire world around him. However, everything was filled with gray mist, making it difficult to see very far.
“I don't even want to think about what this means. I guess I’ll just see if it’s really easier to gain enlightenment of techniques here.” Suppressing his uneasy feeling, he sat down cross-legged, closed his eyes, and visualized the Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation.
A moment later, his eyes snapped open, and they shone with delight. For some reason, there were many aspects to cultivation that he found confusing in the outside world, but suddenly made sense here. For some reason, it was as if his mind had expanded, and any thought that passed through his head was instantly made a reality!
It was very strange. It was almost as if all he had to do was imagine some new world, and that world would appear right in front of him. He almost couldn’t believe it.
Excitedly closing his eyes again, he immersed himself in seeing enlightenment of the Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation.
Time passed. Soon, night fell. Before Bai Xiaochun knew it, a second day had come and gone. Then a third.
Deep in the night of the third day, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes opened, and they shone with the glow of enlightenment. In fact, if you looked closely, you would be able to see a magical symbol flickering deep in each pupil.
“The most difficult part of the Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation is the first step,” he murmured. “Water from the spirit river descends like a meteor falling into the mortal world. Flesh and blood become threads that hold up the stars. The body becomes the heavens, and the stars exist inside of it, never to descend!” He waved his right hand, causing a jade bottle to fly out of his bag of holding.
The bottle opened, and a drop of golden water from the Heavenspan River floated out, the only bit of color to exist in the world of gray that surrounded him.
He looked hesitantly at the drop of water for a moment, then gritted his teeth.
“Anything to be able to live forever! Anything to be able to go to the Heavenspan Sea!” He took a deep breath, and the drop of golden river water shot toward his forehead.
As soon as it made contact with his skin, intense pain exploded out. His flesh and blood felt like they were melting, and he shivered violently. Gritting his teeth, he rotated his cultivation base and drew upon all nine of his spiritual seas, using the Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation to attempt to absorb the power of the water.
Rumbling sounds filled his ears, and the golden liquid slowly merged into his forehead. After an indeterminable period of time, he let out a powerful roar. Inside of him, the golden liquid completely ignored his qi passageways, flesh, and blood as it sank down inside of him.
That was water from the spirit river descends like a meteor falling into the mortal world.
As it passed through him, all of his qi passageways, flesh and blood melted, and even his internal organs were injured. His bones screamed in pain, causing his face to turn ashen, and blood to ooze out of his mouth.
And yet, he simply gritted his teeth, ignoring his melting and destroyed qi passageways, flesh and blood. Instead, he sent internal spiritual energy coursing through them, spreading out into his body to wrap like threads around the golden river water. This was none other than flesh and blood become threads that hold up the stars.
Most of the threads were destroyed, but as they continued to spread out, many of them managed to wrap madly around the golden river water.
As the golden river water reached Bai Xiaochun’s dantian region, his eyes suddenly glittered.
“The body becomes the heavens, and the stars exist inside of it, never to descend!”
Rumbling sounds could be heard as his nine spiritual seas erupted with the power of nine Tideflows, which battered against the golden liquid as if to destroy it. However, the liquid quickly pierced into the ninth spiritual sea, then the eighth, and the seventh....
As that happened, the spiritual seas rapidly transformed into innumerable spirit threads which wrapped around the golden river water.
After piercing through eight of the spiritual seas, the golden liquid was completely bound by the spirit threads, whereupon it slowly ground to a halt, to hang above the first spiritual sea!
In that moment, it began to emanate boundless golden light which exploded out to fill Bai Xiaochun’s entire body. Everywhere it went, it healed what it passed over, including his spiritual seas, qi passageways, flesh and blood, bones, and everything else. At the same time, everything began to transform.
Bai Xiaochun’s aura erupted out, and although it was still in the early Foundation Establishment stage, it was completely different than before. Before, he had seemed impressive from the outside, but the truth was that his Foundation Establishment power was in a state of disorder, like an army without a general. But now, after having gained enlightenment of the Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation, that general had appeared, and all of his spiritual power was now in unison. As such, his battle prowess was now completely different than before.
His eyes opened, and the magical symbols in his pupils were even clearer than before. Gradually, they faded away, and at the same time, the golden liquid inside of him began to merge into his first spiritual sea.
At some point in the future, when the golden liquid was fully and completely absorbed, he would have successfully completed cultivating the first level of the Violet Qi Heavenspan Incantation.
It was at this point that splitting pain suddenly radiated from Bai Xiaochun’s forehead. There was also an itching sensation, as an eye gradually formed in that very position, an eye that seemed to be on the verge of opening.
It was none other than his Heavenspan Dharma Eye!
“It worked!” he exclaimed jubilantly. He reached up to rub his forehead, and the itchiness grew more pronounced. However, he wasn't alarmed, but rather, overjoyed.
“Hahaha!” he laughed, nearly jumping up and down. “From now on I’m going to have three eyes. Even just saying it sounds awesome!” Then he looked off into the distance and took a deep breath.
“It’s still growing, but I could probably test it out a bit.” After a moment of hesitation, he closed his eyes. His first spiritual sea then began to churn, and the drop of golden river water emanated flickering golden light, which streamed through his qi passageways to converge on his forehead.
In that moment, the rapidly stabilizing crack which had just appeared suddenly opened, and a violet eye appeared. Instantly, his gaze pierced through mists to see what was beyond.
A tremor ran through him as he realized that beyond the mists were not lands, but rather, an almost completely dried-up sea. The Spirit Stream Sect was a floating island in the air, and further off in the distance were countless other islands!
Bolts of lightning crackled within the sea and between the various islands.
He wanted to examine the scene further, but the pain in his forehead was too great. Blood began to ooze down, and the fissure on his forehead closed. With that, his two eyes snapped open, and a tremor ran through him. His spiritual power had been drained by more than half.
“What kind of arcane pocket realm is this?” he thought, panting in astonishment.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translator: Deathblade. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Meme archives: Tocsin. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208
Today Er Gen announced another project he's been working on. I translated the announcement here. Don't worry, it won't interfere with AWE in any way.