It wasn't just the beastmaster; their lifebound beasts would also have to comprehend heavenly will for the advancement to the Heavenly Will stage to be possible. The only thing they didn't have to do was practice heavenly-ranked battle arts.
"Can you see this too?" Tianming asked.
Ying Huo and Meow Meow obediently sat before Prime Tower as it projected the gold heavenly patterns that Tianming was seeing. While its effects were slightly weaker, it wasn't an issue, as Tianming was the main component in the cultivation toward the next stage. His lifebound beasts only had to inherit some of his comprehension, which should come as second nature to them. After all, the comprehension of the Heavenly Will stage between beastmaster and lifebound beasts was more or less equal.
If either side made progress, the other would make the same progress. In other words, even if Ying Huo's comprehension of heavenly will was different from his, Tianming could use it as a base to find his own insights. In fact, he could even use Ying Huo's heavenly will.
Unlike a unity field, heavenly will infused within battle arts and beast ki was unseen by the naked eye. However, using it would allow one to completely dominate someone at Unity.
The third egg rolled to the beasts’ side, as if it was preparing for its birth. It was observing the gold patterns with the rest. It seemed that it was more enterprising and curious, unlike Meow Meow, who constantly held a dissatisfaction with how hard Tianming drove him. That lazy cat really spoiled the hardworking mood in his lifebound space. While this egg hadn't established symbiotic cultivation with Tianming yet, having it observe like that would surely have benefits when it finally hatched.
With everything ready, Tianming turned his attention to the patterns that swam around his body. He seemed to hear some kind of resonance as the patterns circulated around him.
"The Aeternal Infernal Codex and Genesis Chaos Codex both have techniques to be cultivated at the Heavenly Will stage. However, most of it only relates to beast ki. Comprehending heavenly will depends on myself. This is the foundation. The sea of consciousness is a mysterious place that's a little similar to a lifebound space. While it can't be found even if the body is cut open, it’s a fact that it exists. This sea of consciousness is the resting place of the soul. Heavenly will is born from the depths of the soul and gathers within it. It’s the souls of both lifebound beasts and beastmasters. It represents the true start of venturing into the world of cultivation, for the soul is the core of comprehension."
Before, cultivation concerned only the physical body, whereas the Heavenly Will stage was the beginning of cultivating the soul. As such, the first step he should take to comprehend the heavenly patterns was to find his own sea of consciousness and dive into it. It was a long, drawn-out process for most at the ninth level of Unity. Some even needed years to find their sea of consciousness.
However, Tianming already had a vague sensation of his sea of consciousness, especially after he learned the Bewildering Eye. Beastmasters that utilize bewilderment mostly used techniques that target their enemies' sea of consciousness, after all. But this time, eyes couldn't help with finding the sea. One had to use their consciousness, which resided within the sea itself. By closing their eyes and returning to the sea, it would naturally appear.
When the gold heavenly patterns surged into him, he remained seated and naturally closed his eyes, feeling as if he had appeared in a boundless, foggy space. Nay, he was the fog itself. This was his sea of consciousness, and the fog was his soul. Currently, he didn't possess eyes, ears, nose, legs, or form. He was pure consciousness.
"Truly mysterious!" he said, looking around in awe. "Who was the one that created something so mystical like life? Who made it so that we had souls, lifebound spaces, and lifebound beasts?"
As he marveled at the sight, he noticed that the gold patterns had come into his sea of consciousness and morphed into countless shapes. With his soul surrounding him, he touched the patterns and allowed them to meld with his soul.
At that moment, he had another vision. The world before his eyes changed once more into another boundless world, within which was a giant clad in golden robes. He stood a thousand meters tall and sat upon a golden throne with his back facing Tianming. In front of him knelt countless folk. Every one of them worshipped him. Was this a hallucination or reality? No, that wasn't important; what was important was the intent coming from this vision!
"The path to complete domination over the realm is one of upholding the righteous path, of making the lives of your subjects your own, of spreading the sacred knowledge, and ushering in universal peace. The world shall prosper and the folk shall rejoice for the destiny of the autarch! The ruler should care for his subjects, exterminate those that threaten to consume them, and stand tall above all others! Heir of the bloodline, step onto the path of a ruler and become a paragon for those you rule!" said the giant, or rather the gold heavenly patterns and Tianming himself.
When his soul fused with the gold heavenly patterns, those were the words that came from the white fog, Tianming's inner psyche itself.
"The imperial will?" Tianming felt that something new was born within him. The Primordial Chaos Beasts brought him boundless talent and potential, not to mention comrades who would fight alongside him. His Aeonic Grandbane brought him a talent for cultivation and the will to change his fate. And this imperial will represented the path of righteousness that Mu Yang had graced him with by teaching him the way of the sword. The note he had left Tianming to read before he left for the Grand-Orient Sect had fundamentally changed him.
The way of the sword was one of righteousness, and now this way resonated with the Grand-Orient Sword and his bloodline, forming Tianming's Imperial Will. He’d thought he would try to comprehend Ying Huo's Infernal Will, or Meow Meow's Lightning Will first, and even fuse them. He didn't expect he could cross the divide using the Aeonic Grandbane as his base to gain insight from the righteous path of the Grand-Orient Sect to forge his own ultimate heavenly will—Imperial Will, which symbolized the most righteous path!
The formation of his heavenly will changed him fundamentally. His white-haired, demonic look now gave off an aura of justice and purity. Now, whenever the gold heavenly patterns resonated with his divine soul, it caused the Grand-Orient Sword to manifest in his sea of consciousness. This sword represented the Imperial Will Tianming had just formed—solid, firm, and immutable.
Heavenly will was a will that represented the self. Imperial Will's solidity represented how Tianming was someone who would stick to his principles firmly. With Aeonic Grandbane, he was resolute in not perishing from his trials, and Imperial Will was the thing that chained him to the world. They were different things; heavenly will had to be built on a firm foundation of the world, much like wind, fire, water, and earth were derivatives of the elements in the world.
The moment his will manifested in his sea of consciousness as a sword was the moment he knew he had succeeded. Even with its small size, it was still proof that Tianming was at the first level of Heavenly Will. Eventually, it would grow in size until he touched the Saint stage.
At the Earth Saint stage, he could dominate the earth and move it as he willed. At the Sky Saint stage, he could soar through the skies as he pleased. At the Empyrean Saint stage, he would have an eternity before him, eventually becoming a being whose name would be known far and wide.
With the successful manifestation of his heavenly will, he began training using his two codexes. He charged straight ahead, thanks to the nourishment provided by the Prime Tower and Li Shenxiao's tombstone. The beast ki in his lightningsource and infernalsource was further improved, which also caused the Grand-Orient Vortex to improve. It was as if it had absorbed some energy from the gigantic vortex beyond the light gold door.
"Did you guys manage it?" Tianming asked.
"You think?" Ying Huo proudly declared. The fact that Tianming was able to engage in symbiotic cultivation with them meant they had formed their heavenly wills. He truly did ask a redundant question.
Now, he could feel Ying Huo's blazing hot heavenly will. It was an infernal flame that burned within the sea of consciousness, and Tianming was free to use its mysteries as he pleased.
As the heavenly wills of beastmaster and lifebound beasts were distinct, it was as if each one of them could use both at once. Now, he would have even more power behind his heavenly-ranked battle arts. Not to mention, Tianming's comprehension of Infernal Will could also supplement Ying Huo's own.
The same was the case for Meow Meow. Now, it was as if Tianming had three heavenly wills, while the beasts each had two, for they were directly related to Tianming, but not each other. Ying Huo and Meow Meow could also comprehend the mysteries of Imperial Will and share in its benefits. Though, they also shared Aeonic Grandbane by extension and had their lifespans greatly shortened.
After some more furious cultivation, the three properly cemented themselves at the Heavenly Will stage.
"Now, not even ten Yueling Longs would be my match! If I have Ling'er with me, a hundred of her won't be a problem either!" Tianming was far more powerful than before.
"What's even better is that the heavenly patterns on the light gold door in the Grand-Orient Sword have lots of mysteries that I can use to continue exploring Imperial Will. Only with an abundance of will can I continually improve my beast ki!"
Tianming turned and looked outside the mausoleum.
"The me as I am now is stronger than most of the Grand-Orient guardians. I’ll be able to fight for the sect from now on!"
Tianming was a grateful person. Half of everything he now had came from the sect, such as Li Shenxiao's tomb, the Grand-Orient Sword, and the Prime Tower. Not to mention, Li Wudi, Ye Shaoqing, Qingyu, Jingyu, and the rest were people he loved dearly. From now on, he would live as a member of the Li Saint Clan, and die a member of the clan as well.
He knew that word of Li Wudi's breakthrough had spread to the Cloudmist Sword School and Heaven's Elysium. After the latter reacted, the war would begin anew. He thrust the Grand-Orient Sword that was one and a half meters long into the ground and looked toward the battlefield.
"From now on, the low-grade mount Li Tianming will no longer piss himself!" Ying Huo passionately declared.
"What did you say?!"
"Oops, I meant 'suppress himself', okay? Haha...."Previous Chapter Next Chapter