"Let's enjoy the feast, my brother!" The old man stretched out his hand, causing the mirror to surface from the bottom of the lake and fall into his hand. It was a completely smooth mirror the size of his palm that pulsed with a soft glow from time to time. Within it, countless smiling faces could be seen. Conversely, the lake had darkened and nothing could be seen within any longer.
"How fatty," the old man said with resignation. After that, he cultivated at the lakeside with the gigantic beast. By the time day broke, the old man stood straighter than he could before; the flush of youth had returned to his face and all of his white hair had turned black. He also had fewer wrinkles than before.
Now he only looked to be in his fifties, much younger and more vigorous than he used to be. The beast was similarly rejuvenated. As they stood side by side, the sun rose from the east and illuminated the realm.
"It's beautiful..." the old man said.
"Are you going to be all melancholic again like you were yesterday?" The beast's scales sparkled in the sunlight.
"I can't help it. The little fishies really were too pitiful. I hope they don't blame me for it. I was forced to do this. It's not like I wanted to be forced to fight the heavens for my own fate. It isn't an easy feat at all. From now on, I’ll rule over this boundless realm. I’ll improve it and make sure their sacrifice was worth it. That way, the fish's sacrifice will be the best thing that ever could've happened to them! I will have become them!" The old man laughed with the innocence of a child, almost maniacally.
"You're sick in the mind. Ever since Jiang Lingjing died, you started going raving mad. She was just an adoptive daughter, did you really have to go so far for her?"
"What do you know? I raised her myself and taught her everything she knew, including how to talk! I watched her grow up! There's attachment there, you know!""What about those sons of yours? How do you explain the lack of attachment?"
"Well, when you get too many children it stops being fresh."
"What about those fishies? Do they not have feelings too?"
"Old friend, we don't call those feelings. They're merely impulses."
Within Tianming's residence in the Decimo Dao Palace was a wide training room. Tianming had been cooped up within for his breakthrough to Sky Saint for a few days now.
"The sky saint stage will cause my flesh and blood to transform once more. My earth saint ki will also become sky saint ki, which will allow my body to levitate. This transformation will cause my body to lighten. The chains of the earth will no longer bind me."
That was the main change of the sky saint stage. Once one was liberated from earth's bindings, they would be able to soar through the skies and see the wider world. That was fundamentally different from Tianming's usual flight using Celestial Wings.
However, that wasn't the only perk of being a Sky Saint. Instead, becoming one meant gaining the right to continue making progress toward the empyrean saint stage. Being in the sky was the first prerequisite for that.
Tianming held the Grand-Orient Sword in hand and peered into it using his black and gold eyes. His black arm was touching the heavenly patterns on the dark gold door. After obtaining the Primordial God-Emperor's legacy, he had become the true wielder of the sword and could better understand its intricacies.
His Imperial Will had also grown. This was the harder part of becoming a Sky Saint. The other part was the transformation of his body itself, which Tianming was well prepared for. As long as he cultivated using the codexes of Ying Huo, Meow Meow, and Lan Huang, he would be able to achieve it. He had a feeling that, given his current state, it would take around twenty days for the transformation to be complete. He instead needed to focus on the growth of his Heavenly Will.
By cultivating the Imperial Will, he got a shortcut. Throughout his battles with the Theocrats, he had a lot of questions, and all of the answers could be found within the Grand-Orient Sword. His Imperial Will was, in essence, the accumulation of his own experiences and the arcane mysteries within the Grand-Orient Sword.
"The laws of nature apply to all of existence. Since there are laws, they must be like the laws of humans. While they’re strict, there’ll definitely be loopholes. Those who cheat the system using those loopholes may think they’ve achieved greatness, but they can't lie to themselves. The true imperial path is to fix the loopholes of the natural laws. Those that attempt to cheat the system shall be killed. Through this benevolence, the realm shall be awed.
"If the realm grows prosperous, its ruler shall naturally ascend and be able to stand tall while doing so. The Theocrats think that they managed to cheat the world and reap it for their own benefit. They’re nothing but parasites. Even nature has its laws. Robbing others of what they have is lawless. They aren’t lawful denizens of the world, but rather a ghostly blight!"
As his heavenly will grew, he found a point in the arcane from which he would begin to pave and forge his own path and identity. He thought back to the words Mu Yang had left him.
Tianming, one doesn't yearn for life on the path of cultivation, but rather mastery over their arts, not doing anything against their conscience, and repaying favors and grudges. From now on, you must be staunch and resolute; you can't just do as you like. A righteous man will eradicate all the evils in the world in pursuit of his personal justice! Only those who walk the right path will gain endless strength.
The righteous man, the imperial ruler, and the realm.
"Only by uplifting the masses can I truly rise. The righteous elevation of others is the true and lawful path!"
Tianming's eyes burned with passion. He had finally found himself after rising up the stairs of his growth. His Imperial Will would continue growing, one day reaching the requirements to break through to the empyrean saint stage.
The Grand-Orient Sword in his sea of consciousness became even tougher and sharper, symbolizing his unshakeable will. Will was something intangible, yet it was the key difference in both cultivation and battle. This was what defined Tianming, apart from his talent.
There were two people who mainly helped shape his will to what it was now. The first was Li Wudi, who, after fourteen years of suffering from his predicament, broke through and experienced a meteoric rise before felling his enemies. That was the will of the Li Saint Clan, which Tianming had witnessed for himself. The sheer unyielding determination, coupled with the blood of his ancestors that flowed within him, was almost terrifying.
The second was Mu Yang, whose righteous and responsible demeanor allowed him to walk a path of no regrets. It wasn't nearly as grand as the will of the Li Saint Clan, but it was really effective in setting his inner state of mind straight. This marked the stark difference between Tianming and Li Wudi.
He had absorbed the ruthlessness Li Wudi possessed, but also had something he lacked. That was the reason he was able to use the Grand-Orient Sword. Li Wudi's path was one of vengeance while Tianming's was one of absolute domination.
He began understanding himself better with each step, knowing where he should go from there. As time passed, he continued channeling the techniques of the three codexes. When his Imperial Will finally grew to a point, his earth saint ki turned into sky saint ki. The saint springs in his saint palace continued unleashing new energy without letting up, filling his whole body with it. Once sky saint ki permeated every corner of his body, his physical body began undergoing a fundamental metamorphosis.
At that moment, his Imperial Will, saint ki, and body transformed as he reached the first level of Sky Saint. Having overcome the main bottleneck with a firm Heavenly Will foundation, his growth as a Sky Saint would be unhindered. He had endless potential, which was what made him stand out amidst everyone in the Divine Capital.
"The grandvoid body of a Sky Saint...." His expression grew solemn as he carefully channeled his sky saint ki. His body felt as light as a feather as he began levitating. As he soared through the skies, he felt like a fish in water and gained a completely new understanding of the world.
Before, the world had felt like a flat plane to him, with everyone firmly rooted to the ground. But now he perceived an extra sense of verticality.
"The world now seems even more boundless than before," he exclaimed.
"Stop messing around. Something's happening with the Prime Tower," Ying Huo said.
"Huh?" Tianming noticed that once he had become a Sky Saint, he seemed to have formed a connection with the Prime Tower. "What is this sensation?"
He tried to feel it and stretched out his hand, only to see the Prime Tower manifest on his palm. It appeared he could now directly utilize it to some extent. When he willed it, the Prime Tower returned to his lifebound space without a single hitch.
Come out. Unsurprisingly, it manifested again without issue, and even faster than before.
Enlarge? As he thought that, Prime Tower suddenly grew a few times larger. Its tip had reached the roof of the training room, which was five meters in height. The Prime Tower had three floors, and Tianming saw the entrance of the first floor open up.
"This door used to be closed. But once we reached the sky saint stage, it suddenly opened," Ying Huo said.
The bottom floor of the tower was two meters tall, and the doorway was about the same height. Tianming could easily enter it with his own body.
"Wanna go in and check it out?"
"It's already opened its doors for us, so why not," Tianming said. At the very least, he could be sure that the Prime Tower wouldn't harm him.
As he came to it and placed his hand on the white door, it felt cold to the touch, much like the sensation of touching the Grand-Orient Sword.
He gave it a light push and walked into the foggy entrance. From the outside, the Prime Tower was only large enough to accommodate around three people, but on the inside, Tianming saw that the ceiling was easily ten times as high, making it much bigger than the training room. Even Lan Huang would be able to fit inside. Unsurprisingly, the spiritual energy contained within was so dense that it formed a white fog. Each breath he took felt like pure nourishment.Previous Chapter Next Chapter