Chapter 984 - Divine Will in Albi

A few days later in the divine moon hall at the center of the city, Tianming was surrounded by a million silver moons. Each of the caeli were orbiting his body as the insights from all those ancestors of the divine moonrace flooded past his mind's eye.

The cultivation methods of the divine moonrace differed somewhat from the rootbeast race's. Firstly, none of them had the Beast Vein, Spiritsource, and Unity stages. At the moment of their birth, they already had saint bodies. At the age of two or three, they would begin gaining insight into heavenly will, based on their talent, and begin their path of cultivation. It wasn't surprising, as those three aforementioned stages were the basis of forming a bond between the beasts and the beastmaster, so the divine moonrace who didn't have any wouldn't need those stages. Normal humans that didn't have totems would almost never have saint bodies if birthed from parents who weren't samsarans.

As such, the only difference in their cultivation were the two stages before the Saint stages. In other words, the cultivation methods of the different races merged into a similar path from the Saint stages onward with only slight differences, and this applied to the rootbeast race, the bane race, and the specter race.

Tianming's previous insights, as well as those he had gleaned from various caeli, were all based on the rootbeast race. When he witnessed the caeli of the specters, his horizons had been expanded. Even more so now, after seeing the crystallization of the efforts of the divine moonrace over millions of years. All the wondrous things he had seen allowed him to fill in the gaps of his knowledge at a rapid pace, quickly fueling the growth of his Imperial Will despite the rapid progress he had just recently made. Coupled with the stellunar source, his rise in power was bound to happen.

Huiye Shi was definitely right that if Tianming could rise that prominently on the Flameyellow Continent, he could definitely soar at the Divine Moon Realm, especially with his blessings of the Primordial Chaos Beasts and the Aeonic Grandbane. It was as if a miraculous dragon fish had transformed into an actual dragon during the hours of dawn.

After gathering much of the stellunar source, he began forming the life samsara rings of the eleventh level. He didn't think that he would be able to return to the life phase right after witnessing insights from the caeli in the divine moon hall. Now, his lively vigor had grown even more, allowing his tribulation force to reach higher peaks.

"Lately I've been converting all my tribulation force into the fundamental cosmic force of the stellunar source. I’m growing nearer and nearer to the Ascension stage. At that point, I’ll be free from the Welkin plane and able to embrace the world of the astralscape of order. The stellunar source is much more suited for converting energy for the Ascension stage, after all!"

He knew that there was a fundamental difference between the forces of the Samsara and Ascension stages. However, the four Primordial Chaos Beast codices he used to form his samsara rings, coupled with his Aeonic Grandbane and the stellunar source, made up for the qualitative difference.

"At the eleventh-level life phase, I might be able to just barely take on a second-level ascendant."

In the past few days, Tianming had read up on lots of information about the Ascension stage in preparation to reach it. There were twelve levels of the Ascension stage in total. Comparatively, the Samsara stage had twenty-four phases—two in each level—so the power gained from one phase to the next was lower compared to going from one level of the Ascension stage to the next. As such, those in the Divine Moon Realm only considered the Samsara stage to truly have twelve levels, seeing the life and death phases as only parts of the levels. Even so, it wasn't that big of a difference apart from the way it was called. That difference might not matter to anyone but Tianming, for he might be the only person at the eleventh-level of the Samsara stage that could rival ascendants.

The difference between levels of the Ascension stage was much more pronounced, with second-level ascendants far more powerful than first-level ascendants. Tianming was able to face off against a first-level ascendant at the tenth level of the Samsara stage, and a second-level ascendant at the eleventh level. If he reached the death phase, he might have an even easier time against a second-level ascendant, though being able to rival a third-level ascendant would be a reach.

"I reckon I need to reach the twelfth-level death phase before I'm able to face off against a third-level ascendant." That was the reason the Divine Moon Realm, and even Orderia considered the Samsara stage to only have twelve levels rather than twenty-four discrete phases. Compared to the Ascension stage, the difference between each phase in the Samsara stage was far too minuscule.

If someone at the Ascension stage claimed to be able to kill an enemy three to four levels above them, nobody would believe it. After all, most peak elites of the Divine Moon Realm were ascendants who, despite their fifty years of prime cultivation time, only reached the first level of the Ascension stage after around a century of cultivation. After that, they would struggle to make breakthroughs for the rest of their lives, much of that due to the sheer magnitude of difference between each level.

"To be able to understand the disparity between each level, one has to first understand the Ascension stage!" Through diving into books and listening to Feiling's explanation, he began to want to know about the Ascension stage more and more. The common understanding was that becoming an ascendant represented a complete change of a lifeform on a fundamental level. The physical body, soul, energy, and heavenly will would all change completely.

All the changes started with the heavenly will. When a cultivator, specter, beastmaster, or totem user grew their heavenly will to full maturity, a fundamental change would occur and their heavenly will would convert into divine will. Reaching divine will represented fully treading a cultivation path and taking the first step into the realm of the stars. They would be able to touch the fundamental laws of the universe and embark upon the path of dissociating from the Welkin plane.

A cultivator utilized a fundamental cosmic force, a force from the universe itself, to strengthen their own heavenly wills and reserves of energy. Heavenly will and divine will were derived from an understanding of the natural laws that governed these energies and forces. Spiritual energy, stellunar sources, and nova sources alike were all natural forces that could be converted into energy to be stored within the body. In that sense, the body of each individual cultivator could be considered its own microcosmic universe. The orbit of the billions of heavenly bodies were concentrated into heavenly and divine will. Once the fundamental cosmic force entered the body, it would form tribulation and ascension force. The order of the heavens could control the fundamental cosmic forces in the universe!

The only reason the fundamental cosmic forces didn't explode or collapse into instability and swallow the masses was due to the heavenly laws that controlled them. Each cultivator's energy was only able to be utilized by them in a stable state within the saint palace because the cultivators had learned the ways of heaven through heavenly will to control the forces. In other words, the more power one wanted to control, the more heavenly laws one would have to understand.

In that sense, if a person were able to learn the heavenly laws and control the forces in their own body, each person would be their own universe. Through ancient tomes, Tianming finally understood the foundations of heavenly and divine wills. Basically, the cultivator was only trying to mimic the universe by controlling the forces using its laws.

On the Flameyellow Continent, he couldn't see the chaotic flows of the universe, nor its foundations. But now he clearly understood the relationship between him and the universe. Heavenly will wasn't some abstract concept someone had come up with on a whim. Only by distancing himself from the Welkin plane would he be able to see the true form of the universe.

That was why the Ascension stage was so important. It was at this stage that cultivators would truly be able to use their heavenly will to witness the primordial state of the universe. If the ones who flew in the sky were gods, then the Ascension stage would be the first stage of godhood.

The transformation began when heavenly will turned into divine will and spread out across the sea of consciousness. After that, it would dissipate into billions of fragments and seep into the cultivator's body. Bodies were formed from countless discrete units that the eye couldn't see. Each of those discrete units would be infused with divine will and be able to store power. The cultivators of the astralscape of order called each of these discrete units an albus.

Albi could be infinitely small or large. Once each albus possessed divine will, it would become a simplified version of the universe able to store fundamental cosmic force. In other words, divine will existed inside albi.

Each albus would be able to form new saint palaces that stored energy. That was the key to breaking through to the Ascension stage. That way, the body would grow to be able to store far more energy than before. Once the new energy entered the albi and fell under the control of divine will, it would form an astral disc, which was a new energy vortex akin to saint springs.

Every single albus had its own astral disc, in the middle of which was the divine will. For instance, once Tianming became an ascendant, his Grand-Orient Sword-shaped heavenly will would transform into divine will, which would split up into billions of fragments that infused each and every one of his albi within their astral discs. In other words, cultivators would have billions of energy cores, each with their own astral discs.

Every astral disc had infinite growth potential, assuming that the divine will was capable of controlling the power stored within. For each breakthrough in the Ascension stage to be possible, one would have to grow their divine will. All ascendants had astral discs, and the force within them was called astralforce, which was far superior to tribulation force.

Huiyue Yin, Bodhi, and the rest all used astralforce. Bodhi had come from the Ninefold Hell and had a high level and powerful divine will, so the astralforce he could use was incredibly powerful. He simply lacked access to a fundamental cosmic force, so after he came to the Divine Moon Realm, he was able to absorb a lot of it in a short time, thus becoming so powerful.

Different cultivators had different methods of achieving progress, but at their core, all of them were trying to gain insights into the laws of the universe.

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