Chapter 985 - Twelve Levels of Ascension

The Ascension stage was so powerful because of the astral discs that could be used to absorb stellunar source. That transformation was also what differentiated a saint body from a divine body. The divine bodies of Great Emperor Xuanyuan and Xuanyuan Xi were basically formed entirely of astral discs.

The divine moonrace considered the start of their cultivation to be the Saint stages, but there were four major levels rather than the three separate Saint stages of earth, sky, and empyrean. As they still possessed saint bodies at the Samsara stage, they considered the Samsara stage as the last of the Saint stages, though it was just a nominal difference at best.

Though, the divine moonrace didn't think that they started on a relatively high level on their cultivation. After all, they didn't need to form beast veins or unity fields with their lifebound beasts. Instead, they believed that normal humans started far too low beneath them. They looked down on the world below, but they didn't think too highly of themselves in comparison.

Once one reached the Ascension stage, their body with heavenly will and saint springs would be converted into one with divine will and astral discs. That was the hallmark of divine bodies. It was also said that the terra, caelum, and vita would all undergo some changes.

According to the information Tianming had, the twelve levels of the Ascension stage had something to do with the astral arrangement of the lower levels of the cosmic aether. Long story short, the stronger the astralforce, the easier it was to escape the bindings of the Welkin plane to reach the Divine Moon Realm, and eventually Orderia, in the astralscape of order. The Divine Moon Realm was situated in the 'middle’ part of the lower areas of the cosmic aether, called the Brightmoon Sky. Beyond that were the Dipole and Trisource Skies.

For those who were able to reach the Brightmoon Sky, where the Divine Moon Realm was, they would be first-level ascendants. If one was able to reach the Dipole Sky, they would be second-level ascendants. Those that could reach the Trisource Sky were third-level ascendants and so on.

As such, the twelve levels of the Ascension stage were named for the skies they could reach. The four lower skies were namely the Brightmoon, Dipole, Trisource, and Quadseal Skies. The four center skies included the Pentarcanic, Hexaunity, Heptaglory, and Octasaint Skies. The four higher skies were the Nonahonor, Decapath, Lifecycle, and Orderian Skies respectively. In other words, the name for the eleventh level was Lifecycle Sky, while Orderian Sky was the name of the peak of the Ascension stage.

At that point, the astralforce in one’s body would allow one to completely free themselves from the binding of the Welkin plane to reach the Orderian Sky, or in other words, the astralscape of order. As for the eleventh stage, Lifecycle Sky, it was the bottom layer of the highest level. It was said that the Divine Moon Realm was the only world in the lowest star layer. However, the many other star layers might have many different astral worlds. There was no way that the eleven star layers above the Divine Moon Realm were empty. Orderia definitely had many other outposts in the layers above, but they were probably impossible to see due to the sheer distance that separated them from the Divine Moon Realm.

......

Huiye Shi said that Liu Yizhao and her late mother Yusheng Luo were both at the sixth level, Hexaunity Sky. Her father, Huiyue Du, was at the seventh level of Heptaglory Sky. "For that killer to be able to kill my dad so easily, he must be at least Nonahonor Sky, or even stronger."

With that, Tianming had a renewed understanding of the Ascension stage. "To save Feng, I must at least be at the level of Nonahonor Sky...."

Since he wasn’t even an ascendant yet, who knew how hard it would be for him to accomplish that. That was only a distant dream for most other people, for they would find it hard to reach the four higher skies even after spending five centuries, let alone challenging Sovereign Xi, who was even able to reach Orderia. According to Huiye Shi, Sovereign Xi had to be at least at the twelfth level, Orderian Sky, to be able to head there.

Tianming decided that he would go according to his original plan, that is, to ascend to godhood before thinking about anything else. Now that he was at the eleventh-level life phase, he only had three more to go, or one and a half in divine moonrace terms.

"As for totems, I might have to wait around a month. I wonder how my Aeonic Grandbane will change if I successfully reach the Ascension stage. Will I finally be free of the curse?"

He began looking forward to it. Nowadays, the matter of the killer was still fresh on their minds. After the slaughterfest, the Eightmoon Skycities sealed themselves up one after another. By now, three of them had been sealed up, and the other cities across the Divine Moon Realm were on guard.

Word was that Sovereign Xi had even sent out many elites to wait in ambush for the killer's reemergence. Many thought that the killer was a rogue astral bandit, one of the most terrifying people in the astralscape of order. Even so, that had nothing to do with Tianming, who was making the best use of the resources he could get to rapidly improve. He had even brought the Hexapath Sword Insight Rock on his person and kept practicing the final two strikes of the Hexapath Samsara Sword, Hadean Reincarnation and Empyrean Reincarnation.

"I just need a little more time!" For him to be able to fight off second-level ascendants at the age of twenty-three, he was easily far more talented than any of the divine moonrace.

......

Night soon fell, and Tianming prepared to return to Shiyu Compound from the divine moon hall. He looked up and saw the sparkling Veneramoon Formation that protected the city. Without it, the divine moonrace wouldn't dare to resume their daily lives. Though, everyone knew that the formation couldn't be kept up forever.

In fact, it was rather laughable. Since the slaughter had begun in other cities, the standard greeting among the divine moonrace was the question, 

‘Is the killer caught yet?”.

Tianming walked along the streets of Huiyue City as he continued pondering the insights. Within the lifebound space, Ying Huo and the others were having fun. Now that there were four of them, the atmosphere was rather merry. The grey egg in the corner also began showing more cracks, though it was as timid as ever, constantly watching its siblings and vanishing whenever any of them approached.

As Tianming continued, he saw three people ahead of him blocking his way. Paying them no heed, he attempted to circle around them, only for them to move to stop him in his tracks. He looked up and saw three divine moonrace youths who were about Huiyue Yin's age, between their thirties to fifties. As far as they were concerned, those under half a century old were considered youths. Huiyue Yin, for instance, looked no different from a normal twenty-year-old.

"I saw you emerge from the divine moon hall, but yours is a face I don't recognize. Have you been added to the clan registry?" asked a silver-haired youth who had his arms crossed coldly.

Tianming had seen many divine moonrace in recent days, and this fellow was among those with the most offensive personalities. He also seemed much younger than most other ascendants, being around Huiye Shi's age and level of maturity.

"I have," Tianming answered.

"Show me your clan talisman," the youth said.

"Here you go." Tianming didn't want any trouble. He presented his green talisman to the youth.

"Hand it to me. I’ll check it to prevent anyone who doesn't belong from entering the divine moon hall," the youth demanded.

"That isn't necessary. My talisman is always inspected whenever I enter the hall," Tianming said. He had a feeling that the three were trying to cause trouble for him, but he had no idea who they were.

"Enough nonsense. Your talisman, now."

Tianming had no choice but to hand it to him. The youth didn't even bother closely inspecting the talisman and looked Tianming up and down instead. "Which sewer did you crawl up from? Which of the divine moonrace are you leeching off?" Questions like those were rather common among the younger divine moonrace.

"I reside at Duyue Mansion and I'm with Huiye Shi," he said.

The three of them looked at each other and broke out laughing. The silver-haired youth clenched the talisman and took it into his spatial ring. Then, he smiled and looked at Tianming. "Do you know who I am?"

"Not really."

"I'm Huiyue Yu. I'm sure you've heard of it," he said proudly.

Too bad Tianming shook his head, which displeased Huiyue Yu. He came up to him with a hostile look and used his astralforce to apply pressure on Tianming. "What level are you at now?" he asked teasingly.

"Twelfth-level life phase," Tianming said. He didn't want others to know that he could fight those above his level.

"Oh? I guess you took care of your looks. Apart from your apparent youth, you really don't seem that impressive. It looks like she's after your body only then."

Tianming seemed to understand something; this fellow apparently considered him a love rival. "Please return my talisman to me."

"Don't be hasty. Let me ask you another question, friend." Huiyue Yu patted him heavily on the shoulder.

"Ask away," Tianming said nonchalantly.

"Have you consummated your marriage?"

"What difference does it make?" Tianming asked.

"If you have, I'll feel disgusted and kill you."

"What if I haven't?"

"If not, I'll be glad, then kill you all the same." It looked like he wasn't giving Tianming any choice. The other two joined in the laughter.

"Bro, you're not going to let him off alive, are you?"

"It's all his fault for hogging Shishi for so long."

"Sounds like this outsider hasn't even touched her yet. Let's just kill him. There aren't many who know Shishi already has a man, so you still have a chance."

Huiyue Yu smiled at the suggestion and blew a puff of air at Tianming's face. "I was just joking. Come with me and I'll take you out of Huiyue City. All you have to do is not show your face here again."

Even an idiot would know he was trying to get Tianming out of the city before killing him. Chances are, they wouldn’t dare to kill him until they left the compound of the Huiyue Clan. After all, they wouldn't be able to reenter the city after leaving the formation.

"Are you going to completely ignore Huiye Shi's thoughts on this?" Tianming asked.

"It's too bad Shishi's parents are gone now, so nobody's got her back. She's pitiful and vulnerable now, so it's my chance!" Huiyue Yu said. He stretched out his hand and tugged on Tianming's face before slapping it. "Enough nonsense! Follow me!"

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