Chapter 171: Ascension
On the day that he lost his arm, Golden Blaze sat inside his room and cried.
Even though he was physically mature, his emotions were not.
Even so, suffering was the best whetstone. On this day, Golden Blaze finally began to mature.
He realized what it felt like to have his life in someone else's hands. And he also realized what kind of person he was dealing with now.
Mair and his family also seemed to come to their senses.
Perhaps Su Chen's carefree demeanor had slightly deceived Mair and his family, causing them to treat Su Chen and Golden Blaze quite warmly.
However, when Mair and his wife saw Golden Blaze lose his hand, they realized what these "friends" or "relatives" of theirs were really like. They quickly gave up on their fantastical thoughts. Even Mair's children learned on that day what terror was.
The two mischievous children immediately became incredibly obedient.
They listened attentively and behaved sensibly, and they appeared to cleave to their parents.
It was as if they had matured overnight.
However, Su Chen appeared to be totally oblivious.
He continued to treat the family with the utmost politeness, as if he wasn't a bandit, an assassin, one of the most wanted criminals in Sky City at the moment for the havoc he had wreaked on the Harpies.
His behavior was quite refined, and his words were courteous. He would give them treats from time to time, and he would thank them for their hospitality with what appeared to be a modicum of embarrassment.
However, none of them looked down on him as a result, as they were disillusioned with the gentle front that he put on.
They had fully realized that behind this calm demeanor was a ruthlessness befitting of his status as Sky City's most wanted criminal.
A day later, Golden Blaze's limb grew back. This "hand" was still part of the body of the Three-Legged Golden Bird after all.
Su Chen appeared to congratulate him.
Three days later, Su Chen stopped his assassination missions.
Because he had discovered via the Origin Bone Scepter that Eternal Night had found a way to deal with him.
He had come into possession of a spatial lockdown formation that could be placed within a carriage and that would prevent him from using Light Shaking Phantom. Eternal Night had made plans to bait Su Chen into a trap. However, Su Chen was able to cheat by using the Origin Bone Scepter and discovered the trap before it could be sprung, which was why he had stopped his activity.
Illusion techniques, Light Shaking Phantom, and the Origin Bone Scepter were all things that Su Chen relied on to survive in Sky City. With these with crutches at Su Chen's disposal, it was only natural that there was nothing Eternal Night could do about him.
Su Chen finally had a moment to rest, as he had ceased from any destructive activities on the Harpies. If it weren't for the fact that Kelesda was able to determine that Halcyon Wing Streak was definitely still in Sky City, the Harpies probably would have thought that he had run away.
Of course, Su Chen hadn't just been sitting around idly. Instead, he began to continue his research and experimentation.
Only an ambitious person like Su Chen would have the heart to perform research while in enemy territory.
After all, he had done research while trapped in the Thousand Poisons Mountain for a year. Now was no exception.
Perhaps because of his good preparation in the past, Su Chen found that his research was incredibly fruitful.
On the fifth day since he had ceased all destructive activities, Su Chen made a huge breakthrough.
He had finally managed to fill in the last missing piece of how to reach the Spirit Burning Realm.
More specifically, Su Chen probably could have reached the Spirit Burning Realm earlier. It was just that Su Chen wanted to come up with a more complete method, which was why he had waited until this moment.
Outside of Sky City.
Su Chen was standing at a high-altitude location nearly thirty thousand feet away from Sky City. The wind was bone-piercingly cold here.
Most shockingly, the clouds here possessed high concentrations of chilly energy, so much so that the cold energy emanating from the clouds could ignore barriers and directly permeate a person's body. It greatly affected an Origin Qi Scholar’s ability to move as they pleased.
There was also a unique lifeform that lived in this kind of environment known as Frost Demons. Frost Demons were an extremely weird lifeform that had no physical body. They purely existed in an ethereal form. For this reason, they could ignore all Origin Energy attacks and silently invade a person’s mind, settling there and slowly devouring it.
It was through this devouring process that they would gain a physical body. As such, most Origin Qi Scholars could only kill them after allowing a portion of their mind to be eaten. Whether or not they would survive depended on their personal vitality.
The process of having one’s brain eaten would take about three days. In other words, with no other way to resolve the situation, anyone whose brain had been devoured would need to endure three days of pain before dying.
This was why Frost Demons were also known as Brain-Devouring Parasites.
Even high-tier Origin Qi Scholars and Arcana Technique Masters had a hard time dealing with these illusory creatures.
However, Su Chen had voluntarily chosen to remain in this place.
He was going to attempt to make a breakthrough here.
As he sat at the top of this elevated precipice, Su Chen began to sense himself falling into a deep tranquility.
His heart became still, and his entire being had entered a realm without ego.
Spirit Burning Realm cultivators, after all, needed to light the fire in their spirits.
Unlike the Light Shaking Realm, breaking into the Spirit Burning Realm would result in a massive increase in consciousness power. The intangible consciousness power would be given real substance, allowing the cultivator to form their Divine Palaces.
Because of the unique properties of consciousness, humans needed to create eight consciousness palaces, which were known as the Spirit Burning Palaces.
Forming the first was undoubtedly the most difficult.
The first palace was known as Abundant Revolution. It signified the beginning of the Spirit Burning Realm, and it was also when Origin Qi Scholars would take off their old shackles and start anew.
Transforming something illusory into something physical was impossible to do without an extremely solid foundation.
This was also the reason why the first palace was called Abundant Revolution: it was the beginning of an abundant hope for those who reached that stage.
Giving consciousness physical substance was not easy. Not only did you need a vast amount of consciousness power, but you also needed a strong will and enough energy to mold and temper that consciousness power to give it form.
Before, there was only one way to breach the Spirit Burning Realm - amass a large quantity of consciousness power, then use the power of a bloodline to temper and mold it.
However, Su Chen had managed to find a different path that was actually even more effective.
He chose to calm his mind and harmonize himself with nature.
Yes. Rather than using bloodline power to temper himself, he merged his consciousness with the environment around him, using the power of nature to temper himself.
To accomplish this, he needed to unleash his consciousness as much as possible and spread it out, which was totally different than trying to use a bloodline to forcefully compress a consciousness together.
Su Chen allowed his consciousness to spread as he attempted to sense his surroundings. The cold air penetrated his body, allowing him to clearly sense the power in the environment, which he drew into his body to temper himself.
Of course, this was much easier said than done.
This process required incredible control over one’s consciousness power; emotional state, harmonized by a special technique; a method to draw and direct the chaotic, free-spirited energy from the surroundings; a method to compress that energy into a Divine Palace; and finally, a way to prevent the power of nature from penetrating too far into his body and causing hidden damage.
Because this was a totally different cultivation technique, there was a need to start from the beginning and go through the entire process again. Su Chen needed to figure out each step and adjust the process accordingly. In fact, he had actually developed seven or eight different techniques to facilitate the breakthrough process.
Shi Kaihuang had assisted him in each one of the techniques so far, but this Spirit Burning Realm cultivation technique was truly Su Chen’s own creation.
It was the result of decades of hard work, so even though the outcome was quite incredible, it was also not a surprise.
As Su Chen activated his consciousness compression technique, Su Chen’s consciousness began to condense. A storm began to brew around him, forming a vortex of energy that began to enter Su Chen’s body through every pore before escaping through his nose and mouth. This flow of cold energy would then re-merge with the vortex and eventually enter Su Chen’s body again, resulting in a conserved cycle of energy.
This was a cycle Su Chen had brought about, but it was also a natural one.
In that moment, Su Chen’s internal revolution and the external cycle seemed to coalesce, forming a massive outline of a palace in Su Chen’s mind as a result.
Su Chen’s Abundant Revolution Palace was very different from most peoples’.
It wasn’t just larger, because what really determined the true strength of these palaces was their detail.
The more intricately adorned a Divine Palace was, the stronger it would be.
Most Origin Qi Scholars’ Divine Palaces appeared to have been carved out of a large chunk of stone. They appeared quite majestic but also crude, like a statue created by a Ravager. Su Chen’s, however, was a work of art.
His palace was octagonal and built on a jade platform, which was surrounded by guardrails.
Various statues had been placed on top of the guardrails. These were not mere statues; these were Demonic Beasts formed out of concentrated consciousness energy.
Su Chen had studied countless bloodlines; even though he hadn’t selected any of them to become his bloodline, Su Chen understood the principles behind the bloodlines of each Demonic Beast represented here, which meant that he was also able to use them.
Now that he had completed a Divine Palace, he was even closer to the source of these bloodlines, as he would be able to form illusory images of these beasts.
In future battles, the support of the Divine Palace would make it much easier for Su Chen to form this illusory images, which would fight by his side. Of course, they would be weaker than true Demonic Beasts, but they would possess some of the beasts’ unique properties and characteristics.
Above the Abundant Revolution Palace hung eight chains which appeared to extend into an unknown location.
Those chains connected the palace to Su Chen’s sea of Origin Energy.
Via their Divine Palaces, Spirit Burning Realm cultivators could directly obtain energy from their sea of Origin Energy, but the rate at which they could do so was limited to the rate of transmission.
Most Abundant Revolution palaces would only have one chain connected to their Origin Sea, meaning eight chains in total for eight palaces.
Su Chen, however, had eight thick chains connected to a single palace, and the chains were covered in profound inscriptions. These would further enhance their transmission capabilities.
The front steps, the tiles, the awnings, and the entrances were all aesthetically designed by an architect who appeared to have quite an imagination. As a result, the Divine Palace exuded an aura of strength.
The moment that it was completed, it began to sink, eventually settling in Su Chen’s sea of knowledge.
The Abundant Revolution Palace was complete.
It represented an official breakthrough into the Spirit Burning Realm, and it served as the foundation for forming the other seven Divine Palaces.
The moment it completed, Su Chen’s consciousness began to expand as his field of view began to widen. His perception had heightened, and his consciousness was much nimbler than before.
Su Chen activated his Origin Energy eyes and observed the Origin Energy flowing past him. He reached out with a few consciousness tendrils and attempted to gently coerce them into his body.
Before, Su Chen had needed physical contact to absorb Origin Energy. Now, he could do it easily with but a thought.
And that wasn’t all.
He could sense a shadowy presence encroaching on him.
It was a Frost Demon.
A Frost Demon was hiding in the back of his mind inconspicuously, doing its best to try and infiltrate Su Chen’s mind and eat his brains.
It was formless and impossible to touch.
However, Su Chen didn’t need to wait for it to start eating his brain to do anything to it.
Because he wasn’t a common Origin Qi Scholar.
He was a Spirit Burning Realm cultivator!
The Abundant Revolution Palace began to resonate.
A streak of consciousness power shot forth.
The Frost Demon dissipated in a cloud of smoke.