These words rang out loud and clear to Wu Yu even though his vision was completely obstructed. In a flash, a wave of heat rushed towards the area two inches under his navel. There, an insignia started to form. It was of a small monkey with deep golden hair that dazzled in contrast to the light gold color of Wu Yu's Jindan.
As the mystique's insignia was etching itself onto Wu Yu's Jindan, his surroundings dissipated into thin air. Wu Yu stood before the empty palace and was drained of all energy. He was still reeling in shock and could not think straight. It was as though he had just experienced an extremely long dream and was not quite awake just yet.
From head to toe, his body still felt like it was scorching with flames.
"Wah." All of a sudden, a girl's cry jolted Wu Yu back to his senses. Around the pitch-dark surroundings of the palace, a spiritual qi still lingered. The young girl who was weeping before him was none other than Ming Long. While she seemed happy and content just moments before, this wench now had a face full of tears. With an angry pout, she glared at Wu Yu with the ferocity of a predator wanting to consume its prey whole.
"What are you crying about?" Wu Yu did not know whether to laugh or cry. He had never seen her in such a state of grief after all.
"It's not fair, Wah, it's so unfair!" Ming Long cried out as she stomped around in anger.
"How so?" Wu Yu was stunned.
Ming Long's anger made her cheeks blush a bright red as she exclaimed, "Aiyah, this old bastard is definitely biased against girls! When I tried to obtain the Unshackled Doppelganger Mystique back then, I first had to spend three years trying to communicate with him, before spending another three years painstakingly erasing the previous mystique that I had already mastered. After that, it took yet another three years for the mystique to be branded on my body. I had to go through so much pain and misery, yet gods be damned, three days was all it took for you. He even personally branded the insignia on you! Even without any cultivation, you're able to use the mystique! Come now, don't you think that's totally unfair!? Aiyah, to think I respected that old bastard so much. I should have known that he was such a shameless old geezer, wa!"
"What? I've gained the mystique, and have no need for cultivation?" Wu Yu was completely taken aback. Upon closer inspection, he realized that there was indeed a new insignia on his Jindan. He could feel its presence slightly. It became obvious to him that he would be able to start cultivating this mystique, and as he focused his mind, he could even feel the profound powers of the mystique and understand the ways to improve and develop it.
"Damn it, you're still playing dumb after getting off easy. It's about time Granny teaches you a lesson!" Ming Long lunged at him. Alas, she was still within the Ruyi Jingu Bang, so Wu Yu simply watched her formless image prance about.
Wu Yu finally understood. The sexist old bastard that she was referring to was none other than the Great Sage, Heaven's Equal. To tell the truth, if he was able to deal with the supposedly impossible task of obtaining the Heaven Dao Mystique within three days, the gap in skill between Ming Long and himself was definitely way too huge.
"Alright, stop messing around. Everyone has a different level of potential. You should consider yourself lucky enough to have met me. At least there's a chance for you to return to the human realm." Wu Yu smiled as he teased her.
This drove Ming Long's anger through the roof. As she wept and seethed in anger, she swore that if she was able to live, she would definitely annihilate Wu Yu's entire family in order to take her revenge.
"Oh cruel heavens and earth, you and that old bastard are so despicable. I can't believe that you've ganged up on a poor, weak girl like me!" Ming Long writhed about wildly for a long time before she finally calmed down. Earlier on, she had exaggerated about the 30 years to test Wu Yu's mettle, but Wu Yu was already done after three days. This was a slap in the face…
However, the fact was that the whole transformation truly felt like an eternity to Wu Yu. He felt like he had spent a long time in a single place. Perhaps he really took a thirty years.
The intricacies of this mystique were beyond his comprehension.
Once Ming Long was no longer annoyed, Wu Yu started to recall the events that had occurred. The first thing that came to his mind was that when the Great Sage, Heaven's Equal first spoke, his voice was stunningly loud. As he was too shocked at the time, Wu Yu was unable to clearly hear most of what he was saying, except for six words.
"The stalemate breaker, the chosen one."
But why “stalemate breaker?”
The Great Sage, Heaven's Equal was an immortal who should have been enjoying the adoration and worship of all in the palaces of heaven. Why did he vanish without a trace and leave behind this legacy? If he had not met with a serious mishap, how did the Ruyi Jingu Bang even end up in a place like this?
Wu Yu had a lingering feeling that now that he had inherited this legacy, it would not simply be a means for him to become an immortal. He suspected that there were other responsibilities and burdens that came with it.
"Uncle Sun, who exactly are you? Could you perhaps have been the Great Sage, Heaven's Equal himself?"
As Wu Yu recalled the old man, he could not help but tear up. He remembered his days in the Heavenly Sword Sect as if it were just yesterday. He fondly recalled the kindness of the old man and the warmth of the Ruyi Jingu Bang.
The Milky Way Suppressing Godly Metal Treasure, his inherited treasure.
Sun Wudao. Wudao.
"Wu Yu, what's going on?" Ming Long stared at him with wide open eyes.
"Oh, it's nothing." Wu Yu came back to his senses from his deep thoughts. He looked at Ming Long and realized that her angry expressions were rather cute after all. Despite her extremely old age, she was very much like a little sister.
He recalled the next line. "Today, I impart to you the Unshackled Doppelganger Mystique. On the day that you succeed, you can create hundreds of thousands of body doubles, and you will be the commander of an army of millions."
This was what the mystique was called.
On the day that you succeed, you can create hundreds of thousands of doppelgangers? That had to be an exaggeration. Wu Yu recalled that this was indeed the mystique that Ming Long had mentioned before. However, Ming Long was far from achieving the stage where she could create hundreds of thousands of body doubles.
You will be the commander of an army of millions? Only immortals could command an army of that size. Surely the “millions” was an exaggeration as well? Wu Yu shuddered at these thoughts.
But then again, back then, the Invincible Vajra Body of Vajra was described in the same way.
"Forget it, Granny won't bicker with you. You're on your own from now on!" Ming Long was still angry, but she did not want to argue with Wu Yu any longer.
Wu Yu was deep in thought about the Unshackled Doppelganger, and could not be bothered with her anyway.
As he focused his thoughts and tried to connect with the mystique insignia on his Jindan, many things became clear to him. Wu Yu was able to quickly gain a better understanding of the Unshackled Doppelganger.
"The Unshackled Doppelganger is a doppelganger technique. While there are other doppelganger techniques among the Great Dao Mystiques, this technique is unparalleled among all others. Ordinary mystiques peak at three or four realms, but the Invincible Vajra Body consists of ten realms. This means that it is of about the same value as the Invincible Vajra Body. Of particular note is the fact that the 10 doppelgangers of the second tier are stronger than those of the first tier.
"In the third and fourth tiers, 90 more doppelgangers can be made, totaling to 100 of them in all. Once again, the fourth tier's doppelgangers are stronger than the third tier's. The first 10 doppelgangers created by the first tier are the strongest. The combined strength of the 10 of them can even contend with that of your original body."
"In the fifth and sixth tiers, 900 more doppelgangers can be created, totaling to 1,000 Doppelgangers."
"In the seventh and eighth tiers, 9,000 more doppelgangers can be created, totaling to 10,000 doppelgangers. Of these, the ones created during the first tier are the strongest, followed by the third tier and then the fifth.
"The ninth tier consists of 100,000 doppelgangers that will cover the sky and earth.
"The 10th tier of greater mastery allows for an unlimited number of doppelgangers to be created, even up to the millions. The entire land will be covered by them, and their presence will be noticed by all. During this stage, one can truly go toe to toe with an army of millions. An entire immortal army could be made by just one man!"
Wu Yu had personally experienced leading troops into battle, so his newfound understanding of the Unshackled Doppelganger truly scared him.
The Great Way of Immortality Art allowed one to become an immortal!
The Invincible Vajra Body allowed one to develop their body!
The Ground Demon Transformation Art allowed one to transform. Even the Fixed Body Art and Violent Art were enough for Wu Yu.
The Unshackled Doppelganger covered all remaining bases. When it came to the later stages, one could only describe its power as terrifying.
For a single person to transform into an army of millions that was fully under his control was truly a great feat. Wu Yu wondered for a moment - if he was truly able to achieve greater mastery, could he even rival the palaces in deaven...?
Now THAT was an exaggeration.
That being said, the 10th tier was still far from his reach. Wu Yu was only at the first tier now, and it was pointless for him to think about biting off more than he could chew. At this point in time, Wu Yu was more concerned about the first tier.
"10 strands of hair have become gold."
In a sea of black hair, these ten golden strands of hair would not be easily noticed by others. Even if they were noticed, others would not imagine that these ten hairs were Wu Yu's mystique, much less his doppelgangers.
On Wu Yu's Jindan, the mystique insignia started to work with the foundation of Jindan essence, emitting a heavy atmosphere of qi that circled around Wu Yu's head.
It was time to try the mystique out.
Wu Yu plucked out the 10 strands of golden hair and blew on them gently. In a flash, the ineffable mystique started to work and the 10 hairs transformed into 10 doppelgangers of Wu Yu. They were as mischievous as monkeys, shooting each other funny looks as they jumped all over the place. They caused quite a commotion.
With just a single thought, the 10 doppelgangers froze up and stared at each other.
The fact that these 10 doppelgangers were Wu Yu's 10 strands of hair meant that they were part of Wu Yu's body. Just as how Wu Yu's arms obeyed his mind's commands, these doppelgangers did too. One difference between these doppelgangers and other body parts was that they possessed some level of self-awareness, much like spiritual immortal treasures. Under normal circumstances, Wu Yu would not have to invest a great deal of energy to control their each and every move.
This worked along the same principles as Jiu Ying's nine brains. Jiu Ying was truly a remarkable demon. While there was one main brain that was responsible for controlling the others, any of his brains could take over this role as needed. As a result, chopping off eight of the brains would not kill Jiu Ying, just like how chopping off one's arm would not result in one dying.
These doppelgangers were just smarter versions of Wu Yu's hairs.
Under the mysterious powers of the Heaven Dao Mystique, they were able to transform into Wu Yu's doppelgangers.
As for how capable they were…
Wu Yu was no doubt in for a surprise.
To put things simply, they were approximately as strong as Wu Yu himself, so they were able to utilize all of his dao and battle techniques. The only techniques that these clones were unable to use were the Fixed Body Art and the Violent Art.
If they were to be equipped with swords, they could even use the God Eclipsing Void Sword without any issues.
In practice, however, they were not making use of Wu Yu's own Jindan essence. In this aspect, they were considered independent bodies. Each strand of hair was equivalent to an actual body that possessed various acupuncture points and even the Sea of Breath Meridian. Take the 10 doppelgangers standing before Wu Yu now as an example - each had their own Jindan!
This had to be the most impressive part of it all.