Chapter 1725: Progression

Han Li and the second Nascent Soul felt as if their bodies and spiritual sense were being raked over and over again by countless sharp blades, and what was even more damning was that no abilities could alleviate this pain even in the slightest.

It was as if they had been reduced to mere mortals and could only suffer through the ungodly agony without any being able to offer any resistance.

Even though Han Li's immensely powerful body was able to withstand even flying swords and flying sabers, this excruciating pain still made him lose control over his own magic power, thereby resulting in him plummeting from the sky.

Even though he was in extreme agony, he was still able to maintain the output of his Provenance True Devil Arts, so a fall from that altitude was nowhere near enough to hurt him. Instead, a small crater was smashed into the ground amid a dull thump by his powerful body, and shattered stone shrapnel flew in all directions.

However, Han Li didn't have any spare capacity to notice these small details. Right after he let loose that involuntary cry of agony, he had forcibly pursed his own lips as he tried to repress the pain, and his face was beginning to turn purple.

This type of agony was unbearable to the average person, and he could only resist it using his willpower.

In this situation, Han Li could sense that his soul had become scorching hot, as if had been enveloped by a scorching ball of flames and set alight.

Han Li just barely managed to retain a shred of clarity of mind, but he was still extremely stunned by this development. He gritted his teeth and struggled into the sitting position in the crater, then folded his legs and made a hand seal as bright golden light erupted from his body again.

After growing slightly accustomed to the agony, he was using his Provenance True Devil Arts to try and alleviate the pain. However, in the next instant, something happened that left him feeling a little stunned.

As soon as he began to circulate his spiritual power within his own body, the agony that he had been afflicted by suddenly transformed into bursts of refreshing coolness that surged through his meridians in a frenzy, then turned into a type of strange energy that he had never seen before. This energy began to spur on his Provenance True Devil Arts, causing it to operate at a fearsomely rapid rate.

Following a complete cycle of spiritual Qi revolution, he could sense that his cultivation base had improved slightly. It wasn't a drastic increase by any means, but it was certainly noticeable.

This strange improvement continued as he circulated his Provenance True Devil Arts, and this discovery naturally filled him with elation.

Thus, he immediately began to focus on cultivation as golden light flashed from his body.

Under these circumstances, every single revolution of his cultivation art provided an effect that was equivalent to a year of arduous cultivation, so he definitely wasn't going to pass up such a brilliant opportunity.

However, his rate of progression was still far inferior to that of the second Nascent Soul in the pillar of light.

The second Nascent Soul was also circulating its cultivation art to try and alleviate its agony, but due to the enormous influx of energy flowing into its body within the pillar of light, it was unable to blunt its pain by much.

However, at the same time, its cultivation base was improving at three to four times the rate of Han Li's progression. 

After a while, it progressed to the mid-Deity Transformation Stage, and it still didn't encounter any bottlenecks.

Time passed by slowly, and Han Li's body suddenly shuddered as a peculiar feeling welled up in his heart. After spending some time working through his early-Spatial Tempering Stage bottleneck, he made a breakthrough to the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage.

He was naturally ecstatic to sense this, and he continued to circulate his Provenance True Devil Arts as quickly as he could.

What he failed to notice was that in the instant he reached the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage, the golden droplets within the pillar of light in the distance suddenly flashed before abruptly converging toward the second Nascent Soul.

In the blink of an eye, a brand new golden body took shape within the pillar of light.

It still had three heads and six arms, but there were purplish-golden patterns running all over its body, forming a series of strange and slightly indistinct runes. Not only were these purplish-golden runes quite blurry, they also seemed to be incomplete. Even so, the golden body was releasing an aura that was vastly more powerful than before, and the crimson-golden spiritual light emanating from its body was infused with a hint of a mysterious purple color.

The second blurry face of the golden body also became noticeably clearer than before, and one could even make out some facial features such as its eyes and nose. However, the third face remained as indistinct as ever.

After obtaining this new golden body, the second Nascent Soul was able to absorb spiritual power and five-colored runes at a vastly improved speed, and its pain had also been alleviated significantly.

Moments later, the second Nascent Soul progressed to the late-Deity Transformation Stage before rushing rapidly toward the pinnacle of that stage.

A short while later, Han Li was also close to the pinnacle of the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage and was accumulating power for another breakthrough. Right at this moment, the second Nascent Soul broke through its major bottleneck with relative ease and progressed to the Spatial Tempering Stage as well.

Any Spirit Realm mighty figure would be stunned to the point of speechlessness if they were to witness this terrifying rate of progression.

A resounding boom rang out, and the silver halberds being wielded by the nine armored puppets suddenly let loose a prolonged ringing sound in unison. At the same time, nine pillars of light erupted from their sharp tips before vanishing into the air above.

The pillar of white light erupting from the golden vortex abruptly shuddered before becoming even thicker than before, and the second Nascent Soul instantly let loose a shrill cry of agony in response.

The golden body that had just taken shape began to melt away again amid violent flashes of golden light. In the blink of an eye, it was reduced to golden droplets that were floating within the pillar of light again.

However, on this occasion, the golden droplets were infused with hints of purple, and they seemed to be different from before.

After that, the same events transpired again; pure spiritual power and five-colored runes surged into the golden droplets, and bursts of mysterious energy cleansed them once again.

The traces of purple within the golden droplets also began to expand at a rate that was indiscernible to the naked eye.

Meanwhile, the sense of agony that Han Li had been afflicted by was increased by about twofold in the instant that the pillar of white light had thickened, and the pain was so crippling that he almost blacked out on the spot.

Thankfully, his pain tolerance threshold had been temporarily elevated by this relentless assault of agony, and that allowed him to just barely cling onto his consciousness.

Furthermore, as he continued to circulate his spiritual power, he began to absorb more and more of the cool energy that was enhancing his cultivation base. This experience made Han Li feel as if he were being burned and frozen at the same time.

His cultivation base had already reached the pinnacle of the mid-Spatial Tempering Stage about seven or eight minutes ago, and since then, he had drawn upon this mysterious energy to attempt over 10 breakthroughs to the late-Spatial Tempering Stage.

However, this bottleneck was clearly vastly different from the previous ones he had broken through, and it simply refused to budge.

As such, more and more of the mysterious energy accumulated within his body, and his pain was elevated to an unprecedented level.

If he couldn't break through this bottleneck in a short time, he felt as if either his soul would be torn apart by this excruciating agony or his body would explode.

He had only managed to last until this point as his Great Development Technique and Provenance True Devil Arts had bolstered his soul and body to be far more powerful than those of other cultivators of the same caliber.

If a normal Spatial Tempering cultivator were in his place, they would have perished long ago.

Thus, Han Li's ecstasy quickly turned into alarm, and he could only continue to gather up the energy within his body before making one frenzied attempt after another at breaking through his bottleneck.

He was only a sliver away from making the breakthrough, but he found himself unable to take that final step, and he was becoming quite anxious.

As expected, risk and reward really did come hand in hand. According to his estimates, he was going to die if he couldn't break through his bottleneck after three more attempts.

Just as he was beginning to sweat profusely, a ball of golden light that resembled a scintillating sun suddenly appeared around him. It was so bright that if any onlookers were present, they would've been forced to look away.

Perhaps the breakthrough attempts that he had made had finally bore fruit or if his desperation had allowed him to tap into more of his latent potential, but then he managed to break through the bottleneck after just one more attempt.

Han Li's body shuddered, and several bursts of scorching energy flowed out from his dantian, surging through his body, limbs, and meridians. At the same time, golden and azure spiritual light flashed incessantly from his primary Nascent Soul, and it expanded quite significantly in size.

His magic power also swelled drastically by well over half in virtually the blink of an eye. Han Li was ecstatic, but in the next instant, a hint of alarm and horror appeared in his eyes.

In the instant that he progressed to the late-Spatial Tempering Stage, the golden droplets within the pillar of light in the distance had converged to form another golden body.

Not only were the runes on this golden body far clearer and more complete than the previous one, the protective spiritual light it was releasing had also taken on a faint purplish-golden color.

However, as a result, the white pillar of light that was crashing down from above expanded once again, causing the golden body to disintegrate for a third time.

Furthermore, the influx of cool energy continued at an even faster rate, and Han Li's cultivation base was progressing even more quickly than before.

Never did he think that he would be horrified by excessively fast cultivation progression someday.

Han Li was well aware that even with the power of the pillar of light, his bottlenecks were becoming more and more difficult to break through. His last breakthrough had already been extremely forced, so there was no way he would be able to successfully make a breakthrough to the Body Integration Stage.

If his magic power were to continue to pile up, his body would inevitably explode, so how could he not be alarmed?

This strange situation was completely out of his control, and only by wrenching the second Nascent Soul out of that pillar of light would he be able to escape this perilous situation.

However, the second Nascent Soul's golden body had been destroyed thrice already, and the Nascent Soul itself was completely immobilized by the enormous power crashing down from above; how could he possibly detach the second Nascent Soul from the pillar of light?

As such, he could only look on in a resigned manner as his cultivation base continued to improve at an astonishing rate.

Around an hour later, the second Nascent Soul made two more breakthroughs and reached the late-Spatial Tempering Stage, making its cultivation base comparable to Han Li's.

However, the rate of progression that the second Nascent Soul was experiencing within the pillar of light naturally far exceeded that of Han Li.

He was still quite far away from reaching the pinnacle of the late-Spatial Tempering Stage, yet his second Nascent Soul had already progressed to that point and had begun attempting a breakthrough to the Body Integration Stage.

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