Chapter 622: Finally Entering the Sage Realm
Jiang Chen continuously circulated his energy within the forbidden area of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect. Multiple currents of origin power coursed through his body like vast armies in one direction, as if numerous rivers and creeks converging on the ocean. He felt the internal dimension of the purple manor within his dantian continuously increase and grow.
Three distinct flower-shaped illusions began to congeal above his head, becoming clearer by the moment. Jiang Chen knew that he’d reached the critical moment for breaking through to the sage realm. “Let’s do this in one move, go!”
There was only one thought left in Jiang Chen’s mind, to rush forward with all his might. He was currently rowing against the current in a canoe and had to maintain his current momentum. The origin power within his body was akin to a flood dragon struggling up an enormous waterfall, continuously battering against the various shackles within his body.
Great rumbling noises sounded from the purple manor within Jiang Chen’s dantian, as if it had come from a deep abyss. Jiang Chen’s bones and meridians shone gold as they resonated with the energy wrapping around them, creating a harmonized chorus.
Suddenly, Jiang Chen felt his body relax as the origin realm shackles in his body shattered like a great glass dome.
No different than glass, the shackles shattered into shards and were disintegrated into particles by the origin power surging through them. The origin power within him shot into the skies in a magnificent column, rising through the air like a vigorous dragon or tiger. At that instant, the three flowers over his head became as clear as could be, as if they were lanterns flaring to life.
Coalesce the three flowers, and break through to the sage realm!
The sage realm was broken into three levels: mortal, earth, and sky sage. Entrance into each level would be accompanied by natural phenomena. In the mortal sage realm, the natural phenomena to note was the three flowers that would coalesce over the cultivator’s head. Entering the earth sage realm would beget golden lotuses that cover the ground, and the sky sage realm would usher in a rain of flowers from immortals.
However, when Jiang Chen broke through to the sage realm, all of the origin energy in his body shot towards the clouds, rending the skies and earth open. The skies seemed to be bisected by an enormous blade as light itself was divided in twain, a clear line marking the delineation of black and white. Multi-hued clouds rushed furiously towards the void, as if desperate to fill a vacuum.
The heavenly phenomena that had appeared in the Precious Tree Sect had once again made its appearance, and worse, it was three to five times stronger this time! Luckily, this area completely enclosed the breadth of the phenomena as rainbows started forming, reflecting off each other in the sky. Light flashed, and darkness roiled, competing for attention as they formed various divine forms.
“I’d thought that what had happened in the origin realm was an accident, but who knew that the disturbance upon setting foot in the sage realm would be even greater. It’s a good thing that I’m ensconced in the forbidden area of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect. If I’d been in the Regal Pill Palace, it’s likely everyone would’ve connected it to me.”
Once could be explained as accident, but twice was never an accident. It was impossible for for natural phenomena to just so happen to appear every time he broke through. In the instant he did, the seal reappeared in the universe of his consciousness, materializing in a patch of empty space. Nine small water droplets made a ring of stars, forming a strange seal in a marvelous chain. This seal seemed to thrum with exceedingly frightening power, as if sealing off some sort of great terror.
When Jiang Chen had broken through to the origin realm last time, he’d detected this seal and had attempted to investigate it, only to come up empty handed. He’d also accidentally touched the seal last time, triggering the heavenly phenomena. He’d been quite careful this time, but had triggered an even more frightening phenomenon. It looked like each breakthrough to a new realm would be perceived by the seal, which in turn would trigger these phenomena. They weren’t triggered because Jiang Chen had sought it out. This time however, the seal was noticeably clearer. Contrary to when he’d entered the origin realm, he could now clearly sense the existence of the seal.
Last time, his consciousness hadn’t dared draw near to the seal. And now that he’d broken through to the sage realm, although Jiang Chen’s consciousness still felt as if needles were being jabbed into his mind, it wasn’t as bad as when he was in the origin realm.
“It looks like my consciousness has continuously improved with my strength, and I’ve grown used to the seal.” Jiang Chen had come to the conclusion that his consciousness was being subconsciously steered by the seal as his mind hovered around it, sensing it. It was being steered to the vast expanses of the heavens of his past life, back to that ancient era. The memories of his past life spilled over as if an avalanche had finally been freed, and so Jiang Chen hastily stopped his explorations.
The seal made from the nine beads slammed shut and Jiang Chen’s consciousness recovered its usual serenity.
“The vast myriad worlds…” It was as if lightning had struck Jiang Chen as he stood dumbly. He was unable to speak for the longest time. He was finally certain, as of this moment, that his father had been the one to arrange for his reincarnation into this world. If not his father, there was no one else who would seal such a powerful strength into his consciousness.
Although Jiang Chen didn’t know what exactly had been sealed within, he firmly believed that no one else other than his father was even capable of leaving such an extraordinarily strong seal in his consciousness.
“Father…” Jiang Chen thought back to his past life; how the Celestial Emperor had sheltered and harbored him, how the heavens had shattered in his past life and order collapsed…
All of a sudden, Jiang Chen felt the stirrings of an explosive power starting from deep within his chest. He acutely felt its desire to burst into this world.
“Sage realm! This is just the beginning! I must continue to improve and make sure my efforts aren’t in vain. One day, I will undo that seal, and see what father left behind in my mind! One day, I will carve my path back to the heavens and find my father!” It took him a great deal of effort at that point, but Jiang Chen managed to calm himself down, and see about finding his inner peace again.
Cao Jin and Shi Zhen had picked up the formation shattering technique quickly, and had gotten to the point of practicing together for the last couple of days. They’d convened in front of the great waterfall in Mt. Rippling Mirage and were prepared to use the Moonshatter Awl to attack the formation. The three of them together could increase the force behind the attack by a multiple of ten. Although it might not be enough to break open the formation, Wu Heng had made his calculations and felt that he still had a certain amount of assurance in ripping open the formation enough to let them pass.
“Watch my hand seals, everyone. It’s time to put everything we have to the test.” He had taken the role of conductor for this task. Three hand seals flashed, causing a silver light to flash. The moment the silver light appeared, he roared, “Now!”
The three of them held nothing back, working cooperatively to channel an incredible amount of power into the Moonshatter Awl. The resulting thick laser of silver light crashed onto the waterfall with an earth shattering impact.
Wham bam bam!
The waterfall didn’t even shudder, but a faint trace appeared on its mirror-like surface.
“Keep at it!” Wu Heng knew that breaking through the formation with a single blow was nothing more than a pipe dream. Their only hope lay in a continuous assault. So, the three of them didn’t stop as they continued to fire off attacks in sequence.
Suddenly, the water curtain of the waterfall seemed to slow for an instant. From there, the water flowing down the waterfall began to reverse, and the length of the sky suddenly sported an enormous tear. Clouds had already begun to spiral around the epicenter of the phenomena. The entirety of Mt. Rippling Mirage seemed to have been awakened by a mysterious power as numerous life forms poked their heads out in curiosity. They bore silent witness as the heavens and earth shook.
Cao Jin instantly stopped his attacks as he looked solemnly at the horizon. The cloud layers were all snaking through the sky as an uncountable number of birds and beasts called and roared together. Rainbows danced through the air as a general atmosphere of auspicious prosperity settled in the air. Divine figures could be vaguely made out, slipping in and out of various forms.
“How… how can this be?” Shi Zhen was stunned as a hint of fear appeared in his eyes. “Is this because of our attacks?”
Fatty Wu had originally thought that the formation had elicited the phenomena as well, but there was nothing out of the ordinary around the formation. He shook his head with an exceedingly ugly expression, “It’s not because of the formation.”
Cao Jin’s face had already darkened immensely. He was well read and widely versed, and naturally recognized this as the natural phenomena brought about from an expert breaking through. However, even someone in the emperor realm breaking through to a Titled Great Emperor would have such a tremendous momentum.
“Could it be that a Titled Emperor has been acknowledged by the heavenly dao and become a legendary empyrean expert?!” Cao Jin murmured to himself, but his words were loud enough to stun Wu Heng and Shi Zhen. A Titled Emperor breaking through? They weren’t certain if there was even an empyrean expert in the Upper Eight Regions, but one may be hiding in a mere Myriad Domain? If there really was one, then they were no different than ants in front of that existence. Perhaps the other’s consciousness had already locked onto them. To act so unreservedly in such an honored one’s territory, weren’t they courting death?
So therefore, even Cao Jin’s face was filled with wariness. It felt that a great catastrophe was descending on them. The phenomena lasted for a full half hour before slowly dissipating, and the three stood where they were without moving, doing their best to imitate stone sculptures. They didn’t dare do anything as they were deathly afraid of offending the concealed empyrean expert, resulting in a fatal blow. If it really was an empyrean expert, he would be able to kill them with one thought.
It wasn’t until the phenomena had dissipated to the point where they couldn’t sense it that the three of them looked at each other, cold sweat drenching them.
“It’s… disappeared?” Shi Zhen stammered. “Senior brother Cao, was that really a Titled Great Emperor breaking through to the empyrean level?”
Cao Jin was now a bit uncertain as well. If that was truly the case, the three of them would’ve been discovered a long time ago. However, his instincts hadn’t warned him of any danger even now.
“Was it a misconception, and the phenomena wasn’t triggered by an expert going through a tribulation?” Fatty Wu felt that they’d been quite lucky. If it had been such an expert, he felt that the three of them would have long been dust by now.
Cao Jin cautiously sent his consciousness out and then nodded. “It shouldn’t have been such an expert breaking through. Otherwise, we would’ve felt an even stronger aura from the heavens. It’s impossible for an empyrean cultivator to not have released even the slightest aura. It looks like this phenomena was triggered from within the mountain and not from a cultivator. If this is an ancient ruin from the ancient times, it’s impossible for anyone or anything in there to have remained alive until now!”
“Then… do we continue?” Wu Heng looked at the formation. If we continue our attacks, we’ll be able to tear open a rip in the formation in half a day!”
Cao Jin thought momentarily and spoke decisively. “Fortune favors the bold. We must continue our attacks to enter the ancient herb garden. We’ll leave immediately once we find Jiang Chen!”