The Spiritual Core was like a transparent orb made of glass with a violet-gold glow around it. One could clearly see the other side with no hindrance, and at the center of the orb was a smoldering ember. That smoldering ember only released a dying light as if it was on its last legs, but upon closer inspection, a great vitality could be sensed from it. As long as one's will stay true and firm, the ember will never extinguish.
Humankind was originally the weakest of all creatures within the myriad realms of the Vast Void. But through the guidance of Suiren, like an eternal flame, humankind blazed forward and prosper.
That legend was the origin of the Primogenitor Flame Scripture. There was no other scripture capable of bringing out humankind's full potential than the Primogenitor Flame Scripture. For it represented the man's eventual supremacy of all things.
Which was why it was so ironic that Juedai Fenghua, a clone created from the flesh of a Demon Fox, was cultivating a technique meant for pure humans.
But why would Tianyi care? This was his second choice of cultivation manual if he couldn't cultivate the Primordial Heavenly Scripture. He always felt it was a waste, but now he could make up for his missed opportunity.
"Couldn't you have chosen another cultivation manual for me?" Fenghua complained. "My flesh was created from a Demon Fox's. I'm lucky that I haven't spontaneously combusted."
Tianyi shrugged. "But a Demon Fox cultivating humankind's first emperor's technique, don't you find it interesting? Besides, as long as your soul stays human, what is the difference? The biggest proof is that you have a Violet Gold Rank Spiritual Core. I can't even recall how many humans became something inhuman by copying the physique of non-humans."
"Like you? At least they copied a living being's physique, unlike you. You're the anthropomorphization of a goddamn cosmos. I don't think you can get anymore inhuman than that." Fenghua rebutted.
"But my heart is still human," Tianyi said, matter-o-factly.
Fenghua rolled her eyes.
Tianyi absorbed Fenghua back into his cosmos. After the commotion he caused, it was no longer suitable to release her at this location. He would have to find another time and place to do so and make sure that she would be able to interact with Dong Chifan. But his first priority was to make it to the Heavenly Connection Gathering.
The Heavenly Connection Gathering had already begun two days ago while he was still conditioning his clone's progress. He didn't even want to think about how the other people and even his own sect members saw him.
The Heavenly Connection Gathering was held in a pavilion outside of Ocean Lake City. The pavilion was a Pseudo-Immortal Realm Artifact created from merging five Transcending Mortality Realm Artifacts.
The pavilion wasn't segregated to facilitate the relationship between the members of the Buzhou Immortal Sect and their Vassal Sects. And currently, the leader of this entourage, Su Wanyu, Hun Jusang, Ji Muyang, He Luoli, and San Jiuling, sat in an embellished area with elevated ground. These five composed the leadership of all the parties gathered.
Su Wanyu naturally took the lead as a member of the Buzhou Immortal Sect. And although she only just entered the Unity Realm, no other disciple under the age of a hundred from the other sects had entered the Unity Realm like her.
Hun Jusang, from the Nihility Sect, was cloaked in black robes and exuded an aura of negativity accentuated only by his late Nascent Soul Realm cultivation base. The hood of his cloak hid his face, revealing only a few locks of black hair. His voice resembled that of several people speaking at once.
Ji Muyang, otherwise known as the Dawn Saintess of the Bright Ascension Sect, was an extremely beautiful woman resembling the sun with a peak Nascent Soul Realm cultivation base. Her eyes burned bright orange, and her skin practically glowed. Of all those gathered, she was the only one who was the Eldest Disciple.
He Luoli was a youth who had pleasant yet non-descript features. If he hadn't been sitting with the other four, he would have melded in anonymously with the other disciples. As a late Nascent Soul Grandmaster, he didn't stand other either, but one could feel the sheathed sword qi between his brows if one looked closely.
And last but not least was San Jiuling from the Leakless Sect, who had the lowest cultivation at the Mid Nascent Soul Realm, but none of the other four dared to underestimate him. He had accomplished the impossible and had nine Lifebound Artifacts. Even if his cultivation was lower, just those nine Lifebound Artifacts was enough for him to fight evenly against a peak Nascent Soul Grandmaster. His eyes drifted towards Dong Chifan, who was sitting with the other loose cultivators invited.
"Brother San, is that the loose cultivator you brought?"
San Jiuling looked towards Ji Muyang, a polite smile on his face. "Indeed, he is also my sworn blood brother."
"Really?" He Luoli said. "I never expected for you to become sworn blood brothers with a loose cultivator. He must be something special then."
"How did you become blood brothers? Surely someone, as esteemed as yourself, must not have done so lightly." Su Wanyu said, her voice making San Jiuling's body go rigid.
"It's a common tale, nothing worthy of being shared." San Jiuling said. "An old foe had ambushed me and dealt a fatal injury to me. If it weren't for brother Dong, I would have perished."
"Someone dared to ambush brother San? You're the grandson of the Leakless Sect's Grand Elder. It would be best to exterminate your foe at all costs. Otherwise, the prestige of the Leakless Sect will suffer."
"I was just careless. After I recovered, I dealt with him permanently. He won't appear in front of me again." San Jiuling said, calmness present upon his face.
"That's good." Su Wanyu added, a hint of a smile could be sensed behind her veil. "But, make sure to cull the grass by the roots. Otherwise, there might be annoyances in the future."
San Jiuling blinked, unsure if Su Wanyu knew of the actual incident with what she said. "Just a mortal child without any cultivation talents. There's no need to fret over such a minor character."
"You're wrong." The voice was raspy as if the throat had been parched for years. "You should have made him watch as you personally ripped out that child's heart and feed it to him. Only then will he know the depth of error that not even a Yama King can save him. He will forever rue the day he made you his enemy to the deepest dip of the underworld. Not even Granny Meng's soup of forgetfulness will give him respite."
"Hahaha, brother Hun hasn't changed at all." Ji Muyang chuckled at Hun Jusang's words, seemingly unaffected by his dark aura.
"Brother San doesn't need to take brother Hun's words to heart. He has always been like that, last time too. Whenever the subject of vengeance comes up, he will always go to the extreme." He Luoli said to San Jiuling.
San Jiuling wasn't part of the group at the previous Heavenly Connection Gathering and was unused to Hun Jusang's words. San Jiuling could only force a smile, hoping that Hun Jusang's words were made with no serious intent.
"Hmpf, to show kindness to your enemies is to allow them the chance to seek vengeance. Mark my words, you will regret letting that child go." Hun Jusang said, unrelenting.
"Yes, yes, Iwe should just kill everyone else, or else I will be hurt in the future. We know." Ji Muyang waved off Hun Jusang's words, unconcerned.
Before long, the subject was direct away from the matter of how Dong Chifan and San Jiuling became blood brother and the issue of Dong Chifan's strength.
"He's quite outstanding for a loose cultivator. During our adventures, he killed a Nascent Soul Grandmaster." San Jiuling said, but none of the other four were surprised.
Strictly speaking, the difference between a Nascent Soul Grandmaster and a Core Formation Master was far greater than the difference between a Core Formation Master and a Foundation Establishment Disciple.
But who were these five? They were the cream of the crops among the first-rate sects and Heaven Continent's sole hegemon sect.
Although rare, it was not unheard of for a Core Formation Master to defeat or even kill a Nascent Soul Grandmaster. There were many factors involved, such as the techniques used, the number of colors the Nascent Soul Grandmaster's soul had, and the grade of the Core Formation Master's Spiritual Core.
San Jiuling didn't deny it. The Nascent Soul Grandmaster Dong Chifan killed was a One-Colored Nascent Soul Grandmaster. And he suspected that Dong Chifan's Spiritual Core was at least of the Gold Grade and had the inheritance of a True Immortal. At least that's what Dong Chifan said he had gotten the coke recipe from. "Although it isn't unheard of for us who have been meticulously groomed, for a loose cultivator, it already quite impressive."
"True, true." Ji Muyang said, an expression that said "I know something you don't" displayed upon her face.
"Even for our sect, those that overcome boundaries and slays those above them are already rare." He Luoli said. "But it seems that you also recommended someone. Is he the reason why you suggested we each bring a loose cultivator with talent?"
Indeed, the idea for those young masters and mistresses to bring in a loose cultivator who caught their eye was from Ji Muyang.
"I just brought the idea up. It wasn't like I specifically did it for that guy after all. He's just the one who was most fitting, so I brought him along." Ji Muyang said lightly as if she placed no importance on the one she chose.
"How did he catch your eye then?" San Jiuling asked, quite curious. From what he heard, Ji Muyang had quite a prickly personality and was not easy to get along with.
"He didn't catch my eye, okay?" Ji Muyang insisted, but she still explained. "Do you think any of you could kill a Four-Colored Nascent Soul Grandmaster as a Core Formation Master?"
"Why would I do something so foolish? We are already bound to be claimed by death; I see no point in shortening our trivial lives."
"If I fully unleashed all nine Lifebound Artifacts, but the rebound wouldn't be worth it."
"I have a technique that would allow me to unleash a single strike on par with a Unity Realm Venerable, but my cultivation would be crippled afterward."
The four from the first-rate sect looked at Su Wanyu in surprise. The difference between Unity Ream and Nascent Soul Realm was greater than Nascent Soul Realm and Foundation Establishment Realm, after all.
"Tsk, tsk, as expected of the Buzhou Immortal Sect."
"B-back to the main point. Longwei is incredible. He was able to kill with a Four-Colored Nascent Soul Grandmaster as Core Formation Master. And he only needed to recuperate for a few months!" Ji Muyang said proudly as if it was her own accomplishment.
"Hoh? He must have at least a Violet-Gold Grade Spiritual Core. Where is this Longwei? If possible, I want to spar with him." He Luoli said as he searched for the Longwei spoken of by Ji Muyang.
Not just him but the other four had their interest peaked as well. Ji Muyang didn't put on any airs and pointed towards a certain corner.
Longwei was a handsome man who wore purple robes with a saber sheathed at his waist. His hair was untied and slightly in disarray, giving him a wild but masculine aura. He didn't hide his Early Nascent Soul Realm aura, and he stood out as the only invited loose cultivator in the Nascent Soul Realm.
"Not ordinary, not ordinary at all." He Luoli said. He had cultivated his sword to the point that he almost condensed a sword intent so he could recognize the saber qi that Longwei had.
San Jiuling had to agree, and Hun Jusang only looked away, not saying anything.
But Su Wanyu clasped her palm over her face. She felt a sense of distrust and repulsiveness she had only felt towards one person.
"Sister Su, is something wrong?" Ji Muyang asked, noticing Su Wanyu's change.
"It's nothing. I just felt as if this Longwei looked familiar." Su Wanyu said to direct the conversation elsewhere.
"Familiar?" The other four said, but none of them felt so.
Su Wanyu also only said as lipped service to explain the change in her demeanor. But only Su Wanyu would know her own surprise when her random words spoke true as she stared at Tianyi, who had finally arrived.
Except for those pair of mesmerizing eyes that could appear to be able to steal souls with just a glance, the rest of his face was almost an exact replica of Longwei's.