Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 583 - Years of Starlight[Updated at: 2021-04-26 15:31:09]
Chapter 583 - Years of Starlight
The Man Branch of the Archaion Sect was really huge. At their speed, it took them an hour to fly to the entrance of the Old Deepstar Path, which was situated near the part of the sect that was closer to the ocean. They felt the ocean breeze and heard the sound of the waves beneath them on the way there.
"Are you still planning to kill and steal?" Lin Xiaoxiao asked.
"I\'m still considering it," Tianming said.
"To be honest, you won\'t be able to take what I have. Once I die it\'ll be gone."
"Then, let me ask you this: do you intend to get revenge?" he asked, looking her in the eyes.
"Revenge for Lightning Manor."
"I\'m just an untethered soul now, let alone someone belonging to Lightning Manor."
"That\'s what someone trying to hide their desire for revenge would say."
"Kill me if it bugs you so much. It\'d be a relief for me, to be frank."
"A release?" He didn\'t trust her at all. The whole point of watching her was to assess the threat she posed to him. Not to mention, he had a rough idea about the OId Deepstar Path after reading about it in the Trinity Almanac. The briefing the book provided, however, wasn\'t enough, so he would have to experience it for himself.
"Xiaoxiao, have you only just arrived here recently?"
"Around two months before you."
"How often do you head to the Old Deepstar Path?"
"Give your junior disciple here a brief introduction, if you would."
She looked at her \'junior disciple\' blankly. "That\'s a little different from your previous attitude."
"I don\'t really care for stuffy formalities. It\'s better if we talk more casually. However, if I find out you\'re up to something sinister, I\'ll kill you with a smile."
"I see." She turned back to the front and said, "The Old Deepstar Path is the main reason for the strength of the disciples of Archaion Sect. It’s actually a world in and of itself that’s laid out like a path. It stretches endlessly ahead."
"The main function of the path is converting the heavenly will of dead samsarans and lifebound beasts into Astral Will. Like the stars, they hang in the skies and fall to the path like meteors. Future disciples can use them to nourish their own heavenly will and speed up their growth. The lucky ones that find Astral Will that matches their own will be able to personally experience their seniors\' cultivation insights and results. The path has existed for more than two hundred thousand years, and countless dead seniors at the Samsara stage have had their cultivation experiences and heavenly wills converted into Astral Will at the path. Passing on their legacies is key to ensuring the sect\'s strength. That’s the main difference between this place and where we came from."
"Have you seen Astral Will before? What\'s it like?"
"It\'s truly wondrous. When you pick up the fallen stars, you\'ll be able to see the heavenly will of one of the seniors\' form. As for their cultivation experience up to the Samsara stage, if you manage to see one that matches your heavenly will, you\'ll greatly benefit from it."
Hearing that, Tianming couldn\'t wait to see it for himself. "What does the \'death\' part of the Samsara stage mean?"
"Do you not understand the stage?"
Tianming shook his head.
"The Samsara stage is the path to godhood. There’s twelve levels. By surpassing life and death twelve times and undergoing twelve tribulations each, you\'ll be able to become a god."
"In each of the levels, there\'s a life tribulation and death tribulation. During the former, your body will be filled with vigor and youth. But when the death tribulation comes, your body will age ten times faster and convert the life force into energy. Even a young person who reaches the Samsara stage will age quickly. If you can\'t break through to the second level quickly enough, you\'ll die of old age."
While she wasn\'t afraid of death, she was rather disturbed by the prospect of advancing to that stage. It was a path of no return.
"In other words, it\'s a cycle between the life and death tribulations then, and if you get stuck in the middle of a death tribulation, breaking through to the next life tribulation will be impossible and you\'ll die of old age...." He was quite shocked at the revelation. Thanks to the Aeonic Grandbane, he was aging ten times faster than normal. Would the extra ten times from the death tribulation be additive or multiplicative with what he already had? The thought of either sent chills down his spine.
"That\'s right. Each transition also comes with a huge power boost. Practically speaking, the Samsara stage has twenty-four levels. Once the last hurdle is surpassed, one will ascend to godhood."
"Then can\'t I just stay at the first life tribulation without breaking through to the first death tribulation?" Even if transitioning to the death tribulation greatly increased one\'s strength, it was still too huge a price to pay.
"You could always remain an empyrean saint. You\'ll get to live five hundred years that way. Who wouldn\'t want to grow stronger and become a god? Not to mention, if you really overcome a death tribulation, your lost life force will return during the next life tribulation, while you grow even stronger. That\'s why you\'ll find that cultivators undergoing a life tribulation will be really laid back, while those in their death tribulations will have time for nothing."
"So by switching between life and death tribulations, one gains and loses life force... it sounds really intense."
"That\'s right. That\'s why there’s only been ten gods in the history of the Flameyellow Continent. It is a journey with impossible odds. To transcend everything, one has to surpass life and death twelve times."
The Trinity Almanac didn\'t have any information on the Samsara stage, so he had her to thank for enlightening him on it.
"Xiaoxiao, let\'s say that someone advances to the Samsara stage at the age of twenty. Before transitioning into the first death stage, he would have five hundred years\' worth of life force. But after the transition is made, he\'ll only have fifty remaining, right?"
"Nope. If you take into account the prime cultivation period, there\'s only around thirty years remaining. Those who aren\'t able to transition to the second life tribulation at that point will just be waiting for their death. But if they manage to succeed in the end, they\'ll get back their five hundred years."
"Then someone with only a hundred years left won\'t have any hope of overcoming the death tribulation then."
"Many people in that situation choose to stop cultivating at their life tribulation."
"I see. By the way, how do the folks at the Heaven Branch cultivate? Did they start cultivating in the w.o.m.b? How else are they able to reach the Samsara stage at the age of twenty?" This was something he couldn\'t fathom no matter whatever since meeting Xuanyuan Yuheng.
"That\'s not the case. People at the Samsara stage will experience a physiological change. Parents at that stage usually find it hard to give birth. The chances are really low, but if they do manage to give birth, the child\'s talent will be exceedingly high. They\'ll be born with the constitution of an earth saint. As long as they start condensing heavenly will at the age of three and cultivate daily to race through the nine levels of Heavenly Will, they\'ll be able to embark on the path of a saint."
"Damn... I didn\'t think that was possible. So we started at the Beast Vein stage while they started from Heavenly Will?"
"More or less."
"And they only need to cultivate their heavenly will, and not their spiritsource?"
"They don\'t have spiritsource. They’re born with a saint palace. After finishing Heavenly Will, they\'ll start filling their saint springs."
"That\'s the power of pedigree. Otherwise they wouldn\'t bother going through the death tribulations so readily. It\'s all about pride with those elites."
Basically, in the Nine Divine Realms, the most important thing wasn\'t talent or resources, but rather inheritance. They would inherit heavenly wills at the Old Deepstar Path, and strong bodies from their bloodline. Being born with a saint body was a ludicrous prospect to him.
"Then the folks at the Heaven Branch are all geniuses who embarked on the Samsara Stage in their twenties or thirties?"
"More or less. However, these are the very best on the continent, and their numbers are really low. There’s only around five hundred Heaven Branch disciples."
"Five hundred, huh..." Tianming felt a little better about that. Finally, he saw a possibility of him becoming the strongest disciple of the sect. At least that would make it easier for Feiling to take him in as a personal disciple. "How many Earth Branch disciples are there?"
"Most of them are sixth-level empyrean saints and above, so around fifty thousand."
"And Human Branch disciples?"
"Five hundred thousand." All of whom would be geniuses in places far from Archaion, no doubt. Given Tianming\'s current level, he could still fit in among the youths, apart from those in the Earth and Heaven Branches.
"I should take it one step at a time then." He was in a good spot now. Given his talent and the abundant resources of the sect, he would no doubt quickly grow.
Soon, they were nearing their destination. All of a sudden, Lin Xiaoxiao stopped in her tracks.
"Getting cold feet?"
"I don\'t like conflict, so I let them walk over me. Are you sure you want to tag along?"
"It\'s fine. I\'m new here, so I need a guide. You can do that much, right?"
"You messed with the Dragonmight Faction today. The fiercely competitive disciples of the sect won’t hesitate to cripple you."
"Do you think I\'m afraid?"
"Suit yourself then."
"Come to think of it, who are they?"
"Factions in the Human Branch are basically gangs of disciples. The sect encourages this practice. The Human Branch is basically controlled by the factions, and the Dragonmight Faction\'s core members belong to the Archaic House of Xuanyuan that has produced two gods before."
"So they call the shots then."
"With House Xuanyuan backing them, they can do as they please. Their faction lord is basically a king in the Human Branch."
"Does the sect master not care?"
"The Human Branch king is only a nominal title. The branch is considered part of the outer sect, anyway, where disciples are allowed to kill each other. The true cores of the sect are the Earth and Heaven Branches."
"Interesting. So it\'s a huge free for all then. The strong will consume the weak."
"What other powerful factions are there?"
"The Clearriver Society, Swordking Faction, and so on. The latter is controlled by the Draconis House of Jian."
Tianming recalled that the sect master of the Human Branch, Jian Wuyi, belonged to the Draconis House of Jian. "With all the faction building, you\'d think they\'re going to war with one another."
"That\'s not too far off. The faction battles are starting soon, so they\'re recruiting like there’s no tomorrow to get more cannon fodder."
"Just when I think the shock factor has worn off, the sect finds new ways to surprise." The Grand-Orient Sect and Decimo Dao Palace didn\'t allow fights to the death, but this sect pulled out all the stops and even had faction battles. There would be no shortage of strong people rising from the ashes of battle.
"Those that rank first in the faction battles are heavily rewarded by the sect, mainly in the form of being allowed to train in the Old Deepstar Path longer. They\'ll also get more resources. The higher ranking the faction, the better rewards their members get, and the faction lord gets even more." She sounded rather pumped about the whole thing.
"Oh? What does the first-ranked faction lord get then?"
"The right to enter the Heaven Cauldron."
"Heaven Cauldron?" Tianming didn\'t recall reading about it in the Trinity Almanac.
"Spirit hazards with tribulation patterns, an ocean of them. There’s all kinds you can dream of. It\'s the holy ground of body cultivation."
Tianming\'s eyes shone. Perhaps one of those spirit hazards could help the fourth egg hatch. Not to mention, body cultivation sounded a lot like training at the sword ki pool. He didn\'t ask too much about it, but he felt he should learn more about the faction battles.
At the entrance of the Old Deepstar Path was a blue hall. The entrance was a shining vortex of brilliant stars.
"Human Branch Disciple Li Tianming, one hour per day. If you don\'t leave within that time, your rights to enter the Old Deepstar Path will be revoked for a month."
Tianming handed his disciple pass to the senior, who didn\'t bother to even look at him when he made a record. Naturally, he didn\'t use the pass Jian Wuyi gave him.
"How can I increase the time I\'m allowed to train within?" he asked.
"You can either become a deacon in a faction, hunt wildbeasts, or do missions for the sect," Lin Xiaoxiao said.
"Deacons? Sounds like corruption to me."
"You need to actually be capable to be one, you know."
"Sounds awfully superficial of them." After giving it some thought, he decided he would deal with it himself. He followed Lin Xiaoxiao into the galactic vortex.
Soon, the starry sky was shifting and sparkling around him. Tianming found himself standing on a rainbow-colored path that led on endlessly. Above him were countless stars. It was said that each of them was the condensation of the heavenly will of someone who died as a samsaran. These were their Astral Will.
The moment he stepped onto the path, however, the stars shook. Their sovereign had arrived!