Cultivation was always something extremely boring. It required endurance, as well as a resolute will. If there was a lack in either of these attributes, it was difficult for one to become a truly powerful expert.
Within the palace of the ancient kingdom, these young cultivators were geniuses not merely on the basis of their talent. They had a resolute heart for their martial path, fueled by their thirst and conviction to grow stronger and stronger.
Among them, Chu Mang became the first to step into Heavenly Dipper.
Today, an incredible sharpness shot up to the Heavens at the location where Chu Mang was cultivating in, and the beam of sharpness was so powerful it was as though it could break straight through the formation world. This commotion naturally didn’t go unnoticed and soon after, several silhouettes flashed, appearing in Chu Mang’s location.
They saw Chu Mang sitting cross-legged as an intense light radiated from him. A starlight manifestation of a Heaven-Cleaving Axe shimmered in and out of existence.
That gigantic axe eventually flew into Chu Mang’s Yuanfu, fusing with his Astral Soul. The light radiating from him grew increasingly brighter, his entire aura was changing, until at last it appeared as though Chu Mang himself was that gigantic axe, exuding a sharpness so keen that nothing could block it.
Astral Nova—it was a clear indication of someone at the Heavenly Dipper Realm.
The Astral Novas that Stellar Martial Cultivators condensed were the combined embodiment of their cultivation levels, the state of their hearts, and lastly of their Martial Mandates. If one of these factors were lacking, it would be impossible to succeed, but once an Astral Nova was successfully condensed, this meant that the cultivator had stepped into the Heavenly Dipper Realm.
Standing up, Chu Mang slowly opened his eyes. A blinding axe light cleaved outwards in eight directions before shooting upwards, forming into a dome of light that enveloped him entirely. The sharpness he radiated made the onlookers feel as though even they would be split apart just from matching his gaze.
A powerful aura emanated forth from him, the aura of Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns. Chu Mang had succeeded in breaking through to the Heavenly Dipper Realm.
“The rate of consuming these resources is truly terrifying. Luckily, I only planned to condense two Astral Novas,” Chu Mang murmured before turning to the crowd and smiling at them. His aura and presence had totally changed, but that smile of his still gave off the same vibe as before, one that conveyed a simple honesty, albeit tempered with sharpness now.
There were too many experts that had fallen in the Purgatory Vermilion Bird Formation and quite a large number of these experts were all Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns. It was all because of them that Qin Wentian and his companions had enough cultivation resources to break through to Heavenly Dipper.
After Chu Mang, it was Ouyang Kuangsheng who would be next to succeed. His Astral Nova took the form of a burning titan, invoking terror at the sight of it.
And then it was finally Qin Wentian’s turn.
“Bzzz!” A terrifying aura permeated the air, causing Bailu Yi and Luo Huan to feel a sense of pressure so stifling that they couldn’t breathe, even though they stood far away. A manifestation of a gigantic Heavenly Hammer shimmered in and out of existence, as the intense light it exuded enveloped Qin Wentian, fusing together with his Heavenly Hammer Astral Soul.
“RUMBLE!~” The fusion between this manifestation of starlight and his astral soul reached completion, taking on a corporeal form. Countless intricate runic outlines could be seen engraved upon the surface of the Heavenly Hammer, and the pressure it exuded felt as heavy as a mountain. Luo Huan and Bailu Yi exchanged a glance, seeing the shock in each other’s eyes.
When Chu Mang and Ouyang Kuangsheng condensed their Astral Novas, they hadn’t felt this great a pressure. It seemed that Qin Wentian’s Astral Nova was somewhat different to the other two. It felt much more powerful, exuding a light that seemed brighter in comparison.
Qin Wentian’s astral energy was then channelled into it, causing the light exuded from the Astral Nova to glow brighter in intensity as it floated in the air. Qin Wentian’s eyes abruptly opened as he directly grabbed hold of his Astral Nova. A smile painted his face when he felt the dreadful, explosive waves of energy within it.
“Huh, he hasn’t broken through yet?”
Bailu Yi froze, a look of bewilderment on her face. Qin Wentian glanced at her, and with a thought on his part, the gigantic Astral Nova shrunk into a miniature form, before entering into his Heavenly Hammer-aligned Yuanfu. Currently, all his Yuanfu Receptacles had expanded significantly and even the quality of the astral energy droplets stored in his Yuanfu had undergone a qualitative change, making him much more powerful compared to the past.
From Yuanfu to Heavenly Dipper, there was a barrier. This was because one needed to comprehend second level Mandates, one needed to expand their Yuanfu, their astral energy to evolve qualitatively, and finally, to condense an Astral Nova. To the majority of Yuanfu Cultivators, this was an incredibly difficult feat to accomplish. Even if they spent their entire lives attempting it, they might not be able to succeed. However, to Qin Wentian and his various companions, the requirements weren’t at all difficult to accomplish.
At this moment, although the energy fluctuations coming from Qin Wentian were greatly formidable, it was still an aura at the Yuanfu Realm. This was why Bailu Yi felt bewildered—she didn’t understand what was going on.
“I’ll wait till I’ve condensed my two other Astral Novas first,” Qin Wentian remarked. The majority of Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns only condensed a single Astral Nova during the time they stepped into Heavenly Dipper. Maybe this was a result of their insufficient resources, or perhaps their own comprehension of their other Mandates wasn’t that great. But to Qin Wentian, since he’d met all the conditions, he might as well condense all three Astral Novas before stepping into Heavenly Dipper. This way, his combat prowess would be greatly boosted the moment he broke through.
Qin Wentian couldn’t help but click his tongue when he saw the depleted Yuan Meteor Stones littered around him. Even after obtaining the contents of interspatial ring’s belonging to over ten Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns, he still felt that the resources he needed might still be a little lacking.
“I’ll continue on with my cultivation.” Qin Wentian smiled at Luo Huan, Bailu Yi and the rest. After which, he took out yet another pile of Yuan Meteor Stones and proceeded the condensation of his second Astral Nova. This required a lengthy period of time.
Time flowed by; Bai Qing, Yun Mengyi and Mu Feng all stepped into the Heavenly Dipper Realm. The last person to do so was Fan Le. He had been the slowest to develop his Mandates to the second level and hence needed a longer time to consolidate his foundations. By the time he condensed his first Astral Nova, the others had either already condensed their second, or even third Astral Novas.
But there was still a person slower than Fan Le—Qin Wentian.
Out of everyone here, the difficulty of him condensing an Astral Nova was the highest. Only after a long time had passed did he finally manage to condense all three of his Astral Novas, all of which rested within each of his Yuanfu.
Right now, the amount of Yuan Meteor Stones on Qin Wentian was almost completely depleted.
Today, roughly around nine months had passed since the conclusion of the Heavenly Fate Rankings.
“Boss, why is your aura still stagnating at the Yuanfu Realm?” Fan Le sought out Qin Wentian, commenting in bewilderment as he felt the latter’s energy fluctuations. This was somewhat abnormal, as Qin Wentian had already finished condensing his Astral Novas, and his foundations were undoubtedly extremely solid. He belonged to the perfect kind of Yuanfu Cultivator that had maxed out their preparation with a total of three Astral Novas, yet why was his body still exuding an aura at the Yuanfu Realm?
“I have no idea either, but there might be a connection to it with the cultivation art I chose to cultivate in.” Qin Wentian had no answer to this question too, and it might be related to the Nine Astariums Cultivation Art he acquired from Emperor Azure. The Heavenly Dipper Realm would allow him to have a total of four Yuanfu—right now, he had only a total of three.
“I see. Anyway, at present only two of my Mandates are at the second level. For my third Mandate, the Mandate of Psyche-force, I still can’t comprehend it deeply enough to level it up, hence I’m unable to condense my third Astral Nova. But leaving that aside, I’m planning to condense my fourth Astral Soul first. Boss, do you have any suggestions?”
Fan Le sighed. in fact the fact that he’d stepped into Heavenly Dipper with two Astral Novas wasn’t too bad. The majority of Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns would break through with only a single Astral Nova condensed.
As for those from transcendent powers, their abundant cultivation resources would enable them to condense a total of two to three Astral Novas from the get go. Hence, the gap between ordinary cultivators and themselves could only widen further, right from the start.
For people like Chen Wang, whose Mandates had not only reached the second level, but were already at the Advanced Boundary, as well as taking into consideration the amount of time he spent consolidating his foundations at the ninth level of Yuanfu—geniuses like him could break through without breaking a sweat, as long as there were sufficient resources. This was the difference between talented people and ordinary people.
From another perspective, although Chen Wang was slower than his peers when it came to stepping into the Heavenly Dipper Realm, he suffered no disadvantages whatsoever. He would only lose out in the Yuanfu Realm, but the moment he stepped into Heavenly Dipper, his power would immediately experience a great boost. If not for this fact, those people wouldn’t have wasted their time delaying and suppressing their cultivation bases just for the sake of the Heavenly Fate Rankings.
“Your current three Astral Souls are a flame-type, a bow-type and a psyche-force control type. Your attacks are exceedingly precise and you excel in sneak attacks, instantly slaying a thousand opponents with next to no effort. However, the problem is with the explosive strength of your attacks. You might suffer in the future if you were to face off against an opponent like Chen Wang.”
Qin Wentian calmly continued, “Hence, I suggest that you choose an astral soul that will boost your attack and speed, maximizing your current advantages. For strength, I’ve already explained, and as for speed, if you could increase it even further, the penetration attribute would be inconceivably fearsome. By then, who would be able to dodge or withstand a single one of your attacks?”
When one’s attack speed increases, the power of their attack would naturally deliver a greater impact as well. Imagine a fruit’s seed lightly flicked against your body compared to one that was shot out, boosted by a speed of 16x.
Qin Wentian could sense Fan Le’s potential, and with the power of control he would definitely become one of the most fearsome archers to have ever existed.
“But of course, the most important thing is what path you wish to walk on in the future? I’m merely offering my input.” Qin Wentian smiled and patted Fan Le on his shoulder. It didn’t matter if Fan Le chose to disregard his suggestions. As a cultivator, the most important thing was to follow their hearts. Only then would they be able to maximize their power, constantly advancing forward.
“Understood.” Fan Le grinned. He then continued, “You should consider your choice as well. I believe with your current capabilities, your perception and will should be powerful enough to condense an Astral Soul from the 6th Heavenly Layer. In any case I didn’t use up that much Yuan Meteor Stones condensing my two Astral Novas—here, take these.”
Fan Le passed a pile of Yuan Meteor Stones over before leaving. Qin Wentian didn’t reject them. Although the Yuan Meteor Stones were becoming scarce among them, there wasn’t a need to stand on ceremony between brothers.
And like what Fan Le had said, he truly had to properly consider what his fourth Astral Soul would be!
Author Note: I admit that this chapter is somewhat ‘dry’, but I had to use this chance to explain the immense disparity between the different-tier Heavenly Dipper Sovereigns as well as the concept of breaking through to Heavenly Dipper. This is because all the following battles will be at that level. I apologize for the dryness, but let’s look forward to the next chapter when Qin Wentian condenses his fourth Astral Soul. What type of Astral Soul do you guys think he’ll choose?