When a demigod became a celestial, they would endure three great tribulations. The first was the formless barrier, a heavenly obstacle that only demigods with abundant resources could break through. Each failure was harmful, and after too many such failures, success would become impossible.
After all, most people did not have the powers of regeneration that Bai Xiaochun did, and not even he had the ability to make unlimited attempts.
Of course, some demigod cultivators who had extensive backing and resources would actually pass the first tribulation on the first try!
After the first tribulation was the second, which was even more profound and abstruse. It had different names. Some people called it Reattaining Purity and Simplicity. Other people called it Retracing Essence. Whatever its name, it was about a fusion process!
The countless dandelion-like seeds needed to become one!
Although that process seemed simple, the reason it was known as a tribulation was that ninety percent of cultivators who made it past the first tribulation would fail at this point.
For many years, the cultivators of the Eternal Immortal Domains didn’t understand the second tribulation. It was only after the Saint-Emperor became an archaean, and gained control of the power of resurrection, that the secrets were unlocked.
This tribulation was a test of divine abilities!
At this critical point, the demigod cultivator would call upon all of the techniques he or she had cultivated in his life, and combine them in a unique way. It would be different every time, based on the specific techniques involved.
Only by combining fifty percent of one’s techniques could one pass the critical point. The first tribulation essentially had to do with building up enough energy, whereas the second… was not something that could be passed by having access to special resources. One could only succeed after having cultivated some of the ultimate Daoist magics that existed in the Eternal Immortal Domains. Without that foundation, the only option would be to destroy one’s cultivation base and start practicing cultivation from the very beginning again.
These two tribulations would weed out ninety-nine percent of all cultivators, although not necessarily by killing them.
However, the third tribulation could definitely be considered deadly in nature!
If one succeeded, one would become a celestial. If one failed, one would be reduced to ashes and become, as the legends said, a part of the Eternal Flower.
The third tribulation was about… approval!
The approval of the Eternal Flower, also known as the Eternal Mother, was absolutely required. It had nothing to do with access to resources, or the nature of one’s techniques. In fact, even the archaeans weren’t fully sure of how the process worked. The Saint-Emperor Dynasty and the Vile-Emperor Dynasty all descended from the original emperors, and cultivated similar techniques. And yet, people from both dynasties had failed at the third tribulation in the past.
Right now, Gu Tianjun, Chen Su, and the scholarly deva were all thinking about these various tribulations as they looked at the vortex surrounding Bai Xiaochun. It was the same with the Saint-Emperor.
The fact that Bai Xiaochun had passed the first tribulation was no surprise to them. After coming to the Saint-Emperor Dynasty, Bai Xiaochun had consumed heavenly dragonfish and lotus seeds. As far as the lotus roots, all of them were fairly certain that he had been part of that as well.
With resources such as that at his disposal, it was only natural that he would pass the first tribulation.
The Saint-Emperor was obviously not very happy about that point. In fact, if he had known that things would turn out this way, he would never have let Bai Xiaochun stay in Saint-Emperor City.
“It would be inappropriate for me to interfere. It will all come down to Bai Xiaochun’s personal good fortune.” If Bai Xiaochun had been making his attempt at some other location, the Saint-Emperor might have interfered. But here in Saint-Emperor City, with so many people watching, he couldn’t meddle easily.
And thus, all eyes in the city were fixed on Bai Xiaochun’s blessed land, and the enormous vortex which surrounded it. With each moment that passed, the vortex grew in size, forcing the three celestials to inch away from it.
Suddenly, a bellow erupted from within the vortex. It was Bai Xiaochun, and he almost sounded like a dragon roaring in a voice that echoed to the highest heavens. The entire city trembled, and in the water of the heavenly pond, the heavenly dragonfish shivered and sank down as far into the water as they could.
Then, to the shock of the Saint-Emperor and the celestials, the vortex began to spin and expand with unimaginable speed. The sky seemed to be on the verge of tearing apart as the vortex spread out to cover, not only Saint-Emperor City, but also the ten prefectures which surrounded it!!
Any given immortal domain was vastly larger than the Heavenspan Realm had been, and right now, all of the cultivators in that area, all of the living beings, no matter what they were doing, were shaken down to their very souls as the vortex filled the sky.
Even the people from the adjacent immortal domains could see what was happening, and began to cry out in shock and alarm.
The celestials gasped from the utter shock of it all.
“How did he pass the second tribulation so quickly?!?!”
“Even if he did cultivate the techniques of the Arch-Emperors, he shouldn’t have been able to fuse them with such speed!”
Suddenly, the Saint-Emperor vanished from within the imperial palace, to reappear in midair above the city, his expression very somber as he looked in the direction of Bai Xiaochun’s blessed land.
“Back when I became a celestial, it took me the time it takes an incense stick to burn to pass the second tribulation. The third tribulation took three days… but Bai Xiaochun used only ten breaths of time…. The Undying Live Forever Technique, huh…. I wonder how long it will take him to pass the third tribulation?”
Of course, there was little need to mention how shaken the other court officials and powerful experts in Saint-Emperor City were. But what caused even more visible shock was when… they suddenly heard a voice whispering in their ears!
It sounded like a host of living beings speaking at the same time! It was as if the Eternal Mother were calling to them, speaking into heaven and earth from countless ages in the past!
That was what would happen when the second tribulation was passed. An eternal murmuring would be heard, indicating that the Daoseed had been successfully formed!
It wasn’t just the cultivators in Saint-Emperor City who heard it, everyone beneath the massive vortex also heard it!
Even the people of Heavenspan who were in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty were included, and they were shaken!!
Although many people had no idea what exactly it meant, there were some who had been party to something similar in the past, and quickly realized what it meant.
“Someone… is becoming a celestial!!”
The news quickly began to spread through the prefectures of the Saint-Emperor Dynasty, leading to widespread shock.
In the Vile-Emperor Dynasty, the first person to understand what was happening was the Vile-Emperor himself. Deeply shaken, he looked in the direction of Saint-Emperor City, eyes flickering with shock. Gongsun Wan’er was also in Vile-Emperor City, where she led a vast army from her bone galleon. When she realized what was happening, her expression flickered with shock, and she looked in the direction of Saint-Emperor City.
“It’s my sweetie….”
The appearance of a new celestial was something that would rock the entire cultivation world!
Of course, Bai Xiaochun had no idea that any of that was going on. His mind was currently blank and calm, as he acted on instinct alone.
The fusion process, which to the shock of the Saint-Emperor and the other celestials had gone very quickly, wasn’t anything Bai Xiaochun had even worried about. He had felt himself split apart into numerous dandelion-like seeds, floating about aimlessly. At the same time, though, he sensed something like a hidden voice speaking within his soul.
It was like a voice speaking to him, and although he didn’t know what it was saying, it made him feel safe. It was like a mother speaking to a child. He forgot everything, as though he really had become a bunch of dandelion seeds floating within a void.
He wasn’t sure how long it lasted. A year. Perhaps a hundred or even ten thousand…. There was no time or thought within the void. But then, one day, he heard a very clear voice.
“Tell me your name, my child….”
“I'm… Bai Xiaochun!” The words he spoke echoed like heavenly thunder, destroying the void, and crushing the world around him. Bai Xiaochun suddenly woke up from within the dandelion seeds, to find himself within his blessed land in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty.
All of his memories flooded back as, right there in front of him… was something that looked like a dandelion seed!
It was none other than his Daoseed!!
In that moment, the clouds in the sky seethed. Then, everyone in Vile-Emperor Dynasty, and everyone in the Saint-Emperor Dynasty, regardless of the level of their cultivation base, and regardless of who they were… heard a voice murmuring something in their mind!
An eleventh celestial exists in the world, named… Bai Xiaochun!
Also in that exact moment, outside of the Eternal Immortal Domains, next to the enormous sovereign, out in the darkness of the starry sky, was an enormous object that looked almost like a landmass. Closer inspection, though, would reveal that it was half of a fan!
Despite being damaged, it sped smoothly through the starry sky like a shooting star.
Originally, it had not been heading toward the Eternal Immortal Domains, but after Bai Xiaochun’s cultivation base breakthrough, when that voice spoke to all living beings, a vortex sprang up which changed the trajectory of the damaged fan. As of this moment, it was clear that it would soon pass by the Eternal Immortal Domains!