In the past, whenever Bai Xiaochun glanced at this sculpture, he could only feel that this sculpture had an imposing aura that could arouse a valiant fighting intent. However, he couldn’t clearly describe the statue in detail.
Perhaps it was due to his continuous observations of the four mountain guarding beasts, or because he had reached the point that could allow him to breakthrough his Spirit of Life at any moment, which caused him to subconsciously use his method of observing beasts on this sculpture, causing him to focus not at the sculpture’s entire body, but its scales.
In the moment that Bai Xiaochun looked at the scales, these seemingly ordinary scales, which seemed to be a normal carving, unexpectedly caused the aura from the Water Nation Technique’s Spirit of Life to intensify. In an instant, he felt an intense surge of power.
At the same time, he seemed as if he heard a roar that came from the ancient times.
He didn’t know whether this scene was a hallucination or not, so he began to discretely fix his gaze on it. However, it disappeared in an instant, and following that, the instense feeling that came from the Water Nation Technique’s Spirit of Life slowly calmed down.
Bai Xiaochun’s breathing became rapid, he suddenly walked forward and directly sat in a cross-legged position right below the sculpture. He raised his head and stared directly at the sculpture. He vaguely felt that the scene, which he had unexpectedly experienced earlier, wasn’t an illusion.
“This sculpture… is unusual!” Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath and he unceasingly focused his gaze on the sculpture. He did not gaze at the sculpture as a whole, but instead, he fully concentrated on the countless scales on the sculpture.
Unfortunately, Bai Xiaochun found these “ordinary” scales to be extremely hard to remember. It was an extremely strange situation, he was able to see it, but was unable to remember it.
This sort of phenomenon, instead of causing Bai Xiaochun to be discouraged, it actually strengthened his persistence. His eyes glistened as he was completely immersed in the scales in front of him.
Time passed and it quickly became the evening. In the centre area of the North Bank, where the Testing Stage was, disciples of the North Bank constantly walked passed. They noticed Bai Xiaochun firmly staring at the Testing Stage’s sculpture, making all of them to be flabbergasted. However, they did not stop to pay attention to him, and instead, they just withdrew their gazes and continued walking.
On the morning of the second day, the disciples that saw Bai Xiaochun the day before walked past the Testing Stage once again. They unexpectedly saw Bai Xiaochun again; it was as if he had never left this place and maintained this state for the whole time, so much so that his eyes had turned bloodshot from staring at the sculpture. The moment they saw him, they became even more dumbfounded.
Bai Xiaochun knew that he could only rely on this sculpture to breakthrough. Apart from this, he truly had no other methods. He felt as if he had every possible solution for the Water Nation Technique’s Spirit of Life. Observing the spirit beast of the Hundred Beasts Courtyard, observing the four great mountain guarding beasts... and even secretly observing the combat beasts of many disciples of the North Bank!
However, the Water Nation Technique’s Spirit of Life never appeared. Perhaps if the Spirit of Life didn’t show any signs of appearing, it would’ve been fine, and perhaps he wouldn’t have wasted a tremendous amount of time on it. However, the Spirit of Life gave him a feeling that it was about to be birthed at any moment. It was as if it could be felt, yet it could not be seen. It was so close, yet as far as the heavens.
This sort of jumpy feeling caused Bai Xiaochun to have some sort of discomfort. At this moment, he had finally grasped a strand of opportunity; it unleashed the part of his personality that would chip away at a task and not abandon it at all costs.
It was as if the persistence, which had appeared during the period when he refined medicine, had once again appeared within the Bai Xiaochun who sat in front of the sculpture. Even if one night had passed and his eyes had turned bloodshot, or even if the scene which had appeared yesterday would not arise once again, Bai Xiaochun still wouldn’t give up.
He even had a strong feeling that if he gave up, then this Water Nation Technique… perhaps, he would never be able to birth a Spirit of Life during his lifetime. However, if he grasped this opportunity, then this Water Nation Technique's Spirit of Life would break through its cocoon and emerge!
"I don’t believe it!" Bai Xiaochun clenched his teeth, fixed his gaze and carefully observed the armour of scales, unceasingly sketching its image in his mind.
He was concentrated so intensely that unconsciously, he had sealed his hearing, his smell, and his other sensory organs, fully putting all of his mind on his vision. The days passed one by one and by the time it was the morning of the fourth day, many disciples of the North Bank were astonished by Bai Xiaochun’s action, and gradually, they began to gossip about him.
“Bai Xiaochun has already been under the Testing Stage’s sculpture for four days… What is he doing? Observing the Testing Stage’s Sculpture?”
“That Testing Stage’s sculpture truly is mysterious. I’ve heard that many people have been there to observe it, trying to gain some benefits. However, besides Senior Brother Gui Ya, nobody has ever succeeded!”
As a small section of North Bank’s disciples were discussing, the inner sect disciples of the North Bank also began paying attention to this. There were many that specially came here, watching Bai Xiaochun. Seeing his mad, demonic state, they all took a deep breath.
“So he is only trying to observe it and engrave it in his memory; he’s not really trying to gain enlightenment. Even though this Testing Stage’s sculpture contains many secrets, not anyone can obtain enlightenment from it.
“I’ve seen some ancient records. Ever since this sculpture was obtained by the sect from the Ancient Beast Abyss four thousand years ago and set up here, it is unknown whether the elders have obtained any enlightenment from it. But within the disciples… before Gui Ya, no one has ever obtained enlightenment from it.
“We have also tried seeking enlightenment from this sculpture, however, we had no choice but to give up. Nobody could sense anything, unless they were someone like Gui Ya, who borrowed his observations to enter the fabled Realm of Enlightenment. Many people have tried, yet they have only wasted an enormous amount of time. Some people have spent ten days, some have spent fifteen days, and the people who have spent the most time here have spent twenty days, and even their bodies became so weak that they fainted.
Beihan Lie, the Gongsun siblings, Xu Song and the many Heaven’s Chosen of the inner sect understood that Bai Xiaochun was not actually trying to gain enlightenment, making them heave a sigh of relief.
Even the four mountain Ancestors were paying attention to Bai Xiaochun, who was below the sculpture, and expectation appeared on their faces.
“Who knows whether this Bai Xiaochun can become like Gui Ya and obtain benefits from this sculpture or not.
“This requires destiny, enlightenment, hard work, and not a single one of these things can be missing. For example, there may be countless people who look at a chaotic painting, but only see the chaos within. There will also be some people that could actually see order, and there are also some people that will see the hidden painting within the chaos. Similarly, there will be an extremely small number of people that see… something that is totally different from what everyone else had seen.
Bai Xiaochun was indeed observing, but he was not necessarily trying to gain enlightenment. The entirety of his eyes were slowly turning bloodshot. The scales in his eyes appeared to have been infinitely magnified, and it had actually replaced the entire world. He felt that he had seen heaven and earth within the scales, and had seen countless floating creatures. He could not tell what they were, and it could even be possible that they were a hallucination. Bai Xiaochun did not care about these things, and his only thought was to remember the shape of these scales, trying to carve them out in his mind.
He didn’t know how many times he had tried. Perhaps, it was a thousand times; perhaps, it was ten thousand times; perhaps, it was even more, so much that his Three Energies had slowly dimmed. However, he had still failed during all those attempts.
(TL Note: Three Energies: Essence/Energy, Qi, Soul)
Time was also slowly passed by. The fifth day, the sixth day, the seventh day… all the way until ten days had passsed. It seemed as if observing this sculpture would consume a great amount of Yuan Qi. Bai Xiaochun’s body had already wilted, but he was still persevering.
Gradually, after the ninteenth day, Beihan Lie and the other people completely calmed down. They saw that Bai Xiaochun, in his current state, could only persist for one more day at most, and would faint due to his withering Yuan Qi.
“When Gui Ya was previously at this sculpture, he used fifteen days to finally step into the fabled Realm of Enlightenment, and managed to gain enlightenment for twenty seven days before awakening. When he awakened, his Nightwalker Technique had reached the small success stage, and this breakthrough was heavily related to his enlightenment from that time.
“This Bai Xiaochun has already wasted nineteen days without acheiving enlightenment. No matter what he is cultivating, in this regard, he isn’t as good as Gui Ya.”
“The mysteries of this sculpture are unfathomable. If he can’t do it this first time, the next time will be much harder. Tomorrow, he’ll probably have fainted. Even if he manages to replenish his Yuan Qi after waking up, he won’t have a chance anymore.”
It was not only Beihan Lie and the others who thought this. Even the Ancestors of the four mountains sighed, feeling that it was a pity.
Gradually, the sun set on the nineteenth day that Bai Xiaochun had observed the sculpture. When the morning sunlight of the twentieth day fell over the world, everyone else practically believed that Bai Xiaochun would faint. This twentieth day passed with them staring at Bai Xiaochun while crying out in disbelief.
Unexpectedly, Bai Xiaochun had not fainted, only his body had shirveled. However, he was actually still persevering!
The twenty-first, the twenty-second, and the twenty-third day passed… as time passed, even more people were astounded. When the thirtieth day passed, even the Ancestors of the four mountains felt shocked.
“The perseverence of this Bai Xiaochun’s Yuan Qi has actually reached this level!”
“Ordinary disciples can last ten days at most, and disciples which train their bodies can last fifteen days at most. Even a Heaven’s Chosen like Gui Ya, could only last twenty days at most. If they cannot enter the Realm of Enlightenment, they will faint due to having their Yuan Qi damaged. But this Bai Xiaochun… he can actually persist this long!”
“However, what use does this have? Even if he can persist any longer, if he is unable to acheive enlightenment, then it will all just be useless.”
Beihan Lie and the other people were also shocked. They had finally understood what level Bai Xiaochun’s fleshy body had reached. Nonetheless, they all sighed in their hearts. After all, if you could not acheive enlightenment, no matter how long you could persist, it would still be useless.
Quickly, another ten days passed. Bai Xiaochun was still immersed. He had tried god knows how many times to sketch the scales. Perhaps it was fifty thousand times; perhaps it was a hundred thousand times; perhaps, it was even more! However, he still failed every single time!
This went on until the fiftieth day... and the sixtieth day. Countless people were deeply shocked by Bai Xiaochun. They were incapable of imagining how inconceivably thick Bai Xiaochun’s Yuan Qi was. This sort of perseverance that exceeded their imaginations could not be done without a sufficiently strong fleshy body.
Finally, when the seventieth day arrived, Bai Xiaochun’s body trembled, clearly wasting away, as if his Yuan Qi and fleshy body had finally reached a limit.
From the start, many people were already paying attention to him. When Bai Xiaochun’s body trembled, it immediately caused many people to take notice.
“It’s going to end. In just a few days, he’s going to lose consciousness.
“In the end, it’s just a waste if he doesn’t acheive enlightenment.”
At this moment, while countless disciples were estimating when Bai Xiaochun would lose consciousness, on this evening of the seventieth day, as the faraway sun was setting, a brimming light that came from red clouds made the sky turn orange...
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes suddenly showed… a blank look.
During this moment of blankness, his eyes slowly closed!
In this instant when he closed his eyes, in his mind, a complete armour of scales… under his countless number of attemps, was finally carved!
In this instant when the armour of scales appeared in his mind, a roar as loud as a thounderclap echoed in his mind. He sucked in a deep breath, but the breath instantly disappeared, like he was only left with an empty shell of a body as he stepped into the fabled… Realm of Enlightenment!
At this moment, the pupils of the crowd who payed attention to him suddenly contracted. It was truly beyond everyone’s expectation, none of them were able to believe it.
Bai Xiaochun’s enlightenment wasn’t a coincidence, nor was it destiny; it was due to his own hard work!
He had the opportunity to cultivate the Water Nation Technique and had the necessary perception. However, the most important thing was... the amount of hard work that he put in exceeded everyone else!
Perhaps his perception was not as good as Gui Ya’s. However, he spent five times the amount of time that Gui Ya spent. The reason that he had so much time, was because of his fleshy body and his boundless Yuan Qi. The reason why his fleshy body and Yuan Qi were so strong... was because he cultivated the Undying Longevity Technique, which was brought by the accumulation of his hard work after so many years!
All in all, this was the biggest reason why he could step into the Realm of Enlightenment!
5th and final guaranteed chapter of the week.
Edited by: Mantoulnv, Cannibaloid, Jin, Arch