Ethereal Main Peak, Ethereal Palace.
The five peak masters brought Su Zimo, Leng Rou and little fatty here to relate everything about Linfeng City and the spirit mine to the sect master thoroughly.
Su Zimo, Leng Rou and little fatty left.
Sect Master Ling Yun closed his eyes in deep thoughts before asking, “What do you guys think?”
Wen Xuan said, “For them to deploy such cruel methods… This should be the act of fiend cultivators. Sect master, we must not be careless.”
The other four peak masters nodded in agreement.
“Pass the order down. Before the sect competition, all disciples should head out as little as possible. If they have to head out, they must be accompanied by disciples of peak Foundation Establishment cultivation or higher and the groups must be 20 or larger!”
Ling Yun continued, “Arrange properly for Lu Yangrong and Guan Jin’s funerals. Also, Leng Rou and little fatty shall be rewarded with spirit stones and elixirs. As for Su Zimo…”
The disheveled old man said hurriedly, “Sect master, if not for that lad, Leng Rou and little fatty aside, even little crane wouldn’t have returned alive! We were there and the aftermath of the battle was intense. More than 30 Foundation Establishment Cultivators died in the hands of that lad!”
“Impart him the Ethereal Foundation Establishment,” Ling Yun replied.
When he heard that, the disheveled old man’s eyes lit up and he was overjoyed. He quickly bowed repeatedly and said, “That’s for the best! I thank the sect master on behalf of that lad, Su Zimo!”
Ethereal Foundation Establishment was one of the three major secret skills of the sect!
In Qi Condensation realm, the standards for cultivation techniques were very low. Any technique could cultivate a sea of qi. As long as one had a good spirit root, they would be able to advance to Foundation Establishment realm.
However, the standards required of techniques will become much higher at Foundation Establishment.
Foundation Establishment was divided into four levels – early, mid, late-stages and perfected.
At perfected Foundation Establishment, there’s the method of meridian unlocking.
Meridian unlocking referred unlocking of the eight meridian channels with spirit energy.
Every single unlocked meridian would raise the cultivator’s strength!
At perfected Foundation Establishment, the difference in strength between a cultivator with eight unlocked meridians and another with a single unlocked meridian was like heaven and earth.
Normally, if one could unlock four of the eight meridians, they would already have a high chance of forming a golden core.
With five unlocked meridians, the chance was even higher.
If one could unlock all eight, they would definitely form a golden core!
Even though it seemed simple, it was actually extremely difficult.
Many Foundation Establishment cultivators would never be able to open up four meridians in their entire lives. In the end, they could only force their core formation. Many of those will end up failing in the process and die.
But, if one could cultivate a top-notch Foundation Establishment technique, their chances of unlocking their meridians would be much greater.
Ethereal Foundation Establishment was that top-notch technique. Any cultivator of the secret skill would be able to unlock at least four meridian channels at perfected Foundation Establishment.
Of course, in the history of the Great Zhou Dynasty, there was also a Foundation Establishment Cultivator who had managed to unlock all eight meridians.
The most recent Foundation Establishment Cultivator who had managed to do it was… that monster who walked out of Ethereal Peak a thousand years ago!
It was nearly impossible to unlock all eight meridians.
No Foundation Establishment Cultivator would deliberately aim to unlock all eight meridians since theoretically, they could attempt for Golden Core realm with just four unlocked meridians.
But of course, it was undeniable that the more meridians were unlocked, the stronger one would be and the better the quality of the formed golden core.
Therefore, there were some inner sect cultivators who were even in their forties but they were still at perfected Foundation Establishment – they wanted to unlock as many meridians as possible and were in no hurry to form a core.
However, the lifespan of Foundation Establishment Cultivators was only slightly more than a hundred years.
Once anyone passes 50 years old, their energy, qi and spirit would all diminish. If they weren’t able to unlock their meridians in the past, it would be even tougher in the future.
Therefore, most people would remain at perfected Foundation Establishment to 50 years old at most. No matter how many meridians were unlocked by then, they would attempt to form a core.
The most amazing thing about Ethereal Foundation Establishment was that it could ensure at least four unlocked meridians for a cultivator. It meant that one would cross half the threshold required for core formation!
Furthermore, with that foundation, cultivators with extremely strong endowments would be able to unlock even more meridians.
After all, Ethereal Peak had once produced a cultivator with eight unlocked meridians who was unparalleled in the northern Tianhuang region among all Foundation Establishment Cultivators!
As the five peak masters were about to leave the Ethereal Palace, Sect Master Ling Yun added, “By the way, don’t tell anyone about this incident.”
Stunned for a moment, the five peak masters nodded in agreement.
After the five of them left, a redheaded beauty appeared within the palace.
Ling Yun stood up and cupped his fists, asking darkly, “Senior, have you heard of any similar demonic techniques that enables one to suck another cultivator’s essence and blood?”
The redheaded beauty had a grim look as she shook her head.
Ling Yun frowned and murmured, “Could it be one of the seven fiend sects? If he was someone from those sects, this would be sticky for Ethereal Sect to handle. If we don’t handle it well, our sect might be destroyed!”
“It’s not someone from a fiend sect.”
The redheaded beauty shook her head and sounded certain.
Ling Yun’s expression softened. He had just sighed a heave of relief when the redheaded beauty continued, “However, that person’s background is probably not any weaker than the seven fiend sects. It might even be comparable!”
“Could it be…”
As though he recalled something, Ling Yun’s pupils constricted and he did not continue.
The redheaded beauty nodded. “Ghastly green eyes. He should have come from Tianhuang’s forbidden grounds.”
Ling Yun drew a breath of cold air and was shocked. After a long while, he asked, “Why are living beings of the forbidden grounds out and about?”
“I don’t know either.”
The redheaded beauty sighed. “Chaos has started to descend upon Tianhuang Mainland.”
“Senior, your lifespan…” Ling Yun was extremely worried and could not help but ask.
“I can’t hold on for much longer. A hundred years more at most.”
The redheaded beauty said, “All these years, the other four major sects have all been coveting Ethereal Sect. Even some of the minor sects are tempted to take action. When I die, Ethereal Sect will be on the brink of life and death too. If no one is able to advance to Void Reversion realm within this hundred years and become a Dao being… Ethereal Peak would probably reach its end.”
Suddenly, Ling Yun collapsed to the ground on his knees with a feeling of guilt. He looked at the redheaded beauty silently with a mournful expression.
The crane was the spirit beast of Ethereal Peak’s Founder Master and had guarded the sect for several thousands of years. It possessed strength equivalent to that of a Dao being and was the only existence in the sect at Void Reversion realm!
All these years, if not for senior crane’s protection, Ethereal Peak would have been destroyed several times!
“There’s no need for that. There are thousands of Nascent Soul Perfected Lords out there and none of them can advance to Void Reversion realm without a powerful mental cultivation technique. You don’t have to blame yourself.”
The redheaded beauty stretched her hand to help him up and said softly, “Don’t worry, I will protect Ethereal Peak till the very end. I won’t let down the task he entrusted for me back then.”
Ling Yun sighed. “Actually, the group of disciples from last year had pretty decent endowments. Feng Haoyu, Leng Rou, Su Zimo and little fatty… their potentials are limitless. It’s just a pity…”
Ling Yun did not continue.
It was just a pity that none of them would be able to reach Void Reversion realm within a hundred years to help the sect tide over this calamity of annihilation.