This rule existed in many things, and as people slowly found this rule and made conclusions about it, they came up with this phrase.
With the Candle Dragon’s blessing, Su Ming could be said to have gone through a strange change that no one had ever experienced before, and that change was this - failing after trying to break into the Berserker Soul Realm the moment he reached the pinnacle of the Bone Sacrifice Realm and not dying!
While this sort of thing had indeed happened a few times in Berserker history, but every single time it happened, these people would lose too much of their life force and would sink to become a mere mortal.
However, due to the Candle Dragon’s blessing, even though Su Ming’s Berserker Bones had shattered, his power remained. It was as if his Berserker Bones were no longer limited to just being on his spine but had spread from his spine to all over his body. That was why he remained as strong as ever.
This sort of thing had never happened before. Even the first God of Berserkers, who had created the entire constitution for the Berserkers’ cultivation method, would never have expected this sort of situation happening!
Su Ming’s shattered spine and twenty-six broken Berserker Bones turned into the power that belonged only to Berserkers in Su Ming’s body and fused into all the other bones within him - his ribs, his skull, his arms, his hands, his pelvis, and all his other bones.
There was even one portion that fused into his flesh and blood before spreading through his entire body.
As the Candle Dragon’s power surged into Su Ming, besides his new first Berserker Bone absorbing that power as it shone with a golden light once again, he could also clearly feel all his other bones and even his flesh and blood absorbing its power as well!
All the other people and Su Ming himself had previously only refined their spine when they reached the Bone Sacrifice Realm. However, at that moment… Su Ming realized in shock that if he continued this way, then he would not only be refining his spine, but would be refining… all his bones, including his flesh and blood!
The twenty-six Ancient Berserker Bones they refined in the Bone Sacrifice Realm was akin to them reverting their bodies to the same state as those of their ancestors. When these Berserker Bones appeared, the Berserkers could use them to obtain great power. However, if Su Ming turned all his bones into Berserker Bones, then his strength would be…
Su Ming sucked in a sharp breath. Just how terrifyingly powerful would he be if he turned all the bones within his body into Berserker Bones and even made his flesh and blood more tenacious after fusing it with the power of his Berserker Bones?
Su Ming did not have an answer for that. Perhaps even the first God of Berserkers did not have an answer to that when he created the constitution for the Bone Sacrifice Realm!
‘But at the same time, if I really walk down this outrageous path, then the difficulty for me to reach the Berserker Soul Realm will be unimaginable. It’s practically impossible for me to succeed…’
Su Ming understood this clearly. Just having twenty-six Berserker Bones to gather together to form the statue of the God of Berserkers in the Berserker Soul Realm was incredibly difficult. If he reverted all his bones in his body to the state that belonged to his ancestors, then the difficulty when he tried to reach the Berserker Soul Realm was as plain as day!
However, the progression of events did not allow Su Ming to hesitate. Either he would choose to continue trying to reach the Berserker Soul Realm, then using his Nascent Divinity to Possess someone else and retrain after his body fell apart when he failed to reach that Realm…
...or he could walk down this path that no one had ever taken before, and then think about how he would deal with reaching the Berserker Soul Realm later.
Besides these two paths, there was another road, and that was the path where he succeeded in reaching the Berserker Soul Realm! However, Su Ming knew that it was practically impossible for him to succeed in one go because he had yet to stabilize his power and there were plenty of parts in his power that remained unsteady due to this forceful surge of strength into his body. He could only succeed if he had some time to slowly harmonize that power and then move on to truly attain great completion in the Bone Sacrifice Realm.
Calmness gradually appeared in Su Ming’s eyes. He sucked in a sharp breath and relaxed his mind fully to bear through the impact of the power crashing into him so that he could have all his bones and blood absorb it.
Very soon, all the bones in Su Ming’s body began glowing with a faint golden light. The first ten bones in his spine were already flashing brilliantly in gold as well. A feeling of strength so great Su Ming had never felt it before emerged in his heart. This was a strength that completely surpassed those in the Bone Sacrifice Realm but was still a power that could be categorized within the Bone Sacrifice Realm!
As he absorbed that power and as his entire body began glowing with brilliant golden light, suddenly, the life force and aura that was forcefully surging into Su Ming’s body froze. Once it froze, a wave of power that shocked Su Ming rushed into him with an intensity that could blast through the sky.
The time at that moment was precisely the instant after the time taken for an incense stick to burn!
This power was visible to the naked eye. It was a diamond-shaped crystal that was formed as the Candle Dragon’s body disappeared. That crystal shone with a brilliant light and charged towards Su Ming’s body. Then, with an indescribable speed and presence, it rushed to the center of Su Ming’s brows, like a river of light that traveled through the passage of time.
The instant it touched, Su Ming shuddered violently. A sharp stab of pain came from the center of his brows, and the crystal shot through his forehead and branded itself deeply in his body.
Su Ming’s head was thrown back violently, as if a huge impact had just rammed into him. Loud, booming sounds went off in his head. During that instant, he had already forgotten the dangers his body faced and had even forgotten everything else. All that was left in his head was a furious roar that surged into the sky. That roar seemed to be made by an innumerable amount of living souls at the same time. Su Ming saw in his muddled mind a world, and as a gigantic Candle Dragon floating in midair opened its mouth, a large part of that world started crumbling.
The crumbling world did not disappear, but instead continuously gathered together as it fell apart, along with all the living souls in those crumbled parts. No matter how hard they struggled, it was all in vain. The only thing they could do was to let out maddened roars filled with despair that echoed in the air. Gradually, that world turned into a diamond-shaped crystal that was swallowed by the Candle Dragon in one gulp.
‘This is… Could this be the power of one World?!’
"This is the one World Plane remaining after I created the Undying and Imperishable World… It doesn’t matter what sort of cultivation methods all these lives in the world choose, even if the names of their cultivation methods are different, in the end, all of them will end up practicing the power of the World Plane…" The Candle Dragon spoke with its unique ancient voice, and its words echoed in all directions.
Those words contained the accumulation of all its experiences and epiphanies gained in its life.
"You still can’t master or understand the power of the World Plane as of yet. It won’t let your power increase either, but it is my true blessing to you… Hold onto it, understand it, master it, and if you can do so, then when that day comes, you will discover the mysteries lying in the universe. You will find out that you can control everything!"
The Candle Dragon’s voice spread out and echoed in Su Ming’s heart and soul, causing him to still be able to hear the words clearly despite his muddled mind. It was just like a brand that was deeply printed onto his soul.
"Do you know for what reason do all manner of living practice cultivation? For what reason do we strive to become strong?" the Candle Dragon asked softly with its ancient voice.
Su Ming could not answer that question, and the Candle Dragon had not expected him to anyway.
"That is because we all have flaws within our bodies. Each race contains different flaws, and the root cause for cultivation is for us to mend those flaws… But it is not a simple task to mend all our flaws. Usually, over a countless number of years, only one or two living souls in a single race can be found capable of doing so.
"The methods each race use to discover their own flaws and set out to mend them are different, but in the end, we all need the power of the World Plane… Over the long years of my life, I had some form of contact with Immortals before. The constitution forming the Immortals’ cultivation method is divided into three steps. The first step does not touch upon the power of the World Plane, but starting from the second step, they will go through this so called Nirvanic Rebirth. All the flaws in their bodies will be mended and they will obtain new life. At that time, they will be practicing the power of the World Plane .
"The third step is Hollow. It is the critical moment for one when trying to achieve perfection as there’s fewer flaws within the body. If one can attain the ultimate completion, then he will have taken the fourth step. At that time, he will no longer have any flaws… and at that time, what he will pursue is the power of Plane Timelines!"
The Candle Dragon’s voice gradually grew weaker. These epiphanies were the treasures of its life.
"It is the same for all races, just like the Deities who are similar to the Immortals. Amalgamation, Great Vehicle, Ascension, Great Overarching Golden Immortality , and all the other states are in the end, just to mend all the flaws in people’s bodies.
"You are a Berserker, the name of the path you Berserkers pursue after the Berserker Soul Realm might be different, but in truth, you still use the power of the World Plane to mend your flaws, and as you have fewer flaws, you will become stronger, and in the end, you will reach perfection."
Once Su Ming finished hearing these words, his mind gradually grew clearer. A thunderstorm raged in his heart. All these theories were things that he had never heard before, and they were words that allowed him to suddenly see light, like a bolt of lightning had just flashed in his mind!
"We Candle Dragons will only be born through serendipitous events, but we still have flaws, and that flaw is that we don’t have a cultivation method that has a constitution laid out for us. The only way for us to mend it is to devour other things.
"Because even I don’t know what is the flaw of my people. It might be the Undying and Imperishable World, it might be the Nine-Headed Dragon. That is why I kept devouring other World Planes, because I wished that I could mend that flaw."
Su Ming stared at the beautiful woman’s head in a daze. He remembered the fusions in the Undying and Imperishable World.
"I went to many places when I was alive. The universe is endless, and I have even gone to two of the four Great True Worlds… and met only five people who were perfect and had mastered the power of Plane Timelines. They are the ones who truly deserve the title of being powerful beings in this universe and among the four Great True Realms...
"In truth, the four Great True Realms have a uniform name to call these powerful beings that have arrived at this step. They are the Masters of Fate, Life, and Death. They control the cycles of the universe, and if they want something to be born, it will be born, if they want something to die, it will die...
"All the races have different names for this particular stage, but all of them just wish for… completion. In truth, there are still a few great Realms in this stage, but they say it is a mere legend." The beautiful woman’s voice became weaker, but her words still echoed in Su Ming’s mind.
"Now that you have obtained my power of the World Plane and have let my descendant acknowledge you as its master, my will shall soon disappear… Endure the final wisp of my life force, and once you make it through, you will be reborn. If you fail, you will die with me…"
The instant the woman said those words, she completely decomposed into ashes. The small snake shot out from the vortex at the center of her brows with a howl.
At the same time, an endless amount of fog spread around Su Ming from the Candle Dragon’s gigantic head before charging towards him with a loud rumble.
As the Candle Dragon’s head vanished, the starry sky was revealed right above. The nine moons were shining brightly up ahead while the tenth moon was rapidly disappearing from the sky!
1. Deities: The original word for them is 神仙 (shen xian), and the official translation is actually supposed to be Immortals, but since in this shared universe, the Immortals are referred to as 仙族 (xian zu), 神仙 will be referred to as Deities.
About their realms, honestly, I am the sort of person that will go with translations that are already around as much as possible to minimize confusion and to keep to consistency. So you have 合體 (he ti), which is Amalgamation, 大乘 (da cheng), which is Great Vehicle, 飛升 (fei sheng), which is Ascension, and 大羅金仙 (da luo jin xian), which is Great Overarching Golden Immortality. The stages are already in order as you see them.
Here is a disclaimer, besides Great Vehicle, all the other stages for the Deities were made up by me, because 合體 and 飛升 were a no-brainer, which meant to fuse together with something, and to go up to heaven respectively, and 大羅金仙 was supposed to be a name for a character, not a level of cultivation, so there was a need for a made up name for this.
GREAT VEHICLE, HOWEVER, is apparently the translated version of 大乘 in the Emergence of Daoism: Creation of Tradition, and in the Daoism Handbook, because it follows the idea of Mahayana, and it basically is the universal liberation from suffering for all beings.
2. World Plane and Plane Timeline: As far as I know, and as far as I remember, this World Plane (位界, wei jie) and Plane Timeline (位劫, wei jie) are only mentioned in PoT, while this first step up to fourth step is also mentioned in RI, but I might be wrong. World Plane means to control a world, Plane Timeline, based on the long *ss explanation of timelines in Soar to the White Sky, means to control that timeline.