With pressure came motivation. Whether he could pull third level empyrean realm off or not, Jiang Chen felt he had to try for it. In a place like Myriad Abyss, sometimes raw strength was the most convincing factor.
“My body and consciousness both far surpass cultivators of a similar level. Therefore, I can easily sustain the rigors of continuous breakthrough. What I do lack are necessary resources…”
Each step forward in empyrean required an astronomical amount of materiel. Jiang Chen had some handy, but not nearly enough for him to ascend through again and again.
Back in the Bluesmoke Isles, he’d gotten his hands on many pieces of ancient Bluesmoke Jade. He hadn’t managed to exploit all of their value yet. If he sold them all, he would receive more than enough resources in return for him to break through to mid empyrean realm.
Alas, he didn’t have enough time to meet his short-term need.
Jiang Chen had been rewarded for exemplary performance by the Eternal Sacred Ground as well, but not in the form of cultivation resources. Right now, he needed resources such as empyrean rank spirit stones and herbs, from which he could draw spirit energy directly. This would directly accelerate his cultivation.
Perhaps others were unable to brute force their cultivation like this, but it was the most appropriate and effective method given Jiang Chen’s resilience.
“If I have enough stuff to use, I have a decent chance of breaking through to third level empyrean realm. As long as that happens, the Crowning Empyrean Pill will allow me to push onwards to fourth level!”
Though he felt that he could hold his own as second or third level empyrean against Xiahou Zong, the other youth’s fame and reputation as the foremost genius of Eternal Divine Nation was worth additional attention. Reportedly, he was a reincarnated god as well.
As he mulled over his thoughts, something registered in his awareness. He turned to look behind him. A ripple appeared in midair, from which a striped beast erupted. It was none other than Little White.
The tiger’s figure had undergone drastic changes once more. An ancient sign flickered upon its forehead – the Astral Seal that denoted it as an Astral White Tiger. When the seal appeared upon a tiger’s forehead, that meant its heritage was fully awakened. It could summon forth the actual seal into being.
It also meant that the tiger had reached empyrean realm.
“So you broke through, Little White?” Jiang Chen was overjoyed.
“Hoho!” Little White was just as excited as his master. He rested a paw on the young man’s shoulder. “Young master Chen, I did it! I’m an empyrean divine beast from now on, hahahaha!”
The tiger brimmed with enthusiasm.
“Great! Wonderful. I knew I was right, Little White.” Jiang Chen was as happy about his companion’s breakthrough as the tiger itself.
He had collected three of the four sacred beasts’ bloodlines and was missing only a Black Tortoise. One would be blessed by heaven for gathering all four.
If he could obtain the allegiance of a Black Tortoise, he could borrow the strength of the sacred beasts to reforge his bloodline and ascend beyond the heavenly planes. The four sacred beasts would dominate whatever circumstance they were used in.
“Come, young master Chen. Let’s go back inside and see if there’s a chance we can take the earthen vein for ourselves!”
The awakening of the Astral White Tiger’s ancestral memories brought out with it a new savagery. Little White’s eyes glowed as it mentioned the earthen vein.
Jiang Chen was quite tempted by the proposition. He’d only had the chance to see the earthen vein from afar, but that had been enough for him to judge the vein as extraordinary. To take it for himself would be an amazing find.
In fact, Jiang Chen supposed that it contained more wealth than the entirety of House Yan.
Alas, the vein couldn’t be excavated by normal people. Only a divine cultivator had the tremendous ability to dig out the vein completely – or rather, had the potential to have that ability. Success was hardly guaranteed.
Nevertheless, Jiang Chen was eager to strike at the gold before him.
Sprawled upon Little White’s back, he noticed an obvious change in the figure of his furry friend. Aside from noticeable differences of its stripes, Little White had grown a pair of wings. Furthermore, the wings could apparently be materialized and dematerialized at will.
“I think your bloodline is very pure, Little White,” Jiang Chen praised. “Your wings belong to royal Astral White Tigers only.”
“My ancestral memories tell me that I’m descended from the noblest of nobles in the heavenly planes!”
“Very good, very good!” Jiang Chen smacked his lips.
His second foray into the subterranean realm was a lot more relaxed than his last. Little White had successfully come in before without reaching empyrean, and was several times more capable now that it had. It was even easier for the tiger to avoid the natural dangers around the place.
“Young master Chen, do you see? The blue lights are blue prism crystals, the red ones are red prism crystals...” Little White explained the color-coded crystals to Jiang Chen.
It had avoided them on instinct before, but empyrean realm and ancestral memories brought it slightly more substantial knowledge.
“The blue lights need to be hopped past for every three steps. Each hop spans three yards…” the tiger patiently explained. These were the Astral White Tigers’ trade secrets. Jiang Chen learned a lot from hearing his companion out.
These multicolored crystals were priceless treasures, more valuable than empyrean spirit stones.
“Young master Chen, these prism crystals can provide both spirit and attribute energy. For example, red ones are capable of burning as hot as some celestial flames. Green ones provide potent healing. Blue ones can freeze the air. And…
“Do you see those white ones?” the tiger asked with animation.
“I do. The white ones number the most here,” Jiang Chen observed.
“Yes! The earthen vein has mostly these white prism crystals. They have a metal attribute and can cut through anything forever. Everything in the sky and in the earth can be ripped to shreds. I have a close affinity with them. This place is heaven for me!”
Little White was overcharged with enthusiasm. Clearly, it was very satisfied with the environment. It almost wanted to live here permanently.
“Can you take the earthen vein with you, Little White?” Jiang Chen asked.
The tiger thought for a second, then responded honestly, “Right now, I definitely can’t. Still, I can absorb as much spirit energy as I want. Because I cultivate way faster here, I just might when my level gets to the right point!”
Little White lusted after the earthen vein as much as Jiang Chen did. It knew it would have no problem relying on it to carry him to godhood. The earthen vein was full of mysteries, treasures, and resources.
“Why don’t you keep cultivating here then, Little White? I’m in a hurry, but I can spare a decade or two for you to stay here. I only ask that you involve me when you decide to dig up the vein.”
“Of course, young master Chen!” the tiger responded earnestly. “I’m not that kind of greedy tiger. How would I have gotten such an amazing opportunity like this without you bringing me here?”
As an Astral White Tiger, Little White didn’t usually care for people. However, Jiang Chen had taken care of it since cubhood. He took care of all spirit beasts with especial care and respect to their habits, creating a natural rapport with them. His knowledge of ancient beast language gave him an additional advantage.
The tiger had relied on him implicitly since childhood. Even if Jiang Chen didn’t say anything, it wouldn’t have kept the vein to itself. It was used to sharing any goodie it got its paws on with its master.
“It might take some time before you can take the entire vein away, Little White. Would you be able to excavate some of these crystals strewn about?”
The full vein commanded an exorbitant price once wholly excavated. It was impossible to estimate its value. Even a batch of fragments would be very lucrative, and resources that Jiang Chen desperately needed right now.
These potent prism crystals would advance his cultivation by leaps and bounds. Moreover, they corresponded to the properties of nature. It would likely be quite beneficial for him to absorb their essences. He would have a great chance at breaking through to third level empyrean!