Chapter 603: Sky Origin Realm, Breaking Through the First Formation
Thanks to the experience Jiang Chen had accumulated over two lifetimes, he possessed great wisdom and determination. After he suitably assessed the situation, he knew he had no other choice and decided to stop thinking so much and focus on cultivating instead.
To be honest, various ties and concerns in the Regal Pill Palace had prevented Jiang Chen from sitting down and concentrating for long periods of cultivation, so this was actually an opportunity for him. Thus, Jiang Chen began his attempt on sixth level origin realm after swallowing some Origin Fostering Pills.
Originally, he’d been at the peak of the fifth level origin realm, so it was only a matter of time before he made it to the sixth level. Jiang Chen smoothly broke through after roughly half a month. Even afterwards, he was in no hurry and took his time in fortifying his new realm.
When he had solidified his grasp on sixth level origin realm, he then took out another pill flask.There were three Origin Doubling Pills within it. When Jiang Chen had gifted the Longevity Pill to the Regal Pill Palace, Palace Head Dan Chi had given Jiang Chen a storage ring, and Elder Yun Nie had presented Jiang Chen with these three pills.
The Origin Doubling Pill, which had been refined from the Firstcloud Dew, was said to be a pill that absorbed some of the qi of the heavens and earth. Jiang Chen had felt that Elder Yun Nie completely squandered the Firstcloud Dew in using them to refine the Origin Doubling Pills, but he didn’t think so now. The higher quality these pills were, the better Jiang Chen received them as they could unconditionally increase his cultivation by one level within the origin realm.
Jiang Chen had been planning to use this heaven-defying pill when he needed to assail the sky origin realm. Now that he was at the peak of the origin realm, at the sixth level, what better time to take the pill?
Any pill useful in ascension could only be taken once and would have almost no effect if taken again This also applied to the Origin Doubling Pill since one pill was enough to unequivocally ascend one level upwards but the second would be virtually ineffective. Thus, Jiang Chen took a pill, put the other two away and then sat down cross-legged to refine the medicinal power held within the pill.
These kinds of pills usually had very domineering effects. Otherwise, how could it unconditionally help a cultivator ascend one whole level? The process of condensing a decades worth of effort and cultivation into a day or a half meant the refinement process was filled with great agony and struggle. It was a good thing that Jiang Chen was mentally prepared.
Three days later—
Large beads of sweat continuously trickled down Jiang Chen’s face, but the joy of advancement danced on his lips. “As expected of a pill refined from the Firstcloud Dew! Simple and direct, the effects were quite domineering! If I hadn’t practiced the ‘Nine Transformations of Demons and Gods’ to reinforce my physical body, I likely would’ve been in for much more pain!”
Jiang Chen had gotten off fairly unscathed since he hadn’t suffered as much physical pain as others who had taken the pill. Breaking through to the seventh level origin realm instantly catapulted Jiang Chen into a new realm, one of a true sky origin realm cultivator.
But even so, he wasn’t proud of himself at all. There was still the eighth and ninth level origin realms ahead. He’d then have to use ninth level origin realm as a foundation to reach for the peak of the origin realm, the border of the half step sage realm.
Only when he found the clues within the half step sage realm would he have the chance for a moment of enlightenment and set foot into the sage realm. This meant that he had at least three or four more steps to take before he reached the sage realm, and none of these steps were easy ones to make.
Instead of being impatient for further results after breaking through to seventh level origin realm, Jiang Chen remained within the library to peruse the ancient tomes and understand more of this residence. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to start exploring, but that he was currently too weak to venture into the area beyond the library. Layers upon layers of strong formations had become a natural barrier such that he could only stare blankly at the area behind the residence.
According to the records in the journals, there should be a Tower of Inheritance behind the residence. All of the treasures that the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect had left behind would be in that tower. Jiang Chen would have to break through every layer of formation in order to obtain what was in the tower.
Nonetheless, Jiang Chen wasn’t depressed. It was better to have a goal than to grasp blindly. He wasn’t the sort to halt in his tracks and watch from the sidelines, nor was he the sort to flee in the face of battle. He could understand the caution of the owner of this residence. Considering how the entire Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect had fallen in battle, he naturally needed to design layer upon layer of tests to select the proper individual to pass the sect’s inheritance onto.
Firstly, it would test the individual’s mind and personality, and secondly it would hone the individual’s will. If the one being tested couldn’t overcome even a little assessment, what right would he have to receive the sect’s inheritance?
According to the journal, Jiang Chen would need to overcome three tests in order to make it through the Tower. The first one had to do with the Minor Artifice Formation. This was a formation that combined the tangible and the intangible. What was the tangible? It was what the eye could see, the ear could hear, the nose could smell and the hands and feet could touch. But anything that seemed tangible, was also a fabrication.
This Minor Artifice Formation was both real and illusory. Everything one saw, heard, smelled, and touched after entering the formation could be real, and could also be an illusion. One had to rely only on his consciousness instead of his five senses in order to break through the formation. Now that Jiang Chen had broken through to the seventh level, his consciousness had grown much stronger so he decided to challenge this Minor Artifice Formation. However, every formation here was similarly risky. If he set one foot wrongly in the formation, he could trigger all sorts of attacks.
“There’s nothing I can do about that. I’ve broken through to seventh level origin realm and learned much about formations. Add to that my knowledge of formations from my past life and a mere Minor Artifice Formation should be of no difficulty.” Jiang Chen leaped into the formation as soon as his thoughts traveled here.
The formation activated as soon as he jumped into it. It was a vast space that surged and broiled with countless waves. Tidal waves rose instantly, forming the might of tsunamis that crashed upon mountain peaks. As Jiang Chen stood in the center of this space, he heard thunder raging all around him as enormous waves crashed upon him. Lonely wolves howled in his ears, and he almost thought that he’d plunged into the eighteenth level of hell.
Suddenly, the large wave was ripped apart as a posturing and snarling dragon pounced on Jiang Chen. Jiang Chen frowned and remaining coolly composed, shouting lowly, “You do not deceive me!”
Thunder clapped as he spoke. His angry bellow echoed outwards, its invisible power smashing the enormous dragon into nothing and returning it to the void. It was indeed fake. Jiang Chen smirked. When it came down to things, this formation played on people’s minds. If one didn’t understand the fundamentals of the formation, then they wouldn’t understand the notion that all that was tangible was actually fake. This was the heart of the formation.
If one actually tried to fight back against all the illusions that appeared, then they might actually plunge into unredeemable depths. It was a good thing that Jiang Chen had a strong consciousness. If it was someone with a weaker mindset, they might subconsciously attempt to resist when they saw such a realistic dragon pouncing on them.
The Minor Artifice Formation was a mindgame. Even if the one knew that false images were attacking them, would their consciousness be able to withstand such an assault, would their minds falter, and would internal demons rise in the face of great fear? Once the formation detected any fear, it would double down on this particular kind of illusion until one’s mind collapsed.
Jiang Chen however, had been tempering his mind with “Boulder’s Heart” ever since he had reached the spirit realm. The strength of his consciousness right now was on par with a cultivator of Dan Chi’s level. Therefore, even though countless falsehoods appeared in the formation, Jiang Chen remained as unmoving as a mountain through it all.
However, this only meant that he wouldn’t be beaten by the formation, but he’d still have to understand the foundation of this formation in the midst of all these illusions in order to break through to it. Unless he was powerful enough to forcefully crush the formation, he’d have to decipher the inner workings of the formation in order to leave. At his current level, he didn’t possess the strength and immense finesse needed to crush the formation.
It was at this time that his memories from his past life proved their worth. Although he hadn’t studied this formation before, he’d encountered similar ones. He’d never broken through one himself, but he’d read much about simulations and practical combat experience. Therefore, he ignored everything he saw, heard and smelled within the Minor Artifice Formation and only used his consciousness to probe at his surroundings.
The formation alternated between a heavy blizzard, fiery flames from a volcano, hundreds of simultaneously blooming flowers, and numerous living things withering and dying. All sorts of odd delusions and illusions assaulted Jiang Chen, but he ignored them all. Suddenly, his consciousness registered a faint ripple on the path of oval stones that he was walking on. “The foundation should be nearby!”
Jiang Chen’s strong consciousness had picked up on something, and he swept his consciousness over the path as it illuminating it with a lamp. “This is it!”
He suddenly darted forward and slammed his hand down on a grey-white stone. In the next moment, a strong beam of light pierced his eyes as the space around him seemed to peel off in layers, collapsing before Jiang Chen’s eyes. The stone transformed into a speck of pale-yellow light that landed in Jiang Chen’s hands.
In the next instant, the illusions created by the formation, as well as the countless oval stones on the ground, all turned into odd runes that looked like tadpoles, which in turn slowly evaporated in the air.
All of the runes and scenery then melted into the void, as if they had completely evaporated. When Jiang Chen opened his eyes, he found himself standing in the middle of the corridor, less than ten meters away from where he’d just jumped into the formation.
“Tsk tsk. The Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect is well worthy of their name as a sect founded upon formations. Such a strong formation was set up in a space of less than ten meters. There really is something to the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect!” Jiang Chen looked at his hand again and saw that the oval stone had turned into a formation disk.
He was delighted. This was the disc for the Minor Artifice Formation! So it turns out there are benefits to breaking through the formation. I’ve received a formation disk in exchange!
What was a formation disk? When it came down to things, it was the model for a formation. Not every formation had a disk, but if it did, one could quickly set up the formation. Therefore, all strong formation masters carried many disks with them so that they could set up a formation whenever necessary
Formations without disks took too long to set up, and were impractical when used in combat. Formation disks alleviated this concern, as one only needed to activate the disk and supply it with the proper amount of spirit stones. The formation master didn’t need to do anything else as the disk would take care of everything else. The formation would even run automatically as well!