Passing the sixth Veluriyam Obelisk gave young master Ji San another six months of additional time. Jiang Chen benefited from the same reward as well, it being added to the two years he was originally eligible for. Time was much more abundant all of a sudden. The other geniuses in Ji San’s percentile from the Ranking of Young Lords had run out of time. The ones that remained in the Veluriyam Pagoda still were either recipients of bonus time or originally eligible for a year or more. The top-ranked geniuses from the Ranking of Young Lords uniformly had no intention of continuing at the obelisks for the present.
Li Jiancheng had retired into seclusion to cultivate further. The other three split themselves among the two other secret realms. Staying here had little benefit aside from pure cultivation. They couldn’t just head straight for the seventh obelisk. All of them had the basic self-awareness to know that doing so now would only end in tragedy. Instead, they sought inspiration in the other two secret realms. There had to be a reason for all three secret realms to be open this year. Perhaps there was some kind of discovery or rare opportunity to be found in the others that would help them with the seventh obelisk. Or it might possibly help them with the eight obelisk, a feat that even Emperor Peafowl hadn’t managed back in the day.
Though the youngsters all knew that Emperor Peafowl was Veluriyam’s foremost expert over the past three to four thousand years, their youthfulness also gave them a peerless confidence. They had the luxury of daydreaming: perhaps I’m actually a genius beyond compare? Maybe I can surpass Emperor Peafowl? I don’t think that’s altogether impossible, is it?
Jiang Chen did not leave the secret realm of heritage. He returned to cultivation in seclusion. Before he challenged the sixth Veluriyam Obelisk, he had reaped great rewards from doing so for a few months. He decided to ride its tailwind, and attempt to break through to ninth level sage realm. Because he’d comprehended the sixth obelisk, he was granted entrance to an area that had a higher concentration of spirit energy than before. Cultivating here a single day was as good as cultivating outside for twenty. Everything was in place for him to press on to the finish line. He was going to get to ninth level sage realm this time for sure.
Ji San’s choice was similar to Jiang Chen’s. He became a lot more confident after comprehending the sixth Veluriyam Obelisk. The true dragon blood was changing both his body and mind for the better every day, constantly expanding the limits of his cultivation. A potent, resonant power had welled up within his body without him even knowing it. It was calling for him to break through to emperor realm. He had stagnated a long while at peak ninth level sage realm, also known as half step emperor realm for far too long. But looking for an opportunity that would allow him to actually break through was tough. Thus, his cultivation had been bottlenecked for the last few years at this point.
The true dragon blood’s immense creative potential was like a giant hammer, unceremoniously smashing the bottleneck to smithereens. It pushed his own potential to an inestimable level. Because of it, the previously impenetrable emperor realm was now calling out to him urgently. Ji San needed to re-enter seclusion, and tightly grasp this chance. Once he took the jump, he would be fully inducted into emperor realm. It was would be an incredible expansion of his horizons. In this world, sage realm was only the beginning of proper martial dao. On the other hand, emperor realm signified a higher level, a right to launch oneself to further heights. For the strongest experts, emperor realm was a permit of entry. Someone that couldn’t achieve emperor realm couldn’t possibly call themselves an expert.
Ji San had never lost hope in his future breakthrough to emperor realm. However, what age he did so at decided the details of his eventual accomplishments. It dictated how deeply he would delve into the truths of martial dao. The true dragon blood had shattered his plans and expectations, leading him into a brand-new world. It enriched his martial dao experience and raised his level by several major degrees. What was previously a painful obstacle was now no longer so. The awakening of his bloodline simplified the process of breaking through to emperor realm even more than Ji San had thought. He’d originally envisioned it taking four months, but it only took two in reality. Moreover, he hadn’t spent the two months only on breaking through. He had made some consolidations and improvements to his own martial techniques as well.
“I can’t believe that I’ve broken through to emperor realm before the age of forty! Haha, the students of emperors aside, I must be the best from the great clans in three thousand years.” To say that Ji San wasn’t proud of the achievement would be a lie. His breakthrough to emperor realm would drastically improve Coiling Dragon Clan’s status and outlook as well. The likelihood of it becoming the eighth emperor faction of Veluriyam Capital was much increased.
“We only need Brother Jiang’s Pinecrane Pill now. If the clan lord lives for another thousand years, then surely, he can break through from emperor realm to great emperor. I’ll be able to rise up by then as well, and no one will be able to stop the clan’s ascension to the faction of the eighth emperor.” Ji San’s entire mindset opened up. Suddenly, he found the fact that he’d fought over the paltry position of clan heir childish and amusing. With his current state of mind, the inheritance of a clan could no longer disturb his heart. He had loftier goals now, that of establishing the faction of an eighth emperor. No one else in Coiling Dragon Clan’s younger generation could help the clan accomplish this noble task.
Completing the sixth Veluriyam Obelisk had given Ji San a boost of six months. After spending two-odd of them on breaking through, he had at least another three or four remaining. Therefore, Ji San resolved to continue polishing his current level of cultivation. He wanted to stabilize his new realm a bit more. The true dragon bloodline that he had received from the blood naturally gifted him with a stronger domain than most. Though he was still first level emperor realm, his bloodline domain rivaled that of a third level cultivator’s. It excited and motivated him even more. He almost wanted to challenge the seventh obelisk right away.
“Let’s take things slow. Compared to my brother Jiang Chen, I still have many things to improve about my composure. In that regard, I am many leagues below him.” Sometimes Ji San was really, really impressed with Jiang Chen. His genius and poise were both outstanding. Each move he made had a reason behind it.
“There are many things I can yet learn from my sworn brother.” He sighed, and went back to cultivating.
In another corner of the Pagoda, Jiang Chen was fully invested in breaking through to ninth level sage realm. Because he wasn’t in a particular hurry, he acted with calm and composure. His actions were deliberate as the unraveling of a cocoon, unhurried as the simmering of a broth. Jiang Chen knew well that his body had been severely disadvantaged from the start. Though he’d undergone several reforgings of the flesh since transmigration, there were still flaws present that had persisted from his childhood. That much was undeniable. His cultivation journey had been very brisk. In his pursuit for speed, he had foregone polishing some of the minor details of his foundations. Presently, he had ample time to solidify and reinforce the basics somewhat. Doing that was key to breaking through to ninth level sage realm. After all, the step after that was straight to emperor realm.
The threshold from ninth level sage realm to emperor realm was quite tall. However, not everyone had to experience the state of being stuck at half step emperor realm. Ultimately, ‘half step emperor realm’ only meant ‘peak of ninth level sage realm’. The reason why Jiang Chen was being so careful was because he wanted to strengthen his fundamentals to prepare for a future breakthrough to emperor realm proper. The defects of his ten-year cultivation history were obvious. He had bridged a gap from true qi realm to the close-to-ninth-level sage realm in an incredibly short span of time. Therefore, Jiang Chen was ready to bunker down and grind things out for a while. It was time to make up some of the fundamentals he had been ignoring.
“Although my breakthroughs have been very fast, my fundamentals aren’t actually that horrible. When I broke through to spirit realm, I used the Five Dragons Opening Heavens Pill to stabilize the process, which gave me a big advantage over many of my peers. Alas, I haven’t yet found an earth attribute treasure to make up my elemental deficiency. For metal, I have the magnetic golden mountain; for wood, the wood spirit spring and the Taiyi Jade Vine; for water and fire, the Bewitching Lotus. Earth is the only one I’m missing something for. If I can close that gap, then I will have all five elements ready. It’ll be a big help for when I do break through into emperor realm.”
He understood perfectly that a battle between emperor realm cultivators was a clash between their domains. The strength of an emperor domain depended on how good one’s fundamentals and intrinsics were. Many cultivators used pills and alternative methods to break through to emperor realm, but they could not compete against others who broke through via hard cultivation.
“Completing the five elements and refining all five elemental meridians allows me to form a perfect cycle. It’s rare to be able to imbue a domain with that kind of powerful quality.” Jiang Chen was absolutely confident about it. Even the seven titled emperors of Veluriyam Capital couldn’t train in all five elements. Most martial dao geniuses didn’t have the predisposition or necessary qualities for such an undertaking. This was especially true for those with strong innate constitutions. Geniuses with an innate constitution of every attribute were an exception to the rule, but they were essentially impossible to find on normal planes. Rarer than once every ten thousand years, certainly. Natural born constitutions of one or two attributes led to a bias that worked in favor of the same. The biggest advantage of Jiang Chen’s cultivation thus far was his refinement of all five elements. It wasn’t something obviously manifest before emperor realm. However, it would slowly show itself once he did break through. Jiang Chen’s only regret was that he did not have a treasure for the earth attribute yet.