The realm of Heaven's Mandate was about cultivating the violet palace, or the central dantian. Despite being inside a body, it was unfathomably vast and mysterious just like the brain, impossible to be understood completely.
Just ten percent of development was amazing enough. The violet palace was about increasing strength while the brain was about improving intelligence.
It was relatively difficult to widen the violet palace. Each attempt could require up to several dozen years. Because of this difficulty, after each successful step, the cultivator would gain another fifty years of life in addition to the five hundred.
Feiyun sat among the boundless and surging spirit vein with all 360 of his meridians opened. They turned into 360 maelstroms that were crazily absorbing the spirit nearby then refined it into violet energy within the middle dantian.
An ordinary cultivator would only have one to ten strands of violet energy at first-level Heaven's Mandate. However, Feiyun had around one hundred strands of majestic and billowing violet energy.
When one reached three thousand strands, they would reach the second level. Changing spirit energy into violet energy was a slow process. One thousand strands of spirit energy might turn into one strand of violet energy.
Because of this, it was too slow to rely on absorbing natural spirit energy from the world and refining it into the violet kind.
Thus, one needed to use spirit stones and veins. Without these two things, cultivators would forever be stuck at the first level, unable to convert energy into three thousand strands of violet energy.
This was the reason why people would compete so hard for resources in the cultivation world, fighting to the death even.
Feng Feiyun also researched the boat while converting his energy. This was an ancient divine boat that he saw on the Yellow River, full of rusts and was broken down. Surely something shocking was hidden inside.
However, with his current energy, he could only make it three hundred meters long. If it was any bigger, he would be drained dry.
This wasn't the vessel's real size. Its truest form was several thousand meters long, the size of a mountain.
Without reverting it back to its original form, there was no way of opening it.
Feiyun had tried to refine it but was pushed by back the mysterious power within. It wasn't because he was weak, the power within was simply too strong.
Even the Evil Woman could only refine half of the spirit vessel even after borrowing the power of the altar.
Since he couldn't overpower it, he decided to start with the Infinite Spirit Ring that was related to the vessel. He believed that this ring was an embryo artifact that could be upgraded to a spirit vessel.
When he obtained it in the beginning, it was only a pseudo spirit treasure. After adding the soul of a crimson tiger, it became a first-ranked spirit treasure. 'If I could add an eight-hundred-year beast soul to the ring, I could upgrade it to a second-ranked treasure.'
His cultivation soared during this one year and had converted more than 2,800 strands of violet energy, nearly reaching the second level.
On this day, both Wan Xiangcen and Little Demoness came to visit.
"Feng Feiyun, the ancestor is waiting at the Skycycle Palace." Xiangcen stood before him with a beautiful embroidered robe. Her hair was tied with a blue jade ribbon above her radiant, snow-white complexion.
Nearly one-half of the experts from the Seventh Hall have been killed by Feng Mo alone. Heretical cultivators were dying during their assault on the Feng recently too. Only Wan Xiangcen was fine. She had become a confidant of the Feng clan master, enjoying some authority.
Many Feng cultivators secretly called her the Feng young matron.
It was understandable that the clan would rise since they had an Enlightened Being. Becoming the young matron of this clan was not a bad thing for her.
Feiyun floated down while riding the wind with a touch as soft as a fluttering leaf. He looked at the beauty ahead with running emotions.
"I'm surprised that you still haven't left the Feng Clan." A faint smile appeared on his face.
Xiangcen used to be the prettiest in the Seventh Hall, on top of being its young lord. This was quite an enviable position.
"Feiyun, stop dreaming if you think I am staying because of you." She smiled contemptuously back at him.
A woman like her would never follow a man just because he took her virginity.
Feiyun could guess the reason why even if she didn't tell him. After the previous battle, the Seventh Hall had fallen and could be bullied by the other nine halls. Meanwhile, she was being trusted by Feng Mo and could call for rains and winds at the Feng Clan. Why would she come back to the Seventh Hall?
He touched his nose and walked out of the underground pathway. Sunlight finally came in sight.
The rays coming from the high sun were warm.
The paradise had changed considerably during this one year. The ninety peaks became even more majestic with spirit beasts pulling ships across the sky. Powerful cultivators were within. They were in high spirits as if they were visiting a land of immortals.
New palaces and caves were erected all around the paradise. A dragon platform towering at one hundred meters was lost in the clouds. It looked like a platform meant for ascension.
Xiangcen told him that this was the place for the young elites of the clan to train. There were fourteen of them, prodigies at the Heaven's Mandate level, all below the age of thirty.
Since the Feng had taken over the great powers of the southern region, it wasn't strange that it had so many prodigies.
When Feiyun made it to the Skycycle Palace, Feng Mo was sitting on a nine-meter-high jade throne decorated by carving of dragons.
Feng Mo slightly nodded: "Not bad reaching this level in just one year. You'll be second-level within three months."
"It is all thanks to you, ancestor. Without the spirit vein, I would have needed two years to reach this current level." Feiyun said.
Feng Mo was happy being called ancestor by him. He smiled and said: "During your isolated cultivation, many great events have happened at the Jin Dynasty. Three, in particular, have shocked the cultivation world. Listen now."
Feiyun stood solemnly below, ready to listen.
"The first, after the appearance of the ten heretical halls, the three heretical realms are out too, Nether, Dark, and Lifeless. They immediately started killing to establish their prestige and have taken over a prefecture."
This was an ancient lineage. Any of the realms was stronger than the current Feng Clan. They had to come out during this era of chaos.
Feiyun had predicted this much earlier.
"Secondly, the three strongest sects in the Earthchild Prefecture have announced their independence. They have expelled the governor and officials from the Jin Dynasty. This prefecture is no longer under the Jin's jurisdiction, now ruled by the three top sects and more than one hundred top powers."
Feiyun was finally surprised. Earthchild was the largest prefecture outside of Central Royal. It was seven times the size of the Grand Southern Prefecture and had ten times the population.
Grand Southern was the smallest and farthest among the eight prefectures of the Jin Dynasty. It was also quite barren, hence its other name, southern wildlands.
Earthchild and Central Royal were actual prosperous grounds with a considerably higher number of spirit veins and treasures underground.
This was the reason why the Feng Clan was a top power in this region but they were nothing before behemoths like the four great clans. These four clans could swat the Feng like a mosquito.
Even though the Feng had an Enlightened Being at this moment, it was still no match for the sects in the central plains and definitely not the four great clans. After all, these adversaries had too many resources and history. They also had Enlightened Beings once and probably had many means to stop other Enlightened Beings.
Meanwhile, the other experts in these powers were too numerous and scattered all over the dynasty.
One Enlightened Being alone was far from enough to propel a clan towards the apex.
"Plus, the oldest corpse caves from the Northern Frontier Prefecture have also announced their independence. They were even crazier and massacred all Jin officials, turning them into battle slaves." Feng Mo revealed with amusement.
Feiyun took a deep breath. These corpse caves were insane, this was a clear declaration of war against the dynasty.
This was indeed the dragons biting the heart. Three prefectures were now no longer under the control of the Jin Dynasty.
"Lastly, the Great Powers Ranking has been released recently. The Sacred Spirit Palace is in first place so the Jin Dynasty has to accept second place. The four great clans are among the top ten while we are at the nineteenth place." Feng Mo took his time speaking.
"The Jin Dynasty is not number one?!" Feiyun was astonished this time. The Jin Dynasty's one billion strong army alone should be able to sweep through the world, not to mention the Jin Emperor considered number one by many. Yet it was still only second place.