The seventh prince - Grand Universe Palm
The eighteenth prince - Thunderbolt Art
The seventy-second prince - Boneshift Profound Power
These three merit laws were top-notch for cultivation. Just one alone could prop up an entire sect.
These three all had big shots backing them up. Among them, the most talented seventy-second prince had the Grand Chancellor's favor, wanting him to become the next successor.
After perfecting their merit laws, they handed it over to the old man dressed in gold to check. They then left the mountain to find a disciple since time was of the essence.
Feiyun didn't think about anything else. He sat on the path and used the Minor Change Art in order to calculate the flaws within the Devil Art Of Death.
The old man also quietly meditated, connecting his body with the world. He looked just like a withered tree now.
'This art's principle isn't really about death.' Feiyun came up with this analysis after an hour.
'Death is divided into three stages - near-death, death of the body, end of life.'
Near-death, the first stage; this was when the divine intents left the body. The brain would fall into a coma with breathing and heartbeat stopping. This wasn't a real death since the person could come back.
Death of the body, the second stage; the divine intents were no longer constrained by time and space. It could fly out of the body with one's thought. At this point, the blind could see; the mute could speak; the deaf could hear.
In other words, the person could see the real world for several minutes or replay an entire lifetime of memories.
This was the reason why so many people on the verge of death would start to cry. They were recalling the past and their biggest regrets even though they couldn't do anything about it. That's why they strengthened their grip on whatever they were holding, wishing to clutch back at all the regrets and unfulfilled dreams in life. Alas, death stopped them from doing so.
There would be a monumental change during this period. It might just be several minutes outside but within the cultivator, a lifetime had passed.
This was the principle of the devil art, utilizing this short period for cultivation. After each death", one's cultivation would crazily soar.
For example, a youth that had lived for ten years; it didn't matter what his current cultivation was. While training the devil art at the second stage, he would be able to have ten years of cultivation in just a few minutes after he consolidated his new power and refined the remnant death energy inside his body
Just like that, as time went on, the minutes of reflection before death became longer and their cultivation would rise even more. After the fifth or sixth death, it would be equivalent to someone else's training for a thousand years.
This was the magical property of the art but in here the danger loomed. At the second stage, people could still come back to life but one careless step could take them to the third stage of death.
This third stage was true death; there was no coming back.
This cultivation art was terrifyingly incredible but a single mishap could result in death. Later on, time was even harder to judge. After all, several minutes were the same as several hundred years or even several thousand years. Even an Enlightened Being couldn't easily keep track of time.
Thus, training this art didn't mean dying continuously for better cultivation. After each death, one would need a long period to improve their divine intents. This period would increase proportionally to one's power.
Only when their divine intents reached a particular level would they be able to die again.
"The Devil Art Of Death is different from a phoenix's rebirth. The latter is burning the self to rise again from the ashes while the former focuses on training during the second stage of death, not a true death."
"Here lies the biggest flaw of the devil art. After waking up from death, there is still a large amount of death energy in the body, permeating in all corners. If one can't refine this energy and fix the dead cells, then they would explode after getting in combat."
"In order to cultivate this art, one must train in the strongest of physique art on top of having a willpower several hundred times greater than an ordinary person."
The ancestors of the royal clan have certainly thought about these points. They must have picked some testers with strong physique arts but their mistake must have been picking geniuses. Alas, training in the devil art didn't necessarily require a genius, but someone who can persevere and handle pain the best.
The majority of geniuses couldn't do this.
Feiyun began to repair the devil art but this wasn't an ultimate fix. In order to cultivate this new version, one must also train the Immortal Phoenix Physique till the blood transformation stage.
This was done on purpose. Otherwise, if he were to let the royal clan have such a monstrous merit law, it could be used against him in the future.
"Changing one's blood will be a prerequisite to cultivating the devil art." Feiyun spent half a day to find the flaw and another half to fix it.
"Undying Devil Art?" The old man accepted the revision from Feiyun with the new name. He didn't think that this guy would actually be able to perfect this merit law. After all, many ancestors spent hundreds of years and failed to do so.
The devil art was too profound. This old man required a long time in order to grasp a little bit of it. How could a youth not twenty of age yet be able to understand the profundity, let alone fix it?
The more he read, the more frightened he became. He found that the new principles made sense so he kept nodding his head while reading with multiple epiphanies.
"The Devil Art Of Death is a top technique, I don't even know the flaws of it. I must take it to the royal palace and show it to the three regal ancestors." He was quite excited.
"What about me?" Feiyun asked.
"You may descend now. Pick a good candidate and return in two days." The old man stared deeply at Feiyun before flying into the clouds, disappearing into the mountain in the form of a golden ray.
Feiyun's eyes turned into fire. He stood on the peak and looked at the continent in full while murmuring: "This royal clan has some frightening foundation. This place alone has several terrorizing auras. All have crazy aptitude on top of reaching an exceedingly high realm."
He began leaving the mountain. Each step seemed slow but they encompassed several hundred meters of distance. It didn't take long before he made it out of the ancient path.
This continent was gigantic and couldn't be seen completely with divine intents.
He came across a village a while after. The majority of the villagers were ordinary people with humble clothes. They relied on farming to live. Of course, a small number were cultivators too.
"These must be mortals taken here by the royal clan as test subjects for the incomplete merit laws." Feiyun thought to himself.
All powerful cultivation sects did morally-questionable things in the shadows. This was a normal occurrence.
"No wonder why outsiders that fail the examination in this place are forever imprisoned. These secrets can't be made public."
Suddenly, a pitiful scream came from the village. A figure more than five meters tall ran outside. His body grew larger then smaller; who knows how much pain he was in? Next, it cracked completely from being overfilled.
"Boom!" He exploded into fleshy bits and blood.
Another failed experiment.
Next, two youths wearing a yellow cloak entered the village. Everyone here referred to them as the "Divine Emissary."
The two of them spoke to the villagers before taking the incomplete corpse away. Meanwhile, the villagers were prostrating to send them off. They were pious, treating the two youths like gods.
Feiyun was quietly watching the whole thing.
The two youths looked straight at him as they passed by. They got on two rhino-dragons and flew into the sky.
Feiyun continued forward through many remote villages and towns. He saw everything - some were devoured by the incomplete merit laws and became drier than a tree branch. Some directly turned into skeletons while other had their flesh become mush…
These were all test subjects of the royal clan. They have lived on this continent for many generations. In their eyes, the members of the royal clan were gods who gave them merit laws out of love, so that they could possess extraordinary strength.
Meanwhile, the failed subjects were possessed by the devil so they must die.