It was a vast, blue ocean, endless, as if it had no boundaries. From time to time, spiritual beasts taking the forms of fish sprang out, splashing amid the great waves.
Above the sea, the space suddenly became distorted, raging with the spread of violent spatial fluctuations. A space whirlpool formed, before two silhouettes emerged from within the whirlpool, appearing over the sea. As soon as the pair appeared, they glanced at each other, then shifted their gazes toward the vast ocean, as they were momentarily stunned.
"Where is this?" Mu Chen scratched his head, then asked in bewilderment.
Jiu You was clearly more experienced than Mu Chen, as she slowly took out a scroll with flickering lights on it. She then spread the scroll out, only to see that it was filled with complex patterns of light. It seemed to be an indescribably large map.
She scanned the map, then pointed a slender finger to an area on the map. As she pointed gently, the map rippled, beginning to enlarge, and becoming clearer, until finally, a spot of light appeared in that area.
"There, here we are. This is the sea beyond the Northern Heavens Continent. If we continue onward, we will enter the Southern Hills Continent, and can use the Transfer Spiritual Array located there to head to other continents." Jiu You smiled.
Mu Chen stared at the map, his eyes full of wonder, as he could feel that there were substantial spiritual energy fluctuations within it.
"This is a Spiritual Artifact?" Mu Chen asked in astonishment.
"Yes, this is a Spiritual Map, which is used specially for recording maps in the Great Thousand World. Travellers would normally prepare one, and this particular map was one that I had prepared in the past. Without it, it would not be easy for us to get to the Tianluo Continent." Jiu You smiled, nodding in confirmation.
"I have nothing to worry about, as long as you are here." Mu Chen smiled, as he buttered Jiu You up with flattering words. However, he also meant these words sincerely. He knew that, if he had travelled solo, he would not have known what to do, unlike Jiu You, who was extremely well-prepared.
Jiu You rolled her eyes at him, and at his obvious flattery.
"How long more before we reach the Tianluo Continent?" Mu Chen asked.
the Tianluo Continent, we have to traverse through at least a dozen continents, and use the teleportation of the Transfer Spiritual Array to transport ourselves. Hence, even if we journey continuously, it will take us nearly two months to get there," Jiu You stated calmly.
"Two months…" Mu Chen twitched his mouth in response.
"And, in these two months, don't think you can get off easy!" Jiu You glanced at Mu Chen, her expression turning solemn. "Mu Chen, you should be aware that you have currently left Northern Heaven Spiritual Academy, and the places that we will be heading are no longer ivory towers. In this Great Thousand World, only power is respected. If you do not have enough power, wherever you go, no one will even look you in the eye."
"Moreover, the "Daluo Territory" that I have been in was no peaceful place, as the politics and power struggle there cannot be compared to that of the playful fights and little squabbles at Northern Heaven Spiritual Academy. Although, I will try my best to protect you there, but I know that with your character, you won't want me to." Jiu Yu continued her warning.
Mu Chen gave a slight smile upon hearing her words, as he softly said, "Rest assured, I have understood all of these principles long ago."
Daluo Territory was unlike the Northern Heaven Spiritual Academy, where people would do their best to assist in his cultivation. Here, if he couldn't accomplish anything himself, others would trample on him brutally.
Jiu You nodded lightly in response, then said, "Despite having entered the Sovereign level successfully, you are not even close to being a First Grade Sovereign."
"Is that because I haven't cultivated the Sovereign Celestial Body yet?"
Mu Chen stated this question calmly, as he could actually cultivate the Sovereign Celestial Body at this current stage. However, the Sovereign Celestial Body that he would have cultivated would be mediocre, as he had no other method of cultivating it besides that of the Great Solar Undying Body.
Furthermore, he did not wish to waste the precious Sovereign Spiritual Liquid on cultivating a mediocre Sovereign Celestial Body. He understood that, after he gathered the last two remaining ingredients needed for cultivating the Great Solar Undying Body, he would then require immense amounts of Sovereign Spiritual Liquid. Also, if he wanted to cultivate, he would never take the usual route.
"That's only one reason." Jiu You nodded her head slightly, as she continued. "The other reason why the Sovereign Master is revered as being the supreme of the art of cultivation, and why he is differentiated from the rest, is mainly due to his spiritual energy, apart from the Sovereign Sea and the Sovereign Celestial Body. The spiritual energy possesses sagacity, which is a form of intelligence, and that far surpasses the power of ordinary spiritual energy."
"Sagacity?" Mu Chen's eyebrows knit together quizzically.
"Many Sovereign Masters possess spiritual energies, which have unique attributes. Some people's spiritual energies are cold in nature, and some are blazing hot. This is because their spiritual energies have their own sagacities, so that power, likewise, is extraordinary."
Mu Chen pondered these things thoughtfully, as he vaguely remembered that, when he was in the Northern Heavens Continent, the Demonic Dragon Palace had engaged the help of the Infinity Ancestor. His spiritual energy had been extremely strong, and with a single blow, chilling and dark waves of the sea surged and swept forth. The sea was, in fact, a manifestation of his spiritual energies, as they were overwhelmingly powerful, to the degree with which ordinary spiritual energy could never match.
"How do I let my spiritual energies develop sagacity?" Mu Chen asked.
"Remember how your spiritual energy in the past could merge with my Nine Nether Flame? Back then, your spiritual energy was slightly stronger than ordinary spiritual energy, and in a way, there were similarities between the two. However, it is nothing when compared to spiritual energies that possess sagacity."
Understanding dawned on Mu Chen. This so-called sagacity, simply put, was basically the merging of another material into one's spiritual energies, causing it to undergo metamorphosis and become more powerful.
However, although this sounded easy in theory, it was challenging in execution. Not just any kind of material was suitable to be fused with one's spiritual energy, and once repulsion forces occurred, not only would the spiritual energies be unable to evolve, but such a situation would result in a backlash, which would severely injure the practitioner.
"What material should I choose to merge with my spiritual energies, then?" Mu Chen asked.
Most Sovereign Masters would choose to absorb those peculiar energies in either extremely cold, or extremely hot, places, so that they could fuse these energies together, which is the simplest method. However, the magnitude of increasing the power of one's spiritual energies was also limited.
"You once merged with the Nine Nether Flame. Hence, your spiritual energy is more attuned to materials with the attribute of fire. You also cultivated the Thunder God Physique, so thunder would be suitable as well," Jiu You stated thoughtfully.
"If using materials with the attribute of thunder, you will be unable to procure a source of thunder powerful enough to carry out the fusion. Thus, we have to find other alternatives. As for fire… My Unperishable Flame would be a good choice."
Mu Chen's eyes lit up. This was not only a good choice, but in fact, it was perfect. He was no longer an amateur, so he was aware of how powerful the Unperishable Flame was. Most importantly, the Unperishable Flame possessed a mysterious and profound attribute: the attribute of being "Unperishable".
Naturally, this was not to say that one would not die with the Unperishable Flame. Instead, the Unperishable Flame possessed a strong healing power, and no matter how seriously injured one was, as long as one's spirit was not destroyed, the Unperishable Flame would be able to heal the wounds gradually. With the Unperishable Flame, when one was engaged in combat, it would increase one's durability, which would then give them the upper hand.
Mu Chen's eyes lit up momentarily, but then he thought of something and turned to Jiu You, smiling with a grimace.
"But if we do this, it would cause harm to you, wouldn't it?" he asked, concerned.
Although Jiu You possessed the Unperishable Flame, it did not simply appear out of thin air. Rather, she had to expend immense amounts of energy and time, before she could cultivate the Unperishable Flame.
If Mu Chen wanted to transform the spiritual energy in his body completely, the amount of Unperishable Flame required would be rather significant. This was a great burden for Jiu You to bear.
Jiu You hedged, as her long and narrow eyes glanced at Mu Chen.
"Although there will be some obstacles, it isn't that much of a problem," she assured.
"But…" Mu Chen began to protest, still unconvinced.
"From today onwards, we will continue to travel without rest during the day, while we attempt to merge with the Unperishable Flame at night. My ultimatum is that you have to complete the transformation of your spiritual energy before we reach the Tianluo Continent!" Jiu You didn't give Mu Chen a chance to retort, as she stated calmly.
"If you fail…" A dangerous smirk curled on Jiu You's ruddy mouth. "Then don't blame me for being ruthless!"
With a casual blow of her palm, the sea beneath them broke apart, as a massive spiritual beast, which had just leapt up, fell over with the impact. Mu Chen's mouth twitched in fear, as he looked on and wiped the cold sweat that was gathering on his forehead. He was clear about Jiu You's personality, and if things got to that stage, it was likely that she would beat him severely. This sister was really too violent.
"Do you have any problems?" Jiu You smiled, as she glanced at Mu Chen. It was supposed to be a beautiful sight, but it caused Mu Chen to break out in another cold sweat, as he shook his head hurriedly.
"That's good, let's go then." Jiu You nodded satisfactorily.
"Fly over this sea?" Mu Chen was stunned momentarily, before replying.
"How about you revert to your actual form, and then I can ride on you as we fly over. Isn't that a lot faster…?"
However, as soon as he had spoken, he felt a sense of dread, for Jiu You raised her willow-like eyebrows, gave a bright smile, and glanced at Mu Chen. The smile was charming, as she walked forward, a blush on her beautiful face.
"Little Brother Mu Chen, do you want to ride on an elder sister so much?" she teased.
Mu Chen laughed hollowly, before turning to escape.
He didn't make it too far, before a torrential wave of spiritual energy in the space above enveloped him, as a huge Cloud Wing flapped towards him, and with a "Bong", fanned him straight into the sea. Mu Chen emerged from the sea, as a slender figure flew past in the sky, followed by sweet giggles ringing in the air.
"You're not allowed to come out, as swimming out of this sea is also part of your cultivation."
Jiu You felt great indignation, as he gnashed his teeth, murmuring that a wise man would not fight when the odds are against him, he just had to endure for the time being, and when his ability was stronger than hers, he would definitely press her on his thighs and spank her bottom.
"Jiu You, just you wait!" Mu Chen shouted, as he continued to swim forward with all of his might, roaring in his heart.