A figure quietly sat cross-legged atop the parched mountain peak. His flushed crimson skin gradually reverted to normal as the terribly high temperature dropped.
Nine Nether landed, heaving a quiet sigh of relief as she took in the scene before her. A touch of surprise flitted across her eyes. Seeing what had happened, Mu Chen seemed to have succeeded.
Just as Nine Nether landed, Mu Chen's tightly shut eyes twitched before slowly opening. Purple flames flickered in his black eyes and emitted an unsettling aura.
Mu Chen lifted his head and glanced at Nine Nether. She stood beside him, her svelte legs looking even more shapely and slender from that angle.
He grinned and said in relief, "I succeeded."
As he spoke, he rose to his feet. The moment he moved, his clothes disintegrated into dust.
Nine Nether's face blushed crimson and her delicate ears flushed with heat as she glared at Mu Chen in shy embarrassment before hurriedly looking away.
Mu Chen's expression was full of embarrassment as he hastily pulled out clothes and put them on.
Nine Nether waited for a few moments before turning back, her expression calming down. However, she could not hide her shy embarrassment and annoyance in her eyes as she glared at Mu Chen.
"It was unintentional, just an accident," Mu Chen said with a grimace. If Nine Nether thought he had been flirting and toying with her and gave him a beating, it would be an undeserved calamity.
Nine Nether snorted coldly. It was too much effort to pick on him. She stated nonchalantly, "Have you succeeded in your cultivation?"
Pleasant surprise was written on Mu Chen's face. He nodded as he clenched his fist. There was purple spiritual energy coalescing in his palm. Purple flames could be seen flickering within the depths of the purple spiritual energy.
With a casual wave of his hand, the purple spiritual energy surged out and struck a nearby mountain.
The entire mountain shattered into pieces as the spiritual energy raged. A horrifying heat swept across the mountain, burning the grass and trees, reducing them to ashes in an instant.
Mu Chen looked at the crumbling peak as even the rocks melted. The scene shocked him. Despite his spiritual energy remaining at the same level as before, his combat power had far surpassed that of his past.
Furthermore, he could also control and manipulate his spiritual energy more skilfully and at will as naturally as moving his limbs. In addition, even if the spiritual energy became separated from his body and the link between them broke, his spiritual energy would not dissipate immediately but would instead continue to attack with a lingering will.
This aspect was particularly frightening.
Previously, if spiritual energy left the body and was cut off by an opponent, it would gradually dissipate because it could not be manipulated. However, now circumstances had changed. Even if the spiritual energy was out of Mu Chen's control, it would continue to attack in accordance with Mu Chen's intention and will until it had exhausted its power.
Once it resided within someone, this miraculous power would require a great consumption of energy if others wanted to drive it out. The Unperishable Flame hidden within Mu Chen's spiritual energy was especially mysterious and powerful. If one wanted to erase it, one would have to expend exponentially greater spiritual energy to do so, and by the time it was successfully erased, the perpetrator's body would have been destroyed.
As Mu Chen felt the change in his spiritual energy, he couldn't help but gasp in wonder. Only after truly ascending to the Sovereign-level could he fully appreciate and grasp the extent of the Sovereign Master's power.
The Mu Chen of the past could never imagine and fathom that there were so many changes and mysteries hidden within the art of harnessing spiritual energy.
Nine Nether nodded as she said, "The spiritual energy within your Sovereign Sea came from your hard work and effort, and you did not rely on external assistance. Now that your spiritual energy has integrated with the Unperishable Flame, when it comes to your degree of power within the First Grade Sovereigns, if it is merely a battle of spiritual energy, not many people would be your match.
"Of course, that is if the opponent does not employ the Sovereign Celestial Body."
"The Sovereign Celestial Body…" Mu Chen couldn't help but gasp. The Sovereign Celestial Body was the signature combat symbol of the Sovereign Master, and it had such terrifying power, it could wipe out mountains in the blink of an eye.
If I manage to cultivate the Great Solar Undying Body successfully in the future, who knows how powerful I could become, Mu Chen thought in great anticipation. He had a hunch that the power of the Great Solar Undying Body would far surpass his expectations.
However, anticipation could only go so far. Mu Chen was all too aware that the last two ingredients needed to cultivate the Great Solar Undying Body were hard to obtain. In the past month, they had traversed dozens of continents and visited countless trading and auction houses, but had never chanced upon the Void Great Solar Fruit and the Undying Divine Leaf.
Nine Nether glanced as Mu Chen's gaze changed. She laughed as if she knew what he was thinking and said, "Rest assured, even if we didn't get news of the two kinds of natural treasures along the way, we should be able to find them when we reach the Tianluo Continent. After all, it is a supercontinent, and the continents we had passed before could not compare to it."
Mu Chen nodded as he heaved a sigh of relief in his heart.
"Also…" Nine Nether paused as she continued, "There is a Daluo Golden Pool in the Daluo Territory. This golden pool is extremely wondrous, and even on the Tianluo Continent, it is considered a treasure.
"The Daluo Golden Pool possesses the Divine Power of gods and spirits to refine the Sovereign Celestial Body, making it more perfect. If luck is on your side, you could even cultivate the Infinite Golden Light with the Sovereign Celestial Body."
"Infinite Golden Light?" Mu Chen asked in bewilderment.
"The Sovereign Celestial Body is already powerful on its own, but with the Infinite Golden Light, it is akin to giving a tiger wings, thus increasing its power. Most importantly, the Infinite Golden Light has a very strong defense, so it can also render the Sovereign Celestial Body indestructible.
"However, it is very difficult to cultivate the Infinite Golden Light. As far as I know, in the many years that have passed there are very few people on the Tianluo Continent who have been able to cultivate the Infinite Golden Light in the Daluo Golden Pool."
Mu Chen clicked his tongue in shock. Who would have thought that there would be such a wondrous place that could strengthen the Sovereign Celestial Body? There must be many Sovereign Masters who were eyeing it.
"When you follow me into Daluo Territory, you must enter the Daluo Golden Pool," Nine Nether stated solemnly.
"There must be some conditions required?" Mu Chen pondered.
Since the Daluo Golden Pool possessed such a wondrous ability, it was apparent that not just anyone could enjoy it.
Nine Nether nodded lightly. "The Daluo Golden Pool in Daluo Territory can only be enjoyed by people holding the rank of Commander, and only once every three years, with a quota of people allowed."
Nine Nether glanced at Mu Chen, and her eyes narrowed. "So after entering Daluo Territory, you have to fight for the position of Commander."
"Commander?" Mu Chen asked in disbelief.
"In the Daluo Territory, there is a Dominator. However, this Dominator comes and goes like a specter, and it is hard to get a trace of his whereabouts, so he's a mysterious existence in the Daluo Territory. The main affairs of the Daluo Territory are controlled and managed by the Three Kings under the Dominator.
"Under the Three Kings are the Nine Lords… and I'm one of the Lords." Nine Nether smiled. "Under the Nine Lords are the Commanders. Generally speaking, one has to attain the Sovereign-level before they can fight for the position of Commander."
"The starting point is the Sovereign-level…" Mu Chen laughed bitterly. He wasn't even considered to be a First Grade Sovereign in his present state, thus it would be difficult for him to vie for the position of Commander. No wonder Nine Nether forced him to complete his spiritual energy cultivation in the shortest time possible.
"Not confident?" Nine Nether asked nonchalantly.
Mu Chen smiled, but this smile was much brighter. He stretched lazily as he said, "Well, let me see exactly how strong the Sovereigns are in this Great Thousand World. My journey will not be hindered by a small challenge to become Commander."
A satisfied smile bloomed on Nine Nether's beautiful face upon hearing Mu Chen's words.
"Thank you," Mu Chen said softly as he turned to glance at Nine Nether.
Perhaps when they had just left the Northern Heavens Continent, Nine Nether had already begun to make plans for him. Although he did not know what the Daluo Golden Pool represented in the Daluo Territory, if Nine Nether was one of the Nine Lords, it was likely that she did not have much say in making decisions.
Hence, he felt touched.
"Oh please, just don't lose disastrously and utterly embarrass me." Nine Nether pursed her lips and harrumphed, but there was mirth in her tone.
"It's time to leave. We should get going."
She didn't give Mu Chen time to blabber on. With a wave of her hand, her silhouette surged out in a flash of light.
Mu Chen smiled and glanced at the slender shadow, and as he clenched his fists, fighting spirit and will ignited in his heart. He owed much to Nine Nether. Now it looked like he would have to become a Commander in the Daluo Territory.
In the next month, they were still on their way, traversing the continents without much rest. In their rush, the Tianluo Continent was getting closer and closer.
One day, Nine Nether and Mu Chen gradually slowed down in their journey.
They were now on a continent named the Continent of Trade. This continent possessed a Spiritual Transfer Array that could bring them to the Tianluo Continent directly, hence it was considered the last stop of their arduous journey.
This continent had some of the grandest trade and auction houses among the dozen nearby continents, with countless natural treasures and Divine Artifacts. Many Divine Arts circulated here through a variety of channels.
Despite some of the channels being shady and dubious, no one cared because everyone knew that they could buy anything on this Continent of Trade.
One could buy anything as long as they had sufficient Sovereign Spiritual Liquid.
It was here that Mu Chen's weary heart felt excitement for the first time in a great while. He finally got the last two materials he needed to cultivate the Great Solar Undying Body: the Void Great Solar Fruit and the Undying Divine Leaf.