The space around this area became unstable, and a passageway covered with cracks appeared. A figure was struggling with great difficulty to come out, and a foot stepped on the rubble as it tried to enter these ruins.
The slender figure was dressed in gray clothes, and its jet black hair was scattering down. Pure, ivory white skin could be seen, and an extremely chilly aura surrounded this individual, as if there was no natural warmth within this person.
A gust of wind blew past, brushing aside the disheveled hair to briefly reveal the individual's appearance, revealing an appearance that was absolutely stunning.
The figure turned out to be a woman. Despite the outdated gray clothes she wore, her porcelain skin reminded one of fine jade. It was spotlessly fair and lustrous, making her beauty all the more striking.
The ruins of Heaven Mending Pavilion were overgrown with weeds with nothing but withered wasteland all around. The great sect of the olden days was long gone, along with its glorious past. What was left was about to be submerged within the weeds.
The aura around the woman was so piercingly cold that instead of a living person, she reminded one more of a piece of jade that was sculpted into artwork by heaven itself. In addition, a pair of misty eyes observed the surroundings from behind her hair. They seemed to have witnessed the great changes of times, possessing an aura of endless years.
Another sound could be heard. Within the chaotic space, a different figure walked out from the ruined passageway with difficulty.
This time, it was a teenager who was around sixteen or seventeen years old. He was tall and strongly built with jet-black hair. The teenager was rather handsome and possessed a distinct style.
For someone who had just broken free into the outside world, he seemed incredibly calm and composed. He did not make any noise, instead seeming rather experienced with his undisturbed countenance.
He possessed dual-pupils, a trait characteristic of holy emperors. When his eyes opened and closed, the illusionary scene of the sun, moon, and stars, as well as chaotic energy would flicker past. When he saw the ruined Heaven Mending Pavilion, he revealed a slightly startled expression, but he did not let it affect him too much.
From the distance, an enormous golden spider was startled after discovering the aura that originated from this area. It turned into a golden rainbow and flew over, creating terrifying fluctuations that battered out like waves.
The giant spider was just like a supreme deity. At this moment, it erupted with an aura that was extremely great, making this entire place shudder greatly. Rumbling noises rang through the ruins as this place began to fiercely tear apart.
It towered in midair, and its legs were perfectly straight like golden spears. They were pointed far into the distance towards that woman in preparation for battle.
Seeing this, the dual-pupiled teenager quickly gestured for her not to act rashly.
In the ancestral land of the Fire Nation, Shi Hao was fiddling with the magical weapon in his hands. The big bow lacked luster and had a grayish brown color. He could not figure out what material it was made from. When he flicked it with his fingers, it made a metallic sound.
The bowstring was bright and translucent, and with just a slight pull, the hissing of flood dragons would sound out. Moreover, extremely powerful fluctuations would swirl and quickly gather towards the arrow.
"Wind and Thunder Flood Dragon Bow," Shi Hao said to himself. He had heard the name previously from an enemy, and it was indeed an incredible weapon.
The crowd had already dispersed. The fact that he managed to kill three experts in a row from beyond the wastelands had shaken everyone to their core. Whenever they looked at him, they would all feel a sense of reverence. None of them were willing to provoke him.
"This is a strange precious artifact." Shi Hao continued to talk to himself. No matter how much divine energy he infused into it, the bow would continue to withstand and resonate with it. It almost seemed as if the bow was personally made for him, matching him perfectly.
He decided to put it away for the time being. This item was a bit bizarre.
The ancestral land of the Fire Clan was scorching hot, and as he walked on, heatwaves battered at him repeatedly. Steam rose from various locations, and the earth itself seemed as if it would combust at a second's notice.
He wasn't in any hurry to move on, and only wanted to find a quiet spot to break into the Engravement Realm. After all, this transformation would be like nothing he had experienced before, so he dared not treat it carelessly.
He did not want to be disturbed during this process. The establishment of each great level was also a process of releasing one's potential. He wished to peacefully make his breakthrough.
However, things usually did not occur the way one wished them to. News that he had killed three geniuses from beyond the wastelands quickly spread, drawing many people's attention.
At this moment, four elders flew across the sky on precious artifacts. They were like four streaks of light as they quickly and fiercely caught up to Shi Hao's tracks.
"Where do you think you're going?" One of them yelled.
At the same time, a silver expanse poured down. A silver lamp approached quickly, and scorching silver flames descended like a waterfall.
Shi Hao was taken by surprise and turned around at once. The boulder he stood on seconds ago was barely touched by that silver flash, yet it melted into a puddle of magma.
"So powerful!" He was alerted, for the owner's ability was reflected by the artifacts he used. These four elders were all mighty experts with cultivation at least at the the mid-stage of the Engravement Realm. They were definitely stronger than the three geniuses from outside the wasteland region.
Another elder took out a great flag, and with a slight wave, the entire desert seemed to be cracking apart. A tremendous black fog closed in on Shi Hao from all directions.
Shi Hao's eyes flickered. He was startled yet again and quickly backed off. He felt that these individuals weren't worth provoking.
Weren't all those who entered the ancestral land supposed to be teenagers? Why were there older people here? This made Shi Hao become suspicious. Could it be that individuals from the Fire Nation’s law enforcement had arrived?
He was originally fearless, because in the worst case scenario, he would just fuse with the Imperishable Golden Body and fight against them in the black battle clothes. However, he was afraid that those might be people from the Fire Nation. If he killed them, then he would have a hard time explaining himself to Huo Ling'er later.
Because of that, Shi Hao decided to retreat for now. He did not stay any longer and spread the Kun Peng wings on his back. With a stamp on the ground, he quickly disappeared into the distance as if he used an earth withdrawal technique.
"Yi? That fellow is rather strange. With his cultivation level, how can he travel so quickly?"
They tried to chase after him, but the teenager disappeared and was nowhere to be found.
"Is it because of those wings? Or has he actually mastered great divine abilities like the great earth withdrawal technique?"
The four voiced their suspicions. Soon afterwards, their countenances turned incredibly serious.
"Anyhow, we should let the others know as soon as possible. Be very careful, for we've broken the rules. If people from Fire Nation knew about this, they would definitely retaliate."
Shi Hao picked a quiet spot away from the center of the ancestral land. It was completely deserted without even a single strand of weed, let alone any human beings. It was a place even birds would not choose to land.
"Let's go with this place."
He sat cross-legged on a big rock and carefully sensed his surroundings. After making sure that there were indeed no living creatures around, he adjusted himself and initiated the final breakthrough.
With a hong sound, splendid divine multicolored light erupted from Shi Hao’s body as if a great explosion had taken place. Centered around Shi Hao, a frightening wave of divine energy diffused violently in all directions.
The breakthrough wasn’t too difficult for him, for everything had already long fallen into place. In fact, if it weren’t for his intentional suppression, he could have broken into the next realm at any time. Now that he was seriously breaking through into the next realm, he immediately underwent a drastic change.
Streaks of symbols appeared on his skin that looked like densely packed tattoos. It was not only happening on the surface, but inside of him as well. These patterns covered his flesh and blood, as well as his internal organs.
Eventually, this became true even for his bones and bone marrow. All types of symbols flickered as they rushed past. As he received the baptism of symbols, it was as if chains and shackles were being broken.
Shi Hao's entire being seemed different. His aura immediately became a great deal stronger. He had just broken through, yet a drastic transformation had already taken place.
Currently, there were golden symbols flickering even within his pupils. It was as if they contained the most fundamental laws of the heaven and earth as they became part of his own power.
The Engravement Realm was when one truly had access to the profound mysteries of the bone text. After treading onto this path, one no longer had to rely on the symbols of vicious beasts or fierce birds. They could instead engrave within their body some of their own symbols.
Of course, the so called one's own symbols was still just a simple arrangement. It was impossible for them to be too innovative at this stage, because this was something that only the most powerful could do.
This cultivation realm was extremely difficult. One had to carve on their own bones and heavenly passages, and every step of the way was incredibly difficult. It was entirely possible not to see any change after many years.
There were even some who claimed that every improvement in the Engravement Realm was just as difficult as cultivating through a great cultivation realm, so one could see how terrifyingly difficult it was.
Shi Hao's entire body shone, and all the hidden potential within his body was released. Patterns covered him, as if he was in a large cocoon. This breakthrough process was extremely mysterious.
Previously, both the cup of wine and the medicine he picked from the lake of magma had their divine energy sealed within his body. Now, however, all of the energy was released.
Afterwards, all types of symbols flickered like stars in the heavens. They surged with powerful energy on the surface of his body and in his flesh, inner organs, and bones.
This process continued for an entire day and night. Finally, Shi Hao's body completely stabilized and advanced into the Engravement Realm.
He opened his eyes. Golden symbols flashed through his pupils, giving them a deep and mysterious appearance. It was as if he could see straight into one's heart, a powerful embodiment of essence energy.
"Finally succeeded." He said to himself and stood up. He knew that the road ahead of him was still long, and that the Engravement Realm was extremely difficult.
The Engravement Realm was divided into the initial, middle, late, and consummate stages. It was a general consensus among cultivators that each small realm required arduous cultivation and an extraordinarily long amount of time.
It could be said that the amount of time needed for each small realm was equivalent to that of a great cultivation realm.
Of course, those with great natural talent would face comparatively less obstacles and not necessarily follow these sayings. However, their speed of improvement would still become much slower.
This was also the reason why there were almost never any young noble kings. Those that wanted to pass this pit would have to wait at least until they grew into adulthood, and we were still talking about geniuses here.
After advancing from Blood Transformation, Heavenly Passage, and then to Spiritual Transformation, Shi Hao was now thirteen years old. Even if his natural talent was extraordinary, it would most likely still take many, many years of time before he could break through this realm.
"No, I cannot be hindered like this. I need to quickly advance! The wasteland region is going to become chaotic, so I need to become more powerful quickly."
Furthermore, there was another pressing worry within him. Shi Yi was about to appear, and Shi Hao was still several years younger than him. He was three or four years behind in cultivation and had to make up for this difference somehow. Otherwise, there might be a huge disaster as soon as they met.
Shi Hao got up. He headed for the depths of Fire Nation's ancestral grounds to start his own journey of self-improvement. He needed to break through again in the shortest amount of time possible and continuously become stronger.
"The divine manor is not bad. It would be great if I could find some more," he muttered to himself. However, he knew that an ancient palace like that was something that he could only encounter through luck.
He had now stepped into the Engravement Realm. He roamed about this domain of fire and was completely fearless of his peers. He might even be able to force his way through everyone, but the one thing he still had to be careful about were those older individuals.
As soon as Shi Hao entered the depths of these ancestral lands, he heard some astonishing news. Someone had discovered some ancient scripture, and so everyone was fighting endlessly over them.
It was rumored that the scripture had already changed owners several times, and as a result, the number of casualties weren't low. Those that obtained it would die in the end. The ground was dyed red in blood as the scripture continuously shifted owners.