The bluestone path was extremely quiet, and it had been like this throughout the entire time. Apart from the geniuses that gathered when they first entered, it would usually be incomparably desolate. Even a pin drop could be heard.
Strands of chaotic mists pervaded the air. These three thousand ancient paths carried an aura of passed time. It was completely quiet.
Shi Hao was sitting there, silently thinking to himself. Once he continued from here, it would be extremely dangerous. None of those that treaded on this path since the ancient times had good conclusions.
Specks of scarlet multicolored light flickered about, shining with resplendent red light. This was a stalk of holy medicine that looked like red coral, something he seized from the hands of Underworld Clan. He brought it out and gave it to the distant Emperor Butterfly.
"Youngster, you truly are prejudiced. That is a stalk of holy medicine, yet you are giving it out so generously! I just wanted those few stones, yet it required so much effort from me…" The Divine Striking Stone said with discontent.
"Are you really saying this right now?" Shi Hao shot it a look and said, "Regardless of whether it is the Heaven's Mandate Stone or Origin Stone, which one of them won't shake the higher realms? They were all given to you."
"Uh…" The Divine Striking Stone no longer bickered with him, releasing a belch of being full on the spot. It then stopped talking out of embarrassment.
The Emperor Butterfly turned into a golden streak, rushing over. It carried the red coral resplendent precious medicine and began to eat it. At the same time, it didn't forget to nod its head towards Shi Hao in gratitude.
"I already said that once we enter Immortal Ancient, I will help you find all types of precious medicines, allowing you to undergo a transformation!" Shi Hao said with a smile.
The Emperor Butterfly had previously helped him greatly in Fiend Island, leading the bug races to look all around. Its usefulness and power left him completely shocked back then.
Apart from this, Shi Hao also wanted to see how strange and powerful this legendary Emperor Butterfly would become once it transformed and matured.
Based on the vague records in bone books, only a single Emperor Butterfly had ever appeared. It came from the depths of the uninhabited region and then entered the lower realm.
There weren't many records of its combat prowess, but with just a single move of its wings, three heavenly deities turned into ashes, their auras wiped out. It was precisely this instance that was remembered by people of later generations.
Of course, it was only remembered by the people of the lower realm.
In the higher realms, there weren't many legends related to it. Only a few people saw it dancing lightly and gracefully about, witnessed the unmatched might of splitting apart heavenly deities with a flap of its wings.
"After drawing over a hundred and eight natural dao flames, I've yet to see anything special about this process…" Shi Hao said softly to himself. He rubbed his arm. There were scars and blood traces there.
When he fought against Luo Dao, the other party's hair suddenly expanded, wrapping around his forearm, bringing him a set amount of injuries. Even though it wasn't fatal, he was still injured.
Shi Hao reflected on his current self. The dao flames he had ignited himself with thus far through the bluestone path hadn't truly displayed any heaven defying applications. The reason he was powerful right now was completely due to his foundation, the accumulation of his past.
"Unless I ignite a few hundred or even over a thousand, only then should there be some special areas, right?"
However, the hundred and eight flames already made him injured, burning his body badly. If he used several hundred to over a thousand, how terrifying would that be?!
Shi Hao knew that his road was only starting, and that this was only the beginning of it all. The true dangers and life and death trials were still ahead.
Otherwise, why did all those brilliant cultivators of the ancient past who took this path, if they didn't die in meditation, waste away? Accidents happened to all of them.
"I should start!"
Shi Hao cleared his mind and started his meditation, entering isolation cultivation.
In the following few days, he didn't move, as if he was completely petrified. There wasn't even a slight bit of fluctuation.
He was adjusting himself, at the same time completely nursing all of his injuries and reaching the optimal state before continuing this process of igniting a dao fame, achieving a transformation.
A cool breeze blew past, hazy mists slowly spread.
On the fifth day, the bluestone path was no long peaceful. Strand after strand of weak light turned into symbols, gathering towards one area and surrounding a youth.
One path, two paths...
Soon after, a hundred and eight paths had been reached. Fiery light burned, drowning him within. This place became resplendent with radiance.
Upon closer inspection, one would find that the flames were covered in symbols. Patterns interweaved and linked up to form an exuberant blaze, wrapping around Shi Hao.
This was what he had already experienced, and now that he was walking this path again, it no longer damaged his body.
"True danger is going to arrive from here on forward." Shi Hao took a deep breath. As a result, fiery light surged, entering his stomach from his mouth and nose. His entire body surged with divine flames.
Shi Hao began to form the cauldron furnace, using the world as its material, cutting off part of the void to form a 'great artifact', using this to refine himself.
The void distorted, becoming indistinct. A furnace slowly took form, wrapping him within. Then, it began to gather the force of heaven and earth, forming a simple and ancient artifact.
The other bluestone paths shone. There were symbols that extended outwards and fiery light that gathered, burning this cauldron. Radiance shone in all directions, rushing into the clouds.
This ancient place was no longer calm. Shi Hao's life and death trial had begun. The dao flames were increased, added one after another. They were like divine chains of hope, but also like divine chains of death as they revolved around him.
"A hundred and nine, a hundred and ten…"
They were increased one after another. As time went on, it had reached a hundred and fifty. Shi Hao felt like the flames were difficult to endure, his entire body in intense pain, about to be burned through.
This was a life and death grinding after all. He had just added a few dozen, yet his body was already injured. There were still so many left to go, so how was he going to complete this process?
He didn't feel dejected, however, nor did he become discouraged. He resolutely advanced step by step. He was going to succeed! There was hope within his heart, divine light shining brilliantly within his eyes. His will was still firm.
A hundred and eighty streaks! Fiery light burned the heavens!
At this moment, all those who saw this scene from the outside world were moved. Only a few dozen streaks were added, yet the power increased by such a great amount.
Those flames raged, devouring everything, the dao patterns interweaving like lightning. It was extremely terrifying. When they looked in their direction, everyone's eyes contained horror.
Shi Hao coughed out a mouthful of black colored blood from his mouth. These flames were just too great, about to burn through even the heaven and earth furnace. It was already starting to distort.
He endured the pain and silently observed the symbols and natural laws within the fiery light. He wasn't going to repeat the paths of those before him, but would only use them as a reference. He was treating them like flames to ignite a true self.
A hundred and eighty flames. A few holes appeared in Shi Hao's body. It was extremely terrifying. The several tens of new streaks of fiery light entered his body, illuminating him.
This was a type of suffering, but also opportunity. The dao patterns burned the bones, and several tens of different natural laws interweaved, making his body release rumbling zen chanting sounds.
Time gradually passed by, Shi Hao himself had lost track of time. When he ignited the two hundredth flame, his body was dried and withered, incomparably weak. His vitality seemed like it was about to lose all life force. His body was was scorched black, now even worse than the first time. There were many holes that connected from front to back, shining like two golden lamps, illuminating this place.
He no longer added flames, instead silently enduring this suffering, carefully studying these flames. He allowed these two hundred streaks of fiery light to revolve around him, burning his blood and bones, remaining silent and motionless as they did so.
Only after many days had passed did he get used to this type of burning. There wasn't much left of his flesh that could be burned further. Black colored old skin wrapped around his bones, many of the patterns within the flames engraved on them. They roamed about like dragons, scattering over his entire body.
Shi Hao felt a feeling of transcendence. Even though he was on the verge of being destroyed by fire, he felt as if he could free himself from his flesh and observe everything objectively. Sometimes, he would even forget the suffering and only feel a type of comprehension towards the dao.
After a long time had passed, the two hundred streaks of fiery light were extinguished. The furnace cauldron collapsed, and Shi Hao fell onto the ground.
"Youngster, have you gone mad?" The Divine Striking Stone rushed over. The Emperor Butterfly carried its holy medicine that it hadn't finished eating yet, turning into a streak of light as it flew over to his side, looking extremely worried.
"Don't worry." Shi Hao got up.
Apart from his humanoid shell, almost none of his former appearance could be seen. Black skin was cracking, his eye sockets sunken. He had completely withered up.
Moreover, there are two hundred spheres of light burning ferociously, continuing to burn there.
"Just some small injuries. I'll be fine with a few days of rest." Shi Hao said. These were naturally not small injuries. His entire body was full of holes, the damage serious to the extreme.
He now had close to a hundred flames more. The power increase was not as simple as additive, instead being much more profound!
If he hadn't already become a deity, which allowed his strength to increase greatly, he would have definitely been burned into ashes, truly being burned away.
"I don't have time to waste. Everyone is advancing, increasing their cultivation. I have to nurse my injuries as quickly as possible." Shi Hao produced a stalk of holy medicine.
Now wasn't the time to hesitate. Even though holy medicines were precious, he could only treat them as rations.
The Divine Striking Stone and Emperor Butterfly backed up, not saying much, only offering protection for him, watching carefully.
A half meter long black colored holy vine appeared in Shi Hao's hands. Its leaves were all hound shaped, precisely the Hound Leaf Vine. When its leaves moved with the wind, dark light would flourish, and the barking of hounds could be heard.
Shi Hao devoured the leaves one after another. His entire body erupted with dark light, the reflection of roiling medicinal characteristics. It quickly rushed at his four limbs and bones, covering all of his injuries and recovering his body.
Holy medicines could restore flesh to white bones, bring one back from the brink of life and death. They possessed heaven defying miraculous effects, and could even more so nurture the primordial spirit.
Shi Hao quickly transformed. His life aura gradually flourished. His old skin flaked off, and he began to autonomously absorb the essence between heaven and earth. His entire body gradually swelled up.
However, the price for this was great as well. He used up several days of time and ate a small half of the holy medicine before his body's holes began to heal, gradually recovering.
If it were other injuries, just a mouthful of the holy medicine would have been enough. However, he had to eat a small half!
"You are just slowly killing yourself like this…" The Divine Striking Stone said. This path was too dangerous. It had just begun, so what was to come would only be more and more difficult.
"Seeking one's path of dao should be like this to begin with. Any path has dangers. If it was simple, those outstanding individuals of the past wouldn't have become crippled or died." Shi Hao said with a sigh.
He didn't waste any time, immediately entering isolation again to refine his body.
This time, as time continued, he added another hundred streaks of symbol fiery light, burning his flesh and primordial spirit. His entire body was dried up, his injuries even more severe.
The three hundred streaks of fiery light burned into the clouds, surrounding the heavens.
When he stopped, Shi Hao devoured the remaining half of the Hound Leaf Vine in one go, and he ate another half of the Golden Grass. This was the same as eating an entire stalk of holy medicine.
It was because the situation was even more dangerous. He needed more medicinal liquid as replenishment.
When the four hundred streaks of fiery light finished burning, Shi Hao devoured the half stalk of Golden Grass, as well as an entire stalk of Desert Silver, but he still felt like he was lacking a bit, so he stewed another dozen flood dragons and ate them all, only then did his primordial spirit become fully restored.
"How terrifying… the injuries are becoming more and more severe, and the consumption is becoming more and more formidable as well. You don't have any holy medicines left, used them all up." The Divine Striking Stone said.
The Emperor Butterfly flew over, handing the red medicine to him. There was only a bit left.
"No need, I still have a stalk of the Void Sky Divine Vine." Shi Hao gently stroked it with his hand, his smile gentle.
The divine medicine was astonishing. The radiance the Void Sky Heavenly Vine released was as resplendent as a great white gold sun. It hibernated within the light like a True Dragon.
After five hundred streaks of fiery light burned him, Shi Hao's condition deteriorated greatly. However, after eating a single snow white leaf, his body released pi pa sounds, and his blood energy surged again soon after.
When six hundred streaks of fiery light went out, Shi Hao ate a leaf of the Void Sky Divine Vine and a bit of the tip, and then he recovered once again.
As the fiery light continuously increased, he could feel himself becoming more and more powerful!
This type of feeling was extremely wonderful!
When the nine hundredth streak of fiery light finished burning and Shi Hao devoured a bit of the Void Sky Divine Vine, he saw scenes one after another. These were the engravings within the leaf and vine. He immediately became shocked.
"What is this?" He was greatly shaken. The scenes were too shocking!
"You promised that you wouldn't completely eat me." The Void Sky Divine Vine used a special 'wave' to communicate with him.
Shi Hao nodded and said, "I already said before that I wouldn't let a divine root like you just disappear, just using some of your vine leaves to treat my great dao injuries."