The mountain region was majestic, mountain ridges rising and falling like sleeping dragons. Those tall peaks were like ancient elephants as they laid in disarray.
Within a mountain body, an enormous cave was opened up, magical formations everywhere!
These were arranged by the Divine Striking Stone, consisting of a combination of many killing formations, creating a dangerous place to protect the white limestone center dao earth.
Shi Hao sat there, ten thousand dao burning his body, the cauldron furnace created by heaven and earth long burned until it was rumbling with zheng zheng sounds, as if there were hammers slamming down on it. Magical chains linked up one after another, winding about the surroundings.
This was no longer a self sharpening, but rather a trial of life and death. If he wanted to transcend above and step on his own path, then what he had to face was the most terrifying punishment. This was a great pressure from heaven and earth itself.
After half a month passed, Shi Hao emerged, nine deaths one life. The heaven and earth furnace was burned through, and he had to use his body to resist the dao. His body was burned until it became transparent, blood continuously flowing out.
This wasn't the first time he experienced this, but it had never been as dangerous as it was right now, because once he died, there was no way out. He was not inside the ten zhang private room, unable to revive again.
"Do I have to use the Revival Grass?" His eyes grew dim, surrounded by fiery light. He felt like his life was flowing away, gradually walking towards defeat.
Compared to before, the amount of time he endured for was just too much longer. He refined his self, using the most terrifying and difficult type of refinement. It was like the hundred refinements of true gold, becoming bright and dazzling in the raging flames.
Only, when his stamina was exhausted, he truly felt extremely weak, as if he might suddenly die.
At the same time, he felt that he wasn't that far from success. The light seemed to be just up ahead, to the extent where he could even vaguely see two strands of immortal energy.
"Did Little Immortal King have this type of illusion as well, and because of that throw himself forwards like a moth to a flame? In the end, like brilliant fireworks, he entered the darkness after the magnificence."
Shi Hao woke up. He didn't obstinately hold on to this enlightenment feeling, instead withdrawing. All types of divine chains of order disappeared, the source energy receding, entering a deathly stillness.
He silently treated his injuries in the mountain depths, his bones burned until they broke, his foundation declining. He used a bit of Revival Grass and holy medicines to slowly recover his vitality.
Then, he initiated another round of cultivation.
Just like that, each time, when he was about to succeed, he would become weak to the extreme, difficult to proceed even an inch further, unable to truly condense the second strand of immortal energy. His entire body was about to collapse.
"I am going to die, but I don't want to!"
Regardless of when it was, Shi Hao always remained extremely clear headed, not falling into the joy of near success, because he knew he was still a bit off. If he recklessly continued, he would most likely die.
Just like that, he hovered around the end of the road many times, just that bit away from stepping over the heavenly moat and transcending above, but he would always end in failure after cool-headedly stopping himself.
After who knew how many tries, the consumption of holy medicines and other things was great, some medicinal baskets already empty.
"Was I too careful, lacking the bravery to cut off my means of retreat?" Shi Hao asked himself.
He stopped and carefully thought to himself exactly what the reason was, why he was always burned until his bones broke and tendons snapped, ultimately failing at the last spurt.
Perhaps it really was because he lacked the courage, Shi Hao reflected. However, this was dao comprehension, he didn't want to die.
"Going to take a risk!"
Ten thousand dao rumbled. Shi Hao remained unmoving, and after who knew how many days had passed, the heaven and earth furnace shattered. He himself was also covered in wounds, his entire body burnt black.
He had no way out, still forging forward. Only at the final moments when everything before his eyes became dark and he vaguely saw the second strand of immortal energy appear did he clench his teeth to wake up.
However, following a weng sound, his primordial spirit almost scattered, and his flesh split apart, almost completely breaking apart!
In that instant, Shi Hao sank into darkness, about to lose consciousness. It was as if nothing existed any longer.
"I cannot die!"
He felt as if he himself was incarcerated in a dark prison, about to be cut off from the world.
Even though it wasn't the first time he experienced death, each time, it was a bit different, especially this time. Perhaps it was because there was no chance of revival after this death that it felt especially profound.
In that instant, he seemed to have seen a great world with an endless starry sky. There were countless living stars, innumerable creatures, hundred worlds rising and falling. All of this seemed to last for ages as they passed him.
Shi Hao shouted loudly. Immediately afterwards, his consciousness returned to his body, completely awakening.
His entire body was in great pain, his primordial spirit felt like it was cut by blades. It was as if he was divided into many pieces. He was still alive, his body still in this world, not falling.
Shi Hao quickly ate divine medicine, and then produced the Octadic Treasure Unicorn, the first time using these two types of rare treasures to treat his terrifyingly injured body.
His injuries were extremely grave, almost dying.
However, when Shi Hao revived, he didn't immediately pay attention to his body, but instead reflected over everything he just saw. He muttered to himself, "Could there truly be reincarnation in this world?"
He began to suspect that after one died and entered eternal darkness, could it be that they would reincarnate, experience countless mortal worlds?
In the ten zhang private room, he died ten times, each time directly entering the void's darkness. When he revived, he seemed to have lost something, with a blank space in his memories.
This time, he didn't completely lose consciousness, returning from the darkness. He saw the rise and fall of the world of the living, as if a single dream took him through all of time.
"There is no reincarnation, those are just the fragments of time that I was able to witness after entering eternal silence." Shi Hao said to himself. His will was resolute, his gaze gradually became resplendent.
Just like that, after reviving, Shi Hao began again, drawing closer and closer to success each time, sometimes even seeing a strand of immortal energy condensing.
In addition, he began to test some things, wishing to place his primordial spirit in the immortal seed and improve a step further.
However, this path was different. The Immortal Seed was too different, impossible to pierce through. There was no way for it to support a primordial spirit.
"This cultivation realm is still not enough. This immortal seed might still be extremely useful in the future."
Shi Hao lingered about the border of life and death, wandering about the ten thousand dao. Eventually, he had lost track of how many times his body and primordial spirit were burned. However, the benefits were also great.
He was becoming stronger. The amount of time he could resist the ten thousand dao flames of the underworld was becoming longer and longer.
It was to the extent where sometimes, he felt a type of enjoyment while bathed in the ten thousand dao, and as such, he no longer focused on opposing it, but was instead able to peacefully coexist and transcend above.
Of course, this was only sometimes. Most of the time, he was resisting it, struggling to make it through while hovering between life and death.
"Am I going to succeed?"
The closer he got to this point, the more careful Shi Hao became, because the final critical moment was the most dangerous.
Raging flames burned his body once again. What Shi Hao saw was not suppressing to kill or terrifying symbols, but instead beautiful sceneries one after another.
Endless mountains could be seen, chaotic energy flowing out from them. He was sitting at the center of it all.
Stellar rivers shone resplendently, circling around him.
The heaven and earth opened. He was surrounded by the life force of all spirits.
The demonic beasts were endless, immortal birds crying. He was in the plains.
A stalk of grass, a tree, a grain of sand, a sea, all things between heaven and earth appeared, immersing him within.
A type of dao, a world, an expanse of void swamp, he wanted to rush out, but no matter what he did, he couldn't struggle free.
He turned into a divine bird, rushing towards the starry skies. With a shake of his wings, brilliant feathers flew outwards, shooting down countless great stars.
He turned into a stalk of grass, windswept and battered by rain, endured the cold weather and frozen earth. Other creatures ate at him, tormenting him again and again, but he tenaciously grew and survived.
He became a wisp of sunset glow, the final twilight, resting within the horizon's remaining warmth. There was dark red, but even more hot blood surging.
Shi Hao went on a mental journey into the great emptiness, striving to make it through the dao flames. His flesh and primordial spirit were being burned, with endless things to appreciate. In that instant, it was as if he experienced many great worlds.
The second strand of immortal energy… was going to take form?
In that short moment, in that instant of wake, he saw a faint strand of pure white energy forming around his body, about to take form.
"Persevere through, I wish to transcend!"
Shi Hao endured the pain and suffering. He felt like dawn was already not far, that he couldn't pass up this opportunity.
After who knew how much time had passed, his ruined body split into four pieces, because the pressure he endured was too great. Ten thousand dao, even though they had times of peaceful coexistence, generally speaking, were still ruthless. At this moment, it completely exploded.
It was precisely at this time that Shi Hao saw the second strand of immortal energy. It was pure white like jade, hazy and mysterious, taking form.
However, it was already hard for him to hold on!
With a weng sound, Shi Hao entered a momentary silence. His primordial spirit left his body, entering the void, falling into the prison of eternal darkness, walking the road of death.
"I already succeeded in the cultivation of a second strand of immortal energy. I cannot die now!" Shi Hao roared within his heart, frantically struggling. He didn't want to lose consciousness.
Otherwise, it would be eternal rest, forever returning to nothingness, unable to live again.
He felt unwilling. He struggled with everything he had, wishing to not lose consciousness, to stay clear-headed and make it through this!
In that instant, he thought of Stone Village, that warm home, how many people were waiting for him. He had to show filial respect for Grandpa Chief, drink with his uncles, had to see Dazhuang, Ermeng, Pihou, Hairy Ball, and the others.
He also thought about his mother and father, as well as the Fire Mulberry Tree forest, Huo Ling'er waving towards him within the rustling trees. He also saw Qing Yi, as well as many other people.
"I am going to return! I cannot fall here!" Shi Hao struggled. This time, it was more vicious than before. He felt like he was going to become muddle-headed, entering a dark stillness.
"Return!" He roared.
He moved quickly, but this was eternal darkness, a journey of nothingness, a prison that was difficult to break out of.
Suddenly, he was shocked. Apart from the many time fragments he saw like before, he seemed to have experienced a cycle. He saw a similar cage.
One after another, all of them flowing along the long river of this world, heading forward in the void. Those were dark prisons, sealed places.
With a hurried glance, he saw a few specks of light that were especially resplendent. They were sealed within the enormous cages, the auras terrifying and heaven overflowing, an ancient aura released from them.
"Who is that? What kind of creature is it?" Shi Hao was deeply moved. Because of this, he became slightly more clear-headed.
That was someone like him, right? No, the cultivation realm was too high. He was not someone who was going the same way. Even though he was sealed in the dark nothingness, he was still so terrifying.
For this type of creature to enter eternal darkness, was it helplessly forced, or was it due to other reasons? What was going on? Why was it so terrifying?
Finally, his primordial spirit trembled, stopping its drifting, completely sealed in this dark space that was difficult to escape.
"Is this death? One that lasts until I completely disappear and nothing remains, the final moments before death? To be sealed in this dark space?"
Never before had Shi Hao ever felt such a clear and deep impression!
"I don't want to die, I still have many worries! I have loved ones, friends, I still want to see them, do not wish to abandon them. Even if it wasn't for myself, I still have to continue living!"
Shi Hao roared angrily, struggling, not wishing to fall unconscious, not willing to return to eternal stillness.
Moreover, even though his primordial spirit left his body, in the fragments of time he was imprisoned in, while sealed within the darkness, he still had a feeling that the second strand of immortal energy seemed to have taken form, that it was winding about right outside his flesh shell.
However, if he couldn't return, was there any other use?
At the same moment, someone was drawing close, arriving at the small world in which he was cultivating in seclusion, heading towards this mountain range.
Jun Dao, Heavenly Country's ancient king, they all appeared, cold intent on their faces as they walked over step by step!