AGM 204 - Mandates of the Cultivation Path
Cultivation disregards the sense that time has passed. This was especially true when one was in a state of gaining insights.
At this moment, Qin Wentian was in an extremely wondrous state. He felt both partially awake, as well as submerged within a dream. He had absolutely no inkling of what was happening outside of this current state.
Within the wondrous state, he felt the presence of monstrously powerful heavenly constellations enveloping the Heavens and Earth, encompassing everything. Their radiance was especially beautiful, and an incredible surge of energy permeated the air. This sensation only got stronger and stronger as time passed by.
"Will. Intent. Mandate." Qin Wentian mused, a stream of will gushed forth from his dazzling Heavenly Hammer Astral Soul, as a force field materialized in the space he was in.
"Stellar Martial Cultivators, upon reaching Yuanfu, their Astral Soul would correspond with the cultivator's Yuanfu. Astral Souls are the source of strength for a Stellar Martial Cultivator, the will and intent of an Astral Soul, could naturally be said to be the will and intent of the cultivator." A Heavenly Hammer materialized in Qin Wentian's hands. Holding onto it tightly, he could feel a mysterious energy emanating forth from the Heavenly Hammer, strengthening him. This source of energy felt extremely enigmatic, yet Qin Wentian could sense it was not an illusion.
This was no longer the simple amplifications Astral Souls bestowed, but rather, an energy borne from an intent and will. He believed that as he advanced further onto the path of cultivation, this stream of energy would become stronger and stronger, to the point where it would be able to manifest these Heavenly Constellations.
All of a sudden, Qin Wentian's eyes snapped open as he stared fixedly at the statue of the giant. It was as though he could only now sense the potency of this mysterious energy stream
Qin Wentian didn't know that currently, he had already begun to grasp the insights of a higher cultivation truth. What he comprehended earlier, was the first level of the Mandate of Force - Strength.
There were many different kinds of Martial Mandates in the world, and as each Mandate's power leveled up, it would generate different abilities. However, the initial boundary for these Mandate's abilities wouldn't be different from the Martial Mandate. Thus, the initial boundary for the Mandate of Force, was Strength.
And as for the method of levelling up the Mandates, one had to depend on destiny, their comprehension, their experiences, as well as a little luck to gain insight into the second level. Once the cultivator comprehended the second level of their respective Mandates, only then would they truly step into the Heavenly Dipper Realm, and once they gained insights into the third level, they would be able to manifest the Heavenly Constellations. After Yuanfu, the distance between each cultivation realm to the next was like being in a watershed. Countless people were stuck within, unable to break through to the next realm. It wasn't just the requirement of an astronomical amount of cultivation resources, one also needed powerful comprehension of their Mandate before they would be able to continue forwards on their cultivation pathway.
For example, someone like Xiao Lan, a genius of the Nine Mystical Palace, had only comprehended insights into the first level of his Mandate when he was at the 3rd level of Yuanfu. On the other hand, Qin Wentian, whose comprehension abilities were originally already at an inconceivable level, and in addition to some twists of fate that allowed him the chance to contemplate the statues; the combination of these factors were what allowed him to comprehend insight into the first level of Mandate, when only at the 1st level of Yuanfu.
"If I truly spend time in understanding my Great Dream Astral Soul, as well Demon Sovereign Astral Soul, maybe I could even gain more insights about other Mandates," Qin Wentian murmured, closing his eyes, as he quietly focused on his cultivation.
Qin Wentian didn't know of the Royal Capital's current state of chaos and danger. Not only that, at this moment, several terrifying characters had just entered the Dark Forest.
Presently, Mo Qingcheng, cut a sorry figure. After she entered the Dark Forest, she had no way to tell what direction from which and was pursued by demonic beasts from all four sides. Even the white crane was killed by one of the demonic beasts, so clearly could she remember the powerful claw swipe that ended its life.
Her eyes were red from crying, her robes all tattered, her beautiful face filled with weariness. She had no chance to even take a break during the past few days.
"Wentian, where are you exactly." Her graceful figure leaned against a tree, as her eyes were filled with worry. Mo Qingcheng didn't know what the current situation in the Royal Capital was now, she could only hope that Qin Wentian had still not left the Dark Forest.
"I will find you for sure." The eyes of the young lady flickered with determination as she prepared to move out. Suddenly, a sharp sound echoed in the air. Inclining her head, Mo Qingcheng saw a row of silhouettes flying past with astonishing speed. Upon noticing her, they halted, as they surveyed her. The pressure emitted from their bodies told her in no uncertain terms that they were exceptionally powerful.
A few breaths of time later, one of them broke the silence, "The demonic Qi inside the mountain range ahead feels extremely heavy. Let's investigate." After which, their movements were like the wind, as the row of figures continued flying forwards.
Mo Qingcheng's eyes gleamed, as she too picked up her pace, running after those ahead.
"What an oppressive demonic Qi. Seems like we're at the right location."
"Hmm, I feel that the news disseminated by the Venerate Heavens Sect was a little too exaggerated. Saying that the Demonic Star descended, really? Does that old man really think his eyes can penetrate through the Heavenly Layers?"
"Don't underestimate the Venerate Heavens Sect. Throughout all these years, all the various rankings issued by them were all ascertained and authorised, passing through the consensus of all major powers of the Grand Xia Empire. That old man is definitely more than capable," another replied.
Soon after, as they flew in deeper and deeper, their eyes narrowed as they noticed the demonic beasts that were on their pilgrimage. After which, one of them coldly laughed, "Why are there so many cute little demons."
"Look, there's a human youth there, as well."
In the eyes of these people, the incomparably savage and ferocious demonic beasts of the Dark Forest, were actually termed as 'cute little demons'.
Qin Wentian was roused from his wondrous state. Opening his eyes, he saw that group of powerhouses descending. The demonic beasts hollered and howled in rage, as though they wanted to prevent the humans from getting any nearer.
"What a bunch of ignorant little demons." A figure among them laughed. After which, he waved his hands, as a column of blood-colored light shone down from above. The shining light landed on the bodies of the demonic beasts, causing them to howl in agony before their bodies exploded.
"Mandate." Qin Wentian's countenance sank. This was what he was gaining insight into, but the strength of this person was several times greater than his.
"Senior," Qin Wentian called out, as that person halted his attacks, turning his gaze onto Qin Wentian.
"These demonic beasts are only here to pay their respects to these two statues. Junior coincidentally arrived here by chance, and discovered these two extraordinary statues. Junior humbly implores and hopes that Senior would spare these demonic beasts, on account that they were merely paying their respects and had not damaged this sacred land in the slightest. Junior will lead them away immediately," Qin Wentian spoke out.
"Fine. It's rare to see someone with such a caring heart. But you are right, on account that they did no damage to this sacred land, and if you can convince them to leave, I shall spare them." That man laughed. Qin Wentian glanced at Little Rascal who had leapt into his arms earlier. Little Rascal then issued a few low-sounding growls, in addition to the sharp shrieks by the Blackwind Condor, before the tumultuous clamor of the demonic beasts finally quieted down, all preparing to leave the area.
However, within the eyes of these demonic beasts, all gleamed with rage and brutality.
Qin Wentian mounted the Blackwind Condor, as they led the way for the demonic beasts. Those powerhouses standing in the air didn't block them. In their eyes, these demonic beasts as well as Qin Wentian, weren't worthy of mention.
"Seems like that little fellow possessed the ability to tame the beasts." One of the experts standing in the air laughed, but his countenance soon turned serious as his gaze shifted to the two statues.
After travelling a certain distance, Qin Wentian noticed that there were even more powerful experts arriving. He didn't expect that the sacred land would attract the attention of so many terrifying characters.
"Let's go," Qin Wentian intoned in a low voice. The Blackwind Condor's speed increased, moving so fast that it transformed into a blurry shadow. A few moments later, the angry roars of the demonic beasts rang out again. Unintentionally, either by luck or by destiny, Qin Wentian caught sight of something that caused his pupils to narrow.
"Qingcheng!" Qin Wentian immediately jumped off the condor, landing beside Mo Qingcheng who was encircled by the demonic beasts. He coldly spat out, "Scram."
Little Rascal also transformed into its battle form, roaring so loudly that the void trembled, shocking the demonic beasts,
"ARFF!" A golden streak of lightning flashed by, and in the next moment, a demonic beast lunging mid motion towards Mo Qingcheng, died with its throat crushed in Little Rascal's maw. Little Rascal coldly surveyed the remaining demonic beasts, as a bone chilling aura emanated forth from it.
"Qingcheng." Qin Wentian ran over to Mo Qingcheng, as he took in her appearance. Traces of blood could be seen on her tattered robes, her beautiful countenance looked so haggard that even her aura felt somewhat unstable. Instantly, Mo Qingcheng's eyes were filled with tears, and it was only after a long moment before a smile managed to blossom on her face, as she collapsed into Qin Wentian's arms.
"Dumbo, I was so afraid I couldn't find you." Mo Qingcheng's graceful frame was shivering in Qin Wentian's embrace. Qin Wentian felt his heart shuddering with guilt, as he patted lightly on Mo Qingcheng's back. His left hand was stroking her head as he whispered gently into her ears, "It's all fine now, it's all okay."
"I was really so afraid, afraid that you had already returned to the Royal Capital." Mo Qingcheng sobbed, hugging Qin Wentian even tighter.
"What happened?" Qin Wentian felt puzzled.
"After Xiao Lan died, several experts of the Nine Mystical Palace came to Chu. They ordered the Ancestor of Chu to fight against Headmaster Diyi. The fight resulted in the death of the Ancestor of Chu, while Diyi was seriously injured before he was dragged away in chains by those from the Nine Mystical Palace. Currently, the Royal Clan are going all out to capture students of our Emperor Star Academy, killing them with no mercy. Especially you, as you are at the top of their kill list."
Qingcheng's words caused Qin Wentian to feel a chill in his heart, as his aura burst forth with unprecedented fury.
Mo Qingcheng gazed at Qin Wentian, "Wentian, can we not return to Chu? I shall accompany you, so let's go roam the Nine Continents."
Qin Wentian gazed at the haggard countenance of Mo Qingcheng, feeling stabs of pain in his heart. Her beautiful eyes were as clear as before. She had ignored the dangers within, disregarding her life and entering the Dark Forest just to warn him not to return to Chu.
"Silly girl..." Qin Wentian planted a kiss on Mo Qingcheng's forehead, as he hugged her even closer. "Qingcheng, I, Qin Wentian, am beyond blessed to have you by my side. However, I cannot abandon Chu."
Mo Qingcheng's body shook, her eyes tearing up again, but this time around, a radiant smile of incomparable brilliance lighted up her face. She understood what he was trying to say.
Everything was worth it, Mo Qingcheng already knew what Qin Wentian's answer would be. Receiving the answer she seeked, from this moment onwards she was willing to accompany him no matter where he went. Be it lording over the heavens or barging into the gates of hell. She would not hesitate, so long as Qin Wentian was by her side.
Qin Wentian inclined his head, staring into the horizons, in the direction of Chu.
He, Qin Wentian, made a vow. Regardless of the cost, he would turn the Royal Clan of Chu into history.