AGM 568 - Grand Nihility Thousand Imprint
The ox demon bellowed with laughter when he heard Qin Wentian's words! "Release the wills of all your Mandates which you are proficient with for me to take a look!"
Qin Wentian didn't say anything more and unleashed all four of his Mandates. The ox demon then stated, "In order to lower the difficulty of the trial, I will allow you to pick the type of innate technique. An example would be sword-type techniques, illusion-type techniques, demonification-type techniques. Consider carefully, this is a trial of the Cavern of Life and Death and isn't a joke. If you fail, you will definitely die. As the guardian of this area, I have to follow the rules set by the Immortal Martial Realm."
Since Qin Wentian already made his decision to attempt the trial once more, he no longer had any needless burdens nor worries in his heart. He started to contemplate, with his comprehensions and insight gained in recent years, he had used his Mandates and created his own innate technique. His halberd arts, and the spear arts he derived from them, were things of his own creation and hence were extremely suited to him. He had even cultivated the Nine Ultimate Arts of Grand Xia before. An example was the Bloodcurse Imprint, but because Qin Wentian wasn't proficient in the Mandate of Blood or Mandate of Curses, he wasn't able to master the technique to the large-success stage.
He was very clear that if one wanted to achieve exemplary perfection in innate techniques, the Mandates one comprehended were of paramount importance. The Mandates comprehended must match with the type of innate techniques one wanted to cultivate in. For him, although the first three of his Mandates could all meld together into his palm arts, the power he exploded forth with was still limited. His halberd art was powerful and his sword art was mighty. What he was lacking was a good palm art!
"I'll choose palm-type innate techniques," Qin Wentian replied.
"Okay, wait here." The Ox demon walked into the cavern once more. This time, Qin Wentian seriously contemplated the cavern only to see that in the interior of it, a stone wall suddenly glowed, turning a pure golden hue as it transformed into a library that seemed akin to a treasury. The ox demon then entered it acting as though it was searching for something.
Although the ox demon knew that Qin Wentian was watching, it did nothing to restrict him. Qin Wentian was truly taken aback. He could now confirm some of the rumors circulating outside regarding the Immortal Martial Realm. The master of the Immortal Martial Realm should most likely be an existence at the immortal level, but it was unknown whether he was still alive. If not, there was no way such a vast separate world could be under his control. The entire Immortal Martial Realm was akin to a gigantic treasure, yet the powerful sects and supreme clans didn't covet it? There must be an unfathomably powerful force restraining their actions.
And after some time, the glow from the cavern dimmed as the ox demon walked out. It stared at Qin Wentian, "You can enter now. This time, I will give you a day worth of time. You will pass if you comprehend the palm technique within the span of allocated time and if you fail, just die."
"Luckily there's a day worth of time this time around," Qin Wentian sighed in his heart. If there were only two hours, he could probably just commit suicide. He knew very well how long he needed to truly comprehend his innate techniques previously.
A day could already be considered very short. But what's fortunate was that there should be something for him to gain comprehension from, akin to the black eagle when he took his first trial.
Qin Wentian stepped into the cavern once again. Astral light flashed and indeed as he expected, the place he appeared in wasn't in the interior of the cavern. Astral light constituted an image that somehow brought his perspective into a separate space.
In this space Qin Wentian saw a silhouette. This silhouette had its back facing him and was standing in the air. Both its palms were incomparably resplendent with terrifying streams of astral light interweaving and revolving around in an extremely stable manner.
And at this very moment, the arms of this figure moved. It lifted its hands and blasted out forwards with its palms. That palm strike seemed to slam against the dome of heavens, with power enough to shatter even the heavenly bodies and astral constellations.
"BOOM!" Above in the skies, a gigantic palm imprint appeared, the impression was so deep that it was as though it was branded directly into the sky. The sight of that palm caused a chill in Qin Wentian's heart. Although the palm strike didn't land on anything, the might that blasted out from it was incomparably terrifying, to the point where it could even leave a marking on the sky. Was there even anything this palm imprint couldn't destroy?
That figure retracted its palms before blasting out once again, relentlessly repeating the same movement. Above in the skies, a countless number of extremely clear gigantic palm imprints blotted out the skies. Even the heavens themselves were trembling as though they would soon break apart from that crushing might.
"Such a pure and unadulterated palm art, I can't even tell which Mandates were used. Or more accurately, this palm-type innate technique was the purest type of palm techniques that was able to meld with any kind of Martial Mandate. The stronger the user is, the stronger the might exuded will be," Qin Wentian mused.
There were no secrets to this palm art, no method of circulating force. The only scene he was shown was the figure repeatedly blasting out the same palm strike in the exact same manner. Was repetition the key? The continual stacking of power? He had to comprehend his own insights from this, insights that belonged only to him. Only then would he be able to comprehend a palm art suited for him from that essence of the palm art the figure utilized in the scene.
The myriad numbers of innate techniques were all created by humans. For stronger innate techniques, they were originally created by experts before undergoing countless refinement, becoming more perfect with every alteration. Qin Wentian understood this very clearly in his heart.
For example, he had cultivated halberd arts for a very long time. The halberd art he had created before could be considered quite weak, but as he gradually grew stronger, the halberd art of his creation evolved with him as well. Now, not only was the might of his halberd art extremely terrifying, it could even bewilder the hearts of others, forcing a dream upon them.
As he thought of this, Qin Wentian stretched out his palm. He recalled the Thousand-Hands Imprint he once cultivated in the Emperor Star Academy. Lifting his hands, he blasted out towards the air as he used the most rudimentary will from the Mandate of Force to coat it. However, despite his current level, the might the Thousand-Hand Imprints could generate was still limited. If he wanted to use this as a base, he had to evolve this.
Qin Wentian's aura changed as he released the will of his Mandate of Demons which was at the Perfection Boundary. He exuded loftiness, arrogance, coldness, contempt. He stood there seemingly unexcelled by all in this world.
He slammed out one more palm strike, causing the air to rumble. With the stacking of power - the additional infusion from the will of the Mandate of Demons, the palm's strength was obviously stronger.
"The final stance of the Thousand-Hands Imprint was the Great Thousand-Hand Imprint and this was the quintessence of the entire set of palm techniques. Back then in the Emperor Star Academy, I was simply too weak. But now, things are different. The quintessence of this should be able to fuse with my Mandate of Force. The Thousand-Palm Imprint can manifest tens of thousands of palm imprints, and as for my second level insight into the Mandate of Force, it is Void Vibration. If I can make these tens of thousands of palm imprints superimpose and stack, and then compressed them into one, transforming it into a vibrational shock wave, the power unleashed would be multiplied by at least a hundredfold."
As he thought of this, Qin Wentian began to use the Thousand-Hands Imprint as a base as he repeatedly sent out one palm strike after another, mirroring the unknown figure. The two of them continuously struck out, but after a period of time, Qin Wentian's palm strike still had no way to leave an imprint in the sky.
In the blink of an eye, a day had almost passed. Currently, Qin Wentian's palm arts were evidently much more powerful compared to before. Blasting forth with a palm, the Thousand-Palms Imprint transformed into streams of chaotic currents that ravaged this entire space, causing both heavens and earth to shake. The might exuded was incredibly terrifying.
Especially when he added his will from the Mandate of Demons and unleashed the palm strike using divine energy, the might generated was far more destructive and violent. But despite that, his palm strikes were still unable to leave a mark in the sky. He knew that to pass this test, one's palm art must reach the level of leaving behind a mark. That was the symbol of having passed this test.
"Time's up, I failed." Qin Wentian resignedly put his palms down. A day worth of time was simply too short, it was too difficult to reach the level of leaving a mark in the sky.
"Focus on comprehending, I've forgotten to tell you that this cavern is actually a grand illusion-scape and will make you feel that the flow of time is faster than normal. In fact, only two hours have passed."
The Ox demon's voice drifted over, his words causing Qin Wentian to be stunned as he cursed, "Are you playing around with me?"
"Hmph, how can the words of this lord be playing around? If you don't pass this trial after a day, you will die without a doubt. It's only because you are in an illusion-scape that you would have a wrong concept about the rate of time flowing. This is just like a dreamscape," the cold snort of the ox demon resounded out.
Qin Wentian believed it, sometimes when one was in a dream, it felt that they experienced an entire lifetime but in fact, only a single instant had passed. Back then in the Royal Tomb, he had already experienced this feeling before extremely clearly.
However, this ox demon was extremely devious, it actually didn't tell him beforehand. But luckily, he still had time remaining to continue gaining comprehension.
"The differences between things like illusion-scape, dreamscape, and reality is just a matter of perspective," Qin Wentian silently mused. He continued repeating the movement, and attempted to infuse his will from the Mandate of Dream into his palm art, hoping that he would be able to succeed, qualitatively evolving it just like his halberd art.
It was extremely difficult, he needed to achieve a complete fusion. But for the Great Thousand-Hand Imprints, the myriad of palm imprints manifested each had a different frequency. And as for his vibrational shockwaves, it was insanely difficult to achieve a complete fusion with the myriad of palm imprints.
"Pulsation, I must find the same frequency of their pulsation. This is similar to the great tidal waves of the oceans. Whenever the flowing water reaches a certain frequency, they would build up together and erupt forth with an indomitable momentum. If my Void Vibrational shock wave can find 'that instant' and fuse completely with my Thousand-Palms Imprint, compressing completely into one, how powerful would that be?"
Qin Wentian soon returned to that self-immersion state as he forgot the flow of time. Gradually, his palm art became increasingly profound as the might generated got more and more terrifying.
Qin Wentian unceasingly blasted out palm strikes into the air. He exploded forth with thunderous booms and boundless might. His palm imprints gradually started to condense together and the tens of thousands imprints became only a few hundred, a few hundred gradually condensed into over ten. Although the number of palm imprints lessened, their strength evidently increased by another tier. Before this his palm strikes were akin to the casual movement of water in the ocean. After this process of continuously refining, they started to resemble great tidal waves that could build upon one another's momentum, slamming onto the shore with crushing force. Streams of formless energy created vibrational shockwaves that fused within his palm arts, stacking upon each other, building up power before erupting forth at the last instant.
In the ninth day Qin Wentian spent in the illusion-scape, the figure before him was still repeating its actions. Qin Wentian similarly mirrored its movements and thunderous booming sounds reverberated in the space. Streams of heaven-shaking and earth-shattering qi flow circulated about and at the last instant, they all condensed into a single palm strike that erupted upwards into the sky, branding it with a mark.
Qin Wentian didn't stop; he continued practicing and relentlessly left behind palm-marks in the skies. And at the last instant before time was up, when Qin Wentian blasted forth with his palm again, at the very moment when the torrential qi flows converged together, no palm imprint manifested. There was simply nothing at all.
Abruptly, a world-shattering sound thundered out as an incomparably gargantuan palm imprint covered the entire sky, branding its mark there, sufficient to cause the hearts of all to tremble.
Qin Wentian smiled. The might of this palm strike was even stronger than his self-created halberd art.
"This innate technique, I shall name it the 'Grand Nihility Thousand Imprint,'" Qin Wentian stated silently in his heart. However, the consumption rate of energy for this attack was simply too fearsome, the entire supply of energy in all four of his Yuanfu had been completely drained.
However, since he had not died, this meant that he passed the test within the allocated amount of time.
"You can continue your cultivation in there," the voice of the ox demon drifted over, as though he knew what Qin Wentian was thinking. Joy bloomed in Qin Wentian's heart. The astral energy in this cavern was exceedingly saturated and was a heavenly place for cultivation. How could he miss out on such a good chance? He instantly sat down and started cultivating..
Only when all four of his Yuanfu were filled up to the brim did Qin Wentian exit the cavern. Right now, he saw the ox demon smiling at him. "Your strength improved yet again, why aren't you thanking me yet? Or do you want to have another go at the trials?"
"Are there any prizes for consecutively passing the trials three times in the Cavern of Life and Death?" Qin Wentian furrowed his brow as he asked.
"Of course, if you pass three trials consecutively, I will send you to a wonderful place with another challenge. If you can pass that challenge, there will naturally be some very good rewards waiting for you."
"Okay for my next trial, I will pick the Cavern of Mandates, I want to pick the Mandate of Force." Qin Wentian's furrowed brow smoothed as he relaxed. And as if he was mimicking the ox demon, a wide smile appeared on his face. He stared at the ox demon as he released his will from the Mandate of Force. It was at the transformation boundary of the second insight.
Staring at Qin Wentian's smile, the smile on the ox's face vanished completely as a strange expression appeared on its face.
"I was tricked?!" The ox demon cursed as it glared at Qin Wentian. "Seems like your Mandate of Force is already at the peak of the transformation boundary and is already on the verge of a breakthrough. Intentionally fishing information from me and even daring to pull a fast one on this lord? Brat, you better remember this!"
After speaking, the ox demon turned and entered the cavern once again. The radiant smile on Qin Wentian's face only got wider and wider!