Chapter Fifteen: Greater Path Golden Core
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
That last ‘kind-hearted’ had everyone’s already rather ugly expressions twisting further. If it were any other person, there would definitely be people who wouldn’t be able to hold back their anger right now. Yet, not a single person dared act in public. Their fear of Chu HuanZhi was imprinted deeply into their hearts. If they did something and Chu HuanZhi found out, the consequences would be unimaginable.
Most importantly… this was a rare opportunity. Usually, when a cultivator formed their Golden Core, they would shut themselves away in secluded cultivation. Even if someone wanted to support a junior by letting them witness the formation of their Golden Core, their Path would usually only end up being a Lesser Path.
Three thousand different Paths, and Greater Paths were hard to come by. They were even rarer than Heaven Spiritual Roots.
Witnessing the process of a Greater Path cultivator forming their Golden Core was something that they wouldn’t ever get a chance to see.
This opportunity benefited them greatly, especially the Foundation Establishment cultivators. After all, who didn’t dream of one day forming their own Golden Core?
This meant that no matter how unwilling they were to accept it, how envious and hateful they were, they had nothing to refute that this was all up to their own fortune. They could only watch as Chu WuQing waved his advantages in their faces, going from a measly, weak Level Eight Qi Condensation stage cultivator to someone that no Chu Clan member would dare offend.
That’s right, none of them, even Chu YunShu.
Since this Opportunity locked down the entire Lower Realm, preventing all Golden Core stage cultivators from entering, it made people wonder if this Opportunity could only be inherited by someone at Foundation Establishment stage.
Those who formed their core in the Lower Realm might lose their chance at the Opportunity. Though this was only a theory, and the chance was minimal, no one dared risk it!
Chu WuQing had stepped directly on everyone’s weak spot. He had made everyone conflicted, hating him for it yet deeply envious. If only they could’ve brought a peak Foundation Establishment stage follower! If Chu HuanZhi was their father, then they would definitely…
Chu WuDan stared at Chu WuQing venomously, yet he was helpless. All the preparations he and his father had made had become a joke. His only chance of killing Chu WuQing was now, while Chu You was forming his Golden Core.
However, he definitely wouldn’t be able to do it. If he killed Chu WuQing in public, their line wouldn’t only decline… they would all be killed. Plus, if he wanted to kill Chu WuQing, he’d have to get through the battle array first, and that would mean exposing his trump card – that he had become enlightened to his Path.
His previous arrogance and preparations were all a joke. He had swung his fist with all his might, yet the impact had sapped all the force out of it, as it landed on cotton. Was there anything more frustrating than that?
He could only comfort himself: don’t worry, three years in the Lower Realm, there’s no way Chu WuQing could bring his Golden Core follower everywhere. He’d definitely get his chance, especially during the Inter-Sect Tournament in the Lower Realm!
The peak grade spirit stone was in a hidden grotto-heaven. This grotto-heaven was overseen by the Ten Great Sects of the Lower Realm. The only way to enter it was to become a core disciple of one of the Ten Great Sects and claim a place in the top ten of the tournament, receiving the chance to enter the grotto-heaven as a reward.
Chu You soon sat down, cross-legged and began to focus according to Chu WuQing’s orders while Chu WuQing and the others retreated thirty steps away.
Practically the moment Chu You sat, the thin ambient spiritual energy in the empty area suddenly grew dense. Everyone could feel the spiritual energy rushing and gathering, coming from all directions.
Immediately, a spiritual tempest formed above Chu You’s head. It swirled so fast, it almost seemed to bring with it a burning friction, as if the air around it was flickering with sparks and embers.
This commotion caught the attention of Chu YunShu and the other Late Foundation Establishment stage Chu clan disciples. They raised their heads to look at the sky practically simultaneously. As they expected, two cyclones twisted their way up from the ground, heading straight for the clouds. Thunderclouds even gathered in the sky!
This commotion had almost all the Chu Clan’s Late Foundation Establishment stage cultivators thinking that someone was about to condense their Golden Core into a Nascent Soul. However, the fact that it was impossible to form a Nascent Soul in the Lower Realm, they had then dismissed the idea.
This cyclone had appeared in the direction of the empty area they had been transported to. Who was it that had hid their strength so deep, even deeper than Chu YunShu! They had gotten into the Lower Realm in such a despicable manner and then formed their Golden Core to make sure they were able to overwhelm all other participants. This was practically cheating!
One of them mumbled, “Don’t worry… The Opportunity likely will not let Golden Core cultivators compete for it. Even though this person can dominate in terms of sheer power, but they’ve lost the right to compete as well.” Or so they all hoped!
A few of them exchanged a look. “Let’s go.” Then they all headed towards the empty area together.
Meanwhile, Chu YunShu, who was already far ahead, suspended in the air on his jade flute above the rivers in the distance, raised his head, glancing at the gathering storm clouds. “Greater Path Resonance?” His form flickered, taking him one li away instantly as he hurried back towards the empty area.
When he arrived, he realized that the person forming their core was someone he had never seen before, and the watching Chu clan disciples all had inexplicably strange expressions on their faces.
But even if the person forming their Golden Core wasn’t a Chu clan disciple, they didn’t lower their guards. Perhaps this person was someone of the Lower Realm who just so happened to be in secluded cultivation here.
Being able to reach such a level in a Lower Realm was a clear indicator of just how talented this person was. If they could bring this cultivator under their fold and use them as their own, then it would be sure to exponentially increase their chances in these trials!
Though this person was an immensely talented Golden Core cultivator, he was still from the Lower Realm. They might only be Foundation Establishment cultivators themselves, but they were core disciples of the strongest sect in a Middle Realm.
Plus, this realm technically belonged to the Chu Clan, so this Golden Core cultivator should naturally be a servant of the Chu Clan.
They had confidence that they would be able to convince an inhabitant of the Lower Realm, inviting them to the Chu Clan as a guest. Plus, they were more in need of watching a cultivator form their core than these other spectators. They were already in Late Foundation Establishment stage, yet they hadn’t even begun to grasp the barest hints of enlightenment of their path. They were desperate, how could they not be? Whatever they could glean from someone else’s Golden Core formation was priceless information to them.
No matter what kind of thoughts were running through their heads, at that moment, everyone was watching Chu You and the skies behind him.
Chu WuQing, too, gazed unblinkingly at what was happening. In his last life, his arms had been crippled and cursed, preventing his cultivation from advancing. Chu HuanZhi had paid a hefty cost to force his cultivation level up, and his Path wasn’t one he had carved out for himself either.
He had gained a Path below even Lesser Paths, a Pseudo Path. A Pseudo Path was one that was gained by having another fill in one’s Path with their own enlightenment and Path, thus creating a Golden Core using someone else’s Path. A Path like that wouldn’t resonate with the world around them and would forever be prevented from Soul Transformation.
His Pseudo Path was Chu HuanZhi’s Path of Slaughter.
The Path of Slaughter was one the Greater Paths, and Chu HuanZhi had reached the highest peaks of this Path. That was why he was able to defeat Void Comprehension stage cultivators as a Soul Transformation stage cultivator. This led to Chu WuQing’s Pseudo Path being stronger than most Lesser and Intermediate Paths, maintaining his position as a cannon fodder.
This was also why many Foundation Establishment cultivators would choose a Pseudo-Path, relying on those stronger than themselves for their Golden Cores, allowing their very lives to be held in the palm of these stronger cultivators, even if it meant they would never be able to reach Soul Transformation stage.
Yet, there were far too many Foundation Establishment prodigies who would never be able to even reach Nascent Soul stage, never mind Soul Transformation. It was simply too difficult. Plus, even more people wouldn’t even be able to grasp the very edges of Golden Core stage. It was far too difficult to reach enlightenment of the Path, the concept was simply too abstruse, which was why so many people, with no hope of forming their own Golden Core, would be so desperate for a Pseudo Core.
As for those prodigies who were used to enjoying the cultivation speed that their spiritual roots brought them, they refused to accept the Lesser Paths they had cultivated, Paths that made it hard for them to even try at Nascent Soul stage. Thus, their resolve wavered, and they would rather become the servant of a Greater Path, giving them a Pseudo Core, rather than fade into the background as an ordinary cultivator.
However, this life was different. In this life, Chu WuQing had yet to experience the forced, artificial advancement in cultivation, yet he still had the experience and understanding brought by the Greater Path of Slaughter. It could be said that if he was willing, he could truly step onto that Greater Path of Slaughter.
This meant he could try and understand different Paths, and even if he was unable to achieve enlightenment of a Greater Path, he still had the Path of Slaughter as an alternate option. No matter what, he would be about to step onto a Greater Path.
However, watching someone else form their core would always have immense benefits, especially since Chu You’s Path was the Greater Path of Hellfire, so Chu WuQing still watched carefully.
That was when the hellfire that covered Chu You’s body, acting as clothes, suddenly erupted into a sea of flames. Vengeful spirits seemed to leap out of this sea of hellfire, charging at the sky. Instantly, a feeling of foreboding and danger consumed everyone’s hearts, causing them all to retreat to a li away.
Meanwhile, the cyclone created by spiritual energy thickened, condensing into water, showering the area with droplets of rain composed solely of spiritual energy. However, when this blessed rain fell upon the blueish burning hellfire, it began to burn even brighter, even higher.
Soon enough, something shocking happened.
The storm clouds darkened, thickening, and suddenly spat out a bolt of lightning that descended with an overwhelming force and presence. The sheer intensity of the aura created by this bolt of lightning brought the terror of a dangerous calamity to even those who were merely watching.
The storm clouds in the sky weren’t a symbol of the Greater Path Resonance everyone expected, but the precursor of the Heavens’ attempt at smiting that cultivator from existence. No wonder, the ghastly fires of the underworld, the Path that went against the Heavens was naturally something that this world of cultivation refused to allow to exist.
As for his Path of Slaughter, he didn’t need to think to know it wasn’t something the Heavens was willing to let live.
When this lightning hit Chu You, fire and electricity flashed, expanding and blinding everyone momentarily, even their divine sense. However, when the light faded, it revealed an even more terrifying Chu You. Not only was Chu You completely unscathed, the intensity of the fear-inducing aura around him had increased dramatically. The two spiritual tempests had doubled to four, once again sending shock throughout the crowd.
The spiritual energy in the tempest continuously fed into and nourished Chu You. The spiritual energy was so compact that it almost felt like a Golden Core rapidly spinning.
This spiritual energy absorption lasted a full six hours!
Was the spiritual energy of a Golden Core cultivator who stepped onto a Greater Path, forming a True Core so powerful and abundant?
Chu WuQing’s eyes slowly lit up. He couldn’t wait to know what sights his own core formation would produce. A Greater Path Golden Core would point one straight towards Great Ascension stage. Though he wouldn’t get a chance to reach Great Ascension, this didn’t prevent him from enjoying his moment of delight.
After yet another four hours, Chu You’s absorption speed dramatically increased. Suddenly, everyone heard the cry of ghosts, feeling as if they had all suddenly plummeted into the darkness of the underworld. It was almost like they weren’t in a Lower Realm watching the formation of a Golden Core, but being pursued by millions of hungry, vengeful spirits.
After the ghostly cry, the rumbling storm clouds in the sky abruptly disappeared, and the spiritual tempest also died. The oppressive aura of a Golden Core cultivator exuded from Chu You. And in his dark eyes, there seemed to burn a blueish hellfire, adding a hint of darkness to his handsome, bright and masculine appearance.
Chu You stood.
One of the late Foundation Establishment stage cultivators approached and the others immediately followed suit. “Greetings, friend. Are you an unaffiliated cultivator? I am a core disciple from the Middle Realm elite sect, the Chu Clan, and can give you the resources to reach Nascent Soul stage, as well as the best cultivation manuals to make sure your talent will be fully realized, so long as you, my friend, accompany me and help me in my travels.”
Another of the Chu Clan disciples refused to be beaten. “My friend, I can see that you use your power to cover yourself, leaving your chest bare. Your straightforward and free demeanour is quite admirable, but Golden Core stage is not the highest level of cultivation. There are many higher stages. If you, my friend, were to go to another realm in the future, your straightforwardness will draw naught but disaster and mockery. I have a set of enchanted robes that I can gift to you, my friend.”
In the Lower Realm, resources for cultivation were scarce, and artifacts and elixirs were even harder to come by. An artifact that would be viciously fought over in the Lower Realm could probably be bought anywhere in the AnYang Realm.
Yet at the same time, Chu You’s Golden Core formation had also drawn the attention of the Great Sects of this realm. One should know that Golden Core stage was the highest stage in the Lower Realm! Any one of them could completely change the balance between factions.
Instantly, several arcs of light flew out, heading towards where the Golden Core formation phenomenon had been sighted. They wanted to know just who it was that had formed their core. If it was someone from another sect, then they could build a rapport with them. If it was a disciple from a weak sect, they could use their resources to tempt them into joining their own sects.
If it was an unaffiliated cultivator, then that was even easier. The position of guest elder in a Great Sect would give an unaffiliated cultivator access to resources they could barely imagine.
From Chu You finishing his core formation to him standing up, being surrounded by chattering people, only ten moments had passed. As Chu WuQing had not yet given an order, Chu You had not moved.
It wasn’t until arcs of light appeared on the horizon, signalling the arrival of newcomers that Chu WuQing spoke, “Chu You, behave, come back to me now.”
Chu You, who seemed unmovable in everyone’s eyes, immediately moved, arriving next to Chu WuQing in a flash.
It wasn’t until then that the Late Foundation Establishment stage cultivators realized why the other disciples had such strange expressions. Chu WuQing had brought this cultivator with him into the Lower Realm, no wonder… he didn’t care about anything they said.
As for their attempts at recruitment, it was a complete joke, one they had performed for everyone to see.
“Harrumph.” The cultivator that talked about Chu You not having clothes to wear, only covering himself with his own hellfire sneered, making to leave immediately. However, he had only just turned when he saw the arcs of lights that drew close.
The arcs of lights landed, revealing four Golden Core stage elders.
Upon seeing Chu You, the four immediately spoke. “Greetings, friend. Our sect is willing to invite you to join with our greatest sincerity. We will let you choose from any of the uninhabited grotto-heavens in our sect and bring in any cultivator you want as a core disciple.”
As soon as this was said, shock overcame the faces of all the Chu Clan disciples, apart from Chu YunShu.
One of the Late Foundation Establishment stage disciples, who thought that they were better than everyone else with their cultivation level, wasn’t able to take it anymore and yelled, “Chu WuQing, you’re cheating! I can’t believe that you flaunt the rules like this as the son of the Clan Head! Someone like you shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the trials. You’re the source of everything wrong in the Chu Clan!”
However, what he was truly thinking was how great it would be if his father was the Clan Head, allowing him to flaunt the rules and bring a Peak Foundation Establishment stage cultivator with him.
If only that Greater Path Golden Core stage cultivator was his! Cultivators could fight over resources, stealing artifacts, elixirs, herbs and materials from each other, but a cultivator that was stronger than him, a living person, how was he meant to steal that!