*What kind of stupid legend is this? Choosing this Nascent Soul is pure suicide!* Wang Baole gnashed his teeth and whined secretly. Tons of information about the Stellar Nascent Soul flooded his brain, gradually expanding his understanding about the Planet realm.
Based on what Wang Baole had first studied in the Dark Sect's records, the Planet realm was the first great realm at the perfected stage that a cultivator could achieve. It was the first ultimate stage, after the Nascent Soul, Soul Conduit, and Spirit Immortal realms.
Cultivators at this realm were unimaginably powerful in both spirit and flesh. After organizing the information that he had obtained during his time at the Dark Sect and what he learned about the Stellar Nascent Soul, Wang Baole was able to piece together a somewhat comprehensive picture about this perfected realm.
The Planet realm was named as such because all Spirit Immortal realm cultivators who wished to achieve a breakthrough in cultivation and enter this first perfected realm had to meld with an actual planet in space!
One might even call it a devouring of a planet. The cultivator was to turn the planet into a part of him. The planet would rest inside his body and become the Dao Foundation through which the cultivator may ascend to the stars. Legends spoke of many civilizations calling this step the Ascent!
That was why every powerful Planet realm cultivator could be considered an actual planet!
The process of devouring and melding with a star was extremely challenging, and failure would result in death. It was a vast chasm that a cultivator had to bridge in his journey of cultivation!
In addition… the size of the planet, its caliber, and any other unique qualities it might possess—including its hidden stores of energy—determined how powerful the Planet realm cultivator would be. A strong Planet realm cultivator could have their way in the universe. They could challenge an Eternal Star realm cultivator and remain glorious in defeat. A weak Planet realm cultivator would only be able to bully weaker cultivators at cultivation realms lower than theirs. They would find cultivators at the same realm to be difficult opponents.
As these thoughts flooded Wang Baole's brain, he was on the verge of tears. He knew that he couldn't blame anyone else for his current predicament. His own talent and genius had landed him in such trouble. They had inspired the Dao Disciple's Palace to jealousy and led it to increase the difficulty of his attempt to break through to the Nascent Soul realm.
Regret filled his heart, but there was nothing he could do about that now. Trapped in a starless abyss, he felt waves of spirit energy ripple around him. In the distance, the abyss stretched on forever. An overpowering, destructive force, which seemed capable of wiping everything out and made his scalp prickle and his entire body shudder involuntarily, approached rapidly. Wang Baole's breathing quickened, the veins in his eyes filled with blood, and his face contorted into a gruesome expression.
"Enlightened!" Wang Baole howled the first word to the sutra, only to be dumbfounded in the next moment. For reasons unknown, the sutra, which had come up useful as a lifesaver on many occasions, didn't respond to his call!
*What's going on?* Wang Baole's eyes went wide with confusion. Perhaps it only worked if he chanted it in his head. He did exactly that, hurriedly, even going to the extent of chanting the next few words that followed. However, the familiar aura that had always descended from the deepest part of the universe didn't make its appearance.
*Is he ignoring me?*
There wasn't enough time for him to think. Wang Baole trembled as the waves of spirit energy around him intensified as the destructive force approached. A stabbing pain spread throughout his body as a glowing sphere of light appeared in the distant darkness before him!
It grew in size, and within a few seconds, Wang Baole heard a deafening rumbling. It sounded like the collapse of stars.
If someone were to stand atop an elevated spot and look over, they would see an enormous ball of fire headed Wang Baole's way!
It wasn't just a mere ball of fire… it was a planet. It wasn't huge compared to other planets, but still significantly large—as big as the moon. Compared to the planet, Wang Baole was but an ant—a speck of dust!
It was still quite a distance away. Nevertheless, the waves of spirit energy around Wang Baole were vibrating violently. Wang Baole shuddered. An alarming sense of danger and death loomed over him, rushing through every part of his body like a tsunami.
*It doesn't seem like a drill!* Wang Baole panicked. His eyes were red. He had no time to think further. From what he had just learned, he knew that he had only once chance. He was either going to attain a breakthrough, or he was… going to die!
There was no way out. The only way was forward!
"Stellar my ass! Do you know how many bizarre entities I have inside my body? Do you think I'm afraid of you?" Wang Baole yelled. He raised his right hand and smacked himself hard on the chest. The devouring seed stirred, the green lotus resting inside the devouring seed swayed, and countless lightning bolts sparked to life as Wang Baole's Lightning Core popped out from his mouth!
Dazzling lightning bolts darted about in the air like silver serpents. The Lightning Core unleashed its full power as it attempted to hold its ground against the force of the charging planet. It was like a grasshopper trying to stop a horse cart. The Lightning Core was no match for the planet at all and began to show signs of shattering as soon as the planet drew near.
Agony surged through Wang Baole's body. With a dark look on his face, he raised his right hand and smacked his chest again without hesitation. With a loud boom, an aura more powerful than the Lightning Core erupted from his body. A sudden chill flooded the area, and black flames swiftly surrounded Wang Baole!
They were Dark Fires!
Wang Baole spat out his second core… the Dark Core!
Waves of spirit energy rose to the skies as his Dark Core joined his Lightning Core to fight back against the planet. It still wasn't enough, but at least they managed to slow the planet down slightly!
Regardless, slowing the planet down wasn't going to help at all. The starlit space before Wang Baole was now enveloped in the light emanating from the approaching, roaring ball of fire that was a planet. He seemed unable to see anything else. There was only the planet headed his way, a sea of fire that stretched on forever into the distance, rushing at him!
The force rushing towards Wang Baole was overwhelming. The Lightning Core began to crack, his Dark Core showed signs of melting, and even his Heart Core was devoured instantly. It seemed like the end for him. Wang Baole was on the edge of unconsciousness. His very life was about to be consumed by the burning, shining planet. It was then that he raised his right hand again and hit his chest, hard.
"If you guys don't make an appearance soon, we're all going to die!" Wang Baole howled. He could feel his life fading. The devouring seed inside his body was the first that failed to withstand the planet's power. It emerged, emanating an incredible power as it transformed into a vortex that then tried to resist the planet's charge. The planet slowed down once again.
Wang Baole's green lotus materialized next, swaying in the air and emanating endless vitality. It joined forces with the vortex to hold the planet back!
He wasn't done yet. At that critical moment, as if it were dragged out like an unwilling hostage, the scabbard resting inside Wang Baole's body materialized. Numerous sharp strands of hexes flew towards the planet!
The planet finally slowed down to a crawl. A stalemate seemed to have been reached. Each moment passed in the stalemate felt like an eternity to Wang Baole.
As the weight of the planet pressed down on Wang Baole, his body shook. His Lightning Core continued to crack while his Dark Core continued to melt. The disintegration of his physical body brought along intense pain, which tortured his mind. As the immense pressure continued, an energy of rebirth began to flow out of his disintegrating cores and envelope him!
It resembled a small flame, weak and faint, and also a star in the midst of formation. The spirit energy it radiated was startling. It was as if a god was being born!
It was… one of the five legendary Nascent Souls, the Stellar Nascent Soul!
The Stellar Nascent Soul continued to absorb the energy given off by Wang Baole's three cores and the planet, and it continued to grow stronger. It was then that, suddenly, the abyss shuddered. An external power seemed to have realized what was going on and was about to stop the Stellar Nascent Soul from being born!
The powerful external force shook the abyss, distorting the fabric of this constructed world with its invasion. It materialized as a large illusory arm covered with red scales. The hand reached out for Wang Baole, meaning to destroy his body and soul and stop the Stellar Nascent Soul from being born!
It was then that… an icy snort suddenly resonated in the air. It was like hearing countless people snorting all at the same time. The sound was deafening!
"Who's the fool who dares stand in the path of my junior brother's breakthrough?"
A sudden glint that seemed capable of cleaving the heavens in two descended rapidly. It swept towards the red arm that was reaching for Wang Baole!
The sword fell!
The arm was chopped off!