With a single sweep of the blade, the arm was sliced clean through!
A blade's glint rushed past. The crimson-scaled arm that had been reaching for Wang Baole was chopped off at the wrist. The palm disintegrated, transforming into streams of illusory fresh blood that started to rush back towards the broken arm.
It was clear that wasn't going to happen. The blade that had sliced through the arm shone again, and an overpowering force descended like an invisible hand, sweeping at the blood that intended to return to the arm.
The blood changed the direction of its charge instantly, rushing towards Wang Baole. The remnant will of its original owner had been wiped clean, and it now belonged to no one. It emanated a strange power and seemed to have been transformed into some form of blood supplement. It collided with Wang Baole's Lightning Core, Dark Core, and his physical body, and entered all three smoothly!
Wang Baole shook at the sudden intrusion. He had struggled to maintain a stalemate with the planet earlier and had expended all his energy doing that. But his foggy, exhausted mind felt as if it had just been given a dose of some powerful pills. His mind cleared instantly. The sudden transformation was startling, but he had no time to think too deeply about it. The blood that had suddenly surged through his body was unimaginably rich with vitality.
His Lightning Core and Dark Core, nourished by this unexpectedly rich source, appeared to transform into a vast ocean that flooded his mind. A huge drum was sounding inside his head. He trembled at the sudden descent of luck upon him. Bolstered by the flood of vitality, he roared and directed it all towards achieving a breakthrough.
His body began to give off a bright light as the beginnings of a Stellar Nascent Soul were slowly forming inside his body. Soon, the power of a Stellar Nascent Soul erupted from his person. He seemed to have transformed into a star at that instant, and his Spirit Qi only continued to grow more powerful.
Thunderous booms continued to resonate in his head, roars that rose to the heavens!
He could feel power growing inside him. His breathing quickened, and he gave it his best shot as he unleashed everything he had in him—his cultivation, his physical power, his Lightning Core, and his Dark Core—and attempted to breakthrough!
Wang Baole looked like a star that was about to be born. The light emanating from his body, and the halo around him, continued to grow in size and brightness. Soon, the planet before him began to tremble. The stalemate was about to be broken. The power of Wang Baole's star was about to be unleashed fully. A star was about to be born!
Everything might seem like it was taking place in slow motion, but in reality, the entire sequence of events—from Chen Qing's first blow to Wang Baole's absorption of the blood and finally to the eruption of a star's aura—took place within the blink of an eye. Just as the power of his star was about to be fully unleashed…
A howl filled with pain and fury pierced through the starlit space. It was a sound that inspired fear and awe. Wang Baole's spirit energy immediately showed signs of instability.
"Why are you still here after delivering the goods. Are you planning to stay for dinner?" Chen Qing's cold voice resonated through the air almost simultaneously. It was followed by the glint of a blade, appearing suddenly and vanishing the next instant. A pained scream rang out.
"Get lost. Make another sound, and I'll kill you!" Chen Qing snorted and then said coldly as the pained cry resonated in the air.
The abyss trembled, and the patch of universe that they were in seemed to shake. It was then that the screaming suddenly stopped. Despite its anger and resentment, it dared not make another sound. It had no choice but to leave.
The maimed arm disappeared alongside the presence. It was as if the unknown entity had never been there. Immediately after, things began running again in this patch of the universe.
With no one holding him back, Wang Baole let loose a fierce howl that rippled through space. The light gathering outside his body flared and surged outwards. It was blinding and seemed to go on for miles. The ball of light was shining brightly like the sun and the birth of a star at the same time. Cracking sounds, like pieces of eggshell breaking off, echoed in space.
"I said, break through!" Wang Baole roared. His cultivation erupted instantly, breaking through the perfected Core Formation realm and entering the Nascent Soul realm!
A star's power rose to the heavens the moment he entered the Nascent Soul realm. One could almost see a tiny person inside the glaring sphere of light stretching all four limbs. That was the Nascent Soul!
One of the five great legendary Nascent Souls, a forbidden art, the Stellar Nascent Soul!
A sense of unprecedented power grew inside Wang Baole. He felt as if he had the power to master the stars and to travel through space. Wang Baole's breathing quickened. He could see a familiar figure in the distance. There was a gourd in his hand, and he raised it at Wang Baole, like a greeting.
"Senior Brother…" Wang Baole's eyes widened as he murmured. The familiar figure didn't wait for him to speak further. With a flap of his sleeve, the planet before Wang Baole, as well as the abyss, began to tremble. Their forms blurred before Wang Baole's eyes, then shattered into pieces!
An incredible force rushed at Wang Baole, swept him away, and pulled him downwards into what seemed like an endless fall. Then, it vanished.
Before it disappeared completely, Chen Qing's voice rang out inside Wang Baole's fuzzy head.
"My dear junior brother, you don't have much time left. I'll… be coming to take you away soon."
The abyss faded, bringing with it Wang Baole. Everything faded to black. Chen Qing lifted the gourd to his lips and took a sip. He seemed pleased as he turned and started singing.
"When the heavens and earth separate, the cycle of fate stops…"
"Knowing what happened in the past, the one who suffers now is…"
"Knowing what's to come in the future, the one who is working hard now is…"
It was an ancient song that sounded older when he sang it. Just as he was about to fade into the darkness, he suddenly froze. He turned his head, as if he had just noticed something, and stared into the distance.
His eyes seemed to travel through space as they landed on the Solar System and the ancient sword inside the galaxy. He stared for a long while before suddenly laughing.
*Such arrogance when it's just a mere Star-Seeding Dao. So be it. It'll serve as a supplement for my junior brother when it matures. Not bad at all.* Chen Qing smiled, then turned and walked away, fading into the darkness.
On the sword tip of the ancient sword, where the three great palaces were found, Wang Baole reappeared outside the Dao Disciple's Palace amidst a blinding light. He immediately lifted his head and stared around him, his breathing quickening.
"Senior Brother…" Wang Baole murmured, then fell silent. He recalled everything that had happened since they had set off for the battleship. He began to realize the things that hadn't made sense after some careful thinking. His final battle with Daoist You Ran, especially, made him realize something.
As Wang Baole was deep in thought, he had no idea about the shock that Little Missy was experiencing inside the mask. In fact, shock was too mild a word for what she was feeling right now.
*This little fatty… he actually managed to cultivate a Stellar Nascent Soul!*
*My father told me that only madmen would choose to cultivate this Nascent Soul. This awful fatty…* Little Missy was going mad. It wasn't due to jealousy, it was due to the words she had said previously that she now remembered. The feeling of her words holding some sort of power that turned mere words into reality overcame her again. As long as she said something was beyond his reach, he would somehow achieve it. Little Missy was beginning to feel slightly terrified.
"What's so amazing about him, anyway? He simply has a really powerful senior brother!" Little Missy finally murmured, almost fearfully, to herself after some time.
After some time, once Wang Baole finally made sense of things, he finally took a deep breath. The series of events led him to an important discovery.
*So, Senior Brother enjoys spying. He's been watching all this while!* At that thought, Wang Baole surveyed his surroundings again. His eyes fell on the third palace. He blinked, then coughed suddenly.
"Senior Brother, won't you help out your handsome little junior brother and unlock the third palace for him?" Wang Baole said, then waited with great anticipation. Nothing happened. He thought for a bit, then spoke again, the expression on his face wide-eyed and ready to please.
"My dearest senior brother, this is your dearest, most precious junior brother, Wang Baole, who's been living a lonesome, hard life for years. Senior Brother, your cultivation is beyond parallel and your swordsmanship amazing. Please help me unlock the third palace.
"Senior Brother, stop with the tests. Just unlock the third palace.
"Senior Brother, I'm getting angry!
"Senior Brother… are you still there?"