Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Staring at the dark shadow for a while, Yang Kai felt rather troubled. He was currently in the middle of his breakthrough. Nevertheless, it was impossible for him to leave this thing in his Knowledge Sea and simply ignore it. The consequences would be dire if it disrupted him at a critical moment.
However, this thing was completely unaffected by the Soul Splitting Saber. He had no idea what it was or where it came from. Logically speaking, it should be a manifestation of someone’s Soul since it could enter his Knowledge Sea, but if that was the case, it didn’t make sense why the Soul Splitting Saber was ineffective against it.
Shifting his gaze away, he looked to the centre of the seven-coloured island. He did not know if the Soul Devouring Insects would be able to restrain it when the Soul Splitting Saber was useless against it. If even the Soul Devouring Insects were unable to deal with it, then Yang Kai did not know how he could either get rid of or kill this black shadow. It was just that, at this point, he could only try everything in his arsenal.
His thoughts flashed and a dense, black cloud of insects immediately swarmed out of the Insect Enslavement Bracelet and enveloped the black shadow under his command.
The black shadow was still slamming against the Soul Warming Lotus’ defences without pause. It ignored the Soul Devouring Insects and was soon covered in them. Clicking sounds rang out, sounding quite creepy.
Yang Kai coldly observed the black shadow’s condition, and a moment later, his expression changed. The Soul Devouring Insects had not disappointed him. They were having some effect on the black shadow, but the effect did not seem to be great. If it had been anybody else’s Soul, they would have fallen apart by now with those Soul Devouring Insects eating away at them like that. On the contrary, the black shadow remained lively and energetic.
Be that as it may, it was enough as long as they had an effect on the black shadow. Yang Kai had been afraid that even the Soul Devouring Insects would prove ineffective against it. The situation might be less than satisfactory, but he could wear down the black shadow with enough time.
With the situation in his Knowledge Sea stabilized for the time being, he checked on the condition of his physical body. He did not know if it was because the issue with the black shadow remained unresolved, but he could not break through that invisible barrier and advance to the next Minor Realm so his aura remained in a constant state of flux.
The concentration of the World Energy in the cave had been significantly reduced and the medicinal efficacies of those Spirit Pills in his abdomen had almost been exhausted too; thus, he had no choice but to replenish them again.
Golden Blood evaporated out of all the pores on his body. His whole body was in so much pain that it felt as though he was being torn apart. He felt slightly depressed in his heart as there had never been an advancement as difficult as this one before.
He was finally experiencing some of the difficulties and challenges that others faced on their cultivation journey and a sense of understanding grew in his heart. Each person’s strength was hard-won; it did not come easily. Every step they took on the path to the peak required ten times or a hundred times more effort and risk than simply stepping back and submitting. Thinking back on his smooth progress up until now, Yang Kai could see that he was certainly lacking something compared to others. The hardship he was facing this time was finally making up for this shortcoming.
While mulling over these thoughts, the physical pain he experienced seemed to reduce considerably. He gradually fell into a peculiar state when all of a sudden, his body gave a jerk. He had distinctly felt a change taking place in his Knowledge Sea; hence, he quickly sent his Soul Avatar back in to investigate the situation.
In the skies above Yang Kai’s Knowledge Sea, the black shadow that was covered in Soul Devouring Insects was screaming up to the sky. Invisible waves of Spiritual Energy spread out, causing the flames to violently surge.
Yang Kai’s expression froze for a moment at this sight; then, he swiftly tried to suppress the abnormality in his Knowledge Sea and calm his mind. Looking in that direction, he saw the black shadow swelling up rapidly. At the same time, an extremely dangerous aura suddenly began fluctuating wildly.
His expression changed drastically and he quickly commanded the Soul Devouring Insects to retreat whilst simultaneously drawing upon the power of the Soul Warming Lotus. A seven-coloured light bloomed brightly, enveloping his entire Knowledge Sea in its radiance.
A loud bang resounded throughout his Knowledge Sea as the black shadow exploded. Black light spread outward as many of the Soul Devouring Insects that could not retreat in time were turned into ash and disappeared in the wind.
Similarly, the shock of the explosion left Yang Kai’s mind reeling in a state of confusion. It felt as though his Soul Avatar was about to collapse, and for a moment, he was completely incapable of thinking at all.
It wasn’t easy, but he finally stabilized his Soul Avatar and composed his emotions. He looked up and was instantly dumbfounded by the sight. There were bits and pieces of pitch-black energy scattered across his Knowledge Sea, looking as if somebody had splashed black ink into the flames. Moreover, those ‘ink drops’ were exuding an extremely powerful Demon Essence. They were also spreading into the surroundings at an astonishing speed.
Looking at this scene scared Yang Kai out of his wits. He did not know what would happen if he allowed these pitch-black ‘ink drops’ to spread into the surroundings, but judging by the Demon Essence being scattered around, he could guess that it would not end well for him.
Panicking, he rushed to stop the progression with his Divine Sense, but to his despair, his Spiritual Energy was instantly converted the moment it came into contact with those ‘ink drops’. As this process progressed, it caused the violent and malevolent urges in his heart to emerge and a sense of hostility to grow.
Even the purifying light blooming from the seven-coloured island had a hard time stopping the pitch-black ‘ink drops’ from converting his Knowledge Sea.
After several frantic moments, Yang Kai watched helplessly as his Knowledge Sea was completely dyed black. The Demon Essence in his Knowledge Sea was overwhelming. The small spot in the middle of his Knowledge Sea that was protected by the Seven Coloured Soul Warming Lotus became the last pure land left.
Yang Kai could distinctly sense that his mental state had undergone some subtle yet unexplainable changes, but it had yet to reach the level of a full-blown cultivation dissonance. It seemed that he was still capable of thinking normally without losing his sense of reason. It could even be said that instead of making him feel uncomfortable… this state gave him an unspeakable sense of joy and freedom.
[I couldn’t have truly undergone demonification, right?] Just as the thought surfaced in his mind, another voice whispered in his head. [So what if I underwent demonification?]
His Knowledge Sea began churning violently again, but this time, it wasn’t because something was wrong in his Knowledge Sea, it was because something was happening to his physical body.
With a flash of his thoughts, his Soul Avatar returned to his physical body just in time to feel his aura reaching a new height. The power brewing in his body was unprecedentedly strong and all the obstacles and bottlenecks he encountered before were smashed in the face of this surging power.
Yang Kai didn’t do anything consciously; he simply allowed his aura to rise with the momentum. The pain in his body disappeared all of a sudden, only to be replaced by a sense of comfort. An invisible wave of Qi spread out across his surroundings with him as the centre, the impact causing rocks to come crashing down inside the cave.
The door to a brand-new Realm slowly opened up in front of him. He had reached the Third-Order Emperor Realm!
Upon seeing this, the Embodiment, who had been standing guard by the side all this while, quickly used a Secret Technique to mask the disturbance caused by Yang Kai’s breakthrough. They were currently a hundred kilometres underground, so even a Demon Saint might not be able to find this place unless they were searching with a fine-toothed comb. Nevertheless, he proceeded with utmost caution just in case. By suppressing these fluctuations, he could ensure that the commotion in this place would not spread too far.
The Embodiment turned to look at Yang Kai with a joyful expression and prepared to congratulate the latter on his successful breakthrough, but to his surprise, he discovered that Yang Kai’s aura had not finished increasing. It was still climbing ever higher as though it was only just beginning. He was taken aback, feeling uncertain about what was going on; moreover, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
As Yang Kai’s aura continued to become stronger, an extremely powerful suction force came from within his body and greedily swallowed up all the World Energy in the surroundings. The mist in the cave was gone in the blink of an eye and immediately after that, the Demon Qi that permeated everything in this world began pouring into the cave and flooding into his body. Consequently, the surface of his body was covered in a layer of faint black Qi in a very short amount of time.
The Embodiment was utterly shocked by the sight and rushed forward in a panic. Yang Kai’s current state looked as though he was experiencing cultivation dissonance.
Having cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law and possessing the body of a Stone Spirit, the Embodiment was capable of recklessly devouring Demon Qi without any worries; however, Yang Kai was different. Yang Kai did not have all those convenient advantages that the Embodiment had; therefore, swallowing up all the Demon Qi in the surrounding area would not bode well for him.
Just as the Embodiment was about to step forward to stop Yang Kai, Yang Kai suddenly opened his eyes and glanced at the Embodiment with a calm look. Seeing this, the Embodiment immediately stopped in his tracks. He had caught a glimpse of a cold and inhuman indifference in those eyes, which left him at a loss for what to do. He did not know what had gone wrong with Yang Kai’s breakthrough to produce such changes.
Even so, Yang Kai’s intentions had been very clear. The Embodiment only hesitated for a moment before he simply stood back and watched how the situation played out. He was simply an offshoot of Yang Kai’s Soul, so how could he go against the wishes of the true body?
A howling wind roared in the cave, caused by the movement of the Demon Qi in the surrounding world as it was sucked into Yang Kai’s body. With the passage of time, the layer of faint black Qi on the surface of his body became denser and denser. He was also becoming increasingly full of Demon Essence.
Contrary to the Embodiment’s worries, however, Yang Kai was enjoying himself in this state. He could clearly feel that his power was rapidly growing. Furthermore, the Soul Warming Lotus was guarding the last pure land in his Knowledge Sea, so there was no risk of him becoming completely demonified.
[This… might be a blessing in disguise!] Just as that thought crossed his mind, a sound rang out from the depths of his heart. Yang Kai furrowed his brow in response, and after a careful inspection, he discovered that a crack had appeared on the seal on his dantian.
When he and Iron Blood had put on that show for all the Star Boundary to see, Yang Kai had released the seal on his dantian and let out the Ancient Demon Qi stored there. Of course, afterwards, he had used the power of the Firmament Tree to seal the Ancient Demon Qi back up again.
Unfortunately, the consequences of releasing the seal on multiple occasions had caused the Ancient Demon Qi to grow stronger. If it happened again, even the power of the Firmament Tree would not be enough to completely seal it again. Not to mention, the sealing power of the Firmament Tree had been weakened severely due to overuse. There had not been enough time for it to replenish its sealing power. Hence, for a crack to appear now seriously gave him quite a scare.
If he had been devouring Demon Qi solely because of the changes brought about by his breakthrough, he would not have thought much of it. On the other hand, the Ancient Demon Qi in his dantian was an extremely troublesome matter. Yang Kai did not know if the changes were caused by all the Demon Qi he was devouring at the moment; however, the Ancient Demon Qi in his dantian was madly slamming against the seal to the point where it managed to form a crack in it.
This was something that had never happened until now, and before he had figured out how to deal with the situation, the crack abruptly expanded. Immediately afterwards, the Ancient Demon Qi violently gushed out and began to directly devour the other Demon Qi in his body.
The place where Yang Kai was located had more or less turned into a black hole where Demon Qi which was so thick it was almost tangible was gathering into a cluster. The power fluctuations that emanated from the phenomenon were even making the Embodiment feel a little frightened.
A suction force that was even more violent than before came out suddenly, forming a huge vortex which pulled all the Demon Qi in Cloud Shadow Continent in this direction. A hundred kilometres above, a huge tornado that connected the Heavens and the Earth formed while, at the same time, the pitch-black Demon Qi poured into the ground and disappeared without a trace in a blink of an eye.