Not even a trace of fire could be seen within the valley.
Liang Zhong, Tu Ze, Na Nuo, Xiong Ba and the rest all circled around Xie Jingxuan and Qin Lie, looking at the two with puzzled expressions.
As they had no clue what had happened, they didn’t dare ascertain whether or not the Soul Devouring Beast had been killed and extinguished. Thus, they all looked on with heavy expressions.
“Ban Hong, check the Soul Devouring Beast’s body and see if there are any abnormalities,” commanded Liang Zhong.
Ban Hong and three generals of the Dark Asura Hall, who had recovered some of their mind and spirit energy after taking out their spirit artifacts, moved to the Soul Devouring Beast’s side and cut open its skull as they began to carefully analyze it.
“Mister Liang, the Soul Devouring Beast has already died,” loudly reported Ban Hong a long while later. “There aren’t any fluctuations of life within its thunderbolt ravaged head. However, its main soul is gone as well, I don’t know whether or not it was able to escape.”
Liang Zhong silently nodded and then said, “Yesterday, Miss already said that the Soul Devouring Beast had given up breaking through. Thus, even if it escaped, it will be unable to bring about any devastating calamities.”
Everyone all clearly let out a deep breath.
“It’s good if it’s like this, it’s good if it’s like this…” Na Nuo’s tensed nerves also calmed down as she looked towards the Soul Devouring Beast’s corpse. Then, she looked at Xie Jingxuan and Qin Lie’s bodies, asking, “Those two should be fine right?”
“I’m fine,” suddenly said Xie Jingxuan as she opened her eyes.
Circle after circle of dark light released from her Blackscale Armor. The scale armor which covered her shoulders, waist, and legs detached piece by piece from her body and flew into her ring.
After the Blackscale Armor disappeared, she, who was wearing black, skin tight clothing, became movingly graceful and beautiful.
She put away her hideous mask, exposing her delicate and slightly pale face which added another level of moving beauty and delicateness.
“The Soul Devouring Beast’s main soul should have been eradicated.” She looked towards Qin Lie, then uncertainly said, “Qin Lie seems like he is about to enter the Natal Opening Realm. He’s currently at the crucial period of developing his first Natal Palace. Once he has formed his Natal Palace in his dantian’s spirit sea, he will wake up.”
“Natal Opening Realm?”
Everyone’s eyes revealed surprise as their gazes all turned towards Qin Lie, and all of them were inwardly astonished.
“Tu Ze, Zhuo Qian, you two watch after him. Don’t let anyone disturb him at this time, and make sure you two also don’t converse too loudly.” After Xie Jingxuan said this, she suddenly stood up. “Ban Hong, retrieve the spirit materials from the Soul Devouring Beast’s body. Be a bit more careful when dealing with its three eyes and beast core. You must not damage them.”
“Don’t worry, milady.” Ban Hong’s face was full of happiness as he hurriedly collected the other generals of the Dark Asura Hall. Using their weapons, they began to dissect the Soul Devouring Beast with their weapons.
“Miss, did the Soul Devouring Beast’s main soul truly die? Its breakthrough didn’t succeed did it?” asked Liang Zhong in a whisper.
At this time, Liang Zhong and Xie Jingxuan were already a fair ways away from the masses as they began to quietly converse. Tu Ze, Na Nuo, and the rest couldn’t hear anything.
“I’m not certain,” replied Xie Jingxuan as a glimmer of uncertainty flashed through her eyes. “Once he wakes up, I will thoroughly question him. Whether or not the Soul Devouring Beast was truly extinguished, only he knows,” she continued as she looked towards Qin Lie.
“What happened?” asked Liang Zhong again.
“Nothing,” said Xie Jingxuan, narrowing her brows as her face showed a slight hint of annoyance.
Thus, Liang Zhong didn’t dare to continue asking about it.
Within Qin Lie’s world.
Spirit energy, like thick white clouds, wound around every outer corner of the boundless spirit sea within his dantian.
In the middle of the boundless spirit sea, bolt after bolt of blue lightning gathered and twined together. Accompanied by the rumbling of thunder, the lightning was currently forming an existence which depended on the spirit sea. But at the same time, it seemed like an independent small world — a Natal Palace!
The bolts of lightning, like intelligent snakes or twisting earthworms, surged into his dantian’s spirit sea from outside, constantly moving towards the center of the gradually forming Natal Palace where they turned into sturdy walls, resulting in the true creation of a small space.
—A small domain was formed with spirit energy as the base and thunder and lightning energy as the core.
Gradually, the initially unstable little domain became increasingly sturdy as it slowly took shape within the spirit sea.
Qin Lie’s mind consciousness, from the start, had also entered into his dantian’s spirit sea and had been observing the formation of his Natal Palace as it slowly condensed and took shape.
He knew of the intrinsic differences between the Refinement Realm and Natal Opening Realm.
In order to break into the Natal Opening Realm from the Refinement Realm, one had to establish a Natal Palace within their dantian’s spirit sea—a small domain.
The formation of the first Natal Palace meant that one had successfully opened their natal palace and entered the Natal Opening Realm.
Advancing along the stages of the Natal Opening Realm was like constructing a small domain within a boundless sea which would gather to become a small island, then a small continent…
—Forming into a independent small world that existed atop the sea.
A Natal Palace was as such, a small domain within the dantian’s spirit sea. These Natal Palaces could contain powers which were different from spirit energy.
Whereas spirit energy was created from the gathering and refinement of nature’s spirit energy and thus was a fundamental power of the world, natal energy could be transformed into various kinds of different powers through the usage of special spirit arts.
For example, it could be turned into powers such as blazing fire energy, frigid ice energy, sharp metal energy, and thick earth energy.
Although these kinds of powers were different from spirit energy, they were all able to be cultivated by martial practitioners through those special spirit arts. Only through turning spirit energy into these kinds of energies would martial practitioners truly become able to display the power of their spirit arts, thus greatly enhancing their combat power.
This special quality of spirit energy caused the spirit arts of martial practitioners to be extremely strange and their combative styles to be splendid yet mysterious, resulting in numerous unique sects…
Xiong Ba cultivated blazing fire energy, Yan Ziqian cultivated frigid ice energy, and Tu Ze cultivated nebula energy. These were all cultivated through special spirit arts which transformed spirit energy. Each art had different special qualities, and thus, the resulting powers and effects were all different.
In general, when Refinement Realm martial practitioners fought, they would use the special characteristics of their spirit art to transform spirit energy to create fire energy, ice energy, or nebula energy.
However, it was different for Natal Opening Realm martial practitioners.
This was because within their dantian’s spirit sea, they had created Natal Palaces. These Natal Palaces had the ability to store other types of energy in addition to spirit energy.
Martial practitioners of this realm, during their daily cultivation, would be able to turn spirit energy into these specific energies and then store them within their Natal Palaces.
When fighting opponents, as soon as they activated their spirit art, the specific energy within their Natal Palace would immediately surge out without the need to transform any spirit energy.
—This made it possible for martial practitioners to greatly enhance their fighting strength.
Natal Palaces completely relied on the dantian’s spirit sea to be formed, but could be considered to be an independant small domain. It was the intrinsic, qualitative difference between a Refinement Realm and Natal Opening Realm martial practitioner.
“Zzzt zzzt zzzt!”
Blue bolts of lightning condensed together, and the Natal Palace within the spirit sea of Qin Lie’s dantian began to glow resplendently as it became increasingly sturdy and compact. It was finally completed.
A clap of thunder suddenly emanated from within Qin Lie’s body.
Just as Tu Ze and Zhuo Qian let out cries of shock, Qin Lie finally opened his eyes. Lightning snaked through his pupils, causing his eyes to greatly attract their attention.
“You actually entered the Natal Opening Realm!” Just from glancing at his pupils while they walked over, the two knew that he had succeeded. The two of them smiled, truly happy for Qin Lie.
“Boom boom boom!”
The sound of thunder constantly resounded within Qin Lie’s ears, shaking his head till it was dizzy. Only after quite a while was he able to recover and finally see the others clearly.
“Big Brother Tu, Sister Zhuo, Kang Zhi…” said Qin Lie with a slight smile.
“How do you feel?” asked Zhuo Qian, her face full of concern. “Is there anywhere where you feel uncomfortable? Don’t respond right away, carefully feel it out and check if everything is okay…”
Qin Lie immediately closed his eyes again.
As he felt his body’s condition, he suddenly discovered that his muscles and veins had seemingly become radiant, as if they contained wisps of thin lightning. Lightning also fluctuated amidst his flesh and bones; a lightning aura even emanated out from within his five visceras and six organs…
“This—This is the initial stage of Heavenly Thunder Sacred Body!” Qin Lie felt great joy within the depths of his mind.
He once again circulated Heavenly Thunder Eradication.
As soon as his mind moved, a pure, wild strand of thunder and lightning energy quickly surged out from the Natal Palace within his dantian’s spirit sea.
This violent thunder and lightning energy didn’t circulate out through his dantian’s spirit sea and then connect to his muscles and veins, but instead directly entered his body’s acupoints. It was from within his body’s meridians that the energy then surged out into the radiant muscles and veins!
As soon as Qin Lie gathered his energy again, the thunder and lightning energy in his meridians returned back to the Natal Palace within his dantian’s spirit sea.
This kind of circulation of thunder and lightning energy and the circulation of spirit energy indeed walked two completely different paths.
“The thunder and lightning energy within my Natal Palace directly flows through my acupoints and isn’t connected to my spirit sea when it circulates to my muscles and veins. Will this cause any problems?” asked Qin Lie as he reopened his eyes.
After his question, Tu Ze and Zhuo Qian looked at each other, both of them thinking as their brows locked up.
“I’m not too clear on this matter. The nebula energy within my Natal Palace flows along the same path as my spirit energy, going through my dantian’s spirit sea as it circulates through my muscles and veins and penetrates through my entire body. My circumstances seem… to not be the same as yours,” responded Tu Ze after thinking a while.
“I’m the same as Tu Ze,” said Zhuo Qian with the same expression.
“My cultivation won’t experience any setback will it?” asked Qin Lie as his expression changed.
“Different spirit arts have different characteristics. Not everyone’s circulation of energy within their Natal Palace is the same.” At this time, Xie Jingxuan’s clear yet cold voice suddenly emanated over. She continued, “The early stage of the Natal Opening Realm requires the creation of three Natal Palaces. The middle stage requires six, and the late stage requires nine.”
“A martial practitioner at the peak of the Natal Opening Realm will have a total of nine Natal Palaces within their dantian’s spirit sea. With nine Natal Palaces present, the special energies cultivated by the martial practitioner through their spirit arts will become vigorous and can be used to casually launch fierce attacks…”
“Each Natal Palace allows for the storage of one type of energy besides spirit energy. If a martial practitioner only cultivates one unique spirit art, once he reaches the peak of the Natal Opening Realm and gains nine Natal Palaces, the energies stored within them will all be the same.”
“If a martial practitioner cultivates two, or even three or four spirit arts, then the number of different energies amongst his Natal Palaces will be two, three, or four respectively. However, within each Natal Palace, only one kind of energy can be stored. Otherwise, they will conflict with each other and cause the martial practitioner to immediately suffer serious injury. Spontaneous explosion and death is also possible.”
While she rode over atop the Profound Nether Beast, Xie Jingxuan gave an explanation.
“Based on logic, a martial practitioner can cultivate up to nine different spirit arts and have nine different energies as each Natal Palace can store one type. In accordance with the characteristics of the spirit arts, there are many different and rare ways for energy to circulate in and out of Natal Palaces. For example, there are people whose eyes can directly connect to their Natal Palaces, people whose hearts can directly connect to their Natal Palaces, and even people whose souls can directly connect…”
She stopped in front of Qin Lie. Seated atop the Profound Nether Beast, she lowered her head to look at Qin Lie and said, “For you to circulate your Natal Palace’s energy through your meridians is perfectly normal.”
As she spoke, Na Nuo, Xiong Ba, Tu Ze, Zhuo Qian, and the rest of the Natal Opening Realm martial practitioners all intently listened. Afterwards, they all showed expressions of enlightenment.
“Thanks,” said Qin Lie with a smile after he listened to her explanation. His heart felt much lighter.
“Come with me, I have things I want to speak to you in private.” Xie Jingxuan scooted up along the Profound Nether Beast towards its head, and afterwards, she motioned for Qin Lie to get on.
Under everyone’s astounded gazes, Qin Lie’s expression became surprised. With that, he lightly chuckled and obediently hopped onto the back of the Profound Nether Beast.