Chapter 1183 1177: Mortal Peak;Lrredeemable Sinners
The "best" for the Astral Core Realm was unexplored territory to the Sealed Regions. Even to this day, Wei Wuyin had not come across a cultivator or rumor of a cultivator attaining an Astral Idol. The peak of the Mortal Realms unequivocally represented the consolidation and gathering of the entirety of one's cultivation, from the first Mortal Realm—Foundation Establishment Realm, to the final Mortal Realm—Astral Core Realm.
The Star Core represented the amalgamation of one's cultivation. Across the phases of cultivation, there existed four constants—Essence, Body, Mind, and Spirit, and the Star Core had an 'opportunity' to reach the peak of each within the Mortal Dao. It was often said that Ascended beings 'exceeded' Mortal Limits, especially given how the Mystic Dao incorporated and advanced the Mortal Dao's powers by an unknown amount depending on a variety of foundational factors. However, there were a few aspects within the Mortal Dao that were unique and could be entirely missed, unable to be emulated by the Mystic Dao unless grasped while within the Mortal Dao!
These were the pinnacle of the four constants!
The first(Essence): Starforce; the evolved version of Astral Force, the unification of every essential 'Essence' quality of a cultivator, such as the four Energies—Essence, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Energies. This was one of the few qualities that can never be 'missed' but can be under-cultivated. Wei Wuyin practiced the act of maximizing his foundation, and these four energies signified a cultivator's foundation and the limits of their Starforce's power.
The second(Body): Astral Physique; the evolved version of a physique. It can be divided into multiple different categories, such as Dantian, Meridians, and Sea of Consciousness. Like Starforce, this came in different grades and degrees of power, and it'll serve as a foundation for your Demi-Mortal Lord's Mystic Physique. However, once cemented in the Astral Core Realm, unless by the hands of an exceedingly talented, talent-altering, foundation-changing Alchemist's product, it was extremely difficult to change even with high-leveled Cultivation Methods.
The third(Mind): World-Bound Star Domain; this could be missed entirely during a cultivator's cultivation, and when given the chance, a cultivator needed a 'suitable' target. This target? A true harmonious Star Core—A Solar Star!
The term 'World-Bound' is quite literal. To achieve this, a cultivator must 'bind' their Mind's Eye with the existence of a Solar Star in reality, fully grown and existing. Those at the Star Core Phase were deemed as 'Starlords' by even exceptionally advanced societies in the World Beyond the Fold solely due to this unimaginably potentially limitless power and almost the greatest representation of what it meant to be a peak Mortal Cultivator.
What is the pinnacle of the Mortal Dao?
In the world of cultivation, every cultivator who's Ascended beyond the Star Core Phase will unhesitatingly answer this question with Solar Stars! In some ways, Star Core Phase cultivators become Solar Stars, birthing a Seed of a Star, the Star Core, and nurturing it until their bodies can properly emulate the limitless power of a Solar Star.
The 'Mind' aspect representing the peak of the Mortal Dao connected one's Mind's Eye, the gateway to the Soul, with an existing Solar Star, allowing them to harness its power and grant them a type of unique will called the Mortal Intent. Mortal Intent! In some ways, it's similar to Awakened Mystic Intent, serving as the foundation of every single step a cultivator possesses.
Those with the Alchemic Stars of Mortal Spirituality could influence this Intent; they could use Mortal Annihilation and turn this Mortal Intent, this will of the Mortal Dao, against cultivators until they've perished entirely. While this was a very limited degree of power, it was best to say that Mortal Intent wasn't awakened because it's very difficult to grasp the entirety of Mortal Intent.
The type of Mortal Intent cultivators can obtain was different from what Alchemists could influence.
A Solar Star 'World-Bound' to a cultivator becomes their vessel and contributes heavily to their cultivation, their strength, their potential, the refinement of their Astral Physique, their Astral Idol, their Starforce, their comprehension of the Mortal Dao, and so, so much more.
Unfortunately, there were severe limitations to binding a Solar Star to one's Mind's Eye, including incredible danger. Firstly, if the Solar Star isn't 'natural', lacking a harmonious unity with all Daos, with the heavens, then this will inevitably affect your cultivation until it would eventually eternally stagnate.
Secondly, the connection. A Solar Star 'World-Bound' is connected to your Mind's Eye, the bridge between the Mind and Soul within the Sea of Consciousness. If the Solar Star implodes or explodes, the aftereffects would be catastrophically lethal, to say the least. It would be a blessing to die quickly.
Lastly, this process can only be completed during the Star Core Astral Tribulation by 'bringing' the Solar Star with you. Typically, a Solar Star assisted the lives of countless cultivators, so taking it away and risking it, the more dangerous that was to those who subsisted on its light, heat, and nurturing solar essence. Furthermore, should you fail, the Solar Star will fade alongside you. In fact, it could directly supernova!
It was extremely dangerous given how difficult Solar Stars were to move for beings beneath the Mystic Ascendant Realm. In fact, it was practically impossible given their strength.
However, should one succeed, they would have a vessel for cultivation that would bring endless benefits to their cultivation, and within the Star Domain, the limits by which the Solar Star's radiance reaches, the cultivator's strength would truly touch upon the limits of the Mortal Dao!
The fourth(Spirit): Astral Idol; the evolved version of a Soul Idol. If the Astral Core Realm's peak was all about emulating the strongest power of the Mortal Dao, from harnessing energies on par with it using Starforce, forging a body emulating its qualities with an Astral Physique, or connecting with an actual Solar Star to possess its unique will with a World-Bound Star Domain, then an Astral Idol was the representation of spirituality of a Solar Star!
By merging the Soul Idol's spiritual qualities with a Solar Star's tangible energy, an Astral Idol is formed! Staying true to the principles of the Spirit of Cultivation, an amalgamation of Essence, Physical, and Mental, a Starlord must achieve all three previous requirements to their limits before being able to bring forth this extremely terrifying power!
Wei Wuyin had first heard of it from Guan Yu in the Nexus Battlefield, and he explained that it represented the peak of the Astral Core Realm, and this was irrefutable truth, but he was somewhat ignorant of its true abilities and limits. An Astral Idol wasn't as simple as plainly boosting one's four energies or using its tangible body to attack and defend! Unfortunately, Guan Yu was plagued with the same condition as most cultivators who've yet to attain a specific realm of cultivation…ignorance, and confusion.
Wei Wuyin calmly exerted his Elemental Heart Intent to expunge the latent Mystic Intent inside the Seed of the Star he resided in, actively ensuring that it'll have a harmonious unity with the heavens and Daos. This Solar Star forged by the efforts of ten thousand and one Earthly Saints will be his World-Bound Star in the future, so he spared no effort or expense for the best.
"This is too dangerous…" Bai Xiu sat in Wei Wuyin's Sea of Consciousness with her knees hugging her chest, her eyes closed and her lips pressed against each other in anxiety. Her mutterings were filled with concern, as she'd grown overly attached to Wei Wuyin. It wasn't her fault for feeling this way, as the Astral Tribulation was considered a 'lethal' Tribulation, but what many didn't know was that the tribulation was proportional to the 'strength' of one's Star Core.
The reason why World-Bound Star Domains have largely grown out of sight and ignored despite the information being out there was the risk. Not just the ones stated previously, but the additional ones carried during the tribulation because the Star Core Astral Tribulation sets its level based on the strongest Star Core—any Star Core.
If Wei Wuyin chooses to bind himself to a Solar Star of this magnitude, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the difficulty will skyrocket to even beyond the Temporal Eye Astral Tribulation. While Bai Xiu was unable to experience what Wei Wuyin went through, and due to the Karma of Time, he was unable to tell anyone about it, not even his Spirits of Dao, so this was the first time she would witness the extreme danger of Wei Wuyin's cultivation path.
Wei Wuyin tried to comfort Bai Xiu but to no avail. He could only sigh in his heart, nostalgia flowing through his heart as he recalled every Astral Tribulation he'd faced. The most dangerous was the Sky Ruler Astral Tribulation, and the first tribulation with risk that his Astral Souls decided to mess with. If they couldn't contain the Sky Lightning after summoning and compressing it, he would've exploded.
The Soul Idol Astral Tribulation sent him hurtling through the Dark Void, traveling across literal Stellar Regions and reaching the edge of the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region. If they had been unable to resist the Spiritual Pressure emitted by the tribulation, he would've been erased in an area he'd never seen or known of before. A sad death.
The Spatial Resonance Astral Tribulation and Light Reflection Astral Tribulation were both absurdly easy, but solely due to his True Void Dragon Bloodline and Transcendent Alchemical Products respectively.
During his Realm World Astral Tribulation, he was brought to the edge of death, surviving by a literal picosecond of a difference! If the avatar of The World had lifted its finger just a little more, Wei Wuyin's Soul would've been obliterated out of existence by the Heavenly Daos by now. >
The Temporal Eye Astral Tribulation had mutated until it reached the level of an Earthly Tribulation Gate, meant exclusively for Earthly Saints, yet due to various circumstances, the tribulation might've reached levels beyond the Mystic Ascendant Realm!
He had won by the grace of his ceaseless effort to improve himself at every step, reaffirming that his cultivation path and the decisions of his Astral Souls were correct. There was a chance that each of these Astral Tribulations could've taken his life with the slightest trace of carelessness, but he strove forward by grasping every opportunity he could, and only then did he find success.
Whether it was the Spatial Resonance Astral Tribulation, which only succeeded because he was willing to risk and refine a Spatial Crystal into a Void Crystal during his Qi Condensation Realm period, or his Light Reflection Phase that was overcome by consuming and surviving the hectic effects of the transcendent World-Light Refraction Elixir, as well as his comprehension towards light, he had overcome each deadly trial with effort and a firm Heart of Cultivation.
This was no different; Wei Wuyin intended to always strive to the maximum limits possible alongside his Astral Souls. The world was growing wider and more dangerous by the day, and he intended to grasp sufficient strength to face it all, especially the Calamities of Hell.
Wei Wuyin's thoughts soon led to the most pressing issue in his heart, the ever-looming descent of death, the Eighteen Calamities of Hell.
"I'm still amazed…" Wei Wuyin softly whispered to himself as he lifted his right arm, using his Celestial Eyes to pierce through the veil of heat and light, finding the Bloodline of Sin tattoo imprinted beautifully and mysteriously on his skin.
First Calamity: Survived - 7/7.
Second Calamity: Claimed - 1/1.
Third Calamity: Claimed - 3/3.
Fourth Calamity: Suppressed - 48 Years.
Karmic Luck Value: 95,372.3 → 212,766.5.
"Trueborn was a den of irredeemable sinners," Wei Wuyin thought with a sly, satisfied grin on his face. Gong Lau, an Earthly Saint, had granted him roughly five hundred Karmic Luck Value, but given that Bai Lin's unrestrained slaughter on that Shadow Egg had given him nearly twenty-nine thousand value, this was a little less than what he expected. Guess not all Shadow Egg members sinned equally.
"Fortunately, I don't have to touch each cultivator acting under my orders, just have my Soul Aura come in contact with them for the Heavenly Daos to recognize my effort." Wei Wuyin knew that his Bloodline of Sin hindered his Blessed gains, shrouding his achievements and connections from the Heavenly Daos unless explicitly stated or revealed, so all Wei Wuyin had to do was imbue the slightest trace of his Soul Aura into an object and have them touch it.
The karma will connect automatically, and he'll reap gains from a distance.
Unfortunately, this was merely a portion of the total, with the rest remaining latent in those not Blessed, awaiting their next life. If they could maintain that latent Karmic Luck Value, they'll become Blessed in their next lives.
A familiar prickling experience!
First Calamity: Survived - 7/7.
Second Calamity: Claimed - 1/1.
Third Calamity: Claimed - 3/3.
Fourth Calamity: Suppressed - 48 Years.
Karmic Luck Value: 212,766.5 → 212,732.5.
Wei Wuyin's mind was infused with a name, triggering the recollection of a beautiful white-haired, slender-bodied, and full-bosomed woman with an icy gaze.
Abruptly, the figure's icy expression and body exploded like a bubble! His mind went blank.
Then, the Heavenly Daos' influence ended there.
This was the first time he'd experienced this…was it a warning?