Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 695
Thanks to the stabilization provided by the Purple Tower, the four destroyed saint springs were kept contained. That way, the rampant energies from the ruptured saint springs wouldn’t be able to leak out from the tower to harm Tianming’s body, which in turn allowed him to continue to focus on stabilizing the four saint springs that had been separated into eight. He didn’t bleed, nor did he hurt at all, and his flesh and organs weren’t ruptured, allowing him to channel all four of his codexes much more easily.
“For twin beastmasters and above, each of their saint springs have to be split in two and stabilized one by one. But I don’t have the time for that since all of my saint springs were split by the imperial tribulation at once. Let’s try channeling all four codexes simultaneously!”
Ying Huo and the others didn’t have the Purple Tower, so they were already channeling their codexes to forcefully split their own saint springs into life and deathsprings. Tianming, on the other hand, had the easiest time of them all and could focus his mind on channeling all four codexes. The more time he spent not stabilizing the ruptured saint springs, the more he was at risk of losing control of them and allowing their energies to scatter.
The Aeternal Infernal Codex, Genesis Chaos Codex, Primordial Terraqua Codex, and the Radix World Codex were now working to separate the forces in his saint palace into four, then compartmentalizing them into two each—one for life and one for death. After all of the saint springs were adequately partitioned, he would have completed his first step into the Samsara stage by converting his saint ki into tribulation force.
He now had eight saint springs, four for life and four for death. The lifesprings were filled with boundless vigor, with the force of life gushing out nonstop and even denser than saint ki. All four deathsprings were calm like still water, but within the calm lay a terrifying force waiting to explode and wreak havoc.
“The mark of a first-level samsaran is the life phase samsara ring.”
He began forming his first samsara rings. They would encircle the eight springs and serve as foundations for the forces to be drawn from there. Vast amounts of life tribulation force gathered to form them, as each ring needed to contain about the same amount as each saint spring itself. In other words, if his lifespring came to have twelve rings in total, it alone would contain enough life tribulation force for thirteen lifesprings.
When the four rings formed, a terrifying amount of spiritual energy began to gather and convert into force Tianming could utilize. He absorbed so much of it that others breaking through to the Samsara stage couldn’t even compare. Now, all four of his lifesprings had one ring each and he was officially a first-level samsaran. The infernal spring had a flaming ring around it, the genesis spring had a ring of dark lightning, and the other two springs also had matching rings.
He felt his power grow magnificently in the process. As life tribulation force filled his flesh, innards, skin, and even hair, life force poured into him and caused him to metamorphose. It was as if he was a wholly different person. After the lifesprings gained samsara rings, the death tribulation force was suppressed. He and his lifebound beasts were now filled with bountiful life force.
“It worked!” Tianming cried in elation. He had made the right decision. Even though the imperial tribulation was terrifying, he had managed to weather the blow with Purple Tower and his four codexes. He wasn’t really at much risk from the get go. He had just broken through to the ninth level of Empyrean Saint that morning, meaning he’d risen two levels in a day. It was thanks to Great Emperor Xuanyuan that he had managed to leap into the Samsara stage straight away. While he didn’t catch a direct glimpse of Ying Huo and the rest, they informed him through their link that they were fine. Tianming hadn’t suffered even the slightest blowback.
“Let’s stabilize the power and allow the rings to finish securing themselves around the lifesprings and stabilize it.” He reeled in his emotions and guided his four beasts to further stabilization efforts.
Right at that moment, Ying Huo said, “What in the world is this?”
“Chicken Bro, are you talking about the words on top of the deathspring?” Meow Meow asked.
“Oh, I have one too!” Lan Huang said.
“Words?” Tianming looked and saw some ancient text hovering above his eight springs.
“Is it the Aeonic Grandbane?” He looked at his arm and saw the tribulation rings still there. The text within his saint palace was the same as that on his tribulation rings. They definitely had something to do with the Aeonic Grandbane.
“So Aeonic Grandbane reacted to the Samsara stage after all.” However, he didn’t know what it meant. Carefully, he prevented his power from touching the text.
All of a sudden, Lan Huang cried out in pain. Tianming hurriedly turned back and saw him huddled up in pain. Tianming felt the life tribulation force in him gradually being suppressed as death tribulation force formed within him.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“It hurts!” Lan Huang cried with its two heads. But soon, the death tribulation force around it faded before being replaced with life tribulation force once more.
“What did you do?”
“I used the force in the deathspring on those texts, causing them to fuse into the spring. Thankfully I stopped channeling it. That was close!” Lan Huang patted its chest with its claws in relief.
“You three, don’t even bother trying that,” Tianming ordered as his brows furrowed. Carefully, he used a little death tribulation force on the ten ancient characters like Lan Huang had done. The instant they connected, the words fused into the death tribulation force, seemingly putting the force on the verge of explosion.
The four deathsprings began violently swirling as they tried to forcefully draw in spiritual energy to form death samsara rings. He was bathed in so much negative energy of blood, death, violence, and cruelty in an instant as if he was the god of death. He figured that he would be able to reach the first death phase if he allowed it to continue. Even though it would be amazing if he could break through three times in one day, he felt the terrifying reality of it.
The Lifesbane he was suffering from seemed to grow ten times stronger after contacting the death tribulation force. He noticed that his body was aging at hundreds of times the normal rate to the point that the changes were visible to the naked eye. He might live out three hundred years’ worth of his lifespan within two short years! It was a double-edged sword that explosively boosted his power at a huge cost to his lifespan. It was no wonder Lan Huang had cried out in pain. His lifeforce was practically being drained away.
“So this is the true tribulation of the Lifesbane…. It’s no wonder they call it the most terrifying tribulation of all.” Tianming was aging at more than a hundred times normal. It was hard to predict what other changes would come. “I thought the problems of Lifesbane were already behind me…. Who knew it’d come back at a time like this? Does that mean I’ll only truly be free of it after I ascend to godhood?”
It appeared that the stages of sainthood were only the foundations of Lifesbane, and it only truly began at the Samsara stage. He hurriedly cut off the connection between Lifesbane and the deathsprings, or he would end up like a dead husk soon enough.
“I guess that if there’s one benefit to it, it’s that I can enter the death phase at will to strengthen myself. I wonder what else I can do?”
Now, he was certain he could enter the death phase whenever he wanted to at the cost of dying of old age in two or three years. That meant he would live out the prime cultivation time before the age of thirty in a short month or two, unless he could advance past the death phase.
“Dammit! It’s breakthrough or death for me! My Aeonic Grandbane is merciless as usual.”
After some consideration, he decided he wouldn’t rush into the death phase. The feeling of his life draining away was too hard to bear. He felt like he was constantly bleeding out in that state. Even if he could defeat his enemies, he would end up no better than dead himself.
“Alright, I’ll only use it when I really need it. At least I’ll be in peak condition in the death phase, even if only for a little while.”
He took a deep breath and separated the ancient characters from his deathsprings. Now that all of them were in the life phase, Ying Huo and the rest were even more powerful, thanks to their Primordial Chaos Beast bloodlines. While he had both life and death tribulation forces in him, his body was primarily filled with life tribulation force thanks to the life samsara rings. His death tribulation force would only be used for the most dire of circumstances, for should he choose to employ it, it would overwhelm his life tribulation force—when the number of life and death samsara rings were equal, the death rings would dominate.
In other words, cultivators will suffer if they don’t have more life samsara rings than death rings.