Three days later, at the bottom of the secret training room, Li Yao was sitting in the middle of the meditation chamber, which was made of an intact meteorite, surrounded by the carefully selected Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures. The pills and the crystals were all glowing, making him seem to be made of translucent jade, too. Immense vitality was flowing below his skin like tides.
After more than three years of high-intensity training in solitude, Li Yao was now more serene, solemn, and peaceful. His eyes looked like oceans before a great storm.
Finally, I’ve reached the threshold.
Li Yao sensed the tremendous energy inside his body that was about to burst. There was no emotion on his face, not even expectation, because everything was natural and a matter of course.
My current capability is dozens of times higher than the peak of the Building Foundation Stage. Stably compressing such tremendous spiritual energy from the liquid form into the solid form is going to be extremely difficult!
If I’m careless for one moment during the compression, the spiritual energy in the solid form will become disordered and transform into the purest chaos, which will rip me apart directly.
However, if I miraculously succeed
Li Yao exhaled slightly and dispelled the messy thoughts from his brain.
He checked the items that might be of use for the last time and began the process of forming the core!
I will not fail.
On the other side of the sea of stars, in my home, somebody is waiting for me!
I already have a way to calculate the coordinates of the Heaven’s Origin Sector. The path home is right before my eyes!
Nothing in this world is going to stop me!
Li Yao gritted his teeth and activated the ‘Core Formation Instrument’.
The Core Formation Instrument was a piece of ancillary magical equipment to help the formation of the core that Li Yao had invented himself. It looked like a special crystal suit, except that countless bottles of drugs were connected to the shell of the magical equipment.
When Li Yao released his spiritual energy unstoppably, the fully-enclosed suit would cover all the spiritual energy inside. Together with the tightness of the meditation chamber, an environment similar to the super-compressed crystal reactor would be simulated.
The strengthening drugs were condensed into lines of liquids thinner than his hair because of the high pressure, and they penetrated into Li Yao’s body before being released among Li Yao’s muscles, veins, and nerves.
In a moment
As Li Yao fully released his spiritual energy and started compressing it, Li Yao shuddered violently and felt that his entire spine had woken up. It was expanding, expanding, and expanding into a raging gold dragon!
In the meantime, all kinds of illusions were popping up inside his brain. The wheel of time was reversed, and his consciousness went backwards as if it were ebbing. It returned to the surface of Spider Den, Heavenly Saints City, the Iron Plateau Space Zone, Boneyard, and the Heaven’s Origin Sector. In the end, it came back to the magical equipment graveyard in Floating Spear City of the Star Glory Federation.
He was a baby lying in a stinky gutter, staring at the dim, yellow sky quietly.
Backwards. Backwards. He continued going backwards on the path of his life!
There was suddenly nothing but blackness in front if his eyes. Li Yao found himself in the middle of warm water and could not have felt more comfortable and safer. He had turned into a tiny fetus and returned to the original point of his life.
At this point, his life had only just sprouted. There were endless possibilities in his evolution. His brain, spine, limbs, and internal organs did not exist yet. The only things that existed were episodes of causality that interweaved into helical forms and were dancing like butterflies.
Li Yao’s soul was as clear as moonlight. He knew exactly what he was going to do.
He had already found the password of his body. He would optimize his body from the source and unseal the barrier of evolution so that the speed of evolution could be hundreds, thousands, millions of times higher!
With a telepathic thought, part of Li Yao’s spiritual energy flew toward his episodes of causality.
The chains of genes were ripped apart!
The evolution rushed forward toward a whole new direction!
A thunderclap echoed inside Li Yao’s spine.
An organ that did not exist in the beginning, similar to the ‘spiritual root’ except that it was hundreds of times stronger, was sprouting, growing, developing, and expanding at the end of Li Yao’s spine!
If Li Yao’s soul could have left his body at that moment and observed himself externally, he would have discovered that his every cell was spurting endless light and heat like a volcano. The brilliance had even pierced through the iron suit he was wearing and turned it as transparent as glass.
Below the transparent suit, his veins, nerves, bones, and internal organs were so clear that they seemed to be soaked in certain white, fluorescing liquids.
Li Yao finally could not hold it any longer and roared!
He felt as if a small blackhole that was about to devour his soul, flesh, and spiritual energy had appeared at the end of his spine.
He had no choice except to summon the spiritual energy all over his body and throw it into the ‘blackhole’ incessantly!
Li Yao had a vague feeling that, if he could fill the ‘blackhole’ before the spiritual energy inside his body ran out, he would not only be advancing into the Core Formation Stage but also forming a unique, super core.
But if he failed to fill up the ‘blackhole’ before his spiritual energy ran out, it would definitely continue devouring, eventually crushing Li Yao into the most fundamental particles. He would be gone from this world for all eternity!
Time and space had lost their significance. Li Yao had no idea how long the process had lasted at all.
He kept drifting in a vast universe like a lonely cell. His telepathic thoughts left him at the speed of light and turned into shining stars in the dark space very soon.
Did I make it?
Did I make?
Another year had passed.
It had been five standard years of the Star Ocean Imperium since the great confrontation between the previous king of space pirates and the new one.
The Flying Star Sector had changed more during those five years than it did during the five hundred years before the event.
The fire of war had consumed many space zones. Countless Cultivators had unfortunately perished. A lot of new organizations had risen to fame in the chaos, and the new-generation’s experts had gradually stepped onto the stage, drawing new paintings in the sea of stars with their hot blood and the blades in their hands.
Capital Nest, the biggest city on Spider Den, had been totally reshaped by the continuous war.
In the afternoon of that day, inside a forsaken tunnel of Capital Nest, the earth was shaking slightly, and feeble sounds were echoing deep below the ground.
A moment later, the earth suddenly bulged high before it collapsed down and revealed a hole more than half a meter in diameter.
The broken rocks fell silently, but there was no sound of them hitting anything for a long time, which indicated that the hole was very deep and perhaps led to the core of the planet.
Half a minute later, an average-sized young man awkwardly crawled out of the hole.
He looked quite plain. His messy hair covered his shoulder randomly. Since he had been out of the sunlight for a long time, his skin was so pale that it was almost transparent.
His eyes were quite weird. They seemed to be covered by a colorful membrane. Even in the depths of darkness, colorful brilliance was still shining in his eyes as he looked around.
He seemed a bit thin, and there was not much muscle on his body. However, when the sharp-edged rocks scratched his skin, not only did they fail to break his skin, their edges were also polished smooth, as if somebody had touched them thousands of times carefully.
Almost ten colorful rings were outside of the young man’s pupils. In the darkness, all the rings were expanding and shrinking, as if the most precise crystal cameras were adjusting the focal length.
When he finally sensed the brightness outside of the tunnel, the young man was dazed for a moment. His eyes were soon filled with tears. He lay on the ground, his limbs all stretched out and waving crazily. His belly was rising and falling, as if an ocean had been stuffed inside. Cries of joy and relief were echoing deep inside his throat.
The young man was, of course, Li Yao.
After five years, he had finally escaped from Yan Xinjian’s secret training room!
“Old Yan, come here.”
Li Yao cried and laughed for a while. Then he took out from his pocket a metal cylinder, which had ventilation holes, and opened it carefully. Inside the cylinder were two mice.
Over the past five years, Yan Xinjian’s soul fragments that were attached to the mice had gradually withered. When Li Yao broke out of the training room, all the other remaining souls had dispersed except for a mouse that had been emitting white colors in the beginning.
However, the white colors on the mouse was fading away, too, and its behavior was no different from common mice. Regret and longing similar to human beings occasionally appeared in the mouse’s eyes, but they were soon eclipsed by the cruelty of animals.
When Li Yao left Yan Xinjian’s secret training room, he brought the mouse and a female mouse that it would not let go of out together.
“Go now, Old Yan, and your Xiao Yu.”
Li Yao put the two mice on the ground. They hugged each other and crawled to the inside of the tunnel, staggering. Soon, they disappeared into the darkness.
Watching the two mice gradually disappear, Li Yao felt both delighted and lost.
He calmed himself down and thought of his plan again.
When he was digging holes below the ground, he could vaguely sense the frequent intense explosions on the surface. It seemed that a fierce war was still on.
It was a good sign that suggested that Xiao Xuance’s Grand Illusionary Soldiers had not taken over Spider Den completely yet.
There was still a chance to change everything.
Xiao Xuance, the crownless king of the Flying Star Sector. The war between you and me has finally begun!
Li Yao smiled and walked out of the forsaken tunnel. He raised his right hand and retrieved a ragged, gray coat from his Cosmos Ring before he put the clothes on.
After every step he made, the air around him would slightly change. The strange colors inside his eyes were gone, and his eyes appeared dirtier. His skin, which was as warm and smooth as jade before, turned thick and rough, too.
When he got out of the forsaken tunnel, he seemed to be a totally different person, a shrimp of the lowest class that could be seen everywhere on Spider Den.