Eight months ago.
The Asura Golem's slaughter had just concluded. Yan Zaizen and the others situated themselves safety at the stairs entrance. After the discovery of the Asura Golem's limited range of engagement, the thousands of experts sat in ponderance over this new obstacle.
"...If its strength is comparable to a Heavenly Genesis cultivator within its limited domain, how could we possibly advance?" This was a problem that Yan Zaizen and the others were ruminating upon, but not a single person could safety think of a way without suffering great losses.
"..." Pinaka remained silent, not responding. If one could see her soul form, she had furrowed brows and lustrous eyes filled with imaginative musings. For a beauty such as her, it could easily ensnare one's heart with a glance. A brief period of pondering passed, Pinaka's gaze suffused with the visual representation of an intelligent concept being born.
"Eureka?" Yan Zaizen was bewildered. Despite Pinaka not directly communicating, when this single thought exclamation was reached, Yan Zaizen felt it like a powerful ripple surging outwards as if it contained a strange law or concept.
"No need to worry. It's something I picked up from someone I met once." Pinaka directly dismissed his question, her eyes filled with potent excitement. She spoke with an enthusiastic tone, "There may be a way for you to defeat this golem."
"In Golems, similar to sky-rank armaments, they are defined by two main components: the formation base and the Spirit Form. Currently, this Golem's Spirit Form does not have a controller, or its controller has long since died. It's only functioning with the barest of intelligence and the most basic of orders - stop all trespassers! It's not a guaranteed method, but the concept is straightforward: become the Spirit Form's new master!"
"..." Yan Zaizen processed her words. In theory, it does seem simple. A spirit form without a controller is only an unintelligent robot following its basic orders. If one could become the new controller, theoretically, they could turn that robotic item into their own and have it follow new orders. In modern terms, it was like hacking into a program and changing its source code so it functions how you wish.
"How do we do that?"
"For others, it may be impossible, but for you! You, a wielder of an upper-tier Mortal Dao, should be able to do it. All you need to do is establish a dao-link with it, forcefully." Pinaka explained.
What?! Forcefully establish a dao-link? Wait...could his dao be integrated into spirit forms?! Despite his years of study in the Anima Syndicate, a majority of his topics fell on ancient civilization, soul-related, or cultivation related. The Dao, however, was not something they even had a detailed record of, let alone ways to use it.
It did make sense, after all, to develop a Dao, one must overcome Heavenly Tribulation. Likely, out of everyone in the Xiantu Realm, which goes well beyond quintillions in number, less than ten has actually developed their own dao.
That's the full total since the dawn of the Rebirth Era.
"You can establish a dao-link, but doing so has its own complications. Compatibility is one, but also the most important. Not everyone is compatible with your dao. Not to mention, if someone forcefully rejects your dao bestowment, you could suffer a devastating psychological and soul injury. Therefore, bestowing your dao is a delicate matter. However, you should be able to do it to a Golem's Spirit Form without any compatibility issues."
"That's because, similar to me, Spirit Forms and True Spirits are artificial existences created outside of the hell & heavenly cycle. We can accept your dao, your internal heaven, much easier when we lack one. Not to mention, it changes us." She paused emotionally for a brief moment after saying this, "if someone else had an original dao, they could attempt to do so as well."
Amongst the thousands of cultivators, how could there not be any with a dao? However, they all had bestowed daos. A bestowed dao could not be passed on to another. It is also considerably weaker in terms of its effects it has on others.
"Wait…" Yan Zaizen thoughts were turning. If the dao can be considered his personal heaven, then is that why it can affect all forms of his cultivation? Was he drawing power from his own internal heaven? Similar to how essence could be cultivated into qi, was the dao similar when bestowed to others? They take it, as long as their compatible with it, they can convert it into their own but maintain their core personality?
The concept of Heavenly Genesis was to build a Heavenly Shrine which allows you to refine your true-essence, body, and soul with the heavens. This led to an exceptional rise in overall prowess in body, soul, and mind. Is that why a dao is needed to take control over a heaven? In that case...could it be that the heavens are just empty shells without a foundation or core?
This thought struck him like a lightning bolt. A flash of memory brought him back to when he saw his transparent flame-like dao, a herculean avatar that could cover the heavens with its palm, and the black hole that made the heavens look like an ant to a skyscraper. Could it be...the black hole touched upon the realm that exceeded the Heavenly Path?!
"Below the earths and the skies are the heavens...above the earths and the skies are the heavens." He didn't get this at first, but he felt like he touched upon the truth in this statement.
"Alright!" He drew his mind back to focus. Currently, his mind was suffused with a breathtaking clarity. "How do I start?"
"Normally, even with a Mortal Dao, this would be difficult without coming directly in contact with the Spirit Form. However, I can establish a connection and have the Spirit Form, and you exist simultaneously in my sea of consciousness. In there, all you have to do is forcefully integrate your dao into it." Pinaka instructed, her tone turned slightly solemn. In truth, she didn't truly have an absolute guarantee it'll work, but this was a method.
Recalling how she pulled him into her sea of consciousness when they first met, Yan Zaizen didn't doubt her capabilities.
"How long will it take?" Yan Zaizen asked.
"I'm not sure. I'm a True Spirit who willingly allowed your dao to link with my core existence, but this soul form may instinctively fight against you. You'll have to forcefully establish a link. If you fail, your very dao and soul could suffer injury. If you aren't sure-"
"I'm sure." Yan Zaizen interrupted. He was the controller of the Dao of Sovereign Ascension! The Dao of Relentless Pursuit, Unyielding Confidence, and Cold Decisiveness was intermixed into this dao as a part of a grand whole; how could he possibly take a step back?
As if expecting this, Pinaka nodded. Within Yan Zaizen's soul form, she got into a lotus position, a translucent prayer mat materialized beneath her. Slowly, she started to hum a chant of profound language that Yan Zaizen couldn't comprehend. It sounded soul-shaking and soul-bewitching with a touch of divinity. This was his impression of the language.
Before long, Yan Zaizen and a semi-translucent Asura shrouded by a crimson glow appeared within Pinaka's sea of consciousness.
"It worked?" Remarking in intrigue, Yan Zaizen's expression turned solemn as he looked at the Asura Golem's Spirit Form. It seemed to be looking around with curiosity, its eyes flickering with traces of intelligence. After several seconds, his gaze steadied on Yan Zaizen's soul form.
"Oh?" Revealing a shocked expression on its multi-faces, it couldn't help but tighten its ethereal fists. "I shall kill you, then break out of here." It declared, dual blades manifesting in its hands.
From his understanding, Spirit Forms lacked intelligence. At least, they lacked hardcore intelligence, functioning on basic instructions and instincts. Only True Spirits, who have their own personalities and the ability to cultivate independently, have a high intelligence. For it to reveal such complex expressions, declare its intent and manifest spiritual weapons in a sea of consciousness that wasn't its own. That shouldn't be possible!
"I was wrong!" Pinaka's urgent voice rumbled everywhere without any particular point of origin. However, there was no panic in her declaration, but it was filled with excitement instead. "Yan Zaizen! Defeat this spirit!"
"What? What is it?" Yan Zaizen's face turned incomparably grave, he could feel a potent killing intent from the Asura Golem's Spirit.
"It's not a Spirit Form! It's an Asura Spirit! You have to dominate it, establish your dao-link! You must!" Her voice rumbled once more. The Asura Golem's Spirit, however, didn't seem like he could hear it. It was as if the voice was isolated from it.
Asura Spirit? ASURA SPIRIT!?!
An Asura Spirit was a spirit form, but it was created from an actual Asura's soul and converted into an armament spirit. In this world, one could extract the souls of other objects or races and make them a part of an armament. They were greater than Spirit Forms, but didn't have the ability to ascend to a True Spirit. Fortunately, they also didn't need to suffer heavenly tribulation without a dao protecting them.
For example, the Xiāo City Lord extracted the soul of an actual mountain to produce his armament. How could he, a peak grand-tier alchemist, not have such an extraordinary armament? Yan Zaizen previous feeling an intense sense of deadly crisis wasn't because of it being a sky-rank armament, but because it was a unique sky-rank armament! It contained the Mortal Law of Mountains to the manifestation-level!
"Fine!" Yan Zaizen's dark-amber orb that contained his Mortal Dao ejected from his soul form, as if formulating a profound connection to his heavenly laws, it split into a bow and arrow. Getting into a readied stance, his eyes flashed with an intense light.
A cold snort was released from the Asura Spirit. It thundered ferociously like a demon running rampage on the mortal world, in its hands were two blades that seemed to have been drenched in blood.
The arrow soared.
Eight months of intense battle, Yan Zaizen had finally woken from his state. His eyes suffused with a light containing traces of refinement and brutality. With a wave of his hand, the Asura Golem vanished from its spot and into the Meteor Ring. Within the Meteor Ring, the Asura Golem stood there with eyes filled with sovereign brutality as if it was a king who had slaughtered countless to arise to its throne.
Pinaka's soul form materialized within the Meteor Ring. It appeared before the Asura Golem. Her eyes were incomparably bright. "An actual Asura Spirit…"
The Asura Golem didn't have the ability to display facial expressions, but it released a soft arrogant-filled snort in discontent at Pinaka's appraising gaze.
The Dao! The Dao!
WE MUST SEEK THE DAO!
I'm curious, what type of Dao would you all form?
Dao of Awesome Reader? Dao of Infinite Support? Dao of The Grand Monarch?!
Come on, tell me your Daos!
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