1617 Crucial Tribulation
Soul cores with the size of a chicken egg, dark blue to the point of being black, rained down on Dang Hun Mountain.
The soul core contained all of the essence of a soul beast, after the soul beast died, its corpse would turn into smoke and scatter, leaving behind only its soul core.
Soul cores condensed a large amount of soul path dao marks, they were a top tier Gu material.
Soul cores could be found in all sizes, an ordinary soul beast's soul core was the size of a rice grain, and would only be the size of a chicken egg when they reached rank six. Those of rank seven were slightly larger, while a rank eight immemorial soul beast's soul core was as large as a horse carriage.
After a round of discussion, Fang clan finally agreed to Fang Yuan's request, secretly sending him a large amount of soul cores. These soul cores were almost all rank six Gu level, with few being rank seven soul cores, and as for rank eight soul core, there was not even one.
Fang Yuan had two rank eight soul cores but he was storing them, not wanting to use them for producing guts Gu on Dang Hun Mountain.
Rank eight immortal materials were normally used to refine rank eight Immortal Gu or to construct a large formation. Using them for producing guts Gu would be somewhat of a waste of their value.
The radiance of Dang Hun Mountain shook as the soul cores scattered into powder, sprinkling their essence into Dang Hun Mountain. Within moments, guts Gu started condensing with rapid speed.
Fang Yuan nodded inwardly at this scene: "My soul path cultivation can get back on track again and progress swiftly."
Soul path foundation was extremely important to Fang Yuan.
Enslaving immemorial year beasts required it, moreover the deeper the soul foundation, the more immemorial year beasts Fang Yuan could enslave.
Emperor yama expended soul foundation, whenever a wisdom path Gu Immortal made deductions about Fang Yuan, emperor yama would activate to conceal Fang Yuan while expending a portion of Fang Yuan's soul foundation.
Burning soul bursting luck also depended on soul foundation. There was also lead soul into dream, Fang Yuan had already studied this killer move completely, it had a chance of failure. But if Fang Yuan's soul foundation was higher than the target, the killer move's success rate would be much higher.
Fang Yuan had directly used his name in the letter, abandoning Suan Bu Jin's name, Fang clan's response was not beyond his expectations.
To a super force, a lone force like Fang Yuan could not seize their territories, at most he could steal some resources. But other super forces were different, they could forcibly occupy territories and seize entire resource points by sending in their manpower.
The greatest threat to Fang clan were the other righteous path forces that were glaring at it covetously.
"Moreover, Western Desert is somewhat special. Western Desert Gu Immortals compromise a little more easily than those of the other four regions."
This was not because Western Desert Gu Immortals were soft, it was because of the environment.
Different from other regions, Western Desert was filled with boundless deserts and oases. If an oasis was destroyed in a battle between Gu Masters, they would have no foundation for survival and could easily perish together. On the other hand, different oases produced different resources, Gu Masters would need each other's help to make up for what they lack in their cultivation. So Gu Masters often formed caravans and moved a long distance which was usually quite dangerous and exhausting. Thus, there were many collaborative relationships between Gu Masters as well as different forces.
So, since long ago, Western Desert's Gu Masters were molded to compromise and make concessions for the survival of both sides.
Any Gu Immortal had cultivated step by step from Gu Master stage. This habit had sunk deep into their bones and was already a part of the nature of Western Desert Gu Immortals.
In his first life, Fang Yuan had roamed around Western Desert for some time and was well aware of the nature of Western Desert's people.
Had Fang Yuan captured Western Desert Gu Immortals, the Western Desert righteous path forces would have compromised quicker than Southern Border, their attitude would also be more realistic and proper.
Had Fang Yuan captured Northern Plains Gu Immortals, it would be a different situation. Northern Plains Gu Immortals were often valiant and unafraid of death, they might even think it was a disgrace for them to be saved. Fang Yuan would suffer a headache with those captives.
In the following days, Fang Yuan resumed his soul path cultivation while continuing to extort Southern Border's righteous path forces and soul searching the captives.
Fang Yuan's soul search target was Xia Cha.
Although it was rather difficult to search her soul, he was not without any progress. Fang Yuan's immortal aperture's time was very fast, under continuous effort over time, he had made many gains.
Soon, Xia Cha's immortal killer moves were plundered by Fang Yuan.
Xia Cha was worthy of being Xia clan's first supreme elder, she had developed two sets of killer moves involving Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, these four Immortal Gu, each set had four moves.
The first set of killer moves was mainly used for battle, spring scissors, summer fan, autumn perception, and winter coat.
Among them, Fang Yuan had already seen spring scissors and summer fan. These two killer moves were extremely ferocious, fully displaying rank eight might.
Autumn perception was an investigative killer move which greatly made up for Fang Yuan's shortcoming in the investigative aspect.
Winter coat was a defensive killer move with extraordinary effect.
The second set of killer moves was used for managing the immortal aperture, spring ploughing, summer hoeing, autumn harvest, and winter storage.
Every move was ingenious and profound, the more terrifying part was when these four moves were used in unison, their might would be amplified and have extraordinary effect in managing the immortal aperture.
Besides these, there were of course other moves as well, used for healing, movement, or evasive maneuvers, they were all exquisite but could not compare to these two sets of killer moves.
In fact, conceptualizing immortal killer moves was a difficult process, there was a high requirement for the ability and talents of Gu Immortals.
Central Continent's Vicious Lightning Fiend spent a few years in closed cultivation before he was able to deduce the killer move lightning deity. And this was when he had blood deity's Immortal Gu recipe as reference.
Under a normal situation, without any help of wisdom path methods, a Gu Immortal would on average need five to six years of time to deduce and conceptualize a killer move.
Choosing suitable Gu worms out of myriads of Gu worms was not easy. There were even countless choices in combining Gu worms. Even if a killer move was conceptualized, it was useless if it did not have practical value, and also could not be used if the side effect was too severe. After completing a killer move, it still had to be tested and improved which was even more difficult.
Naturally, five to six years was not referring to a Gu Immortal whole-heartedly concentrating on deducing the killer move without doing anything else.
If the Gu Immortal had reference materials like Immortal Gu recipes or inheritances of predecessors, they could further shorten this time.
But the time taken was normally measured in years.
Fang Yuan seemed to be easily deducing and modifying killer moves, the main reason was the light of wisdom, after all, rank nine wisdom Gu was nothing to scoff at. There was also another important reason, that was his deep attainment level in all kinds of paths.
The Immortal Gu and immortal killer moves obtained from Xia Cha greatly supplemented Fang Yuan's strength in terms of time path, he could be said to have made huge progress, like the eruption of a volcano.
But Fang Yuan was facing a rather awkward issue.
"Spring and Summer are both rank eight Immortal Gu, they can only be activated with rank eight immortal essence. I am only a rank seven Gu Immortal, I don't even have the qualifications to refine them without using other methods."
"So I still need to advance my cultivation to rank eight!"
"Then, not only can I use Spring and Summer, there is also wisdom sword Immortal Gu."
Fang Yuan started deducing matters regarding his advancement to rank eight.
Several days later, his deduction was finished.
Putting aside heavenly tribulations and earthly calamities, rank seven needed to pass through three grand tribulations to advance to rank eight, and these three grand tribulations would get increasingly powerful.
Fang Yuan was currently very close to the third and final grand tribulation.
The threat of the grand tribulation was not high to him.
Even if heaven's will strengthened it to the greatest limits, Fang Yuan already held firm initiative with his exposing heavenly secret killer move.
What Fang Yuan was worried about was not the grand tribulation, but a possible human calamity.
To face the grand tribulation, he must place his immortal aperture and connect to the outside world to absorb heaven and earth qi.
At that time, Fang Yuan's location would be directly exposed to heaven's will, while also sharply increasing the difficulty in defending against others' deductions.
Heavenly Court absolutely would not let go of this opportunity, they should already have some estimations of Fang Yuan's cultivation level.
If Fang Yuan underwent the tribulation in Southern Border, when Southern Border's Gu Immortals learn of the information, they would rush to kill Fang Yuan even if the captives were with him!
Because if they got rid of Fang Yuan, they would have no more future trouble, and looking at the long term, the benefits they could gain would be even larger.
Fang Yuan's dragonfish business was already obstructed by Heavenly Court, his income falling massively. This showed Spectral Soul was unable to hold on and Heavenly Court was making a lot of progress in soul searching him. As time passed, Heavenly Court would gain more information while Fang Yuan would be put into an increasingly passive situation as all kinds of methods in Spectral Soul's true inheritance continued to lower in value.
"At present, Heavenly Court is my main enemy. The crucial key in the fight against Heavenly Court is fate Gu."
"If Heavenly Court completely restores fate Gu, I will have no more chance at victory. If I can destroy it, I will be able to continue to fight with them."
"And the crucial key to destroying fate Gu lies in Red Lotus' true inheritance." Fang Yuan had already deduced that it was very likely for Red Lotus' true inheritance to hold the method to destroy fate Gu.
"And to inherit Red Lotus' true inheritance, I will have to fight in the River of Time, whether I can break through Heavenly Court's defense line will depend on this third grand tribulation."
"If I can pass it, I will become rank eight, and will be able to use Spring, Summer, and wisdom sword Immortal Gu. My battle strength will soar rapidly, I will have a chance at the battle in the River of Time."
"If I can't pass it, it will be my death. Even if I survive by chance, the opportunity and timing will be lost. After I fall by one step, I will continue to fall behind continuously, unless Heavenly Court makes a serious slip up, they won't give me another chance to make a comeback."
Fang Yuan's mind was cool as ice, well aware of his situation.
The important thing now was to plan on how to pass the third grand tribulation and become a rank eight.
In the following days, besides cultivating his soul, soul searching Xia Cha, and managing his immortal aperture, Fang Yuan focused on exploring dream realms, practising the new immortal killer moves as well as modifying the old killer moves.
It was necessary to modify the old killer moves, especially his soul path killer moves which needed to be greatly improved. Otherwise, if the soul path killer moves were countered or restrained by Heavenly Court's Gu Immortals, Fang Yuan would be in an extremely passive situation.
As for practising new killer moves, Fang Yuan was mainly practising Xia Cha's methods. He was only rank seven currently, but autumn Gu and winter Gu were also only rank seven, he could practise their corresponding immortal killer moves.
Normally, there were two main difficulties in practising killer moves.
One was the high chance of getting injured. But Fang Yuan had the sovereign immortal body which had non-conflicting dao marks and also had Man as Before, so this was not difficult to overcome.
Second was the expenditure of immortal essence. If immortal essence was expended quickly, immortal essence stones had to be refined into immortal essence. Fang Yuan was low on funds before, but he had a lot of businesses now, so he did not lack the capital!