767 Nine Levels of the Golden CoreGolden Core!
The shining orb was the reason behind Perfected Cultivator Yunxiao's dominance over Kunxu, and what gave him an upper hand against Chen Fan. The orb basked the world in its golden brilliance.
Immense power was packed in the tiny space, making it look like a small sun.
"The difference between Golden Core and Connate Spirit is unbridgeable. Connate Cultivators only have one foot on the path of cultivation and will not last long in the vast space.
"However, a Golden Core is different."
Chen Fan looked at the orb wistfully as he glided his finger along its amber surface, feeling the crevasses that made up the zigzagging cloud patterns.
"Once a cultivator forms a Golden Core, he can be self-sufficient energy wise. Even if the Spirit Qi in the environment has completely depleted, he can escape to another planet, or create a dimension portal to another world.
"Therefore, a Golden Core is considered incorruptible for eternity. Most races in the universe consider reaching the Golden Core level as the sign of coming of age and the readiness for space travel."
The difficulties in combating a Golden Core cultivator as a Connate Cultivator made Chen Fan shake his head.
Golden Core cultivators wielded a hundred times more energy than their Connate counterpart. In addition, the Golden Core's energy was much more dense and deadlier.
Depite Chen Fan's initial-success in cultivating a Divine Body and the two Heavenly paintings under his disposal, his strength was a far cry when compared with powerful beings in the universe.
Many Divine Beasts were born with phenomenal success in Divine Body cultivation. Heirs of Grand Cultivators were born with an Essence Core and were likely to possess a Divine Meridian, and many other powerful Divine Powers. Even with such an advantage, only after being raised up with precious treasure pills would they have a chance to defeat a Golden Core cultivator while still at the Connate Spirit Level.
"My setback is temporary. Once I leave earth and enter the realm of cultivation, I could easily become much more powerful. I can't wait to meet the acquaintances in my past life to see if their level of attainment has improved."
A cold light came up in Chen Fan's eyes.
In his last life, he had brought to heel many powerful races. However, he wasn't invincible from the very beginning. Just like any other warrior, he had pulled through many tough fights as he made his way toward invincibility.
"The zig-zag patterns on the Golden Core were created by Thunder Tribulation. Because of these two traumas, it can only be made into a second tier Golden Core, not the best kind."
Chen Fan shook his head.
Connate Cultivators would start to work on their Essence Core once they reached the late stage. The goal was to strengthen the Essence Core and prepare it for the Thunder Tribulation. The process consisted of burning the Essence Core with Thunder Fire until it became a Golden Core.
Golden Cores had nine levels, one being the lowest grade while level nine was the highest.
Two golden cores with vastly different levels would have significant gaps in terms of power and potential.
Only the elite disciples of powerful secrets could form Golden Cores of the top three levels and only a few of them could become Grand Cultivators in the future. Chen Fan also knew that beyond the ninth level, there was another level called super grade. Only those who had a super grade golden core could have a chance of reaching the Dao Reunion realm.
"My Golden Core in the past was only at the seventh level. I wasted too much time on mixing problems that came along with it because of its inferior quality. If I want to do things as fast as I can, I need to do it right the first time. That would imply creating a Super grade Golden Core from the outset," Chen Fan thought.
However, the priority for Chen Fan right then was what to do with the Golden Core he had collected.
"Although it's only a level two, it's rare nonetheless. Most Golden Core Cultivators would destroy their Golden Cores before they perished by self-destructing it. The self-destruction ability is one of the deadliest, although not the most useful ability of a Golden Core cultivator. That being said, when I used The Blade Of Time, Perfected Cultivator Yunxiao didn't even have a chance to self-destruct."
Chen Fan examined the Golden Core in his hand.
The Golden Core was extremely resilient to outside forces, making it difficult to tap into its energy. Most cultivators would detonate it as the last ditch effort to harm his opponent. However, Chen Fan knew a technique that allowed him to draw energy out of the Golden Core over time.
"Although the Golden Core will perish once I deplete its energy, there is plenty of juice in it to last for a while."
Chen Fan had decided to use it as his last resort.
He swallowed the Golden Core to hide it in his belly. Chen Fan tapped the stone table and said with a half smile.
"I have been staying here for a few days, why are you still hiding from me? Don't press your luck, or I will blow up this place."
The people around him were confused and terrified by his words.
Chen Fan looked at the ceiling while he spoke, but there was no one there.
"Fellow cultivator, no need to get mad."
A wizened sigh was heard as the walls and the ceiling lit up. Lights flowed down from the palace and formed a vague apparition before Chen Fan.
"I knew it. The one who created the Yuntian Palace had to be a Nascent Soul level Grand Cultivator that surely had powerful Spirit Treasures. You are an Artifact Spirit, and the fact that you can form an apparition means that you are a superior-grade Artifact Spirit."
Chen Fan nodded.
"My master's name is Heaven's Equal."
The Artifact Spirit's voice grew cold and distant. "What do you want to know? Mind you that I wouldn't tell you everything."
"I only have one question: where are the ancient cultivators and where is the Path of Heaven?" Chen Fan asked.
"I am sorry, my master ordered me to guard the Path of Heaven. I will not disclose its location even if you annihilate the entire Kunxu. It's not personal. Its location needs to be kept away from our powerful foes," the Artifact Spirit refused.
"That's what I thought."
Chen Fan wasn't surprised.
He had noticed that the Artifact Spirit cared very little for the people of Kunxu. Although Cloud Heaven Thearch could tap into the energy inside the palace, he could only scrape the surface. The Artifact Spirit had remained hidden even when Chen Fan killed Yunxiao.
"Aren't you worried about me razing the Yuntian Palace to the ground and doing away with you?"
Chen Fan's gaze grew icy.
The Artifact Spirit scoffed.
Suddenly, countless golden inscriptions lit up on the Palace wall as a belligerent wave of energy was shot out from deep under the ground. The pulse of energy was much stronger and forceful than that of the Perfected Cultivator Yunxiao.
It was the power of the Nascent Soul's Dharma Treasure.
The Yuntian Palace turned out to be the most powerful being in Kunxu.
Chen Fan narrowed his eyes.
A wave of energy no less aggressive gushed out from Chen Fan's body. Energy inside of Chen Fan surged and he quickly surpassed the Core Formation, reaching the Golden Core level.
There was a terrifying bundle of energy thrashing inside of his system, struggling to get out. Chen Fan took his time and unleashed the energy slowly, letting it seep into the structures that supported the Yuntian Palace.
"When did you reach the Golden Core realm?"
The Artifact Spirit jumped in utter surprise.
He noticed that Chen Fan had just attained the Golden Core. Although the Artifact Spirit possessed more raw energy than Chen Fan, it wouldn't be a match against him.
"My power is beyond your imagination," Chen Fan said lightly.
Unknown to the Artifact Spirit, Chen Fan had used a secret art to tap into Yunxiao's Golden Core to create the illusion of himself reaching the Golden Core. Such art was unheard of since most people regarded the Golden Core as a useless paper weight.
"Tell me where the Path of Heaven is. I will not only spare your life, I can also teach you the art of transcendence." Chen Fan used the age-old tactic of carrot and stick.
The Artifact Spirit became quiet as the glow from the palace wall dimmed.
He had lived thousands of years as an Artifact Spirit, bound to the palace. He was eager to gain freedom even at the cost of diminishing his power. What use was power if he couldn't even go anywhere?
Chen Fan fulfilled part of his promise and told the Artifact Spirit a portion of the Art of Transcendence. The Artifact Spirit's face grew soft and nodded.
"Very well, we have a deal."
The Artifact Spirit filled Chen Fan in on the secrets he wanted to know and Chen Fan also fulfilled his end of the bargain.
A light came up in Chen Fan's eyes as he exclaimed, "So that's what had happened. I would never have thought that the Path of Heaven could exist in such a strange form."