His body and soul had been shivering ever since the Xuan Wu took form in the sky. He not only feared the beast, but also revered it. This reverence was deep rooted in his bloodline. His fearful reverence was shared by his Sky-Swallowing Python.
"This is a Heavenly Tribulation. A Deity Grade Golden Core Heavenly Tribulation to be exact."
Chen Fan looked up as his face hardened. But slowly, a smile broke over his face. There was more relief than joy in that smile.
"A Deity grade Golden Core?"
Zhao Juexian was at a loss.
He was the Lord of the Beihan Region, but even he had only heard of Divine Grade Golden Core and had never heard of the Deity grade. In fact there had never been a Sacred grade Golden Core on Planet Tianhuang, much less a Deity grade.
"Normal Golden Cores have nine lines and only those beyond the ninth line would be called Divine Grade Golden Cores. Such Golden Cores could only be obtained by members of powerful sects. Beyond Divine Grade Golden Cores are those of the Sacred Grade, and they could only be harnessed by the most powerful cultivators in the Sacred lands. However, there is one more grade above the sacred grade: the Deity grade."
Relieved by the presence of the Xuan Wu, Chen Fan explained in detail.
"A Deity grade Golden Core is extremely rare and can only be born during the most auspicious moment. Unlike the Sacred grade Golden Core, which needs to undergo a Thunder Tribulation nine times, the Deity grade only needs to withstand the tribulation transcendence of thunder once."
After said that, Chen Fan landed his gaze on the enormous Xuan Wu who possessed the power of Xuanming.
"This is the Deity grade Thunder Tribulations' true form"
The Power of the Xuan Wu Divine Beast was as formidable as that of a Heavenly Lord Essence Neonate. The Xuanming energy supported his feet while roiling currents tumbled about him. The shape and texture was extraordinarily vivid despite the fact that it was entirely made out of electric energy.
Chen Fan knew that this wasn't a real Xuan Wu; instead, it was an apparition created by the laws of the universe.
"Legend has it that the universe would respond to the tribulation transcendence of a deity grade Golden Core by sending an apparition of a powerful being as a final test. My work is not done until I defeat the apparition."
"Only the most powerful beings could form such a vivid apparition, beings such as the Divine Beasts, Grand Cultivators and Perfected Immortals. The type of apparition usually has something to do with the cultivator's personal experience. But I never expected that I would see the Xuan Wu."
Chen Fan smiled wryly.
Any Divine Beast could be very powerful, but most of them possessed power no greater than that of the Ancient Demon Prince.
However, the Xuan Wu was one of the strongest Divine Beasts. It was able to shatter the heavens and shake the earth even at the early-stage Golden Core. Chen Fan was practically going to fight against a Heavenly Lord Essence Neonate.
Before Zhao Juexian knew what had happened, the Xuan Wu had attacked.
He lifted one of his huge feet and clawed at the ground.
Suddenly, the space between heaven and earth was torn apart, letting in many deadly energy storms. The ground caved in as mountains crumbled. Zhao Juexian laid on all fours, face planted on the ground, unable to even move a finger as the world around him fell apart.
Chen Fan flew to the sky; trailing behind him was a smear of golden light that came off from the scintillating halo.
The true form of the Thunder Tribulation had revealed itself. He either fought or he had to lose the Deity grade Golden Core. There was no other option for him.
Chen Fan was knocked to a side and fell from the sky after the first impact. He banged against the ground, falling a few thousand meters down.
The Xuan Wu's power had exceeded Chen Fan's expectations. Although this particular Xuan Wu was only at an early-stage Golden Core, its physique was not any less robust and strong when compared to a Nascent Soul Cultivator.
Chen Fan had undergone twenty-seven Thunder Transcendence Tribulations and had reached a near-perfect physique refinement. However, the Xuan Wu's attack was still too much for him to handle.
"It's not over yet!"
Despite the setback, Chen Fan charged at the beast again. He was never going to give up.
His body started to glow more intensely and the halo behind Chen Fan's head transformed into a gigantic wheel of pure energy. The wheel rolled forward, aimed squarely at the Xuan Wu.
"Bang, bang, bang!"
An earth-shattering battle was about to begin.
This was the most difficult battle Chen Fan had ever fought.
The Xuan Wu was a force to be reckoned with anywhere in the universe. The most powerful ones could rival a Perfected Immortal. Although this one was only a yearling and was at an early-stage Golden Core, Chen Fan had his work cut out for him.
Not only was its dharma energy on par with that of a Heavenly Lord Essence Neonate, but his body was also extremely powerful, even more so than the Azure Thearch Longevity Body. Its Divine Powers were of the Celestial Art class. It was more powerful than Chen Fan in every aspect.
Once again, Chen Fan fell to the ground, leveling a ten thousand feet tall mountain in the process. The impact nearly tore the Azure Thearch Longevity Body into pieces.
"Damn it! I wish I had mastered the Sacred Body of Five Elements or the True Martial Divine Body."
Chen Fan was slightly annoyed by the thought.
The Azure Thearch Longevity Body was a powerful art, but it wouldn't compare with the other two. Chen Fan went on to use more Divine Powers, but all of them were countered by the beast. The only saving grace was the fact that the monster was only an apparition and lacked its own consciousness. Otherwise, it would have already annihilated him.
The Thunder Divine Blade!
Chen Fan took the form of the Thunder Loch.
The burning energy wheel spun faster, charging up Chen Fan's body like a furnace of a steam engine. Chen Fan felt the power coursing in his body. It gave him a rush of blood to the head and made him think that he could take on a Heavenly Lord. He brought the blade around and hacked open the fabric of reality, sending out a jet of dark Blade Auras.
However, the Xuan Wu simply moved its paw and countered the attack.
The scale-covered paw bore down onto the Thunder Divine Blade, knocking it to a side and landing on Chen Fan, rending his body into pieces.
Chen Fan quickly started the art to repair the divine body.
He was very close to reaching the Golden Core, therefore, he would never truly perish from the world as long as his Divine Soul was under the halo's protection. Even if his body was reduced to smithereens, he could regrow his body. That being said, to quickly regrow a body required a vast amount of energy, and Chen Fan could only use it a couple of times in a short period.
Chen Fan's battle-will surged as the golden energy around him gained intensity.
Chen Fan hurled a flurry of divine powers and spells at his opponent. It had been a while since Chen Fan had to struggle this hard. It reminded him of the time when he had battled against all the races in the universe.
Grand Essence Magnet Five Elements Thunder of Annihilation
Chen Fan lifted the Five Thunder Seal high above his head and summoned a lightning shaft with black and whtie bands.
In response, the Xuan Wu opened its mouth and sent out a pulse of Xuanming Divine Thunder.
The Xuan Wu brought out the full destructive capacity of the art. The Xuanming force gathered strength and transformed into a black lightning shaft that clashed with Chen Fan's attack. It not only warded off Chen Fan's attack, but also made the Five Thunder Seal explode in the air.
Chen Fan had no time to moan his loss, so he produced another Spirit Treasure and charged out again.
"Bang, bang, bang!"
Before the Xuan Wu's mighty presence, Chen Fan's Spirit Treasures crumbled as if they were made out of paper. Chen Fan was forced to unsheath the Demon Blade of Heaven Slay in order to barely remain standing in the battle field.
When Chen Fan's body was shredded into pieces for the nth time, even the art of Reincarnation became sluggish. He knew he couldn't last too long.
"The Xuan Wu is too powerful. Even if I gain the Deity grade Golden Core, I might still struggle to tame him."
Chen Fan frowned.
Be it physique refinement, divine powers, or Divine Powers, Chen Fan fell short in each and every one of those categories.
"The third form of the Thunder Divine Blade?
"Should I try Blade of Time?
"Or should I turn into a Xuan Wu as well?"
Many ideas raced across Chen Fan's mind.
Che Fan had tried all the powerful arts he knew, such as the Azure Thearch Longevity Body, the Blade of Time, and the Thunder Divine Blade. However, none were able to give him an edge during the battle.
It was simply impossible to defeat the Xuan Wu.
Chen Fan's body was annihilated for the ninth time.
Meanwhile, a giant gush appeared on the Xuan Wu. Chen Fan had wounded him with the Demon Blade of Heaven Slay using the third form of the Thunder Divine Blade.
The Thunder Divine Blade was a blade art passed down from primordial gods. It was powerful enough to wound a Perfected Immortal.
"It's not over yet!"
Chen Fan regained his body and charged out once again. He noticed that the golden wheel had been supplying him with nearly unlimited energy, so he felt comfortable using some arts that he saved for the last moment.
To his surprise, the previous attack seemed to have winded the Xuan Wu.
"Uh? Is he losing strength?"
Chen Fan wondered.
From that moment on, the Xuan Wu's power waned, and so did the size of its body. After a while, his power had dropped to the same level as Ancient Demon Prince's.
It wasn't until then that Chen Fan realized what was going on.
"I got it! I don't have to defeat the beast, I just have to last long enough to pass the challenge."
Chen Fan let out a wry smile. He should have thought of that sooner. After all, if he couldn't bring the Xuan Wu to heel, no one else could.
The battle ended with Chen Fan landing a blow on the Xuan Wu's forehead.
The Xuan Wu's massive frame melted into a flurry of electric tendrils that were sucked into the energy wheel. The energy wheel gulped everything down like a whale in the ocean. Even as it devoured the Xuan Wu, it shined brighter by the second.
It was a wheel of eternity and immortality.
It was Invincible; it was undestructable; it was a Golden Core!
The energy inside Chen Fan went through the roof and quickly surpassed Zhao Juexian, Shenxi and Ancient Demon Prince until it reached an unimaginable level. The vastness of the energy was as incomprehensible as the extent of the universe.
"Ten years after my rebirth, I have finally gained Golden Core!"
Chen Fan heaved a sigh as he gazed into the distance wistfully.
He stood firmly in the sky, radiating brilliant bright lights as if he were the center of the world. Under his feet, the Two World Peak crumbled, unleashing deadly lightning and thunder, but nothing could harm him. By then, he was as powerful as a god.
Zhao Juexian looked up at Chen Fan, and he thought that he was looking at an Immortal Monarch.