Unsealing Emptiness -
Chapter 361: Core Formation Realm.
The trio learned their respective Cultivation Techniques and all began to cultivate.
Zier eventually opened his burning eyes and wiped the sweat from his brow. Just from the cultivation, he was half-drenched in his own sweat!
Blaze eventually gave up and ceased cultivating around a half-hour later. His bulging veins continued to reveal how stressed his entire body was.
“Just this much has improved my Spiritual Essence more than when I was cultivating until now!” Blaze exclaimed in surprise. He had also come to learn of the ranks of cultivation techniques, but only now did he realize their importance.
Despite their sweaty appearances, both had a satisfied smile on their faces since they felt the difference between the previous technique and these new Mortal Grade 7-Star Cultivation Techniques. It was like comparing a turtle to a rabbit.
However, even with their new Cultivation Technique, the goal was to develop the Spiritual Core, which was nowhere in sight.
If they had been crawling like a turtle with no end in sight before, they were now leaping ahead at a rate many times quicker than the turtle, yet there was still no end in sight.
It was only then that Blaze noticed something beside him.
‘How can she still continue?!’ He felt stupefied as he saw Raven’s appearance.
After he and Zier could not continue anymore, they stopped and began to study their manuals again. Much time had already passed since then, yet Raven didn’t seem like she had thoughts about giving up anytime soon!
Seeing the faint steam from her sweat rising up in the air, Blaze considered stopping her for her own good. That idea, however, was pushed to the back of his head and he sat down again to cultivate as well! He couldn’t lose to Raven!
Zier looked at the two and shook his head. He could never torture himself like them.
It felt great at the start, but continuously cultivating took a heavy toll on their bodies. Their bodies would need time to adapt to the new changes. That is why those eager to get stronger couldn’t simply cultivate nonstop.
Even after taking a break, Blaze couldn’t keep doing it for long. He was again forced to stop before Raven did. He gritted his teeth, but his body didn’t agree with it at all.
Only once Raven stopped cultivating did he sigh a breath of relief.
Despite cultivating for much longer, Raven, unlike how Zier and Blaze thought, wasn’t much worse than them.
She slowly stood up and stretched her body and calmed her breathing.
‘Still not enough,’ she thought feeling the power surge through her body. She also wasn’t able to form her Spiritual Core.
But, unlike the other two, she was convinced that it wouldn’t be long until she did. She was still perplexed in certain areas because it was her first time cultivating with that technique.
But Raven didn’t plan on forming the Spiritual Core through sheer suffering. After all, they had received such a valuable gift like Spirit Gathering Pills from the old lady Ember.
She flicked her hand and the bottle containing the pills appeared in her hand. Blaze and Zier stared at the bottle as if they had just remembered that they had such a thing.
Raven opened the glass bottle, took out a pill, and gave the bottle to Blaze.
“Wait! You are not going to eat it now, are you?” Zier looked at her strangely. He knew firsthand just how excruciating it would become to longer one cultivated. She had been on it for several more hours than him. Considering that and the fact that she hadn’t even rested yet, he feared that she might hurt herself.
Raven’s gaze went to his, perplexed. She was going to eat it right now, of course. Didn’t he notice her taking it from the bottle?
“Don’t you feel pain all over your body?!” Zier made an effort to make her realize that she might be overdoing it.
“Why does that matter?” She questioned back.
She was hurriedly about to put that pill in her mouth when a voice came from the other corner of the room,
“He is right. You should stop and rest first.” The voice belonged to Ozul who was always in a state in which he was aware of his surroundings even when he was sleeping, somehow.
His gaze lingered on Raven’s body for a few more seconds before he continued, “You will likely suffer an internal injury at this rate. Rest for a few hours at least. What is the point in cultivating more if you don’t live to see the next day?”
He sounded frustrated because it wasn’t the first time he had to tell either Raven or Blaze that they shouldn’t kill themselves.
Raven’s lips quivered hearing his harsh tone. She clenched her fist holding the Spirit Gathering Pill and didn’t say anything. Taking a deep breath again, she sat down and stared at the ground as if doing so had always been her favorite hobby.
As Zier was about to sit close to her, she suddenly glared in his direction as if the scolding from Ozul was all his fault.
Smiling wryly, Zier stood up and sat in the other corner. If Ozul could read his mind right now, he would see him internally crying and complaining that he was just trying to help because he was worried.
. . .
The day passed with the trio excitedly cultivating to form the Spiritual Core while Ozul spent the night sleeping to his non-existent heart’s content.
It was in the next morning that there came a knocking on their door.
Zier opened the room and found the old lady Ember. She came in person just for them.
“Let’s go. There is another task,” she spoke to particularly no one, but everyone knew it was for Ozul.
After all, none of them were strong enough to help unless Ozul specifically needed them to run his errands.
Stretching lazily, Ozul stood up from his bed, receiving a wry smile from Ember. Unlike the others, it was clear that he had been slacking off the entire day.
Behind Ozul, the trio also followed Ember to their meeting room which was shielded from all noise.
As they all gathered in the room, Ember briefly examined everyone again and except for Ozul, she saw a lot of unexpected changes.
First of all, she clearly felt the surges of Spiritual Essence seeping out of Zier and Blaze’s bodies. It was evident that they had already eaten the Spirit Gathering Pills and Blaze didn’t seem far from developing his Core.
Though that wasn’t the surprising part. The main source of her astonishment was the black-haired girl who initially seemed to be the most ordinary amongst this group.
The cause of her surprise was the fact that Raven had already reached the Core Formation Realm! She had successfully developed her Spiritual Core and passed the Formation stage!
‘And here I thought that she would be the weakest among them...’ Ember sighed with emotions. Blaze was clearly the most talented, yet Raven had developed her Core in just a single day!
‘Sure enough, the Scarlet Eyes of this level can’t see through everything. Just how high would be her resolve to bear through all that pain in a single day...’ She internally regretted not trying to poach Raven instead of Blaze.
After all, in her centuries of life, she had never heard of anyone forming their Spiritual Core in just a single day!
Ozul internally smirked at her reaction. Ember didn’t know, but he could easily read her emotions. The fact that the old lady was so moved after seeing Raven was proof that they were really exceptional here in this Realm.
“So, what is it this time?” He woke Ember up from her inner monologue.
“... My, I was so easily distracted. Age may have been catching up to me,” Ember smiled and averted the embarrassment. She was staring at Raven for solid few minutes without saying anything.
Zier nodded his head in understanding and voiced out, “Hmm. You do seem old...”
His words trailed off to silence as Ember met his gaze dangerously, daring him to finish that sentence.
Except for the woman in question, no one could talk about their age, Zier had forgotten.
The snickering from Blaze from behind him only added fuel to his misery, but Zier could only shut up and complain inside his mind.
“As I was saying, the task this time will be easy. The Waterfall County’s heir is about to be kidnapped by a locally renowned group of thugs.”
“And?” Ozul was forced to ask as Ember waited for him to do so for no reason whatsoever.
Satisfied, she continued, “You have to help them because otherwise, they would fail miserably.”
“Why are you so certain that they will fail?” He didn’t ask how she knew about the future kidnapping when the County Lord himself could be unaware of it.
“The thugs are bold because they have two Nascent Soul Realm experts in the Soul Nurturing stage. They just don’t know that the father of County Lord, who went into seclusion more than a decade ago, is already at the peak of Soul Liberation stage of Nascent Soul Realm.” Ember didn’t explain why or how she knew all of that.
“The moment they enter the County Lord’s estate, they will be discovered and eliminated without mercy. Your task is to help them.”
Realizing the complications of the task, Ozul didn’t outright reject it and instead asked more questions, “Where is this Waterfall County?”
“On the opposite border of the Blue Lion Kingdom.”
Feeling that they might misunderstand something, Ember explained further, “If you are worried about the distance, don’t be. It won’t take a month just to get there.”
She smirked and stood up to lead the group outside the building.
Confused at her actions, Ozul began to follow her with rest imitating him.
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