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The Black Dragon didn’t interfere because it knew it couldn’t save Chen Chang Sheng, even if its Royal Father was to be present, they would still be unable to save this youth. Star Brilliance from the natural world transforming into a cultivator’s own True Essence, this process and subsequent movement of the True Essence was dependent upon the strength of the cultivator’s body.
Chen Chang Sheng had yet to complete his Purification, his flesh, bones and organs were too weak to endure this. His True Essence at this moment was explosively bursting outwards, akin to countless minute blades piercing his body; if even his Ethereal Palace was to be instantly sundered, who would be able to save him? Chen Chang Sheng’s face turned ever more crimson in colour, this was not a healthy sort of crimson, but a horrifying visage. His entire body was cloaked in vapour and his face, twisted in pain. With a single popping sound, the blood vessels on the edge his eyes had split open, no longer able to withstand the pressure. Flesh blood showered forth like blossoms from his face; upon coming into contact with the frigid air and bringing forth mist, before crystalizing and falling onto the ground, akin to a spiralling coral. Following this, increasing numbers of blood vessels around his body also started erupting, causing countless spurts of fresh blood to gush forwards; the boiling temperature managed to warm the underground space slightly before rapidly cooling down and congealing. The surroundings of Chen Chang Sheng were being increasingly dyed in red, creating coral-like patterns; a pretty image that was marred by how gory it actually was. Following the rupturing of blood vessels came the fracturing of skin, then flesh; copious amounts of blood ran from his body and his underlying bones could occasionally be seen flashing in white; he painfully shut his eyes as he could no longer maintain his sitting position and fell upon the floor convulsing; a horrifying scene that wrenched the heart. The Black Dragon covered its eyes with its right claw, unable to continue looking onwards, it was filled with deep regret: this agreeable human youth was about to die and would be unable to help it complete that task. It had originally wanted to prevent this from happening, but since it was Chen Chang Sheng’s personal choice, it had stayed its hand as a sign of respect, for both Chen Chang Sheng and the roast lamb he had brought. At this moment, the Black Dragon did not think about its escape, nor did it think about the solitude it had endured for hundreds of years or its impending continuation. All it could do was to silently hope, hope for Chen Chang Sheng to quickly pass, so that his suffering may end sooner, only such a death was worthy of Chen Chang Sheng’s calm courage in the face of death. The underground space was always locked in a wintry chill and the floor was covered in snow and ice; Chen Chang Sheng was sprawled out upon the earth, flesh rent, bones sundered, hot blood gushed out to meet the surrounding snow and resulted in white mist rising up to the sound of crackling; the Star Brilliance within his body was burning too intensely, causing his blood to act like as if it was boiling. As recorded within the addendum of the Four Classics of Meditation, if it weren’t for the cold and frigid underground space, Chen Chang Sheng would have ended with a self-explosion; due to the chill brought on by the Black Dragon, he hadn’t started combusting away, but this was effectively just a matter of dying in a more sightly manner. Time slowly passed by. After a long period of time, the Black Dragon lowered its claw, preparing to express lament for Chen Chang Sheng; this human youth was, after all, the first person it had come into proper contact with for the past few hundred years. Thinking of this, it decided that even if Chen Chang Sheng’s remains had become a sickening pile of cooked flesh, it would cover its nose and give him a burial. Looking upon the bloody coral’s centre, the Black Dragon’s pupils suddenly shrank; its ghostly pupils revealed its current dumbfoundedness. The ground was still cloaked in white mist, and the blood within the snow continued to broil away instead of cooling upon Chen Chang Sheng’s death. The reason for this was… Chen Chang Sheng was still alive. Why hasn’t he died? Why wasn’t he dead? The Black Dragon did not wish for his death, but it was stunned by the scene before its eyes, this was something outside the scope of the dragon tribe’s knowledge on the world – and everyone knew that the dragon tribe had the most knowledge in the world. Star Brilliance burning from within to without; everything from the heart to the skin would be destroyed; this was something unpreventable and irreversible. Therefore, why was he still alive? The Black Dragon contained its shock and awe; slowly drifting forwards. Accompanying the movement of its massive body, a chill wind emerged within the underground space. The wind stirred up the blood corals, with the broiling blood creating a white mist that swept away the wretched bloody foam that had covered Chen Chang Sheng’s visage, revealing the image below. The Star Brilliance had indeed erupted from within to without; most of his internal organs had been severely damaged. But within his chest, something continued beating away strongly. His heart was still strongly beating. The Black Dragon’s pupils once again shrunk tightly. It knew of the human heart’s form. But it had never seen such a clean and pure heart. The blood stains on the surface of the heart would disperse to one side on every beat, revealing the heart’s original appearance. That was a clean, glass-like, pink coloured heart; there was nothing revolting about it at all, akin to a fruit that had been cleansed within a stream for some time. The Black Dragon was shocked, akin to having seen a Desert Bone Dragon. Chen Chang Sheng’s muscle, skin and bone had been destroyed; the Star Brilliance continued burning, continued destroying his body, yet, why was this internal part of him untouched, what was this heart made of? Why was it completely undamaged? The Black Dragon’s gaze fell upon the bloody corals and sweltering blood, feeling stranger as time passed. This grisly scene did nothing to arouse its disgust – True Nobles of the dragon tribe did not feed upon beings that had intelligence – the surrounding flesh and blood did not seem like flesh and blood, but felt akin to something else. That’s correct; corals; glass; clean; clear. The Black Dragon once again turned its gaze upon Chen Chang Sheng’s heart, dimly understanding something. Purification through Starlight, washed away impurity, leaving behind the pure, the clean. Purification was something a cultivator continued for their entire life, pursuing a realm of perfection: The Immaculate. Chen Chang Sheng’s body was unusual, and had a lot of unexplainable factors, such as his meridians that were split into nine. Maybe his blood, flesh and bone were also different, or perhaps… naturally immaculate; even if external factors such as food and air had added some impurity, it would have been minute and upon Purification through Starlight, it would have been purified within an instant. Then what else could the Starlight purify? Starlight, upon coming into contact with something hued in colour, could reveal its own, but upon coming into contact with something crystal-clear, what could it reveal? Something crystal-clear, did not have any colour. The Starlight naturally continued flowing. From Spring till now, Chen Chang Sheng had guided Starlight for Purification nightly, the Starlight had no effect on his skin or hair, nor did it transform his flesh and bone; it had directly entered his body, triggering a link between the macroscopic and microscopic Heaven and Earth, arriving before his Ethereal Palace. The crooked Ethereal Opening had a palace. This was the Ethereal Palace.