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713 Let Soul and Body Become One

 Upon invitation from the elders of the village, Mu Zi presided over the adult ceremony. He dissected the carcasses, wiped their blood on the kids' foreheads and said some blessings, which marked the kids' growth into adulthood. This was the tradition of most local villages in Tutankhamun. It was obvious that Mu Zi liked the process very much. In his former village, his father did the same thing as well.

The blessing ceremony was then completed, and the grand bonfire dinner began. The enthusiastic villagers danced around the bonfire while the barbeque roasting on the fire sizzled with oil. The fragrance of the meat and sounds from singing and dancing flooded the whole village, exuding the unique heat and passion of the desert locals.

Wang Zhong and Mu Zi sat together, watching the songs and dances while they chatted over wine and roasts. After experiencing life and death in the cursed lands and the desert, he felt as though he was in another life as he took in the joy of the world he was currently in.

Wang Zhong tried to kickstart communications by entering the Dimensional World, but he eventually realized that it could not work. Mu Zi's entry into the Dimensional World was reliant on his highly treasured device, the magical coffin; while Wang Zhong's entry was related to his Fate Stone, and slightly dependent on Tianjing's spatial coordinate. However, it could no longer be used and the reason was unclear. It might be due to being too far away or other known reasons, but Wang Zhong didn't think too much into it. His main pressing concern was to enter the Heroic Soul Stage, then finding a way to enter the Holy Land.

"Are you planning to stay here or go back?" Mu Zi's face revealed a rare hint of warmth and a rare smile. Although the people here respected him a lot, Mu Zi obviously kept a distance from everyone else. The only one who he could chat with was the old witch doctor.

"There are still things I've left undone and people I can't let go of in the Federation. But I will forge my Heroic Soul here," replied Wang Zhong, smiling. "By the way, have you heard of the Federation's Holy Land before? I'm planning to head there."

"Holy Land? The one in the Hyperdimensional World?

"You've heard about it?" Wang Zhong was a little surprised. It was an extremely mysterious place even for people in the Federation, including himself. Previously, he had only heard it once before, but Mu Zi actually knew about it.

"I've heard Aiolos talk about it before. He knows a lot about the Federation," replied Mu Zi. "It's where the experts of the Federation basically stay, and it's a very mysterious and powerful place. He also said that he wanted to go there when we'd just met, but I've never heard him mention it again afterward."

"By the way, is there any news from Aiolos? How is that dude?"

"He's strong, very strong, but he is currently bothered by some trivial matters, something about the development of Panpasi tribes not being smooth. Can you help with these matters? It's really a pity for Aiolos to put a halt in his cultivation for such matters," said Mu Zi, as he looked toward Wang Zhong.

"It seems like I really do have a way. The people you saved this time just happen to want to do business. It will take a while to open the trading channel between Tutankhamun and the Federation. It would be better if they could join Hero's Continent. If you see Aiolos, tell him to look for Gong Yi, he can definitely get help from him."

Mu Zi scratched his head. "I know nothing about such things. You're really good at these!"

Wang Zhong did not know whether to laugh or cry. How could he be considered good? It could only be said that everyone specialized in different areas. As for actual power, Mu Zi was the actual object of envy.

"Do you have any advice regarding the forging of my Heroic Soul?" asked Wang Zhong, smiling.

It would be wasteful to not consult such a top-level expert. Wang Zhong was actually a rather studious person.

"I don't practice the same ways as the Federation, so I don't really understand your process of forging the Heroic Soul." Mu Zi looked at Wang Zhong before continuing, "Your Spiritual Soul is stronger than mine and Aiolos' and has the magical power to fight fate. Both Aiolos and I feel that it's incredible, but... your body is also surprisingly weak. That is very dangerous. The soul and the body need to match to walk the ultimate path. I call it harmony between nature and mankind."

Mu Zi's simple words caused huge currents in Wang Zhong's mind, making Wang Zhong feel enlightened all of a sudden. His body was really too weak; even with a huge Soul Sea and the strong Fate Stone, the strength he could bring into play was minimal. Simba and Big White were actually very troubled by that as well. Wang Zhong's body could not withstand much pressure, including the pressure of using soul beasts.

"First, let your physical body and your soul achieve true unity, unifying knowledge and action. I personally feel that for cultivation, learning from humans would never be as good as learning from nature. Human beings try to pursue eternal life through cultivation, but only the universe and the earth can truly live forever." Mu Zi's response was very serious. "I think only nature can tell us the essence of our strength and cultivation. Everyone's path is different. Follow your heart as you immerse yourself in nature and you will find your own true path."

Wang Zhong grew silent for a long while. As he looked at a distance comfortably, he seemed to be able to hear the sounds around him, but they were not clear. In fact, he had a certain sensation when he was in the desert previously; but when his desire to live surpassed everything else, he was not able to clear his mind.

The so-called cultivation of the Federation was almost always a fixed and systemic path. Everything had to be done in a specific order: first was to awaken the Soul Sea, then expand it to forge the Heroic Soul, followed by condensing the Dharma Idol. This set of steps was actually the easiest and most reasonable way of cultivation, passed down from the so-called Holy Land; but it might not be suitable for everyone.

One example would be the Empire. It did not have the Federation's systemic practices, causing the popularity of cultivation to be lower. However, rather than following an ordinary path, people would often just be themselves, often leading to the emergence of very powerful individuals instead. That would be the perfect example of practitioners forging their own path, as they pursued the essence of nature. Naturally, the "produced" warriors of the Federation's "assembly line production" would be a far cry from them.

Frankly, he was more suitable for the training methods of the Empire. In other words, the Federation's training methods back in the dark ages.

On the face of it, Wang Zhong could be considered an example of the Federation's systemic education, but most of his achievements were actually due to the guidance of Simba. As for studying the deeply-rooted and dogmatic ideals regarding cultivation, it definitely restricted his development and creativity although it might have prevented him from walking longer paths. Evident now, his Soul Power was in an absolutely overflowing state; he could condense the silver Soul Power of the Heroic Soul Stage solely by relying on his Soul Power, and he had already opened up the path to condensing his Dharma Idol. He had completely gone beyond the standard of ordinary Heroic Soul soldiers. However, when he tried to forcibly break through the Heroic Soul Stage to seek vitality as he dragged everyone through the desert, it always ended in failure. It was because he was bound by the former dogma; the condensation of his Dharma Idol "disrupted" the order and balance of his systemic training, creating chaos. Thus, he was trapped in a quandary, rendering him unable to take that supposedly easiest step.

Mu Zi was right. He would only be restraining himself if he insisted on adhering to the Federation's training. Perhaps he could follow Mu Zi's lead and go to the desert for a long journey to experience the world and nature, temporarily putting life and death at the back of his mind.

After having thought it through successfully, Wang Zhong became extremely relaxed and developed a random sense of confidence. He believed that if he could succeed in taking this step, his future would definitely be brighter.

About four to five days flew by in the Katchirda Village. In just a few days' time, some things had quietly changed. Gong Yi and the rest were people who could not stand idling around; therefore, they had already begun operations before being fully recovered. Their first sum of money had already arrived, showing that Gong Yi obviously had connections in the Empire. When he was with the Gui Family, he continued to expand his resource network instead of idling around.

Money made the world go round. The three had already disguised themselves as aristocrats from the Federation. They appeared to have come to invest and develop their assets in the Empire, with the goodwill of the Federation as their front. They even chose outstanding people as their identities, immediately boosting their image of being high-end. Such powerful identities were a layer of protection, making it convenient for them to operate here and forming a certain protection for the oasis at the same time.

It was undeniable that Gong Yi absolutely looked like a nobleman after dressing up. Sister Hong's acting was excellent as well. On the other hand, Reynolds could only dress as a bodyguard. Gong Yi's image was very fitting, fully in line with the Empire's impression of nobles from the Federation: a handsome nobleman who was hot and attractive, accompanied by an ugly and unfeeling bodyguard, at the same time being extremely rich, with capital and constructional materials already on their way to the oasis.

Wang Zhong would think deeply about the situation of the Federation at night when all was still. He was well aware of the huge and unpredictable power of the great families. Impatience and anger would not solve anything. This was a protracted battle, mainly to see who could persist to the end. Although there was great difficulty, he trusted that Ma Dong would not be knocked down that easily!

Money made the world go round. A small oasis was actually nothing to powerful people in the Federation. Gong Yi first bought the Katchirda Village from Tutankhamun for his base of operations and became its legal owner. It was very difficult for locals to do this, but with Gong Yi's yellow skin and black eyes, he had the status of a "noble race." With his large amount of wealth, high status, and the disadvantaged position of the Katchirda Village in the eyes of the government, he easily purchased it. The government had even enthusiastically tried to persuade him to purchase a supposedly 'better' oasis, as the Katchirda Village was famous for its beastial tides after all.

New World was currently split into three departments. Reynolds was in charge of training soldiers; Sister Hong was in charge of assembling information, as well as expanding their foothold in the Empire's entertainment industry; while Gong Yi was in charge of funding, administrative matters, and searching for clues regarding Assassin. It would be difficult to start their search from the Federation, but it would be relatively easier to search with the front of concern from another empire. There were traces to be found, as Ma Dong indeed had the intention of going underground in the Empire.

Wang Zhong went on a long journey under those circumstances.

Mu Zi's words were easy to understand. Strength came from experience. Neither the strength itself nor the method used was actually important. Life came from the process of pursuing strength. If one was to become strong in the pursuit of strength, it would be putting the cart before the horse. As such, Wang Zhong chose to go through the desert trials alone. He only brought along a simple backpack that could only hold 10 days' worth of rations and a fairly detailed map. Of course, he had not forgotten to bring along the special local compass to determine the directions in the desert.

Mu Zi had marked out several striking destinations and areas on the map for him. Those were the places where he was met with good opportunities. Their environments were also more unique, which could boost the effects of his journey.

The first stop closest to Katchirda Village was the Morradis Pink Desert.