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959 Beyond Imagination

 This was different from the tempering sensation earlier. When the attack was more powerful than the defense, the defense would be broken through. Wang Zhong could feel char marks appearing on his heart, liver, spleen, and kidney. This was not the effect of hundreds or thousands of divine cells being exhausted. Instead, a large area of his internal organs had failed!

He had to hold out! He definitely had to!

Wang Zhong had heard Grai's experience of conquering the minor Heavenly Calamity. Frankly speaking, when he heard about Grai's experience, as well as the description of various special minor Heavenly Calamities that Grai had read about in many books, Wang Zhong was rather optimistic about it. No matter whether it was his body's resistance to fire or the powerful recovery abilities of his divine cells, the Hellfire was something he did not have to be afraid of. He would definitely be able to survive even the most powerful Hellfire in history that Grai had talked about. He would probably face difficulty in the Tempering Soul Calamity. After all, he had a few Soul Guards and Simba. Furthermore, he had even signed a Spiritual Soul contract. All these were definitely bound to his soul...

However, he never thought that the Hellfire, the first stage that he thought would be the easiest, would be this powerful! The moment it burst forth, it felt as if it was comparable to the strongest Hellfire in history that Grai had talked about. Furthermore, it was continuously growing stronger!

The more a pathway defied the heavens, the more difficult it would be to embark on. This was common knowledge in cultivation. Evidently, Lao Wang had underestimated his potential. More accurately, there were too few reference materials, and he did not know enough.

He had to withstand this!

At this moment, he was persistently holding on. He desperately activated all the power in his divine cells. However, he had been trying to do this even before this. He did not relax or slack off, but he was extremely helpless and pale in the face of the oppressing power of the Hellfire ahead of him.

At that moment, a slight change brought about great effects. It was like the beginning of a collapse. It was as if Hellfire had ordered for an offensive. When the first dark blotch that signified organ failure appeared on his organs, Wang Zhong felt a melancholic cry from the depths of his hearts, as if he was about to die.

The Great 5 Elements Constitution had been ineffective.

His Soul Power was ineffective.

His resistance to fire was ineffective.

His divine cells were ineffective!

"Lao Wang! Endure! You definitely have to endure!" In his Soul Sea, Simba was so shocked that he started to scream. Even his mind was trembling, and it felt like his liver was about to explode.

Wang Zhong would definitely know that he had to endure with Simba saying so. My fate is in my own hands! This was basically... nonsense!

Wang Zhong had done everything he could. He thought about Grai's experience in conquering the Heavenly Calamity. He wanted to use the violent and brutal spiritual influence in this world for his own needs and use the power of the heaven and the earth to challenge the Hellfire in his heart.

But just as he thought about this and was about to absorb the spiritual influence in the world by force, the brutal spiritual energy that was present everywhere in his surroundings suddenly dispersed. Then, the blazing Hellfire filled the world!

The Hellfire. He would either survive or die from encountering this calamity. Although it was born in his heart, this was his fate that the heavens had determined for him. Those who defied the heavens to a great extent would cause the heaven and the earth to feel threatened. Even the Will of the universe would view you as an enemy!

Even the heavens would not help you!

"You masochist! Aren't you always playing with fire? Why are you hiding in a hole right now? Hurry up. Come out and rescue us!" Simba was jumping about anxiously as he cried and shouted in the Soul Sea. "Where is the Fate Stone? There's still the Fate Stone. Come out and save all of us!"

However, it was a pity that Salamander could only be summoned by Wang Zhong's will, and Simba could not call for it. Furthermore, the Hellfire Calamity was different from ordinary high-temperature fires. With Salamander's current level, not only would it be unable to disrupt the Hellfire, it would also die upon approaching it! As for the Fate Stone, it looked like it could only be used on the soul. The Hellfire set Wang Zhong's entire body on fire, but this seemed to be out of the Fate Stone's range. Thus, the Fate Stone was unmoved...

Fire soared into the air, emitting a radiant red light!

This terrifying scene had continued for only about two minutes, but Wang Zhong's internal organs had become completely charred. His entire body showed similar damage, or even worse, necrosis.

He could no longer move his body as his body had been thoroughly burned and was extremely hard. He could not activate his Soul Power or even sense his body or anything inside it. There was only a soul that was stubbornly standing strong in this "dead" body and stirring faintly...

Meanwhile, Simba sensed that the light in the Soul Sea had turned dim. The bright light gradually vanished and was replaced with a dim light. Closely after, he was plunged into complete darkness!

Lao, Lao Wang?!

He slumped to the floor with his eyes wide open. He did not dare to believe what he had experienced in the span of a few minutes.

A few minutes ago, he was still excitedly singing and chatting with Lao Wang. Simba had congratulated him on successfully comprehending the three sword techniques in the Nebula Sword and even imagined how he would be able to see the sun again. Lao Wang would break through to the Heavenly Soul Stage, and they would escape from this deserted world where not even birds pissed... Pfft! This place did not even have birds... Damn, what was he talking about...

Countless muddled thoughts flowed past in his mind. Various thoughts and feelings of sadness, neglect, anger, anxiety, disbelief, and so on surged from his heart. As a result, his consciousness was in disorder and muddled. He was incredibly upset, to the point that he almost could not breathe.

He did not dare to believe in this outcome, but the Soul Sea had completely turned dark. This meant that Wang Zhong's natural body had completely disappeared, and he was within this body.

If Wang Zhong died, his Soul Sea would naturally disappear and Simba would be stuck in an unknown place. Perhaps he would be trapped forever. Thus, he could not believe this.

"..." Simba was stunned for a very long time. It was very difficult for him to gradually regain his senses and sort out the many distracting thoughts in his head. He could not help but feel sadness welling up. "Lao Wang! Why have you left...?"

However, before Simba could start crying seriously, there was a sudden flash of light in the darkness. It was a red light, as if a small piece of firewood among the burned ashes had not been completely burned. It was scarlet red and emitted a weak aura.

Damn, I knew that you wouldn't die so easily!

Simba immediately closed his mouth and nervously stared at the light in the darkness.

Don't die out! Don't die out! You absolutely cannot die out!

Perhaps Simba's prayer had been effective, or perhaps the light of a star had the power to set a prairie ablaze. The fire rapidly spread, and the Soul Sea turned bright, leaving behind a phoenix-shaped shadow in the darkness.

The extremely faint aura of a phoenix entered this place, but this was enough. The former Sovereign of Flames had left behind a rune on Wang Zhong's body. Although it had been eliminated by Wang Zhong while on Earth, a wisp of its aura had been left behind. This was the level of comprehension that a rank-nine supreme sovereign had achieved.

It got back up after being defeated!

It would definitely be useless if this aura was all that was present, but Wang Zhong still had his divine cells. It was a technique with recovery abilities that defied the heavens. They consulted and integrated with each other in his subconscious mind and slowly turned into something that was truly Wang Zhong's. It would accompany his soul and exist forever. Perhaps it would not be as heaven-defying as the Sovereign of Flames, but it was enough to endure the minor Heavenly Calamity.

His incredibly weak consciousness shone once again. His body, which had been charred black, started to "molt". Black ash on the surface of his body started to peel off, revealing the clear and crystalline new body underneath that contained boundless vitality.

He had been reborn from the ashes. He would never be extinguished and would live forever. He had achieved nirvana from the flames.

The Soul Sea lit up once again, and Simba shouted excitedly. Meanwhile, Wang Zhong stood where he was with his eyes closed and did not move. The Hellfire Calamity was not over. In fact, it had not weakened, but it no longer brought harm to Wang Zhong.

It seemed as if the Hellfire that continued to blaze had assisted Wang Zhong in his rebirth. Not only did it allow the surface of his charred skin to peel off even more quickly, it was as if the charred layer of skin had been absorbed once again. It gradually integrated with the new and perfect body. As a result, the vitality of the new body was even more powerful...

The sparks in the castle finally started to subside, and the temperature had fallen. However, Grai, who was nearby, stared blankly at this sight. He had experienced this calamity not too long ago. He still clearly remembered every second and every minute of how difficult it had been for him as he pushed through his limits. But what Wang Zhong was experiencing was simply ten or even a hundred times more terrifying than what he had experienced. His body had been scorched into ashes, but he could still be reborn from those ashes. His powerful regeneration abilities were simply invincible.

How powerful! Furthermore, what kind of terrifying Heavenly Soul would be produced after experiencing this kind of Hellfire Calamity?

If the people from the Holy City had seen Wang Zhong's Hellfire Calamity, they would immediately record it in the history books... He could predict that there would be varying opinions, but this was still beyond imagination. As expected of Senior!

The Hellfire gradually disappeared. The light and the heat vanished as the surroundings gradually regained their peace. Wang Zhong finally opened his eyes.

At that moment, he was completely naked, but it did not seem to look inelegant. He was like a newborn baby. Furthermore, unlike how typical Heavenly Souls would emit a dazzling golden light, when Soul Power started to activate in his body, not much golden light was produced. However, his body naturally turned pure and bright. He was like a piece of flawless fine jade.

Although the Hellfire was a calamity, it was also a source of fortune. It tempered one's body and allowed one to be reborn. This was not an exaggeration. The more powerful the Hellfire was, the greater the tempering effects were. Furthermore, unlike how others felt fatigued after conquering the first calamity, Wang Zhong did not feel any fatigue. On the contrary, he was in high spirits and was full of boundless vigor.

Perhaps he had closed his eyes for too long after completing the Hellfire Calamity. He wanted to use the remaining might from the Hellfire to enhance the tempering effects on his body. Thus, he delayed for some time. At that moment, before Wang Zhong had the time to carefully experience the feeling of being reborn, the next calamity quickly followed.

The Tempering Soul Calamity.

His consciousness rapidly sunk and was pulled into a colorful space. This space was extremely strange. The ground was in two colors, black and white. Squares of black and white alternated and spread, making it seem like a massive chessboard. Meanwhile, the sky was red as a large red cloud filled the sky. It looked like the blazing clouds in legends.

He felt as if he had fallen from the sky. Extremely powerful spiritual influence from the heaven and the earth filled his surroundings. The spiritual influence accumulated and surged in the sky. The moment he landed and stood up straight, he felt his soul trembling as if his consciousness had twitched. The space around him was suddenly pulled apart, and five figures appeared beside him.

Headless Knight, Alice, Salamander, Big White, and Simba...

The moment the five of them appeared, Wang Zhong immediately felt as if the pressure in this space had increased. Furthermore, the pressure did not just increase slightly. Every time someone appeared, the pressure in this space would double as a result! At that moment, the rich spiritual influence had reached the point where even ordinary people could see it with the naked eye. Rich spiritual influence gathered in the sky but did not disperse even after a long time, thus affecting the rules of this place. As a result, Wang Zhong felt as if even the gravity from the earth had grown stronger, and his body felt even heavier.

This was an iron-clad rule of the Tempering Soul Calamity. Any souls that existed and accompanied the soul would be seen as a part of the main soul. Thus, they would be pulled into the space where the Tempering Soul Calamity occurred. At the same time, the difficulty of the Tempering Soul Calamity would be multiplied by the number of souls that existed.

If the ordinary Tempering Soul Calamity was frightening, then the Tempering Soul Calamity with a companion was a nightmare. Two companions would make it feel like death, while three would make it feel like hell... Five people? No one had ever made a category for this as over the few hundred years that humans had undergone cultivation, no one had ever done something so idiotic! If a category had to be made, Simba felt that this could be called the Heaven Level. You would wish for a deity to help or for death, but you could not stop!

Spiritual Soul contracts could not be canceled. Thus, a majority of the practitioners who had soul companions would "deal with" their soul pets while preparing for the minor Heavenly Calamity. Of course, this was a tactful way of saying it. Frankly speaking, they would kill their Soul Beasts or Soul Guards...

Earlier, when Grai was talking about this, he had indirectly warned Wang Zhong. However, Wang Zhong had ignored his warning.

Kill? Kill who? Simba? Big White? Salamander, Alice, or the Headless Knight?

Was he denying himself? People like Wang Zhong were wise and firm when they faced demons. Denying themselves was the most frightening to them. They would press forward with great will!

At that moment, not only was there no panic on his face, there was even a faint smile. The feeling of being reborn from flames still hovered and lingered in his body, making him feel as if his current situation was much better than what he had faced earlier.

Even if he was faced with mountains of daggers and seas of flames, he would face it!

The five of them had sensed the pressure that came from this space. Although they only had low consciousness and intelligence, the Headless Knight, Salamander, and Alice immediately turned serious, unlike the calm Wang Zhong. They were prepared to face a powerful enemy. On the other hand, Big White seemed rather tragic. It was already extremely weak, but when it was pressed down by the gravity in this space, Big White fell on the ground and shouted in terror. It could not even get up.

As for Simba, it was rare that he was serious.

Needless to say, Simba's sixth sense was much stronger. He could sense the animosity that this place had on their souls. It was as if this space was conscious and was dying to swallow them whole!

This was definitely not a joke. Bringing his soul companions to conquer the minor Heavenly Calamity would not only bring great danger to Wang Zhong, but especially to the soul companions as well.

In this contract relationship, the master would usually be much stronger than the souls who were bound to the contract. As the Tempering Soul Calamity continued to grow stronger, the owner might have a chance of surviving, but their companions would almost always suffer from a miserable fate. Of course, if these companions were able to narrowly survive the Heavenly Calamity, they would be thoroughly refined as if they had been reborn. Their power would be beyond imagination. Thus, many people would choose to have one soul pet during the Heroic Soul Stage. If they felt that both they and their soul pet were strong enough, they would give the minor Heavenly Calamity a go. Once their soul pet successfully conquered the Heavenly Calamity, it would become an extremely powerful assistant in the Heavenly Soul Stage. However, if they did not feel confident, they would kill their soul pet and face the Heavenly Calamity alone...

He could not escape this stage. What was supposed to come would eventually come.

Simba turned into a mask and hopped on Wang Zhong's face. "Lao Wang, fight!"

With familiar companions and the leisurely harmony with the mask, Wang Zhong could feel everything in his surroundings even more clearly. He could even clearly see every single strand of hair on the black shadows ahead of him.

He took a step forward and secretly blocked Big White using his body. When he took the step forward, 10 black and white stones immediately floated from the ground beneath the black and white chessboard.

The shapes of the stones were exactly the same. They were standard humanoid creatures, and the aura they emitted was even more powerful than Wang Zhong before he had started the Heavenly Calamity. When they released their Soul Power into the surroundings, they could interact with the spiritual influence in the heaven and the earth. There was a faint sense of integration with the heaven and the earth about to occur.

They were Semi-Heavenly Souls, but they were not ordinary Semi-Heavenly Souls. They were experts who had almost maxed out their Soul Power, body, and realm!

The 10 shadows did not immediately attack. While they had great power, they also had combat knowledge. After the 10 black shadows appeared, they only took a few steps and formed a triangular formation as they faced Wang Zhong. Their faces were pitch-black. Although Wang Zhong could not see their appearances, it felt as if they were observing Wang Zhong and the rest.

If the enemy did not attack, Wang Zhong would not attack either.

The first wave of the Tempering Soul Calamity was for him to explore. Since the difficulty level of the first wave was not too high, he had to take this opportunity to understand these black shadows better. For a moment, there was complete silence in this space. The atmosphere was murderous.

When Simba saw this situation, his heart sank once again. From what Wang Zhong had heard from Grai's experience, countless waves of enemies would appear in the Tempering Soul Calamity, until the spiritual energy in this space had been completely exhausted. From what he saw, this space was rich with spiritual influence. If they wanted to completely exhaust all the spiritual energy here, it would definitely be a very long battle.

Furthermore, although he already knew that the Tempering Soul Calamity that Wang Zhong would have to face would be incredibly frightening as he had five soul companions, there was a limit to how frightening it could be, right?

During the Tempering Soul Calamity that Grai had faced, the initial enemies were ordinary peak Heroic Souls, but after a few waves, they reached the Semi-Heavenly Soul Stage. But what about Wang Zhong? This was the initial wave of enemies, but they were already peak Semi-Heavenly Souls... Of course, Wang Zhong had comprehended the three sword techniques. He would even be able to defeat the enemies in front of him after being reborn from the flames. But the problem was, what about what was ahead?

If this continued, would he have to fight Heavenly Soul experts? Or peak Heavenly Souls? Furthermore, he would have to fight several dozen experts, and once he defeated one wave, another would come at him...

This was the minor Heavenly Calamity! He had not even stepped into the door to the Heavenly Soul Stage!