The rough and broken pants of a young girl resounded within the Sanctum, beads of sweat arising muted flashes of golden light that emanated from the crystalline floor.
The atmosphere flowed with a gentle relaxing mood that calmed the mind and body, yet the young girl was busy torturing her body without end.
An Fei suppressed the groan of exhaustion that roared at her throat as it sought for release.
Shaking her head twice to clear her thoughts, the young girl’s limbs trembled for a minute period of time before her body descended towards the ground once again.
Each time she closed her eyes, the horrifyingly detailed projection of her body flashed before her consciousness.
At this current moment, all but her liver was swathed in a brilliant golden glow. The numerous meridians, blood vessels, capillaries and muscles, and other inner organs revealed various degrees of the golden radiance emitted at a constant intensity.
Clearly, over the course of the few weeks that she had obtained the extensive privilege of loitering around in the Sanctum, An Fei had obtained many benefits.
Once the golden light erupted from her liver, she could be described as having completed the five pillars of the mortal Body Tempering Realm.
Completing the Body Tempering Realm in less than six months was nothing short of amazing in the Shattered Star Continent, especially for someone who didn’t consume a single medicinal pill or recite a cultivation mnemonic.
Had it been anyone else who had accomplished such a feat, they would be probably overflowing with joy towards their heavenly fate.
Only, the young girl could display nothing more than a snort of disdain and fatigue.
Advancing from the Pillar of Meridian to the Pillar of Inner Organs within a month, other than constantly consuming the spiritual panaceas of the Sanctum and exercising her body to unconsciousness each day, how else would she have attained such progress?
“Seventy, Seventy… one…”
The young girl murmured, not even bothering to wipe away the sweat clinging to her body as she lowered herself towards the ground.
Thankfully, she had stripped to the bare minimum, or she would have a soggy dress smothering her pores and creating a tactile nightmare.
With each exercising movement, An Fei observed the mental projection of her body flicker as a strand of golden light entered through her pores.
The golden light then began to permeate the rest of her body with an even distribution, even the dark liver that refused to attain any golden radiance.
Truly, the initial stages of the <Eternal Sanctum> is nothing but moving around, doing something in the Sanctum. Eating, exercise, studying, calligraphy practice, anything triggered the absorption of golden light…
Exercising in the Sanctum of Eternity appeared as the most efficient method of exploiting the storm of divine essence overhead, though An Fei wasn’t exactly sure whether it was because her physical constitution was improving, or it combined the benefits obtained from breathing and exercise into a healthy package…
Releasing a heavy sigh as she pushed herself upright, An Fei allowed her body to drop onto the crystalline floor, greedily embracing the warm crystal surface and the bath of golden light.
The young girl remained against the ground without changing her posture, far too exhausted to do so.
In fifteen minutes’ time, she was to complete another… round of exercise.
“This…” An Fei murmured in dissatisfaction as she rubbed the muscles of her abdomen and limbs.
“How come they feel so frail after so much work? Back then, three weeks of this did trigger a physical change…”
After improving her constitution significantly under the ‘help’ of Xiao Ying, the young girl’s physique had indeed received a visual change; her bodily frame no longer appeared malnourished, though it was exceedingly delicate compared to others.
Even after persistently exercising her body in the Sanctum and maintaining a healthy diet, An Fei’s appearance didn’t experience another transformation at all.
Fortunately, her strength, agility, and stamina had increased greatly compared to before, causing the girl to quickly drop her doubts.
Inhaling a deep breath of refreshing air, An Fei quickly rolled onto her back, ignoring the screams of her body as they lamented in exhaustion.
The young girl quickly contracted her abdominal muscles, compressing her frame as it curled upwards at a stead pace. Resting her chin over her pressed knees and locking her body into the position with a fierce embrace, An Fei slowly counted to fifty in her mind.
The mental count exceedingly aggravated the burning sensation of her muscles, forcing the girl to grit her teeth to maintain the uncomfortable position.
The instant the golden number had revealed its presence, An Fei relaxed her body and carefully unfurled herself back onto the crystalline ground.
Only to repeat the painful set of actions a second, a third, a fourth time… until she reached eighty cycles.
Instead of repeating this fitness program each day, An Fei desperately wanted to climb that ladder instead, ah!
Having witnessed another round of a young girl’s agonized cries escaping through gritted teeth, the activity in the Sanctum finally calmed down a little. An Fei had returned to the Archives of Time following a scrumptious and reward meal and bath, a sheet of paper grasped in her hand.
The young girl’s brow furrowed in concentration, before suddenly relaxing.
Galvanized by An Fei’s command, the spiritual essence coiled around her heart exposed its head, before unraveling a strand of light of twenty centimeters.
Proceeding to extend out of the heart cavity, the thread of light snapped from the main cluster, breaking into two equal halves before blazing towards two distinctive regions of her body.
Once again, the spiritual essence charged into the Bingfeng and Tianzong acupuncture points, and in mere seconds, An Fei could hear a faint rustle of air. The light breeze playfully whispered into her ear, tracing the loose strands of hair around it.
“Death by the sword!”
“Death by the pen!”
The Tianzong acupuncture point erupted with a dense orange brilliance, whilst the Bingfeng acupuncture released a cyan radiance.
An Fei stared blankly at the paper clenched in her hand, attempting to restrain herself from reaching over to massage her right shoulder that had transformed into two pools, one hot and the other cold.
The mixed sensation was unique enough, but her shoulder was soon spared from prolonged torment as the two pools of spiritual essence altered by the acupuncture point flooded into the Governing Vessel.
The modified, Yang-attributed spiritual essence intermingled with the Yin-attributed spiritual essence, akin to a pair of dragons coiled around the other in an unending struggle.
Once the polarized spiritual essence entered the Governing Vessel, they could only fuse into a neutral mixture, or fizzle into nothingness.
Given the Sanctum’s uncanny pride against the mortal cultivation technique of the <Golden Lotus of Establishment>, it didn’t take long for a burst of spiritual essence to erupt from the fingertip of her right index finger, an illusionary lotus petal of white to float above.
“So mysterious, ah…” the young girl sighed, placing away the set of papers onto the drawing table to play with the white lotus petal using both hands.
“I can’t even trace how the fusion process is conducted, even with a mental projection provided by the Sanctum…”
With a mere fluctuation of her thoughts, the tiny lotus petal vibrated, soaring into the air to burst forth with a blinding light.
The white light corroded the form of the lotus petal, the cellulose and organic matter rapidly being replaced with a metallic substance…
The mass of white light revealed a massive roar, the radiance roughly stripped away to reveal the deadly edge of a sharpened blade. The sword without a grip came to a rest level with the young girl’s chest, allowing An Fei to inspect the creation with ease.
Just under a meter in length and a few centimeters wide, and the thickness limited to half a centimeter.
The fringes of the blade were adorned with flowing inscriptions of numerous characters and symbols unrecognizable to the eye, the smooth blade reflecting a heavy desire of seeking blood.
…definitely not the intention of a <Golden Lotus of Establishment>, but it was still a satisfactory result.
When An Fei noticed that the clustered spiritual essence within her heart cavity had obtained another centimeter’s in length of the golden light, her smile grew ever more radiant.
Sitting into a comfortable chair, the young girl leaned back, turning the sword into a lotus petal, then back into a sword, before having it soar through the limited space that constituted the seventeenth archive of the Archives of Time…
“Should… should I attempt a second channel?”
…greedy hearts couldn’t ever be satisfied, ah.
“Forget it,” the girl murmured to herself, allowing the sword to dissipate into fragments of white light.
Reciting a short phrase, An Fei’s figure vanished from the Sanctum to be greeted by a rather… interesting welcome.