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"What is the Alchemic Dao? Us Alchemists pursue it, lust for its blessings, and exert its profoundness as our pride, but do we understand it? Do we know its purpose? Know its will? So, I ask you, what is the Alchemic Dao?"

A profoundly thought-provoking opening sentence that grasped the reader was etched into the first page with black ink and fierce penmanship. It asked a fundamental question that all Alchemists pursued, yet very few could truly ever answer.

Wei Wuyin's eyes gradually grew solemn as the words swarmed his thoughts like locusts derived from a plague. For an hour, he thought upon the question. Like this writer, Zhao Yun, Wei Wuyin had his own experience, beliefs, and understandings. However, unlike Zhao Yun, Wei Wuyin was actively facing a Dao, continuously receiving its assistance, and resisted its power many times before—the Heavenly Daos.

Moreover, he was overly exposed to other Daos: the Void Dao, the War Dao, the Ethereal Dao, the Material Dao, the Mind Dao, and many others that he'd yet to pinpoint their purpose or will. Despite his exposure, when met with the question of what the Alchemic Dao was, what was its purpose, or what was its will, Wei Wuyin was burdened with the inability to answer.

After finding no clear answer, he kept reading the second line. As he did, his eyes lit with a strange light.

"If you've found your answer, then stop reading this; you've lost your way and there's no redemption for you."

The line was written with a strong force, filled with emotions of anger and pity. At the end of this sentence, Wei Wuyin imagined a long, wistful sigh from an aged alchemist battered by the vicissitudes of failure and life itself.

"To those who didn't find the answer, I'll lend you the only answer: What is your purpose?" Zhao Yun's journal was launching heavy-hitting questions and insights right off the bat, shaking the hearts of any reader without fail.

Wei Wuyin was no different; his thoughts focused on that single question. What was your purpose? What was his purpose? This sounded like a question with no answer. Out of curiosity, Wei Wuyin instinctively checked to see if the question was another ploy to receive a non-answer, but the sentence was the last one on the front page. The rest was a page away, but to flip it was shockingly difficult.

He yearned for the answer, yet the thought of cheating it out felt incorrect to him. So he decided to consult his thoughts, his memories, his beliefs, and his heart on what his current purpose was.

Wei Wuyin couldn't help but be pulled to that moment long ago, when he had been told his life was meant to end at the hands of someone he'd never met, for a reason he never fully understood, and the existence of the Heavenly Daos, the First Sinner, Karmic Luck, Karmic Sin, the Eighteen Calamities of Hell, the Realm of Sages, and the vastness of the world. He was given a scripture that all but said his life was forfeit, a mere mortal was unable to survive the Calamities.

His soul would be cleansed; his life would be erased; he would cease to be who he was.

Terrified, Wei Wuyin decided to live for the sake of living until Hell claimed his soul and he was erased from this world against his will. Lost and unsettled, he traveled and enjoyed himself without consequence. He raided a city, devastated a city's protective gate to view its illustrious lake, saved a beautiful woman, had a threesome with jade beauties, and left with a carefree and adventurous heart.

But then, he didn't truly have a 'heart'.

His heart to cultivate had died, his will to live had only been stimulated as the timer clicked, and he wanted nothing more than to end it all. The agony of knowing his death was unavoidable pushed him to the literal edge, silently but surely.

Yet one day, he met an Evil Cultivator that faced his Astral Tribulation fearlessly. He could still remember his words as he challenged his Astral Tribulation:

"Did you think I'm this useless?! Kekeke, I'm an EVIL Cultivator! Do you understand?! We fight against fate and forge our own path on the corpses of others. I will not fall today! YOU WILL LOSE!!"

But after battling it, after exhausting all his methods, the evil cultivator known as Phantom Rogue had eyes filled with hopelessness, fear, and despair. He was destitute. He was unwilling. His death could be considered swift, but the journey of preparing and using his entire life's effort to face off against an invisible force that seemed invincible had inspired Wei Wuyin and miraculously reinvigorated his Heart of Cultivation that it affected him to this day.

Wei Wuyin decided, on that day, to fight against Hell with everything he had. Even if he failed, he wished to have no regrets at the end; he wished to be content with himself, and his journey, and while he might be unwilling at the end, he wanted to stand upright and proud with a smile.

Wei Wuyin's eyes flashed with blazing light. "My purpose? To cultivate! To thrive and live through cultivation." The words echoed in the depths of his soul, shaking all four of his Astral Souls as they thrummed in unison.

The Heavenly War Spirit could feel the strength of this will reverberating throughout his Sea of Consciousness, infecting every last bit of his mental energies. Its golden shell shook slightly.

Far away, Bai Xiu's silvery eyes erupted with spiritual light. She was currently assisting in a Yin-Pairing Bond, the nude and exquisite bodies of Qingye Ying and Tian Xiaolu were intermingled in an intimate position. Soft sounds of faint moans resounded throughout the room, capable of stimulating any hot-blooded man or woman.

She turned her head in Wei Wuyin's direction. Bai Xiu felt the movement of his soul, her body shook slightly as a radiant smile formed on her pretty face. "Incredible…He's definitely the best master for me."

Wei Wuyin hadn't realized that his introspection had affected others. When he finally found his answer, he turned the page, and there was just a single word on the page:

CULTIVATE!!!

It was one word yet it carried many meanings to each individual, each with their own purpose, each with their own will, and Wei Wuyin felt as if he glimpsed a little into the secret of the Dao, or at least what this Zhao Yun was hinting at. Was the purpose of Daos to cultivate? Was the will of the Daos to be cultivated?

"The will of the Alchemic Dao touches upon the Mortal Dao and the Essence of Spirits. What are spirits? Another question, but I'll provide this answer: it is all things! Us Mortal Sovereign Alchemists have been deemed by the Alchemic Dao to have the right to exert our will to affect all things within the Mortal Dao. This is a result of our cultivation, allowing us to wield the seven principles of Alchemy—Extraction, Growth, Containment, Refinement, Creation, Transformation, and Fusion—on all things in the Mortal Dao.

"To set aside for a moment, think: when others refer to Mortal Sovereign Alchemists in words, what do they instinctively refer to us as?"

Wei Wuyin was already deeply invested, ready to delve into it when this curveball was thrown his way. This Zhao Yun liked others to question and answer while reading, as if he was instructing them like a student through the pages, trying to lead them to their own comprehension and conclusions. He found it quite amusing but respectable.

Wei Wuyin had no choice but to engage, already lulled into this book's pace. "Terrifying existences." That was the wording Wang Yutian, a Worldly Saint transformed into a Spirtform, had said. It wasn't limited to just them, others had similar descriptions written in various records and journals.

But it was never referring to their rallying power, their ability to nurture experts or obscene amounts of accessible wealth, but they were terrifying! Since then, Wei Wuyin had been searching for the reason why, and all answers came up to one point they all had in common: the Alchemic Stars of Mortal Spirituality.

From just that earlier explanation of Spirits and the Mortal Dao, Wei Wuyin knew that it might genuinely be terrifying.

"That's right! We're terrifying existences. It's simple, not too descriptive, yet perfectly on the nose. Because Alchemists aren't powerful, they are simply: terrifying. It's the will of the Alchemic Dao that is truly terrifying, a tiny blessing of our dedication to cultivating its principles. We're afforded the right to access the Will of the Alchemic Dao, to exert an iota of this terrifying might upon the Mortal Dao.

Wei Wuyin felt like Zhao Yun was genuinely trying to drive a point, but his writing style left others wanting too much. He had an urge to cry out for him to explain clearly, stop teasing!

"The Will of the Alchemic Dao manifests as seven Alchemic Stars within the pupils, only seven. While you might have two eyes, or three, or seven, they're merely reflecting the same manifested will—Seven Alchemic Stars. They each correspond to one of the seven aspects of Alchemy. And these stars grant us the ability to affect the spirit of the Mortal Dao.

"We call this 'spirit' the Alchemic Spirit Remnants by instinct. It is the uncontrolled, unrefined remnants of the Mortal Dao produced by Alchemy. This trace of will of the Alchemic Dao, what we call the Alchemic Stars of Mortal Spirituality, can freely interact with these Alchemic Spirit Remnants using any principle. This is one of its Core Abilities: Mortal Spirit Moulding.

"You can extract it, grow it, contain it, refine it, transform it, or fuse it."

Wei Wuyin furrowed his brows slightly.

"If you've paid attention, and have any acute reading skills, you'll realize that 'Creation' is missing from the list. Why? Because alchemical products Mortal Sovereign Alchemists successfully concoct create several times more Alchemic Spirit Remnants than lower-ranked alchemists. Consider it a passive power of your portion of Alchemic Daos' Will."

Wei Wuyin's frown only deepened. Was this how that Cultivator lost his cultivation before? Were the Alchemic Spirit Remnants within him extracted? But that didn't make sense; the Alchemic Spirit Remnants were unrefined portions of alchemical products, left untouched due to the body's inability to properly refine it completely. Wei Wuyin had experimented with 'extracting' this before, and it accomplished nothing.

The Alchemic Spirit Remnants also vanished soon after. He decided to continue reading.

"This is the weakest ability of the Alchemic Stars of Mortal Spirituality, and it's purely due to the Will of the Alchemic Dao unwilling to waste anything useful." Zhao Yun explained, once again reminding Wei Wuyin to remember that this was a book meant to describe the Will of the Alchemic Dao as its main focus, not the three abilities. It was to explain why these abilities exist and how they pertained to the Alchemic Dao and its innate Will.

And according to Zhao Yun's clues, this might be a will to be cultivated? Given the utter unwillingness to waste anything, this made some sense. Without any reason whatsoever, Wei Wuyin felt as if the Alchemic Dao had experienced poverty to the lowest form.

And that was an extremely ridiculous thought.

"If used right, you can galvanize the latent Alchemic Spirit Remnants to elevate your products, increasing the effectiveness of certain concoction methods, and much, much more. Remember this, while it might be our 'weakest' ability, if used correctly, it can be our 'greatest' ability.

"We, who've grasped the Alchemic Stars of Mortal Spirituality, are called Mortal Sovereigns! Why? Is it simply because we can concoct products that can produce experts that can dominate the Mortal Dao? Is this the Will of the Alchemic Dao? OF COURSE NOT! We are called Mortal Sovereigns because of this single word: Spirituality." Zhao Yun's penmanship grew increasingly forceful, the black ink bleeding through the page.

"Spirituality! Spirituality! What is Spirituality exactly? Do you know?!" Zhao Yun's habit spurred again.

Wei Wuyin was forced to engage, already thoroughly trapped. "...It is-" Suddenly, Wei Wuyin's eyes widened as he abruptly halted speaking. Spirituality? In the Qi Condensation Realm, there was a stage of cultivation called Infused Spirituality, and it transformed a Heart of Qi into a Natal Soul, the first sign of a Spirit of Cultivation gaining a sign of life, referred to as a soul by cultivation standards!

Why?

Because it, instinctively, cultivated. While the degree was so minor, almost forgettable, it still cultivated. One merely needed to exhaust their qi to their limits to find out; then, their Natal Soul would slowly absorb world essence, physical energies of one's body, and mental energies of one's mind, naturally intermixing it into spiritual energy without any conscious effort of a cultivator, and it thrived on this energy.

It could be considered as a Spirit of Cultivation gaining the ability to exist by itself, an independent lifeform that relies on the cultivator to survive! Reminiscent of a parasite to a host.

But it was a mutual exchange, and the Natal Soul supported the body as well, if not to a greater degree.

It was subtle, but Wei Wuyin realized what this meant.

"The second ability of the Will of the Alchemic Dao: Creation of Fragmented Souls. To be specific, artificial souls granted a lesser spirituality, limited by the Mortal Dao. Some call them—Nascent Souls."

Wei Wuyin's Heart began to rapidly pound with thunderous momentum. Within his saber created by the Essence of War, Element, the Nascent Saber Soul, howled! An Alchemist created it?

"The Heavens are known for their Soul Impartstions, granting souls to non-living beings, breathing new life from nothing. We as Mortal Sovereigns, controllers of the Mortal Dao, can mimic this ability to some degree.

"Just as we can create Fragmented Souls, these perfect imperfections, the Will of the Alchemic Dao also gives us the ability to extract it, grow it, contain it, refine it, transform it, or fuse it; we can govern those we create and even generate 'true' Alchemic Knights of a Myriad Daos. However, we aren't called 'terrifying existences' because of this! How can we? While it might be able to be pushed to great limits, it's simply not enough. Not enough!

"Mortal Sovereign Alchemists' third and last blessing from the Alchemic Daos' Will justifies their position, title, and superiority amongst the Mortal Dao, all freely given to the Alchemic Dao and its profound Will, to which we can grasp the smallest traces of its true power. It is called: Mortal Annihilation, the only aggressive power of the Alchemic Dao!"