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«A Regressor’s Tale of Cultivation (Web Novel) - Chapter 307: For Seo, Towards Seo (2)

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Chapter 307: For Seo, Towards Seo (2)

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl

I lift the Formless Sword.

As Yuan Yu's Blood Body is not yet accustomed to it, it can't unleash the full power of the Formless Sword.

It can probably only use about 80 percent of its strength.

In other words, my main body has already become "accustomed."

And perhaps because of that.

Seo Hweol, who absorbed me, surprisingly used the Treading Heavens Formless Sword.

'However, he couldn't communicate with the Formless Sword.'

He couldn't show the enlightenment of Tribulating Heavens.

Yet despite that, he used the Formless Sword which is a technique related to my heart essence.

I am utterly horrified by this fact.

How in the world did he manage to parasitize in such a way that makes such a thing possible?

To prevent any potential risk of being overtaken, I severed even the slightest connection with my main body.

Afterwards, I used the transmission talisman to call Hong Fan.

Hong Fan quickly comes running at my call and kneels.

"You called for me, Master."

"Summon Kim Yeon and Jeon Myeong-hoon. And…inform the Grand Cultivator Assembly that I will be entering secluded cultivation. Let them know that I will be in seclusion for about a thousand years, and if there are any messages, they should be delivered to my clone."

"Understood. By the way, Master…"

"Yes?"

"Are you the clone?"

"Indeed, is there a problem?"

"No, not at all."

Hong Fan, who had been looking at me intently for a moment, shakes his head.

"Ha, boring. Go on."

After bowing his head once, Hong Fan disappears from in front of me.

Shortly after, Kim Yeon and Jeon Myeong-hoon stand before me.

Kim Yeon has just returned from the Cold Yin Marsh.

She looks at me and tilts her head as if puzzled

'She didn't possibly realize that this body and the one at Cold Yin Marsh are the same, did she?'

I sweat internally while asking Kim Yeon to explain what she heard from Kang Min-hee.

Kim Yeon relays Kang Min-hee's words to Jeon Myeong-hoon.

"Well, it doesn't matter. I'll do whatever I'm asked."

Jeon Myeong-hoon nods and accepts readily.

I ask Kim Yeon for a favor.

"Yeon-ah, Chief Oh Hyun-seok will be coming back soon."

"Huh? Chief Oh, too?"

"Yes."

As a Grand Cultivator, I am well-informed of information from the Grand Cultivator's meeting.

Among the shared information is that a person named Oh Hyun-seok from the Azure Heaven Creation Sect is currently knocking on the gate of the Bright Cold Realm from beyond the dimension.

We will soon be able to meet Oh Hyun-seok in about three or four days.

'With this, I have achieved my goal of gathering my colleagues.'

The remaining goals are reaching the Four-Axis stage,

Acquiring the technique formula of the Great Mountain Splitting Emperor Technique,

Exploring the storage scroll of Lofty Dragon True Person,

And living for over a thousand years and completely killing Seo Hweol.

'Seo Hweol seems to have accepted seclusion under the pretense of reaching the Four-Axis stage in my body…'

I guarantee, no matter how cunning and clever Seo Hweol is, he will realize something is wrong after 300 years and scream to the heavens from within the cave residence.

No one knows my main body's talents better than I do.

And a few days later.

We reach the entrance to the True Devil Realm and encounter a familiar face.

"Chief Oh!"

"…"

It's Oh Hyun-seok.

He looks up at Kim Yeon with weary eyes, then turns his gaze to me and Jeon Myeong-hoon standing behind her.

"How have you been, Hyun-seok Hyung-nim?"

"I have…been…fine."

I greet him casually, while Jeon Myeong-hoon greets him with a face that looks like he wants to die from awkwardness.

Oh Hyun-seok stares at us for a moment, then plops down on the spot.

"…It feels like a dream. To think I actually survived that battlefield…"

He sighs deeply, catching his breath.

Oh Hyun-seok, who has reached the Grand Perfection Nascent Soul stage, laughs as he pants.

I smile at him as he sighs with relief.

"Yes, congratulations."

In this life, he has not been mentally broken by the Black Dragon King or the Blood Yin Esteemed One.

Azure Tiger Saint is also not dead, and there is only room for growth in the future.

I look at him while inwardly smiling bitterly.

'Though the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect's fate relating to True Immortals was twisted…'

Just changing the situation of one person like Oh Hyun-seok was enough to alter fate.

'If I had been a bit stronger, could I have saved the entire Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect?'

Maybe, just maybe, that could have been the case.

'Let's become stronger quickly.'

With the Great Desert to Dead Sea spell I created, I am confident I can reach the Four-Axis stage.

After enjoying a reunion and sharing stories with Oh Hyun-seok, I send him back to the Azure Heaven Creation Sect.

"Alright, so you're telling me to come back after reaching the Four-Axis stage?"

"Yes, well…I'd appreciate it if you could do that."

"Haha, alright. I understand. I also learned a lot from this Human-Devil War."

He boards the giant flying magic artifact heading toward the Azure Heaven Creation Sect, looking back at the entrance to the True Devil Realm with bitter eyes.

The entrance to the True Devil Realm is now completely blocked by the Grand Cultivators of the True Devil Realm.

At least for now, the Human Race won't be able to invade the True Devil Realm recklessly.

"Are we humans…good or evil?"

Oh Hyun-seok mutters, looking at the True Devil Realm with a muddled gaze.

"I've been thinking a lot about that. If I ask my master at the Azure Heaven Creation Sect, he'll probably give me a very clear answer. He's that kind of person…But what do you all think?"

He asks us with a confused look in his eyes.

"Are humans good or evil? It's been nearly 100 years since we came to this world. Each of you must have your own experiences, so please tell me what you think."

In response, Kim Yeon answers immediately.

Her eyes are filled with a certain conviction.

"I think…the theory that humans are inherently evil is more correct. Pure humans are ultimately just great evils."

It's an answer only she, who has experienced the 'Pure Human' Mad Lord, could give.

Contrarily, Jeon Myeong-hoon gives the exact opposite answer.

He caresses the wooden box in his chest and speaks.

"Well, I'd rather believe in the theory that humans are inherently good. If humans aren't good, how could they care for others when facing death?"

It's an answer only he, who has heard the dying words of Jin So-hae, could give.

"Interesting. If we were back at the company, you two would probably have given the opposite answers…"

"There have been many incidents, after all."

"…Yes. Many…things have happened."

At Oh Hyun-seok's words, the two show bitter expressions.

Truly, we have experienced too many things.

"Then Eun-hyun, what do you think?"

"…"

However, I can't answer Oh Hyun-seok immediately.

"…I don't know."

"You don't know?"

"Yes. You might think it's foolish, but I truly don't know. No matter how much I ponder, it's a question I can't answer."

"…I see. I understand. All of your answers have been helpful. I'll keep them in mind."

Having witnessed the Human Race's ugliness during the Human-Devil War, Oh Hyun-seok seems to be deeply troubled by the nature of humans.

He hugs each of us one by one and then departs for the Azure Heaven Creation Sect.

I have a feeling we will meet again soon.

After sending Oh Hyun-seok off.

I ask Kim Yeon to take Jeon Myeong-hoon to the Black Ghost Valley.

"Eun-hyun oppa, aren't you going? Don't you need to meet Min-hee unnie too?"

"…I'll…et Kang Min-hee later."

I feel I need more courage to face Kang Min-hee with my original face.

Although the main body had sealed her memories arbitrarily, it seems somewhat fortunate now.

Kim Yeon nods and heads to Black Ghost Valley with Jeon Myeong-hoon.

After watching them disappear, I change back to Seo Li's face and quickly head to Black Ghost Valley.

For now, it's time to be with Kang Min-hee as Seo Li, not Seo Eun-hyun.

Black Ghost Valley.

Inside the office of the Ghost Soul Hall in the Nether Crossing Ship.

"Hey. Long time no see. you rascal."

Kang Min-hee taps the ashes out from her pipe, extinguishes the embers, and then greets Kim Yeon and Jeon Myeong-hoon.

I stand beside Kang Min-hee with Seo Li's face and greet the two.

Jeon Myeong-hoon briefly makes eye contact with me, his expression becoming strange.

Thinking back, this guy knows about Yuan Yu's Blood Body.

Fortunately, he seemed to catch on quickly as he was about to say something but closed his mouth.

Kang Min-hee glances at Jeon Myeong-hoon with her eyes gleaming.

"Ho. To be honest, I didn't expect anything, but you've changed a lot, haven't you? That delinquent?"

At her words, Jeon Myeong-hoon looks at Kang Min-hee with an expressionless face and speaks.

"It seems like you're trying to get on my nerves, but I'll apologize for what happened on Earth. I'm sorry."

"…"

"Anyway, how do we use the Side Path?"

Kang Min-hee's eyes widen in surprise at his response.

"…You've really grown. Alright, sorry for trying to test you. Then for now…I can let you use the Side Path. But, what will you offer to the Black Ghost Valley as compensation? Even the disciples of the Golden Divine Heavenly Thunder Sect who used the Side Path before all paid the usage fee."

Jeon Myeong-hoon nods at this.

"I'll put it on Seo Eun-hyun's tab. Since he became a Grand Cultivator of the Human Race, he'll be getting tons of support."

Kang Min-hee and I both let out a wry smile at Jeon Myeong-hoon casually sticking the bill on me.

She does so outwardly, while I do so inwardly.

"It seems your love for credit hasn't changed much…"

'You sly bastard. Aren't you doing it a bit too naturally?'

Kang Min-hee clicks her tongue and nods.

"Well, fine. I'll get the payment from Seo Eun-hyun. You have proof, right?"

Jeon Myeong-hoon hands over a recording talisman with my voice to Kang Min-hee.

It's a talisman containing my voice promising any assistance when heading to the Nether Ghost Realm.

Kang Min-hee nods.

"Good. Then I'll let you use the Side Path. But, as Yeon must have already told you, you must follow my orders without question. Otherwise, you can't enter."

"I'll do so."

With that, Kang Min-hee nods and leads us out of the Nether Crossing Ship.

I, having reached the Heavenly Being stage and assumed the position of Ghost Soul Hall Chief, follow them in that capacity.

Outside the Nether Crossing Ship,

In one of the valleys of Black Ghost Valley,

In a valley with terrain resembling a basin filled with yin energy,

At the bottom, there's a red pattern that looks as if it was drawn with blood.

And surrounding the pattern are long totem-like posts, pointing toward the center.

"There are a few ways to enter the Nether Ghost Realm. The easiest is to become an Integration stage cultivator, wrap your body with your domain, and break through the boundary of the Nether Ghost Realm. This is the most stable method. With your domain protecting you, your body won't be harmed by the Nether Ghost Realm's energy, and it'll be the safest way to return as well."

She continues.

"Another way is to die and become a ghost, then enter before being dragged into the Netherworld. The Nether Ghost Realm is connected to the Netherworld, after all. And a method linked to this is to practice Ghost Path Methods and become a ghostly entity. Or, you can transform your body into a jiangshi or other undead. This method makes using the Side Path overwhelmingly easier and allows you to be unharmed and even grow stronger after entering the Nether Ghost Realm. But for someone like you, who has no connection to Ghost Path Methods, there are only two options."

Wo-woong!

As she forms hand seals, the red pattern begins to glow.

"First, enter the domain of an Integration stage cultivator and be protected by them. Second, use a side path like this. For someone with a living body like you to use the Side Path, one thing is necessary."

Kang Min-hee points to the center of the pattern, looking at Jeon Myeong-hoon.

"Stand there. No matter what happens, don't leave that spot. If you move during the process, the great spell will be disrupted, and you might lose your body."

"Alright."

Jeon Myeong-hoon calmly walks to the center of the pattern and stands there.

Kang Min-hee continues to form hand seals while resuming her explanation…"

"We will temporarily make your body a 'dead body.' Then, we will separate your soul from your flesh and put your soul through a trial. The soul that passes the trial will obtain an illusory form called the 'Dream Body'. You can then enter the Nether Ghost Realm with that Dream Body."

"Well, that's all fine but…I can return to my original form, right?"

"Of course. How many people do you think have taken the Side Path?"

Wo-woong!

As she completes the hand seals, she focuses her consciousness.

"Now, the preparations are complete. Shall we begin?"

"Go ahead."

Right away, black bandage-like things shoot out from the mouths of the eight totem poles.

The bandages fly towards Jeon Myeong-hoon, wrapping around his limbs.

"…!"

Jeon Myeong-hoon grits his teeth.

As the bandages wrap around his body, he gradually shrivels, turning into something like a mummy.

"The bandages store your life force. You'll return to normal later, so just accept it. Don't move from your spot, and endure!"

Jeon Myeong-hoon gris his teeth, enduring the pain of his life force being forcibly extracted without uttering a sound.

Apparently, it seems getting beaten up by me to the point of his body exploding helps.

Soon, Jeon Myeong-hoon completely transforms into a mummy-like form.

In this state, the bandages that have been unraveling from the totems are completely severed and wrapped around Jeon Myeong-hoon.

"Now I'll extract your soul. Endure this as well."

Kudududuk!

As Kang Min-hee reaches out her hand, it transforms into a massive ghostly hand.

Her ghostly hand reaches through the void, grabbing the head of the mummified Jeon Myeong-hoon.

Immediately, she applies force, and Jeon Myeong-hoon's Nascent Soul is seen being extracted from his head.

The pain appears immense as Jeon Myeong-hoon fails to hold back his scream.

[Kuaaaaargh!]

Kang Min-hee quickly places Jeon Myeong-hoon's Nascent Soul into the red pattern.

After some time, Jeon Myeong-hoon, who is now inside the maze-like pattern, begins to find his way out.

Finally, Jeon Myeong-hoon's Nascent Soul emerges from the maze-like pattern and stands atop of it in a semi-transparent form.

It seems this is the 'Dream Body' Kang Min-hee had mentioned.

"Now, I'm sending you off, Jeon Myeong-hoon. When you arrive, a guiding ghost will attach to you, but never reveal that you're alive. Got it? Even though you're going with the recommendation of the Black Ghost Valley, revealing that you have a living body will attract all sorts of trouble, so remember my words. Understood?"

[Alright.]

"For any other precautions, get them from the guiding ghost. Well then, safe travels."

Paaaatt!

As the red pattern emits a red light, Jeon Myeong-hoon who stands atop of it suddenly sinks down.

I realize that the pattern is connected to the Side Path.

"It's done. Through this, Jeon Myeong-hoon has gone to the Side Path. He should arrive at the Nether Ghost Realm."

"I see…"

A question arises in my mind, so I ask Kang Min-hee.

"Grand Elder, may I ask one question?"

"What is it?"

"Can anyone else enter the Side Path? For example, someone like me who has learned the Ghost Path Method and can attempt to become a Ghost King…"

"Hm, it's not possible right now. You'd need to wait at least 50 years. Jeon Myeong-hoon's consciousness is quite large, which would have put a strain on the Side Path."

"I understand. Thank you."

I smack my lips.

If it was possible to enter within a year, it would've been great to accompany Jeon Myeong-hoon until the storage scroll of Lofty Dragon True Person opened.

But 50 years…

It will take another 50 years to return as well.

Moreover, there's no guarantee that others wouldn't use the Side Path, which could extend the time even further.

'Well, it can't be helped.'

I have saved Oh Hyun-seok.

Jeon Myeong-hoon has gone to the Nether Ghost Realm.

So, the remaining tasks are…

'Lofty Dragon True Person's storage scroll. And…'

Reaching the Four-Axis stage.

I look at my body and observe the energy of the Great Desert to Dead Sea swirling inside me, making a resolution.

'Before Lofty Dragon True Person's storage scroll opens, I will reach the Four-Axis stage.'

With this body, and its compatibility with the Great Desert to Dead Sea, it is definitely possible.

Of course, deep down, I want to immediately find a way to kill Seo Hweol.

'But, I am still weak.'

Thus, it's better to find a way after reaching the Four-Axis stage.

Just like I couldn't save anyone when I was weak but managed to save Oh Hyun-seok as I grew stronger.

The more powerful I become, the more people I can save, and the wider that scope will be.

I need to get stronger.

To rise higher.

'Until I can know and achieve much more.'

Therefore, until I enter Lofty Dragon True Person's storage scroll.

I resolve to fully devote myself to reaching the Four-Axis stage.

Humans are foolish creatures.

They always regret only after losing something.

I feel the same way.

I open my mouth in the pitch-black darkness.

"It's disgusting, Seo Hweol."

And then, 'my' mouth opens again.

"What do you mean by that, Daoist Seo?"

"…"

Quite some time has passed since Seo Li sealed me.

Seo Li had severed our connection, leaving me alone in the darkness to endure solitude.

At some point, I realized that 'someone' is taking control over 'me.'

It's Seo Hweol.

It wasn't until more than 80% of the control had passed to Seo Hweol that I recognized him.

Sitting in a lotus position, I concentrate my efforts on escaping Seo Hweol's encroachment by operating the Canvas of Myriad Forms and Connections.

"…Was it that killing you would cause you to parasitize on me?"

"Haha, who knows."

"…"

He answers vaguely, never providing any clear information.

'Damn it…'

In the end, my judgment was foolish, and Seo Li's judgment was correct. If I had roamed around openly, I would have eventually been replaced by Seo Hweol and driven those around me to ruin.

"Do I have about a thousand years…?"

"Something like that. Your clone's judgment was excellent."

"…Now I can somewhat understand your way of speaking a bit better."

'Something like that' implies I have less than a thousand years to get out.

'Your clone's judgment was excellent' means that Seo Li has acted foolishly.

This is the extent of my interpretation.

'There's less time than I thought.'

My physical body is already immobilized.

Only the Canvas of Myriad Forms and Connections connected to my soul can move, but that is all.

Even that is gradually becoming uncontrollable.

Techniques are gradually leaving me, and I can feel even the ownership of the Colorless Glass Sword shifting towards him.

The human being that is 'me' is gradually being replaced by 'Seo Hweol.'

I can move only one thing.

Bo-oong!

A transparent blade moves through the void, cutting my body.

Pukuak!

The entity occupying my body smiles faintly and heals the wound.

"As expected, the power of the Heart Tribe cannot be dealt with no matter what."

The Formless Sword.

The remaining 20% of 'me' that Seo Hweol has not yet taken over.

That is the only barrier protecting 'me.'

"But shall I tell you something interesting? The power of the Heart Tribe is meaningless whether it exists or not. Sealing it is simple."

Wo-woong!

With those words, I feel Seo Hweol's filthy heart essence rising inside me.

I can feel his heart essence suppressing the power of the Formless Sword within my own heart essence.

I am completely trapped within the innermost part of my heart essence world.

Seo Hweol stands outside my heart essence world, smiling broadly at me.

"Just stay seated here. As long as you remain quietly within your heart essence, I will ensure your existence is maintained."

"…How is this possible?"

I ask with a hardened face, looking at Seo Hweol outside my heart essence.

"What do you mean?"

"How is it possible to use the 'heart essence' like a tool?"

I ask, observing how Seo Hweol had fragmented his own heart essence to envelop mine like a barrier.

He is manipulating his heart essence like a puppet.

"It's an obvious matter. Emotions (heart) are merely the movement of substances in the upper dantian and some electrical signals. Once you understand the principle, 'using' them is possible."

He smiles and turns away.

"It seems that Daoist Seo doesn't fully understand yet. Do not worry. As long as you stay quiet, I will leave you a small part of your domain."

With those words, Seo Hweol disappears from the outskirts of my heart essence with a smile.

I sit comfortably atop the Glass Sword Mountain, gazing at the sky.

"…Wrong, Seo Hweol."

My eyes gleam brightly.

"I understand your speech now…You're not 'leaving me' a portion of my domain. You simply 'cannot enter' this place, can you?"

Ssss…

I can feel it.

Though he might be able to subdue human thoughts,

He cannot easily invade the heart.

I lie down among the swords piercing me on the Glass Sword Mountain, focusing my mind.

'I don't know what you're planning.'

But…

Seo Hweol.

I won't go down easily.

Kiiiiing—

I practice using the Formless Sword, drawing on the power of Tribulating Heavens.

'Compress.'

I recall the memory of the spar with Tae Yeol-jeon in my mind.

What she had shown is undoubtedly the First Step Before the Throne.

The power that the Heaven and Earth Tribes call the Fourth Stage of Manifestation.

Beyond Tribulating Heavens!

I recall the divine power Kim Young-hoon had shown.

Kiiiiing—

Compress.

Compress and compress, imbue the essence of my heart entirely into this sword.

Within my heart essence, I connect to the 'essence' of the Formless Sword, focusing all my consciousness.

Whether it takes hundreds of years or thousands.

Seo Hweol…

I will definitely escape!

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