Knowing that this wasn't a good time for his mind to be wandering around the place, Zhang Xuan curbed the dizziness in his head and focused his attention on the silhouette on the stone platform.

At this moment, the silhouette seemed to be undergoing a similar experience as him. Heavenly flames descending from the heavens seared him mercilessly, turning him into the color of black charcoals. His aura withered swiftly under the heat, and it felt as if he would wilt and breathe his last.

Just as his aura grew so feeble that it was nearly indiscernible, a small seed of energy suddenly sprouted from his body. The small seed of energy grew relentlessly in the face of the heat, accumulating power and vitality. Before long, it had already developed into a colossal tree.

The silhouette remained completely motionless throughout the process, but his presence seemed to be growing bigger and bigger. It came to a point where it seemed to tower over everything in the world.

This is… Resurgence After Desolation, Revival After Demise? Zhang Xuan's heart jolted in astonishment.

With the arrival of autumn, the resplendent world would gradually wilt and lose all vitality, leaving nothing but piles of discarded autumn leaves on the ground. However, when spring returned to the world once more, everything would come back to life. Vitality would surge back into the world, resuscitating the dead and bestowing new lives!

This was the cycle of nature.

And the silhouette on the stone platform was using this cycle to his advantage.

The more I try to oppose the black flame, the greater the intensity it'll burn with. In other words, if I choose not to oppose the heavenly flame, the temperature of the flame will lower accordingly too. If I could just lower the temperature of the black flame to a level that's tolerable to me, I'll be able to use the heat to temper my body and gradually adapt to the heat… Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in realization.

This was actually a common trait amongst cultivation ordeal. Be it the lightning tribulation or the heavenly flame tribulation, their prowess of the tribulation mirrored the strength of the cultivator it was dealing with. 

Take the lightning tribulation as an example, the stronger one's cultivation was, the more powerful the lightning tribulation would be. To put it in other words, the more feeble one was, the weaker the lightning tribulation would be… 

It was counterintuitive, but the key to overcoming this cultivation ordeal was to not oppose it. Otherwise, even if his Primordial Spirit had reached Aureate Body realm, he would still eventually succumb to the intense heat and pass out. 

What he had to do was to feign weakness before the cultivation ordeal in order to give his body some time to adapt to the heat.

The arrival of the winter solstice, the silencing of all beings!

Finally seeing a plausible way out of his current quandary, Zhang Xuan immediately abandoned all attempts to ward off the heat from the black flame. Consciousness seemed to have vanished from his body as he stopped breathing altogether. 


It was as if winter had descended, extinguishing the flames of life under a weight of coldness. In this moment, it seemed as if eternal silence had set upon the world. 

Tzzzzzz!

Just as what Zhang Xuan had expected, as soon as he abandoned all resistance, the black flame realized that it had lost an opponent and swiftly calmed down. As a result of that, the temperature of the black flame plummeted sharply.

To make an analogy, Zhang Xuan's zhenqi was like gasoline to the black flame. The more he tried to fend off the black flame with his zhenqi, the more domineering the black flame would become in order to quell him. 

On the other hand, if he were to seal his zhenqi together and keep it from coming into contact with the black flame, with time, the black flame would lose its momentum and extinguish.

Having given up on resistance, Zhang Xuan's aura gradually weakened down to the point where he seemed nothing more than an ordinary mortal. In reciprocation to that, the black flame also diminished to a level tolerable to him.

Under the scorching heat of the black flame, black gas began rising out of Zhang Xuan's body. Slowly, a golden sheen emerged from his physical body.

Having cultivated the Heaven's Path Golden Body, Zhang Xuan knew that the black gas was the impurities accumulated within his body. Even if he had refined his body time and time again, it was nigh impossible for him to cleanse it fully.

In a sense, this was similar to no matter how many times a person washed his body, his body would never be perfectly clean. 

This was because the spiritual energy in nature was impure. This impurity was also the reason why spirit stones were divided into low-tier, middle-tier, high-tier, and pinnacle.

Even the pinnacle spirit stone, which boasted the highest purity of the spirit stones, wasn't close to being devoid of impurities. Given that even the spiritual energy absorbed by a cultivator wasn't perfectly clean, it was inevitable that impurities would gradually accumulate within one's body.

The heavenly flame wielded the power to burn these impurities into black gas and expel them from a cultivator's body. Without these impurities to hinder his bodily functions, the cultivator would be able to wield greater power at his disposal.

Gold was known to be the element that contained the least impurities. By tempering one's physical body over and over again, it would begin to emanate a beautiful golden sheen. This was also where the term 'Aureate Body' originated from.

As more and more black gas was being expelled, the golden sheen emanating from Zhang Xuan's body grew more and more brilliant.

In the previous heavenly tribulation, he had only managed to refine his Primordial Spirit to assume a golden color. However, under the intense scorching of the black flame, his physical body and zhenqi were swiftly being purified, and they were beginning to turn golden as well.

With a light knock, a metallic reverberation sounded from his body. It was almost as if his body was a legendary weapon in the making.

I think I can start raising the temperature of the black flame…

As the black flame tempered his body, he found that the excruciating pain he had suffered previously had been reduced to a level where he could hardly feel anything anymore. This was a sign that he had already adapted to the current level of heat emanated from the black flame, and it no longer posed a threat to him anymore. 

Thus, he began to drive his zhenqi.

In an instant, it was as if the world had come back to life. The frost had melted, and a surge of vitality sprouted from the depths of his body.

Hong long long!

Sensing the changes in Zhang Xuan's body, the black flame realized that it had been duped and flew into a rage. Innumerable bundles of black flames descended one after another, threatening to burn the young man down to ashes.

However, this was the exact reaction Zhang Xuan was anticipating from it. 

Without any hesitation, he absorbed the bundles of black flame into his body.

Jijijiji!

It wasn't too long ago that the black flame was a force far beyond his means to deal, but after undergoing a period of adaptation, his body had already built up some immunity against the heat. The damage and pain inflicted on his body had both reduced to a level acceptable to him.

Black gas continued being expelled from his body, and the golden sheen on his body was becoming more and more brilliant.

At the same time, the floor he was sitting on had initially turned black under the heat of the black flame, but at this point, it was starting to grow translucent. Slowly but surely, it was assuming a similar appearance to the blue jadestone he had seen previously.

Slowly, Zhang Xuan felt his body adapting completely to the black flame, and he heaved a sigh of relief. A glint flashed across his eyes as he thought, It's about time to resolve the Innate Fetal Poison!

The Innate Fetal Poison had managed to slip into his physical body and hide in his narrowest meridians, where he was unable to reach. This time around, he was determined to accomplish the deed once and for all!

Zhang Xuan took in a deep breath as he turned his gaze toward the ominous clouds above. With a powerful leap, he dashed right into the midst of the Empyrean Heavenly Flame.

Since he had already resolved himself to eliminate the Innate Fetal Poison, he would have to make sure to utterly obliterate it this time around such that it wouldn't be able to make a comeback again. The bundles of black flame that descended from the ominous clouds above wasn't sufficient to guarantee the complete destruction of the Innate Fetal Poison, so he would have to dive into the core of the black flame to carry out the deed.

Back then, he did dive into the ominous clouds with his Primordial Spirit too, but he had remained near the edges. That created an opening for the Innate Fetal Poison to get away.

He wouldn't make such a mistake again.

Huhuhu!

As soon as he dived into the midst of the dark clouds, he immediately felt innumerable bundles of black flame swarming in his direction, threatening to drown him whole.

In the face of the frenzied assault from the black flames, Zhang Xuan opened his acupoints and devoured them frenziedly.

As the black flames surged into his meridians, he channeled them toward the area where the Innate Fetal Poison hid.

Jijiji!

At this moment, the Innate Fetal Poison was still idling by one corner, oblivious to the fact that Zhang Xuan had already summoned the heavenly flame tribulation for his physical body too. Caught off guard by the ferocious onslaught of black flames, it released a shrill shriek and quickly took flight.

"Do you think you have anywhere to run to?"

After been tortured by the Innate Fetal Poison for so long, Zhang Xuan couldn't possibly allow it to do as it pleased anymore. Before the Innate Fetal Poison could get far away, black flames surged into the path it was intending to escape to.

Before it could even register the situation it was in, all of its paths of escape had been completely sealed.

Zhang Xuan knew how agile the Innate Fetal Poison was when it came to fleeing, so he made sure that everything was in place before launching the decisive assault. 

At this moment, due to the overwhelming quantity of black flame in him, his entire body had turned into a human-shaped black fireball. If he still couldn't get rid of the Innate Fetal Poison with this, he could really just kill himself on a blob of tofu.

Jijiji!

Completely surrounded, the Innate Fetal Poison had no way to escape to. Engulfed in the midst of searing black flames, a piercing shriek reminiscent of a banshee's cry shook the air. The shriek slowly dwindled before everything was reduced to silence.

It's finally over… Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.

His physical body and Primordial Spirit had been tempered by heavenly flames, and his Spiritual Perception had grown sharp enough to notice any anomaly in his body. No matter how crafty the Innate Fetal Poison was, there was no way it would be able to escape from this.

Fearing that the Innate Fetal Poison would make a comeback, even after the piercing shriek faded, Zhang Xuan continued to channel black flames into his body to sear the Innate Fetal Poison. He continued the process for nearly ten minutes, stopping only when the dark clouds were beginning to dissipate.

Retracting the black flames, Zhang Xuan swiftly scanned the area where the Innate Fetal Poison had last appeared with his Spiritual Perception. His eyes widened at what he saw.

"This… What is this?" Zhang Xuan muttered in shock.

---

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