The three flew through the Xiantu Continent, rising upwards until they breached the atmospheric limits, entering the Deep Expanse. The dark void was cold and chilly, absent of life and heat.
Yan Zaizen and Shin Xuanji's cultivation base was sufficient to exist within the dark void. They wreathed themselves in vital and heavenly energies, sustaining their bodily systems and warding off the ill-absence of the Deep Expanse.
Ezekiel's wings were completely unfurled, revealing their silver brilliance. "Come near," he said. While Yan Zaizen and Shin Xuanji's cultivation bases were incredible, they were entirely incomparable to Ezekiel, so traversing the Deep Expanse with his power to the Fallen Stars Continent was a far better option than using their own means.
Yan Zaizen didn't hesitate and moved to be beneath Ezekiel's wings. Shin Xuanji saw Yan Zaizen and followed.
Ezekiel's cultivation was truly incomparable to how he was in the past. No longer was he simply a Heavenly Commander, already establishing a Grand Heaven within his Heavenly Shrine. A Heavenly Creation Realm expert, a bonafide Heavenly Monarch.
Even Wei Wuyin's cultivation speed was inferior to that, only establishing a Minor Heaven with his Heavenly Shrine using his original body.
Ezekiel's heavenly might was world-shaking, simply its ambient pressure caused the immediate void to distort, twist, and grow docile and obedient. With a flap of his wings, the three was engulfed by his might and flashed like a comet through the Deep Expanse.
The distance between the Fallen Stars Continent and the Xiantu Continent was immense, usually taking quite a while even while shifting through the spatial void, yet in but a moment, they arrived in Grux's upper atmosphere.
Shin Xuanji was startled, but immediately calmed his mind and breath. Ezekiel was obviously not ordinary, especially since he was Yan Zaizen's friend. As for Yan Zaizen, he shrugged a little and focused his gaze below into the Deep Mines.
They lingered amongst the clouds. "My original body is trapped within the Deep Mines. There." Yan Zaizen pointed at the unfathomably deep hole that his body laid in. He could feel the resonance of his soul aura within that hole, but he couldn't tell its distance. In fact, his senses were absorbed by the mysterious power that existed within as he tried to scour it.
With furrowed brows, Ezekiel's eyes flashed with stars of the grand universe, endless, self-creating, and destroying. It was the timeline of all creation, its beginning and end. As he invoked his senses, those brows of his became nearly vertical.
"I can't send my senses through to inspect," the shock in Ezekiel's voice was apparent. His expression was dignified.
Yan Zaizen expected nothing less. In truth, he would be shocked if Ezekiel could send his senses through. His original body had a Paragon Soul and a False Grand Dao transformed into a Dao Heart's Dao Sense, and even he couldn't extend his senses while trapped.
"What happened to your original body?" Ezekiel spoke, and while his tone was calm, Yan Zaizen could sense the hint, although very faint, trace of anxiety. He needed Wei Wuyin's original body and its Black Hole that was fearless before all soul attacks. That was to resist a troublesome enemy, but the truth was to refine the Heavenly Spark and resist the rebound.
If Yan Zaizen couldn't do so, then he would be immensely vulnerable when trying to claim this Heaven as his own.
Yan Zaizen knew this, but he had no power to extricate his original body from its current dilemma. He was making some headway to freeing himself, but there was still much to do.
"When I left the Heavenly Origin Grounds, a mishap happened and the compass led me here. I don't know how deep I was then, but that was seventeen years ago. I used my Herculean's Path innate strength to send out a portion of my soul and dao," Yan Zaizen explained.
"The compass sent you here?" Ezekiel felt frustrated. However, he was confident in his strength and would therefore make an attempt before calling it. Without hesitation, he flapped his silver wings a little before transforming into a silver comet, descending into the Deep Mine.
Yan Zaizen and Shin Xuanji watched him enter. They both were feeling tense. If Ezekiel could free Yan Zaizen's original body, many things could be done. Yan Zaizen could venture into Hell with time to spare to save Pinaka.
"Do you think he will be able to do it?" Shin Xuanji asked.
Yan Zaizen's eyes were solemn. In truth, he didn't have much confidence. That mysterious power was unfathomable and even the Black Hole couldn't devour it. However, he could only hope that all things worked out.
They stood in the clouds for several minutes, but no sign of Ezekiel since his descent. With the inability to send one's senses into the hole, they were completely ignorant of the events down there.
A beam of starry-like shot out of the Deep Mines, painting the entire sky in the images of the vast starry sky with all sorts of planetary and galactic manifestations. Yan Zaizen and Shin Xuanji's heart trembled as a power that seemed to touch upon their existential core was emitted from that light.
Before long, the entire continent was covered in endless and boundless manifestations undergoing all sorts of transformations and transmutations. It was miraculously beautiful to the apex.
"Origin Path?" Yan Zaizen's heart nearly stopped as he recognized the source of this power. When he was in the Earthly Beginnings and Heavenly Endings Trial, Xiha had left behind an Origin Path Cultivation Method. He knew it was incredibly miraculous, but he never had time to truly cultivate it.
It relied on a form of unique power that originates from the core and innermost parts of existence and reality itself; both of oneself and all things. It was beyond profound and he didn't have much advantage in cultivating it as even the Non-Entity's body had very little benefits in helping develop it.
After several seconds of this celestial display, the light receded and a silver light that was like a minor star flickering at the last moments of its end exited from the Deep Mines. It shot upwards until it broke the atmospheric layers of the continent and entered the Deep Expanse, as if wanting to get as far away as possible from the Deep Mines.
Yan Zaizen and Shin Xuanji both looked towards each other, seeing the solemness in their gazes. With a step, they shot forward in chase. The silver light only stopped after several minutes of flight, revealing a figure that seemed exhausted and tattered.
It was Ezekiel, his eyes dim and his silver wings were flashing with brilliant light as if it was nearing its end. Yan Zaizen was struck with immense shock. What the hell happened?
When they both arrived, Ezekiel turned to face them, his dim eyes filled with failure. This was a very unique event in his life. He had faced two events that had never gone his way in his entire lifetime. The first was being devoured by Wei Wuyin and the second was now, stopped by this mysterious power within the Deep Mines.
The fear that lingered in those eyes of his made Yan Zaizen reconsider his calculations of being able to save his original body.
Ezekiel looked at Yan Zaizen, staring into his eyes, "I saw your body."
"What happened?" Yan Zaizen wasn't shocked that Ezekiel was at least capable of seeing his body.
Ezekiel calmed his haggard breathing and regained his posture, folding his wings into a state of rest. He continued, "I have never seen such a peculiar power source, nor have I ever seen an endless hole. The hole exceeds the space the Continent occupies, leading to an unknown. I traveled about two minor realms worth of distance deep before I saw a very, very far glimpse of your body.
"It seemed to be far enough that perhaps the distance of two Major Realms would be appropriate, and it's sinking deeper. At an incredible speed. The mysterious power has a suppressive effect on all sorts of energies, it was insidious and invasive. Besides pure physical strength, I couldn't rely on anything there.
"The only reason I could leave was because of my wings and the only power that seemed to work…" Ezekiel paused. His wings had used their own power to fly, and like Yan Zaizen's ability to throw, it couldn't hinder such basic actions.
"Origin Power," Yan Zaizen finished Ezekiel's sentence with a click of his tongue. Origin Power was an entirely different cultivation path, incredibly profound and insanely difficult to cultivate. It utilized an existential reality force-type strength that transcended the soul.
He didn't want to say it, but his Infernal Path and Herculean Path might not help him extract his body. If that was the case, he would be back to square one.
"Then why not fly using your wings and grab his original body?" Shin Xuanji asked.
Ezekiel's eyes snapped to Shin Xuanji, "It's not so simple. The force not only suppresses, but pulls you further in. And, the further you go, the stronger the pull and suppression. If I went any further, I would've exhausted myself until I reached a depth where my stamina reserves could no longer send me out. I'll endlessly descend into that abyss without a way out."
Shin Xuanji's heart shook. If that was the case, then wasn't Yan Zaizen's original body impossible to retrieve? The longer it took, the harder it became?
Yan Zaizen deeply sighed. This just got so, so much harder.