Dyon's skinned reddened under the strain, but his face was completely serene. He had been quite serious when he said he didn't feel pain the same way anymore. It wasn't that he didn't know that he was in pain, or that he didn't know that it hurt, it was more so that his pain tolerance had increased to astronomical levels.
After having his body sheared apart and reformed just to be sheared apart again, it was hard for anything to compare… Even if that comparison was the tearing of your soul.
Although Dyon hadn't thought about it much, the truth was that what his grand teacher had done for him wasn't as simple.
Meridians were an organ system, but, not an organ that was simple to replace. For example, transplanting a heart might be difficult, but it was still an acute process and confined to a small work area. However, the circulatory system as a whole is different. One can't expect to be able to switch in a completely new set of veins and arteries for a person.
That would require creating new infinitesimally small connected between the bronchioles of the lungs, and the ciliary bodies of the brain and digestive system. It would even require replacement of the small vesicles that brought resources to and from something as sensitive as your eyes.
In a way, meridians were exactly like the circulatory system. On the surface, they were like veins and arteries, but they also had the job of feeding energy to the smallest crevasses of the body. The only way to do this properly was to reconstruct Dyon's entire body piece by piece.
That said, although the process had been painful, it had the added benefit of allowing Dyon to better focus on his soul cultivation. Without being distracted by pain as much as before, he could diligently work on deconstructing his soul to its finest pieces and reforming it into stronger and stronger wholes.
Suddenly, Dyon felt something snap.
The room threatened to fold under the pressure of his soul's breakthrough, it was nothing like he had ever felt before.
Dyon had made a mistake. He had thought that since his soul was still within the essence gathering realm, he wouldn't have to deal with any break through phenomena. But, he failed to properly understand how his soul worked.
When Dyon called upon his manifestation, he wasn't using a technique like Chenglei had. It was his actual soul going toward completion… Which meant, that the reason breaking through to the sixth stage had taken so long, was because he was never really breaking through to the sixth stage… This whole time, he had been knocking down the barrier toward a saint level soul!
'I can't do this here… Can the ring withstand a phenomenon? No time!'
Dyon's eyes snapped open as he grit his teeth to try and supress his breakthrough.
Seeing Ri's meditating figure surrounded by an array that worked to lock in a dense air of energy, Dyon sent her into the ring, not wanting her to cultivate without protection, before he too dove into the ring after hiding it in some floor boards.
Just in time, Dyon appeared in the new world.
"AAGGHH!" Dyon roared in relief, his clothes bursting from him as his soul was baptized with a new energy.
Dyon immediately realized something was wrong.
In energy cultivation, the first three stages were reserved for essence energy. All of the foundation stage, the meridian formation stage and the essence gathering stage only differed, in terms of energy, by the density you were accepting into yourself.
However, when crossing over into the realm of the saints, the energy changed completely.
For energy cultivation, as long as you mastered an intent, you would learn to sense and accumulate saint energy. But… There was no such restriction for the soul.
Many ignored this because of the rarity of a soul cultivator. In many cases, if not nearly all, energy cultivation surpasses one's soul strength. Therefore, to many, the only way to sense saint energy is to first learn an intent…
That said… There's another way.
For the truly talented, if one's soul talent reaches unprecedented levels and crosses into the level of a saint, then this very same person will learn the way of the saint.
Even Dyon's grand teacher had never heard of this. There had never been anyone in the history of the martial world to reach the level of a saint soul without first becoming a saint because there had never before been anyone in history with as much accumulated soul talent as Dyon.
As Dyon had learned from his grand teacher, his soul talent wasn't just his own… It was the accumulated soul talent for billions of people over thousands of years. With the seal of the human world in place, no one had had the ability to cultivate at all until Dyon broke through the soul seal… And now he was an anomaly of the world… A meridian formation expert who would sense saint energy…
But, there was a price being paid.
This wasn't the way things were supposed to be.
Energy slowly accumulated and improved in density over time because the body couldn't take high densities of energy all at once. There was a reason you needed to temper your body before you could temper your meridians all before you could fill them with energy… Without this steady progression, the body would never be ready for saint energy. In fact, attempting to fill yourself with saint energy before you were ready only meant death…
There was a reason why Dyon had warned Madeleine to never try and cultivate with the dao stones. There was a reason why he, himself, had never tried to cultivate with them either, let alone the celestial or saint stones. There was only death that awaited those who tried to skip into levels they weren't ready for…
But, what could Dyon do now? He had stumbled into something no one in the history of the world had dealt with before and he only had himself to rely on…
His fiancée was cultivating. His demon generals were of no help in an unprecedented situation like this. His grand teacher didn't have unlimited reach…
So, he could only stand there in horror as his roar of relief slowly became that of pain… A level of pain he thought he would never experience again…