The voidheart worm had been far harder to deal with than Tianming had thought it would be. It was even comparable to some of the strongest nemeses Tianming had faced, despite being a cosmic wildbeast. Normal wildbeasts wouldn't even begin to compare with its child spawns, let alone its powered-up form.
"As expected of a cosmic wildbeast raised in the Mysterium Cluster." Back then, Tianming didn't even have a concept to approximate the power of the Primordial Chaos Beasts, but the voidheart worm was probably like a starter version of their final form. "Skywolf also has these, I think, but how many? If they do, they must be much stronger than this one was."
With the astralguard formation deactivated, Skywolf could be seen in the sun's sky. Tianming didn't have time to relax.
"Little Li, come here! This is what you want!" Xian Xian had finished eating up the voidheart worm, leaving only a husk that contained a single object.
"Alright." Tianming entered the husk of the huge body and saw a glowing white object in the darkness. When he approached, he noticed that it was the size of a palace. No doubt, it was half of the solar core. As an object that regulated the functions of the fusion and astralguard formations, it wasn't surprising that it would be that big. As he looked at it, the husk of the voidheart worm crumbled into ash, revealing even more of the white solar core.
He saw countless intricate divine celestial patterns moving about the spherical object. It slowly spun like a miniature fusion formation, ancient and silently spinning according to the countless universal laws. A few mere looks would be enough to instill a sense of awe in people. Its divine celestial patterns seemed able to project the various sights of Orderia onto the surface of the solar core. Controlling it meant controlling half the sun.
"I wonder if the voidheart worm managed to completely control the solar core," Ying Huo asked as it flew around it.
"Probably not, or it would’ve cut off the nova source to the Myriad Solar Sects, or even dramatically lowered it to make us suffer," Tianming said.
"In other words, it probably only controlled the top layer, which manages the astralguard formation. The deeper layers of the solar core control the nova source distribution."
"That's right." The fusion formation was the essence of the sun and used to control its nova source. It was clear how important the solar core was. For any group to thrive, control of the solar core was essential, and it wasn't a surprise that it was kept within a grade-nine divine formation like the Sky Palace Formation.
"Give it a go, then," Ying Huo said.
"I have no idea where to start," Tianming said after giving it a thorough look. It wasn't comparable to the wheel formation of the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb at all, which could be activated simply by mastering the moves of the Ninedragon Tribulation. The solar core seemed far more complex.
"If a sub-intelligent cosmic wildbeast could do it, why can't you?" Ying Huo mocked.
"It probably used the seven Sky Palace members it controlled to do it, and even then it couldn't do much apart from slightly tweaking the Sky Palace Formation and the fusion formation." The voidheart worm had only recently grown stronger, after all. Before this, all it had done was hide within the Sky Palace Formation without showing itself.
Tianming studied it for even more time. "Oh, wait!" He had two things that could possibly help: the stigma of the Sky Palace and his black arm. Perhaps the stigma given to him by the wooden building could help. He headed toward the solar core.
"Ancestors above, I pray that this works." He knew that the Sky Palace had many secrets, including the wooden building. Perhaps the answers he sought were within the solar core. As he approached, his stigma lit up with the same glow from the solar core: a warm, white light. Before his forehead even touched the solar core, the 'void' character on his forehead emitted a few strings of divine celestial patterns that blended in with the solar core. "I thought the core of the sun would be burning hot, not just warm."
Tianming widened his eyes and observed the changes on his forehead. The stigma had linked up with the solar core in some way. Countless divine celestial patterns flooded back toward Tianming's body, wrapping him in a gentle energy that pulled him into the solar core. He found himself in a milky-white sea. Every single drop of water within was made of dense divine celestial patterns, each of them containing endless mysteries. The sea itself seemed boundless. Then, the water from the sea flooded toward his stigma.
"Huh?" He felt that he was connected to the solar core through the stigma. Right after that, information flooded into his head. "It looks like I can control it now."
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Perhaps that was why controlling the solar core from the outside using the stigma wasn't too difficult. The stigma seemed to lift from his forehead and became a sphere that floated before him. The little snow-white ball currently controlled the Sky Palace Formation, allowing him to open or close it. That alone meant that Tianming had become the owner of the Sky Palace Formation.
At the very bottom of the formation was the polar south of the sun, which was connected to the fusion formation. In other words, Tianming could open the formation and let the Ninedragon Imperial Tomb absorb a large amount of nova source, which could then be compressed into a miniature nova source within the ship to power it. That was good news in these desperate times. Tianming could finally see hope once more after the disastrous battle at the Myriaddragon Mountains.
The white ball in his hand quickly sucked up all the water in the sea around him, leaving a blank world before him. He looked up and saw nothing but a horizon and something familiar: a dilapidated wooden building that was covered in moss. But unlike before, it looked realistic instead of the illusory form he had seen the last time. He had a feeling that he could open the door and walk right in.
"Perhaps the wooden building hides deeper controls, like the ones for the astralguard and fusion formations. It might also have to do with the origins of the Sky Palace. As for whether it's the Sky Plundering Palace from the memories of the Archaionfiend, maybe I'll find out there."
Tianming couldn't wait to enter the wooden building, but he had two things to complete before that. First, he walked out of the solar core. From the outside, it didn't seem to have changed, and the wooden building remained within. Relieved, he put his attention on other tasks. First, he would have to bring all the solarians and above of the Myriad Solar Sects into the Sky Palace Formation.