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Fourth Stage Inborn is the fourth level in the cultivation. In ancient times, prior to the Ancient Antiquity Era, this stage was only known as the Inborn Realm. Only since the Ancient Antiquity Era this stage was known as the ‘Fourth Stage’.[2]

This stage marks a watershed in cultivation, the cultivator can not only use the powerful Inborn True Essence, but can also use Controlling Sword (Sabre) Flight and fly through the skies.

During ancient times, sects and schools allowed their disciples to leave in order to train and gain experience only after they had reached this realm.[3]

Position in Cultivation World

Type of Influences Rank / Position[4]
Small influences Retired Elder
Medium influences Patriarch
Major influences Branch Lord

Cultivators that had reached the Fourth Stage Realm would be able to become branch leaders and be in control of an entire branch even in large sects. As for cultivators who had reached the Fifth Stage Realm, they could even become elders or peak leaders in large sects, allowing them to become real powerhouses.[4]

After reaching this realm, progressing again becomes really difficult for loose practitioners. So for most loose practitioners, once they reached the Fourth Stage Realm, they would be fine with joining a sect or force.[4]

Third Promote Fourth Tribulation

Cultivation Speed

Using 40 years to be promoted to Fourth Stage from the Third Stage is considered as fast and can be considered as genius speed. This speed was used by the Demons of the Nine Serenities to entice Beast Realm’s cultivators to degenerate into demons.[5]

Those who promoted to Fourth Stage before the age of 30 are true top geniuses.[6]

Modernised Tribulation

In the modernised tribulation, there will be primitive people. They wore animal skins and uses primitive weapons enhanced by the heavenly tribulation to attack cultivators. In addition, they become stronger as time passes.[7][8]

Tribulation of Thunder and Fire

Tribulation of Thunder and Fire (雷火之劫; Léi Huǒ zhī Jié) was last wave of the heavenly tribulation of the Fourth Stage. In this wave, fire and thunder will accompany each other, and fall down like rain.[9]

Heart Demon Tribulation

Heart Demon Tribulation (心魔劫; Xīn Mó Jié) will occur approximately once in every 10,000 tribulations in the past several thousand years.[10] However, ever since the start of Changing Heaven, every tribulation transcender will face the dreaded Heart Demon Tribulation.[11]

Body Transformation

Body of the Battle King

After reaching the Fourth Stage Realm, the constitution of the cultivator would get 4 – 10 times stronger, and the meridians in their body would always be open, allowing them to benefit from ‘Body of the Battle King’ all the time. Every single one of their moves would have the same strength as that of a cultivator of the Third Stage giving their all.[12]

Inborn True Essence

Other than their constitution getting stronger, the liquid ‘true qi’ inside the body of a cultivator would transform into inborn true essence after advancing to the Fourth Stage. Inborn true essence was the ultimate form of true qi, and after going one step further, it was possible to transform inborn true essence into spirit energy (灵力; líng lì), advancing to the Fifth Stage Realm and condensing a Life Source Gold Core.[12]

Special Ability – Controlling Sword (Sabre) Flight

One of the best distinguishing features of the Fourth Stage Realm was the ability to control flying swords and use them to kill enemies. Taking another’s head from miles away with a thought was one of the most amazing things about the Fourth Stage Realm.[13]

After the true qi of a cultivator had changed into inborn true essence, it would finally be able to keep up with the energy consumed to ride a flying sword. At the same time, the fact that the ‘Body of the Battle King’ was constantly active guaranteed that the body of the cultivator wouldn’t suddenly break due to being too weak while riding their flying sword.[12]

Minor Realms

Fourth Stage is divided into two minor realms

  1. Illusory Core
  2. Nine Immortal Bones

Illusory Core

This is the initial realm of the Fourth Stage. Once a practitioner transcends the Third Promotes Fourth Tribulation, he will condense an Illusory Core (虚丹; Xū Dān) in his Life Source Dantian. The capacity of the Life Source Dantian of a Fourth Stage cultivator was more than 1,000 times that of a Second Stage cultivator.[14]

During the last phase of the breaking through process, all the inborn true essence in the practitioner’s body will flow back into his Life Source Dantian, form a weak true essence core. This true essence core also known as Illusory Core (虚丹; Xū Dān) and it had a certain relationship with the Life Source Gold Core one would condense after advancing to the Fifth Stage.[12][15]

In the rare occasion of the inborn true essence that flowed back into the Life Source Dantian wasn’t enough, a complete illusory core won’t be formed, making the cultivator a Half-Fourth Stage.[15] The cultivator needs to absorb more spirit energy to complete the Illusory Core.[16]

Nine Immortal Bones

Condensation of the Nine Immortal Bones

After the breakthrough to Fourth Stage, the cultivator must condense Nine Immortal Bones (九仙骨; jiǔ xiān gǔ), each condensation corresponding to a new realm.

The so-called ‘immortal bones’ referred to the nine secret reserves of power inside a cultivator’s body––they supported a cultivator’s cultivation system the same way human bones supported a human’s body. Regardless of First Stage’s Five Great Acupoints (五大窍穴; Wǔ Dà Qiàoxué), Second Stage’s Eighth Great Dantians (八大丹田; Bā Dà Dāntián} and Third Stage’s Four Extraordinary Meridians (四奇脉; sì qí mài), all of them relied on these ‘immortal bones’.[17]

The nine great immortal bones, similar to human bones, supported the cultivation system of cultivators, and the Fourth Stage Realm consisted in quenching these nine great immortal bones.[17][14]

Watermill Quenching Stage

After fully condensing an immortal bone, a practitioner will enter the Watermill Quenching Stage (水磨淬炼阶段; Shuǐmó Cuìliàn Jiēduàn).[16]

Whenever an immortal bone was quenched, one would be able to see the quenched immortal bone turn golden if they looked inside their body. When an immortal bone was quenched to the limit, it would become dark gold… Then, a sword-like force would extend from it and directly prick the Illusory Core in the original dantian.[17][16]

The quenching of each immortal bone is a delicate process. When the immortal bone’s power pierced through the Illusory Core, it could cause the core to shatter if the control was bad. Once an Illusory Core was shattered, the practitioner’s ‘Way’ would forever stagnate in the current stage, and would no longer progress. The only exception was if the practitioner had a heaven-defying encounter that changed his life and reconstructed his life source dantian and Illusory Core.[17][16]

A single immortal bone could take at least ten years to be properly formed. However, the time can be shortened by consuming special foods or absorbing special energies. After the condensation of the ninth immortal bone, the cultivator will be ready to cross the Fourth Promotes Fifth Tribulation.

Living Item

A living item (本命法器; běnmìng fǎqì) is a magical item that was bounded to a cultivator. Living items normally forged when a practitioner is at the Fourth Stage. A living item will grow together with its master and forge a relationship that nothing can come between it and its master.[18]

As such, any other magical item is just an external thing; there is no effect to the cultivator even if it was damaged. But living items are different, if they were damaged, the damage will directly feed back to the cultivator’s main body. Therefore many cultivators’ living item isn’t used for ‘battle’, but is used to assist practice – the living item is used to enhance the cultivator’s dragon mark quality, strengthen gold core and nascent soul’s potential.[18]

In general, a living item can increase the rate of success of transcending the tribulations by more than 30%.[19]

Trivia

Fourth Stage Inborn was the fourth cultivation level mentioned in the novel.[20] 

Links and References

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Disciple Foundation BuildingFirst Stage Beyond MortalSecond Stage True MasterThird Stage Battle King
Expert Fourth Stage InbornFifth Stage Spirit Sovereign
Senior Sixth Stage True MonarchSeventh Stage Spirit Venerable
Big Shot Eighth Stage SaintNinth Stage Tribulation ImmortalEternal Life Being
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