NOTE: Magical beasts: step - rank, because their rank-1 is equivalent to the human step, so better call it with another name to differentiate both notions.
Since everyone was cultivating cross-legged, they didn’t take up a lot of space. The girls were seated on the bed, while all the boys were on the ground. They all cultivated together in the same room.
Sima Xian and Han Yu sat on either side of Long Haochen. The intense holy light energy concentrated around Long Haochen was beneficial for their cultivation.
Cai’er and Wang Yuanyuan who had both gained some understanding during the trip to the Tower of Eternity, had hurried to sit down cross- legged, entering their cultivating pose. Chen Ying’er knew very well that she was currently the weakest in the team, and thus seized the moment to raise her spiritual energy level.
After the repeated failures earlier, Long Haochen tried to enter the Tower of Eternity every half hour. But only six hours after they left the Tower of Eternity did the Eternal Melody show signs of connecting again.
After the teleportation succeeded in an instant, Long Haochen and his comrades found themselves right outside of the Tower of Eternity.
Seeing the Tower of Eternity appearing exactly the same as the last time they entered, Long Haochen gave it some thoughts, declaring, “We seem to be able to enter again after six hours, which means we could enter twice a
day. This time should be subject to variations. But it should always require a time close to six hours before we are able to enter the tower again. After the completion of this test, everyone will stay here. I will try to teleport back by myself to see whether it is possible.”
Taking the tests was a lot easier than the last time, and this time, Han Yu played a major role, since during the past few hours of cultivation, his Demonic Eye managed to evolve. This signified that they wouldn’t have the trouble of not having access to the Eyes of Truth anymore.
After evolving, the Demonic Eye got six more tentacles, looking close to twice the size than in the past. From his body fluctuations of spiritual energy emerged, clearly showing that the level of his magical beast was now at the seventh rank. It was also an expert in mind attacks of the sixth step.
With the addition of the Demonic Eye, and the past experience, completing the first three tests became a lot easier.
The first test was naturally completed without any difficulty. Under Long Haochen’s command, the ones that obtained the balls of spiritual energy were Cai’er and Wang Yuanyuan. Chen Ying’er also tried to summon something with her Creature Summoning Gate, but her luck was only average. She summoned a wind elemental turtle, a magical beast of the fifth rank. It couldn’t be considered very powerful, but it didn’t have any problem with executing the last blow as long as it had the support of the team.
The Specter Assassins of the second test were also a lot easier to handle this time. After evolving, the Demonic Eye displayed a terrifying force, revealing the figures of the two Specter Assassins with the Eyes of Truth, before immediately launching an area-targeted mind attack. The two Specter Assassins were only temporarily put in a dazed state, but these mere two seconds were sufficient for the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad to hunt them down.
This time, everyone gave priority to Chen Ying’er, who executed the last blows, and happily picked up the two balls of spiritual energy.
The following third test was also a lot easier with the addition of the Demonic Eye. It launched a spell called Mental Interference, and this mind type spells’ effect was simple: upon hitting the target, it would decrease its speed of launching abilities by half. The two Skeleton Knights were admittedly strong, but as long as they weren’t given the opportunity to use terrifying attacks like Asura Thrust, they were a lot easier to handle.
This time’s rewards were given to Wang Yuanyuan and Sima Xian. Lin Xin had only his Fire Curse technique as offensive power, and Long Haochen decided to keep that in store for the upcoming battles. This time, they passed through these three trials without much effort, and wanted to see what the fourth test would be.
“Make your preparations, everyone. Han Yu, tell your Demonic Eye to keep using the Eyes of Truth.” Long Haochen adjusted his shield in his left and his sword in his right, leading his comrades forward.
Six glows of white light enveloped the six of them almost simultaneously, and immediately, six robust skeletons appeared in the midst of the white light. It wasn’t only them, but at the same time, four Specter Assassins appeared to everyone’s surprise. It was their luck that they had the Eyes of Truth activated, or else, the Specter Assassins concealed behind the six Skeleton Warriors would have been a great bother.
The enemies abruptly came in a number of ten, which gave Long Haochen a sudden fright. These were after all opponents at the sixth step and would at least have the corresponding strength.
Four glows of white light were instantly launched from Long Haochen’s chest, and stepping forward, he stamped on the ground with his right foot, producing a loud bang.
This little step shouldn’t be underestimated by any means; with this mere step, Long Haochen’s aura rose to its peak, and in addition, with the loud bang coming along, all his comrades’ attention was focused.
The four white glows deriving from his chest targeted those four Specter Assassins almost immediately. That was to say that it took a pocket of time
and power for Long Haochen to distract the four Specter Assassins’ attention, relieving his comrades from a great source of worry.
“Han Yu, Mental Interference and Mental Attacks! ”
With this loud shout, Long Haochen charged in the direction of the six skeletons. With this motion, he could be said to have placed himself in the midst of danger.
At this moment, a strong red light passed above Long Haochen’s head, and immense flames appeared above those Six Skeleton Warriors, sweeping past them and attacking from behind. One had no choice to admit that although Lin Xin wasn’t able to use any type of offensive magic, his control over magic was exquisite.
Using his exquisite control, the Fire Curse Technique bombarded the ground under those six Skeleton Warriors. At this time, those four Specter Assassins started to charge at Long Haochen, affected by his Saint Spiritual Stove, and as a result, approached from right behind the Skeleton Warriors. In other words, Lin Xin’s Fire Curse technique was aimed right between the Skeleton Warriors and the Specter Assassins, right in the middle of the enemies’ ranks.
Coinciding with that spell, the Demonic Eye’s first spell reached: Mental Interference.
Affected by Mental Interference, the Skeleton Warriors’ bodies glinted with a golden light. The technique showed a certain effect, but the Specter Assassins seemed to be affected even stronger. Under the influence of the Mental Interference, they lost a great deal of their speed.
The Fire Curse technique instantly burst forth, causing the following scene to astonish everyone. The four Specter Assassins that were attracted by the effects of Long Haochen’s Saint Spiritual Stove were unexpectedly instantly reduced to ashes, taking the shape of four white glows absorbed by Lin Xin.
It was an instant kill!
Not only that, but those six Skeleton Warriors that were charging at them stumbled from the violent explosion, and right then, the mind attack reached, causing the six Skeleton Warriors’ to be unable to be maintain their attacks. Within seconds, they sank in total disorder.
It was also at that time that Long Haochen reached them.
The three attacks Demon Wiping Flash, Shining Solar Strike and Ascending Dragon Strike hit violently, directly killing two of the skeletons. He wasn’t the only one to act. Han Yu also immediately launched an Asura Thrust at one of the skeletons. He achieved results that one can well imagine, causing the Skeleton Warrior’s body to crumble instantly under this fierce attack.
The Energetic Ball of Light and the Gigantic Divine Soul Shield also struck at their respective targets. At their optimal state, Skeleton Warriors would hardly let themselves get hit that easily, but with Lin Xin and the Demonic Eye’s magic attack, everything was different.
Totally unable to either attack or defend effectively, the two Skeleton Warriors were instantly reduced to nothingness.
The last skeleton was destroyed by Cai’er’s golden dagger, that hit its head on the rear, directly diffusing the flame igniting its soul.
The battle ended at a speed that outstripped everyone’s expectations. That had after all been ten opponents! While everyone looked at each other, Chen Ying’er couldn’t help but cry out, “This… Did we really manage to accomplish this?”
Lin Xin, who obtained four of the golden balls in a mere instant, replied with incomparable pride, “Of course we managed this. Didn’t you see the accuracy of bro’s Fire Curse technique?”
This time, there wasn’t anyone refuting him, because everything he said was the truth. If not for that fireball that weakened the Skeleton Warriors as well as instantly killing the four specters, they wouldn’t have achieved this
victory so easily. Lin Xin was the one who gained the most from these skeletal summons, but he had also been the one to have the most impact.
Long Haochen composed himself after a little moment of shock. “Yeah, just like this! This is the coordination we need to have. Lin Xin did very well.”
Lin Xin sighed, “It’s only now that I start to really understand why Father was so stubborn with his research of offensive magic. A powerful mage surely has the ability to turn the situation on a battlefield around completely. However, I already gave the pledge at that time, that I would never learn offensive magic in my life. Sorry, comrades, I…”
Sima Xian, who was right at his side, carried the Energetic Ball of Light with one hand while patting Lin Xin’s shoulder with his other one, “Alright, alright, what reason do you have to feel affected like that, has- drug-bro? Since you’re unable to learn offensive magic, you’ll just have to use more equipment carrying supplementary offensive spells and nothing more. Don’t you know about being flexible?”
Lin Xin’s eyes lit up, “Ai, the muscle-clad guy you are turns out to be not so stupid.”
“Go f*** your sister.” Sima Xian heaved his Energetic Ball of Light, showing a threatening expression, “Do you want to have a spar with this metallic ball?”
Lin Xin showed a wretched smile in response, “Don’t say this, I really have a sister. Prepare your ass well, bro will introduce her to you later.”
This time, it was Sima Xian’s turn to have his eyes lighting up. Although he had always found Lin Xin narcissistic and somewhat vulgar, he was still in his opinion pretty good in terms of looks. So… his sister shouldn’t be half bad then. Thinking of this, the anger on his face immediately softened to a warm expression.
Seeing this clown-acting, Long Haochen laughed gently, “We have to keep advancing.”
Everyone shook their heads almost simultaneously. Although this battle was something they managed to win smoothly, a great part of luck was still involved in the process. This fourth test had forced them to confront ten powerhouses. If the next one would include ten Skeleton Knights able to use Asura Thrust, what would happen then? Added to that, they were exhausted to some extent; at least, Lin Xin was unable to launch Fire Curse again.
Most of all, having passed through four tests, everyone gained profits. After going twice into the Tower of Eternity, they gained more from the balls of spiritual energy alone than what they would have usually gained from cultivating normally. To say nothing that they had also been cultivating between their visits at the tower.
“Captain, the ability you use is called Asura Strike right?” Wang Yuanyuan suddenly asked.
Long Haochen nodded, replying, “That’s right!”
Wang Yuanyuan smiled, “This ability seems more suited to me than Asura Thrust. I have just obtained it from that skeleton. I’ll train with it once we get back.”
Ever since he had gotten his Energetic Ball of Light, Sima Xian’s attack power surpassed hers, and Wang Yuanyuan was eager to take back her original standing in the team. And for that pursuit, the ability Asura Strike was a perfect match for her Gigantic Divine Soul Shield.
Long Haochen declared, “Let’s do it like this, we’ll leave Cai’er here at the tower, while everyone else will head back with me. Cai’er can recover her spiritual energy here, but you guys can’t.”
Although he was unwilling to leave Cai’er at the tower, this was her own request. Furthermore, she told him once again that the death energy in here was advantageous for her cultivation, and caused her to gain some new understanding regarding her Spiritual Stove of Samsara.
Leaving Cai’er pretty close to the entrance of the Tower of Eternity, Long Haochen launched the Eternal Melody’s teleportation.
After returning to their room, everyone went back to cultivating. Long Haochen’s experiment turned out successful; and proved that leaving
someone in the Tower of Eternity was possible. However, he still didn’t stop testing the teleportation once every half an hour. He was truly anxious about the fact Cai’er stayed there.
Only six hours later did he feel that he was able to teleport again, and gathered his comrades at his side, impatient to return to Cai’er’s side.
Cai’er was all right, still cultivating in the same place. Long Haochen had brought some food and water especially for her, and gave it to her while the others had some more rest, before continuing their tests.
However, a change occurred.
The first, second and third test had unexpectedly disappeared, and as they started to think that the cause for that could be that Ca’ier hadn’t left with them, the six Skeleton Warriors and the four Specter Assassins of the fourth test appeared.
This was however not enough to cause them to panic, and by combining everyone’s ability, they barely managed to get rid of those ten enemies. However, it became impossible for them to challenge the fifth test.
The Tower of Eternity seemed to be an eternal mystery. Even now, they were far from being able to grasp its rules. Without any other choice, everyone returned back to their own world to cultivate, and Long Haochen agreed with the others to gather six hours later, to try the tower once again.
Making use of that interval of time, Long Haochen went to look for his grandteacher Han Qian, to learn about the basic abilities of a Guardian Knight of a sixth step. For those, the Tower of Eternity was going to become an optimal training place.
Over the following days, they entered the Tower of Eternity twice everyday , and as time passed, they finally managed to grasp some rules little by little.
The disappearance of the first three tests wasn’t caused by the fact that Cai’er had remained there at that time, but because they passed the fourth
test. From that moment onwards, the first three tests had stopped to appear.
After some more tries, they finally encountered the guardians of the fifth test.
There were five Skeleton Knights and five specter assassins. After passing the fourth test one more and making the decision to challenge the fifth test, the pressure they had to bear was huge. Although they had the Demonic Eye of the seventh rank at their side, which prevented the Skeleton Knights and the Specter Assassins to display their full power, these undead creatures were still a terrible opponent. By chance, Lin Xin took a Great Recovery Pill at the crucial timing, recovering enough to launch another Fire Curse, restricting the specters and helping the team pass the fifth test.
However, they clearly didn’t have any strength left to challenge the sixth test. Thus, after re-entering, they once again started from the fourth test.
For this reason, they took the fourth and the fifth tests everyday, trying to use different battle patterns, while distributing the balls of spiritual energy evenly.
Continuously facing the undead creatures’ pressure, everyone started to harmonize better and better with each other, and more importantly, even if the seven of them had to share the gains, there were enough for them to gain close to sixty units of spiritual energy per day. Ten days later, Cai’er, Lin Xin, Han Yu, Wang Yuanyuan reached the bottleneck of 4000 units of internal spiritual energy. Even Sima Xian and Chen Ying’er went beyond 3,600 units of internal spiritual energy.
Absorbing more balls of spiritual energy after reaching a bottleneck would only result in waste, thus Sima Xian and Chen Ying’er naturally became the ones who obtained the balls of spiritual energy.
Every day completing the fourth and fifth trials of the Tower of Eternity, everyone managed to get balls filled with twenty units of spiritual energy. That was to say, the two of them gained more than two hundred units of internal spiritual energy every day.
Two days later, when Sima Xian and Chen Ying’er also reached the bottleneck of the sixth step, everyone felt as if they were in a dream.
Before coming there, no one among them would have expected that they would be able to reach the bottleneck of the sixthstep so fast. As long as they made some breakthrough, they would be able to become powerhouses of the sixth step.
Now, except from Long Haochen, the others’ spiritual energy also reached the bottleneck, and thus when they re-entered the Tower of Eternity, the balls of spiritual energy were naturally absorbed by him.
However, Long Haochen quickly had to tell everyone sad news: the balls of spiritual energy lost their effectiveness.
When Long Haochen’s internal spiritual energy reached 5,000 units, the balls of spiritual energy lost all effectiveness: although he absorbed a few of them, it had no progressing effect on his internal spiritual energy.
This situation caused everyone to feel a bit panicked. Returning to the normal situation after having gotten used to progressing so quickly every day definitely didn’t feel good.
“How did this happen? Could it be that spiritual energy can only be gained that way up to 5,000 units?” Lin Xin asked eagerly.
Long Haochen didn’t give a response, but sunk in his thoughts.
A long time later, Long Haochen responded with a serious tone, “This is likely the limit of the Tower of Eternity. After all, the cultivating speed here is just too fast. Based on this cultivating speed, it would only take us one year to get the chance to break through to the seventh step. Let’s try out the sixth test. If the balls of spiritual energy obtained then are still unable to make my internal spiritual energy increase, it will mean that at least on the first floor of the Tower of Eternity, the increase of spiritual energy is limited to a level of 5,000 units.”
Hearing Long Haochen say the words ‘first floor’, the others’ expressions immediately eased up. He was right, they were currently only on the first floor, and the Tower of Eternity had a total of seven floors. Who said that they wouldn’t be able to find this type of balls increasing one’s spiritual energy in the upper floors?
Han Yu replied with a sigh, “We should be already plentifully satisfied with the situation. Just how many are even able to break through past the bottleneck of the sixth step? After making a breakthrough to the sixth step, everyone will have spiritual cavities, and this will naturally increase our cultivation speed. Having a too easy time cultivating is not necessarily a good thing either.”
Wang Yuanyuan nodded, responding, “What Han Yu said makes sense. If everything becomes too simple, the progress will also lose stability. From my estimate, breaking through to the sixth step will be rather complicated, and that’s because our spiritual energy rose too fast.”
Long Haochen suddenly revealed a smile, “That’s for sure! Breaking through the bottleneck is enough of a pressure. And anyway, in this Tower of Eternity, pressure is really what we miss the least. Let’s go challenge the sixth test then.”
Now that everyone in the group except from him were at the peak of the fifth step, passing through the fourth and the fifth tests was already a lot easier than before.
But how about the sixth test? According to the current distance they had covered, the first floor came very possibly with nine or ten trials, and each one of them would be harder than the previous one. How could the pressure be low? In addition that they couldn’t make their spiritual energy progress anymore here, the pressure they bore was still tremendous.
But considering that they had to break through a bottleneck, being subjected to a great pressure would be of great help. Wasn’t it the pressure when facing the Moon Demon of the eighth step that helped Long Haochen to break through?
Placing themselves in a good formation, they decided to take on the sixth challenge under Long Haochen’s lead.
This time, they took no less than ten steps forward, before seeing a sudden change happen in front of them.
A white glow of light appeared suddenly, but unlike those undead creatures that appeared with a little spark of white light, this time it was a huge white light pillar that appeared.
Immediately afterwards, a red cloud appeared on the top of the light pillar, and a Skeleton Warrior like those they had faced before appeared.
That red glow was impressively a specter. Colored red, it was the first time Long Haochen got to see one of that kind. What they saw next was that red specter descended slowly, falling on the Skeleton Warrior.
Long Haochen attempted to launch a Light Thorn, but the blade of light disappeared instantly upon contact with the white pillar of light. This meant that preventing the red specter and the white skeleton to get in contact would be impossible for them.
Observing with caution, Long Haochen noticed that although that specter that had appeared so suddenly wasn’t different from the other specters in size, its energy concentration was a lot greater. If the other specters could be said to look very transparent, then this one seemed to look a lot more real, just like a lump of pure energy.
Without even giving him the time to search in the memories left inside him, the characteristics of that kind of specter appeared from his subconscious.
It was the spirit of a powerhouse. Only the soul of powerhouses with top- level innate talent had the possibility to keep their own attributes after their deaths. In case they became real undead creatures, they would then be a lot more powerful than those undeads without a consciousness of their own.
“Be careful, everyone. Those red specters are spirits of powerhouses, very possibly not only possessing fighting instinct, but furthermore battle skills in using the fire element. Lin Xin, don’t use Fire Curse, and focus on supporting everyone’s defenses.”
When used defensively, magic would reduce the elementary power of spells of the same elements, but attacks would naturally get weakened.
At the time Long Haochen was speaking, the red colored spirit of a powerhouse seemed to have dissolved into the Skeleton Warrior, and the latter, originally devoid of vitality, slowly raised its head, intense red light glowing in its eyes. Soon after, his body abruptly became flame colored, and his sore-looking bones grew rapidly. It took no more than a blink of an eye for him to gain one meter in height, becoming a three meter high gigantic Skeleton Warrior.
His bone blade and shield also lit in a glowing red color, and under his body, flames soared threateningly. This enemy was one of a kind that Long Haochen’s group had never faced before.
Though also being at the sixth step, the pressure he caused the group to feel was completely different. As the white glowing pillar disappeared silently, an unimpeded violent scream came out from that red skeleton. He didn’t charge yet, just staring at Long Haochen’s group with his eyes glowing with red flames.
In the flames throbbing on his eyes, Long Haochen saw, with astonishment, signs of intelligence. So this Skeleton Warrior is not only conscious, but also intelligent? Undead magic is really an endless marvel!
Stepping forward, the red skeleton raised his bone blade, slowly advancing towards Long Haochen’s group. Although it was at slow pace, each one of these steps appeared extremely firm to everyone else.
As Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light was raised upwards, Long Haochen’s eyes glistened in intense light, welcoming the red skeleton in big strides. His movement wasn’t so fast-paced either, but followed a certain rhythm. Meanwhile, three strengthening halos were unleashed.
The red skeleton’s eyes flashed, and he immediately closed the distance separating him and Long Haochen, originally quite close to each other. The two parties were from the beginning separated only by five meters. The Red Skeleton suddenly strode forward in a large step, assaulting violently the surroundings with a red-hot aura.
Long Haochen took a little step back, lifting up the Glorious Holy Shield.
Right at that time, the bone sword of the red skeleton chopped down, and the next scene shocked everyone enormously. The flames concentrated around the red skeleton were unexpectedly condensed entirely on his bone blade, the front of which burst out with a crystallic red radiance appearing the same as a material object.
A blazing aura twisted the nearby air surrounding Long Haochen’s body, striking with a powerful flash.
It was Asura Strike, or more accurately speaking, it should be called a Flaming Asura Strike. The blow launched by the red skeleton wasn’t sudden, but gave off a transcendent sensation.
Asura Strike was something Long Haochen was also capable of, but he discovered that when comparing himself to this red skeleton, he was clearly far from being familiar with this skill. This single blow that looked like it had been launched by this red skeleton very easily seemed like one that had been trained through a lot of hard work and undergone numerous revisions.
The Glorious Holy Shield was used in combination with Divine Obstruction, and two Holy Shields were launched in succession; one was launched by the shield, and the other was naturally one of the basic skills of the sixth step that Long Haochen had just learnt.
An immense vibration caused Long Haochen to be pushed back several steps. Right at that time, the red skeleton unexpectedly disappeared from his line of sight.
Relying completely on his natural instincts, Long Haochen swiftly drew back to the left side, immediately launching an Asura Strike with Blue Rain Hibiscus of Light present in his hand.
With another bang, the bone blade in that red skeleton’s hand unexpectedly gathered three of the crystallized radiances from the previous
use of Asura Strike, shocking even Long Haochen in the process. An Asura Strike that doesn’t get dispersed after use?
Immediately next, Long Haochen, who didn’t have the time to use Divine Obstruction, was sent flying by the attack.
Both his arms felt sore; it went so far that he was incapable of raising them up. However, as Long Haochen was sent flying, he saw the next course of action of that red skeleton.
This fighting style was truly as natural as flowing water.
After this attack launched at Long Haochen, he didn’t keep pursuing and attacking, because the attacks of the other members of the 21st Demon Hunt Squad were arriving.
The red skeleton suddenly stretched his whole body forward. Even though he was three meters tall, he was still extremely nimble. The Revolving Space Splitting Shield attack from Wang Yuanyuan’s Gigantic Divine Soul Shield flew in his direction, but didn’t hit.
While stretching forward, the red skeleton suddenly twisted his body, pounding the sky with a very dexterous motion of the bone blade in his hand, chopping at the side of Sima Xian’s Energetic Ball of Light, and abruptly accelerating his whole body in the process.
Going almost instantly past the enormous Energetical Ball of Light, he dashed to the middle of Wang Yuanyuan and Sima Xian with no more but a single step forward.
At this time, Long Haochen felt as if the blood inside of him had been clotted, when the Saint Spiritual Stove suddenly erupted, rushing at that red skeleton to try to make himself the target of his attack.
However, the effects of the Saint Spiritual Stove failed that time.
Just as if that red skeleton grew eyes on his back, his body flashed illusorily, separating itself in two in a split second and turned into emptiness
upon being reached by the Saint Spiritual Stove, his real body appearing behind Sima Xian’s back.
Oh no! That was Long Haochen’s only thought. Never could he have imagined that this red skeleton born from the spirit of a powerhouse would actually be this powerful.
Everyone was alarmed. Since Long Haochen could see the danger Sima Xian was in, so could Lin Xin, Chen Ying’er, and Han Yu. .
However, they couldn’t do anything to stop the red skeleton’s incoming attack.
The body of the red skeleton suddenly turned into a sort of golden red shadow, escaping against all expectations from the Demonic Eye’s mind attack. Han Yu’s rushed charge was also coming late, and Lin Xin could only hurriedly release one elementary shield. As for Chen Ying’er, there was nothing she could possibly do. This time in the Tower of Eternity, her summoned magical beast was extremely weak, and had already died previously. And there was not enough time to give McDull a magical crystal to eat.
This scene took long to describe, but it happened in a flash. At the time the red skeleton arrived at Sima Xian’s back, his blade was already swinging. It was as if each movement of his was a preparation for the next one; none of these were any wasteful.
Sima Xian was still in the middle of pulling back his Energetical Ball of Light, and basically didn’t even attempt to dodge it. This was because of his confidence in Long Haochen’s Saint Spiritual Stove, having seen its white glow come in contact with the red skeleton.
“Sima!” Long Haochen shouted in despair.
It’s over! Long Haochen’s brain blanked out completely. Considering the strength of that red skeleton, Sima Xian couldn’t possibly survive to his
However, his eyes shrank down right at that time. Did Sima Xian die? No, he didn’t.
The red skeleton’s bone blade immediately stopped all of a sudden upon entering in contact with his neck, and Sima Xian felt no more but a hot feeling on his neck. Immediately next, that red skeleton’s bone blade was retrieved, hitting immediately at his back, and causing him to be sent flying. The seven members of Long Haochen’s group felt their bodies glint, feeling a pain on their back.
Right at that time, Long Haochen finally returned too. Forcefully pouring spiritual energy in both his arms, he launched Demon Wiping Flash with Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light.
However, the red skeleton still didn’t pay attention to him, abruptly taking a large step sideways and leaving the range of that Demon Wiping Flash.
The force and the range covered by Demon Wiping Flash could be considered imposing, but it had a defect, and that was its attack range. Although Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light could unleash brilliant blades of spiritual energy, their range was only roughly six meters and a half. And the range of that red skeleton’s single step easily exceeded these six meters and a half.
Long Haochen’s Saint Spiritual Stove was launched once again, but a golden cover surrounded the red skeleton once again in a flash, and relying on his illusory steps, he left no more but an afterimage, evading Long Haochen’s Saint Spiritual Stove.
But what shocked Long Haochen even more was this time was that, despite that he released the Pull ability of the Saint Spiritual Stove four successive times with almost only a split second difference between each use, that red skeleton still evaded every time with rapid illusory sidesteps.
The ability of Long Haochen’s Saint Spiritual Stove only reached those afterimages every time.
Following next was the performance of the red skeleton. Relying on his astounding dexterity and his powerful strength when wielding the bone blade in his hand, he had even yet to make use of his shield. In merely ten seconds, everyone was sent flying successively. But even with a powerful tool such as the Soul Sharing Shackles, these uninterrupted attacks put Long Haochen’s group of seven in a grieving pain. This could only be called a one-sided battle.
Even Long Haochen only lasted for five seconds in front of the red skeleton. The attack aimed at his chest even sent Cai’er flying along with him. She launched a counterattack, but her nimble action only encountered the defense of that skeleton’s blade. This red skeleton looked extremely slow in her eyes, but none of Cai’er’s attacks was of any use. It seemed that all of her techniques were predicted by the enemy, who finally shooed her away in the air with a blow of blade.
Everyone was lying on the ground, benefitting from the Soul Sharing Shackles’ help to share the damage. It could however not ease up the pain. Everyone having received a blade blow on the back, they had such a throbbing and violent pain, that it felt as if their back weren’t their own. The intense burning feeling even caused them to feel that they were unable to breath.
However, after they all lied on the ground, the red skeleton didn’t continue with his attacks, only silently shaking his head at their sight, before turning back. It was as if because of their strength, he didn’t even find it worth to go on. He didn’t keep pursuing and attacking, only returning to the place where he came from, standing silently there. It appeared at that time as if the flames rising around his body were alive.
The seven members of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad were only rejoicing at this sight. If this red skeleton really wanted to kill them, it was without a shadow of a doubt that none of them would be still living at that very instant, much less leaving this place alive.
Sima Xian, who was the very first to have been disposed of during this battle, revealed an agonized face, “Boss, is this guy really only at the sixth step? That’s just too fearful. How is it that we are totally helpless against him? ”
Feeling even more gloomy than him, Long Haochen replied with a bitter smile, “I don’t know either. But his spiritual energy was still in the scope of the sixth step, and it is not even so much greater than my own. But we were unable to resist his attacks back then. Could it be technique? Have you paid attention to the fact that his attacks were really smooth? Just natural and unforced, flowing smoothly and without any superfluous movement. From the start of the battle to its end, it felt as if he didn’t have any lapse in his pace.”
Wang Yuanyuan nodded in response, “That’s right, it should be about technique. If his strength is only at the sixth step, then we couldn’t have possibly lost. We have even beaten powerhouses of the seventh step before! How could we lose against one at the sixth step? But then, could this be that he used the battle skills of the ancient times? Those that have been lost to the current times.”
Han Yu replied, “It is highly possible. This is the only possible explanation. However, this red skeleton’s skills are just too powerful. It’s especially the case for that ability of afterimage, that left even Captain helpless.”
Indeed, Long Haochen had shown all his trump cards. It was not only his Saint Spiritual Stove that had gotten countered by the red skeleton, but even Bright Rain, Hibiscus of Light turned out useless. In the same way, the Lock technique didn’t manage to hit because of that afterimage technique, which played a great role in the red skeleton’s fighting strength that reached the peak and wiped them out completely.
Long Haochen replied, “It should be the case. As a matter of fact, who among you has heard before about those Asura Strike and Asura Thrust abilities we have learnt? Or have even seen those in the Alliance’s Treasure Hall?”
Everyone shook their head.
Long Haochen continued, “Then, it’s very likely techniques from the ancient times that we have learnt. Asura Strike and Asura Thrust were
also abilities that this red skeleton possessing the spirit of a powerhouse was capable of learning, but acquiring battle skills requires a great deal of self-training. It looks that this skeleton senior will stay here for some more time. From now on, including Lin Xin and Ying’er, we will all challenge this senior one after another. No more team battle formation!”
“What?” With the exception of the mute Cai’er, everyone looked dumbstruck at Long Haochen.
Beforehand, even by joining hands, the seven of them weren’t a match for that red skeleton. For how many seconds would they be able to last if they went in one versus one just like Long Haochen said?
Long Haochen calmly explained, “There’s nothing strange with that. Do you really believe that without experiencing enough of oppression, you would still be able to break through to the sixth step with no difficulty? Just as you said, your spiritual energy had risen up too fast, and because of this, breaking through will be even more difficult. Those of you that have spiritual energy left will take turns in asking for his guidance. This red skeleton won’t harm us for real, and it’s a teacher of a rare kind to find. It’s especially the case for us close-quarters fighters: if we can learn from those natural and flowing attacks, how could our strength not gain a lot? In a duel, even opponent of one step above wouldn’t be anything to fear.”
Han Yu nodded in approval, “Captain is right. And atop of that, when we passed through the fourth trial, all the three previous ones disappeared. Then, won’t the fourth and the fifth trials disappear accordingly after this? This was a total of several hundred spiritual energy gained every day for us… After breaking through the sixth step, when we get to the five thousand spiritual energy like Captain, we’re not even sure to have the same kind of chance to keep rising up, but that doesn’t mean we should renounce so easily to progressing.”
On the ten following days, they happily took beatings from that tyrannical red skeleton.
However, the word happily could only apply to Long Haochen.
After all, regardless of whether it was at the time he followed Long Xingyu for his training or was trained by Ye Hua, he had almost only experienced hellish kinds of trainings. Thus, despite being the one who looked for the red skeleton the most everyday, he was still the most firm in the group.
Cai’er didn’t whine either. She wasn’t even capable of speaking, so how could she whine?
As for the others, as this time of fun went on, it appeared like torment to them.
The one whose situation was worst was Lin Xin, every time he was sent flying by this red skeleton, he would complain straightforwardly, before lying on the ground and snorting continuously.
However, in this training, their progress was very clear. This could naturally not reflect on their spiritual energy, but on their battle skills.
When being tormented everyday by a skeleton whose battle skills were close to perfect, it was hard not to progress. They were now at least capable of lasting for a bit longer against that red skeleton.
As for Lin Xin, the three seconds he could last at the very beginning already became ten seconds, the changes appearing rather obvious to him. The one who lasted the shortest was still Chen Ying’er, but she was the most helpless about that. At every challenge, she gave a magical crystal for the little big McDull to eat, but right after he’d be taken care of, Chen Ying’er would inevitably follow next. At least for the current time, in the process that McDull crossed hands with the red skeleton, she had never completed the incantation for the Creature Summoning Gate, but McDull’s various skills in times of battle clearly increased.
Long Haochen was as before the one who lasted the longest. In front of the attacks of the red skeleton, he was now capable of lasting for more than a minute. In addition, his battle skills looked more and more smooth as time went on.
Ten days later, Long Haochen and the others decided to temporarily have some time to rest after discussion, and temporarily stopped being abused. One reason for this was because they needed time to stabilize their progression, and also because the day of the opening of the Illusory Paradise was nearing. Someone could already look for them at anytime. To take advantage of this last bit of time, Long Haochen finally took his Holy Spirit Pill, raising his spiritual energy to 6,000.
Although their days of cultivation were dull and uninteresting, it was extremely stable for them. In particular, when sensing the continuous growth of their strength and with Cai’er who stayed continuously by his side, Long Haochen didn’t feel the least lonely.
It could be said that over this past year, his cultivation speed had been the fastest of his whole life, surpassing his past speed by a huge margin.
Father, Mother, wait for me! I’ll be soon looking for you.
Slowly opening his eyes and finding himself inside of their training room, Long Haochen looked at the nearby Cai’er who was still in the midst of cultivation. Ever since they stopped going into the Tower of Eternity, Cai’er rarely communicated with Long Haochen, entirely immersed in her cultivation. Long Haochen could faintly sense that she was already very near to breaking through.
“Haochen, are you inside?” The door was lightly knocked from outside.
“Yes?” Long Haochen agilely landed on the ground, trying as far as possible not to let out any sound that could disturb Cai’er, and opened the door, going out in a flash.
Against his expectations, the one who came was Han Qian.
“Grandteacher, how is it that you came personally? Cai’er is still cultivating, so I’d rather not have us go in.” Long Haochen said with an apologetic expression.
Han Qian replied with a smile, “Don’t worry, cultivation is the most important thing. Hey, wow, it looks that you have lately progressed again.”
Looking at the disciple before him, Han Qian was unable to conceal his own surprise.
It looked that Long Haochen had grown up even more. At fifteen years- old, he looked now close to 1.8 meters tall. The changes on his build were still not the most obvious ones, as what changed the most clearly were his temperament and his expression.
He still had that handsome appearance that girls would envy, but looked somewhat less childish, more mature and muscular, his black hair hanging on his shoulder. If he only looked at his eyes, Han Qian would be absolutely unable to tell out that this child was only fifteen years-old. Long Haochen’s both eyes were still as limpid, without any impurity in his golden eyes, but his gaze was extremely steady and reserved. This looked rather closer to a middle-aged man managing to hold his spiritual energy in. Han Qian was even unable to sense what level his current cultivation reached. But he clearly sensed that compared to the twenty days ago, his disciple had made enormous progress.
Scion of Light, he truly deserves being called Scion of Light! This kid was already at the sixth step, and would perhaps reach his current level of cultivation before even reaching thirty years of age.
As the first Scion of Light of the Temple Alliance, he would inevitably forge a new history. In the known history of the Temple Alliance, the youngest Divine Knight reached his level at the age of thirty seven, but Long Haochen would clearly not take as long.
“Haochen, I came to look for you because of some changes that happened regarding the entrance to the Illusory Paradise.”
“Ah?” Long Haochen was in a sudden alarm. In fact, his group had made all the preparation for entering the Illusory Paradise over the past days, so suddenly hearing of some change appearing was hard to accept for him.
Han Qian calmly continued, “Don’t worry so much. This was a change that happened because of the number of people to be let in! This time, a total of forty-two Demon Hunt Squad had paid assistance to the Southern Mountain’s City, and with the exception of those Emperor grade and King grade Demon Hunt Squad, the rest were all of the Commander grade and below, with an overwhelming number of members that are also at the sixth step of cultivation. Thus, a problem arose to select the candidates for the Illusory Paradise.”
“After all, this is an opportunity that arises only once every century, so everyone would want to go in. But the total quota of people allowed is only of ten, with more than a hundred people competing for that. Thus, I’m afraid that there will be some problem about giving a place to both Cai’er and you.”
Hearing Han Qian say that, Long Haochen nodded in approval, “This would indeed be very unfair to the others. Grandteacher, how has the Alliance decided to assign these ten places?”
Han Qian replied, “There’s nothing to be done. For the sake of fairness, it can only take the shape of a competition. (sigh)…” Saying that, he felt very helpless. Although he was the current representative of the Alliance, the Temple Alliance had a reputation to hold regarding its fairness, so a lot of matters could not be decided by him. Moreover, with so many of those Emperor grade Demon Hunt Squad as well as the people from the Priest Temple as witnesses, a problem would obviously arise with these two allocations scheduled in advance.
“Grandteacher, you don’t have to worry. We’ll just participate in that competition. I am confident in my ability.” Long Haochen actually turned out to be the one who comforted the other party.
Han Qian smiled bitterly in response, “Fool, how could it be that easy! To reach the commander grade of Demon Hunt Squad, all of them crawled out from heaps of corpses. And so that you know, the limit for entering the Illusory Paradise is ten thousand. You have just reached the sixth step, but among those Commander grade Demon Hunt Squads,
there’s no lack of youngsters at the peak of the sixth step belonging to all those commander grade Demon Hunt Squads present.”
Long Haochen chuckled to that, “Grandteacher, there are some trials that cannot be avoided in one’s life. How could we know before trying beforehand? Are there prior requirements for participating in this competition?”
Han Qian shook his head, “If we directly go on with a competition between the Demon Hunt Squads, since your internal spiritual energy has yet to reach 10,000, you will be able to participate. There are still five days before the opening of the Illusory Paradise, so the competition will begin tomorrow. Because of the lack of time, it is designed as a knock-out competition. Very simple, but also very cruel.”
Long Haochen nodded in response, “Grandteacher, I’ll register with you first then. All the members of our 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad will be participating in this competition. Even if none of us manages to end up among those ten, it will at least serve as a good training exercise.”
Han Qian patted his shoulder, “You’re really a kid that causes others to worry. Let’s do it like this then. Even if you don’t end up in the top ten, your grandteacher will still look for a way to make up for you from our Temple.”
As they were speaking, extremely dense undulation of spiritual energy surged out from behind Long Haochen’s back, inside of the room. Immediately next, a surge of threatening killing intent instantly burst forth. Be it Long Haochen or Han Qian, both of them only felt their skin turn cold, filled with a chilliness coming out from the depths of their bones.
Master and disciple glanced at each other, filled with an extreme look of surprise, and Han Qian murmured, “This… This is…”
After a short time of surprise, Long Haochen was immediately in ecstasy,
“It’s Cai’er! She broke through!” As he said this, he immediately turned
back towards the room, rushing in.
Opening the door, Long Haochen found it difficulty to advance with the intense killing intent filling the room, but given the absolute feeling of trust between Cai’er and himself, he naturally felt no fear of being harmed by her, and still advanced without any hesitation.
On the bed, Cai’er was seated cross-legged, both her hands placed on her knees. On her palms and her forehead, a grey luster was faintly discernible, and on her back, a pair of immense black wings stretched out around.
Right, Cai’er’s wings were black. In stark contrast to Long Haochen’s brilliant golden glistening wings, her black wings engulfed all the surrounding light. Long Haochen and Han Qian had just gone in, but immediately felt as if those black wings absorbed their soul.
Han Qian was shocked to the extreme. Cai’er having now broken through the sixth step, she became truly the youngest person to ever break through the sixth step. She managed to reach the sixth step at an even younger age than Long Haochen, as she was still not even fifteen years old yet.
In the midst of Han Qian’s time of shock, Cai’er slowly raised her head, opening both her eyes.
Her originally brilliant grey eyes unexpectedly regained their luster, filled in a black pressing light. When her eyes locked onto Long Haochen’s eyes, a calm smile was drawn on her lips, in the midst of the endless aura of death.
This smile was only directed to Long Haochen; it was as if she didn’t even notice Han Qian’s nearby presence.
Seeing her moving eyes, Long Haochen was totally unable to hold back his emotions, tears gushing out madly, “Cai’er! Cai’er!!!”
Han Qian didn’t stay here any longer, discreetly moving back. With this warm scene happening between these two youngsters in the midst of the aura of death, he immediately went off to notify Ying Suifeng about the
good news. Ever since Long Haochen broke through the sixth step, Ying Suifeng seemed to often talk about this subject.
Looking at Cai’er, Long Haochen advanced towards her in the midst of an intense killing intent. Without knowing whether it was because of being stimulated by Cai’er’s wings, Long Haochen’s back flashed in golden color, and immense golden wings came out. The whole room dazzled in gold and black, and intense fluctuations of spiritual energy seemed to soak like spring water.
With a light flap, Cai’er stood up on the floor.
So it has already been six months! This time has passed really quickly! Over this period, Long Haochen could only communicate by writing on the palm of her hand. Looking at the change on the color of Cai’er’s eyes, he realized that Cai’er had regained control over all of her senses.
Abruptly taking a step forward, and without minding the aura of death and the cold surrounding Cai’er’s body, he tightly held her in his arms, still unable to control his tears, as if he was feeling that he had failed to carry out his own duty towards her.
Letting him embrace her, Cai’er tightly held him back, murmuring,
Long Haochen lifted up his head, glancing at her gentle eyes, “Call me an idiot again, I like hearing you call me an idiot.”
“Idiot!” Cai’er’s eyes looked somewhat blurred, as she called him another time. Immediately next, Long Haochen stuck his burning lips on her cold mouth, letting out all his warmth into her like never before.
The golden and black pairs of wings became their best fitted background. Cai’er was finally back, as the formidable Saint Daughter of Samsara who had finally recovered her complete combat ability. Long Haochen’s very own Cai’er being back, he finally sensed the pain in his heart coming to an end.
Their lips parting with each other, the two of them gasped for breath. This kiss had indeed lasted too long, and Long Haochen seemed to have been released of all the pain in his heart entirely in the process. Looking at Cai’er’s charming eyes, he felt as if he would never grow tired of watching them.
Cai’er tenderly helped him to wipe the tears flowing on his face, looking still red from having been kissed so suddenly, “Idiot, don’t you see that I am all right?”
Holding her both hands, he replied, “It’s my fault. If only I had been back earlier at that time…”
Cai’er shook her head, “Don’t keep going on with this foolish talk, many things are out of our control. At that time, I could only do that, or else, I wouldn’t even have gotten the chance to see you again. Speaking of which, I should really thank you for having brought us to the Tower of Eternity. The strange thing is that my Spiritual Stove of Samsara seems to have evolved from having absorbed the energy of death inside of the Tower of Eternity, which lowered the time I lost of my four senses.”
“Oh? Then, why haven’t you stayed all this time in there to cultivate? If your Spiritual Stove of Samsara evolved, who knows what effect could be produced from this?”
Cai’er replied, “Except from an increase in power, there should be other kind of boosts, but I don’t know about the specific details. However, I can ascertain that the death energy from the Tower of Eternity is effective in replenishing my Spiritual Stove of Samsara. The Spiritual Stove of Samsara seems to absorb the external energy through my body, among which the energy of death is the most important type. Normally, the amount of energy of death that comes in contact with us is very small and it is at least not as pure as within the Tower of Eternity. For this reason, when using the Spiritual Stove of Samsara, I am affected with the spiritual stove’s backlash, which absorbs my six senses’ force to unleash its power. If I can frequently absorb the energy of death contained within the Tower of Eternity, this should very possibly enable to lessen the backlash when putting the Spiritual Stove of Samsara fully to use.”
Greatly overjoyed, Long Haochen responded, “Really? Then it’s very good news. Your Spiritual Stove of Samsara is indeed formidable, but its backlash is enormous too. Over these past few months, I was worried everyday about your condition. Did you know about that? Hearing your voice again really feels great.”
Cai’er slightly smiled, “Idiot, I’m actually not worried about losing my six senses now that I have you to accompany me by my side. Even if my six senses are lost, I know that I am not alone now, and will be strong as I wait for the day of my recovery.”
Long Haochen rubbed her head, “What rubbish are you spouting out? Losing your six senses is just being dead. In the future, unless it is as a last resort, never use your Spiritual Stove of Samsara again. This time in the Illusory Paradise, we will definitely have to find you a better spiritual stove. Always relying on the Spiritual Stove of Samsara is just too dangerous.”
The aura of death in the air quietly vanished, and Cai’er’s black wings vanished accordingly. Softly nestling against Long Haochen, she said next, “No need to worry. As long as we are together, even death is nothing to fear.”
Long Haochen supported her shoulder with some reluctance, placing her in a seated position, “Just then, grandteacher came to look for me, telling me important things. I immediately have to gather everyone. It looks that our entrance to the Illusory Paradise will perhaps not go so smoothly… “ Arriving at that point, his eyes let out a trace of severity. A competition to select the best? Then come at me.
Because it touched upon the secret of the Illusory Paradise, only the Demon Hunt Squads were informed of that situation. The competition for the ten entries in the Illusory Paradise would take place in the biggest stadium in the training grounds of the Temple Alliance.
This place could of course not compare with the Great Stadium of the Alliance, but being a site of a hundred meters in diameter, it could contain a thousand people.
The attractive force of the spiritual stoves was just too great. Among the forty-two Demon Hunt Squads that came out, outside of the four that were at the King grade and the three that were at the Emperor grade, there were a total of two hundred and eleven people, a hundred and fifty applied. Those that didn’t apply were mostly priests or Demon Hunters of the fourth step or anything under the fifth step. Actually, all those who exceeded the fifth rank of the fifth step applied without exception. Trying out their luck, they’d believe in the slim possibility that they could possibly end up in the top ten.
A number of a hundred fifty. Though it appeared that many were present, only four victorious battles were necessary to end up in the top ten when everything was taken into account. With sufficient luck to encounter every time an opponent of the fifth step, perhaps they could come out through this victorious.
Long Haochen led his comrades to this stadium very early, since they were originally living pretty close.
The day before, when Long Haochen told his comrades about the circumstances behind this competition, everyone felt eager to give it a try. Although except Cai’er, they were still all at the peak of the fifth step of cultivation, the experience they had in the Tower of Eternity would finally bear its fruits here.
The day before, Long Haochen specifically led Cai’er to the Tower of Eternity, going through the fourth and the fifth tests with her help. Having recovered her four senses besides having reached the sixth step of cultivation, she once again challenged the red skeleton.
The results filled everyone with great surprise. Relying on her monstrous speed, Cai’er lasted even longer than Long Haochen against the red skeleton.
After all, she hadn’t been battling against this red skeleton as often as Long Haochen did. Joining hands, Long Haochen and Cai’er gave it another try. Under their cooperation, they surprisingly managed to hold it for nearly five minutes against that red skeleton.
Although these five minutes were filled with an intense pressure and came with a immense consumption for them, it should however not be forgotten that the two of them could recover in the Tower of Eternity. Furthermore, the greater the pressure, the better their progress would be, and that red skeleton wouldn’t even finish them off. Long Haochen persevered for no less than a dozen of battles, before returning back with excruciating pain as if his body was torn into small pieces.
This stadium didn’t even have something like a platform, thus the leaders of the Southern Mountain’s Gate and the Alliance were just all seated in the front.
Seeing that nearly everyone had arrived, Ling Xiao, auxiliary chief of the Priest Temple, entered into the testing ground.
“Distinguished Demon Hunters from Demon Hunt Squads, you all know about the matter here, so we won’t say more than what is necessary before starting. I will just emphasize a point, to the Southern Mountain’s City, you are all saviors. Having gone through the recent battle, you became the cornerstone of our defense over the past month. I want to thank all of you on behalf of the Southern Mountain’s City.”
Ignoring that Ling Xiao’s face stayed stern from beginning to end, with his status as a powerhouse of the ninth step as well as his position as auxiliary chief of the Alliance, all the high ranking Demon Hunters above the commander grade bowed to him with respect. This was how majestic his bearing was.
The Demon Hunters naturally would not lack sincerity, collectively bowing again before Ling Xiao who was standing on stage.
Ling Xiao declared in a calm voice, “In the recent battle, our Southern Mountain’s City was almost destroyed. As the saviours of the Southern Mountain’s City that you are, what is the common thread that connects us? What are we? We are soldiers and comrades-in-arms. The propensity for death within Demon Hunt Squads is something you know better than anyone else. This time, the spiritual stoves inside the Illusory Palace will have a fatal attraction for any of you, but don’t forget that these are in the end no more but external objects. Today’s competition is designed to select the best and the most wise among you, not to stake everything in battling against your opponents. I want to warn everyone seriously that in this competition, no one is permitted to kill each other, or to cause his opponent to become disabled. Otherwise, don’t blame this elder to be merciless. I already informed the Alliance that anyone that will kill his opponent will be expelled from his Demon Hunt Squad.
After this proclamation, although he was a priest, his eyes were filled with dense coldness. The terrifying bearing of a powerhouse of the ninth step made this crowd of nearly hundred people completely silent.
After staying for a moment, Ling Xiao replied, “There’s another rule, and it’s that flight is forbidden. Using the ability of flight inside of the Illusory Paradise will be impossible, thus, all competitors are not permitted to make use of the spiritual wings to soar through the battlefield. Start drawing lots.” With a mere wave of his hand, the official start of this competition was implicated.
The drawing of the lots was very simple: a wooden case was carried on stage, containing numbers, with battles designed between successive numbers. Lots would be drawn at every round, to ensure fairness.
A crowd of a total of a hundred and fifty drawing lots could be considered a magnificent sight. When Long Haochen’s group of seven went on, lined up next to each other, they couldn’t help but think of the moment when they advanced in the Alliance’s Great Competition.
The whole process took no less than a quarter of an hour, before the official start of the competition. It was shockingly a Saint Knight of the eighth step that acted as the referee. Very clearly, although Ling Xiao gave proper warning before, he was extremely prudent as the Demon Hunters on stage could be called the most precious resources of the Alliance. Thus why a powerhouse of the eighth step came to act as a referee, to avoid situation of someone ending up as a cripple or dead.
Long Haochen’s group could be considered as lucky ones in their first draw. At least, none of them drew consecutive numbers, which avoided a tragic internal strife within their own team.
The first match started quickly.
This was a competition between Demon Hunters, nowhere nearly the same as the Demon Hunt Competition. As expected, the competition was extremely intense from its start, the competing Demon Hunters being primarily powerhouses of the sixth step.
Although they didn’t use the flight ability, their battle was still extremely fierce. Intense bursts of spiritual energy erupted on stage, causing even be Saint Knight of the eighth step to have no choice but to release Brilliant Body, making his best preparations to intervene should the need arise.
The battles progressed rapidly, and the difference in strength was as expected the decisive factor; situation with two opponent of equivalent strength encountering each other were after all pretty rare.
The lowest number within the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad was actually Chen Ying’er, who was thus the first of them to go on stage.
“35th and 36th are called for the next match.”
The 36th number was Chen Ying’er.
Lin Xin flung back his own hair, giving Chen Ying’er a look, “Just concede if it’s no good, don’t waste magical crystals. Your opponent is after all a powerhouse of the sixth step.”
“Pooh, why would I concede? I’ll be doing whatever I can.” After giving him a provocative stare, Chen Ying’er carried McDull in her arms, entering with him on stage.
The previous battles also involved members from general grade Demon Hunt Squads, but the final victorious were almost only powerhouses of the sixth step from commander grade Demon Hunt Squads. At the moment Chen Ying’er, filled with her innocent charm, entered on stage, a great part of the Demon Hunters were immediately in total shock.
Is this little girl even twenty? Hasn’t she just gotten the wrong way? She should just be in a soldier grade Demon Hunt Squad.
Chen Ying’er’s luck still being fairly good, her opponent was a water element mage, veteran from a Demon Hunt Squad, and whose strength approximated the eighth rank of the fifth step.
The referee gave Chen Ying’er a glance, before giving his announcement in a serious tone, “I will emphasize that overly fierce behaviours are forbidden. Let the match start.” These words he said were entirely directed to that water element mage, making thus clear how he didn’t think highly of Chen Ying’er.
A battle confronting a mage to a summoner involved a distance of fifty meters separating them from the beginning.
Seeing such a young girl, that water element mage was immediately beaming with smiles. Let alone him, even the mates in Long Haochen’s team weren’t optimistic for Chen Ying’er.
On the lounge, Yang Wenzhao’s face looked currently extremely unsightly, as he muttered, “What the hell is Long Haochen doing? How
could he let Ying’er participate in such a competition. What it she gets wounded?”
However after the start of the match, these people looking down on Chen Ying’er were rapidly shocked.
As a Demon Hunter, although that water element mage looked somewhat down on Chen Ying’er, he wouldn’t be careless after the start of the match. To a Demon Hunter, being careless was synonym for death, so he prudently chanted a water elemental shield spell from the beginning, before seeing the pig held in Chen Ying’er’s arm leap up, before running in his direction.
Is that little pig a magical beast? It cannot be. That water element mage considered himself as having seen a lot, but didn’t even remember having heard or seen that kind of magical beast.
The Water Elemental Shield having been rapidly completed, a lustering blue radiance enveloped this water element mage. Pointing his staff forward, he sent out an ice arrow shooting at McDull.
There was no choice but to admit that on the level of general grade Demon Hunt Squad, very few were as rich and at ease as Long Haochen’s group was. Thus that water element mage had in his hand a staff that was still at the Spiritual Tier.
At the time of launching an ice arrow, this mage intentionally gave Chen Ying’er a glance, discovering that this young girl wasn’t even chanting any incantation.
This being the first time he encountered such a battle, he indeed felt at a loss.
As the ice arrow was about to reach McDull’s from his front, he stamped his trotters to the ground, suddenly doing a sideways movement and rolling on the ground with his plump body, before throwing himself at this mage’s direction.
The timing McDull chose to jump was extremely good, as this was right when the ice arrow arrived in front of him. This way, even if the ice element mage wanted to control the ice arrow to redirected it on him, he wouldn’t be able to. Crashing on the ground, it shattered to pieces immediately.
“Wah.” The water element mage pointed up the staff in his hand again, immediately launching a spell of Ice Rain of the fourth step. This was the supplemented ability on his staff, which could be used twice a day.
Ice Rain didn’t make drops of ice fall, but cones of ice. A large area of ice cones were surrounding McDull’s little figure.
At that time, thirty meters were still separating McDull from that water element mage.
A scene that shocked all the present people happened. McDull displayed at that time a truly formidable dodging ability, curling up his body and causing his speed to vary, evading the attack on the small spaces between the ice cones. At the most dangerous times, some ice cones even swept past his back.
Mages had their own basis of thinking, and to them, ranged magic with area of effects was impossible to evade. However, McDull gave at that moment a lesson to all mages. Who said spells with area of effect were unavoidable?
McDull was only a third of a meter tall, having not grown in size from the beginning, and even if it was even more concentrated, the ice cones would still show some small spaces between them, or else it would just be huge chunks of ice.
At the same time he dodged nimbly the attacks, he was surprisingly even advancing.
The Ice Cones somewhat disturbed the line of sight of that water element mage, but when he could see clearly the little magical beast so unyieldingly evading his attacks, McDull was already almost only at a distance of ten meters from him.
A sense of unease finally appeared in that ice elemental mage. Since this pig looks so attached to close the distance towards me, he must certainly have some goal in mind. Although he didn’t feel any fluctuation of spiritual energy from McDull, being a Demon Hunter, he was able to react instantly at any time of crisis.
This time came an Ice Wall, covering a diameter of three meters and erected right in front of McDull, blocking his path. Seeing the opponent being about to clash against the Ice Wall, the ice elemental mage showed his understanding and control over ice magic. In succession, he instantly cast three more Ice Walls, sealing the other three directions and making a sturdy prison of ice, imprisoning McDull that was still a bit more than ten meters away.
Right as the ice mage finally loosened his breath, a fear suddenly appeared to his heart. Following next, an intense bursting sound could be heard from the ice walls.
An immense figure brazenly came out, and two weapons similar to spiked cones were aimed on his chest.
Launching Resisting Ice Ring, the water element mage was in a panic, instantly unleashing the latter spell. But unfortunately, what he was facing couldn’t possibly be blocked by a mere Resisting Ice Ring.
The ring of ice and the elemental shield were smashed to pieces successively, and reaching three meters of height, a Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon already arrived in front of him.
What were Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon?!. They were powerhouses among the Berserk Demons, and their difference when compared to the basic Berserk Demons, was that they reached the sixth step of cultivation. They were a rare type of demon, only using physical attacks to battle.
The words Lin Xin used to describe Sima Xian would be comparatively more suited to describe Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon, their head being totally filled with muscles. However, no matter how distinct the weaknesses of a Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon could be, namely that they weren’t capable of long ranged attacks or magic attacks, they were in the end powerhouses of the sixth step! How could they not have some advantages?
Their tyrannical build made up for the fact they didn’t have any control over elements, and their powerful physical attacks would sweep everything before them. Even amongst the other demons of the sixth step, none would be willing to fight head-on against a madman such as a Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon. Once it started to attack, a Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon would not stop until death, and it would do so against humans as well as demons.
To a human mage at whom a Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon charged, seeing his malevolent face draw closer and both his spiked arms point at his neck with a cruel roar, not peeing himself or defecating unconsciously was already incredible.
That water elemental mage was very scared, falling on the ground, totally blank.
Chen Ying’er curled her lip from afar, “What a waste! If I had known, I wouldn’t have used a magical crystal of the sixth step. What a waste.” But before her words were spoken, her voice instantly became hurried and sharp, “Eh! Don’t intervene, referee, that’s not a demon…”
A Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon appearing in the headquarters of the Priest Temple, what kind of situation was that? The appearance of that Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon was just too sudden, so much that even the referee who was at the eighth step didn’t spare a thought before arriving in front of the Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon in a flash, punching at him.
The reaction of the Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon wasn’t slow either, stamping on the ground and immediately lowering himself down. And at the same time the knight’s toes came in contact with the ground, this massive body was sent flying, but in this process of flying, the Demon Hunters observing the battle all saw clearly his body shrink down suddenly, and at the time it fell to the ground, it had already reverted back to its previous shape of a little pig, to which direction Chen Ying’er rushed out in total alarm.
That was a powerhouse of the eighth step! Against that, even in a transformed state of Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon, the little plump McDull was no match. Originally, he was unsatisfied of those harsh days of training in the Tower of Eternity, being abused every day so painfully, but now, he only felt deep gratitude for the increase of his battle skills due to having been beaten up so much by the tyrannical red skeleton. Of course, only after being completely wounded every day that this pig learned through experience and danger.
The referee was at that time really shocked. Even with his cultivation at the eighth step, it was the first time he had seen something like this. Hurriedly, he walked toward Chen Ying’er, planning to ask about that.
Without even letting the referee the time to open his mouth, Chen Ying’er was already like a little hot pepper, “What were you just doing? Without any observation, you just intervene like that? How are you going to compensate if you have wounded my McDull? Do you know how important he is to me? He’s my contracted summoned beast! If you
hadn’t any knowledge I would understand, but haven’t you seen magical beast that could transform before? Could you be any more of an idiot?! Hmpf!”
Having lost herself in swears, Chen Ying’er furiously flung back her twintails, directly heading back to the lounge. Her voice being so loud, every Demon Hunter in the lounge heard her clearly. Hoots of laughter immediately burst out. This girl was really something, for her to even dare to swear at a Saint Knight of the eighth step; that was really an exceptional sight.
The referee gloomily let out the thoughts, who asked him to transform into a demon? And I have really never seen any magical beast that could transform!
Han Qian yelled as he covered his face, trying to resist the urge to laugh with great difficulty, “Okay, let the tournament continue. The winner of this battle is the 36th contestant.”
Who was Chen Ying’er? She was the granddaughter of granny Sanshui. And Sanshui’s temperament even terrified Ying Suifeng and himself. Being the granddaughter to whom she taught personally, it would have been strange if she had a good temperament.
After sitting down anew, Han Qian gave a glance at Long Haochen’s direction without batting an eyelid, thinking to himself, Looks like the companions by the side of this kid, Haochen, are also becoming stronger.
Yang Wenzhao’s mouth was wide agape, completely blank, How could Ying’er become so strong? And was that her contracted beast? So now, she’s not the same unreliable summoner as in the past anymore? For a moment, his mind was in complete chaos.
The competition went on, and although the previous battle was truly a marvel, this competition made everyone prioritize their personal benefit, fighting with their full strength, single-mindedly. Thus everyone was single- mindedly devoted to his own goals, not paying much attention to others. Furthermore, although that little pig McDull’s ability to transform into a
Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon was incredible, the flaws of a Bloodthirsty Berserk Demon were pretty obvious. This kind of demon who was also unequipped, was pretty easy to deal with with enough preparation.
The second member of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad to appear on stage was Lin Xin. Somehow, it turned out that the two in the team with the weakest battle strength were the first to go on stage.
Lifting his Fire Cloud Staff, Lin Xin flung his own hair elegantly, showing a smile to the nearby Li Xin before heading to the field in large steps.
Li Xin naturally came to such an important competition, but of course, she didn’t give herself much pressure. After all, she had just recently broken through the fifth step, and although she managed to increase her spiritual energy above 3,000 by relying on the Holy Spirit Pill, it was obviously not realistic for her to expect herself to win in such a competition.
Seeing Lin Xin going on stage against all expectations, Li Xin couldn’t help but feel startled, and a look of anxiety appeared on her charming face. Rapidly coming to the side of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad, she sat near Long Haochen.
“Little brother, how could he participate in the competition too? Isn’t he not even capable of attacking!?” Li Xin asked discreetly.
Long Haochen chuckled to her, replying, “There’s nothing to worry about, sis. Even if he’s unable to win, he won’t lose his match either. Just look at him. Lin Xin’s recent progress isn’t small. He said that he had to cultivate harder if he wanted to deserve being with you.”
“Peh, so even you are starting to make fun of your big sister? What is about deserving it or not…” Lin Xin blushed, but still couldn’t help but look at Lin Xin on stage.
Lin Xin had really good potential as a yielding character. In front of Li Xin, he appeared lovably honest, and even hard-working to achieve his
goals. Frequently offering little gifts to Li Xin, he made her resign with his persistence, and gradually gained a certain place in her heart.
At the very beginning, Li Xin mainly sympathized because of Lin Xin’s miserable past, but as time passed by, she discovered that Lin Xin was actually pretty decent. Although this guy was somewhat narcissistic, his looks were still good. And furthermore, his talent in the field of alchemy was indeed enough for him to be called a genius. But more importantly, this guy was easy to bully.
At this time, Lin Xin was already in the middle of the field, and his opponent was a warrior, but it was a rather thin-looking one. Clad in simple leather armor, he had a little battle axe in each hand. Clearly, this warrior was specialized in speed.
Mage against warrior would start with a distance of thirty meters separating both parties. With a call from the referee, the match started, and right off the bat, that warrior launched a charge at Lin Xin’s direction.
Lin Xin’s luck was clearly not as good as it was for Chen Ying’er, his opponent being an authentic powerhouse of the sixth step. A pair of modest-sized green spiritual wings were released on his back. They weren’t used for flight, but pushed him forward like a green ray of light rushing towards Lin Xin.
A dense red light came out instantly from Lin Xin’s body, and without any incantation from him, his Fire Cloud Crystal was directly inserted in the ground, and red light was released from his staff and himself. From it, the intense and rich fluctuations of spiritual energy coming out gave off an oppressive feeling. But no one could predict what kind of spell this guy was going to use.
The warrior specialized in wind element, and had the boost from a pair of wind elemental wings, so one could well imagine the level his speed reached. Relying on his cultivation at the sixth step, he wasn’t even visible to Lin Xin’s eyes, and with this extreme speed, just rushed vigorously towards Lin Xin’s.
Speed and force were directly related, thus the warrior was already prepared to respond to Lin Xin’s spell. His dual axes had a magic break effect, and were filled with a pretty good amount of spiritual energy. At that moment, the dual axes already became green-colored because of the concentration of spiritual energy within, and his current thought was, just which place should he attack Lin Xin, after all this wasn’t a fight to death, and he couldn’t cripple the opponent.
However, what astounded everyone was that Lin Xin didn’t do anything as his opponent charged at him, just looking helplessly at the other party.
Of course, that wind element warrior’s speed was extremely fast, and it took only a few blinks of an eye for him to arrive in front of Lin Xin, waving his pair of battle axes.
A victorious smile was already drawn on the face of that wind element warrior. To a mage confronting a warrior, when the opponent was in close range, the match was fated to be a loss. However, his opponent wasn’t careless, still storing up spiritual energy in preparation for Lin Xin’s possible counterattack.
Just when the two parties were only at two meters from each other, Lin Xin finally showed some reaction, letting out an intense scarlet glow spreading out around him.
It was Resisting Ring of Fire, a low level technique without any offensive power, its main effect was to push back the opponent, to avoid the opponent’s attacks. This was also one of the self-defense techniques used by fire mages.
Seeing the opponent finally launch a mere Resisting Ring of Fire after such a long time, the wind warrior finally couldn’t help but let out a smile. Trying to stop me by relying on Resisting Ring of Fire? Brazenly moving the battle-ax in his left hand forward, he planned on using the magic breaking effects of his battle-ax, breaking through this Resisting Ring of Fire open would be very extremely easy.
But would it really end this way?
The smile on the face of the wind warrior didn’t last, because he noticed to his surprise that his own battle-axes were stuck to an immense adhesive surface after breaking past the Resisting Ring of Fire, and that the powerful backlash and shock made it impossible to advance further. Immediately afterwards, he suffered from his own speed because his advance abruptly came to a halt.
The Resisting Ring of Fire clashed with his rapid charge, and the wind soldier was directly sent flying backwards at an even more rapid speed than when he dashed forward, just like a rock shot by a slingshot. Although the Resisting Ring of Fire wasn’t powerful, its backlash caused a huge shock to his chest, nearly causing him to spurt out blood, as he fell into a state of dizziness for a short time.
A fire skull emerged at that time, but it didn’t attack the wind soldier. Instead it spiraled around him, before returning to Lin Xin’s Fire Cloud Crystal.
The referee stopped the match at this point, awarding the victory to Lin Xin. If that Fire Curse attack had really hit the wind warrior, he would have ended up disabled for life, if not dead. It was a spell of the sixth step, and the power of magical attacks of the sixth step used by mages weren’t anything warriors of the sixth step could compare with.
Following Chen Ying’er, Lin Xin also ended up victorious after his match.
Lin Xin looked cocky after returning to the lounge, but seeing Li Xin standing next to Long Haochen, he was filled with surprise, and the expression on his face immediately eased up. No one saw it, but a surge of warmth flashed at that time in the depth of his eyes.
“Wife, how comes that you are here?” Lin Xin sat nearby Li Xin without reservation and asked openly.
Li Xin reacted in anger, “Who are you calling your wife? Aren’t you the most attached to your face?”
Lin Xin chuckled at her, “I prefer this wife over my face.”
“You… I’m leaving.” Saying that, Li Xin stood up and started back to the side of her 22nd general grade Demon Hunt Squad.
Lin Xin hurriedly pulled her hand, “Don’t go, don’t go. Is it okay as long as I shut up? I will be listening to everything you say.” Saying that, he immediately sat upright and still, giving off the appearance of an obedient child.
Seeing that ridiculous appearance, Li Xin was totally helpless against him.
Seeing them, the others couldn’t help but smile, and this applied even to Cai’er.
The competition went on, and after a few more matches Sima Xian of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad entered the stage. All the other Demon Hunt Squads familiar with them couldn’t help but ponder secretly, Could it be that their complete team signed up?
Sima Xian went on stage in large strides, but this time, the whole audience was totally shocked. Seeing his robust build, his partial armor, and the incomparably huge metallic ball in his hand, everyone was unable to help but wonder, What kind of weapon is that?
Sima Xian’s opponent was a knight.
“Both of you, introduce your vocations.” The referee ordered according to the convention, so he could decide the distance which would separate the two parties at the beginning of the match.
“Mh, knight against priest, then, both parties will start at a distance of… WAIT, you are saying that you are a priest?” That referee looked dumbstruck at Sima Xian.
Sima Xian’s complexion became fairly unsightly; this was after all the headquarters of the Priest Temple! With the expression of a tiger, he asked, “Is there something wrong with me being a priest?”
The referee’s face twitched involuntarily, saying in a serious tone, “So as to preserve the fairness of the match, I require proof of your vocation. Please show me a proof of your identity as a priest.”
With a snort, Sima Xian stretched out his left hand in the air, emitting a pure ray of divine light from his body.
This was an authentic skill used by priests, which people from other Temples couldn’t possibly learn. Neither warriors nor knights were capable of using that particular skill.
“Are you really a priest?” The referee asked once again.
This time, it was the auxiliary chief of the Priest Temple, Ling Xiao, who spoke, “What are you waiting for to start the match? This youngster is a priest.”
“Yes, Hall Master Ling!” The referee replied with some hesitation. This guy simply didn’t look even close to a priest?
“Priest versus knight, the two parties will start at a distance of fifty meters. Battle start!”
Sima Xian drew exactly fifty meters back, brandishing the Energetic Ball of Light in his hand.
The shackles that extended ten meters long were linked to the Energetic Ball of Light with a diameter of one meter, and produced fierce howls of wind. The resulting wuu wuu hissing sounds made the spectators just as perplexed as the referee. What the hell! Is that really a priest?
The most shocked was obviously Sima Xian’s opponent, who stared dumbstruck at Sima Xian’s Energetic Ball of Light. This knight didn’t even feel like he had the power to charge.
His mount was a Scarlet Shelled Earthworm, a magical beast that could be considered imposing and powerful. However, when his Scarlet Shelled Earthworm started to rush towards Sima Xian, he felt as though he was being totally suppressed.
Sima Xian also rushed towards his opponent in large strides. With each of his steps the imposing swell of his muscles became more imminent The strong golden light in his body intensified until it looked as if the Energetic Ball of Light was a mini-sun, ready to unleash a dazzling glow.
Ling Xiao was covering his own face with his hands, “Is that really a priest? What a total loss of face. Who is it that educated this youngster? That won’t do, I have to expel him no matter what. I have to! Having such a man stay in the Priest Temple is simply too big a disgrace for the Temple.”
Han Qian leisurely replied, “A disgrace? All right then, I’ll just be saying a few words to this youngsters a bit later, inviting him to join our Knight Temple. Anyway, the fact that he is part of Long Haochen’s team cannot be changed anymore.”
“What?!” Ling Xiao lowered his hands covering his face, giving Han Qian a hesitant look, “Old fool, just don’t mind my prior words about
expelling him from the Priest Temple, that was a mere joke. Are you still wanting to accept him?”
Han Qian shot him a glance filled with disdain, “Don’t ask me. I absolutely won’t tell you about the fact this kid’s internal spiritual energy is at eighty.”
cough “You… What did you just say?”
Han Qian covered his own mouth, “I haven’t said anything.”
When Ling Xiao turned his head to look at Sima Xian, his eyes were already totally different. Now he looked at him as if he were some kind of rare treasure.
Han Qian pleasingly remarked from his side, “Old Ling, you have to keep your own word! After the competition ends, hurry up to have him expelled. Such talents are accepted no matter how many they are in our Knight Temple. You see, he isn’t even able to use any healing spells. Having him stay in your Temple would just make him subject to mocking. We are not afraid though, after cultivating him as it should be done, he will become a formidable Retribution Knight, and even the fact that he has such a monstrous weapon is no problem for us.”
“Shut up! Don’t even think of doing that.” Ling Xiao furiously shouted,
“When have I even said I would expel him?”
Han Qian stared with wide eyes, “You have just said so!”
Ling Xiao spoke back with a snort, “Bullshit! You are just dreaming. This kid is one of our companions from the Priest Temple; who would do such a thing? What if he cannot heal? I can at least make him a guardian of our Temple as a Discipline Priest. I’m preparing to accept him as my personal disciple after the end of this competition.”
Seated on the other side of Ling Xiao, Ying Suifeng who had been silent all along suddenly let out a sigh, “Old Ling, your cheeks are soon going to be as thick as the old Han’s.”
Han Qian laughed out loud, “Don’t worry, this man won’t lower himself to his level.” It was naturally on purpose that he had disclosed the information on Sima Xian’s internal spiritual energy. Sima Xian was after all Long Haochen’s companion, and his own retainer knight, so having him gain strength would also increase Long Haochen’s safety. Therefore, helping as much he could wasn’t bad.
Sima Xian’s opponent was a Guardian Knight, but for him, the tragedy was that he was also an expert in strength and had just reached the sixth step recently. Thus, seeing such a bellowing Energetic Ball of Light, he could only charge. Knights after all, weren’t talented in ranged attacks.
The result went as one would expect; when the knight encountered Sima Xian’s Energetic Ball of Light boosted with Crush and Ripples of Light, his shield of the Spiritual Tier imbued with Divine Obstruction and Holy Filter Shield, ended up being broken. The knight himself was immediately sent flying.
The reason wasn’t that this knight was unable to block Sima Xian’s attack, but it was the difference in equipment that put him at such a disadvantage. Being sent flying like that, he covered his own chest tightly, almost spitting out blood. But more importantly, as he was slung into the air, his Scarlet Shelled Earthworm was still standing in the way of destruction.
Seeing that Energetic Ball of Light about to smash his Scarlet Shelled Earthworm, the knight who loved his mount dearly immediately shouted “I concede”.
The matches of the first round were rapidly conducted, and the seven members from Long Haochen’s 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad had actually been pretty lucky, having not encountered any highly experienced Demon Hunters at the commander grade. They also all had passed the first round smoothly.
When the first seventy matches finished, it was already noon, and Ling Xiao announced that before continuing with the second round, they would take a break for lunch.
It could be considered either as lucky or unlucky, but in the afternoon, Lin Xin unexpectedly drew Sima Xian, whereas Chen Ying’er drew Cai’er.
Therefore, the more promising Sima Xian and Cai’er were naturally given the victory, and Long Haochen and Wang Yuanyuan, as well as Han Yu all defeated their respective opponents. The worthiest of the lot was Wang Yuanyuan, who barely won after going through bitter struggles. It was by relying on an Asura Strike launched with her Gigantic Divine Soul Shield that she finally won with a surprise attack.
Compared to the first round, the following matches were already a lot more difficult. However, even after two matches, five people from the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad still remained in the competition, and this was already more than enough. By this time, the remaining competitors only numbered thirty-eight, and except for Wang Yuanyuan, Sima Xian and Han Yu, they were all at the sixth step of cultivation.
The third round matches would take place on the next day, and they would clearly be a lot more intense than ever before. This time, Long Haochen encountered Wang Yuanyuan, and victory was naturally given to him, whereas Han Yu and Sima Xian dropped out completely.
Han Yu encountered a powerful summoner at the sixth step, and finally couldn’t keep up against the attacks of all his powerful summons. Sima Xian had bad luck and encountered a mage at the peak of the sixth step. He didn’t manage to cover the distance and get close enough to his opponent, so he finally lost. After this battle, only Long Haochen and Cai’er continued to advance.
The finals were held in the afternoon. A total of nineteen people had advanced to this round, and to get equal numbers, the contestant with the best overall performance during the previous rounds also entered the top twenty. Only, gaining the final victory wouldn’t possibly be an easy task for any of the participants.
Although they had lost some of their matches, the morale of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad didn’t suffer much of a blow. After all they were still a general grade Demon Hunt Squad, so losing against commander grade Demon Hunters wasn’t any loss of face at all. Furthermore, these defeats were due to encountering opponents that were most suited to counter them.
After having fought in these matches, they really felt great appreciation for that red skeleton. No matter whether they were warriors or mages, they had all gained the ability to gauge the tempo of a battle, and their battle techniques clearly increased. Even those veterans at the commander grade were now not really above them regarding the technical aspect.
“Captain, you have to win this round no matter what!” Sima Xian said, unresigned.
His strengths and weaknesses were very obvious. His strength was his tyrannical attack power as a melee warrior, so much so that he wouldn’t be at a disadvantage when encountering an opponent at the sixth step. But the problem was that he wasn’t proficient in speed, and therefore totally
helpless against mages who excelled at long ranged attacks. His absolute nemesis were mages adept at controlling the speed of their opponent. And unfortunately, it was exactly this kind of mage he had encountered in the third round.
With gentle laughter, Long Haochen said, “Sima, don’t get discouraged.
A single match doesn’t mean anything.”
Cai’er looked at Long Haochen, and revealed an expression close to a smile, “I hope that I’ll be drawing you as opponent for my last match.”
Long Haochen petted her hair, unconsciously encircling her tender waist. Although Cai’er’s four senses had already returned, he had gotten accustomed to holding her, and was already unable to stop himself from touching that soft and tender waist.
Naturally, he understood Cai’er’s desire. If only a single person of the team could emerge victorious, it would be no one else but him. That was because he was the only person capable of controlling the entrance to the Tower of Eternity.As long as he won his match, he would be able to take everyone through the Illusory Shrine into the Illusory Paradise.
Han Yu handed Bright Discipline to Long Haochen, “Captain, is Haoyue done evolving?”
The Demon Hunters of the sixth step were indeed very strong, and despite Han Yu’s high level of cultivation and the help of his Demonic Eye at the seventh rank, he had still lost his match.
Long Haochen shook his head, responding, “This time, Haoyue has already remained in deep asleep for a very long time. I estimate that this evolution will give me a great surprise. Be at ease, even without him, I feel very confident.”
The experience of encountering the Moon Demon of the eighth step and surviving the fight was a really valuable to him. After having confronted an opponent whose spiritual energy exceeded 20,000 units, an opponent at the same level as himself would hardly give him any pressure. More
importantly, he already possessed two spiritual stoves, and with the addition of that advantage, his strength was already outstanding among the other Demon Hunters at the sixth step, even without Haoyue. And never forget that, if Bright Discipline was counted in, he had a total of five pieces of equipment at the Glorious Tier.
Although the overwhelming majority of the matches was already over, everyone was still watching the finals to see who would be able to make it into the top ten.
The tournament was about who would be able to enter the Illusory Paradise, and -thus the atmosphere in the stadium was extremely tense. This was especially true for the remaining twenty contestants.
The ceremony for drawing lots started, and the twenty contestants received their numbers. Long Haochen and Cai’er gave each other a glance, they didn’t encounter each other. Cai’er was number two and Long Haochen drew number seven. This meant that Cai’er would appear in the first match.
The referee for the afternoon had changed. To everyone’s shock, the auxiliary chief of the Priest Temple, Ling Xiao, personally assumed that role.
The reason why Ling Xiao personally acted as referee was for the sake of intimidation. Since this was their last match, it could be easily predicted that every Demon Hunter would go all out. Ling Xiao was in no way willing to see someone end up crippled or dead in a place directly managed by the Priest Temple. Every Demon Hunter was part of the most valuable resources the Alliance had, and with him acting as a referee, no one would blatantly disregard the rules. Also, as a priest of the ninth step, he could immediately heal a contestant, if necessary.
“The first battle will start now. First and second competitor, come on stage.” Ling Xiao’s calm voice resounded in every corner of the stadium. His virtual awe-inspiring presence made every Demon Hunter feel at ease.
Cai’er rose from Long Haochen’s side and slowly went on stage. As before, she was still clad in her veil, as she stepped forward
The competitor who had drawn the number one was a tall built knight, who looked to be over thirty years-old. Seeing that his opponent ended up being Cai’er, his eyes immediately lit up in pleasure. It was not only because Cai’er looked really young, but also because of their vocations.
That person was a Guardian Knight, and assassins were what Guardian Knights feared the least. Relying on his powerful defensive abilities and the support of his mount, he had an absolute confidence in being able to cope with this young girl. However, he wasn’t careless just because of her young age. After all, that Cai’er had managed to advance to the finals was already a enough proof of her ability. This young girl would clearly not be easy to handle.
Ling Xiao’s eyes lingered on Cai’er for a long time: these were the finals! And he also wanted to see how much ability the girl that was chosen by Ying Suifeng to be the successor of the Assassin Temple would have. She was in the end the Saint Daughter of Samsara!
“Assassin against knight, the starting distance is thirty meters. Battle start.” Ling Xiao said in a tranquil voice, and a holy surge of light flashed past his feet. In the next instant, he was already at the edge of the field.
An ice-cold killing intent instantly burst forth from Cai’er’s body, with resolution and strength glinting in her eyes. At the start of the match, she immediately charged like a black bolt of lightning toward the middle-aged knight, a pair of very distinct black wings brazenly bursting out from her back.
In the instant Cai’er’s spiritual wings were released, the whole stadium was filled with a black haze, as if all light was absorbed by her wings. From the air, an almost material killing intent filled with coldness ascended, and all the observers clearly felt their own bodies shiver.
Are those spiritual wings? How is it that they are black?
Black spiritual wings would only appear in one case, and that was when one’s allotted attribute was the darkness element. However, there was almost no darkness element user in the whole Alliance! Could this girl from the Assassin Temple be a darkness element user just like those demons?
Only her opponent didn’t think so. That middle-aged knight was truly shocked when Cai’er released her spiritual wings. They made a very strong impression, especially when he sensed the dense killing intent that locked on him, as Cai’er’s figure became blurry in his line of sight.
The black wings flapped with force and Cai’er’s extreme speed went further up. Because of her fast speed, her body produced wizzing sounds in the air, leaving series of afterimages. The distance of thirty meters was almost instantly covered.
What level did Cai’er’s speed reach? Her opponent clearly knew the answer to this, since their starting distance had clearly been thirty meters! Still, he didn’t even have the time to summon his own mount before Cai’er reached him.
The knight was clad in a heavy black armor, with a golden shield in his left and a large golden sword in his right hand. Seeing Cai’er closing in on him, he shouted and stamped forward with his left foot, facing Cai’er’s attack as he swept his shield forward, instantly casting a Holy Mantle.
This Holy Mantle wasn’t meant for defense, but as part of a perceptive technique to counter an assassin.
An assassin’s greatest forte was speed. By using an omnidirectional defense like Holy Mantle, he could sense and react to her attack in the shortest time possible.
As the pillar of his whole team, this wasn’t the first time this knight battled against an assassin.
However, Cai’er didn’t launch an attack of the same kind as he expected at all. With a flash of her golden dagger, and with a light swing using her
delicate body, she swept her weapon right at the edge of the shield, aiming directly at the knight’s chest.
The knight’s reaction was also fast, a dragon cry instantly bursted forth from his body; Ascending Dragon Strike, a skill of the fifth step was erupting. However, his body didn’t move accordingly to Ascending Dragon Strike’s classic pattern. Only his body was surrounded by golden light, while a golden ray of spiritual energy formed a wall of dragon scales in her path, instantly, spreading forward to block Cai’er’s attack. Simultaneously, the sword in his right hand released a Shining Sunlight Strike.
High level powerhouses didn’t have to use only high tier skills. Very often, lower tier skills would be a lot more useful than high tier ones. This was because the lower tier skills could be used with a lower consumption of spiritual energy, and at a faster activation time.
With a light sound of ding, Cai’er’s dark golden dagger hit the knight’s armor. Immediately afterwards, her body bounced back again, using the force of her own attack to propel her away.
The knight wasn’t complacent, and launched a Lightning Thrust carrying Shining Sunlight Strike with a wave of his heavy sword.
A fantastic scene appeared, and golden light flashed all around, as each of the blows coming from Lightning Thrust seemed to glow with the force of a miniaturized golden sun.
This was a combination of Shining Sunlight Strike and Lightning Thrust. The support from the speed of Lightning Thrust greatly improved the accuracy of Shining Sunlight Strike, though it diminished its power to some extent. But since he was facing an assassin, the defensive power of his opponent wasn’t a big deal.
It seemed as if the Guardian Knight was holding the upper-hand overall, but in reality, only he knew that he had already suffered a loss.
This knight had originally believed that his own Ascending Dragon Strike combined with his battle skills would surely enable him to block
Cai’er’s last attack. But in truth, Cai’er’s attack wasn’t only fast but also extremely crafty. Just like a viper’s tongue, it made its way into the small cracks in his defense, and the golden dagger stabbed at his heavy armor mercilessly.
His heavy armor wasn’t supplemented by any ability, but was a piece of equipment at the Glorious Tier, with its strength resulting from its material. Its defensive power in itself was already astonishing with both its hardness and toughness far exceeding ordinary metal. However, Cai’er graceful attack vanquished this defense, shrinking his courage.
Cai’er’s attack could indeed not pierce through the middle-aged knight’s armor, but it only failed by a very small margin. The middle-aged knight got to clearly sense a cold sensation of great danger and deathly stillness.
If he hadn’t immediately poured his spiritual energy into his energy channels, this would have directly affected his fighting ability.
Cai’er’s presence just gave him too great a pressure: this was the first time he had ever gotten to sense such a material killing intent from an assassin. Thus, he immediately used the technique he was the most proficient at using.
Facing the Lightning Thrust in the shape of miniaturized suns, Cai’er didn’t draw back. Her figure appeared close to a strand of green smoke. It seemed as if her body was weightlessly fluttering through the attacks from the Lightning Thrust. But in spite of how swift Lightning Thrust was, it was unable to reach her body. Seeing her passing through the gaps, anyone remembering the little pig McDull’s performance in the first round could notice that the way Cai’er dodged, was very similar to how the pig’s evasion of the rain of ice. The only difference was that Cai’er’s movements were even more graceful and fast-paced.
The middle-aged knight even felt as though he was in front of a dancing butterfly. When Cai’er’s body appeared in front of him again, he learned that his Shining Sunlight Lightning Thrust had totally missed the target.
Raising his Holy Filter Shield and parrying with the recoil of his shield’s power, he unleashed loads of spiritual energy. Pouring it into his Glorious
Tier shield, he launched its additional ability which multiplied the efficiency of his Holy Filter Shield by three, forming a perfect protection in front of him.
However, right at that time, Cai’er’s figure seamlessly disappeared completely.
It was Invisibility.
Invisibility was one of the most important abilities for an assassin at the sixth step, and Cai’er, having just broken through to the sixth step, naturally hadn’t yet had the time to train in it in any way. Although she possessed the Inheritance Ring from her grandpa, she still needed time of training before using a new technique. This time, the invisibility originated from the additional effect of her necklace.
With a feeling of cold fright, an intense stab of pain flashed through his back.
The middle-aged knight instantly turned around, trying to respond to the attack, but it was already too late.
While issuing every single blow, Cai’er’s figure appeared, only to vanish until her next attack. Her movement was just like an artistic dance, and under the impetus of her spiritual wings, a tempest of attacks surged unceasingly, producing ear-piercing metallic sounds.
The supplementary ability Penetration of the golden dagger was really effectful, and although the middle-aged knight was already defending with all his might, he was completely incapable of resisting Cai’er’s demonic performance. From beginning to end, he didn’t even have the chance to summon his mount.
“Enough, stop this fight.” Ling Xiao’s call was timely heard.
With a mere flash, Cai’er was already ten meters apart from the knight, and the dagger in her hand disappeared accordingly. Her eyes returned to their normal state, and the killing intent abated accordingly.
The middle-aged knight looked like a drunk man. He swayed and staggered, barely standing upright. With a golden flash of light, Ling Xiao appeared between the two of them, looking at the middle-aged knight, “She had the chance of killing you straight on at least seven occasions. This battle is your loss.” The knight replied after taking a deep breath, “She… How could she be that fast?” His own spiritual energy had reached more than 7,500 units, but in front of Cai’er’s attacks, he felt totally helpless. At the very beginning of the battle, he could still follow Cai’er’s movements, but as time went by, he was only able to see shadows revolving around him.
Ling Xiao calmly explained, “Young man, you didn’t lose unjustly. Don’t you see that your opponent hasn’t used a single powerful offensive ability ever since the beginning? As an assassin of the sixth step, do you really think she’s lacking these sort of abilities.” The knight gasped in reaction to this. Still, he stood straight and gave Cai’er a knight salute, before leaving sadly. With this, Cai’er became the first person to be qualified to enter the Illusory Shrine.
Ling Xiao looked at Cai’er, his eyes beaming with an extraordinary splendor. He clearly understood that Cai’er didn’t win based on her abilities or her cultivation, but due to her technique. In her offensive mode, Cai’er was like running water, flowing uninterruptedly and launching torrents of mercurial surges effectively causing the opponent to be unable to defend. Given how sharp her attacks were, even a defensive ability protecting one’s whole body wouldn’t have lasted for long. This was truly as expected from the Saint Daughter of Samsara.
The match ended, and after two more bouts Long Haochen entered the stage.
Beholding the nearby Cai’er, Long Haochen slowly got up. Cai’er’s understanding in battle truly caused him to sigh in admiration. Her mercurial torrential attacks were acquired from her battles against the red skeleton, and she had even changed the original technique to suit her needs.
While teaching an ability from teacher to disciple, the taught ability would always undergo a certain variation. This variation resulted from one’s understanding and predispositions.
As for those battle skills from ancient times, Long Haochen and Cai’er were exactly the ones who understood them the best.
Long Haochen’s opponent was a female summoner, seemingly above thirty years in age. Seeing Long Haochen go on stage, Ling Xiao’s eyes immediately lit up, and on the other side, Han Qian also sat up straight. Cai’er’s performance could already be called nothing but breathtaking, but what about Long Haochen? The female summoner had rather average looks, but seeing that her opponent was the handsome young knight from the battle, her eyes immediately lit up. With a smile, she said, “Little boy, please be lenient with me.”
Long Haochen placed his right first on his left chest, giving a standard knight salute, “Please let me learn from you.”
A match involving a summoner and a knight would start with a distance of fifty meters.
“Battle start.” Although the female summoner had a smile on her face, she didn’t show the slightest signs of restraint. Raising the light blue long staff in her hand, she chanted verses of incantations. The crystall ball on her staff radiated light, and a silver-colored hexagon swiftly arose in front of her.
Houu, With a roar, a snow white leopard appeared in front of her in a lurking position. The female summoner mounted it, still looking fixedly in Long Haochen’s direction. She was waiting to see what mount he would summon. However, to her surprise, Long Haochen didn’t summon his mount, but only charged at her in large strides. Not summoning your mount? The female summoner’s eyes flashed with surprise, before the white leopard charged swiftly.
The white leopard moved at an extremely fast speed. He abruptly dashed, just like a white bolt of lightning, accompanied with a rhythmic chant from the female summoner.
Seeing the speed of that white leopard, Long Haochen didn’t keep charging. He understood clearly that his own charging speed couldn’t keep
up with the opponent, and thus simply stopped. As he gazed silently at that girl, the Light Elemental Fairy Yating appeared above his shoulder, causing silent astonishment for all the observing Demon Hunters.
After two evolutions, Yating was far from her original form as Elemental Fairy. Floating above Long Haochen’s shoulder, she flapped her four wings while giving off a very mighty feeling. The female summoner’s second summoning spell was completed, and with a low growl, an immense flaming bear came out of the summoning array. Without hesitation, it charged straight at Long Haochen.
A Raging Inferno Bear was a magical beast of the sixth rank, specialized in strength. Although generally magical beasts of the sixth rank were only equivalent to human vocations of the fifth step, this beast’s strength exceeded the full power of a warrior at the sixth step. After summoning the Raging Inferno Bear, the female summoner clearly loosened her breath and dismounted her white leopard. With the addition of the Raging Inferno Bear, she at least wouldn’t have to fear being defeated one-sidedly in a surprise attack by Long Haochen.
Long Haochen didn’t move by a single jot from his original place. With Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light in his right and Bright Discipline in his left hand, he calmly looked at the charging Raging Inferno Bear.
The Raging Inferno Bear was over three meters tall. Charging forward with his set of immense paws at full speed, he was about to reach Long Haochen.
He was truly worthy of being called the most powerful magical beast at the sixth rank, producing a sonic boom as his paws passed through the air.
Right at that instant, Long Haochen crouched down slightly, stamping the ground with his left foot. Swiftly aiming to the right side, he leaped as dexterously as a leopard.
His next movement didn’t appear very fast, but still enabled him to escape the attack from the Raging Inferno Bear’s paws by a hair’s breadth.
Because of his fast speed, the Raging Inferno Bear’s attacks were all the more berserk.
With a bang, the bear paws ruthlessly crashed into the ground, right at the moment, Long Haochen arrived at his side.
No one saw clearly when it happened, but Long Haochen’s Bright Discipline was now aimed backwards, and before even giving the Raging Inferno Bear the opportunity to stand up, Bright Discipline ruthlessly pierced him from the lower back. Meanwhile, Long Haochen used his wrist holding the sword as a springboard and jumped as Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, glowed in glorious gold light.
That radiance was completely concentrated in the upper part of the sword, lightly sweeping down on the Raging Inferno Bear’s neck with a great dexterity.
Because the Raging Inferno Bear was pierced by Bright Discipline in his lower back, the violent pain caused him to raise his head, moving his neck in a reflex. , a scream of rage followed and tore off abruptly as his throat was cut.
Bouncing with his toes on the back of the Raging Inferno Bear, Long Haochen landed five meters away, and only at this moment, the Raging Inferno Bear’s massive body fell loudly to the ground, its immense head rolling away.
At that instant, the whole stadium was in total silence, and everyone looked with dumbstruck expressions at Long Haochen.
If Cai’er’s previous attacks could be said to be totally indiscernible because of their speed, right now, Long Haochen’s attacks gave them them great shock.
Without wasting the slightest movement, he combined each movement from beginning to end with perfect fluidity, until the last one that killed off a magical beast with a mere single blow. That killing speed was even faster
than the time needed by the female summoner to activate the summoning spell for this bear.
To describe the execution of the attack, the only word that could be used was perfect.
If Cai’er’s attack could be said to be as swift as a mercurious torrent, then Long Haochen’s attack was just unstoppable like a moving cloud.
His technique showed how astonishing the level of Long Haochen’s understanding of the ancient battle techniques was. His understanding of the red skeleton’s patterns was way above Cai’er’s. The reason wasn’t that Cai’er’s understanding was worse than his, but because the red skeleton’s battle pattern was closer to a knight’s than an assassin’s. As for this last blow, it just used a compressed version of Shining Sunlight Strike poured into Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, which was done in a way he also learnt from that red skeleton. Otherwise, the Raging Inferno Bear’s tough flesh wouldn’t have been so easily cut, even with the help of Ripples of Light.
“Just admit defeat.” Long Haochen said in the direction of that female summoner who didn’t manage to complete her next summoning spell because of the shocking scene.
“How could it end like this?” The female summoner gazed at Long Haochen with dazed eyes, her look filled with disbelief.
The Raging Inferno Bear was her most frequent summon, so she understood his strength the best. However, it only lasted for two seconds against this young knight. In other words, it took Long Haochen only two seconds to kill it.
This far surpassed the female summoner’s comprehension. Since when were knights so overwhelming in terms of battle skills? And furthermore, she didn’t even see Long Haochen use any ability.
“No, I will absolutely not admit defeat. Even if I cannot win against you, you cannot catch me either so it will at most end as a draw.”, the female summoner declared stubbornly.
Long Haochen sighed to himself, could he really not catch her? If this had been before he reached the sixth step, this female summoner would probably have been right, but now…
A gaudy glowing light radiated from Long Haochen’s back and illuminated the surroundings as it spread. Following next, with one flap of his spiritual wings, Long Haochen was propelled like a bolt of lightning in the direction of the female summoner.
Since Cai’er could accelerate with the help of her spiritual wings, how could Long Haochen not be able to do the same?
However, that female summoner was indeed obstinate. Having seemingly anticipated that Long Haochen would use the help of his spiritual wings to accelerate, she immediately unfolded her own pair of pure white spiritual wings at the same time his wings appeared. She flapped them to help her white panther accelerate even further, as he lept to the side.
However, she never expected that Long Haochen wouldn’t necessarily rush towards her from the front.
As an intense glow of white rushed forth in a flash, the female summoner felt a massive pulling force suddenly aimed at her. The pull prevented her from staying seated on the white leopard. With a cry of surprise, her body flew to the opposite direction, only to be welcomed by Long Haochen’s two swords.
The range of the Saint Spiritual Stove’s pulling ability had enlarged to fifty meters with the Saint Spiritual Stove’s second evolution. If it was used in the wilderness, perhaps the female summoner could have lasted for a bit longer, but this was a circular stadium, making it extremely easy for Long Haochen to approach her up to fifty meters.
The two swords pounded her shoulders, dragging her robe. With a simple movement Long Haochen brought the female summoner to a sudden stop.
“Apologies, it’s my win.”
The female summoner glared at Long Haochen in extreme anger, but in the depths of her eyes appeared some traces of fear. Is this young knight really just at the sixth step? Isn’t he just way too strong?
In fact, the spiritual energy of that female summoner had already reached 8,000 units, but she didn’t have the time to bring out her most powerful summon before being defeated.
Long Haochen naturally couldn’t guess what she was thinking. In his thoughts, the most dominant thought revolved around the Illusory Paradise.
Grasping the swords in his hands, Long Haochen looked in the direction of his comrades, silently rejoicing, “Illusory Paradise, I am coming.”