Chapter 231 – Final Exam
Chapter 231 – Final Exam
“Alright.” Wu Zhangkong promised in his student’s stead on the double. For the past three-and-a-half years, Eastsea Academy had invested a great deal into class zero. Yes, Wu Zhangkong’s reputation attracted a steady
stream of students. And yet, even so, the academy’s enrollment rate paled in comparison with the Skysea Alliance’s first-rate schools’.
Investments were always made in hopes of returns. Wu Zhangkong felt it was natural to requite the academy.
“Teacher Wu, you…” Yu Zhen hesitated. “Will you return?”
The reason why he asked was because Eastsea Academy neither had the means nor the power to tie Wu Zhangkong down. His investment in these children was near palpable.
During his visit to the president’s office, Wu Zhangkong didn’t elaborate on any of the questions asked. In truth, the answer was already engraved
within his heart. If his students did make it into Shrek Academy, then the
chances of his return were minute at best. There were still things he wanted to do and Shrek City was the most suitable place to accomplish them.
“Your final exam is the rebellion spirit ascension platform. Survive for twenty-four hours. Anyone who exits before then can forget about taking the Shrek exam,” Wu Zhangkong said coldly.
Xie Xie smirked. “Teacher Wu, then is there a bonus if we survive longer than that?”
Wu Zhangkong nodded. “There is. Your reward will either be a duel with me or a spar against the other three. Your choice.”
“Teacher Wu, don’t be so heartless,” Xie Xie complained. Meanwhile, Tang Wulin and the other two giggled.
Gu Yue sat beside Tang Wulin. She kept her hair short and orderly, but unlike her hairstyle, other things had changed these past three years. For one, she had grown to over 170 centimeters. Although she was still unripe, girls matured faster than boys, and it was evident in the nearly lady-like figure bursting with youth.
In contrast to her youth, her expression was serene without the slightest fluctuations. She sat there completely unflustered.
However, if comparing how much one had matured was a contest, then Xu Xiaoyan would be the winner. Although she was still half a head shorter than Gu Yue, she had grown even more pretty and often wore a sweet,
Over the years, she had become closer to Xie Xie. Perhaps it was due to their similar backgrounds. Likewise, Gu Yue quarreled with Xie Xie less and less.
“Let’s go.” Wu Zhangkong was still the king of conciseness.
Naturally, they were heading for the elementary-level rebellion spirit ascension platform. By now, none of them felt any pressure from it.
Back when Tang Wulin had one ring, he had led his team through the rebellion spirit ascension platform in a path of slaughter, racking up spirit energy like no tomorrow, until they nearly hit their energy limits. Since
they’d been deepening their teamwork for a few years, they were almost too qualified for this platform. This would be a walk in the park for them.
Moments later, they arrived at the Spirit Pagoda.
They had visited the place at least once a month after the previous Skysea
Alliance Tournament. Therefore, they knew the mural like the backs of their hands.
Xie Xie giggled. “Gu Yue, we’re on your turf now!”
Ever since she joined the Spirit Pagoda, she would pay it a visit every rest day, but not once had she told the others any details. No one tried to pry
either. Just as before, Gu Yue was undoubtedly the strongest one among them.
For some reason, they felt estranged from Gu Yue. Perhaps it was because she didn’t enter the Tang Sect like them.
Gu Yue had used her own life force to heal Tang Wulin three years ago.
When he had awoken, he found that her attitude toward him had changed
completely. She no longer acted as intimately with him and a gap opened up between them.
Apart from attending classes and cultivating together, Gu Yue had seldom interacted with her classmates. Tang Wulin couldn’t make heads or tails of her and didn’t dare ask.
Gu Yue shot Xie Xie a look. “That’s right! You got any bright ideas now that we’re in my domain?”
Xie Xie laughed mischievously like a fox. “Can’t we get some special treatment? Right, Xiaoyan is about to break through to three rings; can’t you use your connections to help her get a good spirit soul when the time comes? Her spiritual power is strong enough for it.”
Gu Yue directed inquiring eyes at Xu Xiaoyan.
Under this gaze, Xu Xiaoyan flushed a delicious pink. “Big sister Gu Yue, if it wouldn’t trouble you…”
A smile tugged at Gu Yue’s lips. “How could it trouble me? I’ll help you choose a suitable one once you’re at that point.”
“Thank you big sis Gu Yue.” Xu Xiaoyan beamed.
Tang Wulin’s mouth also curled into a smile as he watched this scene unfold. Out of all his classmates, he needed another spirit soul the least.
Because Goldlight was a thousand-year spirit soul, it could supply him with a third ring.
He was more curious about what sort of position Gu Yue held in the Spirit Pagoda. From his observations, he noticed that the Spirit Pagoda staff members were exceptionally polite and kind toward her and Gu Yue responded in kind. It was clear that she was well-liked and popular.
After sticking their cards into their respective slots, they laid down in their box and prepared to enter.
They were familiar with the process; it took a moment to ready themselves.
Space warped around them. Light replaced darkness as whips of fresh air assaulted their senses. They were back in this familiar land, the rebellion elementary spirit ascension platform!
To class zero, the ordinary spirit ascension platform no longer posed any challenge. Once, they had even survived for seven days straight, much to the chagrin of the Spirit Pagoda. Since then, they had not been welcome.
The soul beasts that were present were essentially energy. The more class zero killed, the greater the losses incurred by the Spirit Pagoda.
Furthermore, all four of them often absorbed spirit energy close to their limits. Frequent visits were unnecessary as a result.
“Everyone, be on alert,” Tang Wulin ordered. “Yes, captain!” The three responded in unison.
Despite having the lowest cultivation base among the four of them, Tang Wulin had cemented his position as the team’s core throughout the years.
He used action instead of words to win over his teammates. Whenever danger reared its ugly head, he’d lead his group to face their strongest
enemies. He was their pillar of security and his leadership skills received their approval. Regardless of strategies or tactics, he proved himself
excellent in those fields.
In the words of Xie Xie, “Just let captain take care of the annoying matters.”
Tang Wulin served as the vanguard. His Bluesilver Grass ran along the ground, acting as a detection network that covered everything within a fifteen meter radius. His Bluesilver Grass was like an exterior sense organ, able to react to and determine the slightest changes in the air.
Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue flanked him on each side while Xie Xie covered their backs. Although he walked backward to keep an eye on the rear, he kept up with the others’ pace.
Occasionally, shimmers of purple flashed through Tang Wulin’s eyes—the telltale sign of the Purple Demon Eyes. His progress was incredible; he had already broken through into the second stage, boosting his spiritual power to an immense degree.
However, Gu Yue stood as the reigning queen regarding spiritual power, the rest of them chasing after her back. She had breached five hundred points a year ago and entered the Spirit Sea realm. This was precisely why she was considered class zero’s strongest after all this time.
On the other hand, Tang Wulin was experiencing a bottleneck, stuck at 499 points of spiritual power. With a single step, he’d be crossing on to the next realm. Yet. such a step was difficult to take. After putting in her all, Xu
Xiaoyan had also managed to break four hundred points. At the tail of their group was Xie Xie, who lagged behind in the middle two-hundreds. Of
course, they were nothing short of spectacular when compared to their peers.
The Spirit Sea realm could support three purple spirit souls. This equaled to a total of nine soul rings; although this was only theoretical, it was still a major achievement for any soul master.
Gu Yue’s spiritual power now hovered past seven hundred. Her strength before and after her breakthrough were incomparable.
Like a fisherman casting his net at sea, Tang Wulin waited patiently for his turn to advance. He was thirteen right now; depending on his luck, it would take him one year at most.
“It’s too quiet!” Tang Wulin frowned. The rebellion spirit ascension platform was normally chaotic, but currently, not a trace of disorder could be heard. This meant that a mighty soul beast occupied the area and no other beasts dared intrude.
Chapter 232 – Blazing Demon Lions
Chapter 232 – Blazing Demon Lions
Just as the words left Tang Wulin’s mouth, Gu Yue shot a green light
spiraling into the air. The light transformed into a viridescent bird, which soared through the skies and into the horizon.
A beat later, a second light followed… then a third, and fourth. They all blasted off in different direction.
Tang Wulin waited for the results of the reconnaissance before moving forward in any direction. Although there was little of threat in the
elementary spirit ascension platform, things could still go wrong. If they encountered another hundred-year Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear like in their
first trip, class zero would be in dire straits again. Such a soul beast was too domineering! A single claw swipe could take their lives!
“It’s a pride of lions.” Less than half a minute later, Gu Yue announced, “There’s activity from them on the left.”
These were Blazing Demon Lions. They were one of the top predators in the spirit ascension platform and had chased them during their first rebellion period trip.
Tang Wulin tured to Gu Yue. “Can you determine how many?”
Gu Yue lowered her voice. “Judging from their tracks, about fifteen. Maybe more?”
Eyes narrowed, Tang Wulin’s mind revved into action as he formulated a plan. A pride of Blazing Demon Lions typically had one Blazing Demon Lion King leading numerous lionesses. Most likely, the king would be at the thousand-year level. The strength of the lionesses, on the other hand, was unknown. If they were also of the thousand-year standing, then taking
on the pride would prove difficult for class zero. Chances were, they would not escape unscathed from such a battle.
“We’re going in the other direction.” Tang Wulin hesitated before steeling his resolve.
“Captain, we can do it. I still remember that time they slaughtered us. It’s our turn now.” Xie Xie stared at Tang Wulin with expectant eyes.
Tang Wulin knitted his brows. “If there are two or more thousand-year beasts, we’ll be in trouble. I can’t risk everyone for this.” Even in the spirit ascension platform, he was responsible for his entire team as their captain.
Xie Xie said, “Captain, think about it like this; nothing really challenges us in the elementary spirit ascension platform anymore. So, in order to improve, we need to be pressured. In the end, this is the spirit ascension platform, you know? It’s not an actual battlefield. If there’s something that can challenge us, then we should give it a shot. I think we’ll be fine even if there are two thousand-year beasts.”
Tang Wulin shifted his gaze to Gu Yue. “What do you think?”
Gu Yue said, “I agree with Xie Xie. We can’t improve without facing any difficulties. Let’s try it. If we’re no match, we can still escape.”
Finally, Tang Wulin turned to Xu Xiaoyan and she giggled. “I’ll listen to whatever you say, Captain.”
Tang Wulin aimed his gaze toward the sky. “Gu Yue, you’re in charge of reconnaissance, but make sure you maintain a safe distance. We’ll start when night falls.”
Despite being resolute in his decisions, he never forgot to put his team’s
safety first. Once night spread its wings over the horizon, Xu Xiaoyan’s full potential would be unleashed, her Starwheel Ice Staff power further
enhanced by a second ring. In turn, their overall strength would skyrocket.
Additionally, the Blazing Demon Lions were weakened by the night due to the decreased fire element density.
Gu Yue summoned a wind bird larger than the previous ones and set it flying toward the lions. Tang Wulin turned, advancing in the same direction slowly and quietly.
In the elementary spirit ascension platform, they were the only ones who dared face a thousand-year Blazing Demon Lion. Other teams composed completely of three-ringed soul masters wouldn’t last even a minute.
However, Tang Wulin’s group was brimming with confidence.
They had arrived at noon and now the evening was approaching.This was another reason Tang Wulin had chosen to take this risk.
Xie Xie and Gu Yue both had three rings and ample room to absorb more
spirit energy. Tang Wulin’s own two rings had four thousand years worth of spirit energy. According to Wu Zhangkong’s careful calculations, Tang Wulin could house a maximum of five thousand years of spirit energy. Once he gained his third ring, his limit would increase to six thousand years.
However, Wu Zhangkong was unaware that his disciple’s target differed from his tremendously. Tang Wulin understood what breaking the second seal meant; his body’s endurance toward spirit energy would increase to new heights. Inwardly, he wondered if he would then be able to absorb
enough energy to evolve his spirit soul to the ten-thousand-year level. At the very least, he would be one step closer to reaching that outcome. Either way, he planned on fusing with a ten-thousand-year spirit soul for his fourth ring.
Under Wu Zhangkong’s guidance, the students of class zero now possessed a perspective that surpassed that of their peers. All four aimed to become
battle armor masters, a goal so lofty that ordinary soul masters would fundamentally never consider.
The four proceeded toward the lions like cautious hunters. Tang Wulin discerned the best path for them, fine-tuning their direction with every step. They had to remain downwind of the lions in order to stay undetected. If the wind’s direction changed all of a sudden, then they would be discovered by the Blazing Demon Lion king.
A pride of Blazing Demon Lions was worthy of being called one of the
strongest existences in the elementary spirit ascension platform; during their approach, Tang Wulin’s team did not encounter another soul beast.
“They’re approximately one kilometer ahead of us. They seem to be resting and there are no signs of movement,” Gu Yue reported.
Tang Wulin stopped. “We’ll wait here until night.”
In a flash, Xie Xie appeared high amidst a tree’s branches, hidden from sight as he surveyed their surroundings.
On the other hand, Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue sat down to rest while Tang Wulin stood guard. Everyone knew their roles and did not need to be ordered to act.
Time ticked by and the dark of night soon descended upon them.
Gu Yue was still meditating, a clear indication that the Blazing Demon Lions had yet to move.
Then her brows wrinkled suddenly and her eyes burst open as she turned to Tang Wulin.
“Hm?” Tang Wulin looked at her in inquiry.
Gu Yue said, “Another group of people has met the lions. A battle may soon break out.”
“Are they springing into action or acting passively right now?” Tang Wulin asked hastily.
Gu Yue said, “They’re currently passive. Their encounter should be a coincidence. What are we going to do?”
“We’re going in.” Light twinkled in Tang Wulin’s eyes as he announced this.
No one questioned him; they all trusted his decision.
As Tang Wulin broke into a high-speed dash, the other three followed
closely behind. The four moved in unison, suppressing their soul power fluctuations to remain as stealthy as possible. They did not call out their martial souls in fear of giving away their locations. Instead, they relied solely on their senses to travel through the wilderness.
A succession of lion roars rumbled soon after, a faint bloody aura now lingering in the air. Afterward, the shouts of humans resonated through the thicket, followed by ripples of soul power.
Tang Wulin did not charge in directly but sped to the side of the battlefield.
Chapter 233 – Waiting for an Opening
Chapter 233 – Waiting for an Opening
Even from a distance, Tang Wulin could make out the majestic figure of the Blazing Demon Lion King. Currently, it was engaged in battle with a group of seven soul masters.
He signalled for his teammates to halt. Raising his right hand, his purple soul ring appeared, its light dim and suppressed. He wrapped a strand of Bluesilver Grass around a thick branch and swung himself up.
In an instant, he recalled his soul ring, a purple light twinkling in his eyes as the Purple Demon Eyes activated.
From this vantage point he could see everything in a two hundred meter radius, not to mention a perfect view of the battle.
Although one lion lay motionless, seemingly dead, the rest of the pride assaulted the soul masters in a frenzy.
Spirit energy swirled around the soul masters, a testament to their strength.
As he observed the battle, Tang Wulin discerned the power levels of this group of soul masters: all seven were three-ringed Soul Elders and two of them possessed a purple soul ring each. They appeared to be around twenty years old.
It was clear that they were prepared to take on this Blazing Demon Lion King.
Including its deceased member, the pride was composed of sixteen Blazing Demon Lions. Standing in the middle tyrannically was their gigantic lord. Such a beast emanated pure might.
Tang Wulin couldn’t help but suck in a deep breath as he took in the scene of the battlefield. Reality was cruel. He had guessed that this pride might have had multiple thousand-year lions. Only now did he understand just how formidable this pride was.
Among the remaining fifteen Blazing Demon Lions, there was a total of four at the thousand-year level—three lionesses and their king. The king’s gargantuan size suggested that it was an extraordinary thousand-year level beast.
If its strength surpassed three thousand years, then this pride of lions was a walking calamity.
Tang Wulin gestured with his hands, motioning for his teammates to be patient and not be hasty.
If these was a real battle between humans and soul beasts, they would certainly do their best to save the other team, but this was the spirit
ascension platform. Death had no true significance here. What mattered was how much spirit energy they could absorb. For this reason, Tang Wulin was the picture of patience as he monitored the present situation.
His judgement was correct. It was evident that the group of soul masters had underestimated the pride.
Under the lions’ fierce assault, casualties occurred one after the other.
Whether it was close or long-ranged combat, Blazing Demon Lions
excelled at both. Scorching flames enveloped their powerful bodies. Each lion was about the same size, their flame’s color serving as the only indicator of different cultivations. While the hundred-year lions were dressed in a bright red blaze, the thousand-year lions were swathed in yellow flames.
The four flaming yellow lions stood out amongst the pride. Unfortunately for the team of soul masters, they had provoked the wrath of the lions after killing one. The group was now surrounded, all avenues of escape cut off.
That being said, they were not weak. Despite suffering casualties, the soul masters managed to inflict grievous wounds on the lions.
Members of both sides continued to collapse one by one, trading incapacitating blows. Yet, it was clear that the humans were losing ground.
Tang Wulin continued to wait. He knew that provoking such a powerful pride was akin to playing with fire, but now that this team of seven had
weakened the lions, things were looking more favorable for class zero. The could play the role of a scavenger, swooping in to seize the spoils of war
after both sides had finished laying waste to one another.
Tang Wulin descended from the tree without so much as a peep, whispering a few words into Xie Xie’s ear.
Though Xie Xie grimaced as he listened, he still nodded in the end, even flashing a big thumbs up at his captain. A moment later, he vanished into the blanket of darkness.
Night had swept down at full blast, stretching far and wide. Such a sky was moonless, murderous winds howling through the air!
Turning to face Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue, Tang Wulin instructed them. Following that, he snuck toward the battleground with Gu Yue at his side, blending in with the surroundings and taking advantage of the thicket’s
Three of the seven soul masters survived, one whose injuries were nothing to scoff at. As for the lion pride, there were two wounded thousand-year lions and four deceased hundred-year lions. Although the wounds were not fatal, they restrained their strength.
The leader of the surviving soul masters was a tall and sturdy young man approximately twenty years old. He had a head full of spiky yellow hair,
muscles swelling under the influence of his martial soul. Standing at two- and-a-half meters tall, he resembled a behemoth.
He gripped a long metal rod in his hand. The rod stretched over four meters long with an enlarged tip, dark vascular lines running along the sides. From his blacksmithing experience, Tang Wulin understood that it was made of hundred refined metal. Considering its sheer size, the rod must have
weighed at least five hundred kilograms.
That this young man acted as the vanguard was the sole reason why the soul masters had held on for so long, even to the point of wounding the lions.
His identity as a power-type soul master was evident. Despite the rod not being his martial soul, he gripped and swung it to ward off the lions, his body exuding a yellow glow.
The giant youth crushed the skull of the first lion he had killed. As such, the surviving members of the pride were both cautious of and focused their
attacks on him.
By his side, a girl conjured up shields of white light, protecting him from the lions’ barrage. Even so, exhaustion weighed down on her. Blood trickled down the corner of her mouth while her shields became progressively weaker.
“Big brother Kun, I can’t hold on any longer,” the girl said urgently.
With a roar, the youth swung the rod and staved off three charging lions. In a muffled voice, he said, “Our luck is pretty bad to meet such a powerful
Blazing Demon Lion pride this time. You guys leave first. I’ll kill one or two more for vengeance.”
The girl nodded and pressed the escape button on the back of her hand. The pain they felt in the spirit ascension platform was no joke. No one wanted to experience being torn to shreds by lions.
She disappeared in a flash of light.
Apart from the giant youth, only a slender agility-type soul master remained.
All of a sudden, the thousand-year Blazing Demon Lion King leaped toward the robust youth, spurring a shout from the young man in return.
Yellow light erupted from his body, his veins jutting out as he waved his rod with all his strength.
However, the lion king was sly and his charge was a feint! In mid-air, it changed directions in an instant.
Obviously, this feat was impossible to accomplish by itself. No, it received the help of a thousand-year lioness. The lioness had pounced into the king’s body, striking the male full force at the agility-type soul master.
This redirection was too abrupt for the agility-type soul master to react to.
He was engulfed in crimson flames instantly. All he managed to do was slap his escape button.
At last, the sole survivor of the group was its leader.
Just as he was about to succumb to despair and resolve himself to fight to the death, a blue vine shot out from the distance.
The vines burst out of the ground and bound the ferocious soul beasts.
Each vine was a thick as a child’s arm, sparkling limpidly as if carved from crystal. Faint rays of light twinkled within them.
The pride of Blazing Demon Lions stiffened before the vines obstructed their movements.
To let such an opportunity slip by would be a crime. Without missing a beat, the young man charged forward and smashed open the skull of a hundred-year soul beast, sending its brain matter splattering through the air.
Like a flash of lightning, he turned around and clubbed the head of another thousand-year lioness.
The Blazing Demon Lions called upon infernos to disintegrate the blue vines. Unfortunately for them, the vines released their holds before burning to crisps.
Snarling, the majestic thousand-year Blazing Demon Lion King charged at the youth, but was locked in place by a golden vine. Though the other lions continued attacking, their combined strength paled in comparison with the king’s.
At that moment, icy-blue lights showered down upon the lions like heaven’s retribution.
Chapter 234 – Total Victory
Chapter 234 – Total Victory
Fire and ice were mortal enemies; the half-meter long icicles were like the harbingers of death, forcing the lions to release their hottest flames to protect themselves. Nonetheless, the scorching air still cooled.
Fueled by rage and vengeance, the giant youth clubbed another two lions.
His body was already scorched black after receiving countless attacks from the lions. The glow of soul power surrounding him was dimming rapidly as strength left his body.
At that moment, he suddenly saw a figure quickly approaching from where the golden vine had previously sprung.
As the figure approached, a blue glow appeared on the ground and even thicker vines burst out. They were too sturdy for even the lions’ flame
shields to defend against. In an instant, the hundred-year lions stiffened and roared as the vines impaled their stomachs.
It was also clear that every lion inside the range of the Bluesilver Grass had momentarily slowed down.
In that instant, the approaching figure dropped from the sky and onto the Blazing Demon Lion King’s back. Ignoring the flames covering the lion’s body, he transformed his right arm into a golden claw and grabbed the lion king’s head.
The lion king thrashed its body, struggling free of the golden vine.
Similarly, the other lions had also managed to break free of their restraints and transferred their attention from the sturdy youth to the youngster on the lion king’s back.
The Blazing Demon Lion King shuddered, then collapsed with a loud rumble. Tang Wulin had destroyed its backbone, taking away even the chance to struggle in its death.
Had the sturdy youth not provided the perfect distraction, Tang Wulin could not have killed the lion king so smoothly and the outcome would have differed greatly.
Fireballs arced toward Tang Wulin, but he was prepared. The golden vine suddenly appeared beneath him, sending him soaring into the air like a
Meanwhile, an eerie sensation descended upon the lions. The shower of icicles exploded into countless shards, fusing with the emerging blizzard which grew to swallow the group of lions..
Although the Blazing Demon Lions had become frenzied after the death of their king, the overbearing blizzard completely suppressed them.
The youth finally realized that saviors had arrived, triggering a breath of relief to escape his lips. Coupled with the relief, however, was shock. He had clearly seen that the youngster who killed the Blazing Demon Lion King only had two rings, but both were purple. And then, a blizzard had come out of nowhere and descended upon the lions.
In the elementary spirit ascension platform, Soul Elders were the upper limit, but there was no way a Soul Elder could possess so much firepower.
The sight of a girl bathed in green light casually approaching the Blazing Demon Lions as if the blizzard wasn’t even there had left him utterly
speechless. Unfazed by the blizzard, the girl raised a hand and summoned a ball of ice while the surrounding blizzard converged on her location.
In just several moments, the ball had grown to over one meter in diameter and spikes covered its surface.
“Go!” The ball of ice flew straight at a thousand-year Blazing Demon Lion.
It managed to respond in time by opening its mouth wide to breathe a swathe of flames toward the ball.
A violent boom tore through the air when the ball of ice exploded in the
center of the pride, shattering into a mass of shards which hailed down upon the lions.
This… was this all planned?
The sky suddenly lit up, drawing the youth’s attention. Starlight descended from the heavens, blanketing the lions to seemingly no effect. Twinkling
starlight enveloped them, and in a flash, they simultaneously turned to begin mauling one another.
For that instant, flames blazed within the blizzard, but none hit the right target, leaving only the lions themselves injured.
Blue vines slithered out once more, binding the lions. The figure from before descended again, grabbing another lion’s head with his dragon claw.
“What are you waiting for?” Tang Wulin asked the youth.
Snapping out of his stupor, the youth brandished his giant rod as he leapt back into the fray.
With his domineering strength, the remaining Blazing Demon Lions were soon suppressed and exterminated one after another.
The youth delighted in the slaughter, venting more of his wrath with each skull he smashed open.
All of a sudden, the pretty, large-eyed youngster called out to him, “Be careful!”
As the youth attempted to respond, a cold sensation ran across his neck and then, there was nothing.
Spirit Pagoda, room thirteen of the spirit ascension platform.
Six young men and women stared at a screen. They were the members of the Soul Elder squadron which was decimated in the battle against the
Blazing Demon Lions.
They all broke out into cheers when they saw that reinforcements had arrived and the lions were being slaughtered.
But suddenly, the screen went black. “What happened?” asked a girl.
“I think Captain had an accident,” said another boy in shock. If at least one member of the team remained alive in the spirit ascension platform, they
could watch the events on the screen. A black screen signified that their
entire team had been wiped out, with not a single member still in the spirit ascension platform.
Sure enough, when they checked the room, the youth’s box was open. Even in his normal state, his height nearly passed two meters.
“Captain, are you alright?” His concerned teammates surrounded him. Gradually, he opened his eyes then rubbed his neck. “I’m fine.”
“Captain, how did you die? Didn’t you guys already wipe out the lions?” one of the girls asked, confused.
The youth showed a similarly puzzled expression. “I’m not sure either. Those soul masters that saved me were really strong. I died right as one of them told me to be careful. Maybe another powerful soul beast appeared. Well, whatever. At least I managed to avenge you guys with their help. It
was my mistake this time. I underestimated the strength of the Blazing
Demon Lion pride and I’ve led us to ruin. As an apology, I’ll take you all out to dinner.”
Chapter 235 – Starlight Chaos
Chapter 235 – Starlight Chaos Within the spirit ascension platform.
After the final Blazing Demon Lion collapsed, rich spirit energy permeated the air.
Class zero sat in the center of this energy, drawing all of it into their bodies.
Not only was the air filled with the energy of lions, it also contained the energy obtained by the Soul Elder squadron.
Since the Soul Elders had died one by one, their unabsorbed spirit energy remained and converged onto the sturdy youth. In the end, that youth also died, releasing an explosion of spirit energy for class zero to harvest.
The decimation of the pride of lions was truly a wretched sight to behold. “Captain, you’re really too sinister.” Xu Xiaoyan gestured in disdain.
Tang Wulin simply chuckled.
“But, you know, I like it.” Xu Xiaoyan beamed. Happiness was plastered across her face as she bathed in the dense spirit energy.
Now that Xu Xiaoyan was at the bottleneck of rank 29, spirit energy was crucial to her. It would enable her to fuse with a stronger spirit soul once she broke through.
Xie Xie laughed mischievously. “This is the spirit ascension platform, not the real world. We can’t waste this expensive rebellion period entrance ticket.”
He hadn’t made an appearance during the battle with the Blazing Demon Lions because he had been tasked with a crucial mission.
They were already exceptionally familiar with the spirit ascension platform and how the monitoring system in the outside world worked. Aware that the squadron of Soul Elders was also monitoring the situation, Tang Wulin had hatched a dastardly scheme. This was a common occurrence in the spirit
ascension platform, and even more so during the rebellion period.
Stealing from a thief was truly beautiful in its own right. The sturdy youth had no idea how he died precisely because it was Xie Xie’s blade that killed him.
The greatest advantage of his Shadow Dragon Dagger’s first soul skill,
Shadow Dragon Blade, was its invisibility. After Xie Xie raised his cultivation, the skill had only grown deadlier.
Considering the sturdy youth’s cultivation, he would have instantly discovered Xie Xie under normal conditions. Weary, exhausted, and on the verge of victory, however, he had lowered his guard. Xie Xie had hidden himself, waiting to strike at such a moment and reaping the spirit energy of the youth’s entire team in one fell swoop.
If they hadn’t done this, then the majority of the lions’ spirit energy would have gone to the sturdy youth.
A radiant smile blossomed on Tang Wulin’s lips. “We’ve already gotten our admission’s worth of spirit energy. Let’s rest and recover for now, everyone.
The scent of the Blazing Demon Lions will linger for a while longer, and we can take advantage of it to absorb a bit more. Our goal is to leave no spirit energy behind.”
Every one of them had a few hundred years worth of energy to absorb; it was a great harvest.
Gu Yue had long since sat down to recuperate and absorb the energy. After the battle’s conclusion, she had been the calmest of them all, neither questioning Tang Wulin’s scheming nor showing any excitement.
Tang Wulin sat down beside her, smiling. “How are you doing? Is your body alright?”
Since she had killed the two remaining thousand-year Blazing Demon Lions, the density of spirit energy swirling around her body even exceeded that of Tang Wulin’s.
She shook her head gently. “I’m fine. I won’t make much progress since the spirit energy will be divided between three rings. You, on the other hand,
should be the one concerned about exceeding your limits.”
“Mn. I know. You guys will handle the rest from now on; then I won’t have to worry about it.” Tang Wulin currently had two purple soul rings that
were both at about four thousand years, whereas his limit was five thousand years. This left over a thousand years of energy for him to fill. His limit
wasn’t a pressing issue yet, and the pain he suffered back then had made him more cautious.
Their soul power recovered after half an hour of rest, so they stood up and resumed their trek into the heart of Star Dou Forest.
They still needed more time to absorb the spirit energy lingering on their bodies, but until then, its radiance was noticeable. From now on, their opponents weren’t just soul beasts, but also other soul masters.
“Captain, your Bluesilver Impaling Array is pretty awesome! Even though it’s not that strong, its stunning effect is great for crowd control,” Xie Xie quietly said from Tang Wulin’s side.
Bluesilver Impaling Array was Tang Wulin’s second soul skill from
Goldlight. When he was fused with it, despite being certain that his wishes would have no effect, he had focused his entire being on calling for a
crowd-control soul skill. To his surprise, his wish came true and he obtained Bluesilver Impaling Array.
Bluesilver Impaling Array primarily focusing on control with attack power taking a back seat. Of course, as a thousand-year soul skill, it was deadly to quite a degree. Its main purpose, however, was to control enemies. Through high frequency vibrations in the Bluesilver Grass, the foes struck by it
would have their minds thrown into confusion and be temporarily stunned.
As of that moment, Tang Wulin could launch Bluesilver Impaling Array from anywhere within reach of his Bluesilver Grass in a radius of fifteen meters.
Although Bind’s capacity for control was great, Tang Wulin had to pay
attention to every enemy he used it against. It was more suitable for a small number of opponents, while Bluesilver Impaling Array proved effective
against large groups. Furthermore, he could layer the effects of the two skills.
Wu Zhangkong had worked with him in the past few years, helping him
slowly form his path of cultivation. Tang Wulin’s martial soul would focus on control while his Golden Dragon King abilities would be his main method of attack. He would be lacking in ranged combat, but Wu Zhangkong had assured him that, should he reach the peak with his body, he would still be a force to be reckoned with.
In light of this, the first thing Tang Wulin exchanged his Tang Sect
contribution points for was a way to improve his body’s combat ability.
Tang Wulin gave a wry smile at Xie Xie’s words. “Xiaoyan’s crowd control is even more amazing! Starlight Chaos is a spectacular skill.”
Since they had battled under the blanket of night, Xu Xiaoyan’s Starwheel Ice Staff had awakened, and she could use the full might of her second soul skill, Starlight Chaos.
In contrast to Tang Wulin, she excelled in ranged combat and control, but similar to him, her two starlight skills were powerful in controlling foes.
Starlight Chaos would send their opponents into disarray, forcing groups to attack each other or simply come to a halt. It was precisely because of her coordination with Tang Wulin in launching one control skill after another
against the Blazing Demon Lions, keeping them in chaos the entire time, that they were able to crush them.
Xu Xiaoyan giggled. She had been always been chasing after her teammates, hoping to catch up to them, and only felt some confidence at night. Astrological skills were highly exhausting and restrictive, but
extremely effective in team settings.
Wind hissed as a dark-red figure suddenly flew out of the branches of a tree.
The figure was humanoid, but its arms were unusually long. As it flew through the air, its target became clear—it was aiming for Gu Yue. It
seemed that, in its eyes, women were easy targets.
In an instant, a blue vine shot out and bound its body, halting its speedy charge in midair and dragging it down.
Tang Wulin raised his palms to the sky, two soul rings rising from beneath him and a white glow emanating from his body. An invisible force seemed to grab the red beast, ferociously dragging it toward Tang Wulin.
But it quickly recovered its senses. Although its legs were bound, its arms were free, and it swung at Tang Wulin’s head.
Tang Wulin snorted, his own fists flying out to meet his attacker’s.
With a boom, the red figure was forced to stagger backward a step while Tang Wulin was unshaken.
Tang Wulin grabbed a vine and tugged on it, pulling it back toward him. Making an instantaneous pulling gesture with his hands, the invisible force reappeared and pushed the figure’s arms apart.
Tang Wulin then delivered a powerful kick to its stomach, and its body bent forward in response, placing its head right before him.
Chapter 236 – Onward
Chapter 236 – Onward
Tang Wulin’s hands closed around its head.
He twisted the red figure’s head a full 180 degrees, snapping its neck in the process! Its muscular body stiffened for an instant before collapsing like a rag doll.
A ball of spirit energy flew out to join the rest that swirled around his body.
“It’s a hundred-year Brute Ape.” It was only now that the others could identify the beast Tang Wulin had killed.
Only a few seconds had passed from the moment the Brute Ape leapt out to Tang Wulin snapping its neck.
The Brute Ape possessed excellent strength, surpassing most of its peers in the same year level. Unfortunately, its foe today was Tang Wulin, a monster brimming with power. The conclusion had been set in stone the moment it decided to attack Tang Wulin.
Tang Wulin was also quite satisfied with himself. He had become more proficient in Controlling Crane, Capturing Dragon, which also
complemented the Mysterious Heaven Method. Although his soul power rank was only in the twenties still, long term use of the Mysterious Heaven Method had stabilized his condensed soul power, increasing its
explosiveness by far when compared to his peers.
After leaving the Blazing Demon Lions’ territory, they encountered so many soul beasts it was like an endless stream. This was to be expected of the rebellion spirit ascension platform.
A pack of Wind Demon Wolves had attacked them on the way but were
swiftly dealt with by Tang Wulin’s Bluesilver Impaling Array. These types of soul beasts usually relied on their numbers rather than individual
strength. Tang Wulin chose not to pursue them since their spirit energy was simply too meager to bother with.
After warding off the wolves, they continued onward.
They would take half an hour to rest every two hours before advancing deeper into the forest. They began to accumulate more and more spirit
energy as they progressed, so much so that they exceeded their ability to absorb it all.
The sky grew bright; they were on the eve of finishing their first day in the rebellion spirit ascension platform. They had survived for much more than ten hours now, but their final exam required they pass a full twenty-four hours.
Of course, they had never thought that they would have any difficulty passing the final exam in the first place.
“Everyone, let’s take a break.” hunger was not an issue in the spirit
ascension platform since they were merely projections of their real selves. Naturally, they would have to satiate themselves once they exited.
Dawn broke. Tang Wulin cultivated the Purple Demon Eyes silently as he gazed at the distant creeping white fog. He had tried cultivating the Purple Demon Eyes here in the past and discovered, to his surprise, that not only was it possible, it was also far more efficient. Though he wasn’t sure why that was the case, he couldn’t let this opportunity slip away.
Wu Zhangkong had told him that once he cultivated the Purple Demon Eyes to the second level, it would become exponentially harder to make progress. He needed to cultivate it diligently every single day of the year, slowly building his proficiency toward the next level. Furthermore, his perception and luck would play a major role in whether he could break through. Even Wu Zhangkong, who was now a seven-ringed soul master, was stuck at the second level.
Xu Xiaoyan stood beside him, also cultivating it. Xie Xie, however, had yet to reach the third rank in his profession and hence still limited to two Tang Sect secret arts—the Mysterious Heaven Method and Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track. On the other hand, Xu Xiaoyan had chosen the Purple
Demon Eyes for the sake of raising her spiritual power.
Xie Xie had cultivated diligently in the past few years. He had long decided that the Purple Demon Eyes would be his next art.
Not to mention its utility in combat, its function as a spiritual power cultivation method was top-tier!
“We’ll pass our final exam at noon today,” Xie Xie snickered.
Tang Wulin nodded. “Don’t let your guard down or daydream. Even if this is the elementary spirit ascension platform, there are still threats.”
Xie Xie chuckled. “There wouldn’t be such coincidences! There are only a few beasts that can still be considered a threat to us here. There’s no way our luck is that bad.”
Gu Yue glared at him. “Shut your crow’s beak.”
Although he snorted, Xie Xie did not retort. Her strength was truly inhuman. Now that she had three rings, not even the others of class zero knew just how strong she was.
Although Tang Wulin could probably restrain Gu Yue in close combat, her ability to teleport away at a moment’s notice left him at a loss. Thus, Gu Yue’s overall strength was the greatest in class zero.
By the time they were rested and reorganized, the sun was out in its full
splendor. Tang Wulin said, “We still need to be careful. We’ll pass our exam first before making any other plans. Being on top of a hill, we have the
advantage and can observe our surroundings. We’re going to wait here until we’ve passed our exam, then we’ll charge into the forest’s depths.”
The deeper into the forest they ventured, the more powerful the soul beasts they would encounter.
Penetrating into the depths posed no problem to them. The vegetation grew lusher and the trees more solid the closer to the forest’s heart they were.
They had tried to explore it numerous times before, but each attempt would be foiled by the presence of powerful soul beasts.
Today was possibly their last chance to explore the spirit ascension platform for a while, so they wanted to investigate what lied deep in the forest.
The location Tang Wulin picked proved excellent. Although soul beasts had attacked them several times, the terrain helped them to drive them off
easily. Tang Wulin had ordered the team to refrain from killing for the sake of not attracting more beasts; they were to ward them off and only kill the most determined and vicious.
By relying on their terrain advantage, they were able to detect powerful soul beasts in advance and avoid them. Once the beasts left, they would return to their original spot.
Another benefit of waiting here was that they had ample time to absorb the lingering spirit energy on their bodies. Now, even if they were swiftly killed upon entering the forest’s depths, neither the spirit energy would be wasted nor their trip this time.
It was exactly noon.
“It’s pretty much time.” Excitement replaced Tang Wulin’s calm as a sharp aura wrapped around him.
“Let’s go!” He shot forward like the wind, heading straight into the heart of the forest.
Green lights enveloped all four of them, boosting their agility.
Caution was tossed to the wind this time as they charged onward at full speed.
However far they could go, they would go!
Gu Yue summoned birds of wind to scout ahead. With Tang Wulin in the lead and guided by the wind birds, they were able to evade detection of several mighty soul beasts.
They continued to advance with lightning speed just like this.
The vegetation thickened as they progressed, forcing Tang Wulin to sweep apart the foliage and open up a path with his Bluesilver Grass.
Maintaining this high-speed rush, they covered more distance in two hours than they had in the entire previous day.
Chapter 237 – The Heart of the Forest
Chapter 237 – The Heart of the Forest
Dark shadows pervaded the forest as the sheer density of the canopy blocked the sunlight, and the earthy scents of plant life saturated the damp air.
This place already seemed to resemble the intermediate level. Only Tang Wulin had set foot there before, and it had been an unforgettable experience in which he first bore witness to Wu Zhangkong’s overwhelming power.
Thousand-year and ten-thousand-year soul beasts had fallen one after the other before him, dropping like flies.
“Stay alert, everyone. The foliage limits my wind birds’ vision,” Gu Yue warned in a low voice.
Tang Wulin slowed his pace. It was unwise to rush forward in this environment.
“Captain, do you think we can cross into the intermediate level if we venture deep enough?” Xu Xiaoyan asked.
Tang Wulin shook his head. “I don’t know. Teacher Wu never spoke about it.”
“It’s possible,” Gu Yue interjected. “Really?” Tang Wulin turned to her.
Gu Yue nodded. “Every level of the spirit ascension platform is connected.
It’s possible to enter the intermediate level from here as long as you’re
strong enough. However, a powerful soul beast guards the barrier between levels. Only after defeating it can we cross over. Unfortunately, I think this will be difficult for us, much less ordinary soul masters. The guardian is the reason why very few people can cross between levels.”
As a member of the Spirit Pagoda, Gu Yue had access to information unknown to outsiders.
Excitement bubbled within Xie Xie. “Let’s give a try then. Maybe we can enter the intermediate level this time.”
A wry smile appeared on Tang Wulin’s lips. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy.”
He could still recall how terrifying the soul beasts in the intermediate level were. The Blazing Demon Lion King was nothing when compared to any random beast from that level. Aside from that, the Spirit Pagoda would have definitely installed preventative measures to keep people from
crossing the borders between levels. Tang Wulin and the others would face great resistance if they tried to do so.
“Let’s try.” For once, Gu Yue agreed with Xie Xie.
As of late, soul beasts rarely appeared before them. This lack of beasts, as well as the silence that came with it, only served to magnify the gloom of the forest. An eerie calm descended on this thriving forest.
Tang Wulin knew from experience that they had entered the domain of a powerful soul beast, and since not a single sound could be heard, it was probably far more powerful than the Blazing Demon Lion King.
There was only one other situation they had encountered these circumstances before.
“Xie Xie, do you remember the first time we came to the rebellion spirit ascension platform?” Tang Wulin quietly asked.
“Of course!” Xie Xie said. “Our luck was pretty good that time and we were able to absorb a bunch of energy thanks to the Man-Faced Demon Spider. That was also the first time you evolved your spirit soul.”
“In that case, do you remember how you were killed?” Tang Wulin asked.
A cold shiver ran down Xie Xie’s spine. He understood where Tang Wulin’s thoughts were travelling to. His voice trembled as he spoke. “Are you
saying that this place is…”
Tang Wulin forced out a bitter laugh. “I’m getting a similar vibe. Hopefully, I’m wrong.”
Xie Xie subconsciously drew closer to Tang Wulin, fear surfacing in his eyes. He could never forget the chilling sensation of being chopped to
pieces during their first adventure in the rebellion spirit ascension platform. He had been plagued with nightmares and dread for an entire month after that.
They hadn’t come across that particular soul beast in the past few years, but the terrifying memory still hadn’t left Xie Xie.
“Are you saying…?” Gu Yue’s voice trailed off.
Her expression became grim when Tang Wulin nodded.
Dusk seemed to gather in their surroundings and an unseen pressure
weighed down on them. Xie Xie’s palms were sweaty and his breathing became haggard.
“How about we take another route?” Xie Xie asked meekly.
Tang Wulin’s voice was stern. “There are some things that we can’t run from. If you don’t gather the courage to face the beast, then it will haunt you forever. Only by prevailing over it will you be able to advance further and become even more powerful.”
Xie Xie made a bitter face. “That’s easy to say, but—”
Tang Wulin suddenly threw out his arms to stop everyone in their tracks.
His eyes narrowed as he tried to make out what lay beyond the trees in front of them.
Tang Wulin’s connection to plants due to his Bluesilver Grass meant that his perception was the keenest in the forest amongst his group and he could sense what others could not; for example, he could sense the fear of the
“Come out!” he growled.
As if working in tandem with Tang Wulin, Gu Yue summoned a fireball and tossed it in the direction of his gaze.
The fireball surged into the depths of the forest, exploding midair when a blur of motion attacked it.
A majestic figure emerged from the shadows, and Xie Xie sucked in a deep breath. Fear gripped his body, his daggers trembling in his hands.
Over three meters in height, the figure towered over them. Dark-gold fur covered its body and it had a pair of indifferent and ruthless eyes. Most
alarming of all, however, were its gigantic arms. They were thick and solid, each sporting meter-long claws that were dark-gold. Faint hissing sounds
could be heard whenever it slashed at the air.
Tang Wulin’s pupils contracted. “The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear!”
If they were to choose a single soul beast that they absolutely didn’t want to encounter, it would be the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear.
Tang Wulin had witnessed an entire pride of Blazing Demon Lions prostrate themselves before it like kittens during their first encounter. It was also the first time his golden dragon claw had been defeated.
That memory had been carved into both his and Xie Xie’s hearts.
In the past three years, they had yet to encounter it again. As a result, they had nearly forgotten about it… until today.
Be it offense, defense, or speed, the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear excelled in everything. Its explosive power dominated both close quarters and long range combat.
Even among other peak-level soul beasts, it stood a step above them. It was a frightening soul beast that could even contend with dragons!
Crimson bloodthirst seeped into the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s cold eyes as it stared at them. It advanced toward them step by step, its body starting to faintly glow.
“I’m the vanguard,” Tang Wulin said. ”You guys assist me. If I’m defeated, exit immediately.”
Tang Wulin strode forward as he spoke, his head held high. He started slow, but gradually he began to run, then he was soon charging forward
Shame settled into Xie Xie’s heart as he stared at Tang Wulin’s valiant figure. Every time danger rear’s its head, he’s the one charging in. No! This time won’t be the same!
Xie Xie dashed to the side, suddenly moving at a high speed.
An ice wheel arced through the air toward the bear while simultaneously, the elements in the air grew increasingly frenzied and started to gather together.
At long last, class zero came to face its greatest opponent yet.
Tang Wulin continued to close the distance between the him and the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear, yet the soul beast came to an abrupt halt.
The ice wheel struck the bear’s head, but it didn’t even blink as icy air descended upon its body and covered it in a layer of frost.
With a booming roar, the bear brandished its claws to swipe at Tang Wulin. The ice wheel’s restraining effect was nothing to it.
Tang Wulin’s right hand transformed into the golden dragon claw and he swung at the bear. He may not have been its match three years ago, but he was different now.
A metallic crash tore through the air. Tang Wulin staggered back seven steps before steadying himself.
During his first clash with a hundred-year Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear, he had been sent flying.
He looked at his claw. It was undamaged, but he had felt a sudden spike in soul power consumption during the clash.
Chapter 238 – Battling the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear
Chapter 238 – Battling the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear
The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear stilled at the odd sensation on his claw. It lowered its head, taken aback when it saw a small nick where his and Tang Wulin’s claws had clashed.
It opened its mouth to release a furious roar that shook the heavens as dark- gold light exploded from its body
Icicles and fireballs rained down upon it, but disintegrated the moment they entered the range of this golden light.
For a Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear, its claw was its most prized possession. Rage coursed through its veins at the thought of its damaged claw.
Xie Xie had made his way to the side. He leapt into the air, his third soul ring lighting up as he silently launched his surprise attack.
His body faded until it almost seemed illusory and in the blink of an eye, separated into three doppelgangers that split up to assault the bear from different angles.
Xie Xie couldn’t have timed it better; he attacked while the bear was still raging over its damaged claw.
Metallic clinks resounded as Xie Xie slashed with his two daggers. Yet, the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear was unmoved and unharmed.
It roared once more, unleashing its golden aura with renewed fury as it spun in place while sweeping out with its claws to repel the three doppelgangers.
The three retreated with haste. Only one succeeded, however; the other two were chopped into pieces and dissipated from existence.
Xie Xie leaped backward. He didn’t dare approach again. This bastard’s defense is too strong.
At that moment, a five-meter-long deep blue spear of ice shot down from the sky straight at the bear’s head.
The ice spear shattered! The bear raised a paw to rub its head, not amused.
Xu Xiaoyan’s expression paled with horror. Her second soul skill, Ice Spear, was her strongest attack! It had taken her brother his third soul ring to gain this skill that boasted formidable single-target firepower, yet the
Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear had simply shrugged it off! She could only imagine how tough its body was.
“Buy me some time,” Gu Yue shouted. Her two hands flew around in a
series of wild gestures, gathering elements to her. Unexpectedly, all three of her soul rings were brightening.
Her first soul skill was Elemental Tide, her second Elemental Control, and her thousand-year third soul skill was called Elemental Fusion!
She bathed in the rainbow-colored light that her three powerful elemental support-type skills released, her countenance akin to a fairy.
The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear chose to act at this moment. Rather than pursuing Xie Xie or attack Xu Xiaoyan, it charged at Tang Wulin with the force of a small mountain. Every one of its claws, now over five meters long, aimed for Tang Wulin’s head!
It resented Tang Wulin for nicking its claws and wanted revenge.
In a flash of blue light, Tang Wulin soared into the air, Bluesilver Impaling Array activating below.
The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear stumbled in the face of such stalagmite-like grass but still managed to slash the escaping Tang Wulin. Clearly, it was not affected by the Bluesilver Impaling Array’s high frequency vibrations.
In reality, the Bluesilver Grass hadn’t even been able to penetrate the soles of its feet!
Tang Wulin pulled on another vine of Bluesilver Grass, changing directions mid air and evading its second attack.
His eyes sparkled at this challenge. Even if it was a stronger Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear, today, he wanted to face it head-to-head.
He twisted around to give Gu Yue a look. An instant later, a disc of ice appeared beneath him. Exerting strength through his legs, he changed
directions mid air once more. Instead of opening up the distance between them, he shot right at it.
The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear was determined to meet him head on and charged straight at him.
A golden spike appeared behind it in a halo of golden light and slammed into the bear’s back, throwing it into the air and momentarily stunning it. Although the spike’s attack didn’t faze the bear, it was tougher than the Bluesilver Impaling Array and broke the bear’s momentum. Tang Wulin swooped in right then, and their two figures overlapped in a flash.
Although The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear lost control of its body, it didn’t
care. The golden spike did not inflict any damage, but its intense vibrations gave the bear a concussion and affected its speed.
It was at this moment that Tang Wulin descended on its head.
The bear waved its arms in an attempt to slash Tang Wulin to death but due to the intense vibrations of the golden Bluesilver Grass, its attacking speed
was slower and its power weaker..
Tang Wulin met the claw with his own once again, a metallic screech ripping through the air as they collided.
Tang Wulin held his ground this time. Aided by both gravity and the effect of his golden grass, they were evenly matched and both of their arms recoiled backward from the clash.
By then, Tang Wulin had landed on its shoulder.
Raising his foot, he kicked the bear’s neck. It felt as if he was kicking a wall of steel; if not for the fact that his body was far stronger than usual, then his foot would have snapped off.
The bear’s head went askew after being kicked and, taking advantage of this, a vine quickly ran up and wound itself around its neck. Tang Wulin grabbed the other end of the vine and turned his body to kick off the bear’s back with all his strength. His muscles rippled with power as he heaved the vine.
Tang Wulin strangled the bear with the vine in midair, causing its attack to fly off mark. Its body, flipped around by Tang Wulin, headed towards the ground.
Tang Wulin grabbed the bear. His muscles worked furiously, using all its strength to bend over backwards and flip them both upside down!
It would have been impossible for Tang Wulin to make such a daring move if they were on the ground as the bear weighing over five thousand kilograms. He would have been stopped dead in his tracks. However, they were in midair and the bear was caught off guard, giving Tang Wulin the
chance to execute such a shocking attack. Boom!
The bear smashed into the ground!
Debris exploded outward. The dust settled a moment later, revealing a
shocking scene. The bear laid on its stomach, Tang Wulin kneeled on its back.
This was possible?
Xie Xie was dumbstruck. That’s a Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear! Yet, Tang Wulin threw it down just like that?
A chilling light gleamed in Tang Wulin’s eyes as he grabbed the bear’s neck with his claws.
The neck was the weakest point of its body, and Tang Wulin had confidence in his claw’s strength.
Chapter 239 – The Final Strike
Chapter 239 – The Final Strike
At that moment, however, the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s body glowed with a golden light again. Tang Wulin’s claws penetrated the light, but the force behind his strike weakened significantly. Though his golden dragon claw could resist the strength of this light, the rest of his body could not.
Before he could slice open the bear’s neck, the light blasted him away.
Even so, he still managed to tear a small chunk of flesh off the bear’s neck before being sent flying. Crimson blood dotted with specks of gold bubbled out of the wound.
The bear bellowed in pain and bolted off of the ground. It had been many years since it had last been injured and hadn’t expected that today, an insignificant human would dare to wound it.
In the end though, its defense was formidable. Even if Tang Wulin could grab it with his claw, there was a chance that the crushing effect would be useless.
Not giving Tang Wulin a chance to regroup, the bear brandished its claws and attacked him. Tang Wulin, still in midair, was helpless to evade. His
death seemed imminent; Xu Xiaoyan’s ice wheel would not make it in time, while Gu Yue was still submerged in the light, preparing her own attack.
Tang Wulin tried to summon his Bluesilver Grass, only to discover that the dark-gold light had disrupted his internal soul power and left it too frenzied to control.
I’m done for. Tang Wulin wore a bitter smile as he bravely faced his impending doom.
Yet at that moment, a figure jumped in front of the bear’s attack.
The figure was instantly torn to shreds, and the protective layer of soul power on his body completely scattered. However, he did manage to save Tang Wulin from this fatal strike.
“Xie Xie!” Tang Wulin cried out. Although no one could truly die in the spirit ascension platform and they were used to the terrifying sensation of death by now, being ripped apart was still an unbearable torture! Xie Xie would suffer terribly from the after-effects.
As Xie Xie drew his last breath, Tang Wulin could see the determination in his eyes.
It was as if Xie Xie was telling him, Avenge me!
Tang Wulin managed to break free of the Duskgold Dreadclaw bear’s influence by using the Mysterious Heaven Method and rolled away from its claw swipes. Despite his red eyes and emotional torment, Tang Wulin
continued to dodge while sending vine after vine of Bluesilver Grass after the bear.
The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear was overcome with bloodlust after being wounded and completely ignored Xu Xiaoyan and Gu Yue in favor of pursuing Tang Wulin.
Though Tang Wulin’s clothes were already in tatters and exhaustion weighed him down like shackles, his eyes shined with resolution.
Xie Xie, I will avenge you!
With Xu Xiaoyan occasionally shooting ice spears at the bear as artillery support and taking advantage of the terrain, Tang Wulin successfully
evaded all of the bear’s attacks by a hair’s width.
“Wulin!” Tang Wulin’s eyes lit up when he heard this lovely voice.
The Bluesilver Impaling Array appeared once more. This time though, instead of targeting the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear, it was aimed at Tang Wulin himself! The spikes boosted him up into the air, neatly avoiding the bear’s attack!
At that same instant, four brilliant rays of blue, red, yellow and green light surrounded the bear. They spun around it before transforming into mystical four-colored chains that bound it in place
The bear howled in rage as it sensed this. Dark-gold light surged out of its body, only to be routed by the elemental chains that prevented it from breaking free.
This elemental lock could barely hold the bear for a second; blood seeped from the corner of Gu Yue’s mouth as she struggled to maintain it.
Tang Wulin dropped from the sky headfirst in a golden blur, his claws in front of him to slice the bear’s head.
Though his claws managed to penetrate the fur, the bear’s incomparably hard skull blocked his attack.
Tang Wulin was stunned. Don’t tell me even my dragon claw can’t kill it?
The bear snarled as it struggled free from the chains. They shattered into thousands of multi-colored lights that twinkled like the starry sky. Blood gushed out of Gu Yue’s mouth and she collapsed in Xu Xiaoyan’s arms.
“Die already!” Tang Wulin, eyes bloodshot and growling, channeled all his strength into his claws.
His claws trembled. Then sharp cracking sounds could be heard.. A moment later, the raised arms of the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear went limp.
Tang Wulin slumped down, his claws no longer latched onto the bear’s
skull. His claw’s crushing effect had activated at the most crucial moment.
The bear’s ruthless pair of eyes lost their spark of life as its body slowly fell over.
Strangely, its body did not transform into spirit energy like other soul beasts but into a dark-gold light that gradually took form.
Tang Wulin disregarded this strange phenomenon. He leapt off the bear before it collapsed and dashed over to Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan’s side.
“Gu Yue, are you okay?” His voice was tinged with anxiety.
Gu Yue’s eyes were shut tight and her complexion pale, but a faint smile
could be seen on her lips. Seeing this smile, Tang Wulin let out a breath of relief. Everything would be fine as long as she was still alive.
“Let’s go back now. We need to check on Xie Xie.” The thought of Xie Xie made him anxious. Xie Xie sacrificed himself for me.
Just as he was about to slap the button on the back of his hand, Xu Xiaoyan tugged on his arm. “Captain, what is that?”
She pointed in the direction the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear. Tang Wulin’s gaze followed her finger, thinking something had happened with the
Duskgold Dreadclaw bear. Its body had indeed disappeared into particles of dark-gold light, but in its place was a twinkling dark-gold light.
He stood up and quickly made his way over.
He was stunned by what he saw on the ground.
It was something he had never seen before. It resembled the bones of a human hand, but the dark-gold cloud pattern seemed to suggest it was forged from some alloy. Even more confusing was that this item was clearly not metal and felt like a living thing.
Tang Wulin stooped down to pick it up. Wow! This bone is heavy! He returned to the other two.
“What is this? Do you know?” Tang Wulin asked Xu Xiaoyan.
Xu Xiaoyan was also at a loss as she examined the dark-gold bone. “I don’t know either. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“It’s a soul bone,” Gu Yue feebly said. She had regained consciousness some time ago and had already opened her eyes.
“A soul bone?” Tang Wulin and Xu Xiaoyan trembled at the words. Of
course they knew what a soul bone was; it was one of the rarest items in the world of soul masters!
Soul bones and soul rings had their similarities and differences. Soul rings were tied to one’s cultivation, and once one reached the limit, they would need another soul ring to continue cultivating.
Soul bones, on the other hand, were not essential to soul masters and
wouldn’t affect one’s cultivation. Since ancient times, however, soul bones were the symbol of a powerful soul master as soul bones improved the soul master’s body while also granting a soul skill related to it.
The bone in Tang Wulin’s grip was clearly for the right hand. If it truly was a soul bone, then fusing with it would greatly boost the power of one’s right hand and grant a soul skill related to one’s right hand.
“This is a soul bone? Why did a soul bone appear? This is the spirit
ascension platform. Isn’t this an illusory world?’ Tang Wulin asked in
confusion. This soul bone was like spirit energy, it had form. So just why then, did it appear in the spirit ascension platform?
Chapter 240 – Spirit Ascension Platform Guardian
Chapter 240 – Spirit Ascension Platform Guardian
Gu Yue shook her head in a gentle manner. “No. As far as I know, the spirit ascension platform isn’t a true illusory world. It’s actually a mix of illusions and reality. The elementary level is the least authentic, but that’s not to say it’s entirely fake. If not, how could we absorb spirit energy?”
“Since a soul bone appeared, that means the beast we just killed was a spirit ascension platform guardian.”
“Spirit ascension platform guardian? What do you mean?” Tang Wulin asked. Clearly, Gu Yue was privy to many details unknown by outsiders.
Gu Yue said, “Whether it is the elementary, intermediate, or advanced level, each possesses a guardian. The spirit ascension platform is actually one
entity split into three sections with different entrances. To separate the levels and to prevent soul masters from crossing over to another section, the Spirit Pagoda designates a guardian per level. Only an extremely formidable soul beast can be given such a title.
“In theory, no one with less than five rings should be able to kill that Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear. They never expected it to die by our hands.
Also, because the guardians are more powerful than normal beasts, they require much more energy as well as a soul bone to create. Basically, the true reward for killing it is its soul bone. You can’t bring it outside of the spirit ascension platform, so you better fuse with the soul bone here.
There’s no other way to keep it with you.”
Tang Wulin was dumbstruck. “But I didn’t kill it alone. We brought it down together. Anyone can fuse with it, not just me…”
Gu Yue rolled her eyes. “Just what are you thinking in that head of yours? Do you think my body is strong enough? Do you think fusing with the soul bone of a Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear is a walk in the park? None of us are compatible with it, so even if we tried, we’d be devoured. Maybe even killed. Then the soul bone would be wasted. You’re the only one who can absorb it and furthermore, there’s a chance it’ll complement your golden dragon claw. Now chop chop. We don’t have all day.”
“But like you said, I already have my golden dragon claw. Wouldn’t it be a waste to add on the Duskgold Dreadclaw?” Hesitation still gripped him, the uneasy and indecisive thoughts running circles in his mind.
Gu Yue frowned. “Of course not. In fact, it’ll strengthen your dragon claw even more. The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s strongest part is its right claw. What’s more amazing is that its core is the right claw soul bone. What we have here should be an external soul bone and not one of the normal six.”
Typically, soul masters could fuse with up to six soul bones: the skull, the torso, and the four limb bones.
However, there were some peculiar or variant soul bones outside of the typical six. These were the external soul bones, and they were far more precious.
“Captain, you should just go for it. If it wasn’t for you, we never would have been able to penetrate the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear’s defenses. Your attack power is crucial to our team.” Xu Xiaoyan urged him on.
Relative to her teammates, Xu Xiaoyan’s body was the weakest. Coupled with the nature of her abilities, she was the least compatible with the soul bone. Were Xie Xie still alive, he would have declined modestly as well.
Tang Wulin nodded. He sat down cross-legged and gripped the bone in his hand.
The process of fusing with a soul bone was identical to that of fusing with a spirit soul; he needed to draw it into himself with his soul power.
As he activated the Mysterious Heaven Method, his soul power surged into the precious item within his hands, emanating a dim glow. A black radiance emerged from the bone, blending with golden specks of light.
At first, the soul bone levitated above his palm. Yet as the seconds ticked by, a white luminescence drew it into his outstretched hand. The bone grew increasingly transparent, losing its dark hues, as if it was carved from golden crystal. Eventually, the light show came to an end, and the soul bone’s morphological traits transformed.
Scales appeared across Tang Wulin’s arms, rippling through his muscles and adding a golden tint throughout the white soul power.
The soul bone trembled like it was sentient, as if refusing by its own volition to merge with this unfamiliar body.
To combat this, Tang Wulin shot ethereal strands of gold out of his palm, which latched onto the soul bone.
The soul bone stopped trembling at once and merged into his hand.
Now the scales on his arm glowed with a dark-gold luster. The radiance flowed back and forth like a tidal wave, splashes of gold and dark-gold interweaving together.
Tang Wulin’s breathing came intermittently, rough at one moment and tranquil at another, the energy continuing to transform with no bounds. Then, everything became still.
No longer did his scales gleam a dark gold. They reverted back to a dull golden hue, as if the previous color had never existed in the first place. For that reason, Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan could not discern any changes in his right hand. It did not seem stronger at all.
“It’s done?” Xu Xiaoyan asked Gu Yue, skepticism clouding her eyes.
Gu Yue was also at a loss. “I don’t know! It seems so. But I don’t really see a difference.”
At those words, Tang Wulin opened his eyes slowly, revealing a similar trace of doubt.
He had been hit with the same impression as his teammates while he fused with the soul bone. In the beginning, he felt the spiraling wild energy
within, though it was suppressed by his bloodline instantly.
He had thought that it would be as painful as breaking a seal. Never in his dreams did he expect it to be so easy.
This feeling did not sit well with him; it reeked of unaltered circumstances. Perhaps his golden dragon claw didn’t improve as much as he had hoped.
Tang Wulin sprang up like a spring, glaring at his right hand with a frown tugging at his lips. My hand and blood feel a bit stronger, but just by a tiny amount. It’s nowhere near what should have happened by fusing with a soul bone.
“How about you test it out?” Seeing the doubt written on his face, Gu Yue inquired as she took his side.
Tang Wulin responded by nodding. He rolled his hand into a fist, knuckles glowing white as he punched the air. A sonic boom rang through the open space.
Following that, his arm swelled with power as twinkling golden scales popped from his skin.
He closed his eyes, recalling the sensation of that punch. “My strength has increased by about twenty percent.”
Disappointment painted Gu Yue’s face. Although twenty percent wasn’t
something to scoff at, this was an external soul bone they’re talking about! The only thing that beat an external soul bone in rarity was a ten-thousand-
year soul ring! A measly twenty percent increase in power was simply inexcusable.
“Is there a soul skill?” Gu Yue asked.
Tang Wulin shook his head. When a soul master merged with a soul ring, he would know right away if a new soul skill hid beneath the shadows. With practice, mastering the new soul skill would be as easy.