Chapter 173 – Low-Grade Heaven-Step
Na Yi was able to see the awkward dilemma that she put Lin Ming in. From the start, it had been hopeless to think that Lin Ming would ever be able to defeat Chi Guda. There was simply too large a disparity between a Bone Forging stage martial artist and one that was in the Pulse Condensation Period, not to mention that Chi Guda was already a half-step into the Houtian realm.
In her opinion, the limit of Lin Ming’s strength should be at the Bone Forging stage, there was simply too large a difference when compared to an early Pulse Condensation Period martial artist.
She said, “I’m not asking for you to kill him now. I can wait three or five years.”
To Na Yi, it would already be a heavenly miracle if Lin Ming was able to defeat Chi Guda within 3 or 5 years. Lin Ming was only 15 years old. If he was able to achieve power equivalent to a half-step Houtian realm martial artist at 20, that would already create a new record within the last few centuries of the Southern Wilderness!
Lin Min did not explain what his thoughts were. He said to Na YI, “Before anything is decided, wait until I come out from the Sorcerer Pagoda to plan again.”
Lin Ming did not know how much of the Sorcerer Pagoda’s legacy he would receive, or how much his strength would increase. There was no sense in making any rash promises at this moment.
“Give me the Sorcerer’s key.” Lin Ming said. He took the pendant in his hand, gripped the Heavy Profound Soft Spear, and strode towards the Sorcerer Pagoda.
The best time for one to enter the Sorcerer Pagoda was at 16 years of age. Lin Ming was only 2 months shy of 16. Now would be the best time for him to participate in the trials here.
The Sorcerer Pagoda was several hundred feet high, and emitted a milky jade-colored light from all over. At the top of the pagoda there was a large ocean-blue sphere that sent out a dazzling azure light. This sphere was also in the pattern of an eye, similar to the pendant that Lin Ming was now holding.
The door was arched, with a ten foot tall sculpture on both sides. The sculptures were carvings of ancient mythical god beasts. Inside the gate was a vast, limitless whiteness; it was impossible to clearly see inside.
As Lin Ming approached the Sorcerer Pagoda, he was able to feel an incomparably pure and rich heaven and earth origin energy. heaven and earth origin energy was the basis for all martial arts cultivation. The so-called true essence was simply the conversion of heaven and earth origin energy to one’s own energy. True essence stones were also condensed from heaven and earth origin energy. Regardless of whether it was the Body Transformation stage, the Houtian realm, or even the Xiantian realm, a martial artist’s cultivation would always originate from heaven and earth origin energy.
“What a dense heaven and earth origin energy. If I were to practice here, then I would have twice the results with half the effort.”
As Lin Ming greedily absorbed the heaven and earth origin energy around him, he stepped into the Sorcerer Pagoda.
The scene around him suddenly changed. Lin Ming arrived at a completely black empty space. The ground underneath him was a giant platform of hard jade, and when he lifted his head he could actually the stars brightly shining overhead. The faint starlight fell down from the sky and onto the jade ground as if it were silver gossamer threads.
The illusionary world inside of the pagoda was extremely beautiful. However, the heaven and earth origin energy inside of the tower was much thinner; it was about the same as the lands outside the Sorcerer Holy Land.
“There is actually less heaven and earth origin energy inside the pagoda?” Lin Ming felt this was a bit incomprehensible. He assumed that the heaven and earth origin energy would be much richer inside of the pagoda.
“The inside of the Sorcerer Pagoda is more or less like the Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda.”
Lin Ming recalled that he had also encountered such a scene when he first entered into the Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda.
He also recalled that from the time he had participated in the Seven Profound Martial House’s entrance examination until now, only 4 months had passed.
In less than six months of time, Lin Ming’s strength had already undergone an enormous earth-shaking change. He had gone from being a tender youth at the early Flesh Training stage to now, where his strength was comparable to an early Pulse Condensation Period martial artist.
Lin Ming did not dare to say that he was the strongest amongst all of his peers, but in terms of progress, he was the fastest within the entire Sky Spill Continent!
“It seems the so-called Sorcerer’s will is how far one can reach in the Sorcerer Pagoda. I wonder how far a 15 year old with strength at the early Pulse Condensation Period would be able to go in the Exquisite Pagoda now.”
The Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda was different from the Ten Thousand Killing Array. In the Ten Thousand Killing Array the strength of the enemy didn’t change. However, in the Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda, the strength of the enemies was decided by one’s age; the greater one’s age, the stronger the enemy.
So in the Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda, only talent was measured!
At first, the elder responsible for the Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda trial had spoken and said that in order to qualify, one only had to pass through the first level of the Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda. The second level was considered good, the third level was considered excellent, the fourth level was a genius, and the fifth level – it was simply impossible!
The elder had only said this because he clearly understood the strength of the candidates. Throughout the past several decades of the Seven Profound Martial House, only Qin Xingxuan was able to pass the fifth level.
Lin Ming had barely managed to reach the fifth level, but he hadn’t managed to pass it.
As he thought of the past, Lin Ming’s heart was filled with a burning desire and rising fighting spirit. Now he wanted to see just how high his own talent would be!
“Weapon, spear! Nine feet nine inches, 1200 jins, created from heavy profound soft silver!”
As Lin Ming placed out his hand, a silver long spear fell into his grip. Although the appearance was the exact same as the Heavy Profound Soft Spear, this spear was a lower quality treasure, and he would just be able to pour his true essence into it.
The Sorcerer Pagoda was a test of a martial artist’s talent. Things like treasure weapons, treasure armors, or any influence one could have from the outside world, was pushed down to the barest minimum; this was not the same as the Ten Thousand Killing Array.
At this moment, a phantom started to congeal in front of Lin Ming, becoming more and more solid. This one was a martial artist dressed all in black, holding a sword. His cultivation was at the peak Second Stage of Body Transformation.
Lin Ming remembered that when he had rushed up the Seven Treasures Exquisite Pagoda, the first enemy he had encountered was at the early Second Stage of Body Transformation. Now, the enemy was much more formidable than before. Apparently this was due to him having grown older.
The black clothed martial artist rushed at Lin Ming. Lin Ming did not even bother to use his spear he merely fired out a punch and more than 100 vibrating true essence filaments flew out of his fist and submerged into the martial artist’s body like poisonous snakes.
The martial artist simply fell to the ground with a single puff, and died.
To the Lin Ming of now, a martial artist whose cultivation was at the peak Second Stage of Body Transformation was simply too laughable.
The truth was, for a 15 or 16 year old to have cultivation at the peak Second Stage of Body Transformation was already quite good.
For instance, Na Yi and Na Shui, who had reached the Viscera Training stage at 15 years old, were already considered rare talents.
Qin Xingxuan, who had achieved the Bone Forging stage at 15 years old, was a monstrous genius.
As for Lin Ming, who had reached the Altering Muscle stage at only 15 years old, but whose real combat prowess was comparable to a Pulse Condensation Period martial artist; that was simply too terrifying for human words!
The first pass was simply too easy. Lin Ming lifted his foot and prepared to enter the second level, but at this time, Lin Ming felt that the martial artist he had just killed had broken down into an invisible energy that entered his body. This energy was rejuvenating like a spring rain, nourishing all of Lin Ming’s limbs and bones, and spreading through his flesh and blood, deep into his organs. Even his unopened meridians seemed to have loosened a bit.
“Mm?” Lin Ming’s mind stirred. “Is this the power of the Sorcerer? I get it! The power of the Sorcerer is simply the purified version of extremely condensed heaven and earth origin energy. In the Sorcerer Pagoda, the reason that the heaven and earth origin energy is thin is because it is condensed into these phantom martial artists! The more phantoms that I kill, the more pure heaven and earth origin energy I can absorb! This is simply too magical!”
As Lin Ming revolved his true essence, he was pleasantly surprised to find that heaven and earth origin energy had caused his Altering Muscle stage cultivation to become more stable. He had a faint feeling that he was making great steps towards the Large Success state of Altering Muscle.
Lin Ming was overjoyed. The 72 Sorcerer Pagodas that this mighty elder had constructed were simply too marvelous. This mighty elder must have been amazing to be able to invent this sort of method for one to gain heaven and earth origin energy. Presumably, this entire Sorcerer Pagoda was one giant array that gathered heaven and earth origin energy.
However, the true essence that could be condensed here was limited; it was no wonder that only the chosen witches were able to enter into the Sorcerer Pagoda and inherit the power within.
Lin Ming lifted his foot and appeared in the second level of the Sorcerer Pagoda. The enemy here was a black-clothed martial artist at the Third Stage of Body Transformation.
In terms of cultivation, this was the standard for a 15 year old genius. When Wang Yanfeng had participated in the Seven Profound Martial House entrance examination, he was also at the early Third Stage of Body Transformation.
Just as the black-clothed martial artist appeared, Lin Ming flicked a finger and 800 vibrating true essence threads broke into the martial artist’s body, directly smashing all of his organs!
In the first few levels of the Sorcerer Pagoda, Lin Ming didn’t want to waste any excess energy. This was because starting from the fourth level, the difficulty of the Sorcerer Pagoda would experience a steep rise.
Lin Ming absorbed this heaven and earth origin energy once more, and his true essence thickened even further.
Lin Ming was unstoppable. In the third level of the Sorcerer Pagoda, two peak Viscera Training black-clothed martial artists appeared.
Lin Ming shook the silver spear, and erupted with Golden Roc Shattering the Void. He instantly appeared in front of the two black-clothed martial artists, and before they could even respond, they had been completely stabbed to death by his spear!
As he absorbed the energy of these two, Lin Ming felt that the true essence within his body had reached a limiting point. If he grew just a bit more, he would be able to break through to the Large Success stage of Altering Muscle.
Lin Ming though, “The power of the Sorcerer within the Sorcerer Pagoda is truly formidable. It’s only because my cultivation is too high and my true essence is too thick. If my cultivation was at the Viscera Training stage, I probably would have already broken through the stage after reaching the third level.”
At this moment, the space in front of Lin Ming began to shimmer. A blood-red ball emerged from thin air. This sphere was a foot in diameter, and was completely covered in layers of intricate patterns. On the area of the sphere facing Lin Ming, he could see that there was a circular indent that matched the Sorcerer’s key.
Na Yi had said that only with the Sorcerer’s key would one be able to open up the fourth level. Otherwise, they would be restricted to the first three levels.
Lin Ming took out the Sorcerer’s key from his spatial ring, and carefully placed in within that indent.
At that moment, the key seemed to melt into the sphere, and the crimson orb began to emit a flaming red light.
Near Lin Ming’s ear, he could hear a series of incantations. These incantations were same as the prayers that Na Yi had been reciting earlier.
“Mm? This incantation…”
Lin Ming’s heart shook like an earthquake was resonating within. When Na Yi had first opened the transmission array of the Sorcerer Holy Land, and opened the door to the Sorcerer Pagoda, she had also recited a similar incantation. But because Na Yi’s words were somewhat vague and mumbling, Lin Ming hadn’t been paying much attention, and thought that it was only a prayer of sort that was passed down by the Sorcerer’s teachings.
But now that the incantation directly resounded near Lin Ming’s ear, he was able to clearly hear each and every syllable. This incantation was language from the Realm of the Gods!
Lin Ming had absorbed the souls of two mighty elders from the Realm of the Gods. Although they were just small pieces of the originals, with these two combined, Lin Ming was able to generally understand the language of the Realm of the Gods.
Inside the sphere, a monotone voice began to sound out. “Talent rank evaluation: low-grade Heaven-step. Requirements for transmission acquired!”
Lin Ming was shocked. Even talents could be assessed according to different criteria?
And he was a low-grade Heaven-step talent!
Although Lin Ming didn’t know what it meant to be a low-grade Heaven-step talent, what he was certain of was that within the entire Sky Fortune Kingdom, Southern Wilderness, or even the 200,000 miles of land that were ruled by the Seven Profound Valleys, there weren’t many at his age that could surpass his strength!
And what did it mean for him to meet the requirements for transmission? Just where would the transmission array send him?