Chapter 233 – Earth-step Treasure
Liang Long thought that Lin Ming and Ling Sen were freakish enough. Even if they couldn’t obtain first place, he assumed that it would still be a piece of cake for them to reach the top 20 or 30. For himself, making the top 100 was already a great honor he could return home with. But now it looked like out of all these hundreds of people, he was one of the worst.
If he ranked lower than 400 or 500, it would be a deep shame. How could he explain it once he returned home?
Liang Long hadn’t even spoken again when the next words of Qin Ziya caused his heart to sink to the bottom of the ocean. Qin Ziya said, “The Total Faction’s Martial Meeting will be held at the Seven Profound Valleys’ Profound Sky Mountain Range. Before the Martial Meeting starts, there will be a checkpoint barrier; at least 60% of participants will be eliminated. Only those that pass through will have the qualifications to enter the Profound Sky Mountains.”
“60%?” Liang Long’s mouth fell open. Did that mean he wouldn’t even have the chance to pass through the mountain gate?
If he went to the Total Faction Martial Meeting and couldn’t even pass through the door, then that would be an absolute family shame that even his grandma would feel!
If this news spread throughout the family, then where would he have face to see anyone? Wouldn’t he just become the family joke? Liang Long was known as the future head of the Liang Family, there were many people who were jealous of his position. If he became a joke, then all sorts of baseless rumors would be spread!
As he turned around to look at Zhou Yu, he saw that Zhou Yu was also forcing a smile. Even Zhou Yu was worrying about whether or not he would pass through the gate.
The family head always said that there was a heaven above the heavens, and there were always people that stood above others. Now he finally understood that let alone him, there were even monsters that were stronger than Qin Xingxuan.
“Martial House Master, this…”
“What’s the matter?”
Liang Long wanted to say the he wished to abstain from the meeting. Since he couldn’t even pass through the gate, there was no point in going just to shame himself. But seeing Qin Ziya’s eyes sweep past him, Liang Long felt his mind numb and his body go cold. He could only gulp and change his words. “When do we leave?”
“We will go early tomorrow morning. You will go back and prepare. Tomorrow, we will take the Heavenly Wind Eagles to get there. Do you have any other questions?”
Lin Ming was silent for a moment, and then he said, “Martial House Master Qin, I have a question.”
“What is the prize?”
As soon as this question was asked, Liang Long and Zhou Yu both shrank their necks. They had both been worrying about how to pass through the mountain gate and not lose face after returning to their family in shame, but Lin Ming had actually opened his big mouth and asked what the prize would be. This was really the difference in their positions, their thoughts were just too different.
Qin Ziya gave Lin Ming an appreciative look and said, “The reward for first place is a Heaven Opening Pill! However, you won’t immediately receive this Heaven Opening Pill. First you must officially join the Seven Profound Valleys and then reach the peak Houtian realm. Afterwards it will be given to you. I won’t go into unnecessary details about how valuable the Heaven Opening Pill is.”
“Besides the Heaven Opening Pill, there are also some low-grade Earth-step treasures. There are offensive treasures and defensive treasures of all sorts. Second through fifth place will not receive a Heaven Opening Pill, but they will be rewarded with a low-grade Earth-step treasure. Sixth through tenth place will receive a Sky Spirit Pill, which is also a top-quality medicinal pill. As for eleventh through thirtieth place, they will receive a high-grade human-step treasure and an Earth Spirit Pill…”
Lin Ming’s mind stirred as soon as he heard ‘Earth-step treasure’. “They have many different types of treasure? Do they have a spear?”
Qin Ziya smiled and said, “Your weapon simply takes advantages of others. A spear’s value is several times that of other weapons of the same step. Still, you can rest assured that the Seven Profound Valleys has been established for many years, and they have a deep heritage; naturally, they will have a spear!
Lin Ming clenched his fists.
Qin Ziya saw Lin Ming’s enthusiastic look and couldn’t help musing to himself. This boy won’t make first place. Although Lin Ming is strong, reaching first place is just too distant a goal. There are many middle Pulse Condensation, late Pulse Condensation, and even peak Pulse Condensation masters. How could a peak Bone Forging martial artist ever take first place?
What Qin Ziya didn’t know was that ever since Lin Ming had met Mu Qianyu, in Lin Ming’s eyes, these so called ‘talents’ of the Seven Profound Valleys weren’t even worth mentioning.
Mu Qianyu reached Pulse Condensation at 15, Houtian at 17, Xiantian at 22, extreme Xiantian at 26, and now at 27 she was a half-step into the Revolving Dan realm.
At 22 years of age, talents of the Seven Profound Valleys were just beginning to attempt their breakthrough to the Houtian Realm, but Mu Qianyu had already stepped into the Xiantian realm!
This difference was simply like cloud and mud!
If he couldn’t defeat these professed talent of the Seven Profound Valleys, then what was the point in reaching for the peak of martial arts?
Seven hundred thousand miles away, Seven Profound Valleys.
The tens of thousands of miles of the Profound Sky Mountains were just like a towering black dragon. In the center of the Seven Profound territory of the Profound Sky Mountains was the Absolute Sword Peak. This mountain peak was 60,000 feet high and incredibly steep. The cliffs in all directions were almost vertical; it was as if the entire Absolute Sword Peak was made of 60,000 feet high sharp swords, piercing the heavens!
This Absolute Sword Peak was the center of the Seven Profound Valleys’ Sword Faction. With the Absolute Sword Peak as the center, there were also 12 surrounding smaller peaks that circled around like a constellation.
In the thick high clouds there was a majestic and grand main hall. The outside of the main hall was layered with hundreds of feet of blue stone tiles. In the middle of these tiles was a massive 200 foot sword that stabbed the ground.
Although this giant sword was just a carved statue, it was entirely made of darksteel and weighed hundreds of thousands of jins. If there really was a giant capable of pulling this sword up from the ground, it could truly be used for slaughtering one’s enemies.
Under this great sword, the Sword Faction Sovereign stood there with his hands crossed behind his back. He was looking at an 18 or 19 year old youth in front of him. His eyebrows were slanted up like scimitars and his aura was impressive.
“During the last Martial Meeting, you were defeated by the Acacia Faction’s Ouyang Ming. Now, after three years, Ouyang Ming has already reached the peak of Pulse Condensation. He will be your greatest opponent.”
The youth was silent for a moment, then he said, “Ouyang Ming is not my greatest opponent.”
“Mm? Then who will you take as your opponent?”
“My greatest opponent is only myself!” As the young man said this, his eyes shone with brilliance, “If during this Martial Meeting I can’t even defeat the talents of a third-grade sect, what is the point of me thinking of climbing to the peak of swordsmanship?”
Though he and Lin Ming were separated by several hundred thousand miles, words similar to those that were said by Lin Ming slowly came from this young man’s lips.
“Haha! Well said! You are truly my son! Then during this Martial Meeting I will only have one expectation – you will win first place!”
At the same time, just a hundred miles away at the main peak of the Acacia Faction, there was another young man around 20 years old that was looking down on the cloudy mountains, as if he was disdaining everything beneath him.
This young man was the one mentioned by the Sword Faction youth, Ouyang Ming.
“Ming’er, you are the most splendidly talented disciple that has come from the Acacia Faction in the last 100 years. This is the last Martial Meeting you can participate in before you are too old. I hope that you will be able to attain first place!”
Behind Ouyang Ming was a beautiful woman. This elegant lady was none other than Ouyang Ming’s mother. Although she was already over 50 years old, her appearance was no different to a young girl in her twenties.
“This time I am destined to be first place. I had actually hoped that Su Ran hadn’t surpassed the age limit; I was hoping to have a match against him. This is such a pity!”
The age limit for the Seven Profound Valleys’ Total Faction disciples to participate in the Martial Meeting was 20 years, two years less than the disciples from outside. This was the last time that Ouyang Ming would be able to participate in the Total Faction Martial Meeting.
“Achieving first place is good enough. As for the battle between you and Su Ran, you must win, otherwise it will frustrate your spirit.”
“I understand, Mother.”
“Also, do not lower your guard and underestimate others. The Zither Faction’s Qin Wuxin’s cultivation has reached the peak of Pulse Condensation. Although the Zither Faction doesn’t have many disciples, their skills and abilities are the most difficult to handle. There is also the Refiner Faction’s Han Yanluo. The Refiner Faction Sovereign has paid a great price in order to force a Flame Essence into Han Yanluo’s body using a special method. This man cannot be looked down upon!”
“I know, Mother.”
Although the Seven Factions of the Seven Profound Valleys were united together due to common interests, there was still infighting among them. They constantly struggled for power, treasure, resources, talent, pills, manuals, and other things…
Sometimes there were conflicts that escalated to the point of fighting. In regards to this, even the Seven Profound Valleys’ Valley Master couldn’t do anything. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Valley Master had excellent cultivation and also the backing of the Ancestor, then there would be no one that even cared about him.
The Seven Profound Valleys had many worries, and these things weren’t necessarily unsolvable, they just had to be changed to a certain extent. For instance, the assignment of resources in the Seven Profound Valleys must have a method to distribute resources.
200 years ago, the old Valley Master decreed that every three years there would be a Total Faction Martial Meeting. The overall assignment of resources would be given out according to results of the disciples, then, nobody could oppose it.
Therefore the Seven Factions consumed a massive amount of resources and took great care in order to raise the ultimate direct disciple and use them to aim for the first place of the Total Faction Martial Meeting.
The direct disciple was chosen from the most talented individuals of the younger generation, and then unlimited resources were poured into them. The Sovereign would personally aid in their cultivation, and they would receive any sort of core cultivation method or ability they desired.
For the last 200 years, almost all of the first place titles of the Total Faction Martial Meeting were taken by a direct disciple of the Seven Factions. There were only a few exceptions, but those were also caused by other disciples of the Total Faction.
As for disciples outside of the Seven Profound Valleys, they had never achieved first place. Let alone first place, they hadn’t even reached the top 10. To the disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys, those so-called talents that came from the 36 countries and second-grade martial families were nothing more than country bumpkins. At most they would be slightly stronger than a janitor who swept the floor.
The direct disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys had only ever considered each other as their opponents. They hadn’t even deigned to consider the disciples that were from the outside.
Sky Fortune Kingdom was 200,000 miles away from the Seven Profound Valleys’ Total Faction. It would take over a dozen days to get there, even riding a Heavenly Wind Eagle.
Qin Ziya led a line of people to the Seven Profound Martial House’s departure station. There were already a row of Heavenly Wind Eagles waiting there, and not only that, but they were of the finest quality. Their flying speed would be much quicker than an ordinary Heavenly Wind Eagle.
As soon as Qin Ziya waved his hand, Lin Ming leapt onto a Heavenly Wind Eagle. With a keening screech, the Heavenly Wind Eagle shot into the sky, a billowing cloud of snow following in its wake.
The cold wind whistled in one’s ears. In a few breaths, the Heavenly Wind Eagles had already risen a thousand feet into the sky. If one leaned over to look, they could see the endless earth carpeted by a pure white blanket. This snowy-white extended all the way to the ends of the horizon. The touching scene gave birth to a desolate heroic feeling in one’s heart.
Because the Heavenly Wind Eagle was so fast, the snowflakes that struck the face were just like blades. Lin Ming put up a shield of true essence around himself, blocking the wind and snow.
The Heavenly Wind Eagle flew faster and faster, a clarion cry sounded out like a joyous song, echoing between the ends of heaven and earth…