Chapter 241 – A Gathering of Heroes
Lin Ming quickly flew to the middle of the jade steps. At this time, he heard a cold voice sound out from behind him. “Boy, you have a little skill, it seems I underestimated you.”
Lin Ming turned around to see Huoluo Nation’s Wang Mu following him from behind, not too far away. He looked quite relaxed. Apparently, he hadn’t used much effort.
“Thank you. You’re not that bad yourself.” Lin Ming casually said.
Hearing Lin Ming’s casual tone, Wang Mu coldly snorted and said, “Let’s see just how long you’ll be so arrogant for.”
As one neared the middle of the jade steps, the number of martial artists increased. There were some martial artists pacing back and forth here, their advance extremely slow.
Although Lin Ming thought that there was something unusual about this, he didn’t slow down. He headed towards the gate with the same speed as before.
‘Come on, you’re going up so fast, I want to see when you’re beaten.’ Wang Mu cursed in his heart. There was a small trap in the middle of the jade steps. If one wasn’t careful, it would be easy to suffer a shameful loss. Although this wasn’t enough to defeat someone with Lin Ming’s strength, this failure was enough to make him feel much better about himself.
The surrounding martial artists also saw Lin Ming rushing straight up towards the middle of the jade steps and harbored schadenfreude in their minds. “This kid probably doesn’t know there’s a trap waiting for him.”
“Even a seasoned Pulse Condensation period martial artist has to be prepared for it, otherwise it’s too easy to be caught off guard.”
Everyone was using true essence sound transmissions in order to talk, they weren’t very happy after being surpassed.
As soon as Lin Ming’s foot stepped on the middle of the jade steps, he discovered that something was wrong there. Even Ouyang Ming and Jiang Baoyun had stopped there for several breaths of time instead of making their way through in one breath.
“So there’s a separate illusionary killing array here…” Lin Ming thought as he saw the symbols on the jade steps suddenly flare up and an origin energy air current begin to flow forth from the array formation, coming completely perpendicular as it tried to impact him.
Lin Ming swept out with his soul force and saw that the air current was roughly equivalent to the all-out attack of the weakest Pulse Condensation period martial artist. Although it would be simple to block it, dodging it would require much less effort.
As he activated Golden Roc Shattering the Void, Lin Ming’s body felt like a feather underneath the influence of the Concept of Wind. With his overwhelmingly fast movements, he was able to completely dodge all of the origin energy air currents. Because he was too quick, Lin Ming’s body turned into a series of afterimages. Soon, he reached the middle of the turbulent origin energy air currents, and in a few more moments of time he completely bypassed all of them.
“He dodged all of them?”
“How could he possibly dodge all of them? Even if a seasoned Pulse Condensation period martial artist arrived at this point, he would still have to use his thick true essence in order to resist the attack. The gravity here is too strong, it’s impossible to hide.”
“What a freakish movement technique. In terms of movement technique, he’s no weaker than any of the talents in the Seven Profound Valleys. I wonder just how different his combat ability is.”
The several young outstanding talents discussed amongst themselves. At this point, a white-clothed youth smiled and said, “You’re wrong. The reason he was able to dodge the origin energy air currents was not because he used his movement technique, but because he has a powerful soul force. He figured out the pathing of the origin energy air currents with his soul force, and was able to calculate the path to take in order to not be struck by any of them. This person is a soul force genius. I saw him in Desert Flower Hall using his soul force. Against a martial artist with his cultivation, he can defeat any of them in a second, even the Seven Profound Valleys’ Ouyang Ziyun.”
“What? He instantly defeated Ouyang Ziyun? I see, so that’s how it is… I heard that the Acacia Faction’s Ouyang Ziyun had been done in by someone, it looks like it was this fellow…”
Many of the Seven Profound disciples present had already heard the news that Ouyang Ziyun had been severely wounded. The disciples of the other Six Factions would certainly not miss an opportunity to laugh at the Acacia Faction. Therefore the news of Ouyang Ziyun’s severe injuries had quickly spread all throughout the Seven Profound Valleys.
After some discussion, the nearby martial artists were all secretly paying attention to Lin Ming, especially the early Pulse Condensation period martial artists. They began to think of admitting defeat in advance if they encountered Lin Ming; they didn’t believe they were any stronger than Ouyang Ziyun.
After Lin Ming crossed the checkpoint in the middle of the jade stairs, there were no more obstacles ahead. Lin Ming rose straight up like a cloud, quickly reaching the mountain gate. Because Lin Ming was deliberately trying to hide his true strength, he started later than the others. When he arrived at the mountain gate, there were already around 70 people waiting there. Over 90% of them were disciples of the Total Faction, there were very few disciples from the 36 countries or 16 martial cultivation families.
Lin Ming knew that even if they arrived first, it didn’t mean that they were any more powerful than the disciples still on the jade steps. For the mountain gate trial, it was fine as long as one passed within the allotted time. There were many other disciples who were trying to hide their own strength too. These martial artists didn’t want to publicize their strength and arouse the attention of others ahead of time. But of course they couldn’t be too slow, otherwise they would be mocked.
Three quarters of the incense stick was quickly burnt away. The separate illusionary killing array in the middle of the jade steps had eliminated a massive number of martial artists. Many of the people that arrived at this location had been distracted and then struck by the origin energy air current. Fortunately, the origin energy air current only created superficial injuries and wasn’t fatal, otherwise young martial artists would be falling from the sky like flies.
Zhou Yu and Liang Long were still climbing up, looking like old men that were trying to crawl up a mountain. As they saw martial artist after martial artist pass them, they were unable to help looking at themselves with forced smiles. They also understood that the reason Qin Ziya had gathered them was in order to fulfill the quota of five people. From the start, the two of them never had any hope in passing the mountain gate trial.
“What are we going to do? Are we going to do it?” Liang Long looked at two martial artists that were sent flying by the origin energy air current in front of them, and his heart trembled in nervousness. The slower martial artists had weaker strength. At this point, anyone that was still here would find it impossible to cross the origin energy air current. If they tried, they would suffer the same fate and be sent soaring into the sky.
Zhou Yu clenched his teeth and said, “We’ll do it! We’ve already come this far, even if we know perfectly well that there is no chance of passing, if we give up right now then we will ruin our own hearts of martial arts! If we hadn’t left the Sky Fortune Kingdom, then we would never have known just how big the disparity is between us and them, there is no way that we can stay idle!”
The four martial cultivation families of Sky Fortune Kingdom had always held a superior attitude. Now, Zhou Yu finally understood that let alone the disciples of their martial families, even if the four families themselves were placed in the Seven Profound territory, they would be considered nothing but small ants. In the surrounding several hundred thousand miles of land, there were probably countless martial families that were larger and more famous than their own.
As Zhou Yu and Liang Long took a step on the middle of the jade steps, they were struck by the origin energy air current and sent flying into the air. There were also several other martial artists that accompanied them on their trip. There were even some martial artists who, after being struck, got back on their feet and crawled forwards once more.
There were also those that were struck once and then gave up. And there were even those who didn’t even get struck but turned around and gave up anyway, because they knew that they definitely wouldn’t pass.
These repeated attempts and defeats of those who tried again and again and again were all reflected in Lin Ming’s eyes. He sighed with emotion. He was just like them not too long ago, diligently striving for a far off hope, and yet tasting failure again and again.
For that desolate hope, one had to bet everything they had. That was the path of martial arts.
Even in the countless dimensions within the Realm of the Gods, there were countless martial artists, but eventually only a mere handful of them were ever able to stand at the pinnacle of all.
To arrive at that stage, they had to have perseverance, talent, but also opportunity!
But those lucky opportunities could only be obtained by the prepared, otherwise, those chances were worthless.
The three Valley Masters of the Seven Profound Valleys were loftily standing on the spirit boat, ignoring the martial artists underneath that were giving their all to climb up the stairs. To them, these disciples were nothing more than ants on the ground.
At this time, the incense began to burn slower. Although there was only a quarter of the incense stick left, it was still two and a half feet tall. Lin Ming estimated that at this rate, it would still take a little less than half an hour to finish.
So it turned out there was enough time after all. Lin Ming finally understood. This mountain gate trial was for the disciples themselves. It was in order to let those overconfident, brash, and arrogant young talents realize the difference between themselves and true talents. If they were discouraged by just this and gave up the climb, then they simply had no qualifications to walk down the path of martial arts.
This was the ebb and this was the tide. Those who stayed would become more experienced and wizened. But as for those who were eliminated, they would be brought to their knees, unlikely to recover from this failure.
The young talents that had already reached the mountain gate looked down on those martial artists still struggling with a trace of contempt in their eyes. This contempt, to the marital artists still on the jade steps that had once thought themselves peerless geniuses, was also a catalyst.
They had always been accustomed to being superior; when had they ever received such contempt like this?
Noting the eyes of these talents, Lin Ming sighed again. These disciples only had the qualification to be called talents in the Seven Profound Valleys, and thus look down with disdain at others. But if they were placed in a higher, stronger sect, they might be the ones struggling to climb the jade steps.
For instance, take Mu Qianyu. Pulse Condensation at 15, Houtian at 17, Xiantian at 22. If the 20 year old Mu Qianyu was standing here, all of the geniuses present, including even the Seven Profound Valleys’ three Valley Masters, would all be overshadowed by her brilliance!
Just as Lin Ming was in thought, he saw Qin Xingxuan finally reach the mountain gate, her face flushed red with effort and her body dewy wet with perspiration. Lin Ming smiled in relief, greeted her, and then hastily handed her a bottle of true essence restoring pills.
Although she had just barely passed the mountain gate, this was still shocking enough with Qin Xingxuan’s low age and her middle Bone Forging cultivation.
Less than half an hour later, the mountain gate trial was finally finished. There were many martial artists who had been worn out from exhaustion and collapsed on the stairs. Despite how hard they tried, they had still failed to reach the mountain gate. Liang Long and Zhou Yu were also two that failed to pass.
There were around 200 remaining martial artists; close to 60 of the original number had been eliminated. In this group of 200, 70% of them were disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys. There were only a few dozen disciples from the 36 countries and 16 martial families. There were even many early Pulse Condensation period martial artists that had been eliminated when they reached the origin energy air current. The origin energy air current was equal to the full force strike of the weakest Pulse Condensation period martial artist. Not only that, but there were several dozens of these origin energy air currents connected together. A weak early Pulse Condensation martial artist wouldn’t be able to bear all of them.
Of the Sky Fortune Kingdom group, the ones that remained were Ling Sen, Lin Ming, and Qin Xingxuan. In these 36 counties, it had to be known that at least half of them completely failed in entering. Only large countries like Huoluo Nation and Grace Venerate Nation who had a quota of ten people still had three disciples left over.
Sky Fortune Kingdom was originally a country that was placed in the middle of the pack. That they could have such success at this Martial Meeting was simply too surprising.
As for the 16 martial families, their situation was somewhat better than the 36 countries. These ancient martial families usually had a specially trained disciple, and therefore they would usually have at least one disciple left over. There were some large martial families that even had 2 or 3 disciples left.