Chapter 36 – Lin Ming’s Heart of Martial Arts
After sitting down, Lin Ming discovered that although the jade platform was built from white marble, there was not the slightest chill in the air. Instead, there was an incomparably peaceful warmth that overflowed. Looking carefully, he could see that the jade platform had been engraved with a number of different lines and symbols. These were runes.
This large jade platform was a magic array. It was said these magic arrays were created by the Xiantian masters of the Seven Profound Valleys. In them, one would not even be able to differentiate between reality and illusion.
However Lin Ming did not worry. A dream world was still only just a dream world. As long as he reinforced his mind, even if the dream world was boundless and infinite, he would stand firm on the ground!
As Lin Ming sat on the jade platform, his mind filled with a bright light.
As the tenth breath ended, Lin Ming saw a blinding flash all around him and all the candidates disappeared from his vision, leaving only himself.
An endless prairie appeared before him, extending as far as his eye could see. At this moment a pack of vicious beasts each as tall as a man darted from the high grass and ran straight towards Lin Ming.
The several dozens of beasts were the same first level vicious beasts that Lin Ming had deboned before! As they ran together, the grass and the ground began to vibrate. An imposing force rolled towards him.
Lin Ming did not even blink an eye until the first beast lunged at him.
The vicious beast pierced straight through his body. Lin Ming stood there still safe and sound. But when that beast had pierced him, Lin Ming felt a very intense shock and pressure. Although he knew it was only a dream, he could not rid himself of this feeling as if it were a fear that originated from his soul.
This was the effect of a magic array? Even though he knew it was an illusion, it was still possible to lose himself in it. And once lost, he would not be able to tell that it was an illusion.
If that happened, then the illusion would turn to reality. If the illusion killed him, then he might even die in this dream.
As Lin Ming safely passed this first round, on the jade stage a dozen bright lights flashed. In an instant, several people disappeared from the jade platform and stumbled onto the store. These people all had bone white expressions and their pale eyelids trembled. They had lost themselves in the dream, and once they were lost, they had fantasized that they had been ripped up and torn apart by the dream beasts and eaten, with even their bones crushed. Their fear had grown more and more intense until their minds had been broken and they passed out into reality.
At the pavilion, the elders of the Seven Profound Martial House slowly shook their head. The first round of the Dream Trial tested courage. The martial arts path was full of danger. If one did not have courage to face it, then what was the point of cultivating the martial path?
“Muyi, do you know how ferocious that boy is? He instantly passed.” The man who spoke knew that Muyi had recognized Lin Ming and that they were acquainted with each other. But Muyi did not speak of Lin Ming’s achievements in inscription techniques. This was what Lin Ming had asked of him.
Muyi had only said he knew Lin Ming, and he had come to this entrance exam to take a look at his growth.
The beautiful lady supervisor also stood in the pavilion. Because of Lin Ming’s outstanding performance in the Strength Trial, she had kept note of him. She saw the Lin Ming had frowned for a brief moment, but had restored his calm and tranquility right after.
But looking at some other people, they had clenched their jaws tightly, and their faces were changing colors. Obviously they had been struck by these vicious beasts in the dream world and were struggling…
In the illusion, the higher one’s belief in themselves, the stronger their heart would be. The opposite also held true. These candidates who struggled with the vicious beasts had some courage, but they did not have Lin Ming’s dauntless heart. Lin Ming was like an immovable rock that had been tested by the passing of millennia. Whatever vicious or wild beast that jumped at him, he would remain steady and true, and the illusion had thus been broken.
“No wonder you especially came to see this boy, his heart of martial arts is indeed exceptional. It’s comparable with Lin Sen.” An old man said.
Muyi only smiled. He was not surprised that Lin Ming has passed the first hurdle.
Qin Xingxuan had also been secretly comparing herself. Although Lin Ming’s talent was inferior to her by far, his heart of martial arts was surprisingly firm and steady. When she had participated in this trial, during this first round she has spent a period of time, but Lin Ming had only taken a few breaths of time.
At this point, Lin Ming had arrived at the second stage.
In this second trial the scenery shifted before his eyes and changed dramatically. Lin Ming instantly arrived at a battlefield that overflowed with murderous intent. Scenes of battle surrounded him. Mountains of bodies piled up to the sky and seas of blood flowed around him. Broken spears and swords littered the ground with the crushed bones of the dead.
On this battlefield, cries of war suddenly rang through the air. Vast plumes of smoke billowed in the distance. On both sides of Lin Ming suddenly appeared two armies of cavalry. Warriors wearing thick armor and grasping lances approached from his right and left. They had suddenly appeared, and Lin Ming had been stuck in the middle of them.
The two mighty forces rushed towards him. Their horrific war cries filled the air with overwhelming killing intent. Lin Ming remained motionless and focused his mind. During the first experience with the illusion, he had been surprised and his heart had fluctuated a bit. But this time he was prepared and he defended his mind.
As a result, as the armies approached him they turned into floating ashes. The illusion was broken again!
“Mm? Did he break it? Or not break it?” An elder looked at Lin Ming. This kid was weird. His expression had not changed even a bit. If he did not see the beams of light that emitted from the runes, then he would have thought the magic array was defective.
“This boy isn’t simple. I don’t know if he can continue and break the record. If he could catch up to Ling Sen then it would be a pleasant surprise.”
The five hurdles of the Dream Trial. The average person would take an hour to pass them. These past ten years, the one with the best result had been Heaven Abode’s Ling Sen. He had spent an incense worth of time to complete the trial. This surprised the elders of the Seven Profound Martial House, because except for Ling Sen, the fastest time was half an hour.
Ling Sen originally had no wants or needs. He was in essence closest to a cold blooded killer. As sayings went, this type of person who cultivated the martial path was truly fearful.
Ling Sen had proved this point. He was only twenty years old and was a medium fourth-grade talent. With this medium fourth-grade talent he had become an elder apprentice brother within Heaven’s Abode. Many prodigies with high fourth-grade talent had been left in his dust.
“Now is not the time for flattery. It only becomes hard during the last three hurdles.” An old man stroked his beard as he said this, “Ling Sen’s record won’t be broken so easily.”
This time in the illusion, Lin Ming had arrived at the third trial. The thousands of soldiers and scenes of destruction had vanished. He had arrived in a luxuriously decorated tent. The walls and roof were draped with the finest silks, and a smoky, intoxicating fragrance drifted in all directions.
But beyond all the pink silk draping, a dozen impressive young girls danced in the background. Their slim and beautiful bodies were slender and smooth. Their flawless appearance shamed the night moon and the sweetest flowers. As they bounced up and down, they began stripping off their clothes and walking towards Lin Ming. In the next moment, abundant scenery filled Lin Ming’s vision. There were boundless amounts of heavy breasts and fragrant buttocks that swayed in front of him. These beautiful women surrendered themselves to Lin Ming and draped themselves around him. Between their every breath, their tempting bodies released a seductive fragrance.
In that moment, Lin Ming felt a dryness and heat from his heart, and a slight stirring in his loins as his bodily blood flow sped up. But he quickly suppressed this heat and guarded his mind yet again.
However these young girls did not immediately vanish. Instead they were not happy, and pouted as they picked up their clothes. Even their anger was charming as they sashayed their buttocks back and forth as they made their way away from Lin Ming. As soon as they left, the surroundings changed again. This time it was a warm and intimate bedroom. Against a wall was propped a mahogany bed. Sitting on the bed was a woman in a scarlet lined cotton jacket and a feathered robe. She had a jade pin in her hair that was shaped like a flower. This woman was about twenty five years old. Even sitting there she released an elegant aura and temperament. Her appearance had changed from what he remembered. Although she had a more mature and seductive charm to her, this was clearly Lan Yunyue!
Lin Ming was startled in his mind. Was this Lan Yunyue ten years from now?
“Behave, don’t cry…” Lan Yunyue softly hummed a sweet nursery song to a pair of two year old babies on the bed. These babies were a pair of matching twins. These babies’ features…were also somewhat similar to Lin Ming…
As if they knew that Lin Ming was looking, the pair of babies opened their wide and beautiful eyes and smiled innocently at him. The cry of innocent children echoed into Lin Ming’s ears and directly passed into his stunned heart.
Lan Yunyue also smiled at Lin Ming. Her delicate red lips parted slightly and she said, “Lin Ming, darling, it’s very late, you should rest.”
At this moment, seeing Lan Yunyue and the twin babies’ sweet smiling faces, Lin Ming’s heart of martial arts shook. A wife, children, and a rich and warm home…
Had he not once wished for such a life for himself?
Now he had obtained it, he could stop…
As this thought suddenly appeared, Lin Ming woke up. He fiercely bit the tip of his tongue and let the pain restore his state of mind.
The surroundings changed, and Lan Yunyue and the babies disappeared.
Gazing at the empty darkness, Lin Ming’s heart palpitated and he was covered in a sheen of cold sweat.
Almost! He had almost lost himself!
Thinking of the dream visions, Lin Ming breathed a sigh of relief. Everything, all of this and all of her were in the past!
Perhaps once in his heart he had held such desires, but those thoughts were in the past….
“In the past?”
An ethereal and faintly recognizable voice sounded from behind him. Lin Ming turned around. A woman stood there wearing an alluring cheongsam. She held a simple long sword in her hand with an imperious and mighty air, and had a brave and valiant appearance that accentuated her heaven gifted beauty.
Lin Ming was shocked. This woman was clearly Qin Xingxuan, and was only a bit older, around twenty years old.
“Since it’s in the past, then how about you cultivate together…with me? We can explore the world of martial arts…together…how about it?” As she said this, Qin Xingxuan’s clothes unravelled into threads and vanished, revealing the most perfect and exquisite body that he had ever imagined possible. Lin Ming had a full view of this and his heart almost stopped as his eyes widened like saucers.
She slowly walked towards Lin Ming…