Chapter 39 – Unstoppable Force
There were many floors to pass; Lin Ming could not afford to waste his energy and stamina. He had to rush to the top in a single leap and take the first place reward – the Crimson Gold Dragon Marrow Pill!
Seeing Lin Ming flying at him, the shadow warrior raised his staff to block him. But Lin Ming was too fast and before the staff had been raised to his chest, a hard fist had already imprinted itself onto its chest.
The shadow warrior’s chest collapsed and it spat blood, before it fell over dead.
Lin Ming easily passed the first floor. This was natural, as Lin Ming’s strength had greatly surpassed those of the same cultivation.
Onto the second floor!
This was still a black space like before, but this time a vicious beast stood in front of Lin Ming.
“A first-level vicious beast!”
A first-level vicious beast was equivalent to a martial artist at the Third Stage of Body Transformation. This beast was a single-horned rhinoceros. Its strength as a first-level vicious beast was relatively poor; it was about as strong as a peak Second Stage martial artist.
Although its strength was rather ordinary, it had superior defensive abilities due to its tough hide. Even if a martial artist greatly exceeded it in strength and cultivation, they must still expend some effort to defeat it.
Lin Ming had to overcome several obstacles and did not want to waste his stamina. His hand turned, and a chilly deboning knife appeared in his palm. In Lin Ming’s mind appeared the single-horned rhinoceros’ blood vessels and body structure, with each of its weaknesses clear as day.
Lin Ming’s advantage was his familiarity with the weaknesses of vicious beasts.
The single-horned rhinoceros suddenly roared, and trampled towards Lin Ming. Although this was an illusionary realm, Lin Ming felt a rumbling vibration in the ground.
An illusion array was not the same as a killing array. In an illusion array, the illusions didn’t have the power to kill you, they could also cause you to feel fear. As long as you kept your heart and mind and stood your ground, then the illusion would shatter. But a killing array was different; standing still would only be suicide.
As he watched the single-horned rhinoceros barrel towards him, Lin Ming suddenly leapt to one side. His jumping posture was odd. His body was parallel with the ground and one of his shoulders nearly touched the dirt. In the next moment, the huge body of the single-horned rhinoceros passed by him. Lin Ming slammed his hand against the ground and the force propelled him underneath the beast’s abdomen.
He raised his hand and slashed with the knife!
The boning knife struck just half a foot up from the center of the single-horned rhinoceros’ front thigh. This exact spot was the softest patch on the beast’s abdomen, and was also where its abdominal aorta was located.
The knife slid in like butter and gouged out the beast. A stream of blood jetted out like a broken pipe and the single-horned rhino let loose a keening anguished howl. The vicious beast trembled fiercely and then fell to the ground.
Seeing the success of his knife strike, Lin Ming was unable to restrain a sigh as he thought of how lifelike and realistic this magic array was. The single-horned rhinoceros phantom had a body structure and weaknesses just like a real single-horned rhinoceros. He thought that perhaps the magic array had a beast spirit of the single-horned rhinoceros sealed inside, thus its potent realism.
After the successful knife strike, Lin Ming pulled back instead of taking another cut. Although killing the single-horned rhinoceros at this point was not difficult anymore, he wanted to save his stamina. There was no resting between the floors of the Exquisite Pagoda.
The aorta had been cut open, and the single-horned rhinoceros was losing more and more blood. Its movements began to slow, but this time Lin Ming waited for another opportunity and slashed his knife down again. There was a ‘puff!’ sound and the abdominal aorta on the other side of the single-horned rhinoceros was also cut!
The fight has lost its suspense, it was only a matter of waiting now. The single-horned rhinoceros thrashed about as it teetered back and forth on the edge of death, until it unwillingly went still.
Lin Ming had entered the third floor!
“Oh? Someone has entered the third floor!” Outside the Exquisite Pagoda, several elders had seen that the runes and symbols on the third floor began to move and light up. The third floor was activating, but they did not know who it was that had entered.
“It should be Wang Yanfeng. He is strongest in consideration of his age. Lin Ming’s strength lies in his martial heart and in his inborn divine strength. In terms of combat prowess, strength is only a small part. Speed, skill, and fighting techniques are not any less important than strength alone.”
“Most of the candidates are still stuck on the first floor. That Wang Yanfeng has already rushed up to the third floor is impressive.”
As these elders discussed, another person had reached the third floor. This person was only thirty breaths slower than Lin Ming. This person was Wang Yanfeng.
Wang Yanfeng and Lin Ming were similar in age, and the opponents they fought on the second floor were the same; both were first-level vicious beasts that were equal to the peak of the Second Stage of Body Transformation.
Wang Yanfeng was at the early Third Stage of Body Transformation. Not only that, but his combat strength exceeded that of those his age. The vicious beast was not his match, but its skin was coarse and its meat thick and tough. Wang Yanfeng had spent much of his true essence to defeat it.
There was no rest in the Exquisite Pagoda. On the third floor, Wang Yanfeng now came head to head with two dark and shadowy humanoid figures holding two long swords. These shadow warriors were at the early Third Stage of Body Transformation.
Wang Yanfeng gritted his teeth and maintained his dignified demeanor. He could deal with these two warriors, but he also had to think carefully about how to use his true essence, otherwise breaking through to the fourth floor would become increasingly difficult.
He had to make this as quick a victory as possible. He began to revolve the true essence within his entire body, and prepared the display martial skill handed down in his family, the ‘Nine Paths of Truth’.
At this time, Lin Ming also confronted two early Third Stage shadow warriors on the third floor.
The Third Stage of Body Transformation was Viscera Training. He hadn’t anticipated that he would face something of this level at only the third floor. And there were also two! The difficulty of the fourth and fifth floors could only be imagined and there was no rest allowed between them. No wonder the middle-aged man had so confidently said that the fifth floor was impossible to pass.
While Lin Ming revolved the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’, he also cautiously kept the two shadow warriors in his line of sight. For now, the two were motionless. He would be glad to this moment to recover just a bit, although he had not spent that much true essence.
But the two warriors did not give Lin Ming the chance. In a single leap they both reached him, one attacked from the left and one attacked from the right, both with vicious killing intent.
The two warriors were amazingly swift and had teamwork. Their movements seemed to be in harmony with each other like two halves of a whole. One warrior swept the ground with his long sword. Lin Ming jumped to dodge the strike, but the other warrior took advantage of Lin Ming as he was twisting in the air and stabbed his sword towards Lin Ming’s chest.
Lin Ming cried out and suddenly shot his foot out towards the warrior’s wrist. “Kacha!” The warrior’s wrist broke with a single kick!
However the shadow warriors did not feel any pain. The shadow warrior only shook his wrist and sent an open palm flying towards Lin Ming. Every movement he made left him wide open! These shadow warriors could only aggress; they could not defend or retreat. This was a suicidal form of fighting which wished for both sides to perish!
This moment was where Lin Ming’s old strength would have perished, but he had a new strength now. Seeing his opponent fight with such a self-destructive style, he forcefully revolved the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ and forced his true essence to the forefront. A punch went flying out that intersected with the shadow warrior’s palm.
“Peng!” The shadow warrior was forced back a few steps and spat out a mouthful of blood.
But Lin Ming’s vitality only swelled up. It was easy to force them down and he didn’t even have a single injury. Even so, he was secretly surprised. These two shadow warriors may not have been top tier martial artists but they were not weak either. Their close cooperation and kamikaze fighting style were really tricky and difficult to deal with. And this was only the third floor; there was still the fourth and fifth.
Although he was surprised, Lin Ming had not stopped moving for a single half second. He had landed back from the recoil, and while the injured shadow warrior was catching his breath, he slammed his fist straight into the shadow warrior’s face.
Now the other shadow warrior rushed to intercept him. He wielded his long sword in his hands and cleaved downwards. This strike was to cut Lin Ming in half.
“Ha! Now it’s you! Die!”
Lin Ming’s fist was only a feint. He suddenly turned around with the deboning knife in hand and made a horizontal cut on the shadow warrior’s blade.
“Boom!” Sparks scattered everywhere as the blades met.
As the knife met the sword, Lin Ming had not been forced back. This was a reflection of his astonishing physical strength!
“Be defeated by me!”
After Lin Ming fended off the long sword, he punched out at the center of the shadow warrior’s chest!
“Peng!” There was a dull thud as the opponent’s ribs collapsed, took a fatal blow to the heart, and died on the spot.
After defeating one, the other was already injured and no longer a threat. Lin Ming set out several kicks at the last shadow warrior’s legs, and then stabbed him with the knife.
The third floor, passed!
Outside the Exquisite Pagoda the elders saw the magic array of the fourth floor light up and they were startled. “My goodness, the fourth floor, and it only took half an incense stick of time!”