Chapter 57 – Ranking War
It was already late into the night; the disciples of the Martial House were either cultivating in their own rooms or had gone to sleep, there were only a few stragglers still on the streets. Lin Ming walked as if he was half-flying and quickly arrived at the strength measuring room.
There was no one at the strength measuring room; only an old man who guarded the door with a small flickering lamp near him. He lay exhausted on a flimsy chair, looking a little drowsy.
Lin Ming greeted him, then moved past him into the room. Inside were a row of stone pillars that were used to measure strength. They were all completely unoccupied; a normal person wouldn’t idle around here so late at night to test their own strength.
Lin Ming randomly chose a stone pillar and firmly stood in front of it. He shut his eyes, relaxed his body, and let the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ revolve to the extreme. Lin Ming suddenly punched, and his first looked like a shooting star as it fell on the stone pillar.
The stone pillar wildly shook, and even the ground under Lin Ming’s feet trembled a little. The light beam did not stop as it leapt up several times, 2700, 2800, 2900, 3000….
“3200 jins!” Lin Ming breathed with shining eyes.
500 jins of strength! The ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’, from the small success to large success, had increased his strength by 500 jins! To an ordinary martial artist, 500 jins was often the gap between stages!
But the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’ was in truth only the part of the ‘Chaotic Virtues Combat Meridians’ which revolved true essence, it was not everything!
The ‘Chaotic Virtues Combat Meridians’ was truly worthy of being the Realm of the Gods’ top tier Body Transformation skill manual. He remembered, that of those in the sects that practiced the ‘Chaotic Virtues Combat Meridians’ Body Transformation, there were disciple janitors who swept the floor of the entrance and little children that played near the fireplaces who had several ten thousand jins of strength. If they had reached the Large Success stage of the ‘Chaotic Virtues Combat Meridians’, they could even rely on their strength to shatter mountain ranges, part the seas, and shatter the skies.
“Reaching Large Success of the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’s’ first layer was only his first step, there were also six more layers, each more difficult than the last! Beyond the ‘Chaotic Virtues Combat Meridians’ and continuing the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’, there was still the Eight Gates of Hidden Celestial Stems and the Palace of Nine Stars. At this point, I’m not even qualified to be a floor sweeping disciple of these ancient sects”
Realizing this, Lin Ming’s excitement dissipated by a bit. The road that he wanted to walk on was truly long.
That night, because Lin Ming had just broken through the skill manual, his true essence was smooth and he was not sleepy, so he continued his cultivation.
After Lin Ming consolidated the boundary of the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’, he spent the rest of the time practicing his inscription technique. Because of the Large Success of the first layer of the ‘True Primal Chaos Formula’, Lin Ming’s efficiency of drawing the medicinal inscription was greatly enhanced, and he was able to persist until about 80% of the entire plan.
If he was able to continue like this, then with another seven or eight days, Lin Ming would be able to complete the ‘Lower Spirit Cure Symbol’.
The crazy cultivation caused many true essence stones to be consumed. Just that night, Lin Ming had already used up three true essence stones. Although he had agreed with Zhang Cang to use 10 true essence stones as the gambling stake, from the start Lin Ming had never thought he would lose, so there was no way that he would be afraid of using them.
As he looked at the three split stones that had long since lost their true essence luster, Lin Ming touched his nose. This usage was just too fast, but a month later, someone would be kind enough to give him 20 more. If he knew earlier that he would use these true essences stones so quickly, he would have thought a month was too long. Half a month would have been just about right.
Lin Ming greedily smacked his lips. If these thoughts were known by Zhang Cang, there was no way of telling what Zhang Cang would make of it.
It was the morning of the second day and Lin Ming woke up early to attend lecture as usual. He listened to the elder speak on the on the fundamentals. But today he also met an old acquaintance; one who he hadn’t wanted to meet in person – Lan Yunyue. Within the Martial House, there were altogether 600 to 700 disciples; meeting her sooner or later was normal.
Lin Ming didn’t pay any attention to this as he listened to the elder talk about today’s weapon of discussion – ‘the spear’, its skills and its usage.
Lin Ming listened with rapt attention. At the end of the lecture, after the elder had left, Lin Ming was still immersed in his thoughts; the elder had given him many inspirations.
As he finally snapped back from his trance, the rest of the disciples had already left the Martial Lecture Hall, except Lan Yunyue. She sat in the same seat like she was lost in thought.
Lin Ming began packing up his things and readying to leave, but at this time Lan Yunyue suddenly whispered, “Lin Ming, can you wait for a second?”
Lin Ming’s hand movements slowed, he asked, “Can I help you?”
Although the tone was polite, there was a hint of the taste of alienation within Lin Ming’s words, causing Lan Yunyue to lightly sigh. She said, “Congratulations on attaining the first place candidate spot.”
“…” After Lan Yunyue finished speaking, there was a long silence, and the atmosphere between the two began to grow a bit awkward.
“I… I heard that in one month you will have a fighting match with Zhang Cang?”
Lin Ming’s eyes twitched. He said, “The news spread that fast? Well, yes, I really did make a bet with Zhang Cang.” News of the new first place disciple and the old disciple gambling was sure to spread like wildfire. In addition, Zhang Cang and Liu Mingxiang had deliberately publicized it as much as possible.
Lan Yunyue bit her lip, hesitated, then quietly whispered, “Zhang Cang is Zhu Yan’s former comrade…”
Lin Ming was shocked; Lan Yunyue was more sensitive and thoughtful about these matters than he had thought. She had already correctly guessed that this matter was driven by Zhu Yan.
“I know.” Lin Ming faintly responded.
“Then you…” Lan Yanyue hadn’t known how she should open her mouth to say it, but today she had wanted to urge Lin Ming not to take on the gambling match. The words were floating at the tip of her tongue, but yet she feared that Lin Ming would turn a deaf ear to her pleas.
“I know that you aren’t willing to listen to me, but… I have already been in the Seven Profound Martial House for half a year, and have seen many of the gambling matches between the new and old disciples. The new disciples almost never win against the old disciples. Although you are the new first place candidate, Zhang Cang is also known as a fierce character within the Earth Hall. And because of Zhu Yan, his hand will be cruel.”
Lin Ming smiled, “You said that I may not be willing to listen, do you mean that you do not want me to go to the fighting match? Since I already agreed on the bet, it is impossible for me to now keep this appointment, otherwise I would have already ran away before the battle had begun, and this would go against my martial path.”
“But… alright…” Lan Yunyue sighed. She knew that once Lin Ming had made up his mind, it would be very difficult to change.
“Thank you for your advice. I’ll go first.” Lin Ming said as he picked up his things and left the Martial Lecture Hall.
Leaving Lan Yunyue alone, she silently kept sitting in her seat. At the moment she could not identify the taste in her heart. It was impossible to change Zhu Yan’s mind, and it was also impossible to change Lin Ming’s mind. They would one day fight, but to Lan Yunyue, regardless of Lin Ming’s strength of background, it was all inferior to Zhu Yan. The battle would happen, and there would only be a suffering party…
Time passed like running water, and it was already the fourth day since Lin Ming had arrived at the Seven Profound Martial House. That morning, Lin Ming had been sent a gathering notice, and he arrived early at the Martial House’s martial stage.
The new disciples of the Earth Hall had all assembled together. After they had all arrived, a red-haired man carrying a fencing saber showed up at the contest field. This was Lin Ming’s first class Earth Hall instructor, Hong Xi.
Hong Xi gave a feeling of a swift, brave, and fiercely overwhelming power. If he was in the army, he would have been an absolute general that bravely killed all enemies, trained his troops strictly, and followed like military’s laws like a mountain.
After Hong Xi arrived at the contest field, he glanced and the crowd, and with a steady and powerful voice, said, “Today is the Ranking War! Everybody, come with me!”
They had already known that once they entered the Seven Profound Martial House, sooner or later they would have to participate in the Ten Thousand Killing Array ranking war. It had finally begun!
Of the 20 new disciples of the Earth Hall, which one wasn’t a genius of their generation? They had been looking forward to this for a long time; this was their chance to prove themselves. They all thought to attack the ranks of the Ranking Stone and attain more resources.
These geniuses weren’t willing to accept an inferior status under others. These people, all of them were youthful kids full of smug ambition. They had been toiling their days away, waiting for this ranking war to amaze the world with a single, brilliant feat.
“Heh heh, it’s finally the time of the ranking war. I’m glad I showed up.” A youth carrying a long knife said. His chest had scars half a foot long and he was cracking his knuckles together, making ‘pop pop’ noises.