Chapter 678: Second Stage
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Inside the Grand Heavens Pavilion, the Thunderclouds Holy Man said to Lei Lie peacefully, “Comrade Lei, my previous suggestion is still feasible. What do you think?”
As they looked at the Thunderclouds Holy Man and Lei Lie, the rest of the Immortal Soul Stage Elders’ expressions changed.
The Purple Clouds Sect that the Thunderclouds Holy Man controlled came from the Omnipotent Thunder Lord, inheriting the strongest thunder spell in the Heavens and Earth, the Great Way of the Nine Heavens Divine Thunder. They had always been regarded as the strongest sect in terms of thunder-type mantras.
The Lei Clan was also another great power that cultivated thunder-type mantras. They also practiced thunder-type mantras, but they were inferior to the Purple Clouds Sect.
If Lei Jie joined the Purple Clouds Sect, he would have a better development path.
Lei Lie said, “Your kind intentions are appreciated by my entire clan and we are eternally grateful to you.” His words suggested that he rejected the proposition by the Thunderclouds Holy Man.
“Oh?” The gaze of the Thunderclouds Holy Man flashed and it flashed across Zhu Hongwu. “So, it’s like that. So, there’s the chance of inheriting the mantras of Emperor Tai. No wonder, no wonder.”
In the history of the Divine Lands, the mantras of the Thunder Lord were the best in terms of thunder-type mantas. The grandmaster of the Purple Clouds Sect, the Purple Clouds Holy Man, was the Immediate Disciple of the Thunder Lord. But he did not inherit the entire abilities of his Master. The Purple Clouds Sect was very dedicated in trying to re-surface the entire Great Way of the Nine Heavens Divine Thunder all these years.
And besides the mantras of the Thunder Lord, the most famous thunder-type mantras in the history of the human cultivation world belonged to Emperor Tai.
Emperor Tai was resourceful and he cultivated all sorts of mantra, including the Great Chaos True Thunder Manual. It did not seem to be inferior to the mantras that had been passed down in the Purple Clouds Sect.
After the Lei Clan supported the Great Zhou Empire, they managed to obtain this mantra. Not only did Lei Jie cultivate the Great Chaos True Thunder Manual, he even obtained the opportunity to cultivate other mantras of Emperor Tai. He became a rising talent nurtured by the Great Zhou Empire.
Lei Lie replied with a definitive answer and the Thunderclouds Holy Man could accept that. He did not broach the subject anymore and turned his attention back to the social gathering.
In the Starry Treasure Pagoda, there were many things going on. There were people who went solo like Lei Jie, while there were also those who worked together like Xu Yunsheng and Chen Xingyu. There were also groups that colluded together against other groups.
Ke Jing and another disciple from the Heavenly Temple with a Foundation Establishment Stage cultivation were not very fortunate. They were in the same group, and their group conflicted with some other group. Eventually, they were surrounded by other groups and they were implicated.
The two of them were not eliminated, but they activated a mana restriction of the shifting luminaries in the pagoda and went from the fifth level to the second level. Their previous efforts were wasted and left the two of them frustrated.
As time passed, the gaps between the groups also widened. This did not mean that those groups which were lagging were weaker. It was more because of the conflicts between members in the same group, which affected the results greatly.
Xu Yunsheng & Ying Luozha’s group as well as Chen Xingyu’s group were the leading two groups. As they combined strength, they took a resounding lead over the rest. Only when they reached the ninth level of the pagoda did they go their separate ways and sought their own paths.
At this point, it was the time for both groups to challenge each other and see who would take top spot at the tenth level of the pagoda.
Suddenly, Chen Xingyu’s group’s luck did not seem so well as one of the members activated the mana restrictions of the shifting luminaries accidentally. From the ninth level, he fell back to the seventh level.
Everyone was panicking now. Inside the Grand Heavens Pavilion, Lin Daohan and Yan Mingyue looked at each other and shook their heads.
In the group that Chen Xingyu was in, someone scolded, “What’s wrong with that guy? The restrictions were so obvious and no one even attacked him. How could he have activated it?”
“What should we do, do we wait for him at the top?” Another person raised his brows. He was called Kang Hai and he came from the Heavenly Master Sword Sect. He looked at Chen Xingyu, “If he is eliminated, then it’s fine. But if he survives, we may waste too much waiting for him.”
Chen Xingyu maintained his coolness, “Let’s go back and find him. We are a group after all.”
The person who complained at the start groaned, “Why should we care about him?”
Chen Xingyu said, “Helping him means we are helping ourselves. Although we are from different sects, we are still groupmates now. Even if our lives are not in danger during this gathering, we may still meet all sorts of obstacles and dangers when we go out with others in the future.”
Kang Hai and the other two pondered for a while before they agreed. They followed Chen Xingyu and activated the mana restrictions. They all fell back to the seventh level.
And on the other side, Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha’s group became the first to ascend the top of the pagoda.
Shi Tianhao was smiling as he waited for them at the top, “Not bad, not bad. Faster than what I expected.”
He clapped his hands and five white jade rocks appeared in front of Xu Yunsheng and the rest. “This Exquisite Jade Heart is the first reward of this gathering. All of you will get one. Keep it properly.”
Xu Yunsheng and the rest received the jade over and were excited. The Exquisite Jade Heart was a rare treasure, but it could increase the sensitivity of a cultivator to the spiritual energy in the Heavens and Earth. This was very beneficial to those in the Foundation Establishment Stage.
The Exquisite Jade Heart could also help an Aurous Core Stage cultivator in the Beginner Stage to nurture his powers as he prepared to overcome the Tribulations of the Yin Fire. This increased his probability of reaching the Intermediate Stage of the Aurous Core Stage.
Ying Luozha kept the Exquisite Jade Heart and asked, “Elder, you said that after we complete the first stage, we can move on to the second stage immediately. What are the contents of the second stage? Do we still have to proceed in groups?”
Shi Tianhao smiled while shaking his head, “The second stage is an individual segment.”
He gestured in space and a light door appeared in space. Through the light door, Xu Yunsheng, Ying Luozha and the rest could see the view on the other side. It was a completely different and independent world.
There were many things that could be seen in this world. Forests, snow fields, deserts, grasslands and even the sea.
As Shi Tianhao grabbed using his hands, a streak of flowing light flew out of the small world. He grabbed the light, but it was actually a huge and weird beast. The beast had two wings on its back and prickly fur. It looked like a cow yet it looked like a tiger too. As it roared, it seemed like a bark too. The beast was struggling.
Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha had been in the Celestial Sect of Wonders for quite some time. They were considered quite knowledgeable. As they saw the beast, they were stunned, “Qiong Qi?”
The beast was from the Qiong Qi demonic tribe, another member of the Four Imemorial Fearsome Beasts. It was a pure-blood Qiong Qi that was in Shi Tianhao’s hands. The small world that it was in suppressed its demonic powers. It was only in the realm of a Demonic General, which was equivalent to the Foundation Establishment Stage in terms of human cultivation.
But even so, this Qiong Qi was not ordinary. Not any Aurous Core Stage cultivator could deal with it.
The Four Immemorial Fearsome Beasts were special in their own way. The Taoties engulfed everything, the Hun Duns destroyed everything and the Tao Wus were extremely stubborn.
The powers of the Qiong Qi were similar to the Blood River Primordial Water. They stained the powers of others and violated the spiritual energy of the Heavens and Earth.
The small world on the opposite of the light door had spiritual energy that flowed in a haphazard manner, something that was disliked.
That Qiong Qi roared at Shi Tianhao, “You were not killed at the Ancient Huanghai World by my tribe leader, but you will perish in the hands of the Nine Luminaries Heaven-Crushing Formation one day. You will die in the hands of the Qiong Qi demonic tribe and become our food!”
Shi Tianhao replied, “If it was not for the fact that you taste bad, you would have been in my stomach already.”
As he said this, Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha were speechless. Their own elder was more brutal than the Qiong Qi.
Shi Tianhao knocked on the head of the Qiong Qi and laughed towards Xu Yunsheng and Ying Luozha, “This is a Qiong Qi that your Master, Third Elder Uncle and I managed to capture when we went to the Barren Expanses. But it’s a pity he’s not in the Demon Lord realm.”
He pointed to the world on the other side of the light door, “Inside this world, there are hundreds of Qiong Qis. There are some who are Demonic Commanders, but their powers have been suppressed till the Demonic General realm. The aim of the second stage is to hunt these Qiong Qis.”
“In the body of every Qiong Qi is a golden ring. The final goal is to retrieve the golden ring.”
“Whoever gets 15 rings will leave the world within 15 minutes and he will have completed the second stage.”
“One thing to take note of is that the Qiong Qis are also protected by the Dharma Hall. Once they die, they will disappear and the golden ring will disappear too.”
Xu Yunsheng and the rest looked at one another. This meant that they had to capture the Qiong Qis alive, which was much more difficult.
Shi Tianhao looked at the junior disciples in front of him and said slowly, “In the second stage, all of you can take one another’s golden ring.
“This stage aims to test your adaptability in a complex environment when you are on your own. Of course, you can collaborate with others privately. This is all voluntary. But the Voice-Projecting Crystal can’t be used or you can’t communicate with others using your powers in this small world.”
“Furthermore, after you pass through the light door, your position in the small world is randomly allocated. No one can confirm who or what will be around them.”
Ying Luozha’s eyes brightened and he turned to look at Xu Yunsheng. Xu Yunsheng did not avoid his glance and the competitive streaks in both of them were alive.
Shi Tianhao said, “The last point is that only the first eight to pass the second stage will move to the third stage.”
Xu Yunsheng and the rest were stunned. As compared to the first round where only half of the competitors were eliminated, the elimination rate of the second round was much greater.
Eight groups of people meant that there were around 40 people who passed the first stage. But only eight of them would pass the next stage.
“The victors in the second stage will also be rewarded. The first placing gets a Nascent Soul Stage magic item.” Shi Tianhao continued saying, “At the same time, the rankings of the second stage will affect the third stage.”
“Although the five of you have an upper hand and can enter the small world earlier, it doesn’t mean that all five of you will have the last laugh. All of you will still have to work hard.”
After hearing the reward, Xu Yunsheng and the rest were stunned. Most of those who participated in this gathering were only in the Foundation Establishment Stage.
Ying Luozha did not speak and burst through the light door. Xu Yunsheng and the other three were not willing to lag behind and they entered through the light door together.
Inside the Grand Heavens Pavilion, Lin Feng smiled as he saw this scene. He shook his head and turned his attention towards another group in the pagoda. He stared at one of the youth in black and thought curiously, “How will you perform?”
That youth had a straight figure like a long sword. He did not seem eye-catching and looked normal. But he had a special stature that was mysterious too.
He was the disciple of the Ethereal Mountain Sect, Chu Yang.
He also took part in this gathering, but he appeared very ordinary. In his group, he did not take charge either. He only followed his group up the pagoda. They were not fast, but they were not slow either.