Chapter 1083: Celestial Saint Ordeal
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
“Ah…” Leaping up, Zhang Yinqiu nearly fainted from shock.
If the other party was still living despite bleeding from the seven apertures and taking a sword to the heart, he could at least still reason it as the other party possessing a secret art of some sort which allowed him to shift his heart away from its original position… But how could a person who was smacked into a lump of meat possibly still be living?!
More importantly, you said that I was blocking your path?
Just how concerned are you with Zhang shi’s posing, no, attempting a breakthrough that you are still so fixated on watching it despite being in such a state?
Just as Zhang Yinqiu was rendered at a complete loss of words, another surge of sword qi flashed across the air.
The Skyleaf King seemed to have noticed that the fellow was still alive and launched another wave of attack over out of fury.
Under the immense might of the Skyleaf King, the lump of meat was immediately split into two lumps as it wriggled relentlessly on the ground.
“Y-you… You should be dead this time around, right?” With quivering lips, Zhang Yinqiu couldn’t help but ask.
“You’re the one who is dead, your entire family is dead!” the two lumps of meat refuted furiously. After which, the two eyeballs on them turned towards the Skyleaf King and spat, “It’s only out of consideration for your dignity that I chose to feign death here, and yet, you just have to persistently come for me time after time again… You are just asking to die, aren’t you?”
The two lumps on the ground merged back with one another, and in just a few moments, he had already reverted back to his original appearance as a fatty, as if he hadn’t been injured in the first place. With a furious roar, he charged towards the Skyleaf King in the sky.
Just like that, Zhang Xuan’s clone joined the fray as well.
However, it was apparent that the strength of Zhang Xuan’s clone was far from matching up to the Skyleaf King. Shortly after leaping up, he was knocked back down into the ground with a single slap, reduced to a lump of meat once more.
This time, before Zhang Yinqiu could even express his grief, the lump of meat gathered again once more and continued clashing with the Skyleaf King.
“This…” Not only was Zhang Yinqiu dazed, even Wu shi and Guild Leader Han were stupefied as well.
Wasn’t Principal Zhang’s friend a little too absurdly resilient? It was as if his body was made of rubber, and nothing could faze him at all… How in the world did he manage to cultivate a body like that?
A moment later, Wu shi recovered from his shock and bellowed, “Let’s go all out. We just have to keep him stall him for a while…”
There wasn’t any time for them to be surprised at the moment. No matter the cost, they had to prevent the Skyleaf King from successfully fusing the map and the sphere together. If the Skyleaf King were to succeed, they would all lose their lives here.
The collaborative offense carried out by the numerous Saint 4-dan experts brought forth a furious barrage of sword qi and zhenqi. Devastating shockwaves rippled into the surroundings, inflicting havoc upon everything that stood in its path.
With an indestructible monster joining the battle, Wu shi and the others were able to remain unharmed under the Skyleaf King’s attacks for the time being. Seeing that the situation over there was stable for the time being, Zhang Yinqiu turned his sight back to the young man on the Saint Ascension Platform and saw that the energy within his body was still increasing ceaselessly, as if the power he harnessed within his body was boundless.
“Just how much energy does he have in his body…” Zhang Yinqiu couldn’t help but be astonished.
Any Nascent Saint cultivators in his place would have already expended their zhenqi by now and withered into dried jerky. Yet, the young man seemed to be completely unfazed by the massive energy consumption he was making!
Just in terms of zhenqi reserve in itself, even ten of him in his peak state couldn’t compare to the young man.
After watching the situation for a while, Zhang Yinqiu determined that they were still doing fine for the time being, and he heaved a sigh of relief. He was just about to turn his gaze back to the battle in the sky when he caught sight of a beautiful silhouette not too far away, and he frowned, “Luo shi, why aren’t you participating in the battle too?”
The beautiful master teacher who had come along with Wu shi’s expedition team, Luo shi, was currently standing nonchalantly on the spot, as if the battle that was going on in the sky had nothing to do with her.
“I need to protect Zhang Xuan.” Luo shi replied calmly.
“He’s just attempting a breakthrough. With the protection of the Saint Ascension Platform, he can’t possibly be in any danger…” Zhang Yinqiu frowned.
Even if your cultivation might be beneath the others, given that everyone else was putting their life on the line, shouldn’t you at least be doing something? To say that you are protecting Zhang shi… Zhang shi is just attempting a breakthrough on the Saint Ascension Platform, what could possibly happen to him?
Before Zhang Yinqiu could finish his words, the deafening rumbling of thunder abruptly sounded in the sky above. All of a sudden, pitch-black clouds appeared in the sky right above the Saint Ascension Platform, and the destructive lightning energy harnessed within them threatened to lay waste to everything beneath it.
“That is… the Leaving Aperture Ordeal? How can it possibly appear here?” Zhang Yinqiu widened his eyes in shock, and he nearly keeled over.
It was said in the legends that when a Primordial Spirit realm cultivator attempted a breakthrough to Leaving Aperture realm, he would have to undergo a lightning ordeal. The trial would temper one’s Primordial Spirit, making it more resilient. It was a necessary requirement for the Primordial Spirit to be able to exist independently of the body without dissipating… In a sense, it could be considered as a life-and-death trial in order to ascend to higher ranks.
It was for this reason that even though there was only a small gap between Primordial Spirit realm and Leaving Aperture realm, there was a world of a difference in both of their fighting prowess. Only upon reaching Leaving Aperture realm could one be considered to have reached the upper echelons of the Master Teacher Continent.
However, clearing the Leaving Aperture Ordeal was no easy feat. There were many Primordial Spirit realm experts who would suppress their cultivation for several centuries for fear that their Primordial Spirit would dissipate under the devastating might of the lightning. This resulted in a disproportionately low number of Leaving Aperture realm cultivators as compared to Primordial Spirit realm cultivators.
Considering that Zhang shi was a Nascent Saint cultivator attempting a breakthrough to Saint realm, why would he be put through such a fearsome heavenly ordeal?
“Everyone wishes to become a Celestial Saint, but without sufficient strength, how could one obtain the acknowledgement of the heavens?” Luo shi remarked nonchalantly before taking a step forward. She glanced at the ominous clouds that shrouded the sky as she clenched her fists tightly together.
“A requirement to becoming a Celestial Saint… is to prematurely undergo the Leaving Aperture Ordeal?” Upon hearing those words, Zhang Yinqiu gulped.
He was incapable of sweating as a mere soul, but at this moment, he felt as if his back was drenched with cold sweat.
Leaving Aperture Ordeal—this was a trial which innumerable Half-Leaving Aperture realm in history had lost their life to. Given that Zhang shi was only a Nascent Saint cultivator, how could he be able to endure it?
Putting everything aside, Zhang Yinqiu could tell that even in his peak state, his body and soul would still dissipate at first encounter with the overwhelming lightning energy gathered in the sky above.
“This is not the Leaving Aperture Ordeal but Saint Ascension Ordeal! Those who wish to ascend to a Celestial Saint has to first undergo a trial to prove that they are worthy of becoming one…” Luo Ruoxin’s voice was impassive, but she was unable to conceal the deep worry in her eyes. “He must overcome the heavenly ordeal with his own strength. We can only pray the best for him…”
“Saint Ascension Ordeal?”
While the others were shocked by the sudden arrival of the lightning clouds, on the Saint Ascension Platform, Zhang Xuan also came to realize what was going on, and a frown appeared on his face.
It was no wonder why no one had succeeded in becoming a Celestial Saint in the past several dozen millenniums! There were bound to be a handful of astounding geniuses who were able to comprehend the secrets behind Kong shi’s cultivation technique as well, but one who wished the don the crown had to bear the weight of it. Those who wished to become a Celestial Saint had to undergo the Saint Ascension Ordeal to prove their worth!
There was no way he would be able to overcome the lightning ordeal easily.
Zhang Xuan knew that it was impossible for him to avoid the lightning ordeal, and the only way he could succeed was to face it straight on. Thus, gritting his teeth tightly together, he opened up his pores, and spiritual energy in the surroundings began rushing into him like a whirlpool. At the same time, he lifted his gaze and stared right into the dark clouds above.
Seemingly sensing Zhang Xuan’s battle will, the lightning clouds in the sky couldn’t hold themselves back any longer. A thick streak of lightning burst from the sky, headed towards the young man seated in the middle of the Saint Ascension Platform.
If one had to make a comparison between the field of lightning from before to the thick streak of lightning headed towards Zhang Xuan at this instant, it would be reminiscent of a young sprout standing before a towering, ancient tree. The both of them weren’t even close to being at the same level at all!
Before the lightning could even reach him, Zhang Xuan could already feel an incredible force threatening to eradicate his body and dissipate his soul. He felt that if his cultivation had been any lower, he wouldn’t stand a chance against the streak of lightning at all.
“The Saint Ascension Ordeal is divided into the Soul Ordeal, Body Ordeal, and Heart Ordeal, and each of them is more difficult than the previous…” Luo Ruoxin said with a slightly anxious edge to her tone.
It was impossible for others to intervene in this kind of ordeal. Not only would it not do any good, it might even trigger the wrath of the heavens, inducing the heavens to bring forth greater destruction to the world.
“Soul Ordeal?” Hearing Luo Ruoxin’s words, Zhang Yinqiu frowned.
He had learned a little about the process of becoming a Celestial Saint through the writings left by Kong shi around the Saint Ascension Hall. He thought that he had already grasped a thorough understanding of the matter, but at this moment, he realized that what he knew paled far in comparison to the young lady before him.
“The Soul Ordeal is the very first trial of the Saint Ascension Ordeal, and it places the cultivator’s soul through the tempering and cleansing of lightning. The slightest lapse in concentration in this phase can easily lead to one’s soul dissipating entirely.” Luo Ruoxin explained.
“The soul has to undergo the cleansing of lightning?” Zhang Yinqiu shuddered in fear.
As he was currently in soul form, he could vividly understand how much souls feared lightning. Lightning was the natural nemesis of all souls. Putting aside a lightning streak as thick as the one in the sky, even just the slightest electricity was unbearable to a soul.
“Zhang shi… I can only pray the best for you now…” Zhang Yinqiu said as he looked at Zhang Xuan intently.
As soon as the lightning seeped into Zhang Xuan’s body, he immediately felt a burning sensation in his soul, as if someone had lit an inferno within it. His condensed soul immediately began flickering unstably, and it seemed as if it might dissipate at any moment.
“Pain…” Zhang Xuan’s face paled.
The burning sensation came from the very depths of his soul, and it was so excruciating that he felt as if he could lose his mind at any moment.
It was fortunate that he had tempered his soul through the lava and field of lightning while he was making his way through the ancient domain, or else his soul might have already dissipated by now.
“It seems like the various trials outside aren’t chosen by random. Kong shi has intentionally designed it to temper the later generations so as to prepare them for a breakthrough to Celestial Saint…” While enduring the excruciating pain of the lightning, an epiphany suddenly came to Zhang Xuan.
Throughout the journey, he had been wondering what the purpose of setting up the lava and the field of lightning was. If it was to fend off the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, it didn’t make sense why masters teachers were impeded by them as well. Looking back, it seemed like everything was for the purpose of tempering the soul so as to make it sufficiently resilient to overcome the Soul Ordeal.
As the lightning energy raged within Zhang Xuan’s body, his soul shattered into fragments before reforming once more.
It was fortunate that the process was occurring within his body, or else his fragmented soul would have long dissipated in the world.
Under the intense pain from the rampage of the lightning energy, Zhang Xuan felt his consciousness slowly growing hazy.
He hadn’t expected becoming a Celestial Saint to be easy, but he didn’t think that it would be so frightening either.
That kind of intense pain left him feeling as if every inch of his soul was being slowly cut apart before being sewed back together.
“Endure! I must endure it… Since Kong shi was able to do it, why can’t I?” Zhang Xuan thought as he clenched his jaws tightly in determination.
Kong shi was mortal just like any of them. If Kong shi could clear the trial, why couldn’t he?
After all the effort he had put into cultivating the Saint Ascension Decipher, he would be letting himself down if he couldn’t even endure this much pain!
With the further reaffirmation of his resolution, even though the lightning energy coursing through his body was still as painful as ever, it didn’t seem as insurmountable and fearsome as before anymore.
“It looks like he has cleared the Soul Ordeal…” Upon seeing this sight, Luo Ruoxin heaved a sigh of relief. In the next moment, however, she frowned worriedly once more and said, “The Body Ordeal is a trial which assesses not only one’s physical body but one’s grasp over zhenqi and cultivation as well. Hopefully, nothing goes wrong there…”
As the Body Ordeal consisted of more aspects, it would be more difficult to overcome it than the previous Soul Ordeal, and the cultivator would be put through a greater deal of suffering as well.
The lightning streak in the Soul Ordeal was fearsome, but as long as the cultivator’s soul remained within his body, he wouldn’t be in too much danger as long as he didn’t succumb to the pain. However, the same couldn’t be said about the Body Ordeal. If the cultivator’s body were to be lacking in the slightest, he could very well be reduced to ashes on the spot.
After a long moment of gathering energy, the second streak of lightning finally burst forth.
It was much thicker than the first streak of lightning, roughly the size of the trunk of an ancient tree. It descended to the ground with a force which seemed as if it could tear even the Saint Ascension Platform into shreds as well.
“You might be able to call forth the lightning ordeal, but do you think that I will allow you to become a Celestial Saint that easily?”
At this moment, the Skyleaf King had finally shaken free from Wu shi and the others’ encirclement. Upon seeing that Zhang Xuan had successfully overcome the Soul Ordeal, his face turned livid.
Raising his palm, he sent a powerful strike right towards Zhang Xuan!