Book 6, Breaking Through the Cocoon, Becoming a Butterfly, Chapter 5 – A Wooden Stake
“I imagine you wouldn’t dare deceive me.” Jadechild nodded slightly.
Muse said hurriedly, “Although we have discovered this enormous elemental ore mine, this elemental ore mine is within the territory of the Ji clan. The puny Ji clan wasn’t worth fearing, and our Swallow Mountain branch should have been able to easily exterminate it, but…” Muse explained what had happened afterwards.
Jadechild frowned as he listened. “A bewildering formation?”
“Right. Ji clan’s Patriarch, Ji Ninefire, is skilled in formations and poisons.” Muse said hurriedly. “This time, we have invited all our colleagues to go deal with the Ji clan. The Ji clan’s strength isn’t worth fearing. Only, in formations…”
“If they set a great formation…” Jadechild frowned. “Since we are not skilled in formations, they can easily delay for a long period of time. Once enough time passes, the Grand Xia Dynasty’s Celestial Envoy will most likely arrive! Of the formation experts close to the Swallow Mountain region…there is a junior apprentice-brother named ‘Nongdao’. If we can invite that fellow apprentice, the formations that a small clan like the Ji clan is capable of using will easily be broken!”
Muse nodded hurriedly. “We have invited fellow apprentice Nongdao as well. Now that you, senior apprentice-brother Jadechild, have spoken, I imagine Nongdao will go as well.”
“Hurry and go invite junior apprentice-brother Nongdao.” Jadechild instructed. “I will go to your Swallow Mountain region right now.”
“Thank you, senior apprentice-brother.” Muse was overjoyed.
“Mm. Go.” Jadechild instructed.
A green leaf-type magic treasure suddenly appeared beneath Muse’s feet, and then he transformed into a ray of light, disappearing into the horizon.
Jadechild stared into the distance, silent for some time.
“Landwyrm.” Jadechild turned and shouted.
“Master.” An azure scale covered, horned Landwyrm clambered out. This Landwyrm had four claws, and was an imposing, majestic sight. Currently, his body was rapidly shrinking, until he was only ten meters long.
“Come, follow me to Swallow Mountain.” Jadechild said softly. “If we render major merits this time, perhaps we can use the opportunity to ask the main sect to assist me in making a breakthrough.”
Jadechild was something of a rogue practitioner. He had reached the Zifu level as a Ki Refiner long ago, but the technique he had used to train in ki was a fairly superficial one. This made it so that it was almost impossible for him to break through to become a Wanxiang Adept as a Ki Refiner! Afterwards, he slowly trained as a Fiendgod Refiner until he broke through to the Zifu level as well…he could be considered a talented figure, which is why he was accepted into Snowdragon Mountain!
Unfortunately, he was already a late-stage Ki Refiner. There was no way back for him, and it was too late to change to a different technique.
Fortunately, the long amount of time he had spent in training resulted in him developing a fierce, decisive temperament. After accomplishing a major deed, he was viewed upon favorably by the main sect, and he was given a divine ability, ‘Heavenly Transformation’. This caused his status to rise once more.
He always stayed in closed-door training, because he wanted his Fiendgod body to breakthrough to the Wanxiang level! Only, each major increase in level was too difficult. Although the main sect did indeed have methods by which the chances of breakthroughs could increase, the price was great; why would they be willing to help him?”
“You will definitely succeed, Master.” The Landwyrm crawled out.
Jadechild sat on the Landwyrm’s back.
Clouds appeared beneath the feet of the Landwyrm, and it immediately flew into the distant horizons. All dragons were naturally capable of controlling water, and although this one was only at the Zifu level…it was still able to summon the clouds and fly on them.
Within the ancient Aquatic Manor.
Ji Ning and the old black bull were walking shoulder-to-shoulder out of the Stellar Hall.
“It is indeed much faster to train and gain insights in the Stellar Hall.” Ning sighed in praise.
“The Stellar Hall is effective in assisting one in comprehension.” The old black bull said. “But in the end, it still depends on your normal accumulated experiences. Only after you experience many things will you gain many insights. Normally, you randomly accumulate many different experiences…and you yourself won’t even notice it, but once you enter the Stellar Hall and begin to train in gaining further insights, you will improve greatly. But without those normal, everyday experiences…if you stay all the time in the Stellar Hall, it will be pointless.”
As the saying went, read ten thousand books, then go on an actual journey of ten thousand kilometers. Personal experiences and insights were what mattered most.
“We’re at the Wargod Hall.” The old black bull stood in front of the Wargod Hall. The bronze gate of the Wargod Hall had the carves of a waraxe and a spear above it, and a martial aura emanated forth from it. In addition, the entire bronze gate was covered with a faint layer of red light, which carried within it an aura of slaughter.
Ning held his breath.
“Senior.” Ning hurriedly asked. “In the past, what did Immortal Juhua experience when he passed the first level of the Wargod Hall?”
“No point in asking.” The old black bull shook its head. “The dangers of the first level of the Wargod Hall are arranged on the fly. They can change at any time. The spirit of the manor and I learned this long ago.”
“Oh.” Ning was resigned.
The old black bull said hurriedly, “Be careful. Although the tests of the Wargod Hall are meant to sharpen your skills and not to kill you, and although you are a Fiendgod practitioner and have a low chance of dying inside, the tests always have an element of danger! Don’t lose your life.”
“Don’t worry.” Ning pushed aside the giant bronze gate and strode inside.
As soon as his hands touched the bronze gate.
The blurry red light on the surface of the bronze gate instantly sucked Ning inside. Ning disappeared into thin air from in front of the bronze gate, and in the instant in which he was drawn within, Ning’s eyes instantly became round and filled with shock.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you that entering the Wargod Hall is a matter of direct teleportation.” The old black bull, seeing the stupefied look on Ning’s face, stared back at him with his own ox-eyes, then began to laugh…
In the blink of an eye, they arrived at a vast, empty land. The ground was covered with ground that seemed to be stained with blood. Up ahead, there was a majestic tower, and the door to the tower glowed with a faint white light.
“Hm?” Ning immediately saw the giant yellow bear standing not too far away.
“Senior.” Ning hurriedly paid his respects.
The giant yellow bear nodded slightly. His formerly uncaring expression seemed to have softened significantly, and his attitude had become much nicer as well. “For you to have reached the level of ‘Dao Domain’ at the age of five is fairly rare, even amongst Fiendgods. Tell me, which level of the Wargod Hall do you intend to challenge?”
“I can choose?” Ning was amazed.
“Of course you can choose! For example, when the Aquatic Manor’s owner is outside adventuring, if he returns at the Primordial Daoist level, and he only has two options to challenge the tower, he naturally won’t choose the first level.” The giant yellow bear said. “You can, if you choose, go directly to the highest level of the Wargod Hall, level ten. But of course, even though the Wargod Hall’s tests aren’t meant to kill the testers, even the slightest energy ripple at that level will cause you to instantly disintegrate, leaving not even your soul.”
Ning rubbed his eyes.
Even Immortal Juhua only passed level seven after becoming a Loose Immortal! He couldn’t even imagine how difficult the tenth level was. Ning only felt as though the original, ancient Fiendgod who had created this Aquatic Manor was simply too powerful.
“I choose the first level.” Ning said honestly. Based on what the old black bull had said, before he had mastered his Rainwater Sword Domain, his chances of succeeding on the first level were less than 10%. One could imagine how difficult the first level was.
“Fine.” The giant yellow bear nodded. “At least you are doing things step-by-step. This is you first challenge, and this test will be the easiest of tests.”
“Easiest?” Ning was stunned.
The giant yellow bear’s furry paws suddenly grabbed Ning by the arm. Whoosh! Instantly, Ning and the giant yellow bear arrived at the majestic tower. The tower gate glowed with blurry white light as Ning and the giant yellow bear stepped inside with a single step.
This was a blurry white space that was three thousand meters high and with a circumference of many thousands of meters. The only thing present was that floating door behind them.
“This is the first level of the Wargod Hall.” The giant yellow bear said. Ning immediately looked carefully at his surroundings. The first level of the Wargod Hall? Then where was the dangerous test?
“Look.” The giant yellow bear stood there, pointing into the distance.
Ning followed the giant yellow bear’s finger with his gaze. He saw that out of nowhere, a black wooden stake had suddenly appeared. The wooden stake was as thick as Ning’s legs, and was three meters tall. It just stood there.
“A wooden stake?” Ning was stunned.
“The test that I’ll give you is significantly easier than the test which I originally gave Immortal Juhua or Rampart.” The giant yellow bear said. “The first test of the Wargod Hall is…in the time it takes for a single incense stick to burn up, split that wooden stake apart!” The giant yellow bear’s palm suddenly had an incense stick within it, only roughly one foot long.
“Shatter the wooden stake before the incense stick burns up?” Ning looked at the wooden stake.
No wonder the spirit of the manor said that this was the easiest test. It was even easier than the one which Juhua and Rampart had to undergo! Indeed, it was just a matter of splitting a wooden stake. There wasn’t any danger at all. In addition, the wooden stake just stood there, not resisting at all.
“Begin.” The giant yellow bear said. That incense stick appeared on the floor not too far away, already lit.
“A single incense stick…”
Ning didn’t dare to waste any time.
Ning, with a ‘swoosh’, scurried before the wooden stake. Although it was only a wooden stake, blindly striking it was just foolishness. It was better to spend some time to first analyze it…and see where the wooden stake would more easily break apart. Only by knowing one’s self and one’s enemies would one have hope for victory. This wooden stake was completely black, and it had circles of characters covering it.
“Would it be easier to follow the pattern of the runes in striking it?” Ning said to himself.
The Darknorth swords appeared in Ning’s hands, and the divine power in his Zifu completely exploded forth. Whooooooooosh. Drizzling rain appeared in the surrounding area. The drizzling rain merged into lines of rain which swirled about the area, making it quite comfortable and cool. This also clearly caused Ning’s control over the surrounding ‘Dao’ to become much more powerful.
“Rain Line!” Ning used his most powerful attack at the very start!
Ning’s swords flashed like lightning, disappearing into thin air as they completely merged into the surrounding, billowing lines of rain. Ning’s sword light transformed into one of the strands of rain, as thin as silk, incomparably sharp, instantly chopping towards the wooden stake.
“Bang!” The only thing which occurred was a white smudge appeared on the wooden stake. As the rainwater fell down, the white smudge disappeared, as though nothing had happened.
Ning himself, because of the powerful counterforce, knocked backwards, and the palm of his hands split open. He took three step backwards, but instantly the wound to his palm was healed.
“Just a white smudge. This wooden stake is indeed incomparably tough. To break it in the time it takes for an incense stick to burn is very hard.” Ning instantly charged forward and gave it another blow.
It, too, was ‘Rain Line’.
The sword merged into the lines of rain…
As soon as it touched the wooden stake, a powerful concussive sound once more rang out, but this time, Ning chopped in accordance with the magical runes. Although he was still knocked backwards by the collisive force, Ning found to his surprised delight…that there was a hint of a very small wound on the wooden stake. The wound was very small, almost neglible, but it was still there.
“I imagine that by using this sword strike with my Rainwater Sword Domain…the power is comparable to the ninth level of the Lesser Thousand Swords Formation. But this is all I can accomplish?” Ning was stunned. “Without the Rainwater Sword Domain, I really wouldn’t be able to do anything to it.”
Ning knew very well that within the Rainwater Sword Domain, he was like a tiger who had been given wings; the power of his sword technique had risen by several levels.”
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