Chapter 82 - History
Awakening from his meditation, Xu Min once more managed to reach his optimal state. He stood up, rustled his body slightly, and started looking at the empty platform in front of him.
"I accept the next trial!" He called out. Although he had not heard the formless voice for some time, he was well aware that it was still present despite the lack of his response.
The moment he had spoken, three shadows appeared in front of him. This time two Golden-Furred Blood Lions just like before appeared alongside some creature that seemed strangely human. His ears were pointed and his eyes large. His features were extraordinarily attractive, and his physique was slim but filled with energy. A tattoo was painted on his body, swirling from one arm to the neck and all the way up the back of his head; it ended right above his left eye. He wore simple dark green clothes. His hand was a bow with the associated arrows bundled together in a pouch by his side.
Looking at this humanoid specimen, Xu Min was suddenly reminded of an old story his sister had told him many years before. The story was about how this world was once inhabited by not only humans but also demons, elves, and fairies. Once upon a time, these four races, similar to one another, lived side by side, and each race had their territory. However, the elves, fairies, and demons had problems reproducing, and their races were just barely able to sustain themselves. While, on the other hand, the humans constantly expanded. Soon the humans’ territory was not large enough to hold all the them, and they started overtaking other territories.
The first territory they took over belonged to the fairies. These fairies were against wars, but they all stood united when they were placed under pressure. Their power, which the humans had looked down upon, was not to be underestimated. These fairies all had an affinity with nature, and their power proved to be outstanding when the battle between the humans and fairies escalated.
The fairies allied themselves with the Elves. However, because of the hatred between Elves and Demons, the demons chose to support the humans.
The battle was long and bloody, but eventually, the humans and demons prevailed. In the end though, the humans turned on the demons and conquered the entire world.
This was a fairy tale all children were told by their mothers or fathers when they were small. It was a fairy tale everyone knew about but no one believed in; yet today, Xu Min was standing in front of the very first elf he had ever seen. Looking at this pointy-eared creature, it was clear that it could be nothing else.
The Golden-Furred Blood Lions stayed put behind this young elf. Both of them stood as though they were his guards, ensuring that anyone who came close would have to deal with the both of them. Whereas, the elf with his bow and arrow clearly was capable of dealing with anyone at a distance.
Xu Min was currently quite a distance away. Though the elf could shoot his arrows whenever he wanted to he had not.
"Give up," a pleasant voice suddenly drifted out from the elf that was standing at the opposite side of the platform. "Although I wish it was possible for me to return to the cycle of reincarnation, I have no other option than to use my full strength. I might seem to be only a four-star Warrior, my true strength is not far behind someone at the five-star ranking. Even though this place ranks us according to our original ranks, everyone who enters is a peerless genius. Your strength needs to be outstanding to reach even the King rank."
Hearing the words the elf said, Xu Min smirked. "You are not the only peerless genius around," he replied, feeling slightly silly about calling himself a genius. However, he also knew that now that he had reached the fourth star of a Warrior he would be able to put up quite a fight for anyone ranked at the fifth star. At worst, he and this elf should be about at the the same strength.
"It seems you have no intention of backing off," the elf said. His voice turned cold, and raised his bow. However, he did not pick up any of his arrows. Instead, he created one from Qi and shot it at Xu Min at high speed.
Had the elf used real arrows then Xu Min might have been worried. However, in his hands was a sword which devoured energy. The moment he raised it, it absorbed all the energy from the arrow while he was rushing he rushed forward to meet with the enemy.
This group was like the previous one. One of the members of the group was outstanding while the others were mediocre. Although the two Golden-Furred Blood Lions ranked a four level, they were after all only normal Golden-Furred Blood Lions. As Xu Min opened his mind and became one with the world around him, flames soared from his body. He could easily avoid the attacks of the lions in this state.
Seeing the flames spewing forth from Xu Min, the elf’s face expressed surprise. He quickly suppressed his surprise with a serious look.. He did not use any more arrows or his bow, but with a flicker of a hand, a long sword appeared in his hands—a sword just slightly smaller than the one in Xu Min's hands.
"Well done!" he yelled out as he retreated slightly, "I seriously underestimated you, but you forced me to take out my bone piercer! I will now prove to you just how amazing, we, elves are at fighting with swords!"
Seeing the elf retreat, Xu Min did not chase after him. Instead, he focused on the two lions before him. Although it was possible for him to avoid them easily, they were making him use some of his energy. Since the elf was not easy to deal with, he decided to instantly get rid of these two lions.
Xu Min swiftly slashed down his sword, eliminating the two lions instantly.. Their souls once more entered the circle of reincarnation, but their energy entered Xu Min's body, making him feel as though he was about to burst. His strength was increasing by the minute, and his eyes were sparkling with excitement. Before defeating these two lions, fighting the elf might have been difficult, but now he did not fear him at all.
Although those two Golden-Furred Blood Lions were not outstanding compared to many of the other opponents Xu Min had faced so far, they were in no way weak. Nonetheless, compared to the elf and Xu Min, they strength was quite insignificant. . They had likely failed their very first trial in their lifetime.
Seeing Xu Min's flames grow in both intensity and size, the elf was perfectly well aware of what was happening. This understanding caused his eyes to turn dark. He was not in a great mood any longer; he felt uncertain as to whether or not he would be able to win.
This Blood Pagoda was filled to the brim with souls. It had existed for eons already, and more than ten experts would enter every single year. Of these experts, only half would survive. This may seem like a bad survival rate, but those who did survive would become so strong that it was almost impossible to beat them. Was it not for this outcome, then the Golden-Furred Blood Lion family would long ago have stopped using this Blood Pagoda. However, without the experts that had survived it, they would not be able to be the strongest beasts within the Immortal Valley.
A bang sounded out as the two swords collided. Sparks flew everywhere as their swords collided together, and then something strange happened.
The sword in Xu Min's hands started humming again. This only occurred only when it was excited or filled to the brim with energy. Yet right now, it had not been able to absorb much energy, so the only other explanation was that it was excited.
Having collided with the other sword and started humming, the sword suddenly started devouring everything around it. Soon the sword in the elf’s hands started to vanish. The elf's face turned pale.
"You... You have a sword that can devour soul energy?" he asked in horror. Xu Min looked at him with a surprised look, "I don't know," he said honestly, "so far all that it has devoured is internal energies, but even I don't know the limits of my sword. My teacher, who gifted this sword to me, never told me anything about it."
"I concede," the elf rapidly cried. However, the sword in Xu Min's hands kept absorbing the soul energy from the sword in the elf's hand, and soon the hand of the elf turned translucent as well.
"It seems that my fate is to be devoured by you," the elf said with a wry smile on his face, "I guess this is not much worse than being within this Blood Pagoda. By the time you die, my soul will be released. I will then enter the circle of reincarnation once more if I am lucky. God only knows how long I will have to stay within this god forsaken pagoda to be defeated again."
Without fighting back, the devouring of the soul energy increased in pace. Xu Min sat down on the ground to absorb this new influx of energy pulsing through his veins.
The energy he was absorbing was strange and different from anything he had ever experienced before. Flashes of memories of a previous life appeared in his mind together with one martial art ability after another. Everything that belonged to the elf soon belonged to Xu Min. He even found that the bow and the sword which the elf had used during the battle were weapons created from pure energy. These weapons were now in his hands.
Soon the elf had turned completely translucent. With a smile on his face, he vanished into the sword. Xu Min had gained everything that belonged to this soul. Not only did he have the many attacks that this elf possessed in his lifetime, he even had all of his knowledge and every memory from his life.
The fight had ended, while Xu Min still sat on the ground. He had not used a lot of his energy in this battle; instead, he had managed to get through it by relying solely on the sword in his hands. Now he had gained newfound strength, knowledge, and abilities. Although he had not gained the internal energy of the elf, he soon found that these memories were worth far more than mere energy.
Standing up and placing the sword on his back, Xu Min flicked out with his hand. The bow suddenly appeared in his palm. It felt so natural as it laid there. With a wisp of Qi which took the shape of an arrow Xu Min shot at the distance and found that his aim was as great as the elf’s. He owed this elf a lot.
"I am ready for the next trial," Xu Min called out, but once more the formless voice no longer spoke. Instead, six shadows appeared in front of him. Six Golden-Furred Blood Lions arrived at the platform, all of them throwing themselves at Xu Min with frenzied expressions on their faces and slight fear in their eyes.
Fighting against six beasts was in no way a simple fight. However, Xu Min was not worried. Lifting the bow in his hands and summoning one arrow after another, he allowed for these arrows to rain down upon the beasts in front of him. Some hit eyes; others hit throats. Some arrows hit stomachs, other arrows hit backs. Every single one of the arrows hit their target, but these were not simple beasts.a The arrows hit critical spots, but five of the lions still advanced forward with the blood gushing down from their bodies.