Chapter 294: Marching Onto the Tenth Floor!
Jiang Chen possessed unusual strength of heart, given his level of training in Boulder Heart. Thus, he could tell that the beetle didn’t seem to be lying from its expression and words.
Once the notion of refining the magnetic golden mountain began to bud within Jiang Chen’s heart, it became unstoppable.
“Ole Gold, since I promised you that I’d aid you in evolving your bloodline, I’ll surely continue to try my best. However, you can’t have this Cicada today.”
Jiang Chen turned his head and said to the Rat King.
The Rat King sighed in resignation. He knew that the fate of his tribe depended entirely on Jiang Chen.
If he didn’t have Jiang Chen’s help, he’d be unable to change the fate of his tribe, even though he was the king. Therefore, he had to listen to Jiang Chen.
He also knew that Jiang Chen was a man of his word. Since he’d promised to help them evolve their bloodline, he’d definitely do what he’d promised.
“Young master, I’ll do whatever you want, so long as you remember that the fate of the entire tribe of Goldbiter Rats rests in your hands. Besides, I wouldn’t have been able to capture this beetle without the young master’s help.”
Although the Rat King was a bit reluctant, it still recognized the situation that it was in, and made the painful decision.
“Alright then, little Cicada, I now swear to the heavens that, so long as your secret is of value, I won’t make a move against this Thundercloud Tree, or you.”
He smiled at the Cicada and swore another oath immediately afterwards. “May I be executed by heaven and destroyed by earth if I break my word.”
“Mm. You’re not as capricious or as slippery as other humans I’ve met. Alright, I’ll tell you the secret of the magnetic golden mountain.”
“According to my inherited memories, this magnetic golden mountain should be a treasure from ancient times. Whoever makes it to the peak of the tenth floor will have a chance to refine this mountain. However, there are many conditions needed to refine the mountain, the most important of which are to pass the tests on the tenth floor.”
“Yes, the tenth floor is different from all nine floors before it. There’ll be more tests than strong magnetic storms. When you pass the tests, you’ll gain the chance to refine the mountain for your own use, but only if you’re able to find the magnetic heart, and refine it within two hours.”
“The magnetic heart?” Jiang Chen’s eyes darted around. “Where is this magnetic heart located?”
The little beetle shook its head. “I don’t have any memories of where the magnetic heart is located either. I only know that the Lord of the Golden Seal has the magnetic heart. The only way you can obtain it is if you defeat the lord.”
Jiang Chen knew a lot about the magnetic golden mountain and knew that each mountain would have different characteristics based on its master’s preferences.
As for this Lord of the Golden Seal, although he didn’t know what it was, he knew that it was surely a strong spirit that’d been nurtured with the magnetic golden mountain’s essence, and was the ultimate protector of this place.
“What level of strength does the Lord of the Golden Seal have?”
If the lord’s strength was mediocre, then he could give it a try. But if it’s strength was so much that he had no chance against it, then he’d likely be quick to give up on this idea.
This kind of spirit had no human emotions at all, and wouldn’t listen to reason when it started to act wildly.
Although Jiang Chen wanted to refine the magnetic golden mountain, he knew that there was no point in them going towards it like moths to a flame.
“I’m not sure what level of strength the Lord of the Golden Seal has. If I recall correctly, the strength of the lord is dependent on the mountain’s spirit activity. If you happen to run into it at a time in which the mountain is erupting, then no one will be able to pinpoint how strong the lord is. If there aren’t great ripples in the strength of the mountain’s force, then the lord won’t be too strong, even if it is awake.”
The little beetle’s words strongly reminded Jiang Chen of something.
“That’s right, this mountain was once used as a testing ground in ancient times. Since this mountain belonged to an ancient mountain, it definitely won’t be subpar. If an origin realm practitioner came to this mountain, and stimulated this magnetic spirit power, then the result would surely be stronger than the level that’d occur if it were stimulated by us—ordinary practitioners. The stronger the stimulated spirit power, the more awake the lord will be. So the interesting aspect of the mountain is that it becomes stronger when it meets the strong, but weaker when it meets the weak. Is it that it’s testing the practitioner’s potential, not his actual level of strength or combat experience…?”
Jiang Chen finally understood things and was delighted. “If this mountain grows stronger as its opponents grow stronger, then although many practitioners have arrived this time, because they’ve all confined their activities to below the fifth level, they haven’t given rise to too much magnetic activity. If this is the case, doesn’t that mean that even if the lord on the tenth floor has awoken, his strength will still be at a tolerable level?”
Jiang Chen had some more thoughts as he contemplated the magnetic heart.
“To hell with it all! With great risk comes great reward. I can’t stay on the ninth floor much longer. The testing period runs for ten days, and the first nine floors used up at least three of those. That means I only have seven days to conquer the tenth floor.”
“If the Lord of the Golden Seal is truly that mighty, then I’ll retreat immediately. However, I won’t give up as long as a strand of hope remains.” Jiang Chen made up his mind.
The temptation that the mountain offered was obviously much greater than that of the Thundercloud Tree and Golden Beetle.
Not to mention the fact that these two were part of the mountain. If he managed to refine the mountain, then they’d naturally become his!
And of course, since Jiang Chen had promised that he wouldn’t kill the Cicada, he naturally wouldn’t go back on his word.
The light of enthusiasm shone within Jiang Chen’s eyes as he looked towards the Rat King. “Ole Gold, are you interested in braving the tenth floor with me? You’re like a fish in water on this magnetic golden mountain.”
The Rat King chuckled, “Don’t you go provoking me young master. I’m gonna say this first—you have to think of me if there happens to be anything good on the tenth floor!”
Jiang Chen smiled, “Don’t you worry, you’ll share in the profits.”
The Rat King’s eyes creased in a smile, and he charged up to the tenth floor like a flash of lightning, murmuring, “I’ll scout ahead.”
The Goldbiter Rats were normally timid and cautious, but just as Jiang Chen had said, the Rat King was like a fish in water whilst on this mountain.
In an environment such as the magnetic golden mountain, the Goldbiter Rat’s abilities were greatly enhanced.
Therefore, the Goldbiter Rats wouldn’t even be afraid of an origin realm practitioner whilst on this mountain!
Origin realm practitioners would be restrained by the force from the mountain, while the opposite was the case for the Goldbiter Rats.
Not to mention the fact that the Rat King truly wanted to help Jiang Chen refine the mountain.
Once Jiang Chen made this mountain his own, in the future, his Goldbiter Rats would have an even more appropriate home. It was better than always hiding away in their nest, stored within Jiang Chen’s space ring.
An environment like the magnetic golden mountain would be of utmost benefit to both the growth and evolution of the Goldbiter Rats.
Jiang Chen didn’t hesitate either, dashing up to the tenth floor when he saw the Rat King streak forward.
The little Cicada heaved a long sigh of relief as he watched Jiang Chen and the Rat King disappear.
“That human was quite strange… and he understands the ancient beast language? He… he actually really wants to refine the mountain? However, if it’s refined by him, then won’t he become the mountain’s master, and therefore my master in turn?”
The little beetle’s consciousness had awakened not too long ago, and so apart from instinct, it relied on the memories within its heritage to think.
Therefore, its thoughts towards the outside world were quite simple and naive.
Jiang Chen had long since been mentally prepared regarding the tenth floor, but when he actually set foot on it, he discovered that the tenth floor was indeed quite different from the previous nine.
If it wasn’t for the fact that he was seeing it with his own eyes, Jiang Chen would’ve almost suspected that he’d arrived back in the outside world.
There was no end to the verdant forest. All of it was as a beautiful, green ocean.
Stone stairs stretched out endlessly through the forest, forming a winding path amidst a secluded place with no end in sight.
“Is this… is this really the tenth floor?”
If it wasn’t for the stairs giving off the same feeling as before, Jiang Chen would’ve absolutely suspected that he’d left the mountain.
“Mm, can’t get careless. This mountain was refined by an ancient expert, thus it’s normal for all sorts of scenes to appear. If I’m mesmerized by the scene at hand, then there might be another magnetic storm that churns me away the next second!”
Jiang Chen followed the steps, and continued climbing upwards.
He’d climbed three, four thousand steps before too long.
There were ten thousand steps on each floor, yet he’d climbed between three and four thousand steps in one go, and hadn’t met any obstacles at all.
There were faint magnetic pulses in the air, however the feeling was the same as what he’d felt in the first three floors—so faint that it was almost negligible.
It was also a good thing. These faint pulses reminded him to never be off-guard while he was in the magnetic golden mountain.
A terrace appeared about a third of the way up.
The terrace was several hundred acres wide, like a big courtyard. However, there was an enormous statue that stood proudly and aloofly in the middle of the courtyard.
Some humanoid sculptures were also scattered randomly around the statue. Each of them seemed almost lifelike in appearance, as if they’d been built according to actual, human proportions. Their features stood out amidst the flowing lines of their clothes and their accessories. Their gestures and expressions were also incredibly vivid.
The situation seemed to be one where real people had simply fallen asleep whilst standing up, and that a single crack of thunder would be able to wake them all up.
“These sculptures are incredibly lifelike!” Jiang Chen felt that things were slightly odd. Ever since he’d set foot on the terrace, a strange feeling had risen in his chest.
The sculptures were all standing on the terrace in twos and threes, following no particular pattern, as if they were pedestrians rushing to and fro on the streets.
However, Jiang Chen quickly discovered an area of commonality, in that all of the sculpture’s heads were slightly lifted and looking in the same direction.
It seemed as if all of their attention had been caught by the same thing in the moment that time had frozen them.
Jiang Chen followed their gazes, and noticed that they were all focused on the eyes of the giant statue.
Suddenly, the giant statue’s eyes seemed to blink.
“Eh?” An extremely ominous feeling suddenly rose in Jiang Chen’s heart.