The star congregation jade was a wondrous jade capable of gathering astral energy, and it was helpful in increasing the speed at which a cultivator could gather astral energy. It was in a sense a tool to help grow one's strength, and each such jade was exceedingly expensive. In fact, this jade was even more expensive than an ordinary spirit medicine.
Xiang Shaoyun had at first expected to receive a real star congregation jade, but he had instead received a star jade of inferior quality. The so-called star jade was simply a jade capable of gathering a tiny amount of astral energy, and it had a much weaker effect compared to a real star congregation jade.
"Kid, you are calling the star congregation jade an inferior star jade?" a disgruntled voice rang out from outside the room. The voice had come so suddenly Xiang Shaoyun was given a fright.
An old man was standing outside the door. He had average looks at best. However, he also radiated a certain majesty, one that inspired awe in all who looked at him. The overseer was standing beside the old man. From how deferential he was behaving, it was obvious this old man was no ordinary person. The old man was the present master of Martial Hall Palace, Yang Gaochuan. He was one of the strongest experts in the Martial Hall Palace.
"You are?" Xiang Shaoyun asked as he had never met Yang Gaochuan before.
"This is our revered palace master!" introduced the overseer.
"Ahh, so it's the revered palace master. Pleased to meet you, palace master!" Xiang Shaoyun remained calm and saluted the palace master.
When Yang Gaochuan saw how composed Xiang Shaoyun was, a slight trace of astonishment flickered in his eyes. Evidently, Xiang Shaoyun's reaction had surprised him. The astonishment did not linger in his eyes as he proceeded to say, "You're Xiang Shaoyun? I have long heard of your name. This is the first time I'm seeing you, and you indeed do not disappoint. You have actually broken two limits in a row?"
"The palace master is too kind with his praise," Xiang Shaoyun said humbly, something rarely seen.
"But why did you claim that the star congregation jade is an inferior product? Have you seen a true star congregation jade before?" Yang Gaochuan asked.
"Haha, how is that possible? I merely felt that this star congregation jade feels different than what is recorded in the books. Just look at the color and luster. It's obvious enough. Even if this jade can gather astral energy, the amount gathered will be rather limited," Xiang Shaoyun explained with a hearty laugh. In truth, he had seen real star congregation jades before. He was just too embarrassed to admit it.
"You've got good eyes. This star congregation jade is not a true high-quality star congregation jade, but it is good enough for an Astral Realm cultivator. It can increase your cultivation speed by at least 30 percent!" Yang Gaochuan said.
"Hehe, true. It's still better than nothing." Xiang Shaoyun smiled and stowed the star congregation jade.
"Looks like you have quite the big appetite, kid. Since you have successfully broken two limits in a row, I can give you an additional reward," Yang Gaochuan said.
"For real? Can I get anything I want, such as weapons, battle techniques, or even spirit medicines?" Xiang Shaoyun asked joyfully.
"Yes. I can even warn the thirteenth elder on your behalf if you want," Yang Gaochuan promised.
"No, I don't need that. It's not like he would dare pull anything if I stay here anyway," Xiang Shaoyun said. He then continued, "If possible, can the palace master reward me with some tier-3 or tier-4 weapons, battle techniques, and spirit medicines? I suppose those are already the best the Martial Hall Palace can provide."
After Xiang Shaoyun said that, the overseer's face darkened as he cursed inwardly, This kid sure has a big mouth. What does he mean by those are already the best?
"Haha, that is quite a big request." Yang Gaochuan chortled and said, "Since you have broken two limits in a row, I will only reward you with two items. You can take your pick between a tier-3 weapon, a battle technique, and a low-grade spirit medicine."
When Xiang Shaoyun heard that, he replied gloomily, "I'll break another limit then."
"If you can break the next limit, I will double your rewards," Yang Gaochuan promised.
"Deal! I'll be going ahead then," Xiang Shaoyun said and headed straight toward the fifth room.
After Xiang Shaoyun left, the overseer said, "But the next limit can only be broken by those at the third stage of Astral Realm or higher!"
"I don't think this kid will have any problem breaking that limit either," Yang Gaochuan said, stunning the overseer.
After an hour, Xiang Shaoyun came out from the fifth limit room. His body was covered in wounds, looking to be in quite a sorry state. Fortunately, his vitals were still well protected.
"H-he broke the fifth limit too!" the overseer yelled. He had been staring at the jade plate in front of the fifth room all this while. The jade plate had dimmed, signifying that the challenger had succeeded.
"Phew. That room sure is dangerous. Traps are everywhere, and any mistake would have been the death of me. I was even forced to use my weapon!" Xiang Shaoyun grumbled. He still felt some lingering fear when he recalled the numerous traps in the fifth room.
Even with his combat prowess, which was the equivalent to a third-stage Astral Realm cultivator’s, he still nearly failed the challenge. Fortunately, he had his gift of instincts and Overlord's Nine Nether Steps. Otherwise, even if he had survived, he would've been seriously injured.
However, his gain from this room had been great. He had utilized the Lightning Spear Technique to deal with many of the traps, greatly increasing his mastery over the technique. After all, actual combat would always be the best way for one to grow. Apart from that, he could also sense that he was not far from second-stage Astral Realm now.
"Splendid. Nicely done," Yang Gaochuan said, his eyes brightly lit. Then, he sighed before saying, "Looks like there will be a surprise to this time's Battle of Towns. Too bad we only have half a year before then. We will be a bit hard-pressed for time."
Astonished, the overseer said, "Battle of Towns? Palace master, you are thinking of—"
Before he could finish his sentence, Yang Gaochuan interrupted him with a wave of a hand. Yang Gaochuan said to Xiang Shaoyun, "Tell me. What do you want for your reward?"
"Oh, that can wait. My question is, will the reward be doubled again if I break the next limit?" Xiang Shaoyun asked.
Once again, Yang Gaochuan and the overseer were stunned.
"You sure you want to challenge another room?" Yang Gaochuan asked after he recovered from his shock.
"If the reward will be doubled, I will consider doing it," Xiang Shaoyun replied.
"Consider it properly. Even a fourth-stage or fifth-stage Astral Realm cultivator might not survive the next room," Yang Gaochuan warned.
"How will we know without trying?" Xiang Shaoyun did not seem to mind.
"Sure. If you can survive even half an hour in the sixth room, I will count that as completion and will double your reward again," Yang Gaochuan said.
Generally speaking, each limit room corresponded to a different level of strength. For instance, the first room corresponded to the seventh-stage Basic Realm, the second room corresponded to anyone in the Basic Realm, the third room corresponded to those who had recently entered the Astral Realm, and so on. As for the sixth room, it corresponded to those between the fourth and fifth stage of the Astral Realm.
Surviving for an hour in any of the rooms would count as a completion. This time, Yang Gaochuan had made an exception and allowed Xiang Shaoyun to stay for only half an hour. In a sense, he was halving the limit challenge for him. But of course, Xiang Shaoyun had still created a brand new record to reach the sixth room when he was a mere first-stage Astral Realm cultivator.Previous Chapter Next Chapter