Deep into the night.
The majestic Cloudsoaring Mountain stood tall and erect, like a gigantic stone pillar piercing into the clouds.
At the foot of the mountain, Nie Tian looked up at it, breathing deeply and filled with emotion.
“Lingzhu, you go ahead,” Li Fan said casually.
Jiang Lingzhu turned around to look at Nie Tian. With a complicated expression, she said, “What about him?”
Li Fan answered, “Master has instructed me to bring him directly to the back of the mountain.”
Jiang Lingzhu was taken aback. “Really?”
Li Fan laughed bitterly. “I wish he was kidding. Ahh... the idea of having such a young martial uncle also bothered me...”
“You lucky dog!” Jiang Lingzhu said, glaring at Nie Tian. Sounding annoyed, she continued, “I don’t care. I won’t call you martial uncle no matter what. You’re not even my age!”
With these words, she went along the long and narrow stone steps towards the top of the Cloudsoaring Mountain.
Nie Tian scratched his head, looking confused. “What’s going on, uncle Li?”
“You can call me uncle Li today, but from tomorrow on, I’ll be your martial nephew.” Helplessness appeared on Li Fan’s face, but he didn’t explain anything more in detail. Instead, he said, “Let’s go, to the back of the mountain.”
Full of questions, Nie Tian followed along.
An hour later, the sky had turned completely dark, and a bright, round moon gradually rose up into the night sky.
Behind Cloudsoaring Mountain, Nie Tian and Li Fan appeared at the foot of a mountain that was slightly shorter than Cloudsoaring Mountain.
Li Fan pointed to a stone path which led towards the mountaintop, and said to Nie Tian, “This is as far as I can go. You just have to follow this stone path and walk to the end of it. Someone will be waiting for you at the mountaintop. And that person will be your master in the Cloudsoaring sect.”
“What?” Nie Tian was confused. “Why does he live in the back, and not on Cloudsoaring Mountain? From what I’ve heard, new disciples are supposed to attend some kind of ceremony, aren’t they?”
“You’re different.” Li Fan explained, shaking his head. “You’ll see. Many rules of the Cloudsoaring sect won’t apply to you.”
His words left Nie Tian completely confused.
“Go ahead. Follow the stone path to the mountaintop. Soon, you’ll understand how lucky you are, kid.” Without another word, Li Fan turned and left.
Under the moonlight, Nie Tian’s gaze followed the long, rugged stone path upwards to the top of the peak, his heart filled with all kinds of emotions.
After stewing in his thoughts for a while, he still couldn’t figure out what was waiting for him, thus he just followed Li Fan’s instructions and walked along the stone path up the mountain, bathed in moonlight.
The stone path was long and rugged, and he spent the entire night climbing. By the time he got to the top, it was already daybreak, and he was exhausted.
At the end of the stone path was a stretch of glossy stone ground, atop which were a few thatched cottages.
Completely worn out, Nie Tian breathed deeply to calm himself. Before he could examine the surroundings carefully, a voice echoed out from within one of the thatched cottages, “You’re here.”
Nie Tian was taken aback. “You are?”
“Come.” The person’s voice was filled with tranquility, as if he had just woken up. “Watch your step.”
Subconsciously, Nie Tian looked towards the glossy stone ground under his feet.
He saw dots of bright light floating out, which quickly stretched into lines and interweaved into a gigantic grid.
In the next moment, waves of soul-shaking fluctuations were unleashed from within the grid, causing Nie Tian’s expression to flicker.
Then he noticed that the clusters of clouds floating near the mountain peak were being attracted as they converged rapidly onto the stone ground under his feet.
Before long, the clusters of clouds seemed to have turned into an ash-gray carpet, spreading out and covering the entire stone ground, with the only visible thing being a carpet of clouds.
At that moment, he felt as if he was standing on top of a sea of clouds, in the highest of the heavens.
“Take your time, and walk to me step by step.” Submerged in the dense clouds, the voice that echoed out from the thatched cottage sounded even more ethereal.
Nie Tian glanced around. All he could see was a sea of thick clouds and a thatched cottage that seemed to be floating on top of it, with no mountains or ground visible any longer.
This was something he had never experienced before, and thus he instantly grew incomparably cautious.
No longer able to locate the stone ground beneath his feet, he feared that he might fall from the clouds into the heart of the mountain and die.
He stared closely at the thatched cottage and pondered for a while with his eyes narrowed. Convinced that the stone ground was still there between him and the thatched cottage, he finally took his first trembling step forward.
The moment his foot landed, a surge of energy fluctuations entered his body through the bottom of his foot, which then turned into millions of strands of energy that swam upwards along his legs.
He immediately experienced soreness and numbness all over. When he unleashed his psychic power to examine his body, he discovered that those strands of energy seemed to have found an outlet and rushed forth into his mind.
Shortly after, he felt muddleheaded as he started to lose his balance and stagger.
Every muscle and meridian inside of him seemed to be invaded by the strange, fine strands of energy, and gradually, he started to feel a rise in his body temperature.
“Second step.” The voice once again echoed out from within the thatched cottage.
Muddleheaded and dizzy, Nie Tian followed the person’s instructions and slowly took his second step.
Another surge of energy rushed into his sole, reaching every one of his bones and limbs and filling his entire body.
His body suddenly expanded out like a inflated balloon, just as what had previously occurred in the Green Illusion dimension when he had tried to refine the blood he had absorbed.
A heart-wrenching pain came from within each and every one of his pores, which grew increasingly unbearable and eventually made him cry out loud. “Ahh!”
While he was roaring wildly, sweat started spilling out from his pores, which… was mixed with filth that was being discharged from within his body.
“Continue!” The voice rang out again.
Nie Tian struggled to resist the acute pain. Jaw clenched, he took another step forward.
With every step he took, astonishing energy would break out from within the clusters of clouds beneath his feet, rush inside of him without meeting any obstacle, and wander about in his flesh and bones, as if it was attempting to stimulate him!
When he took the seventh step, the pain built up to the point where he was on the verge of losing consciousness.
His legs felt as heavy as mountains, and he found it almost impossible to take even one more step forward.
Therefore, he stopped.
Surprisingly, the voice that had kept urging him didn’t echo out, as if it was waiting for something.
HUFF! HUFF! HUFF!
Nie Tian panted heavily, as if the most effortless action of breathing had now become too consuming for him.
By this point, he felt as if his body didn’t belong to him any more; he was so muddleheaded that he could no longer feel the existence of his body.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
It was also at that very moment that he experienced an anomaly in his heartbeat, which was growing increasingly strong and rapid!
Standing among the clouds, Nie Tian exclaimed inwardly, fearing that his secret was about to be revealed. “Oh, damn!"
This kind of situation had only occurred to help him reverse a desperate situation, allowing him to battle on with an new, unknown strength.
It was no exception this time!
He had been exhausted to death and on the verge of passing out, but as his heart pounded increasingly vigorously, he resumed command of his own body.
It seemed as if his body was reactivated by a new kind of strength!
Having stopped for a while, the voice suddenly rang out once again. “Continue!!”
However, this time, Nie Tian could clearly identify excitement in that voice.Previous Chapter Next Chapter