Long Chen’s foot landed on the 334th step. In that instant, he felt space suddenly twist, and time seemed to grow slow.
In that instant, everything suddenly became distant and indistinct. Each step seemed like an uncrossable cliff.
“This is a test of will?”
Long Chen smiled slightly. He had experienced this kind of trial already in the Eastern Wasteland.
He trusted that everyone had experienced that trial as well. But compared to the original Netherworld Heaven Staircase in the Eastern Wasteland, this trial was many times stronger.
Furthermore, each step brought them closer to the two terrifying drakes. That made it so people didn’t dare to advance. This was a test of mettle, will, and toughness.
But this still wasn’t enough to stop Long Chen. The difficulty of these steps was far from enough to slow him down.
“What? No reaction at all?”
The Elders watching were all shocked. Long Chen’s rhythm didn’t change in the slightest.
“His will is frighteningly firm. It isn’t disturbed in the slightest by outer forces,” said the Hall Master. With the trial of the steps along with the pressure of the powerful Xuan Beasts, a person’s will would easily crumble.
“It truly is terrifying. Previously, no matter how strong the genius was, they would at least need a few breaths to get accustomed before continuing,” sighed an Elder.
“In the fight amongst heavenly geniuses, there are red flowers and green leaves that set each other off. But as for who is the flower and who is the leaf, there are many variables,” said the Hall Master.
“You mean that Long Chen could…” probed one of the Elders.
“Everything’s too early to say. Just calmly watch,” said the Hall Master.
The Elders turned silent. They understood the Hall Master’s meaning, but was that really possible? No matter how big the leaf was, it couldn’t bloom.
Long Chen’s footsteps didn’t change, but behind him, Tang Wan-er, Gu Yang, and the others all paused for an instant. Their bodies swayed.
“Big bro Gu Yang, I’ll entrust myself to you. Treat me well, and after this, junior brother will definitely repay your kindness a thousand times over. It’s regretful that I was born a man, or I would definitely give my heart to you…” Guo Ran was covered in sweat, and he tightly held Gu Yang’s hand.
“Guo Ran, I will toss you aside if you continue!” raged Tang Wan-er.
Guo Ran’s constitution was the weakest; no, he was the weakest of all of them in terms of almost everything. Having followed them to this point was his limit.
“Don’t worry, go in peace.”
Gu Yang knocked Guo Ran unconscious and carried him on his back as he continued onwards.
“Cheating! I wish to report an egregious violation of the rules!”
Seeing Gu Yang use this method to let someone pass, quite a few people were filled with rage and shouted.
“This isn’t against the rules. If you feel like it’s cheating, you can cheat as well. But let me tell you, if you carry someone, the difficulty will double,” said Mu Qingxuan.
Those people immediately had to shut their mouths and sadly continue.
Long Chen was the furthest up the Xuantian Staircase. As for Tang Wan-er and the others, they were originally ten steps behind him, but now they were over thirty behind.
By this level, they also felt immense pressure and could no longer advance as easily before. Their speed dropped slightly.
When Long Chen reached the 666th step, they were over fifty steps behind him. As for the other three regions’ heavenly geniuses, they were all stuck behind the Dragonblood warriors, unable to close the distance at all.
This final test wasn’t something they could pass through talent. Their advantage had vanished, while their weaknesses were completely exposed.
Yan Mochen, Han Yunshan, and Wei Changhai were green with fury. They had originally been thinking to move out later but still reach the top before Long Chen in order to show the others that they were far above him.
But who would have thought that let alone surpassing Long Chen, they were unable to even catch up to the ordinary Dragonblood warriors? They could only watch their butts as they advanced.
Quite a few disciples had washed out and were listlessly watching.
Long Chen’s figure was far too conspicuous on the Xuantian Staircase. He only got further ahead of the others; his speed stayed the same the entire time.
Long Chen’s foot released a light sound as he stepped onto the 667th step. Immediately after that, his other foot raised and he continued forward.
“This is definitely impossible!”
The previous deathly silence of the Elders was completely broken now.
“The third part tests their negative emotions! It’s a battle against themselves! How could it be so easy?!” They didn’t dare to believe their eyes.
“Does he not have any negative emotions?” proposed one of the Elders brazenly.
“How could that be possible? Let alone humans, even gods have negative emotions!” Someone directly tore apart that theory.
“I’m going insane. This makes no sense!”
The Elders were incapable of understanding this. There were a few of them who were lost in thought though.
Those Elders were the ones who had been present when the patriarch had sent out the orders. They were all thinking that perhaps only someone like this was capable of drawing the patriarch’s attention.
But the majority of the Elders hadn’t been present for that. They were unable to explain what was happening, as this matter surpassed their understanding.
“Hall Master, an erudite person like you must understand what’s happening. Please explain it to us!” begged the Elders.
“This situation has never occurred before, so I can’t explain it either. But I have once heard of an extremely monstrous trial back in the immortal era,” said the Hall Master.
“A monstrous trial from the immortal era? Are you talking about…?”
“Yes, legend is that there was a monstrous trial known as the True Self Trial. The odds of success were less than one in a million. Perhaps some of you haven’t heard about it, but the trial is to defeat yourself in a battle. And most monstrous of all, the ‘you’ that the trial creates will be slightly stronger than you, possesses all your techniques and experience, and their spiritual yuan will never run out,” said the Hall Master.
“Then how is that any different than suicide?” To challenge someone you couldn’t possibly defeat, wouldn’t you be an idiot? Was it fun to kill yourself?
“There’s pretty much no difference. Perhaps there were too many geniuses in the immortal era so they used this method to con a few of them into dying. But I have heard that anyone who defeats a stronger version of themselves will have their soul sublimate and will never be suppressed by their negative emotions. Their Dao-hearts are incomparably firm and will not waver,” said the Hall Master.
“Could it be that Long Chen…”
“It’s not very likely. Even if he had the urge to kill himself like that, he would need to find such a trial first. Where would he find such trials nowadays?”
“That’s not certain. Have you forgotten about the Immemorial Path? Perhaps he found such a trial in there…”
Long Chen had to focus to sense his negative emotions as he advanced. He sensed laziness, negativity, despair, exhaustion, and he even seemed to be able to hear voices telling him to give up.
But those feelings were very weak. If he didn’t intentionally try to sense them, he wouldn’t feel them at all. To him, this third part wasn’t even as strong as the previous two parts.
He smiled slightly. He understood the true meaning of the Xuantian Staircase. The destruction of the mind was far more effective than pressure to the physical body, and also much more frightful.
But he wasn’t worried about the Dragonblood warriors. Each one of them had experienced countless brushes past the Grim Reaper. This trial wasn’t able to cause them much trouble.
However, it would be troublesome for the other disciples. Their movements were extremely slow now. As time passed, their drive would slowly diminish. Then when they reached the part testing their negative emotions, they would be unable to see hope and completely break apart.
Long Chen’s foot finally stepped onto the 999th stair. He stood right in front of Mu Qingxuan.
From here, the huge gate overflowed with an ancient charm, and that Xuan character on it seemed to contain the secrets of the universe. He saw the most profound principles of heaven and earth within it, but then when he looked closer, he couldn’t see any of it at all.
“Congratulations on passing. Junior apprentice-brother Long Chen’s power is worthy of admiration,” said Mu Qingxuan.
She had seen Long Chen climb up as if this was just an ordinary staircase. Although she couldn’t comprehend this, she knew he had definitely passed through with his own strength. In front of these two terrifying tenth rank Xuan Beasts, no one could cheat.
“It was just luck,” said Long Chen humbly. “Senior apprentice-sister Qingxuan, have you heard of the Skywood Divine Palace?”
Mu Qingxuan smiled. “Of course I’ve heard of it. The Skywood Divine Palace is extremely famous in the Central Plains. If it weren’t for a dislikable fellow, perhaps I’d already be a disciple of the Skywood Divine Palace.”
Long Chen was delighted to hear this. A gentle figure appeared in his mind, and his heart blazed. “Then how far is the Skywood Divine Palace from the Xuantian Dao Sect?”
“It’s not that far. But you couldn’t be thinking about moving sects, right? Let me warn you, the Skywood Divine Palace only accepts wood attribute disciples,” laughed Mu Qingxuan.
“Senior apprentice-sister is joking. In truth, I have a lover in the Skywood Divine Palace. We’ve been apart for a long time already, and I miss her.” Just thinking about Chu Yao made Long Chen’s heart ache. He wondered how she had been during these past few years.
“It’s nice that you care, but I feel like you should first think of a way to establish yourself in the Xuantian Dao Sect before thinking about other things,” advised Mu Qingxuan.
“Many thanks for your reminder. Junior brother understands.” Long Chen cupped his hands in thanks. Having obtained some information about the Skywood Divine Palace, his spirits were raised.
“Yao-er, just wait. I’ll quickly find you.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter