Long Chen had just started pulling Qingqing away when that person angrily blocked his path.
“You clearly said that you knew Long Chen just now!”
“Wait a moment, my memory’s not so good. When did I say I know Long Chen? Let’s think back to what we said before,” said Long Chen innocently.
“What’s wrong with your head? The first thing I asked you was if you knew Long Chen, and you said you did!”
“Oh, that? I said that I knew of him. I mean, how many people here don’t know of Long Chen? However, knowing of him doesn’t mean that I know him,” said Long Chen.
“You…!” That person almost coughed up blood.
“Hey, are you going back on our deal? Were the legends false? After getting money for answering questions, you actually have to give the money back? Fine, since you can’t bear to part with this little money, I’ll give it back to you. Although I’m poor, I still have some pride, unlike… Well, I won’t say it. Here, take it.” Long Chen held out a spatial ring.
That person’s face alternated between white and green. He then looked at that spatial ring and furiously said, “The men of the Central Xuan Region are all noble. We never demand others to give back what we have given them. Go and spend it. Treat it as my charity to a beggar from another region.”
That man snorted and left. Others shook their heads as they also scattered.
“Hehe, your Central Xuan Region’s people really have money. Come, let me treat you to a meal.” Long Chen laughed and pulled Qingqing into an ancient restaurant.
Once they were inside the restaurant, Long Chen was very generous, ordering a little bit of everything. He directly spent twenty thousand spirit stones just on food.
In the end, a giant table had a small mountain of food piled on top of it, each dish being incomparably expensive.
Some meats were even from twelfth rank Magical Beasts, while some stir-fries included famous precious medicines. The smell alone was enough to make one salivate.
As soon as the food came, Long Chen started taking big bites, chomping down on some twelfth rank golden ox muscle. It was unknown what cooking method they had used to make it practically melt in his mouth. The essence within it was fully retained, making it both delicious and nourishing. It was no wonder it was so expensive.
“Qingqing, eat while it’s hot!” Only after several large bites did Long Chen notice that Qingqing was staring blankly at the mountain of food in front of her. It seemed she had forgotten how to use her chopsticks.
“Senior apprentice-brother Long Chen, can we really eat so luxuriously? I’m not used to this.”
“The money was given by someone else as a treat. It’s not like we’re spending our own money, so don’t be uneasy. Hurry and eat. To tell the truth, even if we didn’t run into that unlucky fool, I’d have treated you anyway because I’m impressed by your knowledge. I’ve got plenty of money since people are always sending money my way. I can’t even stop them”
“Wow, you’re so good at forming relationships with other people! There are that many people sending you money?” exclaimed Qingqing.
Long Chen was speechless. It seemed this child was too innocent to understand what he meant. The people sending him money weren’t doing it because of their friendship with him.
After a bit of talking and joking with Long Chen, Qingqing finally began to use her chopsticks. Her eyes were shining, as these delicacies were not things that she could usually enjoy.
“There’s a reason why this food is so expensive. Eat it. Here, this is good stuff. You can eat it.” Long Chen pushed a plate to Qingqing.
This plate had a dozen translucent objects. They appeared crystalline but immediately melted in a person’s mouth. Qingqing tried it and was unable to tell what it was.
“Senior apprentice-brother Long Chen, what is this? It’s delicious and contains so much essence!” Qingqing was amazed by this dish, but she quickly found that Long Chen’s expression was a bit odd.
What Qingqing didn’t know was that what she had just eaten was a very hearty bull… whip. It was the life rod of the twelfth rank Magical Beast known as the Golden Heavenly Unicorn Bull. Naturally, it was full of… essence. However, it wasn’t as if Long Chen could just tell her the truth.
“Senior apprentice-brother Long Chen, what is it? Is this thing very strange?” asked Qingqing innocently.
“Ah, about that… there’s nothing strange about it. It’s an organ that animals have,” said Long Chen vaguely.
“An organ that animals have? Then do humans have it?” probed Qingqing.
“Ah, well, how do I put this… Some people have it, some people… don’t.” Long Chen wanted to do a facepalm. This was difficult to explain, especially to a naive and innocent girl.
“How curious. Then do I have it?”
“Right now you don’t have it, but you might have one in the future.” Long Chen continued to be vague.
Just at this moment, a woman in violet robes at a table not that far from them snorted and stood up, glaring at Long Chen. She turned to leave.
However, she suddenly double backed when she saw his face. “It’s you!”
The woman stared at Long Chen with shock, clearly having recognized him. Long Chen’s illusory art was useless against her.
Long Chen was also startled. This woman’s control over her Heavenly Dao energy was extremely great, and she had managed to suppress her fluctuations to a minimum. If he hadn’t seen her eyes, he really might have been tricked.
She was actually a powerful Empyrean. Her eyes had golden runes flowing within them.
“Hmph, I never thought that the famous Long Chen was nothing more than a rogue. It seems those rumors aren’t unsubstantiated. Your ranking is completely meaningless.” The woman snorted and left.
Long Chen was still flabbergasted. Just who was this woman? He didn’t know her, so how did he get cursed by her as soon as she saw him? She must have realized what Long Chen was saying.
“Senior apprentice-brother Long Chen, that woman is very amazing. Her name is Ye Lingshan. She is an independent cultivator, but due to obtaining the inheritance of an ancient sect, she instantly became a peerless heavenly genius. Rumor is that her potential is terrifying, and all the large powers are trying to pull her into their sects. Even the alliance head once invited her, saying that she wanted her as her personal apprentice. However, Ye Lingshan is still hesitating over her decision,” said Qingqing.
“The alliance head wants her as her apprentice? Their characters are quite similar. They’re definitely fiery enough.” Long Chen nodded.
“Hehe, senior apprentice-brother Long Chen, aren’t you afraid of me selling you out to the alliance head?”
“I’m not afraid. After eating my food, I trust you wouldn’t do such a thing.”
The two of them quickly finished eating. There was a great deal left over, but Qingqing took it for her sisters.
Long Chen said he could get a whole table for her to bring back, but Qingqing refused obstinately. The two of them left the restaurant and took a short transportation formation to the top of a mountain.
In front of the mountain was a cliff with a set of stairs on it. There were nine steps.
What startled Long Chen was that he felt a powerful mental pressure coming from these stairs. It was his first time sensing such powerful Spiritual Strength. It was like a raging tsunami.
“Senior apprentice-brother, this is the Venerate Platform, a stone staircase that comes all the way from the dark era. In the ancient era, this was a trial to test a person’s potential. As long as a person could reach the ninth step, it would signify that they have a high chance of becoming a Venerate in the future. Do you want to try it? Anyone is allowed to try it, and there’s no fee,” said Qingqing. She stared at him expectantly, wanting to see him try it.
Long Chen looked at the distant nine steps. Quite a few experts were currently attempting to climb it.
Although it was just nine steps, each step was three hundred meters tall. When the disciples climbed onto them, they seemed to be restricted by some law and were unable to fly. They were forced to climb up.
These people had only reached the third step before they began coughing up blood. They fell from the steps, crashing onto the ground and clenching their heads in pain.
Long Chen shook his head. “This staircase has a mental formation on it that strips you of your spiritual yuan. It is a kind of mental torment to climb it. Not only will illusions assault you, but your heart-devils will be reborn. Without strong enough willpower, anyone coming here would just be torturing themselves. They would be rattling their own Dao-heart.”
Long Chen’s mental power was strong, and he was able to sense the power of this staircase.
His estimate was that it was a test for experts in the ancient era. It most likely was not used as a trial because the mental damage it caused was serious. It could even harm the soul.
It should have a formation that also healed a person’s soul and firmed a person’s Dao-heart. Otherwise, it would just be a con. However, after so much time, this staircase had become a masterless object, and there was no one protecting it. Since most of its power had to have faded, there was no value even if you reached the ninth step.
Reaching the ninth step meant that you could become a Venerate? That was just a way to comfort oneself. Long Chen wouldn’t do something so foolish.
“Senior apprentice-brother Long Chen, you’re so amazing! You instantly saw through the Venerate Platform’s details.” Qingqing was surprised.
“Based on your expression, it seems you’ve climbed it before?”
“Yes, but after the fifth step, I couldn’t go on. I fell and almost became a pancake.” Qingqing stuck out her tongue in embarrassment.
“With your peaceful nature, you were still able to reach the fifth step. That’s not bad. However, don’t believe the superstitions about the Venerate Platform. Due to the flow of time, many of its runes have been badly damaged, and it is no longer comparable to its original state. Many people have also been led astray by that legend. The reason it’s here free of charge for everyone to use is because it’s just a toy used to harm yourself. Otherwise, others would have occupied it already,” said Long Chen.
The current Venerate Platform merely caused damage to a person’s mind. It was only suitable for those with great willpower to temper themselves. Others would just be harming themselves. That was why only a few experts were climbing it right now despite the vast number of geniuses in Clearwind City. He would guess that a portion of these people were those who had come from the other four regions, attracted to its name.
“Oh? Ye Lingshan has come! Is she going to challenge the Venerate Platform?” Qingqing let out a startled cry. Long Chen saw Ye Lingshan appear in front of the Venerate Platform.Previous Chapter Next Chapter