The mountain valley appeared both real and illusory at the same time. It seemed like a painting that was constantly fluctuating. It was clearly there, yet it somehow felt unreal.
Mist filled the valley, making it impossible to see what was inside. But it somehow felt like endless mysteries were waiting to be explored inside.
“This is the Nine Netherworld Path. It is different from the first trial. This trial is focused on a person’s soul and will. Furthermore, there is great danger inside, and there is the possibility of dying at any time. So I would advise people with weak Spiritual Strength to not participate.”
Hearing the vice sect master’s words, the Dragonblood warriors all looked at Gu Yang. Gu Yang sighed. It seemed this trial had no affinity with him.
His Spiritual Strength was too lacking. To avoid him being instantly killed by even an ordinary soul cultivator, Guo Ran had made him a protective soul item, and Meng Qi had personally poured her soul energy into it.
The vice sect master continued, “The Nine Netherworld Path is filled with countless dangers. Illusions appear at every corner. If you can’t distinguish between what is real and what is an illusion, you will lose your life. Don’t think that this trial is the same as the Xuantian Sea. This trial is created from Spiritual Strength. I’m sure you can imagine just how many souls are required to activate such a huge trial!”
Even Long Chen’s heart shook. This trial required souls to activate? Could it be that they had gathered the Spiritual Strength left by dying experts?
“I’m sure you all remember that the final trial to enter your monasteries was battling those Corrupt corpses. Those corpses are gathered from the battlefields of the Righteous and Corrupt paths. The souls that are comparatively complete are sealed in the corpses and used as a trial.
“But on the battlefields of the true experts, the majority of the experts have their souls extinguished in the battle. Their leftover Spiritual Strength is then gathered to activate the Nine Netherworld Path.
“So the Nine Netherworld Path contains endless grievance and resentment in it. You’ll run into all kinds of dangers. If you sense a danger to your life, you can crush the jade plates that were distributed to you previously. Then you’ll be automatically transported out.
“However, you absolutely cannot assume that this jade plate will save your life. The majority of the dangers inside are targeted toward the soul. It’s very likely that you won’t even have a chance to crush the jade before dying!” warned the vice sect master.
Everyone’s hearts felt heavy, especially those people without powerful Spiritual Strength.
But the Nine Netherworld Path was one of the Xuantian Dao Sect’s trials. The benefits inside had to be immense. Although the vice sect master had only mentioned the dangers, opportunity and risk existed together. This was definitely an opportunity that couldn’t be missed.
“Finally, let me warn you about one last thing. You absolutely, absolutely cannot try to see your future in the trial.” The vice sect master’s gaze roved across Long Chen and the Four Heavenly Geniuses.
Zhong Wuyan and the others’ hearts trembled. To make the vice sect master warn them so solemnly, this matter had to be incredibly important. They firmly remembered his warning.
After a couple of hours, the mountain valley in front of them stopped fluctuating. The vice sect master waved his hand. “The trial of the Nine Netherworld Path begins now!”
But this time, people were clearly much more cautious. There weren’t any fools who charged in. The Xuantian Dao Sect’s trials were kept as a secret from the disciples, and none of them wanted to be the tester for others.
“Long Chen, let’s go. I can sense there’s something I want inside.” Meng Qi pulled Long Chen and Tang Wan-er toward the valley.
Long Chen gave the others a warning before the three of them entered. The valley entrance wasn’t huge, being only a hundred meters wide. The heavy mist inside possessed powerful spiritual fluctuations.
Meng Qi, Tang Wan-er, and Long Chen entered the mist together. The other disciples were constantly paying close attention to them, so they were all shocked once they entered. At that moment, their three spiritual fluctuations completely disappeared, almost as if a monster had swallowed them. They felt a chill as this was too strange. But seeing the vice sect master’s expressionless face, they could only summon their courage and walk in as well.
Long Chen had been holding their hands the whole time, but when he entered the mist, he suddenly felt his hands become empty. At the same time, the mist faded to reveal a mountain path.
The mist was still extremely heavy, and he could only see a few meters in front of himself. This mist was extremely strange. His Spiritual Strength was unable to go through it. There was no way for him to activate his divine sense.
Suddenly, a roar came from behind him. Long Chen hastily turned back to see a thirty-meter flame leopard attack him.
Long Chen was startled. How was it that he hadn’t sensed this leopard approaching him? He hastily punched out.
But his fist went straight through the leopard’s body.
“It’s a spiritual attack!” As expected, this leopard was nothing more than soul energy, and it directly attacked his soul. Long Chen snorted. Forming a hand seal, a spiritual arrow shot out of his forehead and struck the leopard.
The leopard immediately transformed into incredibly pure Spiritual Strength and surged toward Long Chen. He was somewhat startled, and he cautiously absorbed a strand of that Spiritual Strength.
“How pure!” Long Chen was shocked. The leopard had actually transformed into pure Spiritual Strength when it was killed, and it was the kind of Spiritual Strength that could be absorbed to strengthen a person’s soul.
“Unfortunately, this thing is useless to me,” he sighed.
His cultivation path was different from other people’s. This Spiritual Strength actually contained a trace of energy that increased a person’s mental realm. But he cultivated the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art, and his Spiritual Strength increased with his cultivation base. As for comprehension? He had no need for it. He had no bottleneck to speak of, so he had no need for comprehension.
But that flame leopard had truly been extremely lifelike. Furthermore, it was impossible to sense spiritual fluctuations here. Even Long Chen had thought it had been a real Magical Beast.
Long Chen followed the path. Occasionally, more spiritual beasts would attack him. But they were each killed in one blow by him.
He realized the benefits that the Nine Netherworld Path gave. He didn’t know how they had done this, but they had gathered the resentful spirits from the battlefields and turned them into pure Spiritual Strength. The Xuantian Dao Sect’s foundation was shocking.
At the same time, he felt excitement for Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er. The two of them had powerful souls, and the benefits they could obtain here were unimaginable. That was especially true for Meng Qi. This place was practically a holy land for her.
As he advanced, the spiritual Magical Beasts became stronger. But it was nothing to Long Chen.
After walking for a long time, a surprising figure appeared in front of him.
Long Chen was surprised to run into Shui Guanzhi here. Shui Guanzhi didn’t say a word; however, he suddenly formed hand seals, and a huge water prison appeared around Long Chen.
“Break!” Long Chen roared and his Spiritual Strength surged out. The water prison was instantly broken. But at the same time, Shui Guanzhi disappeared and a transparent figure appeared in his stead.
Long Chen shot out a spiritual arrow that caused that figure to explode, filling the air with pure Spiritual Strength.
Long Chen had truly been startled to see Shui Guanzhi here. But as soon as Shui Guanzhi had used a magical art, he had noticed some clues. The Nine Netherworld Path was special, and other than soul energy, no other energy could be used. There was no way for Shui Guanzhi to use a magical art.
So as soon as Shui Guanzhi had attacked, Long Chen had released his Spiritual Strength, destroying the illusion of Shui Guanzhi.
After that figure was destroyed, Long Chen sensed a faint aura that made it seem like that figure had had some kind of faint intelligence. It was extremely strange.
Long Chen couldn’t be bothered to absorb the Spiritual Strength from that figure. This Spiritual Strength was useless to him. As long as he didn’t use too much of his Spiritual Strength, there was no need for him to absorb it. He quickened his footsteps as there was something he wanted here.
While Long Chen was rapidly advancing, the other disciples had also entered the Nine Netherworld Path. There were three others that stayed behind with Gu Yang. They were all people with incredibly weak Spiritual Strength. If they entered, then just an ordinary spiritual beast would kill them.
These four people were all stocky fellows who seemed to specialize in brute force. They looked at each other sympathetically.
The vice sect master waited until everyone had entered the Nine Netherworld Path to take out a strange chessboard. This was no ordinary chessboard. In truth, it was a map.
The map revealed an extremely complicated and interweaving labyrinth. There were countless dots of light that slowly appeared.
Each of those dots represented a disciple. With so many dots, no one could tell who was who.
“Eh, why is that dot so much brighter than the others?” asked a monastery head.
“This disciple killed comparatively more spiritual beasts and absorbed more Spiritual Strength than the others. For someone to already have such a huge lead at the very start, who could it be?” One of the monastery heads who had attended the trial multiple times explained.
The vice sect master pressed the dot and formed a seal with his other hand. The map disappeared, revealing a figure.
That image was of a peerless beauty. With a wave of her hand, a spiritual arrow shot out, killing all the densely packed spiritual beasts in front of her. That power was absolutely shocking, but she accomplished it so easily.
This woman was naturally Meng Qi. As soon as she had figured out the situation with the Nine Netherworld Path, she had begun a slaughter of the spiritual beasts here.
Although her spiritual seed had come from Long Chen, absorbing this Spiritual Strength would greatly strengthen her spiritual sea. She was like a fish in water here.
After that, a few other dots rapidly brightened as well. Those people were the Four Heavenly Geniuses, and surprisingly, the fifth person wasn’t Long Chen, but Tang Wan-er.
“What is Long Chen doing?” The monastery heads were all dumbfounded. It couldn’t be that he was goofing off, right?Previous Chapter Next Chapter