“That’s too fast!”
One of the monastery heads let out a startled cry. In previous generations, it had taken a full day for any disciple to reach the 900th stair.
But now, less than half a day had passed. These monastery heads had also once experienced the Netherworld Heaven Staircase, so they knew how terrifying it was. The higher you went, the greater the difficulty was. The strongest amongst them had only climbed to the 780th stair.
Looking at those figures, even the vice sect master was moved. Those five figures were all terrifying. Of course, the most terrifying one was Long Chen.
Long Chen’s robes were already soaked in sweat, and he was panting heavily. He was the one under the most pressure.
But in order to give the Dragonblood warriors morale, he could only clench his teeth and continue forward. He refused to fall behind by even a single step.
The others weren’t much better off than him. They were all panting and covered in sweat. They couldn’t conceal their exhaustion.
The pressure made it feel like mountains were crushing them. That was no illusion, but true pressure. This cruel trial was a test of both the mind and body.
“You’re already tired? Then I’ll tire you bastards to death.”
Long Chen was also weary to the bone, but seeing how tired the others were, he felt incomparably comfortable inside. Just like that, he took an extra step forward.
Shui Guanzhi and the others’ expressions changed. Previously, they had all been in a silent agreement to take a slight pause at the 900th stair. This would allow them to adjust to this pressure and take a slight break, so they could climb higher.
But Long Chen had taken the initiative to advance. They had no choice but to clench their teeth and continue. They had an urge to have a fight with him right now, but that would just benefit others.
“Damnit, tired is good. It’s not like I’m the only one getting tired. To have four people accompany me, it’s worth it!”
This was just Long Chen’s way of comforting himself. He felt a kind of sadistic pleasure, and his mood became better with each step.
Seeing them continue climbing without even taking a breath, everyone was startled.
The vice sect master’s expression was a bit odd. With his vision, he could instantly tell what they were thinking. The youngsters these days really were interesting.
But this kind of rush wasn’t a good thing. Unless they could manage to climb to the top in one go, they would be forced to stop eventually. And if they were forced to stop instead of choosing to stop, then they would be invaded by their negative emotions, and they wouldn’t be able to advance a single step.
Behind them, Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er were pale and sweaty. But their eyes were still hard and determined.
They would chase after Long Chen. They would get stronger. They didn’t want to become a burden to him. Their greatest desire was to one day be able to protect him the way he had protected them.
Only they knew just how tired Long Chen was. He never said how much he suffered, as saying it didn’t have any use. He had no backer to rely on and could only rely on himself.
Normally, Long Chen would act like a scoundrel without a proper thought, but only the people closest to him knew how much he had had to endure. He also needed help, and he also needed protection.
Meng Qi and Tang Wan-er held hands as they climbed. Although they weren’t as fast as Long Chen, their steps were extremely steady. This was the optimal way of climbing.
They had already reached the 853rd stair. Behind them were Gu Yang and the other Celestials.
“I can’t! I can’t go any further! I have to rest here.” When they reached the 830th stair, a Celestial from the seventeenth supermonastery finally couldn’t hold on and sat down.
“Get up! How can you let yourself be the first one to collapse!” shouted a Celestial.
These Celestials had actually long since felt that they had reached their limit. But their dignity refused to allow them to be the first Celestial to give up, so they had pushed themselves to continue.
But now, one person was finally done. That was a fatal blow to the others. The collapse of one person greatly affected their mental states.
That was especially true since they were all completely exhausted. Seeing that person now peacefully sleeping, they couldn’t resist the temptation.
“Fuck it. I’m… tired… too…” The Celestial who had just shouted at him to get up sat down. He instantly became completely relaxed and fell into a deep slumber.
“You guys can continue. I feel like I’ve also reached my limit.” Another Celestial lay down. A relaxed and peaceful smile appeared on his face. That smile seemed incredibly happy.
The distant monastery heads couldn’t help sighing. “Now there’ll be trouble. Perhaps they’ll all collapse here.”
They had a deep understanding of the Netherworld Heaven Staircase. The feeling of exhaustion was practically a poison that could instantly infect a person’s will.
“Physically, they’re far from reaching their limit. It’s just that their will isn’t strong enough. How regretful.”
“However, to only collapse at the 830th stair, this record really is not bad.”
In previous generations, the average for Celestials was the 800th stair. Reaching the 810th stair was a limit.
The fact they had endured until the 830th stair was because they had profited from Gu Yang and the others. Their pride had refused to allow them to lose to their ‘juniors’ who had only just awakened as Celestials. That was the only reason they had endured this long.
But a person had their limits and they had already surpassed theirs, which was a good thing.
Gu Yang and the others ignored them. They continued pushing forward. Their only thought was to follow Long Chen.
Whether it was Gu Yang or the Dragonblood warriors, they didn’t treat the Netherworld Heaven Staircase as a trial. They treated it as a battle they had to win, because this trial would decide whether or not they could follow in Long Chen’s footsteps, whether or not they could one day stand at the peak of the martial path.
If they wanted to fight alongside Long Chen, then they couldn’t allow themselves to be thrown too far behind. Otherwise, there would come a day when they would never be able to see his back again.
It could be said that Long Chen was their conviction. It was Long Chen who had brought them to heights that they had never imagined, letting them see a greater world.
Long Chen had given them everything. But they had to work hard to keep up with him, because if they were unable to follow him one day, that would be worse than death to them. They refused to allow such a thing to happen.
The collapse of those people didn’t affect Gu Yang and the others because their only goal was Long Chen. Only Long Chen would be able to influence them.
Although each step they took was difficult and their bodies trembled, they were filled with resolve. They had no intention of giving up.
“Heavens, even they’ve reached the 800th stair? How is that possible?”
When the first Dragonblood warrior reached the 800th stair, everyone was shaken. In all of history, only Celestials had reached that height.
That wasn’t because Celestials had greater wills, but that the Heavenly Daos would reduce the pressure they were under.
But these Dragonblood warriors didn’t have that advantage. The most shocking thing was that even after reaching that high, each of the Dragonblood warriors’ expressions were still so determined.
Despite their bodies being unsteady, they didn’t make a sound. Despite being soaked in sweat, they simply clenched their teeth. They all continued onwards.
“What terrifying determination,” sighed a monastery head. “Long Chen isn’t the only heaven-defying monster. Even the people by his side are all monsters.”
“The 830th stair!”
One of the squad leaders had reached the 830th stair. Looking at the snoring Celestials on that step, his body trembled.
“He’s already reached his limit.” Despite that, all of the monastery heads felt admiration.
Blood suddenly splashed on the Netherworld Heaven Staircase. That squad leader had taken out a dagger and stabbed himself in the shoulder.
The intense pain caused him to frown slightly, but it also caused his exhaustion to lessen as well. He became slightly more energized, allowing him to continue forward.
Even the monastery heads’ hearts pounded. That squad leader had stabbed the dagger in the space between his bones. That was the most painful spot where the nerves were concentrated.
Only people specialized in torture would be able to so precisely aim for that spot. It was the best way to torment your opponents. That was enough pain to make them beg for death.
But he had merely frowned before continuing. These old fellows were incomparably shocked.
Behind him, the other Dragonblood warriors had also reached their limits. They followed his lead, taking out daggers and stabbing themselves in the most painful spots possible without hesitation. That scene was chilling to the bone.
“I finally understand why they’re so strong. It’s no coincidence; it was inevitable!” praised one monastery head.
The Dragonblood warriors’ display showed them just how terrifying willpower could be. It wasn’t just talent that decided a person’s future.
At the top of the Dragonblood Legion was Long Chen, and at the bottom were the Dragonblood warriors. Each one of them was unyielding and courageous, with a will of steel.
Suddenly, an angry roar rang out from ahead. Everyone hastily looked up. Previously, their attention had been focused on the Dragonblood warriors, so when they now looked at where Long Chen and the others were, they all jumped in shock.
“The final three stairs!”
They had currently reached the 996th stair. The five of them were trembling, and that furious roar had come from Zhao Wuji. They had obviously reached their limits.
The monastery heads could no longer remain sitting. They stood, watching with rapt attention. These final three steps were the most crucial.Previous Chapter Next Chapter