The one hundred and eight pillars exploded. The entire room rocked back and forth.
Long Chen was appalled. Previously, the stone pillars had failed to duplicate the Nirvana Scripture. But when they had tried to duplicate the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art, it was like they had directly provoked the primal chaos bead, and they were blown apart.
The light enveloping Long Chen faded, and the light beam enveloping the mysterious figure also grew dim. When he clearly saw that figure, Long Chen couldn’t help being stunned.
In front of Long Chen was a figure wearing black robes. Its starry eyes were electric. It was actually a doppelganger of him! It raised a blood-red saber as it icily looked at Long Chen.
Seeing that movement, Long Chen hastily dodged to the side. A huge saber-image missed him by a hair’s breadth, shaking the ground.
It was actually Split the Heavens. He had only just dodged when the doppelganger pointed its finger. A ray of lightning shot out. It was incomparably quick and timed perfectly.
Long Chen smashed his fist forward. The lightning runes revolving over his fist clashed with the lightning arrow, and it exploded, sending Long Chen flying.
He was horrified. This level was too ridiculous. It had actually duplicated his techniques and formed an even stronger version of himself.
From that exchange, Long Chen had noticed that the doppelganger’s thunderforce was slightly stronger than his own.
As he flew back, the doppelganger swung its saber three times. Three saber-images slashed toward him from three different angles.
“Even Blooddrinker has been duplicated. And isn’t this move the Three Style Parting Wind?”
This move was clearly the Earth class Battle Skill he had learned back in Phoenix Cry. Now it was used by the doppelganger, and its power was extremely impressive. It sealed any retreat paths mercilessly.
At this moment, Long Chen wanted to dodge, but he couldn’t. His opponent’s moves were too refined. In truth, that was another him, and so it understood him. It was precisely because it understood him that he felt a chill.
His opponent’s fighting style was incredibly vicious. Each slash of its saber left him with no room to maneuver.
This was Long Chen’s first time seeing how frightful he himself was. Whistling filled the air as the saber slashes crashed over him like sea waves.
Suddenly, a sword came out of its sheath. Long Chen had no choice but to take out Flying Rainbow.
It was unknown what the laws of this place were, but the doppelganger’s saber was the same as Blooddrinker, and its power was also immense. It was no different from the original.
Flying Rainbow danced through the air. Long Chen was delighted to see that this unremarkable sword was extraordinary once he inserted his spiritual yuan. There was practically no spatial resistance, allowing it to move at incredible speed.
Suddenly, an explosive sound rang out. Long Chen and the doppelganger were both forced back a dozen meters, and it suddenly formed a hand seal, summoning a sea of gold around it.
“Fuck, you really know how to steal!” cursed Long Chen.
That sea of gold was the Hidden Ground Gold Spider King’s scales he had obtained in the first trial. He had been constantly nourishing them in his spiritual space. But even they had been duplicated.
Those scales were like hail, shooting toward him.
Long Chen knew that these scales were incredibly powerful once they were supported by Spiritual Strength. He didn’t dare to tarry and also summoned his own golden scales.
Two seas of gold crashed against each other. It was a truly spectacular sight.
Just as they were crashing together, he suddenly felt a change in the air. He also heard the doppelganger’s voice.
“Raging Flame Prison!”
Countless flame runes condensed around Long Chen, rapidly forming a cage that trapped him.
Long Chen’s expression instantly changed. This fellow had not just duplicated his techniques, but also all his battle experience. It understood how to use the scales to hide itself and release a killing blow. Even he had fallen for it.
“Raging Flame Prison!”
Long Chen also shouted and formed hand seals. His Raging Flame Prison wrapped around himself. This wasn’t an attack, but a defense.
The enemy’s Raging Flame Prison had come too quickly. If Long Chen tried to use the Raging Flame Prison to trap his opponent, with the doppelganger’s battle experience, it wasn’t very likely for him to be able to trap it. So he used it to instead protect himself.
The two flame prisons crackled against each other. The outer flame prison was trying to compress, while the inner flame prison was trying to expand. This was a competition of power without any technique.
Long Chen was appalled to see that his own flame prison was slowly being suppressed despite him pushing his spiritual yuan to its peak. His defensive range was shrinking at a speed visible to the naked eye.
He suddenly realized why so many of those peak heavenly geniuses had died here. It was because they were facing a duplicate of themselves that was slightly stronger in every aspect.
All their moves were understood. All their battle experience and smarts were copied. This kind of battle could make a person despair.
In less than an incense stick’s worth of time, his flame prison had shrunk from a thousand meters wide to less than three hundred meters, and it was only continuing to grow smaller.
“Not only is it stronger than the original body, but it always remains in its peak state. It’s not even getting tired. This is clearly impossible! Your opponent is stronger than you in every aspect and doesn’t get tired. Also, it will not feel any negative emotions like panic, anxiety, or fear.
“But when a crack appears in the original’s heart, the duplicate will immediately take advantage. That will lead to an instant defeat. This trial is impossible.
“No wonder this trial couldn’t be placed on the main path. The failure rate is absolutely monstrous, so of course it had to be thrown to the side. This isn’t a trial, but a giant con. Who could possibly defeat someone stronger than themselves who stays in their peak state?” raged Long Chen.
“No, that’s wrong. Experts don’t get stronger by walking around blockades. No matter how strong the opponent is, they have to be defeated through power. That’s the only way to maintain an expert’s heart. Just because my opponent is myself, am I supposed to lose the courage to win? If that’s the case, then am I even a true expert?”
Long Chen suddenly realized something, and his eyes began to glow. He suddenly guessed this trial’s goal. Defeating powerful enemies could temper a person’s will and confidence. Then what would a person gain if they defeated a version of themselves that was stronger than them in every aspect?
At this moment, Long Chen’s Raging Flame Prison was growing smaller and smaller, and his own breathing was growing a bit hurried. But he wasn’t nervous. Instead, he had a faint smile.
“Sorry, but I’ll have to cheat a little before having a fair fight with you.” Long Chen suddenly summoned the Nirvana Scripture.
Chanting filled the air, and endless flame energy entered the flame prison. It instantly began to expand.
Once it grew to a size of three thousand meters, the outer flame prison exploded. With the Nirvana Scripture’s assistance, the Raging Flame Prison’s power could leap to a whole new level.
With the flame prison destroyed, Long Chen regained his freedom. But he didn’t immediately attack. Instead, he looked at the doppelganger that looked exactly the same as him.
“I swear that even if I have to be killed, I won’t use the Nirvana Scripture nor the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art. I want to have a fair fight with you. If I lose, it just proves that I’m useless.
“If I’m unable to defeat even you, how am I supposed to stand at the peak of the martial path? How am I supposed to find my parents? If I’m unable to defeat even you, how am I supposed to break through all the untold dangers and difficulties of the future?
“Am I supposed to abandon my family and live a life alone? Would that be any different than death? Am I supposed to watch my companions die while I can only just watch? If I had to endure that kind of pain and feeling of helplessness, would I still have the courage to keep living?
“I want to get stronger. I want to get stronger, so I will risk my life, truly putting my life on the line. Otherwise, the lives of those around me might vanish at any moment. So I can’t die.”
Long Chen suddenly put away the Nirvana Scripture and the Raging Flame Prison. Wielding his sword, he finally took the initiative to attack his doppelganger.
His eyes seemed to blaze with fire. He viewed his doppelganger as one of his shackles on his cultivation path. He had to personally break these shackles so that he could step into higher realms.
If he used the Nirvana Scripture or the divine ring or the battle armor, even if he defeated his doppelganger, it would leave a shadow on his heart. His undefeatable Dao-heart would be tainted.
He wasn’t a perfectionist, but he knew the slightest contamination would be a hindrance as he continuously broke through to higher realms in the future.
So to get stronger, he had no choice but to put his life on the line. He would use his own power to personally defeat himself.
BOOM, BOOM, BOOM…!
Long Chen continuously used his full strength with each move. All he focused on was to bring out all his power. He forgot his techniques, he forgot his magical arts, he even forgot about victory and defeat, and even his own life. His thoughts were entirely dedicated to killing his opponent.
Blood splashed over and over. Long Chen was struck several times and heavily injured, but he ignored it. He fought crazily. He knew he couldn’t allow himself to die, and he also knew he had to kill his opponent. Sword-light and saber-images raged in the air as the cavern continuously shook, seeming like it might collapse at any moment.
A large hole appeared in Long Chen’s chest. His upper body was almost completely destroyed. But a smile appeared on his face.
“I won.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter