Another two hours passed. After the miserable-looking Chu Taidou swallowed some pills and rested, his complexion seemed much better. Now, as he looked at Qin Yu across from him, he had a satisfied expression. While he didn’t think he would be forced into such a distressed state today, in the end he would be the last one laughing.
He had personally experienced the terror of the Mirage King Bead. Once his divine sense was lost inside it would be impossible to free himself. The consequences would be dreadful. Perhaps, in today’s ‘competition’, there would be no need to advance to the third round. Thinking of this, Grand Authority Chu’s smile widened, becoming much warmer. He had paid a considerable price, but compared to the harvests, it wasn’t anything at all.
Ning Liang’s hands were twisted together. She gripped her hands so hard that her knuckles turned white, and blue and purple marks were left on her pale skin.
For 12 hours Qin Yu hadn’t awoken. If it weren’t for the spinning black and white grinding pans floating above him indicating that he hadn’t yet given up, she would probably be sobbing with tears right now. However, this sort of deadlock wouldn’t last forever. If he couldn’t break past the test of the Black White Grinding Pans, his will would eventually collapse.
Ning Rufeng had a dignified expression. There was a trace of worry deep in his eyes. After so much difficulty he had finally seen a chance for the Ning Family to rise back from the ashes, but would this chance be destroyed? Qin Yu had endured so long without admitting defeat that he feared he had already become possessed. Once he couldn’t withstand it any longer, the backlash would cause severe injuries and his soul source would be damaged. And once a person’s soul source was damaged, then unless they managed to find some heaven-defying stroke of luck to repair it, the rest of their life would be thoroughly ruined.
Kang Mingqiao had a grim expression. He looked at Qin Yu on the blue stone platform and then glanced towards the direction of the Dao Arena. Master, you must know that Qin Yu is in a perilous situation right now, but aren’t you planning to save him? If you delay any further, I fear there won’t be enough time.
Tao Yuan lightly said, “City Lord, 12 hours have already passed. Can you judge that Chu Taidou has won?”
“No!” Kang Mingqiao automatically shouted in response. He took a deep breath and said, “There was no time limit to the second round to begin with. Since Qin Yu is still there, no one can judge him as having lost.”
Mei Ruliu nodded. “According to the rules, what Arena Steward Kang says is correct. Qin Yu hasn’t yet lost.” After a pause he continued to say, “But, I must say I am leaning towards Grandmaster Tao Yuan’s opinion. If Qin Yu hasn’t broken past the Black White Grinding Pans in 12 hours, I fear his current situation isn’t good. If things continue like this, Qin Yu might suffer even greater damage.”
Kang Mingqiao’s face stiffened. He wanted to argue on Qin Yu’s behalf, but he had no idea what to say. This was because Mei Ruliu was correct. If they announced the winner and loser of this round right now, they could immediately stop it and forcefully awaken Qin Yu. Although his divine sense would still be damaged, it would prevent his soul source from being damaged.
His silence caused Tao Yuan to smirk. Tao Yuan said, “If there are no more arguments, then I will have to ask fellow daoist Sun to announce the results.”
Sun San slightly bowed. He stood quietly behind Mei Ruliu, waiting until the City Lord finally nodded. Then, he respectfully stepped forwards and appeared in the skies above the blue stone platform. However, just as he was about to announce the result of the second round, Qin Yu suddenly opened his eyes and said, “In two hours, I will wake up. There is no need for you to all worry about me.”
His pupils were bright and clear and there was no weariness in his voice. This was completely different from how everyone imagined, as if he hadn’t suffered any damage at all from enduring the Black White Grinding Pans for 12 hours. This scene left countless cultivators dumbfounded. In particular, those people who already assumed that Qin Yu had lost had even more splendid reactions.
The Mirage King Bead’s Black White Grinding Pans! This was the Mirage King Bead’s Black White Grinding Pans! It was said to be incredibly difficult for anyone below the boundary of an almighty being to break past it, yet Qin Yu had been stuck in there for 12 hours but hadn’t suffered any losses at all? Are you joking with me!? The most terrifying thing was that shouldn’t Qin Yu be suffering and barely managing to hold on inside? How come he still knew what was occurring in the outside world!?
Tao Yuan’s icy face revealed a shocked expression. His eyes popped open as if he had seen a ghost. As for Mei Ruliu who had been pretending to be weak all this time, he forgot to cough at this moment. Although Qin Yu had only said a few words before he closed his eyes again, the hearts of everyone watching had already changed. Their gazes were now filled with shock and disbelief.
Kang Mingqiao’s eyes brightened. He laughed heartily several times. “It looks like Grandmaster Tao Yuan’s worries were for nothing. Since Qin Yu is fine, let’s wait another two hours. It’s way too early to decide the results of the second round right now!”
“Humph!” Tao Yuan coldly snorted and his eyes turned cold. But, in that frosty cold, there was a trace of fear. Listening to what Qin Yu had said, it seemed he was confident he could break past the Black White Grinding Pans in two hours.
This information was too terrifying.
To be incredibly difficult to break through for anyone below the boundary of an almighty being – these weren’t words spoken just for fun. If Qin Yu really did break through the Black White Grinding Pans, this would prove that his soul cultivation had reached an inconceivably terrifying level.
If so, then the seventh level, the path of chaos, might not be able to stop him.
Chu Taidou had already lost the first round. If he lost again…a chill surged up from his heart. If he failed today, while Chu Taidou would be the first one to meet with disaster, he himself could also forget about withdrawing unscathed.
Grandmaster Tao Yuan clenched his fists beneath his robe. His face paled as a flustered panic rampaged through his thoughts.
Mei Ruliu smiled. “Since Qin Yu is safe, we should wait for him.”
Sun San cupped his hands together in acknowledgement. He revealed a bit of regret in his eyes. Then, he slowly stepped back behind Mei Ruliu, standing as still and quiet as a shadow.
Everyone was waiting in anticipation. At this time, every single moment seemed incomparably long. Even a single breath of time seemed to stretch out for hours.
Beads of sweat fell down Chu Taidou’s forehead. He had reminded himself countless times that Qin Yu might not be able to break past the Black White Grinding Pans, and even if he did, he wouldn’t necessarily smoothly cross the path of chaos. But no matter how many times he repeated this to himself, his complexion still paled as his back slowly became matted with sweat.
As the end of the two hours approached, an invisible hand seemed to clutch his heart, grasping tighter and tighter. Even breathing was difficult and painful.
Perhaps the flow of time could really be stopped and reversed, but Chu Taidou obviously didn’t possess this ability. Thus, no matter how much he hoped for time to stop or how much he refused to acknowledge what was happening, two hours finally passed.
On the blue stone platform, the black and white grinding pan phantoms above Qin Yu’s head slowly trembled. His eyelashes gently shivered as he opened his eyes.
Two spirit plants simultaneously appeared around him. With the four from before, there was now a total of six. Although he was one away from the spirit plants across from him, anyone could tell that the quality of the two spirit plant groups was as different as the heavens and earth.
First he broke through the Four Seasons Samsara and then he broke past the Black White Grinding Pans. Today, Qin Yu taught everyone within the grand plaza the true meaning of ‘fierce’.
Chu Taidou spat out a mouthful of blood. His body wavered and a trace of fear and pleading shined in his eyes. He didn’t want to die! For such an arrogant and stately figure to express such emotions at this time, it could be seen how desperate he was.
But there were no waves in Qin Yu’s eyes; they were as calm and still as a pond, so dark and deep that one couldn’t see how far they went, as if these eyes could swallow up everything. He glanced at Chu Taidou, gave him a single look, and then closed his eyes once again. Although he didn’t even say a single word, anyone could see the meaning behind them.
In today’s ‘competition’, I have already won!
The seventh level, the path of chaos.
This level wasn’t the same as the Black White Grinding Pans; it had no benefits for Qin Yu. Because of the existence of the purple moon in his soul space, half of his consciousness turned into a ‘stone’ and the other half maintained absolute clarity.
While this sort of experience was interesting, Qin Yu didn’t want to waste his precious time on meaningless things. So, after he decided that living as a stone wouldn’t be useful to him, he suddenly widened his eyes.
A purple lotus throne appeared in front of Qin Yu. It looked as if it had been crafted from the world’s highest quality purple jade. Every nook and cranny was lifelike and purple light flowed around it, giving off a sense of pure stability.
The path of chaos was broken!
This was what everyone had already been expecting. A person that could break through the Black and White Grinding Pans would never be stuck here. However, they were still all left shocked. This was because the speed at which Qin Yu broke through this boundary was just far, far too fast. So fast that it seemed they had closed their eyes, and once they opened their eyes again, he had succeeded.
Indeed, the disparity was far too great, so great that it was like the clouds in the skies above were being compared to mud on the ground.
Muddy Chu shivered and he swayed from left to right and back again. His actions were so violent that others feared he might break his neck if he fell over.
However, he remained like a tilting doll, one that stubbornly stared at Qin Yu.
There was a chance! There was still a chance!
Even if Qin Yu broke through the path of chaos, that only made them even. If Qin Yu couldn’t break through the eighth level, it would still be a tie.
Once he entered the third round, he could win!
The Mirage King Bead’s eighth level was nothingness.
In the pitch black void, the space was completely empty. When one’s divine sense entered into this place, it was like falling into an abyss of eternal darkness.
In order to break past this level, the only possible method was for a person’s divine sense to sparkle and reach the boundary of eternity. Then, they had to use their divine sense to rip apart the darkness and allow light to arrive in this space.
In this world, only almighty beings whose cultivation had broken into the Calamity Immortal realm could accomplish this. Their souls were bathed in the glorious light of the rules, allowing them to become increasingly formidable, finally transforming and reaching this step.
The step where the soul was like colored glass, glowing in the darkness, shining brightly with pure radiance.
This was the level of an almighty being!
Qin Yu couldn’t accomplish this. In fact, he was far from reaching that level. However, there was a purple crescent moon in his soul space, and although this purple moon was small, it spontaneously shined with its own light.
Thus, in the nothingness, the phantom of a curved purple moon appeared above Qin Yu’s divine sense. A cold and thin purple light illuminated a small and narrow space.
Within the boundless and inexhaustible dark nothingness, this purple light was as small as a grain of sand in a vast river. But, this tiny and nearly negligible grain of sand was the final straw on the camel’s back. With a light cracking sound, countless invisible cracks appeared in the nothingness and began to expand outwards at an accelerating speed.
Then, the nothingness shattered and light flooded in, bathing Qin Yu’s divine sense phantom within. When he was suddenly surrounded by light after being in the darkness, he subconsciously narrowed his eyes. He looked up at an object that was floating above his head. After a long time, he was able to make out what it was. His lips curved up in a smile. “Is this the legendary meaningless ninth level of the Mirage King Bead? Huh, just like the stories say, it is really quite meaningless.”
Above the blue stone platform, near the purple lotus throne, an eighth spirit plant appeared. It was a pure black flower, one so dark that it seemed as if it were created from all the night in the world, a darkness so rich that it could never be resolved.
As tilting doll Chu Taidou saw this, he simply closed his eyes and fell backwards, slamming into the blue stone platform with a loud thump. But at this moment, no one cared about Grand Authority Chu’s distress and despair. They all looked towards that black-robed youth quietly sitting on the blue stone platform with eyes wide open.
Qin Yu was no different from before, but the faces of everyone watching had changed. This was a kind of awe that originated from an extreme state of shock.
To break past the Mirage King Bead’s eighth level, this was something only almighty beings were capable of accomplishing!
In all the stories that flowed through the Land of Divinity and Demons, no one had ever heard of such a thing occurring. This was because those that had the qualifications to break past the eighth level had long since stepped into the ranks of the almighty beings.
But today, everything changed.
Qin Yu wasn’t an almighty being but he had managed to break past the Mirage King Bead’s eighth level. Moreover, he was a peerless proud son of heaven ranked ninth on the Ancient Perishment Decree. When these two factors were combined together, not even the most critical person doubted that Qin Yu would be able to reach the boundary of a Calamity Immortal if given time and step into the ranks of the almighty beings.
Mei Ruliu seemed lost in what he was watching. A hint of bitterness rose in the depths of his eyes. He never expected that the road of the Great Dao, which he had been diligently and laboriously chasing after for all these years but had failed to open, would be broken open by someone in front of him today. He took a deep breath to compose himself and then stood up. He cupped his hands together, “Congratulations, fellow daoist Qin Yu.”
This congratulation was congratulating Qin Yu on winning today. But even more than that, he was congratulating him for his assured chances of becoming an almighty being in the future.
This congratulation sounded bitter, but his smile was earnest.
Sun San had been standing silently behind Mei Ruliu all this time like a shadow. He bowed, his face full of praise and shock. However, no one saw that after he lowered his head back down, he gently sighed and his eyes turned faint and cold.
“Hahahaha!” Kang Mingqiao joyously laughed out loud, as if he were declaring to everyone that he hadn’t misread the situation. But before he could say anything, his words were interrupted.
As Kang Mingqiao was laughing, Sun San bowed and cupped his hands together. Sun San took one step forward and then an incomparably terrifying aura erupted from his body.
But that was it.
Just a single step.
After that single step, Sun San was no longer able to move. His body that released a terrifying aura was like a low and weak ant, pressed to the ground, unable to make even the tiniest of actions.
Then, in public view of everyone, Sun San blew apart. There were no fragments of bones and there was no flying flesh and blood. Rather, he was like a human-shaped bubble. After popping apart, he vanished from sight, not a single trace of him left behind.
“I said that as long as Qin Yu stays in Four Seasons City, he is a guest of my Dao Arena. No one may touch him. Since you went against my word, don’t blame me for killing you. I will never repeat myself a second time, no matter who it is.”
A faint and light voice stroked across everyone’s faces like a spring breeze. There was no dangerous or violent aura behind it, but within the entire grand plaza, every cultivator stiffened. It was like a million mountains were pressing against their chests, leaving them unable to take a single breath.
Kang Mingqiao straightened his robes and kneeled, his eyes full of reverence and excitement. “Greetings, master.”
To have the steward of a Dao Arena fall to his knees and also to have him call someone master, this person could only be that unattainable mountain peak who existed behind the Dao Arena.
When Solitary Westgate first arrived, besides Woodchopper Fu, Qin Yu, and Kang Mingqiao, he hadn’t been noticed by anyone at all.
Thus, in response to the arrival of the Master of the Dao Arena, a truly unsurpassed existence, the hearts of every cultivator within Four Seasons City began to shake with endless waves!
In an instant, every person in the grand plaza fell to the ground. Those normally proud individuals who kept their heads high were now tightly pasting their foreheads against the cold floor.
But at this moment, Solitary Westgate’s eyes were only looking at the blue stone platform where Qin Yu was sitting. He watched as the nine-holed Mirage King Bead gently trembled and then shattered, turning into a flow of light that entered into Qin Yu’s eyebrows.
He couldn’t help but smile in happiness.
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