Chapter 289: A Freak with the Boulder’s Heart
With the aid of the six fire vines, it became much easier for Jiang Chen to absorb the fire attribute spirit power.
The six fire vines coiled around Jiang Chen, greatly decreasing the stress on him, as well as doubling his effectiveness in absorbing the spirit power and halving the effort to do so.
“The Lotus of Ice and Fire has been fretting about lack of nourishment for a while, and here comes this perfectly made cave. Tsk tsk, I’ve worn out iron shoes in my search, but have found what I needed right here. It’s a pity that I can only manipulate six vines at a time, or the rate of this absorption would be even faster. In the end, I’m still too weak.”
Jiang Chen felt a bit regretful. If he could release more vines, then the rate of his absorption would be even faster.
The faster they took in nourishment, the faster the Lotus would grow.
The faster the Lotus improved, the more it would raise Jiang Chen’s level of training. It would naturally be of great aid to Jiang Chen.
The six fire vines greedily took in the endless fire attribute essence in the cavern, continuously filling his spirit ocean after Jiang Chen’s refinement.
Jiang Chen’s spirit ocean had been forged by the Five Dragons Opening Heavens Pill. Although he didn’t possess an innate constitution, thanks to the pill, his spirit ocean also possessed the basic foundations of the five elements.
It was just that the two attributes of fire and ice that had been developed first, thanks to his encounter with the Lotus of Fire and Ice. They were temporarily the major direction that Jiang Chen was training in.
Although he wanted to train the other three attributes, he hadn’t had the same kind of heaven defying opportunities that he’d had with the Lotus. The speed in which he trained the other three was naturally far below the fire and ice attributes.
There was an abundance of fire spirit energy within the cavern, so Jiang Chen’s Lotus was as if a fish in water.
To other secular practitioners, this was a test.
But to Jiang Chen, this was a vacation, and something even more leisurely than a vacation.
“Tsk tsk, a full day has passed. This freak of a boulder’s heart is indeed strong. He’s the first amongst the ordinary disciples to take on the difficult level.”
The outside world had already given Jiang Chen the nickname “freak with a boulder’s heart” because his performance in the first trial had been too perverse. How would he have made it through the path of rebirth in a day if he didn’t have a boulder’s heart?
Therefore, everyone could only use this nickname to refer to him before his true identity was revealed.
“Heh heh, geniuses are all lone wolves. This freak of a boulder’s heart has such a resolute dao heart that he must have his own opinions. He never would’ve trained such a resolute dao heart if he was just a mediocre talent. In my opinion, this person is completely confident of his success.”
“Indeed, a true genius must have this kind of charisma.”
Jiang Chen had no idea that outside gossip about him had already reached a feverish pitch.
What he could feel was that since the second day of his arrival, the fire spirit power in the cavern had grown noticeably wilder.
The tornado of flame kept churning around everything as if countless ancient beasts were crashing about the cavern and seeking to tear all life within it to pieces.
As for the Lotus, it had noticeably grown stronger after a full day of absorbing the fire spirit power. The enormous fire lotus petals seemed to have no limit as they devoured the fire that crashed around them.
“This fire is so strong and the fire spirit power is noticeably more lively. It looks like the level of difficulty of the test is increasing day by day.”
Jiang Chen had also discovered this. However, since he had the protection of the continuously strengthening Lotus, Jiang Chen’s body wasn’t injured at all. He was held safely within, completely without pressure and as noncommittal as the clouds and wind.
The second day passed by silently as well.
On the third day, Jiang Chen once again discovered that the fires within the cavern had the intensity of an erupting volcano, fiercely and unceasingly spewing forth.
Tongues of flame licked up all over the walls of the stone cavern, like a flock of countless fiery birds rising to the roof.
Judging from the looks of things, it looked like the strength of the fires had more than doubled since the second day.
However, the Lotus had fed richly for two days straight, and naturally didn’t feel the slightest pressure when faced with a situation like this.
If this had happened on the first day, the six fire vines may have been slightly pressured in the face of these rampaging flames.
But after two days of conditioning, the six fire vines could handle this situation with aplomb.
In the outside world, the third day brought an odd atmosphere amongst the organizers.
“The third day is going to be over soon, which means this freak with the boulder’s heart should have no problem whatsoever in passing through the test!”
“Doesn’t this mean that this candidate has superior spirit potential?”
“Superior spirit potential and a heaven defying dao heart… what an absolutely perverse being. Can it be that the heavens has bestowed great fortune upon our sixteen kingdom alliance?”
“Haha, those sect disciples will finally not be lonely anymore. How much pressure and challenge will they face now with such a secular genius?”
“Challenge, pressure?” Some refused to play along with this. “Don’t speak too early. The foundations of a sect genius aren’t something that a secular genius can measure up to. Even if the freak with a boulder’s heart wants to challenge the sect disciples, his starting line is far behind them. If his age is above thirty, he will have missed the prime period for training, no matter how good his potential and dao heart are.”
The best ideal time for training on the path of martial dao was before the age of thirty.
If one didn’t fully uncover their potential before the age of thirty and didn’t lay their foundations, then one’s potential would be limited no matter how gifted they were.
Even though this person’s words weren’t pleasant to hear, it was still the truth.
However, someone immediately leapt out to object.
“Above thirty years old? How is that possible? How could such a genius be hidden for 30 years?”
“Yes, it’s best that he’s a teenager or twenty something. If this is the case, he absolutely has the right to challenge those sect geniuses, and even put them beneath his feet.”
The organizers conversed animatedly. Most of them still desired to see a genius rise up from the secular world.
Although they were of the sects, they would still be happy to see such a heaven defying miracle.
The third day finally passed beneath the attention of all those assembled.
However, the freak of the boulder’s heart still hadn’t emerged from the cavern.
“Hasn’t three days gone past already? Why… why hasn’t the freak emerged yet?”
“Can he have lost track of time because he was too engrossed?”
“Indeed, perhaps he really has lost track of time.”
“Humph, you lot are optimistic. Why don’t you say that he couldn’t withstand the trial of heavenly fire and was burnt to a crisp?”
“What’s impossible? Does one’s potential have to be strong just because they have a strong heart of dao? Who set down those rules? Not to mention that mundane disciples have no foundations whatsoever and don’t know the might of the elements of nature. It’s said that newborn calves are not afraid of tigers. It’s not impossible that he could’ve been swallowed by the heavenly fire!”
The person speaking had been someone who had been jealous and unaccepting towards the so-called genius with a strong dao heart. He was one of those stubborn folk who didn’t want to see the rise of a mundane disciple.
The freak with the boulder’s heart, the alleged genius still hadn’t walked out from the cavern after three days.
Therefore, his first thought was that the so-called genius had been swallowed by the flames.
Otherwise, what reason did he have to stay within the cavern after the three days were up?
However, according to the rules, the duration of the trial was ten days. Even the organizers couldn’t venture into the cavern to investigate within the ten days.
“Ai, the mundane world still lacks experience in the end. A country bumpkin didn’t know the complexity of things when he took the challenge and ended up paying the price with his life. What a pity, what a shame for that strength of heart and talent.” The person tsk’ed and his tone held a few traces of taking pleasure in another’s misfortune.
“Tsk tsk, do you Purple Sun Sect people always derive pleasure from others’ misery? Or is it that you’re afraid the rise of a mundane genius will threaten the so-called innate constitution that also hails from the secular world in your Purple Sun Sect?” Someone couldn’t help but retort when he heard this fellow kick a person when he was down.
The Purple Sun Sect executive smiled, “Deriving pleasure from other’s misfortune? Is there a need for that? Not to mention, even if a genius of the heart has ordinary talents, what right does he have to be mentioned in the same breath as Long Juxue with the innate constitution? An innate constitution to be threatened? You must be joking. Is an innate constitution something that any random cat or dog off the streets can threaten?”
“Stop arguing, both of you. The limit of ten days has yet to arrive and no one knows what happened in the cave. What evidence do you have that he’s been swallowed by the heavenly fire?"
"Is there any evidence needed? He passes the test after three days. He still hasn’t emerged after the deadline, isn't this obvious enough already? Or is it that it’s an enjoyment to remain in a cavern with a spirit vein of heavenly fire?”
“Humph, the style of a genius is never something that a frog at the bottom of a well can discern. We should wait and see and see what happens!”
No one could convince anyone else, but no one was truly willing to accept the reality that a genius even the forefathers were watching had fallen, just like that.
Four days had passed, and he still hadn’t emerged from the cavern.
In this regard, the ones that'd always thought the genius had perished became even more proud.
“He would’ve emerged a long time ago if he could after four, five days. It looked like this so-called genius still couldn’t hold up beneath the trial of fire. I think it’s time everyone set aside their expectations and accepted reality.”
“Mm, even the fifth day is almost over. He would’ve come out a long time ago if he could’ve. It looks like it’s not a wise thing to have too much expectations towards a mundane disciple. Ai!”
Most of the organizers who’d supported the freak with the boulder’s heart all had dim and dejected expressions.
Although they still didn’t wish to accept reality, the more time that elapsed, the dimmer hope became.
At this moment —
An enormous bang came from the cave and rumbling noises traveled out from it. It seemed as if the skies were falling in, the earth was cracking, and a great earthquake had struck the cavern.