Chapter 301: The Fourth Trial, the Perverse Genius Continues
No matter the reason why an origin realm old monster had set his sights on him, Jiang Chen still felt quite ticked off about it.
However, as daring as Sunchaser was and as domineering as his personality was, he still wouldn’t be able to directly harm Jiang Chen whilst he was within the legacy territory.
After all, there were three other forefathers present within. Doing as he pleased would surely enrage the other three sects.
Less than twenty thousand candidates of the original four hundred thousand remained after the first three trials had ended.
Even so, that was still an impressive number.
The fourth trial was practical combat, which was the most likely to result in injuries out of all of them.
The remaining twenty thousand candidates were the cream of the crop. With fervent eyes and vigorous spirits, they were all chomping at the bit, craving the opportunity to show off their skills in the fourth trial.
“The fourth trial tests one’s practical combat capabilities, as well as one’s martial arts techniques.”
The organizer pointed at a smooth stone marker, several acres wide, far off in the distance.
“Do you see that smooth, gleaming stone marker?”
Twenty thousand pairs of eyes that in turn belonged to the twenty thousand present practitioners all looked over in unison.
“In a moment, the stone marker will display a martial arts technique called the ‘Obscure Seal of Life and Death’ The details of the technique will be fully displayed on the marker. You will have, at most, three days to both learn and grasp it. Remember, the focus is on learning and grasping it. That means that you can only simulate how to use it in your mind, but cannot actually practice it. You will enter the ‘Great Hall of the Netherworld’ to be tested after three days. There are countless secret chambers within the Hall, and each chamber in turn holds golems of varying levels. These golems will only use the ‘Obscure Seal of Life and Death’ to spar with you. There are ten levels to the secret chambers, and you have three chances to take the challenge. Those who rank in the top 8,000 will advance to the next trial. All those who remain will be eliminated.”
“You’re surely curious how the rankings will be determined?”
“According to the rules of ranking, it will be determined by the level of the secret chamber you challenge.”
“Some of you may want to ask how the rankings will be determined if two candidates challenge a chamber of the same level?”
The organizer chuckled. “If the difficulty of the secret chamber is the same, then the amount of time used to complete the challenge will be used to determine ranking. The shorter amount of time used in the same level of difficulty, the higher one’s ranking will be. If the amount of time elapsed also happens to be the same, then whoever finished grasping the ‘Obscure Seal of Life and Death’ first will be ranked higher.”
There were only ten levels of difficulty in all, which of course meant that there would be a large amount of candidates challenging the same level.
It was a logical thing to use elapsed time to more finely determine rankings. Whoever used the shorter amount of time would have a higher practical combat strength.
If both used the same amount of time, then whoever comprehended the technique faster had superior powers of comprehension. This too, made sense.
In this regard, the rankings would be very easy to determine.
All of the twenty thousand left had excellent skills of understanding. They naturally understood the rules in a single attempt.
Everyone warned themselves to be on full alert. Only eight thousand of them would be left after this trial.
No one wanted to be disqualified; everyone wanted to be part of the eight thousand left.
Competition existed in every form, whether the level of difficulty in the challenge, the time spent in the challenge, and even the speed of comprehending a new technique.
At that moment, all practitioners felt a strange sense of pressure.
The level of the competition was palpable when more than half of the remaining twenty thousand was slated for elimination.
Jiang Chen sat cross legged in the midst of the crowd, presenting an extremely low profile with lowered head and eyes, concealing his brilliance.
“The ‘Obscure Seal of Life and Death’?” Jiang Chen searched for this technique in his consciousness, but sadly found nothing in his past life pertaining to this technique.
“This is likely an ordinary technique, so it’s quite normal for me to have no memory of it.” Jiang Chen smiled inwardly.
With his knowledge of martial dao, the fact that he’d never encountered this technique before didn’t present a problem.
The powers of comprehension from his past life were readily apparent. Just like the national treasure, the “Eastern Amethyst Qi” method in the Eastern Kingdom, he’d carelessly practiced the two foundational techniques of “Amethyst Cloud Palm” and “Eastern King Point” to the legendary realm without a second thought.
That would mark the point where he’d thoroughly conquered the proud Princess Gouyu.
Perhaps the “Obscure Seal of Life and Death” was of a higher level than the “Eastern Amethyst Qi” method, but in the end it was all the same to Jiang Chen.
The organizer called out just as Jiang Chen was musing, “Alright, the four trial begins now!”
Lines of text appeared on the smooth, gleaming marker.
The text was carved quite clearly on the enormous stone marker.
Jiang Chen looked up and committed the entire text to memory.
His strong consciousness and memory were naturally something that other practitioners couldn’t measure up to.
The ten thousand characters of the technique were branded into his memory after one read through, incapable of being obliterated.
Jiang Chen focused his attentions after memorization and entered a state of meditation.
“The ‘Obscure Seal of Life and Death’ is a seal technique that simulates all beneath the heavens to form a hand seal of life and death. All beneath the heavens are encompassed by this life and death…”
Jiang Chen started to ponder the theory of this technique.
Just as he thought, this technique wasn’t a particularly advanced one, and was most suited for those of the small spirit realm.
Anyone below that realm who attempted to practice this technique would find it a bit difficult.
Those above that realm would find this technique a bit useless.
Of course, if any technique could be trained to the realm of great perfection, then that was another matter entirely. Even if an earth spirit realm practitioner practiced this technique to great perfection, the force behind it would be quite frightening.
The innate level of a technique could determine many things.
However, the level of training of a practitioner could also determine many things as well.
Of course, at this moment, Jiang Chen’s mind was purely without extraneous thoughts.
He was going through countless iterations of this technique.
There was a very stringent aspect of the fourth trial in that one could only simulate how to use this technique in their minds before taking on the challenge. Actual practice was disallowed.
If you wanted to practice, you had to enter the “Great Hall of the Netherworld”, and you only had three chances to practice.
One could perhaps choose a lower level room the first time to verify the results of one’s understanding.
One would then move onto a higher level the second time, continuing to gain more practical experience.
The third time however, had to be approached with utmost caution. One had to select the highest level possible in their challenge.
It’d be a huge loss if one didn’t make it into the final eight thousand because they had chosen too low a level.
One had to say that this kind of testing method was quite harsh. It made great demands on a practitioner’s powers of comprehension.
All candidates wore serious expressions.
Every minute after the start of the trial was quite precious.
Jiang Chen had gained a thorough rudimentary understanding of this technique after two hours.
After four hours, he could go through all the motions very smoothly.
After six hours, Jiang Chen rose to his feet and walked up to the organizer, “I want to take on the challenge.”
The organizer had been dozing off, obviously completely unprepared as well.
Ordinarily speaking, there were three days given for learning.
Even a genius with superior powers of comprehension would need at least one or two days, right? Therefore, the organizer hadn’t thought at all that someone would take on the challenge on the first day.
“What? Challenge?” He blanked. “Now?”
Jiang Chen nodded.
“Then… alright, come with me.” Each trial had a different organizer, so the organizer of the fourth trial was unfamiliar with the “freak with the boulder’s heart” and his thoughts didn’t travel in that direction.
Otherwise, if he had known that the subject of so much gossip was standing in front of him, then he might not have been so shocked.
“Taking on the challenge after six hours? Has this fellow practiced the ‘Obscure Seal of Life and Death” before? Can someone learn it within six hours?”
“Eh, I heard that there was a genius who emerged from the previous trials. Everyone called him the freak with the boulder’s heart. Is it him again?”
“Oh man, that really is possible!”
“Tsk tsk tsk tsk. A genius is a genius alright. But, to take on the challenge after six hours, isn’t that too arrogant? Won’t the other practitioners feel dejected?”
“Oh shut up. Since you know he’s a genius, then you should know that we don’t register in his line of sight at all. His competition are those sect disciples in the next selection, those preeminent sect geniuses!”
“Is that so? There will be quite a show to watch then. The genius disciples of the four sects would never think that a genius born in the ordinary world could stand shoulder to shoulder with them. His conflict with them will be a sight to see!”
Jiang Chen headed directly into the Hall with the organizer, paying no heed to the talk in the outside world.
The Great Hall of the Netherworld was exceedingly spacious with countless secret chambers, scattered all over like the stars in the sky. Ten rows of ten rooms were enough to accommodate the several thousand testing at the same time.
There were ten rows because of the ten different levels. They started off from level one and proceeded in an ascending fashion to level ten.
“Do you see these ten secret chambers? The difficulty increases in ascending order. You have three chances, with your best score being recorded. However, remember that if you fail even one of the three chances, you’ll be disqualified. Therefore, think carefully when you select a room, because you cannot afford to fail.”
The organizer was rather kindly and patient as he took the time to explain the rules in detail.
Jiang Chen nodded. He’d actually formulated a plan long ago.
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