Chapter 997: Breakthrough, Ninth Level Sage Realm

Emperor Peafowl had bestowed the Pentecolor Divine Swords to Jiang Chen after great consideration. The emperor himself was a born genius who could cultivate all five elements. The biggest reason he liked and appreciated Jiang Chen was also because he noticed that Jiang Chen was also a genius who could cultivate all five elements.

“Perhaps I should head out and take a walk before I attain emperor realm?” Jiang Chen suddenly felt that he didn’t necessarily have to push himself to reach emperor realm in one go. Considering the amount of time he would be spending in the Pagoda, reaching emperor realm wasn’t impossible. He already had two years of time. After grasping three Veluriyam Obelisks in a row, another ten months had been added to his time limit.

He was confident in his abilities to comprehend the next few Veluriyam Obelisks. At the very least, he was sure that the seventh obelisk wouldn’t be a problem for him. If he did succeed at the seventh, another year would be added to his time limit for a total of three years. Cultivating three years in here was the equivalent of cultivating sixty years in the outside world.

“I’ve spent less than ten years to break through to eighth level sage realm from third level sage realm. Therefore, sixty years is more than enough for me to ascend from ninth level sage realm to emperor realm.” He still had confidence enough in this area. Emperor realm might be a near insurmountable wall for some cultivators, but it wasn’t all that difficult for Jiang Chen. His memories from his past life alone offered many methods to help him break through to emperor realm, not to mention the many trump cards he possessed in this life. After deliberating again and again, Jiang Chen ultimately thought that it might not necessarily be a good idea to break through all the way to emperor realm right now.

“Our of all five elements, my understanding of the earth element is still a little lacking. Although ascending to emperor realm now may appear to be a good thing, I actually lose more than I gain. If I can fix the flaw in my understanding first before I break through to emperor realm, then there will be no flaws in my cultivation.”

After pondering for a while, Jiang Chen ultimately felt that he should stop at the peak of sage realm for now.  He also only had one chance to enter Veluriyam Pagoda. If he exited now, he wouldn’t be able to re-enter. Jiang Chen didn’t want to give up on exploring Veluriyam Pagoda. He also knew that Emperor Peafowl likely had high expectations for him. If he were to leave now, the emperor might be disappointed in him.

“I can’t give up on exploring the Veluriyam Pagoda, but I must get out at least once to perfect my understanding. In that case, the only way left before me is to pass all nine Veluriyam Obelisks and enter the Six Palaces of Heritage!”

Anyone who passed all nine Veluriyam Obelisks would have another opportunity to enter the Six Palaces of Heritage. Moreover, they were granted an additional chance in the event of failure. This meant that entering the Six Palaces would also allow him to reenter the Veluriyam Pagoda in the future. Of course, his age had to be younger than sixty years old.

Veluriyam Pagoda’s rules were extremely strict. All cultivators above sixty years old were barred from entry. All who exceeded this age might be attacked by Veluriyam Pagoda’s powerful restrictions. Of course, it was a different story if a cultivator was less than sixty years old when they first entered the Veluriyam Pagoda and stayed there until they were over sixty.

“Mm. I will dominate all nine Veluriyam Obelisks no matter what. I want to know what the Six Palaces of Heritage are about.” Jiang Chen’s mind became free of all stray thoughts after making up his mind. He began cultivating with all his might once more.

Three months later, a powerful heat surged into his ocean of qi. A comfortable warmth spread throughout his entire body like an electrical shock.

“Ninth level sage realm…” Jiang Chen opened his eyes and huffed out a mouthful of putrid breath. He had used half a year to ascend to ninth level sage realm. He could’ve completed the process in just three months’ time, but had chosen to spend another three months in cultivation. Given where he was, this meant that he’d cultivated for ten years, and he’d done so to patch up holes in his cultivation caused by previous swift breakthroughs. He felt the time was well spent. He’d been worried that his foundations were destabilized from his rapid progress, but the half year in the Pagoda was enough to vanquish this worry. 

Much had changed inside Veluriyam Pagoda during this time. When Jiang Chen walked out of his private domain, he noticed that there were only a few people left inside the secret realm of heritage. The others had either been disqualified or had left to explore other secret realms. There were only three to four people left inside the secret realm of heritage besides Jiang Chen.

Three were gathered beneath the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk. They were pointing and gesturing, seemingly discussing something. When the trio saw Jiang Chen walking towards them, they all nodded their heads at him in greeting. One of them even greeted him warmly. “Young lord Zhen, your seclusion lasted quite a long time, I see. Have you broken through to new heights?”

Jiang Chen have him a slight nod in response. He then asked, “Why are you three lingering before the Veluriyam Obelisk instead of challenging it?”

The genius who’d offered a greeting was ninth on the Ranking of Young Lords. Jiang Chen remembered that he was a member of Emperor Petalpluck’s faction, and that his name was Zhang Moheng. The other two cultivators were ranked sixth and seventh on the list. They were all geniuses from the first quartile. However, these two cultivators didn’t treat Jiang Chen as warmly as Zhang Moheng because they were ranked higher. They would lose face if they treated him too warmly.

Zhang Moheng had no such qualms, so he laughed wryly. “Brother Zhen, I for one know the limit of my capabilities. I am not able to grasp the sixth Veluriyam Obelisk thoroughly even to this day, much less the seventh. If we haven’t comprehended the fourth and fifth beforehand, we would’ve hit the time limit already. The reason we came here today is because we heard that Young lord Li Jiancheng of Emperor Asura is planning to challenge the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk. We’ve come to see if he can succeed in his endeavor.”

The other two cultivators shared the same thoughts. They hadn’t even managed to pass the sixth, so naturally it was impossible for them to study the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk.

Jiang Chen smiled. “What a coincidence! Li Jiancheng is planning to challenge the seventh obelisk too? Is he planning to be the first to pass  it?”

Zhang Moheng smiled ruefully. “The first? He may be too late already.”

Jiang Chen was surprised. “Why is that?”

Zhang Moheng stared at Jiang Chen with exaggerated surprise. “You don’t know?”

The other two cultivators were also staring at Jiang Chen in puzzlement. It was obvious that they were somewhat surprised by his reaction. He smiled wryly in response. “I was cultivating in seclusion all this time. I have no idea what’s happened in the outside world.”

Zhang Moheng sighed. “Does that mean you don’t know that someone has already passed the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk?”

Jiang Chen’s heart skipped a beat. “Who is it?”

“You really don’t know?” Zhang Moheng looked up and down with an expression of surprise, wondering if Jiang Chen was pretending or not. When he finally confirmed that this wasn’t a front, he sighed. “Aren’t you and young master Ji San brothers? Didn’t he tell you that he passed the seventh?”

Jiang Chen really didn’t think that the first person to pass would be Ji San. His mind went blank for a moment before he broke into laughter. “Well, isn’t he in a rush!”

Zhang Moheng exclaimed in surprise, “Aren’t you surprised at all? Your reaction is a bit unusual.”

Jiang Chen shrugged. “Brother Ji is a man of many hidden talents. You all feel strange only because you don’t know him too well. I know that he had this potential in him since a long time ago, so I’m not surprised by this.”

A man of many hidden talents? Zhang Moheng and the other two cultivators exchanged glances with each other. It might’ve been reasonable if he had used this description on Li Jiancheng, Shui Rutian or Zhou Yan. But Ji Ole Third? Wasn’t that a bit unsuitable? This was a fellow of loose restraint. Could a man like this really hide many talents?

Jiang Chen wasn’t paying attention to their reactions. He smiled and cupped his hands. “Do keep yourselves busy, everyone. I have other things to do.” With that, he headed straight towards the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk.

All three were transfixed by this action. “What… what does he want to do?” The trio communicated with each other through their eyes. Their heads were buzzing with great shock. Look at him. Could it be that young lord Zhen was planning to challenge the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk too? What was wrong with this world? Even now, none of the geniuses under the great emperors’ command had dared take up this challenge. Instead, the two common geniuses who fought their way up to the Ranking of Young Lords were the ones to challenge it first. Something was very wrong with this picture!

Complicated emotions assaulted the trio for a time. But their feet wouldn’t move according to their wishes, almost as if they had rooted themselves in the ground. One young master Ji San was shocking enough already, and now young lord zhen had shown up too. Was the Ranking of Young Lords really going to undergo a massive change?

When young master Ji San successfully grasped the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk and left in style, he’d also left behind a legend. It had been the topic of discussion for several days then, and to this day they still weren’t able to digest the news entirely. Now that young lord Zhen had made his move, their minds couldn’t keep up. Was this the era of the dark horses?

Out of the four strongest geniuses of the Ranking of Young Lords, Li Jiancheng had the only one who revealed that he was ready almost ready to challenge the seventh Veluriyam Obelisk. The rest of the three had gone to other secret realms to train. It was likely that they wouldn’t return to make their challenge until the final moment. After all, no one wanted to risk starting a challenge that they weren’t confident in passing. It’d be a great waste of their accumulated time if they failed. 

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Three left! I do have an event planned... get ready for it!