Immortal And Martial Dual Cultivation - Chapter 479
Chapter 479: Test of Death
Essence would evolve into Quintessence. One strand of Quintessence was equivalent to ten strands of Essence.
As long as a cultivator reached the Martial Monarch realm, they would be able to use a Quintessence shield.
No matter how heaven-defying one’s Essence was, it would not be able to penetrate a Quintessence shield due to the difference in quality. It was like the difference between wood and metal. No matter how sharp and strong a wooden sword was, it would never break through a metal shield.
Wood was wood and metal was metal. Such was the difference between Essence and Quintessence.
However, the strange light barrier of this Ancient Desolate Tower gave Xiao Chen a chance, as long as he could continue climbing the tower and leave everyone behind.
Xiao Chen had to reach a height that no one else could reach. Then, not only would he catch up to the peak geniuses of his generation, he would have a chance to surpass them.
The test in the third floor went like Xiao Chen had expected. Without a doubt, the gravestone and coffin represented death.
What Xiao Chen had needed to face was his own death. The sensation of his breathing and heart stopping felt like he was actually dying.
Furthermore, the embellishment of the stone coffin and gravestone made the test seem even more realistic. In other words, that was a true experience of death.
The key to passing the test of the third floor was conquering this fear of death. Fortunately, Xiao Chen normally had a resolute heart. His desire to climb the Ancient Desolate Tower was greater than anyone else’s.
Xiao Chen knew that he was behind in regard to cultivation. If he wanted to catch up, he had to climb this Ancient Desolate Tower without stopping. This was his only chance at achieving his aims.
As long as Xiao Chen could overcome this fear of death, he could pass this test, achieving a breakthrough.
Xiao Chen collected his thoughts. He did not want to think about his experience in the third floor. There was no point in dwelling on thoughts of his death slowly creeping up on him.
Xiao Chen looked around the fourth floor and studied it. The fourth floor was quite expansive. There were no changes to the walls.
Ancient paintings floated in the air. The paintings unfurled themselves and displayed the danger zones of the world.
[TL note: The ancient Chinese paintings are painted on scrolls. They are normally rolled up when they are stored.]
“This is the Scarlet Blood Flame Prison, and the Ten Thousand Poison Ice Cave…the Nine Layers of Purgatory, Deep Sea Battlefield, Ink Forest….”
When Xiao Chen saw the scenes depicted on the paintings, his expression slowly changed. It looked like this floor would test the combat prowess of a cultivator.
Seven people appeared from below. They were Ding Fengchou, Jiang Zimo, Xia Xiyan, Zuo Mo, Mu Xinya, Chu Chaoyun, and Chu Mu.
The test of death on the third floor eliminated the cultivators with weak willpower. From the initial twenty people, the test-takers were down to eight.
Suddenly, Ding Fengchou looked at Xiao Chen and was stunned. He exclaimed, “You broke through?!”
The other people were confused for a moment before they looked at Xiao Chen. Then, their expressions changed. Before entering the Ancient Desolate Tower, Xiao Chen had merely been an Inferior Grade Martial King.
Although Xiao Chen had already reached the peak of Inferior Grade Martial King, he had still been a distance away from a breakthrough if he cultivated normally.
Even a genius at the very peak would require two months to break through, despite using all sorts of miraculous pills and practicing a peak Superior Grade Earth Ranked Cultivation Technique.
However, Xiao Chen managed to successfully break through to Medial Grade Martial King in less than half a day. Just thinking about it astonished them.
Xiao Chen nodded. “Yup! I just broke through.”
Jiang Zimo’s eyes revealed his doubts. “Odd, our cultivation grew as well but it was not as fast as yours.”
Xiao Chen smiled faintly and did not pursue the topic. He had a guess about what happened—the first to pass the test gained the most benefits.
Xiao Chen was the first to pass the tests of two floors. Naturally, he received more than the others.
The eight people stopped chatting. They focused on the paintings and started discussing them.
“The places in the paintings are the forbidden zones of the Tianwu Continent. Could it be that we have to go through these forbidden zones before we can pass this test?”
Zuo Mo pointed at one of the paintings and said, “This painting depicts the danger zone of the Great Tang Nation—the Demonic Beast Cave. Even a peak Superior Grade Martial Monarch would not be able to wander about unhindered there.”
Xia Xiyan said, “I believe the test of this floor would have something to do with these paintings. The danger levels of the places in the paintings are probably lowered. Otherwise, there is is no point in our taking this test. We would just be chased out immediately.”
Chu Chaoyun waved his hand and collected the painting of the Ten Thousand Poison Ice Cave. He looked suspiciously at the painting for a while before he turned into a beam of dim light and entered it.
The others started to carefully pick the location where they would have an advantage. After everyone picked a location, Xiao Chen made his decision as well.
Xiao Chen pulled the painting of the Scarlet Blood Flame Prison over. He looked within it and a huge suction force came from the painting. The suction felt like it was pulling in his soul.
Xiao Chen did not resist with his Spiritual Sense;he simply went with the flow. Then, he turned into a beam of dim light and entered the painting.
After Xiao Chen’s body moved, he found himself in a desolate space. He looked up and saw that the sky was scarlet. Clumps of flaming scarlet clouds drifted about.
A huge scarlet flame lotus blossomed in the middle of the sky;it looked very beautiful and strange.
This place felt extremely gloomy and chilly.
When Xiao Chen looked around in the four directions, he saw scarlet pillars holding the sky up in the horizon.
The scarlet pillars were connected with the flaming clouds, seeming to form a large cage enveloping this entire space. It looked very grand.
Xiao Chen muttered, “This must be the Scarlet Blood Flame Prison. It is formed by Scarlet Blood Frost Flame. There is a Blood Flame Beast King on each of the four pillars.
“If I kill these four Blood Flame Beast Kings and break the cage, I should be able to pass this test.”
As for the Scarlet Blood Frost Flame, this was a ridiculously strong flame that Xiao Chen had no chance of defending against.
On further consideration, Xiao Chen concluded that the creator of the Ancient Desolate Tower would not be ridiculous enough to expect the test-taker to be able to subdue the Scarlet Blood Frost Flame. Such an expectation would simply chase away test-takers.
The Scarlet Blood Frost Flame was a strange flame that drifted about the world. According to rumor, it was a demonic flame that an evil Martial-Emperor-level cultivator of the Ancient Era had refined.
When this cultivator fell, the Scarlet Blood Frost Flame had not been extinguished;it instead drifted about uncontrollably.
No one could defend against it anywhere it went. Cities, even an imperial capital, were destroyed.
The Scarlet Blood Frost Flame Frost Flame killed countless people and accumulated a large amount of vengeful spirits, resulting in an increase in its strength.
The Blood Flame Beast was a strange creature formed by the combination of the vengeful spirits and the flame. It was neither human nor beast, Demon nor Fiend. Blood Flame Beasts were extremely strong.
The other Martial-Emperor-level experts that remained had tried to refine the flames or extinguish it. However, they failed.
Having absorbed too many vengeful spirits, the Scarlet Blood Frost Flame had already developed a rudimentary intelligence. Furthermore, it was very strong. Ordinary Martial-Emperor-level experts were no match for it.
In the end, the last Martial-Emperor-level expert alive had no other choice but to seal it beneath the Great Jin Nation’s Heavenly Boat Mountain. Then, it turned into this strange cage.
“Hu chi! Hu chi!”
Just as Xiao Chen was thinking, the scarlet lotus above suddenly started to move. Countless petals formed by flames drifted towards the ground.
The flames were like scarlet blood, tender and bright. They fell like a rain of scarlet flower petals. The scene was very beautiful, a marvel of the world.
Xiao Chen’s expression changed and his figure flashed, moving backwards.
“Xiu! Xiu! Xiu!”
After the scarlet petals landed on the ground, they wriggled nonstop. Then, they formed Blood Flame Beasts more than two meters tall.
A quick count gave more than two hundred Blood Flame Beasts. After they manifested, they immediately rushed recklessly at Xiao Chen.
Xiao Chen focused on the Blood Flame Beasts and gauged their auras. They were roughly equivalent to human Inferior Grade Martial Kings.
The true Blood Flame Beast was as strong as a half-step Martial Emperor, at the very least. It seemed like there was a chance of victory in this painting;it was not ridiculously difficult.
The Blood Flame Beast was made completely of scarlet Yin-attributed flames. Its eyes were just two black holes. There was a fist-sized white light flickering in its chest.
This white light was the final soul mark of a vengeful spirit. The vengeful spirit did not have any memories but it still retained its previous combat experience.
Xiao Chen retreated. When he saw the Blood Flame Beasts chasing after him, he muttered, “They retained their previous combat experience and are indeed hard to deal with. However, they are Yin-attributed flames in the end. My Purple Thunder True Fire should have some suppressive effect on it.”
This was one of the reasons why Xiao Chen selected the Scarlet Blood Flame Prison. The Scarlet Blood Frost Flame was a Yin-attributed was a Yin-attributed flame. His Yang-attributed Purple Thunder True Fire was a good counter for it.
However, speaking of countering, the two flames were like fire and water. A large amount of water could extinguish fire but a large amount of fire could evaporate water as well.
In the end, they opposed each other. The stronger side would be able to deal a fatal blow to the other party and cause more damage.
Xiao Chen sheathed his Lunar Shadow Saber by his waist and moved his ten fingers, summoning purple flames above them. As he fed them his Essence, the ten clumps of flames started to grow larger.
Xiao Chen formed hand seals quickly. With the movement of his fingers, the ten clumps of flames floating in front condensed into daggers.
After he completed the hand seals, the daggers made of Purple Thunder True Fire finished forming. They looked very realistic, like daggers with purple flames on them.
“Life Bestowal Spell!” Xiao Chen shouted and pointed with his right hand. The daggers immediately flew forward, drawing out a significant amount of Mental Energy from his sea of consciousness.
The targets of the daggers were very clear;they were the white light on the Blood Flame Beasts’ chests. After destroying the vengeful spirit’s mark, the Blood Flame Beast would collapse on its own.
Regular weapons did not have much of an effect on that spirit mark. However, transformed by Xiao Chen’s Life Bestowal Spell and his Spiritual Sense, these flame daggers were the perfect counter to the spirit mark.
Under the control of Xiao Chen’s Spiritual Sense, the ten daggers instantly found their targets—the white light. Black smoke came out of the Blood Flame Beasts’ heads.
Miserable cries came from the ten Blood Flame Beasts that were struck. They stretched their arms out and tried to pull the purple flame daggers out. However, they could not do anything.
When the daggers completely destroyed the white lights, the Blood Flame Beasts turned into scarlet flames that scattered into the surroundings and vanished as smoke.
It was indeed effective! Xiao Chen rejoiced. Although he used the Purple Thunder True Fire for the Life Bestowal Spell and consumed a large amount of Mental Energy, the effects were good. He managed to kill Blood Flame Beasts in one strike. It was worthwhile.
Xiao Chen shifted his feet and activated the secret technique of the Blood Flame Shoes. Moving at Mach 4, he retreated, putting a great distance between him and the Blood Flame Beasts chasing after him.