Unprecedented! Explosive! Life-Ending!
The first hour of the Grand Spirit Trials brought about an unexpected series of events that stunned the crowd, both above the planet and those watching at select locations. What many had thought was going to be a challenge against top-tier talents was subverted to be a harsh survival scenario with unpredictable endings.
The Trial of Beasts. For years to come, many would shudder at this name. The rules of this trial initially seemed mundane and acceptable, even a little too dragged and unnecessary. Four months was a long period of time after all, yet it revealed its hidden fangs and importance with a frightening eruption.
With the addition of feral creatures that were unrestricted, attacking as they saw fit ranging from the weakest to the strongest, and the elimination based on negative points, the trial ’s difficulty had risen ten-fold. A few were caught off-guard, their comfy life and smooth cultivation path were interrupted by spontaneous lethal danger, and they lost their life. These were talented youths that had exceptional futures in this era to enter the true experts of the world.
Not one of these individuals lacked the potential to enter the Third Stage of the Astral Core Realm, the Soul Idol Phase. With this cultivation, they could rule continental flat earths or sections or planets, and even establish their own force and slowly develop their names throughout the starfield. They would live in incomparable luxury while being showered in immense praise and looked upon with eyes suffused with reverence. Alas…
The only saving grace the audience had was the lack of combat between participants, the restrictions set on the event, and the lengthy-time for their geniuses to become accustomed to the rules. Some experts lost their disciples of a century or two and felt boundless despair, regret, and pain in their hearts as they watched them lose their lives. Quite a few of them blamed the Myriad Monarch Sect, as expected.
How would this affect one of the five hegemons of the starfield? It was uncertain, but the death count would definitely rise in the near future. Furthermore, in the second trial, the enmity in this otherwise peaceful era ruled by the San Clan would slowly strengthen. While many wanted the competition to test themselves, prove themselves to others, they long since lost that sense of danger that came with this desired struggle.
Only those who adapt will survive.
In a dense, green forest with trees that tower up to forty meters in height, a young female elf with emerald hair and a gorgeous, sublime countenance slowly absorbed the ambient wood energies that were exceptionally pure and abundant. Her entire body emitted faint green-colored light as she seemed to meld with the trees, becoming an elegant and majestic painting.
Qing Qiumu had arrived on the planet Junia an hour ago. When she did, she wasn ’t met with an unexpected assault nor others. She was alone, which was typical considering the vast size of planet Junia and the number of participants. Even if the number had reached a hundred thousand, the chances of meeting someone else was too low.
When she found no lifeforms nearby and her spiritual sense was suppressed, she started to cultivate. Junia was renowned for its dense and abundant wood energies within. When she went into secluded cultivation by her ancestor after the execution platform, she was brought here to cultivate. And when she came with Wei Wuyin, they explored a majority of its premium location without restriction.
With Wei Wuyin ’s status as a Heavenly King and an Alchemic King, he could go anywhere, including areas even her Ancestor couldn ’t gain entry in. She was quite familiar with this environment. She was also familiar with the rules.
After an hour of non-stop cultivation, she breathed out and the leaves of the trees vibrated in resonance. It was as if they were responding to mother nature, fully accepting and submitting to her presence. Very few knew, but Qing Qiumu was an ungodly talent amongst Wood Cultivators. In fact, she could be considered blessed in every facet of potential.
She had the trifecta for cultivation. Her physique, blood, bone, and organs contained innate Wood Yin Essence within, enriching them with Wood Yin energies from birth. It was this Wood Yin Essence Physique that caused Jiu Lang to capture her and use her as a cultivation resource, extracting her essence blood.
She had Innate Meridians of the Nine Meadows, which meant her meridians were enchanted by the Nine Meadow Intent, which encompassed Wood Intent like the Life Meadow Wood Intent. This allowed her to convert ambient essence and convert them into natural, pure Life Meadow Wood Essence or any of the other eight Essences. On command, she could give birth to nine types of wood energies and even merge them into one with the utmost ease.
Lastly, her sea of consciousness had a naturally forming Violet Forestry Palace of the Psyche, allowing her mental energies to commune with all wood-based lifeforms and comprehend Wood Intents with further ease.
Regardless of who, be it Xiang Ling, her Ancestor, or Qin Rui, they all knew how high her natural talent was. She was the most supreme Wood Cultivator born in this starfield, and there had never been another like her even in the King of Everlore Era. While there have been those with a single one of these aspects, but never all three in one.
In the eyes of those unaware of Long Chen ’s lineage of the Grand Monarch, they never believed he was a match for her and had even advised her against it directly while attempting to influence her. Her talent was greater than one could possibly imagine.
”There ’s a beast three hundred miles ahead? Strong? It ’s coming my way? ” Qing Qiumu spoke to the air, but the leaves and trees shook and vibrated as if confirming her words. She slightly nodded and glanced to the east. According to these plant life, there was a beast that was terrifying, at least Silver Star. Her cultivation wasn ’t impressive amongst the participants, merely reaching the First Stage of the Astral Core Realm. While she was regarded as immensely talented, her combat strength wasn ’t offensively oriented.
Therefore, she decided to find some Grey Starred Beast and trap them, waiting until the trial to conclude to move forward to the next. Even to her, the first trial wasn ’t too important. It was the second trial that brought about great danger and conflict. Participants can plunder from each other, points, and life.
”Where are the weakest beasts? ” She asked. In several minutes, she soon received a detailed report as the plant life seemed to be interconnected with each other in a fantastical network, capable of communicating with each other. While most were immobile, they were still aware of their surroundings. One couldn ’t call them intelligent, but they certainly weren ’t normal.
After all, they contained exceptional levels of wood energies and life force. While they weren ’t sentient, she could use her Violet Forestry Palace to instill them temporary mental strength that she could later receive and comprehend. Others wouldn ’t be able to do this without an exquisite spell, but she could do it.
She melded her aura with the ambient wood energies and life, slowly moving towards the west to remain concealed and away from that beast. With this means, she could walk by most individuals in such a wood rich environment and be invisible to senses. If she went further, she ’d be able to merge with the bark of trees, a giant leaf, or bushes and thoroughly conceal all traces.
In this environment, she had many avenues of safety.
A bestial roar resounded, thunderous and ferocious. It sounded like a lion, fiercely releasing a roar of authority and majesty. Qing Qiumu started, her eyes shifted to the east. The roar originated from there and it was incredibly loud. Her ears hurt somewhat.
”What ’s happening? ” Her mental energies infused with the surrounding plant life and she connected with them, receiving their detailed stories.
Her eyes widened. From above, it was as if the sun was eclipsed. Her head lifted with a sharp jolt, seeing a dense layer of feathers and a sun-blocking body that soared above. A crow, as black as night, yet as large as a whale, was flapping its wings above. She was deeply shocked, realizing the speed of this crow had surpassed her senses.
She hadn ’t even noticed its approach.
Her feet shook. She felt the ground rumble causing her to use her astral force to stabilize herself. An explosive sound erupted, loud enough to sweep hundreds of miles and shaking the hearts of everyone within range. Her heart raced as she saw a protruding shadow in the distance hundreds of miles away. It was becoming larger and larger like a spontaneously created mountain.
A hiss. It was low, but it sent chills down her spine. It came from the mountain. From this mountain, a gold star was at its peak, bright and clear for all to see. Her eyes shrunk to needlepoints. ’Gold Star! ’Her shock was endlessly yet it refused to calm as these beasts started to converge in a certain location with explosive ferocity.
”?! ” She felt uncertain and unsafe. Her first instinct was to leave, and that ’s what she did. She went the opposite direction and left at the swiftest speed she could. As she did, there was a shrill shriek that seemed to originate from a crow. She turned and saw a river of blood shot into the air, but the crow was alive. It twisted its body and revealed on its forehead a gold star.
Her heart wasn ’t racing anymore. It was leaping and going out of bounds. But fear never overtook her heart, her clarity of thought was still present and she booked it at a faster speed. ’If the crow and serpent are gold star then the other creature must be too! Why are there three here?! ’ She couldn ’t even begin to fathom it.
While there should be feral creatures placed by the Myriad Monarch Sect of this level, should there be three gold star ones without restrictions? Isn ’t that completely unfair?! Or…were they provoked?! What idiot provoked them!?!?
An explosive sound erupted behind her. Her heart jumped as she felt ferocious wind pressure sweep her. Those emerald eyes of hers closed instinctively as an object flew in her path, prompting her to halt and shield herself in a ward of wood force. A horrifyingly explosive impact of an object meeting ground resounded, and her feet left the ground as a huge depression formed directly before her.
If that object had hit her at its speed, her body would ’ve exploded into bits and pieces, turning into mush.
The crashing object had created a crater of a deep depth directly before her. Before she could escape, look inside, or turn back to inspect others, three sounds resounded that sent her heart into overdrive. If it wasn ’t for her strong heart reinforced by Wood Yin Energies, she might ’ve died from a heart attack.
The sounds of the sky being flown through, the ground stomped by a powerful body, and the slithering quakes of a large creature resounded. And they were getting closer!
’They…oh no! ’She realized they were after the object. Without hesitation, she turned away and tried to run. As for melding with the environment, that was useless. Every action of theirs could topple mountains, even on a planet like Junia. She would be standing waiting for death, but her speed wasn ’t fast enough.
They were here.
Surrounded by three creatures, her eyes widened. A flash of fear finally flickered within.
”Urgh… ” A groan sounded. This prompted the three beasts that arrived to linger, not taking immediate action as they observed the crater like curious creatures. But the vigilance in their gazes betrayed their fear.
Qing Qiumu turned her eyes to the crater. A hand clutched to edges, pulling itself up. A face revealed itself, covering in dirt and dust. But a set of eyes that were unmistakable were clear!
”Damnit Kratos! Rein in your pride, okay? So bothersome. ” The voice was casual, berating someone or something. When the unearthly handsome face finally revealed itself, Qing Qiumu ’s heart once more moved, but not with fear or shock. Those silver eyes soon swept the surroundings, meeting her.
”Qing Qiumu? ” The question was followed by a brief leap that caused the beasts lingering about to flinch, their auras, and bloodline pressures exerting itself. They were ready to fight, to kill!
”Hey! ” Wei Wuyin ’s bright smile completely overtook all else.
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