Chapter 54: The Secret of the Six Numbers!
Translator: Mogumoguchan/Zenobys Editor: - -
There were a few hundred people on the field. At that moment, they were all looking intently at the nine eagle statues. All of the rankings on it were the same. When they looked at it, they began discussing among themselves.
Sometimes they would cheer when a person's name went up the rankings, and at other times they would feel sorry for another person who fell down the rankings.
It can even be said that the test within the mountain was secondary in this grand ceremony and that the most important part of the ceremony was in the field. There were a few hundred people in the field, and while most of them were from Wind Stream Tribe, there were still quite a number of them from other tribes. It would be accurate to say that almost all of the tribes in the region were gathered here.
They would bring the rankings of the three stages back to their tribes so that everyone would know about it.
That was the tradition, and it had been done in previous tests as well.
As time passed, Ye Wang, who was in 1st place, had taken his 345th step, and he was gradually slowing down.
Chen Chong was behind him. He had already taken his 189th step. As for Wu Sen, who everyone had high expectations for, was in the 9th place for some unknown reason. He had only taken 127 steps.
However, the person called Bi Su had brought a lot of attention from the field on himself. He was in the 3rd place, and he had taken 188 steps!
"Who is that Bi Su? How can he be so strong? Could this person actually make it to the top of the first stage this time?"
"This is interesting. It has been a long time since any outsider has managed to get into the top 10. Never mind that, no outsider has made it into the top 30 for a long time as well."
As the people were talking among themselves, the tribe leader of Black Mountain Tribe was sitting down cross-legged as he stared at the rankings on the eagle statue nearby. There was a prideful smile on his lips. He also swept his gaze to where Black Mountain Tribe was.
Shan Hen was seated with his eyes closed at where Dark Mountain Tribe was, seemingly uninterested with the rankings. As for the Head of the Guards, he was frowning as if he was feeling anxious.
He looked at the rankings on the eagle statue beside him and found Bei Ling, who was at the 57th place, Lei Chen, who was at the 73rd place, and Wu La, who was at the 91st place.
The old woman from Dark Dragon Tribe and the rest of the tribes were also intently staring at the eagle statues. There were not a lot of changes on their faces. As the leaders of the tribes, they had to learn how to conceal their emotions. Unless there was a great change, they would usually not show strong emotions on their faces. As for the Head of the Guards from Dark Mountain Tribe, if it were not for Bei Ling, he would not look anxious.
The situation in the hundreds of stairways within the mountain was different from the field, which was filled with hundreds of people discussing and staring at the statues. The people taking the first stage of the test felt as if they were the only ones on the peak of the mountain.
Not only did the thick mist cover their sight of each other, even the people outside could not see what was happening inside. Even Jing Nan, the Elder of Wind Stream Tribe, could not see through the mist which was created as a form of seal. He could not tell for sure what was happening inside.
Nonetheless, there would not be any danger in this place. After all, the test had been held far too many times.
Bai Ling bit down her bottom lip. Sweat beaded on her forehead as she walked forwards. She could not see the end of the stairs. It seemed like there was no end to it, causing the people who were walking on it to fall into the illusion that it was endless. The increasing pressure as they walked further ahead also made them feel as if they were being repelled by the place. It was as if there were a countless number of voices whispering in their ears to give up.
Lei Chen was growling nonstop not too far away from Bai Ling. He had even torn away his hide shirt and revealed a strong upper body. There were beads of sweat trickling down his body, making him look ferocious even though he was tired. He kept walking forward, eyes lit with madness and persistence.
Further ahead, Bei Ling's face was pale. He had given too much blood from the centre of his brows to Wu Sen lately. His body was still weak. He would be able to obtain a small drop of Berserker Blood from Wu Sen during the third stage of the test according to their promise, but he was worried. He did not know whether the promise still held.
Bei Ling gritted his teeth. He did not want to lose completely, so he walked forward with the pride of Dark Mountain Tribe on his shoulders one step at a time.
Compared to their difficulty, the most brilliant prodigy of Wind Stream Tribe, Ye Wang, was much more at ease. He had his hands behind his back as he walked forward one step at a time at an unhurried pace. This was not the first time he walked these steps, but the third!
He remembered clearly that he managed to make it to more than 800 steps during his second time. This time, he would make it to 900!
'The elder once said that the mountain seemed tall, but there were only 999 steps. The structure had some sort of mysterious power that seemed to change heaven and earth.
'The amount of steps you could take reflected how many blood veins you would be able to manifest at the end.'
"I have to eat less next time. Ah, I definitely have to eat less next time..."
At another path behind Ye Wang, Chen Chong was panting harshly as he walked forward, mumbling under his breath. He was slightly on the plump side, and as he walked, the flesh on his body seemed to tremble, but there was a sharp glint in his eyes. He looked at the plate in his hands. If he stared at it with the plate in mind, he could see all the rankings in it. He knew that there was a person called Bi Su who was right behind him!
Located further away was the young man in black hide skin from Black Mountain Tribe. His face was calm, as if there was no need for him to be serious about walking these stairs yet.
'This is the first time I've come here. Since I'm here, then Wu Sen, Chen Chong, and even Ye Wang, will have to stand behind me!
'This time, I will let everyone know that I, Bi Su, am the best of all the prodigies in the region!'
There was a crazed look on the young man's half-covered face.
Compared to these people, Su Ming was far behind them. His footsteps were slow. As of then, he had only taken his 32nd step.
In fact, when he was at the 32nd step, Su Ming did not move forward, but lowered his head and fell into deep thought. He stared at the steps underneath his feet, and his eyes began wavering as he fell into his thoughts.
'The elder mentioned 6 numbers... The first number was 32... Could he have meant the 32nd step on the stairs?'
As Su Ming was thinking, he slowly lifted his feet and stepped onto the 33rd step. Once he placed his foot down, he did not feel any different. It was the same amount of pressure he felt at the 32nd step.
'There's nothing strange about it... It's the same...'
Su Ming frowned, then went to the 34th step. Yet, the moment his right foot landed on it, his body trembled suddenly.
'Same... Same..? No!' He closed his eyes and felt the slight increase of pressure as his right foot remained on the 34th step.
Then he opened his eyes and quickly retreated to the 31st step. He raised his foot and stood on the 32nd step, then on the 33rd. At that moment, Su Ming's eyes lit up and he took a deep breath.
'I see. There is an increase of pressure between the 31st and 33rd step, but only the 32nd step retains the same pressure no matter whether I move forward or backwards. It's as if... the 32nd step doesn't exist. Even if the 32nd step is not around, everything is still the same.'
After a moment of thought, Su Ming did not move forward any longer. Instead, he sat down cross-legged at the 32nd step to feel the pressure from both sides as they pressed against his body. It made him feel uncomfortable, but 40 something blood veins manifested on his body.
The moment these blood veins appeared, the pressure against Su Ming's body lessened by a great margin. If he did not pay attention to it, he would not have realized it.
'I can feel two sorts of pressure on most of the steps in this mountain. One of them comes from above me, and the other is the residue pressure coming from behind me from the steps I've taken... Only this 32nd step can balance the pressure I feel... The six numbers the elder told me must mean that there are six similar spots in this mountain!
'Perhaps this is what the elder experienced when he took the test in Wind Stream Tribe. It's his secret...'
As Su Ming sat down, he closed his eyes slowly and activated the blood veins in his body. After a moment, Su Ming opened his eyes and frowned.
He did not feel that he benefitted from it. Even if he circulated his Qi around his body, he felt normal. There were no changes whatsoever.
Su Ming could not figure out the answer in his silence, but he knew that the elder would definitely not tell him the numbers because he felt like it. There must be some sort of secret within the elder's words that he had yet to discover.
Still... Su Ming scratched his head. The elder had always loved saying these sort of things since he was young to let him think and figure things out on his own. If he understood it, then that was that. If he did not, then the elder would occasionally tell him the answer.
After a moment of thought, Su Ming sighed. He looked at the 49 blood veins on his body. With their presence, he could ignore the pressure in this place.
'Really, elder..? Can't you just tell me the answer..? Ah, just what is the secret behind this..?'
Su Ming did not want to give up. He continued sitting there as he thought carefully.
'Pressure... the same amount of pressure from both sides... I could feel the pressure before, but when I sit here, the pressure will make my blood circulate faster, thus my blood veins will appear automatically to fight against the pressure... this...'
Su Ming's heart suddenly jumped, and a thought flickered through his mind, but he had a feeling that he could not handle it completely.
He opened his eyes wide and took in a deep breath as he looked at the 49 blood veins on his body.
'Could the secret behind the elder's words be actually to tell me how to control the blood veins in my body so that they could all appear at the same time, then disappear one by one..? Then precisely because the pressure in this place is balanced like the world outside, it could turn the impossible possible..?'
Su Ming jolted.
'The purpose of this is to let me have a much better control over my blood veins. When I swing my fist, I have to control the number of blood veins in my body so that with each punch, I will have just the right amount of power and not waste any of my energy...'
Su Ming licked his lips unconsciously and closed his eyes. In his silence, he tried to control the blood veins in his body and let them revert back one at a time.
It was difficult!