Chapter 192: Trial By Fire at the Blood Precipice
Months flew by. Bai Xiaochun wasn't the only person to have already qualified to participate in the Foundation Establishment trial by fire. However, the appointed time for the trial hadn't arrived yet, so those who accomplished their missions early were forced to bide their time.
Bai Xiaochun didn't sit idly by during those months. He excitedly cultivated the Undying Heavenly King. From the time he had begun to practice cultivation until now, he had never felt like this before; he was under no pressure whatsoever, and was able to diligently focus on his cultivation.
When he cultivated the Undying Heavenly King, his body was filled with a sensation of tingling pain. At first it was very uncomfortable, but by now he'd gotten used to it, and even found it somewhat pleasurable.
Every day, he would spend some time shadowboxing in his immortal's cave to test out his power, and the result was always the same. "Hahaha! I'm getting stronger and stronger. Bring on the pain!"
The sight of the blood qi rising up from the ground always caused his heart to pound with excitement.
"This place is my personal Holy Land. When I cause disasters, I don't get punished, I get rewarded! Plus, my cultivation progresses faster than ever...." Sighing, he couldn't help but muse that the Blood Stream Sect really was a good fit for him. However, after more consideration, he realized that his way of thinking was getting a bit twisted, and he needed to correct it.
"I'm from the Spirit Stream Sect!" he reminded himself. Then he sank down into the tingling pain.
Eventually, he had completed 999 cycles of the Undying Heavenly King, whereupon rumbling sounds filled him, and the images of three huge mammoths appeared behind him.
At that point, his eyes snapped open, and they shone brightly with enthusiasm. He unleashed a punch into the air, and a boom could be heard. He gasped.
"I've already reached the power level of three mammoths. This cultivation speed is crazy! Plus, I'm only on the back of the giant's hand. If I could get onto the fingers, maybe near one of those blood waterfalls, I could probably progress even faster!" Laughing heartily, he rose to his feet to go out for a stroll. However, at that moment, his face flickered, and he slapped his bag of holding, producing his identity medallion.
The medallion was glowing slightly, and when he poured some spiritual power into it, a cold, sinister voice rang out in his mind.
"Inner Sect disciple Nightcrypt, you have earned the right to participate in a second Foundation Establishment trial by fire. Three days from now at high noon, present yourself at the Precipice of Never-Ending Blood to begin the trial!"
Bai Xiaochun's eyes immediately began to shine with anticipation. "It's at the Precipice of Never-Ending Blood? Don't tell me the Foundation Establishment Trial by Fire is going to be inside the Pit of Never-Ending Blood?"
The Precipice of Never-Ending Blood and the Pit of Never-Ending Blood were essentially the same place. Back when Bai Xiaochun asked imposter Nightcrypt about where to get sparks for four-colored flame, he'd said that he should look for four-leaf clovers in the Pit of Never-Ending Blood.
Of course, of all the people who were waiting for the Foundation Establishment trial by fire, he was the one who actually cared the absolute least about it.
The only thing he cared about was that afterward, he would finally be able to call himself a Foundation Establishment cultivator of the Blood Stream Sect, and would finally become a Dharma protector of Middle Peak. That would be his first major step toward getting the relic of eternal indestructibility.
The reason he didn't care about the trial by fire, of course, was because he was already a Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment expert.
Considering he was a disciple of the Spirit Stream Sect, he knew that it was his responsibility to stand for justice and righteousness. Swishing his sleeve, he stuck his chin up. Looking very somber, he said, "This time, I can't let any of them succeed in Foundation Establishment. Unfortunately for them, I'm a spy!"
After all, he was a loyal servant of the Spirit Stream Sect, and as such, should take every opportunity to perform some meritorious service for his own sect.
Feeling better than ever, he sat back down cross-legged to meditate.
Three days later, he made his final preparations, and then stepped out of his immortal's cave, attempting to look as cold and ruthless as ever. He had been working on his gaze recently, trying to make it look more murderous, and felt pleased with the progress he had made.
The Precipice of Never-Ending Blood was one of the most mysterious places in the Blood Stream Sect, the other being the Holy Pill Wall Fragment .
It was a deep pit filled with blood-colored light that many people thought was an arcane pocket realm.
The truth was that it was a wound which had been inflicted upon the hand of the giant, which had eventually transformed into a world of its own.
Four-leaf clovers came from there, and could be used to spark four-colored flame. Considering that they were unique to the Blood Stream Sect, disciples often used them to trade for expensive items with people outside the sect.
However, actually acquiring them required a bit of luck. The deep pit that they grew in was also occupied by bloodbeasts. Although the bloodbeasts weren't intelligent, they were driven by an insane desire to kill. Apparently, the enormous hand that the Blood Stream Sect was built on innately bred a desire to destroy life.
Therefore, any life form which entered that deep pit and encountered a bloodbeast would come under attack.
When Bai Xiaochun arrived, he saw about eight other disciples present. A few were sitting silently in meditation, and the others were conversing in hushed tones.
Zhao Wuchang was there, and when he saw Bai Xiaochun, his eyes flickered with cold light. Although everyone present was a competitor, he smiled and beckoned Bai Xiaochun over.
At the moment, everyone present was from the group that had failed in the Fallen Sword World.
"I heard more than thirty people qualified to join this trial by fire. However, there are only a few Foundation Establishment Pills. There's definitely going to be some fierce fighting in the pit, not only with the bloodbeasts, but also with fellow disciples."
"Yeah, but we have to stick to our earlier agreement. We'll wipe everyone else out first before we decide among ourselves who gets the Foundation Establishment Pills."
As others chatted, Bai Xiaochun looked over at the Pit of Never-Ending Blood. The entrance was a narrow gap, only about 30 meters wide. Blood-colored light spilled out, and based on the aura that pulsed out, it was clear that terrifying entities existed deep therein. The entrance almost looked like a mouth ready to swallow up anyone who got close.
There were even faint roars audible from deep inside.
"I heard that there are some bloodbeasts comparable to the Foundation Establishment stage," Zhao Wuchang said. "This place won't be any less dangerous than the Foundation Establishment Holy Lands."
Bai Xiaochun nodded in response.
More people arrived and joined the waiting group, looking around coldly at their fellow disciples.
Soon it was noon, and everyone who qualified to join the trial by fire had arrived, a total of 37 people.
About that time, bright beams of light rose up into the air from each of the four mountain peaks, which then shot toward the location of the trial by fire.
Coming from Lesser Marsh Peak was a tall, middle-aged man who radiated an aura of blood that caused everything around him to ripple and distort. The faint image of a hand could be seen behind him, a hand that looked very similar to the hand the Blood Stream Sect was built on. Most shocking of all was that the skin of the man's own right hand was covered with what appeared to be faint cracks and crevices. This man was none other than the grand elder of Lesser Marsh Peak.
The grand elder from Nameless Peak was a dwarf with short hair and a scarred face. He stood on what appeared to be a black cloud, but was actually a vicious-looking gargoyle that radiated shocking pressure.
Bai Xiaochun had met the grand elder from Corpse Peak, the seemingly wrinkle-faced old man who actually radiated the life force of a youngster.
Last was the grand elder of Middle Peak, who was the most eye-catching to Bai Xiaochun. She was an attractive young woman who somehow seemed incredibly mature.
There was only one way to describe her attire: sexy and extraordinarily enticing. She had long, fair legs, and her rear end was so plump and curvaceous that anyone who saw it would do a double-take. Her Daoist robe was so tight on her voluptuous figure that it seemed as if it might pop off at any moment. In addition to all that, she had long, bright-red hair that made her seem like she was on fire.
Although her oval face couldn't be described as beautiful, it was inherently charming, and her eyes almost seemed to be reaching out to seduce anyone who looked into them. Bai Xiaochun subconsciously sucked in a deep breath, and felt his heart beating rapidly. He quickly looked away and tried not to stare.
"She's the grand elder of Middle Peak? Song Que's aunt, Song Junwan?" Unfortunately, he couldn't hold back from looking at her again, and to his shock, found her staring at him seductively.
She smiled, and Bai Xiaochun instantly felt his scalp tingling explosively. For some reason, her gaze actually filled him with a sensation of profound danger. He quickly bowed his head.
As soon as he looked down, Song Junwan's eyes flashed. Inwardly, she was actually quite surprised. Of all the people on the Precipice of Never-Ending Blood, Bai Xiaochun was the only one who had dared to look at her twice. Just as she had been about to punish him for it, he had apparently detected the look in her eye and lowered his head.
As the four grand elders arrived, the disciples all clasped hands in formal greeting.
"Greetings, grand elders!"
Bai Xiaochun followed along with them, although inwardly he was sighing. Who would have guessed that the grand elder of Middle Peak would be a vixen like her? And to think that he had to get into her immortal's cave to get the relic of eternal indestructibility. It almost seemed impossible at this point.
"According to my plan," he thought, "I eventually have to take her position as grand elder of Middle Peak."
Even as he sighed inwardly, Grand Elder Song Junwan said, "You are all people who failed in the Foundation Establishment Holy Lands. According to sect rules, you should have been punished, but after some discussion with the sect leader, we grand elders agreed to allow you another trial by fire.
"Foundation Establishment Pills can be used to reach Mortal-Dao Foundation Establishment. As for the success rate, it varies. Some people only need one pill, others might need two or three. There was even once when a disciple needed six of them to succeed!" With that, she pulled out a medicinal pill bottle, and then smiled in an extremely enticing fashion. It was a somewhat wicked smile, but that didn't make it any less beautiful. In fact, in some ways it made her even more attractive. After all, even roses have thorns. "Within this pill bottle are ten Foundation Establishment Pills."
As soon as the words left her mouth, she threw the pill bottle into the Pit of Never-Ending Blood.
"Let the fighting begin. You have one month, after which you will be extracted from the pit. Those who succeed in reaching Foundation Establishment will become Dharma protectors of whichever mountain peak you wish!"