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Chapter 1237 – The Battle Begins
On the first 21 steps of the Divine Seal Altar, one would fight simulation spirit bodies produced by array formations. Starting from the 22nd step and upwards, one would no longer fight simulation spirit bodies but would have to fight and defeat other participants on the same step!
This produced another problem. That was that the first group which was in the lead was stronger overall, thus the opponents they faced were also more powerful.
Thus, if they wished to maintain their status of being in the vanguard, they would have to pay a certain price.
If they were too weak they would be defeated and their ranking here would drop.
A participant was only able to lose five times before they were eliminated; they naturally didn’t wish to waste these chances.
As some people realized this, they began to slow down their pace. If they instantly rushed to the 22nd step and had to directly face Nether Limitless, then that truly wouldn’t be fun.
In fact, only a very small minority of people were able to climb up to the 22nd step.
After such a long time with people continually being eliminated, out of the original 300,000 participants, there was not even a hundred thousand left. But, out of these remaining participants, the overwhelming majority would find it impossible to reach the 22nd step; they would be eliminated before then.
There was no doubt that if one could not reach the 22nd step then they would not pass the semifinals.
The sun fell down over the horizon and the curtain of night rose high up into the skies. The semifinals had now been going on for two days!
Two days, 48 hours, this time period was an extremely great test on every participant’s mental state, physical strength, and endurance.
A massive number of participants weren’t able to withstand the Empyrean pressure, or they weren’t able to defeat the spirit bodies, or they might have even exhausted themselves. But no matter what, if any of these happened, the participant was eliminated.
The disparity grew despairingly large!
The hundred thousand plus participants were like ants crawling up a hill, sparsely distributed all over two sides of the Divine Seal Altar.
As some people were still struggling to reach the 11th step, Nether Limitless had already defeated the spirit body of the 21st step and was beginning to climb to the 22nd level!
Nether Limitless had defeated all spirit bodies of the first 21 steps with relative ease.
No one was surprised by these results. This entire way he had killed all the spirit bodies with unstoppable momentum.
The disciples of the Skydark Holy Lands became increasingly wild and crazy as they shouted out Nether Limitless’s name. The entire arena seemed to echo with the name of ‘Nether Limitless’.
And on the Ancient Phoenix Clan’s side, the disciples were relatively muted.
The Ancient Phoenix Clan wasn’t in too good of a situation.
The Ancient Phoenix Clan, with Lin Ming included, had a total of four disciples entering the semifinals. The weakest of them had already been eliminated.
Xiao Ping’s situation wasn’t looking too good.
Whether he could reach the 22nd step was questionable.
As for those that would likely reach the 22nd step, they were Lin Ming and Yan Littlemoon. But, the truly brutal part of this competition would finally begin upon stepping onto the 22nd step, because at that time, they would have to duel and defeat other participants. That was the true test of strength.
From the 21st step to the 22nd step, Nether Limitless’s climbing speed wasn’t slow.
Without accident, he was the first one to reach the 22nd step!
After mounting the 22nd step, Nether Limitless stood proudly on the flat plains, waiting for other participants to reach him.
He held his katana as he stood against the wind, the aura of a ruler wreathing him.
In that moment, because of Nether Limitless’s existence, many of the other martial artists felt a great pressure on them. They faintly didn’t dare to climb up, because climbing up to the 22nd step was the same as facing Nether Limitless.
“Nether Limitless has already stepped upon the 22nd step, he alone is deterring all other participants… oh! Someone else has climbed up! That is Bloodless Sword!”
The twin hosts loudly shouted. Because the current position of the competition was too high up on the Divine Seal Altar, they had ridden a spirit boat up so that the entire audience could clearly see them.
Bloodless Sword was only a bit behind Nether Limitless. After Nether Limitless reached the 22nd step, Bloodless Sword was right behind him.
The two stood a thousand feet apart, in sharp contrast to each other, neither of them willing to give an inch!
The entire audience felt their breath catch in their throats!
Would it be a battle between kings at the very start! This was simply too amazing!
However, after some time passed, the two still didn’t fight. They simply stood there, waiting.
“It seems… they aren’t planning on fighting so early. The two of them aren’t idiots. Even if Nether Limitless can defeat Bloodless Sword, he will have to pay a great price to do so. It will affect how far he can go afterwards.”
“Yes. The 22nd step should not be the stage of their battle.”
It was clear that Nether Limitless and Bloodless Sword took each other as strong rivals in these semifinals. If the two fought, it would have to be at the 30th step or above.
Thus, a third person finally reached the 22nd step.
This person was a purple-clothed swordsman; his nickname was Purple Blade. He was ranked in the top 300 of the Divine Seal Decree and also first on his own great world!
To be able to be the third to climb to the Divine Seal Altar’s 22nd step, that was enough to prove his strength.
With Purple Blade’s arrival, Bloodless Sword and Nether Limitless still remained unmoving.
They continued to wait.
Slowly, over time, the others gained courage and more and more people climbed up to the 22nd step.
However, there was a 1000 foot null zone around Bloodless Sword and Nether Limitless that no one dared to stand in, lest they find themselves targeted as opponents.
In this way, six hours passed. Several thousand participants had already reached the 22nd level.
Still, no one fought!
All of the powerhouses stopped here, seeming to unanimously agree to restore their strength on the 22nd level.
They waited for more people and weaker people to climb up.
The 22nd level was where the strong would hunt the weak.
And at this time, Lin Ming also climbed towards the 22nd step.
Mixed within the martial artists here, no one would notice him.
The truth was that starting from the tenth step, Lin Ming was able to confirm that someone was targeting him. However, this mysterious existence didn’t push things too far. These spirit bodies always excelled in some area and were able to create a bit of trouble for him. However, truly slaying these spirit bodies didn’t consume too much of Lin Ming’s strength.
Generally speaking, these weren’t deliberate obstacles but rather probing moves.
To probe his bottom line. To probe his talent.
This caused Lin Ming to be increasingly confused. Just what great expert would target him here?
From the start until now, his performance had been only satisfactory at best. Whoever this mysterious figure was, they should have been watching Nether Limitless instead.
Lin Ming’s pace was steady, neither fast nor slow. He finally stepped onto the 22nd step with the third group.
“There are quite a number of people here.”
As Lin Ming climbed up to the 22nd step he hadn’t been able to see what was happening on the step itself. But now that he looked around, he saw around 4000-5000 people. Casually choosing any of them, one could see they were peak powerhouses. Many of them were near the same level as Wu Finalcloud.
There were truly countless masters all around. Those that could climb up to the 22nd step were extreme elites that could close their eyes and become Holy Lord level characters in the future.
These people had carefully chosen where they would stand. Basically, nearly no one stood around those that felt strong in fear of bringing disaster upon themselves. As for those that felt weak, there were many people crowded near them. Everyone was thinking of pinching these weak persimmon-like people to pieces.
When Lin Ming stood on the 22nd step, three people calmly and quietly walked towards him, discreetly surrounding him. Among them, a tall martial artist shaped like a bamboo pole smiled at Lin Ming. However, his smile harbored ill intent.
They judged whether or not someone was weak with two criteria. First was how they felt about this person, and second was how long it took them to climb up to the 22nd level. The later one climbed up, the weaker one was assumed to be.
Although this type of judgment wasn’t necessarily accurate, it was still better than randomly guessing.
After all, nearly all the martial artists present had extremely solid foundations and the Law fluctuations around them were vivid. Moreover, many of these people were hiding their aura so it was difficult for others to judge them based on that alone.
“Brother Long, Brother Fei, it’s quite rare for a little early Divine Sea brat to appear here. How about you let me handle him?” The thin martial artist who was smiling at Lin Ming said to the other two people around him with a true essence sound transmission.
“Hehe, even if he’s at the early Divine Sea, he might not be weak!”
“I certainly understand this, but in equal conditions, wouldn’t it always be easier to deal with someone with a low cultivation than a higher cultivation? Brother Long, Brother Fei, you’re both so strong and this little brother here is so weak. Now that there is actually an opponent who showed up that climbed so slowly and also has a low cultivation, won’t you look after this little brother of yours?”
In order for the thin martial artist to be the one to challenge Lin Ming, he flattered again and again. He simply didn’t know who Lin Ming was. Although the twin hosts had introduced Lin Ming, the participants had all been busy crawling up the Divine Seal Altar at the time. Although they heard of him, they didn’t have an image of him in mind. Even Nether Limitless and Bloodless Sword didn’t know who Lin Ming was.
“Senior-apprentice Brother Lin is being targeted.”
The Ancient Phoenix Clan’s disciples were all watching Lin Ming. Currently, Lin Ming was the only person of the Ancient Phoenix Clan who had reached the 22nd step.
As for Yan Littlemoon and Xiao Ping, they were still hard at work climbing up the 20th step.
“Humph, they actually think that our Senior-apprentice Brother Lin is easy to bully! I wonder just how strong he is…”
Of the participants that were able to reach the 22nd step, none of them could be underestimated.
“These people think I’m some fat sheep or something.” Lin Ming faintly smiled. “My climbing is relatively slow and my cultivation is also at the early Divine Sea; it’s not strange that I’m being targeted. My cultivation is the lowest of the participants here. This is also good. I was worried that I would have to spend some time looking for an opponent, but now someone delivered themselves straight to me.”
Lin Ming grinned.
As the thin martial artist saw Lin Ming’s happy expression, he frowned. Why was this boy smiling?
Just as he was thinking this, the sound of exploding energy erupted from the far off distance, following by a pitiful scream. Some people had already begun fighting!
The first one to attack was Nether Limitless!
Using the Space Laws, Nether Limitless instantly crossed 100,000 feet, actually arriving right in front of the person furthest from him! With his personality, he instead decided to fight the one furthest from him!
That person was immediately frightened out of his mind.
Just as that person was about to raise his weapon, Nether Limitless’s katana had already cut out, slashing through his protective true essence.
That person’s protective true essence shattered and he was sent flying backwards, vomiting blood!
Nether Limitless had kept his hand. This was the real world and those that died would not revive somewhere else. However, the rules of this grand competition forbid intentional murder.
The martial artist who was struck backwards was wrapped up in a layer of purple energy before he even landed.
This purple energy rapidly healed the martial artist’s wounds. At the same time, it also brought him hurtling downwards to the 21stlevel!
If one lost, they would have to fall down one step!
Nether Limitless’s attack had become a signal. At this time, a massive number of participants struck out with their attacks.
The battle had begun!