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Chapter 962 – Totem Stone
“True essence was unusable?”
Lin Ming’s eyebrows shot up. He knew that the artifact spirit had sealed away his dantian by blocking off the connection between his spirit body’s true essence and soul.
This left him bewildered. He simply had no idea just what level of cultivation this artifact spirit had reached; it was as if it simply needed to wave its hand to accomplish this. Moreover, it was skilled in all sorts of array formations. Not to mention everything else, but just the 9999 saint artifacts that composed the main body of Saint Artifact Pavilion left Lin Ming floored. Although he was able to discern a faint trace of the great array formation’s mysteries, wanting to break through it was impossible.
“I can’t use true essence but I can still use my physical strength. Could this round be examining my body transformation technique?”
Lin Ming had some doubts about this. The Ancient Phoenix Clan did not cultivate body transformation techniques. It was more accurate to say that within the countless sects and family clans of the Divine Realm, there were far too few that bothered with training in body transformation. The inheritances were nearly lost because of this. Compared to the essence gathering system, there were simply far too many shortcomings and problems. One needed to consume a ma.s.sive amount of resources, and the later it went the more difficult it would be to train in.
Undoubtedly, dual cultivating in body and essence was more formidable than solely following the essence gathering system. But the premise of this was that one’s body transformation technique was able to follow the essence gathering system. Otherwise, if one system were to far surpa.s.s the other, it would weaken until it was eventually useless.
As for cultivating just the essence gathering system, if one could train to the very peak then their power would also become unfathomable. For instance, Empyrean Primordius relied on just the essence gathering system to walk the entire Divine Realm unhindered. If one dual cultivated body and essence, it would be a major problem trying to reach the level of an Empyrean. Throughout the entire Divine Realm and the infinite lives that lived here, just how many people were able to become an Empyrean?
In this situation, Lin Ming didn’t think that Saint Artifact Pavilion’s artifact spirit would actually test his body transformation technique. But at this moment, in front of Lin Ming, a great crowd of red-scaled divine cows appeared. These divine cows were all 20 feet tall and several times larger than the average cow. If an average cow were this size, they might weigh up to 10,000 jins. But these red divine cows had thick scales covering their entire bodies; they were at least 10 times heavier than a normal cow.
As this group of red divine cows appeared, they began to crazily stampede towards Lin Ming.
Lin Ming grasped the Great Desolate Blood Halberd and calmly stood still, watching the red-scaled divine cows wildly charge at him. The movement of true essence in his body was blocked now so he could only rely on his physical strength. This was a first for Lin Ming!
The red-scaled divine cows issued terrifying roars. These sounds didn’t seem like they came from cows but rather from giant tigers. As several hundred divine cows smashed their way toward him, their charging momentum broke through the heavens and caused the ground to tremble. Although these divine cows were only simulacrums produced by an array formation, there was no differentiating them from reality.
Lin Ming calmly watched the first red-scaled divine cow rush at him. Up until now, he had experienced countless battlefields and his combat experience was rich and varied. As the divine cow reached him, he did not flinch. Instead, he took a step forward, opening four Inner Hidden Gates at the same time, then smashed out with the 800,000 jin Great Desolate Blood Halberd. The blood halberd came falling down like a collapsing mountain!
The 20 feet high divine cow that weighed several tens of thousands of jins, and was rus.h.i.+ng forwards with a terrifying speed, was actually pounded into gooey flesh by Lin Ming’s halberd!
After obtaining the treasures from the Temple of Marvels, Lin Ming did not lack materials for medicine. As he practiced the essence gathering system, he didn’t forget to train in body transformation either. There was a large disparity between the fourth and fifth of the Eight Inner Hidden Gates. Compared to opening the first four gates, the difficulty of opening the fifth gate rose to another level. After Lin Ming defeated Yang Yun, he had been saving his strength in preparation for opening the fifth of the Eight Inner Hidden Gates. Although he hadn’t managed to do it so far, his strength already surpa.s.sed 2 million jins and was nearing 3 million jins.
If this ma.s.sive strength was used to wield the 800,000 jin Great Desolate Blood Halberd and bring it smas.h.i.+ng down, the destructive potential could be imagined!
Lin Ming’s eyes flashed with a bloodthirsty light. Using just his physical strength to beat a 100,000 jin divine cow to death unleashed his b.e.s.t.i.a.l side and ignited his fighting spirit.
Using one’s physical strength to fight was completely different from fighting with the support of true essence.
Lin Ming shouted and pointed his halberd toward the belly of a second divine cow. His foot stepped back and the hard ground beneath his foot cracked apart. He lowered his waist and thrust both hands upward, instantly erupting with 3 million jins of strength.
A 100,000 jin divine cow was sent flying away be Lin Ming.
Lin Ming was completely immersed in this hot-blooded battle. The Great Desolate Blood Halberd in his hands flew through the air. That 800,000 jin halberd combined with Lin Ming’s 3 million jins of strength was enough to split apart a divine cow upon contact!
The Great Desolate Blood Halberd had no flexibility to begin with. As Lin Ming constantly killed these divine cows, the shaking strength in the halberd shaft was also terrifying. All of this was completely withstood by Lin Ming.
If a normal martial artist had to withstand this terrifying shaking strength, their hands would have already been cracked open. But Lin Ming was able to rely on the regenerative power of the Gate of Healing to forcefully suppress it. Although his blood vitality was sent tumbling, this great strength also caused his blood to boil over with a brutal furor.
Lin Ming killed his way through the divine cows. Blood rained down from the air, dying his entire body a bright blood red. He was someone that seemed as if they emerged from a pool of blood. The ground underneath his feet was wet with mixed flesh and blood, and every step he took left a deep indent.
As Lin Ming killed his way to the end, this slaughter had nearly become instinctive. He didn’t need to think at all. As long as a red-scaled divine cow rushed up to him, he was able to instantly respond and kill it!
As the artifact spirit watched all of this happen, it sighed in praise. It never imagined that Lin Ming’s achievements in body transformation would be so great. It seemed that Lin Ming’s body transforming was in no way left behind by the essence gathering system. The creation of his spirit body through Life Destruction was tempered by the body transformation technique, allowing both methods to complement each other.
“This child has already opened the fourth Gate of Pain of the Eight Inner Hidden Gates. The Gate of Pain focusses on offensive strength. After the Gate of Pain is opened, the mortal strength of a martial artist will enter a period of explosive growth, until they reach 10 times their original strength. This child shouldn’t have any problems in completing the Eight Inner Hidden Gates, but if he wants to step into the Nine Stars of the Dao Palace, that is far too difficult.”
“The second test round can be considered as being perfectly pa.s.sed.”
The artifact spirit muttered to itself. At this point it already confirmed Lin Ming’s potential and talent; he absolutely had the qualifications to obtain the Phoenix Blood Spear.
“Although these two test rounds have confirmed that you have the qualifications to obtain a top grade saint artifact, I will still test you one final time. I will test your martial arts will and perception; this can be considered giving you some good fortune. If you can pa.s.s this final test round to my satisfaction, then not only will I gift you the Phoenix Blood Spear but I will also bestow a fragment of energy and Laws that the previous Phoenix Cry Palace Master left here on the Phoenix Blood Spear, allowing its grade to come infinitely close to becoming a transcendent saint artifact.”
Lin Ming had no idea that the artifact spirit was making these plans. He continued to stand on the endless plains, his hand grasping the Great Desolate Blood Halberd, prepared to continue this life or death slaughterfest.
At this time, the countless red-scaled divine cows that rampaged over the boundless plains seemed to receive some sort of summoning call. They began to retreat like an ebbing tide. The several hundred corpses of red-scaled divine cows around Li Ming also vanished, and not a bit of flesh or blood was left on the ground.
Lin Ming took a deep breath. He knew he had pa.s.sed the second round.
Following this, would there be a third?
As he was thinking, the ground in front of him suddenly trembled. A fissure spread through the earth, and with a loud rumbling sound, a ma.s.sive stone tablet slowly rose into the world!
“Mm, this is…?” Lin Ming’s pupils focused. This stone tablet in front of him was 10 feet wide, 20 feet high, and five feet thick.
The surface of the stone tablet was covered with dense rows of flame runes. These flame runes were all different from each other, and from the bottom to the top, there was a gradual change in them. At the very bottom, the flame runes were small, appearing like beating flames. But as they rose, the flame runes turned into all sorts of weird lines that crawled over the stone tablet like a network of vines. Further up, those flame runes became abstract designs. Some designs looked like eyes, some looked like monsters, and some looked like ancient races.
“A chaos stone?”
Lin Ming was startled but immediately shook his head. When he was at Timeworn Phoenix City, he had the luck to see a tiny piece of a chaos stone. A chaos stone was formed at the beginning of the universe, and it became a naturally formed totem of chaos, with the traces of the universe’s source energy left on the chaos stone. A chaos stone was something that was pointed at the source of the Great Dao. If one could fully understand a chaos stone, they would be enlightened on the principles of revolution for the universe’s source energy. One could even become the person with the deepest comprehension of Laws in the entire divine Realm, becoming an existence on the level of an Empyrean!
The traces on a chaos stone were not so fine, but rather a bit rough. Those were traces formed from natural energy, with both deep and shallow grooves. They were unlike this stone tablet, with its delicate countless and diverse traces.
Without a doubt, this stone tablet was likely carved by some top Supreme Elder of the Ancient Phoenix Clan. It was highly possible that this Supreme Elder was a Patriarch of the Ancient Phoenix Clan.
Lin Ming had an approximate understanding into how high of a status the Patriarch had within the Ancient Phoenix Clan. Fairy Feng’s strength reached an unimaginable degree, but she was only the Vice Palace Master of Phoenix Cry Palace. Above a Vice Palace Master was a Palace Master, and a Palace Master was an Elder of the Ancient Phoenix Clan. With 72 palaces of the Ancient Phoenix Clan, that meant there were at least 72 Elders. Above these Elders was a Patriarch!
A Patriarch level character had left behind this stone tablet, and it was also at least 20 times larger than the carved stones in Timeworn Phoenix City. The value of this stone tablet could be imagined!
“The treatment in the Divine Realm is really different. If a Patriarch level character wants to inscribe their comprehension of Laws onto a stone tablet, they would inevitably have to spend an enormous amount of effort and time. In Timeworn Phoenix City, there were only three tiny pieces, each of them a square foot in size. Those simply cannot be compared to this stone tablet in Saint Artifact Pavilion. It looks like this test round is examining my perception.”
As a martial artist’s boundary grew, perception became more and more important. This was because perception was related to a martial artist’s understanding into the Heavenly Dao. As Lin Ming was thinking of this, his body suddenly shook. A vast will surged forth from the stone tablet, enveloping him within!
As this martial arts will covered him, Lin Ming felt an enormous oppression on his spiritual sea. As for the small spear-shaped battle spirit in his spiritual sea, it began to issues cries of excitement from the pressure.
“This is the will left behind in the stone tablet by an Ancient Phoenix Clan Patriarch?” Lin Ming realized just what this vast will, filled with great vigor, was.