The silvery white light cascading down from the top of the treasure pagoda descended lightly on their bodies. Qin Wentian stably took a step upwards as he glanced up at the dazzling light.
If one wanted to ascend, the only way was to step on all the various geniuses here and use them as stepping stones. He wouldn't shy away nor hesitate; Qin Wentian was very clear that this test wasn't the end yet. There were still many other Heaven Chosen undergoing competitions against one another in unknown tests at other locations.
If he couldn't even claim the top here, it indicated that he would become a stepping stone for others. If that was the case, how could he answer to his band of comrades who sent him here with their efforts?
The Immortal Martial Realm was a burial ground for geniuses, a place with only a 10% chance of survival. If they weren't able to become the most dazzling existence here, everything that they had accomplished would be meaningless. When the Royal Sacred Region remembered those attention-grabbing geniuses, if they even mentioned the name 'Qin Wentian,' it would only be to say that he was a stepping stone for whoever.
However, if they really continued fighting in such a way, even when they reached the peak, the astral energy in their Yuanfu would have been totally emptied. Qin Wentian gradually acclimatized to the radiant light, and was seriously contemplating the other participants. Any one of the eleven here was stronger than Shen Ting. If not, they would never be able to walk up to this step.
After ascending one more step, the participants tactfully halted their attacks. Everyone was very clear that the moment one initiated an attack, unless there was a person eliminated, the combat between them would never stop.
"Since everyone wants to take a break, allow Xian`er to play a melody for all of you to enjoy." Xian`er spoke in a gentle voice. After which she started to strum the strings of her zither, creating a melodious tune.
The melody was tranquil and gentle, beams of illusory light shot forth from her zither bringing everyone into an illusion-scape.
"Sir Qin, we meet again." Lin Xian`er appeared before Qin Wentian. This scenario was extremely similar to the time when they met back in the Immortal Ripple Pavilion.
"I'm afraid I have to offend Xian`er sooner or later after our meeting this time around." Qin Wentian's voice was serene without traces of fluctuations. It was as though he was recalling that night when the moonlight shone on Lin Xian`er. That soul-stirring melody when matched with her flawless countenance, how marvelous it was.
Lin Xian`er didn't act as rumored, trying to seduce others. Within her weak and gentle smile was contained a pride higher than the heavens. She was as tranquil as water and like a mystical luan bird waiting for others to sing together with her.
Qin Wentian's impression of Lin Xian`er wasn't bad. It wasn't just because previously Lin Xian`er had spoken out for him and offended the saint child of the Supreme Demon Sect, nor because of her charming smile that filled people's heart with admiration.
However, since they were all here to ascend this pagoda, it was destined that there would be a confrontation between them.
"Xian`er will treat this seriously as well. But of course, whoever can leave this illusion-scape first would be the one that poses the greatest threat to the others," Lin Xian`er stated intentionally or otherwise, yet undoubtedly she was reminding Qin Wentian that right now, all the geniuses were brought into a illusion-scape by her music. If he didn't extricate himself from it and others did so before him, they could launch an attack at the defenseless others who hadn't awakened yet.
"Be careful now," Qin Wentian spoke, and his ancient halberd slashed out as his silhouette flickered, transforming into a blurry shadow. Piercing sounds echoed out unceasingly as the multitude of silhouettes of Lin Xian`er were destroyed.
A melody drifted over, each and every one of the remaining silhouettes of Lin Xian`er strummed the zither, using music to attack. The musical notes swept out, transforming into resplendent blades of light that were sharp enough to reap lives.
"Although Sir Qin's strength had improved, Xian`er didn't merely sit around as well." Lin Xian`er's melodious voice sounded out. Her cloning technique seemed indestructible, all her destroyed images were revived again and again. This was originally a super strong illusion-scape where illusion and reality were mixed. There was no distinction between what was real and what was not.
The sound of the music then transformed into silvery silken threads that expanded, becoming a net of slaughter gushing his way seeking to envelope Qin Wentian within.
"Illusion!" Qin Wentian recalled the previous time he fought with Lin Xian`er. During that time, did he ever truly 'find' her real body? Did he really defeat Lin Xian`er back then? Maybe, maybe not.
The killing melody landed on Qin Wentian, but he had already broken out from the illusion-scape. Lin Xian`er continued sitting there quietly playing the zither. Her eyes were closed as her eyelashes fluttered slightly. She knew that Qin Wentian had exited from her illusion-scape and his subsequent counterattack would not only affect the others, she would be swept up in it as well.
The ancient halberd in his hands gleamed with a scintillating light. Qin Wentian dashed out as he explosively lashed out with the halberd. In that instant, the eyes of all the remaining participants opened, glinting with a cold light.
Qin Wentian was clearly still standing in his original location, but for some reason all of them felt the ancient halberd in his hands was already rushing right at them. This was the marvelous effect of fighting on this path to ascend the pagoda.
The instant Qin Wentian attacked, the others started to defend. This was equivalent to both Lin Xian`er and Qin Wentian attacking them simultaneously. All of the others instantly broke into a cold sweat. They were already experienced with the rules of this place. Especially since they had endured them before Qin Wentian had arrived. Thus, they would all instinctively defend in tacit understanding during the attacks of others. If two people instantly unleashed their attacks, their attacks would only target each other and not everyone else. However, this was evidently an extremely dangerous action. Others could make use of the opportunity to sneak an attack on them the instant after they unleashed their attack, killing them by catching them unawares. Hence, everyone preferred to stay passive and defend when someone else was unleashing an attack.
But this time was different, because Qin Wentian had broken through Lin Xian`er's attack while the rest hadn't yet. They were still under the effects of the illusion-scape when Qin Wentian unleashed his attack.
An incomparably sharp aura gushed forth from Lou Bingyu who was beside Qin Wentian. This aura was akin to sharp swords tearing apart Qin Wentian's attack. The Saint Child of the Supreme Demon Sect howled in anger as he underwent demonification, blasting out with tyrannical might and breaking through Qin Wentian's attack.
But not everyone was as strong as Lou Bingyu or the Saint Child of the Supreme Demon Sect. A piercing sound rang out, there was a Chosen whose throat was penetrated through by the ancient halberd. He stared in disbelief at Qin Wentian as an expression of bitter resentment came over his face. After which, the light from his eyes dimmed as he fell over dead.
A beam of light shone down as the pressure on them disappeared once more. Qin Wentian's countenance flickered with sharpness, this was the first time he had initiated an attack. And earlier at that instant, he felt though he was one facing against all at the same time. Such a feeling felt truly mysterious.
Everyone stepped out, continuing to ascend upwards. Every death of a participant would enable the others to ascend a level higher. This time around, everyone was even more cautious. After the probings earlier, they were even clearer on the rules that governed this pagoda. It was extremely interesting, but at the same time extremely dangerous.
Diagonally opposite to Qin Wentian was a man clad in luxurious robes. His body exuded a dangerous fiery aura, but from the start until the end he had never unleashed an attack. However, just the defense he put up when facing Qin Wentian's attack was sufficient to tell that the strength of this person was extremely fearsome.
He was waiting for an opportunity while hiding in the crowd.
The person beside Lin Xian`er was also very powerful. His eyes shone with venomous light, causing others to feel strange and terrified. He was the same as the man clad in luxurious robes, both of them had yet to make an attack.
Those two people, the Saint Child of the Supreme Demon Sect, Lin Xian`er, and Lou Bingyu were the five participants whom Qin Wentian felt presented the strongest threat.
"Since everyone doesn't want to show their true strength, I shall force you all to do so!" Qin Wentian stepped out as his King Sword astral nova blasted out. A violent surge of sword intent gushed forth, instantly enveloping everyone. Because of the strange rules here, all of them felt as though Qin Wentian was taking a step towards them.
Qin Wentian stepped out, each and every step was filled with the sword intent of ten thousand swords piercing through one's heart. Qin Wentian's eyes were akin to sharp swords, and the King Sword astral nova revolving around him also filled the air with the hum of its sword melody.
With each step landing, the sword qi engulfing this area grew increasingly intense. Everyone was doing their best to defend because they could clearly feel that this sword intent was still skyrocketing upwards. Their entire bodies were surrounded by it, even their hearts felt as though they were about to be pierced through should they be the slightest bit careless.
The sword might from the Seven Annihilation Swordplay grew increasingly terrifying. At the moment when Qin Wentian's seventh step landed, the entire pagoda was covered with torrential amounts of sword might! Everyone was frantically defending against it!
However, nobody noticed that at the instant Qin Wentian finished executing his Seven Annihilation Swordplay, the low-profile young man with the venomous light in his eyes also acted. His grasp of timing was extremely accurate. Beams of red light blast forth from his palms, targeting at the weaker participants who still hadn't recovered from Qin Wentian's attack.
When Qin Wentian saw the red light zooming out, even he felt an intense sense of danger from it. Fast, simply too fast! So fast that there wasn't time to defend!
Qin Wentian could only use the remaining sword qi and lash out. The energy within the beam of red light weakened after encountering the sword qi and had completely dissipated before it could reach Qin Wentian. Some of the others weren't so fortunate. There were four participants who were struck by that beam of red light.
"Argh!" Miserable agonized cries rang out. Qin Wentian glanced in that direction, only to see the body of one of the four withering up and swiftly turning into ashes.
"NO!" Another person howled. Qin Wentian felt the pressure bearing down on him lighten. And as he stepped upwards, the intensity of the pressure lightened again because of the death of the second participant.
In this way Qin Wentian consecutively advanced four steps upwards. When he stared down at the four victims, a strange scene appeared before his eyes. After their death, four brown-colored poisonous scorpions actually appeared, burrowing out of their bodies.
The survivors all felt their scalps turning numb as they stared at the young man who unleashed that attack.
"Sky Poison Valley, Poison Scorpion." Lin Xian'er's countenance changed, feeling waves of fear in her heart as she stared at that venomous young man. She didn't know the real name of this person, almost no one had seen him before. They only knew that in this generation of disciples from the Sky Poison Valley, there were a few extremely terrifying Heaven Chosen. And as for this man nicknamed 'Poison Scorpion', he was the most dangerous of them all.
"Now there's only six more. Isn't this much more comfortable?" Poison Scorpion spoke in a clear baritone. They had already arrived at the midpoint of their climb. The illumination from above grew brighter in intensity, causing the eyes of Poison Scorpion to gleam with excitement. They were getting closer and closer to the top of the pagoda, and their target!