Translator: Radiant Translations Editor: Radiant Translations
The wall of ice that had formed on the cliff face was considerably slippery and smooth, unlike the cliff face Scarlet and the others were beside when they were trekking along the mountain path two days ago. There was basically no foot and handholds present on it, much less any vegetation they could hold on to.
What’s more, this layer of ice was clearly extremely thick and rather hard. Scarlet could not help but to form a fist and slam it against the wall, only for a bang to ring out. The bones in her hand felt as though they were about to break, though not a single bit of ice had been chipped by her punch.
This wall of ice had definitely formed over a course of hundreds of years. If not, there’s nothing else that could be known as ice. What’s more, this wall of ice should have already reached the realm of profound ice, being even more hard and tough than regular steel. Even specialised climbing equipment might not be able to leave a small hole on its surface.
At this moment, she could not help but raise her head to look at this wall of despair. With layers of frosty mists covering its top, she was completely unable to anything beyond.
How was he going to climb up?
Even if Wang Zhong’s ability to break the ice was a hundred times stronger than her, so what? The only result stemming from that would be the entire wall of ice shattering and collapsing down, crushing the 2 of them to death!
“Hold on tight.” said Wang Zhong, proceeding to take a deep breath. Heat started to accumulate on his palms, causing them to turn red hot slowly. Following suit, he proceeded to touch the wall of ice softly with the tip of his palm.
Sizzle sizzle sizzle sizzle…
The profound ice that had lasted here for over a hundred years had actually been carved by the palm like a knife through a cake.
For the past 2 days, Wang Zhong had focused his senses to scan the surroundings they were in. Upon doing so, he had basically ruled out any other possible method for them to get out from here. The entire frozen river below had extreme undercurrents swirling under the top layer of ice, leaving them no way of getting out through there. Of course, they would be able to give it a try if there was a water attribute special ability user with them, though that’s just a wishful thought.
This was the one solution he had come up with to allow for them to climb all the way out of here. The profound ice was too thick. Ignoring the possibility of moving it, even if they truly possessed the brute strength necessary to shatter it, they had no chance of climbing out of the valley. The only way left was to use his fire attribute special ability and control it carefully to allow him to climb up. On the side note, this could be treated just like a form of training.
Although his actions seemed simple, there were many great dangers present. The grade of Wang Zhong’s fire attribute special ability was different from Emily or Sharmie, with its traits being exceedingly strong to the point of being overly powerful. However, the problem that now plagued him was that due to his extreme intimacy with fire, just a slight lapse of concentration from him would cause the flames in his hands to enter an uncontrollable state. Therefore, he had to maintain his focus on them at all times. During normal circumstances, such a thing would not be of any issue, as it would not pose any harm to him. However, from another perspective, Wang Zhong was just like a little kid playing with a knife. It was extremely easy for it to cause harm towards him and Scarlet. Therefore, he needed to be extremely careful with his actions.
After securing his hand firmly on the wall of ice and using it as support, he proceeded to do the same action with the other hand, before continuing to repeat the same steps as they headed higher and higher up the wall of ice.
Don’t be excited, don’t be excited! Calm down! Calm down!
This fire attribute special ability of his possessed a strange degree of attraction, appearing to be attempting to try various kinds of methods to entice Wang Zhong in return for more energy. Nonetheless, Wang Zhong knew that it was something that he absolutely cannot do.
At this moment, Scarlet was staring at Wang Zhong with a blank expression present on her face. Being a special ability user, though not one of fire attribute, she was extremely clear exactly how difficult it was to be able to control one’s special ability as perfect and precise as what Wang Zhong was doing now. What’s more, the target of his flames was the hundred-plus-year-old profound ice. A while ago, while they were grilling the meat from the mutated beast, the roaring flames coming from the burning mutated beast fats was not even able to melt this icy surface one little bit. However, Wang Zhong actually able to stick his hand right into the profound ice. What temperatures would that require?
Nevertheless, despite her being so close to him, she was not able to feel any of that heat radiating out from his hands.
Scarlet was completely unable to imagine how he was able to accomplish such feats. The only thing she could feel was them slowly rising up the wall of ice as Wang Zhong continued to move. Thick plumes of steam rose from his hands, causing her to be unable to see the frozen river beneath them. At this moment, a vast sheet of whiteness filled her surroundings, causing her to feel as though she had entered a realm that was absent of heaven and earth.
When he was falling into this valley 2 days ago while holding on to Scarlet, Wang Zhong had approximated the height of this mountain cliff in accordance to the time and speed he took to reach the bottom, coming up with a rough number of about 7 to 800 metres. If not for his quick reflexes that led him to utilise his soul power to the very maximum to slow their speed of descent, they would have absolutely fallen to their deaths from the height.
Without mentioning the physical strength required to do so, the main difficulty in this climb laid in the incompatibility between his physical body and his fire attribute special ability. For every instance where he had to thrust his hand into the wall of ice, Wang Zhong would need to immediately reel in the flames present in his hand, while allowing for the ice to “cool” his hot palm down. On one side, it was his high powered flames, with the other being the hundred-year-old profound ice so cold it would instantly chill one’s bones. Such an extreme difference in temperatures between the flames and ice was clearly not something nice to experience. What’s more, the rapid change in temperature of his palms made it extremely easy for them to adhere to the ice, forming a powerful glue like sticking effect. Despite the strength of his physical body coupled with his skin that was far more tough and resilient than rhinoceros hide, the continued tugging for each “step” caused more than half of them to be ripped apart. After 1 to 200 hundred metres up, his palms were already numb to the point of losing all sensation. Despite that, they were only a 5th of the way to the top of the wall of ice.
Holding onto the foot and handholds he had created in the wall of ice, Wang Zhong gasped for air. The tearing of the skin on his palms were just superficial wounds, and he still possessed sufficient physical strength. The most important factor for this climb was that those simple and repetitive actions had allowed him to find the rhythm and style needed to control his fire attribute special ability. At the very least, he would now not need to worry about him suddenly losing control of his special ability during his ascent.
Taking a deep breath, he prepared to continue his climb.
“Wang Zhong.” all of a sudden, Scarlet, who had remained quiet since the start, opened her mouth to speak out, “Am I very heavy?”
“If I had known about this day, I’ll definitely make sure to go on a diet. That way, I’ll be much lighter than I currently am.”
Wang Zhong did not expect for her to suddenly sprout a joke out, forcing him to the point of not knowing whether to cry or to laugh. “Please don’t make me laugh right now. We’re still in a tense situation, and I’m still worried about us falling down.”
“If we drop down, I’ll climb up by myself,” replied Scarlet in an earnest fashion. “There’s a lot of mutated beast meat below. As long as you remain down there, I’m able to continue waiting with you till the rescue party arrives. In fact, that way’s much safer than this.”
“Ha. Don’t let your thoughts stray. Since we’ve dropped down here together, we’ve left this place together. If something unexpected really pops out, till death do us part!” said Wang Zhong with a smile.
Hearing Wang Zhong’s words, Scarlet immediately turned silent.
Till death do us part. Wang Zhong had actually said those words to her. Perhaps it had a different meaning for him, though Scarlet instantly felt her entire body turning warm. With such different feelings and emotions, even the extreme environment of the ice and snow lock land around them seem to feel more colourful.
Giving a light cough, she proceeded to hug Wang Zhong tightly.
Huffing and Puffing, Wang Zhong resumed his climb. In a rather abrupt manner, he suddenly felt a pair of moist lips giving him what seemed like a light peck on his left cheek.
Hugging Wang Zhong from behind, Scarlet’s eyes were now moist, though happiness filled her voice. “Here’s a kiss to give you some encouragement. Don’t overthink about it!”
Hearing that, Wang Zhong laughed as he replied, “Not bad, not bad! I’m motivated now!”
At this moment, a reddish blush was present Scarlet’s lovable face, causing her to appear exceedingly fair and beautiful under the light reflecting off the snow and ice around her. All of a sudden, this ice and snow locked ground appeared to become an exceedingly romantic place.
Clicks and chimes rang out from the mountain cliff, and even the icy cold winds and snow seemed to dissipate by quite a bit.
The mere 7 to 800-metre tall wall of ice took Wang Zhong a full 10 hours of climbing before finally reaching the snow and ice covered mountain path above.
Nearing the top, Wang Zhong proceeded to pick up the pace. For the final part of the climb, he could feel that his arms were close to turning mush, with the state of numbness reaching a rather severe state. At this moment, the only things powering them were the repetitive memories of his special ability usage and his perfect control of strength. As the feet of the 2 finally landed on the mountain path half way up on the side of the mountain, Scarlet could not help but let out a shout of happiness.
Nevertheless, that Scarlet’s happiness was interrupted no more than a second into her cheer
“Mutated snow wolves!” Scarlet was scared afright. Just as she and Wang Zhong had stepped onto the mountain cliff, they had spotted a dozen gigantic white snow wolves staring right at them from the snow and beast corpse-strewn grounds of the mountain path.
Spanning 3 to 4 metres in length and towering 2 over metres in height, they were more than 2 to 3 times the size of ordinary wolves. Their mouths lined with sharp and incisive fangs, saliva dripped out of them as the wolves gnawed at what seemed to be pulp like flesh. These came from the mutated beasts that had perished in the Absolute ice hail storm that had wreaked havoc across this area a few days ago, though only a few of them were fully intact after that.
Those mutated snow wolves were the most commonly encountered mutated beasts in the northern reaches, and were also the cruellest ones!
Upon reaching maturity, they possessed the powerful might of a 4th rank mutated life form, and were cruel and cunning. Coupled with their habit of forming packs to hunt, these fellows were basically the overlords of the northern reaches. Even 5th rank mutated beasts would swerve and move aside upon encountering them. These wolves had played the roles of predator and scavenger in the northern reaches. In ordinary circumstances, they would never appear in a place so lacking of food like the valley of mists. However, due to the absolute ice hail storm that had howled through a few days earlier, it had left too many mutated beast corpses here. The strong smell of flesh had lured them here. However, at this moment, those corpses had already frozen up, thus possessing much less appeal than the two live humans that had suddenly appeared right before their eyes.
Of the dozen or so snow wolves, the majority of them were of 3rd rank, with a few of them having reached 4th rank. The fear coming from the primal level of her soul caused Scarlet to start shivering involuntarily.
Huff, Huff, Huff…
Waves of putrid steam blew out from their nostrils, while the fangs stained with the colour of blood revealed themselves as the wolves opened their mouths. Subconsciously, Scarlet tried to reach for her guns, only to grasp onto air. Due to her being thrown around by the storm a few days earlier, god knows where had her weapons disappeared to. What’s more, even if she had them, it would do absolutely nothing to change the situation and the monsters she was facing right now.
Perhaps due to her actions, the wolf pack was provoked, with the wolf closest them proceeding to lunge over. With such extreme speed, it took just a split second for Scarlet to feel as though she could already smell the blood laden breath gushing out from its fangs.
However, she quickly felt her surroundings rotated in the next instant.
“Hold on tight!”
Wang Zhong rotated his body nimbly as the Ghostly Steps reappeared!
Nimbleness and speed were the key traits of the Ghostly Steps, followed up by being unpredictability and unconformity. When observed through videos, such moves would appear to flow just like the water in a stream. However, at this very instant, what Scarlet felt was her world revolving all over the place, completely different from the miraculous feeling she had gotten from the videos.
The only thing she could feel was Wang Zhong making an abrupt left turn, making a huge circle before following closely by an urgent right rotation. The sharp fangs and claws of the snow wolf seemed to have flashed past her eyes for quite a few times, though they had always missed their mark by a mile.
Before 10 seconds had elapsed, Scarlet had already felt her mind swelling and turning dizzy from being flung about. However, during this period of time, the dozen or so frightening mutated snow wolves had already appeared behind her in some sort of miraculous occurrence.
The furious howls of the snow wolves rang out from behind her back, seemingly indicating their extreme unhappiness from being tricked by these two humans as they immediately pursued the 2. However, they could only bite the dust kicked up by Wang Zhong!
He’s too quick! With what seemed like a slight bend of his feet, the terrifying force that followed suit in the next second gave Scarlet a huge fright. The chips of ice present beneath his feet seemed to be crushed by some kind of terrifying force as he shot forwards like a bullet, leaving a small hole in the hard icy ground.
With just a single stride of this terrifying dash, Wang Zhong and Scarlet had already crossed 10 to 20 metres. It was a realm of speed Scarlet had never experienced before. Due to the terrifying speeds, the winds that blew across her face appeared just like sharp knifes, slashing at her till her entire face turned sore, and even caused her to be unable to keep her eyes open!
Was that the speed humans could travel at?
Even scouts weren’t able to reach such speeds! What’s more, he’s carrying me on his back?
However, those tyrannical mutated snow wolves were the overlords of the icy plains, continuing to increase their speed of pursuit to an astonishing level. What’s more, they possessed terrifying endurance, being able to continue pursuing their prey for a few days at a time. Even with Wang Zhong’s terrifying burst of speed, they weren’t able to shake those snow wolves off. Moreover, these predators weren’t relying on sight to track them down.
At this moment, Wang Zhong could feel time constricting around them. He had planned to not waste any time upon climbing up the wall of ice. However, he now had to deal with these fellows first. As he thought about this, he proceeded to draw his runic sword in preparation to take action.
Seeing this, Scarlet was stunned. He’s not running anymore. Is he planning to engage in a fight with them?
Wang Zhong slowed his speed down, causing the dozen snow wolves to immediately increase their speed in a frenzy. At this moment, they had already smelled the “weakness” of their prey. However, Wang Zhong did not come to a stop. Upon catching up to the 2, 5 of the snow wolves instantly lunged towards Wang Zhong and Scarlet, revealing their glistening sharp and blood covered teeth.
However, at this instant, a spectacular lotus appeared under the light reflecting off the snow, Sword shades shot out in all directions before blood instantly blotted the skies. Wang Zhong continued to advance, while the remainder of the snow wolves charged forwards in an increasingly maddening frenzy due to the stimulation of fresh blood. Continuing to control his speed, Wang Zhong was waiting for them to enter a bloodthirsty frenzy, taking in every single move and change happening within his surroundings.
Being rather intelligent, the mutated snow wolves proceeded to lunge forward from different directions, with some coming from the top, bottom and sides. There were even some that had lunged towards Scarlet. At this moment, Scarlet could feel the terrifying soul power surging out from Wang Zhong, who had long reached the peak of the Casted Soul Stage, appearing as though they were about to explode out from him.
Ghostly Steps, Undulating Frequency….360 degrees Infinite Slashes!
Miserable shrieks rang out, as mutated snow wolves fell one after another to the ground. As Wang Zhong continued to maintain his forward velocity, the remaining snow wolves had unexpectedly stopped their pursuit. At this moment, they were finally able to sense how frightening their prey was. Not only was it strong, it had even slowed its speed down to entice their pursuit.
Keeping his runic sword up, Wang Zhong proceeded to increase his speed. At this moment, time was exceedingly precious for the both of them and the Tianjing squadron.
Scarlet had been truly shell shocked by the spectacle that had unfolded right before her very eyes. Regardless of how good his theory crafting and intelligence was, irrespective of how much experience he possessed when he had defeated the captain of the Adolf Academy, she was completely unable to imagine that Wang Zhong could defeat those frightening monster in such a manner. The experiences she had gone through during the past 2 days had caused Scarlet to be unable to even believe her own eyes. The strength and might Wang Zhong had displayed had completely exceeded the limits of the Casted Soul Stage that Scarlet had in mind.
On the contrary, Wang Zhong had given no care about all of his previous actions. At this moment, the only thought that went through his mind was to give his all to save every single second they had. Now was not the time for him to conceal and hide his true strength.
“Wang Zhong…”Scarlet could not help but to speak out. “That speed, that ghostly steps… if you’re given 2 cross wheels, you and All Mouthy King have…”all of a sudden, Scarlet remembered that Wang Zhong also knew how to use the cross wheels. Precisely speaking, he had started to use them earlier than All Mouthy King!