Chapter 42 – The First Place Candidate
Lin Ming was just able to resist the overwhelming evil aura from the vicious beasts, but he also knew that it was impossible to pass this floor.
Let alone the two second-level vicious beats, he could not even deal with the eight little brothers that crowded around them. Even if his physical condition was restored to top shape, the situation would be untenable! And he had even consumed the majority of his true essence.
He knew in his heart that although he had managed to reach the fifth floor, his ability ultimately fell short of that sixth-grade talent Qin Xingxuan. Half a year ago, Qin Xingxuan was able to overcome these ten vicious beasts and attain victory. As he looked at the overwhelming presence that the vicious beasts exuded, Lin Ming sighed with emotion.
She was truly someone who possessed a sixth-grade talent, that worthily beautiful and arrogant girl.
By his conservative estimate, Lin Ming guessed that he needed to increase his cultivation over an entire level, and at least achieve the peak of the Third Stage of Body Transformation to stand a chance. Only then could he have a possibility of passing, and that was considering a life and death struggle to his life’s limit.
But Qin Xingxuan had already passed through this hurdle half a year ago.
No wonder that middle-aged examiner was so confident when he said that it was impossible to pass.
If it truly was impossible to pass, then such being the case, he would kill as many vicious beasts as he could.
Lin Ming would not give up without a fight. This was a rare opportunity to improve and hone his combat ability while dancing on the edge of death, the feeling where his strength and will were pushed to their limits in a life or death situation where any mistake could be fatal. This was a true rare and valuable experience.
“Come on!” Seeing the vicious beasts rush at him, Lin Ming shouted and stabbed his knife outwards at a silver tiger. His mind was clear; he knew that he had no chance of injuring the two second-level vicious beasts, so his goal was their eight little brothers. Some had thick meat and fur that he could not hope to penetrate this late in the game, so he chose those that had high attack power but had an equally low defense, like this silver tiger.
“Pah!” A knife stabbed into the silver tiger’s abdomen. At the same time, Lin Ming felt a tremor pass up his arm. The silver tiger’s thick flesh held the knife tight and Lin Ming almost let go.
In a split second, a whip-like tail lashed out at Lin Ming’s belly. This was an attack from the two second-level vicious beasts. Its speed was quick like lightning and it was sharp as a knife; a strike from this would bisect any normal martial artist. Lin Ming twisted in the air and barely dodged the tail, but it still scratched his thigh and left him bruised and lacerated.
Lin Ming felt as if someone had branded his thigh with a heated iron bar, it burned with an aching pain. He grimaced. Even a gentle touch felt like his skin was sloughing off.
During this time the eight first-level vicious beasts surrounded Lin Ming. In the blink of an eye, he was in the center of a deadly circle. As long as these vicious beasts attacked together they would instantly tear Lin Ming apart.
“Not good!” Lin Ming was very clear; as long as these vicious beasts pounced on him together, there was nowhere he could run. In that crucial moment, Lin Ming kicked his feet against the ground and thrust his knife at the silver tiger; he who struck the first blow had the advantage!
“Roar!” The silver tiger howled with anger and also rushed at Lin Ming. In this dream land, the wild and vicious beasts here knew not fear within their heart.
“Poh!” The knife jabbed straight into the silver tiger’s throat. However Lin Ming was also caught by its claw and drew a gaping hole in his abdomen. His Second Stage Flesh Training’s true essence barely protected him from being eviscerated in one strike.
“One down!” Lin Ming clutched his bloody abdomen that was dripping red. He had finally suffered a severe wound now and his true essence was at less than a single percent. He had not thought that the fifth floor would be so difficult; compared to the fourth floor it was at least ten times the trouble.
“A quarter of an hour! Lin Ming has already been on the fifth floor for a quarter hour. This Lin Ming is still persisting on the fifth floor, it’s truly unbelievable.”
“Mm. Although he could only be running, but he probably does not have much true essence left. Even running for a quarter hour is an achievement.”
“There will probably be some great forces that will try to recruit Lin Ming. Muyi, you had talked about him earlier, is your Marshal Quarter’s not interested in the boy?”
Muyi smiled but did not say anything. This group of fellows did not know as he did that behind Lin Ming was an incredible master. He probably came here for his own experience. Perhaps this mysterious master of his would soon bring him back to the mountains for painstaking cultivation. How could his Marshal Quarters possibly hope to attract him?
But Muyi did not say these thoughts out loud. By now, an elder surnamed Xu who was playing with two jade balls in his hand slowly said, “Elder Sun, you had a somewhat high opinion of him. I acknowledge that this Lin Ming has done well, but with only a grade-three talent, to achieve this accomplishment so far, he probably had a fortuitous encounter of some kind and ate some rare and precious material and because of this, experienced an increase in his strength. As for his future accomplishments…ha-ha, I don’t see much need for flattery.”
The elder surnamed Xu heard these words and knew they held some truth. If a person’s luck was good, and blessed by the heavens, he might be able to eat some precious and rare object or material and experience an increase in his cultivation or strength. But that sort of superiority by ingesting these things had its limits and would slowly be worn down by time, until it vanished and became not too rare.
The elder surnamed Xu rationally said, “This Lin Ming is good but his cultivation speed will not be able to follow him in the future. He’ll be easily overtaken.”
Several elders echoed this. Muyi faintly smiled and said, “There’s no need to say anything more. Lin Ming’s future achievements, everything will be seen in the future.”
As Muyi’s voice fell, he looked up and saw the fifth floor of the Exquisite Pagoda begin to tremble. The runes flashed and suddenly a person’s shadow was ejected and floated downwards like a slip of paper.
“That boy Lin Ming finally came out!”
Lin Ming had killed a silver tiger on the fifth floor and taken a serious wound in exchange. However even on the verge of death, in his dying moment he had brought down a wind wolf and finally killed two first-level vicious beasts.
He was already proud of this result. It had to be known that on the fifth floor, being able to kill two vicious beasts while being surrounded on all sides was incomparably more difficult than the fourth floor.
In the distance, Lan Yunyue looked at Lin Ming as he was caught by people waiting for him underneath the Exquisite Pagoda. In her heart she did now know why she felt a tiny tremble. She pursed her lips, and without a pause, turned around and quietly left…
“Mm? Lin Ming is already awake?”
Death in the dream realm is only the imagination of the mind. The candidate’s true body would be shot out of the Exquisite Pagoda upon death, but they would have already thought they were dead, thus they would be unconscious for a period of time. But Lin Ming had unexpectedly awakened so quickly, and his complexion only showed a bit of paleness. This caused the elders of the Seven Profound Martial House to feel a bit startled. Compared to Wang Yanfeng, he had still been unconscious even after a while. This was the disparity that came with such a pure heart of martial arts.
“This Lin Ming should be the first place candidate of this entrance exam.” Elder Sun said.
“You say that but the award for first place is a Crimson Gold Dragon Marrow Pill. You do not think it is wasted on a boy with a mere grade-three talent? How much of it do you think he would be able to absorb? The final assessment does not depend on just the results but also on the candidate’s own talent.” Elder Xu responded to Elder Sun’s proposal in a hoarse voice.
Elder Sun said, “It is true that we must also account for talent, but that is only if there is a close tie in the final results of the exams. This Lin Ming took first place in all three trials, how can his assessment not be first in the final assessment? Otherwise everyone would only think that we are corrupt and unfair. Regarding the waste of the Crimson Gold Dragon Marrow Pill, its only use is for the main sect to attract top tier talents to come to the Seven Profound Martial House entrance exams. Can it be that you thought the main sect would create just a Crimson Gold Dragon Marrow Pill to enter into the main sect as a core disciple?”
“Moreover, as far as I know, aren’t Elder Xu and the head of Yuelu City’s Wang Family good old friends?”
As Elder Sun finished his words, Elder Xu’s eyes twitched and he let out a cold humph, “Sun Sifan, I was only considering all angles of the exam for the sake of argument. If you wish to guarantee this Lin Ming as the first place candidate, then I have no objections. How about we make a bet? We shall see six months from now who is stronger between Wang Yanfeng and this boy Lin Ming and who will enter the Heavenly Abode. How about it?”
Elder Sun felt shocked by Elder Xu’s words and was somewhat speechless. He began to feel an angry stirring in his heart. He was only trying to act impartially for this entrance exam. He did not think much of Elder Xu and did not normally have any dealings with him, He also could not get used to his self-serving nature that only tried to advance his own interests in the guise of helping with this entrance exam, which ultimately led to this struggle.
But even as Elder Xu challenged him, Elder Sun did not dare to meet it. Lin Ming’s talent was limited and only at the third-grade. It was a very real possibility that Elder Xu was correct with his guess that Lin Ming had some sort of fortuitous encounter and ingested some rare herb or something of that nature, thus resulting in his accomplishments today. But Wang Yanfeng in comparison was actually a rare person within a hundred thousand people, with a superior fourth-grade talent. In that case, it could really be Lin Ming that would be left in his dust.
Seeing Elder Sun backing down, Elder Xu sneered and said, “How could you not accept? If you really think that this Lin Ming should be first place then we might as well make a bet. I remember that Elder Sun has a treasure of the human-step…”
As Elder Xu mentioned this human-step treasure, Elder Sun’s complexion twisted. Human-step treasures were extremely rare and valuable in the Sky Fortune Kingdom; not even with several tens of thousands of gold taels would you be able to purchase one. This was handed down and granted by the Seven Profound Valley, and was also Elder Sun’s most valuable belonging. How could he use it in a gamble, much less one with such an uncertain chance of success.
Seeing Elder Sun so dumbfounded, Elder Xu had a smug and arrogant look plastered on his face. He knew that naturally Sun Sifan would not dare to take up this bet, so he said this because he wanted to ruin Sun Sifan’s prestige and reputation.
But at this moment, Muyi opened his mouth and said with a smile, “How about I take up that bet with Elder Xu?”