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The scenario at the Heavenly Stele Steps shook the spectators with its intensity. Eight people stood upon the 18th step while one stood upon the 17th. Such a spectacle had never been seen before during the past ten years.
“It’s rumoured that the middle segment of the 27th steps (the second segment of nine steps) were to test one’s will of their Mandates. If their wills weren’t persistent enough, without a sufficiently determined heart, they would never be able to step onto it. These nine people all possess an otherworldly determination and incomparable resolution.” The crowd mused. Yet, at this moment, all of the nine had already halted, no one was trying to advance to the next step.
The last segment of the 27th step was yet another barrier. The difficulty of advancing to the 19th step was beyond imagination.
Otherwise, in these past ten years where the Heavenly Stele Step had been opened three times to the public, a mere 18 steps wouldn’t have been the record.
Time flowed by, the nine of them maintained their motionless positions, and it was as though they had all forgotten time existed. In the blink of an eye, half a month passed, yet the nine people were still on their respective steps, tempering their wills of Mandates. For the 18th step, it didn’t mean that the Ancient Will’s attack would stop the moment you stabilized your footing. You had to persevere and engage the Ancient Will in constant battle until either you broke through or you were blasted down. There was no need to think about advancing to the 19th step if you couldn’t even conquer the 18th.
On the 18th step, their opponents were themselves. Their wills of Mandates were constantly being tempered, and as long as they weren’t defeated, their wills would grow unceasingly stronger.
“Situ Po, all three of his Mandates are already at the Perfection Boundary. He, who is still only at the eighth level of Yuanfu, actually maxed out all three of his first level insights before even stepping into the ninth level of Yuanfu. He’ll definitely be able to rank among the top thirty-six Heaven’s Chosen once he breaks through to the ninth level.” Many in the crowd speculated.
That was originally Situ Po's goal. Now that such an excellent opportunity like the Heavenly Stele Steps had come along, how could he let himself miss out?
This test of the Heavenly Stele Platform was undoubtedly an absolute opportunity for demon-level geniuses. But for average-level geniuses like Ouyang Ting, this test was nothing but a nightmare.
“Ouyang Zheng and Zang Lengfeng are preparing to make their moves.” At this moment, the crowd noticed the movements of both men, they were in the midst of stepping on to the final segment, consisting of the last nine steps.
Both of them were Heaven’s Chosen on the Heavenly Fate Ranking, respectively ranked at the tenth and twelve position. The difference in their ranking wasn’t that far apart, hence right from the beginning, both had already felt a strong sense of competition against the other.
What would be waiting for them on this final segment?
Would they be able to surpass their own limits and break the past record?
Everyone was watching with bated breath.
Fresh blood scattered about the air, seemingly at the same instant. Ouyang Feng and Zang Lengfeng were both blasted down from the Heavenly Stele Steps. However, before they could hit the ground, experts from both the Ouyang Clan and Multidirectional Thunderwind Sect intervened and saved them. The crowd couldn’t help but lament in their hearts, it wasn’t so easy to break that record.
However, simply by matching the record was already sufficient to prove their degree of talent. After all, those who managed to step on the 18th step within the past decade were all characters that could summon the rain and wind in Grand Xia.
Xuan Yan and Yue Bufan frowned slightly when they saw this scene. They didn’t have absolute confidence that they could pass the test on the 19th step as well.
“The Ancient Will of my Mandate of Dreams won’t be able to stop me.”
At this moment, a casual voice drifted out, Qin Wentian finally began to move. He advanced to the 18th step as the will of his Mandate gushed out.
The Ancient Will of Force, of Dreams, of Demons attacked him in a frenzy, and Qin Wentian’s own will of Mandate was battered over and over. Yet, regardless of how much stronger the Ancient Wills were, Qin Wentian wasn’t willing to lose, wasn’t willing to give up, and wasn’t willing for his will to be eradicated.
His steps were as heavy as mountains, standing erect upon the 18th step of the Heavenly Stele Steps. With this, he had become the ninth cultivator this time around that matched the past record.
Today, a total of nine cultivators had matched that previous record. However, the two strongest among them, Ouyang Zheng and Zang Lengfeng had failed when they tried advancing onto the 19th step. There were currently only seven cultivators remaining on the 18th step.
Xuan Yan finally steeled her heart, stepping with incomparable determination onto the 19th step. However, she instantly let out a terrifying blood-curdling scream. Like a kite with its strings cut, she fell from the platform in an extremely miserable state.
Xuan Yan failed. Only a total of six cultivators remained.
After which, Yue Bufan was also eliminated, leaving only five.
The four powerful Heaven's Chosen that ranked within the top thirty-six of the Heavenly Fate Rankings had all been eliminated when they tried to advance to the 19th step. Such a scenario could very well be described as bringing an extremely bitter sensation to the spectating crowd.
Situ Po, Qin Wentian, Ouyang Kuangsheng, Chu Mang and Fan Le. Was there still any hope remaining for this five?
“Just a single step to alleviate myself from the common crowd. I, Situ Po, can’t lose. I can’t afford to lose.” Situ Po inclined his head and stared at the Heavenly Stele.
How can Situ Po allow himself to be defeated by Qin Wentian?
He could leave the Unmatched Realm, but he wouldn’t be ousted from it forcibly. His pride wouldn’t allow it.
The four Heaven's Chosen of the Azure Continent had all failed. He Situ Po, for himself, for his sect, couldn’t lose.
He had never wanted something this much before, he lifted his foot. At this moment, Situ Po’s entire body was filled with the stink of cold perspiration. He seemed to experience a full cycle of life and death in that instant. Howling in madness, boundless strength gushed out as his will protected his body from being exterminated. He was Situ Po, he had to win.
“BOOM!” Another step steadily took root. Situ Po stood firmly on the 19th level. A fearsome wave rumbled the entire flight of steps, and that formidable back view of his moved the heart and spirit of everyone spectating.
That was Situ Po from the Sword Extinction Sect, he stood upon the 19th step, he succeeded where others had failed, he’d broken the ten-years-old record.
He became the most dazzling of all geniuses in that moment.
The Heavenly Stele Platform was open, only for him.
“He won.” Yue Bingying blossomed into a smile, this was her man, Situ Po. Even though she was injured, she didn’t care. Situ Po had become the most radiant sun today. She glanced at those from the Azure Emperor Palace and the Sword Extinction Sect, these people should all be feeling pride at the accomplishment of Situ Po.
She then glanced again at the silhouette of Qin Wentian. She could sense that his death was near.
“Seems like another future competitor has appeared.” Ouyang Zheng inclined his head, staring at Situ Po as he spoke in a low voice. Xuan Yan nodded in agreement. Situ Po had accomplished something none of them had managed to.
“If I win, you girls shall no longer interfere with our relationship.” At this moment, Fan Le’s voice thundered out, causing Xuan Yan’s eyes to narrow. After which she saw Fan Le taking a step towards the 19th step.
“Xuan Yan, I will definitely win!” Fan Le roared as he decisively stepped up. A thunderous sound boomed, rocking the entire flight of steps. Fan Le at that moment, didn’t fear injury nor death. He only feared defeat. At that instant, his chubby frame became so tall and lofty in the eyes of the crowd.
No one expected that Fan Le the fatty would also succeed.
“FAN LE!” Xuan Xin shouted, her eyes filled with burning tears. Fan Le’s frame shuddered violently from the impact as he coughed out several mouthfuls of blood. Yet, he still remained standing there in triumph.
“Xuan Yan, have I won?”
Fan Le’s voice drifted over, and as Xuan Yan turned her gaze onto Fan Le, seeing his trembling body that was covered in blood, her mouth opened wide but she was at a loss for what to say.
“Swish…” The pressure turned into a blade, slicing relentlessly at Fan Le, as more blood sprinkled above the air, falling down like rain.
“Senior Sister.” Xuan Xin imploring gazed at Xuan Yan, her tears flowed unceasingly. Xuan Yan nodded slightly, she turned her head back to Fan Le, “I’ve lost.”
“Bang!” As the sound of her voice faded, Fan Le could no longer resist that pressure, he was flung down with terrifying speed. Xuan Xin soared upwards, using her entire strength to catch hold of him. They tumbled down together, landing in a heap on the ground. She looked down and saw Fan Le still grinning at her, “Xuan Xin, you didn’t make the wrong choice in picking this genius.”
“Mhm, I didn’t. My judgement was right.” Two rows of clear tears dripped upon Fan Le’s face. Fan Le was still grinning, hugging the little princess, before he fell into unconsciousness.
Fan Le became the second person to break the record. Although he only withstood the pressure for just a few moments, he had without a doubt, stood upon the 19th step of the Heavenly Stele Step.
Chu Mang also prepared himself. With a roar of rage, he lifted his foot up and was halfway through advancing to the 19th step before he was blasted down. He had failed.
Although he was defeated, there was no shame in it. He had done his best.
Ouyang Kuangsheng advanced as well. He stayed on the 19th step for a single instant before voluntarily giving up as he cursed, “Fuck it, your daddy me has no mood to play any longer.”
Because he was prepared, the rebound didn’t injure him that seriously. But still, he couldn’t help but grumpily comment, “Are these Heavenly Stele Steps something humans can play? Damn it.”
Too fierce, he could feel that he had been close to death. He knew he would have died for sure.
Currently, only two remained on the Heavenly Stele Steps. Situ Po on the 19th level, Qin Wentian on the 18th.
This Heavenly Stele Platform had originally been opened for them. One wondered if the current situation was a coincidence or the workings of fate. In the end, only the two of them remained.
The question was, could Qin Wentian even defeat Situ Po?
The difference of a single step, seemed as wide as the entire world.
Ouyang Zheng, Zang Leng Feng, Xuan Yan, Yue Bufan, none of them had succeeded. Only Situ Po had accomplished this feat. Fan Le at most could only be considered stepping half-a-step on the 19th step. He fought for love, he fought because he didn’t want Xuan Xin to be humiliated. He told Xuan Yan, he told the entire Mystic Maiden Palace, he told the entire Azure Continent that he Fan Le, wasn’t worse off compared to all the other geniuses.
After Situ Po stabilized his footing, he turned his head and locked his gaze with Qin Wentian. There was disdain in his eyes, yet his voice remained calm, “The difference of a single step separates us now. However, the difference between us cannot be quantified with a single step. I will show you how great that distance is.”
As the sound of his voice faded, Situ Po continued upwards, stepping on the 20th step.
“Hu…” The crowd held their breaths as their hearts trembled. Situ Po still wanted to continue.
As for Qin Wentian, he had his eyes closed, as though he were still struggling with the fight against the 18th step.
Was this competition even still necessary?
Three days passed, Qin Wentian remained motionless, ten days passed, Qin Wentian remained motionless, an entire month passed, but Qin Wentian still remained motionless!
As for Situ Po, he had already stepped upon the 21st step, a three-step difference compared to Qin Wentian, three insurmountable steps!
But the spectators discovered that Qin Wentian’s demonic qi had grown increasingly intense. While Situ Po had advanced upwards, Qin Wentian’s Mandate had evolved into the Perfect Boundary, able to resist the attack of the Ancient Will. He had transcended into his strongest state, now was the time for him to advance ahead!
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