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The floating bridge was very wide, but there was only a single path ahead. Everyone started walking on it, following the pathway ahead.
Gradually, the floating bridge they were on diverged from the other eighty bridges, leading in a completely different direction. Maybe they would meet each other in the end, but at the very least, they had to complete the path they were on before they knew if they would converge once more at the end.
“Suppression of cultivation bases and mandates, this feeling sucks.” Fan Le sighed depressedly as he walked along. He had discovered that his cultivation base was suppressed to the first level of Heavenly Dipper while the wills of his Mandates were also suppressed to the initial boundary of the second level. This sort of feeling was extremely uncomfortable when you knew your true strength was much more powerful, but you had no way to use it.
“This is the rule in the Immortal Martial Realm. Initially, this world will give a fair environment for those who have entered. In fact, this is advantageous for us. Once the suppression is lifted, there will be countless geniuses here who can kill us effortlessly,” Ye Lingshuang spoke in a low voice. Fan Le murmured a little, but eventually he also agreed with Ye Lingshuang. Their cultivation bases were considered among the weakest among the participants in the realm.
Also, Fan Le was extremely intelligent. Given how sharp he was he had already noticed the unbending aura everyone was exuding. Everyone wanted to devour their opponents, becoming the only one remaining in the Immortal Martial Realm. They were all very clear on how many elites of the Royal Sacred Region were in here, and the ambitions in the hearts of those from the major powers. Although everything looked calm now, there was a fire burning in everyone’s heart that could erupt at any instant.
“What the hell are those things?” Fan Le noticed that there were eighteen silver-colored puppets appearing in front of them blocking their path. Not only that, they were positioned in an array formation shape as well.
“The first test of the Immortal Martial Realm has begun,” the hearts of everyone mused. There were dangers everywhere in this realm, even the first test was filled with incredible peril.
Astral light flashed, transforming into the shape of a bow as arrows penetrated space, shooting directly towards the silver-colored puppets. However, an intense silvery glow radiated forth from the puppets as the long spears in their hands pierced out. The aura from the eighteen puppets joined together and shattered the arrows into pieces.
“The strength of each individual puppet is about the peak of the first level of Heavenly Dipper, and the Mandates they are capable of using is also at the initial boundary of the second level. However, the puppets seem to be able to fuse their attacks together and their overall strength can be augmented to the peak of the second-level of Heavenly Dipper, and the will of their Mandates to the advanced boundary.” Qin Wentian’s perception was extremely sharp, he shared his analysis as the others around him all nodded, agreeing with his words.
“We can try to barge through by force.” Although their cultivation base and Mandates were suppressed for this first test, based on the combined power of their group, this was nothing to them at all.
They had eight people in their alliance: Qin Wentian, Ye Lingshuang, Fan Le, Ouyang Kuangsheng, Chu Mang, Yun Mengyi, Qin Zheng, and Mu Feng.
“Ouyang and me shall be the vanguard, Qin Zheng and Yun Mengyi support us from the side, Fatty and Big Bro Chu Mang suppress the rear while sister Lingshuang and Mu Feng will be in the center to deal with any unexpected situations,” Qin Wentian took the role of the commander and spoke. Such an arrangement was indeed very logical, although the first test of the Immortal Martial Realm wouldn’t be too monstrous, it was always better to be more safe than sorry.
“Right,” everyone agreed. The other participants at the back were all extremely joyful that Qin Wentian’s group wanted to be the first to probe. Naturally, they didn’t mind waiting quietly.
“Go!” Qin Wentian shouted after their formation was arranged, and the eight of them rushed towards the eighteen silver-colored puppets. Because the formless energy restricted their strength, they couldn’t even summon their astral novas and could only use their astral souls.
Qin Wentian’s physique underwent Demon Transformation as a demonic armor enveloped him. His gaze was extremely sharp as a heavenly hammer appeared in his hands. Since he was the vanguard, he naturally needed a tyrannical attack. Ouyang’s astral souls were released as well, and they were incredibly dazzling. His entire body was cloaked in thunderfire that formed an armor which circulated around his body as both of them rushed ahead.
The eighteen silver-colored puppets simultaneously launched an attack towards Qin Wentian and his alliance. The stunning spear strike penetrated through everything.
A raging wind gusted by as Qin Wentian and Ouyang Kuangsheng unleashed their attacks. The force behind them was exceptionally terrifying; the instant Qin Wentian’s heavenly hammer slammed out, the entire space shook. Although his cultivation base and Mandates were suppressed, the strength of his physique as well as the augmentation effect of innate techniques wouldn’t be suppressed.
The attacks from two sides collided directly against each other in the air. Qin Wentian and Ouyang Kuangsheng directly dashed into the midst of the puppets, forcing them backwards one by one. However, these puppets seemed to have an invulnerable body. The puppets reacted with a second round of attacks, their spear techniques were as ferocious as before as they struck out towards the two humans right at the forefront.
At this moment, Qin Zheng and Yun Mengyi acted. Spatial and freezing energy erupted forth at the same instant and the spear light from the combined attacks of the puppets was blocked by a formless energy. Fan Le and Chu Mang were long prepared and were storing up their power. In that instant during the clash, all eight of them had already entered the puppet formation and continued advancing ahead.
“They can’t be killed, and can only be forced to retreat,” the onlookers all understood upon spectating. Qin Wentian and Ouyang once again unleashed their attacks towards the spear light shooting their way, negating it completely. They then forcibly advanced straight through despite the pressure and eventually, their group of eight safely crossed over the formation of the eighteen puppets and arrived safely on the other side.
“It’s almost impossible for a lone cultivator to barge through that,” Qin Wentian murmured after he landed. The spectators naturally knew this was true. Although Qin Wentian and the others looked relaxed, this was only because their collaboration efforts had achieved a synergy greater than the whole of their strengths combined. If this formation was used to test a lone cultivator, unless that person was an absolute monstrous genius, they would definitely die within that formation.
From this point, one could see that the difficulty of the Immortal Martial Realm’s tests were still exceedingly high. Just this first test was already so tough and to get pass it, the unallied cultivators who had yet to form groups were all being forced to do so.
“Quickly, let’s move.” Those behind, upon seeing Qin Wentian and his group directly leaving, they didn’t dare to hesitate and delay any longer. They didn’t want Qin Wentian and his group to be the first to obtain any benefits in this realm.
Thus the other groups all continuously began to attempt to barge through the formation of the eighteen puppets. Because of them working in an alliance, the passing rate was extremely high. Only as time passed progressively and the difficulty of the tests skyrocketed, would the death rate soar as well.
Qin Wentian and his group didn’t have time to be bothered with those behind them. They continued walking forward. Soon after, they came to a stop as they arrived at a checkpoint. In front of them, an incomparably large demonic beast was coiled up there. The way past this checkpoint was just precisely at the location where the large head of the demonic beast was resting at. Only by walking underneath it would they be able to cross to the next area.
“What demonic beast is this?”
This demonic beast was totally jet black in color, and had a malevolent countenance with scaly armor. It appeared to be a snake demon, yet there was a faint shadow of a flood dragon (jiao), in its aura.
“Black Jiao Python, the black mist it breathes has corrosion properties,” Ye Lingshuang warned.
“A Black Jiao Python at the third level of Heavenly Dipper, the corroding mist it breathes out is capable of easily killing us.” Feeling that cold stare of the python, Ye Lingshuang’s expression was incredibly unsightly. Why was the second test already so difficult?
The Black Jiao Python icily stared in their direction. A demonic glint of light flickered in its eyes as though it had understood Ye Lingshuang’s words.
“There must be a solution, the Immortal Martial Realm wouldn’t set an impossible test.” Qin Zheng spoke in a low voice as he glanced at the Black Jiao Python. “Brother Python, can you let us know the rules?”
The Black Jiao Python stared at Qin Zheng, its baleful eyes glinted with cold light as it replied, “I am the rule here.”
The others didn’t find it strange that the Black Jiao Python could speak human speech. Demonic beasts at the Heavenly Dipper Realm would naturally be unable to speak the human tongue. Not only that, for some demonic beasts who wished to experience life as a human, they are still able to transform into humans. However, demons have a demonic path of their own and many demonic beasts disdain and dislike taking the form of a human. It was just like how a human would never like to take on the form of a demonic beast, or if not, back then Qin Wentian wouldn’t have tried every possible means to revert back to his human body.
“This demonic beast is extremely arrogant,” Fan Le murmured.
The Black Jiao Python turned its gaze onto Fan Le as it grinned, “You better be more careful.”
“Damn, Brother Python I’m just casually speaking, don’t be so petty okay?” Fan Le mumbled, while cursing silently in his heart. This third-level Heavenly Dipper python actually dared to be so arrogant? If it wasn’t for his cultivation base being suppressed, Fan Le would have long rushed up and smashed the guardian of this checkpoint, the python, into pieces. How could he still waste time talking to it? But now, Fan Le couldn’t afford to offend it.
The Black Jiao Python didn’t reply, it merely looked at Fan Le. After some time, the other participants all arrived as well.
“Brother Jiao, I have a treasure for you.” At this moment, a figure walked out as he tossed a gigantic pearl exuding a heavy demonic qi over to the Black Jiao Python.
The Black Jiao Python swallowed the pearl with a single gulp. After which, its triangular-shaped eyes shone with satisfaction as it stared at the supplicant, “I’ll use the normal rules to test you guys, watch clearly.”
After it spoke, the Black Jiao Python started to spit out black-colored mist that corresponded with its extremely rhythmic breathing. That black-colored mist contained extremely powerful corrosive properties, causing even those who stood far away to feel an intense sense of danger. If they came into contact with this mist, not even the slightest bit of their flesh would be left.
“Tough to deal with,” a notion of thought flashed past the minds of everyone. As to what it meant by normal rules, it was the ordinary rhythmic breathing of it. This python was the guardian for this checkpoint, it wouldn’t make things easy for anyone. At the very most, it would follow the normal rules in testing the participants.
“Thank you Brother Jiao, these are all from my Supreme Demon Sect.” That young man pointed to a group of people behind him, as the Black Jiao Python nodded its head.
“So they are from the Supreme Demon Sect, no wonder they understood the personality of demonic beasts so well. It’s said that snake-type demonic beasts are all horny and greedy. This person from the Supreme Demon Sect not only gifted it a present, it even addressed this Black Jiao Python as Brother Jiao. Jiao obviously sounds much better compared to Jiao Python.” The hearts of everyone were silently thoughtful as they looked on while the supplicant from the Supreme Demon Sect began the test.
After the Black Jiao Python exhaled, the offeror who had long been prepared instantly unleash his speed to the limits. His body was enveloped by demonic energy that transformed into armor as he instantly dashed underneath the head of the black python. The corrosive the Black Jiao Python breathed out only touched him a little, but it still melted through the armor of demonic energy protecting him, causing everyone to start at the strength of the corrosiveness. However, this person had long made his preparations and it was evident that the Black Jiao Python went easy on him.
After that, the second person from the Supreme Demon Sect rushed over, and although he passed too, his leg was slightly injured. The third person was in even more danger, only narrowly escaping with his life. As for the fourth, the corrosion ate up an entire leg of his. For the fifth, he mistook the timing and was completely corroded by the poison mist just halfway past the checkpoint, becoming a pile of melted gore before disappearing completely, the sight of it causing the hearts of everyone to pound in fear.
“Brother Jiao, I have a treasure here as well, this is for you.” Ye Lingshuang walked up as an exquisite looking little sword could be seen in her hands. Although this place rejected divine weapons, it was fine as long as one didn’t actively summon the energy from the divine inscriptions within them to release their might. If not, the instant one ignored this restriction and used their divine weapons, it would instantly bring about a tribulation from this realm.
The Black Jiao Python didn’t say anything, it merely glanced at Ye Lingshuang as its eyes flickered with an evil lascivious gleam. The sight of this caused Fan Le to boil in anger as he cursed, “This beast is actually greedy for women.”
“Snake-type demons are all known to be lustful.” Everyone sighed in their hearts, seems like this was true. Could it be that this Black Jiao Python was having designs on Ye Lingshuang? Qin Wentian and the others all frowned at this revelation, yet they only saw the Black Jiao Python turning its gaze to Fan Le as a venomous look appeared in its eyes.
In here, it was the law!
蛟 Jiao → wyrm, flood dragons (not true dragon), hornless draconic creature in water bodies
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