The towering construct stood firmly within the square as all spectators and major influences observed their geniuses that went towards the Ascending Dragon Platform’s stairway. Soon, the area around the new central platform was filled with over a thousand youths all below the age of 23. They stood at the center of the square waiting for instructions from the woman dressed in white.
Seeing that all the participants have gathered the woman smiled as she spoke to the audience and competitors once more.
“Now that everyone is ready, I have one more news I’d like to share, ascending the Ascending Dragon Platform is not an easy task as it is a test of your will. While mounting its steps, you will be unable to utilize any benefits that would have been brought about by your cultivation and would be forced to utilize the only your mortal body, and movement skills. Your task is to reach the summit of the stairway if you can and stand there for an incense stick of time.”
Upon completing her words, she looked towards the competitors with a deep gaze. Hearing her words each of the geniuses looked on quietly as they pondered about the challenge.
Feng Yu looked at the stairs in front of him as he thought to himself, “How strange? The fluctuations I feel from this stairway reminds me of the fluctuations I felt from Path of Swords, even those runes carry a similar style to those of that Trial.”
The mysterious spear youth looked on the platform with interest as did the young talent from the Southern Wasteland.
As Tang Wu and Xin Qing scanned it with their soul strength, they looked at each other and discussed amongst themselves.
“Brother Tang, it feels as if this won’t be an easy challenge,” Xin Qing said while looking at the stairs with a hint of apprehension on her face.
“Em. However, it would do us no good to lose our fate so early,” Tang Wu said as he looked at the stairs challengingly.
Ji Weng and Xuan Bei looked on with sparks shining in their eyes as a few other mysterious geniuses looked on solemnly.
Seeing that they had all prepared themselves for the challenge the woman smiled with vague appreciation showing in her eyes as she spoke once more.
“Let the Ascension Phase will begin!” The white woman clothing declared as her voice reverberated throughout the entire square.
Soon, a few of talents feeling excited rushed forwards and mounted the stairway.
“Haha! I’ll be the first one to make it to the top!” A slim and speedy looking guy said as he transformed into a stream of blurs climbing towards the limits of the stairway.
“Not before me!” A female yelled as she happened to be right on his tail, moving no slower than the speedy guy. Very soon, she overtook his figure and transformed into a streak of light that tried to pierce the heavens.
Buzz! Instantly, a loud sound resounded as an invisible pressure filled the region around the stairway. A few of the geniuses who were now already twenty or more steps on the stairway soon succumbed to an unknown force.
“Argh!” One genius cried in immense pain as his body was flung from the stairway collapsing onto the hard floor.
Bang! Looking at his body that was now covered in blood, one would see that there were multiple ruptures on the surface of his skin. It was as if his body had tried to withstand the world’s strongest pressure, forcing it to be torn from the inside to the outside.
As a few individuals saw this scene, they soon felt a broad sense of crisis, quickly they halted their rush towards the stairway. The guy and the girl that were now a few hundred steps ahead of the masses were falling at a rate faster than their previous ascension.
Swish! Swish! Thud! Thud!
Quickly, they fell to the ground while skilfully maneuvering themselves when in mid-air to avoid a fatal crash.
“Cough! This… how could this pressure be so strong?!” The skinny guy said in a tone of dismay, he tried to call upon his 8 Tier essence-energies to mend his injuries only to find that unknown force blocked his essence-energies.
“…….” The girl looked on in silence as she realized she couldn’t recover her injuries.
The woman in white seeing this scene smiled as she spoke once again, “I may have forgotten to mention this previously, so I will do so now. The gravity of this stairway will only increase as you travel further along its course, do be careful now.”
She explained with a tone filled with politeness.
“Chet! This damn woman!” An angry practitioner from the spectator’s area yelled as he was related to the guy that fell.
“The Fallen can only blame themselves for their lack of vigilance, true experts keep their guard up regardless of the situation they face,” An old voice murmured beside him.
“Mother F—ker! Who the hell do you th—?” The man angrily roared, but before he could finish his statement, he finally saw the man who sat beside him with a leisure mood.
It was an old man that gave a strange aura appearing as if he was there but not there at the same time. He looked at the man and smiled vaguely before vanishing once more.
The man looked on in shock but seeing that no one else showed any strange expression he frowned as he thought, “Was I seeing things?”
As the crowd and talents were in a commotion regarding the pressure and words of the woman in white, a few of the geniuses started to move once more.
Xuan Bei and Ji Weng turned into two blurs respectively, as Xuan Bei’s form shuttled forward in a unique style moving like a serpent with his body swaying as he mounted the stairs. Ji Weng, on the other hand, had a flexible method of moving up the stairway with his arms grasping the railings utilizing his entire body to climb the stairs almost as if a monkey climbing a tree.
The significant figures seeing this scene commented in praise.
“It seems that Bei’er’s achievement on his ‘Bright Fire Serpent Steps’ has finally taken form, reaching large success stage.” The Bright Flame King said in a pleased tone.
“Dear Lie, Xuan Bei has been practicing sole heartily for this past year, this selection event is the best chance for him to show the world his achievements,” Madam Xuan replied with pride.
Xuan Lie smiled as he continued to observe his son while feeling slightly proud. However, he soon frowned as he saw Ji Weng threatening to overtake his form.
“The genius of the west is truly deserving of his praise indeed, his ‘Drunken Monkey Steps’ from the Sheng Imperial Clan’s five most famous top-tier mortal rank skills have also seemed to have reached its crescendo,” The skinny old man with a long beard said as he stood by Xuan Lie’s side.
“Hmph!” Xuan Lie snorted in response.
As Ji Weng and Xuan Bei continued their struggle upwards while bearing the pressure, Tang Wu and Xin Qing had also made their moves.
Xin Qing promptly disappeared turning into a shadow that seemed to have been given a life of its own, she swiftly made her ways through the corners of the steps ascending upwards at unthinking speeds.
Tang Wu seeing this smiled as he spoke, “Sister Qing’s ‘Shadow Steps’ are quite profound as always, it seems she has also gotten better since our last fight. However,”
Not wasting any more time, he moved his body forwards and started to leap, instantly traversing multiple steps per leap as his figure blurred leaving only remnant shades at his previous locations.
He then spoke once again, “My ‘Ascended Toad Steps’ are not to be taken lightly!”
Feng Yu looked at the figures of the geniuses traversing the stairway with an interested expression, a feeling of competitive spirit was slowly rising within him. He then looked at Dai Lin, Lang Kuang, and Miren Fei, before nodded towards them while keeping his hands crossed behind his back.
Having been given Feng Yu’s go ahead, Dai Lin and the rest wasted no time, as they rushed up the stairway.
Crackle! Instantly, Dai Lin’s entire form became shrouded by electricity as he transformed in a streak of blue lightning quickly traversing the stairway upwards unaffected by the pressure.
Lang Kuang seeing this immediately urged the silver-white wolf power within his unique body and rushed forwards while howling towards the sky.
“Awoouu!” As he howled the illusion of a wild wolf superimposed with his form as he galloped on the stairway with full momentum overtaking many of the geniuses.
Miren Fei also performed a strange set of movement technique almost as if she transformed into a goddess dancing about the stairway. She gently stepped on the steps while gracefully moving her slender body swiftly overtaking many of the talents, each of her actions would leave behind a strange jade mark on the ground.
Feng Yu felts strange as he saw Miren Fie and Wild Wolf’s techniques, “How odd? Both of their techniques are too powerful to be classified as an ordinary class used by rogues. It seems I will have to take some time to truly look at their matters after all of this is over.”
The audience seeing Feng Yu’s group make their move were stunned.
“Isn’t that Wild Wolf and Charming Jade? Did they really join that troublemaker Feng Yu?” A man asked in shock.
“He’s lucky to have such powerful retainers, look he’s just standing there watching the show, humph!” Another individual said as he snorted with jealousy.
A few of the influential figures looked at their techniques in surprise.
“Where did they learn such profound skills? I have never heard of such techniques being prominent in my kingdom,” Xuan Lie said in a confused tone, while the movement skills of Lang Kuang, Miren Fie, and Dai Lin.
After a short while, he looked at the skinny old man with the long beard beside him and said, “Fei Tan! This Feng Clan what do you know of them?”
Fei Tan hearing his words promptly replied, “Your Excellency, regarding the matters of the Feng Clan. I had already begun scouting out their information upon entering Machen Town, and subordinate finds them to be unique.”
“Unique? What do you mean by they are unique? How could a common local clan of this town be worth the title of unique.” Xuan Lie revealed a look of surprise as he questioned Fei Tan.
Fei Tan hearing his questioning took out a parchment from his storage ring and passed it over to Xuan Lie.
Quickly receiving the parchment and inspecting it with his spirit sense Xuan Lie couldn’t help but frown as he looked towards the Feng Can with a slightly more weary expression.
“Place them on the ‘Watchlist'” He said in an unemotional tone.
“As you wish!” Fei Tan said as he took a jade slip and poured his aura into it.
“This Feng Clan is youngster is lucky to be able to gain such talent retainers, even if he is a troublemaker with an unusual talent. He could still be proud,” An influential character said.
Xiang Tian frowned as he looked at Feng Clan’s side before looking back on Feng Yu who stood in the field before the steps seeming as if not wanting to take part in the trials.
As the influences were discussing the unusualness of the Feng Clan and Feng Yu’s lucky break for getting top class retainers Feng Yu was currently pre-occupied by something else.
Standing at the corner not too far away from Feng Yu was the mysterious spear youth with the brawny youth and pretty young girl, along with the Southern Wasteland youth and Xiang Shu.
Sou! Soon, the form of Hui Ying appeared quickly making his way towards Feng Yu.
“Brother Yu, you didn’t wait long did you?” Hui Ying asked as he stood in front of Feng Yu.
“Not really, did you find what you were looking for?” Feng Yu asked curiously.
“No, it was only my imagination, I thought I saw someone familiar that’s all,” He replied as he recalled the scene of a strange youth with a bamboo hat who walked out from the Midnight Temple group.
“Great! Then let us be off, as our competitors were kind enough to wait for us.” Feng Yu with a strange smile on his face as he viewed the group before him.
Hui Ying hearing cast his vision towards the group as if sensing something the mysterious spear youth and the rest glanced towards both Feng Yu and Hui Ying.
Crackle! A clash of invisible aura rippled, as a smile came on both the mysterious spear youth and southern wasteland youth’s face.
Xiang Shu looked on indifferently, but his eyes shone with a strange light.
Feng Yu smiled as he spoke softly, “Shall we begin…”