The central square was filled with silence, as the spectating crowd and major influences look at the scene before them in sheer surprise. A few of the elders from major clans and forces couldn’t help but rub their eyes upon witnessing the scene before them.
One elder was so shocked that he pulled a few strings of hair from beard completely ignoring the burning sensation of pain.
“They are of a different league…” An elder muttered as he looked at the figures of the six individual who made it the apex of the Ascending Dragon Platform.
“They outclassed both Qing’er and Tang Wu while literally treating the Ascension Phase Challenge like it was nothing but a walk in the park!” Xin Zhu shouted in surprise while looking towards Tang Fei.
“Indeed so, and while I know that we cannot underestimate the talents from both the Golden Dragon Empire as well as the Southern Wasteland. There is only one thing that I find rather strange when looking at this situation,” Tang Fei said.
“Hmm, what could be stranger than the scene of those empire class and top-class talents making a fool out of our kingdom’s geniuses?” Xin Zhu replied with a tone filled with anger.
Tang Fei shook his head and pointed towards three individuals amongst the bunch that was standing proudly at the limit of the platform seemingly unaffected by the pressure.
“Look at those three individuals, they are not from any empire class or large influences, in fact, the young man with red hair is from the local Feng Clan, and the blue haired youth is called Dai Lin of the Blue Thunder that red hair young man’s servant. As for the youngster with a bow on his back, there is no information regarding his existence in our kingdom,” Tang Fei said with a serious expression as he looked at the trio.
“What? That youth is from the local Feng Clan! Wait, you’re also saying that the black-haired youth beside them does not exist!” Xin Zhu upon thinking for a bit said in wonderment.
“Em. What’s very strange is it’s almost like this kid appeared out of thin air, there is no personal history records or any background. He is similar to this Feng Clan that has appeared in this small town only about a hundred years ago.” Tang Fei explained in a serious expression.
“….” Hearing his words Xin Zhu went silent as he observed the trio focusing on youth with the bow, he then focused his gaze towards the Feng Clan.
“We should pay more attention to these individuals…” Tang Wu said solemnly.
“Em,” Xin Zhu answered as he waved his hand where after a servant appeared for a moment before vanishing.
Sou! The Shen Imperial Clan elders looked at the scene in surprise they also paid close attention to the form of the Feng Clan youngster and his group, as did many of the influences that remained hidden.
The woman in white looked at the six individuals who stood at the apex of the stairway with a strange gleam in her eyes, shorty, a smile could be seen on her face as she whispered to herself.
“Chosen’s are born… when Dragons rise, and Tigers fall….” Her voice trailed off into the wind which began to flow towards the stairs, trailing all the way upwards passing the struggling geniuses making its way to the apex of the stairway.
It was an incredible work of art, at the limits of the sky that stood at the end of a stairway, was an unusually broad foothold stretching across a vast region of the space for many kilometers.
If one looked from a high angle, they would see only a single platform in this area that had two lifelike sculptures of a black and a white dragon coiled around its edges. These dragons gave off the impression that they could come to life at any moment in time as their eyes gleamed with a strange glow of intelligence.
Standing proudly on this platform were six figures each who seem to have the bearing of an expert of a different class. The pressure in this area was more than one hundred folds compared to the steps below the platform. As they stood within this overwhelming pressure, the sound cracking bones and rippling muscles could be heard as their bodies were pushed to its limits in resisting the terrifying force.
Soon, however, they were not alone.
Sou! Sou! Sou! Sou!
Quickly, a few more individuals appeared on the platform seems to have struggled through a fierce battle.
Ji Weng, Xuan Bei, Tang Wu, Xin Qing, Lang Kuang and Miren Fei looked towards the central platform before them with shock as they saw the forms standing there unmoving.
“What are they doing over—?” As Ji Weng was about to question what was happening on the platform in front of them, a change occurred.
Buzz! “Congratulations for making it to the limit of Dragon Stairway! You now have a choice: To leave now and be rewarded with a small dragon token or to partake in the ‘Chosen Wars’ by staying on the platform you see before you, withstanding its pressure for no more than an incense stick of time. Choose Wisely…” An ancient voice said which flowed into the minds of all the geniuses as it faded away once more to nothingness.
“So, this is the final test,” Tang Wu said as he looked at the figures of Feng Yu, Dai Lin, Hui Ying and the others that stood proudly on the platform with their hands behind their backs.
Xin Qing felt a fire in her body lit up as her competitive spirit rose upon seeing them standing on the platform without a sweat, “I will not lose to any of you…”
Lang Kuang and Miren Fei looked at Feng Yu and Dai Lin and gripped their fists firmly as they nodded towards each other making their decisions, “We cannot fall behind the Young Master and Squad Leader!”
Xuan Bei frowned as he saw Dai Lin and the others, he gritted his teeth and said, “Hmph! This Prince will not lose to a band of vagabonds and lower-class talents from my kingdom.”
As if they were planned beforehand they all responded in unison, “We will accept the challenge!”
As their voices reverberated throughout the space, a short moment passed before the ancient voice was heard one more.
“Very well! Let the final challenge of the Ascension Phase begin!” It said before fading away once more.
Phew! Instantly, multiple beams of light shot from the black and white dragons that teleported each of the geniuses onto the platform.
As soon as they appeared on the platform, the geniuses were instant tossed into a state of peril.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
Within a moment all of them had fallen to their knees unable to lift their bodies upward, as a towering pressure came over their forms. Their bones start crackling as if trying to break apart as their muscles began to show signs of rupturing.
“Arrghh! I will not give up!” Tang Wu roared as he gathered all his strength of his fleshy body and powered his willpower to force himself to stand as his leg muscles tore and blood started to flow from his legs.
Miren Fei and Lang Kuang also had a similar struggle as Miren Fei’s body seemed to glow in a strange jade-like her body seemed to be identical to that of jade, as it helped her to mitigate most of the pressure allowing her to barely lift herself to her knees.
She thought to herself, “My body was also unusual since birth innately attuned to the forces of jade… but even with this I am only barely capable of barely resisting this force.”
Lang Kuang’s body started to break as his muscles bulged and a bit of white silver wolf hair came over its surface. He cried out while thinking, “Arghh! If not for my Sacred White Wolf Physique, my state would be even worse that Tang Wu’s.”
A bit of blood could be seen flowing from his arms and legs at the places where his skin was torn.
Xin Qing could only lift herself to her knees and remain in crossed legged posture as she utilized all her willpower to keep conscious and prevented her body from being torn to pieces, while Ji Weng and Xuan Bei pushed all their efforts into standing to bear the pressure as a man should.
The influences of these geniuses could only offer cheers as they observe their geniuses struggling with the pressure.
“Good! That’s my Qing’er! Do not give up! You have to grit your teeth and bear it!” Xin Zhu shouted excitedly as his old eyes looked proudly at his goddaughter.
“Now that is the Tang Family spirit!” Tang Fei said as he looked at his nephew proudly.
Xiang Tian looked at his son Xiang Shu in surprise as he had just realized that his son was standing on the platform as if it was like a breeze.
“When did Shu’er get so strong? What’s going on here?” Xiang Tian said as he looked at the scene in shock.
The Town Lord seeing this complained, “Clan Leader Xiang, previously said that your son was not talented if that’s so, then what do I see now? Did you hide his potential before to show off?”
“Haha! I didn’t know, he hid his true strength from me too?” Xiang Tian replied with embarrassment and hints of surprise.
“Hmph!” Huan Mang snorted as he looked at Xiang Shu with killing intent in his heart.
On the side of the Feng Can, Elder Duan and Elder Chen were surprised as they looked at the few talents who were withstanding the pressure with ease beside Feng Yu.
“Such strength! It looks like Yu Child is going to be in for quite the fight,” Elder Duan said.
“Em. These geniuses aren’t too bad,” Elder Chen commented.
“Indeed so, that southern wasteland youth and those three from the Golden Dragon Empire are in no way inferior to the talent of the sacred domain. What they lack though is the different training environment,” Feng Junling replied as he looked at them with interest.
However, he soon shifted his gaze and looked at Xiang Shu with a strange light in his eyes.
“Brother, that Xiang Shu is a rather strange one. I’m pretty sure he was not this powerful a few months ago. How do you explain this kind of strength?” Feng Yunlong asked as he was also looking at Xiang Shu’s figure curiosity.
“There are a few theories… but those should be impossible…” Feng Junling replied vaguely.
“Hmm….” Feng Yunlong looked on silently.
Feng Xingyu looked at the trial and yawned before closing her eyes and not paying attention to the rest of the tests.
Back on the platform, Feng Yu looked at the individuals while controlling his strength to resist the pressure. Noticing the ease at which they were handling the force, he couldn’t help but feel a bit curious regarding these geniuses.
He then glanced towards Dai Lin and saw that he was approaching his limits soon, he then looked around at the mysterious spear youth and the southern wasteland youth who returned a look of their own.
“You are strong…” The mysterious spear youth said calmly as if the pressure couldn’t inhibit his speech.
“So are you both…” Feng Yu replied as he looked at the two of them calmly.
The southern wasteland youth smiled oddly and closed his eyes paying no more attention to Feng Yu.
“Hmph! For a local aboriginal! You are quite powerful but still not a match for me, Xia Rou!” The pretty young girl arrogantly said.
“For a pretty lady like yourself to have such a sharp tongue! You ought to be careful as men will only find it hard to be attracted to the young miss,” Hui Ying retorted as he calmly stood by Feng Yu’s side.
“You bastard! You dare to mock me! Ouch!” As she was angered by Hu Ying’s statement, Xia Rou got distracted and suffered a minor injury because of the pressure.
“Haha! Sister Rou, even outsiders, are starting to become wary, I’ve told you once before. Now you’ve gotten warned by another and ended up getting injured,” The brawny youth said adding fuel to the fire.
“Shut up!” Xia Rou roared as she channeled a strange kind of power that helped her resist the pressure.
Sensing this energy Feng Yu became stunned, “Mageforce…” But soon he cleared his mood and thought once more, “These guys…” He looked at the side finally resting his vision on an indifferent form.
Xiang Shu looked at Feng Yu calmly in silence, seeing this Feng Yu felt it even more strange. He decided to face the matter with a cold glint in his eyes, “Who are you?” Feng Yu asked in a deep voice.
Xiang Shu hearing this was stunned, but soon a strange maleficent smile came over his face as he responded, “Young Master of the Feng Clan, who do you think I am? I am but who I am…”
Dai Lin who was listening as he heard this felt a strange sense of danger as he looked towards Xiang Shu silently and then towards Feng Yu who returned a glance before continuing to focus on the pressure.
Quickly time passed, and the incense stick of time soon ended for the last trials.
Buzz! Suddenly there was a change on the platform, as the coiling dragons soon erupted a bright light from their eyes.
Phew! In an instant, the pressure was lifted and the geniuses on the platform, all collapsed to the floor as they regulated their powers to heal their injuries. Now, there were about 50 different geniuses who made it to the final platform and withstood the pressure of the last trial.
Feng Yu and Dai Lin walked towards Miren Fei and Lang Kuang as they grouped at a corner of the stage.
“How was it? Did you enjoy the Trial?” Feng Yu asked them with a smile on his face.
“Reporting to Young Master! This Trial was very beneficial as it seems that my control regarding my special physique has increased,” said Lang Kuang excitedly.
Miren Fei also smiled as she wiped the sweat from her forehead and responded, “This one had no problems, Young Master!”
“Hmm, good! Make the best of the time to heal up, we don’t know what could happen next,” Feng Yu as he walked turned around and faced the geniuses of the platform who were now readying themselves.
Soon, a voice could be heard once more.
“WellDone! You have completed the first phase of the challenge. You remaining talents are now eligible for the battle of chosen’s. The battles will begin at dawn, so make use of the time you have to recover from your injuries!” The voice said as a beam scattered around the platform creating an invisible barrier as the talents of the influences were sent into a vast space.