98 Chapter 98
The Envy trial was over, the boss monsters weren't really hard to beat if you took care of the afflictions that the stages gave you. Matt felt like he was cheating with his skills, but not like he was complaining as on the fifth level there were core formation manuals. On the sixth level, there were more crafting, forging and pill formulas reaching towards things core formation and even some nascent soul experts could profit from. His cultivation nut buddies were drooling at the books that they were holding, some were of the Heavenly rank. Matt was holding one of those cultivation manuals in his hand, this was the third part of the series and he hoped that he would find the last one on the next level as well.
[ Name : Supreme Thunder God's Penetrative Nirvana Finger ( Third Tome )
Meant for: Core Formation (Middle Stage+)
Grade: Heaven Middle Grade
Requirements: Lightning B+ grade and up
Qi usage: High
Description: Finger attack focusing the cultivators lightning Qi into their fingertips. The longer you charge this attack the stronger it will be, possesses supreme penetrating power. ]
'Looks good, but who came out in that name... I feel like the FBI will come after me if I use that on someone.'
He didn't think he would be able to find some techniques that were better than the ones he bought of his system store. But there were ones of heaven grading mostly the lower one but still. The number of books on the fifth and sixth levels was quite limited so he didn't need the whole twenty-four hours to copy them down.
First came the body refining though, he had pried every metallic object from the walls or ceiling that had some weapon sounding suffix and prefix. He didn't expect that the items around here would have a grading, who would expect to find earth graded items scattered here. But even then he didn't find much besides the candleholders or some metal quills.
While his friends were on the sixth and fifth-level scrambling to write things down, or remembering them he was on the second level cultivating. This was the one that no one really visited, having the most basic crafting manuals on it that no one really wanted.
He could feel the warm metallic substance enter his body as he felt the familiar feeling. He was breaking through, his muscles tensed up and his body started shining brightly. He looked like a golden statue that had been polished and spotlights were pointed at it. After the breakthrough, he glanced at his status screen, which he didn't really bring up for quite a while.
[ Name : Zhang Dong
Affiliation : Zhang Clan
Spirit Points : 423267
Cultivation Base Qi: Core Formation [Late Stage 2 %] (Empowered Lightning Core)
Cultivation Base Body: Core Formation [Great Circle 0,5 %] (Golden Body)
Techniques: Empowered Lightning Qi cultivation art, Golden Body Arts, Thunderlight Sword, Thunder Movement Art...
Dao: Dao of Heavenly Lightning, Dao of Smithing and Crafting
Other: Senior Aura, Impartation of Knowledge, Mentor's Eyes, Apprisal... ]
'Well, my cultivation base didn't increase at all... but the body refining is finally up there. I wish I could get that upgrade though...'
He still had some candleholders on the side, luckily there were some chandeliers here and there so the place wasn't all dark. But it was certainly darker than what you expect from a library building.
'I bet the guys have some magic arts to see better or spirit up some glowing whisp for it...'
Matt went back to cultivating, the remaining items not really pushing his cultivation forward that much as he was earning fractions of percentages even from earth middle graded items. He would take what he could get, couldn't really complain about the free items but he knew that he wasn't getting to the nascent soul anytime soon. The description on his body refining also had a new line in it, he required a heaven graded item to advance after getting 100%.
'Here is hoping there will actually be some tangible rewards on the 7th level.'
Time winded down and the group soon found themselves at the last stage. They were walking down a curved set of stairs while the surroundings were just a starry void. There was a large platform above them where they were walking to, lights appeared on the side of those stairs that looked like blue Wisps. The whole place was dead silent the only things that could be heard were their footsteps and breathing.
"This should be the last one, wonder what my clan members are doing now..."
Matt said while walking ahead a couple of steps, he was in the front so he couldn't really see the other cultivator's expressions. The others were reminded about their own clans, they hadn't seen them for over a month now and had no way of knowing if they were still alive.
"I'm sure the junior members made it through, Feng Daiyu might not be the brightest but her strength speaks for itself."
Feng Maling proclaimed while looking at her worried Matriarch that was deep in thought after hearing Zhang Dong mention his own clan.
Soon the group was at the top, the stage was round and there was nothing on it besides one thing. A person was sitting on a large throne, looking at them while resting his cheek on his right hand. His legs were spread apart, his eyes wide open and red in coloring. He was looking at the group of people, seemingly annoyed at the cultivator's late arrival.
"It took you long enough..."
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[ Sin of Pride [ Core Formation Great Circle ] ]
The man looked quite bored as he leaned back in his throne, he looked like someone in his thirties. He was wearing a red robe and had horns coming out of his head that curved inwards. His hair was white just like Matt's and he was of similar stature as the lightning cultivator.
"Let me congratulate you on reaching this point in your journey. Not many people manage this feat."
He didn't look like he would be getting up from his throne anytime soon as he just switched the hand he was leaning on to the other one and continued babbling some exposition.
"Most people never get the Sin of Greed, I congratulate you on resisting your natural predisposition."
Guess he was talking about how cultivators in this world would murder their own family just to get that one pill which pushed their cultivation forward a level. The trial he was talking about just showed them some powerful treasures, they were supposed to fight each other for them. But they were just illusions that were easily dispelled by Matt's mind technique, but he wouldn't tell the boss that the trial debuffs and tricks were useless against his Tranquil Will.
'Think I need to invest in better mind fortifying techniques, they will probably be crucial if I ever visit other secret grounds like this. The people making those always like to test people by showing them illusions or things like their worst fears to test them."
The boss started recounting all the trials, congratulating the whole group while they looked at him trying to measure his strength.
"This one is strong..."
Huo Qiang mentioned while sweating a bit from the overbearing aura that the Sin of Pride was giving off.
Matt wasn't quite sure, but thanks to his level up in body refining he was content on defeating this monster in a one on one.
"After saying this...you have two choices..."
The man finally stood up from his throne, his arms going behind his back as he stood like your regular senior cultivator.
"You may face me together, but if you do that you forfeit further rewards. The second option would be to face me in a one on one battle, if one of you manages to defeat me, you may take one item from the seventh level."
The man grinned and spread his arms as he looked at the people in front of him.
"What say you? Will you attack me all together like a bunch of cowards, or are there any warriors amongst you that are up to the challenge?"
Some of the male cultivators behind Matt went red in the face after they got called cowards, but after feeling the man's aura they decided not to go forward just yet. While the people were hesitating behind him, Matt took a step forward chest straight up, his steps slow and steady.
"I'll face you..."
The horned man looked at Zhang Dong that was approaching him, his eyes scanning his opponent that was only in the late stage of core formation.
"You sure are a brave young man, are you sure about this?"
Matt walked forward, getting closer and closer while hearing the other cultivators shout at him from behind.
"Are you sure about this Zhang clan Patriarch? This might be a trap."
Feng Maling chimed in while trying to look at the surrounding area if there were any other monsters around.
"Yes brother Dong, maybe you should reconsider?"
Feng Liena said while looking worried, the idea of the treasures was tempting but it would be better to play it safe.
Matt stopped for a moment to think about it, but for some reason, he didn't feel like he would lose. When he looked back to when he arrived in this place, he couldn't remember a situation that he couldn't just fight his way through. He had an easy ride thanks to the system so his ego was quite inflated at this point, the trial of Pride was made for people like Zhang Dong. He only suffered minor setbacks which were mostly due to his inexperience in fighting, but due to passing the jungle and having fought his way through it with ease he was feeling confident. So what if this was the creature's plan? He was sure that he could just bulldoze through him like he always did.
"Well then, let the trial begin!"
The Sin of Pride smirked while a translucent dome of energy appeared between the area he and Matt were in and the area where the others were. Everyone looked on nervously as the two combatants moved closer to each other. They knew that Zhang Dong was strong, probably the strongest core formation cultivator that they had ever seen, but he was making a rookie mistake now. He was letting himself get pulled into the enemy's scheme, it would be much safer to fight him as a group. Still though, if he won they would be getting more rewards, on the other hand, if he died they would probably not be able to defeat this monster even in a group.
"Why are the young always like this."
Feng Maling shook her head while looking at the youth that like many others before him, wasn't thinking with their brain and with their muscles instead.
"Let's believe in brother Dong, he is strong!"
Huo Qiang cheered while poking the shield that appeared before him, after the smack he felt a repelling force that pushed him back.
While the others sighed behind the barrier Matt was now standing in striking distance of the so-called Sin of Pride. The man was quite handsome, well built and smiling at his opponent while looking confident. The two stared at each other for a good few moments before the boss spoke up.
"Are you going to just stand there? Here, I'll give you the first one for free."
The man laughed at Zhang Dong while turning his cheek to the side and pointing at it, it looked like he was willing to receive a hit without dodging. Matt raised his brow at this display and shrugged, guess this guy was really sure of his strength he would have to bring him down a peg.
Matt could feel that the restrictions that he felt back in the jungle area weren't that strong inside this barrier. He could probably let loose in here, while thinking like that he started gathering energy into his fist. He pulled his fist back, blue lightning energy gathering into it as he charged his attack up.
Matt's robe and the man's fluttered as due to gathering so much spiritual energy wind was getting kicked up. His muscles bulged as he moved his arm backward, he was going for a normal punch with all his weight behind it along with some lightning energy. The Sin of Pride looked at the large fist that was getting charged up, Matt wasn't sure what he was thinking about but it didn't seem that he was going to dodge.
The punch was finally thrown, a loud booming sound resounded inside the barrier as the fist filled with energy connected with a face. Matt could feel his strike going through, but he was surprised. The man's face was extremely hard, even with his body refining skill at the great circle he felt the attack down to his bones.
The man was forced backward, but he didn't fly as Matt expected but slid along the ground with his feet firmly planted on it coming to a stop after about ten meters. His face was turned to the side and you could see a red mark at the spot that Zhang Dong punched him. Sin of Pride moved his hand to his jaw, rubbing it slightly a grin appearing on his face.
He spat out some blood while cracking his neck slightly, his hand on his jaw as he rubbed it slightly.
"Hey, I had an idea! Do you want to play a fun game?"
The man looked quite excited now, his eyes were wide open as he moved back to where he previously was. He moved his hand back, in a similar motion that Matt did and looked at his opponent.
"It's quite the fun little game~"
He replied with vigor in his voice, like he found something interesting.