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Chapter 1012 – To Find a Foil
Lin Ming flew high in the skies. Behind him, the bright moon of Fire Spirit Star hung in the heavens, illuminating his body in clear splendor. Because the golden crow’s appearance had caused the strong astral winds of Fire Spirit Star to calm down, his long hair was slowly fluttering in the wind, dancing like black threads of silk.
At this time, he was like an immortal descended to the world, his temperament elegant and ethereal.
As Lin Ming saw the sight before him, his clear and bright eyes revealed an astonished light.
He had just emerged from Totem Tower and hadn’t expected such a scene to be occurring. A massive golden crow hundreds of miles long floated in the skies and all the disciples of Fire Spirit Star had gathered in the square in front of Totem Tower. The man and woman flying in the skies were obviously two top powerhouses.
What special occasion was it today?
Lin Ming was puzzled. He had been peacefully perceiving the Laws within Totem Tower, so he didn’t realize the changes occurring outside.
Lin Ming leaving at this time was an extremely noticeable event. Because the envoys from headquarters had arrived, the vast majority of disciples had gathered here to greet them. Lin Ming coming out from Totem Tower himself was very eye-catching.
“Oh? There are still some people in seclusion at this time.” Monarch Sweetyfox faintly smiled as she looked towards Lin Ming.
Sun Cyprestar revealed an embarrassed expression. He wanted to quickly say a few words to cover this up, but Chu Redcloud brightly laughed at this time and said, “Hohoho, it’s Apprentice Nephew Lin. He has been meditating on the chaos stones in Totem Tower and has been in seclusion all the time until now. It’s been over an entire year! Since he has meditated for more than an entire year, his harvests should have been tremendous! Apprentice Nephew Lin is after all the number one rookie disciple of Phoenix Cry Palace; his perception is extraordinary!”
Chu Redcloud deliberately emphasized the words ‘chaos stones’ as well as the fact that Lin Ming was the number one rookie disciple of Phoenix Cry Palace. As she said this, Sun Cyprestar’s face flushed red with shame. Although Chu Redcloud had said that Lin Ming must have had many harvests and outwardly seemed to be praising him, anyone who listened could understand that there were daggers hidden in her words. She clearly knew how difficult it was to perceive the chaos stones and she was also aware that Lin Ming’s harvests must have been very small. Thus, she spoke this way to draw more attention to him and embarrass him even more.
This was an especially critical strike since the two envoys from headquarters were here!
Just what was a chaos stone? And just how much could a rookie disciple perceive from them? If one chose them and couldn’t perceive anything from them, then that was simply overestimating one’s own abilities, biting off more than one could chew and becoming the joke of the public.
The truth was that Lin Ming’s current level wasn’t enough to draw attention from headquarters. And today’s matters would cause the two envoys to develop a bad impression towards Phoenix Cry Palace. After all, Lin Ming was the top junior disciple of Phoenix Cry Palace and also the glory of Phoenix Cry Palace. If Lin Ming was turned into a joke, just how could anyone from Phoenix Cry Palace hold their head up high? And since Sun Cyprestar was the person in charge of Phoenix Cry Palace’s disciples for this smelting trial, he naturally would suffer the greatest shame.
“Aiyaya, Brother Lin’s luck is indeed horrible. He didn’t come out earlier or later, but chose this moment when all attention was focused on the lord and lady envoys to emerge. Not just that, but Chu Redcloud is also stirring up trouble. It’s impossible for him to try and blend in and be forgotten. Brother Lin was stuck in meditation over those chaos stones and didn’t learn anything for the last year. But, everyone has taken a detour in their cultivation before. Putting aside this year, Brother Lin’s performance was still among the best. But now, I fear that he will leave a poor impression on the lord and lady envoys…”
Xiao Whitesnow mumbled to himself. His thoughts were the same as everyone else’s: Lin Ming’s luck was just garbage.
Something that was originally a small matter had suddenly turned into an important matter in this situation.
At this time, Sun Cyprestar really hated Chu Redcloud to the extreme. She was simply his mortal enemy. This woman was cunning and knew a bunch of dirty tricks, and she always seized every opportunity to ruin others. If it weren’t for her idle talk today, then no one would have known that this was still Lin Ming’s first time closing up in Totem Tower. Those two envoys would have assumed that this was Lin Ming’s second or third time in Totem Tower and wouldn’t have cared too much.
All Sun Cyprestar could do was suppress the disheartened feeling within him and smile, saying, “Fairy Chu is simply making a joke. How can our Phoenix Cry Palace’s disciples compare with the astounding disciples from your Charming Phoenix Palace. Lin Ming is simply undergoing an impromptu session of meditation. Even if he didn’t perceive anything, he still gained experience, broadening his horizons and laying down a good foundation for his future cultivation.”
“Hohoho! Vice Hall Master Sun is too modest. I actually know that Apprentice Nephew Lin here was able to jump ranks and defeat a Four Layered Heavens Ninefall Master with just a fifth stage Life Destruction cultivation. How could he be as horrible as Vice Hall Master Sun is making him out to be? In this smelting trial I am also looking forwards to Apprentice Nephew Lin’s performance. Since Vice Hall Master Sun has said that Apprentice Nephew Lin meditated on the chaos stones to lay down his foundation, perhaps you will allow me to see just what sort of foundation this is?”
Chu Redcloud’s meaning was obvious. She wanted Lin Ming to rush through the 18 Hells of Flame and the Illusionary God Combat Array. Sometimes, no matter how bright your light was, you still needed someone else to serve as contrast so others could see how kickass you were. Lin Ming jumping ranks to defeat a Four Layered Heavens Ninefall master with a fifth stage Life Destruction cultivation had sufficient qualifications to serve as a foil. She wanted others to see that if even someone like Lin Ming lost to Yan Littlemoon, that would emphasize just how amazing and unusual her talent was.
How could Sun Cyprestar not know Chu Redcloud’s thoughts? She actually wanted to use the number one genius of his Phoenix Cry palace to serve as a foil. Could this woman be any more vicious and ruthless?
His inner thoughts were grim and filled with animosity, but his outer appearance was much more genial. He stroked his beard and looked a bit uninterested as he said, “Fairy Chu must be joking. Apprentice Nephew Lin has heaven-gifted talent, so how could our Phoenix Cry Palace show off our poor performance? We admit defeat, we admit defeat, haha.”
“Oh? Fairy Maiden Chu said that Apprentice Nephew Lin here managed to jump ranks and defeat a Four Layered Heavens Ninefall master with a fifth stage Life Destruction cultivation?” Whether it was Duke Golden Sword or Monarch Sweetyfox, either one of them could make out the duel of tongues they were having.
Monarch Sweetyfox faintly smiled. She had seen this sort of situation many times before; it was clear that these two Elders had a very acrimonious relationship. Since one of them had the chance to step on the other, they certainly wouldn’t miss out on it. Normally, neither of them would care about this sort of catfight, but Envoy Duke Golden Sword’s interest was actually aroused by Chu Redcloud’s words, and that was that Lin Ming had jumped ranks to defeat a Four Layered Heavens Ninefall master with a fifth stage Life Destruction cultivation.
This was proof that Lin Ming was a genius of actual combat!
A Four Layered Heavens Ninefall wasn’t too bad. Moreover, when one passed from the eighth to the ninth stage of Life Destruction and underwent a baptism of the Heavenly Dao, that was equal to half a great boundary of cultivation. In the past, if Xiao Daoji was able to rush through the 18 Hells of Flame with a Ninefall cultivation, then he would have been able to break through to the seventh level far more easily.
However, the truth was that there was an extremely small number of martial artists that would choose to enter the Ancient Phoenix smelting trial for the first time after reaching Ninefall. This was because before crossing Ninefall, the deeper one’s foundation was and the more solid their foundation, the greater the origin energy cloud would be, and the more thorough their baptisms of Laws would be. And, they could develop this foundation by undergoing the Ancient Phoenix smelting trial before Ninefall.
On the other hand, there were also advantages in undergoing the Ancient Phoenix smelting trial after reaching Ninefall. That was because after stepping into Ninefall and accepting the baptism of the world’s Laws, one’s comprehension of Laws would be much deeper, and the gains from entering and meditating within Totem Tower would also be greater. They would be able to go deeper into the 18 Hells of Flame and obtain more rewards. Once they went to the smelting trial the second time, they would no longer be rookie disciples and receive this treatment.
And in truth, sometimes this just didn’t look at one’s wishes. The Ancient Phoenix smelting trial had a gap of four years between each time it occurred, in order for the totem stones to be replenished. In such a long time, many weren’t able to make early breakthroughs. For instance, there were very few people who participated in the Ancient Phoenix smelting trial in their twenties. After all, not everyone was as talented as Yan Littlemoon.
Envoy Duke Golden Sword himself was originally a genius of combat. In terms of comprehension of Laws, he was nothing but an amateur. It was because of this reason that he was mocked by those geniuses who excelled in Laws, but he didn’t mind those jokes. After all, strength was the only truth. If your comprehension of Laws was high but you still couldn’t defeat someone else in battle, just what use was it?
Thus, he had a deep appreciation for those geniuses that had similar characteristics to him.
“Reporting to Envoy, Lin Ming did indeed jump ranks to defeat a Four Layered Heavens Ninefall martial artist at the fifth stage of Life Destruction. In terms of combat, he can be considered just a bit gifted.” Sun Cyprestar modestly said.
“Haha, Elder Sun, you are being far too humble. What do you mean just a bit gifted? That is actually an amazing accomplishment! Lin Ming, right? You’re not bad. In fact, you’re very much to my liking! During this Ancient Phoenix smelting trial, me and Sweetyfox will be staying at Fire Spirit Star for a while. I look forwards to your performance in the Illusionary God Combat Array. I don’t really care at all about how well you do in the 18 Hells of Flame, but you must slaughter at least 600 people within the Illusionary God Combat Array! If you can kill 600 people, then I will take responsibility and reward you with three drops of phoenix heart blood!”
As soon as Envoy Duke Golden Sword spoke, he also promised three drops of phoenix heart blood. That was the same as 150 drops of phoenix plume blood!
This left Lin Ming stunned. He could sense what sort of lofty status these two had from Sun Cyprestar’s tone as he spoke to Duke Golden Sword and Monarch Sweetyfox. But even so, he didn’t think this man would promise three drops of phoenix heart blood without batting an eye. It had to be known that when Sun Cyprestar and Chu Redcloud made their bet for the Heaven Eclipsing Cauldron, they had also bet a drop of phoenix heart blood.
Obviously, the status of these two people was countless times higher than that of Sun Cyprestar and Chu Redcloud!
Chu Redcloud faintly frowned. She could see that Duke Golden Sword had an excellent impression towards Lin Ming and he didn’t even inquire about the joke of Lin Ming meditating on the chaos stones. It seemed that she wouldn’t be able to successfully step on Sun Cyprestar this time. She said, “Two envoys, how about we have Littlemoon attempt the Illusionary God Combat Array for the first time to see how far she can go?”
Monarch Sweetyfox nodded. She naturally wouldn’t disagree to that.
Yan Littlemoon was about to attempt the Illusionary God Combat Array!
The other disciples had already been looking forwards to this for a long time. At this time, all of them couldn’t help but start talking about it!
“She’s finally going to rush through! I wonder how many people Yan Littlemoon can kill, 600? 700?”
“Don’t be an idiot. Yan Littlemoon might not be good in the aspect of combat. Do you think that it is easy to kill 600-700 people in the Illusionary God Killing Array? As for completing the Thousand Slaughter and obtaining a drop of phoenix blood essence, that is even more of a joke. It looks nice as a goal, but who can possibly accomplish it? Not even Senior Xiao Chuji of the past was able to do so!”
As some disciples were casually speaking, Lin Ming was shocked by their words. “What? Phoenix blood essence!? What are you fellows talking about? You can obtain phoenix blood essence if you rush through the Illusionary God Combat Array?”
“Oh, Brother Lin, you might not know but Chu Redcloud applied to headquarters for a drop of phoenix blood essence for Yan Littlemoon. Headquarters didn’t directly agree. Instead, they set down a standard. If she can pass this standard then she can obtain a drop of phoenix blood essence.”
“There’s such a matter!?”
Lin Ming was bewildered. If she could pass a standard then she could obtain a drop of phoenix blood essence! If he could pass this same standard, then could he also obtain it!?!?