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Chapter 1426 – Might of the Runes
The gray skies were covered with dark red clouds. The layers of clouds hung low in the skies as if they would start bleeding at any moment.
The ground was a vast desert with shattered stones littered throughout. It was an extremely bleak and desolate land.
“This is the Asura Road?”
Lin Ming stood in this desert, his eyes closed. The heaven and earth origin energy was extremely fierce and wild. All sorts of different origin energies gathered here, recklessly colliding in chaotic abandon.
For martial artists that just arrived, even if it was Lin Ming, they would still be unaccustomed to this atmosphere and it would even cause their skills to be impacted. Of course, this could be adapted to with a little bit of training.
“This is the Asura Road, a separate world…”
Lin Ming stretched out his finger and gathered the power of space on his fingertip. To his amazement, he discovered that the power of space here was several times more stable than in the Divine Realm. It was extremely difficult if he wanted to shatter the void here; in fact, it was impossible for him right now.
“It’s hard to imagine that this is really a world created by someone and yet it is far more stable than a natural true universe. I have no idea just what boundary the person who created this world reached.”
Lin Ming thought to himself. He had a long future here. Perhaps it would be ten years or even dozens of years, but this was the land he would be travelling through.
His goal was to thoroughly complete the smelting trials available to him.
However, according to what Empyrean Divine Dream had said, even if the Asura Road was linked to all of the 33 Layered Heavens, the people who had managed to do this were incomparably few!
Sha… sha… sha…
Lin Ming moved forwards a step at a time. A faint rustling sound occurred every time he moved forwards. He cast his sense out in all directions, carefully monitoring his surroundings. He could clearly sense every living creature under the sand and stone.
There was a foot long sand scorpion, its body dark red and its tail utterly venomous waiting underneath a rock…
In the distance, there was a wild desert wolf carefully waiting for prey…
After some time, Lin Ming suddenly stopped where he was. He could feel that a faint aura had locked onto him!
Lin Ming’s mind turned cold. He had just come to the Asura Road and yet he had run into some unexpected visitor?
He gently traced his spatial ring. This aura was faint at the start, but it began to strengthen more and more, lingering around him as it became increasingly intense.
“Jejejeje! A newbie appeared!”
A grating sound echoed out from behind a boulder. Lin Ming coldly watched as two men walked out. They were both less than six feet tall, their skin was rough and gravelly, and they wore glazed white earnings.
Upon further inspection, these earrings weren’t some precious stone at all, but rather teeth. These teeth had been polished to an extreme degree, thus they looked like glazed stones.
These two gazed at Lin Ming as if he were some delectable meal that had just crossed their path. They looked at him from head to toe, licking their lips and laughing, “Haha, I haven’t seen someone new in such a long time. To see a fresh face here is quite exciting.”
Lin Ming’s expression was indifferent. He calmly took out his Phoenix Blood Spear. In such a desert, killing and robbing someone likely wasn’t uncommon at all.
“Ho, you seem quite brave.” Another martial artist looked at Lin Ming’s spear with disdain. “You’re just a small hairless little boy, and yet you’re so confident in your own strength? Oh… interesting! Isn’t this boy a human?”
“He really is a human. It’s rare to see new humans come here!”
“We’ve been camping at this transmission area for such a long time and we’ve finally encountered a little dish. Trying to obtain some harvests really isn’t easy, hahaha.”
There were hundreds of thousands or even millions of transmission points in the Asura Road; it was impossible to count them all. Some transmission points were even random. They would be in one location for a few months before swapping over to somewhere new.
However, there were some experienced bandits that had some unique abilities or methods to search for transmission points. They would camp around these transmission points and especially wait for ‘newbies’ to enter the Asura Road.
The strength of newcomers was normally weaker than most. However, since they would have just entered the Asura Road to adventure, they would often carry a great deal of supplies with them. This was an extremely good effort to reward ratio. After killing one of these newbies, the profits from such an endeavor were extremely high.
Of course, if these robbers were to run into some cruel and ruthless people they would simply avoid them. After all, those people had just entered the Asura Road so how would they know that the people camping around the area were robbers? Unless they were perverted murderers, why would they randomly start killing?
Thus, squatting over a location to wait for newcomers was an extremely safe hunting method. These people were widely known as ‘vultures’.
As vultures, they had to learn an ability that could quickly and accurately ascertain the cultivation of others. Otherwise, they could easily kick the wall with some mistake.
In the Asura Road, quickly discerning the cultivation of others wasn’t easy at all.
The Asura Road was filled with countless different races. Although every race had to follow one of the three great cultivation systems of essence gathering, body transformation, or soul forging, each race used different cultivation methods to do so. And, these robbers had accumulated a great deal of experience about these various cultivation methods.
Now, they could immediately see that Lin Ming’s cultivation was lower than both of theirs.
They suppressed him in cultivation and this was also two against one. The two men cruelly laughed as they circled around Lin Ming.
Lin Ming’s eyes became increasingly cold. “You want to kill me and steal my possessions?”
“Kill you and steal your possessions? Hahaha!” A man laughed, “What do you think?”
“Essence gathering system, Divine Transformation realm human, and also a little defenseless boy. Your talent is quite good but you shouldn’t be over a hundred years old.”
“Eh? Your mortal body is tempered quite nicely. A dual body and energy cultivator? Killing you would be a pity, but if we…”
“You want to use that?”
The two people didn’t bother concealing their conversation from Lin Ming. Lin Ming was startled as he heard all of this. These two people were quite skilled in seeing through his cultivation.
They weren’t humans but they could actually discern his cultivation realm and even see his dual body and energy cultivation path. As for Lin Ming, he didn’t know anything about these two people’s cultivation systems at all.
It was obvious that these two people cultivated something Lin Ming had never seen before. It was some cultivation method that didn’t belong to the humans, saints, or demons, but still had to be one of the 33 different Heavenly Daos.
Lin Ming could just barely sense their aura to roughly judge their approximate strength and then translate that into human cultivation levels.
“…Alright, but if he cannot be raised well then it will be a bit of a waste. Those runes are extremely rare. If we sell them we can trade them for a great deal of good things…”
“It should be possible. We only need to raise him for three to five years before we can use him. He should make a good slave puppet. If he becomes stronger and we can use him to hunt greater prey then the price will be worth it. If there’s danger, he can also protect the rear…”
As they two men spoke, Lin Ming was bewildered. What were they speaking about? They wanted to turn him into a slave puppet?
At this time, one of these two vultures began to shine. His entire body lit up with a gray light as runes shone around him.
“Runes?” Lin Ming immediately went on complete alert.
In the outside world, when Lin Ming fought with his enemies, he had seen countless runes and things similar to runes.
Whether they were Law fragments, seals, or even patterns and lines, all of them were similar to these god runes.
Towards these runes, Lin Ming never cared too much. When he saw them he would respond in kind, using his strongest attack in return.
But now, as he saw these vultures shine with runes, Lin Ming’s guard rose. These were definitely the god runes that Empyrean Divine Dream had spoken about!
These god runes only existed in the Asura Road and corresponded to the special Heavenly Dao rules here. They possessed an unimaginable strength and were able to strengthen various aspects of a martial artist.
After locking his sense onto these runes, Lin Ming could feel a vast and mystical aura from them.
These runes were like spirit gods dancing in the air.
The runes of an ordinary martial artist were controlled by the martial artist themselves. However, these runes were different. They were an independent strength that didn’t belong to the martial artist but originated from the power of the Heavenly Dao Laws.
In a sense, a martial artist used themselves as a medium to directly borrow extra power from the Heavenly Dao.
Like this, god runes could be used to greatly increase a martial artist’s combat strength.
“Surprised? It seems this is your first time seeing god runes. Hehe, no wonder, you’re nothing but a newbie! Let me tell you something: the Asura Road is not for little children like you to wander around in! I will have you regret ever having stepped foot in here!”
The robber whose body shined with runes roared out loud. Then, three runes separated from his body and shot towards Lin Ming.
Midway, these runes released an invisible strength that shrouded over Lin Ming. It was like a restriction of Laws, making it so that he couldn’t retreat.
These runes chased after Lin Ming and flew into his body. He shook for a brief moment as his heart chilled. “What is this!? I can’t even dodge them!?”
Lin Ming panicked. He simply wasn’t able to avoid these god rune attacks at all. It was like they had the support of the Heavenly Dao Laws; once they started it was a sure hit strike!
The only way stop them was if his strength reached a degree where he was able to contend with the Asura Road’s Heavenly Dao Laws. However, these Laws had been created by someone with an unimaginable strength; wanting to contend with them was simply the ramblings of an idiot!
Just what sort of effect would these runes have? If he encountered some runes that were strong enough to immediately defeat him, wouldn’t that be the most unjust death?
As all of this flashed through Lin Ming’s mind, how could he not be panicked.
But at this time, the two robbers laughed out loud. “Little brat! Are you afraid? Hahahaha! You have been struck by my god slave seal. As long as this god slave seal submerges into your spiritual sea and you are severely wounded by me then you will become my slave. You won’t even be able to kill yourself! I think that you are quite a good seedling. After you become my slave, I will train you and make you my dog. You will be used to kill my enemies!”
“Accept your fate! For us to use you is your honor!”
The two robbers laughed, cutting down with their swords at Lin Ming!
Lin Ming’s eyebrows shot up. What? Those god slave seals would only come into effect after he was severely wounded?
In the Divine Realm, there also existed a slave seal that could be used to completely control someone.
However, this was only possible if there was a vast difference in strength or the one being subdued decided to submit of their own will. Otherwise, they could burn away their body in suicide instead of becoming a puppet.
In the Asura Road, as long as someone was extremely injured and their mind fell into confusion then the god slave seals would be able to display their effect. Even if both sides fought to a draw, had similar strengths, and were mutually wounded, this might also be the case.
This was the function of the god slave seal. It wasn’t too heaven-defying at all, but seemed rather practical!
“So that’s how it is. These god runes can strengthen a martial artist to a certain degree, but they won’t be too heaven-defying. Otherwise, a child who couldn’t wrestle a chicken would be able to exterminate a Holy Lord if they had enough god runes with them. After all, these runes have the support of the Heavenly Dao rules and are nearly impossible to dodge. But if that were true, this Asura Road would have lost all sense of fairness and would have no effect at all as a smelting trial!”
Lin Ming suddenly realized what was happening. Like this, he didn’t need to dread these god runes too much. He would always have the ability to resist at least.