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Chapter 1718 - Undying Inferno
With Sheng Mei's words, everyone stood up and fell down the Divine Seal Altar, fully stepping into the fifth level. After the rounds of eliminations, with Lin Ming included, there were just around 20 people.
The scorching hot sands rustled beneath their feet. A furious heaven and earth origin energy buffeted them, making them all feel something strange.
"Mm? My cultivation…"
The trial challengers were startled. As they examined their inner world, they discovered that some invisible Laws were imprisoning their strength, causing them to grow weaker and weaker. Falling down from the World King realm, they stumbled into the half-step World King realm before descending into the peak Holy Lord realm, and rapidly into middle Holy Lord realm, before finally stopping at the early Holy Lord realm.
"I… my cultivation is only at the early Holy Lord realm?"
One of the martial artists was shocked. He was used to having a half-step World King cultivation, but now he had suddenly fallen to the early Holy Lord realm. This made him feel extremely insecure, like a mortal martial arts master having their martial arts ruined, becoming a completely average person. No matter what, they would always feel a bit strange in their heart.
Everyone noticed that a similar situation was occurring to all of them. Whether they were World Kings, half-step World Kings, or peak Holy Lords, after stepping into the fifth level their cultivation was restricted to the early Holy Lord realm.
Only Lin Ming and Xiao Moxian were exceptions. To their amazement, they discovered that their cultivation didn't decrease. Rather, some strange Laws fused into their inner world, causing their cultivation to dramatically rise, all the way into the early Holy Lord realm!
"So the fifth level of the final trial sets a standard for cultivation. Everyone's cultivation will become like this…"
Lin Ming suddenly realized. No wonder Sheng Mei had said she would need to draw on their support in the fifth level. Her cultivation had also fallen to the early Holy Lord realm! In the final trial, no one could violate the absolute rules.
"What strange rules. The methods used to test us in this final trial are more curious than the last!"
Some martial artists sighed with emotion. From non-discriminatory trials, to the Gate of Laws that had a difficulty based on one's skeletal age to test talent, to the Divine Seal Altar that was more difficult depending on one's cultivation in order to test one's foundation, and now to this fifth level that limited one's cultivation so that everyone's cultivation was the same. If so, then on this fifth level what was tested was one's attainments in cultivation methods and understanding of the Laws!
"So that's how it is. What interesting rules. Although my cultivation dropped to the early Holy Lord realm, my comprehension of Laws and skill in cultivation methods remain the same. I am far stronger than an ordinary Holy Lord realm martial artist!"
A trial challenger discovered. In the end, at the fifth level, the higher one's cultivation was, the longer they had cultivated, the more they would profit here.
Someone that had cultivated for 1000 years, comprehended Laws for 1000 years, and trained in a cultivation method for 1000 years, would be completely different from someone who had only been alive for 100 years. Even if they were all at the early Holy Lord ream, the difference in combat strength would be enormous.
In other words, the rules of the fifth level were highly advantageous to them.
The ones with the disadvantages would be Lin Ming and Xiao Moxian.
Their cultivations hadn't been at the Holy Lord realm to begin with. Now that they were forcefully lifted to the Holy Lord realm, their combat strength was likely ordinary.
"This Lin Ming… he might suffer a loss here."
"Yes… we must take advantage of this situation and obtain as much completion percentage as we can. We must try and reach at least 70%."
Many martial artists discussed with sound transmissions.
Someone asked, "Soul Empress, is this fifth level really so difficult? Even with Soul Empress's strength, it is still impossible to pass?"
Sheng Mei didn't answer this question. Amongst the crowd, someone said, "Concerning the fifth level, I've heard something before. It seems that no one has passed this fifth level in the last billion years…"
This person's faint words caused a chill to crawl up everyone's spines. For the last billion years, no one had passed!
"That's right, this is why anything past the fifth level has always been an enigma…"
Many people were left speechless. It seemed that they could only hope of earnestly following behind Sheng Mei and supporting her. Only then would there be some hopes of passing.
"Soul Empress, what is the Overlord of the fifth level?"
Sheng Mei slowly led the way. Her voice was haunting as she said, "The Overlord of the fifth level - the Undying Inferno. In reality, it is an amalgamation of incomparably terrifying Fire Elementals. Although it resembles a phoenix in form, it is in no way a God Beast.
"Because it doesn't possess a main body, it is nearly indestructible. Once we approach it, it will release incomparably blazing hot flames that can instantly scorch a peak Great World King to death. These flames will bake away flesh and skin, tempering the bones into tempered golden bones. And these tempered golden bones will become a puppet of the Undying Inferno…"
As Sheng Mei spoke, everyone was shocked. Without a main body, it simply couldn't be destroyed. And the flames that it released could instantly burn away a Great World King, and those who dared to challenge it would be turned into puppets!
If the cultivation of these people hadn't been suppressed, then a peak Great World King wasn't too far off a dream. As for Sheng Mei, she could definitely instantly kill a Great World King herself.
But now, everyone's cultivation was limited to the early Holy Lord realm. When facing the Undying Inferno that could instantly kill a peak Great World King, wanting to withstand its attack would be immediately dangerous. No one had the courage to do so.
Even Sheng Mei would find it difficult.
"No wonder the Soul Empress said she needed our help. I fear that in the fifth level, it requires the cooperation of everyone here to pass…"
So far in the final trial, there had been solo fights as well as small squads working together. Now, in the fifth level, it was total cooperation between everyone left remaining.
"The last time I entered the fifth level of the final trial, It was this Undying Inferno that I was not able to defeat…"
As Sheng Mei spoke, everyone pricked up their ears. Facing such a terrifying Undying Inferno, if Sheng Mei requested their assistance, then that proved there was a small chance she could strike down that Undying Inferno and enter the sixth level.
And according to her words, as long as the Undying Inferno was killed, then everyone could pass to the next level. This left many of them excited. In a team situation, even if it was Sheng Mei who would inevitably provide the main strength and obtain the highest completion percentage, they would still be able to drink a little of the soup.
If they could enter the sixth level, that would truly be the greatest glory of their lives as well as the greatest capital they could use to consolidate their positions in their sects.
After all, this was a legendary level that no one had managed to pass in the last billion years. If they could experience the fabled sixth level themselves, they could truly live without regrets!
Thinking of this, everyone's hearts began to heat up with wild thoughts. Even so, they peacefully and respectfully listened to Sheng Mei.
After a moment of silence, Sheng Mei continued to say, "The Undying Inferno cannot be destroyed, that is true, but every time it attacks it will release the fire essence within its body. Once this fire essence is exhausted, it will turn into a phoenix egg and experience a nirvana in a bath of flames!
"And this will be our only chance to attack…
"Facing the Undying Inferno, I will lay down a battle array. All of you will assist me in the battle array. We will resist the impact of the Undying Inferno until it exhausts all of its fire essence and turns into a phoenix egg. Then, I will attack with everything I have!
"If I can succeed and pierce through the eggshell then I will be able to kill the Undying Inferno! If I fail, then the Undying Inferno will undergo a nirvanic rebirth and reform into the shape of a phoenix. But at that time, it will not be a flame form, but an ice form. In other words, it will become the Undying Polar Ice. At that point, we will have to give up…"
As Sheng Mei said this, everyone was amazed. There was such a strange monster? This monster was able to spew out its own fire essence in exchange for greater striking power, and once it exhausted its essence it could undergo a nirvanic rebirth to turn into an ice form monster!
"I see. The Soul Empress focuses on the Ice Laws, so if she were to face the blazing flames of the Undying Inferno, her striking power would be extremely high. However, if she were to face the Undying Polar Ice, then the Empress's striking power would be reduced instead. Thus, it is impossible to attack a second time…"
Many people understood Sheng Mei's plans. There would only be a single chance to strike.
If they were defeated they could only retreat, otherwise their lives would be in danger.
As everyone was thinking this, the heat waves rushing towards them became increasingly strong. Suddenly, not too far away, the sandy soil erupted as golden skulls burst out.
Some trial challengers called out. These heads had no flesh and blood and their empty eye sockets burnt with a ghostly flame. They were creepy and macabre.
"Those are the golden skeletons!"
Beside Sheng Mei, Dragonscar bellowed out as he took out a heavy sword.
The golden skeletons crawled out from the ground, rushing towards the group.
Everyone definitely remembered what Sheng Mei had said before. Trial challengers that were killed by the Undying Inferno had their bodies scorched away and refined into golden skeletons that became its puppets.
It was clear that these bones were the so-called golden skeletons. If they were to die in the fifth level this would also be their fate!
"First clear out these golden skeletons. These fellows have a terrifying defensive power and nearly limitless strength. They are equal to middle Holy Lord saint martial artists, but are deficient in cultivation methods and Laws. Do not get close to them!"
As Dragonscar spoke, an icy aura gushed out from within Sheng Mei, covering the surrounding space. With Sheng Mei as the center, the entirety of space within 1000 feet of her seemed to separate from the outside world.
A cold and dark wind blew past, as if it emerged from the nine nether abyss. On the originally scorching hot earth, a thick crust of frost suddenly appeared. Those golden skeletons seemed to freeze as their motions slowed and even the soul fires burning in their eye sockets dimmed down, as if they were candles fading away in the wind.
Lin Ming could see that what Sheng Mei used just now was an extremely high ranking domain.
This domain not only greatly weakened the threat of the golden skeletons, but most important of all, it formed an independent space that didn't leak out any energies that Lin Ming and the others used. Like this, they wouldn't alarm the Undying Inferno.
Otherwise, if the Undying Inferno were to rush over here, the situation would become much worse.
"These golden skeletons have too great a defensive power to crush. Extinguish the soul fires in their eyes to kill them."
Sheng Mei faintly said. These golden skeletons were only the opening appetizer of the fifth level. Compared to the Undying Inferno, they were far too weak.