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Chapter 973 – To Provoke and Ignore
The dining tables of Phoenix Hall was carved from fire spirit jade and very wide. When the five youths sat down, it didn’t seem crowded at all.
Two of them had red hair. Red hair was the symbol of the Huo Family Clan. Only direct descendant juniors of the Huo Family Clan with a rich bloodline had red hair. When Lin Ming encountered Huo Family Clan juniors at Timeworn Phoenix City in the lower realms they hadn’t had such blazing red hair.
As for the others, Lin Ming had seen them before. They were following behind Huo Yanguang before and were disciples that latched onto the Huo Family Clan.
The red-haired youth leading them looked at Lin Ming. As he saw Lin Ming polish off the noodles and the spirit bird bone soup, he smiled and mockingly said, “You really are a martial artist from the lower realms. You even eat like a beggar.”
“Haha, haven’t you eaten in the last three days? You ate all the soup and even licked your bowl off cleaner than my family’s dog would.” Another follower disciple echoed.
They all came here to stir up trouble. Their attitude, posture, and words all conveyed a signle message to Lin Ming: ‘hit me, why don’t you hit me’.
According to the rules of Phoenix Hall, private fighting between disciples was forbidden. If one wished to fight they had to do so fairly on the Nirvana Altar under the watch of a Hall Protector. This sort of rule was established to prevent disciples from dying during battle. The environment in Phoenix Hall was simply far too complex with too many interests mixed up together and too many factions opposing each other. If private battles between disciples were allowed, it was likely the disciples would be killed by people manipulating things behind the scenes.
If Lin Ming was the first attack, he would be in violation of sect rules and would be imprisoned for a thousand years. This was likely what these people wished for.
Lin Ming certainly wouldn’t make such a silly mistake. He grabbed a bowl of rice that looked as if it were made from pearls and diamonds and continued to slowly eat, not even glancing at these people in front of him. “Although I knew that people would try to suppress me in Phoenix Hall, I didn’t think I would draw flies even when I’m trying to eat a meal.”
“You actually dare to call us flies? You really have no idea what the word death means! Lin Ming, if you have the guts, follow me up to the Nirvana Altar and let’s fight! I know that you’re scared to bet the Phoenix Blood Spear but that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t want it, all I want is the loser to slap themselves across the face!”
The one who spoke was a non Huo Family Clan disciple. His cultivation was at the eighth stage of Life Destruction. The other disciples with him were at the Divine Sea realm and they also had an eighth stage Life Destruction base.
These people clearly relied on their relationship with the Huo Family Clan to enter Phoenix Hall during the Life Destruction realm. Afterward, they failed to reach the ninth stage of Life Destruction but hadn’t been kicked out of Phoenix Hall because they relied on their special connections once again. These people’s talents were much worse than Huang Yuegong or Huang Yanguang.
“So you came to test me?” Lin Ming immediately understood what was happening. These were all people of the Huo Family Clan. “It looks like Huo Yanguang is preparing for me. However, in a fight involving two top saint artifacts, he can’t help but be cautious. After I entered the Divine Realm, the only time I fought was those two sixth stage Life Destruction servants of Huang Yuegong. Other than that I haven’t shown my cards, so Huo Yanguang lacks the confidence that he can defeat me, so he sent this group of people here to test me.”
In Huo Yanguang’s opinion, these people were more than enough to test out Lin Ming’s hidden cards. If Lin Ming’s strength was freakishly abnormal, he would give up any thoughts of challenging. On the other hand, if their strength was similar, he would be able to prepare some special counters to Lin Ming’s moves. This was the so-called know yourself, know your enemy, and be invincible.
“Huo Yanguang, your plan is quite well thought out. But do you think everyone in this world is an idiot and you are the only intelligent one out there? If you sent a few people out to test me, do you really expect me to just let you?”
Lin Ming stood up. He simply didn’t bother with the provocations of these flies. He didn’t even want to challenge them and deliberately show a weaker side, because that would only attract the attention of others to himself.
“If you want to fight me, prepare a top grade saint artifact. Why would you call yourself juniors of some great noble family if you don’t even have a single top grade saint artifact? You might as well go work as beggars instead.”
Lin Ming left these last words behind and then walked away, leaving the group of disciples fuming in anger.
“Lin Ming, you always use the excuse of a top grade saint artifact! But the truth is that you just don’t have the balls to fight us!”
The group of disciples shouted out loud. Lin Ming walked away, seeming as though he couldn’t hear them at all.
His cultivation was rising more and more these days; it was only a matter of time until he could break through to the sixth stage of Life Destruction.
For the next several days Lin Ming was constantly provoked. There were even those that came outside of his residence to shout out challenges at him. Lin Ming ignored them all. He only put out a single condition; anyone that wished to challenge him would need to put out a top grade saint artifact.
Those that could put out a top grade saint artifact were mostly ninth stage Life Destruction Divine Transformation realm martial artists. Or at least a ninth stage Life Destruction late Divine Sea martial artist. But it was impossible for those people to challenge Lin Ming. Lin Ming was at Phoenix Hall for a while now, and although he was regularly challenged by people, he actually hadn’t fought yet.
Facing this Lin Ming that refused all challengers, the disciples of the Huo Family Clan began to spread the news that Lin Ming was a fraud and that his true strength was actually pathetic.
This news caused some people to suspect Lin Ming’s true strength. Was he really as amazing as Saint Artifact Pavilion’s artifact spirit recognized him to be, or had Lin Ming managed to trick it using some devious method?
Lin Ming turned a deaf ear to all of these suspicious. These false rumors had no significance to him. If he fought one of those minions because of these lies and defeated them, another would simply jump up to replace him. He would have to continue fighting, and this would give him no time to cultivate. Besides, if he appeared to powerful, Huo Yanguang would step back from challenging him.
Only a true fool would do that.
“This Lin Ming really is unaffected!” In his residence, Huo Yanguang frowned. “I’m beginning to suspect that he really is a weakling.”
In front of Huo Yanguang, there was a tall youth sitting with fire red hair that fell to his waist. This youth had a calm demeanor and his eyebrows slanted upward like swords. His cultivation was at the late Divine Transformation realm, and his inner world had begun to transition to a true great dimension; he was only a single step from becoming a Divine Lord.
“I advise you not to underestimate your opponent. Although Lin Ming is just an ant, you still haven’t grown yet. Compared to the entire Divine Realm, we are nothing but ants too.”
The tall youth slowly said. Although he was strong, he wasn’t arrogant at all. He always held a trace of fear and awe toward the vast Divine Realm.
“Brother in law, you are far too humble! You will soon become a Divine Lord and form your own world. Your body will contain life and you will be a god to all beings in your world, so how can you possibly be considered an ant? I asked uncle to come this time because I wanted to borrow something to guarantee my victory in the upcoming battle.”
“Oh? Are you saying you want to borrow a top grade saint artifact? Well, I guess I can, but you must first break through to the ninth stage of Life Destruction.”
“Okay. I’ve already saved up my strength at the eighth stage of Life Destruction for three years; I have the confidence I can make a breakthrough. I wanted to gather a bit more strength, but now is still a good time. I will borrow the pressure of this fight and officially attack the ninth stage of Life Destruction. In order to ensure that I successfully enter the ninth stage of Life Destruction, I would like to request some phoenix plume blood from uncle!”
“Phoenix plume blood?” The tall youth’s eyelids shot up. Phoenix plume blood was also Ancient Phoenix blood, but the quality was higher than ordinary phoenix blood. Phoenix plume blood was the bloodline found within the plume feather of an Ancient Phoenix. It had the richest fire energy, and was an extremely high quality type of Ancient Phoenix blood.
“Yes, I can apply to the family clan for some, but you must guarantee that you can make a breakthrough, otherwise things will be difficult for me.”
“Definitely. Once I break through to the ninth stage of Life Destruction my strength will make a rapid leap and I will challenge Lin Ming. He has a top grade saint artifact but I will have one too. Although the grade is inferior, the difference can’t be that large! When I am at the ninth stage of Life Destruction and I have a top grade saint artifact on top of that, if I fight him with his fifth stage of Life Destruction, then even if his talent and potential are superior to mine, I will still win. But before then, I must hide my top grade saint artifact or else he’ll be too afraid to challenge me. When we fight, I’ll take it out and then… Hehe, I’m really looking forwards to seeing his expression.”
The tall youth nodded at Huo Yanguang’s words. “Your plan is good, but if you hide the top grade saint artifact, what will you use as the gambling stake? The gambling stake must have a value equal to a top quality saint artifact. Moreover, it must be enough to tempt Lin Ming to action!”
“The gambling stake will be the phoenix plume blood. The phoenix plume blood has immense benefit to a martial artist. If you can absorb it into your body, it will directly increase your talent and also your affinity with Fire Laws. I don’t believe that Lin Ming will be able to reject my offer!”
The tall youth frowned. “You want to absorb a portion of phoenix plume blood but you also want to use some as a gambling stake? You’ll need quite a bit of phoenix plume blood then. Fine. I will help you apply for as much as possible, but as for how much you will receive, all of that will depend on the family clan Elders.”
“Then I must thank uncle.”
Huo Yanguang was overjoyed. Although he called this youth uncle, the truth was that he wasn’t much older than he was. This uncle of his had a great deal of attention placed on him in the family clan. If he was willing to speak on his behalf, there were high hopes his plan would succeed.
Time slowly passed in Phoenix Cry Palace. Without knowing it, a month had passed. In this month, Lin Ming was the subject of countless lies and slander, with those from the Huo Family Clan ruthlessly spreading these rumors. As they continued to spread and Lin Ming still refused to battle, many people began to suspect Lin Ming’s strength and they began to believe he was just a tricky weakling that was too cowardly to fight.
However, Lin Ming turned a deaf ear to all of this and peacefully cultivated.
In Phoenix Cry Palace, with the nourishment of all the various heavenly materials as well as absorbing the fire origin energy of the Divine Realm, his fifth stage Life Destruction cultivation reached perfection. His dantian was brimming with origin energy that was ready to overflow at any time.
On this day, Lin Ming opened his eyes during seclusion and said to himself, “It’s time to ask Senior Fairy Feng to help me break through to the sixth stage of Life Destruction. My foundation has become as solid as it can be. Breaking through to the sixth stage of Life Destruction will be a guaranteed success.”
As Lin Ming was thinking this, he suddenly felt the surrounding heaven and earth origin energy stir up around him as though some treasure was being born. He released his senses and discovered that the heaven and earth origin energy for several hundreds of miles was gathering towards a single point. Within the skies, clouds of origin energy formed. These clouds slowly fell downward into the shape of a giant funnel as it connected to a residence in Phoenix Hall.
“Mm? This is…” Lin Ming’s eyes shone as he flew out of his palace. At the same time, many Life Destruction, Divine Sea, and even Divine Transformation disciples flew out, all of them looking towards the same location – the converging point of the vortex of heaven and earth origin energy.
“Someone is breaking through to the ninth stage of Life Destruction!”
“That is Huo Yanguang’s residence. Huo Yanguang is breaking through, he’s finally done it!”