Holding this sharp blade, Desri experimentally waved it a few times, causing saber energy to crisscross.
“The blade’s a good one. Only, my arm strength isn’t good enough.” Desri sighed.
Without any battle-qi, if one was physically strong enough, like the Four Supreme Warriors, one could still reach astonishing levels of power just by wielding weapons with physical strength. Actually, the Abyssal Blade Demon had relied on pure power alone in wielding the blade.
“What’s the rush?” Fain laughed. “Desri, after you become a Deity and your divine body forms, the strength of your body will be divine power. You’ll be able to put this weapon to good use then, right?”
“Haha, right.” Desri laughed as well.
Actually, everyone still knew that there was still an obstacle before becoming a Deity.
The eleventh floor!
The difficulty level from the first to the fifth floor hadn’t been too high, but the sixth floor had the Flame Tyrant, with the danger level rising exponentially. Every five floors represented a difficulty level…clearly, this eleventh floor’s danger level would be far greater than that of the sixth through tenth floors. The Flame Tyrant, the Queen Mother, and the other creatures had already been so terrifying. What would appear on the eleventh floor?
Everyone felt somber when considering this, but at the same time, they all knew that this eleventh floor had corpses of Deities, and had divine sparks!
“The eleventh floor…” Linley looked towards that distant, ancient pillar, with the staircase beneath it so noticeably covered in that black aura. “According to what Lord Beirut said, the guardians of the eleventh floor should still be Saints.”
Clearly, the Sovereign who controlled the Necropolis of the Gods still allowed for a chance of success.
Linley understood, however, that from the twelfth floor onwards, only Deities would be able to proceed.
“I expect that from the twelfth floor onwards, the guardians will all be Deity-level creatures.” Linley didn’t even dare to think about proceeding to the twelfth floor. His power was not bad, true, but in front of a Deity, he couldn’t fight back at all.
Possessing a divine spark and gaining a divine body was a fundamental transformation in one’s level of existence.
“Everyone understands,” Desri said in a sonorous voice, staring at the assembled experts, “That of the eighty plus experts who originally came in, only eleven of us have made it to the tenth floor.”
The other seventy plus experts had either died or retreated.
Only they had come to the tenth floor.
“This is also the first time in my life I’ve been so close to a divine spark. I know that the eleventh floor up above has divine sparks.” Desri felt his emotions stirring. He had striven for so many years, after all. “But everyone must also understand that the eleventh floor will definitely be extremely dangerous. Compared to the Flame Tyrant, the Queen Mother, the Beholder King, and the Thorium Devil, it will be even more dangerous!”
All of the experts felt their hearts tremble as though having heard a thunderclap.
“Perhaps some of us will die on the eleventh floor.” Desri’s voice became low. “However, I myself am not afraid of death. I’ve already lived for thousands of years, and experienced everything I need to experience. If I die on the road to ascending to godhood, I won’t regret my death.”
The eyes of all the experts were blazing with light.
Desri, Rosarie, Fain, Tulily, the three Six-Eyed Golden Ni-Lions, the Blackscale Scorpion…they had all struggled to become Deities for thousands of years. Life, death…they had long ago stopped worrying about these things.
Of the Five Prime Saints, Rutherford had died.
Nobody felt too saddened by Rutherford’s death. Because everyone understood…perhaps soon afterwards, they themselves would also die on the path to godhood.
In this group of eleven experts, Linley, Bebe, and Olivier were all very young, comparatively. None of them had even passed their first century. Compared to Desri and the other experts, there were many differences between them. Thus, mentally, their understanding of life and death was perhaps different from that of Desri and the other experts.
“Everyone, let’s make our preparations. This time, we will rest on the tenth floor for a year and a half. A year and a half later, we will enter the eleventh floor.” Desri said.
All the experts felt a surge of excitement, and they silently nodded.
They had entered the Necropolis of the Gods eight years ago now. After training for another year and a half, they would only be a few months away from the ten year time limit. On the eleventh floor, the question of whether or not they would be able to obtain a divine spark would be resolved in perhaps just a single day.
Everyone separated, finding a place to quietly train and meditate.
“Boss.” Bebe looked at Linley.
Linley looked at Bebe as well. They each understood what the other was thinking.
To Linley, Bebe, and Olivier, it was still possible to make new breakthroughs in a year and a half, and have their strength rise further. As to the other eight experts…unless some lucky accident happened, it would be truly difficult for them to make any more breakthroughs.
On the boundless prairie, within a grassy area, a gentle wind blew across Linley’s long hair.
Linley’s eyes were closed, and he was quietly seated in the meditative position.
“The Profound Truths of the Earth…the further along this path I go, the greater the level of difficulty. I already have reached the level of ’64 Fused Layers’ of the Throbbing Pulse of the World. If I want to be able to reach the level of ’32 Fused Layers’, it would probably take more time than it did last time. Last time it took me eight years to make a breakthrough…I only have a scant year and a half.” Linley had made his decision. “I had better analyze the ‘Profound Truths of the Wind’ instead.”
Right now, the most important thing was to raise his strength and make a breakthrough as soon as possible, so as to have a greater chance on the eleventh floor.
“Attuning my soul to nature will naturally cause my spiritual energy to rise. That way, I’ll be able to train both my spiritual energy and the ‘Profound Truths of the Wind’ at the same time.” Linley found a balance.
And then, Linley stilled his mind.
He ‘forgot’ his identity and sense of self.
Linley’s spiritual energy had become totally attuned to nature. Within Linley’s consciousness, he could clearly sense all the movements of the wind as it blew across the prairie, while at the same time, the stances of the ‘Rippling Wind’, ‘Tempos of the Wind’, and ‘Myriad Swords Converge’ appeared in his mind.
Linley meditated on the ‘Fast’ and ‘Slow’ aspects of the Elemental Laws of the Wind.
At the same time, he meditated on the various sword techniques, and countless sword images flashed through his mind.
Sword-shadows flashing like the wind, formless and shapeless!
In this state of silent pondering, Linley continued to heighten his understanding of the Elemental Laws of the Wind at a slow pace, rising one step at a time. In his consciousness, the sword techniques flashing through his mind became more profound and more natural. His soul was one with nature, and his spiritual energy slowly improved as well.
Time flowed onwards. On the prairie of the tenth floor of the Necropolis of the gods, the experts were all either seated cross-legged while meditating, or practicing one stance after another. Every person was making preparations for the eleventh floor.
Bebe was lying on the ground, his body covered with a faint black aura.
Linley’s hair had slowly grown longer as well.
In the blink of an eye, more than a year passed, and only two months were left before the appointed time.
“Desri.” Fain was seated alongside Desri on the grass. They had already trained to their limits long ago. If they made any more breakthroughs, they would become Deities. And thus, there was no point for them to intentionally try and force any breakthroughs, so they just casually talked and joked with each other. “Do you remember that battle, five thousand years ago?”
“Of course I do,” Desri sighed. “That battle where those experts from the other planes descended…one Saint after another fell. The battles in that scorching hot desert, in the air above the South Sea…they were so brutal.”
Fain nodded slightly as well.
Back then, Fain and Desri had already reached the Saint-level, but they were minor figures at the Saint-level. Back then, they were comparable to the likes of the Stellar Sword Saint, Dillon. They were only early-stage Saints, and they would have died if they participated in the battles between the experts who had descended from the other planes.
“Countless Saints, and even quite a few Deities. Saint against Saint. Deity against Deity. One of the Deities charged into a group of Saints, causing massive casualties.” Desri sighed. “From that day onwards, I made up my mind that one day, I would become a Deity.”
The presence of a Deity was like a prison! In front of a Deity’s power, Saints were far too weak.
“Five thousand years now.” Desri sighed. “On this road, how many friends have I lost? Hayward died. That year, Kerrilan [Kai’li’lan] died. Rutherford died as well…”
Countless experts had worked hard throughout the years to become Deities. To them, becoming Saints wasn’t difficult. But becoming Deities…the difficulty level was simply too great.
“Fain.” Desri looked at him. “We have already reached the final step. This is also the closest we’ve come, in five thousand years, to becoming Deities.”
Fain nodded slightly, and said solemnly, “Success or failure depends on this final journey.”
“Hrm?” Fain and Desri simultaneously turned to look at Linley. They glanced at each other, their eyes filled with shock. To Desri and the other experts, Linley and Olivier were both absolute geniuses. What took others thousands of years to accomplish, they were capable of accomplishing in under a century.
As for Linley, he was even more shocking to them than Olivier.
He had a strong foundation, and he had powerful insights into the Laws. And now…
“It seems…he has finally broken through to the Grand Magus Saint level.” Desri sighed. In the past, he himself had experienced this breakthrough.
Linley could currently sense his soul throbbing. In his consciousness, that sea of spiritual energy was bellowing, and that seven-colored soul-gem was vibrating, as though it was changing somehow.
“I’m finally going to break through.” Linley’s mind was filled with excitement.
From the ninth rank to the peak of the ninth rank had taken ten years, but from the peak of the ninth rank to breakthrough had taken ten more years!
“Rumble…” His spiritual energy was constantly transforming, and the amount of space his sea of spiritual energy was shrinking as well. But the power of his spiritual energy was actually increasing. And more importantly…that soul-gem was beginning to transform.
A slow transformation.
The amount of spiritual energy had shrank to a tenth of what it had previously been, but the purity of that spiritual energy and the amount of control he had over it skyrocketed.
“The soul-gem?” Linley heart was swayed.
Actually, the path of training was one where one’s level of existence was constantly rising…and the most basic underpinning of life was the soul! Naturally, the soul itself would constantly transform. ‘Grand Magus Saints’ primarily focused on training spiritual energy, and upon reaching the ‘Grand Magus Saint’ level, the soul would also transform and reach a new level.
A slow transformation.
“How long will this spiritual transformation continue before concluding?” Linley didn’t want to waste any time.
He knew that the day on which they would enter the eleventh floor was coming sooner and sooner. His spiritual transformation was occurring automatically. After paying attention to his spiritual transformation for a few days, he no longer waited, and instead focused his mind on attuning to the Elemental Laws of the Wind and analyzing all sorts of sword techniques.
All sorts of sword stances continuously flashed through his mind.
While attuning, Linley found that as his soul transformed, his efficiency and effectiveness in analyzing the Laws and his sword techniques was becoming greater and greater.
“Hrm?” Linley felt his soul shudder. “Success!”
Linley carefully inspected his soul. Within his consciousness, above that sea of spiritual energy which had become dozens of times more pure, there was a hovering sword that was surrounded by faint azure light. Right. A sword!
“Sword?” Linley was surprised.
“My soul transformed into the shape of a sword?” Linley had not expected this.
Actually, the form one’s soul would take wasn’t set in stone. For example, the undead of the Netherworld might have souls shaped like a giant blaze, which was known as the ‘Soul of Fire’. The soul of the ‘Flame Tyrant’ which Linley had killed was that translucent rock.
A Deity-level combatant might have a soul that was a blade-shape, or even a ball-shape.
This would depend on every person’s training path.
“Reaching the Grand Magus Saint level truly is different.” Linley’s spiritual energy easily swept out from his body. In this strange plane, in the past, Linley’s spiritual energy could only encompass around ten meters, but now, it could encompass hundreds of meters.
Linley opened his eyes.
“Congratulations, Linley.” Fain, Rosarie, Desri, and the others were by his side. Even Bebe was grinning directly at Linley.
“Boss, you reached the Grand Magus Saint level? Haha, why don’t you show off the legendary ‘Dimensional Edge’ spell. I haven’t seen it yet.” Bebe was extremely excited. He was very happy for Linley having reached the Grand Magus Saint level.
Linley was now capable of utilizing forbidden-level spells of both the earth-style and the wind-style.
“Dimensional Edge?” Linley was filled with anticipation towards this legendary spell, reputed to be the most powerful single target forbidden-level spell. He immediately began to chant the words to the spell. He had learned the words long ago, but this was his first time using it.
Countless amounts of wind elemental essences swirled around Linley, and the wind in the area around him seemed to have come to a halt.
A three or four meter long, semi-translucent, azure blade of wind appeared, and like a flash of lightning, it shot out from Linley off into the distance. The speed of this spell was so fast…that most likely even Bebe and Fain wouldn’t be able to dodge in time. The most terrifying part of it was, wherever this blade of wind passed, with a ‘screeeeeech’ sound, tears in space appeared.
Like a piece of cloth being torn apart, a huge rip in space appeared, but of course it instantly repaired itself afterwards.
After flying for hundreds of meters, the ‘Dimensional Edge’ finally disappeared.
“Tearing apart space…what can possibly withstand an attack like this? In addition, after sending out this ‘Dimensional Edge’, I can actually slightly control the path it travels in by using my spiritual energy.” Linley was wildly overjoyed.