I’m Qin Wentian, my destiny is that of a demon!”
Qin Wentian stood a step below the Heavenly Stele as he commented softly, yet his voice contained a resounding power filled with incomparable resolution.
Destiny of a Demon, how ‘hard’ was his fate? Powerful ancient primordial demons could exist, and continue living on with but a single breath. Qin Wentian’s entire life had only been a short 19 years, and he had already experienced countless dangers and even close shaves with death. Yet, his fate was as ‘hard’ as a demon, he had always been able to survive death by the skin of his teeth.
And even today, leaving aside the combat he would have with Situ Po, how could he be defeated by just the Ancient Will from the Heavenly Stele?
This Ancient Will, he didn’t fear it.
“27th step of the Heavenly Stele Step, he ascended to the peak.” Huge waves of commotion rocked the hearts of the spectators below.
Situ Po who was in the lead earlier had already been surpassed. He was now hesitating; even Yun Mengyi, someone whose talent and aptitude was higher than his, had been blasted down by the Stele. Yet Qin Wentian, the last to step up, had ascended to the peak. The Heavenly Stele was so close to him, Qin Wentian only had to reach his hand out to touch it.
“Impossible,” Yue Bingying breathed, her eyes filled with disbelief. Qin Wentian had stabilized his footing and was just below the Heavenly Stele. He was currently immersed in the starlight emanating out from the Stele, allowing the energy to gush through his body freely.
Xuan Yan, Xuan Xin, Li Shiyu all stared at the incredible scene happening in front of them. Had he accomplished something that no one had ever done before?
Xuan Yan had personally experienced the pressure on the 19th step herself, she knew very well how terrifying that was. Yet Qin Wentian was currently standing on the 27th step, the difficulty of this was so high that she didn’t believe it could be possible but clearly, Qin Wentian had succeeded.
“Is the strength of a mortal’s will innately birthed and cannot be changed? Or is it born from nothing and has to be slowly refined and tempered?”
Xuan Yan mumbled, asking herself this question. She didn’t know the answer to this, she was born to a major power with a silver spoon in her mouth, and had outstanding talent. As the apple of her Clan’s eyes, she was sent to the Mystic Maiden Palace to cultivate and had never ever lacked cultivation resources before. The sect pitted her against countless opponents of the younger generations, and she had prevailed all the way to the end before gaining the title of ‘Princess’ in the Mystic Maiden Palace. All this wouldn’t be possible without talent, and of course, the resoluteness in her heart.
Yet why was there such a great distance between her and Qin Wentian? She was truly confused, she had faced so many opponents from transcendent powers just to climb her way up. Was it still insufficient? Could it be that the hardship she endured wasn’t enough?
And Qin Wentian, he was just a nobody, wasn’t he? He didn’t even belong to any sect that was at the level of a transcendent power at all.
“Sigh, I guess the answer to my question should be the latter,” Xuan Xin mumbled in response. One’s degree of talent might have been fixed, but one’s accomplishment would never be fully quantified by that single word, ‘talent’. As for one’s will, it had nothing to do with innate talent.
Yun Mengyi was currently sitting cross-legged on the ground, doing breathing exercises in a bid to recover. She was still grievously injured yet, there was a hint of a smile flickering inside her eyes. Nobody understood the reason why.
For Ouyang Kuangsheng, Fan Le, Chu Mang and the rest, other than feeling totally astounded, there was naturally also great joy in their hearts. Qin Wentian had walked to the end of the steps, yet Situ Po was still hesitating. Would he dare to take the final step?
The moment Situ Po witnessed Qin Wentian’s success, his heart wavered yet again.
In this generation, he was one of four that gained the approval of all thirty-six halls; before him was Yun Mengyi, after him was Qin Wentian. Both of them had dared to take the final step, but what about him? Did he dare?
Qin Wentian stood there, appearing to be at peace. Yet after what happened to Yun Mengyi, nobody knew what he was currently experiencing.
If Situ Po took this step, if his original heart was still as firm and unshakable as ever, he might become like Qin Wentian, standing on the 27th step, enduring hellish pain or Yun Mengyi, who’d been blasted down the steps. If his heart and will had weakened, he might even die instantly.
“Yet if I don’t take this step, my heart will never be at ease.”
Situ Po was also a character that could be classified as an absolute genius, he asked himself what it was that he truly wanted. Did he want to defeat the fear and terror in his heart? Did he want his will and his conviction to become even stronger?
In actuality, for the battle today, both he and Qin Wentian had already obtained immense benefits.
He stepped into the ninth level of Yuanfu with all three of his Mandates tempered to the Perfection Boundary while Qin Wentian, rushing up all the way with a single breath after the 18th level, it was obvious that not only had his Mandates evolved, the state of his heart had been tempered as well.
Powerful opponents could either destroy oneself or spur each other into becoming even stronger.
For this confrontation, both he and Qin Wentian had benefited each other.
Without Qin Wentian or Yun Mengyi, his current state of heart would definitely not be this resolute, persevering all the way to the 26th step.
And similarly, if it weren’t for him, Qin Wentian wouldn’t have ascended to the peak. Maybe, if he had halted at the 18th step, Qin Wentian’s will would have slackened the moment he stood on the 19th step.
Just like Fan Le, he contested against Xuan Yan because of Xuan Xin. Stepping upon the 18th step was already his limit. Yet, he exceeded that and forcibly climbed up to the 19th step, causing him to suffer serious injuries. But was that truly his limit? Since he stood there, why couldn’t he endure and stabilize his steps?
Because… Xuan Yan had already admitted defeat. Which was why Fan Le’s will had slackened, resulting in him being blasted off the 19th step.
Finally, Situ Po took the last step forwards. The instant he placed his foot upon the 27th step, only then did he feel what Yun Mengyi had experienced.
In just half a breath of time, Situ Po was blasted down as blood soaked his whole body. Even his heartbeat was erratic, he had almost died due to the rebound explosion.
When one felt their heart exploding, their body being lacerated, how could one’s will still remain resolute?
Situ Po was fiercely slammed onto the ground, Yue Bingying instantly appeared beside him as she cradled him gently into her arms. He resisted her as he struggled to sit up, his eyes still fixated onto the silhouette at the top. How had Qin Wentian accomplished it?
“Throughout the past ten years, the Heavenly Stele Steps have been opened to the public a total of three times. Yet how many could stand upon the 26th step as I have done? And that final step, who could have ever completed that final step?”
Situ Po stared at the back view of Qin Wentian, the complicated look in his eyes also revealing a trace of his frustration.
“I’ve lost,” Situ Po whispered.
“You didn’t, it’s just that your will wavered for a second, and there’s only the difference of a single step. It doesn’t count for anything,” Yue Bingying consoled him.
“A defeat is a defeat. Even if time reversed and I could challenge him again, I still wouldn’t succeed,” Situ Po replied in a low voice. In his life, this was the first time he’d faced defeat.
Yue Bingying’s body violently trembled. She inclined her head and also gazed at the back view of Qin Wentian who stood beneath the Stele. Situ Po had lost to him.
Back then when she heard that his talent was outstanding and had obtained approval of all thirty-six halls, she hadn’t minded it that much. But today, Qin Wentian had completely trampled on her source of pride—Situ Po.
This was the first time Yue Bingying heard Situ Po admitting his defeat on his own accord.
“Situ Po, this is only one defeat, it can’t count for anything. With your talent, you will definitely surpass him in the future, don’t let this incident cast a shadow over your heart.” Yue Bingying was terribly afraid that Situ Po would be psychologically impacted in a negative way.
“Don’t worry, I won’t succumb to this so easily.” A sharp glint of light cut through the air as Situ Po stared at the silhouette of Qin Wentian on the steps.
“His will and his belief in himself are even stronger than mine. I don’t mind being expelled from the Unmatched Realm, but Qin Wentian must die,” Situ Po added in a low voice, his countenance stern, as he exuded an intense killing intent. He was truly impressed by Qin Wentian, but that didn’t alter the fact that he still wanted to kill him, not even slightly. On the contrary, it made him even more determined to kill him. Qin Wentian had to die.
“But, those eccentrics…” Yue Bingying worriedly replied. Qin Wentian was the one that stood at the peak and this contest was designated by the eccentrics of the Unmatched Realm. This indicated that at the very least, a few eccentrics would be present today. If Situ Po acted to kill Qin Wentian now, the eccentrics would definitely not stand aside and do nothing.
“I know, let me heal up first,” Situ Po spoke as he closed his eyes, concentrating on his recovery.
Although defeat shook his heart, it wasn’t able to affect his will. He had stepped upon the 26th step, just a single step away from the peak. He had no regrets, nor would there be any demons of the heart being born because of his failure. In fact, he couldn’t have been more happy with his harvest. His strength had undergone a remarkable improvement, this wasn’t a bad thing.
As long as Qin Wentian died, everything that happened here would be concluded. As for his damaged reputation, he would have more chances in the future to fix it when he journeyed to the Ancient Kingdom to contend for the top positions on the Heavenly Fate Rankings.
At that time, when he succeeded in obtaining one of the top few ranks on the Heavenly Fate Ranking, who would doubt his ability then?
As for Qin Wentian, what he was currently experiencing was far more complicated than what others were imagining. At this moment, his will was actually drawn into the Heavenly Stele.
“Ancient Will of the Heavenly Stele, instead of merely capable of subverting the will of the user against themselves, could it be that the Stele has its own will as well?” At this moment, a vast empire was in front of his eyes, majestic and imposing. Yet Qin Wentian’s heart trembled with shock at the realization that he seemed to be familiar with this empire.
“Back then in the fragmented memories of the tiny Astral-Being, I saw that damn old fogey bringing a woman out from this place. The scene I saw back then, was it the same as the scene I see now?” Qin Wentian thought back to his past memories, he felt extremely sure he had seen this place before. However…. Abruptly, his body violently trembled.
That beautiful woman his father brought out had such an uncanny resemblance to her?!
Thinking of this, huge waves rocked Qin Wentian’s heart. What in the world was going on exactly? How could this be…
Studying the sight in front of him, this ancient empire was even more majestic than what existed in his memories. A jade-like beauty appeared on top of a flight of steps. The wind fluttered her long hair as she wielded a longsword in her hand. She emanated an aura that was beyond comparison, unexcelled in the world. Her beauty was on a level that was so radiant, even if all the world’s beauties were to stand beside her, they would immediately lose their luster.
Nine monstrous auras gushed out, warping the surroundings as nine men appeared out of nowhere, staring at the maiden.
“Princess, the Ancient Kingdom is no more, Grand Xia has already been split into nine, don’t resist anymore.” One among the nine men growled as unmasked greed flickered in his eyes.
If Qin Wentian read through the ancient dossier regarding the history of the Ancient Kingdom, he would realize that this maiden was known as the last princess of Grand Xia, Princess Tianyu. She was also the person with the highest amount of talent to ever appear in the history of Grand Xia.
There were many rumors and speculations regarding what happened to Princess Tianyu in the end. Yet the majority of the rumors and speculations all bordered more to the negative side. Princess Tianyu with her heavenly countenance, in addition to her unparalleled talent, how could she still be fine after landing into the hands of the nine men? She would definitely be ****!
As for those scholars that studied Grand Xia’s history, every time they read this in the annals, they couldn’t help feeling extreme heartbreak. Yet now, Qin Wentian was personally witnessing that exact historical scene unfolding before his very eyes!
钰公主: Princess Tianyu, 天钰(Tianyu) could stand for Heavenly Treasure.
Her first appearance was in chapter 58, inside the memories of the tiny astral-being: Chapter 58
As for the **** part, it was left like this in the raws, I assume the author wanted us to use our imagination for what might have happened.