1342 The Ten Palaces
A massive mountain sat in plain sight under the scorching sun.
Lin Huang stood at the foot of the mountain, unable to stop from squinting as he looked up at its lofty peaks.
He had not seen the sun throughout his ten days in the Competitive Trial space. Now that he had been suddenly teleported into a new Trial space, he was slightly uncomfortable.
The mountain before him was massive. The area above the mountainside was almost entirely wreathed in clouds. Even Lin Huang could not tell just by looking how much more of the mountain there was above the clouds. He could only vaguely see a gigantic shadow.
"A mountain...can the last trial be hiking?" Lin Huang also noticed that the entire mountain was covered in lush trees. If the assessment really did involve hiking, there must be obstacles in this dense jungle.
As his mind was occupied with multiple thoughts, trying to figure out what the assessment was, a push notification popped up before him again.
"The last Trial – the Ten Palaces!"
"Golden Crow Mountain is the courtyard of the Great Heaven Palace. This is where the swordmaster's bodyguards are stationed. It is also the usual domicile of Swords 1 to 10, under the command of the swordmaster, and is known as the Ten Palaces."
"Among the Ten Palaces, the First Palace is the highest while the Tenth Palace is the lowest. They are guarded by Swords 1 to 10 respectively. There are many God's Servants (not necessarily Sword Servants) all over Golden Crow Mountain, all under the command of the ten bodyguards."
"As the participant's combat strength is on par with Virtual God rank-9, all of the swordmaster's bodyguards and the God's Servants under them have an average combat strength of Virtual God rank-9."
"It has been detected that the participant's Sword Dao has been elevated to True Martial Level (level-1 of Sword Dao true meaning). The swordmaster's bodyguards and God's Servants will have their Martial Dao level capped at True Martial Level in this round of the Trial."
"It has been detected that the participant has mastered preliminary God Rule Power. The swordmaster's bodyguards and God's Servants may use God Rule Power that is on the same level as the participant in this round of the Trial."
"All of the participant's techniques are allowed (excluding heavenly god-level techniques) in this round of the Trial. You may use god rule relics and other treasures of the same level. The swordmaster's bodyguards and God's Servants are entitled to the same treatment as the candidate."
Lin Huang could not help but frown even more after reading all of the Trial rules.
According to Sword12, even Sword10, the weakest among the ten bodyguards, had peak level-6 Sword Dao on the same level of intensity as Lin Huang's Sword Dao true meaning attacks.
In this trial, all the Sword Servants' Sword Dao was now uncapped to True Martial Level, just like Lin Huang. This meant that their overall abilities would be boosted a full level.
A Sword Servant's ability at peak level-6 Sword Dao was already terrifying, what more the most powerful ten Sword Servants among the swordmaster's bodyguards. Lin Huang felt he might not win even if he were to fight a swordmaster's bodyguard who was using peak level-6 Sword Dao, let alone a swordmaster's bodyguard whose Sword Dao was elevated to True Martial Level.
The elevation of Sword Dao alone at this stage of the Trial had doubled the pressure on Lin Huang.
Apart from Sword Dao, being able to use God Rule Power now would boost the Sword Servants' abilities even further.
In the previous Trial stage, apart from having their Sword Dao capped, Sword12 and the rest of the BOSSes were prohibited from using God Rule Power at true god-level ability. The main reason why Unrivaled God and the rest could defeat the Sword Servants was because of God Rule Power. If the BOSS could use God Rule Power too, Unrivaled God and the rest would probably not have defeated even a single Sword Servant.
However, since the ten swordmaster's bodyguards could use God Rule Power in this stage of the Trial, this was certainly bad news for Lin Huang.
On a certain level, mastering God Rule Power was almost like being a True God. The differences lay only in the strength of the flesh and soul, as well as no Divine Fire within the body. One's Divine Power quality was weaker, as well as one's endurance. However, based on technique alone, it would be no different in nature than a first-rank True God.
However, Lin Huang had not used God Rule Power at all when fighting the Sword Servants in the previous stage. The most he had used was Sword Dao true meaning.
Another thing that concerned Lin Huang was that apart from the ten swordmaster's bodyguards, there were God's Servants under their command with powerful abilities.
Even though these God's Servants' true abilities were nothing as powerful as the Sword Servants who ranked 200 to 300, their Martial Dao true meaning and God Rule Power would be sealed in this stage of the Trial. Even if their combat strength was capped at Virtual God rank-9, their overall ability would still be above most Sword Servants from the previous round.
"I wonder how many God's Servants there are and if they would create battle formations to surround me…" Lin Huang could not help frowning slightly at this point in his thoughts. To tackle the sword formation that Unrivaled God and the other three created, he had used most of his Sword Dao techniques. If these God's Servants created battle formations, the strength of the formations could only be more powerful than the previous formation he had encountered.
Lin Huang was not concerned with losing. He was worried that he would drain too much Divine Power when fighting the God's Servants, which would affect his battle with the swordmaster's bodyguards later on.
However, the rules for this stage of the Trial were not entirely disadvantageous to Lin Huang. At least the fact that he could use god rule relics was an advantage.
God rule relic armor was sufficient to defend against attacks that utilized God Rule Power and Sword Dao true meaning. The most one would suffer would be the draining of a great deal of Divine Power but no direct harm.
Meanwhile, Lin Huang had Divine Power within his body as well as ten Life Wheels. The amount of Divine Power within him even surpassed most Protoss. Were he to be attacked by the swordmaster's bodyguards eighty to a hundred times, the Divine Power in his body might not even be exhausted.
However, the Divine Power within the swordmaster's bodyguards, who also wore god rule relic armor, would most probably drain completely after being attacked 20 to 30 times at most.
Lin Huang had the upper hand on that.
Furthermore, the last rule mentioned that no techniques were prohibited.
This was a great boost for the ten swordmaster's bodyguards and God's Servants' overall ability because apart from Sword Dao, they could use other techniques as well. The ten swordmaster's bodyguards who were under the command of a Heavenly God would have mastered unimaginable techniques apart from Sword Dao over such a long period.
A rule like this was definitely a disadvantage to Unrivaled God and the others.
To Lin Huang however, this was an ideal rule.
One must know that he was a man with cheat codes. The existence of such a rule meant that he could use all of his Function Cards as long as their power was below heavenly god-level.
To be frank, Lin Huang did not have much confidence that he could win this Trial without that last rule. However, that rule was the equivalent of putting a loaded gun in his hand.
It did not mean that he could not use his Function Cards if the rule was not there. Lin Huang was unwilling to use them because he was afraid the Trial system would fault him for cheating. Under such circumstances, his previous efforts would have been wasted.
However, he had no such concerns now. As long as he was willing, he could absolutely use his cheat codes publicly in the coming Trial.