After exiting the Eighth Palace, Lin Huang had originally thought to practice with Sword7 and the others for some time before meeting Sword3. He was striving to elevate his overall abilities to yet another level.
As it turned out, he could not help taking just a single day to pass all the stages from Sword7 to Sword4.
There was no reason other than Sword-7 to Sword4—the four guardians he had encountered one after the other—had not been able to pressure him at all. He had not even needed to use his full power to easily defeat the four of them.
Less than twenty-four hours after leaving the Eighth Palace, Lin Huang welcomed the arrival of the Third Palace.
Lin Huang knew from Sword10 that the abilities of Sword1 to Sword3 were not at the same level as the swordmaster's bodyguards from the previous stages.
Therefore, Lin Huang was excited but slightly nervous about his upcoming opponent.
However, when he saw the Third Palace slowly materializing in the void, Lin Huang was so stunned he took a while to regain his senses.
"This is obviously not a palace, is it?!"
The shape and style of the Third Place were a far cry from Lin Huang's expectations because what was forming in the void was not a palace, but a huge green sphere.
To be precise, it was a planet full of lush green vegetation...
Lin Huang visually inspected the planet for a moment; its size looked similar to Earth.
As he was wondering where the Trial would take place, a giant bronze gate suddenly appeared near him.
The gate was hundreds of meters high and covered with mysterious patterns.
The moment Lin Huang looked toward the gate, it opened as if pulled by some invisible force.
Lin Huang knew that this was probably an invitation from Sword3.
He did not hesitate and stepped through.
The next moment, as if he had passed through a portal, a lush, dense forest met Lin Huang's gaze.
Lin Huang looked around. The vegetation here was abnormally large, at least dozens of times more so than the vegetation on Earth.
Each of the trees was terrifyingly thick and strong, growing to over hundreds of meters in height. Even the weeds on the side of the road were slightly taller than Lin Huang, who was 1.8 meters tall.
'Has my body shrunk, or are the plants here just giant-sized?' Lin Huang could not help wondering.
Just then, a majestic figure appeared not far in front of him.
Sensing the figure's appearance, Lin Huang immediately collected his thoughts and looked toward the other party.
Upon seeing how the newcomer looked, Lin Huang could not help being more than a little stunned.
The newcomer was a one-armed man. He only had a left arm; his right had been severed at the shoulder.
What caught Lin Huang's attention, however, was not the severed arm, but the man's head.
Although the newcomer's body seemed completely humanoid, the head above the neck was that of a sinister elephant.
To be precise, this head was seventy percent similar to that of a mammoth.
The man seemed sinister because he had a long scar on his face that ran from his forehead down through his left eye and all the way to the left corner of his mouth.
The man's left eye was silvery-white, without pupil or iris. Since his scar connected to the corner of his mouth, his entire mouth seemed skewed to the left.
As for the man's remaining right eye, although it was not very large, anyone could tell from his gaze that he was a true powerhouse.
As for the copiously scarred elephant's trunk, it helped Lin Huang officially connect Sword8's 'Big Nose' with a real person.
'Big Nose is Sword3, so Bunny should be Sword2...'
"Participant, if you've made it to this stage, it means that your abilities aren't too bad." Sword3's voice sounded hoarse and oppressive; to Lin Huang, the sound seemed to be of the same frequency as rumbling thunder.
"I don't think they're good enough," Lin Huang shook his head as he evaluated himself.
Sword3 was stunned for a moment. 'Why are you stealing my lines?!'
"I pulled Sword8 into helping me with a period of special training. What I gathered from her is that my overall abilities aren't as powerful as yours, much less those of Sword2 and Sword1. At my current level, my chances of obtaining the Great Heaven inheritance aren't high," Lin Huang continued.
"It seems you have a clear perception of yourself." Sword3 nodded slightly.
"At this level, I may have to trespass on your hospitality for a while, Sir," Lin Huang said frankly.
"You're planning to use me to achieve a further breakthrough?" Sword3 was still expressionless, his attitude unreadable. "It depends on whether you have the ability to achieve a breakthrough!"
"Sir, all you have to do is to make a move and I will try my best." Lin Huang smiled faintly.
Sword3 did not continue talking. By nature a taciturn person, even if he met the swordmaster's other bodyguards, he would not say much. His attitude toward strangers was cold; for him to speak two sentences to Lin Huang was already difficult.
A battle sword slowly coalesced in Sword3's left hand, inky-black with a straight, narrow blade.
The sword was nothing eye-catching, but Lin Huang immediately sensed the extreme menace emanating from it in Sword3's grasp.
His opponent's Sword Dao might not be as strong as his own due to Trial restrictions, but Lin Huang felt an extreme sense of danger as Sword3 wielded his weapon.
This sense of danger usually only manifested under one specific circumstance—when his opponent was powerful enough to kill him.
It took only an instant for Lin Huang to determine that Sword3's overall abilities were at least one level higher than his own. If he was even just slightly careless in this trial, it was likely that he would be killed right away by his opponent.
Lin Huang felt himself starting to breathe hard, but he quickly adjusted his state of mind and grasped his battle sword. His Sword Dao rose sharply.
Just as Lin Huang's Sword Dao reached maximum capacity, the violent aura surrounding Sword3 also rose to its peak.
In the dense jungle, both figures disappeared on the spot almost at the same time.
The next instant, a soaring blood-red gleam and a gray gleam collided in the void.
A second later, the blood-red gleam shattered in full momentum, and a black figure shot backward like a cannonball. It crashed into the ground dozens of kilometers away, smashing a deep crater into the earth several kilometers in diameter. (The damage was minimal because the Space Rule and the stability of materials on this planet were much higher than in the gravel world.)
Lin Huang slowly clambered up from within the deep crater. His right forearm and three of his five fingers had all been fractured after his opponent's attack. Fortunately, his possession of the Divine Regeneration skill meant that these small injuries were healed instantly.
He examined his arm and found that it had been completely mended. Lin Huang then looked up at the void in the direction where Sword3 was standing and narrowed his eyes slightly.
Lin Huang had already seen the combination of rapid speed sword skill and force-type in his opponent's attack earlier.
Sword3's rapid speed was slightly weaker than Lin Huang and almost on par with Sword8. In force-type however, Sword3 was more than a level stronger than himself.
'Based on the information Sword8 provided, this fellow is stronger than her, but not so strong to the point where she has no chance of winning. So basically, of the three Sword Dao paths, it's highly probable that Sword3 is only stronger than Sword8 in one of them. At present, he seems to be more than a level stronger than Sword8 in force-type—which means he shouldn't be that much better than Sword8 in the other two aspects... Otherwise, even if he decided to go easy on her, if one were to compare notes, it's unlikely that Sword8 could beat him
Having determined that his opponent's main cultivation direction was in force-type, Lin Huang felt slightly more relieved.
If Sword3's main cultivation direction was in ultimate dao-type, and his force-type—more than a level stronger than Lin Huang—was merely secondary, then Lin Huang would be utterly overwhelmed.
Lin Huang maintained a serious expression even as several million inferences flashed through his mind in the blink of an eye.
'Even if his main cultivation path isn't ultimate dao-type, Sword3's abilities in that aspect shouldn't be too much weaker than Sword8. That is to say, he's stronger than me in both force-type and ultimate dao-type...
'This stage of the Trial can't be taken lightly at all!'