1357 Making It Past the Third Palace
The battle with Sword3 was Lin Huang's most stressful one so far.
Not only was Sword3 overwhelmingly strong in force-type, but even his ultimate dao-type was at the same level as Sword8; Lin Huang was completely crushed.
If not for his rapid speed advantage in addition to his Sword Dao true meaning being stronger than his opponent, Lin Huang would probably not have had any leeway to retaliate at all.
After being defeated in their first head-on exchange, Lin Huang chose to use either rapid speed to dodge or ultimate dao-type to counter Sword3's attacks as much as possible, instead of going head-to-head or being on the defensive.
Most of the time, it was Sword3 who scored hits on Lin Huang. Occasionally when Lin Huang managed to find a lapse in the tempo of his opponent's attack, he would use rapid speed sword skill to counterattack. However, due to the strength of Sword3's ultimate dao-type, even if his speed was not as good as Lin Huang's, his defensive sword skills were such that Lin Huang could get nowhere.
On Lin Huang's part, occasionally he was unable to dodge in time and even if he tried to parry, he would suffer some minor injuries. Fortunately, these small injuries healed almost instantly as a result of Divine Regeneration, so they had not affected Lin Huang's abilities at all.
As time went by, Lin Huang searched every day among the inheritances he had obtained for sword skills that might help him deal with Sword3. He also tested them out one by one.
Under the pressure that Sword3 brought to bear, the number of sword skills that Lin Huang accumulated every day continued to expand. His learning speed was also a little faster than when he had been fighting against Sword10.
It took only around two hundred days for the total number of sword skills that Lin Huang had mastered to soar from over 100,000 to 200,000.
Lin Huang originally thought that when the number of sword skills that he mastered had reached 200,000, his Sword Dao would have a breakthrough again. However, his Sword Dao true meaning was now at the upper limits of True Martial Level and he could not achieve any further breakthrough.
Even if there had been an increase in the number of sword skills that he had mastered, without a breakthrough in Sword Dao true meaning, Lin Huang could not achieve a transformative upgrade in his overall abilities.
Sword3 seemed to sense Lin Huang's condition. Seeing that Lin Huang continued to use him to practice his sword skills, Sword3 finally could not help commenting.
"Your inability to achieve a breakthrough in Sword Dao is no longer a matter of skill accumulation but the lack of opportunity for a breakthrough. That's why it has remained at True Martial Level. It won't do you much good to continue wasting your time learning more swords skills.
"I suggest you temporarily set aside your ultimate dao-type and seek breakthroughs in the other paths!"
Sword3 merely reminded Lin Huang of this and did not elaborate further.
To be honest, Lin Huang knew why his Sword Dao true meaning had not achieved a breakthrough. He originally thought that he would just bank on Sword3's abilities to accumulate more sword skills, and when the accumulation far exceeded what was demanded for a breakthrough, he would be able to forcefully break the Sword Dao barrier.
'It's like a river blocked by a dam. If the dam doesn't collapse, I'll let the river water accumulate until it's higher than the dam so it will naturally overflow. Accumulating skills to that sort of level might not be something that can be achieved within the next two hundred days though.'
Lin Huang, who originally wanted to fight a protracted battle, felt that Sword3's reminder made some sense.
In actual combat, mere brute force was not the solution to the problem; it was necessary to use brainpower as well.
'This time I might be able to charge through recklessly, but what will I do if I encounter something that I can't charge through in future?'
After considering this, Lin Huang began to think about other countermeasures.
'I'm facing a temporary block in elevating my ultimate dao-type so I'll set that aside first. I want to make further breakthroughs, so I should start with my rapid speed sword skill and force-type. But Sword3 isn't able to put pressure on me any longer in rapid speed. So for now, I can only start with force-type...
'Force-type...' Lin Huang murmured silently in his heart. The first thing that flashed through his mind was an image of roaring thunder and crackling flames—and then his eyes suddenly lit up...
'Among all the various elemental powers, it's relatively easy to use Lightning and Fire Element skills to produce force-type effects. Currently, the only force-type rules that I have mastered are the Superhuman Strength God Rule and Heaven's Enlightenment from the Lightning Element. If I want to elevate further, I can start with other Lightning or Fire Element skills.
'My initial Lightning Lord skill came from Kylie. Among my summoning beasts, however, aside from Kylie who has mastered Lightning Element skills, there's also Thunder. Those with Fire Element skills include Charcoal, Bloody Robe, and Inferior Imp…'
Lin Huang glanced at his character panel again. The monster skill slot page listed all their main skills; there were only twenty-three in total.
'Divine Telekinesis, Holy Power, Divine Regeneration, Divine Strength, Divine Defense, Divine Disguise, Divine Witchcraft, Elemental Immunity, Leech Pods, Absolute Control, Divine Purification Light, Revival, Immortal Warrior Body, Vampire Particles, Lightning Lord, Dark Mirror, Doll Forbidden Skill, Punishment, Knight, Integration, Mechanical Building, Mechanical Recovery, Evil Blood Substitute.'
In his early immortal-level stages, Lin Huang had 30 Monster Skill spaces. After he elevated to Imperial-level, his Monster Skill spaces had already been increased to 50, but he had not filled in the blank skill grid.
This was mainly because Lin Huang was strong enough, and there were no Monster Skills that he particularly wanted to acquire so he simply left the skill grid blank. When he really needed to use a specific skill, it was still not too late to extract it.
"Xiao Hei, I want to specifically extract Charcoal's Demon Flame, Bloody Robe's Hellish Fire, Inferior Imp's Abyssal Black Fire, and Thunder's Lightning God."
"Are you sure you want to use a grade-3 card for a card draw chance X80?"
Under normal circumstances, the card draw chance used to redeem a Skill Extraction Card should have been 10 times. However, because the function of the Skill Extraction Card was randomly selected, when Lin Huang required a specific extraction the expenditure of card draw chances also doubled. For four specific draws, he needed to expend 80 card draw chances.
Lin Huang was no stranger to these rules and nodded right away.
The next moment, Xiao Hei's notifications came very quickly one after the other.
"Congratulations to the host on obtaining the monster skill Demon Flame."
"Congratulations to the host on obtaining the monster skill Hellish Fire."
"Congratulations to the host on obtaining the monster skill Abyssal Black Fire."
"Congratulations to the host on obtaining the monster skill Lightning God."
After glancing at his four newly acquired Monster Skills, Lin Huang's sword skills suddenly changed and he quickly began to integrate these four Monster Skills into Fire and Lightning Element sword skills.
Days passed. Perhaps because he had previously mastered Lightning Elemental Enlightenment, Lin Huang only took thirteen days to advance Lightning God to Lightning Elemental Enlightenment—Lightning God.
After that, it took him another 28 days to finally transform the Fire Element skill Demon Flame into Fire Elemental Enlightenment—Demon Flame.
At that point, Lin Huang's force-type finally elevated to the same level as Sword3.
As soon as the disparity in force-type was lessened, Lin Huang's overall ability was no longer weaker than Sword3.
Although Sword3 still had a great advantage in ultimate dao-type, Lin Huang's Sword Dao made up for this part of the disparity.
Moreover, the elevation of his force-type changed Lin Huang's combat mode from retreating and parrying to going head-to-head.
Since Lin Huang's overall ability had advanced to the same level, the pressure that Sword3 put him was also much less.
Lin Huang chose to go head-to-head with Sword3 repeatedly for further breakthroughs.
Sword3 also continued to cooperate, playing the role of a sparring partner.
Because the pressure was much lower, Lin Huang's breakthrough progress was also much slower.
Thirty-one days passed, and he finally elevated his Monster Skill, Hellish Fire, to Fire Elemental Enlightenment—Hell.
The moment that Fire Elemental Enlightenment—Hell coalesced, Lin Huang's battle sword had just clashed with the dark blade in Sword3's hand.
This time, however, they were no longer evenly matched.
In the void, the strong blood-red and grey gleams collided violently. The gray gleam only resisted for a moment before retreating and was finally ripped apart by the blood-red gleam. Almost at the same time, Sword3's elephant-headed figure was sent flying backward from the gray gleam...
This was the first time in nearly three hundred days that Lin Huang had made him retreat.
Sword3's figure smashed uncontrollably into a deep crater more than 20 kilometers away, sending up a cloud of dust from the ground.
He did not suffer much damage, however. The physique of a Wild Beast's Bloodline was far more fearsome than a True God's Body.
Sword3 shook his head, slightly dizzy, and climbed up from the crater.
After he levitated into the air, he had no intention of fighting with Lin Huang any further. Instead, he put away the sword he was wielding and said to Lin Huang,
"You've passed my level."
"Thank you, Sir!" Lin Huang clasped his hands together lightly and also sheathed his sword. As he was looking around to find the portal so he could leave, a bronze gate appeared less than ten meters in front of him and slowly opened on its own.
Lin Huang did not hesitate and walked straight toward the door…