1359 Making It Past The Second Palace
Lin Huang's battle with Sword2 could be described as extremely difficult, to the point where he felt he should completely retract what he said about Sword3 being the strongest opponent that he had ever encountered. Sword2 was much more difficult to deal with than Sword3.
Sword2 completely overwhelmed Lin Huang with rapid speed sword skill alone. Although Lin Huang knew that his opponent's force-type was not as good as his, he had no chance to unleash his capabilities
Every day his robes were slashed to rags by Sword2 and he bled copiously. If not for Divine Regeneration, Lin Huang reckoned he would not be able to last even a day. The amount of blood he shed daily was enough for him to die two or three times.
Under this kind of pressure though, his rapid speed Sword Dao was taxed to the limit. It only took six days for him to complete a breakthrough in Lightning Elemental Skill and successfully master Lightning Elemental Enlightenment—Instant Flash.
Even so, Lin Huang was still outclassed in rapid speed sword skill.
Sword2's speed was like the speed of light and his rapid speed sword skill had been cultivated to the ultimate peak; he was so swift that all his opponents gave up hope.
Even though he had achieved another breakthrough in rapid speed, Lin Huang still could not track Sword2's movements or the trajectory of his attacks. It certainly did not feel any easier than before.
Fortunately, after his breakthrough in rapid speed sword skill, Lin Huang's speed of movement markedly increased. This reduced his daily injuries considerably and the number of new blade scars on his body was reduced by about 80% every day.
Just like that, the days passed by. Even though he still could not track Sword2's movements, Lin Huang chose to fight to the death nonetheless.
After another twelve days, Lin Huang was finally able to elevate the Divine Purification Light skill obtained from Kylie to Light Elemental Enlightenment—Sun Shadow.
The moment he mastered Sun Shadow Enlightenment, Lin Huang suddenly found that he could track Sword2's movements albeit with great difficulty; this made him ecstatic.
Sword2's approaching attack came in the form of a white gleam shooting toward Lin Huang like an arrow of light. Lin Huang's Sun Shadow Enlightenment suddenly activated and his whole body transformed into little specks of blood-red particles that dissipated to one side and then re-formed hundreds of meters away.
"Sun Shadow?!" Sword2 was shocked when he saw that. As a powerhouse who had practiced several kinds of Light Elemental Enlightenment, he recognized at a glance the Enlightenment that Lin Huang had used. "It seems you've made another breakthrough."
"I can finally somewhat follow Senior's movements." Lin Huang grinned.
"Really?" Sword2's ears moved slightly and the smile on his face bore a hint of playfulness.
The next moment, he vanished again.
This time, however, his movements were no longer a straight line as before—instead they were erratic. His voice also seemed to come randomly from all directions.
"Can you still follow my movements now?"
Lin Huang was more than a little speechless. His opponent only needed to add in ultimate dao-type movement skills and Lin Huang was once again unable to track him. Soon though, he came up with a counter-measure in his mind.
"Xiao Hei, extract Thunder's skill—Phoenix!"
When Thunder advanced to Legendary Level, it awakened its bloodline powers in the dual attributes of wind and fire. In addition to having mastered lightning attributes, it had also mastered many wind attribute skills.
"Host, you have extracted the skills of the Thunder card twice, this is the third time."
"The third skill extraction requires expending twice the number of card draws of the second extraction, and the expenditure of the designated draw is also twice that of the second designated draw. In other words, to extract the skill "Phoenix", it will require the expenditure of 80 card draw chances!"
"Are you sure you want to use 80 card draw chances?!"
Earlier when he extracted his four previous skills, Lin Huang had only used 80 card draw chances. Now, the extraction of a single skill required the expenditure of 80 card draw chances. This caused Lin Huang untold amounts of pain.
Although Goldfinger's asking price was exorbitant, Lin Huang nodded without much hesitation.
After mastering the Phoenix skills, Lin Huang began a new round of advanced practice.
Another eighteen days passed by in no time at all and Lin Huang's advanced skill bar kept skyrocketing. Under the fearsome pressure brought on by Sword2, his Phoenix Monster Skill had finally advanced to become Wind Elemental Enlightenment—Heavenly Roc.
With another breakthrough achieved in rapid speed, Lin Huang was finally able to keep up with Sword2.
Although he was slightly inferior to Sword2 in terms of movement speed and blade speed, Lin Huang was now at least on the same level. He was also already able to track Sword2's movements and trajectory of attack.
Without the absolute advantage in speed, Sword2 was slightly stronger than Sword8 in force-type but far inferior to Sword3 who specialized in force-type.
In ultimate dao-type, although Sword2 was much stronger than Lin Huang, he could not do anything to Lin Huang anymore.
"This Trial will end now." After Lin Huang had mastered Heavenly Roc, his fierce battle with Sword2 lasted for less than an hour before Sword2 voluntarily retreated from combat and sheathed his weapon.
The battle had entered a stage of true stalemate. Sword2 could not do anything to Lin Huang, and Lin Huang could not do anything to him. There was no sense in continuing. Moreover, his duty as a sparring partner was now complete so naturally, there was no need to continue wasting time.
"Thank you, Senior!" Lin Huang also sheathed his sword in its scabbard and thanked Sword2.
"No need to thank me. As a member of the Succession Sect, it's my good fortune to encounter a participant like you." Sword2 finally expressed his stand.
"Senior, you praise me too highly."
"I have to say, you have the most terrifying talent and potential of all the Sword Dao cultivators I have ever seen. Even when the swordmaster was at the same level as your combat ability, he was far inferior to you in terms of comprehension speed. Never have I ever seen anyone who could master Elemental Enlightenment so quickly..."
Sword2's words made Lin Huang blush slightly.
It was not because his mastery of Elemental Enlightenment was fast; rather, it was because he had a conduit. To quickly master the various Elemental Enlightenments, he had secretly used the Epiphany Card.
Under the extreme pressure of Sword2's rapid speed sword skill, the cultivation effects that the Epiphany Card brought were doubled. Three consecutive Epiphany Cards allowed him to achieve three Elemental Enlightenments in succession in just over a month.
This was the reason that he could grasp God Rule Power and Elemental Enlightenment so quickly when he faced Sword3 and Sword8 previously.
In the early stages of his encounter with Sword10, Lin Huang had realized that his own abilities were not enough to obtain the Great Heaven inheritance. To maximize the benefits of this Trial, he had chosen to use the Epiphany Card to enhance his ability as much as possible. Even if he failed to obtain the inheritance in the end, at least the gains from the Epiphany Card were very tangible.
Moreover, to be precise, the Epiphany Card did not interfere with the fairness of the Trial.
The improvement of Lin Huang's abilities was through the strength of his own unremitting efforts. It was not a bonus from any external factors.
Even Lin Huang had not expected to reach Sword2's level, much less pass this stage.
"With the talent and potential that you've displayed, if the swordmaster were still alive, I think there would be a high probability of you being accepted as a disciple." Sword2's comment was already highly positive, but after that, his ears suddenly drooped. "The swordmaster has fallen, however, and if you want to obtain his inheritance, you have to follow the rules.
"According to the rules, only those who have passed the assessment of all Ten Palaces can obtain the inheritance of the swordmaster. You've passed through nine of the Ten Palaces, and it seems like you're just a step away. The truth is, the last step is the most critical and the most difficult.
"As a diehard loyalist of the Regression Sect, Sword1 will not allow participants to obtain the swordmaster's inheritance so easily..."