1387 Ten Divine Fires
After successfully hunting down the Portly Snowman, the second true god-level prey that Lin Huang selected was a second-rank Storm Eagle.
The Storm Eagle was a monster that cultivated Wind Elemental Enlightenment as its main specialization, with supplemental cultivation in Frost and Lightning Elemental Enlightenment.
This sort of monster possessed speed that was considered top-tier even among other monsters of the same level. Besides that, its attack method was also quite swift and fierce.
It used Wind Elemental Enlightenment to create a Wind Blade that was reinforced with Frost Elemental Enlightenment. Then, it boosted the blade with Lightning Elemental Enlightenment—Rapid Speed. With three Enlightenments compounded like this, even a third-rank True God would do well to dodge the blade's cutting edge.
For this fight, Lin Huang fully relied on telekinetic weapons to face his enemy. He used his telekinetic flying daggers to counter the Storm Eagle's Wind Blade.
The telekinetic flying daggers clashed repeatedly against the Storm Eagle's incessant Wind Blade, which was supported by its three Elemental Enlightenments.
This face-off, torrential as a storm, lasted for more than half an hour before Lin Huang ended the fight with some reluctance.
Even though the Storm Eagle was strong, it had only mastered three types of Elemental Enlightenments, which made it far inferior to Lin Huang.
Lin Huang had engaged in a fierce battle with the Storm Eagle for half an hour only because he saw it creating the Wind Blade and he itched to go up against it. He also wanted to test out his newly-acquired telekinetic flying daggers; therefore, he had dragged things out for a little longer.
After killing the Storm Eagle, Lin Huang immediately extracted the Divine Fire from its body.
However, when he placed the Divine Fire in his inner world, he realized that this Divine Fire did not flow into any of his Life Wheels. It just went into a corner of his inner world, slowly withdrew its flames, stopped releasing energy, and turned into a lump of tinder.
"What's going on?"
When he saw what happened, Lin Huang was surprised.
Previously, the Divine Fire of the Portly Snowman had not only flowed into the Life Wheel of its own accord once it entered his inner world, but it had also been easily accepted by the Life Wheel.
However, the Storm Eagle's Divine Fire became inert once it entered his inner world.
Puzzled, Lin Huang took control of the lump of Divine Fire tinder and tried throwing it into a Life Wheel. However, once the tinder got near the Life Wheel, the Life Wheel's blood-red flames started acting up, repelling the tinder.
Lin Huang tried this with all ten Life Wheels, one by one, but all ten reacted in the same way.
"What sort of devilish tricks are you trying to pull here?"
Lin Huang was left speechless. Nonetheless, after he thought about it again, he had a vague guess as to why the Life Palace might have rejected the Divine Fire.
"Warlord, make a slight alteration to the route. Let's find another first-rank True God."
About seven or eight minutes later, Lin Huang and Warlord found their third true god-level hunting target.
The target this time was a White Lynx. It was a mutated monster, and its combat strength was only at the level of a first-rank True God.
This monster possessed high explosive power and agility, as well as being skilled in covert kills and sneak attacks. Nevertheless, it had no chance of displaying its skills in front of Lin Huang, as the telekinetic flying daggers shot through the air and took it down from a distance.
After killing the White Lynx with ease, Lin Huang once again extracted the Divine Fire from within its body and put it inside his own inner world.
After entering his inner world, the Divine Fire transformed into a stream of light and promptly flowed into the second Life Wheel without any difficulties.
When he saw that, Lin Huang basically had his speculations confirmed.
"So it only accepts the Divine Fire of a first-rank True God?
"Warlord, find the third-rank True God nearest to us right now."
To verify his speculations, Lin Huang was prepared to continue testing through trial and error.
After a few minutes, both of them found their fourth true god-level prey, which was also the strongest opponent Lin Huang had ever encountered in his life.
This third-rank True God monster was a Golden Ursine.
The Golden Ursine was considered top-level even among monsters of the same rank in terms of strength or defense, and its close-combat strength was enough to directly challenge a third-rank true god-level combat cultivator powerhouse.
Lin Huang itched to have a go. This time, instead of using his telekinetic flying daggers, he raised his battle sword for a close-combat confrontation.
Without holding back any of his power, he unleashed force-type completely!
Six Rule Bending Powers compounded together - Superhuman Strength, God-slaying Power, Lightning Enlightenment—Lightning God, Heaven's Punishment, Fire Enlightenment—Tattooed Demon, and Fire Enlightenment—Hell. Even after boosting all of this with Sword Dao true meaning, it still took him a full hour before he finally took down the Golden Ursine.
"Killing a third-rank True God is pretty much the limit of my abilities..." This fight allowed Lin Huang to make a rough assessment of the upper limit of his own abilities.
After extracting the Divine Fire from within the Golden Ursine's body, Lin Huang once again tossed it into his inner world.
As with the Divine Fire of the Storm Eagle from before, this Divine Fire also soon fell still and regressed into tinder form.
All ten Life Wheels refused to absorb this Divine Fire, just like before.
After stowing the corpse of the Golden Ursine into his storage space, Lin Huang turned around to face Warlord.
"Warlord, help me find another first-rank monster again."
A few minutes later, both of them quickly found their fourth True God-level prey (TN: This appears to be a typo on the author's part; it should be the fifth one, but we have opted to translate it as it is). This time, it was another first-rank True God.
After killing it, Lin Huang retrieved its Divine Fire.
As Lin Huang watched, the Divine Fire was accepted by the third Life Wheel without a hitch.
Lin Huang was, therefore, able to confirm his speculation from before by one hundred percent—his Life Wheels only accepted first-rank Divine Fires.
"Warlord, let's change our route. We'll hunt down first-rank monsters first!"
For the next hour, using Warlord's route as a guide, Lin Huang hunted down his prey—seven first-rank true god-level monsters.
Without exception, all seven Divine Fires were accepted by the seven remaining Life Wheels with no difficulty at all.
When the tenth Life Wheel accepted the tenth Divine Fire, Lin Huang distinctly felt as if there were a minuscule change in the grade-10 Imperial-level within him.
He even had a vague feeling that as long as the ten first-rank Divine Fires in his body could integrate fully with the Divine Fires in his Life Lamps, he might advance to virtual god-level.
"Looks like all I can do is wait patiently for around a month..." Lin Huang sensed the integration speed of the Divine Fires in his body and made a rough estimation.
Shooting a glance at the time projected, he got ready to continue his race against the clock.
"Warlord, help me plan a new route. Exclude all first-rank monsters from our hunting targets. From now on, we're only hunting second and third-ranks!"
Warlord immediately nodded and went to work.
As a Mechanical type, he did not possess human emotions like joy, anger, sorrow, or happiness. Therefore, he did not have any complaints about Lin Huang constantly changing their route.
Over the next day and a half, Lin Huang kept running between second and third-rank True God targets according to the route that Warlord had marked out, killing them one after another.
When he encountered a second-rank, he had no problem killing them in an instant. However, when he met a third-rank, a fierce battle would unfold that usually lasted anywhere between half an hour to two hours.
A low-level True God would generally have mastered more than ten types of Rule Bending Powers.
Based solely on the number of Rule Bending Powers one had mastered, Lin Huang would surpass an average third-rank True God, but only to a certain extent. The disparity in their overall strength was actually not that great.
This was why he was especially willing to use these third-rank monsters as practice for his combat skills.
If he encountered a power type, he would directly confront them using force-type.
When he encountered a speed type, he would use rapid speed sword skill against his opponent.
The last two days in the Frost Territory went by in a flash.
Within these last two days, Lin Huang had hunted down a total of more than sixty low-level True Gods. Among them were 10 first-ranks, 28 second-ranks, and 23 third-ranks.
Apart from the first-rank Divine Fires that had all been absorbed, the other Divine Fires inside his inner world regressed to tinder, waiting to be rekindled...