97 Chapter 97
The second trial wasn't anything out of the ordinary, at least not for Matt. The boss monster looked like a giant head of an obese person with tentacles coming out of its neck area which it used to move and wiggle around the main boss room. He was already 90% sure that the person that designed this so-called tower trial was someone from Earth. If they weren't from Earth they must have either came from a very similar place or they visited it for an undisclosed amount of time.
The monster went through some generic boss phases where it ducked its head into the fleshy wall and started attacking everyone with its tentacles. While doing so the main body couldn't be damaged and the cultivators couldn't do anything besides dodging. It was even telegraphing some of its attacks which allowed the people to dodge with ease. Soon enough the monster was dead and they were taken back to the library.
"That went rather well brother Dong, I'm sure we can get through this trial and get the treasure at the end! But even this Library here is already a treasure trove, only if it weren't only techniques for Qi cultivation juniors."
Huo Qiang furrowed his brows a bit while picking up a fire elemental cultivation technique from the side.
"Oh... I think there will be more than only those..."
Matt said while walking up to the elevator, Feng Liena next to him as she was curious about what he was doing.
"Do you know something about this magical door, Brother Dong?"
She asked while glancing between the elevator and him curiously. Matt smiled a bit as that face that she was making was kind of cute.
'I sure hope this works, otherwise, I'll look a bit silly...'
He pressed the button to open up the door and waited. Soon enough the doors opened themselves up and revealed an open area inside.
"See, now it opens. I bet we can go to the second level of the library with this elevator."
The people gathered around him, slowly going inside and looking at the buttons that ranged from one to seven.
"So this is called an elevator? What a strange name... how do you know this, Brother Dong?"
Feng Liena asked, her face beaming with curiosity while Matt's palms started to sweat.
"I ah... left my clan for ten years and traveled the world, I came across a lot of ancient ruins and found a lot of wisdom that described things like these here..."
Feng Liena clapped her hands while smiling up to Zhang Dong as if she bought his excuse.
"Ah, that explains why you are so knowledgeable about these trials. When we get out I must also travel the world and visite those sites!"
The girl pumped herself up a bit while the old lady from the side started shaking her head.
"You must not young Matriarch, you are supposed to lead our clan now, we can't have you going around visiting strange dangerous places!"
The old woman was clearly against it, the happy expression vanished from Liena's face and got replaced by a cute pout. That was not something a woman in her forties should probably do, which made Matt chuckle a bit.
"Brother Dong you laughed, how could you!"
She pointed an accusing finger at the man that tried to cover his face up with his sleeve.
"I don't know what you are talking about Sister Liena... you sure it wasn't Brother Qiang?"
Qiang looked from the side, eyes narrowing as he looked at Zhang Dong.
"Hey, don't get me involved in this!"
The atmosphere in the elevator became a bit lighthearted as the cultivators started laughing, soon enough they heard a beep and the door opened up to a similar-looking library room. The people spread out to see what was on this level, Matt grasped one book and was surprised when he read the title.
"Oh? It's an encyclopedia about basic herbs found in the world?"
"Hey, these aren't combat manuals or cultivation manuals, they are books about various occupations."
This level had the basic knowledge required to be an Apothecary or an Alchemist that forged pills that cultivators were so crazy to devour at astonishing rates. This wasn't all though, there were crafting manuals, manuals about the anatomy of the human or beast body that would help you become a beast tamer or a physician.
"This is even better than the first level... if we could only get this out of here..."
Huo Qiang lamented while going through the books, he knew well that these books were a treasure trove of wisdom that you could build a strong clan or sect on. What was an Apothecary? It was someone who could make magical pills that increased the rate of someone's cultivation. There were various pill formulas here that even though they were most suited for Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment cultivators, were quite the gem.
This wasn't all, there were formation array manuals ones for aspiring blacksmiths with a lot of blueprints for defensive and offensive treasures. There was everything to start you off and set you on the path of a master in a given occupation.
Even though this level was even better than the first one, the people here gave out a sigh. They were mostly combating oriented cultivators, none of them would really profit much from these manuscripts and ancient texts. Still, they still dabbled in a couple of occupations so they could use this time to read up on things they got stuck in.
Zhang Dong just did his thing in copying over every last book into his system library, he didn't even know how many points he would have to spend to get these kinds of resources from the system cash shop.
"Ah, if you want to get back to the other level just press the button with the letter one on it, it will bring you down there. When you want to get back here, just press the number two."
He gave out the information, maybe the other cultivators wanted to read up on the combat arts more than about forging pills or swords. So hours passed and everyone diligently read, well everyone besides Zhang Dong that was running around like a madman and waving his finger around in rapid motions.
"Cookie clicker skills, don't fail me now!"
The people didn't know what he meant with that, but he looked absorbed in his task so they left him alone. He was a reliable asset to this ragtag team of cultivators, but he still had his quirks but that was normal as most high-level cultivators were eccentrics. Or so thought the other eccentrics in the group.
So passed the days, the group had been in the secret ground for over a month now but they were still hanging in. They kept finishing the trials which followed a similar pattern. Sometimes they had to move through a larger area killing of monsters or gathering items that would open the path to a boss area. On other occasions they were dropped into the boss room from the start, having to cope with the sudden attacks.
The library levels started opening up as Matt gained more and more books into his library, on the third level there were more combat and cultivation manuals but this time around they were for Foundation Establishment cultivators. They were of superior grading than what the people had in their clan's back home ranging from lower-level earth grade all up into the perfect grade.
As expected on the fourth level there were more pill forging formulas and blueprints, they were on a higher level than the ones that were on the second level. The items produced from here could very well be used by core formation cultivators which made a lot of them try to memorize the pill formulas that increased someone's cultivation rate or replenished their spiritual essence.
"Maybe if I carve this formula onto my thigh I can take it out with me..."
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Some of them had some crazy idea's, Matt just smiled as he went through the whole library finishing up a lot faster than before as the higher the level of the library was, the fewer books there were.
On the fifth level, they encountered their first boss monster that was in the great circle of core formation. This was quite the angry-looking beast looking like a behemoth, which fit the Sin of Wrath name quite well. The area they were fighting it was in a colosseum, they even had some strange skeleton-like creatures in the stands cheering at them while they battled the ferocious-looking beast.
The team of cultivators were already used to fighting these trials, so even though the monster's power was above them they weren't afraid. They knew that they only needed to support Zhang Dong by activating various game-like mechanics around the stage, they already knew their own strengths and weaknesses everyone kind of having a sense of comradery as they were even able to joke around in the midst of battle.
Soon the beast was slain and everyone returned back to the library, the new level finally having cultivation manuals that could be used by these elders. Everyone frantically searched for the best cultivation method they could find, hoping that they could remember them. They even begged Zhang Dong for a part of his robe on which they could write it down with their blood as they knew that his clothes could regenerate.
After hearing that Matt wanted to tell them that he could remember the cultivation arts and that he would write it down for them later. But on second thought, in their stead, he would probably write it down himself for safekeeping, even if someone else offered to do it instead. Always better to have a backup plan, he could share some knowledge with them later.
'Envy and Pride left, this monster had an extremely hard hide, it took a while to pierce its defense.'
'Think the only reason we made it this deep in, is due to not being affected by the mental attacks.'
If he were to get a berserk status like in the Sin of Wrath stage, he could very well wipe his entire team out by himself in a fit of rage. The whole party would probably tear each other apart.
'Think Envy would give some kind of jealousy debuff, probably you wouldn't be able to trust each other and get paranoid. Not sure what Pride would do though... being too prideful to ask for help?'
He had some free time as he wandered through the library levels, hoping to find more stuff than just the books, to no avail though.
'I'm close to the great circle with my body refining, but these blasted bosses aren't dropping any items...'
While he was saddened by the fact that he had no weapons to absorb, he looked at a metal candleholder. It was quite elongated and only had space for one candle, it looked like you could clobber someone good with one of those. He focused on it, his analyzing skill getting activated as he was spacing out.
[ Candleholder Club Middle Earth Grade ]
He quickly snatched the thing from the table it was standing on, the library having various tables and chairs in which you could rest and read in peace. He instantly checked if there was a reaction to his body refining absorption skill and to his surprise the candleholder was reacting.
He shouted out, luckily the people around were already used to his strange outbursts so they didn't seem bothered. He snatched a couple of those candleholders as quickly as possible as he didn't have much time and took the elevator down to get even more. He moved into a more secluded place and started cultivating diligently. The metal from the item started melting as it flowed into his body, increasing his body by refining percentages and pushing it towards that hundred percent mark.
"Body refining great circle, here I come! Golden candleholder body awaken!"
He cheered while thinking if there were some metallic plates or ashtrays that he could also absorb.