134 Chapter 134
Matt scratched his head and looked out into the void of the small pocket dimension he was staying at. He thought back to the times that he upgraded his cultivation method.
'Each time I did it the change was instantaneous... I could feel my lightning getting reforged along with my body as if I studied the improved version of the skill my entire life... but nothing happened now...'
He crossed his hands while still sitting in the lotus position, his eyes moving up as he thought about what could be the problem.
'Maybe it's because it's a jump in a larger realm and not a small realm?... also could be because of the system change...'
He looked into his system library and could see the technique written down in it, he already absorbed the knowledge from it after pushing the upgrade button. Matt then brought up his status screen, nothing had changed, or at least he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. That was until he clicked his 'Cultivation Base Qi' section of his status.
[ Cultivation Base Qi: Core Formation [Great Circle 100%] (Divine Golden Lightning Core)Upgrade available: 5 000 000 ]His eyes went bloodshot as he looked at the number of points he had to spend to level up. He needed close to two years to get ten million and now this stupid system wanted even more. Now, even though he had built up a base of power and he was getting a good amount of them through his clan building, he would probably have to wait at least half a year.
'Think I'll have to do it the hard way...no way I'm waiting for that long...I should be able to do it manually...'
He gave off a sigh, this would be somewhat difficult. The technique to push through was quite intricate and didn't allow for mistakes.
'I have to guide the divine energies through my meridians and my dantian like this... then slowly nourish my core till it expands... if I do it too fast it could break crippling me in the process. That is if I'm lucky, a broken core could end up fatal for the practitioner if they don't manage to create even a slither of a nascent soul.'
'If I nourish it too slowly, I could fail and also get crippled though I'd only get stuck a bit past half a step into the nascent soul... but the texts say, that this type of cultivation is unstable and would lower my lifespan dramatically. I'd be stuck in that realm for the rest of my life too...'
He groaned out loud, both of the options were quite bad though the second one was a bit better, he would still be quite strong just stuck with his life depleting.
'If I nourish my core with the divine lightning it should expand and then slowly pulsate and break apart revealing a soul underneath. After that, I should reach the nascent soul stage and have my life span and strength multiply dramatically. '
'At least the manual is quite throughout, it also mentions the fact that a practitioner should only try this if they reach the true Apex of the great circle, which would be the half-step realm I am in right now.'
He recalled what he knew and what he read from all the other cultivation manuals. He had enough to compare too, his own technique got upgraded to the perfect grade of the immortal grade.
'The technique is quite throughout in its explanation there is not much left to chance like with the heaven grade manuals that I got from that library...'
Thanks to how good his cultivation manual was, he didn't really need any outside help to burst through this level. The lesser ones sometimes forced the practitioners to take pills or some magical treasures that could circumvent some inefficiencies.
For instance, one of the fire-based nascent soul manuals that his friend from the Huo clan took. Required him to procure a rare fire lotus, without it his chances of breaking through were slim and he would probably get crippled in the process.
From what he could deduct, only cultivation guidebooks in the immortal grade didn't require outside sources for breaking through. Though you could still aid the process which would lessen the chance of failure even more. There always was a chance of something going wrong, so best to prepare for all necessities.
'I have to think this through, I'm a goner if I make a mistake...though the success rate of this cultivation technique seems to be quite high. I already have the best kind of foundation thanks to the divine core upgrade, my foundation pillars have also changed to perfect divine ones'
Matt decided to write his manual out, he wanted to read it a couple of times and prepare for everything. He wouldn't just wing it, what if he made a blunder and ended up a cripple or dead? The chance of success was high, he was still afraid of failure but he didn't see a problem in giving it a try.
'This will take a while though... maybe I can make some kind of pill to help me out...also there were some formations I could set up to aid me...'
The Dao of crafting was on his side, he already got the forging and treasure creation part to be at the topmost of core formation, even edging it into half a step into the nascent soul. There were various things he could create that would help him keep his spiritual energy from going berserk.
The night passed while Matt made his battle plan and prepared for his ascension into the Nascent Soul. The day of the Dao tournament preliminary round finally arrived and everyone was ready to take their test. The first one would calculate their all-around power, this was done by a large bell treasure. How it worked was, the practitioner would deliver a palm strike with all their might. Depending on the number of chimes the bell struck, their power would be measured.
If you wanted to pass this test, the large bell had to sound at least three times. This was something a practitioner in the foundation early-stage should be able to produce. Though if they had a flawed foundation they would find this test challenging. Four to five chimes would indicate a middle stage degree of strength, six to seven a late one, and eight to nine would put you in the great circle. If you managed more than that while being in the foundation stage, it would indicate that you had quite the talent.
The contestants gathered around multiple of those large magical bell treasures, the number of people taking part in this test was staggering and it would probably take the whole day for everyone to get tested, maybe even longer.
There were only five of those bells, each contestant had to stand in a line and wait their turn. People were segregated by their clans and how they registered earlier. Some clans or sects with more pull could pay a bit extra to get a better spot. Some even could outright circumvent the whole testing process, if they had enough prestige or influence.
Zhang Clan was somewhere in the middle, not being considered a really strong clan or a weak one either, just an average, maybe slightly above average one. That was mostly thanks to the personal strength of their Patriarch, which defeated a group of core formation cultivators while defending Spirit Spring City. Also, when he defeated the Demon Hunter about a month ago. Though most people were skeptical about the state of the other clan members, thinking them to be mediocre at best.
"Three chimes... Passed!"
"Only two, Failed!"
There wasn't really a limit to how many people a sect or clan could bring here, you could even participate as a solo cultivator. If you could fork up enough spirit stones, the organizers were more than happy to let you give it a shot. They didn't care if you were even illegible for it, they didn't care if you made yourself look like a fool by not being able to sound a bell even once.
But this was still a place where you could show of your aptitude. So, a lot of people were willing to have a go at it. Qualifying past the preliminary round was already seen as a boon. Some clans or sects would take a renegade cultivator into their mids if they managed to get past the tests. Due to this, the number of people increased several folds. Some were participating and some were scouting for prospects.
The participants didn't get an exact time for their test, so they needed to wait in line for hours. Luckily for the Zhang Clan, they were somewhere in the middle prestige wise, so they wouldn't need to wait till the end of the day to take their test.
"Hey, isn't it that person from the Huo Clan..."
One of the Zhang Clan members spoke up, he noticed Huo Kong stepping up to the bell. The fire clan being one of the more established ones, they had the luxury of taking the test a lot sooner than most of the other families and sects. The red-haired youth had a solemn expression on his face, he looked a lot less chipper than how he lucked when he was beating up people in the arena.
He walked up to the bell and looked at it, then just moved his hand backward while standing up straight. He infused his palm with some spiritual energy and propelled it forward, striking the measuring treasure dead center.
He received six chimes without trying all that much, the last one being a bit faint. The people in the area gasped out, as this indicated a strength level in the late stage. This was of course if you calculated it by average cultivator standards.
"So he was this strong..."
"But it didn't look like he was even trying... maybe he could get seven of those..."
The Zhang Clan people looked from the side, already knowing that this youth was holding back. There wasn't really a reason to go all out against these measuring treasures, unless you were barely eligible for the tournament. It was always better to keep your secrets hidden, then use your best moves when facing a strong opponent.
The testing continued, the Huo clan youths showed a good amount of strength but no one else was able to produce six chimes. The rest was able to make it sound between four and five times, which was still quite good for their age.
The day continued and more sects and clan's kept ringing the bell. The clans that had enough renown were able to make their members pass without any problems. There were some youths that only managed to sound it out twice though, but they quickly left the stage in shame.
Zhang Liu was slowly getting bored of waiting, but soon he noticed another familiar person going up to the stage. The person being the girl that he met in the city and he still had her clothes tucked in a spare spatial ring. It was time for the Feng Clan to make their appearance, it was a female-only one so it made quite the waves. But not in a positive sense, as most men in this world weren't really into the dark skin that the women of that clan had.
You'd mostly see women getting called fairies and approached by horny youths, this time around though, the dark-skinned girls were giving the boys some strange looks. The men gulped while looking at the faces buried under copious amounts of makeup.
"What are you looking at, want this big sister to keep you company?"
"Hey, those guys are kind of cute, we should talk to them after the test..."
"Hey, aren't they from the Zhang Clan, that one with the bushy eyebrows is so my type..."
The puckered up their lips while looking at some men from the crowd that they deemed attractive. The men in question having mixed feelings about the whole thing.