The fat child was thoroughly confused by Su Zimo as he froze for a long time without understanding what had happened, pointing at Su Zimo and stammering, “Y-Y-You! I-I-I…! I’ll go let the peak master know about this too!”
Shrugging his head as though trying to clear his mind, the fat child patted his storage bag and summoned a flying sword before speeding to the back of the peak.
In the blink of an eye, both children guarding this place had disappeared.
Unnerved, the fat child had left in a hurry without saying anything else.
The little fatty seemed to be extremely interested in Su Zimo. With bright, shimmering eyes, he stumbled over and bowed. “Sir, how did you do it! Can you teach me?”
With an unchanging expression, Su Zimo shook his head. “That… has nothing to do with me.”
Even though he said that, his heart whispered another tune.
There were only two reasons why the stone gate blocked him.
First, it was because he was a cultivator without a spirit root to begin with.
Second, even though it was also a heaven spirit root, the Fire spirit root that Die Yue gave him was different from normal ones.
Su Zimo could not tell which of the two reasons it was.
After the Spirit Testing Stage, there were only 80 out of the 500 left with more than 20 Qi Refinement Warriors.
Based on the order of events, the remaining 80 people should head up the peak through the path beyond the stone gate so that they could proceed with the third stage – Life and Death.
However, with the two children from Ethereal Sect gone, everyone was lost as to whether they should continue with the original plan or wait where they were.
Right then, the haughty man chuckled and started ascending the peak.
His actions caused everyone to waver.
The two children had mentioned earlier that the third stage was merely to head up the peak through the path. However, everyone knew that if they could be the first to reach the peak, their chances of being accepted would be much higher.
After the haughty man, the white bloused woman made her move too.
Exchanging glances, everyone else followed suit immediately.
The path was made from green stones and was neither rugged nor tough. Instead, the journey was picturesque with luscious greenery and the soothing melody of birds singing.
As they traversed through the clouds with the accompanying scenery, it was as though they were in paradise; everything felt relaxing unlike a treacherous Life and Death Stage.
Su Zimo was in no hurry as he hung around at the back of the pack.
He felt that since Ethereal Sect set this stage, it wouldn’t be to give the first person who reached the peak an advantage.
It was way too cliche and wasn’t a fair method given the number of people present. Finally, if it was that simple, it wouldn’t be named Life and Death Stage.
After Su Zimo destroyed the entire stone gate for a mere test, the little fatty was now hanging around him instead of the haughty man and the white bloused woman, chatting non-stop the entire way.
Worried that he may let his background slip, Su Zimo was rather distracted as he only replied casually every now and then.
“Bro, everyone went through the spirit root testing so ordinarily. But your test was like a fart to Mother Nature!”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because it was loud and clear!”
“Bro, you seem like you have a dignified demeanor. I suppose you have quite the extraordinary background?”
“I’ve studied for a couple of years in the past.”
“My, bro! That’s like a rare gem in the crowd! You can both study and fight!”
Su Zimo finally understood the powers of the little fatty as he hurried ahead, wanting to bury himself into the crowd.
Right then, the people up ahead stopped in their tracks.
Su Zimo looked up and frowned.
That was the end of the mountain path! Everyone found themselves facing a steep peak that extended into the clouds boundlessly.
The true test had arrived!
The smooth mountain road was merely a warm up!
The many mortals present looked up at the peak solemnly.
For them, the only way they could reach the top was to climb by hand. However, the peak was simply way too steep that there was barely any edge for them to grab on to.
On both sides of the mountain road was a deep abyss where a single misstep would mean certain death!
Everyone could not help but recall the words of the children. This was a stage treacherous like no other. Any single mistake and they would find themselves dead without a corpse. Hence, they should be careful and not force themselves.
Many of the mortals could not hide their fear in their expression as they gave up internally.
There were some who were indignant about things and whispered in discussion.
“Ethereal Sect is way too much. They’re trying to get us killed just to join them.”
“Isn’t that right? It’s not as though our spirit root is lousy as well. If push comes to shove, we can just join some other sects. That would be better than dying here.”
“I don’t even know how high this peak is. What if we climb halfway up and run out of energy?”
Unlike the many mortals, the 20 odd Qi Refinement Warriors present looked relaxed.
While this mountain may seem insurmountable to mortals, all they had to do was ride their flying swords and rise endlessly.
One of the Qi Refinement Warriors pulled out a flying sword from his storage bag and with a single leap, he chuckled with a suave expression. “Alright, I’ll make a move first and await you guys at the peak.”
Right after, he soared into the skies and disappeared into the clouds in the blink of an eye.
Not willing to lose out, the other Qi Refinement Warriors took out their spirit weapons and followed suit.
Yet, the strange thing was that the haughty man did not move at all. Instead, he frowned and gazed into the clouds, contemplating about something.
It was the same for the white bloused woman as she stood there in deep thoughts.
Some of the mortals gathered their courage and began climbing the peak. Compared to the Qi Refinement Warriors, they were much slower and every single step was horrifying.
A single misstep and they would fall right into the abyss!
“Bro, aren’t you moving?” The little fatty looked at Su Zimo.
Right as he was about to reply, a shriek rang out from the clouds.
Everyone’s hearts skipped a beat.
In the blink of an eye, a shadow fell from the clouds and glided through everyone’s vision into the dark abyss beneath!
At that sight, everyone’s expressions turned grim as chills ran down their spines.
The person who had fallen was the Qi Refinement Warrior who had moved first!
A Qi Refinement Warrior was dead just like that?
What had he encountered up there?
The clouds rumbled and shifted, emanating a chilling killing intent.
It was yet another shriek.
A shadow fluttered by them and dunked into the depths of the abyss.
The place rang out with everyone’s gulping sounds.
In just a mere short while, two Qi Refinement Warriors had fallen to their deaths!
The two children were right. The third stage was fair for everyone such that even Qi Refinement Warriors may not be able to reach the peak.
The few mortals that had just started climbing up the peak found themselves getting cold feet as they watched everything unfold in utter horror.
There were already people who had started to climb down.
What kind of a joke was that? There was no need for them to take such a risk when even Qi Refinement Warriors have died.
Suddenly, the haughty man laughed and mumbled. “Life and Death Stage, Life and Death Stage. The peak represents life while the abyss represents death. Interesting! Challenging!