A month quietly passed under this tense atmosphere. The entire monastery was nervously preparing for battle.
Everyone within the monastery was focused on crazily increasing their cultivation bases. But there was a certain place thousands of miles away from the monastery.
A person was standing at the peak of a bare mountain. Qi surged from his body and the blood within his body surged like a racing river.
Loud rumbling caused the entire mountain to shake. A powerful aura surged out of his body, soaring into the sky. Golden light came from behind him, making him look bathed in golden mist.
"I've finally reached the thirteenth Heavenstage of Blood Condensation!"
Long Chen's robes fluttered, his long hair constantly dancing. His blood was rapidly circulating, releasing boundless energy.
Lightning flashed as he looked up into the sky, and a will came from within him that wanted to smash apart all of heaven and earth. Currently he had already absorbed all the Ten Thousand Beast Essence Blood.
When he had just advanced to the thirteenth Heavenstage, all the blood in his body had taken a golden sheen. As his blood circulated within his body, the power that it brought made even him feel frightened.
The only regretful thing was that Long Chen couldn't advance into the Tendon Transformation realm no matter how he tried. It seemed he was still missing something.
However, that didn't stop him from being incredibly excited. His physical body had become much, much stronger. Even he himself didn't know just how strong he was now.
As his cultivation base grew, the capacity of his FengFu Star increased even more, storing more and more spiritual qi.
And most exciting of all was that his meridians had once more expanded. In fact, they had practically grown ten times the size, allowing him to reach an unprecedented level of strength.
Suddenly, Long Chen roared up at the heavens, and the divine ring appeared behind him. His aura immediately exploded out like a volcano, and a pillar of qi soared into the sky.
The black clouds above him immediately began to rumble, and tens of thunderbolts crashed onto him.
Those thunderbolts all landed on his raised arms, and his body was immersed in thunderforce. A crackling sound came from his body.
Ever since he had advanced to the thirteenth Heavenstage, Long Chen had found that as long as he summoned out his divine ring and his qi soared into the sky, it was as if those black clouds that constantly hovered above this mountain had been provoked and they would shoot their lightning down on him.
At the beginning it was extremely taxing for him, but he gradually became accustomed.
Each time he advanced, he would summon more lightning to temper his physical body.
He found that this was an excellent method. The impurities in his body were all forcibly expelled, and the rate at which his blood turned golden increased.
But most exciting of all was that those embryonic thunderforce glyphs in his body were becoming increasingly clear. At first they had been vague and fuzzy, but now they were clear and substantial.
He would condense his blood, gather lightning, and increase the power of his physical body. He had advanced three times now practically all in one go.
Now that he had advanced to the thirteenth Heavenstage, those thunderbolts were no longer able to pose any threat to him.
So now he was just focused on absorbing as much thunderforce as he could. If you were to look at him from a distance, you would see a figure covered in a rain of lightning, an extremely shocking sight.
Long Chen needed to borrow thunderforce in order to temper his physical body. Being struck by these thunderbolts here was much simpler than if he had to use his own thunderforce to temper his body. In fact, this place was also safer, was faster, was painless now, and energy-saving.
He tempered his body for three straight days before he sensed his body had reached a limit. No matter how much more thunderforce he used to temper his body, it didn't have any more use.
Furthermore, he realized that the thunderforce here was becoming weaker now. Looking up at the sky, he saw those black clouds that constantly floated above this mountain had become much thinner.
He knew that he had used up all the power here. This particular place was a special environment. The thunderclouds here had probably been accumulating for who knew how many years, and now he had practically exhausted all of it.
Putting away his divine ring, the tempest of lightning also came to a sudden stop. The rumbling from his body faded and everything returned to normal.
Long Chen smashed his own stomach with his fist. A loud booming noise rang out, and the rock beneath his feet cracked.
"Hehe, if I had this much power back then, would I have even had to risk my life against Wu Qi? I could easily smash him to death now!"
Long Chen was now so strong that if Wu Qi fought with him now, he wouldn't even have to go into a battle state to defeat him.
That filled Long Chen with confidence for the upcoming trial against the Corrupt Devils. According to the trial's settings, killing a single Corrupt path outer disciple was worth five thousand points.
Killing an inner disciple was worth thirty thousand points, and killing a core disciple was worth two hundred thousand points.
That was an incredible opportunity. Back when Long Chen had bought medicinal ingredients at the Xuantian pavilion, he had seen quite a few of the medicinal ingredients for the Alioth Pill.
But those medicinal ingredients were rare and required thousands of points to purchase. The more expensive ones even required tens of thousands of points. Long Chen didn't have enough points to buy them.
And so Long Chen didn't even think about them for now. The medicinal ingredients required to refine the Alioth Pill were just too expensive.
Furthermore, even if he were to gather all the medicinal ingredients in the monastery, he wouldn't be able to refine the pill. There were some medicinal ingredients that didn't exist within the monastery.
But this was still an extremely important opportunity for him. He should still gather as much of the Alioth Pill's ingredients as possible.
In the future, if he ran into any lucky encounters, he might be able to find the other ingredients. Then he could condense his Alioth Star; with both stars' superimposition, he would be able to keep up the FengFu Battle Armor for even longer. Currently he was only able to use it for a couple moments before it faded away.
Most importantly, he still didn't know what kind of changes would occur with the Nine Star Hegemon Body Art once he condensed the Alioth Star. Just thinking about that filled Long Chen with anticipation.
Most of the clothes he had been wearing this time had already been turned to ashes by the lightning, so Long Chen put on some new clothes. Looking up at the black clouds that had become much thinner, he smiled, Thank you.
The thunderforce in his body had become much more solid now. In fact, it was so strong that it shocked him. After experiencing the tempering of this lightning, Long Chen was confident in being able to survive the next heavenly punishment.
When Long Chen returned to the monastery, he clearly sensed the atmosphere was much graver.
In the huge monastery, other than a couple workers, there was almost no one else about. Most likely they were all cultivating in seclusion.
Long Chen arrived at the Heaven Earth Faction and found that he was right. Everyone was in their immortal caves cultivating. Their spirit stone formations were pushed to the max as they crazily increased their cultivation base.
Although raising the cultivation base like that wasn't such a good thing and would weaken their foundations, they were about to face the Corrupt Devil trial.
In that kind of environment where life and death were separated by just a fine line, their foundations would quickly stabilize again. So rapidly increasing their cultivation base at this time wouldn't cause any problems. The most important thing was that every little increase in strength would give them a slightly greater chance of surviving.
Under the monastery's orders, if they didn't dare participate in this trial, then they would be directly expelled from the monastery. They were all cultivators. If they refused because they were afraid of death, then there was no meaning in them cultivating.
When Long Chen entered his immortal cave, Tang Wan-er, who had been cultivating, opened her eyes.
Long Chen was startled to see how powerful her aura had now become. In fact, it was still rapidly growing.
Seeing Long Chen, she couldn't hold back a happy smile. But it quickly reversed and she scolded, "Where did you run off to? You left for over a month. I thought you had fled."
Long Chen laughed, "Ah, I really did flee. But then halfway I just couldn't bear leaving my goddess and so I returned!"
"All you know how to do is talk nonsense." Tang Wan-er rolled her eyes at him. But suddenly she looked at him with shock and confusion.
"Why does your cultivation base seem so strange? It looks like the peak of Blood Condensation, but it's also not entirely like it either… How come I feel such a powerful pressure from you that it makes my heart pound?"
Long Chen pushed his hair back and took an extremely flashy posture, bitterly complaining, "You also know that I like to be a low-key and not be so eye-catching, but it's always so difficult. As my cultivation base increases with each passing day, my own charm also rises like the eastern sun, my brilliance shining endlessly. Every woman will immediately feel their heart pounding when they see me!"
Tang Wan-er had been listening seriously at the beginning, but after just hearing half, her expression became one of complete disdain. "Hmph, obviously their hearts are pounding. If they weren't pounding, then they'd be dead!
"If you don't want to tell me, then fine. Stop being so flippant and glib-tongued. You're the linchpin of the entire Heaven Earth Alliance, so pay more attention to your image," said Tang Wan-er.
"What, how is it me? You're the old boss- ah, I mean, you're the faction leader; you can't push your responsibility away." Long Chen shook his head.
He definitely didn't want to be everyone's focus. The more responsibility he had, the less freedom he would have. He preferred to be free and easy without any constraints.
"Long Chen, I'm talking to you seriously. Try to be a bit more normal." Tang Wan-er was a bit annoyed and angry. Ever her eyes had turned a bit redder.
Long Chen was startled, promising, "Fine, I'll pretend to be normal for a bit. Explain it to me."
Tang Wan-er almost laughed. This fellow was never normal, so hearing that almost made her go mad with mirth. Trying to keep her voice as normal as possible, she began to explain:
"Long Chen, to tell the truth, I never wanted to be the faction leader. I was just forced by my family.
"The reason the Heaven Earth Faction could reach this level is practically all because of you. Although they all respect me, even I know that it is you who is their idol and spiritual pillar.
"I can see the zealotry in their eyes. They would give up their very lives for you!
"Long Chen, for the sake of everyone, including me, I hope that you'll once more help me hold some of this responsibility. I don't want so many brothers and sisters so die to the Corrupt disciples because of my failures."
Tang Wan-er's voice was close to begging. She knew there was no one else who could be a better leader for the Heaven Earth Faction than Long Chen.
As long as he agreed to lead everyone, that would definitely reduce the casualties and injuries to the minimum. She knew that of everyone, only Long Chen possessed that ability.
But Long Chen always acted so sloppy all day. You would never be able to tell just what he was really thinking inside. That caused her to feel a bit uncertain about him, and so for everyone's safety, she had to clearly explain this to Long Chen. She wouldn't care at all about giving up her position to him.
Long Chen bitterly smiled and sighed, "Although I know this kind of responsibility is just a prison, I still have to foolishly squeeze myself inside.
"If I walk into that prison, then I'm an idiot, but if I don't, then I would be even worse than an idiot. Fine, I'll be an idiot."
Long Chen's meaning was obvious. He would carry this emotional burden. If he refused to accept it, then he would just be a piece of trash who didn't even care about his friends. Sometimes being an idiot was the better choice.
"Thank you Long Chen."
Tang Wan-er hugged Long Chen emotionally, tears streaming down her face. She had thought that Long Chen would scold her for being too emotional and soft-hearted. Previously he had already given her a warning not to act on emotion.
But she still wasn't able to hold back all her emotions. She didn't want to see any of the people beside her die. Now by begging Long Chen, she had dragged him into this emotional mess.
And Long Chen knew that this was just a quagmire, and yet he still jumped in. That deeply touched her, and yet it also filled her with both shame and guilt. And so she continued to lightly sob into Long Chen's chest.
Long Chen was still hesitating on whether he should be taking advantage of a beauty in his arms when the entire mountain began to shake and a loud shout rang out.