Chapter 412 – Qualifications
Second highest step of the Nine Heavenly Steps
As Mu Chen’s figure appeared on the stone platform present under the attentive gazes of countless people, gazes filled with various kinds of emotions, ranging from elation, darkness, curiosity or indifference shot out from the seven figures present on this step…
As he landed, Mu Chen raised his head, shooting a look at the place where everyone had focused their attention on. Including Xia Youran, there were only seven figures present here. However, he knew that the seven people in front of him might truly be the top figures within the younger generation of the Northern Heavens Continent. Although he had yet to cross hands with them, he was already able to feel that every single one of them possessed strength that far exceeded that of Wu Dong, and even that Qing Hu who had tried to obstruct him just now.
These people were the truly stumbling blocks towards his goal.
Naturally…there was still the greatest stumbling block for him to overcome.
Mu Chen’s gaze shot towards the ordinary and seemingly unspectacular-looking Mo Xingtian, with the latter’s deadpan eyes staring right back at him. Present within those eyes was not a single bit of emotional fluctuation, with not even any killing intent present within them. From the looks of it, it appeared as if he was a moving corpse without a single shred of emotion, causing people’s blood to run cold.
However, Mu Chen knew that this Mo Xingtian might well be the most thorniest opponent that he would face here.
Following the appearance of Mu Chen, the initially quiet and stifling atmosphere seemed to become even more pressurising. Quietly walking over, Xia Youran grasped Mu Chen’s hand as she pulled him back to one side, not allowing him to become the focus of attention, and rescuing him from the stifling atmosphere that had converged on him.
“Why are you so late?” Xia Youran whispered.
“I’ve gotten slightly injured then, so I had to take a rest for a while,” replied Mu Chen with a faint smile, before retrieving the Wind Resistance Pearl out. Passing it back to Xia Youran, he said, “Thank you very much, Senior Sister Xia.”
Receiving over the Wind Resistance Pearl, Xia Youran gave a sweet smile as she said, “Not bad. You’re quite capable to actually rush all the way here. Look’s like I’ve underestimated you.”
Looking over towards the stone platforms in front of him that were radiating with pressure, Mu Chen asked, “What is this all about?”
The group of fellows present had stopped at this step, not going up, nor taking any action, resulting in such a pressurising atmosphere to form. Like pieces of wood stuck to the ground, they looked at each other in consternation, causing Mu Chen to be unable to make any sense of the scene present before him.
“The Divine Spiritual Baptism will descend from there…” said Xia Youran as she pointed towards the position at the highest point of the Nine Heavenly Steps. Presently, there was a gigantic clump of light, radiating with boundless brilliance, akin to a sun. Faintly, Mu Chen was able to discern the rather boundless and frightening fluctuations radiating from there.
“Over there?” repeated Mu Chen as he slightly gawked.
“The higher one stands within this Nine Heavenly Steps, the greater one would be able to absorb the “Strength of Baptism”. As for those people below, the “Strength of Baptism” they can absorb is only the scraps remaining from those present at the top…” said Xia Youran with a smile. “ However, the current problem is, who, exactly, are those people that have the qualifications to stand at the highest step? The Strength of Baptism isn’t endless without any bounds. The smaller the number of people present at the highest step, the greater the
Strength of Baptism available for each individual to absorb.”
Only at this moment did Mu Chen realise what was going on. Before he had reached the Nine Heavenly Steps, there were already seven people present at the second highest step. Clearly, it was not possible for all seven of them to stand at the highest level. If that was to happen, it would be no different from the second highest step, which all of them were standing on. Thinking along the lines, none of them would be willing to share that limited Strength of Baptism equal amongst those seven. In such a situation, if there was a ruthless person whose strength far exceeded the rest, which would immediately suppress everyone else and stand firm by himself at the highest step to enjoy the most perfect Strength of Baptism, there would be less confusion. However, the problem before him now was that there was no such person that possessed the strength to suppress the entire crowd.
Even someone as strong as Mo Xingtian might not possess the confidence to proclaim himself being able to defeat the other six by himself and climb to the top.
Therefore, before the Strength of Baptism appeared, they had fallen into this confusingly sticky situation. As of now, with the addition of Mu Chen, the situation had become even harder to disentangle.
A slight feeling pricked Mu Chen’s mind, causing him to notice Liu Ying standing not far away from him, sending a sinister gaze towards his body.
“The places on the second highest step are already filled. I’m afraid that they can no longer hold any more people.” Liu Ying’s indifferent-sounding voice rang out, breaking the pressurising atmosphere present here. Instantly, the gazes from all of the other people present on the second highest step turned towards Mu Chen. Clearly, they had sensed the antagonistic meaning present behind Liu Ying’s words.
However, none of them were unhappy about this, since all of them had some ill feelings towards Mu Chen, who had seemingly popped out of nowhere and was attempting to split their share of the strength of baptism.
After all, the seven people present here could be considered to be familiar with each other’s strengths, with fear and dread towards one another present in each other’s hearts. However, how could this Mu Chen, who had suddenly popped out from nowhere, be considered as anything? Strength at Heavenly Completion Stage Initial Phase…although his combat prowess was indeed astonishing, to the point that even Qing Hu was unable to obstruct him… didn’t he see Qing Hu and the rest staying obediently on the third highest step, not even daring to attempt to barge up here?
The difference in strength was clearly separated in this place akin to two different dimensions. One could only stand at a step in accordance to one’s level of strength, before acknowledging one’s fate and absorbing surplus Strength of Baptism leaking from the top. As for whether one could obtain the baptism, that would have to count on one’s fortune…
“Liu Ying!” Upon seeing Liu Ying speaking out, Xia Youran immediately knew that he would be antagonistic towards Mu Chen, causing her eyebrows to wrinkle up.
“You should know the rules of this place, Youran. There’s no one present here that wants another person coming over here to take a portion of their Strength of Baptism. The people that can stand here should have obtained the recognition of the great majority, at the very least,” said Liu Ying with a sneer hanging at the corner of his mouth. Staring towards Mu Chen, he said, “However, take a look around you. Other than you, is there any other people that would approve of him standing here?”
“Haha. What Liu Ying said isn’t wrong, Youran. If anyone can just enter here and absorb the Strength of Baptism, it would make a mess out of things. Don’t you know how many people down there would make a beeline up here if that happens? At that time, it would create quite a huge problem.” A faint smile appeared on the face of the Heavenly Yuan Chamber of Commerce’s Dong Yuan as he spoke out.
Although the other people were coldly watching from the side, everyone could tell that most of them had the same sort of line-of-thought as Liu Ying and Dong Yuan. None of them were willing to split a part of their Strength of Baptism to share with one more person.
Out of all of the people, only Mo Xingtian remained unchanged, with not a single fluctuation of emotion appearing on his face as he glared Mu Chen with his deadpan eyes. His mission this time was to eliminate Mu Chen and snatch back the treasure of their Demonic Dragon Palace. However, if he was to suffer defeat in Liu Ying’s hands later, or even get killed, that would save him a little bit of effort. If he was needed to personally take action against someone with only that level of strength, it would truly make him feel slightly reluctant.
Hearing and seeing all of the reactions present on the seven people in front of him, Mu Chen’s handsome face remained extraordinarily calm and collect. He didn’t feel any anger or ignition towards Liu Ying’s antagonistic words, since all of these was within his expectations. After all, if other people were to not take any action towards him standing over here, he would definitely feel slightly suspicious and feel that something was amiss.
“You!” growled Xia Youran while slightly clenching her teeth.
“Looking at the matter of our engagement, Youran, I advise you to not interfere in this. If you are to incur the wrath of the crown, you’ll also get kicked off from here. At that time, I’m afraid that you’d have wasted your trip this time to the Divine Spiritual Mountain,” said Liu Ying with a faint smile.
“You can come here and try!” Xia Youran roared out, her beautiful eyes spewing out flames of fury. However, just as she was able to head forward, she was obstructed by Mu Chen, who had extended his hand to block her.
“Thank you very much, Senior Sister Xia. However, I can’t let a lady stand up for me in such a matter.” Looking at Xia Youran, a gentle smile appeared on Mu Chen’s face as he spoke out to her. Liu Ying stepping forward should be representative of the thoughts of the other top figures in the younger generation of the Northern Heavens Continent. If Xia Youran still had the intention to obstruct them, this trouble would also fall on her, something that Mu Chen clearly didn’t want to see.
Hearing his words, Xia Youran bit her lip. Naturally, she had also understood his point. However, she truly felt ire towards the tone and fashion Liu Ying had used in his words.
“Haha. You’ve almost made everyone feel slightly flabbergasted. I’ve thought that you’d let a lady stand out for you once again.” Upon seeing Xia Youran and Mu Chen’s actions, a contemptuous smile rose up from the corner of Liu Ying’s mouth. From what he had known, a few days prior in the Divine Spiritual Pavilion, Mo Xingtian had wanted to deal with Mu Chen. At that time, a lady had stood up and helped Mu Chen to drive Mo Xingtian away. If not, at that time, he should have already become an ice-cold corpse.
Nevertheless, faced against that contemptuous smile, Mu Chen gave a faint smile. Taking a step forward, Mu Chen swept his gaze across the few people that were looking towards him with indifferent gazes, before saying, “What qualifications do I need to stand here and receive the Strength of Baptism?”
Hearing such straightforward words, the ridiculing smile at the corner of Liu Ying’s mouth curled even higher. Rubbing his nose, he replied with a faint smile, “That’s very simple. You just have to prove your qualifications to remain here.”
“How do I prove that?” replied Mu Chen with a smile. At this moment, a chilling shadow had surfaced within his black pupils, while frosty-like air started to slowly spread out from him.
Slowly walking forward, Liu Ying came to a stop right before Mu Chen. Extending his finger out, he made a slow hooking action, while the smile at the corner of his mouth started to slowly grow dark and sinister. As this happened, killing intent started to slowly radiate out within the second highest step.
“You just have to stay alive.”
Slowly panning his head, he gave a smile and said, “A word of advice. I don’t like to fight with people. Therefore, when I take action, it would result in either death or an extremely miserable outcome. If you’re unable to pay such a price…”
Point towards the bottom of the Nine Heavenly Steps, a cold and detached voice rang out.
“Than scram the fuck off. This isn’t somewhere that you can be in.”
Boundless Spiritual Energy furiously erupted in an instant, causing the people standing on the stone platforms to look over in slight astonishment. In the next flash, Mu Chen’s figure had appeared right in front of Liu Ying like a spectre. Bringing along waves of surging Spiritual Energy, Mu Chen’s leg went flying out, causing even the air to explode apart due to the winds brought about by his leg.
Like a whipping hammer, Mu Chen’s leg smashed towards Liu Ying’s head without the slightest bit of mercy.
A single kick, direct and efficient.
The winds brought about by the kick was blocked by Liu Ying’s arm, causing energy fluctuations to ripple out, while fissures appeared on the ground below them.
As he slowly raised his arm, which had blocked the incoming kick, the smile on Liu Ying’s face slowly grew increasingly malevolent, while a dark voice filled with killing intent rang out across the stone platforms of the second highest step.
“Haha…you’ve truly chosen such a straightforward decision. However…you truly are still reckless…”