Chapter 240 – Spirit Ascension Platform Guardian
Gu Yue shook her head in a gentle manner. "No. As far as I know, the spirit ascension platform isn't a true illusory world. It's actually a mix of illusions and reality. The elementary level is the least authentic, but that's not to say it's entirely fake. If not, how could we absorb spirit energy?"
"Since a soul bone appeared, that means the beast we just killed was a spirit ascension platform guardian."
"Spirit ascension platform guardian? What do you mean?" Tang Wulin asked. Clearly, Gu Yue was privy to many details unknown by outsiders.
Gu Yue said, "Whether it is the elementary, intermediate, or advanced level, each possesses a guardian. The spirit ascension platform is actually one entity split into three sections with different entrances. To separate the levels and to prevent soul masters from crossing over to another section, the Spirit Pagoda designates a guardian per level. Only an extremely formidable soul beast can be given such a title.
"In theory, no one with less than five rings should be able to kill that Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear. They never expected it to die by our hands. Also, because the guardians are more powerful than normal beasts, they require much more energy as well as a soul bone to create. Basically, the true reward for killing it is its soul bone. You can't bring it outside of the spirit ascension platform, so you better fuse with the soul bone here. There's no other way to keep it with you."
Tang Wulin was dumbstruck. "But I didn't kill it alone. We brought it down together. Anyone can fuse with it, not just me…"
Gu Yue rolled her eyes. "Just what are you thinking in that head of yours? Do you think my body is strong enough? Do you think fusing with the soul bone of a Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear is a walk in the park? None of us are compatible with it, so even if we tried, we'd be devoured. Maybe even killed. Then the soul bone would be wasted. You're the only one who can absorb it and furthermore, there's a chance it'll complement your golden dragon claw. Now chop chop. We don't have all day."
"But like you said, I already have my golden dragon claw. Wouldn't it be a waste to add on the Duskgold Dreadclaw?" Hesitation still gripped him, the uneasy and indecisive thoughts running circles in his mind.
Gu Yue frowned. "Of course not. In fact, it'll strengthen your dragon claw even more. The Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear's strongest part is its right claw. What's more amazing is that its core is the right claw soul bone. What we have here should be an external soul bone and not one of the normal six."
Typically, soul masters could fuse with up to six soul bones: the skull, the torso, and the four limb bones.
However, there were some peculiar or variant soul bones outside of the typical six. These were the external soul bones, and they were far more precious.
"Captain, you should just go for it. If it wasn't for you, we never would have been able to penetrate the Duskgold Dreadclaw Bear's defenses. Your attack power is crucial to our team." Xu Xiaoyan urged him on.
Relative to her teammates, Xu Xiaoyan's body was the weakest. Coupled with the nature of her abilities, she was the least compatible with the soul bone. Were Xie Xie still alive, he would have declined modestly as well.
Tang Wulin nodded. He sat down cross-legged and gripped the bone in his hand.
The process of fusing with a soul bone was identical to that of fusing with a spirit soul; he needed to draw it into himself with his soul power.
As he activated the Mysterious Heaven Method, his soul power surged into the precious item within his hands, emanating a dim glow. A black radiance emerged from the bone, blending with golden specks of light.
At first, the soul bone levitated above his palm. Yet as the seconds ticked by, a white luminescence drew it into his outstretched hand. The bone grew increasingly transparent, losing its dark hues, as if it was carved from golden crystal. Eventually, the light show came to an end, and the soul bone's morphological traits transformed.
Scales appeared across Tang Wulin's arms, rippling through his muscles and adding a golden tint throughout the white soul power.
The soul bone trembled like it was sentient, as if refusing by its own volition to merge with this unfamiliar body.
To combat this, Tang Wulin shot ethereal strands of gold out of his palm, which latched onto the soul bone.
The soul bone stopped trembling at once and merged into his hand.
Now the scales on his arm glowed with a dark-gold luster. The radiance flowed back and forth like a tidal wave, splashes of gold and dark-gold interweaving together.
Tang Wulin's breathing came intermittently, rough at one moment and tranquil at another, the energy continuing to transform with no bounds. Then, everything became still.
No longer did his scales gleam a dark gold. They reverted back to a dull golden hue, as if the previous color had never existed in the first place. For that reason, Gu Yue and Xu Xiaoyan could not discern any changes in his right hand. It did not seem stronger at all.
"It's done?" Xu Xiaoyan asked Gu Yue, skepticism clouding her eyes.
Gu Yue was also at a loss. "I don't know! It seems so. But I don't really see a difference."
At those words, Tang Wulin opened his eyes slowly, revealing a similar trace of doubt.
He had been hit with the same impression as his teammates while he fused with the soul bone. In the beginning, he felt the spiraling wild energy within, though it was suppressed by his bloodline instantly.
He had thought that it would be as painful as breaking a seal. Never in his dreams did he expect it to be so easy.
This feeling did not sit well with him; it reeked of unaltered circumstances. Perhaps his golden dragon claw didn't improve as much as he had hoped.
Tang Wulin sprang up like a spring, glaring at his right hand with a frown tugging at his lips. My hand and blood feel a bit stronger, but just by a tiny amount. It's nowhere near what should have happened by fusing with a soul bone.
"How about you test it out?" Seeing the doubt written on his face, Gu Yue inquired as she took his side.
Tang Wulin responded by nodding. He rolled his hand into a fist, knuckles glowing white as he punched the air. A sonic boom rang through the open space.
Following that, his arm swelled with power as twinkling golden scales popped from his skin.
He closed his eyes, recalling the sensation of that punch.
"My strength has increased by about twenty percent."
Disappointment painted Gu Yue's face. Although twenty percent wasn't something to scoff at, this was an external soul bone they're talking about! The only thing that beat an external soul bone in rarity was a ten-thousand-year soul ring! A measly twenty percent increase in power was simply inexcusable.
"Is there a soul skill?" Gu Yue asked.
Tang Wulin shook his head. When a soul master merged with a soul ring, he would know right away if a new soul skill hid beneath the shadows. With practice, mastering the new soul skill would be as easy.