"Hello, who are you? What's my third test?" Huo Yuhao asked calmly. Golden light flickered in his eyes as he spoke, and he immediately launched Spiritual Detection at this person.
An encounter with a stranger in such a wide and open space meant this stranger was far more likely to be an enemy than a friend.
However, Huo Yuhao's pupils began to contract in the next moment, because he realized to his surprise that his spiritual power couldn't sense this person's existence. He felt as if this person was formed from air. His Spiritual Detection reached over, but he wasn't blocked… Instead, he couldn't feel anything at all...
This was the first time he had ever felt something like this since he had gained the use of Spiritual Detection. This person is?…
"Is Huo Yuhao your name?" a calm and melodious man's voice travelled into his ears. The man's voice was a little surreal and dreamy, but he sounded warm and amiable.
"Yes." Huo Yuhao gave a simple answer. He began to channel his soul power at the same time so that he could keep himself in his peak condition, while his Eye of Destiny opened on his forehead. This unknown enemy was frightening, but Huo Yuhao could tell from his experience with the Yin-Yang Love Querying Valley's previous two tests that no matter how peculiar and mysterious this place was, the valley wouldn't give him a task that was actually impossible to complete.
"Do you want to know who I am? Do you want to know what your third test, Sincerity Adventure, is about?" The man's melodious voice sounded a little amused.
"Yes." Huo Yuhao continued to give simple answers.
"First, I will tell you that I'm not the task for your third test. However, you have to fight me if you wish to continue to take your third test. Try everything you can to beat me."
Huo Yuhao was momentarily stunned. He hadn't expected to find himself in such a situation. The man didn't explain anything at all; he only talked about fighting.
Is this part of the third test? Or perhaps only a preface?
Huo Yuhao didn't get much time to think before the figure opposite him suddenly moved. He felt like a bluish-golden shadow had instantly appeared before him and pushed out a palm in his direction.
This shadow didn't have any special aura, but Huo Yuhao realized that he felt weak and unable to do anything when this bluish-golden shadow appeared. He was at a loss and disoriented, and he didn't know what he had to use to fight back against his opponent, because the man was like a ball of air, as if he didn't exist at all.
The shadow's flickering bluish-golden palm accurately planted itself onto Huo Yuhao's chest. In the next moment, Huo Yuhao felt a terrifying aura that pierced all the way into his heart and bones exploded inside his chest.
In that moment, he could clearly hear all the bones in his body crackling like fireworks… the sound was horrifying!...
Hopelessness and death were all that was left.
Huo Yuhao transformed into a blizzard of blood and flesh that scattered in all directions.
However, pure white light suddenly erupted from where Huo Yuhao was originally standing at this moment. This white light transformed into a small seven-layered pagoda, which it rotated rapidly in midair before sucking Huo Yuhao's spirit inside. This pagoda trembled violently, as if it were trying to struggle out of this space.
"Eh? That's interesting. You possess a strength that comes from a different dimension. He's quite a good teacher… what a pity," The same calm voice sounded a little surprised, and another layer of bluish-golden light bore down from the sky in the next moment.
The white pagoda instantly shattered, and a strange scene occurred afterwards. Uncountable specks of light swiftly congregated, and Huo Yuhao reappeared in this vast courtyard after he had been shattered into pieces by that single palm strike, as if nothing had happened at all.
Huo Yuhao died, his spirit was pulled back together, and he returned to life. That feeling of his body being broken into pieces and reassembled was deeply imprinted into Huo Yuhao's soul, and he experienced death, hopelessness, and extreme pain within those few short seconds.
Huo Yuhao was completely lifeless and sluggish when his body reformed. However, his human-shaped soul tool that he had put in so much effort into crafting wasn't with him. Instead, it had been reassembled beside him.
"I'll let you use your legs for now." That calm voice appeared once more, and Huo Yuhao realized afterwards that the Ultimate Ice origin energy of heaven and earth in his body seemed to have disappeared. He could suddenly feel his legs again.
Huo Yuhao hadn't used his own legs to walk since he came back from the Setting Sun Forest's Icefire Yin Yang Well. He wasn't very used to suddenly being able to move once more, but he was still quite delighted.
However, the same shadow that flickered with bluish-golden light appeared before him once more immediately afterwards.
Huo Yuhao went through the exact same experience as before. His body was blown to smithereens, and his spirit drifted for a moment before he was reassembled again.
"I'm very disappointed in you. Have you lost even the courage to fight?" There was a little reproach in that calm and melodious voice now.
Huo Yuhao was rendered speechless. At this point, his body was normal, but his face was ghastly pale. He had gone from life to death and back to life, and it wasn't possible for his mentality to be normal and stable after all that.
The bluish-golden shadow didn't attack him anymore. He placed his hands behind his back and just stood there quietly.
It took Huo Yuhao several full minutes before he managed to stabilize and regulate his breathing, and his intensely beating heart settled down as well. He stared at this opponent that he couldn't possibly defeat as he suddenly gritted his teeth and bolted forward. Soul power circulated within his body as he attempted to unleash his Goddess of Light.
But Huo Yuhao instantly discovered that he couldn't focus his spiritual power at all, let alone fuse it with his soul power. He couldn't even unleash a normal soul skill when he reached his opponent, let alone his self-invented soul skills. The only thing he could lash out with was his fists.
The man waved his right hand, sweeping it onto Huo Yuhao's body as if he were swatting a fly. Huo Yuhao instantly crumbled to dust before he was reassembled once more.
The bluish-golden figure was still standing there, motionless.
Huo Yuhao grit his teeth tightly. His opponent was frighteningly powerful, and had even restrained and arrested Huo Yuhao's own abilities. How could he possibly defeat someone like this? How could he win? The agony of death and the insidiousness of being reborn, in addition to his spirit's vigorous ripples, dealt a heavy blow to his mind. Everything was just incredibly upsetting.
He wanted to call the Little Snow Lady. He wanted to summon the Skydream Iceworm and the Ice Empress. However, he couldn't establish any connection with his spiritual sea at all. The only thing he could rely on at this point seemed to be his own physical strength and pure soul power.
Huo Yuhao's breathing gradually stabilized once more. He recovered a little faster than the previous time, but he no longer rushed blindly at his adversary. Instead, his brain worked rapidly as he sought to find a solution.
I can't beat him. If I can't beat him, can I run?
This thought had just appeared in Huo Yuhao's head when he turned to run, and he began to race away from the shadowy figure as fast as he could.
However, he only took three steps before a palm slapped against his body once more, and he went through the same pain and suffering again.
Huo Yuhao was reborn once more, and was panting vigorously while all that agony lingered in his mind.
No, not like this. I can't run. Then what should I do? I can't run, and I can't defeat him. I can't even die! Does that mean I have to grind it out with him right here?
No, that's not right. There must be a solution. The Yin-Yang Love Querying Valley wouldn't give me an impossible task.
Huo Yuhao calmed himself once more before he started to ponder and think. He couldn't run, and that meant he had to face this challenge head-on. Right, what did he just say before this?
He asked whether I still had the courage to fight. Does that mean that this round is testing my courage?
Huo Yuhao suddenly raised his head as his train of thought stopped here. He stared vigorously at the bluish-golden figure in front of him, and then rocketed at his opponent once more.
This time, Huo Yuhao had learned his lesson from his previous attempt, and was no longer affected by his inability to use soul skills. He mustered his soul power into his hands, and used the Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track at the same time. Just as he was about to rush right in front of his opponent, he suddenly sidestepped in a flash and slashed at the bluish-golden figure's waist with his hand.
His opponent was incredibly quick. He pressed down with his right hand and slapped Huo Yuhao with his right hand, and Huo Yuhao's arm instantly vanished. The bluish-golden shadow kicked out and stomped Huo Yuhao in the chest, and he erupted into dust and particles once more.
Huo Yuhao went through another round of rebirth, heavy panting, pain, and contemplation.
He used two hits before he killed me this time. Then, what about the next round?
Huo Yuhao darted forward yet again. He was stuck in this boundless courtyard, and was up against an invincible opponent. He knew that his only choice was to fight.!
The agony of death and rebirth seemed a little fainter than before, and wasn't so intense anymore. Therefore, Huo Yuhao recovered in the blink of an eye this time. He immediately charged at the bluish-golden figure once he recovered.
Huo Yuhao could only use his Ghost Shadow Perplexing Track, Mysterious Jade Hands, and Controlling Crane Capturing Dragon as he gave everything he had to assault his opponent.
As Huo Yuhao fought with his unknown adversary, everyone else started their respective rounds as well.
Golden light flashed, and Dai Huabin was surprised to realize that he was now inside a vast forest. He was surrounded by plants he was a little unfamiliar with.
Tall trees seemed to pierce right through the clouds; Dai Huabin couldn't even see beyond the treetops, they were so huge. The atmosphere around him felt a little eerie, and even the colors of the vegetation here were a little gloomy and ghostly.
Dai Huabin unleashed his martial soul, the White Tiger, as he surveyed his surroundings warily. Where is this place? What's this Sincerity Adventure about?
Right at this moment, an agonizing howl could be heard from not too far away.
"Lu Lu!" Dai Huabin could no longer keep his cool when he heard this voice, and he raced in the direction this cry came from without hesitation. That voice belonged to Zhu Lu; he had been together with Zhu Lu for a long time, and they were thus very familiar with all those small details about one another.