Chapter 61: The Treacherous Fourth Trial (3)
The mountains to the left had dark thunderstorms flashing above it.
Yuan Ji and Ling Feiyue knew that it was the lightning trial.
As for the mountains to the right, there were thunderous roars and they knew that powerful desolate beasts lay within those mountains.
Therefore they headed left toward the heavy dark clouds.
Ling Feiyue laughed merrily, “You’re following me. Why are you following me?”
Yuan Ji mimicked her, “That is my business and none of your business.”
“Copycat!” Ling Feiyue pretended to be annoyed and marched off.
Yuan Ji laughed as he followed her.
They had walked for half a day into the mountains before they could see lightning flashing from the heavens.
Multiple streaks of lightning in the dark heavens above could be seen before it flashed down with a thunderous impact on the sides of the mountains, causing a spark of fire and smog to lit up across the mountain cliffs.
In front of them was a huge stone monument with the words craved onto it; Thunder Peaks.
There were also small drizzles that could be seen but Ling Feiyue’s invisible profound aura had deflected the rain drops with ease.
Ling Feiyue said quietly, “Now we have to make a run with our lightless profound art through the mountains and pray that the lightning will not hit us. Chances are, we may have to take a few hits. If you are hit by a lightning and survive it, quickly roll to the side to take shelter in the mountains. When you have recovered your profound strength, move on again.”
Then she lowered her glances, “I…I will look out for you. This trial is a little hard. I won’t let you die in this place.”
“I thought that someone says she won’t bother about it if I were to follow her.” Yuan Ji chuckled.
He knew that Ling Feiyue had plenty of experiences with the lightning trials from the way that she had advised him.
But he said, “Actually it is a bad mistake to try to outrun the lightning.”
Ling Feiyue gave him a perplexed look, “What do you mean?”
He explained, “We can never truly outrun the lightning. I estimate that we will be hit a couple of times even if we do our best.”
Ling Feiyue nodded. This was the truth. That was why she had offered to help Yuan Ji. Even she could not hope that she would be able to evade all the lightning strikes.
“It is because the lightning is attracted to our profound strength. Whether we are tanking it with our profound power or using our lightless profound art, we have to use our profound strength.”
Ling Feiyue asked curiously, “The lightning is attracted to our profound strength? How do you know?”
Yuan Ji rubbed his chin as he laughed, “The lightning is not only attracted to our profound strength but also the metals, especially our swords. How do I know? I test it by letting the lightning strike me a few times.”
Ling Feiyue shook her head with a gentle smile, “I don’t believe.”
Yuan Ji laughed, “I don’t believe it either until I have tested it a few times. Let me show you.” With that he had imbued his divine sword with his sword energies.
“The reason why cultivators prefer to use swords and sabres are because it is easier to channel profound strength as the metallic surface flows well with our profound energies.”
All of a sudden there was a flash in the heavens above and Yuan Ji had suddenly thrown his divine sword high up above him; it sped high up aided by the sword energies that were imbued in it as it defied the gravity.
In less than three blinks of an eye later, there was a thunderous booming sound as the flying divine sword was struck with a brilliant burst of light by a furious lightning bolt.
The shockwaves of the impact was so fierce that Yuan Ji and Ling Feiyue were forced to lean against the cliffs!
Ling Feiyue covered her mouth with her fingers as she gasped, “This is really true?”
She was staring in disbelief at Yuan Ji and she was stammering, “The lightning is attracted to our profound strength?”
Yuan Ji nodded as he grinned at her, “The lightning is attracted to our profound strength like lodestones are attracted to metals.”
Ling Feiyue muttered, “Therefore…”
Yuan Ji grinned as he stared at her body, “Therefore you have to dispel your profound aura and get a little wet.”
There was a slight flush on Ling Feiyue as she chuckled softly, “You! You are such a lecherous rascal. Is this your trick?”
Although she had said that but she had already dispelled the protective animus that was around her.
“So what’s the new plan?” She asked shyly.
Yuan Ji could not pull his eyes away from her body as he muttered, “It is not wet enough…”
Ling Feiyue had suddenly thrown him a slap but Yuan Ji laughed as he leapt out of her way.
“Alright, alright. I will be serious. Don’t slap me.” Yuan Ji continued to laugh jovially.
“The lightning will actually take two to three blinks of an eye to descend after it flashed in the heavens. We can use our divine sense to sense whether it will be incoming. If we sense that it is incoming then we can use our profound strength to imbue it into our divine swords and stick it to the ground to draw the lightning away from us.” Yuan Ji rubbed his chin as he finished explaining his plan.
Ling Feiyue’s eyes were beaming with delight. “This may just work. Let’s try it!”
“Alright. Let’s go!”
Therefore they had made their way up to the mountains.
For a couple of hours, they had used the method that Yuan Ji had devised to avoid the lightning strikes and it was actually quite successful.
Slowly they were getting better and better with every lightning strike.
As for Ling Feiyue, she would display her profound aura every now and then to dry her clothes much to the disappointment of Yuan Ji.
After leaping up the mountains for a few hours, they were already at the mid-point of the lightning trial and the frequency of the lightning had now increased.
They soon saw an open cave with a large entrance and there were actually more than two hundred cultivators that were cramming along the sides of the cave.
These cultivators were all here to take the lightning trials and there were more than thirty golden celestials in this place. Many of them had burnt marks that were caused by the lightning.
When they had appeared, many of the female cultivators were already looking shyly in their direction…
“What a handsome pair…”
“Especially the one with the fan…”
It seemed to Yuan Ji and Ling Feiyue that they were all taking shelter and recuperating in this large cave here.
Ling Feiyue whispered to Yuan Ji, “This is actually the mid-point shelter. The second half of the lightning trial is actually quite harsh to overcome. It seems that these are the cultivators that are struck here. Some are recuperating their injuries so that they can actually have the strength to turn back.”
Yuan Ji was soon frowning because he had suddenly recognized Saint Wu Heng from the Burning Heavens Pavilion.
“Look who do we have here?” Saint Wu Heng laughed to his group. “So this is the arrogant young master that has dared to shelter Li Ye and he has even made it to the fourth trial. Amazing, amazing. What is the name of his nameless celestial sect?”
Yuan Ji grinned, “This arrogant young master here is Li Yuan! Li Ye is my protégé. And we are the protégés of the Spirit Blue Moon Sect.”
Ling Feiyue muttered in exasperation at Yuan Ji, “You…”
Saint Wu Heng hummed coldly, “So it is the cultivators that are from the Spirit Blue Moon Sect! No wonder you can be so arrogant. So what if you are from one of the five powerful unorthodox sects? Do you think that you can be so arrogant here? Don’t forget that my Burning Heavens Pavilion is one of the seven major orthodox clans and even the Spirit Blue Moon Sect has to find a hole to hide in front of us.”
Ling Feiyue frowned unhappily, “You are merely an elder of the Burning Heavens Pavilion. You sound like you are able to represent the entire Burning Heavens Pavilion.”
Saint Wu Heng mocked coldly, “When facing the unorthodox cultivators as a common adversary, the entire Burning Heavens Pavilion is united as one. And who are you?”
Ling Feiyue smiled bitterly as she looked at Yuan Ji, “I am not with him. I’m Ling Feiyang from the Flying Swords Divine Sect.”
She cursed Yuan Ji silently, “Are you trying to blow my cover…”
Saint Wu Heng laughed, “I’ve never heard of this sect before.”
A protégé whispered to his ears, “It is only a small celestial sect. This Young Master Ling Feiyang is renowned for his acts of chivalry and is pretty well-known. He is an orthodox cultivator.”
Saint Wu Heng frowned as he muttered, “Well, I’ve never heard of this sect or any Ling Feiyang before.”
The Flying Swords Divine Sect was actually a front that was created by Ling Feiyue so that she could have an identity while she roamed the orthodox fraternity. It was a backwater sect on a pretty unknown desolate peak with only less than ten protégés.
In recent years, she had been doing plenty of chivalrous acts to bolster herself as an orthodox cultivator.
Saint Wu Heng stared coldly at Ling Feiyue and said rudely, “You are an orthodox cultivator. Why are you in the company of an unorthodox cultivator?”
Ling Feiyue smiled gently, “According to the accords between the orthodox and unorthodox fraternities, the trials are a neutral ground and both sides are free to group with each other so that the trials can be overcome. I am merely making use of him to overcome my trial. Therefore there is nothing wrong with it.”
Yuan Ji stared at Saint Wu Heng as he hummed coldly, “So you are looking down upon the unorthodox cultivators or despising the unorthodox cultivators?”
When he had said that, dozens of cultivators in the shelter were all shouting. “That is right! How dare these orthodox cultivators look down upon us!”
Many of them were now speaking out now because they had realized that a golden celestial from the Spirit Blue Moon Sect was here and they were all looking at Yuan Ji for leadership.
They did not know that Yuan Ji was actually a fake and the real protégé of the Spirit Blue Moon Sect was actually ‘Ling Feiyang’ from the Flying Swords Divine Sect.
The reason why they were so vocal now was because they had suffered the vocal humiliation of this Saint Wu Heng and his group for some time now. At the same time, they were hoping to see a fight between this Li Yuan and Saint Wu Heng.
Saint Wu Heng exclaimed out loud as he returned his attention to Yuan Ji, “If you are not going to apologize to us for what Li Ye did then I am not going to let you enter into this shelter.”
As he said that, a lightning had conveniently exploded a rock near to them with a thunderous impact.
Because the lightning was so near, the blinding thunderous impact was piercing to the hearts of all the nearby cultivators.
“As you can see, the lightning storm from this point onward is much fiercer than the path below. You are never going to reach the summit in this thunderstorm. Even if you are staying outside the shelter, there is no promise that you will be able to survive the worst of the lightning storm from where you are standing.”
Yuan Ji was frowning and he knew that Saint Wu Heng was not lying at all. The intensity of the thunderstorms was much fiercer than earlier and he could see multiple streaks of lightning striking the ground in all directions, sending its tremendous shockwaves all around them.
It was actually a wiser choice to wait until the thunderstorms were less fierce before moving on to the summit.
The cultivators that were at the shelter were all experienced trial cultivators and they were all waiting for the worst of the thunderstorms to be over first before they resumed their climb to the summit.
Saint Wu Heng smirked coldly, “Since you are unwilling to apologize then I will have to give you a chance to challenge me. If you are able to defeat me in a duel then you may take refuge in the shelter and I can even promise you that my protégés will not disturb you as long as you are in the shelter. So what do you think?”
When the onlookers heard Saint Wu Heng, they were already muttering to one another;
“He is not going to win Saint Wu Heng…”
“Seventh realm expert…”
“Not only is Saint Wu Heng one of the top fighters in the Burning Heavens Pavilion, he is also a ranked fighter in the top 100 fighters.”
“This Li Yuan will be courting his own death if he decides to accept the challenge…”
Yuan Ji rubbed his chin as he grinned, “I accept your challenge. As a matter of fact, I am going to challenge all of you here.”
Saint Wu Heng laughed jovially, “You want to challenge all of us here? You must be joking!”
Yuan Ji grinned, “I’m not joking. I am going to challenge all of you to run up to the summit of the Thunder Peaks. Or are the whole lot of you just cowards that can only hide in the shelter?”
Then he laughed jovially, “Of course you are cowards or else why will you be in the shelter now. I’m so silly. So the Burning Heavens Pavilion is just so and so and just like the common sects. A little lightning and they will be hiding like tortoises in the shelter. Oh well…”
Saint Wu Heng shouted angrily, “Who says we are cowards?! If you want to challenge us to go to the summit, so be it!”
Yuan Ji gave him a thumb up, “Then let’s go now. Only cowards will hide in the shelter while only the true heroes have the real courage. It is only a little lightning.”
Saint Wu Heng said to his group of thirty that included six golden celestials, “Let’s go! We are storming the summit now!”
“But Saint Wu, the thunderstorm is a little too dangerous for now…”
“It is unwise…”
“Just because they are foolish, we need not be foolhardy as well…”
Yuan Ji laughed jovially, “So I see that the protégés of the Burning Heavens Pavilion are actually cowards. I’ve heard that the Burning Heavens Pavilion is so named because its founder patriarch is not even afraid of the burning heavens that are collapsing. I guess that the present crop of protégés from the Burning Heavens Pavilions are all tortoises and is afraid of a little lightning.”
Saint Wu Heng shouted firmly, “This is my order. As long as you are a protégé of the Burning Heavens Pavilion, we will all take the lightning trial. We must not let the unorthodox cultivators look down upon us! Today, we are going to show them who are the real heroes of the Desolate Celestial Fraternity!”
Yuan Ji had already leapt away, “Bravo, bravo! But you are a little slow. You don’t mind if I make my head start first?”
“What are you all waiting for?! Go now!” Saint Wu Heng displayed a mighty profound shout that shook the vicinity. “The last protégé to lag behind will receive the sect’s punishment!”
Ling Feiyue had displayed her lightless profound art as she appeared next to Yuan Ji before whispering, “What are you doing? This is crazy…”
Yuan Ji laughed before he lowered his voice to her ears, “Listen to me. This is the plan…”