Chapter 369: The Peak
The Heavenly Gate. The gate of testament and trial. When it opens to a cultivator, it is a good sign of luck. Because this gate only appears for those that have great talent.
Yet, I have no talent to speak of. I'm simply lucky.
The Poison G.o.d's heritage isn't a complex cultivation method. And it is easy to understand and easier to rise in rank thanks to eating poison.
Though it requires a lot of luck, not to practice, but to actually be accepted by the book, acolyte within it or not.
As for inscriptions, my knowledge from a past life had allowed me to easily understand, deduce and simplify what many in the world of cultivation believe to be the hardest of Cultivation Styles to learn.
I have no talent root, or so I was told by many seniors. I've seen what a talent root is like. It's the apt.i.tude for a certain type of cultivation. Some are attuned with Ice, like Yu-Yu, some more so with Fire, like Meng Hao. And some have other attunements with other elements. As for me, I have no such thing.
I was told I was so untalented that it was a miracle that I was even able to climb in cultivation. I was told that my talent was so poor that even a mortal would have better luck in climbing to the peak than I would.
I was told that I am not much, an old senile man, looking for the secrets of youth and cultivation at the expense of his livelihood and the welfare of his family and household.
"But here, even the heavens, present the gate to me, as a testament to my ability. I may not be talented in the eyes of the people, but even the Heavens have to open their gates to me," I spoke as I stood up facing the gate, for the third time.
"What do you have for me to challenge this time, oh great gate of the heavens?" I chuckled.
There was no answer, as the door opened up, there were no soldiers there anymore.
The Saint Qi that would usually seep out and bring life to a soldier of the heavens decided to remain within the gate.
There was nothing but a staircase that seemed to lead into beyond the gate.
Wind roared when it was still and it howled as it coursed through the gate. It felt as if the gate was a whale that opened its mouth, letting in water.
And then the wind was spewed back, from the gate, releasing a sound so close to a voice that it actually sounded this word.
This was the wind…and it spoke words of welcome to me.
I took a step forward, then the next, prudent but calm and collected. I took a step into the opened gate, and on the first step of this endless staircase.
Within the gate, there didn't seem to be an end to the stairs. And unlike the dark night of the outside world, it was a clear blue sky with endless purple clouds all over.
I then took another step. Then another, and I kept walking forward and forward.
There didn't seem to be an end to this staircase, but I had no need to stop or go back since I was invited, I will oblige.
Yet things seemed to change after taking a few hundred more steps.
I wiped my forehead and realized I was sweating, which shouldn't be possible. It was only a few steps, and as a cultivator, I shouldn't be this tired.
Another thing caught my sight, my arm, it was just moments ago, glistening, bright and healthy.
But now, it looks paler than normal and slightly shrunken.
I didn't pay it any mind as I continued to move forward. Yet soon, I began feeling… exhaustion.
My breaths seemed to be heavier, and my legs started to cramp.
I looked back to see how far I had walked, only to realize that the Heavenly gate was not even a step away from me.
I had barely taken a step forward even when I took several hundred.
"What kind of Tribulation is this," I muttered.
But for some reason, I felt that I shouldn't step back, otherwise I would have given up something, as if I were to have given up a part of me.
This trial is interesting.
I looked up, and took another step, then another.
And kept on moving. While at the same time inspecting myself every now and then.
My robes seemed to be slowly deteriorating. My body seemed to be slowly shrinking and dwindling.
My hair began to fall and my sight slowly and surely decreased.
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Yet, I kept on taking a step after the other, unrelenting and unstopping, even when I tripped and fell on my face, breaking a tooth.
And looking up, I saw that the staircase still had no foreseeable end.
"I guess I understand what this trial means…Many people crave to reach the peak of cultivation, while they think they crossed a great distance, they've not even taken the first step towards the end. This trial is meant to humble the Cultivators who foolishly think that they can reach the peak," I muttered.
"However, death is inevitable," I spoke as I looked at the top of the endless staircase.
"And even if it took the climb of a thousand lifetimes, I'll still move forward, even without a body. I will reach the peak, no matter how far it is. No matter how difficult, even if I had to drag my dying body towards, it. So heavens, your ruse, and trial into dismaying me from reaching for the peak only increased my conviction to seek it further. I should thank you for that."
As I finished my words, the entire world around me seemed to darken and I found myself sitting back at the same boulder I was on earlier.
In front of me was the heavenly gate with its door completely closed. While the thundering skies seemed to slowly fade away.
The redness of the dark night skies slowly changed until the bright moon was all that was s.h.i.+ning upon the world.
The Heaven's Gate disappeared without a trail.
Divine Senses from all over the Heavenly Academy seemed to rush forward towards me inspecting what was going on the moment the gate disappeared.
And the first to arrive was Master Rain.
"You're a lucky kid you know," Spoke Master Rain.
"Why?" I asked back.
"You've been rewarded handsomely," Master Rain said.
I looked around, there was no reward like last time, no fruit, no Saint Qi, nothing.
"I don't see any reward," I said.
"You've been exempted from the Ascendant Tribulation because you pa.s.sed it as a Soul Transformation Cultivator," Spoke Master Rain.
"Euh…say what now?"
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