Chapter 52: Solitary Mountain PaG.o.da
First things first, I'm weak. This is obvious, to anyone with eyes. I'm no match to the monsters and creatures of this world, and I'm even surprised at my ability to retain my sanity even after I was almost eaten by that huge snake. I'll have to thank the cultivation mindset for this because if I was a regular person, I'd probably s.h.i.+t my pants the moment that snake showed up.
The second thing, I'm way in over my head. This mere snake was the first hurdle thrown at me in this Ascendant's cave, there could be more, and definitely fiercer, stronger creature up in the distance, something that mere luck or a damaged X cannot overcome.
And finally, I can't leave this place without Xi Son. Simply because I didn't have the slightest idea on how to. I came to this place thanks to the teleportation platform. But the platform didn't teleport me to another one but rather threw us in a random spot inside this small 'world'.
So to leave I must find another teleportation platform and pay the hefty sum of spirit stones to get out. Also, not to mention the small slabs that are in the hands of Xi Son. One of them allowed us access to this place, so it wouldn't be wrong to a.s.sume that one would allow us to leave, or even be the key to some of the possible areas in this small world.
Right, let's take a step back.
I'm too weak to fight, but I won't give up and just die. I need strength to survive but it's impossible in the current situation, I can't just up and become an ascendant if I wish hard enough. The world doesn't work like that. Hard work and dedication, and suffering at the hands of the poison plaguing my body.
So, that leaves me with what? Prudence, carefulness, and complete understanding of where I am, what I have to do, and where to go. I can't power my way through these hurdles with mere strength, I'm so far lacking in that aspect right now it would be a joke if I were to think I'll survive on my mere Foundation Establishment cultivation.
I'll need to use my wits.
Immediately, my mind's gears began spinning.
I revaluated my situation and re-thought through it, no exit, no power but still intelligence and prudence will take one a long way, at least if I were to die, I'll know it won't be because I was headstrong and believed I'm able to fight my way through, but because I wasn't smart enough to navigate the hidden dangers of this place.
X is damaged, but I have no way to fix him in this situation. My body is still perfectly fine, I received no injuries and I still have enough Qi to move about. I'm not in any immediate danger but that's no reason to relax. And I need to figure out my next step, should I wait for Xi Son, or should I navigate this area all by myself.
Though the first choice seems like the best option, I don't trust that n.o.ble. Simply because he had too much power for me to pose any real threat, the same as the traps here. I could file him as another hurdle and find a way around him, he is a hurdle that I'm best off avoiding.
So, that brings me to my current predicament, what now?
All over me are plains that reach all the way to the horizon, the sun never moved, and the sky is slightly cloudy, there is a gentle breeze but it feels fake. More like the wind from a fan than a cold summer wind.
Staying where I am will not change anything, and will only increase the chances of Xi Son finding me. Not that I'm avoiding him, but if the jade he gave me stays in one place for a long time he would think that I might have died, or that I'm stuck, giving him reason to come find me.
I kept looking around, there was nothing that would indicate my position, no mountains no trees, and no points of reference besides this pool next to my feet.
Which way to go, north, south, west, east? I kept racking my brain thinking where I should go before realizing how idiotic I was.
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The winds, are static, continuous, but the wind is coming from the west, it never subsided, it kept moving. And in this fake world, this wind needed a source, and this source would probably be the center of this place. That's a start, though not the best lead to follow, if I created this place I'd probably put all the mechanism in the centermost area.
The paG.o.da looked immaculate and clean as if it didn't whether G.o.d knows how many eons in this place. No snow, dirt, or dust gathered on the paG.o.da and it looked clean.
It took me more hours to get to the paG.o.da's open gate. And looking at the doors I saw two of the slabs making the box that Xi Son had, already placed on the door. Keys, this means that Xi Son had already arrived here and entered.
I took a deep breath and took a step inside the paG.o.da. Only to be immediately a.s.saulted by a mind-rending vocal message.
"Welcome to the Laughing Slaughterer's Abode! Rejoice for your Trials and Tribulations are yet to start! Survive and you shall earn untold might, fail and you shall be doomed to everlasting mediocrity. That is if you remain alive!"
The message was simple but it meant that so much danger lurked inside this paG.o.da that it would be best if I leave. Yet, man proposes, and heaven Disposes. The gates of the paG.o.da lurch closed locking me inside what seemed to be a gigantic pentagonal wooden platform where it seemed to have no other exit or entry. The walls around me closed and locked me while the ceiling came down locking me in a sealed enclosed s.p.a.ce that I had no way to leave.
And right in front of me, there was a man standing front of me. He oddly looked exactly like me. With the same robes, pustules and hunched back, only his eyes, well one of them as I was missing an eye and so was the 'clone.' His eye was red, no irises, not white, just a red glowing eye and his grin was something that sent s.h.i.+vers down my spine if I could grin as he did I'd be d.a.m.n scary.
"FIRST TRIAL! ONE AGAINST SELF! For only one's limiter is one's self, find victory against yourself to see true enlightenment!"
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