Zhou Yuan stood on a dune in an endless desert, a blank look on his face as he gazed upon the peaceful land around him, while feeling rather lost inside.
The golden sun in the sky had already been smashed to bits by the divine grindstone, taking away the burning pain his Spirit had felt. Everything now felt extremely serene.
Zhou Yuan scratched his head. Compared to the difficulty of the previous trial, this trial felt as if it had ended even before it began...
While Zhou Yuan smiled bitterly, a strange noise suddenly sounded from the sky. He raised his head to look, and found a stream of golden light descending from above as it swiftly approached him.
The stream of golden light flowed like water, arriving in front of Zhou Yuan.
“What is this?” Zhou Yuan stared in wonder at the golden stream. His Spirit had begun to tremble violently the moment it had appeared, releasing a feeling of extreme desire.
As if it could not wait to devour the former.
Zhou Yuan had a certain feeling that if he absorbed the golden light, his Spirit cultivation, which had remained stuck for half a year, would begin to progress once more, and soar straight to the advanced Corporeal stage!
“Is this golden light the remnants of the shattered golden sun from earlier?”
Zhou Yuan licked his lips. He quickly retrieved a jade bottle, and began collecting the strange liquid-like golden light. Since he could not determine its origin for the time being, it would be best for him to bring it back for Yaoyao to inspect.
Moreover, it was neither the appropriate time nor place for him to attempt a Spirit cultivation breakthrough.
Golden light flowed into the transparent jade bottle, glittering dazzlingly as if it were gold.
Zhou Yuan carefully kept the bottle with a happy look in his eyes. He had not expected to receive such a surprising gift...
Not long after keeping the golden light, the great desert began to tremble faintly.
“Second mountain trial, pass.”
A grand yet emotionless voice echoed across the place.
Upon hearing this voice, Zhou Yuan finally breathed a sigh of relief as if a heavy burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He had genuinely been afraid that he would fail the test due to breaking the golden sun. If that happened, he won’t even have a place to cry.
The desert started to distort as the voice continued to echo. After experiencing this phenomenon once, Zhou Yuan was quite calm as he silently stood and waited for the change to complete.
The final trial should be coming up next.
He should succeed once he passes it, right?
The sand retreated as the scenery before Zhou Yuan’s eyes transformed. He appeared to now be standing in a majestic ancient hall.
He did a quick 180, before his gaze paused in front of him, where three giant stone pillars towered. The pillars were mottled with the scars of time, and gave off an ancient aura.
Zhou Yuan’s gaze slowly moved upwards along the stone pillars, his eyes suddenly widening when he reached their peaks.
Three figures were seated atop these pillars.
Their eyes were tightly shut, their bodies completely still as if they were statues. They gave off no presence, as if they were inanimate puppets.
Words had been carved into the upper regions of the pillars.
“Heavenly Sun… Divine Dwelling… Alpha-Origin?”
Muttered Zhou Yuan. Did these words represent the strength of these three figures? The one on the left was a Heavenly Sun stage practitioner, the middle the Divine Dwelling stage, while the right one an Alpha-Origin.
“The third trial. Spin the needle in front of the three stone pillars to select your opponent.”
“You have two chances to spin, and are allowed to choose a new opponent.”
A robotic voice echoed in the hall.
“So that’s the test.”
Zhou Yuan’s expression turned a little ugly. He had not expected the third trial to be so frightening. Out of the three choices, only the Alpha-Origin would give him a chance at victory.
As for the other two, even without taking into account the Heavenly Sun stage, the Divine Dwelling stage would already be certain death for Zhou Yuan.
He was currently at the fifth layer Alpha-Origin stage, and though his true battle power did not lose to an eighth layer disciple, there was still a tremendous disparity when compared to the Divine Dwelling stage.
Fortunately, there were two tries, which gave him a higher probability of selecting an Alpha-Origin stage opponent.
Zhou Yuan let out a bitter laugh. He truly did not know what to do if he ended up with a Heavenly Sun or Divine Dwelling opponent.
He shook his head and made a quick prayer, before walking forward to the center of the three stone pillars, where a stone needle was found.
Zhou Yuan gripped the stone needle as he took in a deep breath to suppress the anxiety in his heart. In the end, he fiercely gritted his teeth and gave the needle a powerful push.
The needle began to spin, rapidly turning between the three stone pillars.
As time passed, the needle gradually started to slow down.
Zhou Yuan’s gaze was glued to the end of the needle.
In the end, it slowly came to a halt.
Zhou Yuan’s expression was quite ugly as he slowly lifted his head. A numbing sensation seemed to explode across his scalp as his hands and feet turned ice-cold. The needle was pointing at the Heavenly Sun pillar!
He had been unlucky enough to select the strongest one.
Zhou Yuan clenched his jaw as a curse escaped from the cracks between his teeth.
The power of the Heavenly Sun stage could squish him with a single swat. There was no way in hell that he would pass.
Zhou Yuan gloomily raised his head and gazed at the figure atop the Heavenly Sun stage pillar. Although the latter was akin to a statue, merely looking at it made him feel a tremendous amount of pressure.
“I can’t possibly beat that…” Zhou Yuan shook his head.
“Fortunately, I still have another chance…”
Zhou Yuan slowly lifted his hand and grasped the stone needle once more with the intention of pushing it to reselect his opponent.
He gripped the rough stone, but just as he was about to push, he suddenly remembered old Xuan’s words when he first entered the mountain trial.
“Remember what you said earlier.”
Zhou Yuan’s hand paused.
Old Xuan would obviously not tell him something unimportant.
“What I said earlier…”
Zhou Yuan fell silent. He had begun to recall his earlier words.
“Are you confident?”
“There is no such thing as absolute confidence, but I will neither be afraid nor retreat in the face of any difficulty
Zhou Yuan’s expression fluctuated indeterminately as he mumbled, “Be unafraid?”
He admitted that fear had risen in his heart when the needle pointed towards the Heavenly Sun pillar earlier, because he had felt that it was an unwinnable opponent.
Hence, his very first response was to spin the needle again.
But if he were to spin it again and go for the retry, it would also mean that he had been afraid and retreated in the face of the Heavenly Sun stage.
Was retrying really the correct choice?
Would this test really give him a second chance?
Or… was the so-called ‘second chance’ merely a trap?
There was only silence in the ancient hall.
Zhou Yuan’s hand lay on the stone needle, but was ultimately unable to make himself push it. After a long silence, he finally raised his head and let out a drawn-out sigh, before releasing his grip little by little.
He took two steps back, looking at the pressuring figure atop the stone pillar as he muttered,
“If I die, I die… Heavenly Sun stage, do you think I’m afraid of you…”
He abruptly raised his finger, and pointed at the figure as a thunderous shout boomed in the hall.
“Heavenly Sun stage!”
“I shall be you!”