Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Lu Ye did not enter his personal training chamber. Instead, he took a moment to identify his target before moving straight toward a training chamber and opening the door with his authority as the Legate.
There was a girl cultivating inside the room, and his sudden intrusion scared her to say the least. “Did I do something wrong, senior brother?” As if recalling something, she suddenly hugged her head and begged, “I swear I’m not trying to steal your woman, senior brother! I won’t harass Sister Hua Ci any longer, so please don’t hurt me!”
Was it just his imagination, or did the girl just drop a bomb on him?
A while later, Lu Ye finished adding a Gathering Spirit that encompassed an entire wall of the training chamber and stepped away, leaving behind the girl who looked stupefied for one reason or another.
There were a ton of training chambers in the Outpost, and Lu Ye was unable to install Gathering Spirits to all of them despite starting early. That was why he dropped in whenever he was free.
At first, his goal was to install one Gathering Spirits to each training chamber. Later, he decided to upgrade his goal to two Gathering Spirits per chamber, then three.
After he was done fulfilling his quota for the day, Lu Ye entered his personal training chamber and used his remaining Spiritual Power to construct a small funnel. Then, he switched his cultivation discipline to Gluttonous Feast and threw two Spirit Restoring Pills into his mouth.
He read the books Lady Yun gave him as he cultivated. From time to time, he would practice constructing a Yin or Yang element on his fingertip.
The Spiritual Power he used up to build the Gathering Spirits quickly regenerated. Since the Outpost’s World Spiritual Qi had become much denser than before, both his recovery speed and cultivation efficiency were twice as good than before, if not better.
If he were to invest all of his energy into cultivating, Lu Ye was confident he could reach Seventh-Order in less than twenty days.
It wasn’t necessarily a good thing to cultivate too quickly, however. During the Battle Royale of the Legates, Li Baxian had warned him about the dangers of cultivating power without regard to one’s own strength. He would only be putting his life at risk if his skill was not befitting of his cultivation level.
That said, Lu Ye wasn’t particularly worried about this problem. His cultivation speed was “dragging” because he was studying the Way of Glyphs and constructing Gathering Spirits in the training chambers anyway, so all was well.
Lu Ye went through the books quickly and consumed the knowledge they contained like a ravenous beast. Eventually, he hit a point where he could construct both Yin and Yang element with relative ease. He was still a ways away from being able to switch between the two primary elements as he pleased, however.
Studying Glyphs was fun, but it became tedious after he spent too much time on it. A thought later, he took out the Mystic Fruit Seed in his Storage Bag and almost channeled his Spiritual Power into it when he recalled something. He hurriedly stopped his action and grabbed his Inviolable.
He wanted to know if he could carry the Inviolable into the Rift of Illusions with him. His first dive had almost been a total waste of Contribution Points because the saber hadn’t entered with him.
When he was ready, he channeled his Spiritual Power into the Mystic Fruit Seed and entered that strange little room. Lu Ye hurriedly looked down and was greatly relieved to find his weapon firmly in his grasp. Now we’re talking.
He knew what to do justice to his prior experience. He walked up to the one and only door in the room and pressed his hand against it.
Just like last time, a short passage rippled into existence. It informed him that entering the Rift of Illusions would cost him fifty Contribution Points.
Lu Ye was, for the lack of a better word, filthy rich right now, so he didn’t even bat an eyelid when he pushed open the door. His Battlefield Imprint warmed, and fifty Contribution Points were deducted from his total just like that.
Behind the door was a small space surrounded by thick fog. Everything beyond a thirty-meter radius was invisible to the naked eye. It was as if the fog was concealing an unimaginable amount of danger.
Lu Ye looked behind him. Just like last time, the door had vanished as if it never existed. It seemed like this small space was a transit point of some sort.
Suddenly, strange noises came from the fog directly in front of him. It sounded like something was crawling rapidly toward him.
Lu Ye immediately spread his legs and crouched a little. At the same time, he gripped the hilt of the Inviolable tightly!
The fog in front of him started coiling unnaturally. It looked as if something was about to burst out of the fog.
[Here it comes!]
Lu Ye channeled his Spiritual Power. The next moment, something strange leaped out of the fog and fell straight toward him!
The creature looked like a praying mantis. Its four hind legs allowed it to move incredibly fast, and its forearms looked as sharp as a well-polished cleaver.
The praying mantis was at least as huge as Lu Ye, and its color was green darkening into black. It had a pair of wings that allowed it to glide across the air.
Lu Ye had never seen such a huge praying mantis in his life. The first time he entered this god forsaken place, it had caught him completely off guard and weaponless. As a result, he only lasted for a couple of minutes before he was “killed”.
Its mouth opened and closed repeatedly as it fell toward him, showcasing jagged, saw-like teeth. There was no question in his mind that being bitten by it was a terrible idea.
As their distance closed, the praying mantis swung its forearms at his neck like a pair of scissors. It was aiming to remove his head from his body.
The attack was as strong as the full-powered attack of a Sixth-Order combat cultivator. In fact, Lu Ye had the feeling that its strength was tweaked to match his own.
Lu Ye was already making a low dash toward the praying mantis’ underbelly when the mantis blades came swinging. The Inviolable drew a bright arc in the air, and dark green blood mixed with internal organs burst out in a shower of gore. The praying mantis collapsed in a heap just like that. The slash had nearly cleaved its entire body in half.
That was the strength of a Sharp Edge-empowered slash. Anyone at his cultivation level would die if they were to take a direct hit.
Before he could steady himself though, he heard more crawling noises from the fog to his left and right. The next moment, two praying mantises burst out of the fog and pounced toward him.
Lu Ye wanted to test out the strength of his new Glyph, so he did. His legs flashed as he empowered himself with Windwalk, and his running speed abruptly improved by leaps and bounds. He reached one of the praying mantises in an instant and brought down the Inviolable. The attack cleaved both the mantis blades and its head in one strike.
There was no time to celebrate. He turned around and swung out just in time to block the second praying mantis’ attack.
Lu Ye applied Gravity Well to his saber without a word. The praying mantis was no match for his strength to begin with, so the sudden weight instantly caused it to crash to the ground. Lu Ye seized the momentum and thrust over half of the Inviolable’s blade into its mouth. When he withdrew it, the praying mantis twitched weakly on the ground while making hissing, air-leaking noises.
Lu Ye was breathing heavily at this point, but the unnatural fog surrounding the space churned yet again. This time, three praying mantises appeared from three different directions…
There were no breaks since the battle began. Every time he took out a squad of enemies, a new squad with one additional praying mantis would enter the fray.
Everything felt incredibly real. Lu Ye could smell the acrid smell of the praying mantises’ blood and feel the liquid splashing against his skin. Even he was bleeding bright red blood when he took a hit from the enemy.
Lu Ye did not know where this Rift of Illusions was or how the Mystic Fruit Seed was able to connect him to it, but it felt exactly the same as the real world.
The only difference between here and the real world was that death wasn’t permanent. Also, the bodies of the praying mantises he killed disappeared in just a short time.
If he wasn’t mistaken, the purpose of this place was to temper a cultivator’s combat skills.
Shui Yuan was of the same opinion after she tested out the Mystic Fruit Seed.
This place was a dream come true for Lu Ye because his cultivation speed was too fast, and he had risen to power too quickly. Despite being a Sixth-Order cultivator and a battle maniac, he hadn’t actually fought that many cultivators and so was very lacking in battle experience.
The Rift of Illusions made up for his flaw perfectly. Yes, his opponents were praying mantises and not cultivators, but the pain and the feeling dancing on a knife’s edge were all real.
Here, Lu Ye could unleash everything he knew and fix his flaws little by little.
When nine praying mantises charged out of the fog, Lu Ye sensed that he was almost at his limits. The problem was that the “arena” he was in was only so big, so even with his Glyphs he was unable to avoid being ganged up on. As a result, his body was covered in bone-deep slash wounds, and some of his internal organs were leaking out of his cut abdomen.
When he killed the third praying mantis of the nine, a mantis blade finally pierced through his head!
The sensation of death was about as real as it could be. Inside his personal training chamber, Lu Ye abruptly opened his eyes and panted heavily. Despite knowing that dying inside the Rift of Illusions wouldn’t lead to true death, that didn’t mean dying was in any way a pleasant experience. Not only that, his head was hurting like there was a needle inside his brain.
It was why Hua Ci had given him the death stare after he tricked her into trying out the Mystic Fruit Seed. No one wanted to experience death as a matter of course.
He inspected himself to confirm that none of the injuries he suffered in the Rift of Illusions were reflected in real life. On the other hand, he had exhausted most of his Spiritual Power. It seemed that everything he experienced in the Rift of Illusions except his usage of Spiritual Power and accumulated fatigue was fake.
As for the stabbing pain at the back of his head, it probably had something to do with mental exhaustion.
This meant that he could only enter the Rift of Illusions every once in a while unless he spent an entire day recuperating.
A Mystic Fruit Seed’s effect was completely random. Although this one hadn’t given him a rich leyline that would drastically increase his cultivation efficiency, it did give him the ability to hone his combat skills through false death experiences. In a sense, it was completely priceless.
Li Baxian’s eye for valuables was truly impressive. There were nine fruits on the Mystic Fruit Tree, and somehow he had chosen the one that was best suited for him.
With that done, he returned to his cultivation and recovered his Spiritual Power. He also ate some food from his Storage Bag to regain his strength.
The days passed quickly. Besides returning to the headquarters once in a while to enjoy Shui Yuan’s delicious food, he spent most of his time in the training chamber studying the books Lady Yun had given him, constructing the elements of Yin and Yang, and entering the Rift of Illusions once per day to murder praying mantises everyday. The days were fulfilling to say the least.
After he grew accustomed to the praying mantises’ way of fighting, his skill began improving by leaps and bounds. He was able to identify the least tiring method to kill the big fellows in the shortest amount of time possible. At the same time, he was becoming more and more familiar with his new Glyphs.
On the fifth day, Lu Ye finally left the training chamber and, as per usual, checked with the junior brother guarding the Sanctum of Providence at the time if they had need of him. After confirming that all was well at the Outpost, he teleported back to the headquarters and sought out Amber. Then, he rode it to the Summit of Clarity.
He had gone through all the books, and he was now capable of constructing and switching between the two primary elements at the level Lady Yun demanded of him. It was time to move onto the next step of his training.