Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Lu Ye was unaware of this, but the Hundred Wards suddenly rumbled when he pressed the ball of light into his forehead. The next moment, an invisible wave of energy spread out and enveloped the entire valley.
The cultivator responsible for guarding the Hundred Wards Tower was the first to notice this. He quickly reported the occurrence, causing a bunch of high level cultivators and Yu Xiao himself to appear at the valley.
The great elder, Bai Qian, had also returned to the scene.
The news spread quickly. Many Heavenly Derivative Sect disciples hurried to the tower after learning of the phenomenon, although they could only watch from beyond the valley entrance since Yu Xiao hadn’t lifted the lockdown here.
The phenomenon was called resonance. It wasn’t a common occurrence, but it usually happened once every few years. All Heavenly Derivative Sect disciples were familiar with it.
A resonance was triggered every time a challenger cleared a floor with flying colors. The Heavenly Derivative Sect had researched how well one had to perform to trigger a resonance, and they agreed that the result had to appear on the ranking list at the very least. Unfortunately, the ranking list was broken because the tower was in an incomplete state, so there was no way to confirm their theory.
One thing was certain, the number of people who could trigger a resonance from the Hundred Wards Tower was low. Practically every ward cultivator from all across Jiu Zhou would visit the Hundred Wards Tower at least once in their lives, and a good number of them were repeat challengers. At least a thousand ward cultivators visited the tower every year, and yet a resonance only happened once every couple of years. It showed just how difficult it was to trigger a resonance.
A resonance occurred when the reward gifted to the challenger was so great that the Heavens themselves were alerted. The buzzing also had an inspiring effect on all ward cultivators within its sphere of influence. That was why the disciples of the Heavenly Derivative Sect would go into a frenzy every time a resonance occurred. If they cultivated within the valley while a resonance occurred, they would be able to deepen their understanding of the Way of Wards and improve their attainment.
The Hundred Wards Tower was practically the holy land of all ward cultivators. The reasons the Heavenly Derivative Sect didn’t just hoard it for themselves was, one, to build connections with the other sects, and two, to increase the chances that someone might trigger a resonance. After all, it was something that benefited all of them. While the large majority of the reward went to the challenger as a matter of course, the slops still benefited their disciples greatly.
Currently, the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s disciples were gathered outside the valley and gossiping among themselves like housewives.
No one knew why the Hundred Wards Tower had been put under lockdown in the first place, and now a resonance had occurred when the valley was supposed to be devoid of people. How could they not be curious about this?
“Perhaps Sister Ling Yun is challenging the tower. I heard she achieved a breakthrough not long ago and was gearing up to make a third attempt.”
“But Sister Ling Yun is over there.” said someone while pointing at a beautiful woman not far away from them. The speaker looked and found that he was right.
“If it’s not Sister Ling Yun, then perhaps it’s Brother Ji Ye?”
“Are you blind or what? Brother Ji Ye is standing right next to Sister Ling Yun.”
“Huh. If it’s not them, then who? They are the only two people in our sect capable of triggering a resonance.”
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone from our sect. Perhaps our elders had put the Hundred Wards Tower under lockdown because an important guest from another sect was scheduled to challenge the tower today. They must be the genius cultivator of a Tier-one Sect or something.”
“Are you kidding me? A good amount of Tier-one Sect cultivators visit our tower every year, but the sect has never locked down the entire tower for them.”
No disciple was able to figure out what was going on despite their discussion.
Outside the entrance of the Hundred Wards Tower, Yu Xiao and Bai Qian were standing shoulder-to-shoulder and looking at the first floor of the Hundred Wards Tower.
“Didn’t you tell him not to push himself beyond his limits?” Yu Xiao asked while nursing a growing headache.
Bai Qian’s face looked as wrinkled as a bitter melon as he replied, “Of course I did! I said exactly those words right before I escorted him into the tower. He must’ve gone all out to trigger a resonance right from the get-go.”
“How many floors do you think he can overcome during his first attempt, Elder Bai?” Yu Xiao asked again.
“It’s hard to say. You know the rules as well as I do. The better his performance, the greater the rewards. Assuming that he scaled the tower without accepting any rewards, he would probably hit his limit at around the fifteenth floor or so. Realistically speaking though, of course he is going to take everything he can get. Assuming that the rewards are great enough, he could probably scale a couple more floors.”
“That… is not good.”
“I know. Hopefully, he will realize the dangers of the Hundred Wards Tower and not rush ahead bullishly. If he overestimates himself because of his greed… Heavens only know what the Crimson Blood Sect will do.”
Bai Qian would’ve messaged Lu Ye to be cautious if he could, but the interior of the Hundred Wards Tower was cut off from the outside world. Nothing could go in or out of the tower.
It was at this moment an elder walked up to them and bowed. “Sect master, great elder. The disciples are all waiting outside. Should I let them in?”
Yu Xiao looked behind him and saw the disciples looking eagerly in his direction. He thought for a moment before nodding, “Let them in.”
A resonance only occurred once every few years. It would be terrible to deny them the opportunity to further their attainments.
A moment later, everyone was sitting on the earthen floor, closing their eyes and searching for that profound feeling of enlightenment from the constant vibrations of the Hundred Wards Tower.
Inside the tower, Lu Ye was digesting the massive volume of information that was hammered into his brain. Although he had performed well enough to trigger a resonance, the information contained only the basics and fundamentals of the Way of Wards because this was just the first floor.
This reward would not be particularly valuable to other ward cultivators because any teacher worth their salt would strive to establish a solid foundation in their students. However, Lu Ye was really a student of the Way of Glyphs. Although the Way of Wards was technically a branch of the Way of Glyphs, and the two fields of study shared a lot of similarities, they were ultimately not the same. Moreover, he had only started studying the Way of Wards after he left the Crimson Blood Sect, so he was technically a self-study.
That was why his foundation in the Way of Wards was full of holes. If he were to continue as he was, he was almost certainly going to hit a wall very soon. Although he possessed unique advantages that other ward cultivators did not possess such as Glyph: Insight, his flaws more than overshadowed them.
The first floor’s reward was exactly what he needed to fix the gaps in his knowledge.
Lu Ye swiftly digested the information inside his head. He used it to prove his learnings and fill up the gaps in his knowledge. Slowly but surely, he was fixing the holes in his foundation.
His head felt uncomfortably packed, but he was very happy with the outcome. This trip would be worth it even if he received no more rewards from further floors.
A challenger could not remain on a floor indefinitely. If their time limit was up, and they did not move to the next floor, then the Hundred Wards Tower would automatically eject them from its inner world.
Therefore, the tests weren’t the only things a challenger must face in the Hundred Wards Tower. They must also digest its rewards to improve their attainment and recover their Spiritual Power as soon as possible, and do it all within the time limit. Poor time management would most likely ruin the cultivator’s tower climb.
That said, Lu Ye did not need to worry about any of this thanks to his unique advantage. He did not need to meditate to recover his Spiritual Power because the Gathering Spirits would automatically suck in the condensed Spiritual Qi into his Spiritual Points. He could invest his full attention in digesting the information he received.
Time passed, and the uncomfortable fullness gradually faded into nothing. It was the sign that he had digested the reward gifted by the Hundred Wards Tower.
An unknown amount of time later, Lu Ye opened his eyes with a thoughtful look on his face.
The reward he obtained wasn’t particularly deep or profound. He was able to digest it all in short order because it was all easy-to-understand fundamentals of the Way of Wards. It only stressed him because the volume of the information was too much. Even so, he could tell that this one “simple” reward had increased his attainment by half a level at least.
The Hundred Wards Tower definitely deserved its name.
He felt a little tired, but it wasn’t an issue. Lu Ye observed his surroundings and noted that it was still filled to the brim with condensed Spiritual Qi despite all the Spiritual Qi he had absorbed. It was almost as if the World Spiritual Qi in the room was infinite.
This was because of his exceptional performance. The World Spiritual Qi wouldn’t be this condensed if he hadn’t cleared this many tests.
He was now full to the brim, and there was still time before he must enter the next floor. He decided then it would be a waste to ascend to the second floor without utilizing such an excellent cultivation environment.
He was one Spiritual Point away from ascending to the Ninth-Order. Without further ado, he channeled his Spiritual Power and began breaking down its barrier.
It didn’t take long for the barrier to be broken. Streams of Spiritual Power began flowing into the new Spiritual Point. Soon, a new Microcosmic Orbit began circulating inside the Spiritual Point. With this, he had officially ascended to the Ninth-Order.
In the past, it always took him two months or less to ascend to the next cultivation level. This time though, it took him almost four months to ascend to the Ninth-Order. It was because he had diverted most of his focus and energy on the Way of Wards recently. It was definitely worth it if he looked at the long-term picture though.
He thought back to the time he dueled wits and brawn against Manager Yang in the mining tunnels of Evil Moon Valley. It had almost been one and a half years since he embarked on the path of cultivation.
His cultivation speed was incredibly quick despite everything. In all of Jiu Zhou, only some genius disciples in Tier-one Sects might be able to become a Ninth-Order cultivator in less than a year and a half.
Lu Ye continued to cultivate since there was still time. It only took him one hour to fill up his new Spiritual Point completely.
It was mainly thanks to his cultivation environment. It was many, many times more concentrated than the world Spiritual Qi at the Crimson Blood Sect’s Outpost.
If his fellow disciples could cultivate in an environment like this, he was sure that their cultivation would improve by leaps and bounds. Of course, this was impossible. In fact, he did not think that even the Outposts in the Core Circle got to enjoy such condensed World Spiritual Qi.
Without further ado, Lu Ye gathered his Spiritual Power and attacked the next barrier.
After purchasing the Great Sun Veluriyam Technique from the Vault of Providence, Lu Ye had spent a bit of time figuring out the locations of his new Spiritual Points. That was why he could unlock them anytime he wanted to as long he was full of Spiritual Power.
However, he would have to increase the number of his Spiritual Points to two hundred and forty first before he could switch out his cultivation technique. It was the same as when he switched from the Golden Liberation Technique to Red Lotus Sky Mnemonic.