The scale of these Nascent Soul remnants completely went against Luo Jianqing’s expectations.
It was written in “Seeking Immortality” that True Lord Beidou’s remnants were created with the Ursa Major Formation. The entrance to the first mountain pass was called Yaoguang Star, and the large river that everyone had just passed through was called Kaiyang Star. Below should be the Ursa Major’s third star, Yuheng Star. Surprisingly, after walking for less than an hour, they still hadn’t reached the end of the road.
As the only cultivator with a golden core and the leader of the entire group, Luo Jianqing walked to the very front, as was his duty.
The further they walked, the colder it got. Fortunately, the lowest level out of everyone present was Phase One of Qi Condensation, and they could resist the cold, so no one was too affected. Yet when they had walked through the entirety of the trail, everything before their eyes was a vast expanse of white. Countless disciples sighed with emotion and exclaimed with admiration one after another.
“Could this be… the third pass?”
Separated by a screen of white light, a world of ice and snow appeared before everyone’s eyes. Snow blew violently and gales snarled. Even though no one had stepped in it, everyone could feel a bone-chilling chill scuttling from the bottom of their feet to the very center of their heads.
This time, the stone tablet was erected directly in front of the snowfield.
“Vast and boundless white snow, is there no end?” The nineteen junior brothers stared at it for a long time until they turned their head to say to Luo Jianqing, “Senior brother, this must be the Ursa Major Formation’s third pass, Yuheng.”
Luo Jianqing lightly nodded. “Do you have the courage to enter?”
The nineteen disciples laughed out loud and took a step inside. “Then, great senior brother, we will try to find a path for everyone!”
Their voices had just fell when the silhouettes of the nineteen junior brothers completely went into the screen of light. What amazed everyone was that they had completely faded away before everyone’s eyes! In the vast snow, there was not the slightest hint of the nineteen junior brothers’ silhouettes. The snowflakes continued to flutter in the air as the furious gales roared, like they were swallowing people.
There was immediately an uproar among the crowd. Many people stepped back in fear, but Luo Jianqing turned his head and said, “The nineteen junior brothers have already entered a different space. From here on out, everyone will be separated during this practice experience. No one can help you anymore. If you truly can’t endure it, remember to immediately turn back. Don’t try to show off. Crush the pieces of jade you got at the start of the black iron gate, and you should be able to evacuate out of the remnants, ending this session.”
Everyone simultaneously cupped their hands in salute. “Yes, great senior brother!”
Yi Tian Sect’s disciples nodded as well, like they were trying to dispel other people’s doubts. Luo Jianqing gave everyone an indifferent glance, then suddenly stepped into the screen of light, disappearing from this space.
When Luo Jianqing opened his eyes, he had already entered the third pass. There was no one else around him, only seeing nothing but the endless snow. Luo Jianqing thought of raising his spiritual energy, but found out that his cultivation had been suppressed to Qi Foundation stage, so he was no longer capable of flying high up in the air like before.
After he calmly gave his surroundings a quick look, Luo Jianqing narrowed his eyes. “The first pass restricted age and cultivation, the second pass tested innate skill, and the third pass suppresses cultivation. Is it testing perseverance?”
After a moment, Luo Jianqing began to walk forward.
This snow was not considered too deep, but the snow piled to Luo Jianqing’s ankles as he walked step by step. If an ordinary person had come here, even if they didn’t freeze to death, they might have ended up suffering from snow blindness looking at such white snow for so long.
Luo Jianqing knew that those disciples that followed him in would’ve gotten their cultivation suppressed by now, becoming truly ordinary people. According to that book, the better a disciple’s constitution was, the harder the trial would become. For example, the aristocratic child who won first place at the all-peak examinations. His cultivation was at Phase Four of Qi Condensation, but he would become an ordinary person here. Plus, he had a first-level constitution. In the book, he had struggled the most to cross the mountain pass.
But now, Luo Jianqing was afraid that the title of “most struggling” had fallen to him.
Luo Jianqing lifted the spiritual energy in his body to protect his arteries, while the remainder was put at the bottom of his feet, and walked continuously. He didn’t know how long he had been walking, but it seemed that it had been two hours, while seeming like an entire day at the same time. His surroundings never changed, making him feel like he was making no progress. But the thickly dotted footprints behind his body told him that he had been walking for a very long time.
The snowstorm became even more brutal, the gales engulfed in snowflakes, like a knife scraping Luo Jianqing’s cheeks.
Luo Jianqing looked down at the ground, as if he didn’t notice the frantic snowstorm, still continuing to walk persistently. The count he had been keeping had reached a hundred li, and now he had walked for another thousand li.
When he reached nine thousand li, the snow had finally reached his stomach. Luo Jianqing still did not react, calmly using his spiritual energy to dispel the snowflakes. His behavior seemed to have incurred this place’s wrath, the snowstorm surging downwards, as if flooding the area Luo Jianqing was in.
This snow was different from before. Luo Jianqing again used his spiritual energy to push it away.
When Luo Jianqing reached an entire ten thousand li, the snow had already submerged nearly his entire body. According to Luo Jianqing’s current cultivation level of Qi Foundation, he could already bigu diet (1) and not have to breathe for a short period of time. However, he would not let this snow bury him!
Just when he had walked for ten thousand li, he heard a lingering sigh coming from his surroundings. “A heavenly superior-level, walking in defiance of the natural order. Here, you have a first-level constitution, but even with a superior-level constitution, this is only the beginning. At present, you are still able to turn your head.”
Luo Jianqing’s right foot stepped on the ground, and the heavy snow around his body was knocked away with his sword-light. He raised his head to look at the sky. “For mere Nascent Soul remnants, what could you do to me?” As he spoke, the green light in the middle of his forehead shone, his green sword-mark seeming like it was going to break through his mind. The horizon roared. The tiny red mole was bright as fire, making the snowstorm stop for an instant.
His voice had just fell when Luo Jianqing suddenly sped up his pace, continuing to move forward.
When he had walked a hundred thousand li, Luo Jianqing couldn’t stop panting, and the spiritual energy in his body was about to dry up. Fortunately, after he walked the last step, the snow and ice filled world seemed to transform into a mirage, disappearing completely. It seemed this was a sign that he had gotten through the mountain pass.
All of a sudden, his cultivation sharply rose back to middle stage Core Formation. Luo Jianqing caught the talisman that dropped from the sky and examined the reward he’d gotten from the mountain pass. After resting to meditate for a time, he stepped into the fourth pass.
“Gales that cut like blades, it is not too late!”
Just as he stepped into the fourth pass, a fierce wind rumbled loudly like a wild beast. Luo Jianqing had no time to prepare and suddenly stepped back. This path through the pass wasn’t too long, only ten li, so he could pass through it. However, at this moment, the wind that Luo Jianqing faced was absolutely brutal. Every attack was with the strength of a Core Formation cultivator.
This time, Luo Jianqing was again unable to treat this lightly. He directly drew out his own defensive magical tool, then very cautiously walked forward. Surprisingly, he hadn’t walked further than a li when the dark level magical tool exploded loudly. Luo Jianqing’s eyes were afraid. He took a bottle of the medicine pills that little junior sister gave him and took one.
The fourth pass of the Ursa Major Formation was named Tianquan. He didn’t know where True Lord Beidou got so many treasures from, even putting a core of a seventh-level demon beast at the end of the fourth pass. This beast core constantly emitted evil wind. The closer he got, the stronger the attacks became.
“This demon beast must be a wind-attribute demon beast. Its original body also has an Out of Body cultivation level. I’m afraid that if I get too close to it, the evil wind will reach Out of Body level.” Luo Jianqing’s eyebrows furrowed. He stopped at three li and didn’t walk any further. “A seventh-level wind-attribute demon beast… Out of Body…”
A light flashed through his eyes. Luo Jianqing took an oil-paper umbrella from behind his back.
This oil-paper umbrella seemed normal, but the surface was a faint golden color, matching the decorative designs. The material of the frame also seemed to be ordinary green bamboo. Light and simple, it appeared to be an ordinary person’s oil-paper umbrella.
However, as soon as he opened the umbrella, the violent winds suddenly stopped for a moment. Luo Jianqing looked at the umbrella with a complex gaze, and slowly opened it above his head. After he opened the umbrella, the devastating gale’s ardent winds completely avoided it and never dared to assault him.
The golden light on the umbrella’s surface flowed softly. Luo Jianqing held the umbrella forwards, walking step by step until the end, and took the seventh-level beast core. The moment after he took the beast core, the gales faded away. Luo Jianqing sighed softly and tenderly put away his umbrella. He didn’t notice the red mole on his forehead shine faintly, then becoming silent again.
When he reached Core Formation, the green umbrella was given to him by that person as a gift.
Everyone in the whole world knew that Sir Xuan Lingzi, apart from being the most powerful, was also an expert in refining medicine pills, taming beasts, and refining tools. It seemed there was nothing he couldn’t do. The congratulatory gift he gave to his disciple for attaining Core Formation was also a magical tool of the best quality, and could resist an attack from the greatest efforts of a Body Fusion cultivator.
Luo Jianqing recalled what his master said at that time. “This umbrella is a magical tool that consumes. It can block a single attack from a Body Fusion cultivator for you, and then it will be destroyed. If it is not necessary, you must never take it out.”
After taking the umbrella, Luo Jianqing never used it. He only sometimes gently stroked the umbrella while looking pensive.
In his past life, when he was driven out of Tai Hua Mountain, he gave this umbrella to his little junior sister to take it to his master. Even if he was somewhere he could die, he refused to ever take out the umbrella, though now he had come to terms with it.
“I won’t use it as a magical tool. It is merely ornamental.”
When Luo Jianqing had just put away the umbrella, he found that one of the frames had broken off. If he used it many times after that, the umbrella would really be destroyed and become a pile of garbage. Luo Jianqing felt too depressed thinking about this. After he rested in the same place for a short time, he got up to walk towards the stone tablet of the fifth pass.
“An endless wasteland, with countless ferocious beasts!”
Like it heard his words, Shuang Fu moved excitedly for a short while in his mind. Luo Jianqing’s lips quirked up. A ray of green sword-light abruptly shot out from his forehead, turning into an iron sword that fell into his palm.
“We must be quick, Shuang Fu.”
Shuang Fu trembled lightly, like it was answering, “Okay.”
In this broad space, the handsome and bright cultivator narrowed his eyes slightly, gazing at the vast wasteland behind the white screen of light. He held his sword in his right hand, green robe fluttering in the wind. Between his forehead, the scarlet mole burned like fire as if it was about to ignite the entire world.
He had to be fast because the remnants assigned difficulty by constitution. Among the seventy-one people, only Li Xiuchen had no constitution, so any barriers he came across would be very easy to pass. Li Xiuchen was bound to reach the end very soon, so he had to scramble ahead of Li Xiuchen and cut off any chance he got!
In the next second, Luo Jianqing transformed into a ray of green light, fleeing into the Endless Wasteland, and began to fight hand-to-hand!
- (1) Bigu diet (辟榖): Daoist fasting technique that avoids eating grain