The crystal jutted out from the cliff, a flower breaking out from the rock face, sparkling and glittering. These crystals were fastened solidly into the mountain face. The average warrior would need to spend a lot of energy just to even break off the tiniest of pieces. Compared to the agate array from before, it was much more formidable.
Chen Mo grabbed the crystal and casually tugged. Crack, the crystal crisply snapped into two pieces. With the brute force that Chen Mo cultivated through the Northern Dipper Great Overflow, crushing rocks into dust and flinging steel like mud were all nothing out of the ordinary. Because these crystals were characteristically rigid, he could easily snap them off like a horn.
The Buddhist Seven Treasures on Pagoda Island were not valuable trinkets at all. Because these precious stones were purely for use by Zen Buddhism, Chen Mo did not take any more.
All of a sudden.
A low shriek came form faraway.
Chen Mo looked. The Black Frost Centipede had already killed the Nine Colors Illusion Lizard and was devouring it with great gusto.
The Nine Colors Illusion Lizard did not have very powerful abilities. It relied on the “Nine Colors Fluctuation” to launch a sneak attack when the target least expected. Restrained by the Black Frost Centipede, its speed became sluggish under the centipede’s Black Ice Breath. Killing it took only seconds.
The Black Frost Centipede very quickly finished eating the Nine Colors Illusion Lizard, leaving only a multi-colored Inner Pellet.
This Demon Pellet was perfectly round, bright in color, with some Demon Qi remaining. “You can eat it.” Demon pellets could be refined into medicines or into weapons for use, but neither of these could compare to the benefits from feeding it to a Black Frost Centipede. If it ate the Nine Colors Illusion Lizard’s Demon pellet, the Black Frost Centipede could have a bit of the lizard’s camouflage ability. If it ate enough, the centipede could even completely inherit it.
Chen Mo did not glance at this Demon Pellet, directly feeding it to the Black Frost Centipede instead.
This centipede was in the middle of its infancy; this was the best time to nurture it.
Having easily obtained the agate and crystal, Chen Mo then searched for his next objective – coral.
Among the Buddhist Seven Treasures, coral was the easiest to find.
There was no shortage of inland seas in the Pagoda Basin. Coral were all gathered on the seabed, and Chen Mo very quickly found one such body of water. The water was tranquil without ripples, but Chen Mo was aware that coral was worth four points. It definitely would not be very easy to obtain one. There should also be Demon Beasts dwelling in the sea.
To a warrior without magic energy, seawater was an extremely formidable trial. The sea’s water pressure would first inhibit a warrior’s innate Qi-blood, restricting the martial arts they wielded. Normally, it was possible that a Qi-blood Nine Turns could not exercise half their power while in the sea.
Chen Mo looked around. Already, many warriors were rushing to this seaside. They already had preparations or controlled True Treasures. Some had other abilities that let them submerge below the water’s surface.
Chen Mo saw that there was no time to lose and leapt into the ocean.
The depths were turbid. Chen Mo closed off his breathing and gathered his Three Flowers. He could disregard the influence that the water pressure had on his True Qi circulation. Chen Mo swam towards the deep sea, where dark green kelp drifted like a forest. Very quickly, piece after piece of multicolored coral appeared in front of him. In the ocean depths, coral towered through an area of at least a hundred qing. These corals interwove with each other seemingly into an enormous palace, the body of which emitted a soft white light.
Chen Mo swam towards that forest of coral on the seabed.
It appeared that obtaining coral would be much easier than he had imagined. Chen Mo detected no sign of Demon beasts, and neither did he sense any arrays. It appeared that the ocean floor was extremely tranquil, so much so that not even a single fish could be seen.1 The sole problem was the depth, but as far as the Three Stars Gathered Overhead Chen Mo was concerned, this was no trouble at all.
After swimming for a long while, Chen Mo gradually sensed something was not quite right. He noticed that he was still a certain distance from the coral palace. Calculating in his mind, it was at least an hour, enough to make a warrior exhausted, but the distance did not shrink one bit.
Chen Mo wrinkled his brow and looked at those coral on the seabed.
Chen Mo unleashed a punch. The calm waters suddenly surged with a shockwave that broke towards the coral, echoing heavily like a cannonball out of the muzzle. It appeared those coral were real.
Another incense stick of time passed.
The seawater was still as quiet as it eternally had been while the coral palace was still so close yet so far. It was clearly right before his eyes, but the distance still seemed very long.
Something’s very wrong.
Chen Mo mentally calculated. According to his speed, he had already crossed a depth of around five to six thousand meters, but the surroundings did not change one bit. He could not even feel any water pressure.
A moment ago, he had felt this kind of quiet was beautiful, but now, it was simply stifling.
Don’t tell me this is an illusion??
Chen Mo activated the Bodhi Soul Technique. Under the Heart Like A Mirror,2 everything was plainly visible. In the boundless depths, he indeed spotted an active array amidst the coral. The Bodhi Soul Technique could allow his mind to be unaffected and break the illusion. While under the Soul Technique, Chen Mo quickened his pace.
Another incense stick of time elapsed.
In the deep tranquility, there were no changes whatsoever. Even the surrounding seawater was repeating the same undulations.
The white glow of the coral was so gentle and warm, giving people in these depths a kind of feeling of great safety, but right now, this safe feeling gradually somewhat made Chen Mo a bit apprehensive.
Chen Mo stayed calm.
If this was an illusion, then the Bodhi Soul Technique naturally could dispel it. This meant that this was not as simple as an illusion. In her Divine Warrior Examination, Third Sister did not face such a challenge in obtaining her coral. There was only a Rank Five Demon Beast “Twisted Light” standing guard. She was able to obtain the coral by escaping it.
Compared to the baffling situation before his eyes, Chen Mo actually would rather simply and crudely encounter a Demon Beast guardian instead.
Even the Bodhi Soul Technique was unable to break through. This was definitely troublesome. Pagoda Basin had many such inland seas, and perhaps each place was different. Perhaps he should change locations? However, this would be too wasteful of his time, let alone that he could not be certain.
Chen Mo stared intently at the faraway coral. His brain was like a computer, calculating every possibility.
However, if this was not an illusion, just what kind of power was capable of making even the Bodhi Soul Technique ineffective.
At this moment, several warriors also appeared in the sea waters several hundred meters away. The deep sea was extremely dark. Chen Mo had to use the Divine Hawk Eyesight in addition to the Black Raptor Breathing in order to barely track the others’ presences.
Since he himself was unable to find the cause, then he would watch how someone else did it instead.
The warriors that appeared were mostly Qi Flower Realm. They swam endlessly through the water, but Chen Mo noticed they seemed to be stuck spinning where they were, not progressing at all. This sensation was just like a moth throwing itself continuously towards a candle flame, except its wings were restrained as it endlessly struggled.
Chen Mo grunted and suddenly understood what was happening.
Could it be said that the array’s mechanism was not an illusion but possibly something to dull a warrior’s sense of time.
A sense of time was an important sensory ability of humans to respond to outside flow of time. Without a sense of time, thought processes would be completely interrupted, catching someone in a kind of inextricable predicament.
Chen Mo looked at the glowing coral on the ocean floor. Suddenly, he understood the reason this seabed was quiet. In the dark depths of the sea, the glowing coral was like a lighthouse. Any warrior who entered the water would instinctively swim towards it, so while a warrior continued to stare at that coral, then it was very possible that they were caught in that white light’s trap. They would swim endlessly in place, unable to get close no matter how they swam.
This actually was quite like Buddhism’s “the sea of bitterness is boundless, turn your head and there is the other shore” principle.
Thinking of this, Chen Mo shut his eyes to end the encroachment of the coral’s light. However, this alone was still not enough. He needed to recover his sense of time. Then, his body’s Qi-blood would completely activate and go to Three Flowers Gathered Overhead. Chen Mo moved forward using the Bagua while his eyes were shut. By doing so, Chen Mo was able to shield himself from the captivation of the coral’s light as well as prevent his thinking from being interrupted.
Chen Mo walked slowly on the ocean floor using the Bagua boxing, circulating the power of the Supreme Ultimate, moving completely as he wished.
Very quickly, his arm bumped into something solid. Chen Mo opened his eyes and looked, showing a happy expression. What he touched was none other than a piece of coral. The trial was indeed as he suspected. When he placed his thoughts on other places, the light of the coral before his eyes was unable to bring him harm.
This court examination was somewhat interesting indeed.
Gathering Buddhism’s Seven Treasures was only the beginning, yet the test was already so tough.
Chen Mo inspected the coral. It was surprisingly no ordinary piece. This coral itself did not contain the component for the illusion. When operated together with the array, it would cause a warrior staring at the lights to lose their sense of time. Of course, if this was on dry land, this kind of sensory deprivation was completely useless. However, as this was the deep sea, it was the most appropriate environment.
Chen Mo casually broke off a few pieces of coral and placed them in his Astral Stone. This “coral” had wasted a lot of time. Next, he still had colored glass, pearl, amber, and tridacna. He would have to hurry.
The route back was much more easy. Just as Chen Mo was about to make the last spring, he suddenly noticed a commotion a hundred meters away. In the darkness, a bolt of bright lightning flashed.
Chen Mo stared.
It appeared that a warrior was being entangled by a Demon Beast, caught in a mortal struggle. The lightning flashed again. It was a fish as enormous as a dragon. Its whole body was scaleless, glossy as a mirror. It had two long whiskers, and its body flickered from time to time with sparking lightning.
It was astonishingly the Rank Five Demon Beast, “Twisted Light.”
If he had encountered this Twisted Light earlier, Chen Mo would not need to have wasted so much time. While fighting the Twisted Light, he definitely would have forgot about the light’s captivation, and he would not have had to rack his brains for a solution. This was also an advantage.
It was just that not every warrior had this abnormal desire to meet a Rank Five Demon Beast under the sea as Chen Mo did.
The warriors fighting the Twisted Light were hit by the lightning one after another, killing them. In the end, only one warrior was still putting up a fierce resistance.
The court examination was a life and death struggle. Chen Mo did not want to meddle in other people’s business, but just as he was about to leave, he suddenly took notice of that warrior’s boxing and was promptly stunned.
It can’t be her, right?
Chen Mo wrinkled his brow, no longer hesitating to swim over there.
The water pressure was dispelled, letting out a muffled thunderclap. The other party apparently heard someone approach and hastily swam towards him.
Her figure very quickly drew close.
The Twisted Light once again released a flash of lightning, illuminating the hundred meters of dark sea around it like a white painting.
His counterpart’s figure was immediately revealed before his eyes. She was a young girl in black clothes.
When the girl saw Chen Mo’s appearance, she was shocked. Her pale face was then drained of color, and her eyes showed humiliation, fury, unreconciliation, and despair.
The Twisted Light spat out a bolt of lightning that cracked towards the girl. Chen Mo expressionlessly and wordlessly grabbed the girl and wielded a punch that collided with the lightning.
The powerful electric current burst into countless sparks underwater.
The girl spat blood, surprisingly losing consciousness.
“I never imagined you were able to get so far in the Divine Warrior Examination…” Chen Mo muttered to himself, looking at those familiar features on the girl’s face. “I’m beginning to look forward to your future martial path, Qing Wan.”
Indeed, the black-clothed girl was none other than Qing Wan.