Chapter 49: Ascending
“What did you say? Zhongshan died too?”
Shi Zhongwei’s voice suddenly jumped an octave, while the temperature in the room suddenly seemed to drop.
As if a gust of wind had suddenly blown past his neck, Lu Shuang shuddered. “It’s all because of my inability.”
“Tell me exactly how he died,” Shi Zhongwei said as he interrupted his subordinate’s apology.
“The villagers in that fort dug a ditch in the ground. When Zhongshan stepped over it, he fell right into the pit. Then, they activated a mechanism, causing a large amount of sand to fall into the pit, burying him alive,” Lu Shuang said, his voice trembling.
“Buried alive......” Shi Zhongwei squeezed out from between his gritted teeth, “You’re telling me that the expert we sent over was buried alive by those villagers?”
“The fourth one...... This is already the fourth one. Xiafeng, Gui Yue, Hei Wang, Zhongshan...... They all disappeared in such an unclear manner!” Shi Zhongwei tightened his fist. “How could this be? When did those hicks suddenly pick up such skills? How could they kill so many of us in such a short period of time?”
The more he spoke, the higher and more piercing his voice got.
Lu Shuang replied, trembling, “You servant doesn’t know! But now it seems like we don’t have enough people. Master, shouldn’t we ask the clans to send us a few more members as backup?”
“Nonsense! If I ask for reinforcements like this, I’ll be laughed to death by those old geezers! Attacking West River Forest is a cushy job. How many people would die to have a job like this? Since it belongs to me, I can’t just let it go like this!” Shi Zhongwei howled angrily.
Lu Shuang didn’t dare to open his mouth again.
Shi Zhongwei paced back and forth a few times, his hands clasped behind his back.
After a long time, he said, “The situation in West River Forest can no longer be taken lightly. Not only do those guys have a technique to control beasts, but their brains also seem to have gotten brighter all of a sudden. Immediately gather everyone near West River Forest and don’t let them go off on their own anymore. We need to consolidate our forces and attack that way.”
“But if that’s the case, our success rate will be far too low. The clan has been constantly pushing us to increase the pressure on them and force them to submit.”
“Four Blood Boiling Realm experts are already dead, and the morale of those hicks is likely at an all time high. What can I use to pressure them?” Shi Zhongwei yelled. He thought for a moment, then added, “Send news back to Clear River City. Tell them that the poisonous waves in West River Forest have changed, restricting our movements, and that we will need more time to complete the task. However, victory will be ours sooner or later, and they only need to be patient.”
“Then what village should we start with?”
Shi Zhongwei turned around to glance at the map. He pulled out a brush and drew a line across the various villages in West River Forest and said, “We’ll attack by following this line. Start at Thousand Abundances Fort, then Silver Metropolis Fort, then Happiness Residing Fort, then Middle Yang Fort......”
Deep within West River Forest, a formless fluctuation began to surge.
Then, a blood-red column of light shot high into the air.
It was a sign that someone’s Blood Qi was beginning to boil, representing that an Origin Qi Scholar had officially reached the Blood Boiling Realm.
A moment later, the ground of the forest began to tremble and shake.
A pair of large, powerful feet thudded into the ground, causing tremors with every step and the nearby trees to shake.
Iron Cliff’s brawny figure walked out of the forest, then knelt down in front of Su Chen. “Master, Iron Cliff hasn’t betrayed your expectations. I’ve ascended to the Blood Boiling Realm!”
His tone was extremely exuberant.
To the Cliff Race, the Yang Opening Realm was their absolute limit. A Cliff Race individual in the Blood Boiling Realm could already be considered an expert, and for someone as young as Iron Cliff to accomplish it was unheard of amongst the Cliff Race.
Of course, he knew the reason why he was able to accomplish all of this very clearly. His gaze towards Su Chen was filled with gratitude.
Su Chen, however, said indifferently, “My expectations of you aren’t limited to this. Keep on cultivating. A Blood Boiling Realm Cliff Race individual should be able to do a lot. Get up and hit me. Let me see how strong you are now.”
“Yes, sir!” Iron Cliff knew how strong Su Chen was, so he didn’t shy away. As soon as he got up, he slammed his fist down at Su Chen.
The seemingly normal punch actually carried an immense amount of momentum behind it.
Su Chen moved to block the blow with his palm and felt a frightening energy surging his way. If he hadn’t moved his hand away at the last second, he might have broken his wrist.
Su Chen retreated, borrowing the backwards momentum to diminish the force of Iron Cliff’s punch. Simultaneously, he struck out with his palms nearly ten times, generating waves of energy that exploded with a thunderous roar.
Iron Cliff, however, had only let out a single punch.
His method of attack was simple, direct, and brutal.
The momentum behind the punch was suppressed by the explosive waves of energy, but it completely dispersed all of the force behind the palm strikes.
The energy from the punch sailed past Su Chen and slammed into a tree behind him. The tree, which was so large that both of them would need to carry it, was instantly obliterated.
If a Blood Boiling Realm cultivator used their Origin Skills to attack a tree, obliterating it wouldn’t be difficult at all.
But doing it just by relying on the momentum behind a punch was quite rare.
Even though it was difficult for Cliff Race individuals to increase their cultivation base, it had to be stated that their powerful physique gave them immense combat prowess. If they did ascend, worthy opponents would be hard to find for them in the same cultivation tier.
Of course, this didn’t include the Heaven’s Chosen from the Hidden Dragon Institute, and this most definitely not the elite even amongst the Heaven’s Chosen, such as Su Chen.
Even as the momentum from the punch slammed into the tree, Firehawk after Firehawk took flight from Su Chen’s palms.
Iron Cliff couldn’t dodge, and he wouldn’t dodge.
He braced himself with the Iron Mountain Shield as his body began to glow from activating Adamantine Battle Body.
Bang, bang, bang!
The Iron Mountain Shield shattered first, followed by a trial by fire of the Adamantine Battle Body. Finally, the tough, unyielding Cliff Race physique had to endure the onslaught of the Firehawks. Flames scattered everywhere, enveloping Iron Cliff like fiery flowers.
Even so, seven or eight Firehawks in a row didn’t end up doing much to Iron Cliff.
“Not bad! Now that you’ve reached the Blood Boiling Realm, your body has gotten stronger too.” A satisfied expression appeared on Su Chen’s face. “The Cliff Race is naturally inept with Origin Energy and has difficulties cultivating, but it’s because of this that members of the Cliff Race possess innate defensive capabilities as well. The effect of most Origin Skills will be diminished on you. When you were in the Qi Drawing Realm, this advantage wasn’t so obvious, but now that you’re in the Blood Boiling Realm and have activated the power in your blood, the diminishing effect of Origin Skills should be even more prominent. No wonder people always said that the Cliff Race members were brawlers by nature. Unfortunately, they only know how to use the Cliff Race, not foster them. A truly outstanding Cliff Race brawler can’t just be used as a shield. He also needs to be supported with related Origin Skills as well.”
“With Adamantine Battle Body, Iron Mountain Shield, Devouring the Heavens, and the Melted Gold Battle Armor, even an all-out attack from a Yang Opening Realm cultivator shouldn’t be able to do anything to me,” Iron Cliff replied loudly.
“That might not be true.” Su Chen gestured, and an Ultra Firehawk emerged, slamming into Iron Cliff.
This time, Iron Cliff couldn’t completely ignore the attack. When the flames subsided, burn scars could be seen covering his chest.
“See? Your defensive capability has its limits. Once this limit is exceeded, you will still be wounded relatively seriously. In addition, you aren’t Wang Doushan; his Snow Crane Bloodline can help cover for his loss of speed when he puts on weight, but since you can’t, Devouring the Heavens won’t be as useful in your hands as in his. While in terms of recovery ability you can’t compete with him, he can’t compete with you in terms of pure defense. In the end, you still have the strongest ability to resist attacks.”
When Iron Cliff heard this, he laughed.
To Iron Cliff, who was now a truly qualified meat shield, Su Chen’s words were the highest praise he could receive.
Just as they were about to continue probing Iron Cliff’s strength, two villagers suddenly appeared, running in their direction.
“Sir Su, the situation isn’t looking good!”
“Those people from the Bloodline Nobility Clans are attacking us en masse!”
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