Chapter 1588 - Bloodline Improves

After the stone enveloping the Shrine Knight shattered on the platform, it started to move towards Shi Feng.

As the situation developed, the pressure Shi Feng felt continued to build.

Had Shi Feng not known that the Shrine's trials wouldn't kill the challengers, he would've likely used Absolute Domain to defend himself.

"Challenger, you have two choices. The first is to dodge all of my attacks; the second is to surpass me in combat standards. Your time limit is three hours. You have three minutes to consider. If you do not decide in three minutes, you'll be forced out of the Shrine automatically," the Shrine Knight mechanically explained.

Dodge all of his attacks or surpass him in combat standards? Shi Feng took a closer look at the Shrine Knight before him. After a moment of consideration, he declared, "I choose the second option!"

The Shrine Knight was a Tier 4 Sword Emperor.

Even if the NPC were the same level as Shi Feng, its attacks wouldn't be a trivial matter. Furthermore, Shi Feng was still in a Weakened state. That would make it even more difficult to dodge every one of the Sword Emperor's attacks.

Competing against the Shrine Knight in combat standards was his only chance to clear the challenge.

Normally, after NPCs reached Tier 3, their combat standards would be on par to ordinary expert players. Some powerful Tier 3 NPCs could even reach the Refinement Realm. Including NPCs' superior Attributes, Tier 3 NPCs were generally far more powerful than Tier 3 players.

Even the weakest Tier 4 NPCs' combat standards were at the Refinement Realm, and the more powerful ones could even reach the Void Realm. Not even Tier 4 peak experts would have dared to provoke Tier 4 NPCs in the past.

As for the Heroes who were summoned to protect towns and cities, those capable of reaching Tier 4 had no issue reaching the Void Realm. This was precisely why they could summon towns and cities.

Although Shi Feng bore a Weakened state, his combat standards weren't affected.

Moreover, competing against a Tier 4 NPC via techniques was a rare opportunity.

Unlike players, an NPC's combat techniques were far more refined. Their application could even stun players.

"Excellent. Let's start the battle, then. During this time, my Basic Attributes will drop to match yours. I will also be set at Tier 2. Neither of us will be allowed to use any Skills or Spells during this fight. You're also prohibited from using any tools. You will only complete the trial after depleting my HP completely," the Shrine Knight said, nodding. His aura then began to weaken as the Shrine Knight fell from a Level 100 Sword Emperor to a Level 61 Sword Master.

For a brief moment, Shi Feng felt restricted. A notification then appeared, telling him that he was temporarily barred from using Skills, Spells, or tools.


Shrine Knight now had 1,000,000 HP remaining. It was entirely possible for Shi Feng to end this battle quickly, even while relying on his combat techniques.

Before Shi Feng could prepare, the Shrine Knight appeared before him, its golden greatsword transforming into a streak of golden light that struck at Shi Feng repeatedly in quick succession.

So fast!

Shi Feng promptly executed Sword's Orbit as the Shrine Knight's blade descended.

There wasn't a shred of hesitation in the Shrine Knight's movements. It seemed as if the NPC moved on instinct rather than rational thought. He was unlike players, who usually thought before taking action. The near-instinctive movements allowed the Shrine Knight to execute attacks that were so fast that Shi Feng couldn't preemptively defend himself. As a result, Shi Feng had to rely on passive defense techniques like Sword's Orbit to protect himself from the incoming attacks.

Dang… Dang… Dang…

Metallic clangs echoed across the platform as dazzling sparks lit the air.

If other players saw this, they'd be dumbfounded. As time passed, both fighter's movements became faster and smoother, and any ordinary expert would be overwhelmed by the scene.

Although Shi Feng and the Shrine Knight's swings were incredibly fast, their speed wasn't a result of high Attack Speed. Rather, it was due to their instinctive execution.

Even after exchanging blows for several minutes, neither side had dealt any damage.

As expected of a Sword Emperor; if I don't rely on Sword's Orbit to block his attacks, he'll likely kill me very quickly. Shi Feng could not help his bitter smile as he deflected the NPC's frenzied attacks.

Fighting the Shrine Knight reminded Shi Feng of how powerful NPCs were.

Despite their equally high Attack Speeds, the Shrine Knight overwhelmed Shi Feng due to the difference in their reaction speeds.

This won't do. I can't allow this to drag on. Realizing that none of his attacks reached the Shrine Knight, Shi Feng retreated to search for more favorable terrain.

Although the Shrine Knight had the same Basic Attributes as Shi Feng, NPCs had far more Stamina and Concentration. Shi Feng did not doubt for a second that the Shrine Knight could outlast him in a battle of endurance.

As Shi Feng retreated, he soon discovered a small grove of tall trees near the edge of the platform.

That should work. Shi Feng immediately made his way towards the small grove.

Unlike players, NPCs weren't good at taking advantage of their surroundings. This fact even held true for Tier 4 NPCs. If he used the trees to block a portion of the Shrine Knight's attacks, he would have more opportunities to deal damage.

However, as soon as Shi Feng left the platform's central area, the Shrine Knight stopped his attacks and leaped backward, withdrawing from the battle. The NPC then turned and walked back to his original position.

Crap! Is this for real?! The system won't even give me a chance of winning?! Shi Feng was speechless when he saw the Shrine Knight recover to his original state.

If he could not fight outside of the platform's central area, he wouldn't be able to take advantage of the terrain. If he continued to exchange blows mindlessly with the Shrine Knight, he would exhaust himself and die before his three hours were up.

Why is this trial so difficult even though it's the lowermost Epic Shrine? Shi Feng felt a wave of frustration wash over him as he stared at the motionless Shrine Knight.

Whether it was players or NPCs, as long as they reached the Void Realm, they would have a clear grasp of movement around them. In addition, the Shrine Knight could execute near-instinctive attacks.

Aside from Domain Realm experts, Shi Feng doubted that anyone was capable of beating the Shrine Knight's combat standards.

Of course, there was one way that Void Realm players could defeat an NPC like the Shrine Knight.

An Advanced Offensive Combat Technique. But even now, Shi Feng had only learned Basic Offensive Combat Techniques. He had only learned two Advanced Combat Techniques, one of which was Void Steps, while the other was Sword's Orbit. Void Steps was a footwork technique, and ineffective against Void Realm NPCs and players. As for Sword's Orbit, it was mainly a defensive combat technique. It could not be considered a true offensive combat technique.

Is giving up my only choice? Shi Feng took a moment to consider the situation.

Without being able to use his Skills and Spells, he had lost one of his major advantages. He couldn't use the Soul Water or Crystal of Souls he had produced with the Soul Orb to enhance his focus, either. Without these options, he had no hope of defeating the Shrine Guard. If this continued to drag on, he'd only waste his precious time.

As Shi Feng searched his bag for any items that might help him, he came across the Dark Iron Bloodline. The restriction period had already ended, and he could now use the Bloodline. Fortunately, this didn't count as a prohibited item.

That's right! How could I forget about the Bloodline?! Shi Feng laughed as he gazed at the Dark Iron Bloodline in his bag.

When consumed, Bloodlines improved a player's Life Rating. When a player's Life Rating in God's Domain increased, every aspect of their being improved. Reaction speed, Stamina, and Concentration were just a few of these aspects.

Shi Feng retrieved the Dark Iron Bloodline from his bag. Removing the crystal bottle's lid, he consumed the pitch-black liquid contained within.

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