Library of Heaven is Path
1122 Trial of Inner Breath
Chapter 1122: Trial of Inner Breath
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"He reached Saint 1-dan pinnacle twenty years ago?" Zhang Xuan was astonished.
Those who were able to enter the Combat Master Hall were all the most talented of geniuses. For such an individual to suppress his cultivation for twenty whole years and not achieve a breakthrough, his cultivation must have been reinforced to an unbelievable level!
Hearing the sudden exclamation, a combat master turned to Zhang Xuan with a peculiar gaze and explained, "The reason Shi Hao held himself back from making a breakthrough is to break the existing record of the Trial of Inner Breaths!"
"The current record of the Trial of Inner Breath was 37 points, made by Combat Master Feng Moxiao three hundred years ago. Breaking his record won't be easy at all!" Division Head Wei said with a frown.
For ordinary combat masters, they were considered to have achieved the apex of their cultivation realm just by achieving a score of ten points. Achieving a score of 37 meant that in terms of quantity of zhenqi, Combat Master Feng Moxiao had 3.7 times that of ordinary combat masters. That accomplishment in itself was inconceivable.
It was for this reason that the record had remained unbroken over the past three hundred years.
It was all for the sake of overcoming that record that Shi Hao had held himself back for twenty years, reinforcing his cultivation again and again, in hopes that he would be able to leave his name behind for future generations to look up to and admire.
Even though Division Head Wei had high expectations of Shi Hao, he still thought that it would be extremely difficult for the latter to break that record. The odds were not in Shi Hao's favor.
"It might have been difficult in the past, but over the past half a year, he has been cultivating frenziedly, killing saint beasts, and gathering Saint-tier medicinal herbs to nourish his meridians and dantian," replied with combat master grimly. "According to the rumors, it seems like he has even delved underground and bathed himself in lava for the sake of refining his zhenqi. Honestly speaking, even I can't imagine how far his strength must have grown over the past half a year! At the very least, I don't think that he will be too far away from matching up to Combat Master Feng Moxiao!"
If it had been half a year ago, no one would have believed that Shi Hao could clear the record. However, after seeing how far Shi Hao had gone to raise his abilities over the past half a year… he might just be able to break that record!
Division Head Wei was stunned for a moment before he shook his head. "That fellow sure is tenacious! I didn't think that he would really cultivate that technique!"
"That technique?" Zhang Xuan asked curiously.
"Ah, I'm referring to a particularly profound cultivation technique of the Inner Breath Division known as the Art of Drawing Oceans. It's said that once one masters that technique, the zhenqi within one's body will become endless, as if drawing strength from the boundless ocean. This is also the technique that Combat Master Feng cultivated back when he made the record. It seems like that lad is really determined to leave his mark here this time around!" Division Head Wei said.
While the duo was speaking, the wall in front of the passageway suddenly lit up.
"Look, the trial is starting!"
Someone among the crowd shouted, and everyone quickly turned their gazes over.
As the light lit up, a string of numbers suddenly materialized on the wall, and it began leaping up swiftly. It did not take long before it came to a halt—38!
"He really broke Combat Master Feng's record…"
Upon seeing those words, everyone was stunned for an instant. Even Division Head Wei had frozen on the spot.
For an entire three hundred years, Combat Master Feng's score had remained an unsurpassable record for those who came after him, and no one had thought it was possible to outdo him either. Who could have known that they would actually witness the birth of a legend today?
"He really didn't disappoint me. It looks like the effort that I spent on him hasn't gone to waste!" Division Head Wei laughed heartily.
He had seen potential in Shi Hao, and he had spent quite some time grooming him over the past few years. It seemed like he had really uncovered a gem this time around!
The door to the passageway slowly opened, and a young man walked out with a slightly pale face.
"Division Head Wei!" Shi Hao hurriedly clasped his fist and bowed upon seeing Division Head Wei. Even though it looked like he had overexerted himself back inside, his back was still upright like a spear.
"Un. You have done well!" Division Head Wei complimented.
"Thank you for guiding me over the past few years!" Shi Hao relied with an excited gleam in his eyes.
The breaking of the record had also given him a great injection of confidence. It was a reassurance to him that he was walking down the right path.
"A score of 38 means that Shi Hao has displayed a might 3.8 times of an ordinary combat master's. Is it even possible to top that record?"
"I think that his record should remain safe up there for at least the next three hundred years!"
"To maintain a record for several hundred years… Impressive!"
An excited commotion broke out in the surroundings.
Watching a record being made before their eyes had left the others imagining themselves being in Shi Hao's place, and that had sparked their drive to cultivate as well.
"Sun shi, you should go in and have a try, too." Seeing that Shi Hao had broken the previous record right before Sun shi, Division Head Wei could not help but feel a little gleeful.
In response to Division Head Wei's words, Zhang Xuan nodded before heading in.
Seeing the young man beside Division Head Wei entering the Trial of Inner Breath, Shi Hao couldn't help but ask, "Division Head Wei, Sun shi is…"?"
In the first place, it was perplexing for someone as esteemed as Division Head Wei to be escorting someone around. Furthermore, Shi Hao knew all of the Saint 1-dan pinnacle combat masters in Qingyuan Empire, but the young man's face didn't ring a bell.
Noticing Shi Hao's doubts, Division Head Wei explained, "Sun shi isn't a combat master but a spirit awakener. He has done our hall master a great favor, so make sure to treat him courteously. He said that he is interested in testing his strength, so I brought him here to give it a try.
"A spirit awakener wants to try out our Trial of Inner Breaths? What a joke!" Shi Hao sneered disdainfully.
He had thought that the other party would be some formidable expert, but who would have thought that he was a mere spirit awakener!
Spirit awakener was only a supporting occupation, and their fighting prowess was known to be rather unimpressive. For a spirit awakener to challenge the trial of their Combat Master Hall, wasn't that a joke in itself?
Not only did Shi Hao react in such a manner, the others also shook their heads as well.
Spirit awakeners were simply way too weak!
Sun shi might have helped their hall master in some way, but still, he was being too arrogant for thinking that he was worthy of challenging their trial as a spirit awakener!
Seeing that Shi Hao had blatantly ignored his reminder, Division Head Wei frowned in displeasure. However, seeing that Sun shi was not around, he decided to allow it to slide this once. "Don't underestimate Sun shi. In terms of fighting prowess, he is likely to be above all of you here!"
He had seen Sun shi in action, and the other party's reflexes and sense of timing were at a monstrous level. However, given that they had not truly crossed blows with one another previously, he could not tell for sure how much zhenqi Sun shi wielded. Thus, he could not really gauge how well the other party would fare in this trial.
Nevertheless, a person who possessed such frightening combat senses should not fare too badly in terms of zhenqi.
Shi Hao was initially astonished by Division Head Wei's high appraisal of Sun shi. However, recalling the amazing feat that he had just achieved, he held his chest up high confidently and replied, "His fighting prowess may be above mine, but in terms of zhenqi quantity, there is no one who can possibly outdo me!"
As one of the greatest geniuses of the Inner Breath Division in the past three hundred years, it was natural that his confidence would not waver with just this much.
"The trial is beginning!"
Someone shouted once more, and everyone quickly turned their head. They were interested to see how the man who was so highly-regarded by their division head would fare in the trial.
A burst of light emerged from the wall, but unlike the situation with Shi Hao previously, no number surfaced.
"There are no numbers at all? It can't be that fellow didn't even succeed in shattering the first stone wall?"
"One has to shatter the first wall in order to claim the ten points required to clear the examination. If one fails to shatter the wall, no results will be reflected."
"I thought that he would wow all of us here like Shi Hao, but it seems like… he's just a mere mortal after all!"
Seeing that there were no numbers surfacing on the wall in front of the passageway, everyone shook their head in disappointment. On the other hand, Division Head Wei could not help but feel a little bewildered.
Judging from how Sun shi had performed in the previous battle, it should not have been too difficult for him to earn ten points. So, how could there be no results whatsoever?
Had the test not started yet?
But that could not be! The burst of light was indicative that the test had already started, so how could there be no result?
Just as Division Head Wei was still pondering over the bewildering situation, the door to the passageway suddenly creaked. Someone was coming out.
It went without saying that the departure of the challenger meant that the trial had already ended.
If the challenger had met the fundamental requirement, a score would have already appeared by now. The fact that there was no score meant that, just as what the others had said, Sun shi had failed to break even the first wall.
Division Head Wei sighed. It seems that, despite Sun shi's amazing reflexes, he's still a little lacking in terms of his zhenqi.
Having strong fighting prowess only meant that one was able to utilize one's strength efficiently and effectively, and that might not necessarily be directly correlated with one's zhenqi quantity. And the Trial of Inner Breath only assessed one's zhenqi quantity.
To put it simply, it was just like the difference between sprinting and running a marathon.
Even if an individual could utilize their strength effectively and sprint at a speed far beyond the others, that did not mean that they would necessarily be good at a marathon.
Sun shi was probably the type of cultivator who had extremely powerful burst power, allowing him to overwhelm his enemy swiftly. However, if the battle was not concluded quickly, he might lack the endurance to follow through.
While Division Head Wei was contemplating over this matter, Zhang Xuan finally walked out of the room with a sheepish look on his face.
Division Head Wei thought that Zhang Xuan was feeling sheepish due to his poor results in the trial, so he quickly stepped forward to alleviate the awkwardness in the air. "Don't worry about the results. Come, let me bring you to the library!"
"Those walls…" Zhang Xuan pointed into the Trial of Inner Breath and spoke hesitantly.
"Don't worry, it's fine. You aren't a combat master, so you need not feel pressured by the matter!" Division Head Wei patted Zhang Xuan's shoulder and smiled.
The other party was only a spirit awakener, not a combat master. Considering their differing fields of specialty, it would be unfair to hold him to the same standards.
"But…" Zhang Xuan was visibly a little distressed by the situation.
"It's just a simple trial; it's no big deal at all!" Division Head Wei added.
"No big deal at all?" A light flickered across Zhang Xuan's eyes, and he turned to Division Head Wei and asked, "Ah, does the formation automatically repair itself?"
"Hmm? Yes, that's right. The formation will automatically repair any damage to the walls inside, so there's no need to worry about that!" Division Head Wei replied amiably.
"That's good!" Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief, and the conflicted expression on his face finally vanished, replaced with a smile. "Alright, let's head to the library then!"
Division Head Wei nodded before leading the way.
The library of the Inner Breath Division was located relatively close to the trial. With a wave of his hand, a passageway opened in the formation surrounding the library, and the both of them proceeded in.
"I thought that he would be some formidable expert, but to think that he couldn't even break the first wall…"
"Well, he's just a spirit awakener. Do you honestly expect a spirit awakener to be able to clear the trials of our Combat Master Hall?"
"I figure that he's probably a scion from some prestigious clan here for a tour. With strength like that, I could easily defeat three of him simultaneously, so how could he possibly be of any help to our hall master?"
After seeing the duo enter the library, a huge commotion immediately broke out among the combat masters.
They had to clear the trial before they could assess the library to pick out their cultivation technique. On the other hand, the spirit awakener did not even clear the trial, and yet, Division Head Wei still escorted him there. The clear disparity in their treatment left them a little dissatisfied.
"Alright, let's not waste our breath on that fellow. He isn't a combat master, so how can we hold him to our standards?" Interrupting the discussions of the crowd, Shi Hao turned to another combat master and said, "Speaking of which, Xiao Bo, didn't you have a bet with me previously to see who will be able to leave our mark in the Trial of Inner Breath? I am done with the trial, so it should be your turn now. Let's see if you can beat my record!"
With the gazes of the crowd on him, the face of the combat master named Xiao Bo reddened. "There's no way that I will be able to clear your record, but a score of 20 or so should still be a walk in the park!"
"You achieved a score of 21 previously, right? Alright, I won't bully you then. As long as you can achieve a score exceeding 23, I'll consider it your victory. Naturally, the stakes that we agreed on previously still count!" Shi Hao chuckled.
Xiao Bo pondered for a moment before nodding. "Alright then…"
Taking a deep breath, he pushed open the door and walked into the passageway. However, before his entire body could step through the door, he suddenly halted. As if having seen a ghost, his body trembled uncontrollably.
"H-h-h-how is this p-p-p-possible?" A high-pitched scream echoed from the passageway.
Everyone was bewildered by Xiao Bo's sudden scream. Shi Hao rushed forward and asked, "What's wrong?"
While speaking those words, he also peered through the ajar door. His eyes immediately narrowed, and his face paled. He could not help but retreat backward, and his body stiffened.