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(Endless trouble)

"There are two ways." Sean extended two fingers as he spoke, "The first is to spend a hundred points in visiting Hell Mountain."


Since his came to Cloud Sect, Zen had been bombarded with references to points many times.

Previously during the initial exam, the old man told him of the points necessary to enter the powerful pressure space. Before participating in the blooded test, Zen was in a fight with members of the Wang Clan. At last, the inner disciple who had started the fight had been punished with a penalty of a thousand points.

"What use do these points have? How can we obtain them?" Zen asked eagerly.

"Within Cloud Sect, it is impossible for disciples to do anything without these points. And all of you should be well informed of their functions." Sean Zhou then began to lecture them, "Outer disciples need to obtain sufficient points to be accepted as inner disciples. Points are also needed to swap elixirs used for cultivation and to eat and live. These points are recorded in your disciple cards."

"How can we obtain a hundred points within a short period?" Zen, at that moment, cared less about the use of these points and more about how to earn enough points to visit Yan at Hell Mountain.

"Masters of Cloud Sect will assign daily tasks to you. On completion of these tasks, you will gain the corresponding number of points. But outer disciples normally get fewer points. And it may take half a year for outer disciples to earn a hundred points. By the way, since my admission to Cloud Sect, I am in possession of less than a hundred points," Sean explained with a forced smile.

"Half a year?" Zen found it unacceptable to wait that long. He was eager to find a time-efficient solution.

"Well, you can swap two hundred cubic crystals for a hundred points," Sean suggested.

Upon hearing that, Zen was happy because he had many cubic crystals in his space ring. However, the exchange rate worried him.

Any outer disciple of Cloud Sect could become a millionaire at this exchange rate after resuming a civilian life.

'Even if I swap a hundred cubic crystals for fifty points, how would I collect the rest?' Zen was overcome with anxiety.

It would take at least three months to complete enough tasks to gain the remaining fifty points. However, Zen was desperate to reach Hell Mountain and see Yan.

Zen was eager to hear of the other alternative to reach Hell Mountain from Sean.

Sean then suggested that if Zen were to violate the rules of Cloud Sect, he would be exiled to Hell Mountain.


Zen remained silent for a long while. He chuckled as he thought, 'A good alternative, indeed.'

But that option was not feasible for Zen.
Without the backing of a noble clan or a patron at Cloud Sect, Zen had to bide his time patiently.

Zen told himself to wait for an opportune moment to rescue Yan from Hell Mountain.

Over the following few days, Zen applied himself to the tier-four and tier-five cultivation methods as per the books he had gained from the Heavenly Library.

He didn't undertake any task.

Even though Zen was incredibly strong and gifted, it was impossible for him to master both texts within a short period.

Zen scanned through the book on Heavenly Ogre Fist and came to realize the intricacies and mysteries therein. It was no wonder that the old man in the Heavenly Library had said that this cultivation method would be too challenging for most humans.

A good command of demonic life energy was the essence of practicing Heavenly Ogre Fist.

The Purple Light Fist technique that Zen had previously practiced would produce arrays of purple light, virtually, the life energy thereof.

Life energy varied with a person's cultivation method.

For instance, the weapon refiner Evil Lan was an expert in producing a lotus-shaped fire, which was a type of life energy.

Zen was intelligent enough to master the essence of Purple Light Fist within the first three days of practicing this technique.

The first page of the book on Heavenly Ogre Fist included an illustration in which an ogre posed in a tricky position.

The ogre's arms were stretched outward, and his legs were bent in a difficult position.

This posture was hard for Zen to mimic.

After trying and failing several times, Zen finally managed to get the position correct. After that, he began to follow the mental cultivation methods illustrated and exercised from inner to outer.

But all his efforts proved futile.

The first time Zen tried, there was no positive result.

The outcome was equally depressing the second time.

The third time....

Zen was quite patient and disciplined with this daily exercise. He knew that he would not be able to master ancient texts overnight.


The fiftieth time....

The one-hundredth time.

The two hundredth time.

Over the three days, Zen confined himself to his room and applied himself to the text, only to get nowhere.

Thus, Zen was a bit confused.

Zen was mentally prepared for the abstruseness of the Heavenly Ogre Fist.

The cultivation method from the ogres was new to him.

It required the cultivator to be able to circulate his overall system skillfully.

And it would daunt most cultivators, considering its adverse impact on internal organs.

Luckily, Zen was born with a strong constitution and could easily avoid this problem.

'I followed the cultivation method strictly, only to get nowhere.

Perhaps something is amiss!' Zen concluded.

With this thought in mind, Zen decided to cast aside Heavenly Ogre Fist and concentrated on the tier-four cultivation method.

Spiritual Thorn proved more manageable for Zen to practice than Heavenly Ogre Fist, though the former was quite demanding in terms of soul strength.

The tier-four cultivation method required Zen to divide his soul from his body. In doing so, he would be able to create a long spiritual thorn with the power similar to that of the intent of the Vengeful Beast. Thus, Zen would be able to attack his rival off guard. Such an attack would lead to temporal dizziness for the rival.

The mastery of this martial text would make a difference in a life-and-death battle!

However, the cultivation method had a flaw as well. A spiritual thorn attack would be futile against a master who had a greater soul strength than him.

Zen considered himself to be a master, if not a leading master, at his present level.

It indeed took only three days for Zen to learn how to master dividing his soul from his body as was required by the text.

While Zen had achieved the objective of the cultivation method, separating his soul from his body, he still had a lot to learn when it came to separating his life vitality from his body.

The essence of this skill and strength required entry into the nature level to produce the life vitality that could be leveraged to attack a rival.

But dividing his soul from his body, as per the martial text, needed more soul refining rather than level cultivation.

The human soul was so vulnerable that once divided from the body, it could be attacked by evil.

A cultivator with weak soul strength would be in grave danger.

But, Zen was an exception.

Since Zen had learned how to divide his soul from his body, he now began practicing the transformation of his soul into a thorn with which he could stab. This technique was challenging for Zen.

Transforming a soul into a thorn with which to stab a rival, was easier said than done.

Although Zen was able to follow the instructions in the book easily, and he had learned how to turn his soul into a thorn, each time he tried, Zen felt uneasiness in his heart. Overwhelmed by this feeling, Zen failed to complete the cultivation method.

After spending ten days in his room practicing this cultivation method, Zen found that he hadn't been able to make a breakthrough despite intensive research.

At last, Zen came to realize that he had to conquer the insurmountable.

Well, from hard practice comes virtuosity.

Finally, Zen decided to take a reprieve by looking around Drizzle Peak. He had sequestered himself in his room for so long that Zen felt that a walk would help clear his mind.

Zen's extensive practice since his admission to Drizzle Peak attracted the attention of many outer disciples.

When Zen walked out of his tiny room and came across a mirror, he was stunned to see that his hair was disheveled and that he had grown a full beard.

As Nory passed by, he scrunched his nose and demanded that Zen take a shower.

Drizzle Peak boasted of various living facilities including bathrooms, dining rooms, gardens, and tea lobbies.

After taking a shower, Zen and Nory went to dine together.

The dining room was featured with properly arranged tables and chairs and exquisite decorations worthy of a royal palace.

After they sat down, delicacies were placed on the table in front of them.

It was worthwhile to mention that Dragon Teeth Rice, a tribute from the Eastern Region was available to the privileged of an ordinary clan and to any outer disciple of Cloud Sect. This type of rice was tender, fresh, sweet, and aromatic.

When the two of them were about to enjoy their meal, several people entered the dining hall and headed straight for Zen and Nory.

"This sit is reserved for me, move aside."

The leader of the ground challenge Zen.


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