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“The Nine Star Pearl Mystic Technique!”
Fang Yuan stood up, and a blood-red rune appeared on his forehead.
At the same time, a hidden star acupoint opened, stimulating his whole body and increasing his Blood Qi power by twofold!
“My Materialization strength is probably at mid-stage now?”
Fang Yuan sighed and walked out of the passage. “I’ll go to the core to take a look… But that Hong Chen actually prepared water resources and fierce beasts here. He obviously felt that this third stage would be a long one.”
He turned around the corner and suddenly saw a green brute bull. It was panting as its front hoof slammed onto the ground and charged at him.
Fang Yuan did not shy away. This brute bull took a wrong step and fiercely hit the wall. Its horns broke in half, but it slammed into the wall again and again as though it saw its most hated foe.
He shook his head and walked through the passage. In front of him was a spring with a red fish inside.
“Hmm, the water is very sweet, and this fish seems to be a mutated beast. I can replenish my Blood Qi power if I consume it! A normal cultivator could probably live here for a long time…”
Fang Yuan’s thought turned to the first person who perished, and his expression hardened.
He wondered if he was trapped here until he died or if the last puppet killed him.
“There’s always a way to walk out of a maze!”
Fang Yuan used the most foolish method—walk along a wall until the end.
In any case, there were no fierce beasts that could threaten him other than the final puppet at the core.
Three days later.
“Have I finally reached it?”
Fang Yuan walked out of the passage and found a giant golden palace ahead.
He could not read the words on the signboard above with the fog. However, the bricks and jade tiles were extremely detailed and luxurious, clearly not something from the barbarians.
There was a tall golden-armored puppet in the plaza before the door of the palace.
This puppet had a horned helmet and was fighting a young man.
The young man was handsome. He had a pair of flame wings on his back, and his body had a layer of flame armor, as though he were possessed by an ancient fire god.
“You… can’t get past me!” the golden-armored puppet said directly. “You are at the Primordial Core realm, while I am at the Apotheosis realm. Under such a difference in strength, you will only have a slight chance if you cultivate to the third star of the Nine Star Pearl coupled with your Phoenix totem!”
“It’s him!” Fang Yuan was familiar with both of them!
The young man was Xue Lie, the disciple of the Holy Mountain from before!
And this golden-armored puppet’s voice was the same as the gatekeeper puppet from the second stage!
“It seems like these gatekeepers are all controlled by one existence! However, this golden armored-puppet is much stronger than the one in the second stage!”
Xu Lie did not say a word. The Phoenix behind him suddenly let out a cry, transformed into a ball of flames, and then lunged at the opponent. “Take my Eternal Flame!”
A black flame enveloped the golden-armored puppet in an instant. As though it were alive, it continued to extend.
This Phoenix’s magical power—Eternal Flame! It had infinite uses!
“Eternal Flame?” the golden-armored puppet was still calm in the face of the flames. “How nostalgic. Unfortunately, my body is comparable to a dao artifact. Your Eternal Flame could melt me if you were an Immortal, but… you aren’t. Extinguish!”
It roared and punched.
The flame dissipated, and Xu Lie spat out blood as he retreated from the plaza of the palace.
“Another inheritor is here.” The golden-armored puppet stopped its attacks and turned toward Fang Yuan. “Hmm, you defeated my clone previously. Your strength is pretty good… You are at the Materialization realm, so I will only use the Primordial Core realm to fight you. You have a chance to defeat me if you are well versed with the Nine Star Pearl Mystic Technique!”
“It’s you!” Xu Lie stood up with unruly hair and saw Fang Yuan. “That clam totem kid? Even you obtained a stone talisman?”
“So the great opportunity you mentioned before was this!” Fang Yuan nodded.
“This trial obviously has advantages for people with lower strength…” Xu Lie edged close. “It said I only had a slight chance while you had a chance. Your assurance is greater than mine!”
A flame flew out and landed on an illusionary image, burning it.
“So… you decided to kill me to monopolize the inheritance?” Fang Yuan’s voice came from all around.
“Damn! Illusion totems are troublesome! This maze as well…” Xu Lie snarled, “That’s right. The final inheritor can only be me! Run! I’ll kill you if you step into the plaza!”
“I’d definitely make the same decision!”
Fang Yuan did not find it strange. He ran for a while until he found a water source, killed the mutated beast guarding it, and began to cultivate. “He doesn’t know that my speed of improvement is a lot faster than he can imagine!
“The power of the gatekeeper puppet is unfathomable. It might only use strength at the Primordial Core realm against me, but its consciousness can certainly display everything within the realm, almost like another Xu Lie… I can only take him on when I grasp the third star of the Nine Star Pearl. If I want to be sure, my Saber Qi must improve as well!
“But even so, Xu Lie will be guarding the palace plaza day and night, so he won’t leave too far from there for food. I’ll be safe if I stay further away!”
Xu Lie was afraid that Fang Yuan might just pass the core trial if he were to leave too far. He would be empty-handed then!
A month passed.
“This mystic technique is truly difficult!”
Xu Lie gazed at the golden-armored puppet on the plaza as though it were a towering mountain. “Luckily, it will stop attacking once I leave a certain range. However, I can’t even break through its defense at all!”
He was not resigned!
His aptitude and perception were rare for the past thousand years, sufficient for an Immortal to take him in as a disciple.
Even so, he could not even attain the first star after cultivating for so long.
“Moreover, that guy with the clam totem is also troublesome! If he spreads this information and attracts more people here, it will be very disadvantageous to me. I have to obtain the inheritance as soon as possible and stop it here!”
Xu Lie was selfish. He had obtained the stone talisman in a fortuitous encounter and did not even report it to his master.
When he came out this time, he had also tried to entice Dongmu Cai.
His expression darkened when he thought of this. “Unfortunately, Dongmu Cai didn’t come with me. Otherwise… my Phoenix totem would have been able to go one step further with ‘that’ and might have just been able to defeat this golden-armored puppet!”
Xu Lie saw someone at the corner of his eyes. “Hmm? You still dare to come here?”
“Why not?” Fang Yuan trotted over and drew the Black Profound Saber. “Only one person can inherit it, so you must die!”
“Such arrogance! You can’t escape this time!”
The Phoenix totem appeared behind Xu Lie. He had decided that he would hunt down Fang Yuan this time and not let him escape.
“Primordial Core realm? Not bad!” Fang Yuan smirked and suddenly shouted, “The Nine Star Pearl, first star, second star! Activate!”
Suddenly, a terrifying bloodline power burst from his body.
“What?” Xu Lie’s eye jumped. “How… No… Impossible. How can a monster like you exist?”
Fang Yuan did not bother replying and chopped with his Black Profound Saber.
Saber Qi several meters long emerged and cut through the air.
Xu Lie waved his right hand, and a black flame appeared, burning the Saber Qi into nothingness.
“My strength is equivalent to the late Materialization realm after a fourfold increase?” Fang Yuan nodded, roughly understanding his own strength.
“A mere Materialization realm low-tier clam materialization dares to be so arrogant?”
Fire flashed in Xu Lie’s eyes, and the Phoenix totem roared. “Magical power—Thousand Burning Flame!”
Fire meteors flew toward Fang Yuan, each of them carrying great power.
“External Saber Qi, cut!”
Fang Yuan swung his saber again and again, and Saber Qi sliced the meteors.
Suddenly, he merged into the wind, and his speed increased. “Kill!”
Xu Lie smirked and threw out a jade talisman.
A beautiful and unmatched Sword Qi more than thirty meters long emerged and pierced through Fang Yuan, yet there was strangely no trace of blood.
“Another illusion body? Why is he so troublesome?”
Xu Lie frowned. This spirit talisman had sealed a sharp Sword Qi. Even someone at the Primordial Core realm would be seriously injured, if not die. This was one of his trump cards.
His heart ached that he had used it up on an illusion body.
“So it’s a spirit talisman, one grade higher than a magic talisman. Such genius disciples really do have many life-saving items…”
Behind Xu Lue, fog flashed, and Fang Yuan appeared. “Wound of Wind!”
Saber Qi slammed onto Xu Lie’s back, but a golden shield blocked it.
“Another spirit talisman!” Xu Lie turned around, his eyes red. “Ah… I’ll make you pay!”
“Idiot!” Fang Yuan was expressionless and was nearly face to face with Xu Lie. “Third star! Activate!”
“What?” A momentum comparable to that of the Primordial Core realm suddenly rose in Fang Yuan’s body.
Not only was Xu Lie dumbfounded, but even the golden-armored puppet turned around to stare.
“Even a spirit armor talisman has its limits!”
Fang Yuan slashed like the wind and smashed nine strokes onto a single point of the shield.
Finally, the shield shattered, and the Black Profound Saber pierced right through Xu Lie’s heart.
Fang Yuan did not show the slightest joy. Instead, he quickly stepped back. “You haven’t used your Primordial Core’s Destiny Magical Power, right? A first-grade Phoenix’s Destiny Magical Power should be Nirvana!”
“Good, you saw through it!” Xu Lie shouted. “Too bad!”
The next moment, he was wrapped in the black Eternal Flame and became a huge black fireball.
The surrounding temperature rose dramatically.
A naked Xu Lie walked out after the flame went out, and there was no trace of the injury on his chest!
“Peerless magical power Phoenix Nirvana! Unique to the Phoenix totem. Even at the brink of death, you can instantly recover,” Fang Yuan said softly as he looked at Xu Lie.
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