Chapter 242 - The Anatta Mental State
Upon hearing the discussions, those who had lusted after Hua Huo’s beauty quickly restrained their thoughts. Chills went down their spines as they glanced at her tight and slender legs. Although her legs were indeed very beautiful, they had no desire to be clamped to death between them.
Aside from Hua Huo, Cang Ming, and Mu Ye, there were also many other dazzlingly talented members of the young adult generation present.
However, there were also some from even younger generations. Although their cultivations were only at Black Gold rank, one had to consider the fact that they were the geniuses among their generation. Therefore, they were not entirely unable to compete with the older generations.
The servant’s solemn voice echoed throughout the sky.
“The test begins!” One of the servants waved his hands and the Law Energy that gathered in the sky suddenly split into tens of thousands of pieces. One fragment landed in front of each person and gradually formed into a water ball that was roughly the size of a person’s head. The water balls were transparent; however, there were fine threads running through them.
Nie Li’s brow twitched as he observed the water ball in front of him. This was the Sphere of Reverse Images!
This was a test of a person’s control over Soul Force or Law Energy!
The servant coldly proceeded to announce the rules. “This is the Sphere of Reverse Images. You are to expand the spheres by injecting your Soul Force or Law Energy along the fine threads inside. If you stray from the threads, the water spheres will explode. If you can extend the diameter by one foot, you pass. Those who are unable to accomplish this will be rejected!”
Fine control over one’s Soul Force and Law Energy could allow a weaker to overpower a stronger opponent. Furthermore, it also shows the depth of one’s insights towards Soul Force and Law Energy.
When the Sphere of Reverse Images appeared, some of the experts couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Several experts placed their hands on the surface of the Sphere of Reversed Images and immediately poured Soul Force from their palms into the threads inside the ball. However, a moment later, one of the water balls exploded. The culprit’s face betrayed a blank stare as he tried to comprehend what had just happened. However, the inscription pattern array below his feet instantly emitted a white light that shrouded him. With a woosh, he disappeared, teleported out of the seventh layer of the Nine-Layered Deathlands.
One expert after another tried to inject their Soul Force into the spheres; however, many of them turned into pillars of white light and disappeared.
Nie Li glanced at his surroundings. There were already few hundred fewer people in his vicinity. He was aware that many experts couldn’t understand why the water balls exploded. The reason they exploded was the same reason as to why these ball were called Spheres of Reversed Images. It was because the threads that were visible inside the water ball were not real; the real threads were invisible and had to be sensed through Soul Force in order to be detected.
Lu Piao looked at Nie Li and asked, “Nie Li, how am I supposed to play with this thing?”
“Close your eyes and use your Law Energy to sense the threads!” Nie Li laughed.
“So that’s the case! I understand now.” Du Ze’s eyes lit up. He was very intelligent and understood with just a little hint. He slowly placed his hand on the water ball and began injecting his soul force into it.
The number of people being eliminated steadily increased. Those who were left couldn’t help but feel terrified. However, there were also some people who had already passed the test.
Cang Ming’s Law Energy extended the ball to three feet before it exploded.
Observing the scene, several servants up the sky lightly nodded their heads. It seems that among the younger generations, there were still some people with decent talent.
After Cang Ming completed his test, he raised his head as he proudly faced Mu Ye, Hua Huo and the rest who were standing some distance away. Among the younger generations, only they could arouse his attention.
Mu Ye also injected his Law Energy into the water ball as it continuously expanded. A brief moment later, it exploded.
Cang Ming gave Mu Ye a glance and saw Mu Ye lightly smiling at him. Cang Ming coldly snorted as realised that Mu Ye was concealing his strength on purpose. Even until now, he has yet to know of Mu Ye’s real strength.
Hua Huo also placed her hands on her Sphere of Reversed Images and injected her Law Energy. The Law Energy extended in the sphere to three feet before it exploded.
When he saw that, Cang Ming’s brows twitched. At least in terms of the control over Law Energy, Hua Huo wasn’t any weaker than him. Both Mu Ye and Hua Huo will definitely be formidable opponents in this disciple selection for the Master of the Nether Realm!
The exam results came one by one. There were many who had reached the minimum requirement of one foot. Those who had reached two feet were fewer and those who had reached three were even rarer.
“A pointless test!” Turning to the Sphere of Reversed Images in front of him, the Demon Lord slowly placed his right hand on its surface. Law Energy streamed forth. One foot, two feet, three feet. The Law Energy perpetually revolved inside the Sphere of Reversed Images until its diameter reached seven feet before exploding.
However, when the Demon Lord engaged his test, there weren’t many people around to notice it.
Watching this, the servant in the sky twitched his brows. He never thought that within this group of people, there would someone with such power. Such a great talent, perhaps even the Master of the Nether Realm will also recognise and favor him as a rare find.
At that particular moment, Nie Li and his party had also finished their test.
“Haha, my Law Energy managed to spread the ball to more than two feet!” Lu Piao placed his hands on his hips and excitedly exclaimed, “Indeed, I’m the real genius!”
“Mine spread out more than three feet. What about you guys?” Wei Nan looked at the rest and asked.
“Three feet and then some.”
“Three feet and then some!” Zhu Xiang Jun, Xiao Xue, and the others echoed.
At those words, Lu Piao’s face instantly dulled down. Within his group, he was actually the worst! If even Wei Nan and the rest had reached three feet, there was no need to ask about that abnormal bastard Nie Li. Lu Piao’s was depressed. Why was he always last?!
“What about the three of you?” Nie Li looked towards Ye Ziyun, Xiao Ning’er, and Duan Jian.
“I reached five feet.” Ye Ziyun said as she thought back.
“I also reached five feet.” Xiao Ning’er answered as she glanced at Ye Ziyun. Their talents were indeed on par with each other.
“I only had four feet.” said Duan Jian.
“I also had five feet. Nie Li, what about you?” Du Ze looked at Nie Li and asked.
The fact that Du Ze had actually hit five feet surprised Nie Li a little. Du Ze’s talent was far from Ye Ziyun’s and Xiao Ning’er’s. However, now that he thought about it, even in the previous life, Du Ze did not have much talent, but based on his hard work and intelligence, he had also made great accomplishments.
“I only reached two feet.” Nie Li laughed.
“Hahaha! There’s finally someone who’s the same as me!” Lu Piao immediately gave out a big laugh.
Everyone stared at Lu Piao as if they were looking at an idiot. Lu Piao’s laughter immediately died as he realised the truth. He gave a disappointed look at Nie Li and said in a depressing tone, “Nie Li, you’re always pretending to be the prey and end up hunting the predator. It’s too boring!”
Back during the Holy Orchid Institute’s test, Nie Li had achieved a score of one hundred even, three times in a row, nearly making Shen Xiu spit blood. That scene still remained fresh in Lu Piao’s memory.
Nie Li shrugged. For things like the Sphere of Reversed Images, he had already played around with it numerous times back in his previous life during training. Although he couldn’t bring his strength over from his previous life, some skills regarding the control over energy were still in his memory. His control wasn’t something that an ordinary person could compare with. However in this test, he was only aiming to pass.
At that moment, a servant in the sky swept his eyes over Du Ze, Ye Ziyun, and the rest of the party and a trace of astonishment was shown. In general, young geniuses were only one in ten thousand and thus very rarely seen. So why did this group have so many geniuses gathered together?!
Many of them had reached five feet. Although they were slightly inferior compared to the earlier one who had reached seven feet, these people were obviously younger. Therefore, the extent of their future achievements still couldn’t be predicted.
Aside from this group of people, there were also many Patriarchs of powerful families who had reached three, four, and five feet. They could also be considered decent. However, those who were able to reach seven feet were basically nonexistent.
*Woosh!* *Woosh!* *Woosh!*
Those who weren’t able to pass were sent back. When everyone first arrived, there were roughly one to two hundred thousand people. However, after this test, there were only a few thousand left.
The servant in the sky was obviously quite pleased with the results and nodded his head.
“All of you still here have passed the first test. Next, I will send all of you to the eighth layer of the Nine-Layered Deathlands. Once there, someone else will conduct the second test!” By the time the servant’s voice died down, everyone had already turned into beams of white light and vanished.
The previously crowded seventh layer was instantly emptied. A brief moment later, countless demonic creatures materialised from thin air. This was the original appearance of the seventh layer.
That servant calmly floated in the sky and gazed into the distance, “I wonder if Master will be able to find a suitable candidate this time around?”
Eighth layer of the Nine-Layered Deathlands
In the wilderness, a few thousand people suddenly materialized out of nowhere. This piece of wilderness has dry cracks covering ground and flames that rose and licked the sky. A scorching heat bore down on everyone there. If they had been below Black Gold rank, they probably would have met their ends through spontaneous combustion.
Nie Li had been wondering about just what kind of place the Nine-Layered Deathlands would be. He understood a little, now that he stood before this scene. They should currently be somewhere in the Flaming Wastelands.
A powerful god’s servant stood in the sky, wearing golden armour with golden colored wings extending behind him. He had a huge figure. The servants were only of Demigod rank; however, they had been granted power by the Master of the Nether Realm. Therefore, their strength was incomparable to an ordinary Demigod rank expert’s.
That servant swept his eyes over the few thousand people as he coldly said, “Although there will be no deaths in this round, still beware! This is the second stage! If you are careless, you may become permanently crippled! In this wasteland, there is a Black Infernal Tower. It is a tower that has been left behind by a powerful expert.”
“Inside that tower are supreme black flames and all kinds of demonic beasts. Although the demonic beasts have been chained, they can still discharge powerful energy. You are to cultivate yourselves inside that environment for ten days. Those who can reach the anatta mental state [1. Anatta is the Buddhist concept of “non-self”.] of cultivation will have passed the test!”
At the servant’s words, some Legend rank and even Demigod rank experts showed perplexed expressions and were at a complete loss. The anatta mental state of cultivation? What was that?
“Reaching the anatta mental state of cultivation while surrounded by black flames, interesting!” The Demon Lord’s brows twitched. He eyed the distant end of the wilderness, where an imposing tower stood, ignited by black flames. That must be the Black Infernal Tower that the servant had just mentioned!