Chapter 168 – Intermediate Spirit Ascension Platform
Wu Zhangkong said, “There are unnatural existences too. Some large clans or sects use heavenly treasures or unique methods to stimulate their disciples’ bodies. With stronger bodies, they are able to contain more powerful soul rings and spirit souls, but this isn’t done normally. Only in rare situations where the disciple far excels in one aspect will such a method be considered. Take Gu Yue for example. With her high spiritual power, she only needs to strengthen her body before she’d be able to upgrade her spirit soul as you did. Unfortunately, with two soul rings, it would be too difficult for her to strengthen her body to the necessary level now. This is the key point that allows one to possess a pair of thousand-year soul rings and a thousand-year spirit soul. Though Gu Yue’s physique has strengthened with the addition of another soul ring, it only serves to amplify the areas she already excels in and widens the gap between her existing weaknesses. It truly is a pity. If her situation was better, I would help her regardless of whether or not she joined the Tang Sect.
“Currently, your current greatest advantage is in your soul power, which has, by nature grown inversely proportional to your physique and spiritual power. In such a situation you are able to evolve your spirit soul further than your peers without resorting to unnatural methods, which will free you from any future side effects. That’s not all though; through this, you’ll be able to lay a firmer foundation, so it is absolutely crucial to your future that you do not waste this opportunity.
“To aid you in evolving your spirit soul as quickly and as safely as possible, I’ll enter the spirit ascension platform together with you. Before we can do this, I’ll need to obtain two intermediate spirit ascension entry cards since only those with seven rings and under can enter. The soul beasts will be more vicious and harder to deal with in the intermediate level, but that also means their year levels will be higher—about the same as the ones in the Great Star Dou Forest. With my help, it shouldn’t take too long to gather enough spiritual energy.”
Intermediate spirit ascension platform?
Puzzled, Tang Wulin asked, “But Teacher Wu, can I really enter the intermediate level with only one soul ring?”
Wu Zhangkong assured, “There are no minimum rank requirements. As long as you have the necessary entry card, you’ll be able to enter even an advanced spirit ascension platform. In fact, the Spirit Pagoda actually wishes to see weaker entrants—quicker deaths mean fewer resources expended. And it’s actually very common for large clans to escort the younger generation in like I am. The difference, however, is that their charges usually lack the necessary physique or spiritual power to fully take advantage of it, quickly reaching their limits at the hundred-year level.
“Since the advent of spirit souls, it wasn’t body strength that perplexed most Soul Masters, but rather their spiritual power. In order to grow stronger, more spirit soul fusions are necessary, yet this increases the spiritual power requirements. Sadly, eighty percent of Soul Masters are just barely able to reach the Spirit Sea realm and host three spirit souls. Because they’re unable to break their limits, a few are spurred into using daring methods that forcibly raise their first spirit soul to a higher level.
“Ten-thousand-year spirit souls are the hardest to obtain since they can’t be artificially manufactured. Luckily, my fifth soul ring is at the ten-thousand-year level despite my spiritual power, which is only at the peak of the Spirit Sea realm. Normally, this only allows me to support three spirit souls, but with a ten-thousand-year spirit soul, I’m able to have four soul rings, allowing me to cultivate to eight rings. That’s my limit though. If I want to make any more progress and fuse four spirit souls, my spiritual power will need to break through to the next realm, but that is a dream that I will likely never achieve in my lifetime.
“As long as your first spirit soul evolves to the thousand-year level, you won’t have to worry about your first three soul rings. Then if you obtain another thousand-year spirit soul for your second and somehow obtain a ten-thousand-year spirit soul for the third, you will have opened the path to potentially becoming a Titled Douluo. These are my hopes for you, and I hope you’ll make it your goal.”
An epiphany struck Tang Wulin. This entire explanation had been from the perspective of a high-level Soul Master, a viewpoint so far above his young age and inadequate experience.
“Entry cards for the intermediate spirit ascension platform are hard to obtain and practically impossible to buy with money. Any cards that a city possesses is completely monopolized for internal use, which leaves us with two options: either trade for them or buy them at an auction. Tomorrow night we’ll try our luck at the auction house and if that fails, we’ll have to arrange a trade. You should be able to trade your rebellion spirit ascension platform entry card for two intermediate level ones.”
A new question occurred to Tang Wulin. “Teacher Wu, why aren’t we doing this in Eastsea City? Wouldn’t it be easier since we’re more familiar with the area?”
Wu Zhangkong shook his head. “The three of you are too outstanding and caught the attention of Eastsea City’s Spirit Pagoda. I doubt Gu Yue would have joined them otherwise. With their growing influence, it would be troublesome to draw more attention to yourself when you evolve your spirit soul to the thousand-year level. The situation in Heaven Dou City is more favorable for our goals. There are many more geniuses and large clans here, with no clan explicitly dominant. The chances of drawing unwanted attention will be far less if your talent only shines for a moment amongst the rest.”
Tang Wulin finally understood how much deliberate planning and considerations Wu Zhangkong had put into this endeavor. “Okay. I understand.”
It wasn’t Tang Wulin’s first time visiting an auction house; he had been to the one in Eastsea City before. The moment he walked through the great doors of the Heaven Dou Imperial Auction, however, he finally understood how lacking Eastsea City’s auction house truly was.
The Heaven Dou Imperial Auction hosted their weekly events in an enormous imperial hotel. Beautiful paintings lined the brightly lit hall and a magnificent crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling.
Each seat was a comfortable leather sofa, while tables to one side of the hall held a variety of refreshments, including pastries, fruits, drinks, and alcohol.
This was to be expected of course. Wu Zhangkong had paid a deposit of 1,000,000 federal coins to gain entry for the two of them. It was only this cheap because Wu Zhangkong had presented themselves as father and son again, meaning they only had to pay one deposit.
They donned the masks that every guest received with a numbered sign upon entry.
The auction house’s splendor dazzled Tang Wulin, his heart trembling at such a lavish scene.
“It’s so big!” Over three hundred people were present on the ground floor; this didn’t include the occupants of the second floor’s private rooms.
Wu Zhangkong was unfazed by the atmosphere of luxury, his icy expression remaining steadfast.
“Teacher Wu, here, take my savings card,” said Tang Wulin as he presented it to Wu Zhangkong. “There’s a little over three million federal coins inside. Please manage it for me.”
The intermediate entry card would definitely be expensive and Wu Zhangkong was once again acting for his sake, so Tang Wulin felt that it was only natural that he contributed his own money.
“Where did all this money come from?” Wu Zhangkong faced Tang Wulin with a frown.
“I earned it from blacksmithing,” Tang Wulin replied frankly.
Wu Zhangkong was left speechless for a moment. He soon composed himself and asked Tang Wulin, “What is your blacksmith rank now?”
Tang Wulin brightly answered, “Third rank!”
“I should have known. I originally thought those Thousand Refined vests had been partially forged by you, but they were actually all your handiwork, weren’t they?”
“Mn.” Tang Wulin nodded.
Only ten years old and he’s already at the third rank of his secondary occupation… Even with his limited knowledge about blacksmithing, he understood the significance of reaching the third rank.
But, he chose not to comment on it or pursue the topic further.
A half hour later, the lighting dimmed and the clamoring crowds quietened.
“Welcome, honoured guests, to the Heaven Dou Imperial Auction. Our weekly auction is about to start, and I am pleased to tell you that we have many great items to offer you. We have spirit fruits, rare metals, battle armor, mechas and other unique items. We will now be handing out tonight’s program. Please look through it in the twenty minutes before the official start of the auction.”
The backs of the sofas lit up with gentle lights while several scantily clad young ladies arrived, smiling seductively as they handed out the programs.
Different auctions had different rules. Some auctions revealed the catalog in advance, but Heaven Dou Imperial Auction did not do so. This prestigious auction was highly reputed throughout the continent, and though it could not be deemed one of the best, it had its own distinguishing features. The goal of this auction was to always give its guests a pleasant surprise.
Wu Zhangkong accepted the booklet and flipped through pages of illustrations, searching for intermediate spirit ascension platform entry cards.
Tang Wulin wiggled close to Wu Zhangkong, curious about what items were being sold today.
The items in the catalog were separated into several categories.