Chapter 343: Five Kinds of Rings
Fewer numbers of people didn’t mean that competition wasn’t as fierce.
Jiang Chen didn’t want to make a name for himself having just arrived, so he stood in the back of the crowd. He also knew that according to the conventions, the newly promoted candidates would be fourth level candidates in the earth quadrant. There were no other scenarios that could happen.
Indeed, someone quickly sent over their earth quadrant candidate tokens before too long.
Jiang Chen had been champion of the mystic quadrant, so his token was number 491. The others ranged from 492 to 500.
The numbering was easy to understand, but “fourth level” was carved on the back, proving Jiang Chen’s speculation right.
“Fourth level indeed… even though I’ve won a hundred matches in a row, I’m still fourth level.” Jiang Chen tucked the token into his waist with a wry smile.
Master Fang of the mystic quadrant had at least explained to them why they were fourth level.
Here, it was obvious that Master Shuiyue couldn’t be bothered to even introduce the area.
Jiang Chen didn’t mind. He stood in the crowd with his eyes and head lowered, not wanting to give anyone any evidence against himself. He observed the earth quadrant candidates silently.
“The earth quadrant is greatly different from the mystic quadrant alright. There was at least a noticeable lack of mockery and dismissive glances when we walked in. It looks like the maturity and shrewdness of the people who could make it here are all far superior to the trash in the mystic quadrant.”
This was his first discovery after arriving here.
Master Shuiyue’s voice sounded again. “You are all candidates of the earth quadrant, and thus different from the mystic quadrant. Your goals should be to move onto the sky quadrant. Therefore, your hundred challenges will be different in this cycle. This time, the rings in which your matches take place will not be without any external interference. Your rings will be divided into the following: ring of gravity, ring of fire, ring of ice, ring of thorns, and ring of soul devouring.”
Jiang Chen memorized the five different names.
Master Shuiyue continued, “This means that in this cycle, you will not be fighting in the ordinary rings. You will be faced with a random selection of these types of rings.”
“What? No ordinary ring?” Wails rose up from the earth quadrant candidates.
“No way! These five kinds of rings sound terrifying. So not only will we have to fight against our opponents, but we’ll have to resist the ring’s effect as well!”
“I know right? These names make my skin creep. Goosebumps are crawling all over my arms!”
All the candidates of the earth quadrant were quite dejected.
Their hundred challenges had taken place in the regular rings three months ago.
But Master Shuiyue had suddenly announced that the rings were intrinsically changing. This was simply too abrupt! The candidates present all found this a bit difficult to accept.
Master Shuiyue’s tone was solemn as she called out coldly. Several currents of cold air blew upon the candidates’ faces, as if wanting to freeze the very air.
The loudly grousing candidates all became ashen faced and as silent as the winter cicadas.
“This woman has a temper and really likes to throw her weight around!” Since Jiang Chen knew that she was Long Juxue’s master, he naturally wouldn’t have the slightest bit of respect for her.
However, the circumstances now were that she was the keeper of the earth quadrant. This made Jiang Chen have to tread gingerly.
He’d learned from Master Fang just how much power a keeper had.
If the keeper wanted to cheat, the other examiners would find it difficult to even question them. If the keeper wanted to suppress someone, they’d be able to pull it off so flawlessly that no one would be able to point out any misdoings.
“My reputation in the sky quadrant has likely already traveled to her ears. With her personality, she’s likely going to pay special attention to me. Heh heh, it looks like I won’t have an easy time of it during the three months in the earth quadrant.” Jiang Chen could only look for the silver lining.
There were five hundred of them, therefore the concentration of matches would surely be less than those of the mystic quadrant’s.
However, the duration of these matches would certainly be longer.
Indeed, Master Shuiyue continued, “The rules of the challenges are the same as the previous three months. Everyone must complete a hundred challenges, and the time allotted for fighting is one hour. If you do not defeat your opponent within the allotted time, the development of the battle will be used to determine who wins and who losses. Those of you who still have questions may ask them now.”
A candidate from the mystic quadrant immediately raised his hand, “Master, will the order of the matches still be randomly selected?”
“I’ve already gone over the nonsense of how the rules are the same as before! Apart from the rings and the match duration, everything remains the same!” Master Shuiyue hectored loudly.
Jiang Chen kept a low profile. He couldn’t be bothered to ask. He would gain nothing from speaking up now apart from inviting hatred and suppression.
The rules were such, and he’d long since familiarized himself with them when taking part in the hundred challenges in the mystic quadrant. Since only the rings and the time limit had changed, then everything was the same as prior.
“The old rules apply. Everyone return to your residences to prepare. The challenges begin officially tomorrow at the chen hour (TN: 7am – 9am).” Master Shuiyue waved her jade-like arms. “Dismissed.”
Jiang Chen dragged his feet as he trailed in the back of the crowd en route for the residences.
They all had their numbers now anyways, and their numbers corresponded to their residences. He wasn’t worried about being unable to find his residence. He had to say, the earth quadrant was the earth quadrant alright. Even the fourth level candidates enjoyed a residence to themselves.
Of course, there were only five hundred people here, so there were more than enough residences to go around. There was naturally no need for a huge crowd of people to squeeze into one yard.
Jiang Chen rather liked the feeling of having a bit of territory to himself.
When he entered the yard, Jiang Chen took a look around and familiarized himself with the surroundings according to his old habits. Caution is the parent of safety, and it was absolutely the right thing to do to get a lay of the land when entering a new environment.
“Mm, as domineering as Master Shuiyue is, she wouldn’t dare publicly do anything to the residences.” Jiang Chen didn’t discover anything out of the ordinary after scouting around for a bit.
He then entered the house. The house was actually designed quite like a secret room, fully protecting the privacy of the inhabitants.
The layout of the residence was such that it cleverly surrounded and protected the house in its center.
Jiang Chen sighed with amazement. “I wonder who designed this legacy realm of the ancient times to design it so cleverly! Can it be that this Eternal Spirit Mountain was also a place of trials and training in ancient times?”
Jiang Chen was filled with curiosity towards this realm all of a sudden.
He took a spin around the house and sat down cross legged once he was thoroughly familiar with it. He shifted his attention to thoughts pertaining to the earth quadrant tests.
Five kinds of rings. Jiang Chen mused over all of them in his mind.
“The ring of gravity isn’t difficult to understand. It’s undoubtedly a ring that is heavily restricted by amplified gravity. The usage of strength and energy under the pull of gravity will be an enormous test for the candidates.”
Jiang Chen went over the basic theories of gravity in his mind. In actuality, this kind of ring was a type of force field.
To cultivators, gravity wasn’t something that they were completely unable to shake off.
Of course, this was only relative. How much they could shake off depended on how strong the gravity was.
If the gravity was ridiculously strong, then even the cultivators who could fly through the sky or earth would find themselves unable to escape even with wings!
If the gravity was at normal levels, then cultivators who could grasp the rhythm of the force field and who were adept at breaking through the restraining force of the force field wouldn’t be much affected at all.
Ever since Jiang Chen had refined the magnetic golden mountain, he’d had a certain mastery over magnetic power. This force field actually had some similarities with that magnetic power.
The magnetic power was also a restraining force field. Of course, it could also attack, devour, and destroy in addition. It was much stronger than a simple gravity force field.
“The ring of fire must be as its name, a battlefield of high temperatures. To provide a tangible example, it must be like fighting in a cauldron while being cooked at high temperatures. That domineering temperature and the hunger of the fierce flames is an enormous test to cultivators.”
“The ring of ice is similar to the ring of fire, but their attributes are the exact opposite. One is a fiery cauldron, the other is an icy cavern. To cultivators, they’re merely different environments and different trials. These two rings are no different to the ordinary ones for me.”
This wasn’t blind confidence from Jiang Chen. Ever since refining the Flaming Heart of Ice, Jiang Chen had the most adept control over the attributes of fire and water.
He’d face such environments with the Lotus multiple times but had always emerged unscathed.
Even if he didn’t use the Lotus, he had the Redscaled Firelizard’s armor. That was enough to ensure that he wouldn’t be burnt by flames or frozen by ice.
The Firelizard’s scales would automatically absorb the power of the flames and would automatically emanate the imbued fire spirit power when faced with icy conditions.
This was one of the biggest reasons why Jiang Chen had put his whole heart into enmeshing the Firelizard’s scales into the skysilk soft armor.
The events of those days had been to prepare for situations like these.
“The ring of thorns sounds like a ring filled with thorns and thistles. However, I shouldn’t only decipher the surface meaning of these words. In my view, the five rings are echoing the five elements. The ring of gravity is attributed to earth, as are the rings of fire and ice to fire and water. Will the ring of thorns be to the metal or wood attribute? If wood, then is the ring of soul devouring mapping to the metal attribute?”
Jiang Chen couldn’t come to a conclusion immediately with the last two rings.
“Forget it, I’ll think about it when I’m actually in that environment in the future. These five rings hearken to the five elements, so the remaining two rings must be attributed to the metal or wood elements. I just need to keep this in mind and make my preparations.”
Jiang Chen was even more reassured after thoroughly researching the five rings.
He sat down cross-legged and began to meditate.