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Chapter 5304: The Price of Arrogance
Aware that he had embarra.s.sed himself, Jia Chengxiong charged for one of the white gates as soon as he left the red gate.
The crowd was rendered speechless.
There was no doubt that Jia Chengxiong was a prodigy, but his guts were nowhere close to Chu Feng’s. If he was going to escape like that, he might as well not enter the red gate in the first place. Nevertheless, this incident proved two things.
One, the red gate was extremely dangerous.
Two, Chu Feng was extremely courageous. He remained inside the red gate even though Jia Chengxiong had already been intimidated into escaping.
In truth, there was no actual danger inside the red gate. It was just that the pressure exerted on one’s soul would intensify with every step along the way, eventually culminating to a point where it felt like countless invisible bugs were worming into one’s body. In other words, this was a trial that challenged one’s guts.
Of course, there was still a chance that cowards might be literally scared to death.
The intimidation from the red gate was not a force that could be resisted. The pressure directly affected one’s soul, making it impossible to shake off its effects.
It was fortunate that Chu Feng’s willpower was sufficiently strong, allowing him to stand his ground against the pressure. He flitted ahead and soon found the white-haired woman.
The white-haired woman had a strained look on her face, but she was still slowly making progress.
“Are you all right?” Chu Feng walked over and asked.
The white-haired woman raised her head to look at Chu Feng, causing the two of them to meet gazes. Chu Feng saw that the white-haired woman’s face had turned pale. She was shaken by the pressure.
On the other hand, the white-haired woman looked shocked to see Chu Feng.
“Are you not afraid?” she asked.
“It’s all fake. There’s nothing to be afraid of,” Chu Feng replied.
The white-haired woman was rendered speechless. She knew that this was fake too, but that didn’t make it any easier for her to bear the pressure. Yet, somehow, Chu Feng seemed to be unfazed by it.
Just how daring was that guy?
“I’m fine. You should go on your way,” the white-haired woman said with a quivering voice.
“You should head back. There’s only one slot,” Chu Feng replied.
The white-haired woman ignored him and continued walking ahead. She refused to give up even when she knew that she would be outdone by Chu Feng.
“She’s an obstinate one,” Eggy remarked.
“She probably wants to challenge herself.”
Chu Feng saw through the white-haired woman’s intention. Adapting to the pressure in this stage was actually a rare training opportunity, especially since mental resilience was important on the path to growing stronger.
It was just that such training was useless to Chu Feng. He had been through so much that hardly anything shook him anymore. That was also why he dared to enter this place when so many prodigies had s.h.i.+ed away from this test.
It was not that he was born with better talent than them, but that he had simply been through far more hards.h.i.+ps.
Chu Feng soon reached the end of the pa.s.sageway. There was a spirit formation gate before him that seemed to mark the end of the test, but he stopped right in front of it.
“This... Is there no reward for clearing this test?” Chu Feng was surprised.
“No reward? You’re earning a Half-G.o.d Sacred Temple Bead here!” Eggy exclaimed.
“I know, but... On our way here, I sensed that the other ten white gates contain martial enlightenment,” Chu Feng said.
“How did you sense it? Is this place linked with the other places?” Eggy asked out of curiosity.
“I don’t have concrete evidence. It’s more of an intuition,” Chu Feng replied.
“Intuition? Is it reliable?” Eggy asked.
“It’s not entirely an intuition. How should I put this? It’s a possibility that I felt, but I don’t have evidence to back it up,” Chu Feng replied.
“Then I guess it boils down to whether you want the Half-G.o.d level Sacred Temple Bead or the martial enlightenment. Is the martial enlightenment formidable? Will it be of much use to you?” Eggy asked.
“It’s not really much, but it’ll be of some use to me. I don’t really want to miss it,” Chu Feng replied.
“Chu Feng, a Half-G.o.d level Sacred Temple Bead is at stake here. You should carefully think it through,” Eggy said.
“Eggy, do you think it’s possible for me to claim both?” Chu Feng asked.
“You want both? The white-haired woman is right on your tail. Even if you rush to the white gate now and quickly return, I doubt that you’ll be able to make it in time,” Eggy said.
“I should still give it a try,” Chu Feng replied before heading back the way he came from.
He soon encountered the white-haired woman.
“Why are you turning back? Is there something ahead?” the white-haired woman asked with a frown. She thought that Chu Feng had turned tail because he had encountered something dangerous ahead.
“Nothing of that sort. Don’t worry and advance on. You’ll reach the end soon,” Chu Feng said.
“Did you come back to console me?” the white-haired woman asked.
“That’s not it. I want to discuss a matter with you.”
“What is it?”
“Could you give me the Half-G.o.d level Sacred Temple Bead in exchange of me backing out of this test?” Chu Feng asked.
“You don’t intend to clear this test?” the white-haired woman asked.
“I’ll be honest with you. I sensed the presence of martial enlightenment in the white gates and I don’t want to miss this opportunity to advance my cultivation. I’m hoping to head over to grasp them,” Chu Feng said.
“Fine, I’ll clear this test and give you the reward.” The white-haired woman candidly accepted the offer.
Chu Feng headed out after striking the deal.
“To think that you would come up with such an idea,” Eggy remarked.
“Desperation drives creativity. I have no other choice,” Chu Feng replied with a helpless sigh.
“What if she refuses to hand the Half-G.o.d level Sacred Temple Bead to you?” Eggy asked.
“So be it. Frankly speaking, I’m taking advantage of her here. I gave up on clearing the test of my own volition. She’s under no obligation to hand her reward over to me. In fact, I’d owe her a favor if she does so... However, I don’t think that she’s the kind of person to break her promises,” Chu Feng said.
“I don’t think she’s that kind of person too.” Eggy nodded in agreement.
Chu Feng soon left the red gate. His reappearance confused the crowd outside.
“Why did Chu Feng come out?”
Without bothering to explain anything, Chu Feng waved at the crowd before heading straight into one of the white gates below.
“Even Chu Feng has given up on the red gate. It doesn’t seem possible to clear the second test at all.”
“I guess no one will be claiming that Half-G.o.d level Sacred Temple Bead.”
Many people expressed regret at Chu Feng’s failure to clear the second test, especially the younger women.
“That’s not right. The red gate induces fear in a person’s soul, right? Why does Chu Feng not appear frightened at all?” someone raised a doubt.
“He might be putting on an act,” someone else sneered.
Not everyone was fond of Chu Feng. There were some who were jealous and detested him.
“Chu Feng is more prideful than I thought him out to be.”
“He shouldn’t have challenged the red gate in the first place. Why go through so much suffering for nothing?”
More and more people began voicing their scorn for Chu Feng. Despite not being acquainted with Chu Feng, they didn’t hesitate to slander him.
Chu Feng was already accustomed to such happenings and didn’t pay their slander any heed. He thought that it was a waste of time to fuss over strangers’ impressions of him. Without wasting any time, he headed into one of the white gates.
The test inside the white gate was very different from the red gate.
The red gate had no obstacle other than the intense fear that gripped one’s soul, but the white gate was filled with many mechanisms and traps, as one would expect from a usual test. Such a test didn’t pose a challenge to Chu Feng at all.
Chu Feng quickly advanced as he searched around for the martial enlightenment he had sensed earlier on.
“Have you found it yet? Could you have sensed it wrongly?” Eggy asked.
“I could have.”
Chu Feng was no longer confident about finding the martial enlightenment anymore. He had been inside the white gate for some time now and wasn’t far from the endpoint, but he still hadn’t found any traces of the martial enlightenment yet.
“That’s fine too. It’s the process that matters,” Eggy gently said with a warm smile.
Instead of criticizing Chu Feng for making a wrong choice, she encouraged him. She was willing to walk down any path Chu Feng had chosen, even when she disagreed with it.
Soon, Chu Feng arrived at a hall.
Over a hundred people were gathered inside this hall, and at the opposite end of the hall were ten tightly closed gates. Looking around, it seemed like those who challenged the white gates eventually converged here.
Interestingly, most people were gathered around six of the gates, whereas the remaining four only had a person each. Those people standing at those four gates were the men from the Heavenly Dome Immortal Sect, Bluemoon Sacred Palace, Jia Chengying, and Jia Chengxiong.
The reason behind the skewed distribution was obvious. Each gate contained only a single slot to enter the Ancient Realm, and the crowd didn’t think that they could compete with those four. Thus, they decided to go for the remaining six gates, where they at least stood a chance.
“That fellow is pretty pragmatic.”
Chu Feng turned his sights toward the seventh gate, where most people were gathered at. There was a familiar face amongst the crowd there—Bai Yunqing.
Bai Yunqing might not be a match for the men from the Heavenly Dome Immortal Sect, Bluemoon Sacred Palace, and Jia Chengying, but he was definitely more than capable of crus.h.i.+ng Jia Chengxiong.
His choice not to compete with Jia Chengxiong reflected his reluctance to offend the Pill Dao Immortal Sect. This showed that the Pill Dao Immortal Sect did hold a significant influence in the Totem Galaxy. After all, Bai Yunqing was someone with strong backing too.
Bai Yunqing’s eyes were tightly closed as he formed a series of hand seals. He was probably trying to breach a formation.
“Oh? Isn’t that the strongest late Martial Exalted level cultivator, Chu Feng? Didn’t you enter the red gate earlier? Why are you here? Did you fail? Or did you get scared off? Hahaha!” Jia Chengxiong sneered.
Upon hearing Jia Chengxiong’s words, Jia Chengying and the two men from the Heavenly Dome Immortal Sect and the Bluemoon Sacred Palace turned to look at Chu Feng, though the latter two merely glanced at him before retracting their gazes.
“What’s wrong, Chengxiong?” Jia Chengying asked.
“Big brother, that guy is Chu Feng, the one who won the Trial of the Strongest’s late Martial Exalted level category,” Jia Chengxiong replied.
“I know,” Jia Chengying said.
“Big brother, you know him?” Jia Chengxiong was perplexed, but he quickly burst into laughter. “I nearly forgot. You partic.i.p.ated in the Trial of the Strongest too. Hahaha!”
“You said that he entered the red gate?” Jia Chengying asked.
He was more concerned about the red gate than Chu Feng himself.
“That’s right. He entered the red gate hoping to play the hero, but he got put back in his place,” Jia Chengxiong scoffed as he retracted his gaze.
Chu Feng responded with a meaningful smile.
Jia Chengxiong was at the fourth gate, whereas Chu Feng had come out from the sixth gate. Under normal circ.u.mstances, the two of them wouldn’t have crossed paths. However, upon hearing Jia Chengxiong’s taunt, Chu Feng changed his path.
Instead of heading toward the sixth gate, he made his way toward Jia Chengxiong’s fourth gate. He wanted to make Jia Chengxiong pay the price for his arrogance.
Jia Chengxiong’s face darkened.