After a couple more days, I finally reached my Sticking out of the sand like the bones of a dead giant were the ruins. The columns were all with murals depicting artworks from men fighting to giant mystical creatures. As I kept walking, the consistency of the sand changed until my feet no longer sank into it.
Standing on top, it felt as if there was something solid underneath. I bent down brushing off the sand to reveal what looked to be a stone roof. Excited that I finally found a building that seemed to be something intact, I struck down at the ceiling trying to break-in so I could explore the structure. When my hand hit the roof, there wasn't even so much as a crack.
I was surprised at first but quickly realized that buildings built by coremasters for other coremasters would probably be sturdy enough to handle at least attacks from coremasters in the first stage.
Disappointed that I couldn't take the easy way in, I searched for hours yet I still hadn't even found the edge of the roof when suddenly I reached what looked like a sheer cliff but in reality was the edge of the roof. Looking down it was a steep descent to the ground more distance than I could Luckily, the wall of the building wasn't but was filled with bumps and groves. After an hour or so of climbing, I reached the bottom.
Upon arriving at the bottom, I looked up at the wall finally realizing what all the bumps and groves were. Carved on the wall was a gigantic dragon diving out of a thunderstorm with lightning striking all around it. Even the colors hadn't faded after who knows how many years standing out vividly against the vast sameness of the sand. At the bottom of the building was the mouth of the dragon inside of which was two doors engraved with lightning bolts across them.
Approaching them, I noticed the sound of electricity crackling and the sharp smell of ozone. Not knowing what to think of this phenomenon, I kept moving forward and went to my hands on the door. As soon as I did, the lightning bolts on the door tore off the door and plunged into my chest releasing thousands of lightning elements into my body.
Luckily for me, because I had a pure lightning core, it was effortless for me to suppress all the elements in my body and even manage to convert half of them to part of my core. After the lightning was finished, the doors swung open revealing a magnificent room with a floor covered in strange runes and what looked like marble running down the sides of the room.
At the back of the room was what appeared to be a reasonably high stage raised at least ten feet above the rest of the floor. At the end was a stage with a set of doors at the back. Carved on top of the doors were the words saying, "Enter these doors and face the trials of the dragons to learn the great methods of the sect."
I smiled knowing I had found what I was looking for and reasonably easily at that. Though I did worry a little about the trials, it warned about. Especially if there were more traps like the front door. Well, no matter the risk, I was determined to keep going. I walked up to the door hesitating slightly before pushing my way through.
Immediately, the scenery changed, I was in the middle of a forest when suddenly I heard a voice in my head saying, "The first trial is simple, just survive for a day."
As soon as the voice ended, I heard movement and reacting instinctively dodged to the left just in time. Where I had been standing, a huge crater was now dug into the ground. Looking up, I saw hovering in the air a man-sized crystal that had four rings continually circling around it. In the middle of each ring was what seemed shockingly to my lightning core.
Another ring rotated towards my , this time I could see as the bolt arced out towards me. It was easier to dodge this time, but as I was dodging, the bolt changed forcing me to stop mid-dodge and switch barely able to get out of the way in time. The of the bolt hit so close that debris all over me producing cuts all over my body. I realized this was going to be a lot harder than I thought.
As the next bolt came, I decided to wait until the last before dodging. Right as it was going to hit me, I ducked to the side but I wasn't quite quick enough, and the bolt hit my right arm leaving a nasty gash. Luckily, my healing kicked in, but the healing was slower than normal due to the injury being a burn as well as a cut. I still felt that dodging at the last minute was the correct method and kept trying as more bolts were shot towards me.
After a while, my body was covered with injuries, but I had finally started to be able to dodge the bolts consistently. The only problem was that the bolts would randomly change speeds making it hard to predict but I eventually got better and the twenty-four hours slowly passed by with me getting fewer wounds over time.
As soon as the twenty-four hours were up, the rings around the crystal immediately stopped rotating, and the voice again sounded in my head, "The next trial is almost as simple. Just kill waves of enemies, and the trial will end."
When the voice ended, the scenery changed again, and I found myself in the middle of an empty room with everything made of marble; the walls, the floors, and even the ceiling. Within a minute, a man of average stature appeared holding a sword and whose face was shielded by a hood. He charged me immediately, his neared my own speed, but he attacked thoughtlessly just randomly at me.
I quickly dodged the wild and killed him with a thrust to his throat. When he died, he did not fall down or bleed like expected but instead disappeared. After he disappeared, two men identical to the one I had just killed appeared. The only thing different about them was their weapons. One had an axe, and the other had a spear. Upon emerging, they charged with the same wild fighting style as the first one.
Once again, I easily dodged helped by the fact that I just had what was essentially twenty-four hours of dodging practice. I slid past their weapons and pierced the one holding the spear in the throat. Quickly spinning, I tripped the other one and finishing him with a quick thrust. Guessing I was just about to have to fight four men, I immediately activated my core and myself in lightning. With my speed doubled, I was able to deal with four men in a manner as the way I had dispatched the first groups.
I realized that the strategy of standing and letting them approach me was not going to last for long. Therefore, when the eight spawned, I immediately charged forward using my lightning pear technique to pierce through two of them dropping their number to six. I then backed off to not get surrounded. Using this method of engaging and disengaging, I was able to minimize the amount I had to fight at one time. This method worked for the next two groups. Once their number reached sixty-four, they filled the room almost entirely, and there was no longer enough room to maneuver.
Against this number, I was forced to utilize the whole spear, keeping it in constant blocking attacks from all and dodging the strikes that managed to get past any of my blocks. Yet even as I whittled down little by little, I also continued to obtain small injuries causing blood to erupt all over my body. I managed to finish off the last fighter, but I was in a very sorry state when I was finished.
My ability to heal was overloaded with just the sheer amount of injuries I had incurred. Without even a minute break, the next group of one hundred and twenty-eight appeared. Knowing I was reaching my limits to be able to defend myself and the only reason I had been in the was the poor fighting technique they had employed, I prepared myself for this next
As I was getting overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, I entered a strange state where I started to be able to sense even the tiniest lightning element. Even those that appeared as a person used their muscles, I could now feel. This allowed me to detect their movements and I folded this into my fighting. With this ability, I was able to hold my ground dispatching them in droves as I got used to this new sense.
AS I killed the last of them, I expected the group to appear, but instead of two hundred and fifty-six fighters only a single fighter appeared wielding a spear. I was taken aback at first but ultimately relieved that I would have an easy last fight. I raised my spear waiting for him to approach.
That's when I noticed something was different. Instead of just running at me wildly, he approached with his spear in front. As soon as he got in range, he let out a quick thrust straight towards my chest at speed faster than I can move even with my core fully activated. The only thing that saved me was my new sensing ability which allowed me to dodge as soon as he started his thrust. Even so, I just barely got out of the way in time.
After he thrust instead of pulling back like I expected, he swung his spear to the side forcing me to block. When his spear hit mine, I was knocked several feet back nearly knocking me to the ground and numbing my hands from the impact. I was shocked at his brute strength combined with his speed. I realized that this might end up being my toughest fight yet. He made another thrust towards my stomach but then halfway through the thrust he flicked his spear towards my head.
Surprised, I barely was able to dodge backwards in time, feeling the wind from his spear tip as it passed by my face. Seeing my chance as his spear was raised in the air, I thrust forward combining this momentum with my lightning spear technique. I hit him directly in the chest nearly tearing his whole body in half due to the strength of the thrust. As soon as his body disappeared, I in