Li Chengfeng felt suspicious as he thought to himself, ‘Did he really fall to his death? Also, how did he even fall off? Did the cloud that once supported him suddenly dissipated? Then why would the cloud suddenly dissipate? Where does the cause of this come from?’
This challenge couldn’t possibly be trying to deliberately kill these people. Not to mention, Sun Boyi had said that the second challenge’s main objective was to test the challenger’s motivation and mentality, also symbolising the insidious path of cultivation that lay ahead in the future. Which meant that if he were to analyse what Boyi said, those who do not have a strong enough mentality or set motive would be more likely to encounter problems and even death itself.
Then that would mean… if those who cross the sea of clouds had a weak mentality and motive, they’re more likely to fall from the clouds?
That scholar just now, when he first started, he was strong-willed and determined. Yet after a few metres, he had already let his guard down. Hence, he fell from the clouds.
This meant that just like the sea of clouds, the cultivation path leaves no room for someone who lets their guard down easily?
After reaching an epiphany, Chengfeng took a deep breath and took a step forward. Coincidentally, his archnemesis, Zhan Qisheng, did the same thing!
The two of them glanced at each other, their gaze filled with surprise and sudden realisation. Then they started staring at each other once again, not moving a muscle. It was as if they were waiting for one of them to move first.
They continued their staring competition for quite some time, but just as Chengfeng was about to move. Qisheng, having noticed, said to him coldly, “I suggest that you be careful, because once you fall from the clouds… Not only will the Li Household lose their one and only heir, but the Li Clan will be eradicated as well!”
This sentence was vicious. This had not only broken Chengfeng’s calm demeanor, but within
his conviction was also full of threats.
Chengfeng was angered, his eyes throwing daggers as he glared at Qisheng. But he quickly composed himself as he snarkily replied, “This step forward MAY lead me to death, but if I took one step backwards, it would most DEFINITELY lead to my death! So, instead of backing down, I would much rather go forward and fight for my life!”
As he finished his sentence, Chengfeng immediately walked towards the edge of the clouds. He then looked back and stared at Zhan Qisheng while he smirked, “It’s the Fourth Young Master that should be paying attention!”
Qisheng arrived at the edge of the clouds as well, “Oh? This tactic of yours won’t work on me.” He smirked.
“I don’t know why on earth people call you the ‘pig’ among your siblings, but since you had hidden it so well, it must mean you have some sort of big plan coming. If you were to fall from here, it would be such a waste when all your efforts go up in smoke,” Chengfeng remarked snarkily.
Qisheng’s expression changed slightly, then, out of the blue, he let out a huge laugh. “Just as you said, if we move forward, we might die. Yet if we back off, we’ll definitely die! Instead of backing off and trying to gasp for a breath of air, why not go forward and fight for our lives? Isn’t that right, Young Master Li?”
The two of them glared at each other with a sharp gaze. If they were to stare any harder, sparks would definitely form from the friction of their stares!
Chengfeng took a piece of cloth from the corner of his robe, tore it into two parts and proceeded to roll them into tiny balls as he plugged them into his ears. He then pulled out a silk sash and used it to blindfold himself.
The two of them took their first step in unison and walked into the sea of clouds together.
Some people from the crowd couldn’t help but snicker, “Huh? They’re going to get themselves killed! Looks like they want to get to their next life as soon as possible!”
“No, it’s not like that!” Someone couldn’t help but retort, after being talked back to, the person that snickered couldn’t help but turn his head to look at the owner of the voice. He was about to snap back, but the moment he saw that it was a beautiful maiden, he immediately swallowed his words.
The man grinned and asked, “Why do you say that?”
Huang Nishang smiled as she replied, “This sea of clouds tests one’s level of motivation and mental strength, but the further you go, the more people you would see falling to their deaths. Due to that, the mental strength and motivation of the person going through the challenge will weaken as they panic. Thus, causing them to fall as well.”
Once everyone had heard what she said, they all went into deep thought. Some of them remained scared for their life, while others gritted their teeth and moved forward. One by one, they stepped into the dense cloud of death.
After Li Chenfeng stepped onto the sea of clouds, he was cautious with each step he took. In his head, he was pulling on a string. He took a deep breath, and his body went into a state where he was slowly accumulating his energy, ready to jump when the situation called for it. At this moment, he felt steady as a tree. His feet felt like roots, his legs were bamboos, and his chest were the tree’s branches. Before each step that he took, one of his feet would stay in its place as the other searched for stable footing.
When he made sure that his outstretched foot had stepped onto a stable foundation, Chengfeng used a little bit of strength to double check if the ground was safe. Only then would he take his second step.
Having rinsed and repeated his tactic, Chengfeng had already walked about 16 meters into the clouds. However, soon after, he heard a piercing scream coming from behind him. It sounded like someone had fallen from the clouds! Their screams echoing and growing more distant as they fell further and further down, chilling the challengers involved to their bones.
Chengfeng was taken aback by the scream, his concentration and mentality shook slightly. Immediately, he could feel the cloud underneath him softening and his body started to sink!
The cloud that he was stepping on seemed to have turned soft!
Chengfeng quickly came to his senses. In a flash, he took a deep breath and pushed the tip of his tongue to the roof of his mouth as he tried to concentrate as much as he could to stay calm. And in mere milliseconds, the cloud that seemed to be softening underneath him firmed up immediately, supporting his weight once again.
His heart was about to jump out of his chest. Cries of terror could be heard from the others behind him as he continued on his journey, each scream sent chills down his spine.
He gritted his teeth and tore a piece of cloth from his robes, using the fabric, he plugged them into both of his ears. He then proceeded to pull another piece and blindfolded himself once more, making him practically blind and deaf as he continued on his journey.
By using this method, Chengfeng suddenly felt calm and steady. Every step he took was extremely stable, and his walking speed increased steadily. The screams that he had heard once before were thrown to the back of his mind bit by bit.
After a long journey, he suddenly felt like he stepped on something hard. It wasn’t the soft fluffy feeling he had when he stepped on the clouds. After realising that, he smelled a fragrant scent coming his way. Not only that, but he could also hear the sounds of birds chirping and the sound of water falling down a waterfall from a distance away.
Confused, Chengfeng took off his blindfolds and earplugs and opened his eyes. And what he saw surprised him!
Li Chengfeng found himself in a garden filled with flora and fauna, there was a maiden wearing a long white robe playing on the swing in the back garden. Every time she swung, she swung high. Her long white dress flowed with the wind, showing her long slender legs and beautifully carved feet.
This maiden giggled as she swung, her voice bright and crisp like a bell. With a tiny mole adorned under the corner of her eye, she had one of the most beautiful faces he ever laid his eyes on. This was the beautiful maiden that Chengfeng had once dreamed about.
When the maiden noticed him, she immediately shouted in glee! She gently jumped down the swing and quickly ran towards Chengfeng. Her long white dress flowed as her silky black hair gently danced with the wind, like a little puppy she jumped into Chengfeng’s arm, as she cried excitedly, “My Lord! You’re finally back!”