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912 Reaching the Top

 Tatamu's face had already turned pale, and it began to chant and pray for its ancestors to bless it and the gods to forgive it. As it sensed the heat burning through its body, it suddenly felt the human release a wave of energy to shield it from the heat so that it could stay alive. However, its heart was bleeding; he was being forced to go up the Sacred Mountain!

The Pilroni Sacred Mountain was already in front of them, and hundreds of flying enemy units were gathering behind him. However, none of them dared to come here. They were gathering and watching from a distance of hundreds of meters. Wang Zhong ignored them completely and just rushed into the mountains.

At this time, the heat waves he felt were no longer simply heat waves, but real burning flames. These flames were very strange, and they clearly emerged from the ground without any combustible matter fueling them. They even burned on the bare ground. Although it didn't seem like there was any sacred power fueling them, these seemingly ordinary flames could burn up to hundreds of degrees, and their effect on Wang Zhong's consumption of Soul Power was extremely high. Previously, when he released countless of Phoenix Rises to Ninth Heaven, he did not feel much in his Soul Sea, but now, the level of Soul Power consumption and replenishment was leveled. Fortunately, he could still maintain the balance between them.

In this sea of fire, he couldn't see anything.

'Open!' Wang Zhong stretched his palms forward and then spread his arms out. The airflow formed by his Soul Power separated the turbulent sea of fire and opened a path.

Originally, he assumed that there was nothing in this flame-filled mountain, but when he separated the flames, what appeared in front of him was an extremely magnificent, giant white flight of stairs seemingly made out of jade. It followed the mountain path and then went extremely high. He could not see what was at the end with a single glance. A mysterious and huge energy gathered at the end of the ladder, and it was clearly where the true power of the Sacred Mountain laid.

Up we go!

Wang Zhong took a big step forward. The golden figure swept through the air and tried to fly straight up. However, the moment he took the first step, he sank down immediately. His feet landed directly on the stairs. He could not fly! The mysterious aura permeating this ladder was interfering with his control of flight balance. The gravity here seemed to be extremely great, rendering any flight method useless.

He could only rely on walking. Wang Zhong felt that it was rather magical, and he didn't stop waking up. The mysterious energy on the white jade stairs only prevented him from flying, but it didn't hinder his other abilities.

He continued to activate his Soul Power in his body, protecting himself from the surrounding fire and high temperature. At the same time, he also maintained the effects of the Zoom Shadow, Light Spirit, and Domination Constitution Circuits, allowing him to proceed at top speed. But at every step, he could feel his body grow heavier, and by the time he had crossed more than a hundred steps, it seemed that he had to withstand 30 times his actual weight, and this value was still increasing. The end of the stairs was still nowhere in sight!

"We can't go on, we can't go on anymore! We're all going to die!" Tatamu was totally scared out of its wits. It had heard of these white jade stairs before. Its master, Sauron, had followed the royal family here to pay respects to the gods before, as he was a powerful Warlock Saint. Sauron had come up this flight of stairs before, and it was said that unless one had reached the level of a Sword or Warlock Saint and was the cream of the crop, not only would one be unable to walk up this flight of stairs, one would also be killed on the way.

"Shut up!" Wang Zhong shouted loudly. Now, he had no time to listen to Tatamu's nagging.

However, Tatamu did not listen this time. That was because the Sacred Mountain was too terrifying to it.

"My noble human lord, Tatamu is being serious! We will all die if you go further! We might as well take advantage of the cover of the flames now and change direction! Let's escape from the other side of the Sacred Mountain. They can't catch up to you anyway. Tatamu is begging you. You really shouldn't go further..." Tatamu cried and screamed, and it had no intention of stopping at all. It already felt that its body was about to be crushed by the pressure on the white jade stairs.

"Lao Wang, this guy is too much of a burden. Anyway, it doesn't want to go up, and it also can't stop nagging. Let's leave it here!" said Simba fiercely.

Tatamu instantly grew alert, and it shut up immediately after realizing a more serious problem.

Leave itself here? Without this human being's protection, the surrounding fire would instantly roast it alive!

Tatamu no longer dared to shout, fearing that it might be left behind. It was obvious that this human could not be persuaded. Although there was a slim chance of surviving if it followed the human, it was still a little better than dying right away.

Simba was definitely Tatamu's nemesis. Wang Zhong finally got peace and quiet.

In fact, when he sensed the weirdness of this flight of white jade stairs, for a moment, he also thought about circling around to the other side of the Sacred Mountain through the cover of the fire. However, at this time, he could feel that those Sword or Warlock Saints had already arrived at the foot of the mountain. Those Great Swordsmen and Great Warlocks couldn't get close to the Pilroni Sacred Mountain, but the Sword or Warlock Saints could, and they seemed to intend to catch up with him along the white jade stairs. As such, if Wang Zhong went back, he would have to face them directly. Additionally, when he tried to jump off from either side of the white jade stairs, he felt as though he was locked in by a mysterious energy on the stairs, and he couldn't jump out at all.

There was no escape route at all. Wang Zhong gave up on other ideas and focused on going upward.

The gravity was constantly increasing. For Wang Zhong's current physical fitness and Soul Power, the increased gravity could only slow him down, and it didn't seem impossible to go on. However, when he reached the 300th step, the difficulty escalated again. The increase this time was not solely gravity, but a burden on his soul.

It was like having an invisible giant hand coming out of nowhere and grabbing his soul and his heart tightly, as well as pinching, squishing, and squeezing him bit by bit...

It became more and more difficult to breathe, and his speed began to slow as well.

Through the clown mask, Wang Zhong could see that the higher the steps were, the heavier the trace of pressure, but at this time, he could already faintly see what was hidden at the top of the white jade stairs. It was radiating with white light, and even if it was covered in the sea of fire, that pure and holy light could easily be spotted.

Screech!

There was a loud clatter coming from behind, and Wang Zhong turned back. A Mizobudapi soldier wearing a golden robe and carrying a long sword could be seen opening a path in the sea of fire, and he began climbing the flight of stairs.

It was a Sword Saint, and just by looking at him, Wang Zhong felt that the Sword Saint was more powerful than the Sword Saint Heinrich he faced the last time. The golden light on his body seemed restrained: the Sword Saint aura radiating strongly from him didn't seem to overflow at all. He seemed unfazed and at ease as he walked up the white jade stairs. It seemed that the journey up the stairs was significantly easier and more comfortable for the Sword Saint compared to Wang Zhong. However, the Sword Saint's speed did not seem faster than Wang Zhong's. It might even be slower.

The Sword Saint was obviously stronger than Wang Zhong, yet his speed was slower. It gave Wang Zhong a strange feeling. It was as though the white jade stairs had a spirit and were able to judge anyone that steps on itself. Perhaps the other party had to withstand greater pressure and gravity than Wang Zhong due to his status as a Sword Saint.

Wang Zhong ignored him as the Sword Saint was still rather far away. Moreover, it felt as though his speed was faster than the Sword Saint's. As long as he did not stop, he would definitely be able to widen the distance between them, and that Sword Saint would never be able to catch up for the time being.

He continued to move his feet. Previously, he could move up two to three steps in one go, but now it was no longer possible. He could only do it one at a time now, and the speed of his advance had begun to decrease significantly. At this time, the pressure still seemed manageable for him. After all, he was wearing the clown mask, which meant that he could feel the weight of the pressure, but he would not be directly affected. However, the pressure from the gravity pulling down his body and the pressure on his soul was slowly taking a toll on Wang Zhong, especially when he had to spare some extra energy to protect Tatamu. The consumption of Soul Power was rapidly increasing and near the 'break-even point'; it seemed that his influx of power was now merely barely able to support his expenditure.

His body's ability to bear the pressure wasn't a problem. The focus was on the continued consumption of Soul Power and the usage of his divine cells.

His power was now flowing from every cell in his body. If you calculated it to the extreme, such power was truly endless. However, currently, Wang Zhong had yet to become a master at using his divine cells. It could be said that he merely gained them; further mastery would definitely require more training and experience, and the white jade stairs seemed to be squeezing out his potential.

Wang Zhong's current steps were just subconscious movements, and his mind was now completely immersed in the internalization and adjustment of his divine cells. Although he didn't know why this Sacred Mountain existed, he was sure of one thing. This place was fatal for the weak, but for the strong, this was actually a precious place where one could undergo the process of remolding oneself thoroughly. This was especially true for Wang Zhong, who had just transformed his cells into divine cells. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Wang Zhong was completely immersed in it, and he felt really great about it.

If his previous adaptation - aka the superimposed Soul Circuits - was just a warm-up to the development of his body, the current process of controlling his Soul Power was a complete set of detailed and extreme exercises.

The runes on him were constantly flashing. Although the gravity and pressure on his soul were increasing with every step, Wang Zhong continued to maintain the same speed as he climbed toward the top of the white jade stairs.

One kilometer, 500 meters, 300 meters, 200 meters, 100 meters...

In the last 100 meters, the difficulty increased again. Wang Zhong was already trying his best to adjust his own divine cells. Initially, he couldn't really get used to his body which suddenly became stronger, but now, it seemed that the journey up the long stairs had removed all kinds of impurities in his body, and he felt that his body had reached the best possible state. The extreme gravity around him was still manageable for his body, but the restraint on his soul was getting stronger, making him breathless. He felt that his heart was being pinched and tightened. He struggled hard, and it felt like his heart was going to explode.

Now, every step he took was extremely difficult. Beads of sweat constantly emerged from his forehead, and Wang Zhong had even forgotten the Sword Saint behind him. He had no choice but to use all his power to deal with this huge pressure. As such, all his focus and energy were used to deal with it. Moreover, he began to feel the repression of this coercion. Even the aid of the clown mask felt like a drop in the bucket. The power of the coercion was simply unimaginable.

Wang Zhong could sense a familiar presence. It was similar to the Sovereign of Flames he had encountered in the Fifth Dimension, but the aura was a little different. In terms of strength, the Sovereign of Flames seemed to be more powerful. However, the coercion he felt here was not purely based on strength, but one's rank. If a living organism could leave behind such a powerful place after its death, how powerful was it when it was alive?