In the Gravity Room.
Beside a huge mace at the center of the room, Shi Yan was striking it heavily as his body operated Petrification and sweated all over.
That mace was seven meters tall and three meters wide, which was deep rooted at the center of the stone ground in the Gravity Room. The sharp tips on it were like short rods shining with a dark light.
Shi Yan’s body had already turned dark brown and he was breathing heavily. Moving around the mace, he kept slamming into it with his shoulders, arms, waist and thighs in turns.
Endless blunt thunderous sounds came out from the Gravity Room.
To trigger the potential of the Petrification Martial Spirit of the Shi Family, one must train themselves in a ruthless way. Only by slamming against hard objects, could the power of Petrification be used to the fullest.
And only by ruthlessly tormenting one’s body, could his Petrification Martial Spirit adapt to any kind of attacks from his opponents.
There were seven dark Gravity pillars erected in the Gravity Room, which increased the gravity in the room to seven times normal gravity.
“Bang! Bang! Bang!”
With his upper body naked, Shi Yan wore a serious face, while he was training his body to the limit in order to activate the potential of his Petrification Martial Spirit.
Everytime he slammed into the mace with his body, it would send out a thin layer of brown light.
The light flashed for a short moment. It would explode the moment Shi Yan’s body touched the mace, and would disappear soon after the touch.
After about five thousand repetitions with different parts of his body, Shi Yan collapsed, unable to use his energy anymore. With his limbs spread out, he laid down in the center of the room letting his sweat flow like a stream over his skin which wet the green stone ground.
It had been half a month.
In the past half a month, Shi Yan ate and slept in the Gravity Room. He never left the room even to go to the restroom.
That was Shi Jian’s plan.
As soon as Shi Jian found out that Shi Yan’s Martial Spirit had reached the second stage, he made Shi Yan stop his other training and focus on refining his body.
Shi Jian meant to trigger the entire potential of Shi Yan’s second stage Petrification Martial Spirit at the fastest speed, and to strengthen his body structure to the extent that it could bear the attacks from a Human Level warrior.
During the past half month, Shi Jian, Han Feng, Yang Hai, and other elders came to watch him now and then.
Shi Jian, for example, would come to see him every three days. He would examine the changes on Shi Yan’s body carefully and give him some advice on the training intensity for the next stage.
Lying on the ground with fatigue, Shi Yan began to adjust his breathing slowly. After feeling more strength in his arms and legs, he managed to sit up and began to operate his Profound Qi.
Though he was exhausted, his Profound Qi circulated even faster than before. During this process Shi Yan closed his eyes, and tried to calm his heart clear his mind.
Everytime he went to this state, he found that his blood, flesh, cells and bones were all nourishing his body in a way he couldn’t understand.
His broken body would soon recover from his extreme fatigue and gain strength.
This was the self-recovery of the Immortal Martial Spirit!
Shi Yan knew it well.
Not knowing how much time had passed, he woke up gradually with his eyes as bright as the stars. After meditating, the fatigue in his body disappeared and his Profound Qi became active. There seemed to be a strong explosiveness in it which was about to break out.
At this moment, the stone door of the Gravity Room opened a little.
Han Zhong walked in with a big smile and seven bamboo baskets in his hands.
He put down the bamboo baskets and took out the delicate dishes one by one, “Today’s dishes: bird’s nest, sea cucumber, turtle, bear’s palm, glossy ganoderma. Brother Yan, you are too gluttonous! One meal for you is even more than five meals of what the other young masters of Shi Family eat. If you were in a small family, everything would be eaten by you.”
Han Zhong laughed as he put down the plates and secretly took out a jar of wine, “This jar of wine called ‘Flame’ is part of my collection. Drink it up quickly and I will dispose of it.”
Shi Yan didn’t try to refuse as he walked over to Han Zhong quickly and began to swallow the food. After wolfing down the rich dishes which only wealthy families could afford, he took up the jar of ‘Flame’, raised his head, and drank.
Wiping his mouth and putting the empty jar down, he chuckled, “Old Han, you should bring me two jars of it next time. One jar is not enough!”
“Brother Yan, the wine ‘Flame’ is from the Spring Pavilion, costing five hundred purple crystal coins!” Han Zhong squeezed out a bitter smile, “I saved this one last time I went there. I will bring you ‘Knife’ tomorrow, which only costs one hundred blue crystal coins. I can even bring you four jars of it!”
“They are only crystal coins!” Shi Yan didn’t care at all, “Bring me ‘Flame’, I will give you the crystal coins next time!”
“Then it’s ok with me.” Han Zhong smirked, “Brother Yan, the family head kept it confidential about you being a warrior. Most warriors and escorts in the family don’t know about it. Do you know why?”
“Why?” Shi Yan asked lazily.
“The Martial Competition that occurs every five years is going to happen in three months. You know, in the last competition, we were surpassed by the Mo and Ling Families, so the family head roared for days after that. This time…”
“He wants me to attend the Martial Competition?” Shi Yan responded in surprise before Han Zhong finished his speech.
The Martial Competition was a big event co-held by the five biggest families in the Merchant Union which every warrior could attend.
The competitions happened according to five levels: Elementary Level, Nascent Level, Human Level, Disaster Level and Earth Level. Warriors of every level could compete for the first three places of their respective levels.
The five big families would offer a lot of training materials as rewards; such as medicine pills, treasures, Martial skills and so forth for the winners.
The five big families co-held the Martial Competition for two reasons. On one hand, they needed to pick expert warriors to strengthen their power. On the other hand, the competition would be motivation for warriors in this country to train hard to enhance the power of the country.
Those individual warriors who weren’t attached to any big family longed for the medicine pills, treasures and Martial Skills. Some of them were also looking for an opportunity to attach themselves to a big family.
Therefore, every Martial Competition would attract thousands of warriors and would be very energetic.
Apart from those individual warriors, the five big families would send out their descendants to compete in the competition.
That way, they were able to show their strength and attract outstanding warriors to choose them.
Therefore, the Martial Competition was not only an opportunity for the big families to attract warriors, but also a stage for them to secretly fight.
Thus, both the warriors and mercenaries in this country and the five big families attached great importance to the Martial Competition.
Sometimes, the ownership of controversial properties among the five families will be decided through the competition.
For example, in the last competition, the Shi Family and the Mo Family staked the ownership of three mines.
Unfortunately, in the battles among the third descendants, except Shi Tianyun, the other Shi Family descendants,Shi Tianluo and Shi Tianke, were beaten by the Mo Family descendants. So in the end, the Mo Family won two mines and the Shi Family only won one.
“You may not know, but we fought a lot with the Mo Family over disputes on some properties recently. So the same thing may happen again in the Martial Competition this year. They may stake the ownership of some properties.”
“Which means, I’m going to have a chance to perform?”
“Sure! The family head must be hopeful that you will win for our family. That’s why he is so strict with you and comes to watch you every three days. You don’t know how busy he is recently, but he still makes time to check on you, which shows how much he cares about you.”
“Ok, I got it.”
In the Rock Room.
Sitting upright on a huge rock, Shi Yan’s bright eyes had a serious look in them, seeming to be in deep thought.
“On the auction in the Misty Pavilion, there was a fragment picture of The Sky Gate…” Han Feng was reporting the latest news to Shi Jian who was standing next to him.
The Sky Gate was a magical portal leading to the God Area, a mysterious space. The God Area may exist in the Grace Mailand, or may not. It was an independent space.
No one knew how the God Area was formed, or its structure, or where would it appear.
Only through the Sky Gate, could one one enter the God Area.
There were various versions of the legends about the God Area.
It was said that there were all sorts of mysterious things in different God Areas. Martial Skills of Spirit Level and even God Level, bizarre drugs, rare treasures…
“Four months ago, the Medicine King Mu Xun‘s disciple Karu stole a fragment picture from his teacher. Maybe the two fragments come from the same picture. And are they two separate fragments or just the same one? Maybe the one in the Misty Pavilion is the one Karu had stolen.” Shi Jian had a quick thought when he recalled the news from four months ago.
Han Feng shook his head, “That Karu had disappeared a long time ago. But the fragment in the Misty Pavilion was provided by a woman. Seeing it is a serious matter, the Misty Pavilion didn’t sell it directly but kept it in the name of ‘authenticating’.”
“That broken picture is still at the Misty Pavilion?” Shi Jian asked firmly.
“Yep.” Han Feng nodded, “The Beiming Family, the Mo Family, the Ling Family and the Zuo Family had all contacted the Misty Pavilion to purchase that fragment after they got the news. But the Misty Pavilion won’t put it up for auction before they authenticate it, so the four families merely showed their strong interest without taking any secret actions.”
“It is only a mere fragment. If it was a complete picture, the Beiming Family would have stolen it.” Shi Jian sneered.
“Do we need to take action?”
“Keep an eye on it but don’t get involved for the time being. Remember to exchange information with the Zuo Family. We can’t act bluntly before the second fragment appears.”