Chapter 35:

Chapter 35 – Stairway

Crystal Evolution

The secret realm was filled with pure crystal essence. With every breath the cultivators took, they felt a change in their bodies, as if they were being purified.

Feeling such a change in their bodies, some couldn't resist the temptation anymore and rushed towards the stairs.

One by one, all the cultivators present started to run towards the stairs trying to be the first to climb them.

Each step of the staircase was immense, measuring 2,000 meters in width, easily accommodating the 7,000 cultivators who entered the secret realm.

When the cultivators touched the first step, many ancient inscriptions lit up on each step that formed the staircase.

As the ancient inscriptions activate, massive pressure falls on the steps.

Most of the cultivators who had rushed were repelled by the enormous pressure that had descended on the steps.

Kieran frowned at the sight.

'What's wrong with that staircase?'

In an instant, several hundred cultivators had fallen to the bottom of the stairs as their faces paled slightly.

The representatives of the six guilds and Anna approached the staircase as the crystal essence in their bodies formed a thin layer of protection around their bodies.

The seven quickly climbed the steps. None of them seemed to be affected by the pressure that emanated from the inscriptions.

The difference in cultivation between them and the other cultivators was felt after a few minutes. While most of the cultivators had trouble getting past the tenth step, the seven quickly approached the fiftieth step.

"Damn, are these guys really human?"

"How can they move so calmly under this pressure?"

Kieran slowly started to climb the stairs. With each new step he took, he could feel the pressure on his body increase, but he moved calmly as if the pressure was not affecting his body.

'The pressure is not as strong as I thought. I just feel like my body is a bit heavier than usual.'

He passed by the other cultivators, continuing his climb when he noticed that the seven who had reached the fiftieth step had stopped moving.

'Can they not take the pressure anymore?'

While he observes the seven, Alexei ends up moving, resuming the climb. A few seconds after him, Kade begins to move in his turn, followed closely by the other five.

Kieran continued to climb the steps when he slowed his steps before arriving in front of the fiftieth step.

'Will the pressure suddenly increase?'

He circulated the crystal essence inside his body before stepping onto the fiftieth step.

Suddenly everything around him changed. He found himself inside a white room that had no end.

"What is..?"

A figure appeared in front of Kieran. The figure looked like a man, possessing long blond hair with green eyes, his ears were pointy, and silver armor covered his entire body as he held a sword in his hands.

"An elf?"

The elf rushed quickly towards Kieran, his sword covered in crystal essence as he swung it in his direction.

Kieran quickly dodged as he took a step back. The crystal essence-covered sword passed in front of his head. He could clearly feel the elf's crystal essence by being so close to it.

"Iron rank middle stage?"

He took a few steps back, getting away from the elf.

"Why are you attacking me?"

He tried to speak with the elf without any success. The elf rushed towards him without any break, swinging his sword in a graceful movement, trying to slice him in two.

Minutes passed as Kieran continued to dodge the elf's attacks one after another.

Finally, he couldn't bear to remain passive anymore in the face of the ceaseless onslaught of the elf.

His right hand transformed in an instant as he slashed in front of him with his claws, the elf barely had time to raise the sword in front of his body to protect it, but when the claws and the sword came into contact, like glass, the elf's sword shattered easily, a deep claw cut appearing on the elf's chest at the same time.

The elf's body fell backward as he hit the ground, his body vanishing like a mirage, and Kieran's surroundings changed again, returning to the white jade staircase.

"Was it an illusion?"

Kieran looked around, some of the cultivators had caught up, and some had even passed him. In front of everyone else, the seven Bronze ranks rushed to the 200th step.

Regaining his senses, he started to climb again.

"If it's just an illusion, I don't need to hold back if another appears before me."

Unknown to all the cultivators who climbed the staircase, far above them floated an illusory figure in the air, looking at them with its two golden eyes.

The figure looked like an old elf, it had gray hair and beard. He was dressed in a black and white outfit with gold patterns on it. Even though the elf looked old, an aura of nobility exuded from his body.

"How many years has it been since I last saw living beings? Their cultivation seems to be at the peak stage of the Iron rank with a few at the early stage of the Bronze rank, but the crystal essence in their body is thin and filled with impurity. What kind of race is this? It looks like fairies, but they clearly don't have the affinity with nature that they have, nor do they seem to be able to fly like them. I don't know how many years have passed since I've been here, but for the first living being I see after all this time to be a race I'm unfamiliar with. That's interesting."

A slight smile appeared on the old elf's face before it suddenly disappeared.


After his first fight, Kieran no longer hesitated to face the illusions that appeared every fifty steps.

He was currently on the 450th step, facing an elf who was at the late stage of the rank Iron.

Feeling no pressure against an opponent of this level, he easily dodged the elf's attacks before finishing with a single attack.

The illusion ended when the elf was defeated, and his surroundings returned to the staircase again.

"I will soon reach half of the stairs. Until now, the level of the illusions slowly increase. I think once I reach the 700th stairs, I should face a Bronze rank elf."

Kieran glanced up the stairs. The seven Bronze ranks were still ahead of all the other cultivators, but a gap was starting to appear among them.

Alexei was in front of everyone, quickly approaching the 800th step, followed closely by Kade.

Compared to these two, the other five were found between the 700th and the 750th step.

Last among the seven was Sheyla, who was currently on the 700th step.

"It seems that even among the guild representatives, there is some difference in power, Sheyla has a crystal tree with a healing ability, so it's no wonder she's the last among the seven, but the others are far from catching up with Alexei or even Kade."

Kieran slowly resumed his climb.

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