The Tower of Test
7 Chapter 7: Cultivation
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The Tower of Test
Author :ntokarcik
© Webnovel

7 Chapter 7: Cultivation

As soon as we shook hands, he quickly led me to another room. The room was vastly different from the surrounding decor. Instead of bamboo and wood, the room was made purely of polished stone. Inscribed on the stone where strange symbols that constantly moved giving the room a mysterious vibe.

I hesitated to step in wondering what kind of arcane purposes the room could possibly be for. Matt laughed at my hesitation and beckoned my onward, saying.

"Ya don't have to act so scared. It's just a room built for cultivation. If you sit in the middle of the room where all the lines of symbols meet, it will isolate all outside energies so you won't be disturbed. My suggestion is to try and breakthrough on at least one of your arts before your next test. I can't help you much with that everyone's cultivation is unique and all that."

I was still wary but slowly made my way to the center of the room. No magical traps where sprung even as the symbols started lighting up supposedly isolating the room.

Though even with the whole room activated I couldn't feel any difference. I shrugged maybe it wasn't working, or perhaps I was just not sensitive enough. Either way, I decided to try and breakthrough with my sword art.

I sat their concentrating on the information the tower had injected into my head.

Accessing it was like recalling something you had always known a strange experience for something I had just learned a few hours ago. I browsed through the information finding the part about breaking through to the second stage.

According to the information the tower provided me, I had to sense some hint of genuine insight into the path of the Sword.

This unique insight would then give my Sword Ki texture allowing it to transform and become significantly denser nearly doubling it's body strengthening and cutting powers. As well as giving it differing unique properties depending on the type of insight the practitioner used.

I sat there thinking back to the many fights I had experienced since getting here. What possible insight had I learned from them? I quickly got up practicing different swords strokes as I contemplated slowly going into a trance as I controlled the Sword Ki flowing through my body.

With each practice strike, I imagined the fights I had each slash and dodge, each parry and each killing blow. Slowly I got deeper and deeper into the trance my movements mimicking those I had used previously. Slowly I began to grasp an insight unique to me.

I starting remembering not my agile swordplay or cunning plans. Instead, my insight bonded to my determination to survive. Each strike was screaming out with the need to kill the opponent to last one more round.

As I incorporated the unyielding nature into my sword swings, my Sword Ki slowly transformed. Transforming from a more free-flowing nature, it slowly condensed binding together as if nothing could tear it apart.

Even as my Sword Ki evolved with the hint of insight I had gained, I continued swinging my Sword, integrating the ideas into my swordplay. I slowly eliminated any fancy strikes, only leaving one purpose; survival. I smiled with the last swing of my Sword.

It seemed I had discovered a perfect direction for the desperate battlefield this tower had thrown me into.

Holding my Sword comfortably in my hand, I knew this is was the realm all masters had reached. This is why I could never best my dad. The hint of insight transformed the Sword into a style that was truly yours.

I went to sit back down when I heard clapping coming from the doorway of the room. Matt was standing there with a smirk on his face.

"So it seems our little genius has managed to breakthrough before his third test. Quite impressive. Though with all the advantages you were given, I would be disappointed if you couldn't manage that. Well, you have a couple of hours before your next test. Why not try sparring?"

I had planned on trying to breakthrough in elemental cultivation, but did I truly only have a couple of hours remaining. I quickly posed the question and was rewarded with the voice of the tower ringing out in my head.

"Applicant has 2 hours and 15 minutes remaining before the third test."

I guess I had spent much more time then I imagined. Well, some sparring could do me some good. So I grabbed my Sword and followed Matt.

He brought me to a circular area filled with sand. It had clearly been designed with training in mind with all sorts of weapon racks on the surrounding walls.

I quickly raised my Sword as I channeled my Sword Ki in the way the scripture described feeling its strength, filling me as it coated my Sword. Matt walked up in his typical outfit pulling his Sword from his waste but not even bothering to remove the sheathe as he faced me with a casual stance.

I quickly move my new style much more intense as I struck downwards, splitting the air as my Sword moved in a perfect arc.

Yet before my Sword could reach him with a twitch of his wrist, my Sword was knocked out of my hands and sent flying into the air before it impaled itself in the sand in front of me. Seeing my shocked expression, he let out a loud laugh as he said.

"What you didn't think I would be that east. Let me give you some advice. No one who makes it to the 50th floor is weak. Now come I haven't got to have fun bullying a newbie in such a long time."

I had to reevaluate Matt. His relaxed demeanor portrayed the amount of skill he possessed. On reflection, it should have been obvious. No one could have made it through those death traps without some level of expertise.

Either way, I was determined to overcome him sooner or later. I kept remembering the odds of 1 in 100,000. If I wanted to survive, I couldn't be average.

So I charged him. Using an underhand swing, I tried to bait his response. As soon as I saw his wrist twitch, I switched my swing to horizontal one and channeled all my lighting elements into doubling the sped of my slash.

But just like the last one, my Sword was knocked into the air without me even seeing his response. Only noticing a slight blur in the air as his Sword returned to his relaxed stance.

We continued this for a few more times with me getting no closer to success, only occasionally able to spot the faintest movement from his Sword when I strained all my sense. Eventually, I got fed up yelling.

"What's even the point of this! If I can't even see your response, its a waste of time. Can't you slow it down enough to make this a useful fight."

He just grinned at my response, flipping my Sword to me and said in his casual tone.

"Well, for one, it's quite fun for me, ya know. Doing all this explaining, I have to relax somehow. And I have slowed down. If you can't even handle this level of speed, you'll die without even making it past the fifteenth floor. Better to get used to it now than when it's some orc trying to bisect you for his latest necklace collection. Come on. You only have an hour left."

He then beckoned me onward with a cheeky grin. I swore once I got strong, I was going to make this man suffer. The training session continued with no visible result other than my raised levels of frustration.

When he finally lowered his Sword I was relived collapsing onto the ground, almost looking forward to being sent into the next test.

Seeing me lying their Matt threw me a bottle of water he had produced from who knows where and said.

"Well, you should have about half an hour to recover. More than enough with the monstrous body you've got. Make sure to shoot for a least an A ranking in the test. If your scores start falling behind, you're doomed. You'll never get strong at a fast enough rate to survive the rest of the floors."

I nodded, having no intention letting my scores slip. I had too many things I wanted to shop for. Chugging the water, he handed me as my breathing started to slowly calm down. I couldn't help but ask.

"Does anyone get above an S? I can't imagine how. The difficulty afterward seems insane."
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He paused for a moment before answering.

"There are people, yes. Though they are very rare. The next rating is an X in case you were curious. But as for the rating afterwards, I've never heard of anyone clearing that difficulty. From the rumors that go around, anyone that can manage to stay in the S range would be able to clear the whole tower."

I nodded, thinking of the type of monsters that were able to clear a test with an X rating. I didn't know what they were like, but I knew I wanted to be one of them.

As the thoughts ran though my head, the familiar light signaling teleportation slowly surrounded me.

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    《The Tower of Test》