Chapter 1164: Breaking s.h.i.+eld
When Han Sen left Zhang Yuchen’s house, he went straight to the testing area.
He had been told the creatures who came to the shelter and had been unable to ascend were only allowed to remain inside for three days. If they did not leave in that time, their bodies would be damaged.
But when they left the tree, the effects of the walnuts would wear off and they’d return to their proper size.
So, Han Sen thought he shouldn’t squander any more of his time there.
If Han Sen was able to go up one level, he’d receive a drop of the prestigious lifewater. It seemed like a goal worthy of pursuing. When he reached the second floor’s entrance, he stepped forward while no one else did.
“New human?” the guard asked Han Sen.
“Yes,” Han Sen answered.
The spirit pointed at a circular s.h.i.+eld on a wall and said, “If you break the s.h.i.+eld in under ten minutes, you will have pa.s.sed the test.”
Han Sen was surprised to hear this was the test, and so he asked, “Don’t I need to fight you guys?”
The spirits said, “You are an ignorant fellow, aren’t you? I’d kill you in one hit, but the emperor doesn’t allow that. So, go and attempt to break that s.h.i.+eld. Next time, things won’t be so easy.”
Being given the task of breaking the s.h.i.+eld was a one-time, first-time affair. Not wanting humans to be killed outright made it seem as if the emperor was in dire need of more staff.
“No!” Zhang Yuchen was limping towards Han Sen, seeking to stop him.
“Why are you here?” Han Sen asked with surprise.
Zhang Yuchen told him, “You are only given one chance to break the s.h.i.+eld and level up that way. If you fail, trying to reach the second floor will be far more difficult in the future, as you’ll be subject to a crueler challenge.”
The spirits chimed in to mock, saying, “The test has already started. You’d better hurry, as you only have seven seconds left.”
Zhang Yuchen exclaimed, “Oh, no! If you miss out on this opportunity, I have no idea how many years it might take for you to level up.”
“Five seconds,” the spirit said, with a happy expression.
Han Sen patted Zhang Yuchen on the shoulders and said, “Thanks for letting me know.”
“But I was too late,” Zhang Yuchen said, remorsefully.
“It might not be.” Han Sen walked towards the s.h.i.+eld.
“Three seconds,” the spirit said, before starting a countdown.
Han Sen was not in a rush, so he approached the s.h.i.+eld slowly.
“Two seconds. If you don’t hurry, you won’t even be able to get a single punch in,” the spirit said.
Zhang Yuchen regretted talking to Han Sen now, as he had cost him much time.
Han Sen just smiled and gave the s.h.i.+eld a slight nudge.
The s.h.i.+eld blew up into little pieces.
Everyone all around was shocked, and the spirit frowned, saying, “The s.h.i.+eld must have been on the verge of collapse. It has been there a long time, after all.”
Han Sen said, “Go and rest, Brother Yuchen. When I receive some lifewater, I’ll come back and share it with you.”
Zhang Yuchen, with a wry smile, slinked away.
Han Sen thought the man was quite strange. Han Sen had succeeded, but he had left without saying anything.
Still, he let him go for now. Han Sen was going to talk to him when he was done.
“Can I go now?” Han Sen asked the guards, pointing towards the stairs that led up.
“Sure, whatever.” The spirit was not happy over the way Han Sen won, but the rules were the rules. He wasn’t going to prevent Han Sen from proceeding. It seemed as if the emperor ruled his subordinates well.
“Where’s my lifewater?” Han Sen asked.
The spirit threw a bottle at Han Sen, but he did not say a word.
Han Sen caught it. It was transparent, and a honey-looking drop of liquid resided within.
Han Sen put it away and started to ascend the stairs.
Each floor looked the same as the last. The buildings and architecture were identical to the floors below, and each floor was populated by a number of creatures and spirits.
When Han Sen arrived on the next floor, a spirit said, “Wait here; a spirit will come and put you to work soon.”
Han Sen saw a few creatures waiting ahead of him; they were the ones who had pa.s.sed the test.
Han Sen knew that the people who came here would have to work for one day.
“Can I keep on climbing?” Han Sen asked.
“Of course, but you need to finish your duties first,” the spirit coldly said.
Han Sen waited in line with the creatures. It was an emperor shelter, so who knew how many elites might have been living there. Han Sen didn’t want to push his luck and try to subvert the rules.
After a while of waiting, a spirit approached and guided them to another section of the floor.
Han Sen knew why, as they’d have to have their strength tested. If you were weak, you could not perform the task expected of you.
Han Sen looked ahead and saw a mountain of walnuts there. They surprised him quite a bit.
The walnuts were purple in color, so they had to be from that tree. There were creatures in a chain-gang, pus.h.i.+ng a stone mill, grinding them into dust.
The stone mill was very heavy, and the primitive creatures were having a difficult time operating it.
“New human?” Han Sen was sent to a stone mill. Another human stood next to him and tried to strike up a conversation, but Han Sen ignored him to focus on the work.