Chapter 25: Seven days.
Just the simple act of walking towards the forest was strenuous to Liang Chen, his bones creaking and his muscles aching because of the strong pressure within the hidden realm. His clothing had gotten wet with sweat before he even managed to reach the forest, his hair sticking to his face. While he was walking, Liang Chen had also pulled out his sword, doing his best to swing it once with every step he took.
If he did not manage to quickly accustom himself to the strong pressure here, he would never be able to fight properly. But as he walked, Liang Chen also managed to discover another thing that thrilled him. Not only was the pressure slowing down the speed of his Qi, but it also forced it deep into his body. Because of that, when he circulated his lightning through his own flesh to strengthen himself, the pressure forced the lightning deeper into his body, even condensing it somewhat, increasing the efficiency. He once again could not help but marvel at how wonderful this hidden realm was for cultivating, especially for cultivating the body.
Once he reached the forest, which had only been a mere 200 meters away from the entrance of the hidden realm, his entire body was filled with such pain that it felt like his bones were breaking. Liang Chen bit down on his lips, droplets of blood spilling forth, but he simply ignored the pain. He had endured the pain of hitting a wooden pole until his knuckles were almost ruined, he had endured bathing in Demonic beast blood, he would endure this pain.
Entering the forest caused a strange sensation to flood Liang Chen's body. The abundant Qi in the air suddenly turned chaotic and violent, similar to the Qi within Demonic beast blood. Simply trying to absorb the Qi made Liang Chen's veins feel like they were being stabbed by countless needles, his expression distorting slightly.
Liang Chen was dumbfounded by the change, but he could not afford to stop absorbing Qi during his training, so he could only bite down on his lips even harder. Liang Chen had only read the most basic of information about the hidden realm, so he did not know that the Mystic's Hidden Realm wasn't only suitable for humans. Only the empty plains and hills were places that were suited for human cultivation.
The forests, lakes, volcanoes, they were all places that were created for Demonic beasts, designed to strengthen them and increase their cultivation. Because of that, the humans within the hidden realm would only enter these locations when they had made sure to pack enough Spirit Stones, crystals that were the result of untainted Qi crystallizing.
The forest Liang Chen had entered was massive, the trees almost stretching into the clouds. Even if there were five more of him standing shoulder to shoulder, there would still be space for more people next to him. He had originally thought that Sky Piercer Forest was massive, but it was nothing compared to the forest he had just entered.
Liang Chen had expected it to take quite a bit of time for him to get accustomed to the pain that was a result of absorbing the chaotic Qi, but he found that it happened surprisingly quickly. After only two short hours, his veins had seemingly gotten used to the Qi, an almost pleasant sensation filling his body as he absorbed it. It even went a little faster than when he tried to absorb Qi normally.
But while his veins only needed two hours to get accustomed to the chaotic Qi, his body fared much worse when it came to the pressure. Running or other hard training was out of the question for the moment, so he resorted to simply walking in circles around a tree, hitting it with his sword as he walked. He had already been exhausted and aching just from walking to the forest, so doing even more after entering the forest only made it worse.
When his bones creaked, he could ignore it. When his lips bled from him biting them, he could ignore it. He could even ignore it when his vision turned hazy and his feet almost refused to listen to him, forcing him to drag them as he walked. But once droplets of blood started to be squeezed out of his skin and dying the snow beneath him red, he was forced to admit that he had to take a break, sitting down on the snowy ground and leaning against the tree.
His flesh and bones ached terribly, his vision hazy and somewhat unclear, a prickling sensation coursing through his body thanks to the lightning he was using to strengthen himself. But his mind was refreshed and clear, his veins comfortable thanks to the Qi that was constantly being fed into them. Liang Chen wore a faint smile as he rested. He had already gotten accustomed to the feeling of draining himself of energy and being left aching, even starting to enjoy it.
Resting after draining himself of energy was incredibly satisfying, his entire body unwilling to move. But Liang Chen could not allow himself to rest for too long, not while he still had such a long road ahead of him. After only a short hour of resting, he forced his body to start moving again, continuing his monotonous walking around the tree, every step he taking slowly accustoming him to the ever-present pressure.
Getting accustomed to a pressure like that was not something that would take only a single day, but luckily, Liang Chen's body had already been somewhat trained from bathing in Demonic beast blood, as well as his own lightning, allowing him to shorten the needed time to only around a week.
But the forest was still the home of Demonic beasts, so during the one week he spent training to get accustomed to the pressure, even increasing his cultivation a little, he never once let down his guard. He could not rely on his lightning to sense nearby living beings, so he could only strain his ears and eyes to their utmost. Once he suspected that there might be something nearby, he would immediately climb up the nearest tree, hiding amongst the branches.
From his position amongst the branches, he was able to observe the various Demonic beasts that wandered into the area, while they themselves seemed to not be aware of his existence, not even glancing at the tree where he was hiding. After observing all the Demonic beasts that wandered nearby, Liang Chen had come to the conclusion that the place he was at right now was much like the outskirts of Sky Piercer Forest.
The strongest Demonic beast he had seen over the past seven days was only a rank 1 Demonic beast that was only a little bit stronger than him. All the Demonic beasts he had seen were also rather small, seeming quite young, causing him to guess that the young Demonic beasts were thrown to the outskirts of the forest, where it was a bit safer for them to train.
It was not only Demonic beasts that strayed into the area, he had also seen five humans walk past his hiding spot. Three of them were people that had just entered the hidden realm, their cultivation was higher than his, but as they had yet to get accustomed to the pressure that was working on their bodies and Qi, they were unable to spot him. The three people quickly vanished deeper into the forest, seemingly not interested in waiting until they had gotten used to the pressure.
The last two people were clearly already used to the pressure, moving with rather fluid movements, vigilantly surveying the area as they moved. Liang Chen had spotted them several times over the last seven days, they had walked past his hiding spot several times, occasionally fighting a Demonic beast and then taking it apart.
Their cultivation was a bit higher than his, both of them having almost reached the middle stage of the Mortal Tower realm. Liang Chen guessed that the two of them were too scared to travel deeper into the hidden realm, so they stayed here in the outskirts and hunted Demonic beasts, looking to sell the parts after they left the hidden realm.
During the seven days he spent getting used to the pressure, Liang Chen never slacked on his training. He would train until he bled, only stopping when his instincts screamed at him to stop. When he got thirsty he would stuff the surrounding snow into his mouth, and when he got hungry he would scavenge for some vegetables or roots that could be eaten raw.
To his surprise, there were quite a few vegetables growing in the forest, as if the snow was no problem to them at all. After the seven days had passed and he had gotten used to the pressure, his movements smoother and less strenuous than before, he decided that it was time to start the actual training. The actual training he had planned was very simple, repeated combat against Demonic beasts.