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392 To Better Oneself

    The moment the cultivators entered the smoke barrier, they found themselves alone. Their enhanced sight could only give them a view of a few meters, and the lack of natural light that was supposed to come from their backs, showed that they had been teleported somewhere else.

    After the murderous sense disappeared, a path made of white colored smoke formed in front of them. This path was only a few meters long, and at the end of it, was a white colored campfire, and a doorframe. Carved on the doorframe, was the phrase "Know to respect your limits, unless you wish to excel."

    Most participants committed this phrase to memory, and began to walk towards the door while ignoring everything else. When they approached the white flames, however, they felt an immensely powerful, yet benevolent power crawl in their direction.

    Some of them, attracted by the fire, moved their hands into it, and after they touched it, they felt something that they could only describe as the essence of life. A power so sharp and peculiar, formed by the merging of the essences of time and life, but that contained two specific concepts of life and time which were not present in normal healing essence.

    These two concepts were the concept of eternal life, a power that was obscure to all of the cultivators of the universal government, with exception made for two of Iewah's children. The Deathbringer, and the Doctor.

    The concept of time present in this flame, on the other hand, was that of the 'golden age'. A concept of time that grazed each cultivator at least once in their lives, and was able to be felt only once when one would reach the peak of power of their lives.

    Time was a strange and complicated form of essence. Almost conscious of past and present events, this concept would reveal itself to the cultivator at the moment in which they would reach the highest level of power in their lives, regardless of injuries, age, or death. This power was extremely fleeting, and the moments that it would appear, it would do so quietly, making it nearly impossible to notice it, and completely impossible to comprehend it.

    The only individual that had ever been able to comprehend this concept of time, was again, one of Iewah's children.

    Unaware of its origin, the participants could feel the two concepts work together to bring those who touched it, to their peak condition. Had they been on the brink of death, or even out of immortal essence, there was no doubt that this flame would have been able to restore their bodies, spirits, and powers in a matter of seconds, and even allow them to feel the strongest they had ever been.

    However, this was not a reason to celebrate.

    The presence of such a godly power could only mean one thing. What was waiting for them on the other side of the door frame, was not only dangerous, but they would be facing it alone.

    The first participant to enter the tower, was Zack, who right after noticing the doorframe, walked right through the white fire, and into it. When his body crossed through completely, he found himself inside a throne room.

    By the sides of this massive throne room, were two rows of pillars, from which numerous banners draped all the way down to the ground. On the other side of the room, was an elevated area with a throne right in the middle, and sitting on that throne, was Zack himself.

    His clothes were identical to his own, and even the weapons that were resting on his legs were the same. However, what was more surprising was that this individual emanated exactly the same immortal essence, and its power matched perfectly Zack's after being boosted by Daniel's group system effect.

    The moment Zack appeared, this figure stood up, and with a vicious look that he had seen many times in the past, he said, "Look who is here.. The rapist." His voice was filled with disgust, and was accompanied by a feeble murmuring of voices that gasped in shock while saying, "It's him", "Why haven't they killed him yet?", "Castrate him!"

    For a moment, Zack went back to the darkest period of his life. When his closest friends had betrayed him, caused him to lose a portion of his spirit, abused him constantly, leaving him with just enough life to recover, before stomping him back to the ground.

    The same was happening to the others.

    Nilo was facing the insecurities he had regarding his weakness. About being unable to protect his wife, his son, and his friends. About being a weight for people like Daniel, and not being worthy of being part of his family.

    Finn was tasting the regret of not having a normal family, and allowing this to mark his life, and ruin his relationships to a point, where the only relationship he was able to maintain, were within the memories of the friends that would leave him like his family had.

    The idea of being a disappointment for his father, grandfather, and family members, was Fyro's weak spot. A crippling fear that, so many times in his life, could have easily led him to make the wrong decision.

    Finally, Cynna was dealing with the idea that she could never be good enough. That being the best was the only thing that would have allowed her to be worth something, and that unless she was, he would have never come back to her.

    The dark thoughts that appeared in their minds, however, only lasted a few moments. The time to take a deep breath was all it took for them to remember how they had decided to face these fears. Be it by becoming stronger, or by having faith in the strength of their companions.

    Instead of allowing himself to fall into the dark thoughts in which he had lived in the past, Zack unsheathed his two short sword, and began to walk towards the throne, where his identical copy was waiting for him with a smirk.

    It only took seconds for this copy's head to be cut right off his shoulders, making his body dissipate in the stale air of the throne room.

    On Zack's face, was a confused expression. He could understand why they would test their psychological state, but he could not understand what the purpose of creating a perfect clone was. Why create a powerful clone if he had no intention of fighting back?

    Unable to find an answer to this question, he turned around, and left the throne room from the door frame from which he had entered. When he crossed the door frame, he found himself back to the room with the white flame.

    Zack looked around in confusion, unsure whether he was supposed to come back into this room after killing the copy. There was only a difference between this room and the one he had been in before, and that difference, was that this area lacked the small white path that led to the white flame.

    'Maybe I have missed a door." he muttered before turning back towards the door frame, and walking through it. What his vicinity to the door had not allowed him to notice, was that carved in the frame, instead of the sentence he had seen before, were two different words.

    These two words, were, 'Second Floor'.

    Once back on the other side the door frame, Zack found himself once again in the throne room he had been in before. The room was exactly like he had left it, but instead of being empty, on the elevated ground on which had been placed the throne, were two individuals.

    Both of these individuals looked exactly like him, and while one was sitting on the throne just like the one he had fought before, the other was standing next to him, almost as if he was the first one's henchman.

    As soon as Zack appeared, the two did not waste their time with psychological attacks, and instead unsheathed their swords, and dashed in front of an unprepared Zack. The two attacks came from both sides, and each of them were aimed at decapitating him. The power of these two attacks was a perfect match to Zack's powers.

    What surprised Zack, was the fact that while the first clone he had fought had killed quietly in its place, almost as if unaware of how to use his weapons, or how to react to his weapons, these two had attacked him promptly, and used the same basic moves he had used against the first clone.

    While sudden, these moves were easy for Zack to avoid, which he did by lowering his head, and impaling their bodies with his two short swords. These two attacks were perfectly timed, and were able to pierce the heart of both of his enemies, killing them on the spot.

    As the two bodies fell on the ground and started to dissipate, Zack searched around the massive throne room for another entrance. However, he was unable to find any other entrance but the door frame from which he had come from.

    With no other choice, he walked back through the door frame, only to find himself back into the area made out of smoke, which contained the white flame.

    'What was the purpose of this test?', 'Where were his friends?', 'And was he going the right way?' Zack began to wonder as he approached the white flame, and sat next to it, feeling every bit of immortal essence regenerate, and his body go back to its peak state.

    He spent the next few minutes thinking of an answer to these questions, but no matter what, he could not find an answer to them. The only thing that had changed between his last two visits to the throne room was the number of enemies, and the way they decided to attack him, so the test had something to do with that room.

    After about five minutes, he decided to make another attempt. He stood back up, and turned to look at the door frame that stood behind him. It was then that he finally noticed the change in the frame's carvings.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    Instead of the phrase he had read before, now only two words were present on the frame. These words, were, 'Third Floor'.

    "So this is not the same room.." he muttered as a faint smile formed on his lips. He then went through the door frame without waiting any longer.

    Just like he was expecting, he found himself back into the throne room. However, on the elevated area around the throne, were not two of his clones, but three.

    The three clones did not give him the time to react, and as soon as they noticed him, they disappeared from where they were standing. Zack was only able to unsheathe his swords in preparation.

    Almost as if copying the previous two he had fought before, two of the three clones reappeared by his sides, and immediately slashed horizontally in an attempt to decapitate him. Just like before, Zack lowered his head, and started the initial movements necessary to pierce the hearts of the two clones, but just as he was about to thrust his swords in their hearts, the third clone appeared in front of him.

    The attack of this third clone was different from that of the other two, as he appeared with his head lowered, and thrust his sword towards Zack's lowered head.

    "Damnit!" he exclaimed while jerking his head back, and allowing himself to fall on the floor back first, barely able of deviating the attack of the third clone by hitthing his hand with his knee.

    Once on the ground, Zack noticed that the three clones had stopped attacking him, giving him enough time to cut both legs of each of them with a horizonatl slash, stand back up on his feet, and finishing them by piercing their hearts.

    After the battle was over, instead of walking back into the white flame room, Zack stood in a pensive state. He remembered how the first clone did not attack him at all, and that the two in the first floor had attacked him, but only in the way he had used to kill the first one.

    Now, on the third floor, the three clones had used not only the attack he had used on the first floor, but the one he had in the second floor too.

    It did not take long for Zack to realize what this meant. These clones, were learning from him.
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