Xu Qing reached the 45th Stairway at an extremely high speed.
Gradually, though, he slowed down. He could only climb one step after every other breath.
When he reached the 50th step after expanding tremendous effort, he glanced back and found Zhang Ruochen was right behind him on the 48th step.
At this moment, Xu Qing looked up and in his eyes, unnoticed to most of those present, was a hint of a sinister smile.
The three descendants from the Saint Gentries who were already on the 60th step all felt something, and they turned around at the same time. Their eyes met Xu Qing's, and they all nodded.
But of course, Zhang Ruochen saw it all. He thought to himself, "There's indeed a trick, just as I expected. Do they want to deal with me together?"
But Zhang Ruochen was not afraid. Instead, he was in battle mode. He ran the Scripture of Emperor Ming's Empyrean with all his strength and madly absorbed the Divine Dragon Strength from the Dragon Pearl.
Originally, his realm had reached the Peak of the Mid Stage of the Heaven Realm. Under the pressure given by these people, he wanted to use this chance to breakthrough the Advanced Stage of the Heaven Realm.
Just like Bu Qianfan had said, Zhang Ruochen lacked in the experience of the life-and-death situations.
Only by experiencing the brink of death could he stimulate his potential and breakthrough the realms with more ease.
The moment Zhang Ruochen reached the 50th step, the three descendants dashed down at the same time to attack Zhang Ruochen.
Xu Qing, who was standing to Zhang Ruochen's left, also punched hard towards Zhang Ruochen's head.
No one could expect that the situation would have a drastic turn. Four descendants from Saint Gentries attacked Zhang Ruochen at the same time.
On the 50th step, warriors needed to bear huge pressure, so they were much less agile than before. It was almost impossible to avoid each other's attack.
If Zhang Ruochen was hit, he would be lucky if he was just disabled.
The students under the Stairway to Heaven were all very worried about Zhang Ruochen. They imagined the scene of Zhang Ruochen falling down from the Stairway to Heaven the next second.
They just did not know whether he could at least preserve his life.
Facing this, Zhang Ruochen, however, was unusually calm. He stretched out his two arms and punched out ten Sword Waves at the same time towards the three people coming from above.
The three descendants immediately turned away. They were forced back up to the Stairway.
Although Zhang Ruochen blocked one side of the attack, he could not escape from the other side's.
A strong shockwave from a punch came from the left.
Xu Qing's punch penetrated Zhang Ruochen's Celestial Bodyshield and hit hard on his shoulder. Zhang Ruochen was blown off far away.
But, the moment Xu Qing's punch hit, golden splendor came out of Zhang Ruochen's body and formed a halo which blocked the power of that punch.
Zhang Ruochen, therefore, only felt a little pain in the shoulder without being severely wounded.
It was the power of the Dragon Pearl that blocked Xu Qing's attack.
"What's this? The descendants from the Saint Gentries are dealing with me as well?"
Zhang Ruochen stared at the three people above with a wave of anger.
The reason why he fought with Saint Xu Gentry was that Chang Qiqi and Duanmu Xingling were such trouble-makers. Zhang Ruochen actually felt that he was in the wrong.
But what was happening now? All the Saint families were joining hands to persecute the students from Omen Ridge. They even wanted him dead.
This was too much even for the gentlest of person. He was fired up inside and wanted to go on a rampage.
Standing on the 53rd step, the descendant from Saint Shen Gentry said coldly, "We don't want to do this, but you guys are too arrogant."
The big fellow's name was Shen Yuntong. He was also at the Peak of the Dawn State of the Heaven Realm and was as strong as Xu Qing.
"Why do you waste your time talking to him? Kill him first!" said the descendant from Saint Xi Gentry.
The descendant from Saint Xi Gentry was a plump and pretty lady. She had cold eyes and fair hands. Each of her fingers was as sharp as a Finger Sword.
There was another man from the Saint Zuo Gentry.
And there was also Saint Xu Gentry, which made up a total four great saints of the Saint Gentries.
The four Saint Gentries were always close, and they often arrange marriages with one another. In other words, they were tarred with the same brush.
Their joint power was very influential in the whole Eastern Region.
The descendant from Saint Xi Gentry turned into a shadow. Suddenly, twelve beautiful shadows appeared on the Stairway to Heaven which besieged Zhang Ruochen in the center and kept striking their finger technique.
Zhang Ruochen also kept blocking her attack.
On the other direction, the descendant from Saint Shen Gentry performed a palm technique and created a gigantic vigor.
A savage beast howled.
A seven-meter long huge Genuine Qi handprint flew out of Shen Yuntong's palm and went right to Zhang Ruochen.
Shen Yuntong was born with Natural Divine Power. It was said that he could lift up a 1500 kg copper cauldron when he was only three years old. His physical quality was extremely strong.
Even one with a skin of iron would be bashed into a sludge this attack.
Xu Qing stared at Zuo Fenggu, the descendant from the Saint Zuo Gentry, and said, "Brother Zuo, Zhang Ruochen's Spiritual Power is very strong. I hope you can suppress him in the Spiritual Power field."
The forefather of the Saint Zuo Gentry was a Psychic Sage.
Zuo Fenggu was also a born genius of Spiritual Power. Under the cultivation of the Psychic Sage, he reached the fortieth level in Spiritual Power and became a Spiritual Power master at the age of 34.
Although Zuo Fenggu was 34 years old, he looked like he was still in his early twenties. He was tall, slim, and wore an alchemist robe which gave him a sharp look.
"How old is Zhang Ruochen? Do you really believe what Bu Qianfan said, that his Spiritual Power had reached the fortieth level?"
Zuo Fenggu smiled and slightly shook his head.
As a Spiritual Power master, Zuo Fenggu knew too well that, to reach the fortieth level in Spiritual Power was no easy feat.
Even for him, a Spiritual Power genius with a strict Psychic Sage as a mentor, he conquered a lot of difficulties to accomplish what he had now.
Zhang Ruochen was much younger than him. So there was no way for him to reach the fortieth level in Spiritual Power.
Xu Qing dared not to be arrogant in front of Zuo Fenggu. After all, Zuo Fenggu was much stronger than him. So his smiled obsequiously and said, "Brother Zuo, if Zhang Ruochen's Spiritual Power really reached the fortieth level, you won't be too lonely in the Saint Academy's examination this time. At least there is an opponent for you."
Zuo Fenggu snickered and said, "He is hardly worth mentioning. You guys can deal with him first. I'll help you if you fail."
"Alright," replied Xu Qing.
Actually, any one of the descendants was not weaker than Zhang Ruochen. If any of the two worked together, they could definitely defeat Zhang Ruochen.
Now, Zhang Ruochen could only passively block the attack from Shen Yuntong and the descendant from Saint Xi Gentry. He would have been badly wounded without the Dragon Pearl.
"Broken Cloud Halberd!"
The descendant from Saint Xi Gentry stretched out a slender and white finger and pointed it out quickly. She struck on Zhang Ruochen's forehead between the eyebrows, wanting to break Zhang Ruochen's Qi sea and disable Zhang Ruochen's cultivation.
But she didn't know that Zhang Ruochen's Qi sea was protected by the illusory image of gods. Even a warrior in the Fish-dragon Realm could not break it up.
A ball of green light came out of Zhang Ruochen's forehead, blowing the descendant from Saint Xi Gentry away.
Even so, the last strike also wounded Zhang Ruochen. His Genuine Qi became rather messy, which kept lashing at his meridians.
"In this case, I'll break through to the Advanced Stage of the Heaven Realm!"
On the one hand, Zhang Ruochen blocked the attack from Shen Yuntong. On the other hand, he ran his exercises to break through the realm. Suddenly, he felt a punch was coming to him from the back.
Another person was attacking him now.
"Die, Zhang Ruochen!"
Standing on the 48th step, Zi Hansha ran his Genuine Qi and gathered his power. Then, he punched towards Zhang Ruochen's head from the back.
Although Zi Hansha was not as talented as the descendants from the Saint Gentries, he had deep cultivation and was in the Dawn State of the Heaven Realm.
If they fought alone, Zhang Ruochen would have enough confidence. But now, Zhang Ruochen was already fighting with three descendants from the Saint Gentries. The sneak attack from the back came at the worst time possible.
"Go to hell!"
Zhang Ruochen roared and forced himself to turn around. He struck 81 handprints in a roll and performed Nine-folds of the Elephant Power nine times directly on Zi Hansha, which penetrated the defense created by Zi Hansha's amulet treasure.
The handprints poured down on Zi Hansha like raindrops.
"Bang! Bang! Bang!"
Zi Hansha's organs were smashed, and his chest collapsed indirectly. He flew out backward like a kite with a broken string.
With a loud noise, Zi Hansha fell to the ground hard from the Stairway to Heaven with blood all over him.
Clearly, with such heavy wounds, he could not climb up from the ground. No one even knew whether he could attend the second round of the Saint Academy's examination.
Although Zhang Ruochen struck Zi Hansha off, he was attacked by Shen Yuntong, Xu Qing and the descendant from Saint Xi Gentry. He was struck over 20 times on the back which even broke the Dragon Pearl's defense. Zhang Ruochen's Spiritual Blood was rolling under the violent attack. He fell to the 44th step.
Zhang Ruochen was forced to kneel on the ground, and he spat out a mouthful of blood which stained the Stairway.
"Shame on the descendant from Saint Xu Gentry! He knew he was no match for Zhang Ruochen, so he jointed hands with other Saint Gentries!"
Seeing Zhang Ruochen getting wounded, Huang Yanchen was extremely angry. She hurried up to the 40th step and wanted to help Zhang Ruochen out.
"Junior sister apprentice Huang, this battle is between the Saint Gentries and the students from the Omen Ridge. You shouldn't interfere." A genius from Saint Xi Gentry walked up and stopped Huang Yanchen.
"Get out of my way," said Huang Yanchen in a low tone.
The genius replied calmly, "I'm warning you for your own good. I'm not afraid if you want to fight."
Meanwhile, other masters also stood out and stopped Luo Shuihan, Duanmu Xingling, Si Xingkong and so on. Among these masters, there were people from the Half-Saint families and the Saint Gentries.
Although they were not as strong as the direct descendants from the Saint Gentries, they had more people.
Suddenly, the Stairway to Heaven turned into a battlefield, which was greatly disadvantageous to the students from the Omen Ridge.
Meanwhile, this was also a battle between the juniors of the divine families and the juniors of the humble families. But there was a huge gap between them. The juniors of the divine families were far too powerful.
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