Xu Xiaoshou scrolled through the red interface in his head.
Passive Points: 148.
"It's not enough…"
Even though it was much more than what he'd had in the past, he still had a long way to go to amass the 1000 Passive Points needed to purchase the Skill Point.
Currently, he was able to obtain Passive Points when he got attacked, doubted, or mocked. These were things that could only happen if he interacted with people.
In other words, if he wanted to obtain even more Passive Points, all he needed to do was head into the middle of a large crowd and wreak havoc!
"It's like the system's pushing me into becoming a clown. I feel like a villain…" Xu Xiaoshou cursed silently.
He would have to cause a scene and make a fool of himself. Then, someone would step forward and fiercely stomp him into the ground to become the main character of the show.
Xu Xiaoshou shivered at the thought. "Darn it. That's too passive for my taste!"
Thinking about the word "passive," he remembered the Passive System, and then recalled the black wheel. In that instant, he felt as though everything had been arranged by fate.
"Forget that. I should think harder about how to get stronger these next three days!"
Even though his physical body had reached the Innate Stage, his cultivation level was still at Level Four. He might not be able to achieve victory if he encountered high-level battle maniacs.
He shook his head and stopped his thoughts from wandering. He took out the pill bottle that Elder Qiao had given him. Three Spiritual Cultivation Pills quietly lay in the bottle.
These Spiritual Cultivation Pills were extremely valuable. Each of the pills was several times more valuable than the 20 Spirit Crystals he'd gotten. When had Elder Qiao become so generous?
Xu Xiaoshou started deliberating. He had two main cultivation methods at the moment. The first was the Acquired-level Spiritual Cultivation Method that he had used in the past.
This cultivation method was extremely slow, even when supplemented by Spirit Crystals. The method had a less than 1% absorption rate of Spirit Crystals, which was a waste of resources.
The second method was the Breathing Technique. This was one of the system's fundamental passive skills. Even though he hadn't invested any of his Skill Points in the technique, he might be able to achieve an unexpected effect.
"Let's first try it with the Spirit Crystals!"
Xu Xiaoshou kept the pill bottle and whipped out a Spirit Crystal. He then was at a loss for what to do next.
So… How do I cultivate with that method?
The Breathing Technique was a passive skill. He didn't even know how the skill worked. How was he going to use it to absorb the Spirit Crystal?
Could it be…
A strange expression appeared on Xu Xiaoshou's face. He had a ridiculous cultivation method in mind.
He took in a deep breath and got a big whiff of the Spirit Crystal in his hand.
It was a ridiculous idea. He didn't expect his deep breath to conjure two trails of rich Spiritual Energy from the Spirit Crystal. The trails of energy entered Xu Xiaoshou's expanded nostrils like green snakes.
Xu Xiaoshou's nose twitched, and he felt as though his soul were being gently caressed by a holy nun. Every inch of his body exploded with pleasure.
A comfortable, luxurious feeling spread over him from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head.
Xu Xiaoshou couldn't help but moan. The feeling was wonderful. It was the first time he'd felt like this in his eighteen years of living!
Soon, he came to his senses. He couldn't help but tremble.
"This is training?"
"It's so addictive."
The Spirit Crystal had become significantly smaller. Xu Xiaoshou was shocked. That one breath had caused such an obvious transformation.
He investigated his energy reserve and was shocked.
His energy reserve was like a crashing tide, each wave higher than the last. There were no signs that he had just advanced a level.
He had just achieved a breakthrough and reached Level Four. How had just one breath immediately stabilized his cultivation level?
Xu Xiaoshou was elated. This Breathing Technique was so powerful it was scary!
He didn't have to take the initiative to practice or use any cultivation methods. He didn't have to repeat his training every day or waste any resources. He would feel comfortable whenever he took a breath. He would gain a level every time he took a breath.
"You're worth having!" Xu Xiaoshou thought.
"If I can level the technique up to the Innate Stage, and if there's a sufficient supply of Spiritual Energy, gaining a level with every breath isn't completely outside the realm of possibility!" Xu Xiaoshou was in a daze. This technique was incredibly powerful!
The Spirit Crystal lasted about ten breaths before it fully disappeared into Xu Xiaoshou's nostrils. At the same time, his level had also skyrocketed.
The cultivation method he'd used in the past absorbed Spirit Crystals at less than 1% efficiency. The Breathing Technique was terrifyingly powerful. It perfectly absorbed the entire crystal without wasting any of it.
Comparatively, at this moment, Xu Xiaoshou looked like he was a drunk prawn. He was sprawled over his bed in an odd position. He didn't even look human.
An addictive cultivation method like that not only took a toll on Spirit Crystals, but also on the body.
"Chatter…" Xu Xiaoshou's teeth chattered continuously.
"Help, help me up, chatter… I can still… train…"
With a thud, the pill bottle fell out of his robes.
Xu Xiaoshou's body shook violently when he saw the item.
Xu Xiaoshou became more and more engrossed in his training. Three days quickly passed by.
In the outer yard of the Tiansang Spirit Palace. At the Chuyun Platform. There was a sea of people.
This place was originally called Chuyun Peak. It was rumored that the vice dean of the Tiansang Spirit Palace, Elder Sang, had tempered the Chuyun Peak with flames and burned down half the mountain to create the Chuyun Platform, which could hold tens of thousands of people.
The Chuyun Platform had a crater in the middle. Surrounding the crater were rows upon rows of spectator seats. From above, the place looked like a large black bowl silently sitting atop the peak of a mountain.
At this moment, there were next to no one in the spectator seats, as almost all of the outer yard disciples had gathered on the Chuyun Platform.
An elder carrying a sword on his back was standing in the air. His name was Xiao Qixiu, and he was the Chief Elder of the Tiansang Spirit Palace's Spiritual Law Division. He was responsible for all the judicial matters in the outer and inner yards and had immense authority.
At this moment, he was the chief judge of the outer yard's Windcloud Competition.
Xiao Qixiu looked at the sky and shouted to quieten down the commotion on the Chuyun Platform after he ascertained that the time was right.
Everyone immediately looked toward him with a fiery gaze. Xiao Qixiu calmly took out a piece of paper from within his robes and recited:
"There were a total of 1782 people who registered for this competition. This is reflected in the serial number on your Windcloud Token.
"The preliminaries will be conducted in small groups elimination-style. There will be 100 people in each group and a total of 18 groups. The groups will be allocated to each of the 18 arenas respectively."
Xiao Qixiu then took out a purple array token. The array token shone with purple light after it was activated by his spiritual source.
The Chuyun Platform under him started shaking, and eighteen supersized arenas slowly appeared. Each one of the arenas was enveloped by a transparent barrier.
The people who had been standing on the Chuyun Platform were pushed to the side by the barrier. These people were newcomers who were participating in the Windcloud Competition for the first time.
The experienced participants were leaning against the edge of the Chuyun Platform with their arms crossed, as though they were watching a good show.
Eighteen rays of black light descended from the sky and landed onto each of the 18 arenas.
Xiao Qixiu announced in a loud voice, "There will be a professional judge responsible for every arena. If they have to take action to save you, you will be judged as having failed."
"Let me give you a word of caution. Death and injury may be inevitable, but you have to know when to stop.
"Furthermore, you must be resolved to die when you step onto that stage. The judges aren't gods. There'll be times where even they're not paying attention. Sometimes they're dazed, shocked, or just scratching an itch. And during those times, they might not be able to save you."
A few newcomers became flustered when they heard this. This was a little different from what they had imagined it'd be like.
The judges would be in a daze?
What kind of joke was that? Weren't they professionals?
The more experienced participants smiled but didn't say anything. Elder Xiao's jokes were always like that. They always made others feel flustered.
The experienced participants knew that the executive elders of the Spiritual Law Division were all immensely powerful and stoic. Why would they be in a daze when they were in the arena?
Or scratching an itch at that?
That was laughable!
The corners of Xiao Qixiu's mouth twitched when he saw most of the newcomers below him start to become flustered. His expression changed a little.
This was more like it!
Life was filled with surprises. How could he allow them to step into the arena in peak condition every time?
He raised his hands. A long, ancient chime of a clock echoed reverberated from far away, "Dong…"
"It's noon. The Windcloud Competition will now begin!"
At arena number 12, the judge looked at the people outside the barrier and announced with a cold expression:
"This group battle will be held elimination-style. The last person standing in the arena will be the winner."
"The top ten people in the group will receive a prize and will move onto the next round of the competition, so please try your best!"
He waved his arms symbolically, then said coldly, "Register your attendance and enter the arena!"
"Number 1101, Zhou Zuo."
A shorter teenager trembled, then walked over. Liu Zhen, who was behind him, instructed, "Take out your token and press it onto the barrier."
Zhou Zuo did as he was told, and was pulled into the arena.
"Number 1102, Liu Zhen."
Liu Zhen only now realized that they had registered for the competition together and had been given successive serial numbers.
"Number 1120, Zhao Xiaosan."
There was a bitter expression on the teenager's face, as if he were on his way to his execution.
"Number 1130, Xu Xiaoshou."
No one replied.
The judge's brow furrowed. "Number 1130, Xu Xiaoshou," he repeated.
There was still no reply.
It became a little rowdy in the area outside the arena.
"Didn't Xu Xiaoshou come out of his seclusion?"
"That's right. I was there to collect his corpse the other day and saw him. He didn't die!"
"Did he oversleep?"
"That's not possible. I think I saw him on the way here. He was walking weirdly."
"Maybe you saw wrong."
The judge was furious. "Number 1130, Xu Xiaoshou?" he shouted.
Everyone quietened down and looked around. However, they didn't see Xu Xiaoshou.
If Xu Xiaoshou didn't show up before time was up, there was nothing else the judge could do other than assume that Xu Xiaoshou had forfeited and skip past him and continue with the next participant.
Who was this Xu Xiaoshou? He was really gutsy. He dared to be late for the Windcloud Competition?
In the spectator seats.
Unlike the other arenas, there was an audience in the spectator seats of arena number 12. Three people, at that.
One of them was a svelte lady dressed in a red dress. She was leaning lazily back in her chair, showing off her graceful physique. Her glossy red lips moved.
"Sister Su, is that the Brother Little Beast that you brought me here to watch? Did you forget to wake him up?"
The younger lady by her side, who was wearing a white shirt, turned red. "What are you talking about, Sister Rao!" she cajoled.
"Brother Little Beast will definitely come. He must've gotten held up by something. This is his last competition. I have to come and watch."
The lady in white, Su Qianqian, was about fourteen years old. She was a young girl, but she had a giant sword that was even taller than she was. It was now lying horizontally across her lap.
She gently stroked the giant sword on her lap, a nostalgic look in her eyes. "I didn't have any friends back when I entered the outer yard. Brother Little Beast helped me out a bunch. It was only because of him that I was able to enter the inner yard in a month."
I didn't have any friends back when I entered the outer yard...
"A month…" Rao Yinyin lowered her head and muttered. She knew that Su Qianqian didn't mean it, but that only made her words hurt even more!
Elder Qiao squatted on his seat, pulling on his ears. "That darned Xu Xiaoshou. Where did he run off to!?" he scolded.
"Does he want me to personally oust him from the palace?
"He's making me so anxious!"
Within the barrier.
"For the last time!" the judge announced, sounding like the Grim Reaper himself. "Number 1130, Xu Xiaoshou!"
The 99 people in the arena, the judge, and the three people outside the arena eagerly looked on.
Just where was Xu Xiaoshou?