Road to Mastery: A LitRPG Apocalypse

Chapter 399: I’m Gonna Do It Even Harder!
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Chapter 399: I’m Gonna Do It Even Harder!

Jack’s body had been broken beyond recognition. Even his face had been burned—if Min Ling didn’t know it was him, she wouldn’t be able to recognize him.

His embers of life were already disappearing. He was just a moment away from death.

In that moment, his body suddenly erupted with indescribably dense, unfathomably deep life energy. It was like a million lives bloomed in his chest. The world was colored green, and Min Ling could feel her own wounds regenerating just from being nearby.

Jack was bathed in power. His ruined body slowly returned from the precipice of destruction. His organs regrew, his bones squirmed together, and his blackened flesh tumbled to the floor as new, rosy skin too its place. Even his eyes, which had been burned to cinders, slowly reconstructed themselves.

It wasn’t the first time Min Ling saw such regenerative powers. The same had occurred after Jack was almost burned to death by the magma. The sight remained as gruesome as last time, but now, that feeling was overshadowed by incomparable relief.

He had almost sacrificed himself to save her. When her shield had shattered, she had been enduring the backlash and was completely defenseless. Jack could have tossed her into the shockwaves to consume some of their power and increase his own chances of survival. Instead, he had pulled her behind him and stepped forward to take the blow.

Anyone would feel immense gratitude after being treated like that, and Min Ling was no exception. Her heart swam with relief as she saw him recover. If he really died, she had no idea how she would feel.

“Thank you,” she whispered, tears of gratitude welling up in her eyes. Instantly, however, she suppressed them. She rose and stepped before Jack’s body, facing the inside of the cavern.

Though she was incomparably weak right now, her powers all spent, she would rather die than let a single shockwave touch Jack.

A brorilla stepped up beside her. His eyes were hard, and his body shone with golden radiance. He was as hurt as she was, but he also rose to fight.

Thankfully, however, no more shockwaves came. The cavern was silent. Some of the previous power still reverbated against the walls, but it was nothing they couldn’t handle, even in their current weakened state.

Space slowly restored itself. Min Ling saw endless cracks on the walls, but they all stood. As for the black dragon, its body was lying on the ground, broken beyond recognition. A headless corpse was grasped in its claws.

The dragon’s tenacity had been unrivaled. Even after enduring all those explosions, it had still managed to kill one more cultivator before finally succumbing to death.

Of the sixteen B-Grades who had entered this cavern, nine remained. They were all sitting or standing around the dragon, recovering their energy as quickly as they could. Especially Spacewind and Uruselam—if one of them was overly weakened, the other might launch a sneak attack.

Thankfully, it seemed that would not happen. Spacewind had conserved enough of his energy, and so had Uruselam—his bubble hadn’t shattered because he ran out of power, but because he dissolved it when his reserves ran low.

As Min Ling saw them, they also saw her. Spacewind opened an eye to glance coldly at her. “You survived,” he said. At that point, his indifference was so striking against Jack’s willingness to sacrifice himself that Min Ling felt disgusted. She did not even reply.

Instead, she turned to Uruselam and asked, “Is your healer still alive?”

The only B-Grade healer present was part of the Hand of God. He was also alive, since Uruselam had protected him. The monk nodded, and the healer stepped forth, approaching Jack’s unconscious body.

Seeing that, Spacewind’s gaze went even more frigid. Min Ling, the woman he desired, had not even replied to him. Instead, her first reaction was to look for a healer to cure another man—a man to whom she had been plastered a moment ago.

The flames of hatred in his heart burned more intensely, but he concealed them. He had already decided to kill Jack. Doing so now, in front of everyone, would be considered treason to his faction. However, to exit the hidden realm they would need to pass through an unstable space tunnel. At that time, Spacewind was certain he could arrange an accident for Jack, and even if someone saw through him, they would have no proof.

I hope you are still alive, he thought, staring at Jack’s unconscious body. I want to kill you myself. Then, we’ll see if Min Ling still appreciates you.

The healer inspected Jack for a moment, then frowned. “This man is perfectly healthy,” he said, glancing at Min Ling. “Why did you call me?”

“Just making sure. Thank you,” she replied calmly, and the healer walked away.

Only Min Ling and Brock knew what terrible state Jack had been in just moments ago. Recovering from that was nothing short of a miracle. If Min Ling still believed the Life Artifact in Jack’s body was simple, she would be plain stupid.

But she did not say anything. She didn’t even harbor evil intentions. Jack had saved her, and Min Ling was a woman who knew right from wrong. No matter how great a treasure he hid, if she were to betray him now, she might as well kill herself.

***

Jack’s eyes opened. He blinked slowly. Cracked stone entered his sight, alongside a very concerned brorilla face.

“Oh!” Brock said. “Bro is awake. Big happy!”

The narrative has been taken without permission. Report any sightings.

“Hey Brock. Like you can’t imagine,” Jack replied, his smile still strained.

He hadn’t expected to wake up. When he positioned himself before that massive shockwave, he’d thought that was the end of the line. It was a miracle.

But how? he wondered. I’m pretty sure my organs all shattered. I should have died.

It was only after a few seconds of blankness that a last memory reached his brain. Right before he passed out, a vast, verdant green filled his world. The purest life energy.

The Life Drop… he realized. Only then did he let himself relax, the back of his head resting calmly on the stone. It saved me…

“No it didn’t. I did,” a voice spoke inside his mind. “And I gotta say kid, you’re really making me work here!”

“Hmm?” Jack’s eyes shot open again. “Turtle?”

“My name is not turtle, goddammit! I am Venerable Saint Thousand Shell!”

“You were the one who saved me?” Jack asked. “You really are kinder than you seem.”

“What’s that supposed to mean!?”

Jack smiled. “Thank you.”

“Hmph! You still owe me all that life energy, you little piece of shit. You don’t get to die unless I say so!”

Jack’s smile widened. The turtle’s voice was as imperious as ever, but after everything that just happened, Jack couldn’t bring himself to take it seriously. “In any case, I owe you one,” he said.

“You owe me multiple! The Supreme Blood is meant to last you millennia, but you’re spending all the energy like candy!”

Jack frowned. I’m spending energy like candy? His gaze turned inward, focusing on the Life Drop. It remained an ocean of energy—yet, it wasn’t as unfathomable as it used to be. Though still enormous, Jack had the feeling that the ocean’s volume had decreased by a bit. Maybe around one percent.

“Oh,” was all he said.

Using the four-armed form or regenerating himself took up a lot of energy. Back when he was a D-Grade, the amount was nothing to speak of. However, as his body increased in power, the energy needed to regenerate it naturally increased as well. The strain he put on the Life Drop was no longer negligible. By the time he reached the B-Grade, perhaps the Life Drop would no longer be as useful.

“What’s that, kid!?” the turtle thundered. “You are shielding your mind, but I know you are thinking something blasphemous! Go on, spit it out. See if I dare to disintegrate you!”

“I, uh, was thinking of how incredibly skilled you are at using this energy,” Jack replied with a wry smile.

“Then why are smiling like that?”

“My face muscles are still a bit twitchy.”

“You’re lying! I made sure to fix those! I didn’t want that little girl to think you’re ugly.”

“It’s not like that…” Jack replied, shaking his head.

The turtle harrumphed once—or was it laughing?—before its voice turned serious. “In any case, listen well. This is the second time in a short while that I’ve had to actively galvanize the Supreme Blood to heal you. That’s what it’s made for, so I can’t blame you, but you really need to stop trying to sacrifice yourself for others! Anyway, the Supreme Blood may be extraordinary, but my own power isn’t endless. I’ll have to fall into slumber for a while. Try not to die while I’m gone, okay?”

“How long will that be?” Jack asked, but got no response. The turtle had fallen asleep as soon as it said so. What an enviable superpower.

After asking a couple more times and becoming convinced that the turtle was already deeply asleep, Jack finally sighed.

The Life Drop’s regenerative properties were meant to supplement his powers, not overshadow them. The two times he’d been healed—once now and once after swimming in lava—were already too much. Such intense regeneration would be unavailable for the near future, but Jack was fine with it.

And, besides, he didn’t regret his former decisions. Perhaps he would have died without the turtle’s assistance, but he would have done so to save Brock and Min Ling respectively. The former went without saying, and as for Min Ling, she had saved his life and Brock’s life once. He owed it to her.

The turtle being asleep meant nothing. Even if he really was going to die, he would sacrifice himself all the same. Being alive was meaningless if it meant abandoning his path.

“How long are you going to sleep for?” a woman’s voice reached his ears. “Get up already.”

He opened one eye. Min Ling was bent over him, inspecting him with her brows creased. As she noticed he was awake, a hint of relief passed over her eyes, disappearing in the next instant.

“You’re alive,” Jack said, breaking into a wide smile. “I’m glad.”

“Of course I am,” she replied, turning away.

Jack slowly forced himself to stand. Though he was healed, everything still hurt. He’d overdrawn himself. It would be hard to fight at full power before resting.

As soon as he was up, he surveyed his surroundings. A black dragon corpse lay at one end of the cavern, ruined beyond recognition. Besides being dead, it also looked like it had been scavenged. Most of its scales were missing, while its belly had been torn open and several organs removed. Anything of value had been taken by the B-Grade cultivators.

Speaking of B-Grades, the nine remaining were all meditating inside the cavern, restoring themselves to their optimal state. Spacewind and Uruselam were still alive. Of the rest, three belonged to the Black Hole Church and four to the Hand of God. The balance of power remained.

The B-Grades of each faction had gathered in two separate corners, while Jack, Brock, and Min Ling were in yet another. As soon as Jack rose, the meditating Spacewind cracked open his eyes, coldly inspecting him before closing them again. To Jack’s surprise, the enmity he felt in that gaze was even deeper than before.

How the hell did I upset him this time? he wondered, then put the issue to rest. All he could do was be careful.

“I believe it is time, fellow benefactors.” A voice echoed through the cavern, originating from Uruselam. His white robes were pristine, while one of his long brows still hung below his chin. The other was cut off at the level of his nose.

At Uruselam’s words, the cultivators of his faction rose to their feet, as did the Church ones. Only now did Jack notice the three cubes in the middle of the cavern. In fact, he had seen them once before the dragon attacked. The surprising part was that they remained intact after that battle. They didn’t even have a scratch.

“Did they wait for me to inspect them?” Jack asked.

“Of course not, you idiot,” Min Ling replied. “You just happened to wake up on time.”

This content is taken from (f)reewe(b)novel.𝗰𝗼𝐦

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