Chapter 237

Chapter 237

Arthur opened his eyes as he felt the monster core crumble beneath his fingers. A light drizzle had started, coating him and the others seated up here in water, but it was easily enough to ignore especially since it was lukewarm. Between his increased Body and the ambient heat, it was almost nice to be rained upon as he cultivated.

Rather than reach for another stone, Arthur stood up and stretched, wriggling his body around to ensure he didn’t stiffen up. It was about time anyway, and squeezing a little more energy into his practice wasn’t going to make that much of a difference. Just over a week had passed since his ill-fated expedition and while the team themselves had gone out a few days after him to return with even more stones, the rest of the period had been quiet enough.

Of course, the reason he was up here rather than downstairs – and the rest of his team too – was that the Thorned Lotuses, now Beneficent Durians – were down below practicing. Under the leadership of his new floor master, Liv, they were increasing in strength at a decent clip and mastering the Seven Cloud Stepping technique.

But they’d delayed as long as possible, and Cassie was leaving tomorrow. So it was time to move on, even if he didn’t feel entirely ready. A push in a direction that was not a direction and the Tower filled his view even as he continued his stretches.


Cultivation Speed: 2.473 Yin
Energy Pool: 23/23 (Yin)
Refinement Speed: 0.1421
Refined Energy: 1.381 (28)


Attributes and Traits
Mind: 15 (Multi-Tasking, Quick Learner, Perfect Recall)
Body: 14 (Enhanced Eyesight, Yin Body, Swiftness)
Spirit: 11 (Sticky Energy, From the Dregs)


Night Emperor Cultivation Technique
Focused Strike
Accelerated Healing – Refined Energy (Grade III)
Heavenly Sage’s Mischief
Refined Energy Dart
Bark Skin
Seven Cloud Stepping


Partial Techniques
Simultaneous Flow (89.7%)
Yin-Yang Energy Exchange (44.6%)
Heavenly Sage’s Heaven Beating Stick (34.2%)
Refined Exploding Energy Dart (59.3%)
Water Walking (5%)


He hadn’t had much time to practice much on the other techniques he was working on, even the Refined Exploding Energy Dart hadn’t seen much use. More importantly, after his recent fight, he had realized how lacking his ability to split his mind and cultivation flows was restricting him.

If he had his way, he’d have spent more time learning Simultaneous Flow, but between just cultivating and refining energy from the stones, he hadn’t had time to properly extend his training and understand Simultaneous Flow properly.

For all that, he had enough power right now to pour into a new attribute point. And while he had – mildly – increased his Spirit, right now, he was a point away from Body. And as much as he wanted more Spirit to increase his cultivation speed, he was riding the rich man train. Which meant increasing his Mind and refinement speed was the way to go.

In the meantime, if he was going into a new trial, more Body was more important. So sinking in the last Attribute point needed before he could get a new trait was the way to do it. Pushing the energy through him, letting the Tower guide the process, Arthur felt his body twist and change, filling out and strengthening. At the same time, it was held in abeyance as a prompt came to him, asking what Trait he’d like to add to his body.

Physical traits were always the simplest and hardest to work with. While it was easy to understand what one got from each trait, they were also both minute and broad too, depending on what you wanted. As usual, Arthur ignored any of the traits that pushed for appearance like Appealing or Refined Skin. While some would consider making oneself more physically good looking a useful addition for a Clan leader, it was only viable if he had more time to build himself up.

For now, it was better to focus on traits that would let him survive.

Enhanced Endurance, Thick Blood, Anaerobic Enhancement; all of those would increase his stamina both in general and in battle. Thick Blood had he bonus of also enhancing his platelet levels, allowing him to clot faster; something that Platelet Factory in itself focused upon.

Useful considering how often he got stabbed or otherwise had a hole created in him.

On the other hand, some might think that not getting stabbed or otherwise holed was the way to go. He’d already taken Swiftness the last time, and adding something like Fast Twitch Faster would actually synchronize with his other trait, boosting his overall speed even further.

He knew the speedster build was quite common though, but mobility was so important. It was why it was so common, and with the addition of weapons, it made pure strength less appealing to Arthur. If nothing else, being fast meant he could run away, well, faster.

Which kind of made up his mind. It wasn’t as good as an actual technique that would speed him up, but if he ever learnt one of those, he’d be blazing fast. Even faster than anyone who had such a technique and didn’t have the trait to back it up.

Though, what he meant to use was a question. The first, most basic option would be upping Swiftness further. It increased his overall ability to move, strengthening twitch muscles, reflexes, perception, the whole shebang.

On the other hand, specialization might help. Explosive strength via Fast Twitch Faster would allow him to change course, to swiftly move and attack. It would also make him hit harder, just by virtue of the kind of muscles it used. The negative, of course, was that he would tire himself out faster too.

Then there were other things like Cat-like reflexes, Snake Snap, Lightning Reflexes, Instinctive Twitch and the like which basically increased his ability to react to things. That could be rather important, especially as he grew stronger. There was a set speed that humans could react to things, dictated by genetics for the most part. At 250 milliseconds, it was a fraction of a moment and for most, it didn’t matter. But then, in close combat, where bodies were pressed against one another and blades were flying and everyone else was moving at superhuman speeds, that might seem forever.

Of course, the negative of taking such an ability too soon was the same as enhancing the mind to process information too quickly. Just because you could perceive it and tell your body to react faster, it didn’t mean your body could do so. That was dictated by other factors, which was why it was often suggested to only take such Traits later on.

Better to build up the other side effects – or just go generic for a bit – and then add to it. By then, an upgraded Swiftness would help bear the base explosion of movement.

Muttering to himself, Arthur went over his options again. “Strength, speed, stamina, toughness. Co-ordination.” He hesitated, trying to dredge up any other major categories before he shrugged. Good enough for now. Speed was the way to go, it was just a question of whether he wanted to specialize or not further

“In for a penny, in for a pound, just so long as you aren’t a hound…” Arthur said. He focused, sorting out traits and seeing the constellation that floated around the Fast Twitch Faster options. He scanned the names, trying to recall what he knew of each.

ATP Reserves increased the amount of adenosine triphosphate, the fuel for the anaerobic using twitch muscles. It would allow him to use them more, allowing him to generate explosive force faster and longer. Eventually, of course, the body replenished the reserves, but if he wanted a quick burst of constant burn to allow him to accelerate to top speed faster and even have a higher top speed, this was the way to go. Less useful in combat, since the amount of distance he had to cover was often much shorter than his reserves.

Fast Twitch Faster was just an overall increase in density and volume of his fast twitch muscles. It also increased the ATP reserves to keep a basic baseline speed if Arthur remembered correctly, which was for the best. Like Swiftness, this was a generic increase; but specialized generic.

If that even made sense.

Chimpanzee Strength was basically the same thing, though it actually changed the ratio of muscle fibers. Arthur vaguely remembered that being not as good, something to do with faster exhaustion levels for those using it due to the lack of slow twitch muscles. Great if you were constantly just fighting, not so good if you had to hike the full day.

A lot of other mentions of different animals followed that, all of which Arthur dismissed from consideration. While there were a few that might have been useful, he liked the current configuration he had, especially since he knew he could train to improve if he needed more of one or another. With a Trait influencing how his muscles grew though, that option would disappear.

Then there were the marked improvement in type a and b twitch muscles. Unfortunately, Arthur couldn’t remember which was which. He knew one type was aerobic and the other anaerobic, but it had been a while since he had read the wiki. He’d also seen constant arguments going on about which to mess with or not, with proponents on both sides being entirely too confident they were right and had decided to abandon the idea of taking either. When two parties were absolutely sure they were right, you could almost always be certain they were both wrong.


In the end, Arthur came back to the various generic enhancement options. Fast Twitch Faster was idiotic in its name, but was slightly more broad based than Twitch Density Increase. Tired of trying to cudgel his mind for knowledge, Arthur made his choice and felt the energy flood through him, changing him fully.

By the time he opened his eyes again, closed involuntarily as he changed, he noticed that Cassie was waiting.

“Ready?” she said, impatiently.

“Ready.” He stretched his neck out, bounced up and down once more and then nodded.

Time to go. They had another floor to clear.

And new trials to face.

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Climbing the Ranks is a LitRPG cultivation novel by Tao Wong that publishes serially on Starlit Publishing. While the whole novel will be free to read, you can purchase a membership to receive chapters weeks in advance of the public release.

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