Chapter 241

Chapter 241

Spinning his spear, he brought it down on the side of the ant lion, crushing its body into the sand. Arthur kept moving, shifting position so that the lunging other ant lion missed him, spinning a little to boot it back down the hill. As he did so, he found himself slipping a little and he forced his toes deeper into the sand as he finished pulling more energy into his hand.

Another unleashed Refined Explosive Energy dart tore through the air, impacting the hole that had been gouged from the land after numerous attacks. Bits and pieces of ant lions and the hardened sand of the nest were scattered all around, the smell of burnt flesh and the stink of open insect wounds filling the air.

By this point, seven Refined Explosive Energy darts in, the roar of the explosion and the thump that reverberated through the air was old hand. Ignoring the explosion and shower of sand and monster bits, Arthur returned to the monsters that were trying to swarm him.

Not that many left, thankfully. After all, he had already dealt with three different swarms that had crawled out of this very nest, such that the creatures he was dealing with were the nest guards and the half-sized juveniles.

Switching tactics, Arthur kept shifting and swinging his spear, striking some of the insects down onto the sand or shattering carapaces and legs. He aimed to cripple more than kill, focused as he was on keeping himself safe.

Sliding the spear along his hands, Arthur kept moving and attacking till he finished dealing with all of the insects. The battle itself, with the majority of the ant lions dead, was a lot simpler than he expected. Of course, it helped that he had not withheld on using his techniques while doing so.

Grounding his spear in the sand, Arthur leaned against the shaft and panted, taking deep breaths as he tried to slow down his breathing. A minute later, Arthur straightened up fully and began the slow process of plucking the stones out of the monsters.

By the time he was done and down at the bottom of the sand, he could not help but roll his shoulders and ankle, grateful the pain had reduced. He’d picked up few enough injuries along the way and with the corpses all stripped, he was looking forward to grabbing his real goal.

Putting the spear aside, Arthur drew the kris with his main hand and slowly sifted the sand and rocks and corpses aside. Twice, he had to strike at a still living corpse, killing the insects and pulling out their core before he managed to make his way to the eggs below.

Those were useless for his purposes. They would break if he even tried to bring them with him, and other than some weird gourmets who would pay good money for the eggs, they had little value otherwise. Now, if he had a storage device…

Pushing the thought aside, Arthur kept digging. A flicker of movement and instinct had him yanking his hand back moments before the ant lion queen clamped down on it with her own, oversized claws. Then, having located the creature, Arthur grabbed at his spear.

Taking his time, he aimed and struck at the creature, driving his spear all the way through its bulbous body. He twisted and turned the spear a little, making sure the queen had stopped struggling before he pulled it out and dug in again, finally extracting the oversized, fat insect.

Pulling the large stone from its body, about the size of his fist, Arthur grinned.

“Score one for reading the forums,” Arthur said. He could, of course, use the queen’s monster stone to refine the energy; but it had a much better use. Storing it away, he stood up and rotated his ankle to test it again, heading to grab his backpack from where he’d dropped it off.

He needed a good drink of water. More importantly, somewhere along the way in these last two fights, he’d felt something click. The Tower had pushed down even further information at some point when it had clicked in his mind, but now he reviewed the information that came up.


Simultaneous Flow
The ability to easily control multiple flows of energy through the body at the same time. Mastering this skill allows the user to activate two techniques at the same time. Further mastery of this technique will allow additional techniques to be used concurrently.
Cost: N/A


Arthur read it over once and then again and then snorted. It really wasn’t a technique per se, in the sense that it needed energy to be used. It was a ‘technique’ in the same way that his cultivation method was a technique, a way of thinking and his martial arts were techniques. A way of moving the body and controlling his energy overall.

Still, Arthur knew, it was a necessary next step. While he couldn’t cultivate while using the technique, it wasn’t meant for that, his effectiveness as a fighter was without doubt increased significantly. Now, he just needed to continue utilizing it and become proficient at the next level so he could work three flows at a time.

“Been a good platform, but you’re way too hot,” Arthur muttered as he reached his backpack. He bent down and grabbed at the water bottle, draining it dry before placing it back in the backpack. The moment the water entered his body and began to permeate the lining of his throat and stomach, he could sense the drain on his healing ability lessen.

“Huh. Didn’t even notice that…” Arthur glanced upward at the blazing sun and then shook his head. It was obvious that the monsters were the least important aspect of this platform. If anything, they were the bait that drew climbers to stay too long, at which point they would dehydrate and fall over dead. Or become easy prey for the monsters.

In either case, he knew better than to stick around any longer. He had two more bottles of water left in his backpack, but that meant little if he found himself unable to refill it. Focusing on moving forward, Arthur directed his energy into the Seven Cloud Stepping technique to speed his movements along.

It was time to get out of this platform and onto the next.

Back to blog

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.

Join Tower One for $5/month to read 3 weeks of advanced chapters or Tower Two for $10/month to read 8 weeks of advanced chapters.

Want to read new chapters in your inbox?

Receive new chapters of Climbing the Ranks either daily or weekly in your inbox.