Chapter 250

Chapter 250

One last monster, standing before him and the exit of this biome. It had taken him nearly three hours and forty seven minutes to get this far and he was tired, injured, very, very grumpy and not at all in the mood to deal with the latest problem. On the other hand, he could not help but shake his head a little at what he saw.

"What exactly am I supposed to do about those?" Arthur growled, eyeing the boss—or the bosses—as they came apart and then joined together. He wasn't sure if that was good or bad, that these glowing stone creatures were the equivalent of Transformers, or was that Voltron or... his retro cartoon knowledge was, he had to admit, rather a touch out of date.

"Kill them individually or...?" Arthur considered out loud even as he pulled energy, feeling it sizzle along the meridians of his hand, collecting it like he was holding lightning.


On the other hand, he wasn't the only one who was pulling power. That rock creature with flames or lightning dancing across it had power pulling into the center of its body. He could see that amassed energy growing stronger and stronger with each second.

Nope. He was not going to stand around for that. Hands raised, he released the Energy Dart, watching it wing its way towards the creature's head. At the same time, he crouched low, tracking the build-up in energy, tracking the way it would shift.

Funny thing about energy, about light. It moves faster than you can. Much, much faster. Same reason you can't dodge a bullet once it leaves the barrel of a gun—well, not unless you were one very powerful climber—so there was no way to dodge the flare of energy that struck him.

Arthur found himself burnt directly. He had bent his head low and squeezed his eyes shut so that he wouldn't be blinded entirely. Lightning dancing down his body, locking up his muscles and causing Arthur to fall over. He twitched and whimpered, tears springing from his eyes. Not enough to hide the fact that the Refined Exploding Energy Dart slammed into the top of the monster’s neck and exploded across the body, tearing the head off and breaking it apart into multiple rock creatures.

By the time Arthur managed to get his feet under him, the four were nearly on him. Spear thrust forward caught the monster on the right, causing it to jump back with nary but a nick. Then, a spin across the top of his hand to strike with the shaft and he hit the one on the left that was jumping high, intent on tearing his throat out.

He went low, struck to the right on the rebound. Got his feet under him and backed off, retreating a little but remembering that there was not much space at all, not with the platform behind having moved away. Kept the spear spinning and attacking, never ending as he then pushed forward as managed to smack one hard enough across the head to give the earth elemental equivalent of a concussion.

Kept pushing, kept pushing till he had them all down, shattered across the platform. Never mind the lightning that danced across skin and caused muscles to seize, that caused jaw to clench and teeth to grind. He fought on, till he managed to stab the last one across the body, pinning it to the earth and slumping beside it.

Having forgotten to drop his damn backpack and giant pack of moose antlers behind him.

"I need a better defense," Arthur groaned. "One that deals with poison and lightning and things burning me. Can't be all offense." 

Then, he pushed himself up and began to collect the monster stones left behind. 

Limped over to the end, stared at the next level. No climbing this time; it was just a straight walk to the next biome. Easy peasy. One more of these idiotic game-like platform levels and he was done. Even if it was harder than he had expected, he could do it.

A moment, to breathe and then check his stats.


Cultivation Speed: 2.474 Yin
Energy Pool: 3/24 (Yin)
Refinement Speed: 0.1421
Refined Energy: 0.03 (29) 


Another breath, another look at the numbers. He shook his head, reached for the rope that served as his straps and dropped them aside. Fingers scrambled in his pouch, found the stones that he needed and collapsed with his legs crossed on the ground. He drew a deep breath, forced his exhaustion aside, and began the long, long process of pulling energy to him, into his meridians and finally into his dantian.

He would need to process a half-dozen stones to refill his core. Then even more Tower energy so that he wasn't entirely out of power. Running on the dregs of energy was not a good idea, and this platform at least seemed safe enough.

Hours passed, energy drawn through him, stones he had picked up and used crumbling in his hands as he poured power through him. He kept going till he had refilled a large portion of the energy he needed. And then, finally, he was ready. To finish this damn level. How bad could it be, this last stage?

It was just another Tower platform after all.




“Oh, that’s why it was level,” Arthur said, stepping forward to look upwards and upwards and upwards. It made sense, of course. Moving platforms, disappearing platforms, and now, vertical platforms that he had to deal with by jumping up and up.

He eyed the heights, unable to spot the ending due to the various shifting platforms in the way. It reminded him, from this vantage point, of a series of very narrow walkways—without the necessary safety railings—in an abandoned factory. Abandoned, mostly, because so few of the current factories had such walkways. Much easier to send robots and drone cranes to extract portions and enact repairs than worry about humans and their clumsy movements. Worst case scenario, there were drones and 3D movement packs that aided repair workers to get to such places, though the increase in danger was significant.

Not that anyone cared anymore, not when the chances of finding a job kept dropping every day and the basic income provided was insufficient. 

More importantly, staring at the platforms, noting how certain portions dropped low or rose up later, Arthur understood that he would have to do his best to climb towards the next level. Shimmering vines that occasionally disappeared, falling platforms and, of course, monsters to complicate things.

Of course, why the monsters were a mixture of rolling ball-like feathered creatures, hopping mushroom-like attackers, and the occasional goblin with a throwing spear, Arthur had no idea. Especially that last one.

"Guess I'll have another monster to add to the wiki," Arthur said, watching as the goblin hauled and tossed its spear at him. He didn't even flinch, watching it arc through the air before getting knocked off course by the moving platforms that made up the distance between them. Not dangerous, at least in the short-term.

Once he got closer though... "And I'll name the goblin spear chucker... Dicky!"

Yeah, it was a stretch. But better get it out before he felt the need to come up with a rhyme while clambering upwards. 

"Time to go, put on a show. "

One last tug on his straps to ensure everything was secure, then Arthur leapt to the right. Right where the thrown spear had fallen.

Waste not, want not.

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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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