Chapter 258

Chapter 258

Arthur timed it nearly perfectly. He was only about twenty minutes too late. Pulling energy from the stones was never an exact science, though he had a rough idea of how much time was needed for each stone by now. But give or take a few minutes each stone and without even the option of a watch and he could not exactly schedule things to the second. 

Which was why, after two days, he wandered out of his room to the bottom floor and waiting room of the inn to see a rather impatient and exhausted looking Cassie waiting for him. She looked up impatiently when he stepped within, shooting to her feet and wincing a little as the wounds around her stomach that had yet to close sprung open.

"What are you doing here? Are you that weak willed that a little opposition is enough to push you back?" She said, glaring at Arthur.

"Don't get started on me," Arthur said, waving a hand in front of her face. "You're the one who's supposed to sort out your internal Chin politics. I'm not getting involved in an internal fight."

"No fight. He's just being stubborn," Cassie said, lips curled up. "I'll deal with him."

"Good, then go do that. Stop bothering me and come back tomorrow." Arthur nodded to Lam. "Or just send him and I'll meet you at the Administrative center."

"I'm not yours to command," she snapped.

"And I'm not yours to belittle," Arthur said with a roll of his eyes. "You want me to get involved in your internal politics? Please." He waggled his hand back and forth. "I'm not that dumb. And I'm not dumb enough to think that this, your delay, your injuries isn't all an act."

"An act?" 

"Give it up." Arthur gestured to Lam. "I realised when you messed up sending Lam ahead to try to rile your cousin up. You wanted me to deal with him for you, didn't you?"

Cassie growled. "Stop making conspiracy theories."

"Really? Then you're saying Lam is stronger than you?"

"I got unlucky. You know those platforms on the levels are all randomised right?"

Arthur snorted. "One day, I'd give you. Two?" He shook his head. "No. Not for you. I'm surprised you'd be willing to sacrifice your speedrun just to avoid dealing with your cousin too. He that much of a problem?"

Silence, then eventually, she sighed. At the same time, she straightened, ignoring the bloody bandage on her side. "He's not the problem. It's his father. If I force him to do what I say, he'll complain to his father." She made a face. "Part of his punishment - and reward - was having full control of this floor. The fact that I'm making him do what I want...."

"It puts you in an awkward position. Or your dad, eh?" Arthur corrected himself. "Right, but if I forced the matter, you'd be free and clear."

"And I wasn't wasting my time..." Cassie said. "You can cultivate just as well with stones at the end of the fifth floor as here." Then, she drew a breath. "Will you help me? I'll owe you one." 

"No thanks." At she moved to protest, he held a finger up. "However, if your father owes me one..."

"I can't speak for him!"

"Pretty sure you have been." Another shrug as he turned away. "Tomorrow, then."

"I..." Cassie hesitated, but Arthur wasn't waiting. He knew he was pushing her, but it really wasn't worth it for him without gaining a favor from her dad. 

Still, he was a little surprised he managed to make his way back to his room without her protesting. He took a seat back on his bed, picking up a stone along the way. Moments before he started cultivating, he poked at the Tower information in his head to pull out his full Status.


Cultivation Speed: 2.473 Yin
Energy Pool: 24/24 (Yin)
Refinement Speed: 0.1421
Refined Energy: 2.41 (29)


Attributes and Traits
Mind: 15 (Multi-Tasking, Quick Learner, Perfect Recall)
Body: 15 (Enhanced Eyesight, Yin Body, Swiftness, Fast Twitch Faster)
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 (113.8%)
Yin-Yang Energy Exchange (59.1%)
Heavenly Sage’s Heaven Beating Stick (48.5%)
Refined Exploding Energy Dart (88.9%)
Water Walking (7.1%)


Two full points stored. He could feel the energy running through him, churning in his dantian. Intent on escaping even when he had yet to make use of it. He could, if he poured more power into his Spirit, probably learn the Refined Exploding Energy Dart soon, especially if he managed to get enough to get another trait. He might even, finally, figure out the Yin-Yang Energy Exchange since Spirit was all about understanding the energy he manipulated.

On the other hand, Mind would let him learn the techniques from the scrolls, perfect the Heavenly Beating Stick technique and even integrating Water Walking to his own movement techniques. More importantly, the more Mind he had the faster he could learn new techniques, the easier it was to keep up in battle and even expand on things like the Simultaneous Energy Flow. As it stood, he needed to get at least four or five flows to be considered a top level combatant.

On top of that, of course, he had to work towards the third transformation; but considering the minimum level he'd need in even one attribute was thirty - and quite likely a total point allocated  around sixty or seventy, he was quite the distance away from that concern. But getting another Trait in Body couldn't hurt at all.

More importantly, he needed to start pushing through the energy. It was getting really crammed inside his own dantian, though there were a number of theories that discussed increasing the amount of unallocated energy; theorising that improvements could be made that way that were outside the norm.

If Arthur actually had concrete evidence of that, or techniques that could have helped, he would have leaned towards using it. But the truth was, all he had was theorising on the public forums. That wasn't good enough a reason to hold back, especially since it was now beginning to get difficult to control the amount of energy he was refining and storing away.

"When you don't know, best to go body..." Arthur muttered. It hadn't failed him yet, and while he did want to at least get more Spirit traits, that was going to have to be in the future. For now, another Body trait and then more Spirit was the plan. Or at least, until something else changed.

Which, he figured, was going to be about in a day or so.

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.