Chapter 72
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After bidding the lady goodbye he headed to where he could pick up his reward, strangely enough, it was the same place that he got the spirit stones for the dragon. It would take some time till he got there though, he had to backtrack all the way there. It was close to the place he faced off against the dragon at the start of his journey. He wondered if the people would try to rob him again when he left the city, as he was 'wearing' a new face again. Though his new pseudonym was gaining recognition due to defeating two evil creatures.

*Took me over three weeks to get this done, guess I'm on track. *

He looked at some other wanted notices, this made him feel like a bounty hunter.  He wanted to see if he could grab a fast one alone the way but couldn't really see anything worthwhile. Core formation beings were rare, it was even harder to find ones that you could hunt for money as most people wouldn't even bother putting up a wanted poster. Maybe if someone offended some big shot, or was a demonic cultivator like that Ravager fellow.  

*Well, guess my detection range increased a bit, maybe I can find some demonic beasts around here.*

He was becoming quite the monster hunter lately, he also had the white hair to go with it, just needed to get a wolf medallion to place around his neck. He had that one he looted from Ravager, but he was afraid to leave it out in the open. The sects were quite bloodthirsty and everyone was rushing for that immortal ascension thing, they would probably kill his entire bloodline to get something in the immortal grade. 

He also took a peek at his cultivation skill, mainly his next upgrade path. He had three choices and after getting his first evolution into the empowered lightning tree he could finally see what those colors did.

Golden Lightning Path The cultivator's lightning imbued with more heavenly powers with an added holy element, creatures of the demonic nature are highly susceptible to this type of energy. This path doesn't favor offense nor defense boasting an all-around increase in combat prowess. 
Violet Lightning Path  The cultivator's lightning takes a more chaotic nature, harder to control but a lot more destructive than the other two types. This path favors offense increasing the cultivators Qi reserves the most, allowing for prolonged use of techniques. 
Azure Lightning Path The cultivator's lightning becomes in tune with the heavens, this is the most stable form and easiest to progress in. Favor's defense over offense increasing the resistance of all construct and defensive type techniques.

He read through the information once more wondering which path he should go for. The first option was quite interesting, it would aid him if he ever faced off against demonic beings like the Cthulhu lookalike. He felt that there would probably more of that kind of monster around in the future, so this could be useful. Matt didn't really have a defined fighting style just yet, though he mostly finished his enemies at close range.

The second one had 'Mage Class' written all over it. He would gain the biggest Qi pool from the three and would be able to spam his skills more. Guess bombarding enemies with overwhelming ranged skills could work, he also had his body refining skill for close-range fighting. The last one looked the least interesting as it favored defense but the increase to his construct type techniques like his avatar form and the lightsword was tempting. Though would this push his constructs to another level, or would they lose out against crafted weapons and other items in the end anyway?

He looked at the golden path, it looked like the most interesting one with the added elemental affinity. Maybe he should get some healing skills to go with it, or some auras like Paladins tend to have in games. He could imagine him and the Zhang Clan fighting in the secret ground together, him using some aura skills to boost everyone's stats, maybe using something to boost stamina and Qi recovery.

*Well... it's always more fun in a group? Guess I'll have to check if aura skills like that even exist around here.*

He checked out the shop to see if there were any paladin or cleric like skills. There were some but there was a small problem, he couldn't use them unless he was cultivating a holy element based cultivation method. This meant that he needed that upgrade before he could even use the cheapest healing skill.

*Well that sucks, can't even test things out ... this upgrade costs quite a bit...* 

He looked at the 1 million spirit points next for the upgrade, the previous one only cost 100 thousand points. By this logic, if he wanted to get that golden nascent soul upgrade afterward he would need to spend 10 million points on it, maybe more as this was a full large cultivation level.

*Yikes, think I'd need to kill over 50 core formation enemies in the late stage to get that many points, which wouldn't be that hard if I was some kind of murder hobo... Also not sure if I could find that many around unless I raided some sect.*

Matt thought that this system would be really overpowered if he lost his morals and just started extinguishing lives left and right. This was the perfect system for someone that liked to kill.

*Well, I guess you could also rob some kind of spirit stone mine instead...*

The spirit stones mostly came from mines that were scattered around the continent. The only problem with that was that they always belonged to powerful sects or clans with nascent soul cultivators that were there to protect the assets. This was understandable as spirit stones equaled wealth, it was the most common currency around the continent.

*I might be able to sneak in ...  but when they notice the drop in spiritual energy after I absorb the stones, I'd get murdered.*

Matt shook his head as he gave up on trying to rob a spirit stone mine, he could rob some convoys but that would probably involve hurting other people. Someone might get killed or maimed, he also could get chased by some angry sect uncles and he wasn't that desperate quite yet.

*I need to up my cultivation as well, need to at least reach the late stage in both body and mind.*

Matt had tested out spending points on increasing his cultivation with not very good results. He could dump points into it for an easy increase but the more the percentage went up the more he had to spend. It kept stacking doubling each time which made him stop. Due to this, he didn't want to spend his points, only if it was urgent and he needed a quick power-up. He also didn't know how many points he would need to upgrade his clan's cultivation manuscripts to a respectable level.

*It would really be nice if I could go into my crafting abode while flying on my sword, it said that this medallion is damaged, wonder if I can repair it. Well I guess I have some time, I'll just do it at night.*

He parked his sword by a big tree in a clearing then hopped into his crafting space to see if he could do something with this dimensional regalia that looked like a medallion, guesses it belonged to some king once?

He did upgrade some of his equipment before, so he placed the medallion on the big anvil and looked into his crafting screen if something would show up. He saw the item getting scanned by the system before he saw the medallion's status screen.

Damaged Immortal Grade item detected, can't process please upgrade the crafting abode by at least one level.

*Meh... think I need close to 3 million to upgrade the crafting abode... guess I'll pass.*

He grumbled while removing the item from the large anvil.

*Well, it's still usable people can still go in there and bring stuff over... guess I'll get some of the clan members to clean up the building in the middle.*

Matt wasn't quite sure what he could use this closed-off space for yet, he hoped he could use the crafting abode to expand the size or maybe add some upgrades. He hoped for things that would aid in training, like slowing the passage of time in the pocket dimension. Many such artifacts existed in the novels he read.

*Guess that's a bummer, but it still can be used for training...*

He went inside that space with his sword, he could leave the little floating island but there was nothing around besides empty space. The air thinned out the further you flew away from the center as well. The peculiar thing about this place was, that if the ground was damaged it would recover after a short while. So you could train and destroy everything around you, the next day everything would be recovered. That is everything besides that unkept building in the middle, maybe it was brought in by someone and placed there and it wasn't part of the treasure.

He wondered if that secret ground would allow him to bring in more people if he placed them in this medallion. It would be unfortunate if it didn't, and they would somehow die due to this, that place was also made by an immortal so he wouldn't risk lives.

*Well, time to rest for a couple of hours then I'll go get my spirit stones. They should be done with the tournament by the time I'm back. Guess I could use this medallion as a secret training ground for my clan bros, there is enough space to run around and train. The amount of Qi in there is quite high as well. It also replenishes itself naturally for some reason. This Qi is a bit strange, it lacks any kind of elemental affinity, but its quality is slightly higher.*

Matt thought about the future while time was running out, the people back home were close to ending the event, the people selected for the expedition were the most skilled and willing warriors that the Zhang Clan could offer but they still needed some training.

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