Library of Heaven is Path
1295 Do You Want To Be the Sanctum Head?
"Your possession of Eye of Insight has resulted in a distortion in the Teleportation Formation, that's why you were sent here!" Seeing the look of confusion in Zhang Xuan's eyes, the old man explained.
The Teleportation Formation of the Sanctum of Sages would teleport every candidate to different locations depending on their field of specialty. The young man had activated his Eye of Insight as soon as he entered the Teleportation Formation, so naturally, he was sent here.
The Illusory Formation was the first trial, and it served to assess his proficiency in the usage of his ability. Only if he was able to overcome the Illusory Formation would he be qualified to meet the old man.
Zhang Xuan swiftly realized this as well.
A person who was able to create something as formidable as a Teleportation Formation was bound to be able to sense his Eye of Insight as well, not to mention, he was using it openly within the Teleportation Formation earlier too.
"You said earlier that my Eye of Insight has reached the level of Infinitesimal Keenness... what does that mean?" Zhang Xuan asked.
He had never told anyone about his possession of the Eye of Insight before, and there was nothing detailed regarding the Eye of Insight in the books either. As such, he had no idea that it could divided into differing realms too.
"Eye of Insight is an extremely rare ability that only a very small portion of extraordinarily talented 6-star master teachers are able to awaken. In the entire history of the Master Teacher Continent, there are not many of people who managed to awaken the Eye of Insight. Depending on how proficient one is at using the Eye of Insight, there is a vast difference in its prowess too. As such, it is classified into different realms as well."
The old man stroked his beard as he continued on, "The first realm is Discerning Facade. It allows one to see through all disguises, allowing one to see an object right at its core."
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan nodded.
Ever since he comprehended the Eye of Insight, he had realized that he could use it to see through any facade with ease.
It was through using it that he was able to catch a glimpse of Luo Ruoxin's true appearance too.
"The second realm is what I have told you earlier, Infinitesimal Keenness. At this realm, you are able to see through the weight, size, material, and the various other details of an object with absolute precision. At the same time, you are also able to see through the strengths and flaws of cultivation techniques, battle techniques, and all sorts of maneuvers as well." the old man said.
Nodding, Zhang Xuan asked, "I see. Is there a third realm as well?"
Even without using the Library of Heaven's Path, the current him was indeed able to assess the details of an object with absolute precision using just the Eye of Insight. This would mean that he had achieved the realm of Infinitesimal Keenness at the very minimum.
Just that... if he recalled correctly, he already possessed this ability when he first obtained the Eye of Insight. So, to call it the second realm felt a little weird to him,
"The third realm is known as Origin Tracing, and it allows one to peer into the origin of a matter and determine its crux. Upon reaching this realm, one would be able to peer into the very fundamentals of artifacts and battle techniques and even uncover disappeared traces. For example, no matter how well a person covered his tracks up well, he's bound to leave some traces of his presence behind. Thus, those whose Eye of Insight have reached the realm of Origin Tracing will be able to see these traces and track that person down." the old man said.
"Ah…" Zhang Xuan blinked his eyes blankly.
Was this really the third realm of the Eye of Insight?
If that was really the case, wasn't it weird that he possessed this ability right after he had awakened his Eye of insight too?
"Upon reaching this realm, those of the same cultivation realm would be unable to hide any secrets from one anymore. With just a sweep glance, one would be able to tell if an individual is lying or holding back some critical information. More importantly, one would be able to accurately assess the potential of a cultivation technique as well. Those who have achieved the realm, other than those who have died prematurely, have all gone on and become 9-star master teachers!" the old man said.
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan fell into deep contemplation.
He could roughly understand what the old man was driving at. The reason why he was able to improve so swiftly without facing any bottlenecks was mainly due to the Heaven's Path Divine Art. Considering the Eye of Insight's ability to determine the potential of cultivation techniques, those who possessed it would be able to choose the most suitable cultivation techniques for themselves and advance through the ranks with ease too.
"Then... is there a fourth realm?" Zhang Xuan asked.
He had already accomplished the first three realms, so could there still be any level above that?
If that was the case, it would be good if he could advance the mastery of the Eye of Insight too. It could potentially becoming a powerful trump card in battle.
"Of course! Upon reaching the third realm, one would be able to start practicing optic arts. Through creating formations with the lines of insight, it's possible for one to exert a prowess far surpassing that of battle techniques through the Eye of Insight! According to my teacher's impartation, the fourth realm is called Demon Vanquisher. Once mastered, one will be able to tear apart even the space of where one lays one's eyes upon. In terms of prowess, it's even comparable to Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's famed Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel!" the old man said proudly.
"Even on par with Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel?" Zhang Xuan might be unaware of other battle techniques, but he had definitely heard of the Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel.
Having cultivated the technique himself, he knew how profound it was. If one could master it up to 5-dan, one would be able to wield full grasp over space and travel freely within it. Even without using Teleportation Formations, one would be able to cover long distances instantaneously with a spatial leap.
So far, it was the most formidable battle technique he had ever seen, even more profound than Kong shi's Saint Ascension Decipher even. If he could perfect all of its flaws and master it to its highest level, even with his current cultivation of Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, he would still be able to slaughter Saint realm 7-dan experts with ease.
Back then, Ancient Sage Qiu Wu had used this very technique to seal the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe for several dozen millenniums, preventing them from entering the Master Teacher Continent and granting mankind this period of peace.
So, for the optic art to be on par with such a battle technique, wasn't it a little too powerful?
"Optic art... Elder, may I know whom your teacher is?" Zhang Xuan couldn't help asking.
He had heard that Kong shi's direct disciple, Ancient Sage Bo Shang, possessed the Eye of Insight, and he had created a set of optic arts to complement it. With just a look from his eyes, thousands of Otherworldly Demons would be reduced to ashes.
Considering how the old man before him was speaking about optic arts, could there be some kind of link between the both of them?
"My teacher is one of Kong shi's Ten Apostles, Ancient Sage Bo Shang! My teacher left right after creating the Sanctum of Sages, so I'm officially the first sanctum head. The rules regarding the Mountain Gate were also created by me." Seeing that Zhang Xuan had finally come to a realization, the old man chuckled softly.
"The first sanctum head?" Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in shock.
He thought that the old man was just a random soul drifting around the Mountain Gate, but to think that he was the very first sanctum head!
"I heard that in order to become the head of the Sanctum of Sages, one must possess the Eye of Insight... Since that's the case, elder, does it mean that you possess the same gift as well?" Zhang Xuan couldn't help but ask.
"Indeed, I possess the Eye of Insight as well. At my peak, I have cultivated it up to the fourth realm, Demon Vanquisher. In fact, the rule stating that only those who possess the Eye of Insight would be able to become the sanctum head was also created by me. The intention behind it is simple. Just like how my teacher hopes to pass down Kong shi's ideology through the the Sanctum of Sages, I also hope to pass my teacher's heritage down to later generations so that they would honor his name for years to come!" the old man nodded.
"For this reason, every student who wish to enrol into the Sanctum of Sages must participate in the Mountain Gate examination, and those who possess the Eye of Insight will be teleported here to undergo my test!"
Zhang Xuan finally understood what exactly was going on.
It was no wonder why there was no one in the area at all. It seemed like his test was in a completely different area from all of the other candidates.
Learning that the old man before him was the first sanctum head, Zhang Xuan dared not to pull his weight either. Clasping his fist respectfully, he asked, "Elder, may I know what your name is?"
In terms of standing, the old man could be considered as Kong shi's grandstudent, a truly formidable figure in history. On top of that, he was also the person who had helped build up the Sanctum of Sages, bringing it to the position of honor and glory that it currently sat on... Without a doubt, he was a person worthy of respect.
"It has been too long since my passing, so my name is not worth a mention. However, the people of this generation address me as Sage Kui!" the old man said.
"Junior Zhang Xuan pays respect to Sage Kui." Zhang Xuan clasped his fist and bowed slightly.
The old sages had contributed greatly to mankind in their own ways, so he had always harbored great respect toward them.
"Un." Sage Kui nodded. "Since you were able to see through my Illusory Formation and overcome it, that would mean that your Eye of Insight has achieved the level of Discerning Facade. After which, you were able to accurately gauge the weight of the metal bar and concoct a corresponding amount of medicinal essence to melt it. That would mean that you have achieved the level of Infinitesimal Keenness as well... However, in order to become a candidate for the position of the sanctum head, you have to achieve the third realm, Origin Tracing, at the very minimum!"
"Candidate for the position of the sanctum head?" Zhang Xuan blinked his eyes in a daze.
He had come here in order to qualify as a student of the Sanctum of Sages, why did it suddenly become a test for him to become the sanctum head instead?
"That's right. Due to the rule of sanctum heads having to possess the Eye of Insight, there has been many times in history when the Sanctum of Sages went without a sanctum head for a long period of time. Including me, there have only been nine generations of sanctum heads so far. Since you possess the gift required, you have met the basic qualification to be considered as a candidate for the position of the sanctum head as well... Right, I forgot to ask you yet. Are you interested in becoming the tenth sanctum head of the Sanctum of Sages?" Sage Kui asked.
"Of course!" Zhang Xuan nodded hurriedly.
If he were to become the sanctum head, be it in terms of standing or position, he would become worthy of Luo Ruoxin. If he were to ask for Luo Ruoxin's hand in marriage with this position, the Luo Clan would really have to think the matter through.
"That is great. However, I have to inform you first that possessing the Eye of Insight is just one of the requirements to becoming the sanctum head. You also need to undergo trials to ensure that you have the strength, state of mind, and wisdom required for the position." Sage Kui said.
"Yes!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
He had known for a long time that there were very few master teachers who managed to comprehend the Eye of Insight, but he never thought that they would really number so few.
Considering how there were only nine sanctum heads in total, and an average Saint realm cultivator was able to live for a thousand years... That would mean that most of the time, the Sanctum of Sages was without a sanctum head!
It was no wonder why he would be teleported here as soon as he stepped into the formation. Considering how difficult it was to come by a master teacher possessing the Eye of Insight, it was natural to rope him in as soon as possible to groom him as the next sanctum head!
"May I know what the trials would be?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"Like I've said before, in order to become a candidate in line for the position of the sanctum head, your Eye of Insight must reach the third realm. Now, I'll have to assess whether you have met that prerequisite before moving on to the next test!" Sage Kui replied.
"The third realm of Eye of Insight, Origin Tracing, allows one to peer into the origin of a matter and determine its crux. I have an artifact with me right here, and I'll give you an incense's time to accurately determine its nature. If you can do so, it would mean that you have cleared the test."
"Very well." Zhang Xuan nodded confidently.
Discerning artifacts had always been his strength, and ever since the time he had spent at Tianxuan Kingdom, he had never failed before.
"Good!" Noting Zhang Xuan's confidence, Sage Kui nodded.
Then, with a flick of his wrist, a ceramic vat suddenly appeared before him.
"All you have to do is to tell me what's stored in the ceramic vat."
"What's stored in the ceramic vase?" Zhang Xuan repeated with a frown.
The ceramic vase appeared to be perfectly ordinary on the surface, and there was indeed nothing special about its material too. However, there were unique paper seals plastered on its cap, preventing one's Spiritual Perception from viewing what was within.
Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan activated his Eye of Insight and attempted to peer into the vase.
As soon as his Eye of Insight was activated, the vase before him seemed to come to life. It emanated an astounding aura reminiscent of a sun, mercilessly blinding those who were attempting to peer into it. With this, it was impossible to see what was hidden within!
"How am I supposed to tell what's inside like this?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
Under the blinding light, his eyes felt like they were going to bleed anytime soon. There was no way to see through that!
In fact, everything had been overwhelmed by that light, making it impossible to even discern any traces to make a deduction on what was inside the vat.
At this point, Zhang Xuan hesitated for a brief moment before muttering in his mind.