Library of Heaven is Path
1303 The Strength Of the Zhang Clan’s Bloodline!
While Zhang Xuan was still in deep thoughts, Zhang Qian was already dashing toward him while gathering might in his palm.
He had chosen to drive his Half-Grand Dominion realm cultivation to its very limits from the very start, and the overwhelming energy that was emanating from him caused the surrounding air to turn viscous. It felt as if the entire dueling ring had turned into his Dominion, and anyone who stepped into the area would be completely under his control.
Not bad. Zhang Xuan remarked leisurely.
As expected of one of the geniuses of the Zhang Clan. Even though it was just an advancement by a cultivation stage, Zhang Qian's strength had grown significantly as compared to three days ago.
If he were to continue taking the other party lightly, he might really lose the duel.
With a slight tap of his finger, Zhang Xuan shot a brilliant burst of sword qi straight toward to the other party's palm strike.
He was only at Primordial Spirit realm at the moment, and due to his lacking cultivation, he could only rely on his comprehension of swordsmanship to rival the other party.
The surge of sword qi emanated a chill which seemed to pierce right into one's bones, and it felt as if it would be able to slice through anything that stood in its path.
Zhang Qian didn't expect Zhang Xuan to have such a deep comprehension of swordsmanship. He realized that if he were to clash with the sword qi directly with his palm, he could very well be sliced into two.
Thus, he quickly clenched his remaining free hand into a fist and threw it forward.
Even though this punch was hurled forward all of a sudden, that didn't hinder the fluidity and agility of his movements. At its current speed, it would be able to strike Zhang Xuan and severely wound him before the sword qi could reach him.
He's indeed much more powerful than Zhang Jiuxiao! Zhang Xuan noted.
Three days ago, he was able to subdue Zhang Qian with just a single palm strike, so he thought that it should be a walk in the park for him to defeat the latter once more. However, considering the current circumstances, he would really be underestimating his opponent if he were to continue fighting with such a mindset.
Just the speed of the transformation in Zhang Qian's maneuver meant that his comprehension of combat had already achieved an extremely high level, considerably higher than an average combat master.
Nevertheless, despite Zhang Qian's immense growth, he would still require a lot more work before he would be a match for him.
Lines of insight rippled in Zhang Xuan's eyes as he gazed at Zhang Qian's movements once more.
This time around, it seemed like the latter's movements had slowed down, slowly displaying before his eyes.
Zhenqi telepathy? Through his Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan also swiftly noticed that something was amiss.
There was a thin thread extending from afar, connected right to Zhang Qian's ear.
Clearly, someone was offering pointers to Zhang Qian for this duel.
It seemed like this line of communication was established using a sort of unique secret art, making it far more difficult to notice than ordinary zhenqi telepathy. Had it not been for Zhang Xuan's Eye of Insight, it would be doubtful whether he would have been able to notice it or not.
Most likely, this was a mean to hide the matter from the eyes of Elder Liu and the others.
But still, to possess means capable of deceiving even a Saint 8-dan expert... It seemed like the Zhang Clan was really not to be underestimated.
Fortunately, the Eye of Insight had the ability to track down even the faintest of traces. As discreet as the matter was carried out, it was still incapable of fooling his eyes.
Tracing the line, Zhang Xuan's gaze was soon led to a young man beneath the stage.
That's... the candidate in the 46th rank, Zhang Yunfeng? Zhang Xuan recognized the young man as the person who had been sitting with Zhang Qian all this while.
It's no wonder why this fellow dares to challenge me, and his grasp over combat also seemed to have abruptly improved by leaps and bounds. No doubt about it, Zhang Yunfeng must be offering him pointers from the back!
Processing all of these in an instant, a smile crept onto Zhang Xuan's lips as he stood calmly before Zhang Qian's punch.
Instead of dodging, he raised his other hand and tapped forward.
The space ahead of him suddenly began twisting together, causing Zhang Qian to feel as if he had been plunged into a bog. No matter how he pushed his fist forward, he found that he was unable to advance his punch any further.
Ever since leaving Qianchong Empire, other than guiding Zhang Jiuxiao along with his cultivation and swordsmanship, he hadn't been idling on his personal growth either. At this point, he had already fully assimilated the use of his 1-meter Dominion into his fighting style.
In the past, his Dominion took a form reminiscent of a light barrier, surrounding his entire body. However, with his enhanced grasp over the technique, he was able to cast a miniaturized Dominion around him at will. This way, not only would he be able to alleviate the frightening consumption of zhenqi, the presence of his Dominion would also be almost indiscernible as well, making it more difficult to guard against it.
With his fist locked in place, Zhang Qian's punch fell flat, and Zhang Xuan's sword qi continued flying for his other palm.
A spray of blood splattered into the sky as the zhenqi gathered in Zhang Qian's palm dissipated under the severance of the sword qi.
There was a scream of agony as Zhang Qian's palm was pierced through by the sword qi, and a walnut-sized hole appeared on his hand.
"You have lost." Having subdued the other party with a single strike, Zhang Xuan took a step back and halted his offense.
This single strike should be more than enough to show the disparity in the strength between the both of them. Besides, considering that Zhang Qian wasn't a match for him while he was still at full strength, he would stand even less of a chance now that there was a hole in his palm.
"I have lost? No way. There's no way I would lose!" Zhang Qian quickly took out several medicinal herbs to halt the bleeding of his palm before glaring at Zhang Xuan with eyes reddened in frenzy.
A rampaging aura burst forth from Zhang Qian, and astonishingly, it felt like he was growing stronger at a rapid pace.
In the sky, Elder Han Zhu was overlooking the duel when he saw this sight, and his face turned livid with graveness, "Zhang Qian is tapping into the power of his bloodline. Should we intervene in the battle?"
It was only a friendly duel, but Zhang Qian actually went to the extent of tapping into the power of his bloodline. This could potentially be dangerous for both Zhang Xuan and Zhang Qian.
"Take a look at Zhang Xuan." Instead of responding to Elder Han Zhu's question straight, Elder Liu pointed at the area ahead of him.
Perplexed, Elder Han Zhu turned his gaze over, and what he saw left his eyebrow shooting up in surprise.
On the stage, there was not the slightest hint of nervousness or anxiety to be seen on Zhang Xuan's face. It was almost as if he knew that Zhang Qian would make such a move.
"A Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle defeating a Half-Grand Dominion realm. I'm really interested to see what other miracles can Zhang Xuan bring us." Elder Liu chuckled softly.
It was simply too astounding for a single candidate to earn 12,700 points within two minutes that Elder Liu thought that there might have been an error in the Mountain Gate examination. However, the sight before him had proved his initial assumptions to be completely wrong.
The young man before him was really just that fearsome!
"I understand." Elder Han Zhu nodded. "I'll make a move only when he's really in danger."
Considering the composed attitude Zhang Xuan held toward Zhang Qian's outburst, it was likely that he was confident of neutralizing the latter's offense. Since that was the case, it might be worth waiting a little to see what would happen.
While the two elders of the Sanctum of Sages were chatting with one another, on the stage, Zhang Qian had finally fully activated his bloodline. Even though his cultivation was still capped at Half-Grand Dominion realm, his aura had turned far more violent than before, a little reminiscent of a ravenous ancient beast awakening from its long sleep.
With a swift charge, Zhang Qian threw his fist toward Zhang Xuan once more.
"Hm?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
He thought that Zhang Qian's moves would change after his bloodline had been activated, perhaps utilizing a more powerful battle technique or that sort. He didn't think that the latter would attack him with just a straightforward jab.
Surely such a move would be beneath even the most basic of battle techniques?
Could it be that the activation of his bloodline had enhanced his strength but limited the flexibility in the type of attacks he could utilize?
If that was the case, was there any point to activating his bloodline?
Forget it, I should be able to know the answer soon enough. This will be a good opportunity for me to find out just what is so special about the Zhang Clan's bloodline. Knowing that it was pointless to think about such matters at this point, Zhang Xuan raised his palm to meet Zhang Qian's punch.
This time, he didn't use any battle technique either. He was intending to clash straight on with Zhang Qian.
The palm and the punch swiftly closed in on one another, but just as when they were about to meet, Zhang Xuan suddenly saw something blur across his field of vision, and cold sweat immediately broke out all over this body.
Eye of Insight!
Sensing that something was wrong, he swiftly activated his Eye of Insight, and only then did he realize that the other party's punch had, at some point, arrived right before his chest, just a split instant away from striking him.
How can this be? Can a fist even be teleported? Zhang Xuan's eyes widened in horror.
There was no way he would have made such a fatal calculation error in battle. Given the trajectory of Zhang Qian's punch, it would have to collide with his palm first before getting to him. Yet, to actually bypass his defense and arrive before his chest in an instant... Could it really be teleportation?
But... as one who had practiced the Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, even if Zhang Xuan couldn't bend space according to his will yet, he would still have noticed the warping in space if Zhang Qian had really teleported. It was apparent that Zhang Qian's punch hadn't resulted in any disturbance in the surrounding space, so it would be safe to assume that it was a perfectly ordinary attack...
The situation was truly inconceivable!
However, at this current moment, Zhang Xuan didn't have the luxury to think any deeper into the matter either.
With a deep exhalation, Zhang Xuan immediately pressed his chest backward as he swiftly retreated back with a powerful leap as well. At the same time, a meter of Dominion appeared around him.
But before Zhang Xuan's Dominion could be formed, a sharp ache struck his chest.
His body was sent flying backward, but fortunately, he managed to ward off the momentum of the strike and regain his balance in mid-air. Nevertheless, the strike had still dealt considerable damage to him, and his face turned pale.
How swift… Zhang Xuan clenched his fists in disbelief.
This was the first time he had suffered such a huge setback fighting against others!
His Dominion could be activated at will, which meant that he was able to trigger it in an instant. Logically speaking, the other party's fist should still have been a distance away from him, so why would it strike him all of a sudden?
Fortunately, his Dominion still managed to impede Zhang Qian's fist significantly at the crucial juncture, or else if that punch were to land squarely on him, even if he didn't sustain grievous injuries, his fighting ability would have been severely compromised too.
Zhang Xuan swiftly drove his Heaven's Path zhenqi to recover his energy while he assessed Zhang Qian with narrowed eyes.
All along, he didn't think that Zhang Qian was a formidable adversary, so he didn't think much of the latter either. However, this setback had taught him that those who had the bloodline of the Sage Clans running through their veins were more frightening than he had imagined them to be.
With Zhang Qian's current strength, even ordinary Grand Dominion realm primary stage cultivators wouldn't be a match for him!
"Where do you think you are running off to?"
With his first strike landing effectively on his foe, a hint of cruel glee surfaced in Zhang Qian's eyes. With a swift leap, he dashed forward once more.
He had only taken a single step, but for some reason, he appeared before Zhang Xuan in the next instant with a fist charged with power.
A deafening sonic boom exploded in the air, and it felt as if even space would be torn down by the sheer might of the fist.
Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm!
Knowing that he would stand no chance against Zhang Qian through ordinary means, especially given the bizarre sight that had happened earlier, Zhang Xuan raised his palm and executed Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's battle technique.
Using the might of his palm, Zhang Xuan sealed the space around Zhang Qian, intending tp prevent the latter from making any abrupt actions. But once again... before his palm could land, Zhang Qian's fist had already bypassed his attack once more, appearing right before his chest.
Just what's going on? Zhang Xuan's face turned awfully ugly.
Under normal circumstances, his Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm should have been able to overcome the other party's attack with ease! It was as if the other party had known that he would make that move and launched a series of countermeasures before he could even react, bringing the punch to somewhere his palm couldn't affect.
Just what in the world was going on?
Sword Quintessence, Sea of Blades!
With a furious roar, Zhang Xuan opened up all of his acupoints and ejected sword qi into his surroundings.
Ding ding ding ding!
Under the furious onslaught of the sword qi, Zhang Qian had no choice but to withdraw his attack.
At this moment, Zhang Qian's face had also turned slightly pale, and he was panting heavily. It seemed like the two punches earlier had drained him greatly as well.
That was a close one… With a livid face, Zhang Xuan swiftly retreated several steps back to create some distance between him and Zhang Qian.
At this moment, an anxious voice suddenly sounded in his ears, "Zhang shi, that's the ability of the Zhang Clan's bloodline—Time Compression…"
It was Chen Leyao's face.
"Time Compression?" A deep frown emerged on Zhang Xuan's face.