Library of Heaven is Path
For many millenniums, the Lingxu Sword had been sealed in a mechanical stone platform. Back when he took the Lingxu Sword, Zhang Xuan did not neglect to take the stone platform with him as well to serve as the sheath.
As the stone platform was the work of a celestial designer, it was not ranked in the same manner as artifacts usually were. Nevertheless, if one really had to assign a tier to it, it was definitely insufficient to be considered a Saint high-tier artifact. Thus, from such a perspective, Zhang Xuan could not be considered to be cheating.
Just that… the stone platform was exceptionally heavy, and even Grand Dominion realm experts would have trouble lifting it. Otherwise, there was no way it could have kept the Lingxu Sword sealed in place for so many years either.
The fact that Zhang Yunfeng was able to survive having it smacked over him was already a huge blessing in itself.
"That's his sword sheath?"
"There's really a sword inserted on top of it!"
"But why in the world does he have such a massive sword sheath?"
"Poor Zhang Yunfeng…"
There was a brief moment of silence beneath the dueling ring, and everyone gulped subconsciously as they stared at the sight before them with twitching eyes.
This is too shameless!
The other party was holding a perfectly normal-sized sheath, but you took out such a massive one… who in the world would be able to withstand that?
At the same time, there were many candidates who heaved a huge sigh of relief as well.
It was fortunate that they did not foolishly step forward to challenge Zhang Xuan, or else the one lying beneath that slab of stone could have been them!
In any case, while Zhang Xuan's actions were unconventional, there was no questioning that it was within the scope of the rules that Zhang Yunfeng had come up with. Furthermore, Zhang Xuan had even given a warning in advance. Ultimately, Zhang Yunfeng only had himself to blame for his tragic plight!
Paying no heed to the shocked crowd, Zhang Xuan casually flicked his hand and returned his 'sword sheath' back to his storage ring, revealing the poor man crushed beneath.
Zhang Yunfeng's tongue was stuck out, his eyes had rolled backward, and his body was twisted like a dough stick. The deep fear that he felt prior to being knocked out was still firmly etched on his face.
His current state was truly wretched.
Just as Zhang Xuan was about to infuse a surge of Heaven's Path zhenqi into Zhang Yunfeng's body to heal his injuries, a powerful gust of wind suddenly blew, and a young man leaped onto the dueling ring.
"Hold it right there!" the young man yelled with a livid expression on his face.
After which, the young man walked over to Zhang Yunfeng and placed his fingers on the latter's acupoints. Upon realizing that the latter had only lost consciousness and that his wounds were not too severe, the young man heaved a sigh of relief. He fed a pill into Zhang Yunfeng's mouth before waving his hand, and Zhang Yunfeng's body slowly floated into the sky before drifting into the crowd below.
"Thank you for going easy on Yunfeng. I am Zhang Zhuo, Yunfeng's cousin. Allow me to apologize for Yunfeng's previous rashness." Zhang Zhuo clasped his fist as he spoke.
The impassive look on his face made it hard to discern whether it was an earnest apology or a threatening remark.
Nevertheless, Zhang Xuan still responded politely with a nod.
He remembered seeing Zhang Zhuo's name on the list of candidates who made it into the Elite Division—he had finished in 31st place.
"It's impressive that you possess such strength at your age despite coming from the Qingyuan Empire. If there's an opportunity in the future, I would be delighted to trade blows with you. However, I think that most of our fellow peers here must be exhausted from the entrance examination and are eager to rest, so let's not keep them any longer. Farewell." After saying those words, Zhang Zhuo turned around and leaped down from the dueling ring.
His movements were exceptionally nimble, perhaps a sign that he possessed exceptional capability in movement techniques.
Since Zhang Zhuo had departed as well, Zhang Xuan knew that there was no point in him remaining on the dueling ring any longer. Thus, he turned around and returned to his seat.
With the current fight concluded, Elder Liu turned to the crowd and asked if there were any other challengers.
A couple of candidates stood forward, unwilling to part with this hard-to-come-by opportunity to rise through the ranks.
Even though Zhang Xuan had used questionable methods to knock out Zhang Yunfeng previously, his ability to break through Zhang Yunfeng's Dominion still bore testimony to his true strength. As such, there were no Ordinary Division students who were so foolish as to challenge him anymore.
By the second hour, there were no more challengers. So, Elder Liu stepped forward with a smile and said, "Alright. Your accommodations have been prepared, and you can check them on your identity token. Lessons will officially start tomorrow, and you will be expected to report to your classes. So, take the chance to rest well today!"
The crowd swiftly nodded in response.
Zhang Xuan took out his identity token, and when he scanned it with his Spiritual Perception, a road leading to his accommodation appeared.
"Let's go!" Beckoning Zhang Jiuxiao along, Zhang Xuan began making his way over to the Sanctum of Sages.
Across the square, there were a set of towering doors with the words 'Sanctum of Sages' written on a plaque above. By the right side was the word 'Confucianism'.
Zhang Xuan could not tell what level of painting it was, but the conception behind those words was extremely deep, to the point that it felt as if he was seeing an entire world through those words.
"These words were left behind by the first sanctum head of the Sanctum of Sages, Sage Kui. Studying these characters will be highly beneficial to furthering one's comprehension of painting," Zhang Jiuxiao told Zhang Xuan with a hint of excitement in his voice.
As a 7-star pinnacle painter himself, he knew how valuable these words were.
Without a doubt, high level paintings were definitely hard to come by. After all, there were only so many high-ranked painters on the Master Teacher Continent.
Even though those words had been there for several dozen millenniums, there was not the slightest hint of damage on them. They still looked as wholesome and fresh as if they had just been written a moment ago.
These words are able to absorb spiritual energy in order to heal any wear and tear on the ink, Zhang Xuan noted.
He could not have expected that the fellow who had been busy whittling a metal bar into a needle in the folded space would actually have such a deep comprehension of painting, capable of writing words with such deep conception.
Had he known it in advance, he would not have spent his time sleeping. If he had spent that time learning painting from the other party, he might have been able to make significant advancements in that occupation.
Knowing that those words would not escape from the entrance and he would have plenty of chances to study them in the future, Zhang Jiuxiao's gaze did not linger on them. Instead, eyes reddened in agitation, he looked at the tall doors before him and exclaimed, "So, this is the highest training institute on the Master Teacher Continent. Sanctum of Sages, I'm finally here!"
Born in a side family of the Zhang Clan, he had put in so much more effort than the members of the main family in order to obtain what came easily to them.
Wanting to be recognized by the Zhang Clan, he had traveled down to the Qingyuan Empire many years ago, just to vie for the slot that he would never obtain from the Zhang Clan!
For a very long time, he had viewed getting into the Sanctum of Sages as his dream, but he also knew too well how difficult it would be to do so. He had devoted his heart and soul to it, but not once did he dare bear too much hope, fearing that the disappointment upon failure would crush his soul. However, after going through so much, he had still finally accomplished his dream.
Perhaps it was because he had seen through Zhang Jiuxiao's feelings, Zhang Xuan suddenly spoke up. "A powerful bloodline will only put you at a starting line above others. Ultimately, to reach the top, you can only rely on yourself."
There was no one in that world who did not desire a superior constitution, an overpowered bloodline, and outstanding talent. However, those would only put one at a higher starting point than others. In order to reach the very peak, what was more important was undying perseverance and unyielding diligence.
Zhang Xuan, for example, did not possess outstanding talent, a formidable teacher, or an overpowered bloodline. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that he had started from zero. Yet, he still managed to slowly take one step forward at a time from the Tianxuan Kingdom to the Sanctum of Sages.
This was not because he possessed astounding talent that far surpassed the others or that he had exceptionally good luck that would get him out of every single quandary he faced. Rather, it was because he had an unyielding heart that pushed him forward relentlessly!
Without such an intense desire to grow, it was impossible for one to become a true expert!
"Yes!" Zhang Jiuxiao nodded.
As soon as they walked into the Sanctum of Sages, the first thing that they noticed was that the concentration of spiritual energy in the surroundings was many times higher compared to a moment prior. On top of that, there was a unique aura drifting in the area that seemed to refresh one's mind, granting greater clarity of thought.
"No wonder it can draw so many humans in, it's indeed a blessed land for cultivation!"
Rich in spiritual energy, as long as Zhang Xuan could gather the required Heaven's Path Divine Arts, even if he did not go through the trouble to search for spirit stones, he would still be able to advance his cultivation swiftly.
In ten years, he would still be able to become a 9-star master teacher and stand at the peak of the world.
The place where he was living was not located too far away from the entrance. Following the directions on the jade token, he soon arrived at a residence. The concentration of spiritual energy within the residence was even more impressive. Even a non-cultivating human would be able to enjoy an increased lifespan and gain immunity to all diseases by walking in the area.
By this moment, Zhang Jiuxiao had already parted from him. As the latter was a student in the Ordinary Division, he could only live in the shared dormitory. Naturally, the privileges of the two could not be compared.
In a sense, the system was rather similar to that of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy. The top students were granted accommodation in manor-like residences whereas ordinary students could only live in shared dormitories.
However, while Zhang Xuan's lodging was much better than most of the other students, as he was ranked at the very last in the entrance examination, the residence he was allocated was located at one of the more remote edges, and it was the worse one out of the many others.
Walking up to the gates of the residence, Zhang Xuan took out his jade token, and the seal immediately opened. Zhang Xuan pushed the door open, and just as he was about to walk in, an elegant figure suddenly walked up to the residence beside him and stopped.
It was the young lady from the Glacier Plain Court, Chen Leyao!
Zhang Xuan clasped his fist and said, "Fairy Leyao, thank you for your words of advice during the duel."
If not for the other party informing him that the Zhang Clan's bloodline ability was Time Compression, he would have taken a bit more effort to defeat Zhang Qian.
"Zhang shi, you are too polite," Chen Leyao quickly replied. "I was only doing what I should do!"
The young man before her was the teacher of their young court chief, and she was also indebted to him due to his revision of the Yin Formula. To be honest, she felt a little embarrassed that she had not stepped forward to help him when he was in a difficult position.
Watching as the young lady unlocked the adjacent residence, Zhang Xuan asked in puzzlement, "Is this where you are staying?"
He was in the very last place of the Elite Division, so it was only given that he was allocated the residence at the very corner. However, he was certain that Chen Leyao's ranking was in the thirties, so it did not make sense that they were living adjacent to one another!
"I heard that Zhang shi was staying here, so I swapped with another person," Chen Leyao said with a smile.
Considering that the adjacent residence was the accommodation of the person ranked 49th, it went without saying that the person had been more than willing to make the swap with Chen Leyao.
"Swap?" Zhang Xuan was slightly startled to hear that.
"Yes. You are the teacher of our young court chief, and you have resolved the most major problem of our cultivation techniques, so you are my benefactor too. If there's anything you need, feel free to request it of me; I'll rush over and have it done as soon as possible!" Chen Leyao said with a smile.
Actually, a greater part of the reason was that she was worried that the Zhang Clan would make things difficult for Zhang Xuan. By living in the adjacent residence, she would be able to look out for him.
No matter what, she was the one who had caused the conflict between them.
"You're too polite." At this point, Zhang Xuan came to a realization.
That explained why the young lady's attitude toward him had changed all of a sudden. She had realized that he was Zhao Ya's teacher.
The reason he dared not say that Zhao Ya was his student was because he feared that an ordinary disciple of the Glacier Plain Court would not be aware of the matter, and it would only worsen the conflict between the both of them. However, since the young lady was aware of it… that made things much easier.
"Since you know of the relationship between Zhao Ya and me, may I ask if you have a long-distance Jade Communication Token or something of the sort? I would like to speak a few words to her, if that isn't a problem." Zhang Xuan immediately looked at Chen Leyao expectantly.
Back then, when Zhao Ya left, he still did not have a Communication Jade Token to give her. Besides, even if he did, considering the vast distance that sat between them, there was no way his messages could have gotten to her.
Since the young lady before him was a disciple of the Glacier Plain Court, she was bound to have a channel of communication to contact the headquarters. Perhaps, she might just be able to put him in contact with Zhao Ya.
After half a year apart, it would have been a lie if he said that he did not miss his student.
"I do have a long-distance Jade Communication Token here, but from the Sanctum of Sages, it would have to be augmented by a supporting formation before it can reach our young court chief. This supporting formation isn't easy to set up, and due to my lacking cultivation, I will require three months at the minimum," Chen Leyao said.
"Three months?" An inconspicuous hint of a frown emerged on Zhang Xuan's forehead. "May I know what grade the supporting formation is? I happen to know a thing or two about formations, so perhaps I might be able to offer some help!"
In view of the long lifespan that cultivators had, three months could not be considered a long period of time. A simple seclusion could easily take this amount of time. But to Zhang Xuan, it was a little too long. If it was a simpler formation, perhaps he would be able to help to set it up so as to save some time.
"It's a grade-8 formation," Chen Leyao replied.
"Grade-8?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before nodding. "As long as the formation isn't too complex, I should be able to set it up. May I take a look at the formation blueprint?"Kong shi is a reference to Kong Zi, who is known for being the founder of one of the major school of thoughts in China, Confucianism. It's not a religion but rather a set of beliefs of how society should function and the values that the people should embrace. In fact, the entire setting of the Master Teacher Continent is loosely built on the ideals of Confucianism. For example, under Confucianism, it's believed that parents play a crucial role in a child's upbringing, and if a child grows up spoiled or immoral, the parents would be equally guilty.