While his comprehension of formations was still limited at 7-star, his foundations were firm because he had studied the Heaven's Path Formation Art. If required to, as long as he studied the formation blueprint carefully, he would be able to set up basic grade-8 primary formations with ease.


The supporting formation was a specialized formation to augment the transmission range of the Jade Communication Token, and it was not really a confidential secret or that sort, so Chen Leyao did not have to hold it back from Zhang Xuan. With a flick of her wrist, she passed a formation blueprint over.

Zhang Xuan took the blueprint and began studying it.

To make an analogy to his previous world, if the Jade Communication Token could be viewed as a cell phone, the formation would be a cell towers, serving to strengthen the transmission signals so that the message would be able to travel a greater distance.

As simple as it sounded in theory, it was not that easy to carry it out in practice.

It's a grade-8 primary formation, and with my current comprehension of formations, I should be able to set it up easily. Zhang Xuan frowned. However… I'll still take around three days, and the work required for that will be highly intensive. That'll be too troublesome.

While his comprehension of formations was already on par with most 8-star low-tier formation masters, there were simply too many aspects that one had to take note of when setting up the formation. The slightest mistake in the amplification of the transmission signal could very well destroy the structure of the Communication Jade Token, so it was imperative to be absolutely careful in every single one of the details. As a preliminary estimate, Zhang Xuan deemed that it would take at least three days for him to finish setting it up.

Three days just to set up a formation… that was too extravagant!

Knowing that he was limited by his understanding of formations, Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before coming up with a plan. Looks like it's time for me to take the 8-star formation master examination!

It was due to his lack of understanding of formations that resulted in his inability to effectively set up the formation. However, as long as he could clear the 8-star formation master examination and access the books about grade-8 formations, he should be able to reduce the time required significantly.

Noticing Zhang Xuan's frown, Chen Leyao asked, "Is Zhang shi able to set up the formation?"

"I'm still a little lacking." Zhang Xuan shook his head before asking with a smile, "Right, do you know where I can take the 8-star formation master examination in the Sanctum of Sages? I would like to first take the examination before studying how I can set up the supporting formation. I think it would be safer this way."

As the highest training institute of the Master Teacher Continent, the Sanctum of Sages were bound to house branches of other occupations. Otherwise, how would the students of other occupations advance their skills here?

Most importantly of all, master teachers had to clear the prerequisite for their supporting occupations before they could take the master teacher examination.

"Everything related to the examination of supporting occupations and the sort can be found in the Hall of Erudition. I have looked into the matter previously, so I know its rough location. Why don't I show you there?" Chen Leyao answered with a smile.

"I'll be troubling you then."

Through the identity token, he had also gained a rough idea of how the Sanctum of Sages functioned. It was divided into multiple halls, each of them serving a different purpose. However, the structure still differed significantly from that of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy and the Combat Master Hall.

The Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy and Combat Master Hall were divided into respective occupation schools or cultivation divisions, such as the Beast Tamer School and Apothecary School for the former, and Martial Arts Division and Soul Division for the latter.

On the other hand, the Sanctum of Sages mainly consisted of Five Halls, and they had nothing to do with occupations or the sort.

They were namely: Attainment, Solidarity, Propriety, Erudition, and Integrity!

Hall of Attainment, the place where teachers taught and student learned as well as where the impartation of knowledge, learning of techniques, and inheritance of culture took place.

Hall of Solidarity, a training ground with all kinds of trials in order to temper one against the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe. It served to promote camaraderie and cooperation among fellow students.

Hall of Propriety, the area where duels and battles were conducted.

Hall of Erudition, where occupation examinations were conducted and cultivation technique manuals were stored, the place where students would unlock their wisdom.

Hall of Integrity, the place where students reinforced their state of mind and tempered their character.

Attainment, Solidarity, Propriety, Erudition, and Integrity; Graciousness, Altruism, Respect, Frugality, and Tolerance. These were the five pillars of the Sanctum of Sages.

Students who had come here to cultivate not only had to be strong—more importantly, they had to be principled and cultured.

"Zhang shi, you are too courteous!" Chen Leyao nodded before leading the way forward.

The Hall of Erudition, despite being termed as a hall, was not an actual building. Rather, like the Ten Schools of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, it referred to an entire branch of the academy.

Just the type of occupational examination grounds numbered more than a hundred.

The duo proceeded forward swiftly, and roughly ten minutes later, they arrived at the entrance. The first thing that they saw was a massive wall that was crafted using some unknown material, and carved at the center was a massive character that induced warmth and tranquility in one.

智 (Erudition).

This calligraphy… looks very familiar… Zhang Xuan unwittingly halted his footsteps.

The calligraphy for the '智 (Erudition)' character was vastly different from that of the 'Sanctum of Sages' plaque at the entrance. Even though it did not emanate an overwhelming aura, it created a conception of vastness that was as high as the heavens, as broad as a seemingly endless plain. This reflected the broad-mindedness of the one who had left behind the calligraphy, the great dreams that he harbored for the world.

While Zhang Xuan was still bewildered by the sense of familiarity he felt from the painting, a voice suddenly sounded in his mind.

"This is… Kong shi's writing!"

"Vicious, you are awake?" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.

The person was no one other than Vicious, who had fallen into a dormant state for nearly an entire month after consuming the other Vicious of the Marshlands.

"Yes. Fortunately, I have managed to assimilate that fellow into me!" Vicious replied with a slightly agitated voice.

"How are you feeling? Is there any advancement in your cultivation?" Zhang Xuan asked.

Vicious was his trump card, so if the other party's strength grew, it would indubitably be beneficial to him.

"Master, after fusing together with my head and my eyes, my strength has grown by leaps and bounds. In my current state, even Saint 7-dan cultivators won't be a match for me," Vicious replied proudly.

"Saint 7-dan?" Zhang Xuan was slightly astonished.

Just a month ago, that fellow had only been at Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle, and yet, just by fusing together with his brain and eyes, he had managed to advance two cultivation realms! This sure was scary!

Just what kind of people was he surrounded by? Each of them seemed to be even more monstrous than the other. How pressuring…

There was nothing he needed to say about his clone, and judging from what Chen Leyao had said earlier, Zhao Ya's cultivation was bound to be far higher than his at the moment.

And now, even his subordinate had gained the ability to subdue Saint 7-dan cultivators.

"After assimilating the head, I have received a more wholesome understanding of my heritage, especially in terms of soul cultivation. Currently, I have soul cultivation techniques all the way up to Saint 9-dan," Vicious said.

"That's great!" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.

The soul cultivation technique manuals he had obtained from Mo Hunsheng only reached Transcendent Mortal, so after reaching Saint realm, he had no choice but to stop his soul cultivation for quite a while. After which, he managed to compile the complete Heaven's Path Soul Art for the first four dans of Saint realm, and he had also raised his soul cultivation up to Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle.

With the soul cultivation techniques from Vicious, as long as he could find soul cultivation-related manuals in the future, he would be able to compile them together to form complete Heaven's Path Soul Art manuals and advance the might of his soul.

Wait a moment… A doubt flashed across Zhang Xuan's mind. Aren't soul cultivation techniques unique to the heritage of soul oracles? Why would Vicious possess them as well?

According to what he had gathered from Mo Hunsheng, soul cultivation techniques were a unique heritage of the soul oracles whereas Vicious was an Otherworldly Demon. So, why would Vicious possess such a deep understanding of soul cultivation techniques, possessing complete manuals of them even?

Forget it, there's no point thinking about that at the moment.

Knowing that it would be pointless to think too deep into matters that he did not have an answer to at the moment, Zhang Xuan continued asking, "Other than soul cultivation techniques, do you have any zhenqi cultivation techniques?"

Vicious was an expert who had rivaled Kong shi many years ago, so the cultivation techniques that he practiced were bound to be incredibly profound. If he could learn them too, that would be deeply beneficial to furthering his fighting prowess.

"I do have a few cultivation techniques, but those are intended for Otherworldly Demons, so I fear they might not be compatible with your constitution. Nevertheless, I'll just send them over to you."

After hearing those words, Zhang Xuan immediately felt a surge of knowledge shooting into his mind.

Since even he was capable of transmitting knowledge, considering how Vicious had assimilated the knowledge of the other Vicious too, such a thing was bound to be even easier for him.

After browsing through the knowledge he had just received, Zhang Xuan shook his head. "Indeed, I won't be able to cultivate those cultivation techniques."

He could still study the soul cultivation techniques, but the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe's cultivation techniques were completely useless to him.

There was a vast difference in the physique of a human and an Otherworldly Demon, and this was a fundamental problem that even the Library of Heaven's Path could not bridge. As a result, no matter how talented he was, there was simply no way he could practice those cultivation techniques.

"What a pity…" Zhang Xuan sighed deeply.

If only he could practice those cultivation techniques, he would have been spared from a great deal of trouble, and it would have been more convenient for him to achieve breakthroughs.

But from the looks of it, it seemed like it was all a pipe dream.

After which, both of them continued chatting for a while.

Even though the brain did possess most of Vicious' memories, the immense damage that it had suffered then and the passing of several millenniums had resulted in quite a few memories blurring out. For example, he could only remember the vague outlines of the affairs concerning Kong shi.

Knowing that there would be plenty of opportunities to interrogate Vicious in detail now that he was awake, Zhang Xuan decided to get back on track for the time being. Recalling what Vicious had mentioned earlier, he could not help but ask, "Right. you said earlier that this character was left behind by Kong shi. What do you mean by that?"

"Exactly what it means! The '智 (Erudition)' character was written my Kong shi, and it's of a much higher level than the writing he left at the Saint Ascension Platform. If I could devour it, it would be able to call forth power far greater than before!" Vicious remarked in excitement.

"Devour?" Zhang Xuan's face immediately darkened.

This fellow sure knows how to dream!

This is the Sanctum of Sages, the highest training institute of the Master Teacher Continent! You actually want to eat Kong shi's writing here… Before you can even do the deed, you will be pummeled into the ground first!

Perhaps, even I would be implicated by you as well!

"You'd better wipe that thought out of your mind!" Zhang Xuan harrumphed coldly before turning his gaze back to the calligraphy.

It was no wonder it looked familiar to him. He had studied the writing he had obtained from Kong shi back at the Saint Ascension Platform many times, so he was already familiar with the latter's handwriting.

Seeing that Zhang Xuan had abruptly stopped before the calligraphy, Chen Leyao explained with a chuckle, "This '智 (Erudition)' character is wholesome and well-connected, reminiscent of the sparks of inspiration within a person's mind. Frequent admiring of the calligraphy will help to enhance one's analytical ability, thus opening the doors to erudition."

"I see." Zhang Xuan nodded.

This character was indeed far more profound than the words Kong shi had left behind back at the Saint Ascension Platform, be it in terms of conception or aesthetics. Even Zhang Xuan felt like whatever turbidity was weighing down his mind would be cleansed if he observed it for prolonged periods of time, thus enhancing his thinking ability.

As expected of a work from Kong shi… In comparison, it seemed like Sage Kui's words still needed much more work.

"No wonder most powerful clans are intent on sending their offspring over to the Sanctum of Sages to study. Putting everything aside, just this calligraphy alone already has the ability to stabilize one's Primordial Spirit and reinforce one's cultivation. On top of that, it can also suppress any inner demons, granting peace and tranquility," Zhang Xuan remarked in awe.

With Kong shi's massive character standing guard, even inner demons would not dare wreak havoc.

Perhaps, this was the main reason most powerful clans would willingly send the most outstanding of their offspring to receive the heritage and guidance of the academy.

After staring at the calligraphy for a little longer, Zhang Xuan turned his head back to Chen Leyao and said, "Let's go in!"

"Un." Chen Leyao nodded, and the two of them headed into the Hall of Erudition.These words have multiple meanings, so I translated them to those that are most contextualized to the functions of the halls and attempted to cover as many of the meanings as possible.The word used here usually means compassion for the masses, a greater love for the world. However, the word also happens to have the meaning of advancement as well, the concept of improving oneself for the better.Basically, Attainment (Compassion), Solidarity, Propriety, Erudition, and Integrity is what we call Five Constant Virtues of Confucianism. I have translated it a little differently from more official sources for the sake of the novel, but the main idea of it is in there. They refer to the fundamental values which those living in a community should follow by in order to ensure collective harmony.As for Graciousness, Altruism, Respect, Frugality, and Tolerance, they are actually from a story regarding Kong Zi. Basically, these are traits which Kong Zi/Kong shi is perceived to possess by one of his students.



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