Upon hearing the shouting, Senior Shui looked as if she had seen a ghost. She turned her head over to look at the young man cheering fervently for her, and unable to withstand it any longer, she spurted a mouthful of blood.

The hell!

While other teams have reliable experts to watch their back, what is with this fool I was assigned?

You can do it? Banzai?

Banzai your head!

I am about to be killed over here, and I'm seeking for your help. Yet, why the heck are you cheering for me over there? Do I look like I need your cheering?

I want you to make a move! Make a move!

Senior Shui's body trembled uncontrollably from frenzy, and she felt as if she was on the verge of losing her mind.

If two challengers were to enter the Corridor of Puppets within a short interval of one another, the mechanism of the trial would immediately deem them as a team. This was common knowledge among those of the Sanctum of Sages, and even those who did not know would at least have enough sense to ask about it.

We are in a two-player challenge mode, so how can you stand idly by the side? How am I supposed to deal with so many puppets by myself!

Initially, Senior Shui thought that the fellow had entered the trial in order to claim her affection, but from the looks of it now, it seemed to be the complete opposite. The young man was not trying to claim her affection but her life!

Otherwise, why would he continue spectating by the side when the second puppet had already appeared?

Hu la!

On the verge of exploding, her first instinct was to lash out at the young man. Unfortunately, the puppet before her did not give her a chance to do so. The first puppet sent a fist flying toward her.

The deafening sonic booms around her made Senior Shui realize that if she got distracted at this point, she might very well lose her life. Cold sweat broke out all over her body as she activated her secret art once more. Her body immediately began to thread through the attacks of the puppets nimbly, reminiscent of a water snake. It was a close shave, but she managed to escape from the punch.

After escaping from the attack, her breathing visibly hastened further, and her face turned even paler.

Her secret art was actually the ability of her unique bloodline, and it drained her deeply each time she used it. She would have to rest for an extensive period before she could recover from her exertion. Over the past month, she had not used it once.

That day, she had made up her mind to go all out, especially since she had already gotten accustomed to the fighting pattern of the puppet, and she was planning to create a new record this time around.

But who would have thought that she would end up being dragged down by this atrocious young man? Being forced to face two puppets alone, she ended up using her secret art twice in a short interval. At this point, her body was already nearing its limit.

This won't do. If this goes on, I might very well lose my life. Do I really have to admit defeat? Senior Shui gritted her teeth in indignation.

It had already taken an entire month for her to grow accustomed to the fighting style of the puppet, and she was certain that she could have cleared the trial with relative ease by tapping into the power of her unique bloodline. Yet, such a situation ended up happening instead.

Once her bloodline was activated, it would take at least a month of rest before she would be able to return to her peak condition. Too many things would have to be put back like that.

I can't give up! Senior Shui clenched her fists tightly in determination. I must find a way to throw one of the puppets to that fellow, and once I get rid of one of them, the rest will be easy!

While panting heavily, she made up her mind.

Competition in the Sanctum of Sages was extremely strife. She could not afford to lose a month over this, so she could only gamble.

While that fellow who was shouting 'do your best' by the side was unreliable, as long as she could get the puppet over to his side, as one of the teammates, he would come under attack as well. If she could fling off one of the puppets to him, she would be able to find a chance to turn the tables around!

Of course, she understood that the young man would be put in danger as a result of that, but there was nothing that could be done. Since he had chosen to challenge the Bing Corridor, he would have to shoulder some of the danger.

As long as that unreliable fellow can last a dozen breaths for me to destroy the first puppet, I should be able to come to his aid afterward. Senior Shui harrumphed. Humph, who told him to sabotage my attempt in the first place? He ought to suffer a little bit for his actions!

Without any hesitation, she jolted her body slightly, a little reminiscent of the strings of a zither being pulled on.


As if a taut rubber band being released, her figure abruptly vanished from the spot. The next moment, she was already in Zhang Xuan's vicinity.

"Do your best…" Zhang Xuan was still in the midst of cheering when the young lady abruptly appeared in front of him, and he froze in astonishment.

"I'll be leaving one of them to you!"

Looking at the startled look on the young man's face, even though Senior Shui felt a little infuriated on the inside, she still felt obliged to warn him.

"You will be leaving one of them to me?"

While Zhang Xuan was confused by the situation, two puppets had already rushed up to him. The immense might that they wielded caused an overwhelming pressure to weigh down upon him.


One of the puppets smashed a fist right toward Zhang Xuan's face.

Isn't this… against the rules? Zhang Xuan was taken aback.

He was there just to watch the commotion and learn from his senior. If he intervened in the duel, wouldn't her results be invalidated?

Would he be disqualified from the trial as a result of that as well?

However, considering the furious assault that one of the puppets was launching against him, this was not the time for him to be thinking about such stuff. He dodged the puppet's attack nimbly with a side step, and at the same time, he shot a glance at the young lady not too far away.

She was currently dealing with the other puppet. A spurt of fresh blood escaped her mouth, and an immense power was swiftly engulfing her body, bringing her fighting prowess up to great heights in an instant.

Is there a need to go this far to challenge a trial? Zhang Xuan could tell that she was using a secret art more potent than the one before, and he could not help but shake his head.

Secret arts had the ability to enhance one's fighting prowess greatly in the short term, but they had their downfalls as well.

For one, they were extremely damaging to one's body. While secret arts allowed a cultivator to exceed their limits temporarily, this overexertion would result in an unbearable toll on their spirit, zhenqi, and physical body, thus placing them in a long down period. In fact, there were some that would sap one's life force, causing one's lifespan to be shortened.

It was for this reason that Zhang Xuan never used secret arts.

Well, another reason was that he did not know any of those secret arts.

The young lady was already spurting blood, and yet, she was still insistently using her secret arts. She was really putting her life on the line!

Zhang Xuan sighed deeply, but before he could delve deeper into his feeling of lamentation, the puppet before him was already charging toward him with a body slam.

"Wait a moment, you are supposed to be assessing her. Aren't you attacking the wrong target over here?" Zhang Xuan exclaimed as he halted the charging puppet back by placing a finger of his on the latter's head.

Just who the heck designed the Corridor of Puppets? Shouldn't the puppets at least have the basic ability to discern who the challenger is?

I am only here to watch how the trial works! It isn't my turn yet, so why are you flinging your fists and howling at me?

Roar! Roar!

Being blocked out by a single finger further enraged the puppet. An aura of ferocity emanated from it as it drove its strength to its very limits, rotating its arm so swiftly that it almost appeared like a wheel.

However, with its head being kept at bay by Zhang Xuan's finger, no matter how fast its hands rotated, it was unable to hurt Zhang Xuan.

Instead, it felt like an electric fan, bringing a cooling breeze to him.

Since I didn't harm the puppet at all, this can't be considered as an infringement of the rules, right? Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction.

As he did not really interfere with the trial of another—his actions could only be considered as legitimate self-defense, and he did not destroy anything—his right to challenge the trial should not be revoked. After all the trouble he had gone through to come here, it would really be a huge annoyance if that was the case.

After keeping the puppet before him under control, he turned his sight back to the battling young lady and puppet.

After executing her secret art, while Senior Shui's complexion appeared to have considerably worsened, her fighting prowess did soar by leaps and bounds—she was nearly twice as strong as before.

Peng peng peng peng!

Previously, she had been forced to evade the puppet's attacks and find an opening to strike, but with her enhanced strength, she was already able to go head-to-head with the puppet. Under their furious clash, even the formation around the Corridor of Puppets seemed to shake unstably.

Her secret art is powerful, but… as a practitioner of water attribute cultivation techniques, she's abandoning her own strengths by going head on with the enemy. Zhang Xuan frowned.

With his current comprehension of combat, even without using the Library of Heaven's Path and Eye of Insight, he could still be considered a grandmaster. Those who cultivated water attribute cultivation techniques were capable of encompassing everything, and yet, the young lady actually chose to go head-to-head with her opponent.

She was clearly abandoning her very own roots.

It's true that this is the most efficient way for her to defeat the puppet given the current circumstances, but she will suffer tremendous damage as well. In fact, even her state of mind might waver.

Cultivators pursuing their own paths had to have absolute confidence in their cultivation techniques. Considering that the young lady practiced arts of the flexible water, it would be in contradiction to her own beliefs to engage in rigid and forceful offense. This would be a reflection that she had started doubting her path, and just like how the mind could influence the body, the body could also influence the mind.

Even if she managed to eventually defeat the puppet, this seed of doubt planted in her mind could have massive repercussions in the future.

Since I have already seen it, it wouldn't do for me to just watch idly by the side…

After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan still chose to speak up.

"That… Senior Shui, you won't last long like this!"

"I won't last long like this?" Senior Shui was in the midst of battling against the puppet when she heard those words and jolted for an instant.

She had thought that by dumping a puppet with him, the young man would surely be chased all around the room like a rat running across the street. Yet, why was his voice still so clear, devoid of the slightest hint of exertion? He even had the leisure to say that she could not last long. She was a lady, so who said that she could not last long?

The one who is unable to last long enough should be you!

Senior Shui harrumphed coldly as she shot a glance in the direction where the voice originated from.

The next moment, her body froze.

The puppet that had left her in such a tough spot was currently throwing its arms forward like a shrew, and it was running forward so forcefully that a huge depression had been left on the ground. Yet, due to a finger placed on its forehead, it was simply unable to advance a single step forward.

What the heck is going on?

Wasn't the puppet extremely ferocious and powerful when it was fighting against me?

Why does it seem like it is acting coquettishly at this moment instead?

Could it be that this unkempt Leaving Aperture realm primary stage fellow is actually a hidden expert?


Even though Senior Shui was shocked beyond words, the puppet she was facing could not possibly give her any time to take a breather. It immediately launched its second wave of attacks.

Left with no time for thought, she could only put aside the matter and hurriedly raise her guard.

However, due to her guard being put up in a rush, she was eventually overpowered and was forced several steps back. A suffocating sensation devoured her chest, and she felt her blood running erratically in her body, causing her body to ache greatly.

Suppressing the urge to vomit blood, Senior Shui asked with gritted teeth, "What do you mean by I can't last long like this?"

"It won't do for you to go head on against the puppet. Given your strength, there's no need for you to do this to defeat it," Zhang Xuan explained.

Hu la!

An abrupt gale of wind blasted toward Senior Shui's face. Astonished, she hurriedly backed away, but the shockwave from the puppet's punch still resulted in a red streak forming across her face, dealing her a searing pain.

With a few swift maneuvers, she quickly created some distance between her and the puppet before asking anxiously, "Then how else should I face the puppets?"

"This… Will it be against the rules if I offer you guidance?" Zhang Xuan asked hesitantly.

"Of course not!" Senior Shui's body staggered upon hearing those words.

We are in a two-player challenge mode! How in the world would you offering guidance to me be against the rules?

"That's a relief…" With a quick sigh, Zhang Xuan was just about to impart some wisdom to Senior Shui when the puppet before him suddenly went on a rampage.


It had struggled free from the might of his finger and charged forward.

"What are you roaring for? Can't you see that I'm busy?"

Displeased, Zhang Xuan sent a casual slap toward the puppet.


The puppet's head rotated twice on its neck before being sent flying.


It collapsed on the ground convulsing, clearly losing all fighting prowess.

"This…" Not expecting that a casual punch from him would cause that fellow's head to be sent flying, Zhang Xuan's lips twitched in frenzy. "Did I accidentally use too much strength? But I didn't do it on purpose…"



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