Library of Heaven is Path
1318 Continue with the Trials
He honestly did not do it on purpose.
The puppet was simply moving too fast, so he subconsciously dealt it a slap. Who was to know that it was so fragile, such that its head would be blown right off?
Senior Shui was dumbstruck as well.
While the puppet had her tortured to the point where she nearly wanted to die—she had used everything at her disposal but was still unable to defeat it—that fellow had managed to knock off the puppet's head with just a casual slap. Did it really have to be that exaggerated?
He's actually that powerful? Senior Shui's body trembled out of sheer astonishment.
No matter how slow-witted she might have been, it was apparent that the young man before her was an extremely powerful expert!
With just a finger, he was able to keep the puppet at bay, and with a palm, he was able to slap away the puppet's head. His fighting prowess was countless times more powerful than hers!
"I really didn't do it on purpose. Why don't we do this instead? As long as you don't revoke my right to challenge the trial, I'll help you fit back your head, and you can continue on your attack."
With how things had played out, he could not be bothered with offering guidance to Senior Shui anymore. He quickly squatted down and placed the puppet's head back onto its neck.
He had only entered the Corridor of Puppets to gain some insight into how the trial worked. It would truly be a tragedy if he was disqualified just because he accidentally interfered in another challenger's trial!
"You…" Just as she finally found a slight bit of respect for the young man, the latter's subsequent actions caused her rage to surpass previous levels.
There are plenty of challengers who accidentally destroy the puppets in the midst of the trial. Do you really need to be so apologetic?
Besides, it's useless for you to install the puppet's head right back on!
While puppets, unlike humans, would not die just because their heads had been lopped off, their internal structure was still an intricate system of gears and so on. Only professional celestial designers would be able to fix them.
What in the world do you hope to achieve by pressing the head back on?
Just as Senior Shui was just about to lecture the young man on the matter, the puppet she was facing suddenly charged at her once more, leaving her with no choice but to turn her attention back to the battle.
After trading a few blows, she finally managed to knock back the puppet and gain a temporary moment of respite.
She immediately turned her gaze toward the young man and saw the latter helping the puppet up. In this moment, the puppet's head had already been placed back onto its neck.
"I'm done…" Zhang Xuan patted his hands together as he nodded in satisfaction. "Not only did I help you repair your damage, I also fixed some of your flaws as well. With this, you should be able to exert your full strength once more!"
"Roar?" The puppet glanced at Zhang Xuan with a look of incomprehension.
"Don't worry. I didn't mean to interrupt in your battle earlier. Feel free to continue what you were doing—I won't intervene." Zhang Xuan waved his hand.
"Ah?" The puppet scratched its head as it slowly extended its fist toward Zhang Xuan.
Just as it was about to hit Zhang Xuan, it suddenly recalled how the latter had managed to lop off its head with a single slap, and it hurriedly retracted its hand and leaped backward fearfully.
It looked at Zhang Xuan with a slightly tilted head, as if asking, Are you really not going to intervene?
"I won't, don't worry!" Zhang Xuan replied with an affirmative nod.
With an excited war cry, the puppet turned around and dashed for the young lady in the room.
"I…" Senior Shui's goosebumps immediately rose from her arms, and she nearly fainted on the spot.
Brother, did you really come here to sabotage me?
Do you know that we are a team? By smacking off the head of one of the puppets, we were already halfway there to victory, so why in the world are you fixing the puppet's head?
Is the issue perhaps in your head?
It's already difficult for me to cope with one of them, but you want me to face two of them simultaneously?
Will you only be glad after killing me?
Initially, Senior Shui had thought that the other party had come here to catch her attention and win her fancy, but from the looks of it now… To be honest, she would rather it have been the former! At the very least, she would not lose her life.
Just as she was about to curse Zhang Xuan, the other puppet arrived before her.
Its punch was way faster and more powerful than the puppet she was facing. Even before it came close to Senior Shui, she already felt as if her body had been suppressed by a Dominion, preventing her from moving at all.
What's going on? Senior Shui narrowed her eyes in bewilderment.
She had fought with the puppet of the Bing Corridor for a month now, and even if the puppet was more powerful than her, the disparity between the both of them should not have been too great. When did the puppet become so strong?
However, this was not the time for thought. She quickly raised her fists to defend against the latter's attack.
As soon as her palm came into contact with the other party's fist, a crushing pressure pushed at her chest, leaving her feeling as if something heavy had crashed into her.
The next moment, her entire body shot backward.
Even while she was in midair, fresh blood spurted from her mouth.
She crashed heavily into the wall behind her, creating a '大'-shaped imprint behind her.
"You…" While hanging on the wall, Senior Shui's body convulsed non-stop.
The world seemed incomparably dark to her.
Previously, the strength of the puppet had been acceptable to her. If she were to use her full might, she would have been able to achieve victory. But why was it that, after its head had been lopped off and it had been modified slightly by the young man, it grew so powerful?
How were they supposed to fight like that?
Forget it, it might be better for me to just admit defeat…
It really felt like she had used up her entire lifetime's worth of frustration on this trial.
Just as she was about to crush her challenge token to halt the trial, she suddenly recalled that it was a collaboration. If one of them were to admit defeat, it would be deemed as a loss for the entire team. So, with gritted teeth, she turned to the young man standing not too far away.
"I can't defeat the puppets, so I'm going to admit defeat now. As this is a team battle, you will be deemed to have lost as well."
"Team battle?" Zhang Xuan was startled by those words. "What do you mean by that?"
"You really don't know?" Senior Shui harrumphed coldly. "As you entered the Bing Corridor right after me, the mechanism automatically registers both of us as a team. As long as one of us admits defeat, it'll be considered a loss for the entire team."
"We are actually a team? And if you admit defeat, I will lose as well?" Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in shock.
All along, he had thought that the trial would be an individual assessment, especially since this was how most examinations worked in the Master Teacher Pavilion. Yet, after the whole farce that they had been through, it turned out to be a team battle?
There was actually such a system in the Sanctum of Sages?
"Of course! What else did you think would happen?" Senior Shui snapped impatiently.
In the end, it turned out that the young man really did not know anything at all. That explained everything. Nevertheless, even knowing that he did not do it intentionally could not quell the rage and frenzy she was feeling at that very moment.
"Wait a moment, don't admit defeat!" Zhang Xuan exclaimed in shock.
If she admitted defeat, his trial would finish before he could do anything at all!
He had not even collected the cultivation technique manuals in the corridor yet, so how could he admit defeat?
"I apologize for doing nothing earlier; I honestly did not know that it was a team battle. Give me a moment. I'll get rid of those puppets right now."
After understanding what was going on, how could Zhang Xuan still dilly-dally? He turned to the two puppets on the field and declared, "Your opponent is me! Come at me together!"
"Roar?" The puppet whose head had been sent flying by Zhang Xuan earlier took a step back as it shook its head fervently, indicating its complete refusal toward the notion of fighting against Zhang Xuan.
Didn't you say that you wouldn't intervene in the battle earlier? Why are you looking at me with that cold glint in your eyes?
"You aren't coming? I guess I'll have to go over there myself then!" With a cold harrumph, Zhang Xuan took a step forward and entered the battlefield.
Facing Zhang Xuan's provocations, the other puppet could not hold itself back anymore and charged at him.
However, before it could get far, it immediately felt something grabbing at its arm, holding it back.
Turning around, it saw its puppet comrade shaking its head desperately, seemingly pleading for it not to go.
"Roar, roar?" The other puppet was completely bewildered by the actions of its comrade. It tried to shake off the grip of its comrade to challenge Zhang Xuan to a fight.
"Roar ah roar!" Seeing that the other puppet refused to back down, the puppet comrade decisively sent a slap over to its face.
Not expecting its comrade to make a move on it, the other puppet blacked out before it could even process what was going on.
Unconscious, it collapsed flimsily to the ground.
After which, the puppet carefully turned its gaze to Zhang Xuan and bowed slightly. "Heh heh roar!"
Then, it struck its head with its own palm.
It collapsed to the ground as well.
"That's more like it!" Seeing how obedient the puppet he had modified was, Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction. He turned his gaze to Senior Shui and asked, "This should be considered a clear for the trial, right?"
"…" Senior Shui.
It took quite some time before she managed to recover from her daze. She looked at the young man in front of her with a look that was even more shocked than she would have been if she had seen a ghost instead.
To make the puppets fight among themselves and even knock itself out…
Just how in the world did he manage to do that?
"We really… cleared the trial?" After consuming a pill and recovering slightly from her injuries, Senior Shui struggled out from the wall while panting heavily.
To be honest, she could still hardly believe what was going on.
It was already extremely difficult to clear a trial by oneself, and the difficulty of a team battle was many times greater than an individual battle. To succeed under such circumstances… she could not help but feel as if she was dreaming.
But again, it was no wonder she would feel like that. Even after a month of hard work, she still had not succeeded in clearing the Bing Corridor. It was a little hard for her to believe that she had really cleared the trial just like that.
Zhang Xuan was not too sure about the rules, and he took a glance at the two unconscious puppets on the ground before remarking, "Since we have defeated the puppets, it should be considered a clear for us."
The modified puppet seemed to have noticed Zhang Xuan's gaze on it, and its body trembled slightly. It hurriedly shut its eyes tighter.
"Un…" Senior Shui nodded. There were many questions that she would have liked to ask, but in her moment of shock, she had no idea how she should construct her words.
In this moment, the sound of whirring mechanisms sounded, and a door slowly opened.
"Let's head in to take a look."
Walking into the door, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement.
Inside was a bookshelf with several books stacked on it.
This was probably the prize for clearing the Bing Corridor.
"Un." Senior Shui's motive for challenging the Bing Corridor was to obtain these cultivation technique manuals, so she hurriedly walked up to the bookshelf in agitation.
There were only ten books or so, but they were all extremely profound cultivation techniques, far stronger than those he had seen in the black market.
Grandiflora Cultivation Technique, Jadetree Sky Piercing Formula, Art of Golden Flames…
With a swift sweep, Zhang Xuan collected them into the Library of Heaven's Path, and after compiling them together with the other books, he could not help but shake his head in disappointment.
He had thought that he would be able to compile a complete Leaving Aperture realm Heaven's Path Divine Art like this, but it seemed like quantity was indeed far more important than quality when it came to compilation.
"Jeez!" Zhang Xuan sighed deeply, thinking that the compensation was not worth the effort at all.
To spend a hundred concentrated high-tier spirit stones just to see ten or so books, that really was not worth the price for him.
At this moment, a female's voice sounded. "Alright, I've made up my mind!"
Shifting his gaze over, Zhang Xuan saw that Senior Shui had picked out the Rippling Water Profound Art, the only water attribute cultivation technique in the limited collection.
"That book is indeed not too bad." Zhang Xuan nodded in approval.
While that cultivation technique was not necessarily stronger than the one that Senior Shui was already cultivating, it did complement her current cultivation technique well. Studying the manual could serve as a great source of inspiration for her future cultivation.
"Un, I'll begin copying the content now. Have you chosen your book yet?" Senior Shui asked.
Those who had cleared the Corridor of Puppets could not take away the physical copy of the manuals inside, but they were allowed to copy them.
"Me?" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "I won't be copying any. I still need to continue with the trials, so I'll be taking my leave."
He had already collected all of those books in his Library of Heaven's Path, so there was no need for him to copy them again.
"Continue with the trials?" Senior Shui was taken aback for an instant before her eyes lit up in agitation. "It can't be that… you are going to challenge the Yi Corridor?"
Considering how easily the young man before her had managed to clear the Bing Corridor, it was a given that he would not be interested in the cultivation techniques here, especially since he stood a good chance at clearing the higher levels.
It would already be a blessing if a single student cleared the Yi Corridor every decade. Would the young man before her be able to successfully clear it as well?
In an instant, she felt as if she might just be lucky enough to see a miracle being forged right before her eyes.
"Yi Corridor? That's not it." Zhang Xuan shook his head. "I intend to challenge the Gui Corridor!"Yi Corridor is the second strongest.Bing Corridor is the third strongest.That's the tenth strongest corridor, also the weakest one.