As a Saint 7-dan Phantasmal Space expert, Elder Liao wielded incredible control over the space around him. If he couldn't even suppress the sword qi suppressed by a mere Leaving Aperture realm fellow, he would really be a failure of a cultivator.

"If you are really that confident, I guess it should be fine. Be careful then…" Since Elder Liao was confident about the matter, Zhang Xuan decided not to say anything more.

With a tap of his finger, surges of sword qi flew forth from his fingers, but instead of flying toward Elder Liao, they floated in the air as if they were blades of swords.

"So many of them?" Elder Liao was slightly surprised to see the young man's ability to manipulate so many sword qi adeptly simultaneously. He quickly drew a semi-circle before his chest and formed a protective barrier.

He wanted to try for himself whether the other party's sword qi really wielded the strength to destroy the Jia Corridor.

Wuwuwu!

Barely after he was done with that, a hurried buzzing sound suddenly echoed in the air, and as if the space before him had collapsed, more than a hundred surges of sword qi arrived within a five meters radius of him in the blink of an eye.

"So fast?" Horrified by how quick the young man's sword qi was, Elder Liao hurriedly activated his Dominion to stop the latter.

Boom boom boom!

The sword qi collided with Elder Liao's Dominion and produced a sound reminiscent of a mixer being plunged into a water vat. The violent impacts caused his face to redden, and his Dominion nearly dissipated under the relentless barrage of attacks.

Sou!

Under the overwhelming pressure pushing against his Dominion, Elder Liao was slammed heavily into the wall behind him, bashing a huge hole through it. Even so, the might of the sword qi pressing against his Dominion didn't seem to show any sign of weakening. At the same time, more and more sword qi were surging forth toward him as well, causing the entire area to be flooded with cold glints.

In an instant, the entire main hall was permeated with sword qi.

Jiyaya!

Under the relentless barrage of sword qi within and Elder Liao crashing around the place, the main hall finally reached the limits of its durability. A glaring crack swiftly crept its way across the walls, and with a resounding explosion, the entire room collapsed inward.

...

Hu!

Sometime later, Zhang Xuan finally came to a halt after expending every last drop of his zhenqi, and he panted heavily on the spot.

When he finally caught his breath and regained some strength, he took a look at his surroundings, and his eyebrows couldn't help but shoot up.

In this very moment, the Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Xin, Ren, and Gui, all ten corridors had been reduced to rubble, and smoke was rising from their midst. In fact, even the main hall which was meant to receive challengers had been destroyed as well.


"Cough cough!"

A silhouette rose from the rubble—Elder Liao. His hair was half shaven off from the torrent of sword qi, and his body was inflicted with cuts all over. It was nearly impossible to use words to describe the sheer state of misery he was in.

Zhang Xuan recoiled at the sight, and he swiftly chirped in anxiously, "Elder Liao... you were the one who told me to make a move…"

You declared confidently that you would be able to withstand my sword art, so what the heck is this then?

Aren't you putting me in a spot?

It wasn't easy for me to shake off my title as the 'God of Destruction', and your overconfidence just set back all of the hard work I have put in all this while...

With such a happening, how do you think others will see me?

I just wanted to quietly clear the examination and read my books peacefully!

"I…" Elder Liao's face flushed red as he looked at the collapsed corridors with a look of despair in his eyes.

All he wanted to do was to check if the young man had been cheating... How did everything come to this?

What left him even more frustrated was that he was the one who had insisted on the young man to make a move, so he couldn't blame the latter for this matter either.

"Get out of my sight!" Elder Liao felt so frustrated that he thought he would explode on the spot. There were so many words he wanted to speak but couldn't, and eventually, he could only wave his hand with furiously gritted teeth.

"You are telling me to leave?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback. "I don't have to compensate for the Corridor of Puppets?"

While most of the responsibility for the destruction lay on Elder Liao, considering how huge this matter had blown up to, he didn't expect to be able to get out of this scot-free either.

"Are you able to pay for it?" Elder Liao bellowed with a voice seething with anger.

Zhang Xuan's lips twitched, "I guess not?"

He didn't think that he was poor, but his fortune, in contrast to the powerful puppets and formations set up in Corridor of Puppets, was truly insignificant in comparison. There was no way he would have enough money to compensate for the damage.

"So, scram!" Elder Liao bellowed.

"Yes…" Zhang Xuan swiftly turned around to make his leave, but barely after taking a few steps, he suddenly turned around and said, "Elder Liao, in the fight earlier, I found that your body is suffused with cold energy, so I advise you not to practice your Hiemal Yin Formula anymore…"

"How do you know that I practice the Hiemal Yin Formula?"

This was the first time the both of them were meeting, so how could the other party know what cultivation technique he practiced?

"I heard of it from someone else. If, by any chance, you feel... unwell, feel free to find me at my residence in the Elite Division." Zhang Xuan advised before decisively turning around and leaving.

He had destroyed the Corridor of Puppets, but Elder Liao didn't forcefully keep him in the area or make things difficult for him. In a sense, he owed the other party a favor for this. In the battle they had earlier, he had compiled a book on the other party in the Library of Heaven's Path and noticed that there was a problem with the other party's cultivation technique, so he decided to advise him out of kind will.

Actually, it wasn't a major issue either. As long as Elder Liao stopped cultivating the Hiemal Yin Formula, the body should be able to recover by itself. Even if he didn't stop cultivating, as long as he sought treatment in time, the issue should be manageable.

But considering how the other party was in the heat of his anger, it didn't seem like a good time to elaborate too much about it.

After all, from experience, he knew that if he were to tell Elder Liao "You are sick" after destroying his place, there was a good chance that he would be pummeled to death on the spot...

On the other hand, watching as the young man leave hurriedly after leaving behind those abrupt words, Elder Liao was baffled. However, when he saw the rubble all around him once more, rage began surging through his body once more.

"It seems like I shouldn't use the Sea Severing Sword easily in the future anymore…" Glancing at the rubble behind him, Zhang Xuan shook his head in dejection.

He had only executed this sword art thrice ever since mastering it, but he had already unintentionally harmed two people, destroyed a puppet, and devastated a crucial infrastructure of the Sanctum of Sages...

Who knew what kind of mess he would get himself into if he were to continue using the sword art recklessly?

It would be best for him to avoid using this sword art unless he was in a desperate situation, or else he might just be stealing his future brother-in-law's title as the King of Destruction.

He was the man who was destined to become the sanctum head, a person revered and admired by countless! He mustn't end in a position where others would shun him, as if he was a hated troublemaker!

"I should go and check on how Sun Qiang is faring... Also, I need to find some means to earn more money. Even if Elder Liao didn't demand any payment from me, I should at least make some compensation for what I have done." Zhang Xuan thought.

Had it been any other occasion, it wouldn't have been a big deal to him whether he could become the sanctum head or not. However, this matter had a profound effect on whether he would be able to stop Luo Ruoxin's marriage in the third month of the next year or not.

Without becoming the sanctum head of the Sanctum of Sages, it would be nigh impossible for him to vie with the Zhang Clan's young prodigy for Luo Ruoxin's marriage in hand

So, he was determined to obtain the position, by hook or by crook.

According to what Sage Kui had said, prior to unsealing the Sanctum Head Token, it would be best for him to win as many people's respect as possible so that his prestige would be higher after his inauguration... But within just two days of his enrollment, he had already destroyed Jian Qinsheng's home and the Corridor of Puppets...

No matter what, he should at least do something to salvage his crumbling reputation!

But of course, the fact that he didn't have much money at hand still held, so it was about time to bolster his finances.

Thus, Zhang Xuan quickly returned back to his residence, and not too long later, Sun Qiang, returned as well.

Perhaps it was due to an entire night of hard work, Sun Qiang appeared to be a little weary.

"How is it?" Zhang Xuan turned his gaze over and asked.

"Young Master, I have looked into the matter, and there is a wide range of items of cultivation resources available in the Sanctum of Sages. In terms of effectiveness, there's nothing that compares to pinnacle spirit stones, but it appears that those can only be sourced in the Inner Sanctum." Sun Qiang revealed his findings.

"Inner Sanctum?" Zhang Xuan frowned.

He had heard that the Sanctum of Sages was divided into two main categories—Inner Sanctum and Outer Sanctum. Most likely, Luo Ruoxin was in the Inner Sanctum.

"That's right. Other than pinnacle spirit stones, I also found grade-8 Energy Repository Pill. I had someone purchase some of those for me. Please take a look" Sun Qiang said as he passed a jade bottle over.

Uncorking the jade bottle, Zhang Xuan took a look at the contents inside and nodded.

There were three pills in total, and they were indeed rich in spiritual energy. The energy contained within them were significantly greater than the grade-7 Spirit Reinforcing Pills he had a while back.

"It's indeed useful to me, but... I'll need a lot more of it. At the very least, I would require at least thirty of them in order to push for a breakthrough to Leaving Aperture realm intermediate stage…" Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in distress.

While these Energy Repository Pills were at grade-8, perhaps due to the limitations of the pill forging skills of the apothecary, they had only reached the level of Formation. As such, the spiritual energy they harnessed was rather limited.

"Are there any other cultivation resources?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"There are. It seems like it's possible to earn rewards through clearing missions in the Sanctum of Sages, and one of the rewards available is the Jade Spirit Essence!" Sun Qiang said.

"Jade Spirit Essence?" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.

Just like spirit stones, Jade Spirit Essence would only be formed in areas that were rich in spiritual energy, so the spiritual energy it harnessed was extremely pure. While it couldn't compare up to pinnacle spirit stones, it was indeed a much better cultivation resource than concentrated high-tier spirit stones.

The problem was that Jade Spirit Essences were extremely rare, rumored to be harder to find than pinnacle spirit stones. Even Zhang Xuan had only seen them in the books before.

"What missions are there?"

"There is quite a huge variety of them. Missions can be requested by both students and teachers, but most of them would be rather difficult to complete. Based on what I have seen earlier, there are a total of three missions that have Jade Spirit Essence as their reward, and of them, one awards three Jade Spirit Essences!" Sun Qiang said.

"Three Jade Spirit Essences?" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement.

Jade Spirit Essences were far larger than spirit stones, and a single one of it could be easily worth up to ten thousand concentrated high-tier spirit stones. The spiritual energy that was harnessed within three of those was definitely more than enough for him to successfully advance through the Leaving Aperture realm!

If he were to sell them, even if it couldn't compensate the losses sustained by the Corridor of Puppets, it would at least help to supplement a substantial portion of the reparation cost.

"That's right." Sun Qiang nodded.

"To offer such a hefty award, what's the mission?" Even though Zhang Xuan was excited by the notion of earning three Jade Spirit Essences, he knew that a mission that would offer such a reward would definitely be proportionately difficult as well.

The Sanctum of Sages was filled with countless experts, but despite the handsome reward offered for the mission, there wasn't a single person who dared to take it up. That spoke a lot about the difficulty of the mission.

"It seems to be a mission from the Beast Tamer Hall... As for the details, I'm afraid that you would have to head there to learn more." Sun Qiang said.

Ultimately, he still wasn't a student of the Sanctum of Sages, so he didn't possess most of the privileges that all students have. In fact, it took him a lot of effort in order to gather this much information.

"Where are the missions posted? Bring me over to take a look…"

Zhang Xuan was just about to have Sun Qiang bring him over when a frown suddenly made its way to his forehead. Flicking his wrist, he took out his identity token and swiped his finger on it.

A line of words came into appearance.

"Zhang shi, come to the Hall of Attainment's Court of Elites immediately. We have to report in today!"

It was a message from Chen Leyao.

"Report in... Right, I have to report in!"

Regardless of whether one was a student from the Elite Division or the Ordinary Division, they were to report in today in order to select or be assigned a teacher.

Otherwise, without any backing in the Sanctum of Sages, it would be hard for the students to secure resources for themselves.

Most of the master teachers in the Sanctum of Sages wouldn't go so far as to deprive a student of his allocated cultivation resources, but there was no guarantee that the others wouldn't do so.

After all, the Sanctum of Sages took in not only master teachers but geniuses of other occupations as well.

And most importantly, the reason why most geniuses chose to enroll in the Sanctum of Sages was to build up their own connection network. Disciples under the same teacher would inevitably be closer to one another, and it would be easier for them to ask favors from one another in the future too. Thus, choosing the correct teacher was of utmost importance.

"I want you to continue looking into the matter, I'll go report in first." Knowing that it would reflect badly on him if he were to be late on the very first day, Zhang Xuan hurriedly made his way over to the Hall of Attainment.

Attainment, Solidarity, Propriety, Erudition, and Integrity. The fact that Attainment was placed first clearly reflected its position in the Sanctum of Sages.

The most important responsibility of a master teacher was to impart their knowledge to the world, and the Hall of Attainment was the place where this happened.

By the time Zhang Xuan arrived, the entire area was already packed with people. Making just an estimate from what he could see, there were nearly ten thousand people in the area.

Just like the Hall of Solidarity, there was a massive character written at the entrance to the Hall of Attainment as well.

"It seems like Kong shi's handwritten characters can be found at the entrance of all five halls. Perhaps this is to remind the later generations to hold those values close to their hearts…" Zhang Xuan thought.

Following which, he heard the sound of Vicious gulping down a mouthful of saliva.

Zhang Xuan callously sealed the fellow back into the Book of Heaven's Path before proceeding in behind the crowd.

The Hall of Attainment was divided into many sectors, and the classes for the Ordinary Division and Elite Division were located at different sectors. Students of the Elite Division had the privilege to choose their own teacher whereas those of the Ordinary Division could only be selected by the teachers.

Zhang Xuan quickly scanned the area, and after finding the reporting location for the Elite Division, he swiftly walked over.

As soon as he entered the room, he immediately saw the other 49 who had made it into the Elite Division together with him were all present.

Chen Leyao had been pacing around the room anxiously, and it was only when she saw Zhang Xuan walking through the door did she finally heave a sigh of relief. She quickly walked over and said with a hushed voice, "Why are you only arriving now? Something big has happened. The Mountain Gate has collapsed!"

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