Shortly after he consumed the three bottles of Wintry Spirit Essence, before he could even start assimilating them, Fei shi had suddenly came over to have a heart-to-heart talk with him. Following which, his future brother-in-law had suddenly dragged him to this field. While he did assimilate a portion of it on the way, there was still a lot left within him.

There had not been much of a problem when he was still seated on the ground, but as soon as he attempted to draw upon his strength to break the formation, he suffered backlash.

The rampaging cold energy within his body caused his face to turn ghastly pale, and his body shuddered non-stop. He felt as if his organs had turned into ice sculptures, and even driving his zhenqi became an extremely difficult act.

This won't do… I need to assimilate the cold energy right now, or else I'll really freeze to death there! Zhang Xuan thought in alarm.

He had been hoping to break the formation swiftly and leave a good impression on Luo Xuanqing, but that was clearly impossible now.

It was one thing for him to waste the Wintry Spirit Essence, but in the worst-case scenario, the rampaging cold energy might leave some trauma in his body, resulting in unexpected situations with his body.

Assimilate!

Knowing that there was no time to waste, Zhang Xuan took a deep breath before swiftly gathering his Heaven's Path zhenqi together to push for a breakthrough in his cultivation.

Due to the attributeless nature of the Heaven's Path zhenqi, not only was it capable of neutralizing all types of poison in the world, it could even imitate the Slaughter of Zhenqi unique to the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe. Back then, not even the Ten Kings of the Qingtian Lineage were able to see through his disguise.

Due to that, the Wintry Spirit Essence, which even the members of the Glacier Plain Court were fearful of, posed very little threat to him.

Gugugugu!

Driving his zhenqi swiftly, his stiffened body gradually regained flexibility, and with imposing momentum, he drove his zhenqi to crash into the bottleneck hindering his advancement.

Kacha! Kacha!

It took only an instant for the bottleneck leading to Leaving Aperture realm intermediate stage to be torn through.

Even after the breakthrough, the zhenqi in Zhang Xuan's body continued to surge furiously with imposing momentum, charging right for the next bottleneck.

Zhang Xuan had long committed the Leaving Aperture realm Heaven's Path Divine Art to mind after a few hours of reading through it, and with ample spiritual energy to fuel his breakthrough at this moment, the rest was easy. Driving his growing accumulation of Heaven's Path zhenqi, it took less than five breaths for him to successfully overcome the bottleneck to Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage.

And ten breaths later, he successfully reached Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle!


Hu!

It was only after achieving three breakthroughs that the spiritual energy in the Wintry Spirit Essence finally completely sapped up.

Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief. I succeeded…

As expected of a treasure from the Glacier Plain Court. It was indeed not without reason that Chen Leyao wanted to save it for her breakthrough to the Grand Dominion realm!

It was far easier to convert the Wintry Spirit Essence into zhenqi, thus making it much easier to push for a breakthrough with it.

I should just clear the lightning ordeal while I am at it, Zhang Xuan thought.

Boom!

Storm clouds emanating frightening might were swiftly drawn over.

Upon achieving a breakthrough in the Leaving Aperture realm, as long as a cultivator did not intentionally suppress their cultivation and conceal it, the lightning ordeal would be immediately drawn over. On top of that, the prowess of the lightning ordeal would also vary according to the strength of individual drawing it over.

The stronger one was, the more formidable the lightning ordeal would be.



"Luo Xuanqing, since you have so much confidence in Zhang Xuan, why don't you guess how long he will take to overcome Bi Hongyin's formation plate?" the fatty asked Luo Xuanqing with an interested smile.

"Bi Hongyin's formation plate is at grade-8 intermediate, so it might still take him quite a bit of effort in order to decipher it."

At this point, Luo Xuanqing paused and thought contemplatively for a moment before adding, "My guess is that he will take at least an hour."

Deciphering a formation was slightly easier than setting one up. Considering how Zhang Xuan was able to set up a grade-8 formation within just a few breaths, even if it was the most basic one, it was more than enough to show that he possessed an extraordinarily deep understanding of formations. As formidable as Bi Hongyin's formation plate was, Luo Xuanqing did not think that Zhang Xuan would have a problem with it.

Nevertheless, this should have been first time Zhang Xuan was coming into contact with such a formidable formation plate, so it would still take an hour or so at the very least.

"An hour? Heh, you are confident in him. However, my thoughts differ from yours. I don't think that he'll be able to succeed!" The shorty shook his head with a sneer.

"It's not like you have never experienced Bi Hongyin's formation yourself. It's intertwined with her demonic tunes and soul attacks, making it difficult to focus one's attention inside. In such a state, deciphering the formation won't be easy. Even an average 8-star pinnacle formation master would require at least six hours in order to do so. Regardless of whether that lad inside is as formidable as you make him out to be or not, it will be impossible for him to succeed without at least two hours of work!"

The fatty shook his head. "You all sure have ample confidence in that lad. My take is that he might not even succeed at all!"

As a Saint 7-dan expert, he had seen plenty of formidable formation masters in his time, and he had a clear gauge of what the capabilities of a top-notch formation master were.

Bi Hongyin was not just a skilled demonic tunist—her prowess in formations was equally terrifying. By pairing those two abilities with one another, her grade-8 intermediate formation could display might comparable to a grade-8 pinnacle formation.

This was likely the first time that the lad inside had experienced such a formation, so it would already be a huge blessing if he could keep himself from panicking, let alone deciphering the formation in time.

"This…" Hearing the comments from the duo, Luo Xuanqing found his previous confidence in Zhang Xuan eroding slightly.

It was possible that Zhang Xuan might really possess an extraordinary talent in formations, allowing him to identify the various cruxes in any formation and set it up in an instant.

But as unlikely as it was, he could not discount the possibility that Zhang Xuan might have seen and practiced beforehand. He might not have seen the grade-8 primary formation used in the formation master examination before, but he could not say the same for Zhang Xuan.

If Zhang Xuan had really seen the formation before and practiced it multiple times, it was only natural that he could set it up within a few breaths.

Boom!

Just as Luo Xuanqing was feeling a little uncertain inside, the formation before him suddenly jolted. It seemed like there was a huge mass of power swiftly building up inside.

It lasted for roughly twenty breaths before the sky above abruptly darkened. A frightening Power of Lightning was starting to gather right above them.

They could not assess the situation in the formation due to the formation's mist hindering their Spiritual Perception, but the overwhelming might harnessed by the storm clouds gathering right above them caused goosebumps to rise all over their arms.

"What's going on?" The person who was controlling the formation, Bi Hongyin, was astonished by the abrupt changes in the surroundings.

She had only activated this formation to test Zhang Xuan's strength—it was not as if she was committing some kind of heinous crime! Why were the heavens sending lightning upon her, as if she was some kind of sinner?

Surely her little actions should not warrant such extreme punishment?

Bi Hongyin did not think that Zhang Xuan would make much progress at the start, so other than infusing her zhenqi into the formation, she did not pay much attention to the situation inside. As such, she had no idea that the young man inside had advanced his cultivation from Leaving Aperture realm primary stage to Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle within less than twenty breaths.

Of course, she could not have fathomed that the lightning ordeal was summoned by the young man inside either.

"Damn it!" Seeing that the lightning was directed toward her formation plate, ready to reduce it to smithereens at any moment, Bi Hongyin clenched her fists tightly and leaped up, launching an attack at the storm clouds.

Boom!

However, before her attack could strike the storm cloud, a lightning bolt roughly the thickness of a human's waist suddenly descended.

Kacha!

With seemingly unlimited power, the falling lightning bolt instantaneously devoured Bi Hongyin and her offense.

Tzzzzzzzzz!

Bi Hongyin fell back to the ground with her body spasming now and then. Her hair was standing on end, and her face had been charred black. The elegant and seductive lady from a moment ago had disappeared without a trace, leaving behind a wretched victim of a lightning strike.

Even though her cultivation had reached Saint 7-dan, her strength was still far from sufficient to stand against the imposing might of the natural world.

Fortunately, her sacrifice was not in vain. The ominous clouds in the sky seemed to dissipate slightly after that powerful lightning strike, seemingly ready to vanish at any moment soon.

Just as Bi Hongyin heaved a sigh of relief, another surge of energy suddenly exuded from within the formation, and upon sensing that surge of energy, the ominous clouds in the sky began gathering together once more. In just a few breaths, the storm clouds had already grown two times larger than before.

"What in the world is going on?" Bi Hongyin felt a numbing sensation on her scalp, and her head felt as if it would blow at any moment.

At this rate, she really felt like she would go insane.

Luo Xuanqing and the others were flabbergasted by the scene before them as well. They had no idea what to make of the situation.

Kacha! Kacha!

There was no time to think at all. Almost right after the storm clouds had formed together, a bolt of lightning immediately surged down.

This time, it was far larger than before. Just the diameter was already more than two meters wide!

With legs trembling in fear, Bi Hongyin watched the lightning bolt with a pale face.

Knowing that she would not be able to avoid it, she gritted her teeth and bucked up her courage. Raising her hands, she drove her zhenqi to its maximum and sent a burst of force upward to counter the lightning bolt.

Kacha!

While her desperate move did manage to weaken the lightning bolt considerably, it was not sufficient to neutralize it entirely. It fell on her once more, and her body was completely charred black. The smell of burnt flesh drifted from her, and a stream of white smoke rose from her body.

Due to the severity of her injuries, she could not help but spurt a mouthful of blood.

"I have at least managed to hold on for the time being…" Bi Hongyin's knees caved in from weakness, and she fell onto the ground on her bottom. Despite her current state, she still heaved a sigh of relief.

The previous bolt of lightning was extremely powerful, but judging from the magnitude of the storm clouds, two strikes should have depleted its energy entirely. It would dissipate very soon.

But barely after this thought formulated in her mind, another surge of energy exuded from the formation yet again.

Hong long long!

The dispelling ominous, storm clouds suddenly gathered together once more, and this time, they were far stronger and condensed than before.

The previous storm clouds only covered an area of roughly several hundred meters, but this time around, they covered roughly five to six li. Even before the fall of the lightning bolt, the crowd could feel the cataclysmic might harnessed within the storm clouds, as if an imposing dragon was hidden in their midst. It rumbled and roared, seemingly declaring its intention to reduce everything to dust.

"Why?" Bi Hongyin could only stare at the sight above her with her mouth agape.

From sheer shock, even her mind had whirred to a halt.

The previous lightning bolt had nearly claimed her life. If she faced the next one head-on, there was no doubt that she would be reduced to ash!

But why was it so intent on striking her?

From the looks of it, it seemed like it would not rest until it had accomplished that!

Knowing that she would not be able to cope with something of this scale alone, Bi Hongyin anxiously bellowed, "Stop looking at the commotion! Come over and help!"

"A-alright!" Realizing the severity of the matter as well, Luo Xuanqing and the others quickly rushed over.

Hualala!

Under the collaboration of the four experts, a hole was torn right through the sky.

A seven-colored burst of energy clashed directly with the lightning bolt, and a deafening explosion echoed over a hundred li. With the collision of the two devastating forces, cracks began surfacing on the earth.

The faces of Luo Xuanqing and the others were flushed crimson from all their exertion. They had driven their zhenqi to the extent that it felt like their bodies would burst apart. Every single one of them was charred from head to toe, and their hair was standing on end. One by one, they spurted large mouthfuls of blood.

Powerful as they were, the lightning bolt descending from the sky was simply too fearsome. Even with their prowess put together, their combined might still fell slightly short of the lightning bolt.

It was fortunate that they were all offspring from powerful clans or organizations, so they had plenty of life preservation means up their sleeves. Otherwise, that lightning bolt would have inflicted severe injuries on them, the kind that they would have to spend several months in bed to recover from.



While the crowd outside the formation was being tortured by the lightning tribulation, inside the formation that severed one's sense of hearing and Spiritual Perception from the outside, Zhang Xuan was staring at the layer of mist above him in confusion.

After my breakthrough, the heavens should have noticed the power I am exuding and cast the Leaving Aperture Ordeal upon me. So, why isn't it coming?

He had been waiting there for quite some time now, but nothing had happened at all. Could there have been a problem in the way that he exuded his strength?

Hu!

He exuded another surge of energy.

Silence.

He exuded yet another surge of energy.

Still silence.

Could it be that I cleared the lightning tribulation too easily the previous time, and now it doesn't dare appear before me again?

Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in bewilderment as he continued exuding his strength.

I thought that the Leaving Aperture Ordeal would at least be as difficult as the Saint Ascension Ordeal, but this is really disappointing.

Kacha! Kacha! Kacha!

Outside the formation, Luo Xuanqing and the others were jolted by the lightning bolt again and again, and a stream of white smoke rose from their heads.5 to 6 li is 2.5 to 3km.

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