Luo Xuanqing and the others might have been Saint 7-dan experts, but they were still far too weak against the lightning that represented the might of the world.

As the ominous clouds grew denser and larger, the lightning bolts also became thicker and thicker. The group of four was in no danger yet due to the multitude of life preservation means they possessed, but under the relentless zapping of the lightning, they still ended up being charred black. In this moment, rather than experts, they looked like wretched beggars.

Having been in lofty positions ever since they got into the Sanctum of Sages, they had never suffered such indignation before!

After suffering four consecutive zaps, Bi Hongyin finally reached her limit, and a furious spurt of blood escaped from her mouth.

Of the four of them, she was currently in the most pitiful plight. She used to be graceful and noble like a fairy, but at this moment, she seemed more like a witch. If one did not look at her closely, it would be hard to even ascertain whether she was a human or not.

"Why does it want to strike my formation plate so badly?" Bi Hongyin simply could not comprehend it no matter how she racked her mind.

Why would such a powerful lightning tribulation be so intent on destroying her formation plate?

It was as if her formation plate had done something unforgivable to it!

She had paid a heavy price to an 8-star high-tier formation master to inscribe it for her, and she only had one. If it was destroyed, her fighting prowess would be halved at the very least!

At this moment, a thought suddenly struck Bi Hongyin's mind. "Luo Xuanqing, could it be that the fellow in the formation has just achieved a breakthrough?"

The storm clouds had gathered too fast, and its might had already far exceeded the scale of ordinary Leaving Aperture Ordeals, so that possibility did not strike her mind. However, watching as the storm clouds gathered again and again, she began to realize that something was amiss.

She had used her formation plate so many times in the past, but it had never drawn the ire of the heavens before. It was only after she trapped that lad in it that the lightning bolt was so determined to destroy it. Could that really be the case?

"A breakthrough? That shouldn't be possible. When I met him earlier, I heard that he had achieved a breakthrough from Primordial Spirit realm to Leaving Aperture realm primary stage just yesterday." Luo Xuanqing shook his head. "Considering that he has just raised his cultivation by two cultivation stages, how could he possibly achieve another breakthrough now?"

Even though it had not been long since that fellow enrolled into the Sanctum of Sages, his affairs had already been spread far and wide in the Elite Division and Ordinary Division, to the point that he could nearly be considered a legend.

Based on the news he had heard, the fellow had achieved a breakthrough within an interval of ten breaths while fighting against someone else. Given so, he should not have the momentum to push for another breakthrough again.


After all, cultivation was a process of accumulation. Putting him aside, even his incredibly talented younger sister had to advance a step at a time.

Never had he heard of anyone who could achieve a breakthrough one day and still continue doing so the next.

"He achieved a breakthrough just yesterday?" Bi Hongyin was taken aback for a moment before shaking her head.

She had been wondering if the mess was caused by the fellow in the formation, but given what Luo Xuanqing had said, that was unlikely to be the case.

"Are you thinking that this is the lightning tribulation he drew over due to his breakthrough?" Luo Xuanqing asked.

"That's right." Bi Hongyin nodded.

"Even if he did achieve a breakthrough, he would only face the Leaving Aperture Ordeal. His lightning tribulation couldn't possibly be so powerful." Luo Xuanqing shook his head, expressing his skepticism toward Bi Hongyin's thoughts.

"Regardless of the truth, given how the lightning tribulation is growing stronger and stronger, we'll all die here if we continue like this. Bi Hongyin, why don't you just give up on your formation plate?"

At this point, the shorty had also been zapped to the point where he felt like he was already on the verge of a mental breakdown.

The lightning bolts that had fallen were clearly all directed toward the formation plate. As long as they abandoned the formation plate, the problem would be resolved.

It really was not worth it to lose their lives over a mere artifact.

"You want me to abandon my formation plate? Impossible!" Clenching her fists tightly, Bi Hongyin declared resolutely, "It is the foundation of my strength; I'll never give it up, even at the cost of my life!"

Only she knew how much she had to go through in order to obtain the formation plate. She had nearly lost her life for it! How could she give it up that easily?

There was no way she could accept its destruction just like that!

"There's no way I'll allow my formation plate to be destroyed, over my dead body!" Bi Hongyin looked at the lightning gathering in the sky above, racking her mind for a solution.

In this moment, a deafening explosion suddenly sounded beside her.

Kacha!

A powerful shockwave rippled into the surroundings, causing Bi Hongyin's already feeble body to stagger weakly. Following that, cracks began creeping across the formation plate floating not too far away from her, and with a crisp echo, it shattered in half.

Pu!

Watching the sight before her, Bi Hongyin's breathing hastened, and her eyes reddened in frenzy. Unable to withstand the mental blow from the destruction of her precious artifact, she spurted yet another mouthful of blood.

In order to protect it, she had gritted her teeth to endure the lightning strikes, so why did it still shatter in the end?

Hu!

Just as she was trying to figure out what was going on, the mist produced by the formation dissipated, and a young man walked out from within. "Alright, I have deciphered the formation… Ah? You all… What happened?"

Zhang Xuan had tried multiple times, but he found that he was unable to call forth the lightning tribulation at all. Eventually, he could only attribute it to some kind of property of the formation shrouding him hindering the fall of the lightning tribulation. Thus, after some thought, he used the most direct method to escape from the formation—destroying the formation plate.

He was hoping to make a majestic return after escaping from the formation so as to win some goodwill from Luo Xuanqing, but who Would have thought that he would see a couple of charred figures instead?

He had to squint his eyes before he could finally recognize them as the various experts whom he had met previously.

How did they end up in such a state all of a sudden?

"Are you the one who destroyed my formation plate?" Bi Hongyin asked with a quivering tone.

"Yes. There were simply too many flaws in the formation, such that I couldn't even decide which one I should exploit to escape from the formation. In the end, I decided to just go with the easiest one—destroying the formation plate." Zhang Xuan nodded in response. "How is it? I should have cleared your test, right?"

While he did hesitate a little before destroying the formation plate, considering how the tall lady had chosen to trap him without any prior warning or the sort, he eventually decided that there was no reason to stand on ceremony with her either.

At this point, earning the recognition of his future brother-in-law was more important than anything else.

"Y-you… I'll kill you!" Bi Hongyin roared in a craze.

It was just a moment ago that she had said that she would only allow the formation to be destroyed over her dead body, but then the young man shattered it. In the face of such a situation, her rage burst forth like an erupting volcano.

She raised her hand, preparing to launch a killing strike against Zhang Xuan. However, the next moment, a violent rumbling echoed from the sky. The storm clouds had built up sufficient power once more, and another frightening lightning bolt was just about to descend upon the world.

Kacha!

Despite her life preservation artifacts protecting her, Bi Hongyin's hair was still jolted up from the lightning, and white smoke rose from all around her.

Even though the one who should have been undergoing the lightning tribulation was Zhang Xuan, Bi Hongyin's act of hindering the lightning tribulation was considered as an act of defiance against the authority of the heavens, thus incurring their ire. From the looks of it, it seemed like the lightning tribulation would not let this matter rest until it finally struck down Bi Hongyin.

This… Is she going through a lightning tribulation as well?

It was only at this moment that Zhang Xuan noticed the storm clouds that had gathered from all around. Lightning dragons were traversing imposingly amid the dark sky, threatening to dive down at any moment.

Wait a moment, that's not exactly right. It seems like the lightning tribulation is related to me… Zhang Xuan was bewildered.

It was a little bewildering to him why the lightning bolt was specifically striking Bu Hongyin, but when he drove his zhenqi, the storm clouds in the sky visibly grew more rampant. Without a doubt, this lightning tribulation was his!

Then, realization struck Zhang Xuan as he widened his eyes in horror. It's not that my lightning tribulation is easy, but these guys have been blocking it all along, preventing it from falling into the formation… B*stards!

Zhang Xuan gritted his teeth furiously as his eyes reddened from rage.

It was no wonder nothing happened no matter how long he waited within the formation. It turned out that the tall lady had been sabotaging him!

There was no way to circumvent the lightning tribulation, and it was impossible to find a substitute to endure the lightning tribulation for one. Otherwise, the offspring of powerful clans could simply have their elders fend off the lightning tribulation in their stead. There would be nothing for them to worry about.

On the contrary, any attempts to interfere in the lightning tribulation would only cause the lightning tribulation to grow more and more powerful, to the point that the cultivator who had drawn in the lightning tribulation would be struck to death.

This was also the reason none of them dared to interfere back when Hall Master Xing found himself in a precarious position while undergoing the Leaving Aperture Ordeal.

In other words… due to Bi Hongyin's interference, his lightning tribulation had grown so powerful that not even Saint 7-dan cultivators could withstand it anymore. How in the world was he supposed to survive such a lightning tribulation?

If it really fell on him, he would be dead in a heartbeat!

The more Zhang Xuan thought about it, the more enraged he felt.

Are you sick in the mind? It's not your lightning tribulation, so why are you interfering in it?

Look at what you have done! With the storm clouds that have gathered here, it's only a matter of time before you succumb to it. And once it's done with you, I'll be next!

It's one thing for you to want to seek death, but surely you need not drag me down with you!

At this point, Zhang Xuan really felt like crying.

Boom!

As stifled as he was feeling, the lightning tribulation would not grant Zhang Xuan the time to soak in his despair. A deafening rumble echoed from above, and raising his head, he could not help but shudder in fear.

The lightning tribulation had already grown to a scale countless times stronger than the Saint Ascension Ordeal. The one that he had faced in the square right after the Mountain Gate examination back then could not begin to hold a candle to this.

Even after raising his cultivation to Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle, there was no way he would be able to survive a lightning bolt of this scale.

But… only I can resolve my own lightning tribulation. There's no way I can escape from it. If I allow her to continue wreaking havoc here, my chances of clearing it will only grow slimmer, Zhang Xuan thought anxiously.

With this in mind, he could not help but curse at Bi Hongyin once again.

You crazy bastard, why in the world are you messing with something that is none of your business? Look at the trouble you have caused me!

In his moment of panic, a thought suddenly came to Zhang Xuan. Right! Is it possible for me to see the flaws of the lightning tribulation?

Compile! Zhang Xuan quickly willed in his mind.

The Library of Heaven's Path has the ability to discern the flaws of everything in the world, so the lightning tribulation should be no exception too, right?

Hu!

With a jolt, a book materialized in the Library of Heaven's Path.

Zhang Xuan quickly flipped it open to take a look.

Ah? Why is it empty?

Completely empty, there was nothing on the book at all

It seems like the Library of Heaven's Path is unable to compile a book on anything that concerns me… Zhang Xuan swiftly came to a conclusion.

He had given it a try in the past, and he realized that anything that was directly associated to him could not be compiled as a book. For one, he was unable to compile a book on himself in the Library of Heaven's Path.

Perhaps, the lightning tribulation that he faced was also considered an extension of him, so the Library of Heaven's Path could not compile any information on it either.

Eye of Insight!

Realizing that he could not count on his Library of Heaven's Path, he swiftly activated his trump card to analyze the lightning in the sky, hoping to find any flaws that he could exploit.

At that very moment, the storm clouds had already covered up an area of several dozen li around them, and the lightning that was traversing amid them was at least ten meters thick, reminiscent of massive dragons soaring in the sky.

Every single bolt of lightning wielded strength comparable to a Saint 7-dan. Even Luo Xuanqing and the others would be injured in a direct encounter with them.

Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly uneasily. With my current strength, there's no way I'll be able to withstand all of that.

Under the analysis of his Eye of Insight, he found that there was no possible way he could withstand the overwhelming lightning in the sky, even with his enhanced cultivation.

A sharp glint flashed through Zhang Xuan's eyes. But there's no other choice; I have to give it a try no matter what. It seems like I can only dash into the midst of the storm clouds, just as I did yesterday.

It might seem to be a highly dangerous action to dash into the storm clouds in the midst of one's lightning tribulation, but as someone who had done so personally, he knew that it was actually much safer than waiting for the lightning bolt to fall upon one below.

This was because the lightning bolt would only fall after the energy harnessed within it reached the peak, making it highly difficult to withstand. However, if one were to dash up into the storm clouds before the energy had been concentrated into the lightning bolt, one would be in a considerably safer position.

Of course, this might only have been applicable to Zhang Xuan. For a typical cultivator, plunging into an environment permeated with lightning would still result in their body being slowly worn down, resulting in gradual electrocution to death. In a sense, that was even more frightening than facing an entire bolt of lightning at once.

However, Zhang Xuan, who possessed the Heaven's Path zhenqi, could easily recover any damage sustained by his physical body and soul. As such, the most frightening maneuver ironically turned out to be the safest option for him.

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