Kacha!

As soon as he stepped into the storm clouds, a bolt of lightning immediately came zapping his way. Zhang Xuan swiftly gathered his zhenqi to defend against it.

Pu!

A spurt of fresh blood escaped from his mouth as his hair stood up from the static electricity.

Due to Bi Hongyin and the others' interference, the lightning tribulation had already grown to a level far beyond what he could deal with. Even if he used all of his means possible, he was not absolutely confident that he would be able to withstand it.

Zhang Xuan swiftly realized that even when driving his Heaven's Path zhenqi to its maximum to heal up his injuries, his recovery was unable to keep up with the rate at which the lightning was burning away his body. Thus, he raised his eyebrows and tapped at the area before him.

Flowing Water Sword Intent!

Tzzzzzz!

Countless surges of sword qi burst forth from his acupoints, forming a massive barrier.

It had to be said that the Flowing Water Swordsmanship was indeed very powerful. It formed an absolute defense shell that not even the fluidity of water was able to breach.

Kacha! Kacha! Kacha!

Nevertheless, under the relentless strikes of the lightning bolts, Zhang Xuan's face swiftly paled.

Even though I am able to keep the lightning bolts completely at bay with my Flowing Water Swordsmanship, the might that they harness is simply too strong. I won't be able to sustain this for long…

This was similar to how even though an umbrella was able to fend off a downpour, it could not shelter one from a hailstorm.

The absolute defense shell formed by his Flowing Water Swordsmanship allowed him to keep the lightning bolts at bay, but due to the limitations of his cultivation, he could not maintain it for too long.

In at most ten breaths, his sword qi would dissipate under the furious onslaught of lightning, and he would be back to square one.

Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan drew out his Primordial Spirit without any hesitation. I won't be able to survive at this rate. I must raise my physical body cultivation and soul cultivation swiftly.

Unlike the time when he made a breakthrough right above the entrance to the Mountain Gate, he had dived into the depths of the storm clouds this time around, so no outsider was able to see what he was doing, and this cover allowed him to utilize all of his means without any fear.

Cultivate!

Zhang Xuan's body had already comprehended Mind of Void, which granted it the ability to cultivate independently. It would be much more efficient if he cultivated both his soul and body simultaneously.

Tzzzzzz!

After ingesting the Jade Pearl Sap and Origin Spirit Pill, Zhang Xuan's body reflexively drove its zhenqi according to the method detailed in the Heaven's Path Golden Body, and his physical body grew stronger at a rate visible to the eye. Dead skin peeled off layer after layer from his body, creating a sight reminiscent of a cicada escaping from its shell.


Once one's physical body cultivation had reached Zhang Xuan's current level, advancing it even slightly was an incredibly difficult feat. Typical means such as tempering one's body with flames or ice were no longer effective anymore.

In one of the manuals that the fatty had taken out, it detailed how an expert physical body cultivator studied the molting of cicadas when a sudden inspiration struck him, and he created a technique that allowed humans to strip off their old cells, a little like cicadas. Each time one molted away old cells, one's physical body would be able to grow a little stronger.

Through repeating this process over a long period of time, one would become extremely powerful.

The Heaven's Path Golden Body that Zhang Xuan had just compiled was centered around this notion. As Zhang Xuan shed more and more layers of old cells, his skin grew younger and supple. However, in contrast to his appearance, his body was actually growing more and more resilient, slowly creeping up from the level of a Saint intermediate-tier artifact to Saint high-tier artifact.

While his physical body swiftly grew stronger, his Primordial Spirit was also frenziedly absorbing spiritual energy from the Jade Spirit Essence.

As he drove his zhenqi according to the Leaving Aperture realm Heaven's Path Soul Art, spiritual energy was diving into the acupoints on his Primordial Spirit like mini vortices, nourishing it.

Hong long!

In the blink of an eye, his soul had already achieved a breakthrough to Half-Leaving Aperture realm, and it was swiftly surging forth toward Leaving Aperture realm primary stage…

However, it did not take long before the spiritual energy within the Jade Pearl Sap, Origin Spirit Pill, and Jade Spirit Essence was completely depleted.

Even though items that Luo Xuanqing and the others had given him were superior cultivation resources, the simultaneous cultivation of his physical body and soul required too much spiritual energy. They simply were not sufficient for him to master those two cultivation techniques together.

I can't keep up with the Flowing Water Swordsmanship much longer.

As if adding to his injury, the sword qi that was protecting him was starting to falter as well, threatening to collapse in on him at any moment.

Knowing that he was still in no state to face the lightning tribulation yet, Zhang Xuan quickly flicked his wrist and instructed the figure materializing before him, "Clone, help me fend off the lightning tribulation for a while and buy me some time!"

He and his clone were considered a single entity, so even if he were to use his clone to fend off the lightning tribulation, it would not result in the intensification of the ordeal.

"It's just a mere lightning tribulation. Look how scared it has made you… Pass the Heaven's Path Soul Art to me!" As soon as his clone appeared, he harrumphed coldly with a lofty look on his face. Without any hesitation, he leaped right into the sea of lightning.

Kacha! Kacha!

Bolts of lightning immediately surged toward him, but his clone stood fearlessly in their face. Stretching his back lazily, he casually whipped out a towel and began scrubbing his back.

The scrubbing of the towel spread the lightning shocks equally throughout his clone's body, and his aura and soul began to grow at a visible rate.

"This…" Zhang Xuan's lips twitched.

He had also used this method to temper his Primordial Spirit back at the entrance of the Mountain Gate, but who would have thought that this fellow had actually learnt this from him…

If he's able to endure the lightning, I should be able to do so. Perhaps, I might even be able to induce a significant enhancement in my soul and physical body under the tempering of the lightning bolts!

Watching as his scrubbing clone sent a disdainful look toward him, seemingly mocking his weakness, Zhang Xuan gritted his teeth and made up his mind.

He did not have any other cultivation resources that were suited for his cultivation at the moment, and he was completely surrounded by lightning bolts, leaving him nowhere to escape to. If he did not find a solution soon, he really might lose his life.

Since his clone was able to survive the lightning bolts without trouble, surely, he, as the main body, should be able to do so as well!

Thus, Zhang Xuan returned his soul to his physical body and retracted the defensive barrier of sword qi that he had put up, allowing the lightning in his surroundings to wash over him.

Pu!

The immense surge of electricity caused his body to stiffen, and a mouthful of blood splattered from his mouth.

A thought suddenly came to Zhang Xuan's mind.

Perhaps, if I could have my Heaven's Path zhenqi imitate the attribute of the lightning energy around me, I might be able to withstand its might?

Considering how the Heaven's Path zhenqi was able to imitate even the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe's Zhenqi of Slaughter, it should have no trouble copying the lightning attribute of the energy around him as well!

Thus, Zhang Xuan began focusing his attention in an attempt to grasp the Power of Lightning around him, and as he slowly circulated the zhenqi in his body, a hint of the lightning attribute really emerged in his Heaven's Path zhenqi!

Kacha!

Right after he converted his zhenqi to the lightning attribute, another lightning bolt fell upon him. Even though it still left him feeling deeply uncomfortable, it was no longer as intolerable as it had been previously.

Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in delight. Great!

He had only tried it on a whim, but it really worked out for him!

Another thought suddenly emerged in Zhang Xuan's mind, and his body began trembling in agitation. Since my zhenqi has changed to the lightning attribute, will I be able to absorb the lightning energy in the surroundings?

Just as a practitioner of cold attribute cultivation techniques like Chen Leyao could cultivate through absorbing the Wintry Spirit Essence, considering that his zhenqi was currently of the lightning attribute… would he be able to absorb the surrounding lightning energy as well?

Just looking at the unimaginable congregation of lightning energy around him was enough to make the edges of Zhang Xuan's lips creep up uncontrollably!

His soul had once absorbed the lightning energy within Qiu Wu Palace. Of course, the lightning energy he had absorbed back then had originated from a formation, so naturally, it could not hold a candle to that of lightning tribulations, the violent might of the heavens. But still, that showed that the notion was not completely impossible!

I should give it a try…

Knowing that absorbing the rampaging energy of the lightning tribulation was bound to be extremely difficult, Zhang Xuan took a deep breath and resolved himself.

Swinging the sword in his hand, he began executing the Flowing Water Swordsmanship to protect himself once more, but he left a small gap to allow a small spark of lightning to creep in.

Hong long long!

As soon as Zhang Xuan absorbed the lightning spark into his body, it began wreaking havoc, knocking forcefully here and there to cause as much destruction as it could. In the blink of an eye, several of Zhang Xuan's meridians were torn apart.

Even with lightning attribute zhenqi, it was still extremely difficult for a cultivator to control the violent energy of the lightning tribulation. Otherwise, with lightning attribute cultivators drawing upon the might of the heavens at their whim, who would be able to match them?

I should try merging the lightning spark with my zhenqi.

Zhang Xuan had expected at least this amount of damage to occur. Even though the rampaging lightning spark left him feeling as if thousands of needles were ripping him apart from the inside, he forced himself to keep his calm and began converging his Heaven's Path zhenqi on the lightning spark.

Tz la!

Perhaps due to the encompassing nature of the Heaven's Path zhenqi, as soon as his lightning attribute zhenqi came into contact with the lightning spark, they immediately merged together, forming a much purer, more powerful surge of energy.

It really works!

This success meant that he would be able to use all of the lightning energy gathered there as spiritual energy to fuel his cultivation!

Without the slightest hesitation, Zhang Xuan retracted his sword and simultaneously opened all of his acupoints wide.

The surrounding lightning energy was swiftly drawn to his body as if a vortex, and he desperately assimilated the massive influx with his Heaven's Path zhenqi.

It did not take long for Zhang Xuan's soul cultivation to exceed Leaving Aperture realm primary stage, and his physical body was swiftly growing stronger and stronger as well.



"Are you all ready?" Luo Xuanqing asked.

"Un." Bi Hongyin and the others nodded.

As powerful as the lightning tribulation before them was, they had no other choice at this point. After all, they could not possibly watch idly by the side as Zhang Xuan was zapped into ashes.

Thus, after some discussion, they eventually decided to dash in to save him, and at the same time, they would use their most powerful moves to forcefully dissipate the storm clouds.

If everything worked out, they would be freed from the danger they were in. Even if their attempt failed, at the very least, they would have another pair of hands on their side.

"Alright, ready yourselves!" Luo Xuanqing looked at the storm clouds above as he drove his zhenqi furiously.

However, just as he was about to call for them to set off, a shocked voice suddenly exclaimed beside him.

"Wait a moment! Is it just me, or is something amiss with the lightning tribulation?"

The one who had just spoken was the shorty. His eyes were fixated on the sky, and there was a doubtful frown hanging on his forehead.

"Something amiss?" Luo Xuanqing was perplexed by shorty's sudden remark. "What do you mean by that?"

The other two also turned their sights over.

"Take a closer look. Doesn't it seem like the storm clouds… are moving?" the shorty asked.

"Moving?"

Bewildered, the crowd quickly turned their gazes to the sky as well, and just as what shorty had said, the storm clouds were indeed moving. The densest congregation of storm clouds had been right above them a moment ago. However, at that moment, it seemed to have deviated to the side.

Bi Hongyin frowned in incomprehension. "Once the lightning tribulation falls, unless the person undergoing the ordeal flees, it shouldn't move."

Lightning tribulation was an ordeal from the heavens. As long as the one undergoing the ordeal did not flee, the lightning tribulation would not move easily. Considering that Zhang Xuan was currently in the midst of the storm clouds, completely surrounded by lightning energy, there was no way he would be able to move around the place.

So, why were the storm clouds moving then?

While they were still perplexed, the storm clouds completely evacuated from the area just above them, revealing a figure in the blue sky.

It was Zhang Xuan.

"He's fine?"

Seeing that the young man had not yet been burnt to a crisp, Luo Xuanqing and the others instinctively heaved a sigh of relief. Just as they were about to beckon him to hurry down, the young man suddenly opened his eyes and bellowed furiously.

"Where do you think you are going?"

After which, the young man dashed forward and charged right into the midst of the storm clouds.

Pilipala!

A series of lightning sparks and thunderous rumbling echoed.

Following which, the clouds deviated to the side, revealing the young man's figure once more.

"Hey, stop running away!" the young man roared before dashing forward once again.

Hu hu hu!

This time, even though Zhang Xuan's movements were swift, the storm clouds were even faster. As if chased by some kind of monster, they flitted away desperately.

"You…" Seething with rage, Zhang Xuan chased the storm clouds persistently.

However, the fact that the lightning tribulation was able to appear whenever a cultivator was to undergo an ordeal meant that the speed that it could move at was far beyond that of any cultivator. It took only a few moments before it disappeared beyond the horizon.

"This… He scared away the lightning tribulation?"

"All along, it has always been the lightning tribulation who chased after cultivators, but he actually made the lightning tribulation flee in a fluster?"

Luo Xuanqing, Bi Hongyin, and the others grasped at their hair as they stared at the sight before them in utter shock.

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