Library of Heaven is Path
1356 Distorted Space
To be honest, Zhang Xuan was really disappointed.
He had thought that Zhang Chun, as one of the top geniuses of the Zhang Clan, in collaboration with four other experts, should at least have been able to pose a challenge to him even when they had their cultivation suppressed down to the same level. However, as soon as they began launching attacks, he realized that he had been expecting too much from them!
But thinking about it again, this was to be expected.
Previously, when his zhenqi cultivation had just reached Leaving Aperture realm primary stage, he had already been able to successfully clear the Jia Corridor. Now, with his physical body cultivation and soul cultivation brought up to an equivalent level, there was no way Zhang Chun and the others, no matter how talented they were, could possibly catch up.
Stretching his back lazily, Zhang Xuan turned back to the crowd and said, "It'll probably be an entire day before they wake up. Don't worry, I'll have the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast look after them, so they won't be harmed by other saint beasts!
"Since we have time now, let's quickly find the Dongxu Gourd."
Even though Zhang Xuan detested the Zhang Clan for how frivolously they were treating Luo Ruoxin, it had not come to the point where he wished for their deaths.
If he simply left Zhang Chun and the others lying unconscious there, it would not be long before they were eaten by the other saint beasts in the valley. In a sense, that could be considered indirect murder by them.
By having the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast guard them, first and foremost, no saint beasts would dare cause any trouble, and secondly, they would not dare to enter the cavern anymore even if they did regain consciousness.
Suppressing the astonishment in his heart, Luo Xuanqing nodded. "Very well!"
To see his long-time rival, Zhang Chun, being knocked out so easily… This little friend that he had met just a day before sure was not an ordinary figure!
"Given the setback and humiliation that Zhang Chun has suffered today, there's no way he'll let this matter go easily. You must proceed carefully in the Sanctum of Sages from this day onward. If he attempts to find any trouble with you, make sure to inform me as soon as possible, and I'll help you settle the matter," Luo Xuanqing told Zhang Xuan telepathically as the group made their way over to the cavern.
He knew Zhang Chun very well. As an offspring of the esteemed Zhang Clan, as well as an 8-star high-tier master teacher, the latter would not resort to despicable deeds. However, with the power and influence the latter wielded in the Sanctum of Sages, he did not even have to resort to despicable deeds in order to make life difficult for others.
For one, just a stand made by Zhang Chun was more than sufficient reason for others to shun Zhang Xuan like the plague.
Considering how Zhang Xuan had offended Zhang Chun while trying to stand up for him, he was bound to get into lots of trouble in the future.
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan nodded.
In truth, while a huge part of the reason he had decided to teach Zhang Chun a lesson was due to the latter harboring lustful thoughts for Luo Ruoxin, he also felt that this was a good opportunity to win this future brother-in-law of his over to his side. In a sense, that would kill two birds with one stone, definitely well worth the trouble he would potentially face in the future as a result of this conflict.
He could feel that Luo Xuanqing no longer perceived him as an ordinary talented friend but a close buddy now.
Of course, it seemed to still be a little too early for him to talk about his relationship with Luo Ruoxin with the other party, but nevertheless, the deepening of their friendship would surely be of great help to him in winning Luo Ruoxin's hand in marriage in the future!
In any case, his strength was not up to par yet, and he had not unlocked the Sanctum Head Token either, so it was still too early for him to make a move. It would be good for him to work on Luo Xuanqing for the time being instead.
With the threat of the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast resolved, the group swiftly advanced into the cavern.
While the entrance to the cavern was narrow, its interior was vast. The cavern seemed to extend along with the entire mountain range, meandering up and down.
"Xuanqing, I took a look at the place earlier, but I didn't notice anything peculiar in here," Yuan Xiao remarked.
He had examined the entire place thoroughly while searching for the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast, but it was just an ordinary cavern within the mountain. There was nothing peculiar about it at all.
Instead of replying to Yuan Xiao's remark, Luo Xuanqing turned to Yun Lianhai and asked, "What about you? Did you notice anything?"
Considering how Yun Lianhai was a treasure hunter and possessed natural sensitivity toward treasures, there was a good chance that he could sense something that they could not.
"Let me give it a try." Yun Lianhai took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
A droplet of blood flew up to his glabella, and a glaring third eye abruptly opened up between his brows. It began scanning the surroundings intently.
A moment later, Yun Lianhai shook his head and said, "I don't sense anything either."
"Is this the ability that treasure hunters possess? I guess there is really no way for me to learn that!" Zhang Xuan remarked in wonderment.
He had used his Eye of Insight to assess Yun Lianhai's state earlier, and he had concluded that the latter was using his bloodline ability to scan the surroundings for artifacts rich in spiritual energy.
However, what was unique about that ability was how it could see through obstacles, like how a compass could detect the magnetic field of an object even from a distance away.
Since the very foundation of this ability lay in the unique bloodline of the Yun Clan, it could be said to be an innate talent. It was not a skill that one could learn through hard work.
Ultimately, while cultivation opened up a world of possibilities, cultivators were still fundamentally limited by their innate talent in many ways. Using an example from the world Zhang Xuan previously lived in, it would be just like how no matter a policeman trained himself, there was no way he would be able to become a K9.
With this, Zhang Xuan's hopes of picking up the art of treasure hunting were dashed.
"Zhang shi, what about you?" Luo Xuanqing asked.
The others also turned their heads over in curiosity.
It was just a short few days since they had first come to know one another, but this young man had already brought them an entire life's worth of shock. They were interested to know if this miraculous young man would be able to notice anything amiss or not.
In response, Zhang Xuan discreetly concentrated on the lines of insight in his eyes and began examining his surroundings carefully.
Unless a formation was active, the Library of Heaven's Path would not be able to perceive it. Thus, he could only rely on the Eye of Insight to search for clues.
But very quickly, he shook his head and said, "I can't find anything either."
As powerful as the Eye of Insight was, it was limited by his own cultivation. He was unable to discern items that were too much stronger than he was, just like how he had not been able to find Kong shi's folded space back at the Saint Ascension Platform.
Seeing that they were making no progress at all, Bi Hongyin frowned in impatience. "Just where is it? Luo Xuanqing, stop keeping us in suspense!"
"Haha, I was just curious to see if you would be able to find it," Luo Xuanqing replied with a light chuckle. "To be honest, I wouldn't have been able to find the location of the formation myself either. It was my younger sister who managed to deduce the rough location of the formation's Life Gate through a map, and I only managed to locate it by following her instructions."
"The little princess was able to deduce the location of the formation's Life Gate through a map?"
Everyone gasped in shock.
Wasn't the little princess of the Luo Clan a little too talented?
It was already an incredible feat to be able to tell that there was an ancient domain here just by looking at the map, but to be able to find the rough location of the formation's Life Gate as well… That was really inconceivable!
"This is a map that my younger sister drew for me. It's using this that I was able to find the core of the formation and enter the ancient domain where the Dongxu Gourd is!" Luo Xuanqing flicked his wrist, and a palm-sized jade token appeared in his hand.
He tapped on it lightly, and amid a brilliant shimmer of light, faint mist emanated from the jade token and shrouded the entire cavern. Vaguely within the mist, one could see rocks and crevices… In a sense, it was somewhat similar to a painting. It slowly fused together with the real world until there was no way of distinguishing the two from one another anymore.
What incredible manipulation of space! Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up in astonishment.
The mist emanating from the jade token was not a type of ink or formation—it was a manifestation of a type of spatial energy.
To be able to paint on space and fuse it together with reality… this was truly an incredible technique!
After the mist fused fully with the cavern, the jade token floated up from Luo Xuanqing's hand and began drifting forward.
The group quickly followed behind the jade token.
It did not take them long to arrive before a dead end.
A towering stone wall blocked their path ahead, preventing them from advancing any further.
Upon reaching this point, the jade token also stopped advancing and spun on the spot.
Luo Xuanqing turned around and said to the group, "Due to the massive design of the formation, the Life Gate moves with time. It's located at a different location from where it was the previous time I was here, but since the jade token has stopped here, this should be it."
Without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan immediately activated his Eye of Insight to look at the space before him.
There's indeed a distortion in space here… Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes slightly.
With the location confirmed, he was indeed able to tell that something was amiss in the area.
There was a sesame-sized spatial distortion right beneath the jade token. If one was not sure where to look, it would have been practically impossible to find it.
After all, it was not too rare for slight spatial distortions to arise. Even a bunch of Transcendent Mortal cultivators putting their might together would suffice to create a slight spatial distortion, so most cultivators would instinctively turn a blind eye to it.
It was no wonder the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast, a Saint 8-dan beast, would fail to notice the secrets hidden within the cavern despite living here for so many years. Just how in the world was one supposed to find something like this?
At the same time, to be able to deduce this much just by looking at a map and even craft a jade token specially for it… Zhang Xuan could not help but feel deeply pressured by the astounding capabilities that Luo Ruoxin wielded.
In the past, he had not been particularly concerned about Luo Ruoxin's identity or background, choosing to confess to her solely because he liked her. However, in order to win the approval of the Luo Clan, he had no choice but to face the difference in their strength and standing.
And if even someone as powerful as Luo Ruoxin was not able to turn down the engagement with the Zhang Clan, things were truly not optimistic for them.
No matter what, I'll definitely wed you openly as my wife! Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly in agitation.
Yuan Xiao and the others stared at their surroundings with squinted eyes for a very long time, but they were still unable to find anything at all. Eventually, they could only shake their heads and give up.
"I really am unable to see what is so special about this place. Why don't you just open the Life Gate? We'll follow behind you."
"Alright." Without wasting any time, Luo Xuanqing raised his finger and tapped the area right ahead of him.
A droplet of blood dripped out from the tip of his finger.
Following which, he formed a few hand seals, and a unique power was imbued into the jade token.
With a resounding buzz, the sesame-sized spatial distortion began rotating swiftly, reminiscent of a mini vortex.
A rift was torn through space with the sesame-sized spatial distortion at its very center. At the same time, the vortex grew bigger and bigger, forming a cone-shaped spiral.
"Let's enter," Luo Xuanqing said.
Perhaps due to having expended too much strength, Luo Xuanqing's face was slightly pale.
"Alright." Yuan Xiao nodded.
Without any hesitation, he took the lead and leaped into the cone-shaped spiral.
He was the one who boasted the greatest defensive ability among their group, and considering that they were entering uncharted territory, it was a given that he should be the first one to enter.
His two-meter-wide figure was still rather massive while it was at the top of the cone-shaped spiral, but as he descended, his figure grew smaller and smaller, until it was roughly the size of a needle, before vanishing into the distorted space.
This was the first time everyone had seen such a bizarre sight, and their eyebrows could not help but leap up in astonishment.
Is this the ability of the 4-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, Creation? Zhang Xuan frowned.
Even though it seemed like Yuan Xiao had become smaller after jumping into the cone-shaped spiral, in truth, it was just a visual effect arising from the distortion of light due to the bending of space.
For example, it was just like how a person would appear to be different in size from a meter away and a hundred meters away.
Naturally, a person who was a hundred meters away, no matter how tall and big they were, would appear to be as small as a sesame seed.
Such was the situation over here as well.
While the cone-shaped spiral appeared to be only several meters away from them, there were actually many layers of space concealed within it. In terms of absolute distance, it was likely to be several li away from them.
Using space as a foundation to create stable space, and even make it so inconspicuous at that… It seems like the person who has left behind this ancient domain is likely to at least be a Saint 9-dan cultivator. On top of that, their comprehension of spatial laws is also extremely deep, perhaps still not on par with Ancient Sage Qiu Wu yet but definitely far surpassing that of ordinary cultivators, Zhang Xuan thought.
It was no wonder he had not been able to find anything with his Eye of Insight previously. This ability to manipulate space was already far beyond what someone of his level could comprehend.
"Let's head in, too."
Seeing that Yuan Xiao had entered, the others also forged ahead. Bi Hongyin leaped in first, followed by Yun Lianhai.
Watching as the two of them disappeared, Zhang Xuan took a deep breath before jumping into the cone-shaped spiral as well.
In an instant, he felt as if he was plummeting through an abyss, heading somewhere he could hardly fathom.This Saint Ascension Platform refers to the mountain he went together with Luo Ruoxin and not the one in the Qiu Wu Palace.