Library of Heaven is Path
1359 Zhang Xuan Got Beaten Up
The river was a spirit vein, and the spiritual energy flowing through it was so concentrated that it felt almost tangible.
The gourd was just hanging right beneath it, absorbing the spiritual energy as nutrition and growing slowly.
"Now, I just have to pluck it and take it back…" Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
If he wanted to level up, he just had to collect sufficient cultivation technique manuals and spirit stones. As valuable as the Dongxu Gourd was, it was of very little use to him. It would be more worth it for him to use it to develop a good relationship with Luo Xuanqing. As long as he could win Luo Xuanqing's goodwill and get him to speak up on his behalf later when vying for Luo Ruoxin's hand in marriage, everything would be worth the effort!
Thus, he reached out to grab the Dongxu Gourd.
Even though he did not use any strength, with his comprehension of Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel reaching 3-dan, his grasp easily caused the surrounding space to turn viscous. As if a fish trapped in a net, all escape routes for the gourd were sealed.
Just as Zhang Xuan's hand was just about to reach the gourd, the lush fruit suddenly woke up and began struggling.
The sealed space immediately broke, and Zhang Xuan felt an overwhelming force pressing down on him, threatening to grind his arm down to dust.
"Hmm?" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes in astonishment. He quickly drove his zhenqi to form a massive barrier before him.
With his enhanced comprehension of space, even if he were to drive his zhenqi now, he would not suffer a rebound from the spatial seal.
The gourd hanging on the vine shook its bottom.
The massive barrier was immediately torn apart as if it was a piece of paper. Zhang Xuan hurriedly placed his hands up to guard against the attack.
An intense pain assaulted his arm, and the next moment, he was smacked down onto the ground.
With a pale face, Zhang Xuan struggled to his feet. His entire arm had already gone numb from the impact, and his bones were creaking in protest, as if saying that they would shatter if they had to endure any more than that.
Zhang Xuan's physical body had currently reached a level of resilience on par with half-Saint high-tier artifacts. Thus, he would not feel anything even if a Saint intermediate-tier artifact tried to slice him. Yet, with a slight shake, the gourd was able to leave him in such pain. The strength of the gourd had far surpassed his imagination.
"Damn it!" Zhang Xuan quickly drove his Heaven's Path zhenqi to recuperate from his wounds as he glared at the gourd with reddened eyes.
"I don't believe that I won't be able to capture you!"
Taking in a deep breath, he flicked his wrist, and a sword appeared in his palm. With a slight flick, a burst of sword qi shot toward the gourd.
The Lingxu Sword!
Considering how the Dongxu Gourd could help one achieve a breakthrough to Dimension Sundering realm, its tier was probably quite high. Having suffered against it a moment ago, Zhang Xuan dared not take the gourd lightly, so he used his most powerful weapon right from the start.
As soon as the Lingxu Sword appeared, the surrounding space immediately began distorting, seemingly ready to be torn apart at any moment.
In the first place, folded spaces were not as stable as the spaces outside. On top of that, Zhang Xuan had already comprehended the third dan of Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel. Even if he could not rip the folded space open, it was not too difficult for him to create a distortion in it.
Watching as a burst of sword qi flew in its direction, the gourd shook its body once more, reminiscent of a large-bottomed individual flaunting their figure.
A powerful shockwave rippled from the gourd, halting the incoming sword qi in place, preventing it from moving even an inch closer.
"This…" Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up.
Even though he did not use the Three Swords of Lingxu, he had still harnessed its offensive Sword Quintessence in the attack. Not even a Saint 7-dan Phantasm Space realm primary stage expert would dare take the attack head-on. Yet, just by shaking its body, the gourd actually managed to neutralize his attack.
Was it not a little too strong for a mere gourd?
Knowing that he could not afford to hold back, Zhang Xuan quickly whipped out 108 swords and commanded them to attack.
A barrage of sword qi instantaneously filled the area as the zhenqi in Zhang Xuan was swiftly sapped dry. The 108 swords warped into flashes of cold light as they charged in the direction of the gourd.
The gourd also seemed to sense the devastating might wielded in the move, and it shook its bottom even more joyously.
Due to its excessively large movements, it dropped off the vine and flew over in Zhang Xuan's direction.
Boom boom boom!
It clashed directly with the sword qi, sending ripples diffusing into the surroundings amid brilliant bursts of colorful light.
As powerful as the Sea Severing Sword was, it seemed to be completely ineffective on the gourd. The swords qi simply bounced off it without causing the slightest mark on its surface. Instead, the gourd was even able to speed up in the midst of those attacks, tiding across the entire barrage of attack in just an instant.
"It's actually so powerful?" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes in astonishment.
Sea Severing Sword was already his strongest move, and even Yuan Xiao and the others would suffer a great deal if they were to take the attack head-on.
Yet… it was actually so easily neutralized by the gourd. This was really inconceivable.
Was it normal for gourds to be that powerful?
However, the gourd also did not plan on allowing Zhang Xuan any time to rest. Right after breaking through the Sea Severing Sword, it slammed its body forcefully toward his chest.
After executing the Three Swords of Lingxu, the zhenqi in his body was already on the verge of running dry. Fortunately, with the recent breakthrough in his physical body cultivation and soul cultivation, he was not completely powerless without zhenqi anymore.
Without any hesitation, he raised both of his palms while driving the Heaven's Path Soul Art to draw upon his soul energy to augment his defenses.
The crisp sound of a shattering bone echoed clearly in the air. Zhang Xuan's arm had fractured under the impact.
His body was sent flying into the distance before crashing heavily onto the ground. This short encounter had caused several bones of his ribcage to shatter as well.
Despite being a mere artifact, the fighting prowess of the Dongxu Gourd was simply too powerful.
If not for the Sea Severing Sword neutralizing a portion of the offense, that previous slam would have left him completely incapacitated.
Before Zhang Xuan could climb up from the ground, the gourd shook a little in the air and charged toward him once more.
This time, its movement was way faster than before, to the point where its figure was nothing more than a slight blur. It seemed as though it would not rest until it was able to smash him into his grave.
Zhang Xuan's face paled.
In a frontal encounter, he was completely no match for the Dongxu Gourd. On top of that, his zhenqi was completely expended at the moment, and he was severely injured as well. If he allowed the gourd's attack to fall on him, he really might just lose his life there and then.
"Spatial Seal! Clone!"
Zhang Xuan was not sure whether those outside were able to see what was happening within, but to prevent Luo Xuanqing and the others from seeing his trump card, he still snapped his fingers to seal the surrounding space, preventing anyone from seeing what was within. At the same time, he released his clone.
After cultivating the Heaven's Path Soul Art, the prowess of his clone had risen by leaps and bounds. Its fighting prowess was significantly higher than his, so it should at least be able to defend against the Dongxu Gourd for some time.
As soon as his clone appeared, Zhang Xuan immediately filled him in on the situation through their telepathic connection, and the other party charged forward to engage the Dongxu Gourd.
However, as fast as his clone was, he was still lacking compared to the Dongxu Gourd. Before he could even throw a punch, the latter was right before him.
The Dongxu Gourd crashed right into his clone's face, imprinting its shape onto his face.
"Screw you!" Zhang Xuan's clone immediately went berserk. "How dare you hurt my handsome face? I'm going to kill you!"
Each time he was released from the Myriad Anthive Nest, he would derive great joy from mocking his main body and flaunting his overwhelming strength. But this time, before he could say or achieve anything, he ended up being quashed by a mere gourd instead. This unprecedented humiliation left him feeling so angry that it felt as if he would explode from sheer rage.
While roaring, the clone did not forget to throw a furious punch toward the Dongxu Gourd too.
It was a direct hit, but the clone felt a jolt run through his body instead. With quivering lips, he quickly turned to the main body and said, "I can't defeat him. You should quickly run away!"
Even though his fighting prowess was far stronger than the real Zhang Xuan's, it was still a huge way off from matching up to the gourd before him.
"Run away?" Zhang Xuan hesitated upon hearing those words.
He was here to obtain the gourd for Luo Xuanqing, and to run away after all the effort they had put into this mission… was really a little hard to accept.
"If you aren't going to run, you can face that fellow yourself. I won't be accompanying you, goodbye!" the clone roared with gritted teeth.
Under the furious onslaught of the gourd, his body already bore no semblance of a human anymore.
Of course you can still afford to hesitate when all you are doing is hiding behind my back! If you don't want to run away, why don't you try facing this monster of a gourd yourself?
"Alright then…" Zhang Xuan nodded with a reddened face.
He also knew that he would not be a match for the Dongxu Gourd with his zhenqi sapped dry at the moment, so without any hesitation, he waved his hand and withdrew his clone and all of the swords back into the Myriad Anthive Nest and his storage ring respectively before fleeing back the way he had come.
However, it seemed like the Dongxu Gourd still had no intention of letting him off. It charged over in his direction once more with the same astounding speed that was nigh impossible to dodge, so he had no choice but to reinforce his defenses and brace himself against the impact.
He was sent flying once more, but fortunately, he had managed to retreat back to the area where the illusions were generated once more, and with a flash, his figure vanished from the spot.
Before vanishing from the spot, Zhang Xuan vaguely saw the gourd in the sky shaking its bottom triumphantly before leisurely made its way back to the vine and hanging itself back on it.
In the blink of an eye, everything returned to normal, as if nothing had happened at all.
Some time ago prior to Zhang Xuan's fight with the Dongxu Gourd…
After seeing the young man off into the spatial seal, Luo Xuanqing and the others could not help but pace around the area worriedly.
"Zhang shi… should be fine, right?"
"Zhang shi has a deep understanding of formations. Even though this isn't exactly a formation, it does bear some resemblance to one. I think he should be fine…"
"As long as he can resist the urge to release his cultivation, he won't be affected by the rebound of the spatial seal."
Even though these were the words that they spoke, uncertainty and apprehension still continued to plague their hearts.
This was especially so for Luo Xuanqing. He had paid a heavy price in order to obtain the Dongxu Gourd, and if he could not touch it after all that, he would really be at a loss.
"Look, Zhang shi is heading forward," Yuan Xiao said.
The crowd quickly turned their heads over and saw Zhang Xuan slowly making his way over to the gourd in the sky. However, barely after taking two steps, he abruptly vanished from the spot.
"He must have cleared the illusions…" Luo Xuanqing's eyes lit up in agitation.
However, just two breaths later, a figure suddenly flew out of the spatial seal, and with a resounding 'peng!', it crashed into the ground just beside them, coughing huge mouthfuls of blood.
Horrified, the crowd hurriedly rushed toward him worriedly.
"I-I'm fine…" As he struggled to his feet, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
It was fortunate that he had fled swiftly, decisively leaping out of the spatial seal. Otherwise, he could have died at the hands of that fellow.
Looking at the severe wounds that Zhang Xuan had sustained, Luo Xuanqing could not help but ask, "Was Zhang shi also evicted by the spatial seal?"
They had all been injured by the spatial seal due to them unintentionally exerting their strength while inside. Could it be that the young man had faced the same inside too?
But… his wounds appeared to be slightly different from the ones they had sustained though?
"That's not it…" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
"What happened?" the intrigued Yuan Xiao asked.
Could it be that other than the spatial seal, there was still something else within the space that could hurt them?
If that was really the case, they would have to proceed carefully.
"I was…" With a face filled with embarrassment, Zhang Xuan scratched his head and said, "… attacked by a gourd…"