The disappearance of the vine seemed to have robbed the river of spiritual energy of its support, and with a resounding boom, it exploded. Rampaging spiritual energy diffused around the folded space, causing the entire folded space to ripple unstably.

Sensing the disturbance in the spiritual energy, Luo Xuanqing and the others were visibly stunned for a moment. They took a look at their surroundings before swiftly returning to pummeling the gourd.

Peng peng peng peng!

With the four Saint 7-dan experts utilizing all kinds of means and weapons against it, be it swords, sabers, spears, hammers, it did not take long before the gourd was lying completely paralyzed on the ground, seemingly on its final breath.

"The gourd is going to die if you continue pummeling it. Why don't you rest for a moment before continuing?" The alarmed Zhang Xuan hurriedly rushed forward to persuade them to stop.

"Un." Luo Xuanqing waved his hand, and the crowd finally came to a halt.

At the same time, he grasped his hand tightly together, and surrounding space distorted to form a bubble around the Dongxu Gourd.

"Alright, it's done…"

Sealing the Dongxu Gourd seemed to have sapped the last bit of energy within Luo Xuanqing. His face turned pale as he slumped feebly to the ground.

There was a time limit on how long the bloodline ability could remain activated for. Back then, Zhang Qian had only used three moves before he was unable to lift his fist at all. On the other hand, Luo Xuanqing must have executed at least a hundred moves considering how long he had fought with the gourd, and that was really an impressive feat.


The eyes of Yuan Xiao and the others were filled with envy, but they still clasped their fist and offered their sincere congratulations to Luo Xuanqing.

Even though they would have loved to make the Dongxu Gourd their own, they were not willing to sacrifice their principles for that.

Besides, given Luo Xuanqing's strength and standing, even though they were considered peers, they dared not offend him either.

"If not for all of your help, there's no way I could have succeeded," Luo Xuanqing said.

Just as he was able to place the spatial bubble into his storage ring—he would only be able to assimilate the gourd after conditioning his body back to its peak state—a powerful shockwave abruptly burst forth from the seemingly lifeless gourd.

Si la!

A huge rift was torn in the spatial bubble, and the gourd dashed out.

"Sh*t!" Luo Xuanqing narrowed his eyes in horror.

He had already depleted all of his strength due to the activation of his bloodline ability, and he could not even summon the slightest bit of energy in his powerless body anymore. If the Dongxu Gourd fled at this moment, there was no way he would be able to stop it!

"Stop right there!" Yuan Xiao and the others were startled for a moment, but they swiftly recovered and moved decisively to take down the Dongxu Gourd.

After all of the suffering they had gone through and effort they had put in to take down the Dongxu Gourd, how could they allow it to escape now that they were only a step away from success?

Sou sou sou!

However, the gourd seemed to have known their attack trajectories in advance, and with just a slight shake, it managed to avoid the rain of attacks with ease. In the blink of an eye, it accelerated beyond the speed of sound, and it was headed in one specific direction.

Toward Zhang Xuan!

"This…" Zhang Xuan felt as if ants were running on his scalp, and he nearly fainted on the spot.

I didn't even make a move this time around, so why are you coming for me?

"Zhang shi, be careful!" the crowd shouted anxiously.

Given how quickly the gourd was moving, Zhang Xuan knew that it was already too late for him to hide. Thus, he gritted his teeth and braced himself to withstand the impact of the collision, just as he had done before.


As soon as his palm came into contact with the Dongxu Gourd, he felt a searing pain assaulting his hand. The Dongxu Gourd had actually managed to puncture a glaring hole in his palm, causing fresh blood to spurt all around.


In the presence of blood, the Dongxu Gourd did not bother dodging at all. Instead, it shook its bottom and prepared to make a second move.

Hu la!

This time, it dashed straight toward Zhang Xuan's abdomen.

Given the strength of the gourd, should its attack really connect, his intestines would surely be ruptured, resulting in severe injuries!

It's not me; I'm not the one who pummeled you just now. The party who wanted to capture you is them, and the party who made a move on your earlier is them too! Why on earth are you coming for me instead?

Tears nearly streamed down Zhang Xuan's eyes this time around, but he knew that this was no time for crying. He drove his zhenqi and attempted to grab hold of the gourd before it struck its abdomen, but it was futile. He only caught air.

But surprisingly, the pain that he had anticipated did not arrive. Instead, the gourd vanished into his abdomen.

"This…" Zhang Xuan was stunned.

He had no idea what to make of the current situation.

The others also turned doubtful gazes in his direction.

"Where is the gourd?" Zhang Xuan looked around him anxiously, but the gourd was nowhere to be seen. He used his Spiritual Perception to gaze inwardly into his body, and his lips suddenly quivered. "W-why… why is it in my dantian?"

Seated lazily in the depths of his dantian was the Dongxu Gourd. Upon sensing the presence of Zhang Xuan's Spiritual Perception, it even intentionally shook its bottom gleefully, as if flaunting its victory.


Everyone quickly rushed forward and scanned Zhang Xuan's body with their Spiritual Perception. A moment later, Luo Xuanqing slumped to the ground with a dazed look and muttered, "You have actually assimilated the Dongxu Gourd into your body…"


"The Dongxu Gourd can help its owner comprehend the Dimension Sundering realm. As long as one assimilates it, one will be able to infuse it into one's dantian," Luo Xuanqing explained with his eyes widened in disbelief.

"However, the assimilation process is extremely complex. Not only does it require the cultivator to tribute their blood essence to it, more importantly, their cultivation must also have reached Saint 7-dan pinnacle at the very minimum in order to make it acknowledge them as its master. Considering that your cultivation is only at Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle, two realms away from Phantasmal Space realm pinnacle… just what on earth is going on here?"

He had put in so much effort and paid such a heavy price before he managed to take down the Dongxu Gourd, but before he could assimilate it, it ended up diving into someone else's dantian. Luo Xuanqing could not help but clutch his suffocated chest, patting it forcefully to alleviate the pain.

Zhang Xuan's face paled upon realizing what had happened, and he anxiously bellowed, "But I never intended to assimilate it! Gourd, you'd better come out right now!"

He had come here to help his future brother-in-law procure what he needed, and to end up taking it for his own instead…

You are really bent on destroying the noble and righteous image I have established before my future brother-in-law, aren't you? You homewrecker!

Hu hu!

The gourd continued shaking its body gleefully.

"You…" Seeing how the gourd continued flaunting its victory smugly, Zhang Xuan felt so angry that his body quivered in rage. Left with no choice, he could only face Luo Xuanqing with a deeply apologetic look. "Brother Luo, I really had no intention of assimilating the Dongxu Gourd…"

"I know." Luo Xuanqing shook his head and sighed in resignation. "Artifacts possess spirit as well. What's not meant to be is simply not meant to be; there's no point forcing it…"

Even though he felt so stifled that he could spurt a bucketful of fresh blood out at the moment, he still managed to think things through.

Given how the Dongxu Gourd had chosen to dive into Zhang Xuan's dantian despite all he had done, it could only mean that it had never been interested in him from the start!

"I…" Zhang Xuan's face turned scarlet from embarrassment. He really did not know what he should say in such a situation.

What the heck was this? He was supposed to be there to help, but with such a happening, who else would dare ask him out to hunt treasures in the future?

Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before speaking up. "Brother Luo's intention of procuring the Dongxu Gourd is to push for a breakthrough to the Dimension Sundering realm, right? If I can help you achieve a breakthrough, would it mean that it wouldn't matter whether you had the Dongxu Gourd or not?"

Considering how gleeful the Dongxu Gourd was acting, it did not seem like it would be coming out anytime soon. This matter could not be considered his fault, but nevertheless, he still felt deeply guilty for taking what should have belonged to Luo Xuanqing.

"Help me achieve a breakthrough?" Luo Xuanqing was visibly surprised by Zhang Xuan's remark for a moment before he shook his head glumly. "Achieving a breakthrough to the Dimension Sundering realm is not a small matter… Countless experts in history have been stuck at the Phantasmal Space realm, unable to take the final step forward. If not for that, I wouldn't have traveled so far and paid such a heavy price to obtain the Dongxu Gourd!"

Despite the various miraculous means the young man had displayed so far, the difficulty in achieving a breakthrough to Saint 8-dan was simply too great! Even cultivators who were privileged enough to receive the guidance from a 9-star master teacher might not necessarily be able to take the final step forward, let alone the fact that Zhang Xuan was only at Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle!

"Since this has already happened, why don't you just give it a try?" Zhang Xuan asked.

If it had been a while ago, without having seen any Saint 8-dan cultivation technique manuals, there was no way he would have been able to help Luo Xuanqing achieve a breakthrough even if he could compile a book on the latter's flaws through the Library of Heaven's Path.

However, with his comprehension of space achieving the level of 3-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, as well as his assimilation of the Dongxu Gourd, he had already gained a significant understanding of the power of Dimension Sundering.

With that and the Library of Heaven's Path, he just might be able to help Luo Xuanqing achieve a breakthrough to higher realms!

"Give it a try? With the current state I am in, how can I give it a try?" Luo Xuanqing said with a bitter smile.

The activation of his bloodline ability had depleted all of his energy. Putting aside pushing for a breakthrough to higher realms, even walking normally was an arduous task to the current him!

"Oh right… Don't worry, I'll find a way to help you alleviate the side effects resulting from the activation of your bloodline ability." Saying those words, Zhang Xuan immersed his consciousness back in the Library of Heaven's Path and began studying the book he had just compiled on Luo Xuanqing.

He had compiled this book while Luo Xuanqing and the others were fighting against the Dongxu Gourd. He had been intending to use it to explore the secrets concerning the unique bloodlines of Sage Clans, especially since he felt that it would come useful when he vied with the Zhang Clan for Luo Ruoxin's hand in marriage.

The activation of the bloodline ability would result in damage to one's spirit, mind, and vitality, putting one's body in a state of extreme deficiency. In such a state, the cultivator would be unable to exert any strength, and any forceful attempt to do so would result in one's cultivation declining… Reading the description in the book, Zhang Xuan's eyebrows knitted together.

There was a fundamental limit to one's potential, vitality, and spirit, and the activation of one's bloodline would lead to excessive depletion of those. Without sufficient time, there was no way one could recover to full health.

The Heaven's Path zhenqi is able to heal injuries, open up blockages in the meridians, and restore the spirit, mind, vitality of the ill… I wonder if it will be effective in this situation too? Zhang Xuan wondered.

Due to the incredible purity of the Heaven's Path zhenqi, it was able to easily dive into a cultivator's meridians and cells to repair the damaged portions. In a sense, the depletion resulting from the activation of a unique bloodline was a similar problem. Perhaps, it might be of some use.

With this thought in mind, Zhang Xuan looked at Luo Xuanqing straight in the eye and said, "Brother Luo, I have thought of a way that could possibly help you recover from your weakened state swiftly!"

"Oh? What kind of method is it?" Luo Xuanqing asked curiously.

The young man before him had produced too many miracles in the time they had spent together. While he did not bear too much hope in the matter—if there was truly such a method, top-notch Sage Clans like the Zhang Clan and the Luo Clan would already have been using it by now—he still wanted to hear what the young man had in mind.

"Simple." Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist and passed a vat over with a confident look on his face. "You just have to drink this!"

"You want me to drink wine?" Luo Xuanqing was still wondering what kind of solution the young man had in mind, but to think that it would be this. His eyebrows could not help but shoot up.

Bi Hongyin stepped in and intervened. "Luo Xuanqing's body is currently in a bad shape. Drinking wine at this moment will only worsen his condition."

Are you serious about having Luo Xuanqing drink your wine? Look at how frail he is at the moment!

Yuan Xiao also stepped forward and offered, "Zhang shi, if you really wish to drink, why don't I accompany you instead?"

"This is the method to help him recover swiftly from the side effects of activating his bloodline ability," Zhang Xuan explained to the crowd before turning his gaze back to Luo Xuanqing. "Brother Luo, if you believe me, you should give it a try. If it succeeds, I'll help you achieve a breakthrough to Saint 8-dan by today. Even if it fails, it's just a vat of wine. It won't cause too much harm to your current condition!"

"This…" Seeing Zhang Xuan's insistence, Luo Xuanqing hesitated for a moment before nodding slowly. "Alright then."

He took the wine from Zhang Xuan's hands and stared at it for a moment before raising his head and gulping down the wine.


As soon as the wine washed down his throat, a spicy feeling arose in Luo Xuanqing's body. However, it did not seem to be making any difference to his current condition at all.

Just as he was about to berate the young man for fooling around, his body suddenly shuddered involuntarily. He widened his eyes in astonishment and exclaimed, "This wine… There's something wrong with this wine!"

"You poisoned the wine?" Yuan Xiao immediately turned to Zhang Xuan with a darkened face, and a powerful aura immediately burst forth from him.

"…" Luo Xuanqing.

"…" Zhang Xuan.



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