Library of Heaven is Path
1371 The Tragic Elder Feng
Zhang Xuan was completely dumbstruck, not knowing whether he should retract his hand from the tortoiseshell or not.
Whether I am talented or not, it'd do for you to just reflect it accordingly... Why the heck did you explode on the spot for?
All I had done was to use a bit of my Heaven's Path zhenqi and the power of the Library of Heaven's Path to disguise myself... Do you really have to do this to me?
Previously, when Elder Feng took out the tortoiseshell, he had treated it extremely carefully, as if it was his child. For it to explode just like that... wouldn't the other party pit his life against him?
Just as Zhang Xuan was at a complete loss as to what to do, he saw the old man who was still smiling a second ago suddenly standing before him, staring at the remains of the tortoise shell on the ground with a twitching face, seemingly on the verge of going berserk.
"Teacher…" Not expecting such a situation to occur either, Yu Chen was shocked beyond words too.
While others might not understand the significance of the tortoiseshell, he knew how important it was to his teacher. Having it reduced to dust like that was no different from claiming his teacher's life.
The trembling Elder Feng reached out to stroke the remains on the ground, and in just an instant, he looked as if he had withered many years.
"Elder Feng, he didn't do it on purpose. Why don't I have a new one forged out for you? Your tortoiseshell was already old and decrepit prior to this, filled with many cracks. It was only a matter of time before it broke. Just last year, I came to know an extremely skilled craftsman at the Chen Village; his handicraft is truly exquisite, and the price he charged is fair as well. Shall I introduce him to you?" Luo Xuanqing consoled.
"Pu!" Unable to take it anymore, Elder Feng spurted a mouthful of blood.
"Cough cough…" Zhang Xuan rolled his eyes at his future brother-in-law before shaking his head speechlessly.
You shouldn't try to console others if you don't know how to go around doing it. You are only making things worse!
A tortoiseshell of this tier was incredibly valuable... Do you think that you would be able to replace it just by forging a close replica?
Seeing that Luo Xuanqing couldn't be relied on, Zhang Xuan could only make a move himself. He pondered for a moment before speaking up earnestly, "Elder Feng, what is done cannot be undone, so there's no use remaining upset about the matter. It's just a tortoiseshell anyway. Why don't I capture a few over tomorrow so that you can make as many of it as you want? If you like, you could even boil a pot of fine soup with their flesh too…"
"Pu! Pu!" Elder Feng spurted even more blood.
"Or else, why don't I make a new one for you then?" Seeing that the situation seemed to only be getting worse with his consolation, Zhang Xuan was really at a loss as to what to do.
While he was touching the tortoiseshell previously, he managed to compile a book on it in the Library of Heaven's Path. Despite the long heritage behind it and its high tier, it was plagued with many flaws too. As long as Zhang Xuan was willing to set his mind to it and managed to gather sufficient books on it, he should be able to forge another tortoiseshell that was of the same tier or even higher!
With this thought in mind, Zhang Xuan decided to immerse his consciousness into the Library of Heaven's Path to study the book so as to analyze the feasibility of creating an exact replica of the tortoiseshell when Yu Chen's anxious voice suddenly sounded.
His voice was quivering, carrying deep fear toward something.
Sensing the anxiety in the voice, the depressed Elder Feng turned his head over.
"Look at that…" Yu Chen pointed to the roof above them.
Elder Feng hurriedly raised his head, and what he saw caused his eyes to narrow in fear.
At the same time, noticing the peculiar reaction of the duo, Zhang Xuan and the others raised their heads as well, and in the next instant, they froze on the spot.
A huge crack had appeared on the tortoiseshell-shaped building above them, and it was swiftly creeping its way across the area. The inscriptions that were used to fortify the building seemed to have been rendered useless in this very moment, as if they had encountered a force which even they were helpless before.
"How could this be?" Elder Feng clawed his head in horror.
The explosion of the Sage Xi's Tortoiseshell could still be attributed to its old age and wear and tear, thus resulting in retribution from the heavens. On the other hand, the tortoiseshell building had a huge investment in manpower and resources to construct it, and in terms of durability, not even a Saint 8-dan pinnacle expert's full strength attack would be able to cause the slightest damage to it. Why would it collapse all of a sudden?
"Stop!" Bellowing furiously, Elder Feng rushed forward in an attempt to stop the destruction.
No matter what, he couldn't allow the Shrine of Seers to collapse just like that.
However, despite his furious output of zhenqi, he was still unable to stop the collapse of the building. It was as if an inexplicable force that no man could rival was acting upon the building, forcing the collapse to occur.
And before this force, even Saint 9-dan experts were nothing more than ants, not even worth a mention.
Finally, the roof reached the limits of its durability, and with a series of explosions, rubble began plummeting from above. Many of the seers were immediately jolted out of their focused state, and they anxiously opened their eyes and darted out.
As for Zhang Xuan and the rest, it somehow felt wrong if they were to run away in this moment, so they could only drive their zhenqi and form a barrier above them to fend off the falling rubble.
Even amidst a cloud of dust, it took just a mere glance to see that the ancient tortoiseshell building was no more, replaced by a mere lump of rubble. All of the formations and the sort that it harnessed had also been completely destroyed as well.
"This…" Zhang Xuan blinked his eyes in a daze as he remarked, "Isn't this building a little too poorly-built? Just who is the architect behind it? If any ordinary humans had been in here, they would have been crushed to death!"
The building still appeared rather sturdy when he looked at it from the outside, but it turned out to be just a false sense of security! It was fortunate that he was strong, otherwise he would have never been able to survive the collapsing rubble no matter how many lives he had!
"Pu!" Once again, Elder Feng spurted a mouthful of blood.
"Teacher, what's going on?" Yu Chen rushed over to Elder Feng's side and asked anxiously.
It took a while before Elder Feng managed to calm down the stifled sensation in his heart. He looked at the rubble all around him with a desolated look and sighed deeply, "It must be the retribution of the heavens…"
"Retribution of the heavens?" Hearing that phrase, Zhang Xuan asked in incomprehension.
"Seers sought to peer into the secrets of the heavens in order to receive insights into what the future holds, which is a violation of the natural laws of the world. For that reason, our occupation is deeply abhorred by the heavens. As such, we have to use unique means in order to conceal our presence from the will of the heavens, thus leaving the retribution of the heavens nowhere to strike... However, even such means aren't completely infallible. After all, the heavens possess means which none of us can fathom. Take the situation just now for example, it seems that the will of the heavens have somehow slipped past the barriers we have put up and destroyed the entire place from within, thus resulting in the current state of affairs…" Elder Feng hesitated for a moment before explaining slowly.
As a 9-star seer, even though everything had happened abruptly, he was still able to fathom roughly what had just happened with a swift divination.
Those who had reached the top in a certain field were bound to catch the envy of the heavens, and this envy would often manifest in a physical form such as the Leaving Aperture Ordeal and the Dimension Sundering Ordeal. In a sense, this could be considered to be the heavens' retribution toward those who dared to vie power from it.
And this was even more so for seers, who sought to peer into the secrets of the heavens. The only reason why they were able to survive so long was due to the elaborate preparations they had made to guard against the will of the heavens. Using the language of Zhang Xuan's world, it would be similar to how illegal gambling dens would swiftly hide all traces of their activities as soon their sentries caught sight of the arrival of the police, leaving the policemen completely helpless against them.
And of course, when seers dared to peer into the secrets of the heavens, they didn't just rely on their courage and bravado either. They would have made ample preparations in advance. However, they just didn't expect that despite the tight guard they had put up against it, they were still noticed. Not only was the tortoiseshell destroyed, even the Sanctum of Sages' several dozen millenniums old Shrine of Seers was destroyed as well...
Elder Feng clutched his chest as a stabbing pain assaulted his heart.
On the other hand, upon hearing those words, Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up in astonishment.
He had previously attributed the incident to the lack of durability of the tortoiseshell and the building, but it turned out to be related to the will of the heavens instead.
When he used the Library of Heaven's Path to examine the tortoiseshell, the tortoiseshell broke. When he used it to help him assess whether he would be able to create an exact replica, the entire shrine collapsed on them...
Could the 'will of the heavens slipping past the barriers' which Elder Feng had spoken about possibly be related to the Library of Heaven's Path?
If that was the case, he would have a huge responsibility to play in the destruction.
Zhang Xuan's face turned crimson red, and he had no idea how he could explain this matter to Elder Feng at all. But at this moment, Elder Feng shook his head bitterly and patted Zhang Xuan's shoulder consolingly, "Zhang shi, you need no blame yourself for this matter. This has nothing to do with you! Our Shrine of Seers probably got complacent and slacked off in maintaining the defensive barriers, thus resulting in the current circumstances. I know that it might seem that our occupation might seem quite dangerous after everything that has happened, but I can ensure you that this is an anomaly. As long as one were to speak prudently and make proper preparations beforehand, one wouldn't face with any danger at all, not to mention that you possess the Discarnate Constitution of Divination!"
"Safe?" Seeing that Elder Feng didn't blame him for the matter, Zhang Xuan internally heaved a sigh of relief.
There was no way he could mention the Library of Heaven's Path before the other party. Since the other party didn't realize a thing, it would be foolish for him to speak up and give himself away.
As for the damage he had cost, he would just have to find another way to compensate them.
"Indeed, this is just a freak accident. Usually, it wouldn't even happen once in ten thousand years…" Fearing that the genius he had set his eyes on would back out due to this matter, Elder Feng hurriedly explained. "If you are still feeling a little skeptical about the matter, you can take a look at our library over there. We maintain another layer of defensive barrier around it, so it was able to avoid the retribution of the heavens. As such, despite the collapse of the Shrine of Seers, it's still able to remain standing. As long as sufficient defensive measures are made in advance, it's really extremely safe!"
As he spoke, he gestured over in a direction.
Looking at where Elder Feng was pointing at, Zhang Xuan saw a building standing not too far away. It was connected directly to the Shrine of Seers, but the destruction of the Shrine of Seers didn't seem to have fazed it in the least. Through its open entrance, he could see shelves and shelves of books stacked neatly within. Despite the cloud of dust drifting in the area, the interiors of the library remained perfectly clean.
"That's your library?" Zhang Xuan asked as his eyes lit up.
The destruction of the Shrine of Seers had already left him a little panicked, causing him to rack his brain desperately to find a way for him to compensate them. However, if he could access the library and compile a complete Heaven's Path Divination Art, he would be able to make it up to them in full.
"That's right!" Elder Feng nodded with a hint of pride in his voice. "Even though the members of our Shrine of Seers branch number much less than the other occupations in the Sanctum of Sages, our collection of books doesn't pale in comparison at all. Sage Xi's Tortoiseshell might have been destroyed due to the little accident we had previously, but you can still assess your talent through browsing through the books!"
Previously, when the other party said that he wanted to browse through the books to determine whether he was suited for the occupation or not, he proposed using Sage Xi's Tortoiseshell instead only because he thought that it would be too troublesome and too long.
But with the destruction of Sage Xi's Tortoiseshell, there was no other way around it anymore. They could only rely on the most primitive method now.
"Alright then, I'll go take a look."
Hearing that he was free to browse through the books, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief. He instinctively began walking over to the library when warning bells suddenly rang inside his head, and he quickly halted in his footsteps.
"If I were to use to the Library of Heaven's Path in there, would the library collapse as well?" Zhang Xuan's heart jolted in trepidation.
But thinking again, the reason why the Shrine of Seers collapsed was probably because the will of the heavens sensed someone attempting to peer into its secrets, so perhaps, it might not work on books? Besides, it wasn't certain that the collapse of the Shrine of Seers was due to him using the Library of Heaven's Path either.
Nevertheless, just to be safe, Zhang Xuan decided to activate his Library of Heaven's Path from where he stood so that even if his guess was wrong, the defensive barrier would still be able to defend the library.
Thus, he muttered lightly in his mind, "Flaws!"
In the next moment, a wild inferno swept across the books, burning them down into ashes in an instant. Following which, a massive crack crept across the entire library, similar to what that had happened to the tortoiseshell previously.
And in just a few breaths, the building collapsed into a pile of rubble.
"My library!" Elder Feng's eyes widened to their brim, and a mouthful of fresh blood spurted from his mouth. Frenzy consumed his mind.
Just what in the world was happening? Why would multiple calamities strike the Shrine of Seers in such short succession?
If it was just once, it could still be reasoned as them failing to conceal their presence well, resulting in the notice of the will of the heavens. However, for it to happen thrice... at this point, even he was unable to find any reason to justify it anymore.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan's lips twitched in horror at that sight as well, "Even books aren't spared either?"
He wasn't too certain before, but this around, watching with his own eyes the inferno spreading across the library, there was no way for him to deny it anymore.
He quickly turned to look at the dazed elder beside him and called out, "Elder Feng. Elder Feng? Elder Feng!!"
Zhang Xuan called out thrice, but the other party didn't respond at all. Alarmed by the unnatural state that Elder Feng was in, he began worrying whether the other party had ended up sustain grievous internal injuries due to the multiple shocks he had suffered, so he immediately walked toward the other party to take a closer look.
But in the next moment, a thick streak of lightning suddenly appeared from nowhere and fell right on top of Elder Feng.
Elder Feng collapsed to the ground.
"Elder Feng, you…" Horrified, Zhang Xuan hastened his footsteps.
Hong long! Hong long! Hong long! Hong long!
Multiple streaks of lightning drowned the old man, leaving only a pair of spasming legs outside.