Library of Heaven is Path
1378 The Shameless Gourd
The Dimension Sundering Ordeal was incomparably dangerous. Luo Xuanqing had intended to challenge it in the Sanctum of Sages, where he would be protected by Kong shi's will, thus making him less susceptible to inner demons.
However, he had ended up calling the lightning tribulation in the middle of this mountain range instead. Without a doubt, something unexpected must have happened, leaving him with no choice but to face his Dimension Sundering Ordeal prematurely.
After making sense of the situation, Zhang Xuan did not rush forward to assist Luo Xuanqing. Instead, he activated his Eye of Insight and assessed the surrounding area, and a moment later, a frown surfaced on his forehead.
There was no one in the surroundings at all.
Was he mistaken? Or did the person Luo Xuanqing was fighting with previously flee in fear upon seeing the arrival of the lightning tribulation?
Seeing that there was no one in the area, Zhang Xuan quickly turned his sight back to the young man standing amid the sea of lightning. Forget it, there's no time to think about that now. Luo Xuanqing has a rather irritable temper, which makes him very prone to the assault of inner demons. Facing the Dimension Sundering Ordeal without ample preparation could be extremely dangerous to him.
The Dimension Sundering Ordeal was dangerous not just because of the lightning tribulation but also because of the transformations in the surrounding space and the inner demons. Even he would have some trouble clearing it. At this moment, Luo Xuanqing's eyes were already crimson, and it was apparent to anyone looking at him that he was not in the right state of mind. Forcefully challenging the Dimension Sundering Ordeal in his current condition could very well spell failure and even death!
I have to save him!
Without any time to hesitate, Zhang Xuan rushed straight toward the lightning.
Shortly after he flew into the area of the lightning tribulation, just three hundred meters away from where he had been standing before, two figures slowly materialized into existence.
It felt as if they were non-existent beings that were squeezed out of the void. Not even sweeping across them with one's Spiritual Perception would allow one to perceive their presence.
One of them was an elder dressed in a golden robe. Looking at Zhang Xuan's disappearing back with a tight frown, he asked, "Who is he?"
The other elder standing behind him clasped his fist and explained, "Elder, that young man is Zhang Xuan, a friend whom Young Master Xuanqing recently got acquainted with. The both of them have set out to find the Dongxu Gourd together, and that's what allowed Young Master Xuanqing to successfully make a breakthrough to Half-Dimension Sundering realm!"
"Zhang Xuan? The Zhang Clan?" the golden-robed elder asked.
"According to our investigations, he isn't from the Zhang Clan but an orphan from an Unranked Kingdom. It's said that he's Yang shi's direct disciple!" the second elder replied.
"Yang Xuan? That fellow has started taking in disciples too?" The golden-robed elder was slightly surprised to hear those words.
A moment later, he shook his head in incomprehension and said, "Since that young man is Yang Xuan's disciple, he should know better than to charge right into the lightning tribulation. Did he think that he would be of any help to Xuanqing with his Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle cultivation?"
A cultivator had to clear their ordeals with their own strength.
Help from others would only cause the lightning tribulation to grow larger and larger, possibly causing the situation to run out of control.
While it was true that the young man would not make much difference to the might of the Dimension Sundering Ordeal considering how weak he was, charging in recklessly was just plain suicidal.
Just what in the world was he thinking?
"Based on the rumors, this Zhang Xuan is a rather hot-tempered person who causes destruction wherever he goes. It might be due to their similar personalities that they forged a tight bond. Thus, when he saw that Young Master Xuanqing was facing the lightning tribulation, he couldn't help but leap in to offer his help," the second elder explained.
"Couldn't help but leap in?" The golden-robed elder harrumphed coldly. "Courageous but lacks wit. Tell Xuanqing to steer clear from such reckless individuals after he clears his Dimension Sundering Ordeal."
In the first place, he was already extremely displeased by how Luo Xuanqing was causing destruction everywhere he went. Naturally, hearing that he was friends with someone of a similar nature, his anger only intensified further.
"Yes." The second elder nodded.
Oblivious to the two figures who had escaped the detection of his Eye of Insight and materialized behind him, Zhang Xuan had already arrived at a location not too far away from Luo Xuanqing.
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan, Luo Xuanqing anxiously bellowed, "What are you doing here?"
"You won't be able to clear the Dimension Sundering Ordeal in the current state you are in. I'm here to help you," Zhang Xuan explained.
"Help me? This is my lightning tribulation, what can you possibly do to help me?" Luo Xuanqing shook his head. "Get out of here fast. I'm not even certain if I can withstand the lightning that is gathering above, much less protect you…"
Before Luo Xuanqing could finish his words, the lightning bolt in the sky had finally finished charging up its power, and it abruptly bolted down with imposing momentum.
A ten-meter-wide streak of lightning tore open a black gorge through space as it fell straight for Luo Xuanqing.
"Don't even think about it!" Luo Xuanqing hurriedly gathered immense might in his palms and thrust them upward to fend off the lightning strike.
The overwhelming might he wielded as a Half-Dimension Sundering realm expert collided head-on with the lightning, causing the surrounding space to crumble layer by layer.
Even though he managed to ward off most of the energy harnessed within the lightning bolt, there were still some remnants that breached his defense and struck his head, causing his hair to stand up and his body to be charred black.
The Dimension Sundering Ordeal was many times stronger than the Leaving Aperture Ordeal that Zhang Xuan had summoned previously. Even with his recent breakthrough to Half-Dimension Sundering realm, he still felt a numbing sensation rippling through his body, and the zhenqi within his body nearly dissipated under the zap.
"Hurry up and leave the area. I really won't be able to withstand this lightning tribulation!" Luo Xuanqing panted rapidly as he howled with reddened eyes.
He had spent nearly half of his entire capacity of zhenqi just to fend off that single streak of lightning, and the zap of lightning that struck him caused a feeling of weakness to spread throughout his body, making him feel as if there was lead in his arms and legs.
There was a total of six lightning streaks that one had to face in the Dimension Sundering Ordeal, and every single streak was more formidable than the last. Even the first one had left him nearly incapacitated, so he did not know if how he could persevere through the remaining five.
"You don't need to worry about me. I'll just head up to take a swift look." Paying no heed to Luo Xuanqing's words, Zhang Xuan suddenly leaped up, diving straight toward the storm clouds.
"You…" Not expecting the other party to leap into the most dangerous region of the lightning tribulation just to save him, Luo Xuanqing could not help but feel a little touched inside.
Really, it was only in a life-and-death situation that a person would be able to tell their true friends apart from their fair-weather friends.
In fact, putting aside friends, most cultivator couples would also choose to abandon their companion in times of danger. The fact that the other party was willing to dive deep into danger in order to save him at this crucial moment truly meant a lot to him. Zhang Xuan was a person who was truly loyal to his friends!
Wait a moment…
A thought suddenly came into Luo Xuanqing's mind, and he shuddered.
Could it be that he likes me?
Looking back, it really felt like Zhang Xuan had treated him exceptionally well, to a point that was already beyond the normal relationship between friends.
Could it be that he harbors lustful thoughts toward me?
Regardless of what he's thinking of, there's no way I'll submit to him, not even at the cost of my life. Humph!
Luo Xuanqing quickly shook away the thoughts in his mind as he swallowed a pill and quickly replenished the zhenqi that he had lost. He had to prepare himself to face the second streak of lightning.
"Is that fellow insane?"
Not only was Luo Xuanqing taken aback by Zhang Xuan's actions, the two elders spectating outside were dumbfounded as well.
They had seen cultivators dashing into their lover's lightning tribulation to shoulder the suffering together, and they had also seen those who stood resiliently in the face of the lightning, determined to protect their loved one even if it meant death. But not once had they seen anyone charging straight into the storm clouds to seek death!
How in the world did a master teacher as formidable as Yang Xuan end up with such a crackbrained disciple?
"Not even Saint 8-dan experts would dare dive into the midst of the storm clouds of a Dimension Sundering Ordeal. For a mere Saint 5-dan Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle cultivator to dive right in, that's practically suicide." The golden-robed elder shook his head. "Forget it, let's collect his corpse later on and bury him well."
This was the first time he had seen such an irrational individual. This was no longer saving others but leaping to one's death!
Unaware of the frenzy he had induced among the crowd, an excited gleam surfaced in Zhang Xuan's eyes as soon as he dived into the clouds.
"Little Tribulation, Big Brother Zhang Xuan is here." Zhang Xuan's voice quivered in excitement as he opened all of his acupoints and began taking everything around him in.
It had taken them five to six days to find the Dongxu Gourd, but the return trip had taken them ten days in total.
It had taken him only a couple of hours to help Bi Hongyin and the others achieve a breakthrough, and he did not waste the remaining time either. He had been using the Dongxu Gourd to expand his dantian, creating a looped space.
Hard work never fails.
He did manage to succeed with the construction of the looped space prior to returning to the Sanctum of Sages… but a new problem had swiftly arisen.
The creation of the looped space increased the capacity of his dantian more than tenfold, and all in all, his zhenqi was only sufficient to fill a tenth of it. Just as he was racking his brain to find a way to fill it up, this lightning tribulation came his way. How could he possibly not be excited?
With this, he would be able to fill his zhenqi right to the brim!
The lightning that seeped into his body was swiftly converted into lightning zhenqi before being deposited into his dantian. Sensing the sudden influx of power, the lazily lying Dongxu Gourd jolted upward, and it swiftly leaped out of his body.
"What are you going to do?"
The sudden appearance of the Dongxu Gourd immediately left Zhang Xuan feeling wary. Nothing good seemed to happen whenever it appeared.
Paying no heed to Zhang Xuan's question, the gourd let loose a joyful exclamation as it began to circle around the area.
Along with its circular motion, the surrounding lightning was swiftly drawn toward it, and as if falling into a black hole, the lightning disappeared from the world.
"The heck… Slow down! You are just a mere gourd; do you really need that much energy?"
It was his clone the last around, and now, even a mere gourd was stealing the lightning tribulation from him!
What the heck is this?
It wasn't easy for me to bump into Luo Xuanqing's lightning tribulation, you know?
There's still a huge vacuum within my dantian that I haven't filled up. Don't you feel ashamed profiting off my hard work?
As an artifact, shouldn't you learn to respect your master's will?
Zhang Xuan soon realized that there was no way he would be able to stop the Dongxu Gourd, so he eventually gave up on talking to it and focused back on absorbing as much lightning energy as he could.
But soon, he suddenly felt a rapid decline in the concentration of lightning around him. Turning his head, he saw another vortex forming within the storm cloud. At some point in time, the vine that he had stored inside his storage ring had flown out, and it was gobbling down the lightning energy at an insane rate as well.
"Screw this… All this lightning is mine, mine!" Zhang Xuan was on the verge of going insane.
All of you are really too shameless! How can you snatch my stuff publicly?
While Zhang Xuan's face was still twitching from rage, his clone suddenly popped out beside him, and after directing a cold harrumph toward Zhang Xuan, as if blaming him for not inviting him to the party, he dashed to the center of the lightning tribulation and began absorbing the lightning energy too.
Seeing how each of these fellows was absorbing at a rate far quicker than him, Zhang Xuan knew that it would be foolish to waste his time getting angry. He could always berate them afterward. Thus, gritting his teeth, he drew out his Primordial Spirit and began absorbing the surrounding lightning energy furiously in unison with his body.
Zhenqi was swiftly deposited into his dantian, filling up the void in his body.
But barely after he had filled up a third of his capacity, he sensed that the surrounding lightning had already grown pathetically thin. Taking a swift look around him, he saw that the rate at which the gourd, the vine, and his clone were devouring the surrounding lightning was increasing, causing the initially concentrated sea of lightning to turn so thin that it looked like a thin layer of mist instead.
The more he thought about it, the more furious Zhang Xuan felt. Gritting his teeth, he hastened his rate of absorption as well.
And while he was on the verge of exploding of anger, Luo Xuanqing, who had spent his time desperately replenishing his energy, finally heralded the arrival of the second lightning streak.
A sound reminiscent of flatulence echoed in the air, and a finger-thick streak of lightning weakly fell upon his head.
With a might that was probably insufficient to snap a branch, it dissipated after finishing its job.
"…" Luo Xuanqing.
"…" The two elders.