Library of Heaven is Path
1381 Crossing Hands with Feng Ziyi
Feng Ziyi was the top ranker of the Mountain Gate examination, outdoing even Zhang Yu of the Zhang Clan. Zhang Xuan had met him once during the gathering of their Elite Division class prior to being abruptly taken away by Luo Xuanqing.
Previously, he had only known Feng Ziyi to be the direct disciple of a grand elder from the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters, but during the journey to obtain the Dongxu Gourd, he learned from Yuan Xiao and the others that he was actually the real Yang Xuan's direct disciple... In other words, the real counterpart to the fake persona he had come up with!
And for the other party to have waited for him here for several days...
It couldn't be that the other party had found out about him faking his identity and came over here to apprehend him?
"Did... he mention the reason why he's looking for me?" Zhang Xuan asked anxiously.
It would still be fine if it was just Feng Ziyi, but if Yang Xuan were to find out as well, he would have no choice but to flee.
As the most enigmatic and strongest grand elder of the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters, there was little doubt that Yang Xuan had already achieved a level far beyond Saint 9-dan. There was no way he would be able to stand against a figure like that.
"Well, he didn't say anything at all, but he's oddly patient. Despite being well aware that you aren't around, he still refuses to leave, insistently waiting here for a few days straight…" Sun Qiang said with a deep frown.
"That's clearly an attempt to corner me…" Zhang Xuan's lips twitched upon hearing those words.
There had been completely no interaction between him and Feng Ziyi in the past, so other than the matter of him being 'Yang Xuan's direct disciple', he couldn't think of another reason why the latter would willingly wait here for a few days straight.
"Right, Zhang Jiuxiao is here as well. Just like Feng Ziyi, he has been here waiting for you for quite a few days now too." Sun Qiang suddenly recalled another matter and said.
"Jiuxiao? What's he doing here? Is he acquainted with Feng Ziyi?" Zhang Xuan was slightly taken aback.
Considering how Zhang Jiuxiao was a student of the Ordinary Division, barely meeting the mark to qualify as a student of the Sanctum of Sages, it didn't seem too likely for him to be acquainted with the number one expert of their Elite Division class.
"Young Master, are you intending to meet them? Otherwise, I can just relay a message to them that you are currently in seclusion." Noticing a hint of dilemma on Zhang Xuan's forehead, Sun Qiang proposed.
"It's fine, I'll meet them." Zhang Xuan replied.
What that would come would eventually come. There was no point evading the matter. He might as well meet the other party to see what the other party was intending to do.
Besides, considering how the Shrine of Seers and Spirit Awakener Hall were reduced to rubble, the other party should have already received the news of his return by now... There was no way he could continue hiding from the other party anymore.
Having made up his mind, he didn't hesitate to make his way over to the main hall of his residence.
Walking in, he saw two young men seated patiently on the guest seats. One of them stood up in agitation upon seeing him and exclaimed, "Zhang shi, you are finally back! You sure have kept up waiting for long. I believe you should be familiar with Senior Feng over here too. I didn't expect that he's actually Yang shi's direct disciple too, coming from the same roots as you, so I specially brought him over to meet you…"
Naturally, the young man who had stood up was Zhang Jiuxiao.
"Yang shi's direct disciple?" Zhang Xuan asked as he directed a long, meaningful look at Zhang Jiuxiao.
If thoughts could kill, Zhang Jiuxiao might have died a thousand times over in that short moment.
All this while, he had been wondering who was the culprit that revealed the news of him being Yang Xuan's student, but who could have thought that it would actually be an insider leak...
Zhang Jiuxiao had been in Qingyuan City during the same period of time as him, and he was rather close with Wu shi and the others too. All it would take was a simple ask for him to find out Zhang Xuan's lineage...
So, it wasn't too surprising for him to know about his relationship with 'Yang Xuan'.
But... it's one thing for you to know, but why do you have to boast about it in front of Feng Ziyi?
If, touchwood, this news were to get to the ears of the real Yang shi, won't I be a goner?
Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in frustration. Rage bubbled furiously within him, but there was no outlet for him to vent it at all. In the end, he could only suppress his overflowing fury and chuckle awkwardly, "You... are from Yang shi's lineage too?"
Feng Ziyi stood up, and instead of answering the question, he raised his palm and gestured to the center of the hall, "I would like to request to have a duel with you."
"A duel?" Zhang Xuan asked with a deep frown.
"That's right." Not bothering to explain his intention, Feng Ziyi drove his zhenqi, and an intense aura rippled forth from him, threatening to crush the surrounding air into fragments.
"This is... Phantasmal Space realm primary stage?" Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in astonishment.
The previous time he met Feng Ziyi, the latter was only at Grand Dominion realm advanced stage. Yet, in just a short twenty or so days, he actually managed to raise his cultivation by two stages, reaching Phantasmal Space realm primary stage... This was truly fearsome!
While the bottleneck that one had to overcome in order to achieve a breakthrough to Saint 7-dan Phantasmal Space realm was significantly lower as compared to that of Saint 8-dan Dimension Sundering realm, it was still inconceivable for any cultivator to do so within a short span of twenty days.
What was even more astounding was that the other party was only in his mid-twenties, roughly twenty-four or twenty-five this year... With such talent, it was just a matter of time before he became one of the powerhouses of the Master Teacher Continent!
Noticing Zhang Xuan's hesitation, Feng Ziyi chuckled coldly and said, "I did manage to make some advancements during this period of time, but it seems like you have achieved quite a few breakthroughs yourself too. The previous time we met, you were only at Leaving Aperture realm primary stage, but in just a short twenty days, you have already managed to reach Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle. You were able to defeat Zhang Zhuo and the others as a Leaving Aperture realm primary stage cultivator, so you should be far stronger now, right? You didn't hesitate to challenge those of the Zhang Clan, so why would you hesitate at the notion of fighting against me?"
While Zhang Xuan was astounded by the rate at which Feng Ziyi was advancing his cultivation, the vice-versa was true as well.
Feng Ziyi remembered that Zhang Xuan was only at Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle when he challenged the Mountain Gate examination, but in less than a month, his cultivation had actually risen by an entire realm, reaching Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle. This rate of cultivation was one which even he would pale far in comparison against!
Furthermore, the other party also wielded superior fighting prowess that allowed him to challenge cultivators far beyond his tier, as shown by how he managed to defeat Zhang Zhuo and the others back then.
In truth, Feng Ziyi's initial intention was to confront Zhang Xuan on the rumors of him being Yang Xuan's direct disciple too, but upon recalling the peculiarities surrounding the latter, his blood suddenly raced in excitement, and an urge to challenge the latter to a battle struck him.
"Since you are so earnest in your request, it would be impolite for me to turn you down." Knowing that there was no way to shun the matter, Zhang Xuan walked to the center of the room and gestured, "Feel free."
As long as Yang Xuan didn't appear in the picture, there was nothing for him to fear.
A blade was already above his neck, regardless of whether he pushed ahead or retreated. Since that was the case, he might as well retaliate.
If Feng Ziyi wanted to make a move on him, he would have to first defeat him!
Seeing that Zhang Xuan had accepted his battle, Feng Ziyi stepped forward as well and flicked his hand softly.
A Dominion swiftly engulfed the main hall. Any Spiritual Perception that attempted to perceive within the barrier would abruptly vanish, as if falling into another dimension. At the same time, Feng Ziyi also pushed his palm downward, and an oppressive might froze the surrounding space, leaving one feeling as if one was standing in the midst of a vacuum, making even breathing nigh impossible.
"He's indeed rather strong." Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes.
Even though Feng Ziyi was only at Phantasmal Space realm primary stage, the strength he had displayed so far was already on par with the Phantasmal Space advanced stage Bi Hongyin!
True, Bi Hongyin was still slightly lacking as compared to Luo Xuanqing and the others, but with her caliber, she could already be considered as one of the top geniuses of the Sanctum of Sages, far surpassing most of the other students... And yet, to wield strength comparable to her despite being two cultivation stages weaker, Feng Ziyi was truly a frightening individual!
A feeling of tightness swiftly constricted Zhang Xuan's chest. He knew that he would only be plunged in a worse position if he were to retreat at this point, so he roared furiously, "Break!"
His voice seemed to be tinged with a powerful force that hammered down on one's soul like a wreaking ball. In just an instant, cracks swiftly spread across the Dominion before it shattered with a resounding explosion.
Through studying the books Bi Hongyin had relating to demonic tunes, he managed to raise his comprehension and mastery of demonic tunes to the caliber of an 8-star demonic tunist. He was still unable to exert the full prowess of an 8-star demonic tunist due to the limitations of his cultivation, but nevertheless, his attacks were still plenty fearsome. Without a transcendental state of mind, it would be impossible to withstand it.
After breaking the Dominion with a roar, Zhang Xuan flicked his finger and sent a surge of sword qi in Feng Ziyi's direction.
Considering that his cultivation was far beneath the other party, it would be extremely dangerous for him to hold back. Thus, he infused the full prowess of his offensive Sword Quintessence into the attack.
In the midst of its trajectory, the surge of sword qi suddenly burst open to engulf the entire area, creating something reminiscent to the sea. It wasn't the Sea Severing Sword of the Three Swords of Lingxu, but the combined prowess of the countless sword qi within this 'sea' was plenty terrifying. They converged like a vortex and crushed down on Feng Ziyi with devastating might.
"Formidable!" Feng Ziyi's eyes lit up upon seeing this move. "Under normal circumstances, it should be impossible for any cultivator beneath Saint 7-dan realm to withstand the Dominion of a Phantasmal Space realm cultivator. Yet, with just a roar, he was able to sever my control over my Dominion before creating his own Dominion using his sword qi to suppress me…"
The reason why Grand Dominion realm experts were so powerful was because they commanded absolute authority within the territory of their Dominion.
Considering that the other party was only at Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle, having yet to comprehend Dominion, the other party would inevitably be in a disadvantageous position facing him straight-on. In view of that, the other party actually chose to craft out his own Dominion using his sword qi in order to accrue sufficient power to fight on equal grounds with him...
This was something he had never thought of before. It was truly a brilliant move!
As soon as the other party's sword qi collided with his palm, Feng Ziyi was forced to retreat two steps.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan was forced to retreat eight steps.
In this short encounter, it was apparent who wielded the absolute advantage in terms of sheer strength.
"For someone who is two cultivation realms weaker than me to be able to withstand my attack, I must admit that you are indeed a person of great capability. However... let's see if you'll be able to do the same for this too!" With eyes gleaming in excitement, Feng Ziyi charged forward once more.
His silhouette swiftly turned illusory, as if he had warped into a phantasm. In just the blink of an eye, he had already covered ten meters to stand right before Zhang Xuan.
"His speed is incredible too…" Zhang Xuan was alarmed.
In terms of instantaneous burst speed, the other party was actually no slower than his Heaven's Path Movement Art!
The reason why Luo Xuanqing was capable of moving faster than him was due to his high cultivation realm and superior grasp of spatial laws, but to think that Feng Ziyi would be so fast as well... As expected of Yang shi's direct disciple, a genius from the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters! His abilities were truly off the charts!
From the previous encounter, it was apparent that it would be unwise for Zhang Xuan to face Feng Ziyi's attacks head-on, considering the disparity in their strength. Thus, in response to the latter's sudden approach, he quickly activated his Heaven's Path Movement Art to retreat.
But as fast as he retreated, Feng Ziyi's advancement was even faster. The latter's outstretched finger seemed to be ready to pierce a hole open in his throat at any moment.
Hu hu hu!
Zhang Xuan quickly switched between various movements arts in hopes of shaking Feng Ziyi off, but as if his shadow, the latter remained tight on his tail. Slowly, he began to panic a little.
"At this rate, I just might lose…"
Even though Zhang Xuan was still able to keep the other party's finger off his throat for the time being, he would risk losing control over the momentum of the battle at this rate. Once that were to happen, it would only a matter of time before his loss.
"I'll just have to take a risk!" Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan made up his mind, and his eyes turned solemn.
He abruptly halted his footsteps as he forcefully compressed the muscles before his neck.
As a result of his sudden stop, Feng Ziyi's finger struck Zhang Xuan's neck. However, the anticipated piercing didn't occur. On the contrary, a sound reminiscent to the metallic reverberation of two weapons clashing with one another sounded instead.
Heaven's Path Golden Body!
After learning the newest version of Heaven's Path Golden Body compiled from Yuan Xiao's physical body cultivation technique manuals, the resilience of his physical body had become comparable to half-Saint high-tier artifacts.
To put it in other words, as long as Feng Ziyi didn't wield a Saint high-tier weapon in his hands, it would be nigh impossible for him to impale him!
"It should be my turn now!"
Feng Ziyi was visibly stunned by the failure of his finger to impale Zhang Xuan's throat. Knowing that this was a good opportunity for him to strike, Zhang Xuan clenched his fist tightly and thrust it forward.
This punch harnessed not only the strength derived from his zhenqi but from his physical body and soul as well. Even before landing on its target, the other party's Phantasmal Space realm Dominion had already begun shattering inch after inch, reminiscent of a popped bubble.
"You... How is this possible?" Feng Ziyi was aghast.