Before the lightning bolt fell, they were almost convinced by the others that Zhang Xuan was a living deity and that there was nothing in this world that he was incapable of. After all, even lightning tribulations were frightened of him! But the sight before them was clearly telling them that they had been deceived.

Was the young man not supposed to dive right into the storm clouds and make the lightning tribulation tremble in fear?

So, why would he end up being struck by lightning instead? From the looks of it, it seemed like he had no strength to go against the lightning tribulation at all.

"Maybe… he might still be in a period of adaptation? He should get better in a moment…" Zhang Yu proposed meekly.

Even though the situation had gone completely differently to what he had expected, he still had deep trust in Zhang Xuan's capability.

After all, what he had witnessed earlier was completely beyond reason.

But once more, before he could finish his words, Zhang Xuan was struck by another bolt of lightning. This time, the sheer might of the lightning was so great that it crushed him right back down to the ground, and his body convulsed uncontrollably as the lightning coursed through him.

Boom! Boom!

More and more lightning bolts zapped down on Zhang Xuan, and his convulsions grew more and more intense.

Elder Ge could not help but ask, "Should we… leap in to save him?"

Even he could not stand looking at the situation any longer. After all the praise that everyone had heaped on the young man, the latter turned out to be an utter disappointment.

"How do you want to save him?" Zhan shi asked with a bitter smile.

The lightning tribulation was already extremely powerful as it was, and their interference would only cause it to grow even stronger. They would only be worsening the situation if they leapt in recklessly!

"Then… are we to look as that lad gets electrocuted to death?" Elder Ge asked with a frown.

"This… I don't know either…" Zhan shi shook his head with a conflicted look on his face.

It was his duty to protect the students of the Sanctum of Sages as the deputy sanctum head, but this was the first time he had encountered such a powerful lightning tribulation. He had no idea how he could possibly stand against it.

While the crowd was looking on the situation helplessly, the one who was being ravaged by the violent lightning bolts, Zhang Xuan, was busy urging Vicious telepathically, "Are you done finding it yet? Hurry up!"

It was not that he did not want to dash right into the storm clouds to absorb the lightning energy, but it had not been easy for him to create such a massive congregation of storm clouds, and it was unlikely that he would be allowed to do so once more. Naturally, he had to make full use of this opportunity for Vicious to locate his upper body.

It was hard to tell when the lightning tribulation would flee once he started absorbing its energy, so Zhang Xuan had no choice but to allow the lightning tribulation to strike him.

It was fortunate that his physical body and Primordial Spirit had been tempered by lightning on many occasions, thus granting him an exceptional resistance against lightning. Even with the storm clouds relentlessly sending bolts of lightning his way, it would still be a while before his life was truly at risk.

"Master, I can sense my body distinctly—it's definitely here! But for some reason, I can't zone in on its exact location. It's almost as if it's hidden within some folded space," Vicious replied in distress.

He was also feeling rather anxious, seeing his master being zapped by lightning in order to buy some time for him to locate his upper body, but despite searching far and wide, he was simply unable to locate it.

He was certain that his body was there, but for him to be unable to zone in on its location… most likely, it was located in a different dimension from that of the Sanctum of Sages.

"Folded space?" Zhang Xuan contemplated for a moment before his heart suddenly skipped a beat. "I recall hearing that the Inner Sanctum is located in a folded space. Could it be that your upper body is located there?"

Zhang Xuan had never fully explored the massive Sanctum of Sages, but he did get an overview of it from the sky. One thing that he had found rather peculiar was that he could not find any traces of the Inner Sanctum, and after asking around, he learned that it was actually located in a folded space. This was somewhat similar to the ancient domain that Ancient Sage Qiu Wu had left behind.

Vicious could clearly sense the presence of his body but was unable to find it. This would mean that there was a chance that it was hidden within a folded space, which would hinder Vicious from accurately pinpointing its location.

"There is such a possibility," Vicious replied.

"Alright. I'll absorb the lightning tribulation now, and we'll continue our search once I get to the Inner Sanctum."

Knowing that he might really be electrocuted to death if he allowed the lightning tribulation to continue striking him, Zhang Xuan pushed himself up from the depression he was in and dashed up into the sky, heading right toward the congregation of storm clouds.

Earlier, he had headed to the Physician Guild at Divine Healer Bai Yu's invitation in order to conduct a lecture concerning poison. However, when he saw that those attending the lectures were all Saint 7-dan pinnacle cultivators who were just a step away from achieving a breakthrough, he could not resist making use of the opportunity to help them achieve a breakthrough.

He did not possess any manuals concerning the breakthrough from Saint 7-dan to Saint 8-dan, but through pointing out and resolving the main flaws in their cultivation, along with some assistance from the vine, it was not too difficult for him to help all of them to achieve a breakthrough.

All of that eventually culminated into the scene that nearly left Elder Ge fainting from shock earlier.

As expected of a lightning tribulation formed by more than a dozen cultivators undergoing their Dimension Sundering Ordeal simultaneously, the energy that it harnessed was indeed incredible. By diving right into the storm clouds and devouring the surrounding lightning energy furiously, it did not take him too long to fill the loop within his dantian. At the same time, he managed to raise his cultivation to the point where he was just a step away from making a breakthrough.

Very soon, the lightning tribulation came to realize that someone was stealing its energy and quickly fled in fright.

I managed to reach Half-Grand Dominion realm, Zhang Xuan thought.

Even though the lightning tribulation had fled very quickly, Zhang Xuan had still managed to make the final step forward and shatter his bottleneck, reaching Half-Grand Dominion realm.

From the looks of it, it was about time for him to really start looking for Grand Dominion realm cultivation techniques so that he could push for higher realms.

After entering the lightning tribulation, Zhang Xuan quickly changed his clothes and tidied himself, such that when the lightning tribulation left, he was no longer in the unkempt state that he had been in before when he descended from the sky. It was only then that he noticed that the crowd below were all dumbstruck.

To his surprise, Sun Qiang was among the crowd, too.

"Young Master!" Seeing that Zhang Xuan was fine, remaining as awe-inspiring as he usually was, Sun Qiang heaved a sigh of relief.

He quickly rushed forward, and with a flick of his hand, he took out a jade container and handed it over. "These are the pinnacle spirit stones that Elder Ge has prepared in order to compensate you!"

"Compensation? Pinnacle spirit stones?" Zhang Xuan was stunned.

It had taken him so much effort just to earn one pinnacle spirit stones—while thinking of this, he suddenly recalled that Zhang Chun still owed him five—whereas a butler who had not even reached the Saint realm yet actually managed to find five so easily.

But the terms that Sun Qiang used, 'compensation'… why would an elder feel compelled to compensate him?

"You are Yang shi's direct disciple?" Just as Zhang Xuan was going to clarify the matter, a doubtful voice suddenly sounded.

Zhang Xuan turned his head and saw an old man walking up to him with a deep frown on his forehead.

"He's Feng Ziyi's butler, Yang shi's subordinate." Noting the hint of confusion in Zhang Xuan's eyes, Sun Qiang stepped forward and introduced the man with a smile. "He's currently under my command."

"Yang shi's subordinate? Under your command?" Zhang Xuan felt his head spinning wildly upon hearing those words.

The 'Yang shi' that had been coming from his mouth was a fake. It was already a huge blessing that he had been able to convince Feng Ziyi to trust him, but why would Yang shi's subordinate be here too, and not to mention, be under Sun Qiang's command?

Knowing that his butler was not a reliable person, Zhang Xuan turned to the old man and asked, "You are…"

"I am Hu Yiwei, Yang shi's butler." Hu Yiwei introduced himself before assessing the young man before him intently.

A moment later, he could not help but pose the doubt in his heart. "Zhang shi, pardon me for asking, but are you from the Zhang Clan?"

"I'm not." Zhang Xuan shook his head helplessly.

"You aren't?" Hu Yiwei seemed to be a little surprised by the answer. "Zhang shi, if it's not too much for me to ask, could I take a look at your hand? There's a thought I have in mind that I would like to verify."

"You want to borrow my hand?" Zhang Xuan was bewildered by Hu Yiwei's bizarre actions, but after a slight pause, he still extended his hand.

The old man placed his fingers on his pulse lightly, seemingly trying to scan his vitals for certain signs. As time went by, the frown on the old man's forehead grew deeper and deeper. "This is weird. Are you really not from the Zhang Clan?"

"Are you referring to my bloodline? I am really not from the Zhang Clan, so I don't have the bloodline of the Zhang Clan either," Zhang Xuan explained as he retracted his hand.

Previously, he had already borrowed Zhang Jiuxiao's blood essence to check this matter, and from the fact that there was no resonance between their bloodlines, it was clear that he was not an offspring of the Zhang Clan.

"Then, has Zhang Clan been afflicted with…" Hu Yiwei was just about to ask something when his words abruptly halted. A moment later, he shook his head and said, "Never mind, it's not an important issue. I still have things to attend to, so I'll take my leave for now!"

After saying those words, Hu Yiwei turned around, and with a slight flicker of his silhouette, he vanished from the spot.



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