"In the sculpture?" Zhang Xuan was startled.

He found this matter a little hard to believe.

He would not have been too shocked if Vicious had told him that his upper body was placed within some ancestral hall or sealed deep underground, but to actually be hidden within Sage Kui's sculpture…

How could that be?

Sage Kui was the direct disciple of Ancient Sage Bo Shang, which meant that he was Kong shi's grandstudent. As the First Sanctum Head of the Sanctum of Sages, his hatred for the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe was so deep-seated that it could be said to be carved right into his bones. If he could, he would have unhesitatingly wiped the entire Otherworldly Demonic Tribe off the face of the world.

On the other hand, as one of the strongest experts of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, Vicious' body was bound to harness extraordinary power even upon death. In order to prevent it from landing back in the hands of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, the Master Teacher Pavilion would surely seek to destroy it. Taking a step back, even if they were unable to destroy it, the least they could do was seal it off and hide it where no one would ever find it. But instead of doing that, it was actually placed in Sage Kui's sculpture.

Zhang Xuan could hardly comprehend the rationale behind such a course of action.

More importantly… despite storing Vicious' upper body within it, not only did the sculpture not harness the slightest killing intent, it was even exuding a particularly soothing and refined aura. How in the world was this done?

Zhang Xuan could not help asking, "Is it possible for you to have made a mistake?"

It was not that he did not want to believe Vicious, but this matter was simply too hard for him to believe.

The only reason he was able to hide Vicious' existence from others was through having the latter sealed in his Book of Heaven's Path. It should go without saying that Sage Kui could not possibly have possessed the Library of Heaven's Path, so there was no way he would have been capable of suppressing Vicious' strength to the point where even his Eye of Insight was unable to sense it.

"If it was before fusing together with my head, it might still have been possible for me to make a mistake, but now… there's no way I am mistaken!" Vicious replied affirmatively.

Before fusing with his head, due to his incomplete memory, he would still have been uncertain about many things. But in his current state, he was a hundred percent certain that his upper body was contained within the statue before them.

"This…" Hearing how certain Vicious was, Zhang Xuan frowned. "Let me take a look at it first."

He activated his Eye of Insight and examined Sage Kui's sculpture intently once more, and a moment later, he shook his head.

Even the generations of sanctum heads were unable to see through it; considering how the realm of his Eye of Insight was lower than theirs, it was not too surprising that he would be unable to see anything.


He stretched his hand out and touched the sleeves of the sculpture inconspicuously.

Hu!

A book materialized in the Library of Heaven's Path.

"A sculpture of Sage Kui forged personally by Sage Kui himself. Forged using Celestial Bluestone, it harnesses both Ancient Sage Bo Shang's will and Vicious' upper body. It is a vital keystone in stabilizing the space in the Inner Sanctum and regulating the spiritual energy in the air…"

The description and origin of the sculpture was jotted in detail in the book.

It's really inside! Zhang Xuan's eyebrows scrunched up further.

There was no way the Library of Heaven's Path could have made a mistake. Without a doubt, Vicious' upper body was really in the sculpture.

But still, to use the skeletal frame of an Otherworldly Demon expert to stabilize the Inner Sanctum and yet still prevent its killing intent from permeating the area… Just how did they manage to do it?

"Zhang shi!" Seeing that Zhang Xuan had fallen into a daze, Zhan shi called out loudly.

"Pardon me, I was so overwhelmed by Sage Kui's imposing disposition that I lost myself for a moment." Zhang Xuan quickly clasped his fist and apologized.

This matter concerned Vicious, so there was no way he could say it aloud before Zhan shi. Nevertheless, it felt like there was more to this issue. He would have to first make sense out of the matter first before making a move so as to prevent any unnecessary implications from occurring.

"It's fine, I understand that feeling. I was also stunned for quite a while myself when I first saw Sage Kui's sculpture. It really felt as if an ancestor was standing right before me, imparting valuable knowledge!" Oblivious to Zhang Xuan's true thoughts, Zhan shi let out a light chuckle.

Zhang Xuan nodded silently. At this point, a thought suddenly surfaced in his mind. If Vicious' upper body has been sealed in Sage Kui's sculpture and is suppressed by Sage Kui's will, could this mean that it's unable to develop a new will?

Each of Vicious' body parts—be it the heart, finger, or head—had all birthed an individual consciousness of their own. However, under the constant suppression of Sage Kui's will, there was a good possibility that the upper body might not have been able to successfully birth a consciousness. This would mean that his Vicious would have a much easier time assimilating it.

Nevertheless, another major problem still stood in his way.

In order for Vicious to assimilate his upper body, the sculpture would first have to be destroyed. However, that could very well cause the collapse of the entire Inner Sanctum.

This was not an outcome that was acceptable to him. As the future sanctum head of the Sanctum of Sages, how could he destroy such a precious legacy left behind by his ancestors just like that?

"Zhan shi, may I know if there's anywhere like a cultivation technique library in the Inner Sanctum? My cultivation has recently reached Half-Grand Dominion realm, but I still haven't found a suitable Grand Dominion realm cultivation technique yet!"

"The Inner Sanctum doesn't have any libraries, but it does have the Cultivation Technique Forest, which contains the heritages left behind by the predecessors. Students who have just entered the Inner Sanctum are usually brought there, and as for what they receive, that is dependent on their luck!" Zhan shi said.

"Cultivation Technique Forest?"

"Indeed. The cultivation techniques that are qualified to be passed down in the Inner Sanctum are all of Saint high-tier or Saint pinnacle quality at minimum, but as you know, each cultivator possesses a constitution unique to them. Cultivating a cultivation technique that complemented one's strength could lead one to the very top whereas cultivating an incompatible cultivation technique could very well cause one's cultivation to go berserk. As such, a cultivator mustn't choose their cultivation technique just by the merit of the might it wields!" Zhan shi explained.

"The Cultivation Technique Forest is a place for cultivators to find out what cultivation techniques are suited for them and choose from them. All students in the Inner Sanctum get a chance to enter the Cultivation Technique Forest to select among the cultivation techniques they are compatible with. Once they have made their choice, they will be unable to change it anymore!"

"I see." Zhang Xuan nodded.

Cultivation techniques were similar to occupations in the sense that they would be suited to some people but not others. As such, cultivators would have to assess their own aptitude and choose the path they wished to tread on. Of course, advice from seniors could prove to be useful, but ultimately, no one would be able to make the choice for them.

This was also the reason Kong shi promoted the idea of teaching an individual based on their talents. There was no way a systematic lesson plan could possibly cater to all students, and this would lead to some of their talents going to waste.

"If you wish to give it a try, I can take you there," Zhan shi said.

"That would be deeply appreciated." Zhang Xuan nodded.

Other than learning of the location of Vicious' upper body, another important motive for him going to the Inner Sanctum was to raise his strength.

Since Luo Ruoxin had been placed under house arrest by the Luo Clan, there was no way she would be there. Rather than wasting his strength searching all around for her, it would be far more practical for him to raise his strength so that he would at least have the ability to protect her when the time came.

"Please follow me," Zhan shi said before leading the way forward.

Not too long later, they arrived in a place filled with stone tablets. Looking at it from afar, it really resembled a graveyard.

"This is the Cultivation Technique Forest. Every single tablet represents a certain cultivation technique. Drive your zhenqi and proceed through the forest slowly. Once you reach the end, the cultivation technique suited to you will jump out on its own," Zhan shi said. "There's no need to feel tempted by other cultivation techniques in there. If they are unsuited for you, they are bound to inflict some grievous side effects on you, which will limit your future accomplishments. It simply isn't worth it."

"I understand. You mentioned that the suitable cultivation technique will jump out on its own?" Zhang Xuan asked curiously.

This was the first time he had heard of a cultivation technique jumping forward on its own, and he found the notion rather intriguing.

Usually, he would be the one who would be actively seeking out cultivation technique manuals to compile a complete Heaven's Path Divine Art for him to cultivate, so he could not help but be a little curious as to just what kind of cultivation technique would be deemed suitable for him.

"That's right. The Cultivation Technique Forest doesn't just contain cultivation technique manuals but the wills of the predecessors as well. They are able to sense your constitution and your current cultivation technique as you walk through the forest, and if you aren't able to meet their prerequisites, you won't even be able to interpret the content on the stone tablet. This is a mechanism put in place to prevent greedy students from biting off more than they can chew," Zhan shi said.

Even though the young man before him was an 8-star master teacher, he was still much too young. So, Zhan shi could not resist warning him beforehand.

In response to Zhan shi's nagging, Zhang Xuan nodded with a smile. This was the usual concerned nagging that teachers would direct at their students. Thinking back, he often nagged at his students in such a way as well.

"Alright, I'll head in to take a look." Coming to understand what was with the Cultivation Technique Forest, Zhang Xuan took a deep breath and walked in unhesitatingly.

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