Library of Heaven is Path
1478 Ninth Netherworld Dimension
The world spun around Zhang Xuan, leaving him in a constant state of vertigo, when all of a sudden, he fell to the ground with a resounding crash.
The teleportation had left him in such a disorientated state that he could not keep track of the flow of time; a second could have passed, but it could have been a year. Everything around him just kept changing, and the surrounding space warped like there was no tomorrow.
Zhang Xuan found himself retching for a long while.
After meditating for a while, the discomfort alleviated a little. Recalling the experience that he had just undergone, a bitter smile appeared on his face.
No wonder it's impossible to make Teleportation Formations commonplace. There's no way weaker cultivators would be able to survive something like this!
He had been wondering for a long while why the Master Teacher Pavilion had gone to the extent of building branches all over the continent but not built Teleportation Formations along with that. However, this single experience had him completely convinced about the impracticality of the matter.
His physical body was comparable to a Saint pinnacle artifact, but despite that, he still ended up retching at the end of it. Other cultivators, especially those beneath Saint 8-dan, might very well find their own bodies disintegrating into dust from the sheer pressure caused by the Teleportation Formation.
He was still feeling deeply uncomfortable due to the incompatibility between his body and Primordial Spirit, but he knew that there was no time to be wasted. Thus, he slowly got to his feet and scanned his surroundings.
Where is this place?
Based on the information on the Sanctum Head Token, this should have been a hidden dimension left behind by Sage Kui. Only potential sanctum head successors who had fulfilled the first two conditions would be qualified to enter this space.
It's a folded space!
Upon taking a closer look, Zhang Xuan swiftly found that the fabric of space there was much weaker compared to that of the Master Teacher Continent, and the concentration of spiritual energy was rather low.
The ground that he was currently standing on was a round platform with a particularly profound formation inscribed on it.
To be able to teleport him right into a folded space, it was apparent that the Teleportation Formation on the Sanctum Head Token was a rather formidable one.
Walking down from the round platform, Zhang Xuan carefully explored the area, and he soon found a manor with lush greenery growing around it. There was a small stream flowing not too far away from it, giving it the feeling of a tranquil garden away from the secular world.
Walking into the manor, the first thing that Zhang Xuan saw was a hulking stone tablet, and carved on it were the words 'Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld'!
Glancing lower down on the stone tablet, he found smaller words inscribed below, detailing the various circulation pathways required to cultivate the optic art. It was even more detailed than what Sage Kui had imparted to him before.
"Welcome to the Ninth Netherworld Dimension!"
Just as Zhang Xuan was taking in the content on the stone tablet into the Library of Heaven's Path, a light voice suddenly filled the air.
Recognizing the voice, Zhang Xuan asked as he looked around his surroundings, "Sage Kui?"
"There's no need to look for me. All that is left of me here is a slight sliver of my will, and I'm already unable to manifest in a physical form anymore!" the will said with a slight desolate edge to its tone. "The fact that you were able to come to this dimension means that you have already successfully deciphered the first two seals and are qualified to practice the Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld!"
"Indeed. The optic art manual that I have given to you is correct, but it isn't detailed enough for you to successfully master the optic art. It's not that I'm intentionally making things hard for you, but in order to master the Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld, you will have to cultivate it in a certain environment. Otherwise, it would be nigh impossible to succeed!" Sage Kui said.
"A certain environment?" Zhang Xuan was bewildered by those words.
It was just a mere optic art, why would it still need a certain kind of environment in order to cultivate it?
"There are nine levels to the heavens, and similarly, there are nine levels to the netherworld. In order to master the Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld, you will have to be in an environment that emulates the environment of the netherworld. The environment stimulates your Eye of Insight and draws out the potential into it, and it's for this purpose that this very folded space was created," Sage Kui explained.
"I see!" Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.
Having browsed through countless cultivation technique manuals, there were indeed some unique techniques that required cultivation in a specific type of environment in order to master them.
For example, some fire attribute techniques could be mastered much more easily when cultivated in locations in close proximity to the earth flames. Similarly, there were also ice attribute techniques where cultivating them in icy lakes would enhance their prowess significantly.
Since the Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld was a technique on par with the Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, its cultivation was bound to be difficult as well. Otherwise, the generations of sanctum heads would not have failed to fully master the optic art.
"In this folded space are Beguilement Formations, Illusory Formations, Hidden Formations, and the like. There won't be any danger, but without a sharp eye, it's impossible for you to overcome those obstacles and get to the exit! You will have to rely on cultivating your Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld to sharpen your eyes so as to find the flaws in those formations and overcome them," Sage Kui said.
"This is manual that my teacher left behind back then, and the others are the insights left behind by generations of sanctum heads. You can refer to them, but ultimately, you will still have to comprehend it by yourself in order to grasp the technique!"
As Sage Kui spoke, a few more stone tablets appeared in the courtyard of the manor.
Zhang Xuan swiftly swept his gaze over the optic art manual and insights in order to collect them into the Library of Heaven's Path.
Compile! Zhang Xuan willed.
A new book materialized before Zhang Xuan's eyes. He swiftly flipped it open to browse through it, and what he saw caused an involuntary sigh to escape from his lips.
As expected of a top-notch optic art… even with the insights from the previous generations of sanctum heads, it was still a long way off from being perfected.
The Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld did improve significantly after several of the flaws were resolved. With this, I should be able to master the optic art faster. Yet, its cultivation is still highly damaging to the eyes, which means that there's a high chance that I'll turn blind if I really master the technique!
The greatest hesitation behind why Zhang Xuan refused to cultivate the Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld was not just because it was imperfect but because there was a high likelihood of going blind cultivating it.
Even the very creator of the technique, Ancient Sage Bo Shang, was not spared from the eventual tragedy of going blind, and Zhang Xuan had no intention of walking in the same footsteps as his predecessor.
Zhang Xuan continued examining the optic art a little longer, but unable to figure out a feasible method to resolve the underlying issues, he shook his head and said, "I don't have any intention of cultivating the optic art for the time being. Can you allow me to leave this folded space first?"
"You want to leave? There's only one chance for you to get into the Ninth Netherworld Dimension. If you don't cultivate your Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld to the fourth realm now, it will be hard for you to grasp it in the future!"
Not expecting the young man to be thinking of leaving when he had only just entered the area, Sage Kui advised him with a frown.
The position of the sanctum head was at stake here. Was the young man not acting a little too carelessly?
"Elder, a student of mine is currently in great peril. As her teacher, I can't ignore her safety for the sake of my own cultivation. I wish for your understanding on this matter!" Zhang Xuan clasped his fist.
He did not know what Zhao Ya was facing at the moment, so he could not afford to waste his time there. He had to find Chen Leyao as soon as possible to find out more about the situation before devising a plan to save her. Even if he could cultivate the Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld safely, it was likely that he would take quite some time to master it, so he could not afford to do it right now.
"You said that your student is in danger?" Sage Kui looked at Zhang Xuan. "Are you certain that you wish to give up this rare opportunity for the sake of your student?"
"Elder, I can't leave my student in peril!" Zhang Xuan replied resolutely.
If he had to compromise Zhao Ya's safety in order to master the Divine Eyes of the Ninth Netherworld and become the next sanctum head, he would throw away those opportunities in a heartbeat!
While it was true that becoming the sanctum head would give him an edge when asking for Luo Ruoxin's marriage in hand, he was not willing to sacrifice his student's life for it!
Sage Kui was silent for a long while before nodding slightly. "To be willing to give up on so much for your student, you are really a good teacher!
"However, rules are rules. There's only one chance to enter the Ninth Netherworld Dimension, and I can't change the rules just because of the circumstances you are in, so you won't be able to return here once you leave.
"However, the lengths you are willing to go for your student is truly respectable. Thus, if you are able to comprehend the fourth realm of the optic art outside, I'll grant you an opportunity to comprehend the fifth realm!"