"Ancient Sage?" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes in shock, not daring to believe what he had heard. "Didn't you say that it's impossible for anyone to make a breakthrough beyond Ancient Sage anymore?"

Previously, Yang shi had stated that it was no longer possible for anyone to make a breakthrough to Ancient Sage. Even he himself had reached a bottleneck in his cultivation, and the reason he had chosen to roam the world was to search for inspiration that could possibly allow him to make a breakthrough. Since that was the case, how could that Otherworldly Demonic Emperor be so powerful?

"When I said that he has reached Ancient Sage, I fear that's only a conservative estimate on my part." Yang shi shook his head worriedly. "There's a good chance that his cultivation is far higher than that!"

Seeing that Zhang Xuan was confused by the seeming contradiction in his words, Yang shi paused for a moment before explaining, "It's true that it's nigh impossible for cultivators to make a breakthrough to Ancient Sage, but the Otherworldly Demons are of a different level of existence from us humans. Given the difference in our constitutions, how they achieve a breakthrough is drastically different to how we break through, so I can't say for sure whether they are still able to make a breakthrough to Ancient Sage or not. However, I can tell you for certain that this particular Otherworldly Demonic Emperor did not make a breakthrough in the last ten thousand years!"

"What do you mean by that?" Zhang Xuan was still unable to make sense out of what he was hearing.

If the Otherworldly Demonic Emperor did not make a breakthrough in the recent ten thousand years, did that not mean that the other party had already been an Ancient Sage ten thousand years ago?

But surely that could not be!

As powerful as Ancient Sages were, there was still a limit to their lifespan. Otherwise, Kong shi and his disciples would not have disappeared without a trace either!

"In fact, I suspect that this Otherworldly Demonic Emperor could very well be the same one that fought with Kong shi back then!" Yang shi said with deeply narrowed eyes.

"The one that fought with Kong shi back then? T-this…" Zhang Xuan's eyes widened in shock. "But Kong shi departed from the continent tens of thousands of years ago, no?"

Was it really possible for the Otherworldly Demon Emperor who had fought with Kong shi tens of thousands of years ago to still be alive?

"In the first place, the Otherworldly Demons enjoy greater longevity than us humans, and they might have used some sort of secret art that allows them to hibernate for long periods of time. As such, we can't discount the possibility that this Otherworldly Demonic Emperor is still alive!" Yang shi explained. "In fact, there are many powerhouses of the Master Teacher Continent that have lived through the ages in such a way as well!"

Those words immediately rose a great storm in Zhang Xuan's heart.

It seemed like he had underestimated the Ancient Sages. He had thought that once a person reached the limits of their lifespan, whether they were a human or an Otherworldly Demon, they had no choice but to accept his death. Who would have thought that there would actually be such a secret art to extend their lifespan!

Then again, Vicious was the very embodiment of this. He had fought with Kong shi back then, but even tens of thousands of years later, he had still successfully been brought back to life.

He had no idea how powerful Vicious was in the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, but considering the high opinion that Yang shi had of that Otherworldly Demonic Emperor, they should be of equal standing at the very least. Given so, it should not come as much of a surprise that this Otherworldly Demonic Emperor was still alive.

"My guess is that this Otherworldly Demonic Emperor has sneaked into the Master Teacher Continent for the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn. Currently, not even the Master Teacher Pavilion has been able to acquire any information concerning his whereabouts. As such, it would be best to remain prudent! You are only mankind's second Celestial Master Teacher, and if that Otherworldly Demon Emperor catches wind of your existence, I'm afraid that it will be difficult for us to stop him with our current strength!" Yang shi said worriedly.

"I understand…" Zhang Xuan nodded.

Given that he had hidden his identity as the Celestial Master Teacher for so long, he had no qualms with keeping it a secret a little bit longer.

Just that, he really did not expect the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe to still have such a powerful expert among them!

"But if the Otherworldly Demonic Emperor is that powerful, and the Master Teacher Continent no longer has any Ancient Sages, why hasn't the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe conquered it yet? It's their dream, isn't it?"

Considering that mankind was already without Kong shi and his disciples, it should not be too difficult for that Ancient Sage Otherworldly Demonic Emperor to lead his men over to conquer the Master Teacher Continent once more! That should be the rational course of action, should it not?

"They have tried to invade the Master Teacher Continent many times, but it isn't as easy as that. While it's possible for the Otherworldly Demons to slip through the seals in the Subterranean Galleries, they have to pay a heavy price for that. As such, it isn't easy for them to amass their armies in the Master Teacher Continent," Yang shi explained. "Furthermore, while no humans have been able to achieve a breakthrough to Ancient Sage anymore, that doesn't mean that we don't have any Ancient Sages among us…"

"What?" Zhang Xuan blinked blankly, not following Yang shi's words.

If it was impossible to achieve a breakthrough to Ancient Sage, how could there still be any human Ancient Sage cultivators in the world?

"Didn't I say it earlier? There are many powerhouses on the Master Teacher Continent that have used a secret art to survive through the ages. In fact, the reason even the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters has to tread prudently around the Zhang Clan is because the Zhang Clan also has an Ancient Sage who survived in such a way! However, the Ancient Sages are in a state of hibernation most of the time, and only when the Master Teacher Continent is truly in danger will they be awakened!" Yang shi replied.

"The Zhang Clan… also has an Ancient Sage?" Zhang Xuan was shocked.

He had always thought that the strongest experts in the Zhang Clan were Sword Saint Xing and Sword Saint Meng. Who could have thought that they would actually have such a powerful trump card?

"Indeed. This is one of the greatest secrets of the continent, and only 9-star master teachers are qualified to learn of the matter. Senior, I have to ask you not to speak of it lightly to others…" Yang shi clasped his fist.

"Rest assured, I understand!" Zhang Xuan replied.

"The Ancient Sages of mankind are usually in a state of hibernation. They are woken only when there's a battle to be fought, and they return to hibernation right after. For every battle they undergo, their lifespan will be reduced significantly. Eventually, they will run out of time and breathe their last breath.

"Every single Ancient Sage is of the utmost importance to the safety of mankind, so we can't afford to wake any of them up in order to protect you. Since your identity as the Celestial Master Teacher hasn't been leaked yet, it would be best to keep it a secret for as long as we can. Furthermore, we still have no idea what the Otherworldly Demonic Emperor looks like, where he currently is, and in what form the danger from him will manifest. Even if we had an Ancient Sage constantly following you around, it would still be difficult to guarantee your safety!"

Speaking up to this point, Yang shi suddenly paused for a moment as he looked at Zhang Xuan earnestly. "Any of us can die, but Senior, you must continue living. You are the Celestial Master Teacher, an existence on par with Kong shi. You are the hope of mankind. Whether mankind will be able to rise once more and enter another era of prosperity depends on you!"

Zhang Xuan's heart jolted in astonishment. He did not think that Yang shi would have such a high opinion of him.

He was silent for a moment before nodding. "I understand."

At the same time, he felt incredibly relieved that he had never revealed his identity as the Celestial Master Teacher carelessly. Otherwise, if he had really caught the eye of that Otherworldly Demonic Emperor whom Yang shi had mentioned, he would probably have been killed in a heartbeat.

"Junior, you said earlier that this Otherworldly Demonic Emperor has come for the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn. Can you explain more about that matter?" Zhang Xuan asked.

The Great Codex of Spring Autumn was known to be the strongest artifact that Kong shi had created, and it wielded unimaginable capabilities. Previously, he had come across the Qingtian Emperor, who had been searching for the Celestial Amulet of Legacy for this very purpose.

"As you might have heard, the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn is an unparalleled artifact that Kong shi left behind. It has the ability to affect the weather and control time. Before Kong shi left the continent, he placed the artifact in the Temple of Confucius in Qufu… Unfortunately, no one knows the exact location of where the Temple of Confucius is. Countless master teachers have attempted to find it, but none of them succeeded.

"Legend has it that only by gathering all of the Celestial Amulets of Legacy together will the road leading to the Temple of Confucius finally appear. However, a year ago, we detected some spatial distortions in Qufu, and someone reportedly witnessed a mirage of the Temple of Confucius. As soon as the news came out, it caused a huge commotion among the upper echelons of the Master Teacher Continent. The Master Teacher Pavilion moved quickly to seal the news completely, but unfortunately, it seems like the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe still managed to catch wind of it.

"The Great Codex of Spring and Autumn is an unparalleled treasure, and if we successfully obtain it, we'll have a powerful weapon in our hands to protect ourselves. However, if the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe obtains it instead, there's a good chance that they could use it to tear down the seals in the Subterranean Galleries and march back into the continent. If that happens, it would be a catastrophe!" Yang shi said grimly.

"If it's an artifact that Kong shi forged, why did he choose to seal it in the Temple of Confucius instead of entrusting it to the Master Teacher Pavilion?" Zhang Xuan asked with a doubtful frown.

Since it was a creation from Kong shi, it went without saying that he intended to pass it down to future generations so as to benefit mankind. Yet, instead of handing this artifact over to the Master Teacher Pavilion to use it, he chose to seal it up instead. This did not seem to make sense.

"I don't know the exact reason either. Most probably, we'll only know after entering the Temple of Confucius!" Yang shi said.Qufu is Kong Zi's real hometown, and it's a real city in China. By the way, the real Temple of Confucius is in Qufu as well.



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