He first placed the pinnacle spirit stones that Sword Saint Xing had given him into a Spirit Gathering Formation before drawing his soul out of his body. Focusing his attention, he began to absorb the surrounding spiritual energy as he drove his soul energy in accordance to the Heaven's Path Soul Art manuals.

Geji! Geji!

His soul cultivation advanced at an incredible rate.

With his Soul Depth rising to a level comparable to a 9-star pinnacle master teacher, he was able to exert extraordinary focus in his cultivation, thus significantly increasing his rate of cultivation. It might have taken him two hours in order to raise his cultivation by a single stage in the past, but now, he could do it within just an hour.

Some time later, he finally opened up his eyes.

With a light wave of his hand, a pitch-black rift appeared right before him. Not even space could withstand the powerful might wielded by his soul!

It's a pity that Soul Traverse hasn't been perfected yet, so it isn't convenient for me to practice it! Zhang Xuan shook his head in pity.

Naturally, when Lu Chong imparted the heritage of the soul oracles to him, the secret art, Soul Traverse, had been among the heritage. However, it was a pity that it had far too many flaws for him to swallow, and his cultivation was also a little too low at the moment to cultivate it.

Otherwise, if his soul could freely leap through space just like his student, his fighting prowess would be raised another notch.

Of course, while the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters seemed to have reluctantly accepted the fact that he practiced the arts of the soul oracles, most cultivators on the Master Teacher Continent were still a little apprehensive about soul oracles, so it would be best for him to avoid using such means in public.

If not for Yang shi's appearing at a timely moment and addressing him as 'Senior', putting aside compensating him, the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters would still have been hounding him over his dabbling in poison and soul arts.

Hu!

Zhang Xuan returned his soul to his body.

Standing up once more, he lightly flicked his arm, and he could feel a furious torrent of power racing through his body, granting him much more strength than before.

He flicked his finger lightly.

Si la!

A huge rift was torn open in the room, and any object that fell into the rift would be utterly eradicated.

Zhang Xuan nodded contentedly. It's still nowhere close to the power that I wielded after activating the Pavilion Master Seal, but ordinary Saint 9-dan cultivators should no longer be a match for me. In fact, I should be able to put up a decent fight against the First Elder of the Glacier Plain Court, You Ruoxin!

This time, he had managed to advance his zhenqi and soul cultivation considerably, and with the combined prowess of the two, even Half-Great Sages would have trouble dealing with him. With this, he could already be considered one of the top cultivators on the Master Teacher Continent.


"Alright, I should try to raise the cultivation of the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast and the Inferno Qilin now…"

Those two saint beasts had been put through great suffering while trying to protect him, and this was especially so for the latter. In the earlier battle, the Inferno Qilin had been captured by Zhang Wuheng, and if not for the sudden change in his identity to the young prodigy of the Zhang Clan, it might very well have lost its life.

Given that the First Elder had been imprisoned, it went without saying that the Inferno Qilin had been returned to him.

Zhang Xuan released the two of them and bestowed them with a couple of grade-9 pills.

Under the nourishment of the medicinal energy within the pills, the Inferno Qilin recovered swiftly from its injuries. It was not able to push for a breakthrough, but it did manage to reinforce its cultivation further, and from the looks of it, it would not be long before it overcame its Saint 9-dan bottleneck and pushed for higher realms!

On the other hand, with the nourishment of the grade-9 pills and Zhang Xuan's guidance, the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast managed to advance its cultivation from Saint 9-dan primary stage to Saint 9-dan pinnacle within just a single night.

In terms of strength, it would not pale too far in comparison to the Inferno Qilin!

By the time Zhang Xuan was done with this, the sun had already risen in the east. Stretching his back lazily, he pushed open his door to walk out of his room, only to see that Sword Saint Xing was already waiting in the courtyard.

"It's about time for us to pay respects to the ancestors… Let's head over!" Sword Saint Xing said. Suddenly, his eyebrows shot up as he took a closer look at his son, and a moment later, he exclaimed excitedly, "Your cultivation…"

The last time that he had seen his son, his son's cultivation had only been at Dimension Sundering realm primary stage. Yet, in the span of a night, his cultivation had grown so powerful that even Saint 9-dan cultivators would have trouble fighting against him!

"I managed to achieve a breakthrough last night, but it was just a fluke," Zhang Xuan explained.

"Fluke?" Sword Saint Xing's lips twitched upon hearing that word.

When he fought against his son the day before, the latter had exerted strength surpassing even that of his own. Initially, he had thought that his son was really that strong, but very soon, he had realized that the latter had used some kind of secret art to artificially inflate his strength. He had been worried that there might be some side effects as a result of using the secret art, but from the looks of it, he had been worrying needlessly!

Not only had his son's cultivation not declined, it had improved by leaps and bounds instead!

It was really a wonder how his son cultivated to improve so quickly.

"Try hitting me. I want to see how powerful you are without relying on your secret art!" Sword Saint Xing said.

"Very well!" Knowing that his strength would be insufficient to faze his father without relying on the Pavilion Master Seal, Zhang Xuan had no intention of holding back.

Taking a deep breath, he sent a punch out with his full might.

Boom!

The space in front of him collapsed as a formidable shockwave rippled into the surroundings.

Sword Saint Xing's eyebrows shot upward in astonishment as he raised his palm to halt Zhang Xuan's punch.

Hu!

He managed to dissipate the force of Zhang Xuan's punch, but at the same time, he was forced to retreat a step in order to ward off the impact of the punch.

Impressed, he could not help but remark, "Your strength doesn't pale in comparison even to Introspective Convalescence realm experts…"

"Introspective Convalescence realm?" Zhang Xuan asked doubtfully.

"Having reached Saint 9-dan, you should have become acutely aware that Saint 9-dan isn't the endpoint to cultivation. Above Saint, there's Great Sage!" Sword Saint Xing explained.

"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded.

He had heard Yang shi speak of this matter in the past, but he was not too aware of the details.

"There are nine dans to Fighter, Transcendent Mortal, and Saint. However, there are only four dans to Great Sage!" Sword Saint Xing explained.

"The very first realm to Great Sage is the Introspective Convalescence realm!

"In the Saint realm, a cultivator develops their Primordial Spirit and physical body to the very limits, but this development often comes with some degree of imperfection. In the Introspective Convalescence realm, a cultivator separates their Primordial Spirit from their physical body and trims both of them carefully, achieving invulnerability to indisposition and infirmity. Those who have successfully reached this realm have their lifespan extended by five hundred years, thus allowing them to live up to 1,500 years old."

Ordinary Saint experts would only have a thousand years to their lifespan. While some might be able to live a little longer than that, it would not stray too far from that. However, if a cultivator was able to reach the Introspective Convalescence realm, they would be able to alleviate the ageing process of their body, thus extending their lifespan to 1,500 years.

Five hundred years might not seem too long, but with sufficient luck, a cultivator could potentially reach higher realms with this additional time.

"The realms in Great Sage are far more complex than those in Saint, so while there are only four cultivation stages in Saint realms, there are six cultivation stages in Great Sage realms!

"They are namely primary stage, intermediate stage, advanced stage, pinnacle, perfection, and consummation!

"Each of these six stages is harder to scale than the last. In fact, there are some cultivators who require over a hundred years to raise their cultivation a single stage. At the same time, a tremendous amount of spiritual energy is required as well. For this reason, Great Sage is a huge hurdle for one to overcome, and in history, very few cultivators have eventually made it to Ancient Sage!

"The punch that you executed earlier wields strength that is roughly on par with Introspective Convalescence realm primary stage cultivators. While it can't be said to be impressive among the powerhouses of the Master Teacher Continent, without a doubt, none in the younger generation will be able to match your strength!"

Zhang Xuan nodded in response. Curious about the realms of Great Sage, he could help but ask, "The first realm of Great Sage is the Introspective Convalescence realm, but what about the second realm?"

"The second realm is the Aureate Body realm!" Sword Saint Xing said. "Introspective Convalescence grants one self-awareness through introspection, and the undefilable Aureate Body grants one everlasting divinity. Flames and ice will no longer be able to injure one, and ordinary wounds will recover swiftly without the use of pills. Through fully awakening his Emperor's Bloodline, your student, Yuan Tao, has reached such a realm!"

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