Library of Heaven is Path
1604 Prime Amule
The adolescent boy sculpture was taken aback for an instant before he chuckled awkwardly. "W-what are you saying? I'm just an artifact spirit left here by Ancient Sage Ran Qiu to guide the visitors around!"
Luo Ruoxin and Wu Chen also had perplexed looks on their faces.
This adolescent boy sculpture had been accompanying them around the Ran Zi Hall from the moment that they arrived there. They had always thought of the other party as an enchanted sculpture, so how did he turn out to be the Celestial Amulet of Legacy?
If that was really the case, how could the four young men before them not realize it despite the number of Ancient Sage artifacts that they possessed?
"Artifact spirit? May I know what kind of artifact spirit you are then? Would you care to share it with me?" Zhang Xuan replied with a smile.
"I am the artifact spirit birthed from this stone sculpture!" the adolescent boy sculpture exclaimed.
"An artifact spirit birthed from this stone sculpture?" Zhang Xuan's lips curved up as he placed his hands behind his back and circled around the sculpture. "The material that you are made of is known as the Magi Rock. It's found in the far northeastern Luxu Mountain of the continent, slowly tempered over an unimaginably long period of time through the grinding of tectonic plates, the currents of the ocean, and the searing heat of the underground lava. There aren't many of these rocks in the continent, definitely numbering no more than ten!
"The greatest property of the Magi Rock lies in its ability to nourish a soul. Souls that are deposited into it will grow more resilient and powerful. Ironically, due to the overwhelming soul energy that is harnessed within the Magi Rocks, it's impossible to gather the huge bulk of soul energy together to give birth to a conscious spirit. In other words… no matter how skilled a spirit awakener is, it's impossible to successfully enchant a Magi Rock! You mentioned that you are the artifact spirit of this stone sculpture. Why don't you tell me who the person that granted you life is then?"
"I…" The adolescent boy sculpture was visibly stunned by those words. He did not think that the young man before him would actually be able to identify a rock as rare as him, and he subconsciously took a step back out of apprehension as he replied, "It's Ancient Sage Ran Qiu… The capabilities of an Ancient Sage go far beyond your imagination! Just because you aren't able to do it doesn't mean that others aren't able to do so!"
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan's lips curled into a smile, as if he had managed to corner his prey. "Ancient Sage Ran Qiu is one of the Ten Apostles, and I am indeed incapable of fathoming the full extent of his capabilities. However, enchanted artifacts tend to have deep feelings for the spirit awakener that granted them life, thus making it extremely easily for the spirit awakener to tame them. Since Ancient Sage Ran Qiu left the Ran Zi Hall in your hands and entrusted you the mission of bringing the visitors around, I don't see why he wouldn't tame you. After all, there would be a risk that you could betray him otherwise… Yet, since meeting you, I've noticed that you have been addressing him as 'Ancient Sage Ran Qiu' instead of… master."
All enchanted artifacts harbored deep feelings for the spirit awakeners that enchanted them, and it was such a property that allowed spirit awakeners to easily control the artifacts that they had enchanted.
This was similar to how the golems that he had enchanted before had only been willing to listen to him and no one else.
Even a hatchling would view the very first life it saw as its parent, let alone an enchanted spirit.
Since Ancient Sage Ran Qiu had left the important Ran Zi Hall, which even contained his personal weapon, to the care of the adolescent boy sculpture, there was no reason why he would not tame the latter, especially since he should have been able to do so easily. Yet, ever since they had entered the Ran Zi Hall, the adolescent boy sculpture had never once addressed Ancient Sage Ran Qiu as 'master'.
In fact, his attitude toward Ancient Sage Ran Qiu could not even be said to be respectful!
"I…" The adolescent boy sculpture was unable to refute Zhang Xuan's words. Silence loomed for a moment before he anxiously rebutted, "Even if I didn't acknowledge him as my master, I can't possibly be the Celestial Amulet of Legacy either! Your deduction has no strong reasoning behind it at all!"
"It seems like you won't admit it unless I spell it out clearly!" A glint flashed through Zhang Xuan's eyes as he shook his head with a smile. "When we arrived at the Ran Zi Hall, I challenged two Golden Warriors simultaneously and sealed the space around them. You mentioned that I was the successor of Qiu Wu Zi and asked me to show mercy!"
"Indeed. What's wrong with that?" The adolescent boy sculpture harrumphed doubtfully.
He did recall saying such words, and he did not see any problem with them.
"While Ancient Sage Qiu Wu might have been Kong shi's subordinate, he was much older than Kong shi, and Kong shi addressed him as a peer. Considering how Ancient Sage Ran Qiu is a disciple of Kong shi, even he would have to address Ancient Sage Qiu Wu with the utmost respect, not daring to overstep his bounds at all!" Zhang Xuan said.
In a sense, this was similar to how even though Sun Qiang was his subordinate, Zheng Yang and the others still addressed him respectfully as 'Uncle Sun'.
This was even more so for Ancient Sage Qiu Wu, who was much more aged than Kong shi. Even Kong shi regarded him with much respect, so how could Ancient Sage Ran Qiu, as a student, dare to address him casually?
"On the other hand, you addressed Ancient Sage Qiu Wu directly as 'Qiu Wu Zi', and that's an address that peers use to address one another!" Zhang Xuan continued. "As an artifact enchanted by Ancient Sage Ran Qiu, don't you think it's inappropriate for you to speak in such a manner?"
"Y-you…" Taken aback, the adolescent boy sculpture backed away several steps as he stared at Zhang Xuan with a horrified expression.
To be able to deduce that he was the Celestial Amulet of Legacy just by the method of address… The young man was frighteningly sharp!
Realizing that there was no longer any point in him concealing his true identity, the adolescent boy sculpture raised his head and asked, "When did you see through me?"
He was confident in his disguise. Even if an Ancient Sage stood before him, the other party would not necessarily be able to see through his disguise. So, when did the young man see through him?
"Earlier, before entering the passageway, I noticed the peculiarity in your material when I patted your shoulder, and that was when I began suspecting you," Zhang Xuan replied.
When he entered the granite door previously, he had walked up to the adolescent boy sculpture and patted his shoulder so as to use the Library of Heaven's Path on him.
Through the compiled book, he had learned that the material of the sculpture was not suitable for enchantment, but even so, he did not think too much about it. Or rather, with the danger that came right after, he did not have any time to think too much about it.
However, with the escape of the four young men, he had suddenly recalled this matter, and putting it together with the peculiar address that the adolescent boy sculpture used for Ancient Sage Qiu Wu, he would have to be really dense not to figure it out!
Considering how the Celestial Amulets of Legacy were artifacts that Kong shi had forged, it would not be inappropriate for them to address Ancient Sage Qiu Wu informally as Qiu Wu Zi. Even if they showed a lack of respect for Ancient Sage Ran Qiu, the latter would not say anything.
The true conclusive evidence was that he could feel a very familiar aura coming from the adolescent boy sculpture.
The other six Subordinate Amulets were forged using the blood essences of those possessing unique constitutions, but as for the Prime Amulet, if he was not mistaken, it was likely to have been forged using Kong shi's blood essence! In other words, the familiar aura that he was feeling was that of a fellow Celestial Master Teacher!
With such a feeling guiding him, it would not be too difficult for him to figure out who the adolescent boy sculpture truly was!
"I see… As expected of Qiu Wu Zi's successor! Not only have you mastered the Spatial Quintessence of Sealing, you have also managed to tame the Dragonbone Divine Spear… Your eye of discernment is truly extraordinary…" Hearing Zhang Xuan's explanation, the adolescent boy sculpture confessed. "You're right, I am the Prime Amulet forged by Kong shi. What those young men have taken away is a mere imitation!"
Chuckling softly, a ray of light rose from the head of the adolescent boy sculpture and converged in the air. In just a few moments, he had already transformed into an amulet.
It was identical to the Celestial Amulet of Legacy that the scholarly young man had snatched earlier.
"I am the Prime Amulet that Kong shi forged. Only the one who holds me will be able to enter the Prime Hall in the Temple of Confucius! However, my one true master is Kong shi, and I won't bow down to just anyone. Putting aside the fact that you are Qiu Wu Zi's successor, even if Qiu Wu Zi stood before me this instant, there's no way he'd be able to make me submit to him!" the amulet declared regally.
In response to those words, Zhang Xuan simply chuckled softly. "You won't submit to me?"
"Of course not!" the amulet replied pridefully.
"Very well. I'll show you something first, and I'll accept any decision you make right after!" Zhang Xuan raised his finger and tapped the amulet lightly.
"There's nothing you can show me that will change my mind. As an artifact created by Kong shi, how can I possibly submit t-t-to…"
Just as the amulet was declaring its stand pridefully, it suddenly shuddered before frightfully crumpling together in the air. Following which, it hurriedly stood in front of Zhang Xuan like an erect card and said in a fawning voice, "Little Amulet pays respect to Master!"