Ten minutes later, Zhang Xuan halted his cultivation with a helpless look on his face.

I knew that it wouldn't be so easy… he thought as he rubbed his glabella in distress.

He had thought that he would be able to easily push for a breakthrough to Great Sage 2-dan Aureate Body realm consummation with the cultivation resources that he had obtained from the Luo Clan, but who could have known that… the spiritual energy would be insufficiently pure for him to make a breakthrough!

These resources would have been sufficient for anyone else to cultivate up to Great Sage 4-dan Sempiternal realm. However, what Zhang Xuan cultivated was not any ordinary soul cultivation technique but the Heaven's Path Soul Art. Furthermore, his Primordial Spirit had been tempered by lightning, thus making it nearly devoid of any impurities.

As a result, even though the purity of the spiritual energy in the cultivation resources was not too low, it was still insufficient for him.

And having lost his source of energy, there was no way he could gather the momentum required to make a breakthrough.

It had not been easy for him to compile the Heaven's Path Soul Art, but to think that he would be forced to stop his cultivation just because his source of spiritual energy was not sufficiently pure.

Facing such a situation, he could only sigh helplessly.

Well… I was hesitant to take too much from the Luo Clan because Luo Ganzhen was following behind me, but I don't think my conscience would hurt at all stealing from the Jiang Clan… Since they have already betrayed mankind, the more I take from them, the less harm they will be able to inflict on mankind! Zhang Xuan thought as a grin crept onto his face.

Even though he had the authority to use the resources from the Luo Clan, he could not possibly just take all the good items from the treasure vault. But with the Jiang Clan, he had no such considerations at all.

Given that they had already betrayed mankind, any resources that they had would only bolster the enemy. Since that was the case, there was no need for him to stand on ceremony with them!

With such thoughts in mind, Zhang Xuan quickly returned his Primordial Spirit back into his body before leaving the Myriad Anthive Nest.

It was still perfectly quiet on the outside when he returned to the Jiang Clan Repository. It was apparent that no one had thought that an intruder would be able to breach their defensive formation and access their books.

I recall seeing their treasure vault while making my way here. It should be in that direction. I should head over there to take a look!

Through his skillful manipulation of space, he managed to leave the Jiang Clan Repository safely without alerting anyone. After confirming a direction, he quickly made his way over.

It did not take him too long to arrive at his destination.

The seals placed on the treasure vault were clearly much stronger and more secure compared to the library. The seals were layered over one another in a complex manner, making it difficult to decipher.

Zhang Xuan was just about to use the Library of Heaven's Path on the seals to exploit their flaws and slip into the treasure vault when he heard footsteps coming from nearby.

He darted to a remote corner, and with a wave of his hand, he swiftly set up a spatial barrier around him. Right as he was done, he saw two figures walking over.

To his surprise, they were familiar faces.

The figure on the left was the middle-aged man whom he had just seen a few hours ago—Clan Head Jiang Fangyou. The figure on the right was a tall young lady who carried an air of valiance through her demeanor. She was the Inceptive Sage of the Celestial Designer Guild, Jiang Feifei!

Jiang Feifei seemed to have been dragged back by Jiang Fangyou, and she had an unhappy frown on her face. She groaned in protest, "Father…"

"I allowed you to squander your time learning all that celestial designer nonsense in the past, but the circumstances are different now. The Master Teacher Continent will be undergoing a massive change very soon, and there could very well be an upheaval. As the prodigy who possesses the purest bloodline in our Jiang Clan, you have to bear this responsibility!" Jiang Fangyou lectured sternly.

"Father, it's not as if you don't know my current level of cultivation. I'm still a long way off from reaching Saint 8-dan, so even if I want to shoulder the burden of the Jiang Clan, what can I possibly do?" Jiang Feifei complained reluctantly.

"The strength of our Jiang Clan is derived not from our zhenqi cultivation but our soul cultivation! Due to your pure bloodline, your soul has always been far stronger than your peers. If you could comprehend our founder's Soul Quintessence, you'll be able to inherit the complete heritage of our founder and experience rapid growth in your fighting prowess!" Jiang Fangyou explained.

With an expectant gleam in his eyes, he continued. "I'm not joking around with you. This matter concerns the very survival of our Jiang Clan. If things go wrong, our Jiang Clan could very well face extinction! We can't afford to have you throwing a tantrum at a crucial moment!"

"Alright, alright! I get it…" Seeing how severely her father was making things out to be, Jiang Feifei could only nod her head helplessly. "I'll try my best, alright? However, you should also know that it's incredibly difficult to grasp the Soul Quintessence, such that many of our predecessors have failed to do so. I don't think that I stand much of a chance!"

"… You'll just have to do your best. We have just received intelligence that there are hints that suggest that Zhang Xuan from the Zhang Clan has comprehended the Time Quintessence, and Luo Tianya from the Luo Clan has been confirmed to have comprehended the Spatial Quintessence… Of the Three Premier Clans, our Jiang Clan is the only one that is lagging behind!" Jiang Fangyou released a troubled sigh.

"That Zhang Xuan you speak of is a ridiculously talented prodigy. Despite his young age, he's already the head of the Zhang Clan and the Sanctum of Sages. It's no surprise that he was able to comprehend the Time Quintessence. However… who is that Luo Tianya you spoke of?" Jiang Feifei asked doubtfully.

So far, the Luo Clan had not officially announced the inauguration of their new clan head. As such, only the top echelons of the Jiang Clan were aware of the matter so far.

Furthermore, Jiang Feifei spent most of her time in the Sanctum of Sages instead of the Jiang Clan, and she had not formed her own faction. As such, it was inevitable that she would be unaware of this matter.

"According to the intelligence we have received, Luo Tianya is from the side family of the Luo Clan. It seems like he has maintained a low profile in the Luo Clan all along, but his sudden comprehension of the Spatial Quintessence of Sealing has brought him into the limelight. After a bloodline test, it was shown that he has a bloodline purity of '9'. On top of that, he even defeated the descendants of Ancient Sage Zi Rong of the Hundred Schools of Philosophers!" Jiang Fangyou explained.

Even as he spoke, there was an incredulous look in his eyes. It seemed like he still bore some skepticism toward the existence of this figure who had appeared out of nowhere.

But if the matter was true, he really had to say that the Luo Clan was really too lucky.

It was not too long ago that the Zhang Clan had found their missing young prodigy and realized that the latter already wielded astounding influence on the continent, thus causing the reputation of the Zhang Clan to soar to new heights. Shortly after that, a person who had comprehended the Spatial Quintessence of Sealing appeared in the Luo Clan…

Given that their Jiang Clan was lagging behind the pack, it was inevitable for Jiang Fangyou to get anxious.

"Luo Tianya was from the side family of the Luo Clan? Father, why don't you try looking among our side family as well? We might just have some extraordinarily talented clan members who have comprehended the Soul Quintessence… If you find one, you won't have to worry about finding a successor anymore!"

Hearing his daughter's words, Jiang Fangyou struck her head furiously and berated, "How in the world did you manage to think of something as ridiculous as that! If even you, a core member of the Jiang Clan, are unable to comprehend the Soul Quintessence, how do you expect those of the side family to do so? Are you dreaming? It's already a miracle in itself for a Luo Tianya to appear in the Luo Clan! Do you really think that experts of that caliber can be found that easily?"

"Why are you denying the talents of our side family? If other clans have such formidable prodigies in their side family, we might just have some, too…" Jiang Feifei grumbled with a pout.

Despite her prodigious talent in soul cultivation, she was not fond of cultivating. Her interests lay in designing, and she was adept in the field as well. Otherwise, she would not have been able to become the Inceptive Sage of the Celestial Designer Guild.

Unfortunately… it was apparent that the Jiang Clan would not permit her to pursue her interest.

"If such a figure truly exists, I'll invite him over right now and hand over the position of clan head to him!" Hearing his daughter's words, Jiang Fangyou harrumphed impatiently. "Alright, stop dreaming of the impractical and go in! Your job right now is to sit in front of the Jiang Clan's Jade Hieroglyph and comprehend the Soul Quintessence as soon as possible. Don't bother thinking about other things. Otherwise, if you fail, in order to ensure that our clan is able to deal with the impending upheaval… we'll have no choice but to betroth you to a stronger power in order to ensure the preservation of our Jiang Clan!"

Hearing that she would be forced to marry if she failed to comprehend the Soul Quintessence, Jiang Feifei's eyes widened in horror as she hurriedly shook her head. "Father, I don't want to marry!"

"This matter isn't up to you anymore. The peril we'll face is far greater than what we have ever been through. I'm afraid that our Jiang Clan won't be able to survive this upheaval alone given our current strength…" Jiang Fangyou sighed deeply as he gazed at his daughter with a resigned look.

"However, you don't have to worry. Even if I betroth you to someone else, he will be either Zhang Xuan of the Zhang Clan or Luo Tianya of the Luo Clan… In any case, I won't allow any grievances to come upon you!"



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