Library of Heaven is Path
With a depth of around ten meters, the pond was not too deep. Beyond that was where the spatial seal that led to the next dimension lay.
Instead of entering the spatial seal, Zhang Xuan chose to swim around its vicinity to take a closer look.
But even after swimming all the way around once, he was unable to find anything at all. Putting aside any lifeforms, he could not even find any rocks, ores, or anything that could remotely resemble an artifact. It was all clear water.
"Did I guess incorrectly? Does the crux of the dimension not lie here, or could it be that… someone has beaten me to it?" Zhang Xuan frowned. "No, that's not right. If someone had claimed the crux of the formation, the poison lingering in the air would have receded by now…"
In the desert dimension, the desert had vanished after he took the Berserk Yellowsand Wood. In the forest dimension, as he had left together with the Five Monarchs, it was not clear what had happened after they departed. Nevertheless, no longer restricted by the authority of the Five Monarchs, it was unlikely for the beasts in the dimension to remain so orderly.
The same applied to the poison dimension as well. Considering how poison was still lingering in the air and the pond still possessed the properties of an antidote, it was likely that the crux of the dimension had not been found.
"Eye of Insight!"
Zhang Xuan scrutinized every nook and cranny within the pond, and soon, he noticed that something was amiss.
The substance that would neutralize the surrounding poison seemed to be growing scarcer and scarcer.
Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before flying out of the pond. He waited for a few seconds before checking on the pond once more, only to find that the substance had fully regenerated within.
"Teacher, have you found it yet?" Zhao Ya asked.
"Not yet. However, I have a good guess as to what the crux of the formation is. Bring me a bamboo pole!" Zhang Xuan instructed with a smile.
Zhao Ya left the area. Shortly after, she returned with a bamboo pole in hand.
Taking the bamboo pole, Zhang Xuan shook it lightly, jolting the leaves off. Driving his zhenqi through the bamboo pole, he manifested his zhenqi as a thin thread at the other end of the bamboo pole before concentrating his zhenqi at the very tip of the thread, as if preparing a delicious bait for the prey to be reeled in.
"This is… a fishing rod? Teacher, are you intending to fish at this pond?" Zhao Ya was taken aback.
" for visiting.
Furthermore… the fish seemed to have quite an eccentric personality.
"Don't estimate this fellow. It's a Sempiternal realm consummation cultivator. Put aside coming onto shore, he wouldn't die even if he was thrown into a pot of boiling oil!" Zhang Xuan explained.
Zhao Ya's initial shock slowly turned into intrigue as she asked, "If it possesses such strength, how did it end up being fished up?"
A Sempiternal realm consummation fish was likely to be a being of great intelligence. Yet, it had been fished up by an ordinary bamboo pole… This was unbelievable!
"I can't help it—it was out of habit! In the past, Kong shi would often come to fish me. He would hook me up each and every time before releasing me shortly after. Each time, I would be caught dozens of times, so I eventually got used to it!" the koi fish explained.
Zhao Ya's cheeks continued to twitch.
Despite its strength, it still allowed itself to be hooked up each and every single day… Furthermore, from the looks of it, it seemed like it enjoyed the process. Was it really that bored?
More importantly, to fish the same fish every single day… Kong shi must have been bored to death!
"Don't listen to his nonsense. If I'm not wrong, Kong shi also used his zhenqi as his fishing line and bait. What that fellow is interested in is not just the bait but the fishing line as well, am I right?" Zhang Xuan shook his head with a light chuckle before turning his gaze to the koi fish.
"This… It's all fleeting clouds!" the koi fish said in embarrassment.
"I see!" Zhao Ya widened her eyes in realization.
It was no wonder an ordinary fish was able to cultivate to Sempiternal realm consummation. It turned out that it had been consuming Kong shi's zhenqi all along.
Naturally, there was no way that it would pass on such a delightful task to any other fish.
"I thought that I'd hidden myself quite well earlier. How did you find me?" asked the koi fish doubtfully as it turned to Zhang Xuan.
The way that it had hidden itself was extremely discreet, such that it would have been nigh impossible for even those who possessed the Eye of Insight to see through its disguise. There were a few other groups who had arrived prior to them, but they had failed to notice its presence.
Yet, the young man had actually known that he needed to use a fishing rod to hook it up, and that had left it feeling itchy all over. As a result, it could not help but bite the bait and allow itself to be hooked up.
"The antidote that you have left inside the water is similar to my zhenqi. It's not something that anyone could create," Zhang Xuan explained. "If I'm not mistaken, it probably originated from Kong shi, right?"The full saying is that "Kong Zi fishes with a rod and not with a net; he hunts not those who have returned to their nests". It displays his compassion toward the world. It's fine to fish for food, but one should restrain from overfishing. At the same time, it's immoral to hunt animals down in their safe haven and resting spot. This analogy can be used to draw parallels to many more circumstances.