Library of Heaven is Path
1888 Meeting Ancient Sage Yan Qing Once More
"Could it be that the Kunxu Domain wasn't created by Kong shi?" Zhang Xuan pondered.
He had known prior to coming here that the Hundred Schools of Philosophers had departed from the Master Teacher Continent to reside in a mini world that Kong shi had created. This was also why he had not been surprised when he saw the Kunxu Domain after breaking the seal. However, the stone tablet right before him was telling him that this was not the case.
This mini world seemed to have existed since time immemorial. It was not one of Kong shi's creations.
The records of Kong shi also stopped here. Could it be that the Kunxu Domain had some links with the Azure?
With a deep frown, Zhang Xuan proceeded ahead.
Beyond the corridor of floating stone tablets was a majestic hall with walls filled with murals. Those murals depicted the contributions made by the generations of experts from the Hundred Schools of Philosophers after entering this mini world.
Just as he had guessed, the Greensprout Wheat had indeed been nurtured by an Ancient Sage, but it was not by Ancient Sage Zi Chi as he had previously guessed. Instead, it had been completed by one of his descendants. It had taken tens of thousands of years of careful modifications before it was refined into a miraculous crop, allowing even non-cultivators to reach the level of Zongshi realm upon maturity.
Of course, its effects did not stop just there. Through the enhancements of their constitution, it also allowed cultivators to advance through the ranks faster than usual.
Browsing through the murals, Zhang Xuan felt even more confused.
There were no more records regarding Kong shi from that point onward. It was as if Kong shi had completely disappeared from the world, such that there was no more news regarding him.
He walked to the very end and circled the area once more, but there was nothing to be seen. He could not help but sigh helplessly.
It seemed like he had reached a bottleneck in his investigations.
Shaking his head, he was just about to leave the Sage Ancestral Hall to investigate the other locations of the Great Phrontistery of Confucianism when he suddenly noticed something and flitted to a corner of the room. At the same time, he swiftly set up over a dozen seals on him, causing all traces of his presence to fade into obscurity.
Barely a second after he had hidden himself, the sound of footsteps echoed in the air. Several people were making their way into the Sage Ancestral Hall.
Zhang Xuan secretly peered over from his hiding spot.
The person standing at the forefront of the group was surprisingly a familiar face… Ancient Sage Yan Qing!
The group that was following behind him also struck a chord in his memories. They had participated in the encirclement of Sovereign Chen Yong back at the Temple of Confucius.
With his current strength and grasp of spatial laws, as long as he did not intentionally release his aura or communicate with anyone, he was able to completely conceal his presence even from Ancient Sages.
They don't seem to be doing too well…
When Zhang Xuan first met them back at the Temple of Confucius, they had emanated the inviolable airs of an Ancient Sage, commanding an aura that forced others to bow to their authority. However, at this very moment, they felt like a great tree that was swiftly withering away. Be it their appearance or the aura that they were emanating, it felt as if strength and vitality were swiftly seeping away from them.
This was something that he had felt from Zhang Hongtian back then when his lifespan reached its limits.
I wonder what's wrong… Zhang Xuan looked on contemplatively.
It was true that the battle against Sovereign Chen Yong was intense, and many of them had sustained significant injuries throughout the course of the battle. However, their conditions were nowhere as severe as Zhang Hongtian's, and they should have been able to recover to their peak with sufficient time.
Given so, how did they land themselves in their current state within a short few months?
This was especially so for Ancient Sage Yan Qing. His face reflected infirmity, the vigorous spirit in his eyes had dimmed out, and his movements were slightly stiff. It was almost as if he was about to meet his end.
Just as Zhang Xuan was trying to figure out what was going on, coughs echoed in the air, and fresh blood seeped from the corners of Ancient Sage Yan Qing's lips.
"Yan Qing…" An Ancient Sage behind him looked over worriedly.
"I can still hold on…" Ancient Sage Yan Qing raised his hand and replied feebly. Gathering the last bit of his strength left, he turned around and said, "Let's begin after paying our respects."
"Are you certain that you want to do this?"
"There's no other choice. This is the mission entrusted to the Hundred Schools of Philosophers. We can't shirk from our responsibility," Ancient Sage Yan Qing replied with an unreadable look on his face.
Shaking his head, he walked up to Kong shi's sculpture and kneeled down. The other Ancient Sages quickly followed suit.
"To the venerated World's Teacher, I am the 73rd generation of offspring of Ancient Sage Zi Yuan, Yan Qing. I have heeded your teachings and held steadfast in my duties over the years. There has not been a day since when I have slacked. With the appearance of the Temple of Confucius, I know that we are reaching the breaking point that our predecessors warned us about, and it's time for us to do our part for the world. We are willing to offer our lives to the world, so if you are able to hear our prayers from above, I implore you to look after our clans after we are gone!"
The words spoken by Ancient Sage Yan Qing was solemn, as if he was prepared to meet his end.
Kong shi's sculpture simply stood silently on the spot, leaving a deafening silence in the air.
After praying, the group got to their feet. Somehow, Ancient Sage Yan Qing looked a little feebler than before as he said, "Let's go."
Helplessness was reflected in the eyes of those high and mighty Ancient Sages, but they chose not to say a word at all as they followed quietly behind Ancient Sage Yan Qing.
Breaking point? Offer their lives?
Shortly after the Ancient Sages of the Hundred Schools of Philosophers took their leave, Zhang Xuan removed the seals around him as he lowered his head contemplatively.
Under normal circumstances, those Ancient Sages should have returned to hibernation, so why did they suddenly pay a visit to this Sage Ancestral Hall and speak such words? Furthermore, what was with the injuries inflicted on their bodies?
The last thing he heard about them was that they were busy repairing the Temple of Confucius. Were there some dangers involved in the repairs of the Temple of Confucius?
Harboring deep bewilderment in his heart, Zhang Xuan quickly followed them out.
"Dragonbone Divine Spear, I need you to conceal my aura for me."
The Dragonbone Divine Spear swiftly warped into a belt, which wrapped itself around Zhang Xuan's body. In the blink of an eye, it looked as if Zhang Xuan had contracted a fair bit. Not even the slightest hint of aura could be felt from him, such that even Blood Reincarnation realm experts would be unable to sense his presence.
Even though Zhang Xuan's current fighting prowess was comparable to Blood Reincarnation realm experts, he still had not taken the last step to achieving a breakthrough to Ancient Sage. As such, his control over his powers was a little lacking. Without layers and layers of barriers, he was not confident in keeping his aura sufficiently under wraps to track the most powerful experts on the Master Teacher Continent without alarming them.
On the other hand, the Dragonbone Divine Spear had devoured the dragon blood and was only a step away from achieving a full breakthrough to the Dimension Shatterer realm. In terms of prowess, it was even stronger than Ancient Sage Yan Qing. With its help, it was unlikely that those Ancient Sages would be able to notice him.
After leaving the Sage Ancestral Hall, Zhang Xuan saw Ancient Sage Yan Qing leaping into the sky and tearing open space to travel somewhere else. Zhang Xuan quickly followed behind them.
Some time later, they arrived at an elevated platform amid a remote mountain range.
The sky above was completely empty. There were no clouds nor even any hint of blueness to be seen. It was an empty void.
The flow of space in here is extremely fast! Zhang Xuan noted.
To the untrained eye, this place seemed to be extremely peaceful. However, as someone who had grasped the Spatial Quintessence, he could sense that this space was flowing extremely quickly, resulting in massive changes every passing second. It felt as if the entire area would collapse soon under the strain.
That was not all.
Beyond the void, there was a blood-curdling sensation that seemed to faze one's soul directly.
"Let's begin!" Ancient Sage Yan Qing urged after getting into position.
Nodding in agreement, the group of Ancient Sages began to drive their zhenqi. However, they were disrupted by a sudden gale. Two silhouettes were swiftly making their way over.
Noting the presence of the two uninvited guests, the Ancient Sages quickly halted their actions and turned to look. Naturally, Zhang Xuan did the same.
The two guests landed on the ground.
The first person was a young lady that appeared to be in her early twenties. She had a slender figure and pitch-black hair that extended down to his waist, and she gave out a delicate impression. Her eyes carried deep anxiety that reflected her trepidation toward what was about to come.
There was a green-robed young man in his early twenties as well standing behind her. Zhang Xuan happened to know him. He was one of the offspring of the Hundred Schools of Philosophers who had fought with him over the Prime Amulet back in Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's ancient domain, Yan Xue!
"What are you two doing here?" Ancient Sage Yang Qing asked with a livid look on his face upon seeing the two of them.
The young lady took a step forward and said with conviction, "As a descendant of Kong shi, how can I possibly remain uninvolved when such a matter has happened?"
A descendant of Kong shi? Zhang Xuan widened his eyes. Is she Kong Shiyao?