Library of Heaven is Path
The reason he had gone through so much effort to enter the Kunxu Domain was to find the passageway leading to the Azure in order to reach Luo Ruoxin.
Since there was a passageway above the elevated platform and the 'deities' were able to pass through, not to mention the fact that the mercury-like spiritual energy leaking out from the void came directly from the Azure, could that actually be the way he had been seeking all along?
"To be honest, I don't really know." Ancient Sage Yan Qing shook his head.
"I see… Then, do you know how Kong shi left the Kunxu Domain to enter the Azure?"
"Regarding that…" Ancient Sage Yan Qing's face reddened in embarrassment.
In truth, most of Kong shi's direct disciples did not even know of his departure back then, let alone a junior who came many generations later like him.
"It's only recorded in the books that shortly after Kong shi achieved a breakthrough to the Dimension Shatterer realm, he left this world. As for where he went, I'm afraid that it isn't recorded anywhere. However, our historians who investigated the matter deduced that there's a good chance that his disappearance had something to do with this seal!"
This time, it was Kong Shiyao who answered Zhang Xuan's question.
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
From the looks of it, there was a good chance that the void above the elevated platform was the way into the Azure. However, with his current strength, he would not last long surrounded by the mercury-like spiritual energy. Perhaps the minimum requirement to doing so was to first reach the Dimension Shatterer realm.
Clearly, the current him still had much to work on!
"Zhang shi, pardon me, but I have a question for you. The seal on the Kunxu Domain was created by Kong shi himself, making it impossible for anyone to enter or leave. The reason we were able to enter the Master Teacher Continent previously was because we were able to tap into the power of the Temple of Confucius to temporarily breach the seal… So, how did you manage to get in here?" Ancient Sage Yan Qing asked with a doubtful frown.
This question made the others direct intrigued looks at Zhang Xuan.
It was an established fact among them that it was impossible for them to enter or leave the Kunxu Domain. The emergence of the Temple of Confucius had been the only exception to the rule in the past tens of thousands of years. However, it had been several months since the Temple of Confucius closed, so it should be impossible to exploit this loophole.
Given so, how did Zhang Xuan manage to get in there?
Feeling that there was no reason to hide this matter from them, Zhang Xuan replied honestly. "While I was visiting the Tianxuan Kingdom, I found a seal that was centered around Ancient Sage Ran Qiu. Out of curiosity, I broke the seal, and before I knew it, I was already in the Kunxu Domain."
"Wait a moment, did you say that you broke the seal? You broke that seal?"
Ancient Sage Yan Qing and the others shook in agitation.
"Quick, let's head over to take a look!"
With no time to explain, Ancient Sage Yan Qing swiftly opened up a dimension rift and leaped in. The others quickly followed suit.
In just a moment's time, they had already arrived at where Zhang Xuan had entered the Kunxu Domain.
The seal was still standing firm, but the hole that Zhang Xuan and the others had entered through was gradually expanding. They could just about see black flames pressing firmly against the exterior of the Kunxu Domain, attempting to force its way in.
Zhang Xuan was taken aback. "What's going on here?"
He knew just how powerful the seal was, and he had needed to make use of the powerful Ordeal of Lightning Armament in order to open up a small hole to open. Why would there suddenly be such powerful black flames pressing against the seal?
Not to mention, they bore an uncanny resemblance to the Empyrean Heavenly Flames.
"This is the backlash from the heavens," Ancient Sage Yan Qing grimly explained.
"Backlash from the heavens?"
"While we have isolated the Kunxu Domain from the Master Teacher Continent, it still doesn't change the fact that they are actually one entity. What we are doing here, the cultivation of the Greensprout Wheat and the enhancement of the fundamental constitution of mankind, is going against the laws of nature, thus creating a distortion in this world.
"The reason Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's body was left outside is not just to sustain the seal; more than that, it's to prevent the heavens from peeking in! However, now that the heavens have learned of what we have done in the Kunxu Domain, they've sent down divine retribution to punish us and undo what we have done! At this rate, it won't be long before the Kunxu Domain is swallowed by the raging flames of the heavens' fury," Ancient Sage Yan Qing exclaimed worriedly.
Zhang Xuan's body stiffened.
Every world had its own rules, and these rules were enforced by the heavens. Anyone who tried to breach these rules would find themselves faced with the wrath of the heavens.
In a sense, this was similar to how cultivators attempting to push for higher realms would have to face heavenly tribulations.
Putting everything aside, in his previous world, Wang Mang, being a transmigrator, had attempted to change the world. But in the end, the heavens had sent down the Son of the Heavens, Liu Xiu, in retaliation, and the latter had easily destroyed everything that he had built.
The rules of the world could not be disregarded, and even Ancient Sages were no exception to the rule.
Zhang Xuan had thought that the reason no one was able to find the Kunxu Domain was due to the lofty Hundred Schools of Philosophers trying to steer clear from the rest of the world, but it turned out that their main goal was to conceal themselves from the detection of the heavens.
If people frequently entered and left the Kunxu Domain, it was only a matter of time before the heavens detected the existence of the Kunxu Domain. Once that happened, everything would be utterly destroyed, be it the Greensprout Wheat, the Hundred Schools of Philosophers, or even the domain itself.
Knowing that this was a catastrophe that he had caused, Zhang Xuan turned to Ancient Sage Yan Qing and asked, "Do you have any blueprints of it for me to mend the formation? I'll seal off the Kunxu Domain once to prevent the heavens from peeking in!"
"We do have the blueprint to the formation, but it's of no use!" Ancient Sage Yan Qing shook his head. "What has been breached isn't just this seal but the Illusory Formation that was set up outside too. Previously, if the heavens attempted to peer into the coffin, Kong shi's body would appear, which would lead the heavens to think that Kong shi has passed away, thus halting their investigation right there. However, the fact that the black flames have reached this seal means that the Illusory Formation has been undone. The heavens are already aware of everything. Any reparation work done now will only delay the inevitable!"
Zhang Xuan fell silent.
On his way to the Kunxu Domain, there had been two stone coffins. One of them contained Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's body, and it was used to maintain the Illusory Formation.
As for the second coffin, what Zheng Yang saw was Kong shi's corpse whereas what they saw was Zheng Yang himself. It was the breaking of the Illusory Formation that had brought the seal isolating the Kunxu Domain from the Master Teacher Continent to his attention.
With these two preventive measures breached, the 'eyes' of the heavens were already fixated on the Kunxu Domain. Even if they mended everything right now, it would make no difference at all.
"Is there nothing that can be done?"
"There's only one way out of this… We have to deceive the heavens once more, like Kong shi did!"
"Deceive the heavens?"
"Un. Back then, when Kong shi first developed the Kunxu Domain, a hint of the energy contained within leaked out, and it swiftly caught the heavens' attention. It was due to Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's willing sacrifice to sustain an Illusory Formation that they eventually managed to deceive and placate the heavens," Ancient Sage Yan Qing said grimly.
"There's only one way for us to resolve the problem… We have to find a Dimension Shatterer realm cultivator who is willing to sacrifice himself to die under the hands of the heavens. Using his death as a catalyst, we'll create an illusion of the entire Kunxu Domain falling into ruins. While the heavens punish those who have failed to abide by the laws of the world, it would be inaccurate to say that they are a sentient force. As long as our means are sufficiently convincing, there's a chance that we'll succeed!"
Those words made Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shoot up.
Be it in the entire Master Teacher Continent or the Kunxu Domain, there was not a single Dimension Shatterer realm expert still alive. While his strength paired with the Dragonbone Divine Spear was very close to that of a Dimension Shatterer realm cultivator, his core was simply too much different from that of a real Dimension Shatterer realm cultivator. The heavens would see through his disguise easily!
"I'll do it. I don't have long to live anyway. Even if I'm unable to fully deceive the heavens, I should at least be able to buy some time!" Ancient Sage Yan Qing sighed as he looked at the seal with determination.
"Un. While my cultivation hasn't reached the Dimension Shatterer realm, it's very close to it. Through igniting my soul and my physical body, I should be able to temporarily draw forth a might comparable to Dimension Shatterer realm cultivators, and perhaps, I might be able to deceive the heavens temporarily through that!" Ancient Sage Yan Qing replied.
"Ignite your soul and physical body?" Kong Shiyao was startled. "But once your soul and physical body are destroyed, it will really be the end of you. There would be no way you will be able to come back to life!"
Upon reaching the Blood Reincarnation realm, even if one's physical body was torn apart, there was still a chance for one to revive. However, if he ignited his soul and body, he would really die through and through. There was nothing in this world that could bring back a dissipated soul, not even the Aeon of Ancient Sage.
"I know that, but as long as I can protect the Kunxu Domain, my death will not be in vain!" Ancient Sage Yan Qing replied.
As a human Ancient Sage, he had already resolved himself to sacrifice everything he had for the preservation of mankind. If his death could save many more people, his sacrifice would be worth it.
"Hold that thought for a moment. Let me take a look and see if there is any other way to resolve this situation!"
Seeing that Ancient Sage Yan Qing was going to rush over at any moment to give up his life for the greater good, Zhang Xuan walked up to the black flames with a frown and tapped his finger lightly on it.