Awkward.

Zhang Xuan scratched his head.

The others who were present there, such as Ancient Sage Yan Qing, were beings who had lived for more than ten thousand years. It would be difficult to win them over in a moment's time, especially given the fact that they had once had a conflict with one another. The same went for Yan Xue. Thus, he deemed Kong Shiyao to be the one that he could most likely win over.

Of course, he did not expect that he would be rejected in an instant.

In truth, it was understandable why Kong Shiyao was reluctant to take Zhang Xuan as her teacher. The fact that she possessed Kong shi's bloodline and had inherited Kong shi's lineage meant that she was already standing on the shoulders of a giant. Not even Ancient Sage Yan Qing was qualified to be her teacher, let alone others!

It did not make a difference even if the person asking was a Celestial Master Teacher.

She admitted that her talent might be beneath that of Zhang Xuan, but she had at least this much of pride in herself.

"This matter concerns whether or not we will be able to resolve the crisis concerning the Kunxu Domain," Zhang Xuan insisted. "Furthermore, I have no plans of accepting you as my direct disciple. You just have to acknowledge me as your teacher!"

Based on his previous encounters, as long as the other party sincerely acknowledged him as his teacher and was grateful for his teachings, there was a chance that the golden page would form. It did not matter whether the other party was his direct disciple or not.

"How can me acknowledging you as my teacher resolve the current problem we are facing?" Kong Shiyao frowned.

If not for the fact that the young man had just slain a deity and saved the Hundred Schools of Philosophers from a huge crisis, she would have thought that he was a scammer!

"Why don't we do this for now? I'll give you some pointers on your cultivation, and as for whether you are willing to acknowledge me as your teacher or not, I'll leave it up to you."

Looking at the swiftly gathering ominous clouds above him, Zhang Xuan knew that the heavenly retribution was just moments away from descending. It was clear that time was not on his side, so he had no time to waste convincing Kong Shiyao.

Besides, putting aside the fact that he was not willing to reveal the existence of the Library of Heaven's Path, if he had to make Kong Shiyao acknowledge him as her teacher using such a method, it was unlikely for her feelings to be truly sincere. If so, that could affect the chances of the formation of the golden page.

Thus, without waiting for Kong Shiyao's response, he began speaking. "Flowing in your body is the purest bloodline of Kong shi in the past thousand years. You are able to master any battle technique and cultivation technique in the blink of an eye, and the rate of your cultivation far exceeds that of ordinary people as well. Furthermore, if I'm not mistaken, even though it has only been three years since your cultivation has reached Sempiternal realm consummation, you have already faced three Ancient Sage Ordeals thus far, but you chose to suppress your cultivation instead of pushing straight for a breakthrough!"


Kong Shiyao nodded as she waited patiently for Zhang Xuan to continue on with whatever he was going to say.

Nothing that Zhang Xuan had mentioned thus far could be considered a secret. Most of those who were close to her knew all of that. Considering Zhang Xuan's means as a Celestial Master Teacher, it should not have been too difficult for him to uncover such information.

"With each Ancient Sage Ordeal you faced, your cultivation did grow stronger, and it will play a vital role in determining whether you are able to struggle free from the restraints of the heavens and achieve a breakthrough to the Dimension Shatterer realm in the future. However, you probably noticed that a problem has arisen as a result of your multiple attempted breakthroughs," Zhang Xuan said.

"The power of the Ancient Sage Ordeal has already melded into your core. Your body still contains traces of the energies from the multiple Ancient Sage Ordeals that you have been through, and this buildup of unassimilable energies eventually became a bottleneck to your cultivation. You challenged the Ancient Sage Ordeal three times within the short span of a year two years ago, but ever since then, you haven't attempted anything at all. I think it's worth questioning why you chose to delay the fourth Ancient Sage Ordeal for two whole years. Based on what I'm seeing, I would say that it's not because you don't want to do it but because you dare not to…"

As if Zhang Xuan had struck dead on, Kong Shiyao's face turned frighteningly pale. She subconsciously took a step back as she stared at Zhang Xuan with eyes enlarged wide.

This matter had been the deepest secret in her heart, and she had not dared speak of it. She did not think that a young man whom she had just met would actually expose it in a few moments.

When she first reached the Sempiternal realm three years ago, she had dreamt of emulating her predecessor's greatness and attempted three Ancient Sage Ordeals…

Her first three Ancient Sage Ordeals had been fraught with danger, but she had eventually managed to overcome them with her tenacity. But after the third Ancient Sage Ordeal, to her horror, she found that the energies from the Ancient Sage Ordeals had already seeped into her bones. No matter how she tried to cleanse her body, she was unable to get rid of them!

Her gut feeling told her that if she attempted another Ancient Sage Ordeal and allowed the energies scourging her body to continue building up, there was a good chance that her consciousness would be corroded by the energies, causing her to lose herself. In the worst-case scenario, she might even be assimilated to become a part of the heavenly tribulation itself.

It was this deep fear that had led to her to stop her breakthrough despite having overcome three Ancient Sage Ordeals within the short span of a year. Two years had passed since then, and she had not managed to find a suitable solution. However, her physical condition had been deteriorating as she began to lose control over the energies scourging her body.

She had browsed through countless books, hoping to find a solution to purge her of this trouble, but her efforts were to no avail. However, to hear Zhang Xuan pointing everything out spot-on at this moment… could it be possible that he had a solution to her woes?

As if he was able to read her mind, Zhang Xuan chuckled softly. "Since I can see through your problem, it goes without saying that I have a solution for it. You should be able to tell that I, like you, have overcome multiple Ancient Sage Ordeals, but I am not plagued by the issue that afflicts you!"

Kong Shiyao nodded vigorously as the same realization dawned upon her, and hope rekindled in the depths of her eyes.

Just like her, the young man standing before her was at the Sempiternal realm, but he was actually able to fight on equal footing with Dimension Shatterer realm cultivators.

Other than the fact that he was a Celestial Master Teacher, it was likely that he had faced multiple Ancient Sage Ordeals while suppressing his cultivation, or else there was no way he could have become so powerful.

"If I may… how can my affliction be resolved? If you are really able to solve my problem, I am more than willing to acknowledge you as my teacher!" Kong Shiyao exclaimed in agitation.

As long as her affliction was resolved, with her foundation of having overcome four Ancient Sage Ordeals, she was confident that she would be able to catch up with her ancestor and eventually reach the Dimension Shatterer realm!

With such strength, even if problems cropped up with the seal once more, she would have the strength to resolve them by herself.

Perhaps, she might even follow her predecessor's footsteps and enter a higher dimension, rising through the ranks!

"The problem is actually very simple. Unlike the cultivators on the Master Teacher Continent, the energy required to form the cultivation ordeals within the Kunxu Domain comes not from the heavens but the energy existent in the Kunxu Domain. As the Kunxu Domain was constructed by Kong shi, this world harnesses his energy within it. To any other cultivator, this fact wouldn't make a difference at all, but unfortunately, you share the same power origin as Kong shi, which resulted in your inability to expel the energies from the Ancient Sage Ordeal, as well as your gradual assimilation with it!" Zhang Xuan explained.

The Kunxu Domain had two major seals to prevent the heavens from peeking in, so it went without saying that the Ancient Sage Ordeals that Kong Shiyao had undergone did not come from the heavens.

From the looks of it, it was likely that Kong shi had implemented the system of cultivation ordeals within the Kunxu Domain as well.

It should have worked out fine for any other cultivator, but that was not the case for Kong Shiyao. While the energies of the Ancient Sage Ordeal came from the same origin, their violent nature rendered her unable to fully control them. At the same time, she was unable to fully remove them as they fused perfectly with her body, thus leading to their gradual buildup with every Ancient Sage Ordeal that she went through.

Over time, they formed a threat that she simply could not ignore anymore.

"What should I do?" Kong Shiyao asked worriedly.

The realization of the root of the problem made her realize how difficult it would be to cure her of her affliction, and she began to worry if she would be unable to resolve it for life.

"Well, the solution is rather simple and straightforward as well. All you have to do is challenge the Ancient Sage Ordeal on the Master Teacher Continent. Of course, given your current accumulation, I don't deny that you face a huge danger in doing so. At this current juncture, you have two options ahead of you. If you choose not to push for a breakthrough, as your zhenqi further builds up, you will eventually lose your opportunity to make a breakthrough. On the other hand, if you do push for a breakthrough, considering that you have never come into contact with the lightning tribulation of the Master Teacher Continent before, even I am unable to fully predict what will happen as a result of that," Zhang Xuan explained with a knowing smile.

"However, if you acknowledge me as your teacher, I'll teach you a method that will allow you to overcome your Ancient Sage Ordeal with certainty!"

"This…" Seeing that there was no other way out of this, Kong Shiyao decisively kneeled down and kowtowed several times. "Alright, I'll acknowledge you as my teacher. I hope that you will save me from my plight!"

Zhang Xuan took a look at the Library of Heaven's Path and saw that no golden page had been produced yet. Knowing that Kong Shiyao's feelings were not yet earnest, he sighed deeply and said, "Overcoming the Ancient Sage Ordeal on the Master Teacher Continent isn't tough at all. The key lies in that you mustn't think of it as a burden but a family member. You need to love it, care for it, consider its needs, feel its presence, give it your warmth and concern…"

"…" Kong Shiyao's face twisted in incredulity, and at that very moment, she really wanted to bust the head of the fellow standing before her.

Somehow, she felt as if she had just been scammed.

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