Library of Heaven is Path
1913 Up to the Azure
The battle with the deity had reduced Ancient Sage Yan Qing and the others to mere skeletal racks. With all of them on the verge reaching the limits of their lifespan, it would simply be a waste of resources for them to recover anymore. Nevertheless, before Zhang Xuan left on his self-discovery journey, he saw Kong Shiyao sealing them in ice to preserve their conditions. Half a year had passed since then, but it should be likely that they were still alive.
Kong Shiyao also nodded in response, "They are currently in hibernation."
"Bring me to them. I just might have a way to save them!" Zhang Xuan instructed as he gathered a bundle of the mercury-like spiritual energy in his hands.
Those words made Kong Shiyao widen her eyes in excitement. Knowing the conditions that Ancient Sage Yan Qing and the others were in, all she could really do was to delay the inevitable. She thought that it was really the end of these great men who had devoted their lives to protecting the Hundred Schools of Philosophers, but Zhang Xuan's words sparked a glimmer of hope in her eyes.
She immediately led the way forward, and they soon arrived in a sealed room. In the room, the bodies of Ancient Sage Yan Qing and several other Ancient Sages were placed side by side along a round elevated platform. Beneath the platform were various artifacts that constantly supplied the Ancient Sages with the vitality required to sustain their lives as long as possible.
Such a method couldn't increase their lifespan, but at the very least, it was able to delay their deaths as much as possible. This was also the method they had used in order to last the past ten thousand years.
Zhang Xuan walked right up to Ancient Sage Yan Qing's skeletal rack, and with a snap of his finger, he released the seal cast around him. The skeletal rack slowly roused to consciousness.
"Zhang shi!" the skeletal rack swiftly rose up and bowed deeply.
"I have found a way that could potentially save you. However, as I have never tested it before, I can't guarantee its success. If it works out, your lifespan will be extended, and you will enjoy a huge leap in your cultivation. However, if it fails, you'll lose your life right away. Are you interested in taking this gamble?" Knowing that the other party's time was limited, Zhang Xuan got straight to the point.
"I want to give it a try!" Ancient Sage Yan Qing replied decisively.
Since he was doomed anyway, there was no reason for him to clutch onto this straw of hope, even if the chances were slim.
"Good. I have a zhenqi circulation method over here that I need you to practice right now. Furthermore, while you are reforming your physical body, I want you to create your meridians according to this map I have over here!"
Zhang Xuan tapped his finger and imparted the reverse method of the simplified Heaven's Path Divine Art and the meridian network mapping he had drawn a while ago into Ancient Sage Yan Qing's head.
It took Ancient Sage Yan Qing ten minutes to fully comprehend the meridian network and the zhenqi circulation method. He wasn't too sure what Zhang Xuan was exactly up to, but he was confident that the latter wouldn't harm him. Thus, he took in a deep breath before driving his zhenqi in accordance to the zhenqi circulation method.
With a snap of his fingers, Zhang Xuan released the mercury-like energy he had gathered previously, causing it to swiftly suffuse the surroundings.
The presence of this energy caused Ancient Sage Yan Qing to tense up in anxiety. Nevertheless, he gritted his teeth and resolved himself to push it through.
He began absorbing the surrounding mercury-like energy using the zhenqi circulation method Zhang Xuan had provided, expecting to feel a crushing pressure any time soon. But as some time passed, an uncomprehending look appeared on his face instead.
When he absorbed the mercury-like spiritual energy based on the zhenqi circulation method provided by Zhang Xuan, he felt that the mercury-like spiritual energy was nourishing his body instead of crushing it. Delighted, he continued absorbing the energy excitedly, and within four hours, his physical body was already fully restored!
Due to the changes in his meridian network, his body was emanating an overpowering killing intent, making him seem like an Otherworldly Demons from afar.
Seeing that the first phase of his plan had worked, Zhang Xuan's eyes glowed in delight. He quickly issued the next set of instructions, "Good. Now, try to push for a breakthrough to Dimension Shatterer realm!"
Ancient Sage Yan Qing nodded as he continued absorbing the mercury-like spiritual energy.
As his accumulation over the past ten thousand years was far greater than Zhao Ya, it took him only two hours to reach Ancient Sage 4-dan. As a result of his breakthrough, his lifespan increased as well.
With this, he was no longer at risk of dying at any moment anymore.
"Thank you, Zhang shi!"
Words could hardly describe Ancient Sage Yan Qing's feelings as he felt the torrent of energy coursing through his body. He quickly kneeled onto the floor to express his gratitude to Zhang Xuan.
He was already prepared to face death after his overexertion while trying to repair the formation, but who could have thought that the other party would bring him back using such an unusual method? Not only so, he even achieved a breakthrough in his cultivation and reached a level that he thought he would never reach.
"The mercury-like spiritual energy sure is incredible. Not only does it hasten one's rate of cultivation, it also recovers one's body at a rate faster than the Aeon of Ancient Sage…" Seeing that his guess was on the mark, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
Under normal circumstances, given the limited amount of vitality that Ancient Sage Yan Qing had left inside his body, he wouldn't have been able to fully recover his physical body even in an environment rich in the Aeon of Ancient Sage. However, it was a completely different matter if he were to absorb the mercury-like spiritual energy instead.
This type of condensed spiritual energy harnessed an incredible amount of power within it. As long as one was able to absorb it, it could heal any severe wounds swiftly.
After confirming the feasibility of the method, Zhang Xuan unhesitatingly brought the remaining Ancient Sages to the elevated platform before waking them up. He warned them of the risks involved first before imparting them with the same zhenqi circulation method and meridian network mapping he had given to Ancient Sage Yan Qing. All of them decided immediately to go along with Zhang Xuan's plan, especially after seeing the method had worked on Ancient Sage Yan Qing.
Eventually, most of them managed to take the final step and successfully reached Dimension Shatterer realm, but there were accidents as well. Two Ancient Sages made a mistake in their cultivation and ended up having their skeletal racks crushed by the heavy spiritual energy, causing them to die on the spot.
Nevertheless, all of this showed that this was a feasible course of action to take. Thus, Zhang Xuan called his direct disciples over and asked, "Are you willing to go through any danger in order to reach Dimension Shatterer realm?"
The eight of them nodded their heads in agreement.
Without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan waved his hand, and all eight of them immediately spurted blood simultaneously. That single strike had shattered all of the meridians in their bodies.
"Cultivate in accordance with this, and be warned that you mustn't make even the slightest mistake. Don't blame me for not warning you if you were to die in the end!" Zhang Xuan said as he imparted them with the two manuals as well.
Zheng Yang and the others had watched Ancient Sage Yan Qing's rebirth with their own eyes, so they were well aware as to what they should do. Furthermore, as they had cultivated the simplified version of the Heaven's Path Divine Art, they were extremely familiar with it. While they had never tried cultivating it in reverse before, it didn't take them long to get used to it.
In the end, Kong Shiyao was the first one to fully recover and reach Dimension Shatterer realm.
Trailing behind her were Zheng Yang, Wei Ruyan, Lu Chong, and Wang Ying…
And five days later, even the weakest of them, Zhang Jiuxiao, had reached Dimension Shatterer realm too!
With this, all nine of Zhang Xuan's direct disciples had become Ancient Sage 4-dan Dimension Shatterer realm experts!
Seeing that they had succeeded, all nine of them cheered in delight.
Their teacher had actually accomplished a feat that even Kong shi failed to back then!
Seeing that his final job here was done, Zhang Xuan quickly gathered all of them together and revealed his intent to them, "I'm intending to open up the seal and enter the Azure. The circumstances up there are still unknown for the time being, and it's likely that untold dangers lurk beyond. Thus, I want all of you to stay put here for the time being and guard the Master Teacher Continent in my stead. Wait for my news, alright?"
Over the past five days which his direct disciples had spent cultivating to Dimension Shatterer realm, he had been pondering over his next move, and he found that his conviction still remained the same.
He wanted to head to the Azure and find Luo Ruoxin. He did think of whether he should bring his students along, but he eventually decided against it, especially given the dangers he involved.
"Teacher, we wish to come along with you!" Zhao Ya stepped forward and declared.
"No matter what kind of danger lies in the path ahead, we'll follow wherever you go. There is nothing that can make us stand down!" Zheng Yang nodded in agreement.
While the others didn't say a word, the look of resolution on their faces clearly indicated their stance as well.
It was due to their teacher that they were able to achieve their current accomplishments. If their teacher was going to undergo untold dangers, there was no way they would be able to remain here with a peace of mind!
"I appreciate your sentiments, but we can't just leave the Master Teacher Continent as it is at the moment. With the massive rebalancing in the power distribution of the Master Teacher Continent, there's no saying what would happen in the future if all of you were to disappear at once. Rest assured, once I have confirmed the situation in the Azure, I'll try to inform you all through Liu Yang's rituals!" Zhang Xuan explained with a smile.
The Azure was bound to be filled with innumerable top-notch experts, and even if he was no match for them, he was at least confident of escaping from them if he were alone. However, if he had to bring all of his students with him, he was not confident that he would be able to ensure their safety.
Besides, unlike him, his students had their own responsibilities on the Master Teacher Continent, and they couldn't afford to simply leave on a whim.
Take Liu Yang for example, he was the highest leader of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe. It hadn't been long since the situation over at the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe had been stabilized, and if he were to disappear at this juncture, there was no saying that others would exploit this opportunity to launch a coup d'état against his rule. If so, mankind could potentially be in danger once more.
"Then… teacher, you must take care of yourself!"
Knowing that their teacher had already made up his mind and no one would be able to sway his decision, the nine of them lowered their heads in disappointment.
"Zheng Yang, I have tempered the Dragonbone Divine Spear with the heavy spiritual energy, and it has already achieved a breakthrough to Dimension Shatterer realm. I shall now bestow it upon you. I don't know whether other deities would try to descend to the Master Teacher Continent after my departure, so I'll be counting on you to protect mankind from such external threats!" Zhang Xuan said as he passed the Dragonbone Divine Spear over.
Due to the dimension barrier, it was impossible for him to bring any items, including his storage rings, along with him up to the Azure. Furthermore, given his current level of cultivation, the Dragonbone Divine Spear was indeed not of much use to him anymore.
"Wang Ying, you specialize in spirit enchantment, but spirit enchantment takes time. I'll bestow the Golden Origin Cauldron to you. It'll safeguard your safety!" Zhang Xuan said as he brought out the Golden Origin Cauldron from the Myriad Anthive Nest.
Over the past five days, while this brick-like fellow hadn't managed to achieve a breakthrough to Dimension Shatterer realm from the nourishment of the mercury-like spiritual energy, it was already very close to doing so. Since he was unable to bring the other party with him, it would be best for him to entrust it to his students.
He took out the treasures he had on him one after another and distributed them equally to his students before heaving a sigh of relief.
With the current cultivation realm of his students and the treasures they had in their possession, even if a group of deities descended at this moment, they would be able to deal with them calmly without fluster.
As for Vicious, he was sealed within the Book of Heaven's Path, which could be deposited into the Library of Heaven's Path. Considering this fellow was a figure who was able to stand on equal grounds with Kong shi back then, it might spell a calamity in the future if he were to leave this fellow on the Master Teacher Continent. Despite all they had gone through together, he found that he was still unable to fully trust Vicious, so he felt that it would be best to keep the latter close with him.
As for the Dongxu Gourd, it was hiding in his dantian, so there shouldn't be any trouble bringing it across the dimension barrier.
As for his clone, he found that while the other party was unable to enter the Library of Heaven's Path, the other party was still able to enter the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn. Given that the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn formed an independent space separate from the Library of Heaven's Path, and that the clone shared the same soul with Zhang Xuan, it didn't come as a surprise that his clone was able to enter the space too.
With this, he should be able to bring his clone with him too.
With everything in place, Zhang Xuan looked at the formation above of him, and with a wave of his hand, he opened up a rift in it. After which, with a powerful leap, he dashed right toward the rift.
Previously, the downpour of mercury-like spiritual energy would cause a huge burden to both his physical body and his soul, but with his cultivation reaching Dimension Shatterer realm, he no longer felt any discomfort from it anymore. On the contrary, he felt like a traveler stumbling upon an oasis in the desert. It was invigorating.
Beyond the formation, he saw innumerable black patches of void. The shattered space between the two dimensions formed powerful spatial turbulence that tugged at him from all directions.
"It's fortunate that I have reached Dimension Shatterer realm, or else this spatial turbulence would have torn me to shreds…" Zhang Xuan thought grimly as he trudged his way through the spatial turbulence with difficulty.
This spatial turbulence was truly far more powerful than whatever he had experienced in the past.
Putting aside Blood Reincarnation realm cultivators, even ordinary Dimension Shatterer realm cultivators could succumb to the spatial turbulence and end up being torn to shreds in a moment of carelessness.
If not for his incredible accumulation and superior strength, even he would have difficulty trying to get past this.
Nevertheless, the spatial turbulence still inflicted many glaring lacerations on his body, causing blood to flow endlessly from his body.
There was no road in this passageway, and the entire passageway consisted of nothing but collapsed space. It was only through the Library of Heaven's Path that he could discern a safe passageway, or else he could have easily lost his way in this desolate space.
Hong long long!
Just like that, he traveled for nearly half a month. Gauging by the distance he had traveled so far, he figured that he should be reaching his destination very soon.
But at this moment, a massive bolt of lightning suddenly appeared before him, sealing his pathway forward.
Just as Zhang Xuan was wondering how he could overcome this obstacle, another flash of lightning bolted down and struck Zhang Xuan before he could react, causing him to black out.