Library of Heaven is Path
1988 I Am Not a Disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion
Seeing that the sect leader had admitted his loss, Zhang Xuan quietly heaved a sigh of relief as he removed the black cloth.
It might have appeared as if he had beaten the five of them easily, but in truth, it was much more complicated than that. In terms of difficulty, this would definitely be far above that of slaying five thousand inner disciples in the Ethereal Hall. If he had shown the smallest opening, there was no doubt that those five would have exploited it right away to crush him!
It was fortunate that everything turned out well in the end.
"The Gods' Sword Intent is indeed formidable!" Returning to his seat, Sect Leader Han Jianqiu chuckled softly. It did not seem like the earlier defeat had induced any negative emotions in him at all.
"I thank you for going easy on me," Zhang Xuan replied with clasped fists.
"A loss is a loss..." Han Jianqiu shook his head. "So, what's the question you would like to ask?"
"Sect Leader Han, I would like to ask if you have heard of... the Spirit God Palace?" Zhang Xuan asked nervously.
The person before him was the leader of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, one of the top figures of the Azure. The things that he knew of were likely well above what Elder Lu Yun knew.
There was a good chance that Han Jianqiu would be able to provide him with some clues to Luo Ruoxin's whereabouts. "The Spirit God Palace?" Han Jianqiu frowned a little before shaking his head. "I've never heard of this place before." This left Zhang Xuan a little taken aback.
"The Six Sects of the Forsaken Continent are namely the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, Starchaser Palace, Myriad Beast Hall, Sevenstar Pavilion, Blackmirror Citadel, and Evanescent Immortal Sect," Han Jianqiu said. "Of the Six Sects, the only one who is qualified to use the '卒申（God)1 character is our Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. None of the other five sects would dare use the word carelessly.
The only existence that towers above the Six Sects is the Ethereal Hall. It was founded by Hall Master Kong four thousand years ago, and he single-handedly entered the Hall of Gods to steal the (God)' character.
"It's precisely due to this that the Ethereal Hall was allowed to expand throughout the world, and not even the Six Sects dare oppose it. However, in the thousands of years since, no one else has been able to pass through the Azure Bridge, let alone enter the Hall of Gods to grab the character. Given so, there's no other major power in the Forsaken Continent that would dare use the '神（God)' character. There are only two possibilities. One, the Spirit God Palace doesn't exist at all. Two, it's not a power that's located on the Forsaken Continent!"
As the Forsaken Continent was a world cast away by the gods, the usage of the ■神（God)_ character was an extremely sensitive issue. Without the explicit permission of the Hall of Gods, there was no power that would dare carry the word in its name.
If the Spirit God Palace really existed, there was no way he would not have heard of it.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan's face paled upon hearing those words. Could it be that what the summoned deity had told him back then was all lies?
Did the Spirit God Palace not exist at all in the Azure?
Han Jianqiu could see that Zhang Xuan was particularly concerned about this matter, so he asked out of curiosity, "Where did you hear about that place from?"
"I happened to overhear someone speaking of it..." Zhang Xuan shook his head in disappointment.
If even someone of Han Jianqiu's standing had never heard of the place before, it was likely that no one in the entire Azure would know about it!
If so... where could the Spirit God Palace be? Did it even exist?
Where could Luo Ruoxin be?
Han Jianqiu paused for a moment before replying, "If the news you have heard isn't false and the Spirit God Palace is truly existent... perhaps you could try asking Du Qingyuan. She might know a thing or two."
"Du Qingyuan?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"She's the head of the Starchaser Palace. In the Forsaken Continent, she is the one who has the deepest understanding of the Hall of Gods. It's rumored that she has even communicated with real gods before and was rewarded by them," Han Jianqiu replied.
"She has communicated with real gods?" Zhang Xuan froze as a thought came to his mind.
If Luo Ruoxin was not in the Azure... could she possibly be a real god?
This mysterious girlfriend of his knew about the existence of the Library of Heaven's Path and was able to fuse Kong shi's Great Codex of Spring and Autumn together with it. If one looked at her abilities, she seemed to surpass even Sect Leader Han!
If so, it seemed to make perfect sense to say that she was a real god.
"However, Du Qingyuan is not a person with a good temper, and she treads very carefully when it comes to matters regarding the gods too. She might not necessarily be willing to answer your question," Han Jianqiu warned.
"Considering that the Forsaken Continent is a land cast away by the gods, the thing that they abhor the most is us investigating their affairs. If the Hall of Gods notices such a thing, there's a good chance that they might come after us!"
Zhang Xuan frowned as he nodded grimly in agreement.
The books that he had read did give him some understanding of the Forsaken Continent. It was said that those living on this continent had disobeyed the rules of the gods, which resulted in this entire piece of land being cast away. It would not be inaccurate to say that all lifeforms living on this piece of land were exiles.
The descendants of the exiles worked hard day and night cultivating, hoping to cleanse the name of their ancestors and return to the Empyrean, the world where the gods lived.
Their hope lay in what was known as the Azure Bridge. It was the only pathway leading to the Empyrean, but it would only connect once every hundred years. Furthermore, the Hall of Gods stood in their way at the other end of the bridge.
There were guardians in the Hall of Gods that denied entry to those from the Azure.
It was from there that Hall Master Kong and the founder of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion had stolen the ■卒申 (God)' character.
"The Hall of Gods seals this world away, preventing any of us from becoming real gods. Furthermore, if anyone dares probe into the secrets of the gods, the Hall of Gods swiftly finds out about it and takes action. In fact..."
At this point, Han Jianqiu suddenly lowered his voice grimly, as if fearing that someone would overhear him, before carrying on. "A person like you, who has comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent, is deeply feared by them. If they learn of your existence, it might provoke them to make a move as well..."
Surprised by the revelation, Zhang Xuan asked, "Why?"
"I don't know either. Perhaps, they don't wish to see anyone questioning their divine authority. Those who have comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent will eventually gain the strength to challenge them, and they don't wish to see such a thing happening. All in all, it's best to stay away from matters concerning the gods wherever possible," Han Jianqiu said.
"So, I hope that you will avoid drawing the attention of those from the Hall of Gods. Until you possess the strength to stand on equal grounds with the Hall of Gods, it's best to ensure that as few people know of your identity as possible!"
"This..." Zhang Xuan closed his eyes for a moment before nodding slowly. "I'll watch my words."
"It's not just your words. Don't reveal your strength easily either. Being too high profile will kill you!" Han Jianqiu continued.
"Don't worry, it's my nature to remain a low profile!" Zhang Xuan replied with a confident smile.
"... Cough cough!"
Seeing how much Zhang Xuan was lacking self-awareness, Han Jianqiu's face turned red as he suddenly found himself not knowing how to respond to the other party's remark.
In a single day, Zhang Xuan had caused the mountain gate to collapse. Following which, he challenged all the inner disciples and core disciples in the sect. Not too long after that, he proceeded to provoke the entire Elder Council and defeated the sect leader and the four strongest elders.
He had probably caused a far greater uproar than an ordinary person would in their entire lifetime, and yet, he dared to say that he was low profile?
Where is your face?
Knowing that he would faint from anger at this rate, Han Jianqiu took out a token and passed it over. "Hall Master Kong from the Ethereal Hall learned that you have comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent, so he asked me to give this token to you. With this, you'll be able to acquire any resources in the Ethereal Hall you need to advance your cultivation at no cost at all!"
"It's given by Hall Master Kong?" Zhang Xuan's body tensed up a little, and he could not help mumbling to himself, "Is that Kong shi? Is he... still on the Forsaken Continent?"
The lifespan of a Pseudo Immortal was only three hundred years, and even those who had reached the High Immortal realm or Semi-Divinity realm would not live too much longer than that.
Kong shi had left the Master Teacher Continent tens of thousands of years earlier, and using a 1:10 ratio, it meant that he had been there for several thousand years at the very least. Was it possible for him to still be alive after so many years?
"Kong shi? Well, people did use to address him like that in the past!" Han Jianqiu chuckled. "Of course, he's on the Forsaken Continent. As for where he resides at the moment, I fear that I'm not too aware of that. For the past several thousand years, he has been roaming the lands, rarely appearing before others. It's only in recent decades that he's begun appearing in public once more, and it's only then that people knew that he's still alive!"
"This..." Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement.
This was probably the best news that he had heard the entire day! If Kong shi was still alive in the Azure, it would only be a matter of time before they met one another.
Taking the token from Han Jianqiu, he touched it lightly and felt a surge of warmth flowing into his body.
"It's him..." Zhang Xuan's body trembled a little.
If he still harbored some doubts as to whether Hall Master Kong was truly Kong shi or not, from the moment that he came into contact with the token, he knew that was definitely the case!
As fellow Celestial Master Teachers who had originated from the Master Teacher Continent, there was some kind of inexplicable connection between them.
"Hall Master Kong has always been generous to those who possess superior talent. As the sect leader of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, I would be mocked if I didn't offer you something as well!" Han Jianqiu chuckled.
With a flick of his wrist, he took out a sword and said, "This sword is called Tongshang. While it's nowhere in comparison to my Ruantian, it's still a Heavenly High Immortal artifact. I'll give it to you now. Try to decipher it, and if you can claim it as your own, it'll be highly beneficial to your cultivation and your fighting prowess!"
The Tongshang Sword floated in front of Zhang Xuan, emanating immense pressure. It was almost as if a High Immortal expert was standing right before him.
"Thank you, Sect Leader Han." Zhang Xuan bowed deeply.
He had been worrying that he would be helpless if a High Immortal came after him, but with such a sword in hand, it would be no different from having a Heavenly High Immortal constantly protecting him by his side.
Of course, that was only if he managed to tame the Tongshang Sword. Swords of such a tier possessed their own spirit, and given the current limitations of his cultivation, it would be no easy feat for him to win it over.
Nevertheless, with the Library of Heaven's Path, he should still be able to pull it off.
Zhang Xuan swiftly placed the Tongshang Sword away in his storage ring for the time being.
Most likely, Han Jianqiu must have placed some kind of seal on the Tongshang Sword as well, or else it would not have allowed him to store it in his storage ring.
Han Jianqiu nodded as he watched Zhang Xuan depositing the sword into his storage ring. A moment later, he suddenly thought something and asked curiously, "Oh right, which peak are you under at the moment? Who is the elder managing you?"
The elder of the peak had really done well to nurture such a talented disciple. There was no doubt that the elder had to be handsomely rewarded!
"I am currently still residing in the peak where the inner disciples live in... As for the elder... I believe that it's Elder Lu Yun," Zhang Xuan replied.
"Lu Yun?" Han Jianqiu frowned.
Seeing that the sect leader had never heard of Elder Lu Yun before, Elder He quickly filled him in on the details. "He was an external elder who was promoted earlier today for his meritorious contribution in bringing in a highly talented disciple. As he managed to achieve a breakthrough to the True Immortal realm, I promoted him to inner elder."
External elders were not allowed to participate in the Elder Council, so it came as no surprise that Han Jianqiu did not know of the other party.
"An external elder? If that's the case, does it mean that you were previously an outer disciple?" Han Jianqiu looked at the young man before him in disbelief.
An outer disciple had comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent?
Was this for real?
When did the outer disciples of the sect become so formidable?
It was no wonder he wanted to challenge the inner disciples, core disciples, and even the elders. He must have been really frustrated at having his talents buried like that!
"Outer disciple?" Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan's face reddened as he replied, "To be honest, I'm not a disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion..."
As soon as he said those words, he noticed that everyone around him went completely silent. So, he hesitated for a moment before reluctantly asking, "Should I... give this token and the Tongshang Sword back to you?"