"You..." Not expecting the Dongxu Gourd to be so vicious as to swallow even a Heavenly High Immortal-tier sword just like that, Zhang Xuan anxiously whipped out his axe and struck down on the Dongxu Gourd furiously. "What the heck are you doing? Hurry up and spit it out!"

This sword was to become the trump card that would guarantee his safety! It would be a huge loss to him if it was swallowed just like that!

After all, there was no way he could depend on the Dongxu Gourd to protect him!

"It's just a lousy lump of metal, but it sure acts as if it owns the world. Why don't you just let me eat this fool?" the Dongxu Gourd protested with a shake of its bottom.

"Hurry up and spit it out! Otherwise, you won't be getting anything from me at all!" Zhang Xuan was on the verge of erupting like a fiery volcano.

What the heck was with the Dongxu Gourd? It was as if eating was the only thing on its mind!

But as infuriated as Zhang Xuan was with the Dongxu Gourd, he was also extremely shocked by the matter.

All along, he had thought that the only use of the Dongxu Gourd was its bathwater, but who could have known that it would actually be capable of swallowing a High Immortal artifact whole?

If it was capable of pulling off such a feat... did this not mean that it was stronger than even High Immortal-tier artifacts?

Under Zhang Xuan's threat, the Dongxu Gourd hesitated for a moment before reluctantly spitting the Tongshang Sword out.

It had no choice but to do it after all. It knew that whatever its master gave it in the future would definitely be worth much more than this tiny little sword over here. It could at least weigh the losses and gains of a situation.

Putting everything aside, just the zhenqi of its master was already something that no mere sword could compete with.

"Who the hell are you?" The spat out Tongshang Sword was nearly scared out of its wits.

It was a Heavenly High Immortal-tier sword, a renowned artifact of the Forsaken Continent... but it had actually been swallowed whole by a mere gourd! To make matters worse, it had found that it was completely helpless!

Just thinking about it was enough to send shivers down its glistening surface!

The Dongxu Gourd harrumphed coldly. "You piece of sh*t. If you don't acknowledge this lad as your master, I'll really swallow you whole and turn you into a literal piece of sh*t!"

"I..."

The Tongshang Sword shuddered for a moment before it abruptly straightened its blade and declared, "From the first time I set my sights on Master, I already knew that he's an extraordinary man who will achieve great things in the future. In that instant, I made my mind up that I would acknowledge no master other than him. I only refused earlier to test his resolve!"

Zhang Xuan covered his face from sheer speechlessness.

He never would have thought that a High Immortal artifact could be so shameless!


Zhang Xuan quickly conducted the acknowledgement ceremony, and before long, he felt the Tongshang Sword coming fully under his control.

It seemed like the Dongxu Gourd was not just a glutton. It still had its uses after all!

While the Library of Heaven's Path was able to see through the flaws of the Tongshang Sword, which made Zhang Xuan confident that he would eventually be able to tame the latter, he knew that it would not have gone so smoothly if not for the threats of the Dongxu Gourd.

However, it seems like wielding a High Immortal-tier sword is still far beyond my current ability. Even with the Gods' Sword Intent, I am unable to utilize its full prowess, Zhang Xuan thought.

Only after placing the Tongshang Sword under his control did he realize just how frightening an existence it was. That would explain why it was so reluctant to submit to him.

In comparison to the power it wielded, the strength of a Pseudo Immortal was indeed not much more than an ant.

With his current strength, he would not even be able to draw out a hundredth of the Tongshang Sword's full prowess!

Nevertheless, with this sword in hand, no one beneath High Immortals would be able to pose any threat to him. In fact, he might even be able to slay High Immortals if he caught them off guard.

With this, he finally had the means to protect himself.

"Keep!" Zhang Xuan placed the Tongshang Sword back into his storage ring.

He turned to the Dongxu Gourd and nodded in approval. "You've done well this time around. I'll buy you some pills later on as reward for you!"

After appeasing the Dongxu Gourd and putting it back into his dantian, Zhang Xuan walked out of his room.

From what he had gathered from Han Jianqiu earlier, it seemed like there was a good chance that Luo Ruoxin was a god. This left him feeling even more pressured. He felt an urgent need to raise his cultivation once more.

It had already been two hours since he reached Heavenly Pseudo Immortal... Quite some time had passed since his last breakthrough. It was about time for him to start looking for True Immortal realm cultivation technique manuals so that he could push for another breakthrough!

As long as he could reach the True Immortal realm, with the sheer purity of the Heaven's Path zhenqi, the Gods' Sword Intent, and the Tongshang Sword, he should be able to stand on equal footing against even High Immortals.

So, he walked over to Bai Ruanqing and requested to borrow her aerial beast. After which, he quickly made his way over to the Elder Peak.

Just like how most of the books in the inner disciples' library were beneath the Pseudo Immortal realm, most of the books in the core disciples' library were beneath the True Immortal realm. If he wanted to gather sufficient True Immortal realm cultivation technique manuals or even that of High Immortal realm, he would have to head to the elders' library.

Upon arriving at his destination, he passed the identity token that he had obtained from Han Jianqiu over, and as the latter mentioned, he was immediately granted entry.

The elders' library was not as large as that of the core disciples' library. It was only a two-story high building with a couple of bookshelves scattered around the room.

A slight frown formed on Zhang Xuan's face as he swiftly glanced at the books around him.

There were indeed True Immortal realm cultivation technique manuals around, but it did not seem like there were too many there. It did not take him too long to collect everything into the Library of Heaven's Path.

"Only six hundred?" Zhang Xuan sighed.

It was far from the usual thousand that he required to form a complete Heaven's Path Divine Art.

Shaking his head, he proceeded up to the second floor.

The cultivation technique manuals of High Immortals were stored there, but the quantity was even more limited. All in all, there were only twelve books.

"This..." Zhang Xuan found himself extremely conflicted.

It was true that most cultivators only needed a single good cultivation technique manual to advance to greater heights, but he needed as many books as possible in order to perfect his Heaven's Path Divine Art...

To be fair, the cultivation technique manuals of True Immortals were incredibly rare. Aside from major sects such as the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, there was probably nowhere on the Forsaken Continent where one could find so many of them lying around... But it was still far from what Zhang Xuan required!

Compile!

Not bearing too much hope, Zhang Xuan tried putting all the True Immortal realm cultivation technique manuals together. He flipped open the compiled book, and very soon, his face sank in disappointment.

Just as he had thought, the compiled cultivation technique was incredibly flawed. There were shockingly seven flaws in it! There was no way he could cultivate something as disgusting as that!

It seems like I'll have to find ways to gather more True Immortal realm cultivation technique manuals.

Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in distress.

Most likely, he would need another four hundred True Immortal cultivation technique manuals in order to complement those flaws, but they would surely cost quite a hefty sum. At the very least, the Sword Pavilion Coins that he had just earned would be far from sufficient.

He continued walking around the library and ensured that he had taken all the books into the Library of Heaven's Path before leaving the premises with a helpless sigh.

As he returned to his residence, he pondered deeply.

Even in a place like the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, becoming a True Immortal was enough to land one the position of an inner elder. Among the core disciples, there were not too many who had reached this level. It would be no exaggeration to say that True Immortals were strong enough to become a regional powerhouse in most parts of the Forsaken Continent!

Using the context of the Master Teacher Continent, it would be equivalent to the significance of the Great Sages.

It was perfectly normal that the cultivation technique manuals at this realm were severely lacking. It was only due to the great influence of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion that it was able to gather six hundred books like that.

But as long as he could not perfect his Heaven's Path Divine Art, he would not be able to continue cultivating. He would rather die than cultivate a technique that had seven flaws in it!

Kong shi did give me a token that allows me to acquire anything from the Ethereal Halls. I should be able to purchase cultivation technique manuals through it, right? Zhang Xuan thought.

Based on what Han Jianqiu had said, the token that he had received from Kong shi had endless credit. Since that was the case, could he make use of it to purchase all the cultivation technique manuals that he required?

He did try in the past, but it was simply too expensive for him to do so back then. However, with this token in hand, money was not a problem!

With such a thought in mind, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up. But the next moment, his face crumbled into bitterness as he muttered, "But I'll have to leave the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion first..."

It went without saying that he could not use this token for the internal Ethereal Hall that the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion operated. He would have to head to the Ethereal Halls outside in order to exploit its privileges.

I should do some information gathering before deciding on my next move, Zhang Xuan thought as he finally arrived back at the residence.

Seeing that Bai Ruanqing had yet to leave, Zhang Xuan walked up to her and asked, "May I know where the nearest city to the sect is? Is there an Ethereal Hall there?"

"You wish to head out?" Bai Ruanqing was slightly taken aback.

"I do have such intentions in mind," Zhang Xuan replied frankly.

"The nearest town to the sect is called Wuhai City, and it's roughly three thousand li away. Its name originates from its proximity to the Wu Sea. It's a huge, first-tier city, so it does have an Ethereal Hall," Bai Ruanqing replied.

"Hmm, it's not too far away..." Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.

At a distance of three thousand li, he could reach it with just two hours on the back of an aerial beast.

"It's indeed not too far away, but the sect doesn't allow disciples to leave its premises freely. There's a lot of administrative processes that one must go through before one is permitted to leave the area. In fact, depending on the nature of business, it might even require a judgement from the Elder Council. The entire process can easily take several days," Bai Ruanqing explained.

"Several days?" Zhang Xuan frowned. Darn bureaucracy! With a deep sigh, he asked, "What about elders? Are they allowed to freely leave the premises?"

"They don't have such privileges. Unless they have some important business, they aren't allowed to freely leave the sect either," Bai Ruanqing replied. "Unless..."

Knowing that she was a troublemaker, her grandfather, Elder Bai Ye, had made sure to pound the rules of the sect into her so that she would not get into too much trouble.

"Unless what?"

"Unless they have a mission! Usually, elders and disciples who are entrusted with a mission are able to leave the sect easily without too much trouble," Bai Ruanqing replied.

"Mission?"

"When inner disciples and core disciples find themselves in need of Sword Pavilion Coins, they head over to the Hall of Missions. As long as they have a Mission Token with them, they are able to freely leave the sect without any restrictions," Bai Ruanqing explained.

Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in realization.

He did previously hear that it was possible to earn Sword Pavilion Coins through missions, but he had found it a little too slow for his liking.

"Senior Uncle, if you really wish to head out, I can grab a mission and take you to Wuhai City," Bai Ruanqing said.

She had wanted to leave the mountain range to explore the world for a long time, but it was a pity that her grandfather had never allowed it. While she had taken on quite a few missions so far, she had never been able to travel far from the sect. However, now that she had Senior Uncle with her, her grandfather was unlikely to stop her.

Wuhai City was an extremely prosperous city near the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. She had long heard of it and wanted to visit the area to take a look.

"Alright, let's head to the Hall of Missions together then." Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.

Given his current identity, it would be incredibly inconvenient for him to take on a mission. Thus, it was better to leave it to Bai Ruanqing.

"Let's go!"

Bai Ruanqing excitedly leaped up onto the aerial beast, and the two of them swiftly made their way over to the Hall of Missions.

The Hall of Missions was the place where the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion allocated missions. It would set the difficulty of mission based on the description of the request and determine the reward accordingly.

Browsing through the various posters pinned on the boards, they swiftly found a couple of missions regarding Wuhai City.

The missions from Wuhai City tended to be harder, but the compensation was extremely tempting.

"An Appraisal Mission from Wuhai Market with a reward of thirty Sword Pavilion Coins. Let's take this then," Zhang Xuan said with a smile.

The other mission would take up quite a bit of time and effort, whereas this one only required him to appraise several items. It should be a piece of cake for him. After completing the mission, he would have plenty of time to explore the regional Ethereal Hall.

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