Library of Heaven is Path
1996 Luo Ruoxin?
It did not take long for the two of them to arrive before a sealed chamber. There were many layers of formations constructed over it, and there were four True Immortal realm guards standing outside.
A middle-aged man dressed in a thick fur coat noticed Elder He's presence and quickly walked over to greet him.
Elder He introduced the middle-aged man to Zhang Xuan. "This person here is Boss Hu of Wuhai Market. Boss Hu, this young man over here is a core disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, Zhang Xuan. He might be young, but his expertise as an appraiser is far above mine!"
"Far above yours?" Boss Hu was surprised by Elder He_s high evaluation of Zhang Xuan, such that he could not help but reassess the young man before him once more.
Elder He was the chief appraiser of the Wuhai Market, and the two of them had known each other for several decades. As such, he was very familiar with the other party's temperament.
Considering how formally Elder He was introducing this young man to him, it was likely that this young man was the real deal!
It was just that he could not help but harbor a hint of doubt at the back of his mind. Appraisal was highly dependent on the scope of one's knowledge; the older one was, the more knowledgeable one was likely to be. It was a little hard for him to imagine a twenty-year-old being truly proficient as an appraiser.
Despite his doubts, he did not show any sign of making light of Zhang Xuan at all. Instead, he turned to the latter and bowed slightly. "Brother Zhang, it's a pleasure to meet you. For Elder He to have such a high opinion of someone as young as you, you must be a truly capable individual!"
"Boss Hu, you are flattering me," Zhang Xuan replied calmly.
The middle-aged man before him did not have a particularly impressive presence, having sealed his zhenqi deeply so as to not reveal any hint of it. Nevertheless, through the Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan was still able to see that the other party had already reached Half-High Immortal!
With such a level of cultivation, the middle-aged man could be considered among the top echelons of Wuhai City. "Come, follow me!"
After trading some pleasantries, Boss Hu took the two of them into the room ahead.
Without wasting too much time, Boss Hu gestured toward the object ahead and said, "Brother Zhang, this is the artifact that I would like you to appraise."
At the center of the room was an object around the height of a person wrapped in a layer of black cloth.
Pulling the cloth off, a glistening rock dyed in the striking color deep crimson was revealed. It seemed to have been worked on before, such that the gleam reflecting off the rock was particularly bright. It was slightly similar to a blood jade, but again, it did not really seem so either.
"It's just a piece of rock?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
Considering the exceptionally high reward for the mission, as well as the fact that a skilled appraiser like Elder He was unable to discern its true nature, he had expected an invaluable treasure of some kind... but it turned out to be a piece of rock instead!
This was truly surprising.
"Don't underestimate it just because it's a piece of rock. It has an appearance similar to a blood jade, but the blood jade doesn't have a glow as warm as it. Its texture is reminiscent of that of a blood crystal, but blood crystals are known to exist in smaller sizes. I have browsed through innumerable books, and there was nothing that tallied with this rock. At least a hundred appraisers have been brought in to appraise the rock, but none of them have been able to discern its origin or name. As such, we chose to seek the help of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!" Elder He said.
There were several reasons that they had chosen to engage the help of core disciples.
Firstly, most core disciples in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion came from illustrious clans, so there was a chance that they might have chanced upon something similar to it.
Secondly, core disciples were not as powerful as the elders, so even if they appraised the rock to be something valuable and attempted to take it for themselves, they would still be able to do something about it.
It was a survival of the fittest world that they lived in, so this was something that could not be helped. Besides, it would be truly scary if the enemy feigned a lack of interest but resorted to underhanded means to acquire it. That would really be extremely troublesome.
Dealing with a core disciple was simply much easier.
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan nodded slightly.
While they were speaking, he had already tried assessing the rock with his Eye of Insight, but to his astonishment, he was unable to discern it.
He had read all the books in the libraries of the inner disciples, core disciples, and elders. In terms of general knowledge, even elders who had lived on the Forsaken Continent for centuries would not be a match for him. Yet, he was actually unable to identify the rock through his Eye of Insight. There was indeed something amiss with it.
"Have you tested the rock's attributes yet?" Zhang Xuan asked.
If it was just an unidentifiable rock, Boss Hu would not have gone to the extent of gathering so many appraisers and even seeking help from the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. There had to be some sign that hinted to him that this rock was not an ordinary artifact.
"We did. The most intense flames used by the strongest blacksmith in Wuhai City are unable to faze it, and High Immortal-tier weapons can't even leave a scratch on it," Elder He said.
Knowing that such information was crucial to appraising the artifact, they chose not to withhold any information at all.
"It's impermeable to flames, and even High Immortal-tier weapons aren't able to scratch it?" Zhang Xuan was astonished.
High Immortals could already be considered the top existences on the Azure, but even a weapon of that tier was unable to leave a scratch on it. Could this stone have reached Semi-Divinity or even beyond?
That would explain why Boss Hu was willing to spend so much money on it. Most likely, he was planning on selling this item for an astronomical sum after confirming what it was.
"Brother Zhang, I'll have to trouble you to take a good look at the stone and help us figure out what it is!" Elder He clasped his fist.
"Very well," Zhang Xuan replied as he walked up to the stone.
The crimson-emerald stone had a heavy presence that weighed down on one. Without even coming into contact with it, Zhang Xuan could tell that even he would have trouble trying to lift it with his current cultivation realm.
While he was only at the Heavenly Pseudo Immortal realm, his strength should be comparable to a Heavenly True Immortal. Despite that, he was still incapable of lifting it up. This stone was really getting more and more interesting to him.
"Brother Zhang, do you need a compass or any other equipment for your appraisal?" Elder He asked as he watched Zhang Xuan approaching the rock without any tools in hand.
Usually, when it came to appraising stones, one would try to measure its density, weight, and other properties using all kinds of tools in order to make a more informed deduction regarding the identity of the artifact.
Yet, Zhang Xuan was completely empty-handed. It was almost as if he thought that he could figure out what the rock was just by staring at it.
In response to Elder He's question, Zhang Xuan waved his hand and said, "There's no need for that for now..."
He slowly circled the rock contemplatively before reaching out to touch it lightly.
A book materialized in the Library of Heaven's Path.
He quickly touched the compiled book, and its content flowed into his mind. The next moment, his eyes suddenly narrowed as his body froze on the spot.
"Elder He, this young man doesn't seem to be too reliable," Boss Hu complained with a frown as he watched the young man walking around without taking any measurements at all.
As the head of an entire market, he had seen many top-notch appraisers at work, but this was the first time that he had seen any appraiser working in such a manner, not to mention that the other party was oddly young.
"His means might be a little bizarre, but there's no denying that his eye of discernment far surpasses mine!" Elder He replied.
The sculpture earlier had also been made of a rock, and even through the ink formation, the young man had been able to discern the truth of it. That was more than enough to verify the young man's capabilities.
The young man might be able to do the same for this rock as well!
While the two of them were talking with one another, the young man turned around and looked at them with a tense expression. "Where... did you acquire this rock?"
Seeing that Zhang Xuan might have figured something out, Boss Hu replied honestly. "I bought it from a wandering cultivator. Based on what he said, it seems to be from the Sea of Exiled Stars!"
"Sea of Exiled Stars..." Zhang Xuan mumbled beneath his breath.
The Forsaken Continent was simply too huge, and the books in the libraries that he had accessed only consisted of the territories in the vicinity of the Ascendant Cloud sword Pavilion. As such, he had never heard of the Sea of Exiled Stars before.
"The Starchaser Palace, one of the Six Sects, is located on an island in the midst of an ocean. The name of the ocean around them is known as the Sea of Exiled Stars," Elder He explained.
"Starchaser Palace... Du Qingyuan?" Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly.
Previously, Sect Leader Han Jianqiu had told him that if he wanted to know more about the gods, there was no one better to consult than the head of the Starchaser Palace, Du Qingyuan. It was just that the latter might not be willing to talk.
After all, speaking carelessly about the gods could cost one's life.
And this thing had suddenly appeared in the Sea of Exiled Stars at such a moment.
Could there be some kind of link between them?
"Brother Zhang, have you managed to identify the rock?" Elder He asked.
From the moment he first saw this young man, he had remained perfectly calm, as if there was nothing in the world that could faze him. But at this very moment, it was clear to see that he was slightly shaken. Could it be that he had managed to identify the artifact before them?
Taking a deep breath to calm himself down, Zhang Xuan nodded. "Yes."
"What is it?" Elder He asked in agitation.
Boss Hu hurriedly turned his gaze over as well.
Zhang Xuan closed his eyes for a brief moment before replying, "This is a... Godblood Rock."
Elder He and Boss Hu looked at one another as their faces slowly warped in astonishment.
The term 'god' was not something that could be used carelessly in the Forsaken Continent, or one might risk bringing the wrath of the gods upon oneself.
Godblood Rock... This was an artifact that they had never heard of before. Was such a thing really existent in the world?
"Indeed." Zhang Xuan nodded.
The reason he had lost his cool for a moment earlier was not because of the association between the rock and the gods... but that there was a chance that this artifact might have something to do with Luo Ruoxin!
It was not to say that Luo Ruoxin's name was written in the book, but the anomaly concerning the Godblood Rock was simply too similar to the situation with Luo Ruoxin. He was indeed able to compile a book on the Godblood Rock, but other than its name, the book was completely empty.
After the Library of Heaven's Path had been upgraded, he could discern Heavenly High Immortal-tier artifacts with ease, and he could even compile a book on the Semi-Divinity realm Han Jianqiu. However, anything else that was related to Luo Ruoxin, such as the crimson pendant that he was wearing, reflected only a name and no other details.
This rock was the same!
This meant that there was a chance that the so-called Godblood Rock was related to her!
Of course, just this much would not be enough to faze him so. After all, the Library of Heaven's Path had a lot of mysteries that he had not uncovered yet, such that it was not possible for him to predict its behavior entirely.
What had really convinced him about the relationship between Luo Ruoxin and the Godblood Rock was the slight warmth emanated by the crimson pendant hanging in front of his chest when he came into direct contact with it. He would really have to be a fool if he still could not make the link with this compelling evidence!
"Does the Godblood Rock have something to do with the gods?" Boss Hu asked with a hint of fright in his eyes.
He would have been more than delighted if this rock was any other treasure. He was confident that something of the quality of this rock could be sold for an exorbitant price. However, if the gods were involved in this...
That was really a cause for concern!
As someone from the Forsaken Continent, he knew that it was a huge taboo to get too close to the gods. The dissemination of knowledge and objects associated with them was heresy, and it would draw their wrath.
If this rock was really related to the gods, auctioning it would surely draw the attention of the Hall of Gods. That could very well be an act of suicide!
"Given its name, I have no doubt that it's related to the gods. As for how it's formed and what its uses are, I fear that I don't really have an answer to that at the moment..." Zhang Xuan shook his head.
The only thing he had received regarding the artifact was its name. There was no detailed explanation regarding its properties or flaws in the compiled book, so he did not know whether it could be forged into a weapon or whether it had some unique effects or not.
However, he knew one thing for sure. If even the Library of Heaven's Path was unable to compile a complete record on the artifact, it was definitely related to the gods.
"This..." Boss Hu hesitated.
He could tell that there was something special about the rock, so he had spent a heavy price to buy it. After that, he invested huge sums into having it appraised.
If it was really related to the gods, what should he do? Should he still sell it or not?
With a livid complexion, Boss Hu asked, "Brother Zhang, you mentioned that it's called Godblood Rock, but do you have any evidence to prove that? Pardon me for asking such a question. It's not that I'm doubting your judgement, but that... character has huge implications. I have to be absolutely careful when dealing with this..."
"Evidence to prove it?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before nodding slightly. "It should be possible to prove it!" "How?" Boss Hu asked anxiously.
"It's simple. Since it's named the Godblood Rock, it must contain some traces of a god's blood. If you have the blood of the most ferocious immortal beast on the continent, you can place it in contact with the Godblood Rock and see how it reacts. If the blood displays instinctive subservience toward the Godblood Rock, that should be enough to prove that my judgement is not wrong!" Zhang Xuan replied.