"Tap into the powers of the Hall of Gods?" Zhang Xuan asked in confusion.

"To become a god, one must acquire the acknowledgement of the gods," Pavilion Master Kui Xiao explained. "This is also why those of the Six Sects struggle so hard to enter the Hall of Gods to snatch the (God)' character. Even just half a (God)' character represents the qualification and possibility to reach the Semi-Divinity realm."

Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.

It was no wonder those of the Six Sects were so intent on snatching the (God)' character. He had thought that it was just because they were vain and wanted to use the character in their names, but who would have thought that it was the foundation to ascend to greater heights?

At the same time, he realized why he had managed to become the hall master and elder of the Myriad Beasts Hall and Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion respectively so easily.

Most likely, they were entrusting their hopes to him. If he successfully snatched a 申(God)’ character from the Hall of Gods, those who were stuck at Heavenly High Immortal would finally be able to make a breakthrough to greater heights. Their lifespan and fighting prowess would be greatly increased.

"I heard that the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion has only acquired half a character, which is why they can only use it on the Sword God Hall instead of in their sect's name," Zhang Xuan said contemplatively. "Does this mean that the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion possesses the means for one to achieve a breakthrough to the Semi-Divinity realm, too?"

They do, but the difficulty is much greater. Throughout the entire Forsaken Continent, the only power that has managed to acquire an entire (God)' character is the Ethereal Hall. In other words, it's likely that they have the greatest number of Semi-Divinity realm experts. This is also why none of the Six Sects dare to oppose it," Pavilion Master Kui Xiao explained.

Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.

Each of the Six Sects had their own defined territories, and the other sects would be unable to interfere in their affairs. On the other hand, the Ethereal Hall was a power that wielded influence across the entire Azure. It turned out that this single _神(God)_ character was the key.

"If it's impossible to achieve a breakthrough without the ’神(God)_ character... Pardon me for asking this, but it seems like your cultivation has long reached the Semi-Divinity realm—how is that?" Zhang Xuan asked in bewilderment.

All three heads of the Six Sects that he had met thus far were Semi-Divinity realm experts. If it was impossible to make a breakthrough without that character, how did they manage to reach their current realm?

"This is why we looked for you," Pavilion Master Kui Xiao said with a smile.

"Oh?"

You might have heard about how the Azure Bridge leading to the Hall of Gods descends every hundred years. Those on the Forsaken Continent are able to reach the Hall of Gods via this bridge and possibly snatch the 申(God), character. For each battle one won, one can absorb a sliver of Aura of Divinity, which is the key to achieving a breakthrough to the Semi-Divinity realm. I was one of the challengers a hundred years ago!" Pavilion Master Kui Xiao said.


"One can absorb a sliver of Aura of Divinity by winning a battle? Then... what if one loses a battle?"

Those who lose their battles usually lose their lives as well."

"Lose their lives?" Zhang Xuan was astonished. "So, this means that each of the current heads of the Six Sects have won a match?"

Han Jianqiu, Qin Yuan, and Kui Xiao were all Semi-Divinity realm experts. Even though he had not met the leaders of the three remaining sects, it was likely that they were not too weak. Did they manage to win their battles as well?

Honestly, this was a little hard for him to believe. He had fought with the experts of the Hall of Gods before, and he knew just how frightening they were.

It was no exaggeration to say that they were nigh invincible in their power class. Even Han Jianqiu and Kui Xiao would not stand much of a chance against them!

It might still be possible for the two of them to win out of sheer luck, but it felt like too much of a coincidence for all six heads of the Six Sects to win their battles!

"The heads of the Six Sects did win a match each against the warriors of the Hall of Gods, but they aren't from the same batch of challengers. Take Du Qingyuan from Starchaser Palace for example, she reached the Semi-Divinity realm a thousand years ago. There have been quite a few challengers from Starchaser Palace in the years since, but none of them have managed to survive the battle."

"A thousand years ago?" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes in astonishment. "Are Semi-Divinity realm experts able to live that long?"

Most High Immortals could only live up to three hundred years, but Du Qingyuan had actually reached the Semi- Divinity realm a thousand years ago. Did this not mean that she had lived for a whole thousand years?

That would be equivalent to ten thousand years on the Master Teacher Continent!

This was really frightening.

Usually, Semi-Divinity realm experts can only live for five hundred years at most, but those from Starchaser Palace are a little unique in terms of their constitution. They enjoy a far greater lifespan than the rest of us. Despite that, it's clear that Du Qingyuan is swiftly approaching her end. It's likely that she only has a few more years ahead of her. Like her, Hall Master Qin Yuan is also reaching the end of his lifespan," Pavilion Master Kui said with a shake of his head.

Thus, they hope that a new Semi-Divinity will appear in their sects this time around. Otherwise, the fragile balance of power maintained among the Six Sects will shake..."

Zhang Xuan nodded slowly in agreement.

He could finally see why Qin Yuan had unhesitatingly passed down the position of hall master to him.

With his lifespan coming to an end, Qin Yuan could only entrust his hopes to him and pray that he would be able to clear the Azure Bridge and successfully become a Semi-Divinity expert, thus becoming a pillar to prop up the Myriad Beasts Hall for the next five hundred years.

Although the situation among the Six Sects was relatively peaceful, they knew that this would swiftly change as soon as one of them displayed any sign of weakness.

Even if the other sects did not make a move on them, they would lose their resources and talents to the other powers. As time went by, they would eventually become a second-tier power, and their prestige would become a thing of the past.

Zhang Xuan suddenly recalled something. "Pavilion Master Kui, you mentioned earlier that there will be a duel with others from the Six Sects, and there will be no danger. May I know what that means?"

Thinking back, it was weird that Pavilion Master Kui Xiao had asked him to participate in a duel against the other powers instead of challenging the Azure Bridge. After all, the reason Pavilion Master Kui wanted him to join the Sevenstar Pavilion was likely because he wanted him to become the Sevenstar Pavilion's representative on the Azure Bridge.

"Weren't you wondering earlier why there were Semi-Divinity realm experts in all of the Six Sects?" Pavilion Master Kui Xiao said. "There are five warriors guarding the Azure Bridge. If you can achieve victory in the duel among the Six Sects, you will be able to become the leader of the expedition. If so, you will be entitled to leave the other five members to deal with the five warriors while you enter the Hall of Gods right away. In other words, you will have won a battle even without having to fight. Through that, you will have effectively gained the qualification to make a breakthrough to the Semi-Divinity realm!"

The expedition leader will be able to enter the Hall of Gods without fighting at all? Wait a moment, what happens to the other five members who have to fight against the warriors of the Hall of Gods?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"Chances are that they would lose their lives," Pavilion Master Kui Xiao said grimly. "In view of this, if all the disciples are equally powerful, the duel will be skipped. The position of the expedition leader will be selected through a specific sequence. It's the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion's turn to become the expedition leader this time, and it will be the Myriad Beasts Hall's turn the next time around, and after that will be our Sevenstar Pavilion's turn. This arrangement maintains the balance of power among the Six Sects. On top of that, it also unites us together against the Hall of Gods.

"Of course, there are cases where there's a great disparity in power. If so, the sequence will be disrupted. This is to allow the genius to conserve his strength in the earlier stages and save his energy for snatching the (God)' character from the Hall of Gods.

"There are also extreme cases like in Hall Master Kong's generation. Due to his overwhelming strength, even if he didn't take on the position of the expedition leader, he would still have been able to clear the Azure Bridge and enter the Hall of Gods with ease. Such circumstances often give rise to more Semi-Divinity realm experts. Even if all six don't succeed, there will still be at least two or three of them."

Zhang Xuan nodded.

Even if they alternated the expedition leader each and every time, due to the lifespan of a Semi-Divinity realm expert being only five hundred years, there would be a period of time where a sect would be without a Semi-Divinity realm expert.

That would mean a period of vulnerability for the sect, and things could easily go wrong during that time. Thus, there was still a need for them to compete over the position of the expedition leader despite the current arrangements.

This was why those from the sects bestowed him with the position of an elder and willingly provided him with all kinds of resources. Clearly, they wanted him to vie for the position of expedition leader in their stead.

As long as there was someone to guard their sect, everything else was of secondary importance.

After finishing his piece, Pavilion Master Kui Xiao looked at Zhang Xuan expectantly. "Elder Liu, you must give it your all. We'll also be providing you with whatever support you require to reach the Heavenly High Immortal realm as soon as possible."

Even when he challenged the young man with his cultivation suppressed to the True Immortal realm, the latter was able to defeat him without the slightest hint of exhaustion. Most likely, he should be able to crush the candidates from the other sects with ease!

It was a done deal for him to reach the Semi-Divinity realm. He might even be the ray of hope for them to snatch a •卒申 (God)' character for their sect. If so, the continued prosperity of their Sevenstar Pavilion would be ensured!

"Rest assured." Zhang Xuan nodded.

If not for the other party sacrificing themselves for him, he would not have been able to achieve a breakthrough and become a High Immortal.

This favor was more than enough for him to put his all toward helping them.

Having understood the situation, Zhang Xuan turned his attention back to reinforcing his cultivation.

Meanwhile, the aerial immortal beast sped ahead, and in less than half a day, a massive ocean came into sight.

"We have finally arrived at the Sea of Exiled Stars." Pavilion Master Kui Xiao stood up.

Zhang Xuan also walked over to the window to take a look.

He could see deep blue water beneath him. Looking into the distance, it felt like the ocean was fusing together with the sky, and they were currently traversing in a mystical space that existed between the sky and the ocean.

Traveling alongside them were all kinds of fish and birds, painting an incredibly beautiful sight.

"So, this is the Sea of Exiled Stars?" Zhang Xuan was amazed.

To think that the experts of the Forsaken Continent were unwilling to step foot in such a beautiful world.

"Indeed. At nighttime, the ocean beneath will look as if stars have fallen into it, inducing the urge to chase after them. Sometimes, if you travel fast enough, you might even be able to catch up with them. This is probably the reason behind the name of Starchaser Palace," Pavilion Master Kui Xiao said.

"But nature tends to manifest danger amid beauty. The only reason we haven't been attacked yet is because we are currently on a carriage carrying the insignia of the Sevenstar Pavilion, and it's being pulled by many High Immortal realm beasts. Ordinary cultivators would never be able to make it this far. Most of them would have already encountered innumerable dangers, so how could they be in the mood to enjoy the beauty?"

"I see," Zhang Xuan replied deeply.

It would be foolish to underestimate what lay beneath the surface of calm waters. It was likely that there were countless powerful beasts hiding within the Sea of Exiled Stars.

Those who dared step into their territory recklessly would find themselves in great danger.

Watching as the immortal beasts around him slowly venturing into the depths of the Sea of Exiled Stars, Zhang Xuan could not help but ask, "Where is Starchaser Palace?"

"At the center of the ocean, there's a massive island known as Starchaser Island. Starchaser Palace and the indigenous population of the Forsaken Continent all reside there," Pavilion Master Kui Xiao explained.

The immortal beasts continued ahead. After advancing roughly two thousand li, Zhang Xuan could see a lot of beasts prowling beneath them in the ocean, seemingly contemplating launching an assault.

If not for Pavilion Master Kui Xiao releasing his aura as a Semi-Divinity realm expert to deter them, it was likely that some immortal beasts would have already made a move on them.

It was no wonder no one dared to approach this area. Putting aside the threat from the indigenous population, just these immortal beasts were enough to make any cultivator stop in their footsteps.

Around half a day later, a massive island finally came into view.

It was several thousand li in width, and there was a humongous, bustling city located at its center.

From afar, one could feel a unique aura shrouding the city, forming some sort of force field that deterred others from approaching.

This aura feels a little familiar..." Zhang Xuan was a little taken aback.

He was certain that he had felt this unique force field somewhere before. Thus, he activated his Eye of Insight to take a closer look.

Boom!

His eyes narrowed his astonishment as his body tensed in agitation.

"Isn't this the aura from the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe?"

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