Library of Heaven is Path
2050 The Disdainful Clone
"The Hall of Gods, huh?" Zhang Xuan immediately identified his assailants.
The disconcerting killing intent and the sharp precision that seemed as if it had been carefully measured with a ruler, these were traits that were unique to the sword practitioners of the Hall of Gods.
More importantly, the angle, positioning, and attack timing that they had coordinated with one another were truly sharp, such that even Semi-Divinity realm experts would find it hard to avoid their offense. The only ones he could think of that were capable of such a feat were those from the Hall of Gods.
"Only two Heavenly High Immortals, eh?" Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
Ten days ago, he would have been completely helpless against such a line-up, but to the current him, they were no longer a problem for him to deal with anymore.
However, while there were only these two on the surface, there was no saying that the Semi-Divinity realm middle- aged man was not lying in wait around as well.
Thus, Zhang Xuan sent a telepathic message to the four Semi-Divinities in his tamed beast sack to prompt them to be ready to strike at any moment. At the same time, he brought out the Tongshang Sword and released the Gods' Sword Intent to seal away the surroundings.
"Gods' Sword Intent? You are the new sect leader of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, Zhang Xuan?"
Those two assailants were alarmed, and the one above immediately turned tail to flee.
If the young man before them was still at Heavenly True Immortal realm, he would have given it his all to take him down. However, the young man had already reached High Immortal realm!
Taking into consideration that the previous two assassinations had failed as well, it did not take him long to figure out that the opponent standing before them was not someone whom they could defeat.
What he had to do right now was inform their leader of the news as soon as possible!
If he could capture this young man, the merit he would earn would be far greater than acquiring the altar of Starchaser Palace!
"It's too late!" Zhang Xuan remarked lightly.
Zhang Xuan's sword descended like a gust of wind. It appeared to be slow on the surface, but that single move effectively sealed away all his routes of escape.
He was trapped.
A bloodied slit appeared on the glabella of the Heavenly High Immortal above, and just like that, his soul dissipated, sealing his fate.
Zhang Xuan quickly grabbed his falling corpse and threw it into his storage ring.
All in all, from the moment those two attempted to assassinate him till the Heavenly High Immortal above was killed, not even a single breath had passed. At the same time, though, the sword qi from the Heavenly High Immortal below had arrived right before him.
Just as it seemed as if the sword qi was going to pierce through Zhang Xuan's chest, a gourd suddenly materialized right before him and blocked the sword qi.
"Damn it! Break!"
With gritted teeth, the Heavenly High Immortal below drove his zhenqi to his limits, hoping to pierce through the gourd. However, it was as if the gourd was as resilient as a fortified city wall. Even when pouring in his full strength, he was still unable to breach it.
"Could that be a Semi-Divinity artifact?" The Heavenly High Immortal jolted in fear.
He was at the Heavenly High Immortal realm, and the sword in his hand had reached the same tier. Given so, it should have been impossible for any Heavenly High Immortal-tier artifact to stop his attack.
Yet, a mere gourd managed to block him from advancing any further. He dared not imagine just what tier the artifact was at!
"It's impossible. There's no way I can defeat a monster like this. I need to get away right now!"
Knowing that it was impossible for him to pull off the assassination alone, he immediately turned tail. But before he could even turn around, his vision suddenly went dark.
A gourd was flying right toward his face.
With just a single strike, the shape of the gourd was imprinted right into the head of the Heavenly High Immortal. With indignation reflected in his eyes, his body began falling helplessly downward.
To think that a Heavenly High Immortal realm expert like him would die to a mere gourd...
Zhang Xuan quickly threw his body into his storage ring as well.
Despite having defeated two Heavenly High Immortals, he did not show the slightest hint of joy. Instead, he scanned his surroundings warily.
A few breaths passed, but there were no movements at all. Slowly, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
"It seems like these two are the only ones lying in ambush!"
There was a possibility that the entire group that he had encountered earlier would be lying in wait for him, but since they had not appeared after so long, it appeared that there was no one else.
Otherwise, they surely would have exploited the opening that he had shown while he was dealing with those two Heavenly High Immortals to strike.
"These two might have been left behind to serve as sentries to alert them in case anything happens. If that's the case, the others must have gone on ahead to find Du Qingyuan and the altar..."
He pondered for a moment before nodding slightly. "I made sure to seal the surrounding space before killing these two, so I doubt that any energy pulsation or information has managed to get out. If so, the others shouldn't have noticed my presence yet..."
An identical figure swiftly appeared by his side.
It was his clone!
After taming those four Semi-Divinity realm beasts, he had passed some of their blood along to Vicious and his clone. Due to the lack of a cultivation technique, Zhang Xuan was unable to continue his cultivation. However, such a problem did not apply to his clone, and the latter had already reached the Heavenly High Immortal realm.
Needless to say, his clone was stronger than him yet again.
"You'll take one while I'll take the one," Zhang Xuan said.
Catching Zhang Xuan's drift, his clone nodded.
The next moment, he had already morphed his appearance to match the Heavenly High Immortal who had his head smashed in with a gourd.
While his clone did not have a disguise amulet, the Nine Hearts Lotus granted his body a property reminiscent of water. He could freely morph into any form that he wanted. That was also why he could easily reform his body even when it had been dented inward.
After changing his appearance, his clone quickly put on the other party's clothes before suppressing the pulsation of his soul energy to the minimum.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan took on the appearance of the other warrior. With two light taps of his finger, he made the two swords of the Heavenly High Immortals submit to him.
His disguise was flawless, such that it was impossible for one to see through even if one checked his bloodline. However, there was still some degree of discrepancy regarding his clone's disguise, such as his soul aura.
Nevertheless, the mere fact that they were holding onto the swords of the two Heavenly High Immortals should be enough to make up for that.
Heavenly High Immortal-tier artifacts were known to possess their own spirits, making them extremely hard to tame. As long as they saw that they were wielding the swords of the two Heavenly High Immortals, it was unlikely that they would conduct a thorough check.
After they were done, Zhang Xuan double-checked their disguises and made some additional adjustments. It was only when he was unable to see any more loopholes that he finally gave a nod of approval.
He took the lead forward, and his clone quickly followed behind him.
In order to ensure that these two Heavenly High Immortals would be able to find them afterward, the Semi-Divinity realm middle-aged man who had left earlier made sure to leave some marks behind. Thus, it was not too difficult to trace them.
Proceeding ahead, it did not take too long for them to enter the ancient city.
The dilapidated city walls emanated an air of degeneration, leaving one with a heavy feeling on the inside. The environment felt inexplicably stifling, leaving those walking in the area with some difficulties breathing.
Even someone of Zhang Xuan's caliber felt his cultivation being suppressed significantly, rendering him incapable of exerting his full might.
A thought came to Zhang Xuan's mind, and he slit a small incision on his arm.
As soon as the incision was made, the air of degeneration in the surroundings immediately corroded the area of the wound, hindering his recovery.
Zhang Xuan quickly drove his Heaven's Path zhenqi to ward off the air of degeneration and heal his injury, but some time later, he shook his head helplessly.
Usually, such minor injuries would take less than a breath to heal up entirely. Yet, even after driving his Heaven's Path zhenqi for a few minutes, the incision was still showing no signs of recovering at all.
There was indeed something deeply unnerving about this place.
It was no wonder Elder Bai Ye was unable to recover from his injuries, leaving him with no choice but to wait for his death. Most likely, it was the work of this air of degeneration.
Zhang Xuan took out a jade bottle and poured out a bit of chicken soup on his wound, and a trail of black smoke immediately rose from it.
Following that, the incision quickly healed up.
It seems like I should proceed carefully here and try my best not to get hurt, Zhang Xuan thought grimly.
Other cultivators were not as privileged as him in having Little Chick's broiled soup. In other words, once they got injured, their bodies would immediately be assailed by the air of degeneration, causing their injuries to progressively worsen. Eventually, they would die a tragic death.
"I'll pass you a bottle just in case!" Zhang Xuan said as he tossed a bottle over to his clone.
Since the Heaven's Path zhenqi did not work for him, it was likely the same for his clone. It would be a great deal of trouble for his clone if he got injured.
His clone caught the jade bottle, but he did not store it right away. Instead, he looked at Zhang Xuan with a disdainful expression before slicing his arm with a surge of zhenqi from his fingertip.
A glaring, deep laceration immediately appeared on his clone's arm, causing fresh blood to spurt out.
Zhang Xuan frowned upon seeing this situation. He had no idea what his clone was up to.
The next moment, however, his clone began driving the zhenqi in his body.
A trail of black smoke was expelled from the laceration, and the wound swiftly healed up as if nothing had happened in the first place.
Zhang Xuan's eyebrows twitched.
"I don't need this thing."
Placing his hands behind his back, his clone looked at him and shook his head. "Weakling."
Zhang Xuan. Would you die if you stopped bragging for a day?
Feeling deeply stifled on the inside, Zhang Xuan decided to ignore his clone and proceed ahead.
Despite the air of degeneration within the ancient city, there was still some lush greenery in between the ruins. It felt like a new spring was gradually setting in on this land of devastation.
Life sprouting in a land of death, it was as if the world was displaying the power of nature to wash away all devastation and heal the lands.
These medicinal herbs growing amid the air of degeneration possess exceptionally potent medicinal energy, and they are remarkably diverse in terms of their types. It's no wonder so many experts are drawn to the City of Collapsed Space despite the dangers involved.
If one forged a pill out of the medicinal herbs that were found there, the pill would surely be far more potent than usual.
While tracing the footsteps of those from the Hall of Gods, Zhang Xuan did not neglect to collect the medicinal herbs that were conveniently within his reach.
Not too long later, a cluster of collapsed buildings came into sight.
This place was different from what he had seen previously.
The places that he had walked through earlier were tattered from the wear and tear of age, but this cluster of collapsed buildings had many fresh imprints on it. It felt as if someone had just laid waste to it.
"A battle has just happened here," Zhang Xuan remarked.
With his sharp eye of discernment, he could tell that these imprints were at most an hour old. Otherwise, under the air of degeneration lingering in the area, even the fresher imprints would swiftly have become worn out, making it impossible to tell the difference.
"Could it be that the lot from the Hall of Gods have managed to catch up with Fu Chenzi, or did they manage to find Palace Master Du?" Zhang Xuan wondered worriedly.
The fact that there were fresh signs of a battle there meant that two parties from different factions had encountered one another.
Zhang Xuan halted his footsteps, wanting to take a closer look at the marks to see if he could acquire any useful information from them.
However, he suddenly felt cold sweat raining down his body. A powerful burst of energy had descended from above. Zhang Xuan quickly backed away as he brought out six swords to form a protective layer around his body.
Ding ding ding ding!
A series of sounds reminiscent of the pitter-patter of rain echoed in the air. Lowering his head, Zhang Xuan saw a large group of black shadows diving out from the ground, like an army of specters escaping from the depths of hell.