Zhang Xuan was shocked.

When Wu Chen was brought away by Palace Master Du, his cultivation was only at Ancient Sage 3-dan consummation. He was still some way off from reaching Dimension Shatterer realm. Who could have thought that within such a short period of time, he would actually rise straight to the top?

It seemed like Palace Master Du wasn't making empty promises. She really fulfilled his request and did it to the best of her abilities.

"You have been following Palace Master Du all this while?" Zhang Xuan asked.

As there was a time difference between the two worlds, the date which Wu Chen had arrived on the Forsaken Continent wasn't too much ahead of him.

"That's right," Wu Chen replied as he suppressed his cultivation once more. "A few days ago, we received news that you have managed to become the head of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, so Palace Master Du and I went over to look for you."

"The two of you tried looking for me?" Zhang Xuan was stunned.

Wu Chen quickly filled Zhang Xuan in on the details.

After hearing the entire story, Zhang Xuan could only shake his head bitterly.

He didn't think that he would miss Du Qingyuan just like that. But again, he didn't know that Du Qingyuan was the 'deity' whom Wu Chen had summoned back then, so there was no way he would have known that she would have come for him.

With a deep sigh, Zhang Xuan continued asking, "Since you were by Palace Master Du's side all along, do you... have any news regarding Luo Ruoxin?"

If there was anyone other than Du Qingyuan who knew anything about Luo Ruoxin in the Forsaken Continent, it would definitely be Wu Chen.

Wu Chen was the one who summoned Luo Ruoxin to the Master Teacher Continent back then, and he was the one who had accompanied her on her journey all along too.

"Milady has already returned to the Firmament!" Wu Chen replied.

"She's the Spirit God of the Firmament, and she returned to the world she belongs to after acquiring what she needed from the Master Teacher Continent.

"Based on what I know, Milady sustained significant injuries when she was descending to the Azure. The dimension barrier between the Firmament and the Forsaken Continent is simply too resilient, such that she isn't able to freely move across the dimensions despite being the revered Spirit God. She needed someone to summon her from the Forsaken Continent in order to overcome the barrier.

"Back then, Palace Master Du and I summoned her simultaneously from the Forsaken Continent and the Master Teacher Continent in order to allow her to descend from the Firmament... Unfortunately, the dimension barrier was far stronger than we thought, and she ended up sustaining severe injuries on the way down. It was also then that Palace Master Du acquired the god blood which she used in order to allow me to achieve a breakthrough to Semi- Divinity realm," Wu Chen explained.


It was roughly the same as what he had deduced when he heard the story from Shark One as well.

"Do you know what's her motive for heading to the Master Teacher Continent?" Zhang Xuan asked.

Even with his current strength, he was still unable to break through the current dimension barrier to descend to the Master Teacher Continent, let alone the fact that Luo Ruoxin was breaking through two dimension barriers at once!

The difficulty in doing so was truly unimaginable.

Just what in the world would have prompted her to go to such lengths, even sustaining such severe injuries in the process?

"I don't really know for sure, but it seems to be related to the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn," Wu Chen replied.

Zhang Xuan wasn't too convinced by that, "The Great Codex of Spring and Autumn is indeed powerful, but it shouldn't warrant her to go to such lengths for it."

The Great Codex of Spring and Autumn was indubitably one of the most valuable treasures of the Master Teacher Continent. However, there were already treasures that were on par with it on the Forsaken Continent, let alone the Firmament!

The fact that Luo Ruoxin was able to pass through two dimension barriers simultaneously hinted at her unfathomable cultivation. For someone of her caliber to go that far for a treasure that couldn't even be considered to be powerful by her standards...

That really didn't make sense at all.

"I don't know the details either. I asked about it back then as well, and Milady said that there was someone whom she wanted to deal with. That person wields incredible means that she has trouble coping with, so she had to acquire the treasure at all costs in order to decipher his skills!" Wu Chen pondered for a moment before replying.

Zhang Xuan frowned.

The Great Codex of Spring and Autumn was an artifact that controlled space and time. Could it be that the person whom Luo Ruoxin wanted to deal with specialized in the laws of spacetime?

"I dared not to probe any deeper than that. A mortal like me is unqualified to learn the secrets of the gods," Wu Chen added with a hint of respect in his voice.

"Then... do you know of any way I could contact her?"

"Palace Master Du is able to establish a connection link with the Firmament through the altar of the Starchaser Palace. However, it will take a lot of offerings in order to do so, and it's not guaranteed whether we'll be able to reach Milady or not," Wu Chen replied.

"Altar..." A glint flashed across Zhang Xuan's eyes.

Thinking back, the reason why the Hall of Gods made a move on the Starchaser Palace first was probably to prevent Du Qingyuan from using the altar to inform the Spirit God about their movements.

Perhaps, the Hall of Gods didn't want the gods of the Firmament to learn of their movements?

In any case, he would have to quickly find the missing Du Qingyuan and the altar!

"Wait a moment, is it possible for the Hall of Gods to get into contact with the Firmament then?" Zhang Xuan asked.

Given that the Hall of Gods was to existence closest to the Firmament on the Forsaken Continent, they might just be able to establish a connection link with the Firmament. In fact, there were some rumors that it guarded the gateway leading to the Firmament!

However, Wu Chen simply shook his head to express that he wasn't too sure about the matter.

Other than the centennial descent of the Azure Bridge, the Hall of Gods rarely appeared in the Forsaken Continent. As such, there was very little that was known about it.

Zhang Xuan continued asking a few more questions, but because it hadn't been too long since Wu Chen had come here, he didn't know too much either.

Forget it. The Azure Bridge is about to descend, and most likely, I should be able to find the answers I seek there... Zhang Xuan thought.

Until now, he still had no idea why the Hall of Gods was so determined to capture him, but he had a feeling that everything would be unraveled at the Azure Bridge. That would be their last chance to strike, after all.

Otherwise, once he successfully achieved a breakthrough to Semi-Divinity realm, putting aside the Hall of Gods, even this world wouldn't be able to confine him any longer!

By then, the tables would be turned, and he would become the one hunting down the Hall of Gods instead!

Knowing how important it was for him to acquire greater strength, Zhang Xuan's immersed his consciousness into the Library of Heaven's Path, where the chamber made out of the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn was at, and continued to decipher a plausible Semi-Divinity realm cultivation technique for himself.

Half a day later, the three candidates from the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, Myriad Beasts Hall, and Sevenstar Pavilion were brought before him.

They were all beneath a hundred years old, but their cultivation had already reached Heavenly High Immortal realm. Elder Hong Wu of the Sevenstar Pavilion was amongst the three candidates too.

"You called us?"

Other than Elder Hong Wu, the other two were assessing Zhang Xuan with a sharp gaze in their eyes.

They had heard that this young man had become the head of the four sects, but they couldn't help but wonder if he truly had the capabilities and credentials to take on such a role.

Ten breaths. Use all means at your disposal to make me take half a step backward. If you are able to do so, you will still have a chance at defeating the warriors of the Hall of Gods," Zhang Xuan placed his hands behind his back and said.

You want us to push you half a step back?"

The trio was a little perplexed.

Given that they were of the same cultivation realm, even if Zhang Xuan's comprehension of swordsmanship and battle techniques were above theirs, as long as they worked together, they should be more than capable of pushing him half a step back.

"Indeed," Zhang Xuan replied. "However, if you can't even make me take half a step back, I want the three of you to cultivate however I tell you to prior to the descent of the Azure Bridge. I will not tolerate any complaints or whining at all."

The fact that the three of them were chosen by the three elders to challenge the Azure Bridge meant that they were decently skilled. However, if they were to be complacent with their current abilities and refused to heed his instructions, it was unlikely that they would be a match for the warriors of the Hall of Gods.

There was only one way to swiftly win them over and make them heed him instructions—beating them into submission!

"If we still aren't any match for you even with our prowess combined, you can be assured that we'll heed your commands without any complaints!"

As candidates to the Azure Bridge, they were potential successors to the leadership position in their respective sects, but the sudden appearance of this young man had dashed their hopes. It would be a lie if they were to say that they didn't harbor a grudge toward the young man.

Boom!

Right after those words were spoken, the trio made their move simultaneously.

Elder Hong Wu channeled his strength into a palm and executed his strongest battle technique.

The genius from the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion brandished his sword furiously, executing an incredibly powerful sword art.

As for the genius from the Myriad Beasts Hall, he decisively brought out his tamed beasts—Heavenly High Immortal realm Blacktiger Beast twins!

Watching the moves of the three youths before him, Zhang Xuan chuckled softly.

In terms of fighting prowess, they could indeed be considered to be above average. However, compared to the warriors of the Hall of Gods, they were still severely lacking.

Even he was nearly done in by the warriors of the Hall of Gods. It would take more than 'above average' to deal with that lot of fellows!

Without drawing his sword, Zhang Xuan simply waved his hand lightly, and the three of them immediately felt as if they had been plunged into an endless desert. No matter where they tried to head to, they weren't able to escape from this desert.

Then, Zhang Xuan brought his palm down lightly.

Padah!

A sword collapsed to the ground, a battle technique was dissipated, and two immortal beasts groaned in pain... Just like that, the three geniuses collapsed to the ground, completely helpless before the absolute might before them.

"How could a Heavenly High Immortal be so powerful?"

The lips of the trio quivered in disbelief.

As fellow Heavenly High Immortals, they thought that even if Zhang Xuan was stronger than them, it wouldn't be too much. But after crossing blows, they realized that the difference in their strength was in the order of magnitudes!

Even their Semi-Divinity realm ex-leaders might not necessarily be a match for the young man before them!

"Do you admit defeat?" Zhang Xuan asked with a smile.

"We admit defeat!"

With this single blow, Zhang Xuan crushed their complacency and won their respect.

These are the cultivation techniques I have created based on your cultivation. As long as you practice it diligently, you should be able to raise your fighting prowess significantly within three days. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me."

Zhang Xuan took out three jade tokens and infused his thoughts into them before passing them over to the trio.

The trio took the jade tokens, and after browsing through the contents, they found themselves shocked beyond words. "Don't waste this opportunity I have given you," Zhang Xuan said before dismissing them.

Once they had left, he immersed his consciousness back into the Library of Heaven's Path and continued studying the way he could advance to Semi-Divinity realm.

In the history of the Forsaken Continent, there were many experts who had attempted to push for a breakthrough to Semi-Divinity realm, and a huge number of them had penned down their precious experiences and insights regarding it. It was just a pity that it was impossible for anyone to reach the realm without challenging the Azure Bridge.

"Most likely, there must be some quality lacking in the atmosphere of the Forsaken Continent that prevents one from reaching Semi-Divinity realm..." Zhang Xuan arrived at an answer.

It was not that the cultivators on the Forsaken Continent were lacking in talent. The situation was actually very similar to why cultivators on the Master Teacher Continent were no longer able to reach Ancient Sage.

He suddenly remembered Elder Kui Xiao mentioning the 'Aura of Divinity' a while back to him.

If Zhang Xuan's guess was right, the (God)' character contained the Aura of Divinity which a cultivator required to overcome the final hurdle and reach Semi-Divinity realm.

It was likely for this reason that the Ethereal Hall was able to nurture Semi-Divinity realm cultivators without challenging the Azure Bridge while it was the vice-versa for the other sects.

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