Library of Heaven is Path
2064 Heaven Anchoring Boulder
Coming up with one's own cultivation technique was no easy feat. There were simply too many aspects to consider, and even the most minor of details could make the greatest difference.
As such, it was not something that could be accomplished in the short-term.
Knowing this as well, Zhang Xuan had no intention of rushing the process.
Several days passed by quickly, and soon, it was time for the descent of the Azure Bridge. Early in the morning, Zhang Xuan led a large group of people toward where the Heaven Anchoring Boulder was at.
The Heaven Anchoring Boulder was located not too far away from Starchaser Island. Riding on the Blackback Tortoise, it took them roughly four hours before a massive boulder-like island came into sight.
This boulder-like island rose from the depths of the water like a massive pillar surging into the sky. It was impossible to see the ends of it at a single glance.
"Legend has it that the heavens have once collapsed countless years ago, resulting in a huge catastrophe for the lifeforms on the Forsaken Continent. In the face of this crisis, a powerful expert severed the four limbs of a humongous tortoise and used them as pillars to prop up the heavens. As time went by, the four limbs slowly hardened to become rocks, turning into what we currently see before us," Han Jianqiu remarked as he looked at the towering pillar ahead of him.
"That is nothing more than a legend. This island is least tens of thousands of meters high! How could there be such a massive tortoise in the world?" Elder Kui Xiao shook his head. "Besides, if the heavens were to really collapse, there is no way the mere limbs of a tortoise would be able to prevent them from falling."
The crowd chuckled slightly.
Every world had its own legends and folklores. Those stories were crafted to make sense out of the seeming aberrance in nature, and the Forsaken Continent was no exception either.
Zhang Xuan took a closer look at the Heaven Anchoring Boulder.
He knew that it was nigh impossible for the pillar to actually be the four limbs of a tortoise, but nevertheless, it was indeed bizarre for a structure this tall to remain standing over so many years.
Zhang Xuan activated his Eye of Insight to examine it closely, and soon, he noticed that something was amiss about it. At first glance, it would appear that the Heaven Anchoring Boulder was nothing more than an ordinary rock structure, but its surface was densely filled with formation inscriptions.
It was these inscriptions that allowed it to survive the batter of the wind and erosion of the ocean, thus surviving across the ages.
"What profound formation inscriptions..."
To his astonishment, Zhang Xuan actually found that he was unable to decipher these formation inscriptions even with his current mastery of formations.
"This is the place that bridges the Forsaken Continent to the Hall of Gods?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"That's right," Han Jianqiu nodded in response.
As the group chatted with one another, they began ascending up the towering pillar through circling it like a spiral.
As their altitude increased, Zhang Xuan found the pressure weighing down on his body growing heavier and heavier. It was as if there was a massive hand above trying to push him back to the ground, preventing him from exploring the secrets of the heavens.
Seeing the faces of the Heavenly High Immortals turning pale, Han Jianqiu shouted, "Everyone, make sure to hold on. Ascending the Heaven Anchoring Boulder is part of the trial as well!"
Such pressure meant nothing to a Semi-Divinity realm expert, but to Heavenly High Immortals, it was still a relatively difficult obstacle for them to overcome.
The purpose of it was to sieve out the eligible candidates.
That being said, the candidates who were chosen by the Six Sects to represent them were usually able to overcome this obstacle albeit with a little bit of difficulty.
It's rather similar to the Temple of Confucius, Zhang Xuan thought with a reminiscent smile.
The pressure above was indeed a little stifling, but it was nowhere enough to make him halt his movements.
He had encountered something similar at the Temple of Confucius back then. There was a crushing pressure from the sky that prevented cultivators from flying up high.
High Immortals were more than capable of flying tens of thousands of meters, but the Heaven Anchoring Boulder was filled with unique inscriptions that formed a formation of its own, hindering cultivators that attempted to scale it.
While Zhang Xuan was deep in thoughts, the sound of someone spurting blood suddenly echoed in the air. Turning his head around, he saw an elder of the Sevenstar Pavilion succumbing to the pressure and falling down.
"We aren't even at half of the distance yet. Elder Kui Xiao, it seems like the elders of your sects are getting weaker over time," Elder Qin Yuan chuckled softly.
On the other hand, instead of responding to Elder Qin Yuan's remark, Elder Kui Xiao simply glanced downward with a deep frown on his forehead.
After falling some distance, the elder managed to regain his balance. He anxiously gasped for air as he looked upward with a fearful look in his eyes, not daring to climb any higher.
As a High Immortal capable of flight, it was extremely unlikely the elder would have fallen to his death. It was just that no one expected him to be unable to even reach the halfway mark.
Those who were qualified to become elders were usually the experts of the sect, and by past experience, even the weakest elder should have been able to fly up to 70% of the distance before succumbing.
While everyone was still harboring some doubts in their mind, yet another elder spurted a mouthful of blood and fell from the sky.
It was an elder from the Myriad Beasts Hall this time around.
You..." Elder Qin Yuan's face turned livid.
Barely after he mocked the Sevenstar Pavilion's elder for being weak, an elder from his Myriad Beasts Hall ended up falling as well. It was almost as if karma had come back around to bite him.
"The pressure from the Heaven Anchoring Boulder is greater than usual," Han Jianqiu remarked solemnly.
Elder Kui Xiao and Elder Qin Yuan quickly perceived their surroundings, and their eyebrows shot up right after, "You're right!"
As Semi-Divinity realm experts, they weren't too affected by the pressure coming from the Heaven Anchoring Boulder, so they didn't pay it much heed. However, now that they were taking a closer look, they realized to their astonishment that the pressure was actually twofold of what it should have been.
Under normal circumstances, the pressure would only reach such a level at the 70% mark of the Heaven Anchoring Boulder.
"The trial of the Heaven Anchoring Boulder has never changed for the past several thousand years. Why would an anomaly only start happening now?" Elder Qin Yuan murmured in disbelief.
"It must have something to do with why the Azure Bridge is descending in advance as well," Han Jianqiu said contemplatively.
"No matter what it is, it's a fact that the Heaven Anchoring Boulder is far more dangerous than what it used to be. You must make sure to gather your focus and don't let your guard down. Only by scaling up the Heaven Anchoring Boulder will you be qualified to challenge the Azure Bridge and reach Semi-Divinity realm. Such a chance will not come twice for you," Elder Kui Xiao turned to the candidates and instructed grimly.
Due to the rules of the Azure Bridge, all cultivators would only be able to take on the trial once in their life. If they were to fail here, they would be doomed to never reach Semi-Divinity realm.
Knowing the severity of the matter, the group dared not to take things lightly anymore. With focused looks on their faces, they continued scaling up the Heaven Anchoring Boulder.
However, the number of victims only continued to rise as they flew higher and higher. Members of their groups fell one after another.
By the time they reached the 70% mark, there were less than twenty of them left.
The three candidates who were going to challenge the Azure Bridge alongside Zhang Xuan had undergone special training over the past few days, causing their fighting prowess to rise significantly. If not for that, it was likely that they would have already caved in by now too.
Zhang Xuan turned to the three candidates behind him and saw that their clothes were drenched with sweat. With a solemn voice, he asked, "Are you still able to hold on?"
"Yes, we'll hold on no matter what happens!" Elder Hong Wu said with gritted teeth.
So, the group continued to advance forward.
By the time they reached the 80% mark, only Elder Kui Xiao, Elder Qin Yuan, Han Jianqiu, Zhang Xuan, and the three candidates were left.
While Elder Qin Yuan and the others were still able to move leisurely due to their superior strength, Elder Hong Wu and the others were already reaching their limits.
Their bodies were trembling nonstop, and their limbs seemed to have turned limp due to the immense pressure. They felt like they would fall from the sky at any moment.
Will they really be unable to even scale up the Heaven Anchoring Boulder? Zhang Xuan thought with a frown.
There was still a distance of several thousand meters ahead of them, but they weren't able to hold on anymore. At this rate, there was no way they could persevere till the Azure Bridge.
It seemed like he had underestimated the Hall of Gods once more.
"The three of you, wait here. I'll be heading up in advance to see what has happened for the pressure to have grown so strong," Zhang Xuan turned to the three candidates and instructed.
Even if he were to train them on the spot, it was still unlikely that they would be able to grow strong enough to reach the top. Since that was the case, the only thing he could do to help them was to try to alleviate the source of the pressure.
Thus, he sped up and rushed up the Heaven Anchoring Pillar, and the pressure around him swiftly grew more and more intense. It was to the extent that the air around him was starting to become frighteningly viscous.
So, he began to channel his Gods' Sword Intent around his body, morphing into a sharp sword.
He tore right through the viscous air around him, and with a swift upward dive, he landed on the very top of the Heaven Anchoring Boulder.
The top consisted of a flat platform that was roughly a hundred meters in diameter. There was nothing on it at all. The sky above was completely pitch-black, and the so-called Hall of Gods was nowhere to be seen.
Keeping up the platform, Zhang Xuan tried to venture into higher grounds, but he swiftly found himself hitting onto a ceiling. Rather than calling it a ceiling, it might be more accurate to describe it as 'the boundary of the world'. No matter how he drove his zhenqi, he was unable to bypass it.
In other words, he was unable to reach the Hall of Gods by himself given his current cultivation.
So, he returned back to the top of the Heaven Anchoring Boulder and took a look around the area. He found that the ground was also filled with the same inscriptions along the sides of the boulder too.
"As long as I resolve the inscriptions, the pressure should disappear right?"
Even though Zhang Xuan couldn't completely understand the meaning behind the inscriptions, it was most likely the reason why the Heaven Anchoring Boulder was still standing even after many millennia.
The chances were that the pressure that was weighing down on everyone originated from the inscriptions as well. "Go!"
With a flick of his wrist, Zhang Xuan took out the Tongshang Sword and directed it right toward the inscriptions.
A furious outpour of sword qi gushed out like a ferocious dragon, swirling around the peak before eventually diving right into the inscriptions.
A brilliant light flickered from the top of the platform, as if something had been something had been brought to life. "As expected!"
The pressure in the surroundings changed along with the flickering of the light, proving Zhang Xuan's deduction. So, he decisively brought out nine more Heavenly High Immortal-tier swords and formed a unique Sword Formation around him.
Zhang Xuan infused the Gods' Sword Intent into the ten swords before ordering them to wreak havoc all around the platform.
While he didn't know the exact meaning behind those inscriptions, through his Eye of Insight, he was still able to decipher the flaws in the formation. Naturally, those were also the exact spots that were devasted by his swords too.
With a bright outburst of light, the massive pressure in the air abruptly vanished with a pop.
A huge gust of wind echoed from beneath as Han Jianqiu and the others made use of this opportunity to rush upward and get onto the peak of the boulder.
Barely after everyone arrived, the destroyed inscriptions swiftly reformed, and the overwhelming pressure began crushing down on the surroundings once more.
It had only been two breaths since the moment the pressure disappeared to the moment it reappeared. If not for the crowd moving swiftly, they wouldn't have been able to make it up here in time.
"These inscriptions actually have the ability to self-repair?" Zhang Xuan was shocked.
He thought that the formation would be completely ruined after his devastation, but who could have thought that it would be able to revert back so quickly?
As expected of the doorstep leading to the Hall of Gods, it was indeed not ordinary at all.