Two minutes later, Zhang Xuan looked at the severely wounded Bai Xuansheng in satisfaction and said, "Citadel Lord Bai, if you still want your things back, feel free to tell me. There's no need to stand on ceremony."

Bai Xuansheng didn't even want to talk to Zhang Xuan anymore.

The other party extorted three whole Heavenly High Immortal-tier artifacts from him before finally signaling for the Blackback Tortoise to stop.

If he were to dare continue asking for his artifacts back, wouldn't the cycle just repeat again?

He had started this argument with the intention of using the 'harmony amongst the Six Sects' to pressure the other party to return the Semi-Divinity artifact that the other party had taken from him, but things ended up more awry than he could have imagined!

Losing three Heavenly High Immortal-tier artifacts was just the least of his worries. What was more important was that he nearly lost his life!

"Citadel Lord Bai..."

After Zhang Xuan kept the Blackback Tortoise, Gu Zhuiyun rushed forward to help Bai Xuansheng up.

"I'm fine..." Bai Xuansheng replied as he swallowed a pill and recuperated from his injuries. With gritted teeth, he sent a telepathic message over to Gu Zhuiyun, "Let them relish in their glee for the time being. Once the Azure Bridge opens, we'll move according to plan. They'll eventually pay dearly for their actions!"

Gu Zhuiyun nodded with a vicious glint in his eyes.

Despite their subtle movements, the sharp-eyed Zhang Xuan still caught sight of their interaction and chuckled softly beneath his breath.

Up till this point, he hadn't fully understood why the Ethereal Hall was intent on claiming the Guardian Artifacts of the Six Sects. However, one thing was for sure—Bai Xuansheng and Gu Zhuiyun were definitely not on their side.

If anything, it was likely that they would become enemies with one another.

Of course, despite the threats he had made, he knew that there would be a lot of implications if he were to kill one of the heads of the Six Sects without a valid reason. If things were to go wrong, it might even incite a war, and that was not what Zhang Xuan hoped to see.

Thus, his intention was simply to teach Bai Xuansheng a lesson and make use of this opportunity to force Bai Xuansheng to reveal any trump cards he had.

Fortunately, it didn't seem like the latter didn't have any Semi-Divinity artifact other than the metal chain. Boom!

All of a sudden, a deafening rumble echoed in the sky, heralding the arrival of a storm.

The crowd raised their heads, only to see a massive bridge slowly descending from the pitch-black veil in the sky.

"The Azure Bridge is descending..." Han Jianqiu muttered beneath his breath.

The bridge was slowly extending down from the seemingly endless void above. It was made out of a marble-like material, emanating an icy-cold glint. Even as it was still in the midst of its descent, one could already feel its powerful presence.


The crowd was forced to retreat to the edge of the Heaven Anchoring Boulder.

The Azure Bridge descended onto the Heaven Anchoring Boulder and lodged itself onto it. As if a process that had been done many times before, the inscriptions on the Heaven Anchoring Boulder simply flickered for a while before eventually returning to calm.

"The Azure Bridge will only remain connected for a single day. Sect Leader Zhang, you should quickly head up!" Han Jianqiu urged.

"Head up?" Zhang Xuan frowned.

Even though it was termed as a 'bridge', it would be more accurate to describe it as a vertical pillar descending right from the sky. It was hard to imagine how one was supposed to walk on it.

"You'll know once you try stepping on it," Han Jianqiu replied as he ushered Zhang Xuan forward.

Nodding slightly, Zhang Xuan beckoned Elder Hong Wu and the others over before moving over to the Azure Bridge. The two geniuses from the Evanescent Immortal Sect and the Blackmirror Citadel quickly followed suit too.

Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan raised his foot and placed it on the bridge.

His body couldn't help but stagger a little as the world around him disoriented a little. Before he knew it, the bridge was already right beneath his foot. He was standing right on top of it.

When he turned his head around to take a look, he saw the Heaven Anchoring Boulder extending from the sides, perpendicular to where he was standing. It felt like Han Jianqiu and the others were simply 'hanging' off the Heaven Anchoring Boulder.

It was a mysterious sight.

My center of gravity changed? Zhang Xuan was slightly taken aback.

It was similar to how no matter where one was standing on the Earth of his previous world, one would still feel as if one was standing upright due to the gravity pulling people inward into Earth's core.

The fact that he was able to get a stable footing on the Azure Bridge despite it being perpendicular to the ground of the Forsaken Continent showed that the center of gravity had likely changed. Not only so, there was also a good chance that they had already stepped into another dimension, making them impervious to the Forsaken Continent's gravity.

The others who stepped onto the Azure Bridge were also mystified by this different experience, and they couldn't help but assess their surroundings in wonderment.

Nevertheless, knowing that their time was limited, they quickly proceeded forward.

Before long, they were already completely swallowed by the darkness of the sky. It felt like there was no end in sight, and the only thing they could do was to continue making their way forward.

A void where nothing existed, the area would have been deathly silent if not for the careful breathing coming from the group of six.

They knew that the warriors from the Hall of Gods could appear at any moment, so their bodies remained utterly tensed up. They didn't dare to let themselves get careless even for the briefest of moments.

Hu!

All of a sudden, amidst the darkness, five fully-armored silhouettes could be seen walking over from the opposite end of the Azure Bridge.

They were all at Heavenly High Immortal realm.

"Only by defeating these warriors will we be able to proceed forward and claim the opportunity to reach Semi-Divinity realm!" Elder Hong Wu muttered to himself as he clenched his fists in determination.

At the same time, the others around him also narrowed their eyes as they examined the five warriors carefully.

They had known the rules of the Azure Bridge in advance. Six challengers against five warriors.

Usually, five of the challengers would charge forward to hinder the five warriors, creating an opportunity for the final one to rush through.

"Sect Leader Zhang, we'll hold them back and create an opportunity for you to get through," Elder Hong Wu said as he gathered his zhenqi.

"Sect Leader Zhang, we'll be counting on you."

The other two nodded in agreement.

Over the last few days, they had become filled with admiration for this young man. They were convinced that the young man would be the person who would bring the four sects to greater heights.

"Do whatever you want. We'll be going ahead first!"

While they were chatting with one another, the two geniuses from the Blackmirror Citadel and Evanescent Immortal Sect charged ahead, arriving before the five warriors of the Hall of Gods in an instant.

Two of them walked forward to confront the two geniuses whereas the other three remained firmly on the spot, awaiting Zhang Xuan and the others to come over.

Peng peng peng!

There was a clear disparity of strength between the two geniuses and the two warriors of the Hall of Gods, but the two geniuses managed to stand their ground by making pre-emptive strikes. It was as if they knew what the two warriors were going to do in advance, allowing them to suppress the latter.

Within three blows, they managed to push the two warriors back, forcing them to stagger several steps backward.

Sou!

Making use of this momentary opening, the two geniuses quickly rushed through their blockade and escaped ahead.

The two warriors fighting with them were about to chase them when one of the two geniuses said, "There are still four of them back there. If you were to chase us, you'll be giving them an opportunity to slip through the cracks."

Upon hearing those words, the two warriors hesitated for a moment before returning back to their positions, waiting for Zhang Xuan and the others to make a move.

"Those two fellows..."

Not expecting to encounter such a situation, the faces of Elder Hong Wu and the others darkened.

The situation had just turned for the worst. From a six against five, it had become a four against five.

Had he known that this would happen, he would have dashed forward with the two of them.

"We would have been in an even more vulnerable position if we had advanced together with them. They are aware of the flaws of the five warriors, so they could have found some ways to turn the warriors against us while we were fighting," Zhang Xuan remarked.

It would be one thing if the two of them were trustworthy allies, but that was clearly not so. It would be dangerous to entrust your back to someone who could possibly turn against you at any moment.

"Sect Leader Zhang, what should we do now?" the genius from the Myriad Beasts Hall turned to Zhang Xuan and asked worriedly.

"Since they are able to charge their way through, there's no reason why we can't do so as well. Rest assured, just fight to the best of your ability. The warriors of the Hall of Gods aren't as scary as you think they are," Zhang Xuan said with a light chuckle.

Of course, he could have defeated the five warriors of the Hall of Gods easily himself, but he wasn't going to do that.

He knew very well that the Azure was just a temporary stop for him. Once he had a chance to enter the world of the gods, the Firmament, he would definitely clinch that opportunity without any hesitation.

That meant that he would have to pass down his current positions to others in the near future, and he had no intention of doing it sloppily. It would be the last thing he could do for these sects as their 'temporary head'.

In order to become the heads of their respective sects, these candidates would need to have absolute confidence in themselves. If they would cower in the face of the warriors of the Hall of Gods, how could they possibly take control of their own sect and bring it to greater heights in the future?

This was not just a trial of their strength. If they could overcome this challenge, they would gain the confidence and credentials for them to lead others.

"We understand!"

Elder Hong Wu nodded before rushing toward one of the warriors.

Ferocious wind currents blared deafeningly in the surroundings. Executing all of his battle techniques desperately, Elder Hong Wu surprisingly managed to gain the upper hand against the warriors of the Hall of Gods

"This..."

The other two were slightly stunned by the sight.

The techniques which Elder Hong Wu was executing were the ones that Zhang Xuan had imparted to them previously. If Elder Hong Wu could stand his ground against them, the two of them surely stood a chance as well!

With such thoughts in mind, they quickly rushed forward as well.

As the start, their movements still felt a little awkward as they didn't have time to test out their newly-acquired skills in a practical battle yet. However, as the battle continued on, their movements swiftly became more and more fluid.

Even though Sect Leader Zhang has never told us the flaws of the warriors of the Hall of Gods before, the battle techniques which he has imparted to us somehow seem to suppress the maneuvers of the latter precisely...

The trio was taken aback.

Over the past few days, Zhang Xuan had only imparted to them a couple of combat techniques. He told them to focus on building up their zhenqi instead of worrying about how they could deal with the warriors of the Hall of Gods.

They couldn't really relate to it then, but at this very moment, they could finally see the rationale behind his actions.

All of a sudden, the undefeatable warriors of the Hall of Gods didn't seem as frightening as they thought them out to be anymore.

Ahh... So I actually improved so much over the past few days...

The three of them came to a realization.

Had it been in the past, the warriors of the Hall of Gods would have likely been able to defeat them within three blows. The fact that they could stand on equal grounds with the warriors and even suppress them was unthinkable to them.

They had been so focused on their cultivation that they hadn't realized how much they had grown. However, seeing the refined control over their zhenqi, the sharpness of their judgement in battle, and the swiftness of their reflexes, how could they possibly still remain oblivious to it?

They were already no longer the same people as before!

It's all thanks to Sect Leader Zhang... the trio thought.

Such a change couldn't have come naturally. Without a doubt, Zhang Xuan must have put a lot of thought into helping them grow.

Furthermore, the fact that they were able to stand on par with these warriors of the Hall of Gods at the moment made it apparent to them that it wouldn't take much effort for Zhang Xuan to subdue them too.

They realized that Zhang Xuan could have easily cleared the trial by himself, but he still spent time and effort trying to train them. It was clear that he was doing all of this for their growth!

Only with the experience of overcoming the warriors of the Hall of Gods would they be able to go further as a Semi- Divinity realm cultivator.

"Let's defeat them together!"

Feeling a huge boost of confidence, the three of them executed their strongest moves simultaneously.

Peng peng peng!

With three dull thuds, the three warriors of the Hall of Gods were pushed back.

Putong! Putong! Putong!

Several minutes later, the three warriors of the Hall of Gods slumped onto the floor, having breathed their last.

Hu!

The trio heaved a sigh of relief at having accomplished what was expected of them. At this moment, they suddenly recalled that there were supposed to be two more warriors remaining, so they quickly turned their heads over in astonishment.

However, what they saw was that the two warriors were also lying incapacitated on the floor, and Zhang Xuan was looking at them not too far away from a faint smile.

Even though Zhang Xuan had made a move later than them, he had managed to defeat the other two faster than them. What was even scarier was that they didn't even see how he made a move!

Well, the ones who felt that way weren't just them. Prior to their deaths, the two warriors of the Hall of Gods were also horrified.

They didn't even manage to see what was coming at them when they had already been pushed down to the ground, awaiting the embrace of death...

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