Library of Heaven is Path
2072 The Other Kong shi
"Sever my connection with the Library of Heaven's Path?"
"Indeed. The heavens are not an existence that humans are able to control with their strength. If you continue keeping it within your body, it's only a matter of time before you become a puppet of the heavens," Kong shi said. "You said that the ability you have acquired is 'Heavens' Imperfections', but why are the cultivation techniques you practice flawless then? Isn't that a loophole in itself?"
Those words struck a deep chord with Zhang Xuan.
This paradox had indeed been weighing on his mind for quite a while now.
If even the heavens were flawed, how could the Heaven's Path Divine Art be truly flawless?
No, that's not it. It appears flawless to me now, but it doesn't mean that it would remain so in the other worlds... Zhang Xuan thought.
His cultivation had gone berserk once due to this matter, and it was Luo Ruoxin's pendant who had saved his life then.
Perfection' was a concept that could only be applied in a limited context. Across different worlds, there would be different laws of nature. Naturally, flaws that didn't exist before might have started appearing.
As such, the Heaven's Path Divine Art couldn't be said to be a completely perfect cultivation technique. At the very most, it could only be said to be the cultivation technique that was most aligned with the heavens in the world he currently was in.
Zhang Xuan didn't say those words aloud, choosing to ask another question instead, "Kong shi, does this mean that you have severed the Heavens' Order from you?"
"Indeed. I have torn the Heavens' Order out of my body, similar to how I rejected my title as the Celestial Master Teacher back then. One has to give up something in order to gain something. Only by paving your own way will you be able to ascend to greater heights!" Kong shi said as he looked into the distance with a deep look in his eyes.
Then, he turned to look at Zhang Xuan and smiled, "I believe that you already have an idea of what you should do."
Zhang Xuan fell deep in thought.
Back then, if he hadn't rejected his identity as a Celestial Master Teacher, he wouldn't have successfully advanced to become an Ancient Sage, and naturally, he wouldn’t have managed to come to where he was either.
Zhang Xuan was skeptical about the notion of abandoning the Library of Heaven's Path, but there were some grains of truth in what Kong shi was saying.
Was this the path he had to take in order to not be limited by the heavens and advance to greater heights?
With many doubts bubbling in his mind, Zhang Xuan turned to Kong shi and asked, "The Heavens' Imperfections is intricately connected to me as a being. How can I sever my connection with it?"
The Library of Heaven's Path was connected to his soul, which was why he was able to use it even in his soul form.
Even when he severed his soul to create his clone back then, the entirety of the Library of Heaven's Path still remained with him.
Given so, he couldn't imagine any way how he could possibly sever the Library of Heaven's Path from him.
"Aren't I a living example of its feasibility?" Kong shi chuckled. "I have been through the process, so I am familiar with the procedures. It might sound unbelievable to you at the moment, but the procedures are actually extremely simple. In fact, you have just encountered something similar to it earlier."
"You are referring to the ritual which the chief of the Hall of Gods used?" Zhang Xuan asked as his eyes widened slightly.
"Indeed," Kong shi nodded. "I used that method to sever the Heavens' Order away from me back then, and I suppose that's how the Hall of Gods figured out that it's possible for them to do the same to you in order to take away your Heavens' Imperfections."
"If there is such a huge loophole in the power of the heavens, why would the chief of the Hall of Gods desire to acquire my Heavens' Imperfections?" Zhang Xuan was slightly stumped.
Just as what Kong shi had said, a person who harnessed the heavens would eventually be assimilated, losing his sense of self. Most people would try to stay away from something as dangerous as that, so it didn't seem to make sense for the chief of the Hall of Gods to go to such lengths in order to acquire it.
"It's always those that we don't have that appears to be the best for us. Besides, everyone has their own pursuits. You and I, what we are aiming for is to ascend to the Firmament and view the world from a higher angle. On the other hand, the chief of the Hall of Gods hopes to consolidate power on the Forsaken Continent. Given the differences in our goals, it's inevitable that what we hope to acquire would be different as well," Kong shi explained.
"I understand," Zhang Xuan nodded.
The scope of one's ambitions would eventually dictate one's altitude.
Those with greater ambitions would continuously strive for higher grounds whereas those with humble dreams would limit themselves to what they could see and what was currently within reach.
"But the altar is currently with the Hall of Gods at the moment, right? It won't be easy to take it away from them," Zhang Xuan said with a deep frown.
If the method of removing the Library of Heaven's Path was the same as what the chief of the Hall of Gods used, it was likely that they would need to make use of the Starchaser Palace's altar, and they would also need Du Qingyuan around to conduct the ritual.
Given that those two were currently in the hands of the Hall of Gods at the moment, they wouldn't be able to do it at least in the short-term.
"That's a needless worry. Look at what I have over here."
With a light chuckle, Kong shi flicked his wrist.
An altar immediately materialized in the room.
You took the altar from the Hall of Gods?" Zhang Xuan could hardly believe his eyes.
While fending against the assault of the eight Semi-Divinities to save him, the other party was actually still able to take away the altar as well... The other party's capabilities were truly terrifying!
"But just having the altar isn't sufficient. Based on what I know, the rituals are extremely intricate, and something of that level would surely require Palace Master Du."
"I have learned the ritual myself back then, and I'm confident that I would be able to carry it out even more smoothly than her," Kong shi replied confidently.
"Is that so... I guess there's nothing for me to nitpick anymore then. Shall we begin?" Zhang Xuan burst into laughter before nodding in agreement.
"Un!" Kong shi nodded.
With a light wave of his hand, a pile of treasures fell on top of the altar. Muttering a huge chunk of obscure chants, a blue flame came to life on the altar.
You may head over now," Kong shi commanded.
Zhang Xuan nodded as he began walking toward the altar. However, in the next moment, Kong shi suddenly spoke up, "Wait a moment. I need you to pass the pendant you are wearing over to me first."
"My pendant?" Zhang Xuan halted his footsteps to look at Kong shi.
"I saw it during the ritual earlier. There is something off about the pendant you are wearing. It's binding the Library of Heaven's Path to you, preventing anything from severing its connection to you. I'm worried that it might hinder the ritual. Don't worry, I'll just hold it for you for the time being, and I'll return it to you at the end of the ritual," Kong shi explained.
Zhang Xuan was a little hesitant, but eventually, he took out his pendant and passed it over.
Taking the pendant away from Zhang Xuan, Kong shi's lips crept up into a smile as he kept it into his storage ring.
Then, he urged Zhang Xuan to quickly make his way over to the altar.
Zhang Xuan took a step forward, but in the next moment, he turned around with a hint of worry and asked, "Will I be fine after the Library of Heaven's Path is removed from my body?"
He was well aware that the Library of Heaven's Path had become a part of himself. Even though Kong shi had reassured him that he was fine, he still couldn't help but worry about the matter.
"The fact that I'm standing here before you should answer your question. I understand your worries, but you'll be fine," Kong shi replied.
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan finally leaped up and landed above the flames.
"To prevent any accidents from happening, I'll have to seal you in place for the time being. It's to prevent the backlash of the heavens," Kong shi said as he raised his hand.
Right after those words were spoken, a powerful might descended from the heavens. Chains similar to that of the Hall of Gods wrapped themselves rightly around Zhang Xuan before he could even react, binding him tightly against the altar.
Caught off guard by that move, Zhang Xuan frowned.
"I'll be starting the ritual."
With a smile on his lips, Kong shi flicked his hand once more, and another identical altar appeared beneath his feet. Blue flames rose from the altar too, swallowing Kong shi whole.
"No, that's not right... You are intending to take my Library of Heaven's Path and implant it over to your body!" Zhang Xuan exclaimed.
After seeing what Kong shi was doing, how could he possibly still remain oblivious to what the other party was up to?
You realized it? However, it seems to be a little too late," Kong shi laughed coldly before he started chanting once more.
The flames on the two altars swiftly intensified, growing brighter and brighter.
"Why? Didn't you say that the heavens would assimilate and turn one into a puppet?"
Zhang Xuan struggled, but he found that he was tightly bound to the altar. It was impossible for him to escape at all.
"I wasn't lying when I said that. However, without a stepping stone like that, how can one rise to greater heights? Do you think that it's really possible for an individual to become a god based on just his talents alone? How naive must you be to believe that one can tear open the doorway to the Firmament that easily?" Kong shi scoffed coldly.
"You are deluding yourself!
"I have been foiled once, and I am not going to make the same mistake again. Back then, I left a sliver of my will back at the Qiu Wu Palace in order to capture you. You were weak then, and I should have been able to succeed easily, but that darned woman beside you interfered with my plans..."
"The Qiu Wu Palace?" Zhang Xuan was stunned.
Memories were slowly floating back to him.
Back then, in the crystal ball that controlled the Qiu Wu Palace, he encountered the will left behind by Kong shi. The latter was in the midst of giving him a warning when he suddenly raised his palm... But before anything could happen, Luo Ruoxin suddenly called for him, bringing him back to the real world.
Back then, he had a lingering suspicion that Luo Ruoxin had done it intentionally in order to prevent him from hearing what Kong shi had to say. However, he eventually chose to trust Luo Ruoxin on that matter, so he chose not to think too much into it.
But based on what he was hearing right now, it turned out that Luo Ruoxin was trying to save him!
If not for Luo Ruoxin snapping him out of it, he might have had his Library of Heaven's Path taken away from him back then...
It might have been the end of him if that were to happen. His cultivation was still very weak back then, such that the ritual could have very well caused the dissipation of his soul.
Several other thoughts swiftly arose in Zhang Xuan's mind, and he quickly asked, "Does that mean that the descent of the Ancient Sage 4-dan 'deity' on the Kunxu Domain back then was your doing too?"
Back then, when the Ancient Sage 4-dan 'deity' crawled down from the Azure, he had mentioned something about a 'sect leader'.
After learning of the existence of the Six Sects, he had been wondering if the culprit had been one of them. After all, breaching the dimension barrier was no easy feat. Even if it had been weakened, an Ancient Sage 4-dan cultivator shouldn't have been able to do it so easily, especially when there was no ritual on the other side to summon him!
However, as he went from one sect to the other, none of them seemed to have been behind this matter, and that had left him a little puzzled. However, if the Ethereal Hall was the one behind it, everything would make sense!
After all, as someone who had come from the Master Teacher Continent, Kong shi definitely knew about the pathway leading to the Kunxu Domain!
That could also be why the 'deity' was so interested in acquiring Kong Shiyao's bloodline, which was said to be the purest bloodline from Kong shi over the past tens of thousands of years.
If that 'deity' had succeeded, his talents would surely have been brought to greater heights, and he would have been even more highly regarded by Kong shi himself.
"You are quite sharp. I was indeed the one who dispatched him to guard that entrance," Kong shi admitted to the matter.
"But on the other side of the passageway are your students and descendants... Do their life and death mean nothing to you at all?" Zhang Xuan was unable to believe what he was hearing.
The man before him was known to have used even the body of his students in order to prevent the mercury-like spiritual energy from falling onto the Master Teacher Continent and causing great devastation. Not only so, he also tasked the Hundred Schools of Philosophers to guard the Kunxu Domain as well...
The reason why he did so was to ensure the better development of mankind...
So, why would he go the extent of dispatching someone down to kill even Kong Shiyao?
Zhang Xuan could understand why Kong shi wanted to deal with him. After all, the Library of Heaven's Path was an invaluable treasure. If the other party could acquire it together with the Heavens' Order, he would have nothing to fear anymore.
It would provide him with the impetus he required for push a higher level. Perhaps, he might even be able to break open the dimension barrier and ascend up to the Firmament...
It would be expecting too much of Kong shi to presume that he was completely selfless.
However, it didn't make sense that he would leave his offspring and disciples to the lurch.
As the World's Teacher who was known for his benevolence on the Master Teacher Continent, it was unthinkable for him to change so much just because he had headed to the Azure. It was almost as if he was a different person!
As this thought surfaced in his mind, Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes.
"You... You aren't Kong shi!"