Library of Heaven is Path
283 Lava Beast 2in1
This is... the Innate Fetal Poison!
It’s a type of Innate Poison!
Upon identifying the poison, Zhang Xuan felt as if he could go insane.
Innate Fetus Poison is a poison that affects a fetus in its mother's womb. The poison melds with one's blood and soul, making it impossible to cure.
Zhao Ya possessed the Innate Pure Yin Body and, after awakening her unique constitution, gained overwhelming strength and incredible beauty befitting of a queen. On the other hand, Yuan Tao possessed the Innate Emperor Bloodline and, after its awakening, gained an invincible defense, becoming a human-shaped meat shield...
Zhang Xuan had always been envious of them, and now, he realized that he possessed an innate constitution as well, just that...
These are all innate constitutions, but why the huge difference?
Other people's innate constitution allow their cultivation to soar, but his innate constitution was instead threatening to claim his life...
"Innate Fetal Poison is a unique poison that is planted into the body of a pregnant mother. It fuses with the fetus within her before it is born and causes an innate lack of Fetal Vitality. Those who have been inflicted with this poison rarely live beyond thirty, and this constitution is also termed as the Constitution of Premature Death... and there is no cure for it."
Zhang Xuan was on the verge of tears.
Other people possess overpowered innate physical constitution, while I possess the innate Constitution of Premature Death...
Premature death your head!
Is it even possible to pull an even bigger prank on me?
If I won't live beyond thirty, doesn't that mean that I only have a decade more to live? My days are numbered...
Suppressing his dismay, he searched through the books in the Library of Heaven's Path and found seven to eight other books with descriptions on Innate Fetal Poison, but... these descriptions tallied with the poison aura hidden in his body.
That meant that without a doubt, Zhang Xuan was inflicted with this poison.
"To be capable of planting the poison in the mother and have her pass it to her offspring without being noticed, the one who planted the poison must be at minimum a 7-star poison master. But I am only an orphan, there shouldn't be any need to go through so much trouble..."
After confirming the poison in his body, Zhang Xuan brooded for a moment before doubts started appearing in his mind.
Having read so many books on poison in the Poison Hall, Zhang Xuan had gained an in-depth understanding of the usage of poison. For one to plant an Innate Fetal Poison into a person without being noticed, the poison master must be above 7-star.
He would be either an 8-star or even a 9-star poison master.
A poison master of this level already possesses unparalleled cultivation. Why would he waste so much effort just to deal with an orphan like him?
His previous self was just an insignificant figure living in a backward place like Tianxuan Kingdom. Being an orphan, he was so poor that he did not have a single cent in belonging. Nothing about him was exceptional, except for his cultivation before he reached eighteen. But after that, he fell behind and even earned a reputation as the worst teacher in the entire history of Hongtian Academy.
How can a figure like him be worthy of the attention of a poison master standing at the pinnacle of the pyramid... Isn’t this inconceivable?
"This poison fuses with one's body, and under normal circumstances, one wouldn't notice it until his death. It is due to the Heaven's Path zhenqi that I cultivated being too pure that it was forced to reveal its presence. Even so, there's no way for me to treat it..."
Zhang Xuan felt helpless.
The first time he noticed this poison, he thought that someone had planned to murder him, and his previous self was killed by that person. But from the looks of it now, he had been overthinking.
This poison had accompanied him from birth, and it was hidden so deeply that even a 9-star poison master wouldn't be able to notice it. Without a doubt, this would have been a perfect murder. Even if Zhang Xuan were to die, it would be impossible for anyone to pinpoint the murderer. In fact, even if Zhang Xuan were a poison master it would have been almost impossible for him to notice the poison aura. However, the Heaven's Path zhenqi that he cultivated was simply too pure. Flowing through his meridians and blood, no impurity was able to able to remain hidden. As such, it was forced out of its hiding.
Even so, Zhang Xuan could do nothing about it. Nourished during the pregnancy of its former host, it had already gained intelligence such that even the Heaven's Path zhenqi was incapable of expelling it. Furthermore, it would grow more and more potent with the passing of time, and Zhang Xuan would surely die before reaching the age of thirty.
What in the world is this! Other people are blessed with golden fingers which allow them to reign supreme in their worlds, but he was given a time bomb instead. Furthermore, it was the type that straps tightly to you, in order to ensure your death.
It was likely that this poison had played a part in the death of his previous self. Under uncontrollable depression and a strong will to end his life, the poison aura acted up prematurely, claiming his soul. However, Zhang Xuan's transcension occurred before the poison aura could corrode the body fully.
Zhang Xuan's sudden fall as a genius, due to his cultivation stagnating, was also related to this poison aura.
Before reaching Zhenqi realm pinnacle, his previous self advanced swiftly in his cultivation, and he was reputed as a genius that appeared only once every hundred years. However, he ended up being stopped before the gates of Pigu realm for countless years. The reason for this was that the poison aura fused with his entire body, and this severely suppressed the might of his once murky zhenqi.
Unless one achieved the level of purity of Heaven's Path zhenqi, it was impossible for him to overcome the suppression of the poison aura and reach higher realms. Given the murky zhenqi that one could only cultivate practicing the inferior cultivation techniques in Tianxuan Kingdom, there was no way his previous self could have reached Pigu realm.
"All poisons must have a cure. However, the tier of this Poison Hall is too low. Maybe I would be able to find a solution within the books at a higher tier branch..."
Even though Zhang Xuan felt dismal at his condition, he wasn't ready to give up.
After comprehending the Heaven's Path Poison Art, Zhang Xuan had gained an extensive understanding of poison.
Every cause is linked to an effect, and similarly, there isn't such a thing as an incurable disease in the world. Even though the books Zhang Xuan compiled in the Library of Heaven's Path stated that there wasn't a solution to the poison, that didn't mean that it was truly incurable. He could perhaps find a remedy in another higher tier Poison Hall.
"This Innate Fetal Poison will not act up before I reach thirty. That is to say... I have to find a remedy within the next ten years!"
As though a dagger, the Heart of Tranquil Water state sliced away all negative thoughts from Zhang Xuan's mind. Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
He had transcended for barely more than a month, and he had already reached Half-Zongshi up from Zhenqi realm pinnacle. It was hard to imagine what heights he would reach in the next ten years, and by then, he might have already found a cure.
There was no need for him to panic.
But the matter nevertheless weighed down on him heavily, exerting a constant stress on him.
Often, what happens in practice do not obey logical theories. It took Zhang Xuan great luck to live once more, and he didn't want to die for such an absurd reason.
"Summon Gu Mu!"
Standing up, Zhang Xuan instructed the Great Herb King and Butler Lu, who were guarding the entrance to his room.
"Senior granduncle, did you call me?"
Not too long after, Gu Mu walked into the room.
"Sit!" Zhang Xuan gestured. "The reason why I had you come over is that I have something I would like to ask you!"
Gu Mu sat upright immediately. "Senior granduncle, please speak!"
In the last few days, Zhang Xuan had taken out some time to conduct a second treatment for the person before him. After which, the latter felt rejuvenated, and he felt as though he had returned back to the time ten years ago when his stamina was at his peak. Endless energy seemed to gush through him.
After two treatments, he knew that this senior granduncle before him possessed heavenly means. He had long been fully impressed by the latter, and he didn't dare to hold any doubts or vile thoughts toward him.
"Have you heard of the Innate Fetal Poison?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Gu Mu came from Xuanyuan Kingdom Poison Hall branch, and he had read through profound secret manuals. It was possible that he might know something that Zhang Xuan didn't.
"Innate Fetal Poison?"
Gu Mu hesitated for a moment before answering, "I've heard of this poison. It is a lethal poison which is implanted into the womb of a woman, and the poison fuses itself with the fetus along with its growth. There's no cure for the poison!"
"Yes!" Gu Mu nodded. However, he suddenly thought of something, and hesitation flickered on his face. "But..."
"But what?" Zhang Xuan stared at him intently.
"I've heard a rumor, but I can't ascertain its authenticity!"
After hesitating for a moment longer, Gu Mu said, "It is said that the greatest man in history, Empyrean Kong shi, was afflicted with Innate Fetal Poison. No one knew how he resolved it, but he lived to ten thousand years old and passed away from old age."
Empyrean Kong shi was known as the number one master teacher in the world, the founder of the Master Teacher Pavilion. He was revered by countless people in the world, and there wasn't a single master teacher or master teacher apprentice who didn't know of him.
Zhang Xuan had once heard Huang Yu spoke of him and he felt immense respect for the legendary figure as well.
However, he didn't expect that senior to be afflicted with the Innate Fetal Poison as well, to have been in a similar predicament as him.
However, since he managed to overcome it, it meant that there was a cure for the poison.
"However, this is only a legend spread among the civilians. If one wants to know about the matters surrounding Kong shi, one would probably have to pay a visit to the Master Teacher Pavilion as a master teacher. Poison masters like us only know a thing or two about him from the rumors... But, why would senior granduncle ask about this?" Gu Mu asked doubtfully.
"I am just casually asking about it!"
Zhang Xuan waved his hands casually. At this moment, Zhang Xuan decided to pay a visit to the Master Teacher Pavilion right after he settled the things here.
An autobiography would be compiled on the life of outstanding figures in each occupation and kept in their respective guilds so that the later generations can learn from their example.
Since Kong shi was the founder of the Master Teacher Pavilion, it was likely that his records were in the Master Teacher Pavilion.
If he was truly afflicted with Innate Fetal Poison and if he eventually lived to the end of his full lifespan, it would mean that he had managed to resolve the poison.
If there was a precedent of success, Zhang Xuan would need not panic that much.
"What's the situation in the Poison Hall?"
Having a plan in mind, Zhang Xuan decided not to linger on this topic.
"After several rounds of examinations, I have already decided on the new Hall Master; he is the Vice Hall Master Liao Xun! Also, the Crimson Flame Lotus Seed is nearing maturity and we can pick it tomorrow."
Gu Mu replied.
"Tomorrow? Great!" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
He had obtained the knowledge he required and had also identified the poison he was suffering from. As such, there was no further need for him to remain here, and it was best for him to leave as soon as possible.
After Gu Mu exited the room, Zhang Xuan continued to look through the books in the Library of Heaven's Path to augment his knowledge, and he took time to reinforce his cultivation as well.
Even though there weren't sufficient Zongshi realm cultivation techniques in the Red Lotus City to form the Heaven's Path Divine Art, there were sufficient lines of information that were correct, allowing Zhang Xuan to start on the next level of cultivation.
After several tries, Zhang Xuan was able to clearly sense the Half-Zongshi zhenqi in his body growing more and more powerful, and he was barely a step away from stepping into the Zongshi realm.
Even though the Library of Heaven's Path was capable of peering through the flaws of all objects and beings, Zhang Xuan nevertheless required a stable foundation to reach greater heights. Thus, he had been studying whenever he had the time, and in just ten days, his knowledge had expanded by more than twofold. His understanding of beast taming and poisons had deepened significantly, and even without the assistance of the Library of Heaven's Path, he could be considered as a knowledgeable veteran.
At the same time, Zhang Xuan practiced a round of the Heaven's Path Fist Art, Heaven's Path Leg Art, and Heaven's Path Spear Art each once more.
These skills were the most fundamental of all but were capable of bringing out the strength in one's body perfectly. They boost Zhang Xuan's abilities in offense significantly, allowing him to stand against some Zongshi realm intermediate cultivators, and perhaps, even kill them.
Of course, if Zhang Xuan were to use the Library of Heaven's Path ability to detect flaws and the Heaven's Path Movement Art along with it, by going all out at the expense of his own body, he might be able to kill even a Zongshi realm pinnacle.
It was completely unheard of for a Half-Zongshi to defeat a Zongshi realm pinnacle in a straightforward fight. Even the most talented genius in the Master Teacher Pavilion would be incapable of such a feat.
"Senior granduncle, the Crimson Flame Lotus Seed has matured!"
Zhang Xuan spent his entire time cultivating, and at the daybreak of the second day, Gu Mu knocked on his door.
Nodding his head, Zhang Xuan stood up.
Zhang Xuan had waited ten days for this treasure which could increase the chances of breaking through Zhizun realm by 20%, and finally... it had become ready for picking!
"The Red Lotus Range is a gigantic volcano, and our Poison Hall branch is built at the opening of the volcano. When the branch was built back then, a formation master was invited to build a formation to seal the volcano and gather Earthen Flames to nourish the Crimson Flame Lotus."
Even though Liao Xun had become the official Hall Master, he didn't dare to pull his rank before the duo. On their way there, he explained the situation to them respectfully.
"Envoy, senior granduncle, this way!"
Liao Xun had also followed Gu Mu's way of addressing Zhang Xuan.
Proceeding forward, the trio soon arrived at an altar.
"The mouth of the volcano is hidden below!"
Liao Xun pointed.
Zhang Xuan glanced downward.
A gigantic altar with a radius of more than a hundred meters laid before them. From afar, it looked ancient. Rather than an entrance to the volcano, it seemed more like a piece of barren ruin.
Zhang Xuan was perplexed, but having heard the history of the branch, Zhang Xuan knew that there was likely to be a formation in place, so he kept quiet.
And just as he deduced, Liao Xun stepped forward to the altar. With a flick of his hands, he whipped out the token representing his identity as the Hall Master and placed it in an opening at the center of the altar.
Hong long long!
The world spun, and the sight before them changed immediately.
A seemingly endless staircase that led downward appeared on the flat and vast altar.
Liao Xun led the way, and after walking down the staircase for nearly two hours, a vast underground palace appeared before them.
At the center of the palace was the huge mouth of the volcano. Scorching flames burned on the surface, and waves of heat gushed forth from it, making it grueling for anyone to approach.
Feeling the heat surging from within, Zhang Xuan's expression turned grim.
They had yet to enter through the opening but just the torrid air in the main hall was sufficient to cause any Pixue realm cultivator to collapse.
"Envoy, senior granduncle, that is the Crimson Flame Lotus!"
Stepping forward to the entrance of the volcano, Liao Xun pointed.
At the center of the volcano, amidst the searing lava, a crimson lotus floated. On it was a lotus pod filled with countless seeds, exuding a slight fragrance.
Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
The Crimson Lotus before him was two to three meters tall, and its entire surface was fiery-red, resembling raging flames.
It was several hundred meters away from their present location, but they could already feel the heat wave emitted by it searing their skin. Putting aside Zhang Xuan, even a Zhizun realm expert would find the heat hard to tolerate.
"How do we pick the lotus?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Not only was the heat wave emitted by the Crimson Lotus intolerable, the crux was that it was floating on the surface of the lava several hundred meters away from the shore. How can one reach it?
Step into the lava?
Even with the powerful Heaven's Path Golden Body, Zhang Xuan would be reduced to ashes the moment he stepped in!
Needless to say, the rest.
"I've no idea. My teacher was burnt to ashes while attempting to pick the lotus seed upon observing that it was nearing maturity..." Liao Xun shook his head sorrowfully.
The abrupt death of the old Hall Master was due to his attempt to pick the Crimson Flame Lotus Seed.
"The Crimson Flame Lotus Seed matures once every century, and each time, someone would succeed. The headquarter has always received your tribute, so why would the old Hall Master be burned to death?"
Gu Mu asked doubtfully.
This Poison Hall branch had been guarding this lotus since its inception, and it wouldn't make sense for them to spend countless medicinal herbs to nourish it just to hand it over to the hands of another.
Besides, this branch had been supplying the headquarter with a certain amount of lotus seed every century, so they had to have a way to harvest it.
"We do have a way, but we're no longer able to utilize it. Look!"
Liao Xun smiled bitterly. Picking up a rock, he threw it straight toward the Crimson Flame Lotus.
He was a Zongshi realm pinnacle expert, and under the augmentation of zhenqi, the stone flew at an incredible speed with a screeching sound, as though it was tearing air apart.
"What are you doing..."
Seeing the other party throw a stone with such immense force toward the Crimson Flame Lotus, Gu Mu's expression darkened.
The Crimson Flame Lotus had matured, and upon being struck, it was highly likely it would fall into the lava. Once it fell in, it would be nearly impossible to find.
"Envoy, take a look!" Liao Xun said.
In the midst of their exchange, the stone was already right before the Crimson Flame Lotus. Just as it was about to strike the lotus, the lava surrounding the flower tremored violently and suddenly, and a bizarre creature flew upward. Opening its mouth, it swallowed the entire stone.
That bizarre creature was shaped like a snake, and it was several dozens of meters long. Covered in a thick layer of bright red scales, it swam leisurely in the lava, creating an extremely peculiar sight.
"What is that?"
Gu Mu didn't expect such a bizarre creature to be swimming in the scorching lava. He pondered for a moment, and his eyes suddenly narrowed, "Can this be the Lava Beast that you brought up with the headquarter previously?
Upon seeing the creature, he suddenly recalled the contents of the report the Red Lotus Range branch submitted to the headquarter previously.
Not only did the report talk about the abrupt death of the old Hall Master, it also spoke of a savage beast that lived in the lava around the lotus, and they have termed it as the Lava Beast.
He thought that it was just nonsense the other party came up with to avoid handing over the Crimson Flame Lotus Seed, and the possibility of it being true never flashed across his mind.
"Yes, this is the Lava Beast. The unique scales around it grants it tolerance to high heat, allowing it to live in the lava. Its strength is comparable to a Zhizun realm pinnacle expert..." Liao Xun flashed a bitter smile.
"To think that such a creature exists in the world!"
Gu Mu wasn't the only one shocked, Zhang Xuan was perplexed by the sight as well.
The temperature of the lava below was definitely above two thousand degree Celsius. They could never have imagined that such a huge creature would be able to survive such extreme conditions if they hadn't seen it for themselves.
"Indeed. This creature appeared all of the sudden, and for the past few years, it has been guarding the Crimson Red Lotus as though it was his property. Anyone who tries to approach it would have to suffer his attacks!"
Liao Xun explained.
"It is one thing if we are on the shore, but the lava is its haven. Furthermore... it has reached the level of Zhizun realm pinnacle. Honestly, we are helpless before it!"
Gu Mu's expression darkened.
Even though he had achieved Zhizun realm pinnacle as well, if he were to battle with this gigantic fellow in the lava... There was a nine out of ten chance that he would die here.
"Does poison not work?"
Zhang Xuan couldn't resist asking.
The Poison Hall was adept at using poison, so it was plausible that they could kill the creature using it.
"The Lava Beast isn’t afraid of even the searing Earthen Flames, so how can any ordinary poison be effective on it..." Liao Xun said.
The lava was about two thousand degree Celsius hot. Most poison would be reduced to ashes before it can even reach the lava, thus making it nigh impossible to use poison.
"We've tried all kinds of methods, except... finding a beast tamer to tame it. Honestly speaking... there doesn't seem to be any other solution!" Liao Xun shook his head. "However, this is our greatest secret, and the Poison Hall doesn't interact with any other occupations. It is highly likely that inviting a beast tamer will cause unnecessary trouble!"
The Poison Hall didn't possess any connections with the other occupations; there were some which were actually hostile to it.
Inviting people from another occupation here would mean having to reveal their den, and this could potentially bring them a catastrophe. If so, they would have wasted their years living in seclusion in the Red Lotus Range.
Understanding this fact as well, Gu Mu shook his head.
Poison and brute force wouldn't work, and they couldn't hire a beast tamer either... It was indeed a huge question how they could harvest the Crimson Flame Lotus Seed.
"Will beast tamers be able to subdue that fellow?"
Hearing the duo’s conversation, Zhang Xuan hesitated for a moment before speaking.
"Perhaps... I can give it a try!"
Golden finger refers to the gifts/talents one receives upon transcending to an alternate world. For example, Zhang Xuan's Library of Heaven's Path can be considered as a golden finger.
Kong shi is most probably a reference toward Confucius, otherwise known as Kong Zi. He is a philosopher who had formulated a line of thoughts that became known as Confucianism. On top of that, he is also informally known as the first teacher.