Library of Heaven is Path
475 The Bizarre Soulless Metal Humanoid 2
A detailed introduction on the metal humanoid was written in the book.
"Grade-1 Soulless Metal Humanoid, a unique puppet crafted by soul oracles. It possesses its own consciousness and one can control it via fusing their soul into it. There's a spirit stone formation placed within its body which allows for its strength to be enhanced even without cultivating. If several metal humanoids were to be controlled simultaneously, it would form an incredible fighting prowess. Flaws: ..."
Possesses its own consciousness?
What does that mean?
Could it be that this fellow was still alive? Otherwise... How could it possibly possess its own consciousness?
Zhang Xuan continued reading on.
"... Flaw 4, its soul has been willingly stripped from its body, leaving behind only a sliver of inextinguishable flame of life within its body. Thus, it cannot regain sanity. Flaw 5..."
"Could it be that..." Suddenly recalling something, Zhang Xuan's face darkened.
Legend had it that the Soulless Metal Humanoids were crafted using living human beings. Initially, Zhang Xuan still held some doubts toward this matter as legends tended to be exaggerated. However, from the looks of it, it seemed like it was true.
The main reason why an inextinguishable flame of life within the body was probably prevent the body from rotting. In essence, the metal humanoid was no different from a person in a vegetative state. While it was a corpse on the surface, its body still retained equal flexibility as it did when it was still alive.
A person's body was intricately linked to the soul. Once a soul was lost, a person would die and their soul would gradually decay. But if that were to happen, how could one forge the metal humanoids?
Putting everything aside, it would take some time to coat the entire body with metal. If body were to be completely dead, it would probably decay before one could succeed in the process.
Clenching his fists tightly, Zhang Xuan was angered by the cruelty of soul oracle when he suddenly noticed something and shook his head, "That isn't it. Their souls were stripped from them with their consent. Could it be that these people had done so willingly?"
It was written in the book from the Library of Heaven's Path that these people had allowed for their own souls to be extracted.
In other words, the soul oracles didn't force this fate on them. The original host of the metal humanoids had consented to the matter themselves. That was also why an inextinguishable flame of life could be left behind. Otherwise, if they were to struggle, there was an extremely high chance that the entire soul would be destroyed.
If that were to happen, it would be impossible to preserve the body, lest to say, forge a metal humanoid.
After thinking for a moment, Zhang Xuan deduced most of the matter. "Legend had it that some influential powers groomed teams of loyal death soldiers who would lay down their lives for their masters. The original host of this metal humanoid was probably the same as well. Groomed by the soul oracles, the purpose of their lives was to turn into metal humanoids and serve them for all eternity..."
Since most large powers chose to groom death soldiers, there was no reason why the soul oracles wouldn't. Besides, this type of occupation specialized in subject of souls. Brainwashing a cultivator to have them accept having their souls taken away from them was also a possibility.
To be able to make someone willingly allow himself to be turned into a puppet, soul oracles were indeed fearsome.
He was just considering whether he should capture a few of them to devour them so as to raise his cultivation. However, after learning about their callous means, he shuddered... It was best for him not to take the risk!
Continuing on, he soon finished browsing through the books.
There wasn't anything much noteworthy in the latter part of the content. Most of them were just on the flaws of the Soulless Metal Humanoid and the method to drive them.
"It's a pity that I can't use it..."
After reading through the contents, Zhang Xuan shook his head in disappointment.
The soul oracles specialized in the study of souls, and their souls were capable of leaving their body to control the puppet. However, Zhang Xuan wasn't capable of doing so.
Throughout his cultivation, he had never come into contact with any books detailing the cultivation of one's soul. In other words... even though he had reached Half-Transcension already, his soul was still firmly integrated in his body. He couldn't operate the two of them separately.
This was just like driving a car. In order to drive a car, one had to get onto the driver's seat first. If one's soul couldn't leave one's body, one wouldn't be able to enter the metal humanoid to drive it.
In truth, Zhang Xuan had been thinking that if he could control it, it would be equivalent to gaining a Transcendent Mortal realm death soldier. However, from the looks of it now, it seemed like it was nothing more than a dream.
His soul was still locked in his physical body, unable to leave its restraints. In other words... this puppet was completely useless to him now!
Admittedly, if he were to meet with danger, he could still use it as a shield.
After going through so much trouble, he only ended up buying a shield... Just the thought of it left him faint-headed.
After taking another look, Zhang Xuan verified that there was no important information to be derived from the Soulless Metal Humanoid and thus, he put it away within his storage ring. Then, flicking his wrist, a round ball appeared on his palm.
It was the Celestial Designer Mechanical Container that Elder Chen had used to repay his debt.
"There's a flaw here, here, and here as well..."
Touching the round lead-like object, Zhang Xuan infused his zhenqi into the various location of the flaws detailed in the Library of Heaven's Path.
There was only a total of seventeen flaws so it didn't take him too long to finish the job.
A mechanical sound suddenly echoed from the sphere in his hand. It sounded as though something was being unlocked.
Zhang Xuan leaped in shock.
From the outer appearance, the artifact was no different from a lead ball. There wasn't the slightest gap or slit on it, causing him to suspect that it was just an ordinary ball of metal.
He didn't expect that it could be opened.
Lowering his head to take a look, Zhang Xuan couldn't help but compliment, "Could it be that this Celestial Designer Institute is something similar to the Beast Hall and Apothecary Guild, that it is somewhere celestial designers gather?"
Having duplicated the books throughout the entire Appraiser Hall, even though he hadn't assimilated all of the knowledge yet, he'd learned of another incredible occupation — Celestial Designer!
This occupation didn't possess too much fighting prowess. Rather, the field they specialized in was machinery, and they belonged to the Lower Nine Paths.
It was said that the most elusive secret weapon, the most complicated puppet, and the toughest armor all came from their design. Even though blacksmiths were capable of forging powerful equipment and tools as well, if one wanted to bring out a greater prowess from these equipment and tools, one had to find a celestial designer for a blueprint.
Most top-notch experts would choose to hire both a celestial designer and a blacksmith simultaneously when they wanted to craft their personal weapon. The tools designed by celestial designers tended to contain innumerable tricks within them, making it difficult for one to guard against such tools.
Taking Zheng Yang's spear for example, he had to fix the spear himself manually each time he wanted to wield it, making it an exceptionally troublesome process. However, if a blacksmith were to craft something based on the design of a celestial designer, it could end up being an object similar to a chopstick that could extend to more than a zhang long (3.33m) upon a light click.
Another example was this Celestial Designer Mechanical Container. The flaws recorded in the Library of Heaven's Path were probably the weaker points at which it was linked at. Only when exerting pressure precisely at these points could one open it properly.
Otherwise, no matter how powerful one was, one could do nothing about it. And if one were to use excessive strength, one might end up ruining the object contained within it as well.
"What kind of valuable object was stored in this container?"
Curious, Zhang Xuan pried the Celestial Designer Mechanical Container open.
The moment he came into contact with this object, the Library of Heaven's Path immediately gave him the evaluation saying that 'Celestial Designer Mechanical Container, forged by the Celestial Designer Institute with complex mechanical systems. It can't be opened without knowing the specific sequences required to do so. It's likely that some important treasure is hidden within it!'
Since it was an artifact stored in such an exquisitely-made container, it was unlikely for it to be anything ordinary.
Opening the box, a thin layer of beastskin was placed within it. Zhang Xuan couldn't tell what kind of beast the fabric was made of but one thing that was certain was that it was extraordinarily durable. It was clear that it had been kept for innumerable years already but yet it remained completely undamaged.
He carefully lifted it up.
"Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps? What's this?"
Five large words 'Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps' were written on the very top of the beastskin.
Reading on, a poem appeared in Zhang Xuan's sight.
"A cloud of red dust for three thousand li, treading to the clear skies with a smile!"
Beyond the poem detailed the origin of the beastskin.
"The Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps originates from Sage Zhong, one of Kong shi's students. On the day which he successfully mastered the technique, shouldering a massive mountain, with a single step, he appeared three thousand li away and soared into the vast skies. With the grace from Sage Zhong, our lineage is bestowed with the first scroll of Heaven Ascending Steps to pass on to our descendants so I hope that you can treasure this scroll. In order to prevent it from landing into the hands of outsiders, it's placed within a Celestial Designer Mechanical Container so that no one except for those who carry our bloodline are capable of opening it..."
"It's a movement technique?"
Coming to a realization, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
Given that this was the creation of one of Kong shi's students, the value of the battle technique was unimaginable.
It was no wonder why it was placed within a Celestial Designer Mechanical Container.
Under normal circumstances, this container could only be opened with a unique method that only those who bear the bloodline of their lineage knew of. Naturally, Zhang Xuan had no idea what that method was.
The only reason why he could open it was due to him finding the flaws of the object through the Library of Heaven's Path.
It was just like a typical security system in his previous life. One could unlock it if one knew the password but even if one were to forget it, one could still ask for an administrator to help them unlock it.
That was the privilege that Zhang Xuan was using now.
The Library of Heaven's Path was able to see through the very core of the container, allowing Zhang Xuan to strike accurately at its fundamental flaws. Thus, no matter how tightly-sealed or intricate the container was, it didn't make a difference to him.
"I wonder if there are any flaws in the battle technique left behind by Kong shi's student!"
Holding the secret manual, Zhang Xuan muttered 'flaws'.
It had already become a habit of his to check if there were any flaws in a battle technique.
Since this skill was created by Kong shi's student, it must be of an unimaginable tier... However, no matter how powerful a skill was, it was impossible for it to be completely flawless.
A book appeared in Zhang Xuan's mind. He hurriedly flipped it open to take a look.
"Only 42 flaws?"
Swiftly flipping through the book, Zhang Xuan was astonished.
As expected of a movement technique created by Kong shi's student, it was indeed a fearsome existence. Having only 42 flaws in a high-tier technique was truly a formidable accomplishment.
In the battle techniques that Zhang Xuan had flipped through previously, there were at least several hundred flaws. This was the reason why every single battle technique required more than a thousand books to form the flawless Heaven's Path battle techniques.
Yet, this battle technique only had 42 flaws. This clearly reflected how formidable a battle technique it was. If knowledge of it were to be leaked out, it would surely cause massive bloodshed.
"But there are still so many flaws in there, how am I supposed to learn it..."
It was one thing if Zhang Xuan didn't know that there were any flaws in there, but now that he knew, his face immediately turned bitter.
No matter how delicious a fruit is, once you know that there are worms within, it will be impossible to whet your appetite.
Zhang Xuan was too used to his cultivation techniques and battle techniques being flawless. Knowing that there were more than forty flaws in the technique, even though he knew that it was a powerful skill, he was still unable to get past this and learn it.
"Right, Heaven's Path Movement Art is also a type of movement art. Perhaps I might be able to fuse them together!"
Heaven's Path Movement Art was a technique created by compiling innumerable movement technique secret manuals together. Even though it only consisted of the bare basics, it was the fundamentals to the very essence of the world. Perhaps, the both of them could be fused together to make up for the flaws of the Heaven Ascending Steps.
Placing the two books together, Zhang Xuan willed.
A new book appeared.
Zhang Xuan immediately flipped through it.
"Three flaws? Great! Even though there are still three left, it's still an acceptable number..."
Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
Even though there were still three flaws left, there wasn't any major mistakes to it anymore, making it worthwhile to learn. At the very most, he would just have to collect more movement technique secret manuals and try to fuse them together with the Heaven Ascending Steps.
Without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan began browsing through the contents.
With a single look, his eyes narrowed and his lips went pale.
"Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps — Parallel Heaven Scroll. Could this be... flight?"