Library of Heaven is Path
708 To Rescue or Not to Rescue?
Chapter 708: To Rescue or Not to Rescue?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Perhaps they feared trouble, so they left immediately after noticing that they were followed?" Luo Xuan suggested.
"That's possible." Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.
At that a moment, a member of their group suddenly exclaimed, "There are a few people in front!"
The group immediately turned their gazes forward and saw three freshmen sitting feebly on the ground. They had sustained significant injuries, and blood was flowing from their wounds.
The trio were all Transcendent Mortal 4-dan pinnacle cultivators. Upon seeing such a huge crowd, their faces immediately paled in fear. "We haven't caught any spirit beasts yet…"
But soon afterward, they recalled that fellow examinees were not allowed to steal from one another, and they heaved a sigh of relief.
"I've met these people before. They are from the Luoyuan Empire's party!" Luo Xuan informed Zhang Xuan telepathically.
Zhang Xuan nodded in response.
Just like Huanyu Empire, Luoyuan Empire was a Tier 2 Empire as well, and both parties lived in proximity to one another in the Academic Sea. As such, Luo Xuan was able to recognize the trio easily.
"Did your injuries come from the spirit beasts?" Zhang Xuan asked the trio.
Knowing that he meant no hostility, the trio answered truthfully, "Yes!"
"It shouldn't be difficult for the dozen Consonant Spirit realm spirit beasts to kill you. How did you manage to escape from them?" Zhang Xuan asked.
If the dozen Consonant Spirit realm spirit beast were to charge at the trio simultaneously, they would probably be dead in a breath.
There should be no reason for the spirit beasts to leave those who had come to slaughter them alive.
"H-how did you know that we were attacked by a dozen Consonant Spirit realm spirit beasts?" one of the three master teachers asked in astonishment.
"We are tracking that pack," Zhang Xuan replied.
"I see. I am not really sure what happened either. We were just walking around when we suddenly encountered the pack. To be honest, we thought that we would be goners, but for some reason, those spirit beasts suddenly left in a panic after a brief encounter, as if they were scared of something…"
"Perhaps they were afraid of you catching up to them?" another one of the trio added.
Zhang Xuan and the others had arrived not too long after the spirit beast pack left, so they might just be apprehensive about staying for too long.
"But nevertheless, all they require is a brief instant to get rid of three Transcendent Mortal 4-dan master teachers. Furthermore, if they really noticed that we were tracking them, they would surely be filled with hostility toward humans. There's no reason for them to show mercy to them…"
The more Luo Xuan thought about it, the more doubts surfaced in his mind.
Assuming that the spirit beast pack was indeed escaping from them, if they were to meet other humans in the midst of their escape, there was no reason for them to spare them, especially since a brief instant was all it would take. How could the trio possibly be able to get away alive?
Frowning, Zhang Xuan continued questioning them.
"Where does the path ahead lead to?"
"It leads to Heaven's Thread, one of the most dangerous gorges of Leiyuan Peak," replied one of the master teachers.
"A canyon? This is bad…" Seeming to have thought of something, Zhang Xuan's eyebrows suddenly shot up. He hurriedly rushed forward to the canyon, and the baffled crowd quickly followed behind.
Not too long later, they arrived at a massive gorge surrounded by steep cliffs. Looking up from below, the sky looked just like a thin thread. Somehow, an ominous feeling slowly spread across the group.
Ding ding ding ding!
Before they even walked into the gorge, they could already feel a massive disturbance in the spiritual energy ahead, and the sound of weapons clashing reverberated in the air.
"There is a battle going on over there…"
With these signs, how could the group still remain oblivious to what was going on ahead of them?
Zhang Xuan pointed forward.
"The answer to the mystery lies ahead…"
There were numerous large floating rock platforms around the gorge. Climbing to a high altitude, the group caught a clear glimpse of the battle ahead, and their faces were immediately drained of color.
Two hundred master teachers were tightly encircled by several hundred spirit beasts.
The cultivation of these spirit beasts ranged from the Consonant Spirit realm to the Cosmos Bridge realm, and every single one of them was incomparably powerful. Even though the surrounded master teachers weren't weak, their opponents were simply too powerful, and they were outnumbered at that. As time went by, more and more master teachers were being incapacitated by grievous wounds.
"Could it be that the dozen spirit beasts were intentionally luring the master teachers over… so as to eradicate them all in a single sweep?"
Upon realizing this fact, the mouths of the group twitched in astonishment.
Even if the entire Huanyu Empire party were to head down to offer their support, they wouldn't be able to turn the tides of the battle. They would only end up contributing to the casualty toll.
Furthermore, as the name Heaven's String suggested, the gorge was extremely narrow, not to mention that it was filled with numerous floating rock platforms of various sizes, thus making it difficult for the Great Violetwing Beast to maneuver around. It would be dangerous for the Great Violetwing Beast if it were to be attacked by the army of spirit beasts under such circumstances.
Zhang Xuan's face was extremely grave.
His high Soul Depth granted him a far greater analytical ability compared to the other members of the group. When he first noticed the presence of the spirit beast pack and the situation surrounding them, a seed of doubt had already been planted in his mind. From the looks of it now, it was indeed a huge set-up!
Bluebacked Ferocious Bear, Steelfang Panther, Southern Yellow Tiger, Armmetal Ape… These spirit beasts were known for their speed on land. If they were to go at full speed, even a Cosmos Bridge realm primary stage master teacher would find it hard to keep up with them. And yet, they went through the trouble of circling around the peak and drawing in group after group of master teachers. It was clear that they were up to something.
Yet, Zhang Xuan hadn't expected that the spirit beasts were luring the humans into a trap to eliminate them!
"The spirit beasts are in an alliance as well…"
The master teachers had been thinking of allying with one another to hunt the spirit beasts, but little did they know that the spirit beasts were doing the same as well. They had organized themselves orderly with a clear role for each spirit beast in the team. Some would serve as bait while others would lie in ambush to receive the prey. With this, they intended to wipe out a large group of master teachers in a single move!
If they were put in the same circumstances, would they have fallen for the scheme as well and landed themselves in grave danger?
One of the master teachers turned to Zhang Xuan and asked worriedly, "Zhang shi… What should we do?"
As master teachers, they couldn't simply watch idly as their comrades were being killed in battle… but even if their entire group were to offer their support, it would still be insufficient to defeat the spirit beasts!
"The main purpose of a master teacher is to protect humanity. Even in the face of danger, we must fight to ensure the survival of mankind… If we were to leave our comrades in such a situation, even if we successfully escape with our lives, we won't be able to live with the guilt, and our faith will be shaken. This will surely weigh us down in the future, limiting our accomplishments!"
"But… given the current circumstances, even if we do lay down our lives to save them, nothing will change at all!"
"That's right. This is truly a dilemma…"
Everyone fell silent.
With their current fighting prowess, it would surely be impossible to rescue the master teachers from the clutches of the spirit beasts. But if they chose to leave them in a deadly situation, the guilt would shatter the morals they had stood by and believed in for their entire lives.
"There is no doubt that we have to save them, but charging straight in will not work," Zhang Xuan said with a deep frown. Tapping on his thigh with his finger, he fumbled through his head to search for a solution to the crisis.
"What do we do?"
The helpless crowd turned to Zhang Xuan to lead them.
They had pinned all of their hopes on this young man, hoping that he could produce a miracle as he always did.
After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan turned to the crowd and asked, "Does anyone here have the formation flags and blueprint of a 5-star Beguilement Formation?"
One of the Luoyuan Empire master teacher raised his hand.
The only reason the trio dared to operate in such a small team was due to his ability as a formation master. Otherwise, given their Clarifying Turbidity realm pinnacle cultivation, how could they possibly dare to leave the group on their own accord?
"Pass it to me."
Zhang Xuan stretched out his hand.
Knowing that this was a critical situation, the master teacher flicked his hand, and a stack of formation flags and a jade token appeared in his hands.
"This is a grade-5 primary 'Illusory Footsteps Beguilement Formation'. It was created by a great Formation Master Tao Ran from our empire when a stroke of inspiration struck him while he was studying the waves. However… this formation is extremely troublesome to set up, and even after studying it for three years, it still takes me two hours at minimum to set up a workable formation. Furthermore… considering how narrow the gorge it, I'm afraid that it is nigh impossible to set it up," the Luoyuan Empire master teacher said.
Even if he were to set up this formation personally, it would be difficult for him to succeed without spending two hours on it. More importantly, setting up a formation required one to study the geographical terrain and measure the flow of spiritual energy in the air using a geomantic compass. All in all, it was an extremely complicated process.
Considering the intense battle below, putting aside whether it was possible to set up the formation or not, it was a huge question in itself whether the master teachers could last that long against the ferocious assault by the spirit beasts!
More importantly, how was the formation supposed to be set up? To set up the formation, Zhang shi would have to head down to plant the flags. However, if he were to do so, he would be putting himself in the midst of the spirit beast encirclement as well!
There were surely plenty of formation masters among the two hundred master teachers below as well, but even they were helpless against this situation. What could he possibly do?
"Let me take a look first."
Ignoring the other party's doubts, Zhang Xuan touched the jade token with the tip of his finger, and the blueprint of the Illusory Footsteps Beguilement Formation immediately came into sight.
Muttering silently, Zhang Xuan's eyes remained fixated on the jade token while his consciousness had already dived into the Library of Heaven's Path.
The Illusory Footsteps Beguilement Formation was created by Formation Master Tao Ran from Luoyuan Empire. Through utilizing the geographical terrain of the surroundings, it was able to trap all lifeforms in the area of the formation and confuse them. Once activated, even a Cosmos Bridge realm cultivator would find it difficult to escape from the formation.
It only took Zhang Xuan a few breaths to grasp the important details regarding the formation through the Library of Heaven's Path.
When he finally opened his eyes once more, he turned to the crowd and asked, "Do any of you have spirit stones on you now?"
Everyone nodded in response to the query.
"Spirit stones? We do have some with us now!"
Even though middle-tier spirit stones were valuable, most 4-star pinnacle and half 5-star master teachers would still keep some with them at all times.
"Take them out, I need each of you to be holding ten spirit stones. If you don't have enough, borrow from someone else," Zhang Xuan instructed.
Ten middle-tier spirit stones were still within their means, so they had no problem taking this sum out.
"Other than me, we have a total of 52 people. Split yourself into four teams, namely North, South, East, and West!" Zhang Xuan continued instructing.
Even though they had no idea what Zhang Xuan was up to, there was nothing else they could do at the moment other than follow his instructions.
As master teachers, they were extremely efficient. In just a few breaths, they were already done dividing themselves.
With a grim expression, Zhang Xuan instructed seriously, "Alright, prepare yourselves. Make sure to follow my orders strictly later on. The slightest mistake can spell the failure of our operation. If that is the case, we won't be able to save the master teachers below…"
"Zhang shi, don't worry!"
"We will listen to your arrangements!"
Even though the crowd still had no idea what Zhang Xuan was up to, the latter's previous deeds, as well as his confident and firm gaze inspired trust in them.
The three master teachers from Luoyuan Empire harbored some doubts about Zhang Xuan's credibility, but after seeing the reaction from Huanyu Empire's party, they could only swallow their words. They couldn't help but reassess the young man before them.
This young man was the youngest among the group, but why did everyone possess such deep trust in him?
In their eyes, unless an expert of Elder Mo's caliber were to arrive on the scene, there was no way they could break out of this dire situation!
Did this fellow… really have a feasible idea in mind?