Library of Heaven is Path
885 A Single Finger
Chapter 885: A Single Finger
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Soon, Zhang Xuan arrived at a place filled with white bones and rusty armor. Taking a close look at those bones, there were some faint engravings on them, reminiscent of those that the predecessors in the Teacher Acknowledgement Hall would leave on those whom they had recognized.
In other words, these bones belonged to master teachers.
Every single master teacher was a wealth to humanity. Looking at the sheer number of bones accumulated here, Zhang Xuan couldn't help but tremble in agitation.
Every single bone here reflected the sin of the Golden Beartiger Beast. Even if he were to die a thousand times over, that still would be insufficient to absolve him of what he had done.
You are all heroes who have sacrificed yourself for mankind; I can't allow your bones to be left lying exposed here! Zhang Xuan thought grimly.
Thus, he pushed his hand on empty ground not too far away, and a massive hole immediately emerged. After which, with a surge of his zhenqi, he swept all of the bones in the area into it.
After many years, the bones had already worn down and shattered into innumerable pieces, making it impossible to differentiate one person from another. As such, he could only bury them together. As comrades in arms, it should be acceptable for them to be buried alongside one another in death. At least, this was all he could do at the moment.
After burying them, Zhang Xuan continued to follow the trail with his Eye of Insight.
The trail that the 'emperor' had left behind disappeared beneath a certain area covered by bones earlier.
Is it beneath the ground?
It was a completely flat ground, and touching the area, it didn't seem like there were any mechanisms or formations around.
He had followed the other party's trail using his Eye of Insight, so there shouldn't be any problem with the location. How could the soul have vanished into thin air?
Could it be… All of a sudden, a thought emerged in Zhang Xuan's mind.
He flicked his wrist, and a spirit beast soon appeared before him.
"Myriad Anthive Queen, check if there is a folded space in the area!"
Folded space concerned the laws of space, which Zhang Xuan was unable to comprehend due to the limits of his cultivation. However, the Myriad Anthive Queen possessed exceptional aptitude in spatial manipulation, so it should be able to easily discern the presence of a folded space.
The Myriad Anthive Queen nodded and began sniffing around, and before long, it stood up.
"Master, there is indeed a folded space here. However, it doesn't seem to be too large. Do you want to enter to take a look?"
"As I expected!" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
Since there were no mechanisms or anything of that sort in the area, the chances were that the soul had hidden itself in a folded space.
"Of course, I have to enter to take a look!" Zhang Xuan replied without any hesitation.
His goal here was to find and capture the 'emperor' that the Golden Beartiger Beast had spoken of. He couldn't give up just because the other party was hidden in a folded space.
However, given that a Saint 5-dan expert was hiding inside, it would be dangerous for the Transcendent Mortal 9-dan Anthive Myriad Queen to enter. Thus, after some consideration, Zhang Xuan raised his gaze and said, "It will be unsafe for you to enter the folded space… Open the entrance for me; I will enter myself."
Without spatial manipulation capability, it was impossible for one to enter a folded space even if one were to discover one.
Take, for example, the folded space back at the Saint Ascension Platform, had Zhang Xuan been unable to find the flaws in the inscriptions and won Kong shi's acknowledgement, he would not have been able to enter it even if he had shattered the cliff face and managed to find it somehow.
It was the same for this as well… However, given the Myriad Anthive Queen's aptitude for spatial manipulation, it was highly likely that it would possessed some kind of method to enter folded spaces.
"Alright, I will open the entrance right now. You should be able to get into the folded space just by stepping in!" the Myriad Anthive Queen replied with a nod.
After which, it began sniffing the area before abruptly grabbing onto something with its hands and ripping it apart.
A void around the size of a human appeared before Zhang Xuan's eyes.
Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist and took out a book. After instructing Vicious to guard him well, he stepped into the void.
There was no vertigo or anything. As soon as Zhang Xuan stepped through the void, he was able to see everything on the other side clearly. It was indeed not a very large space, consisting of only a diameter of around eight meters, considerably smaller than the one in the Saint Ascension Platform.
Scanning the room, he didn't see the Bluehorn Dragon Beast that had appeared previously, but there was a peculiar round altar, around the height of a human and a diameter of half a meter large. Unlike normal altars though, it had nothing on it.
After taking a thorough look around the room and finding nothing, Zhang Xuan frowned doubtfully.
His Eye of Insight wouldn't lie. The 'emperor' had definitely come into this folded space, but why wasn't there anything here?
Not even a soul could escape the discerning gaze of the Eye of Insight, not to mention, he was also a soul oracle as well. If the Bluehorn Dragon Beast was truly in here, it shouldn't have been able to hide from him.
Just as Zhang Xuan was about to conduct another thorough check, a shrill shriek suddenly sounded in the room, as if something was rushing right toward him.
Before he could react, an immense might was already right behind him.
The moment that Zhang Xuan was about to be struck, a light barrier suddenly appeared around him. It was the Aerial Strike Amulet, which he had received from Yu Cheng back in the entrance examination.
The Aerial Strike Amulet could deflect an attack with the full power of a Saint realm 1-dan infused into it, and for safety, Zhang Xuan had always kept it on him instead of his storage ring. In the face of grave danger, he immediately activated it.
With a sharp echo, the Aerial Strike Amulet shattered, not even stopping the attack for half a breath. That rampaging might rushed forth and struck Zhang Xuan squarely on his back, and as if hit by a train, his figure was immediately sent flying.
He crashed heavily onto the wall behind, creating a huge hole behind him.
A large mouthful of blood spurted forth.
Even with the Aerial Strike Amulet protecting him and cushioning the blow, Zhang Xuan still ended up suffering severe injuries.
He quickly drove his Heaven's Path zhenqi to heal his injuries as he turned around to look at the origin of the assault.
There was no one in sight, and the soul of the Bluehorn Dragon Beast was nowhere to be seen either. There was only a withered finger floating in the air.
The attack he had just suffered probably came from this finger.
A single finger actually managed the crush the Aerial Strike Amulet and injure me severely? Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes in astonishment.
He couldn't sense how powerful the finger was, but to be able to injure him so easily, it was definitely a terrifying existence.
Stabilizing his breathing, Zhang Xuan asked, "Are you the emperor that the Golden Beartiger Beast spoke of?"
"To be able to track me down to here, you do possess some capability!"
A thought from the finger reached his mind, and the language used was the Ancient Beast Language.
Judging from the voice, it seemed to be the Bluehorn Dragon Beast from before.
"To think that the soul of a great Bluehorn Dragon Beast would be living off a finger!" Zhang Xuan remarked coldly in response.
Souls wouldn't age, but they couldn't survive by themselves either. Zhang Xuan had been wondering how the Bluehorn Dragon Beast had been able to live through the ages, and looking at it now, it seemed that the other party had only managed to survive for so long by hiding within the finger.
This was similar to how Mo Hunsheng managed to survive in the Nine Hearts Lotus.
As long as a soul could find an excellent container, it could survive for a very long time.
It was for certain that the finger wasn't just an ordinary finger, but ultimately, it still wasn't a living body with complete organs. Thus, in order to sustain its life force, it had to absorb the vitality contained within flesh and blood. Perhaps… this was the reason the Bluehorn Dragon Beast had made the latter offer the bodies of master teachers to him as tributes.
Master teachers tended to possess purer zhenqi, which resulted in the vitality within their flesh and blood being far richer than ordinary cultivators. In a sense, they could be considered the ideal tonic for the finger.
Seeing Zhang Xuan exposing its origin so easily, the finger harrumphed coldly. "You do have a pair of sharp eyes. To have such insight at your age, it seems like you aren't just an ordinary student. You probably aren't the student of that fellow out there either."
"Indeed, I am not School Head Mo's student," Zhang Xuan replied.
"To be able to tame nine of the ten kings of the Cloudmist Ridge, you are indeed a capable man. You know, I am really glad that you came here… I simply love devouring talented master teachers like you. With you, I should be able to fill the vitality of this finger to the brim once more and live for another fifty years!" The finger chuckled eerily. For a moment, Zhang Xuan felt as if a pair of greedy eyes were staring at him.
"Live for another fifty years?" Zhang Xuan frowned. "What is this finger for it to allow you to escape Senescence Decline?"
Of the Five Soul Declines, the one that had left most soul oracles despairing was the Senescence Decline. The Senescence Decline dictated that as time ticked, even if a soul was protected by a powerful body, its soul energy would still continue to dissipate.
As such, not even soul oracles could live on for an eternity.
Trapped in the Nine Hearts Lotus, Mo Hunsheng had been isolated from the world. But even so, his soul energy still continued to dissipate over the years, and by the time he was released, he possessed less than a tenth of his original cultivation of Transcendent Mortal 9-dan pinnacle.
Yet, this fellow had been able to live for so long just by hiding within a finger… There was truly something eerie about the finger.
"You know about Senescence Decline?" the finger asked in astonishment.
There were many who knew about the existence of soul oracles, but very few had ever heard of the Five Soul Declines. The Five Soul Declines contained the weaknesses of the soul oracles, so they had guarded this secret tightly, unwilling to allow any outsider to learn of it. For this fellow to be aware of it as well, could he be a soul oracle too?
"Of course I do! On top of that, I also know that you have not inherited the heritage of the soul oracles. Even though you are able to survive in the form of a soul, you are just a parasite leeching off the finger, not the possessor of it," Zhang Xuan responded.
Had the other party not attacked him, he would have been unable to gather any details on the other party via the Library of Heaven's Path. In a sense, it was fortunate that the other party had assaulted him, allowing him to compile a book and learn more about the enemy he was going to face.
Zhang Xuan's initial thought had been that the Bluehorn Dragon Beast had inherited the soul oracle heritage, thus allowing him to survive through many eras. However, after taking a look at the book, he realized that he had been mistaken.
The other party had only bound his soul to the finger using a special method, and through consuming the vitality of master teachers via the finger, he was able to sustain his existence. This had nothing to do with the soul arts of the soul oracles at all.
However, to be able to sustain a soul for so long, this finger was definitely no ordinary artifact.
However, it was a pity that the Bluehorn Dragon Beast could only be considered to be in coexistence with the finger, meaning that they were still two separate entities, and the one who had attacked earlier was only the soul, so there was no information reflected on the finger in the Library of Heaven's Path at all.
Otherwise, he would have just ended it straight with a smack of his book instead of wasting words on the other party.
The finger was astonished for a moment before bursting into a cold chuckle. "I never expected a young lad like you to be able to see through me so easily. Despite your young age, you are rather knowledgeable. However… the more that this is the case, the more I can't spare you! I might still have thought twice if you hadn't come into my folded space, but since you are here now, don't even dream about leaving here alive!"
The next moment, an overwhelming aura burst forth from the finger. The illusory Bluehorn Dragon Beast that Zhang Xuan had seen earlier in the cavern swiftly emerged from the finger. Its eyes were filled with killing intent, seemingly determined to devour the young man before it.
"We were still speaking properly a moment ago, so why do you want to eat me all of a sudden? And… do you think that you will be able to succeed?" Seeing that the Bluehorn Dragon Beast was going to make its move, Zhang Xuan grasped the Book of Heaven's Path in his hands tightly, ready to throw the golden page at any moment.
However, at that moment, Vicious' voice suddenly sounded. "Leave that fellow to me…"
"Leave him to you?"
Based on what he knew of Vicious, the latter was never one to take on a job actively. Why would he suddenly step up to this task?
Zhang Xuan's query was answered very soon.
"It's because… that finger over there is mine!"<script>chaptererror();</script>