Library of Heaven is Path
907 Entering the Seventh Level
Chapter 907: Entering the Seventh Level
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
The sixth level was even larger than the previous, and there were several formations inscribed on the walls all around.
A battle between two Nascent Saint cultivators could easily result in devastating damage; just the aftershock of their strikes was sufficient to induce a disaster. As such, it was imperative for the room to be reinforced with formations so that both parties could let loose and not be restricted by their surroundings.
Walking in, they thought that they would see a puppet lying on the ground, just like in the previous five levels, but contrary to their expectations, such a sight didn't appear before them.
A puppet was seated imposingly not too far away with a disposition reminiscent of a sharp sword, emanating a bone-chilling aura that left shivers running down one's spine.
"Isn't the guardian of the sixth floor a Nascent Saint primary stage puppet? Why does it seem like… that isn't the case?"
"You are right. It seems like the puppet has grown stronger!"
"But isn't the strength of a puppet fixed, considering how it is unable to cultivate? How could it possibly grow stronger?"
Upon seeing the puppet, everyone's eyelids began twitching uncontrollably.
With their eye of discernment, they could easily tell that the strength of the puppet had already surpassed its Nascent Saint primary stage bottleneck and reached Nascent Saint intermediate stage!
But… how could this possibly have happened?
Puppets were the product of celestial designers, made out of mechanisms. Even if they possessed spirit, they were ultimately still non-living things, making it impossible for them to cultivate under normal circumstances. Since they were unable to cultivate, how could they grow stronger?
"Could this fellow… have killed Principal Zhang?"
At that very moment, someone amid the crowd suddenly spoke up, and everyone's body stiffened.
Their principal had managed to clear the previous few levels easily, subduing the puppets with just mere gestures or words. Given that the puppet of this level had an abrupt power boost and putting that together with the bizarre disappearance of their principal, could their principal have accidentally let his guard down on this level and been killed by the puppet?
If that was really the case, they would be the greatest sinners of the Master Teacher Academy for allowing such a mishap to happen!
Unable to hold himself back anymore, Zhao Bingxu whipped out his Elder Token, rushed forward, and interrogated the puppet. "Where is the challenger who came here a day ago?"
The puppet hurriedly got to its feet and asked with a smile, "The challenger who came here a day ago? Ah, you must be talking about Zhang laoshi! May I know why you are looking for my teacher?"
"You acknowledged Principal Zhang as your teacher?"
School Head Zhao, School Head Mo, and the others nearly keeled over when they heard those words.
To make the entire Apothecary School your student? Fine, we will accept that! Making Senior Byzantium Helios and Senior Golden Origin Cauldron acknowledge you as their master? Alright, we will tolerate that too! Taming the entire Cloudmist Ridge… since it isn't entirely impossible in the first place, we will acknowledge that as well! But to make a puppet acknowledge you as its teacher, what the heck is that?
Even though a puppet possessed spirit and was capable of communication, it was ultimately still an artifact, a tool. The memories and knowledge it possessed were all infused into it. To acknowledge another as its teacher… what for?
Noticing everyone's doubts, the puppet hurriedly explained, "Indeed. In truth, I initially intended to engage my teacher in a battle to stop him from advancing any further, but he noticed a clear flaw in my forging process and helped me correct it… It was just a simple fix, but my strength increased by a whole stage. A person of such capability, it is only right for me to take him as my teacher!"
"A mistake in your forging process?" The lips of School Head Feng of the Celestial Designer School twitched uncontrollably. "When did Principal Zhang become a skilled celestial designer as well?"
For many generations, many talented master teachers had challenged the Mountain of Records, but not a single one had noticed a flaw in them. Yet, Principal Zhang had noticed one as soon as he arrived and even corrected it on the spot… Just by this feat in itself, it could be seen that the other party's mastery as a celestial designer was far above his!
This… Was there a single occupation that their principal was ignorant of?
"That's right. It's in awe of his capabilities that I acknowledged him as my teacher. In any case, if you are seeking Zhang laoshi, you should head upwards. He headed to the seventh level a day ago." The puppet nodded.
"Let's go!" After learning that Zhang Xuan had cleared the sixth level as well, the crowd began making their way over to the seventh level, which was also the level where Principal Mo Liuzhen had stopped back when he first challenged the trial.
The guardian of the seventh level was a puppet that harnessed the strength of a Nascent Saint advanced stage cultivator. Against such a powerful opponent, the crowd couldn't help but wonder if Zhang shi would be placed in danger.
"I have read through the journal that Principal Mo Liuzhen left regarding the situation when he first challenged the Mountain of Records. Even for someone as talented as he was, he was forced into a corner and nearly lost his life. It was out of sheer luck that he managed to achieve a breakthrough on the spot and surpass his limits, thus defeating the puppet," Zhao Bingxu said with a grim expression as they headed up.
Principal Mo Liuzhen had left behind writings detailing his encounters while journeying up the Mountain of Records, and according to it, luck had played a huge part in him clearing the seventh level with his Chrysalis realm primary stage cultivation. If he hadn't achieved a breakthrough on the spot then, putting aside making history, he might have been severely wounded or even killed due to it.
The stronger the puppets were, the harder it would be for them to hold back in battle. As such, the further one progressed up the Mountain of Records, the more danger one would be placed in.
For Principal Zhang to have not returned after an entire day, especially considering how quickly he had cleared the previous levels, could he have met with some kind of unexpected situation?
"I am truly in awe of Principal Zhang's strength, but his cultivation is simply still too low. There is a gap of almost three cultivation realms between him and a Nascent Saint advanced stage puppet. I fear that his chance of victory is slim…"
"Indeed. I have met quite a few combat masters over the years, but even so, I have never encountered one who could fight an opponent of almost three cultivation realms higher and emerge victorious!"
"Since even combat masters are incapable of achieving such a feat, how could our principal possibly succeed?"
Understanding how fearsome the puppet on the seventh level would be for a Chrysalis realm primary stage cultivator, the crowd couldn't help but be worried.
Combat masters could be considered a type of master teacher, but their roles and responsibilities differed vastly from one another. Combat masters were, in essence, the soldiers of the Master Teacher Pavilion, and their responsibility was to protect mankind and uphold the authority and dignity of the Master Teacher Pavilion.
As such, the primary focus of combat masters lay in their fighting prowess. Supporting occupations, the ability to impart knowledge, grooming students: none of those were used to assess their capabilities. There was only one criterion they had to fulfill, and that was to wield sufficient strength!
In terms of knowledge and scope of skills, they might even be beneath that of the other occupations. However, in terms of fighting prowess, they were an unrivaled existence in the Master Teacher Pavilion!
Considering how even they were incapable of rivaling opponents almost three cultivation realms stronger than them, little had to be said for others.
With worries plaguing their hearts, the crowd arrived on the seventh level.
Pushing open the door and stepping in, the first thing they saw were the many formations inscribed on the walls to reinforce the room, similar to those on the sixth floor.
They hurriedly scanned the room to search for the puppet standing guard, but for some reason, there was not a person to be seen in this vast room. They couldn't help but feel perplexed.
No puppet or traces of battle to be seen, what could this possibly mean?
Seemingly noticing something, School Head Mo pointed to the corner and asked, "Wait a moment… Look at that! What is that?"
The crowd hurriedly turned their sights over, and there, they saw a pile of miscellaneous parts lying on the ground.
"The puppet… has been dismantled!" School Head Feng of the Celestial Designer School exclaimed with twitching lips as he examined the miscellaneous parts carefully.
The puppets of the Mountain of Records had been carefully constructed out of several dozen thousand parts, making them an extremely intricate artifact. Looking at the innumerable parts that had clearly come from a puppet before them, it was obvious that someone had dismantled the puppet in this stage and reduced it to its primitive form.
After a moment of astonishment, School Head Mo asked anxiously, "Can we confirm that these are the parts of the puppet on this level?"
If Principal Zhang had really managed to dismantle the puppet of this level to such a state… he really couldn't begin to imagine how powerful the other party must be!
"I can't be entirely sure, but there is a very high chance that is the case!" School Head Feng replied with a bitter smile.
He had never seen the puppet on this level, but based on the miscellaneous parts left on the ground, he could tell that the puppet had a particularly advanced design and forging method that could create a Nascent Saint advanced stage puppet when put together.
For such a powerful puppet to be left in such a state… that was definitely the doing of their principal! There was no doubt about it!
They had been thinking that it would be difficult for the other party to achieve victory on this level, but to think that the other party would end up tearing the puppet all the way down into its parts like that…
Principal Zhang, you sure are vicious!
The puppet is only the guardian responsible for guarding the level. Just how did it offend you for you to dismantle it so callously…
Several dozen thousand miscellaneous parts: even with a blueprint in hand, it would still take a group of 6-star celestial designer several days in order to put it back together… More importantly, that would only be the body! To return its spirit and battle sense would be a much more troublesome process, and they would probably require the help of the Martial Arts School for that.
In other words, Zhang Xuan's act of dismantling this puppet would leave those two schools busy for half a month in order to allow this level to function once more.
However, considering that it would probably be a few thousand years before another challenger would be able to reach this far, there was no need for them to hurry either.
"It seems like Principal Zhang really went easy on the puppets on the previous few levels," Wei Ranxue remarked.
In the previous few levels, their principal had only shot the puppets a look or issued them a command in order to force them to submit. He hadn't used any real force against them at all.
Perhaps it was due to the heightened difficulty of this level that had forced him to make a move.
Nevertheless, even if they were to suppress their cultivation to Nascent Saint advanced stage, similar to that of the puppet, it would still be difficult for them to achieve victory. Yet, their principal had managed to tear the other party down into its most basic parts despite his Chrysalis realm primary stage cultivation… The thought of it sent endless sighs leaving their mouths.
"Even Principal Mo Liuzhen only achieved a narrow victory back then, and yet, not only did Principal Zhang achieve a victory, he even managed to dismantle the puppet down to its parts… I really do want to know how he cultivates to grow so strong!"
With twitching lips, the crowd fell silent.
It seemed like the strength of their principal was as monstrous as his mastery in his supporting occupations as well. To be able to defeat cultivators of three cultivation realms above him, that was already beyond the average standard of a combat master!
Previously, they had thought that their principal had put all of his effort into his supporting occupations in order to achieve such astounding proficiency in them, but from the looks of it now, it seemed like they had misunderstood him. From the start to the end, his focus had been on his cultivation, and his supporting occupations were just something he had learned leisurely!
Otherwise, how could he possibly wield such astounding fighting prowess?
There is no strength that comes without hardship! Extraordinary strength can only come with extraordinary diligence and hardship!
Putting everything aside, just the willpower he must have needed to reach this far was sufficient to leave them deep in admiration.
Scanning the room and finding Zhang Xuan nowhere in sight, Zhao Bingxu suddenly recalled something and frowned. "Since Principal Zhang has cleared this level, he must have gone on to the eighth. This is bad…"
"Indeed, it seems like he went to the eighth level…" At this moment, School Head Mo's face also turned grave.
Noticing the unnatural reaction of the duo, Wei Ranxue asked doubtfully, "What's wrong? Is there something wrong with the eighth level?"
Her expertise lay in terpsichorean arts, which similar to demonic tunes, had little effectiveness on puppets. As such, she had never challenged the Mountain of Records, and she possessed little understanding of it as well.
"We fear that Principal Zhang will face danger on the eighth level!" Zhao Bingxu said worriedly.
"You are still worried about that? I think that you can set your mind at ease now! Before the seventh level, we also thought that Principal Zhang would face danger. However, the fact that he was able to dismantle the puppet to this point shows that the strength he wields is far beyond our imagination! With that, it shouldn't be much of an issue for him to clear the eighth level!" Wei Ranxue reassured with a soft chuckle.
They had been a little jittery ever since entering the Mountain of Records, worrying that some mishap could have happened to Zhang Xuan. However, time after time, the latter had shown them through his overwhelming strength that their worry was unfounded.
After witnessing seven levels of miracles from their principal, was there still anything that they needed to worry over?
Even if someone were to tell Wei Ranxue that the latter had cleared the entire Mountain of Records, she still wouldn't have been surprised in the least.
Seeing that Wei Ranxue was oblivious of the matter, Zhao Bingxu shook his head helplessly.
"It's not as easy as you think. The puppet on the eighth level is different from those before…"