Library of Heaven is Path
946 Entering the Subterranean Gallery
Chapter 946: Entering the Subterranean Gallery
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Knowing the severity of this matter, Zhang Xuan, as a 6-star master teacher and the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, knew that he couldn't back down at this point. Thus, he quickly accepted it.
Back then, Kong shi had also ventured into the Subterranean Gallery thrice when he was younger. Zhang Xuan was curious to see what the passageway linking the Master Teacher Continent and the otherworldly battlefield was like as well.
"I will be troubling Principal Zhang then." Mu shi's will clasped his fist and bowed respectfully.
"It is only right that I do so!" Zhang Xuan's severed soul nodded before quickly establishing communication with his main body, which was currently cultivating outside. Not too long later, a silhouette emerged in the room.
It was Zhang Xuan's main body.
Just as Mu shi had said, he was indeed able to enter the space by utilizing the Principal's Seal.
After communicating with his severed soul, he was able to swiftly understand what had happened, and he quickly turned his eyes to Mu shi.
"Open the formation for me, I will head down to take a look!"
"Principal Zhang, be careful. It will suffice as long as you find out what is happening beneath. Even if you fail to do so, it's no problem at all. We can slowly discuss the matter thoroughly to come up with a solution to this problem. No matter what happens, do not act recklessly. Great danger lurks within," Mu shi's will advised.
Investigating the seal was important, but Mu shi's will knew that the man before him was a Celestial Master Teacher, a man who could very well shoulder the fate of humanity one day. Mankind couldn't afford to lose him.
"Rest assured. I am a cowardly person, so I will make sure to steer clear of danger," Zhang Xuan replied with a chuckle.
With his means, even if he couldn't defeat an opponent, he would still be able to escape easily.
"That's good." Receiving his promise, Mu shi's will heaved a sigh of relief before returning back to his position. Clasping the area in front of him, he was able to create a hole in the formation large enough for Zhang Xuan to pass through.
Having studied the formation for more than ten thousand years, it was nothing but a walk in the park for him to create a hole temporarily while fending off the killing intent emanated from the abyss.
Without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan stepped forward and leaped into the abyss through the hole in the formation.
Hu! His body disappeared in an instant.
"Will he be in danger?" Right after Zhang Xuan disappeared, the silhouette of the will of another principal emerged before Mu shi.
"Don't worry. Back then, Kong shi also entered the Subterranean Gallery when he was only at Half-Saint and returned safely. As a Celestial Master Teacher as well, Zhang shi will surely be able to resolve this crisis!" Mu shi reassured.
"Let's hope that is the case." The other principal nodded, but a worried frown lingered on his face.
There were many Saint realm 1-dan pinnacle experts who had entered the Subterranean Gallery, only to never return. Given that the other party was only a Half-Saint, would he really be able to return safely?
He couldn't help but feel a little concerned.
Noticing the other party principal's expression, Mu shi shook his head helplessly. "There is no use worrying over this matter. You also know that we are swiftly approaching our limits. Over the past two years, we have depleted ourselves significantly, and our wills are already on the verge of dissipating. If we don't resolve this issue as soon as possible, I fear that… we might just bring an irreversible disaster on ourselves!"
If he had a choice, he wouldn't have wanted to put Principal Zhang in danger either. However, extreme situations called for extreme measures, and there was nothing he could do.
In the first place, the severed souls they had left behind weren't particularly strong, and fending off the many deluges of killing intent that had come over the past two years had worn them thin. Were it not for their unwavering wills tying them down, they might have already dissipated into nothingness.
How else could they have lasted this long?
"This is the responsibility he has to shoulder as a master teacher and the principal of the Master Teacher Academy; Principal Zhang knows this very well himself. Besides, for him to grow, his path can't be all smooth-sailing," Mu shi said.
"You're right." The other principal nodded in agreement before falling silent.
Mu shi was right. Being a master teacher wasn't just about prestige, it was a responsibility.
If he were to escape from even his own responsibility, how could he possibly grow to become a true master teacher?
Principal Zhang might be young, but it seemed like he had a deep understanding of the mission he had to bear as a result of his position.
This is the… Subterranean Gallery?
Zhang Xuan felt his entire body tensing up for a moment before his body came to a halt. Straightening his body once more, he immediately scanned his surroundings and realized that he was standing amid a vast underground world.
The entire area was completely dark, devoid of any light. Unable to see the end of the underground world from where he stood, there was no way he could tell how vast and deep it was. Overwhelming killing intent permeated the area, creating a frigid and eerie atmosphere all around, rendering one unable to breathe normally. Had he not known in advance, he might have thought that he had fallen into an endless hell.
It's no wonder no one is willing to come here.
There was no master teacher who wouldn't show a hint of apprehension in his eyes when speaking of the Subterranean Gallery, and from the looks of it now, there was indeed a very good reason for it. This environment was indeed inhospitable.
Just the killing intent drifting in the area could easily erode the minds of those with weaker cultivation realms over time.
This was similar to when Hong shi had taken out an Otherworldly Demon during the Master Teacher Tournament. The examinees had found themselves pressured by the killing intent it exerted to the point that they dared not approach it.
The killing intent felt even more intense and vivid than the one emanated by the Otherworldly Demon back then. It felt as if countless ferocious beasts were hidden amid the darkness, ready to pounce at one the moment one let one's guard down.
If a 5-star master teacher who had never undergone special training to cope with such killing intent were to enter this area, they would surely start trembling uncontrollably from fright, unable to take a single step forward.
If such killing intent were to reach Hongyuan City, it could easily cause a pandemonium that would lead to the deaths of at least 99% of its populace, Zhang Xuan thought grimly.
He hadn't thought much about the significance of the presence of the Subterranean Gallery in Hongyuan City previously, but after coming here, he couldn't help but think about the plausible dire consequences that could be realized should something go wrong.
Such a concentration of killing intent had the ability of causing weaker cultivators to lose their sense of self and turn into killing machines.
Were it to escape and permeate through the entire Hongyuan City, it could very well reduce the majestic city of a hundred million people into rubble within a very short period of time.
Driving his Heaven's Path zhenqi, Zhang Xuan dispelled the pressure from the killing intent entirely before taking a closer look at his surroundings.
The scenery around him was monotonous, just patches of darkness everywhere. Even when using the Eye of Insight, he could only see several hundred meters away.
It was difficult for him to determine his direction in this manner.
Forget it. If I trace the gradient of the killing intent and head toward area with higher concentration, I should be able to reach the depths of the Subterranean Gallery.
Considering that the other end of the Subterranean Gallery was the otherworldly battlefield, Zhang Xuan felt that he should be able to reach the depths of the Subterranean Gallery if he advanced toward areas with a higher concentration of killing intent.
On top of the killing intent, there was also a bizarre demonic tune drifting in the area, beguiling souls within its reach. Those who possessed weaker minds could easily find themselves falling into a trance under its effects, and the affected could very well end up marching to their doom without even realizing it.
It is no wonder Soul Depth is so important to master teachers. Had it been another cultivator possessing the same cultivation as me, it would still have been difficult for them to last too long in here! Zhang Xuan assessed the surroundings warily as he began journeying ahead slowly.
With the omnipresent killing intent and demonic tune in the Subterranean Gallery wearing one down, those who had weaker minds could find themselves succumbing swiftly.
Putting all else aside, even if another Half-Saint expert were to be here, he might find himself losing his mind if he were to stay here for an extended period of time.
However, that was all ineffective against Zhang Xuan. With the Heaven's Path zhenqi guarding his mind, he was impervious to all of it.
After proceeding forward for a moment longer, Zhang Xuan suddenly stopped in his footsteps and frowned deeply. "Hmm? These are footsteps of Otherworldly Demons!"
On the ground just ahead of him was a congregation of innumerable footsteps. Each of them was around a chi 1 in length.
Zhang Xuan had seen Otherworldly Demons before, and their physique was significantly larger than an ordinary human. Considering how deeply-imprinted and large these footprints were, there was good chance that it was left by them.
But… wasn't there a seal in the depths of the Subterranean Gallery to prevent Otherworldly Demons from entering here?
How could there be Otherworldly Demons on this side?
Wait… there are human footprints too!
Walking along the trail of footsteps, Zhang Xuan suddenly noticed the footsteps of several humans scattered sporadically around the area. On top of that, there were several signs that indicated that a battle had occurred in the area.
From the looks of it, it seemed like human cultivators had encountered the Otherworldly Demons, and a fight had occurred as a result of that.
Zhang Xuan knew that there were human cultivators in the Subterranean Gallery. From time to time, master teachers who found themselves stuck in a bottleneck for an extended period of time or were swiftly approaching the limit of their lifespan would choose to venture into the Subterranean Gallery, hoping that they might be able to find the impetus to push for a breakthrough or to make one final contribution to mankind before their passing.
Activating his Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan studied the marks in the area and frowned. It doesn't seem like it has been too long since these marks were left behind. There is a significantly greater number of Otherworldly Demons as compared to master teachers. If I move quickly, I might still be able to save the master teachers!
From the marks, he could tell that the human cultivators had been in a disadvantageous position in the battle. Overpowered, they had attempted to flee, but the Otherworldly Demons continued to pursue them.
No matter what, I should head over to take a look first.
As a master teacher, he couldn't sit idle while his fellow humans were being harmed by the Otherworldly Demons.
Activating the Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps, Zhang Xuan stepped onto the air and advanced swiftly, following the footsteps.
Having cultivated the Saint Ascension Decipher, the amount of zhenqi he had in his body had grown tremendously. In comparison to that, the depletion in maintaining his flight was insignificant.
Concealing his aura and his presence, Zhang Xuan's flew quickly with a sharp glint in his eyes.
In such a dark area, any 6-star master teacher would be forced to proceed warily, especially given the presence of Otherworldly Demons in the area. However, Zhang Xuan's Eye of Insight allowed him to easily see a significant distance ahead of him despite the darkness. Even if there were Otherworldly Demons ahead, he was confident that he would be able to spot the other party first.
After flying for around an hour, there was still no one within Zhang Xuan's sight. However, the marks on the ground were growing more concentrated, indicating that the battle between the escaping human cultivators and Otherworldly Demons was growing more and more intense. Most of the marks were fresh, meaning that he was already very close to them.
Proceeding forward for a moment longer, Zhang Xuan soon felt a violent disturbance in the air. It seemed like a battle was ongoing just ahead.
As Zhang Xuan approached the source of the disturbance, he sealed all of the acupoints throughout his body to conceal his presence completely while gradually slowing down warily. After circling around a hill, he saw a group of Otherworldly Demons standing in front of him.
This… Upon taking a look, Zhang Xuan's eyelids began twitching uncontrollably.
Rather than calling it a group, perhaps an army would be more appropriate.
To his astonishment, there were more than two hundred Otherworldly Demons, and each of them possessed cultivation of at least Saint realm 1-dan. There were even a couple of Saint realm 2-dan experts among them.
It was fortunate that Zhang Xuan had decided to conceal his aura so as to avoid notice. Otherwise, even with the nine kings of the Cloudmist Ridge, Byzantium Helios Beast, Golden Origin Cauldron, and Myriad Anthive Queen, he would still be tragically defeated.
A race designed for war, the Otherworldly Demons were granted superior strength at birth, and they were capable of even overpowering a saint beast of equal cultivation realm easily. Two hundred Saint realm Otherworldly Demons gathered together… Putting aside him, even a Saint realm 4-dan expert would struggle to cope with such a fearsome force!
How could there be so many of them here? Zhang Xuan's expression was grave.
Two hundred Saint realm 1-dan and several Saint 2-dan Otherworldly Demons, while this force was insufficient to defeat the entire Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, there was no doubt that they would bring catastrophic damage upon Hongyuan City if they were to successfully charge through the formation!
Where in the world did they come from?
The deluges of killing intent striking the Mausoleum Tablet must have been a coordinated assault from this group. It would be impossible to produce a formidable force that could overpower the wills of the hundred preceding principals and their Principal's Seals otherwise! Zhang Xuan realized.
The might of the wills of more than a hundred preceding principals unified and enhanced by a grade-7 formation, further augmented by their Principal's Seals, which harnessed the wills of several dozen million students and teachers throughout the history of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy… yet, the formation had still shaken to the point of near collapse!
Without a doubt, this couldn't have been a natural occurrence. The army of Otherworldly Demons before him had to be behind it.
But who are they fighting with?
Frowning, Zhang Xuan turned his sight toward the human cultivators clashing with them.
It was a group of elders donned in master teacher robes. They were clustered together with their backs against one another, and their bodies and robes were completely dyed crimson with blood. In their eyes, one could see the stolidity of a man who had accepted his death.
They are 6-star pinnacle master teachers, Zhang Xuan noted.
There were around forty of them.
Suddenly, Zhang Xuan noticed a familiar figure.
Hmm? Lu Feng?