Chapter 1044: Ancient Sage Qiu Wu
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97

Several minutes earlier…

Seated on the floor, the pale-faced Wu shi said, "I never thought that I, Wu Rufeng, would end up dying under the encirclement of a bunch of Saint 3-dan Otherworldly Demons."

In this moment, his confident eyes were filled with nothing but despondence.

Shortly after the demonic tune was finally dispelled, they encountered this bunch of Otherworldly Demons.

Under the torture of the demonic tunes, their expedition team had been severely depleted of their zhenqi and stamina, such that even walking was difficult for them. In their current state, there was no way they could withstand the ferocious assault of the Otherworldly Demons.

They had been left with no choice but to try their best to flee while fending off the Otherworldly Demon. Through pushing himself to his limit, Wu shi had managed to slay two of the Otherworldly Demons, but in the end, he had ended up being severely wounded by a Saint 4-dan Otherworldly Demon shortly after.

Even though they had already prepared themselves to face death in the exploration of the ancient domain, they hadn't even met the shadows of Zhang Yinqiu and the others yet! How could he die when he hadn't even managed to accomplish anything yet? More importantly, as a 7-star high-tier master teacher, he felt like it was a great humiliation to die at the hands of the Otherworldly Demons.

"If we really can't hold on any further, let's just explode our cultivation. I don't want to die and have my corpse tarnished in their hands!"

If his corpse were to be used by the Otherworldly Demons as a tribute for them to gain even more power, there was no way he would be able to rest in peace.

Instead of being humiliated in such a manner, he would rather implode himself, and perhaps, he might be able to bring some enemies down with him, bringing some value to his death.

With gritted teeth, the rest of the crowd nodded in agreement. "Very well!"

The ones present in the area came from various walks in life—master teachers, combat masters, and formation masters. However, they shared a common trait; they were all humans.

"Farewell, my friends and family. Farewell, the Master Teacher Pavilion. Farewell, mankind. I apologize for being unable to accomplish my mission."

Sighing deeply, the crowd was just about to give up their struggles and explode their cultivation when they suddenly saw a figure heading toward them.

"Principal Zhang?"

Upon seeing the other party's appearance, everyone couldn't help but clench their fists tightly, and their faces reddened in agitation.

They had thought that they were doomed, but who would have thought that Principal Chang would arrive at the very last moment?

Without utilizing any techniques, Zhang Xuan charged right into the fray. With just a single ram, he had already knocked an Otherworldly Demon into meat paste. The Golden Origin Cauldron was even more formidable. It expanded until it was several dozen meters wide and plummeted down upon the Otherworldly Demons from the sky, smashing seven of them in a single breath.

The Saint intermediate-tier Golden Origin Cauldron wielded fighting prowess on par with a Saint 4-dan pinnacle cultivator, and the Otherworldly Demons surrounding them were merely at Saint 3-dan. There was no way they could possibly withstand its strength.

"Don't kill them fir…" Zhang Xuan tried to stop the Golden Origin Cauldron, but before he could finish his words, he realized that the group of Otherworldly Demons were already all dead. Thus, the rest of the words ended up being choked in his mouth, unable to be spoken.

He had been planning on keeping one of them alive for interrogation, but who could have known that the Golden Origin Cauldron would move so quickly? Barely after he had defeated his first one, the other party had already ended the remaining ones, not allowing him any time to stop it at all.

"Forget it…" Zhang Xuan shook his head before walking up to the expedition team. "How are you all feeling?"

With his eye of discernment, he could tell that their injuries were rather significant. It would take quite a bit of effort to heal them.

"Thank you for saving our lives…"

After expressing their gratitude to Zhang Xuan, the members of the expedition team hurriedly took out recovery pills from their storage rings and swallowed them.

The injuries they had sustained were so severe that they could only afford to utter a word of thanks before rushing off to recuperate.

On the other hand, Zhang Xuan knew that they had their own recovery means, so he chose not to interfere too much either. Gazing at the crowd from his position, his frown couldn't help but gradually deepen with impatience.

Wu shi was the first one to recover to a decent extent from his injuries, and he slowly opened his eyes.

It was due to them being assaulted by the Otherworldly Demons while they were in a deeply weakened state that they had fallen so easily.

Had the expedition team been at its full strength, they would have been able to deal with the enemy easily even if there were two Saint 4-dan experts on the other side.

"What happened?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"It's like this. Not too long after Principal Zhang left, we were encircled by the Otherworldly Demon…" Wu shi began going through the situation back then in detail.

After learning of the ins and outs of the situation, Zhang Xuan realized that the Otherworldly Demons who had left the expedition team fleeing frantically weren't as scary as he had imagined, and he heaved a sigh of relief. At the same time, he couldn't help but ask, "Where is Luo shi? Why isn't she with you?"

Zhang Xuan had been looking out for her ever since he arrived, but it was apparent that Luo Ruoxin wasn't among the expedition team. That was also the reason he was feeling deeply worried.

"As soon as the demonic tune vanished, Luo shi seemed to have noticed something, so she left the expedition team to take a look. As for exactly where she went, we aren't too sure either," Wu shi replied.

Luo Ruoxin had left right after the demonic tune vanished, and just barely two minutes after her disappearance, the Otherworldly Demons had suddenly come to attack. If she had been around, perhaps the expedition team wouldn't have faced such a crushing defeat.

"You aren't too sure either?" Zhang Xuan frowned.

She couldn't have encountered Otherworldly Demons in the midst of her journey either, could she? Even the entire expedition team had nearly been wiped out from facing them, so how could she possibly withstand their prowess alone?

"Wait a moment. You said that a Saint 4-dan Otherworldly Demon attacked you earlier, where is that fellow now?"

Earlier, Wu shi had mentioned that there was a powerful Otherworldly Demon that had severely wounded him earlier. Otherwise, with the powerful Wu shi holding the fort, they wouldn't have lost so tragically. If Zhang Xuan's guess wasn't off, that Saint 4-dan Otherworldly Demon should have been the Stoneleaf King. But… why wasn't he here at the moment?

Could it be that he had found the whereabouts of Luo Ruoxin and gone off to pursue her?

This time, it was Guild Leader Han who replied. "Shortly after entering this ancient city, he gave his subordinates some instructions and left the area hurriedly. It seemed like he was going to find some kind of treasure hidden within the field of lightning urgently."

After a moment of recuperation, Guild Leader Han had recovered a fair bit as well. While the wounds he was carrying at the moment were still rather severe, he was out of danger for the time being.

He left to find some kind of treasure? Anything is fine as long as he's not going after Luo Ruoxin. Heaving a sigh of relief, Zhang Xuan turned to the Golden Origin Cauldron and instructed, "Ding Ding, stay here to protect the others. I am going to look for Luo shi first."

No matter what the Stoneleaf King was up to, Zhang Xuan's priorities were clear. There was nothing more important than Luo Ruoxin's safety to him.

After leaving the expedition team, Zhang Xuan swiftly left the field of lightning in his soul form and searched around the area. Not too long later, he managed to find a trail.

Following the trail, he eventually found a young lady standing before a shattered stone tablet with a contemplative frown etched on her forehead.

Zhang Xuan hurried forward to ask, "Are you fine?"

Upon seeing him, Luo Ruoxin chuckled and replied, "I am fine. What's wrong? Did something happen?"

"Wu shi and the others met with some trouble…" Zhang Xuan quickly filled Luo Ruoxin in on the happenings in her absence.

"They came under the attack of the Otherworldly Demons?" Luo Ruoxin harrumphed coldly. "Those scoundrels! They must have followed us in."

As the seal outside had been broken, the door could no longer keep anyone out. The Otherworldly Demons had probably gotten into the ancient domain by following them discreetly.

Zhang Xuan nodded as well.

Luo Ruoxin pointed at the rubble in front of her and asked, "Are you the one who destroyed the stone tablet?"

"This…" Zhang Xuan was slightly embarrassed.

While he hadn't destroyed the stone tablet with his own hands, its destruction could be attributed very directly to him. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to say that he was the culprit even.

"There is something weird with the stone tablet. Did you realize that it is made of the same material as the inscribed cliff face on the Saint Ascension Platform? Furthermore, this Spatial Formation deeply resembles the folded space that Kong shi left his scroll in back then," Luo Ruoxin said contemplatively.

"This…" Zhang Xuan was stunned.

Now that the other party mentioned it, he realized that there was indeed a deep resemblance between the two.

Similar materials being used could be attributed to the close proximity between the Saint Ascension Platform to this ancient domain. The cliff face was indeed a material that boasted a greater longevity compared to the others, so it wasn't too surprising for the master of the ancient domain to select it. But the resemblance between both spaces was too much to pass off as a mere coincidence.

Could this ancient domain… really be related to Kong shi? Zhang Xuan thought.

There were quite a few people who had deduced that there might be a connection between the two since they were rather close with one another, but due to the silent restraint on the discussion of Kong shi's affairs, they dared not talk too much about it.

"No, that's not it… I was the one who activated the stone tablet, and the elder who appeared wasn't Kong shi…" Zhang Xuan said.

The elder who appeared earlier had claimed that he was the master of the ancient domain, but his appearance and gestures were completely different to Kong shi's!

Hearing that it was Zhang Xuan who had activated the stone tablet, Luo Ruoxin hurriedly turned her gaze over. "What was that elder's name?"

"His name? He didn't tell me… However, he did impart a movement technique to me that goes by the name of… Unbounded Voyager!" Zhang Xuan replied.

"Unbounded Voyager? Could it be…" Luo Ruoxin's eyes lit up as a thought came to her mind.

Noting Luo Ruoxin's reaction, Zhang Xuan asked, "You have heard of that movement technique before?"

"If the movement technique you have been given is truly Unbounded Voyager, then the person you met was most likely Ancient Sage Qiu Wu!" Luo Ruoxin replied.

"Ancient Sage Qiu Wu?" Zhang Xuan frowned. "I think I have heard of that name before… Wait! He is the expert who created the seal in the Subterranean Gallery beneath the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy!"

Back then, to repair the seal, Zhang Xuan had compiled a book on the seal, and from it, he had learned that it had been created by an expert who went by the name of Qiu Wu.

Could it be that… the elder who intended to accept him as his student was a fragmented soul of that expert?

Zhang Xuan couldn't help but shudder at the notion, and cold sweat broke out all over his body.

An expert that was able of creating a seal that even 9-star master teachers were incapable of breaking open… And he actually tried to take the other party in as his student…

How could he have been so brazen?

It was fortunate that the elder hadn't gotten angry over the matter, or else, even as a fragmented soul, the other party would still have been more than capable of destroying him.

"Un. Ancient Sage Qiu Wu possesses a deep understanding regarding the laws of space. Most of the seals to the otherworldly battlefields were set up by him!" Luo Ruoxin nodded.

"While Ancient Sage Qiu Wu wasn't Kong shi's student, he was one of Kong shi's staunch followers. Possessing an unfathomable cultivation, he stood beside Kong shi no matter where the latter went. On the surface, it might have seemed as if their relationship was that between a master and a servant, but in truth, they were close like brothers. Even the 72 Sages who inherited Kong shi's heritage had to respectfully address him as Senior Uncle Qiu Wu 1 !"

"Senior Uncle Qiu Wu?"

"Indeed. Qiu Wu has devoted his life to following Kong shi, and back then, in order to fend off the offense of the Otherworldly Demons, he used his own body as the catalyst for a seal so as to stop the enemy in their tracks, thus buying precious time for the human race. Among the respected predecessors of the Master Teacher Pavilion, his contribution is definitely ranked within the top five!"

Admiration and respect couldn't help but surface in Luo Ruoxin's eyes as she spoke of Qiu Wu. "That is the reason many of the later generations respected him deeply. Putting everything aside, just Pavilion Master Gou of the Qingyuan Conferred Empire Master Teacher Pavilion is one of his most fervent fans… Zhang shi, what's wrong?"

At this point, Luo Ruoxin turned her gaze over and noticed that, at some point in time, Zhang Xuan had collapsed weakly to the ground with a look of despair on his face. It was as if someone had slapped him hard on his face, and he looked so vexed that he was about to cry.



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