Library of Heaven is Path
1068 The Ancient Sage Appears
Chapter 1068: The Ancient Sage Appears
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Every formation was bound to have at least eight doors: the Origin Gate, Hibernation Gate, Life Gate, Impair Gate, Panorama Gate, Death Gate, Closed Gate, and Fright Gate.
Depending on which gate one encountered, one would face a different fate. Perhaps it would be life, perhaps it would be death, perhaps it would be escape, perhaps it would be eternal incarceration.
One wrong move could mean the end.
It was due to this that few dared to move recklessly within a formation. Otherwise, one wrong step and they would face confinement or even death!
At this moment, there were nine doors before them. It wasn't completely aligned with the Eight Gates, but it was sure to be bound by the same rules. Thus, they dared not enter any of them recklessly.
Noting Guild Leader Han's actions, the others also turned their gazes toward the young man as well.
Seeing that all eyes were gathered on him, Zhang Xuan was rendered speechless.
Those before him were all esteemed master teachers and formation masters, existences who were deeply feared and respected. Yet, all of a sudden, in this trip to the ancient domain, they seemed to have suddenly lost their backbones and ended up relying entirely on him.
Every time they were stuck in a dilemma, they would end up turning to him for instructions.
He wasn't omniscient, alright? He didn't have the answer to every single question in the world.
There were things that he was incapable of as well.
Seeing through Zhang Xuan's thoughts, Guild Leader Han said with a smile, "Principal Zhang, in the journey, you have displayed an understanding of formations and an eye of discernment far superior to ours. We trust you, and we will enter any door that you point out!"
"Indeed, we trust you!"
"We don't have much of an understanding of formations, so we are completely helpless before this. You are probably the only one who can lead us into the correct door!"
Everyone began speaking up.
Seeing their attitude, Zhang Xuan knew that he would be unable to turn the matter down, so he eventually relented with a nod. "I will give it a try!"
After saying those words, he activated his Eye of Insight and began observing the doors carefully.
From experience, he knew that the Library of Heaven's Path would only reflect the composition and structure of the doors instead of informing him whether it was safe inside or not. In such situations, it would be better for him to rely on his Eye of Insight.
After taking a look around him, his gaze soon stopped before a door. He lowered his head to take a closer look at the ground before the door.
Perplexed, the crowd rushed over and saw a smear of blood on the ground. As too much time had passed, it had already dried up, so it was not overly conspicuous.
Wu shi frowned. "It seems someone left it behind intentionally."
Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.
The bloodstain had not been left behind by blood dripping from someone's wound. Instead, someone had intentionally left a mark here so as to serve as a hint to those coming afterward.
Frowning deeply, Zhang Xuan continued staring intently at the bloodstain.
As lines of insight swam within his eyes, a scene of when the bloodstain first appeared seemed to vaguely reconstruct before his eyes.
Zhang Xuan stood up and said, "This bloodstain was left by Old Principal Zhang Yinqiu. This is the door that he entered!"
"Let's enter this door then!" Guild Leader Han said.
"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded.
Their main goal at hand was to find Zhang Yinqiu and the remaining survivors. Since the latter had chosen to enter this door, it went without saying that this was the door they should head into as well.
Furthermore, one thing to note was that while they had encountered so many life-threatening dangers on their journey through the ancient domain, such that their expedition team could have been easily wiped out in any phase, the old principal's team seemed to have breezed through the trials without facing much trouble despite the relatively lower average cultivation of his team. Most likely, he must have known about the secrets of the ancient domain beforehand. Thus, following in his footsteps should lead them to safety.
Wu shi began leading the way forward, and the crowd followed closely behind him.
As soon as they stepped through the door, the scenery before them immediately changed. A small garden filled with a field of resplendent flowers appeared before their eyes. A slight fragrance drifted in the air.
Everyone was taken aback.
They had thought of many possibilities before stepping through the door. Perhaps they might meet grave danger. Perhaps they might find themselves forced to face some kind of incredibly difficult trial. But one thing they had not thought was that they would end up walking into a seemingly ordinary flower garden.
A combat master pointed toward the center of the flower garden. A massive sculpture of an old man dressed in a master teacher robe towered there.
Forged out of some kind of unique material, the sculpture was extremely lifelike, giving one the feeling as if it would start moving at any moment.
"It's Ancient Sage Qiu Wu…" Upon seeing the other party's appearance, Zhang Xuan's mouth twitched.
It was the old man who had wanted to take him in as his student!
"Ancient Sage Qiu Wu?"
Upon seeing the sculpture, the eyes of Feng Xun and the others immediately lit up. They hurriedly rushed forward and kowtowed deeply to Ancient Sage Qiu Wu in reverence.
This was the man whose seals had brought several dozen millenniums of peace to mankind. Most definitely, he was a man who was worth their respect.
Wu shi and the others also quickly bowed down as well.
Seeing how earnestly the others were paying respects to Ancient Sage Qiu Wu, Zhang Xuan could not help but feel a little awkward.
It was not too long ago that he had offered to take the other party in as his student. If the group over were to learn of this matter, would they pummel him to death?
All of a sudden, the ground began shaking, and the sculpture wobbled along with it. A bright glint flashed in the eyes of sculpture.
Ancient Sage Qiu Wu was coming to life!
Upon seeing this sight, Wu shi, Feng Xun, and the others were startled. They quickly lowered their bodies fearfully.
Zhang Xuan was initially taken aback by the situation as well, but after taking a closer look, he heaved sigh of relief. It's not Ancient Sage Qiu Wu coming back to life. There's a will infused within the sculpture.
The current situation was similar to how Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's fragmented soul first appeared in the Unbounded World. There was the same authoritative aura and immense pressure that he felt from before. It was probably a phenomenon that would occur whenever the other party's fragmented soul awakened.
That was to be expected. After all, how could a man who had already died several dozen millenniums ago possibly come back to life?
Most likely, the kneeling crowd must have triggered some kind of mechanism which awoke the will within the sculpture.
Since there was a will hidden within the sculpture, it meant that they had chosen the right door to enter.
The sculpture opened its eyes and gazed down upon the kneeling crowd before him, and with an impassive voice, he said, "I am Qiu Wu. You should have already learned that by now."
Just like before, his voice had an ancient quality to it, reminiscent of one who had lived through history.
"Paying respects to Ancient Sage Qiu Wu!" Hearing the other party acknowledging his identity, the crowd could not help but tremble in excitement.
That was a figure who had stood as an equal with Kong shi back in that legendary era. He was an ancient sage, one of the most renowned master teachers in the world. Countless viewed him as their idol and role model!
Seeing the respectful attitude of the crowd, the sculpture nodded slightly before continuing. "The fact that you were able to come to this point shows that your mental resilience and judgement are top-notch. I will just skip with all of the pleasantries and conduct a trial to assess your wisdom. I will accept those who are able to clear the trial as my students, and they will be entitled to my heritage. As for those who are unable to clear the trial, I can only have you remain here so as to prevent word from leaking. Is there anyone who wishes to give it a try?"
This Ancient Sage Qiu Wu was the exact same as the one whom Zhang Xuan had encountered in the Unbounded World. Without the slightest dawdling, he revealed his intentions and got straight to the matter at hand.
"A trial to assess our wisdom?"
"Entitled to… elder's heritage?"
Everyone's breathing quickened.
Putting aside how Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's cultivation had already achieved a level beyond Saint 9-dan, just his grasp over space itself was something that most 9-star master teachers couldn't even come close to matching.
If they could receive his heritage, they would surely rise through the ranks, and it would only be a matter of time before they scaled to the peak of the continent.
"Indeed. Talent and mental fortitude allow a cultivator to emulate the successes of the predecessors and achieve the same level of strength as them. However, it is only wisdom that allows one to create that which is unique to them and create their own schools of cultivation. Perhaps… they might even be able to surpass the countless geniuses that came before them. Accept the trial, and you will be granted a chance to join my lineage. Otherwise, turn around and leave my Qiu Wu Palace!" the sculpture said.
The crowd did not rush into making a decision. Instead, they looked at one another with grim looks on their faces.
Of course, it would be for the best if they could obtain Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's heritage. However… considering the difficulty of the trials they had been through thus far, the final trial was bound to be something nigh impossible for them to clear.
If they were to fail the trial, they would be trapped in the Qiu Wu Palace, unable to leave.
Succeed, and they would attain power and glory. Fail, and they would be damned.
"Zhang Yinqiu and the others must have decided to take the trial. That should be why they ended up being trapped within Qiu Wu Palace," Wu shi remarked.
That would explain why the old principal had disappeared for two years.
As one who had managed to become the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, it went without saying that Zhang Yinqiu was a man who possessed great wisdom. On top of that, he also had quite a few vice principals and elders by his side. Every single one of them was an outstanding talent in their own right, but despite two years passing, they were still trapped within Qiu Wu Palace. This was a clear indication of how difficult the trial was.
"But even with the risk of being trapped within the Qiu Wu Palace, I still must undergo the trial. This kind of opportunity is too valuable for me to pass!" Feng Xun said with determination.
"Indeed. For an opportunity to obtain Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's heritage, I am willing to brave through even death itself!" Jiang Yuan and the others nodded in agreement.
Combat masters were trained to charge through all adversity with a relentless and fearless attitude. The heritage of Ancient Sage Qiu Wu was a treasure that countless master teachers dreamt of laying their hands on. If they failed the trial, they only had their own weakness to blame.
"I will participate in the trial!"
Wu shi, Mu shi, Wo Tianqiong, and the others nodded affirmatively as well.
As master teachers, how could they give up on an opportunity to obtain the heritage of the venerated Ancient Sage Qiu Wu?
It was not just about the cultivation technique, but their pride and honor as well.
"Wait a moment, something is not right here. I can understand why the old principal would have been trapped within Qiu Wu Palace for failing the trial, but why would the Skyleaf King be trapped within too? Are Otherworldly Demons allowed to undertake the trial as well?"
While the others were making their decisions, at the very back of the crowd, Zhang Xuan abruptly spoke up with a deep frown.
Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's heritage was greatly tempting to him, but it wouldn't really be a huge loss even if he didn't obtain it.
For one, he had seen the other party's Unbounded Voyager, and while it was indeed strong, it had plenty of flaws as well. To risk his future over a flawed secret art… it just was not worth it!
After all, the most urgent thing for him at the moment was to become a 9-star master teacher before thirty. Otherwise, the only thing that would be awaiting him was death!
As such, he did not spare much thought to whether he should undertake the trial or not. Instead, he found himself wondering a very different issue instead—if Old Principal Zhang Yinqiu was truly trapped within the Qiu Wu Palace, why would the Skyleaf King be trapped as well?
Ancient Sage Qiu Wu had constructed many seals in his lifetime to seal the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe out of the Master Teacher Continent, and eventually, he had even lost his life in the midst of battling them. Through this, one could easily sense the hostility that he harbored toward the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe. With his sculpture and fragmented soul standing guard here, how could the Otherworldly Demons possibly be given a chance to undertake the trial and claim his heritage for themselves?
"Could it be that… this fellow is a fake?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
There was a total of nine doors outside, and each of them probably led to a different outcome. For this fellow to suddenly appear and claim that he would be passing down his heritage to them… Wasn't it a little too easy and convenient?
Zhang Xuan could not help but be deeply skeptical of the situation before him.
The sculpture spoke once more. "Most of you should have made up your minds by now. Make your decisions!"
"Yes!" Wu shi and the others stood up, and with unwavering resolution in their eyes, they began marching forward.
Of the twenty-two of them remaining, other than Zhang Xuan and Luo Ruoxin, the rest had actually decided to take the trial!
"Wait a moment!" Seeing that they were going to enter, Zhang Xuan bellowed loudly to stop them.
"What's wrong?" Surprised by Zhang Xuan's sudden outburst, Wu shi and the others hurriedly placed a finger to their lips to gesture for him to quieten down.
It was extremely disrespectful to be shouting so loudly before an elder as venerated as Ancient Sage Qiu Wu!
"It's nothing much. I am just deeply perplexed…"
Frowning, Zhang Xuan flicked his finger at the sculpture.