Library of Heaven is Path
1073 Meeting the Skyleaf King Once More
Chapter 1073: Meeting the Skyleaf King Once More
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
Zhang Xuan watched as the crowd cultivated the Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm, but even after a while had passed, none of them was able to reach Novice mastery. He couldn't help but shake his head at that sight.
While he had altered eighteen of the palm art's flaws, there were still nine more to go. As such, practitioners of the technique would still require a vast amount of zhenqi in order to execute it.
The members of the expedition team weren't weak either, but unlike Zhang Xuan, they hadn't cultivated the Saint Ascension Decipher and were lacking in comparison.
It couldn't be helped that they wouldn't be able to master the technique in a moment's time.
As the saying goes, 'even the most capable of housewives are unable to prepare a meal without ingredients'. No matter how good a teacher Zhang Xuan was, there was nothing he could if the crowd's zhenqi capacity and purity were lacking.
"I am heading to the Saint Ascension Hall to find the old principal. Is there anyone who wishes to tag along?" Knowing that they wouldn't make much progress at this rate, Zhang Xuan spoke up and said.
In any case, he had already imparted the complete Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm to them, so how far they could take the palm art to would depend on their own aptitude.
Previously, Ancient Sage Qiu Wu had said that the old principal and the Skyleaf King had gone into the Saint Ascension Hall. If they intended to save the old principal, they would have to head there as well.
"Let's go there together!" Wu shi and the others replied with a nod.
They had already memorized the formula to the Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm, so it was pointless for them to hang around the area anymore. It would be better for them to quickly find Zhang Yinqiu and the others and get out of the ancient domain.
"Where did you go earlier?"
As the group headed forward, Zhang Xuan suddenly remembered how Luo Ruoxin had left for a brief moment in their absence, so he sent a telepathic message over to ask out of curiosity.
"I just wandered around the area to take a look…" the young lady replied with a smile.
"I see…" Seeing that the other party was unwilling to speak, Zhang Xuan chose not to press any further too.
Following the markings on the map, it didn't take long for the crowd to arrive before a grand pavilion. There was no plaque above its entrance to indicate its name.
Shrouded by mist, it emanated an aura of divinity.
Taking a closer look, Guild Leader Han remarked with a grim expression, "There's a particularly powerful formation constructed around the area. Those who enter might find themselves unable to leave anymore. How about this? Why don't I, Wu shi, and Principal Zhang enter to take a look first? The rest of you should just wait outside for the moment!"
The pavilion had an illusory presence that felt as if it was concealed amidst the void—it was apparent that it was shrouded by a massive formation. Furthermore, recalling what Ancient Sage Qiu Wu had informed them earlier regarding the Saint Ascension Hall, there was very high chance that they might end up being stuck within. Given so, there was no need for all of them to undertake the risk together.
"Wu shi, none of us here fears death…" Feng Xun said with a grim expression.
"It's not a problem of whether you fear death or not, but that it will be the end of us all if we were to be trapped within the Saint Ascension Hall together. For the time being, it'll be better for the rest of you to stand guard outside. If we aren't out by three days, we may require you to seek help for us." Wu shi said grimly.
"Alright then…" Feng Xun and the others hesitated for a while before nodding reluctantly.
"You should wait outside as well. Don't worry, I'll be fine…" Zhang Xuan looked at Luo Ruoxin and smiled.
He had no idea what would happen within, but there was no doubt that great danger lay within. He didn't want the other party to undertake the risk as well.
"Let's go together. At the very least, we will be able to look out for one another." the young lady said.
"But…" Zhang Xuan was planning to dissuade Luo Ruoxin, but upon meeting the latter's resolute gaze, he hesitated for a brief moment before eventually nodding. "Alright. However, you must be very careful after we enter. No matter what happens, your safety comes first!"
With a light smile, Luo Ruoxin nodded.
Afraid that the escaped fragmented Primordial Spirit of the Skyleaf King would endanger the lives of the remaining group, Zhang Xuan had Guild Leader Han to construct a grade-7 pinnacle Slaughter Formation to protect the surroundings. Only after that was done did they step into the pavilion.
The formation constructed around the pavilion worked in a similar fashion to the seal in the Subterranean Gallery in the sense that it was unidirectional. One would face no impediment entering the pavilion, but after stepping in, the formation would turn into an unbreakable wall confining them within.
"We are indeed trapped inside…"
Upon walking into the pavilion, they could feel that the space behind them was sealed up, and they glanced at one another with grim expressions.
They quickly scanned their surroundings, and after realizing that there was no apparent danger in the area, they heaved a sigh of relief before advancing ahead.
The first floor of the pavilion was extremely vast. There were several rows of stone tablets, and every single one of them was densely inscribed with words.
"These are... insights to achieving a breakthrough to Saint realm?"
Taking a closer look and realizing what the content inscribed on the stone tablets were, Zhang Xuan and Luo Ruoxin traded surprised gazes.
They had seen the words on the stone tablets before. They were identical to the insights inscribed on the road up the mountain leading to the Saint Ascension Platform!
"It seems like the Saint Ascension Hall does have a close connection to the Saint Ascension Platform…"
Similar names and stone tablets with identical contents, that was far too much to pass off as a coincidence.
Wu shi and Guild Leader Han seemed to have been to the Saint Ascension Platform before as well, and when they saw the content on the stone tablets, they were stunned for a brief moment as they frowned in bewilderment.
Proceeding ahead, they were about to enter the second floor when a surge of sword qi suddenly flew for them from the depths of the Saint Ascension Hall.
Wu shi and Guild Leader Han immediately drove their zhenqi to the maximum and rushed forward to face the sudden assault of sword qi.
Even without a formation between them, they were still able to synergize their strength together to produce a might far greater than what they could achieve individually.
Upon collision with the sword qi, Wu shi and Guild Leader Han were immediately forced back several steps as their faces paled.
"It's the Skyleaf King…" Zhang Xuan exclaimed.
To overwhelm the combined might of two Saint 4-dan experts with just a sword qi in itself... The only one who was capable of this feat was only the Skyleaf King, whom was trapped in the Saint Ascension Hall as well.
"Hehehe, not bad! Zhang Xuan, I might not have been able to done anything to you if you hadn't entered the Saint Ascension Hall. But since you chose to come in, don't even dream about getting out of here alive!" With a cold harrumph, the Skyleaf King's voice echoed deafeningly throughout the Saint Ascension Hall.
In the next moment, a towering figure slowly walked out from the depths of the pavilion.
Unlike the Primordial Spirit whom they had seen before, the Skyleaf King before them possessed a tangible body. He had a tall stature which towered over even the Scarletleaf King and the Stoneleaf King.
"You recognize me? Then, that fragmented Primordial Spirit..." Zhang Xuan was stunned for an instant before realizing that the fragmented Primordial Spirit must have reported the happenings back to the Skyleaf King through some unique means.
Or perhaps, the fragmented Primordial Spirit might have even flown back in to fuse back together with the Skyleaf King.
"Since you are so audacious as to harm my Primordial Spirit, I'm going to make sure that you suffer a fate worse than death!" Sneering coldly, the Skyleaf King raised his finger and flicked it lightly towards Zhang Xuan.
Alarmed, Wu shi and Guild Leader Han hurriedly rushed forward to cover Zhang Xuan, driving their zhenqi to its capacity to fend off the Skyleaf King's attack.
With two dull thuds, the duo was sent flying.
They were top-notch experts even when taking the entire Qingyuan Conferred Empire into account, but their cultivation was still a step away from matching up with the Skyleaf King, and this single step produced a world of difference in their fighting prowess.
"Principal Zhang, run away!"
Wu shi forcefully twisted his body so as to regain his balance and land back onto the floor, but the rebound from doing so caused a spurt of blood to spew from his mouth. Knowing that it would be difficult for them to fend off the Skyleaf King, Wu shi bellowed.
Even before the other party had drawn out his Primordial Spirit, the both of them were already no match for him. If the other party were to really use his full strength, they could be annihilated in an instant!
"Run away? Are you really that delusional as to think that you can still run away at this point?" the Skyleaf King burst into laughter as he grasped at the space before him.
In an instant, a powerful force shrouded the entire hall, sealing all paths of escape for them.
"This is truly bad…" Not expecting that they would meet with a fully-powered Skyleaf King right after entering the Saint Ascension Hall, Zhang Xuan's eyes narrowed.
The other party was already guarded against him, so it would be impossible for him to beguile the other party to go along with his flow anymore. At the same time, fighting the other party face-on wasn't an option either. Were they really going to meet their end here?
Raising his palm, he executed the Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm, directing it towards the seal which the Skyleaf King had just set up.
Similar to the surface of a lake, upon striking on the seal, the force rippled on it for a moment, but it didn't break it apart. Instead, a force suddenly surged back towards Zhang Xuan, forcing him to retreat several steps back.
"This is a secret art which I have come up with in the two years I was trapped here. Not even a Saint 5-dan expert will be able to break it open, so do you think that a Nascent Saint cultivator like you will be able to do so?" Noting Zhang Xuan's actions, the Skyleaf King scoffed coldly.
Guild Leader Han and Wu shi and stood up and attempted their strongest battle techniques against the seal, but it was completely ineffective as well.
"I still need to comprehend those stuff that Kong shi left behind, so I have no time to be idling here with you. Let's end this quickly." Gazing upon the group coldly, the Skyleaf King raised his finger and shot a burst of sword qi towards them once more.
This time, the might harnessed within the sword qi was greater than the ones before. It was directed straight towards Zhang Xuan, and if it were to strike, not even a deity would be able to bring him back to life.
"It won't be easy to get out of here alive…" Zhang Xuan sighed deeply.
He wasn't even a match for a fragment of the Skyleaf King's Primordial Spirit, let more the other party at full strength. Furthermore, it seemed like the other party had also advanced his cultivation a fair bit over the past two years, placing them in an extremely disastrous position.
Nevertheless, he wasn't one to give up without a fight. Just as he was about to let his clone out to withstand the might of the sword qi, a brilliant radiance suddenly burst in the area. A loud buzzing sound reverberated before a thick layer of mist abruptly set into the area.
"It's a grade-7 pinnacle formation plate…"
Only a grade-7 pinnacle formation plate could produce such a thick layer of mist which even Saint realm experts couldn't peer through in an instant.
But... grade-7 pinnacle formation plates were incredibly rare, such that even Guild Leader Han didn't have any of it. Why would it suddenly appear here?
"Everyone, follow me…"
Just as the crowd was feeling deeply perplexed, a voice abruptly sounded in their ears. Following which, the silhouette of an elder appeared before their eyes.
"That is... Vice Principal Ji Yan?" Upon getting a closer glimpse of the other party's appearance, Wu shi couldn't help but exclaim.
"I'm indeed Ji Yan. Wu shi, please follow me…" the elder nodded hurriedly as he gestured forward.
"Alright!" Nodding, Wu shi beckoned for the others to follow them closely before heading in the direction gestured by the elder.
"Vice Principal Ji Yan?" Hearing the conversation between the duo, Zhang Xuan came to a realization.
Just like the previous Vice Principal Mu Renxu, the elder before him was a vice principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy as well. The other party had entered the ancient domain together with Old Principal Zhang Yinqiu back then, and one way or another, they had managed to survive til now.
"His cultivation…" While following behind the group, Zhang Xuan discreetly sneaked a peek at the elder, and his eyebrows shot up in astonishment.
Vice Principal Ji Yan should only possess a cultivation of Saint 1-dan pinnacle two years ago, just like Vice Principal Mu Renxu and the others. Yet, at this moment, his cultivation was already at Saint 4-dan, on par with Wu shi and Guild Leader Han!
To leap three realms within just two years, and in Saint realm at that... This was too exaggerated!
"Your strength…" Having noticed the anomaly in Vice Principal Ji Yan's strength as well, Wu shi couldn't help but ask.
"The spiritual energy in here is significantly more concentrated as compared to the external world, and Kong shi has also left behind a fair bit of treasures. On top of that, we had to pit our wits and strength against the Skyleaf King day after day in the past two years, so we would have long died if we hadn't managed to grow that quickly…" Vice Principal Ji Yan replied with a bitter smile.
Noting a particular word in Vice Principal Ji Yan's words, Zhang Xuan asked, "How many people are left in your group?"
The expedition team which the old principal had brought into the ancient domain back then consisted of roughly a group of thirty. Considering how there were roughly a dozen corpses outside, there should be at least seventeen or eighteen of them survivors remaining.
"There are less than three of us remaining…" Vice Principal Ji Yan sighed deeply.
"Less than three of us?" Zhang Xuan was perplexed by the response.
There must be either two or three of them remaining in the group. What did less than three mean?
Could there be two and a half of them remaining?