Library of Heaven is Path
1115 Taming the Inner Demons
Chapter 1115: Taming the Inner Demons
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
The one who spoke was Vicious.
"You were the one who created the secret art?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
"That's right. The secret art serves to claim the souls and Primordial Spirits of other cultivators to nourish one's soul 1 ." Vicious replied.
"Nourish? Wait a moment... Do you mean that the person whom Cang Xu has submitted to is... another body part of yours?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"That does appear to be the case." Vicious replied.
In a battle against Kong shi many years ago, Vicious was killed, and his corpse was reduced into numerous pieces.
However, his cultivation had already achieved a level where he could revive just from a single droplet of blood. As long as he had sufficient time and the conditions were right, he could regain consciousness and come back to life. This was what had happened to his heart and phalange back then.
However, there was a drawback to that technique. Every single body part that regained consciousness viewed itself as the original Vicious, and it sought to devour the others so as to return back to its full strength.
Zhang Xuan had promised to help Vicious find back his other parts, but who would have thought that the person who Cang Xu had submitted to would be another one of his body part!
"Master, if I can devour that body part which he has submitted to, my cultivation will surely rise by leaps and bounds…" Vicious said in agitation.
"Alright, I'll conduct a Soul Search on him to gather some information." Zhang Xuan nodded.
This Vicious had already submitted to him, so it would be beneficial to him if the other party were to raise his cultivation.
His interaction with Vicious had happened in the mind, and it only lasted for an instant. In this moment, the inner demons were still rushing towards him under Cang Xu's command.
The assault of inner demons differed from that of humans. Instead of executing techniques and exerting strength, they would attempt to infiltrate into one's mind through producing all kinds of illusions, gradually eroding one's mental resilience before overwhelming one's consciousness.
The assault of the inner demons left Zhang Xuan suddenly feeling a little light-headed.
As Cang Xu was a Primordial Spirit pinnacle expert, his inner demons possessed power proportionate to his original cultivation realm 2 . On top of that, there were simply too many of them. Even with mental resilience of Zhang Xuan's caliber, it was still difficult for him to withstand their simultaneous onslaught.
"Hold it for a moment!" Zhang Xuan roared.
He knew that he would in a vulnerable position once the inner demons were to breach his mind. Thus, driving the Heaven's Path Soul Art to toughen his defenses, he bellowed, "You are Cang Xu's inner demons, so why are you going for me?"
These inner demons were all drawn out from Cang Xu's malicious thoughts, so why would they go for him instead?
"Why would we go for a disgusting brethren when there's a delicious soul right before us?"
"I know that you want to achieve higher realms in your cultivation and advance your ranking as a master teacher. As long as you listen to me, the goal will be just within reach!"
"Haven't you realized that there's a flaw in your state of mind? Trust me, and I'll supplement your deficiency!"
All kinds of lies were spouted from the mouths of the inner demons. Their words carried a beguiling quality to it which seemed to draw one into a trance, making one lose sight of oneself.
"Can't you come up with something other than that?" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
Initially, he was still a little overwhelmed by the combined might of the inner demons. However, upon hearing those inner demons saying that there was a flaw in his cultivation technique and his state of mind, he immediately became more awake than ever.
The Heaven's Path cultivation techniques were compiled by the Library of Heaven's Path, and they were perfect in and of themselves... A flaw in them? You must be joking!
I am one who has cultivated the Heaven's Path cultivation techniques, so for you to teach me... Who do you think you are?
Honestly, don't you think that the quality of your beguilement is a little too low for inner demons?
"I don't know where you inner demons came from, but are you really content with living your life in such a manner? Hiding in the corners of one's heart, not daring to appear in the open... Do you really have no dreams of becoming stronger and making your mark on the world?" Zhang Xuan asked with an alluring tone.
The inner demons halted what they were doing, and they glanced at one another in bewilderment.
They were in the midst of beguiling the other party, so how did it turn into a situation where the other party attempted to beguile them instead?
Shouldn't the other party fall into a trance under their suggestions and begin doubting himself, causing his mental resilience collapse and his mind to pass out, thus opening an opportunity for them to overwhelm him?
So how... How could he remain perfectly conscious, and from the looks of it, the other party seemed to be even stronger than them!
Furthermore... they found themselves a little moved by the other party's words!
"In order to cultivate one's soul, one must first stand against the Five Soul Declines. As lifeforms reminiscent of souls, the same applies to inner demons as well. I have a cultivation technique here which might help you if you were to cultivate it diligently." Seeing that the inner demons were at a loss, Zhang Xuan pushed on.
In an instant, flowers began falling from the sky as the spiritual energy in the surroundings resonated in excitement. The inner demons felt as if as long as they were to cultivate according to his teachings, they would be able to surpass their limits and become stronger than ever.
"Inner demons are born by the evil within one's heart. If one's heart is pure, there would be no place for the existence of an inner demon. What a tragedy this is! The basis of your existence is actually centered around a cultivator's whims, and you don't even have control over your own fate... Don't you feel frustrated and helpless? But worry not! As long as you were to cultivate the technique that I impart you, you will be able to grasp hold of your own fate and become the master of yourself!" Zhang Xuan continued on.
The inner demons, who were still hesitating a moment ago, clenched their fists tightly together in agitation, and their faces flushed crimson.
The prowess from the Impartation of Heaven's Will used alongside a demonic tune was simply too great, such that even the inner demons ended up succumbing to it.
"Don't fret, don't hesitate, trust yourself. You will definitely be able to do it. Why should you live such a bitter and difficult life? Heed my words, and gain the strength to dictate your lives!" Zhang Xuan said impassionately as he reached out a hand to them.
The agitated inner demons immediately flew over to grasp Zhang Xuan's hand.
In that moment, Zhang Xuan swiftly flicked his wrist and took out a jade bottle. With a simple beckoning, he collected all of the inner demons into the jade bottle.
"Will they really be unable to escape from here?" Zhang Xuan asked as he grasped the shaking jade bottle tightly in worry.
Based on his prior experience, as long as he didn't fall for the inner demons' beguilement, the inner demons would dissipate on their own accord. However, Vicious told him that those fellows could be collected for his own use. This was also the reason why he went through so much effort, using the Impartation of Heaven's Will and his demonic tunes in order to convince them to submit to him.
"As long as you use the altar you have obtained from the Jadeleaf King to stopple the lid, they won't be able to flee. When you need to use them, just uncork the lid. Trust me, they might just prove to be a valuable asset in unexpected situations…" Vicious said.
"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded.
With a flick of his wrist, he took out the altar which the Jadeleaf King used previously, and with a light tap, a unique seal covered the entire altar. Following which, the massive altar began to shrink, until it was able to fit nicely on top of the jade bottle as a cork.
As soon as the altar fell on the cork, the bottle suddenly stopped altogether. It was as if the inner demons had been suppressed within.
Having reaching Saint realm, Zhang Xuan's zhenqi had obtained some new abilities. In the past, it would have been difficult for him to morph his body to be bigger or smaller than how it was, but this wasn't a problem anymore.
This was also the reason why the Byzantium Helios Beast was able to increase his size readily to ferry more people on top of him back then.
"Y-you…" Cang Xu stared at the sight before him in horror.
He thought that with so many inner demons assaulting the young man at once, it should be a walk in the park to take him down. Yet, who could have thought that in the blink of an eye, all of the inner demons would end up betraying him, submitting to the young man instead... Cang Xu's body trembled in fear, and he felt so shocked that he felt as if his mind was going to snap.
Soul Search was a convenient technique, but it had severe limitations as well. It was unlikely to work on those who were too much stronger than him and the mentally resilient.
Given the current state Cang Xu was in, Zhang Xuan knew that this was the ideal opportunity to strike. Thus, he swiftly grasped Cang Xu and utilized the soul art on him.
This soul art was highly damaging on the victim's soul, but considering that Cang Xu had already defected to the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe and even attempted to kill him, there was no punishment that he was undeserving of.
In the blink of an eye, he had completed a Soul Search on Cang Xu.
As Cang Xu had already been severely weakened in the first place—only a mere sliver of his original soul remained—he was unable to withstand the tremendous pressure of the Soul Search and dissipated instantaneously, disappearing without a trace.
The Marshlands of the Northern Meadows City… After completing the Soul Search, Zhang Xuan managed to find the fellow who had imparted the secret art to Cang Xu.
At the very start, Cang Xu and Dao Kou were just two petty thieves. On one occasion, while fleeing from their enemies, they dived into the marshlands. Just as they thought that they were going to lose their lives, they stumbled upon a peculiar cavern and obtained the heritage contained within.
They had no idea who had left behind the heritage, but they had found themselves getting into a soul contract with the owner of the heritage, which forced them to tribute a soul into the altar once every few days.
And of all souls, the ones that were preferred were those of master teachers.
Over the years, countless master teachers had died in Cang Xu's hands. This was also the reason why he didn't hesitate for too long before deciding to make a move on Zhang Xuan, even when he had guessed that Zhang Xuan was likely to be no ordinary master teacher.
I'll have to look into it in the future… Zhang Xuan thought as he placed those thoughts aside for the moment.
Returning his soul back into his physical body, he opened his eyes once more. At this moment, there were no more inner demons before him, and the pitch-black world from before had vanished. He found himself sitting on a zafu in a room brilliantly-lit by Night Illumination Pearls.
It was as if what had happened to him previously was only a dream, and it had left him slightly dazed for a moment.
Lowering his gaze, he saw that there was indeed a jade bottle in his hands, and he muttered, "It seems like it wasn't a dream after all. I really managed to take down those inner demons…"
Zhang Xuan smiled.
He could feel the items that were sealed within the jade bottle, and that reaffirmed that everything that had happened was true.
Let me see if there are any changes in my state of mind…
Previously, when Zhang Xuan took down a single inner demon while undergoing the Heart Ordeal, his Soul Depth had surged from 21.1 to 23.1. This time, given that he had taken down several hundred inner demons, surely his Soul Depth would surge to an unbelievable level!
He quickly whipped out a Stone of Insight to test his Soul Depth, and upon taking a look, his mouth began twitching wildly.
"How could this be?" Zhang Xuan muttered in shock
His Soul Depth was still the same as before, 23.1. There was no change whatsoever!
It was as if his previous encounter with the inner demons had done nothing to temper his mind!
"Master, those inner demons aren't yours, so even if you were to successfully beguile them, it won't temper your state of mind in any way... Given so, it's normal for your Soul Depth to remain stagnant!" Knowing what was going through Zhang Xuan's mind, Vicious explained telepathically.
"I see…" Zhang Xuan replied sorrowfully.
Why did other people have so many inner demons while he had none at all?
How could the world be so unfair? He should be given a chance to temper his state of mind as well!
Ah, being too strong had its own troubles as well!
While Zhang Xuan was lamenting his own plight, the wall in front of him suddenly parted, revealing a passageway forward. It seemed like him clearing the Trial of Inner Demons had triggered some kind of mechanism.
Putting away his woes, Zhang Xuan stood up and assessed the passageway warily. After confirming that it was safe, he slowly made his way into it.
The end of the passageway led to another sealed room, and there was a round and smooth crystal ball at the very center of the room.
Zhang Xuan placed his palm on it, and a brilliant gleam of light shot up, revealing a figure.
The figure was an old man with snowy beard and hair. It was a little difficult to discern his age from his appearance.
"The fact that you are able to come here means that you have cleared the Trial of Inner Demons, and your state of mind has become flawless. With this, you are qualified to inherit my heritage…"
The elder stroked his beard with a smile before continuing on, "I am the founder of the Heart Division. The reason why I founded this division is to temper the hearts of the combat master, and those who have managed to achieve that will be able to inherit the highest secret art of our Heart Division, [Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra]!"
"Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra?"
"That's right. Upon reaching Major Accomplishment in this technique, one's heart would be unblemished like a transparent glass, leaving one impervious to the temptations of the inner demons. At the same time, one's Primordial Spirit would also become more wholesome, thus enhancing one's strength!"
The elder smiled meaningfully at Zhang Xuan for a moment before continuing, "Only the greatest of geniuses who are able to withstand the Formation of Inner Demons are qualified to heart this technique. Since you are able to come here, this means that you have already met the minimum qualifications. How about it? Are you interested in learning the technique?"
"No." Zhang Xuan replied without the slightest hesitation.
"..." The elder