Library of Heaven is Path
1133 He Started I
Chapter 1133: He Started It
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
If the Heart Division was the most mysterious division of the Combat Master Hall, the most bizarre division was probably the Soul Division.
In the Trial of Soul, a cultivator could temper their soul. However, a moment of carelessness could potentially place one in a disoriented state, temporarily robbing them of their ability to think rationally.
Zhang Xuan pushed open the door and entered the trial. As soon as he took a step in, he immediately heard a slight moaning sound by his ear, as if an aggrieved ghost was crying beside him. That crying seemed to capture the entirety of one's attention, causing one to forget one's initial purpose.
Zhang Xuan frowned as he halted his footsteps. It's a type of demonic tune.
He had encountered a situation similar to this back at the Qiu Wu Palace as well. When used in the correct circumstances, demonic tunes could prove to be extremely dangerous, rendering one incapable of discerning fiction from reality. However, against Zhang Xuan, a cultivator of the Heaven's Path Divine Art, its effects were minimal.
Driving his zhenqi around his body, the effects of the demonic tunes immediately vanished without a trace. Through playing closer attention to the moaning sound, he was able to determine the general direction it was coming from, so he began heading in that direction.
The Trial of Soul was significantly larger than the Trial of Inner Breath and Trial of Martial Arts, spanning a radius of roughly fifty meters. However, as it was completely dark, it was impossible to determine where one was heading. Even one's Spiritual Perception was inhibited by the formation within, leaving one unable to perceive too far ahead.
Slowly proceeding forward, Zhang Xuan advanced for around twenty meters before his body abruptly jolted slightly. An oppressive pressure had suddenly assaulted him, seemingly attempting to tear his soul apart.
A soul attack? Zhang Xuan was taken aback for a moment before coming to a realization. It seems like someone is controlling the trial.
If it had just been a simple trial, it was impossible for the formation to realize so swiftly that the demonic tune was not working and resort to a soul attack instead.
For most cultivators, such a soul attack would cause them such excruciating pain that they would not be able to move at all. However, for Zhang Xuan, such a soul attack was truly trivial.
Putting aside the fact that he was protected by his Heaven's Path zhenqi, just the sheer size and strength of his soul made that pressure completely ineffective on him.
The more Zhang Xuan advanced forward, the greater the pressure became. At this point, even a Saint 3-dan cultivator would have already succumbed to the immense pressure.
Taking another two steps forward, Zhang Xuan finally identified the source of the pressure, and he chuckled softly.
"It'd be rude if I didn't reciprocate the favor to you. Why don't you try mine?" Zhang Xuan's voice was not too loud, but it sounded clearly throughout the trial.
The following moment, an overwhelming surge of soul energy burst forth from his glabella.
Even though he did not have any soul cultivation techniques beyond Saint realm, the soul tempering that he had undergone during the Saint Ascension Ordeal had condensed his soul considerably, such that it had assumed a lucid crystalline form. With the enhanced strength of his soul, he was able to exert a pressure many times greater than before.
In an instant, it was as if the air had turned as viscous as mercury. An incredible pressure burst forth, directed toward the source of the soul.
The loud thud reminiscent of something falling heavily to the ground, accompanied with the sound of many things shattering simultaneously, echoed resoundingly in the air. At the same time, the ground also tremored intensely.
It was true that the other party's soul was powerful, but it was still severely lacking compared to his.
"A soul attack? Who are you?"
The next moment, a furious voice boomed in the room. Following which, Zhang Xuan saw a massive saint beast walking out of the shadows.
That saint beast was probably the one who had attacked him earlier. Under the immense pressure exerted by Zhang Xuan's soul, it had probably lost its balance for a moment and fallen to the ground, shattering many things beneath it.
"You are… a Chrysoprase Soul Beast?" Upon taking a look, Zhang Xuan matched the distinctive traits of the saint beast before him with the books he had browsed through, and he could not help but frown.
The Chrysoprase Soul Beast was a rather peculiar saint beast. Unlike most saint beasts, which relied heavily on their superior physical bodies in combat, the Chrysoprase Soul Beast specialized in soul offense instead. Blessed with an innately powerful soul, it could easily produce hallucinations and leave its opponents in a disoriented state.
It was an extremely rare beast, and not even the Beast Tamer Guild had seen many of them in its entire history. It was rather unexpected to see this rare beast in the Combat Master Hall.
This knowledge swiftly flashed through Zhang Xuan's mind before he answered the other party's question. "I am a master teacher who is here to challenge this trial!"
"You are a master teacher?" the Chrysoprase Soul Beast snorted. Deep hostility flickered across its massive eyes as it sneered, "How could a master teacher possibly be skilled in the means of the soul oracles? Speak, who are you?"
Zhang Xuan was stunned for a brief moment after hearing those words, but he swiftly recovered and replied with a smile. "Soul oracle? You must have misunderstood me somehow."
The heritage of the soul oracles had vanished from the Master Teacher Continent several dozen millenniums ago. As such, not even master teachers would be able to identify it with certainty even if he utilized the means of a soul oracle before them. He had not really thought that the Chrysoprase Soul Beast would be able to recognize it with a single look.
It was not a crime to inherit the heritage of the soul oracles, but ultimately, just like poison arts, soul arts were viewed as unorthodox and depraved, and they were deeply feared throughout the Master Teacher Continent. In order to avoid trouble, it was best for Zhang Xuan not to admit to it.
Hearing Zhang Xuan denying the matter, the Chrysoprase Soul Beast scoffed coldly. "Don't bother lying to me. I have seen soul oracles in action before, and I know their means very well."
The next instant, Zhang Xuan suddenly felt overwhelming soul energy crushing heavily down on him, seemingly trying to smash him into smithereens.
"I was just born with a powerful soul; I am not a soul oracle," Zhang Xuan replied with a frown.
The pressure that the other party weighed down on Zhang Xuan like an immense mountain, threatening to crush him into bits. Any cultivator who had yet to reach Primordial Spirit realm would surely have caved in to such pressure instantly. However, to Zhang Xuan, it was truly nothing at all.
Seeing that his soul attack was completely ineffective against the young man before it, the eyes of the Chrysoprase Soul Beast narrowed slightly, and it harrumphed coldly. "Soul oracles are capable of drawing of their souls out and surviving independently. The truth will be clear once I shatter your physical body!"
With a furious roar, it abruptly leaped forward, and a massive claw flew toward Zhang Xuan.
The furious momentum of the claws produced a sharp, shrill sound, leaving one's hairs standing on end. It felt as if it would mercilessly rip anything before it in two.
Not expecting the other party to suddenly launch a lethal assault against him, Zhang Xuan's eyebrows knitted together in displeasure. His feet swiftly took a few steps backward with amazing agility, thus dodging the other party's assault perfectly.
Over the past three days, Zhang Xuan had made his way through the Ten Divisions of the Combat Master Hall and collected whatever books they had in them. With his newly collected books, he was able to compile several higher tier Heaven's Path battle techniques.
Regardless of whether it was the might of his fists, the strength of his palm, or the sturdiness of his defenses, they had been elevated to a whole new level.
If he was only a match against Primordial Spirit realm cultivators three days ago, the current him could be said to be invincible among Primordial Spirit realm cultivators.
Or to put it in simpler terms, any cultivator who had not reached Half-Leaving Aperture realm would not be a match for him.
And among all his battle techniques, the improvement in his movement technique was the greatest. After collecting all of the books in the Footwork Division, he had finally managed to perfect the 1-dan of the Unbound Voyager into a Heaven's Path battle technique, and he had immediately cultivated it on the spot.
It was through the Unbounded Voyager that he was able to move so fast that not even the hidden mechanisms had been able to perceive his presence.
"Where do you think you are going?"
Seeing that the young man had escaped from its claws, the Chrysoprase Soul Beast bellowed furiously as it raised its claws once more. A formation whirred into action, and in the blink of an eye, the Trial of Soul was completely sealed. There was no way to escape anymore.
After sealing the surroundings, the Chrysoprase Soul Beast immediately launch another series of attacks against the young man before it.
On the other hand, after dodging several lethal attacks from the saint beast before him, Zhang Xuan's patience finally wore thin, and he shook his head. "If a fight is what you want, a fight is what you'll get."
As his figure blurred, Zhang Xuan appeared by the side of the Chrysoprase Soul Beast in the blink of an eye before shooting a powerful fist toward the latter.
Under the staggering might of Zhang Xuan's fist, the Chrysoprase Soul Beast's figure retreated swiftly before crashing heavily into the roof above. Its figure then plummeted heavily back to the ground, and a huge pool of fresh blood flowed out of its mouth.
Zhang Xuan was startled by how easily he had managed to subdue the other party for a moment before he recalled the unique trait of the saint beast.
Chrysoprase Soul Beasts were blessed with powerful souls at birth, but their physical strength and resilience could only be considered average, possibly only at the level of an ordinary cultivator. There was no way it could withstand the might of his Heaven's Path Fist Art.
As such, with just a single strike, it was already severely wounded.
Zhang Xuan shook his head. I accidentally used too much strength.
Even though the other party had tried to kill him, he was ultimately still the guardian of the Trial of Soul. It would be hard for him to explain this to the Combat Master Hall if it died after facing him. Furthermore, it was due to the other party's doubts that he was a soul oracle that it had made a move on him, and considering the association of the soul oracles with the Otherworldly Demons, its actions were not completely unjustified.
Shaking his head, Zhang Xuan slowly walked toward the Chrysoprase Soul Beast. I guess I'll have to try saving it then.
While making their way toward the Soul Division, Division Head Liao said with a casual wave of his hand, "Hall Master Xing, the situation can't be as exaggerated as you make it out to be. The Chrysoprase Soul Beast has a gentle personality; it's unlikely that it will get into a conflict with Sun shi."
The Chrysoprase Soul beast was the saint beast responsible for managing the Trial of Soul. While it would use demonic tunes and soul pressure to temper the challengers, it was actually a mild-mannered and meticulous individual. In the time that it had managed the Trial of Soul, there had never been a single mishap.
Furthermore, it was not like Sun shi had intentionally entered the Trial of Soul to wreak havoc. No matter how he looked at it, the chances of a conflict breaking out between the both of them was truly unlikely.
"I honestly hope for that to be the case, too. You also know how far I had to go in order to convince the Chrysoprase Soul Beast to become the guardian of the Trial of Soul. I can't allow anything to go wrong at this point," Hall Master Xing said with a bitter smile.
He also wished that nothing bad would happen, but Sun shi was simply too exceptional an individual. Every single time he challenged a trial, he would either break several records or cause a huge ruckus. Given so, he could not help but worry that the latter would somehow end up fighting against the Chrysoprase Soul Beast.
The Combat Master Hall could not have either of them getting injured at this point in time!
The three of them swiftly arrived at the Soul Division and entered the Trial of Soul.
Pushing open the door, they stepped into the trial, and the very first thing they saw was a giant Chrysoprase Soul Beast lying on the ground with its tongue sticking out from its mouth. Blood was trickling down from the edge of its mouth, forming a crimson puddle on the ground.
"Sun shi, w-what happened here?"
Not expecting his worst fears to actually come true, Hall Master Xing's cheeks twitched uncontrollably. At this point, he really felt like crying.
"Hmm?" Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan turned around and saw the trio. A sheepish look crept onto his face as he asked, "Why are you all here?"
"We were afraid that you might get into a conflict with the Chrysoprase Soul Beast." Hall Master Xing swiftly tried to mediate the situation. "I know that it might have attacked you, but that is its responsibility as the guardian of the Trial of Soul. It isn't trying to pick on you or anything."
He had rushed there in hopes of preventing any conflict between the duo, but he had ended up being a step too late.
Furthermore, from the looks of it, it seemed like the Chrysoprase Soul Beast had been done in real bad. It did not seem like it would recover anytime soon.
"If only that were the case…" Seeing Hall Master Xing speaking up on behalf of the Chrysoprase Soul Beast, Zhang Xuan shook his head. He was just about to begin explaining what had happened previously when the eyes of the Chrysoprase Soul Beast suddenly opened wide.
It exclaimed anxiously, "Hall Master Xing, don't listen to his words! He's a sou—"
But before it could finish its words, a certain young man had already sunk his feet into its face.
Its words were stifled back into its throat as its massive body flew several dozen meters away before crashing back onto the ground. The floor of the Combat Master Hall was constructed of an extremely resilient material, but the impact of the Chrysoprase Soul Beast's fall still created a huge web of cracks on the ground.
Its teeth plopped all around the ground as its head twisted to the side. It had fainted.
Not expecting the young man to kick the Chrysoprase Soul Beast flying right before their eyes, Hall Master Xing and the others were stupefied. Panicked, they quickly turned to the young man, only to see the latter looking back at them with a helpless shrug.
"If I were to say that it made the first move… would you believe me?"
"…" Hall Master Xing.
"…" Division Head Liao.
"…" Elder Qi.