Library of Heaven is Path
1189 Is Someone Thinking About Me?
Chapter 1189: Is Someone Thinking About Me?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Bring his corpse back to the Master Teacher Pavilion!"
Nevertheless, since Tian Qing was already dead, there was no use pursuing this matter anymore. Everything was finally over.
Sighing deeply, Wu shi waved his hands.
Tian Qing was a person who had wielded great power. Even though he had only been a vice pavilion master, the authority he had wielded in the Qingtian Empire Master Teacher Pavilion was effectively equal to the pavilion master. It had been a matter of time before the other party was due to become an official 8-star master teacher or even higher. No one had thought that the other party would end up dying here.
Life sure was unpredictable.
No matter who one offended, one should never offend Zhang Xuan. It seemed like his previous decision was correct.
Two of the elders walked forward to collect Tian Qing's corpse. It was at this moment that Wu shi finally scanned the surroundings once more and asked, "Where is Zhang shi?"
As the fight a moment ago had been too intense, he had not noticed Zhang Xuan's disappearance.
"Master went into the passageway over there," replied the Golden Origin Cauldron swiftly.
It was only then that Wu shi noticed the stone gate in the courtyard.
Wu shi walked up to the stone gate, and after examining it for a moment, he remarked, "This is… an Aura Sealing Formation? It seems like the stone gate was concealed by the formation before—that's why we didn't notice it."
The formation had the ability to seal all auras, which had previously prevented them from perceiving the presence of the stone gate. However, the formation became undone with the rising of the stone gate, and if they still could not notice it now, they would be unworthy of being 7-star master teachers.
"Let's head in to take a look!" Wu shi said as he made his way into the passageway.
Zhang Jiuxiao and the others followed Wu shi in, but before they could venture too far in, they heard a vexed voice. "Help me in…"
Everyone turned around and saw that the Golden Origin Cauldron had followed them in as well. However, too big, it was stuck at the entrance of the passageway. Its three thick legs just would not fit into the passageway no matter how it tried to squeeze in.
While the Golden Origin Cauldron could enlarge itself easily, it was not as easy for it to compress itself.
The others had to break open the entrance before the stuck Golden Origin Cauldron could squeeze its way into the passageway.
Satisfied, the Golden Origin Cauldron followed the crowd happily down the stairs.
Not too long later, they arrived at the underground chamber.
They swiftly saw the lava and the altar, along with Zhang Xuan, who was seated on the ground, unmoving.
The crowd swiftly gathered around Zhang Xuan.
Noticing that Zhang Xuan was not responding, Wu shi placed his hand on the young man, and his face suddenly paled in disbelief. "He isn't breathing, and there is no heartbeat either. He is dead? How is this possible?"
How could Zhang Xuan die within the short period of time that they were fighting against Tian Qing?
He was a Celestial Master Teacher and a Celestial Saint! How could he die in somewhere as humble as this?
Just as the crowd was completely bewildered by the situation before them, the Golden Origin Cauldron's furious voice suddenly sounded. "What do you mean by my master is dead? My master is obviously cultivating some kind of formidable cultivation technique, so stop bothering him and scram to the side!"
Back at the Qiu Wu Palace, the Golden Origin Cauldron had once dived into the lava with Zhang Xuan, and the latter had been in such a state as well. Thus, it was not too surprised by the situation before it.
"What kind of cultivation technique could possibly stop one's breathing and halt one's heartbeat?"
The master teachers frowned, not believing the Golden Origin Cauldron's words in the slightest.
As knowledgeable master teachers, they had never heard of a single cultivation technique that would place one in a state reminiscent of a corpse!
Zhang Jiuxiao shook his head, too. "How could there possibly be such a cultivation technique in the world?"
He felt that the Golden Origin Cauldron was only saying those words because it was unwilling to face the reality of its master's death.
As an offspring of the Zhang Clan, he had seen plenty of mysterious and bewildering occurrences in the world, but a cultivation technique that halted one's breathing and heartbeat and even caused the stiffening of one's body… There was no way there could possibly be a cultivation technique like that!
Those were clearly signs of death!
Zhang Jiuxiao's words won the approval of the other master teachers in the area as well.
The Golden Origin Cauldron harrumphed coldly. "Believe whatever you want!"
If it had a face, it would surely have been showing a look of disdain toward those master teachers.
To think that these 7-star master teachers cannot even match up to a cauldron like me in terms of knowledge, what a bunch of countryside bumpkins!
Zhang Jiuxiao shook his head and said, "We'll know the truth once I use my zhenqi to check the internal state of his body!"
Right after saying those words, Zhang Jiuxiao immediately stretched his hand forward and placed it on Zhang Xuan's body.
There were clear differences between the internal state of a living human and a corpse. For one, if Zhang Xuan was truly cultivating, the zhenqi in his body would surely still be active. His meridians would also be supple, and his internal organs would be filled with vitality.
All of this could easily be checked by pumping a surge of zhenqi into the other party's body.
As soon as Zhang Jiuxiao placed his palm on Zhang Xuan's body, he suddenly felt a furious might bursting toward him. In that instant, he felt as if he had been eyed by a ravenous beast, and goosebumps swiftly rose all over his body.
Instinctively, he immediately backed away, but it was already too late. A palm harnessing incomparable strength darted toward his dashing face.
His face distorted hideously as his body whizzed back with astounding momentum.
Crashing heavily into the wall of the underground cavern, Zhang Jiuxiao's face turned as white as a sheet of paper, and crimson blood spurted from his mouth.
The impact of that palm thrust had been so powerful that a depression of his shape had formed on the wall of the cavern, holding him firmly in place.
Tears streamed down Zhang Jiuxiao's face as he cried, "I just wanted to check if you are dead or not out of worry… Did you really have to get so angry and use so much force?"
As the victim, it went without saying that he knew whom the palm had come from. It was none other than the 'dead' Zhang Xuan!
It is not as if I was trying to harm you!
Did you have to attack me so mercilessly?
In an instant, an unprecedented feeling of weariness consumed Zhang Jiuxiao.
It seemed like ever since he became acquainted with Zhang Xuan, he had never lived a single day in peace.
Struggling out of the wall, he turned to look at Zhang Xuan once more, only to see that the culprit who had cruelly harmed him a moment ago was still sitting on the same spot with his eyes closed. There was not the slightest bit of guilt on his face at all, as if the assault that had happened earlier was none of his business.
Seeing this sight, the Golden Origin Cauldron shook its body triumphantly as it gloated in a tone that was practically dripping with 'you reap what you sow'. "I told you that my master is in the midst of practicing some kind of unique cultivation technique, but you just wouldn't listen…"
"He really is cultivating…"
The lips of Wu shi and the others twitched in disbelief.
They had seen plenty of cultivators who had eccentric cultivation techniques, but this was the first time they had seen something like this.
Was there really a cultivation technique like this in the world?
A moment later, Wu shi recovered from his shock and instructed, "Since Principal Zhang is cultivating, let's sit here and guard him. Elder Gu, you should return to the Master Teacher Pavilion first and bring some reinforcement here to seal the area. Also, make sure to report this matter to the headquarters."
"Yes!" An elder nodded before leaving the underground chamber.
The world around him spun and distorted. When Zhang Xuan finally came to once more, he was already standing within a tattered hut.
The same altar that he had encountered in the underground chamber was still beneath his feet. It seemed like he had been transported to the other end of the altar.
He tried to explore the area, only to find that there was a peculiar suction force from the altar holding him firmly in place, preventing him from moving. It would be difficult for him to break free of it quickly.
"Zhang shi, we meet again."
Just as Zhang Xuan was about to scan the area, he suddenly heard a faint voice before him. Raising his head to take a look, he saw a copper-masked figure staring at him with his hands behind his back.
"It's you?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
The other party was the person who had brought the grade-8 painting of the Sorrowless Old Man to Appraisal Convention to have the seal on it deciphered!
The copper-masked figure did not reply to that question. Instead, he stared at Zhang Xuan coldly for a very long moment before asking, "You altered the content of the painting, didn't you?"
"Altered?" Zhang Xuan's heart skipped a beat, but he did not let it show on the surface. With an indignant frown on his face, he harrumphed furiously. "How can that be? Putting aside the fact that I do not have the ability to do so, as a master teacher, I would never do something as unethical as that! That would be as good as trampling on the efforts of others, and only the most despicable of scum would commit such atrocities!"
"How can that be?" The copper-masked figure narrowed his eyes as he repeated Zhang Xuan's words mockingly. "There are some discrepancies in the painting beneath the seal, and there's also a visible difference in the conception of the painting. Only your consciousness entered the painting throughout the entire Appraisal Convention, so who else could it be other than you?"
Back at the Appraisal Convention, when he saw that what lay beneath the painting was not what he had expected but a group of ladies bathing, he could hardly believe his eyes. In that instant, he felt that he had wasted many years of his life pursuing the secret of the painting.
However, when he returned to his residence and studied the painting carefully, it did not take too long for him to notice that something was amiss.
In the first place, the fact that he had been able to notice the presence of a seal concealed within the painting meant that his comprehension of painting was at least on par with Guild Leader Meng of the Painter Guild.
Through his careful examination, he noticed that while the artistic style of the bathing beautiful ladies was a close imitation of the Sorrowless Old Man's Anchored Painting Style, there were still some discrepancies between the two.
The Sorrowless Old Man had gone to the extent of shaving off a layer of his painting to ensure that the surface remained smooth when he added in the seal. This clearly showed that he had a deep obsession for ensuring the perfection his painting, and he would never allow any flaws to plague his work.
While the unsealed painting looked wholesome in the surface, upon closer examination, it was still apparent that the portion concerning the bathing beautiful ladies was leveled slightly higher than the rest of the painting. Furthermore, the colors were slightly more vibrant than the rest of the painting. From these two discrepancies, it was not too difficult to deduce that the bathing beautiful ladies had been added onto the painting recently.
Corroborating that with the happenings prior to the unsealing of the painting, given that Zhang Xuan was the only one who had entered the painting, it was not too difficult to deduce that he was the culprit.
"I must say that you have really misunderstood me. While the bathing beautiful ladies only took up a small portion of the painting, I'm sure that you are able to tell how exquisitely detailed it is. My consciousness only entered the painting for a brief instant, and given that I had to devote most of my time to analyzing the seal, how could I possibly have the time to paint such an exquisite addition to the painting? That is clearly an impossible feat! Not even the Sorrowless Old Man would have been able to pull it off within the limited period of time I had!" Zhang Xuan explained himself earnestly, as if fearing that the other party would not believe him.
"This…" The copper-masked figure frowned.
This was also the issue that had confounded him while he was analyzing the matter.
All in all, the other party had only been in the painting for less than three minutes, and within this period of time, it was nigh impossible to make an addition that fused nearly perfectly into another completed painting. Even 8-star painters would not be capable of pulling off such a feat!
But there was no one else could have pulled it off other than the young man before him!
Noticing the copper-masked figure's hesitation, Zhang Xuan quickly added, "Putting aside the fact that I did not have time to pull it off, I'm also not the only one whose consciousness entered the painting that day."
"You aren't the only one?"
"Indeed. Have you forgotten it already? Zhang Jiuxiao's consciousness entered the painting as well, only to be attacked by the spirit and sprout durians on his head," Zhang Xuan said.
Hearing those words, the face of the copper-masked figure darkened. "You're right… Zhang Jiuxiao's consciousness entered the painting as well!"
"He's from the Zhang Clan, and surely I need not say much about the capabilities of those from a Sage Clan. Furthermore, the Zhang Clan is particularly known for snatching items by force. Putting aside a painting, they would even snatch a living human without any hesitation! Do you remember how he said that he knew a way to decipher the seal? Perhaps, he might have used some kind of artifact to alter the contents of the painting before faking his failure so that you wouldn't suspect him!" Zhang Xuan harrumphed indignantly.
"The Zhang Clan…" The lips of the copper-masked figure twitched slightly as fear crept into his eyes.
Shortly after applying some medicine and feeling the swelling on his face alleviating slightly, Zhang Jiuxiao suddenly sneezed.
Is someone thinking about me?
After being traumatized time and time again, it was reassuring for him to know that he was at least still on someone's mind!