"Purify one's bloodline or increase the tier of one's bloodline? How can there be something as convenient as that in the world?" Zhang Jiuxiao shook his head. "The purity of the bloodline of a Sage Clan offspring is determined at birth. In fact, there are many inner disciples who had the purity of their bloodlines verified even before their birth. Similar to unique constitutions, this is something innate. There are no external forces that can possibly change one's constitution and bloodline easily."

Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan fell into deep thoughts.

As he had never come into the contact with the Sage Clans before, he wasn't aware of many of their affairs. However, he did have two students with unique constitutions and one with a unique bloodline.

Zhao Ya and Wei Ruyan possessed the Pure Yin Body and the Innate Poison Body and Poison Soul Constitution respectively, and Yuan Tao possessed the Emperor's Bloodline. These weren't things which one could cultivate postnatally.

Just like how a tadpole could never evolve into a divine dragon no matter how hard it trained, there were simply some things in the world that couldn't be achieved through hard work.

Otherwise, he would have long given Zheng Yang, Liu Yang, and the others with unique constitutions as well so as to enhance their rate of growth.

"I see. It seems like I have been taking this matter too lightly." Zhang Xuan shook his head.

With the experience of cleansing the bloodline of spirit beasts to stimulate their growth, he thought that the Sage Clans might have some kind of means similar to that as well. However, it seemed like there was no way there could be something that convenient in the world.

"While the bloodline from Sage Clans enables one to cultivate swiftly in the initial phase, allowing one to easily reach heights that most ordinary cultivators would never be able to reach, it comes with some flaws as well. For one, the bloodline will also limit one's future potential, making it difficult for one to exceed the accomplishments of our ancestor! This is also the reason why most Sage Clans have focused on preserving their strength instead of pushing their way forward. It's simply too difficult to reach greater heights due to the limitations of the bloodline…" Zhang Jiuxiao continued.

There were always two sides to everything.

Inheriting the bloodline of past Sages would allow one to cultivate swiftly in the earlier stages, as if propelled by a rocket. However, as the individual had heavily relied on the inheritance of their ancestor to climb to their current height, it would also be extremely difficult for them to forge their own path forward beyond their ancestor.

After asking for a while longer, Zhang Jiuxiao said everything that he was able to say. As for information that was confidential, his lips remained firmly sealed, refusing to speak a single word about it.

Knowing that this was the rule within the Zhang Clan, Zhang Xuan also chose not to probe any further either and put Zhang Jiuxiao in a spot.

While the other party had left out the most important information, Zhang Xuan still managed to gather quite a few critical intelligence. For one, it seemed like there was indeed an engagement between the Zhang Clan and the Luo Clan, and just like what Mu shi had told him back then, the little prodigy of the Zhang Clan was a very mysterious and elusive figure. Nearly everyone had heard of his name, but somehow, it was as if not a single person had caught a glimpse of his shadow.

Nevertheless, based on Zhang Jiuxiao's deductions, while that little prodigy was only twenty this year, it was highly likely that his cultivation had already reached Saint 7-dan!

While Zhang Jiuxiao hadn't met the little prodigy, he did meet the other inner disciples of the Zhang Clan before. One of them possessed an incredibly pure bloodline, and he was already at Saint 7-dan before he reached 30.

Considering how even he could reach such height, the little prodigy would surely be even more incredible than that!

"Saint 7-dan…" Zhang Xuan couldn't help but feel deeply pressured.

The elder of the Luo Clan who had confronted him a few days back, Luo Chengxin, was at this cultivation realm as well.

Even without using any battle technique, the other party was able to render him completely powerless with just a mere thought, leaving him unable to retaliate at all. The difference in their strength was as if the gap between the heavens and earth.

"Beyond Primordial Spirit realm, the increment in every cultivation stage will be extraordinarily difficult. If I want to marry Luo Ruoxin openly, I'll really have to try harder than that!" Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly.

Beyond Saint 4-dan, the advancement of every single cultivation stage demanded incredibly pure spiritual energy and superior talent. If he wanted to receive the Luo Clan's approval, the least he could do was to attain strength that matched the Zhang Clan's little prodigy.

If he couldn't even defeat his 'love rival', how could he vie Luo Ruoxin from the other party's hands?

"I really have to start cultivating now…"

Feeling deeply pressured, Zhang Xuan spent the next few days either cultivating or digesting the information in the books he had collected within his Library of Heaven's Path.

His efforts weren't wasted. Not only did he manage to further reinforce his cultivation, his comprehension of battle technique had also reached a new peak. He had spent the majority of his time studying the Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel left behind by Ancient Sage Qiu Wu, and it had granted him a greater grasp over the laws of space. While he was only at Embryonic Soul realm, he was already able to execute the Spatial Seal which only Leaving Aperture realm cultivators were capable of pulling off!

Once executed, he would able to leave everyone within a five-meter radius around him feeling as if they were treading through a marsh, significantly reducing their strength and speed. Within this area, he was confident that he would be able to subdue even Hall Master Xing with a single finger, let alone Wu shi and the others.

"However, this is mainly due to the superior strength of my Origin Soul and zhenqi. Ultimately, my grasp over the laws of space is still a little too weak. However, I'm still some distance away from fully compiling the 2-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel." Knowing that he still had much room for improvement, Zhang Xuan didn't get conceited at his newfound strength.

The Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel could be divided into 5 dans. Even though he had managed to reach 1-dan pinnacle, he was still a distance away from reaching 2-dan.

Time passed in a flash for cultivators. Six days later, the aerial saint beast finally came to a halt above a massive city.

"Zhang shi, this is the Northern Meadows City, also known as the Ji City. It is one of the more prosperous and powerful cities within Qingyuan Empire!" Wu shi introduced.

Gazing downward, Zhang Xuan saw a massive city vaguely visible beyond the clouds. It was extremely large, making it impossible to overlook the entire city in a single sight. What was different about this city was the amazing number of high-rise buildings that they had, which reminded Zhang Xuan a little about the world he had been in previously.

Just from a swift glance, it could be seen that it was indeed quite a prosperous city. Even if it was nowhere on par with Qingyuan City, it was far grander than Hongyuan City and the others.

"The Marshlands of the Northern Meadows is an incredibly dangerous territory to venture into. Its sky is filled with exceptionally powerful turbulent air currents, making it impossible to enter it by flight. On the other hand, the ground was filled with all kinds of threats, ready to prey on the unknowing. As such, we need to find a guide familiar with the local terrain to bring us around. Otherwise, there's a good chance that we'll lose our life even before we manage to find the Ghost Cavern." Wu shi said.

"I understand." Zhang Xuan nodded.

Through reading books concerning the area, he had also gained some understanding of the Marshlands of the Northern Meadows as well.

Just like what Wu shi said, it was an extremely treacherous terrain. Even Primordial Spirit realm experts had to venture through it on foot, or else they would risk being torn to shreds by the turbulent air currents.

Without a guide to lead the way, they could very well fall into the traps that hunters had set up in the area, come under the encirclement of the regional saint beasts, or even step into a pit filled with lethal worms!

Considering the superior fighting prowess of their expedition team, these naturally didn't pose much of a threat to them. However, it would still impede their advancement, and the longer they spent roaming in the marshlands, the more likely that Vicious would notice their presence.

"The head of the Northern Meadows City Master Teacher Pavilion, Ji Tianxiong, is my good friend. He's a trustworthy person, and I have just sent a message to him a while back. He should be arriving very soon. I intend to have him bring us through the marshlands so as to spare us some trouble." Wu shi said.

"Ji Tianxiong? I have heard of him a well. He has spent a period of time in our Combat Master Hall, and his fighting prowess is really not bad!" Division Head Liao couldn't help but interject at this moment.

"Indeed! His Freezing Zhenqi spared with his Glacier Finger is capable of turning water into ice in an instant, and this capability is exceptionally useful and practical on marsh terrains. With him leading the way, we should be able to overcome any danger easily!" Wu shi nodded, clearly deeply confident in his close friend.

While they were speaking, the crowd suddenly saw an elder flying in their direction.

Taking a close examination at the elder, Zhang Xuan noted that the other party had the appearance of one in his fifties, and he had a pair of incredibly sharp eyes that were filled with spirit and vigorous. At first impression, he seemed like an exceptionally keen individual.

His cultivation realm was at Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, and he exuded an aura reminiscent of a snowy mountain. It was very apparent that he cultivated an ice-type cultivation technique.

Wu shi quickly welcomed the elder before ushering him into the wooden hut, "Everyone, this is the head of the Northern Meadows City Master Teacher Pavilion, Ji Tianxiong, Ji shi! Ji shi, this young man over here is Zhang Xuan, Zhang shi, and this is Hall Master Xing of the Combat Master Hall…"

He swiftly introduced everyone to one another.

Upon hearing Zhang Xuan's name, Ji shi immediately bowed respectfully and said, "Ji Tianxiong pays respect to Zhang shi!"

Even though a distance of several million li sat between Qingyuan City and the Northern Meadows City, he had still heard news of Zhang Xuan's pavilion crashing.

For an individual to successfully overcome an entire Master Teacher Pavilion, just this feat in itself made him a person worthy of respect.

"There's no need to stand on ceremony." Zhang Xuan replied with a smile. "I believe Wu shi should have told you the reason behind our visit here."

"Yes, Wu shi has already told me everything." Ji shi nodded.

"That's good. We intend to enter the depths of the marshlands to find the so-called Ghost Cavern, so we'll require Ji shi's help in leading the way forward." Zhang Xuan said.

"Regarding that... the Ghost Cavern is actually a peculiar existence in the marshlands. It has no fixed location. There are some who follow the directions given by those who have found it in the past, only to see that it was no longer there. I can only fathom the rough area it would be, but as for whether we'll able to find it or not... I'm afraid that I can't guarantee that!" Ji shi said.

While the Ghost Cavern was indeed in the Marshlands of the Northern Meadows, it seemed like it wasn't fixed to a location. Luck played a heavy role in determining whether one would be able to find it or not.

"I understand. You just have to bring us to the vicinity of where it usually appears. Zhang Jiuxiao, Zhang shi, over here has entered the Ghost Cavern once, so he might be able to find some clues to track it down." Zhang Xuan replied with a smile.

"Alright!" Ji shi agreed.

The Ghost Cavern was a place which could temper one's mental resilience. Every year, there would be many master teachers who would drop by the marshlands to try their luck. Some of them did succeed, but there were also those who vanished without a trace as well.

The previous time Zhang Jiuxiao had been in the marshlands, he had a guide to bring him around as well. The marshlands were rather similar to a desert, changing greatly with time. Even if one had visited the marshlands in the past, it would still be wiser to hire a guide to bring one around, or else one could very well end up losing his way.

"You have already flown for many days now, do you want to take a brief rest at our Master Teacher Pavilion first?" Ji shi offered.

"There's no need for that. We'll head over right now, or else more master teachers could possibly lose their lives!" Zhang Xuan waved his hand to turn down the other party's kind gesture.

An additional day delayed for them meant an additional day for Vicious to strike. Considering that the lives of master teachers were on the line, they couldn't afford the luxury of time. In any case, as cultivators, they could recover their fatigue through cultivation, so they weren't in dire need for rest either.

"Very well, let's set off now then!" Ji shi nodded in agreement.

He swiftly pointed out a direction for the aerial saint beast, and it began making its way over to the marshlands.

The marshlands were located further up north of the Northern Meadows City. After roughly two hours of flight, the group was welcomed with the sight of a pitch black marshlands that seemed to stretch endlessly into the horizon, creating an illusion that it was connected with the sky.

"Let's alight here. The air currents ahead will be turbulent, and there are many dangerous fields in the sky as well. It would be a disaster if we were to accidentally drop into one of them, so there's no choice but to proceed ahead on foot." Ji shi explained as he instructed the aerial saint beast to land on the ground.

The danger of the Marshlands of the Northern Meadows lay not only on the ground but in the air as well. There were many peculiar fields in the air that one could potentially collide with when traveling above ground. The slightest carelessness could cause one to be devoured by it, placing one in great peril.

After alighting from the back of the aerial saint beasts, the group swiftly assessed the pitch-black marshlands right before them.

To be exact, the marshlands wasn't completely pitch-black. It was actually filled with scarlet flowers that rose above the marsh, reminiscent of lotus.

"The locals call those flowers Man-eating Lotuses. Don't underestimate them just because of their beautiful exterior, they are actually extremely dangerous plants. Most Transcendent Mortal cultivators would be unable to escape from their clutches once caught!" Ji shi explained as he threw a stone toward a nearby lotus.


As soon as the rock came into contact with the lotus, the latter immediately wrapped itself around the rock, reducing it to dust in an instant, as if some kind of unique power had devoured it.

"This…" Zhang Xuan's eyelids shot up in astonishment.

If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, he would never believe that there would be such a plant in the world.



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