Library of Heaven is Path
1217 Cherry Popping
Wasn't the Qingtian Emperor dead?
Why had he suddenly appeared in the Ghost Cavern?
"Dead? If I, the Qingtian Emperor, could be killed that easily, how could I possibly be qualified to rule over the entire Qingtian Lineage?" the Qingtian Emperor sneered coldly as the killing intent he emanated swiftly permeated the entire hall. "What you killed was nothing more than a clone!"
"A clone?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
Tian Qing had been the incarnation of his will, so that could have been considered a clone. But to think that the copper-masked figure would actually only be a clone as well… The Qingtian Emperor sure had many cards up his sleeves!
"I spent five hundred years maturing that clone from my severed soul. You sure had fun killing it, didn't you? It's about time to settle the grudges between us!" Deep animosity was reflected in the eyes of the Qingtian Emperor.
There was no such thing as a perfect disguise in the world.
As an Emperor of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, he was well aware of this fact. No matter how well he hid himself, walking amid the humans, it was only a matter of time before he exposed himself. Due to safety concerns, even the copper-masked figure was only a clone he had forged with great difficulty.
On the other hand, he kept his main soul safely hidden within the Ghost Cavern.
Even as a soul oracle who had inherited Vicious' knowledge, it had not been an easy feat for him to create a clone. He had paid an exceptionally heavy price and spent a whole five hundred years nurturing his severed soul before he had managed to create the copper-masked figure, and yet, the young man before him had killed him! On top of that, there was also the matter with Tian Qing and his Ten Kings…
It was no joke to say that the young man had almost sent their Qingtian Lineage into extinction single-handedly!
Naturally, it went without saying how much he wanted to rip the young man into pieces and see him suffer!
"Tell me, how do you want to die? Perhaps, if I'm feeling merciful today, I might just grant your wish!" the Qingtian Emperor mocked coldly.
"How about death by old age?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"You have no choice in this!" The Qingtian Emperor harrumphed angrily as the killing intent he emanated intensified.
Suddenly, Zhang Xuan felt a powerful force tugging at his soul, attempting to pull it out.
Knowing that the other party was utilizing the soul nabbing secret art, Zhang Xuan frowned.
While his soul was massive, due to the lack of suitable cultivation techniques, its fighting prowess was still severely limited. Currently, he was relying more on his physical body and zhenqi cultivation in fights.
Given that his opponent was a Saint 5-dan soul oracle, it would be disastrous for him if the fight became a battle between souls instead.
Thus, Zhang Xuan drove his Heaven's Path zhenqi to hold his soul firmly in place, preventing it from being taken. At the same time, he pushed his feet against the ground and dashed forward.
In that instant, Zhang Xuan seemed to have transformed into a sword himself, as if the sword in his hand was a mere extension of himself.
He had collected all the books concerning swordsmanship back at the Combat Master Hall's Weapon Division, allowing him to advance his Heaven's Path Sword Art to Saint low-tier. His Man-Sword Union state had become far sharper and stronger than before, and the sword qi that shot forth from his blade formed a perfect arc as it headed toward the Qingtian Emperor.
"Not too bad!" Not expecting the young man to be able to withstand his soul nabbing secret art and even counterattack, the Qingtian Emperor narrowed his eyes menacingly. He immediately gave up his attempt to draw out Zhang Xuan's soul and extended his hand forward instead.
In an instant, the air around Zhang Xuan seemed to have frozen, and the sword qi he had shot forward suddenly slowed down significantly.
Zhang Xuan's heart tensed. Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage?
He could easily deduce the Qingtian Emperor's cultivation just from that single move, and the latter was actually far stronger than the copper-masked figure!
In the Leaving Aperture realm, a cultivator would have to undergo the lightning ordeal for each increment in their cultivation stage, and one who had reached advanced stage would have already undergone the lightning ordeal thrice. Such an opponent was not someone that an Embryonic Soul realm pinnacle cultivator like him could deal with.
"Break!" Zhang Xuan roared as he flicked his wrist forcefully and shot out an incredibly sharp burst of sword qi. The powerful might of the sword qi swiftly shattered the frozen air around him.
But just as he finally felt the force surrounding his body loosen, he suddenly saw the Qingtian Emperor thrusting his palm over.
Without much time to respond, Zhang Xuan hurriedly raised his sword to defend against the other party's attack. As the set of actions was done in a rush, he was not able to gather his full might beforehand.
The Glacier Rain Sword was sent flying, lodging itself deeply into the wall not too far away. On the other hand, Zhang Xuan was also smacked into the ground, forming a huge depression beneath him.
While he was able to rival opponents superior to him, he could only match Leaving Aperture realm intermediate stage opponents at the very maximum. Against advanced stage opponents, he was still severely lacking.
After smacking Zhang Xuan into the ground, the Qingtian Emperor sneered coldly. "If this is all you have, it'll be difficult for you to escape death today!"
Another surge of killing intent burst across the room as his hand reached forth to deal the killing blow to the fallen Zhang Xuan.
"You want to kill me? Let's see if you have the strength and the means to do so!" Zhang Xuan said as he leaped up from the depression, and with a flick of his wrist, he formed a palm print before his hand and thrust it forward.
Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm!
As the Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm collided with the Qingtian Emperor, Zhang Xuan's face reddened once more, and he swiftly retreated eight steps to ward off the might from the latter's attack.
No matter what, the Qingtian Emperor was still the head of the Qingtian Lineage, a monster who had lived for countless years. His comprehension of combat was nowhere beneath Zhang Xuan's, and he also possessed an advantage in terms of cultivation. Even with his full strength, Zhang Xuan was still unable to match the other party's directly.
Realizing that Zhang Xuan did not stand a chance against him, the Qingtian Emperor hooked his fingers into steel claws and charged forward, sneering, "You talk arrogantly, but you don't have the strength to back it up. Allow me to send you on your way!"
Drawing on his full strength as a Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage expert, the Qingtian Emperor sealed the surroundings firmly, halting Zhang Xuan's movements. At the same time, a feeling of helplessness arose in Zhang Xuan's mind, leaving him feeling utterly despaired at the situation, as if he would not be able to make a difference no matter how hard he struggled.
Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly. His attacks aren't just normal physical attacks. His assault is also infused with soul energy and a unique conception that can crush the minds of those possessing weaker mental resilience…
On the surface, the Qingtian Emperor's assault appeared to be an ordinary claw, but through his deep comprehension of battle techniques, Zhang Xuan was still able to see through the crux of his maneuver with a glance.
There were two layers of attacks to the Qingtian Emperor's offense. First, the suppression of zhenqi, and second, the erosion of one's mental resilience.
In face of overwhelming might, it was common for one to overestimate the danger one was in and give up hope. For example, standing before the incredible momentum of an avalanche, if one allowed the feeling of helplessness and despair to consume one's mind, there was no way one would be able to escape even if one had the ability to do so.
Realizing this pitfall, Zhang Xuan swiftly drove the Heaven's Path Soul Art, and the feeling of helplessness instantaneously vanished without a trace. Following which, with a swift step, he executed the Unbounded Voyager and successfully escaped the Qingtian Emperor's assault. At the same time, he made use of the opportunity to twist his body and retaliate with a flick of his finger.
Grand Constellation Finger!
As if a loosed arrow, the energy concentrated at the tip of Zhang Xuan's finger burst toward the Qingtian Emperor's eye.
The Qingtian Emperor chuckled softly without any hint of anxiety in his voice. Instead, he turned around and counterattacked with a flick of his finger. "As expected of a 7-star pinnacle master teacher, you sure did notice my flaws rather quickly!"
A burst of light collided with the Grand Constellation Finger, and the two forces ended up neutralizing one another perfectly. However, possessing inferior strength, Zhang Xuan still ended up being forced to retreat once more.
From the very start of the battle, he had been using his Library of Heaven's Path to peer through the other party's flaws in order to come up with a countermeasure against him. However… the gap in terms of fundamental power between him and the Qingtian Emperor was simply too great, especially given the latter's ability to manipulate the surrounding environment. Even if he knew where the other party's mingmen lay, there was nothing he could do if his attacks could not even come close to the other party.
At higher realms, it becomes harder and harder to exploit the mingmen of others. Zhang Xuan shook his head and sighed.
When he was still at the Fighter realm, he could easily defeat opponents many cultivation realms higher than him just by exploiting the latter's mingmen. However, as his cultivation grew, the opponents he faced became stronger and stronger, and the concepts of space became an integral part of battle as well. This limited his ability to abuse others' weaknesses.
However, it was fortunate that this worked both ways. It was true that he would be unable to kill the Qingtian Emperor easily, but the reverse happened to be true as well.
Clenching his hands tightly together into fists, Zhang Xuan began on a barrage of punches toward the Qingtian Emperor.
A rift seemed to appear in the space before him as his fists fell relentlessly on the Qingtian Emperor at an unbelievable frequency.
Thousand Punches of the Lightning Sea!
This was a technique created by a Leaving Aperture realm expert who had suddenly happened upon inspiration in the midst of watching the lightning gathering for his Leaving Aperture Ordeal. It was considered one of the stronger battle techniques in the Qingyuan Empire, and its power was further enhanced in Zhang Xuan's hands.
Before he even fully brought out the full strength of the battle technique, the hall was filled with lightning.
While the might of the Thousand Punches of the Lightning Sea could not be compared with the Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm, it was harnessed with the Power of Lightning, which made it extremely effective.
It was not exactly true to say that the more profound and powerful a battle technique was, the more effective it would be in battle. To truly maximize one's fighting prowess, the key lay in the effective use of battle techniques according to the situation instead.
It was for this reason that experts would strive to create more battle techniques so that they would have a greater number of cards to play in battle.
Not expecting a mere Saint 3-dan Embryonic Soul realm cultivator to be able to withstand his assaults and even launch a counterattack, the Qingtian Emperor's face turned livid. He subconsciously took two steps back before spreading his hands open to claw at the barrage of punches around him.
The lightning in the area suddenly dissipated into nothingness, as if some kind of mysterious might had burst them.
"I am a Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage cultivator, a person who has been through three lightning ordeals! Even the lightning from the heavens is unable to kill me, did you really naively believe that this lightning attribute battle technique of yours would be able to faze me?" The Qingtian Emperor harrumphed coldly.
A powerful surge of aura burst from the Qingtian Emperor, and for a moment, his presence suddenly seemed to tower, as if an infallible giant who could not be felled no matter what kind of means one used against him.
"I know that just lightning itself won't be sufficient to deal with you… but what if I paired that with my Glacier Rain Sword?" Zhang Xuan replied with a smirk.
The Qingtian Emperor frowned. "Your Glacier Rain Sword?"
He distinctively recalled that he had knocked away the young man's sword at the very start of the battle.
It should be lodged in the wall…
With this thought in mind, he subconsciously turned his gaze toward where he remembered the Glacier Rain Sword to be, and the next moment, his eyes narrowed in shock.
"Where's the sword!"
To his astonishment, the sword had already vanished from sight. At some point in time, the young man had actually managed to retrieve the sword behind his back!
"Why don't you try looking behind you?" Zhang Xuan advised kindly as he gestured to the Qingtian Emperor's back.
The Qingtian Emperor's eyes widened as he quickly turned around fearfully. However, there was nothing behind him at all.
"Damn, I fell for his trap!"
Realizing that he had been tricked, without even bothering to turn around to look at Zhang Xuan, he immediately leaped to the side in hopes to dodging any attack that could soon be landing on him. However, it was already too late. A dull pain pervaded his chest, and glancing downward, he realized that a palm had landed squarely on his body.
Under the impact of the palm, his face paled, and he retreated multiple steps.
As the young man had to move swiftly in order to launch this surprise assault, the palm strike did not wield too much strength, so he actually was not too severely injured by it. However, the very fact that he had been had by such a crude trick left him feeling deeply frenzied within.
He was the Emperor of the Qingtian Lineage, an old monster who had lived for countless years, as well as a Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage expert. And yet, he had actually been injured by such a ridiculous maneuver conducted by a mere Embryonic Soul realm lad… Unforgivable!
"I'll kill you!" Roaring furiously, the Qingtian Emperor drove the Slaughter of Zhenqi in his body furiously as he prepared his strongest move.
At that moment, however, the young man's voice sounded once more. "Below you!"
"Humph, once bitten, twice shy! Do you think that I'll fall for your crude ploys twice?"
Seeing that the young man was still taking him for a fool, the Qingtian Emperor clenched his jaws furiously in anger. But before he could make his move, he suddenly heard a 'wuuu' sound beneath him, and his eyebrows shot up in alarm. Lowering his head, he saw the Glacier Rain Sword, which should have been lodged in the wall, surging straight up toward him.
"Do you honestly think that a mere Saint low-tier sword will be able to kill me? Brat, you are really underestimating me far too much…" the Qingtian Emperor sneered coldly as he directed the energy he had just gathered toward the sword. If his attack landed, the sword would surely shatter into innumerable pieces.
But before he could exert his strength, a huge shadow suddenly loomed over him, and it was growing larger at an unbelievable pace.
Glancing upward, he saw a massive cauldron plummeting straight for his head.
Horrified, he instinctively redirected his strength upward to fend against the cauldron.
Even though he was a Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage expert, he astonishingly realized that the falling cauldron was no weaker than him. The momentum with which the cauldron fell was simply so great that it ended up pushing his body downward.
The sword stabbed right into the opening of his alimentary canal.
Red blood trickled down his thigh, as if signifying the blossoming of a new flower.
A moment later, a piercing scream of agony resounded in the air.