After reading through the content of the book, Zhang Xuan exhaled deeply.

He pondered for a moment before heading to a corner of the room to sit down cross-legged.

Some time later, his clone came over and asked in bewilderment, "What are you doing?"

Zhang Xuan turned around and replied with a pale face, "Whenever I have a question that I can't find an answer to, I like to sit in a corner of the room to mull over the secrets of the universe and the meaning of life."

"Mull over the secrets of the universe? Meaning of life?" Zhang Xuan's clone was bewildered.

When did the main body gain such an ability?

Why was he unaware of it?

Even though he had no idea what the main body was up to, he felt that the main body had a reason for doing what he was doing. Thus, he decided not to interfere in the latter's business. "I'll just take a look around. Feel free to continue what you are doing."

Leaving those words behind, he turned around and left.

Around two hours later, Zhang Xuan exhaled deeply before getting to his feet once more.

At this moment, his eyes were reddened, and he seemed to be drained of energy. His feet wobbled unstably on the ground, and he nearly fell over.

Upon seeing this sight, his clone quickly rushed forward to support him.

"I'm fine." Zhang Xuan waved his hand as he quickly drove his Heaven's Path zhenqi three circulations around his body—the weakness and exhaustion he felt were finally alleviated.

Noting that Zhang Xuan had recovered from his weakened state, his clone quickly sent him a telepathic message. "I have just checked the entire area, and other than the black box and the altar, there are not any mechanisms in the area at all. If my deduction is correct, I think we are already at the bottommost layer of the island."

In the two hours that Zhang Xuan had spent contemplating the meaning of life, he had already gone over every nook and cranny of the underground chamber.

With the impartation from the main body, his comprehension of formations and mechanisms had already reached the level of 7-star pinnacle. Given that, if he still could not find anything amiss after a thorough check, the chances were that there were no mechanisms in the room.

"I see." Zhang Xuan nodded.

"What do we do now?" Zhang Xuan's clone frowned. "Should we just destroy the Celestial Designer Lock and hope that it will kill Vicious?"

Zhang Xuan's clone had a feeling that his main body knew something, just that the latter was unwilling to speak of it.

Zhang Xuan shook his head. "That won't do. There might be other conditions to activating the attack of the altar other than distance. If we make a rash move, we will risk triggering the altar. If so, we might very well end up as nourishment for Vicious!"


"It'll be safer for us to destroy the altar first. Once we destroy the altar, we will be able to do whatever we want with the box," Zhang Xuan replied.

"Sounds reasonable." Zhang Xuan's clone nodded.

Thus, the both of them walked closer to the altar to take a closer look at it.

The inscriptions on the altar were even more intricate than those on the altar in his storage ring. There was no way for Zhang Xuan to accurately discern the effects of the formation inscribed onto it.

Flicking his wrist, Zhang Xuan took out a spiritless Saint low-tier sword he had obtained from the Qiu Wu Palace and tossed it over.

Sou sou sou sou!

In the blink of an eye, the Saint low-tier sword was torn into pieces by the onslaught of sword qi from the altar.

Seeing the sight, the mouth of Zhang Xuan's clone twitched.

His physical body was capable of regenerating back to its original form even when it was being sliced into pieces, but his soul still was not strong enough yet. Judging by the might of the sword qi, his soul could very well dissipate if it was subjected to such an assault.

On the other hand, Zhang Xuan closed his eyes shortly after the altar came into action. A moment later, he opened his eyes once more and retrieved a bunch of formation flags from his storage ring.

"What are you planning to do with these formation flags?" Zhang Xuan's clone asked in bewilderment.

Shouldn't they have been thinking of a way to break the altar?

Why would he suddenly whip out a couple of formation flags?

"The formation inscribed onto the altar is extremely profound, at least reaching the level of grade-8. A forceful attempt to break the formation could cause it to blow up instead, which would be extremely dangerous. Thus, I intend to deal with the formation by setting another one up myself!" Zhang Xuan explained.

"Deal with the formation by setting another one up yourself?" Zhang Xuan's clone pondered for a moment before nodding in realization.

In essence, what Zhang Xuan intended to do was to use a new formation to interfere with the functions of the altar's formation and destroy its internal structure.

As simple as it sounded theoretically, it was no easy feat to pull off.

In the first place, it was already difficult to construct a formation on top of another one, and a mistake in doing so could potentially result in severe backlash from the existing formation. On top of that, in order to successfully neutralize the altar's formation, Zhang Xuan had to construct a formation that possessed might on par with it. The difficulty in doing so was truly unimaginable.

However, Zhang Xuan's clone knew that his main body would only make a move when the latter was confident of success, so he decided not to say too much about the matter. Instead, he took a few steps back and returned back into the passageway, ready to flee if a mishap occurred.

On the other hand, Zhang Xuan took a deep breath before leaping into the air. Then, he suddenly flicked his wrist.


More than a hundred formation flags shot out from his palm, falling accurately into their respective positions.


The next moment, the massive formation began whirring into action.

"It's a Starlight Convergence Formation…" Zhang Xuan's clone recognized the activated formation in an instant.

It was neither a Slaughter Formation nor an Illusory Formation but… a Spirit Gathering Formation!

A half grade-8 formation, it tapped into the lingering Power of Stars in the world in order to gather spiritual energy.

To use such a formation to break the altar…

"It's indeed a good idea."

While Zhang Xuan's clone snubbed the main body for being so much weaker than him, he had to admit that he was really impressed by the latter at this moment.

The formation inscribed on the altar was extremely powerful, possibly even a grade-8 formation, and given the current strength of the main body, it would be difficult for him to set up a formation sufficiently powerful to interfere with and destroy it. However, a Spirit Gathering Formation would be a different story.

On the surface, overlapping a Spirit Gathering Formation on top of the already powerful grade-8 formation may seem like a foolish act, but… everything in the world had a tolerance limit.

Even grade-8 formations were no exception to the rule.

It was unknown where the altar received the required spiritual energy to drive the formation from, but the energy that it received was already plenty, and there was no need to supplement it anymore. Thus, if a Spirit Gathering Formation was set up on top of it, it would not be long before the spiritual energy gathered in the altar's formation exceeded its limit.

While Zhang Xuan's clone was still analyzing the situation, Zhang Xuan whipped out ten thousand high-tier spirit stones and placed them into the formation in order to speed up the rate at which the Starlight Convergence Formation was gathering spiritual energy.

Hong long long!

The massive influx of energy swiftly formed a gigantic energy whirlpool, causing the underground chamber to shake intensely.

Under the control of the Starlight Convergence Formation, the massive whirlpool of spiritual energy swiftly dived into the altar.

The altar emanated a brilliant glow, and a moment later, it began to inflate swiftly like a balloon.


The altar had finally reached its limit, and a deafening explosion resounded in the underground chamber.

"We have succeeded!" The eyes of Zhang Xuan's clone lit up.

He had thought that even with the prowess of the Starlight Convergence Formation, it would still have taken at least a month in order to destroy the formation. However, the main body's act of tossing ten thousand spirit stones into the formation had hastened the process by innumerable times.

In less than an incense's time, the altar had already exploded.

Upon the altar's destruction, Zhang Xuan swiftly packed all of his formation flags back into the storage ring.

Barely after he did so, the killing intent in the underground chamber suddenly intensified, and a frenzied laughter sounded. "Hahaha! Zhang Xuan, it seems like I really made the right choice in luring you here! I really have to thank you for freeing me from my restraints! I, Vicious, have finally returned to the world!"

As those words were spoken, Zhang Xuan and his clone suddenly realized that their bodies had been frozen by some kind of power, and an incomparably powerful might weighed down on them, threatening to crush their bodies.

Coming to realize what had just happened, the face of Zhang Xuan's clone turned ghastly pale. Sh*t, he wasn't trapped in the Celestial Designer Lock but… the altar?

As they had sensed that the killing intent originated from the Celestial Designer Lock, they had instinctively assumed that Vicious was inside there. They had thought that the destruction of the altar would allow them to deal with Vicious… but it turned out that they were sorely mistaken! The true seal that was restraining Vicious was actually the altar itself!

"Quick, escape!" Seemingly having just realized what had just happened as well, Zhang Xuan's eyes narrowed in astonishment. With an anxious bellow, he swiftly executed a powerful palm strike.

Si la!

The powerful might of the Heavenly Demon Great Sorrow Palm swiftly tore apart the frozen space trapping him. Zhang Xuan stretched his hand forward to return his clone into his storage ring before executing the Unbounded Voyager. His silhouette blurred, and in the blink of an eye, he was already at the other end of the passageway.

Rushing all the way up, it took only ten breaths for him to return to where Hall Master Xing and the others were.

They had been attempting to find another exit to the Ghost Cavern so as to secure an escape route, but their efforts had been futile.

"Principal Zhang!" Upon seeing Zhang Xuan, the group heaved a sigh of relief.

"Follow me! We need to escape from here as fast as possible!" Zhang Xuan urged.

Vicious had been freed from his restraints, and he was not someone whom they could deal with at the moment. The only thing they could do right now was to get away as fast as they could.

"But the Dragon Severing Lock is still blocking the entrance… How are we to leave the Ghost Cavern?" Wu shi asked.

With the entrance sealed and no alternative exits in sight, they had nowhere to escape to!

"Don't worry about that and follow me!" Paying no heed to the doubts that the others harbored, Zhang Xuan continued charging forward.

The remaining members of the group were perplexed, but they chose to follow him. Passing through a long passageway, they finally arrived before the Dragon Severing Lock once more. It was still firmly blocking the entrance, sealing their escape route.

"What should we do?" Wu shi asked anxiously.

Hall Master Xing gritted his teeth and said, "Since it has already come down to this, why don't we combine the strength of all nine of us together through a collaborative formation to attack the Dragon Severing Lock? We might just be able to force our way out."

"It seems like there's no other choice…" Wu shi nodded.

However, halfway through his words, he realized that Zhang Xuan had already walked up to the Dragon Severing Lock, and stroking the massive rock gently, the latter said, "Open up. We need to leave."


Before everyone's shocked gaze, the Dragon Severing Lock, which even a Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle expert might not have been able to destroy, suddenly began nudging aside.


Everyone widened their eyes in shock at the unbelievable sight before them.

It was an established fact that unless one possessed strength greater than the forged Dragon Severing Lock, there would be no way to pass through a path that it sealed. Yet, the young man before him had actually managed to get the Dragon Severing Lock to nudge aside just by touching it gently and saying a few words to it.

This was too exaggerated!

"Let's hurry up and leave!" Zhang Xuan urged as he took the lead forward.

On the other hand, the others also know that this was not the time to be dozing off, so they quickly caught up to Zhang Xuan and escaped from the little island.

Hong long long!

The shaking of the little island swiftly intensified, and by the time the group finally leaped back to where they had been prior to entering the Ghost Cavern, amid a furious flinging of mud, the little island actually began rising into the air.

Everyone's eyes widened in shock.

Geji! Geji!

The little island rose higher and higher, and it did not take long before it was fully freed from the marsh. Following which, the little island did a 180-degrees turn, and as the mud shrouding it swiftly fell back into the marsh, its true face finally unfolded.

Amidst the crowd, Division Head Liao's body trembled as he spoke the words that were in everyone's mind. "Is that… a head?"

Shockingly, the little island was shaped similar to a head. The lake that they had encountered prior to entering the Ghost Cavern was actually one of the two eyes of the head!

A glint flashed across the massive eyes as a powerful voice boomed. "Hahaha! I, Vicious, have finally returned! Tell me, how do you want to die?"

Vicious of the Marshlands of the Northern Meadows was finally back!Roughly 15 minutes.



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