Library of Heaven is Path
He might still have been able to derive some feeling of superiority when comparing himself with others, but against his clone, he had been wrecked time and time again to the point where it had nearly become a trauma in his heart.
Shaking his head, Zhang Xuan tried to ignore the feeling of helplessness within him and took out a jade container. Opening it lightly, an ancient book came into sight.
Annal of Bedstead Disquisition!
By scanning it with his eyes, an equivalent book appeared in the Library of Heaven's Path.
After swiftly looking through the content in the book, Zhang Xuan thought, It is indeed related to the cultivation technique of the Luo Clan. However, it isn't a cultivation technique itself but a compilation of insights!
Recorded in the Annal of Bedstead Disquisition was Pavilion Master Yan's interpretation of Sage Luo's lecture. It did not contain a cultivation technique but a new interpretation toward cultivation.
To make an analogy, it would be like learning a studying method. As long as a cultivator were to fully grasp those insights, their speed of cultivation should increase significantly.
Just that… the Heaven's Path Divine Art was already no different from the best studying method in the world. While the insights to cultivation recorded in the Annal of Bedstead Disquisition were not too bad, superior to most interpretations of cultivation out there, it was completely useless to him.
After studying the book for a moment longer, Zhang Xuan eventually shook his head. I was still expecting something out of it due to how valuable it is. What a pity!
He had thought that by learning the key to the Luo Clan's cultivation technique, he would be able to better deal with them when the time came. But thinking about it now, how could the cultivation technique of a Sage Clan possibly be obtained that easily?
If, by any chance, someone leaked the Luo Clan's cultivation technique, with their massive influence, they would have surely swiftly found it and destroyed it utterly. There was no way they would allow their cultivation technique to be auctioned in a small black market in the Qianchong Empire.
While the Luo Clan's insight into cultivation is not too bad, it seems like it's still a far stretch from matching Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel.
From the Annal of Bedstead Disquisition, it was apparent that the Luo Clan specialized in the study of spatial laws. However, in terms of depth of comprehension, Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's understanding of space was clearly a more direct interpretation of the world compared to the Luo Clan's.
But looking at it now, there seemed to be striking similarities between the two of them… as if they originated from the same source.
A thought suddenly emerged in Zhang Xuan's mind.
Right. If I compile this together with the 2-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, will I be able to perfect it?
There were five dans to the Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, and so far, he had only cultivated the first dan of the technique. The reason he had not continued was because there were simply too many flaws from the second dan onward, and his cultivation had not met the mark either.
But since his cultivation had already reached Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, he could try cultivating the 2-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel if he could perfect it.
So, Zhang Xuan took out the 2-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel and placed it together with the Annal of Bedstead Disquisition.
Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up, and he hurriedly flipped it open.
It really worked…
There was a total of five dans to the Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, namely Compress, Traverse, Control, Creation, and Destruction.
He had already fully mastered Compress, and by using it in unison with the Unbounded Voyager, he had gained the ability to carry out near-instantaneous movement within a radius of hundred meters, as if teleportating.
It was also his superior grasp over spatial laws that granted him the strength to rival Half-Grand Dominion realm experts.
If he could master the 2-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, he would be able to increase his fighting prowess another a notch.
Excited, Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist to place all his concentrated high-tier spirit stones before him in a pile before immersing himself into the cultivation of the Traverse realm.
Some time later…
Zhang Xuan finally stood up, and his aura began to rise steadily.
After a long moment of hard work, even though he had not mastered the 2-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel 'Traverse' yet, his understanding of space did advance by leaps and bounds.
With his previous strength, he had only been on par with Half-Grand Dominion realm experts. However, with his current strength, he might even be able to rival true Grand Dominion realm primary stage experts!
Willing it with his mind, a sphere of faint light with a radius of one meter immediately appeared around Zhang Xuan, and he could feel the absolute control he wielded within this space.
Feeling the effects of the light sphere, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement. Even though this isn't a Dominion, it has similar effects to one.
This light sphere was created by using his soul energy to warp the surrounding Laws of Space. He had absolute control over anything that was within this light sphere, and unless there was another individual who could wrestle the control over this space from him, he would practically be invincible.
Let me test out my strength!
With a flick of his wrist, the Golden Origin Cauldron appeared before Zhang Xuan.
"Attack me with your full might!"
"Alright!" Even though the Golden Origin Cauldron was unsure what Zhang Xuan was up to, it still agreed to the request. It leaped powerfully into the sky before descending heavily upon Zhang Xuan.
Possessing a fighting prowess on par with Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage cultivators, the speed at which the Golden Origin Cauldron was capable of moving at had already exceeded the speed of sound. Nevertheless, when it came within a meter of Zhang Xuan, its speed abruptly decreased.
"Freeze," Zhang Xuan muttered softly.
In the instant that the Golden Origin Cauldron was just about to touch Zhang Xuan, it came to a completely halt. No matter how it struggled, its body would not budge at all.
As long as I will it, I will even be able to destroy the spirit of the Golden Origin Cauldron easily.
Feeling the power that he wielded over the Golden Origin Cauldron, Zhang Xuan was astonished.
It was no wonder everyone said that the difference between each cultivation realm from Leaving Aperture realm onward was an unbreachable rift. From the looks of it now, it seemed like those words were not hearsay.
He had thought that the prowess that Grand Dominion realm cultivators wielded had been exaggerated—as long as there was sufficiently large group of cultivators surrounding a Grand Dominion realm cultivator, it should have been a matter of time before he eventually slipped up and erred.
But having first-hand experience with the prowess of a Dominion, he realized that he had been too naive!
Within the sphere of a Dominion, there was no such thing as chance. Unless one could destroy the Dominion with a greater power or interrupt the activation of the Dominion, the chances of success were practically null.
However, the maintenance of a Dominion is really taxing on one's zhenqi and Primordial Spirit.
After releasing the Golden Origin Cauldron, Zhang Xuan released the light sphere around him, and a feeling of extreme fatigue swiftly consumed him.
Even though this Dominion-like light sphere was extremely powerful, granting him the strength to fight toe-to-toe with a Grand Dominion realm primary stage cultivator, the rate at which his zhenqi and soul energy depleted was truly frightening.
Despite having cultivated the Saint Ascension Decipher, not to mention that he was a Celestial Saint as well, just maintaining the light sphere for ten seconds had left him feeling sapped and exhausted.
I should only activate this technique in times of emergency.
As powerful as the light sphere was, if he depleted all his energy from using it, he would be placed in a vulnerable position for quite a period of time. Thus, unless in times of emergency, it was best for him to avoid using it.
Zhang Xuan rested for a moment to recover his depleted zhenqi. At this moment, a thought suddenly came to his mind, and he clenched his fists in agitation. Wait a moment… Since I have comprehended a Dominion-like ability, does this mean that I will be able to crush my clone easily?
All along, he had been put down by his clone, and the shame and embarrassment had weighed down on him for far too long. Since he had managed to comprehend Dominion ahead of his clone, it was about time for him to return the favor!
With this thought in mind, Zhang Xuan did not hesitate to leap into action. He immediately called his clone over.
Without wasting any words, an earth-shaking, mountain-crushing battle began.
Frightened, the Golden Origin Cauldron swiftly retreated to a corner and trembled fearfully.
Three breaths later, Zhang Xuan had been imprinted with clear panda eyes. Five breaths later, huge spurts of blood from Zhang Xuan dyed the sky crimson. Ten breaths later, an unmoving human was lying on the ground.
"Nice try, better luck next time…" Clapping to rid the dirt off his hands, Zhang Xuan's clone turned around smugly and walked away.
Feeling utterly stifled inside, Zhang Xuan could only drive his Heaven's Path zhenqi to heal up.
He had thought that after comprehending Dominion, he would be able to utterly thrash his clone, but who knew that the other party would actually still be able to forcefully move even under the effects of his Dominion!
In the end, he had still been pummeled.
That monster! Just how in the world did he cultivate?
Driving his zhenqi two circulations around his body, Zhang Xuan managed to recover from his injuries. He looked at his clone helplessly for a moment before decisively leaving the Anthive Nest.
Oh well… I guess I'll just have to come back and exact vengeance the next time I make a major breakthrough in my cultivation!
Returning to his room, Zhang Xuan walked out and noted that the sun had already risen. Breathing in the morning air, he felt extraordinarily refreshed.
After a night of cultivation, even though it was a pity that he still was not a match for his clone, he did manage to advance his fighting prowess considerably.
A moment after walking out of the residence, he suddenly saw Zhang Jiuxiao rushing over with unconcealable glee on his face. "Zhang shi, I have managed to achieve a breakthrough to Primordial Spirit realm advanced stage! Hahaha!"
Even though he knew it was likely that he would be outdone very soon, he still could not help but to take pride in the fact that he had managed to catch up with Zhang Xuan for the time being.
To be able to catch up to a Celestial Master Teacher… This was something he could brag to his offspring about in the future!
"Congratulations!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
"Thank you. Since my cultivation is on par with Zhang shi now, I think that I should be able to clear the secondary selection…"
Halfway through his words, Zhang Jiuxiao's words suddenly clogged up in his throat. His face twitched a little as his eyes widened in disbelief. "Zhang shi… you are at… Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle?"
"Un. I managed to sufficiently accumulate my cultivation, so I was able to push for a breakthrough," Zhang Xuan replied with a nod.
"You managed to sufficiently accumulate your cultivation?" Zhang Jiuxiao nearly burst into tears.
Accumulate your head!
It was just yesterday that you made a breakthrough, and yet, over the course of a night, you made another breakthrough. What can you possibly accumulate in a single day?
Even genius cultivators would at least take several months to advance a single cultivation stage after reaching Primordial Spirit realm, and yet, you only took a single night. Can you be any more terrifying than that?
Zhang Jiuxiao's eyes reddened in frenzy as he felt a pail of cold water washing away the little bit of confidence that he had just barely built up.
When other cultivators achieved swift breakthroughs, their strength would be volatile, resulting in a reduction in their fighting prowess. Yet, despite advancing so swiftly, that fellow was actually still be able to exert unbelievable strength.
Really, Zhang Jiuxiao felt that he should stop trying to compare with the young man before him, or else he might just die of trauma some day.
On the other hand, seeing how dejected Zhang Jiuxiao was, Zhang Xuan suddenly felt the exasperation and frustration that he had just felt from being pummeled by his clone vanishing without a trace. Satisfied with the outcome, he nodded in approval.
Indeed. While he might have been far from a match for his clone, he was still stronger than the common populace.
Knowing that he would only get more and more depressed talking about cultivation, Zhang Jiuxiao quickly changed the topic. "Zhang shi, Zhao shi asked us to gather at the main hall. The secondary selection is about to begin."
Nodding in response, Zhang Xuan quickly followed Zhang Jiuxiao over to the main hall.
In the main hall, the thirty or so master teachers he had seen the previous day had already arrived. They were standing neatly in two rows with solemn looks on their faces.
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan, they swiftly greeted him before falling silent.
Zhang Xuan and Zhang Jiuxiao took their positions at the end of the two rows, and quick sweeping over the room with their gazes, they noted that Zhao Xingmo and Pavilion Master Yue were standing in the middle.
Pavilion Master Yue's body was still a little swollen, and there were various patches of bruising all around. It was apparent that he had yet to recover from the beating that he had received from the puppets the previous day.
The higher one's cultivation, the lower the effectiveness of a pill. Given his cultivation realm, if he wanted to recover from his wounds quickly, he would have to consume a grade-8 pill at the very minimum. However, even as the head of the Qianchong Empire Master Teacher Pavilion, a grade-8 pill was not a commodity that could easily be acquired.
"Since everyone has arrived, let's not waste any time and begin the secondary selection."
Stepping forward, Zhang Xingmo shot a sweeping gaze across all of the candidates before saying, "In the selections of the Sanctum of Sages, we aim to assess the strength, intelligence, ability to assess the big picture, and many other key capabilities of the candidates. In the preliminary selection, we have assessed you on your strength. As long as you wield sufficient strength, you will be able to clear the selection easily. However, the secondary selection won't be as simple as that.
"Now, I shall begin explaining the rules for the secondary selection!"
Everyone's ears perked up, and their eyes narrowed, not wanting to miss any words or gestures that he spoke or made.
This would determine whether they would be able to enter the Sanctum of Sages or not, so they had to obtain every scrap of information they could get about the secondary selection.
"As complicated as I have made it sound, there is only a single rule to the secondary selection. That is to use every means possible to eliminate your opponent!"
With a solemn look, Zhao Xingmo raised his hand and declared grandly, "The challenge for the secondary selection shall be… a caged battle royale!"