He instinctively knew that it would be a bad idea to remain there after injuring Jian Qinsheng, so he decisively collected all of his swords and returned to his residence.
As expected of an offense-based Sword Quintessence, its might is really not to be underestimated!
Recalling the battle that had happened the previous night, Zhang Xuan's eyes gleamed in excitement.
Even though Jian Qinsheng had suppressed his strength to a hundredth of his original might, his fighting prowess was still not something that any ordinary Saint 7-dan primary stage cultivators would have been able to compete with. Since that was the case, wouldn't the fact that he had been able to send the other party flying mean that no Saint 7-dan primary stage expert would be a match for him once he went all out?
Saint 7-dan Phantasmal Space realm—at that level, a cultivator would be able to grasp the very essence of space. Their Dominion would begin to morph into a form in between a phantasm and reality, making it extremely difficult to deal with.
The Dominions created by Saint 6-dan Grand Dominion realm experts would manifest in a physical form, such as an area of mist or a barrier of light, thus making it discernible to the eye. However, upon reaching Saint 7-dan Phantasmal Space realm, one's Dominion would become intangible, similar to one's Spiritual Perception. Invisible to the eyes, untouchable to the hands, its discreetness could create unimaginable effects.
For example, back when Luo Xuanqing kicked Elder Su Bing flying, the reason the latter did not dodge was because Luo Xuanqing had already shrouded the latter in his Dominion, trapping the latter firmly in place.
With his Saint 5-dan primary stage cultivation, it should have been impossible for Zhang Xuan to faze an expert of that caliber. However, with the Sea Severing Sword, this impossibility had become a real possibility.
It's daybreak! I should head over to the Jia Corridor and finish it.
The rising crimson sun had forced the dark night to retreat, bringing light back to the world.
Zhang Xuan began making his way over to the Hall of Solidarity once more.
He soon arrived at the front counter, and Qing Yu was still seated there.
"I wish to challenge the Jia Corridor once more!"
Accustomed to the procedure, Zhang Xuan wasted no time and passed the concentrated high-tier spirit stones over straight away.
After all he had done, reading, learning swordsmanship, and recovering from his exertion, a day had already passed. Thus, he could continue challenging the Corridor of Puppets once more.
Seeing that it was Zhang Xuan, Qing Yu passed a challenge token over with a nod.
Upon receiving the token, Zhang Xuan immediately turned around and left.
"He wasn't able to clear the Jia Corridor yesterday, but he rushed over as soon as the sun was up." The male attendant from before was also around, and he could not help asking, "Within this short period of time, there shouldn't have been any substantial change in his strength, right? So, what is he in such a hurry for?"
Cultivation was a process of consistent effort, not a way to achieve great things in a heartbeat. How could one night of cultivation possibly help him?
If the young man wanted to clear the Jia Corridor, he would require a few months of hard work at the very least!
"I'm not too sure either…" Qing Yu shook her head. "Perhaps… he might have successfully cultivated some kind of secret art and wants to give it a try!"
"But the stronger a secret art is, the harder it is to grasp it." The male attendant shook his head. "There are some who devote their lives to studying a secret art, only to gain a superficial grasp of it. How much could he possibly have learned in a single night?"
It was not that he had no trust in Zhang Xuan's strength, but some things were simply impossible!
The Jia Corridor was the hardest corridor to clear, and even most Grand Dominion realm advanced stage cultivators would have trouble defeating the puppet within. Even if Zhang Xuan had managed to clear the Yi Corridor the previous day, it still did not seem possible for him to clear the Jia Corridor after one day of hard work.
"The previous one to challenge the Jia Corridor was the Luo Clan's little princess, right? I seem to recall that she's the current record holder," the male attendant suddenly remarked.
"She's indeed the current record holder. She cleared the Jia Corridor within just three minutes…" Upon speaking of the Luo Clan's little princess, admiration and respect immediately seeped into Qing Yu's eyes.
While other challengers struggled with all their might but were still unable to clear the Jia Corridor, the little princess was able to clear it within a short three minutes. More importantly… when she left the room, there was not the slightest speck of dust on her, maintaining her ever-elegant and poised appearance.
Every time she recalled this matter, she could not help but tremble in excitement.
Ever since the Corridor of Puppets was created, there was not a single person who had achieved such a record in the Jia Corridor!
In other words, the accomplishment of the Luo Clan's little princess was unrivaled. There was no one who could compete with her even in the past tens of thousands of years, and it was unlikely that anyone would be able to break her record any time soon.
"Indeed, she's really too formidable…" The male attendant nodded in agreement. He was just about to speak when ripples suddenly appeared in the tea placed in front of him. Following which, the cup began trembling, followed by the table.
"What's going on?" The both of them sprang right up to their feet, and they began scanning their surroundings warily.
"I have no idea…"
Halfway through Qing Yu's words, she suddenly felt the ground shaking intensely, as if there was an earthquake. After which, a resounding explosion rumbled from the distance.
"That seems to be… from the Jia Corridor?"
The eyebrows of the duo shot up as the hurriedly rushed in the direction that the explosion came from. Before they could arrive at the Jia Corridor, they saw a young man walking over with an apologetic look on his face. "My apologies, I failed to rein in my strength when making a move earlier…"
Qing Yu glanced at the Jia Corridor, or to be more exact, the rubble that was once the Jia Corridor. Smoke was pouring out of it. Sweeping through the contents with her Spiritual Perception, she saw that the puppet of the Jia Corridor had already been dismantled into countless pieces, such that there was not even an intact spare part anymore. It truly was complete and utter destruction.
"You…" Unable to hold herself back anymore, Qing Yu asked Zhang Xuan in agitation, "Just what did you do?"
She was well aware of the strength that the puppet in the Jia Corridor wielded. Even ordinary Grand Dominion realm advanced stage experts would not be a match for it, and yet, that fellow still managed to crush it so easily. Just how in the world did he manage to do it?
More importantly… it had not even been three minutes since he had taken the challenge token from her!
Within this period, he had actually defeated the puppet and torn down the entire Jia Corridor while he was at it?
"I was only using a sword art," Zhang Xuan said awkwardly.
Due to the rules of the Jia Corridor, Zhang Xuan was unable to wield his swords, so he could only use his sword qi in substitution. Nevertheless, the might of the Sea Severing Sword was still far beyond his control. The puppet was reduced to dust as soon as it appeared, but even so, he was still unable to stop the sword art until it depleted a massive portion of his zhenqi. The current destruction was the result of that.
He had thought that since the Corridor of Puppets was a formal trial by the Sanctum of Sages, the Fortification Formations reinforcing the corridors would be rather powerful, so it should have been fine for him to let loose. It was never his intention to cause such a huge commotion!
It was fortunate that the trial had deemed it a success right after the puppet was destroyed, and the books at the very end of the corridor had come into his sight, allowing him to swiftly collect them into his Library of Heaven's Path. Otherwise, if his efforts had ended in vain after all the trouble he had been through, he really might have burst into tears on the spot.
"Sword art?" Qing Yu and the male receptionist were really at a loss of words.
Sword arts, they had seen plenty of those. But one that could destroy not only the puppet but the entire corridor along with it? They had never seen one that wielded such might before!
"Wait right here for a moment. I'll report this matter to the elder," Qing Yu told Zhang Xuan before hurriedly leaving.
The destruction of the Jia Corridor was a huge matter, far beyond the jurisdiction of a mere receptionist like her.
The Hall of Solidarity could be considered property of the Sanctum of Sages. If everyone were to destroy it without care, not even the Sanctum of Sages would have enough money to pay for the reparations.
"Alright." Knowing that it was only right for him to make compensation after causing destruction, Zhang Xuan had no intention of leaving either. He found a place to sit down and began meditating to recover his zhenqi.
While the strength of the Sea Severing Sword was reduced because he had not wielded any swords, the execution of the sword art still depleted nearly half of his zhenqi!
Previously, I thought that the Old Sword Maestro was just unable to gather sufficient swords for the execution of the technique, but from the looks of it now, even if he had gathered sufficient swords, it is uncertain whether he would have been able to execute it or not.
As one who had cultivated the Saint Ascension Decipher, the capacity of Zhang Xuan's zhenqi far exceeded that of other cultivators, but even so, he was still nearly unable to keep up with the depletion of energy. Despite being the creator of the move, the Old Sword Maestro probably still had a fair bit of trouble trying to execute the technique.
Knowing that it would be impossible for him to fully recover without several hours of cultivation, Zhang Xuan decided to immerse his consciousness into his Library of Heaven's Path to take a look at the books that he had just collected.
There were only five books in the Jia Corridor, and they corresponded to the Five Elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. The tier of the books was extremely high, plausibly the most profound and powerful Leaving Aperture realm cultivation techniques in the Sanctum of Sages.
Putting all the Leaving Aperture realm cultivation techniques together, Zhang Xuan commanded, Compile!
A new book materialized. Flipping it open, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in delight.
After all his hard work, he had finally succeeded in compiling the Leaving Aperture realm Heaven's Path Divine Art! Just thinking about the difficulties that he had been through was enough to make tears stream down his cheeks.
I wonder if Sun Qiang has managed to find a source to procure pinnacle spirit stones, Zhang Xuan wondered as he swiftly memorized the cultivation technique.
Without a source of sufficiently pure spiritual energy, he would not be able to further his cultivation.
Above concentrated high-tier spirit stones were the pinnacle spirit stones, which boasted extraordinary purity. If he could find a source for those, his quandary concerning a lack of spirit stones would be resolved!
There were no pinnacle spirit stones in the Qingyuan Empire, but it should not be too difficult to find them in the Sanctum of Sages.
"He's the person who destroyed the Jia Corridor, Zhang shi…"
While Zhang Xuan was still in thought, he suddenly heard a voice. Raising his head, he saw Qing Yu leading an elder over.
The elder took a look at the Jia Corridor, and his eyebrows immediately began twitching.
Zhang Xuan hurriedly got up.
"Zhang shi, Elder Liao over here is in charge of everything concerning the Leaving Aperture realm Corridor of Puppets," Qing Yu introduced.
"Paying respects to Elder Liao!" Zhang Xuan quickly clasped his fist.
There was nothing else he could do. Under the roof of another, he had no choice but to lower his head.
He still could not bring himself to be as domineering as his future brother-in-law.
With a voice of suppressed rage, Elder Liao asked, "You said that you managed to reduce this place to this state just by executing a sword art?"
"That's right…" Zhang Xuan nodded hesitantly.
"Pass me your challenge token!"
Zhang Xuan did as he was told.
Elder Liao took a close look at the challenge token that Zhang Xuan had passed over, and a moment later, a deep frown appeared on his forehead.
The Jia Corridor did not just have a formidable puppet—it had a powerful formation as well. Under normal circumstances, even a Grand Dominion realm pinnacle expert would not have the strength to cause such devastation in this place… unless the individual had cheated!
But on the challenge token, the young man was reported to have cleared the trial fair and square. In other words, no acts of cheating had been detected by the system.
Was it really possible for a Leaving Aperture realm primary stage cultivator to cause such destruction with his sword art?
Perplexed, Elder Liao instructed, "What sword art did you execute earlier? Show it to me!"
"Show it to you? This…" A conflicted look surfaced on Zhang Xuan's face. "To be honest with you, my grasp over the sword art is still lacking, so I am unable to control it properly. I fear that I will accidentally harm you if I execute it here!"
"Harm me?" Elder Liao sneered. "While I am only a managerial elder here, my cultivation has at least reached Saint 7-dan Phantasmal Space realm. A Leaving Aperture realm primary stage cultivator like you actually fears that you will accidentally harm me? What arrogant words!"
There were various tiers to the elders of the Sanctum of Sages. Personnel who had reached Saint 7-dan would be eligible to take on the role of a managerial elder, such as Su Bing and Elder Liao.
"This… Elder Liao, even if you are confident in your strength, I still fear that my sword qi will destroy the other buildings in the area too…" Zhang Xuan was still a little hesitant about executing the Sea Severing Sword here.
"Do you think that your sword qi will have a chance to escape from my Dominion? You must be joking!" Elder Liao harrumphed coldly with deep confidence reflected in his eyes.