Even though he had not achieved a breakthrough to Ancient Sage, his fighting prowess was already on par with Blood Reincarnation realm experts. As zhenqi surged through his meridians, a devastating force was swiftly gathering at the tips of his knuckles.
As the fist and palm collided with one another, Zhang Xuan's body jolted a little.
To his surprise, that palm strike was not any weaker than his fist. It also harnessed the might of a Blood Reincarnation realm expert.
I mustn't drag things out…
Zhang Xuan's motive for going to the Kunxu Domain was to uncover Kong shi's trail after capturing a deity from the Azure. His goal had never been to cause trouble, and in order to avoid unnecessary complications, it would be best for him to end this battle as quickly as possible.
Otherwise, once the Ancient Sages of the Hundred Schools of Philosophers noticed his presence, things could really get troublesome.
With a flick of his wrist, the Dragonbone Divine Spear materialized in Zhang Xuan's grasp. Gathering the full might of his body, he drove it right toward the palm in the sky.
Despite the incredible momentum of the spear, it left nothing more than a slight indentation in the surrounding space, almost reminiscent of a needle piercing into one's skin. The spear had retained all of the energy within it, to the extent that even the crowd not too far away would not imagine that two Ancient Sages were colliding with one another just ten meters away from them.
With the powerful drive behind it, the Dragonbone Divine Spear overpowered the palm and pushed it back. As if recognizing that it was not a match for Zhang Xuan, the palm also retreated back into the formation.
Having overcome this obstacle, Zhang Xuan swiftly made his way into the Sage Ancestral Hall.
The first thing that came into his mind upon entering the stately room was the humongous Kong shi sculpture located at the center of the room. Standing in front of him was a warrior dressed in gold from top to bottom. This warrior was glaring at him with killing intent rippling in his eyes.
There was a cut at the center of its palm, which indicated that it was the opponent who had made a move on Zhang Xuan just a moment earlier.
"This is… a Golden Warrior of Mentor's Calligraphy?" Zhang Xuan frowned in bewilderment.
He had thought that the person who had attacked him earlier would be an expert from the Great Phrontistery of Confucianism protecting the Sage Ancestral Hall… but it was only a warrior transformed from calligraphy!
This was not the first time that he had encountered a Golden Warrior of Mentor's Calligraphy. He had come by them previously at Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's ancient domain.
"To think that it's possible for calligraphy to harness the might of an Ancient Sage 3-dan cultivator… Was this Golden Warrior of Mentor's Calligraphy left behind by Kong shi himself?" Zhang Xuan wondered.
There was no doubt that Kong shi was the strongest person who had ever walked on the Master Teacher Continent, but he had not thought that the other party had actually been that powerful!
Even a single calligraphed character from him wielded strength that was comparable to the current him. If Kong shi wrote down a bunch of words, there would practically be nothing in this world that could stop him anymore!
But an instant after this thought formulated in Zhang Xuan's mind, he swiftly shook his head and denied that notion.
It was easier said than done to produce a Golden Warrior of Mentor's Calligraphy. Not only was it extremely testing on the skills and state of mind of the painter, it was also highly demanding on one's zhenqi and blood essence for nourishment. Given Zhang Xuan's current capabilities, he would only be able to create Golden Warriors of Mentor's Calligraphy at the level of Sempiternal realm cultivators, and his limit was three of them.
Anything more than that would be pushing it too far.
"But no matter how powerful it is, it is nothing more than a character," Zhang Xuan muttered beneath his breath.
He released his Spiritual Perception to swiftly scan the surroundings, and he heaved a sigh of relief after seeing that the earlier battle had not caught anyone's attention. Turning his gaze back to the Golden Warrior of Mentor's Calligraphy, he pushed his right leg against the ground and dashed forward, piercing his spear in the direction of the Golden Warrior.
Through concentrating his zhenqi at the tip of the spear, a swiftly revolving sphere of energy swiftly formed in front of him.
His spearmanship was in harmony with the world. Simple was its form, but versatility was its core. The unpredictable trajectory of his spear made it extremely difficult to defend against it.
In order to end this battle as quickly as possible, Zhang Xuan chose not to hold back at all. Gathering all of the strength at his disposal, he exerted a might that was almost comparable to a Dimension Shatterer realm cultivator. In less than two breaths, the Golden Warrior of Mentor's Calligraphy was shattered, reduced to an ink character on the wall behind the sculpture.
Seeing that the character had not made any move after the earlier offense, Zhang Xuan walked up to the sculpture of Kong shi and bowed deeply as a show of respect before looking around the area.
It was likely that the Golden Warrior of Mentor's Calligraphy from earlier was a trial that those who wanted to enter the Sage Ancestral Hall would have to go through, similar to what had happened in Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's ancient domain. Only those who had defeated it would be qualified to explore the premises.
The room was mainly empty except for the sculpture at the center.
Thus, Zhang Xuan walked up to the side door and saw a corridor beyond it. The corridor was wide and spacious, and there were numerous tablets floating alongside it.
"This is… Kong shi's entire life story?" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement.
The floating tablets were inscribed with the records of Kong shi's life, detailing everything that had happened since his birth.
Laying his eyes on one of the floating tablets, Zhang Xuan felt as if his soul had traveled through space-time to witness the grand life that Kong shi had lived.
Unlike the usual depictions of his life, Kong shi was not a Connate Saint. No matter how one looked at it, he was an ordinary individual. The only thing that was noteworthy was his deep interest in books and sharp wits.
But a day suddenly came when he deviated from his ordinary life. It was as if an epiphany had suddenly struck him, causing his cultivation to surge. Within the short span of a year, he achieved a breakthrough beyond Fighter 9-dan, Transcendent Mortal 9-dan, and even Saint 9-dan!
In terms of progress, Kong shi was no slower than him!
It was still the era where the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe ruled over the Master Teacher Continent back then, and the humans lived under oppression. Along his growth, Kong shi's footsteps never halted. He fought country after country, salvaging mankind from the claws of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe. At the same time, he spread his teachings and ideals while taking in students.
Before long, the Master Teacher Pavilion that they knew today was established.
Feeling threatened by Kong shi's presence, the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe launched an ambush on Kong shi and his disciples, trapping them in Chen-Cai for many months. Many thought that Kong shi was done for, but in that crucial period, he created the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn and successfully achieved a breakthrough to Ancient Sage. That freed him from the danger that he was in, and he even successfully assassinated Vicious.
Soon enough, the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe was driven back and sealed within the otherworldly battlefield, thus liberating mankind once and for all.
"From the looks of it, it seems like Kong shi's breakthrough to Ancient Sage wasn't just an ordinary comprehension of temporal laws…" Zhang Xuan pondered as he followed Kong shi's journey through his life.
The Great Codex of Spring and Autumn contained the secrets of time. Zhang Xuan himself had been to the Temple of Confucius, and the flow of time in that folded space was indeed different from that of the world outside.
Ancient Sage Ran Qiu's breakthrough was built upon his spearmanship, and Ancient Sage Qiu Wu's breakthrough came from his deep comprehension of spatial laws… All along, he had thought that what Kong shi had grasped in his breakthrough to Ancient Sage were the temporal laws, but it seemed like there was more to it.
The founder of the Zhang Clan was a person who had comprehended the Time Quintessence and successfully achieved a breakthrough to Ancient Sage based on it. There was no doubt that he was a powerful individual, but he still came nowhere close in comparison to the World's Teacher.
Harboring doubts in his heart, Zhang Xuan moved on to the other stone tablets.
After being driven away to the otherworldly battlefield, the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe was indignant and craved vengeance. Thus, they summoned a deity in hopes of turning the tables, but the deity was instead captured by Kong shi.
Watching up to this point, Zhang Xuan's breathing hastened a little.
His goal here was to uncover the encounter that Kong shi had with the captured deity, and the answer was right before him!
Kong shi took the deity away from the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters, the safest place on the Master Teacher Continent, and brought him to a rather remote location.
This remote location was a barren land, and the spiritual energy was thin. There were no decent buildings or cities to be seen.
There was a sudden jump in the story. It was hard to tell whether the deity had been killed or something, but he vanished without a trace. At the same time, Kong shi seemed to have sustained some injuries, so he chose to stop by the area temporarily to recuperate.
On the very last tablet, it was detailed that Kong shi entered a mini world. If his deduction was correct, this mini world referred to the Kunxu Domain where the Hundred Schools of Philosophers resided.
"Kunxu Domain… Could it be that…"
Zhang Xuan took a closer look at the remote location where Kong shi had taken the deity to, and his eyebrows suddenly started twitching.
He actually recognized this remote location…
It was none other than the current Tianxuan Kingdom!