Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
The white-robed lady seemed to be unwilling to leave, but Zhang Xuan knew that there wasn't time to persuade her. Thus, he pulled her along forcefully.
The duo fell into the lake. Seeing the two of them enter the lake, the Snow Fox also came swimming over.
"Let's leave quickly. Otherwise, we'll surely die!"
Grabbing the Snow Fox with one hand and pulling the white-robed lady with the other, Zhang Xuan yelled anxiously as he swam to the depths of the lake.
He had examined the spirit beasts carefully and there were none that specialized in aqua combat. They would be much safer down here.
Furthermore, this lake was connected to a river. It was possible for them to escape from their pursuers through here.
Not too long after they swam down into the depths of the lake, a violent disturbance rippled from the top of the lake. There were a couple of spirit beasts who jumped into the lake to pursue them.
Knowing that there was no time to be lost, Zhang Xuan drove his zhenqi, and they picked up speed. Based on his memory, he swam in the direction where the river was at.
As Zhang Xuan expected, they were indeed much safer in the water. While there were some spirit beasts who chased them, he managed to ward them off with relative ease. Slowly, the number of spirit beasts decreased. After around two hours, they managed to shake off all of the spirit beasts. Only then did Zhang Xuan heave a sigh of relief and start swimming to the surface.
Holding his breath for two hours wasn't too hard for him given his current cultivation. Turning to look at the white-robed lady beside him, it seemed that the other party was fine as well.
Considering how the spirit beasts had to approach her so carefully, it was likely that her cultivation was on par with his.
As the beast and two humans emerged from the water, Zhang Xuan immediately scanned his surroundings. Only after confirming that there was no danger did he heave a sigh of relief.
"It's safe now…"
Zhang Xuan pulled the lady to the shore.
After swimming for two hours, they were now a considerable distance away from the waterfall. Given the various splits in the meandering river along the way, it would be hard for the spirit beasts to track them down.
However, it was best for them to be careful anyway. The other party did have aerial spirit beasts who specialized in scouting on their side.
"Let's find a safe spot, get some food, and dry our clothes!"
The three of them were looking rather unkempt after the long swim. Their clothes were sticking firmly to their skin. Zhang Xuan smiled bitterly.
Knowing that Zhang Xuan had gone through so much to save her, the white-robed lady seemed much friendlier from before. Smiling, she nodded in agreement at his words.
There were several large caves dug out by the spirit beasts in Verdant Mountain. It didn't take too long for the duo to find an empty one.
Following which, they gathered a few dry branches and started a campfire. Only then did they feel their bodies warming up.
Even with cultivation levels such as theirs, swimming for two hours in the middle of winter was still no joke. The chill felt like a sharp dagger stabbing at their insides.
"I am Zhang Xuan! You are…"
After drying his clothes, Zhang Xuan took out a few pieces of dried jerky from his storage ring and offered them to the other party. Following which, he reverted his appearance and clasped his fist.
For some reason, this lady simply felt extremely familiar to him, as though he had known her all his life. Otherwise, he wouldn't have gone through so much trouble to save her.
With a faint smile, the lady shook her head. She took the jerky from Zhang Xuan's hands, tore off a small portion, and ate it. Her movements were extremely graceful and refined.
"You… can't speak?"
Realizing that the other party hadn't spoken a word since they met, Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
Until now, it seemed like the other party had been replying to his words with a smile.
The lady shook her head.
"Is it due to some kind of persisting illness or… do you need me to treat you? I am actually quite a capable physician!" Zhang Xuan said.
There were some who would lose their voice due to injury or cultivating incorrectly. However, it was still treatable as long as one had the correct treatment method.
Considering how he had read many books on medicine, and also had the Library of Heaven's Path to fall back on, it shouldn't be too difficult for him to treat the other party.
The white-robed lady shook her hands.
"Are you afraid that I can't cure you… or are you unwilling to be treated?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
The lady continued to shake her hands nonchalantly. It seemed as though she was already used to being in such a situation, and she didn't want to be treated.
"Since that's the case… I won't talk about it anymore then!"
Since the other party wasn't willing to be treated, Zhang Xuan couldn't possibly force his treatment on her.
For some reason, sitting beside this lady made him feel extremely calm, drawing him away from the material aspect of life.
Sitting silently, Zhang Xuan was searching for something, anything, to say when his face suddenly warped in pain. His entire body began shaking uncontrollably.
Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly.
Even though his physical body had grown much stronger after the tempering from the earth flame and Cleansing Lake, it wasn't sufficient for him to fully adapt to his massive soul. Thus, he should have avoided overexerting himself while training his physical body for it to adapt to his soul.
Who knew that he would have met with this white-robed lady and end up overexerting himself? He didn't feel anything in the face of danger back then, but now that they were safe, he immediately felt a sharp pain in his soul as though someone had stabbed needles deep into it, and dizziness suddenly overwhelmed him.
Using the shoe measurements in his previous life, his current soul was size 45 while his physical body was size 42. While he could still slip in with some force, he would still be injured should he walk too much.
The current situation was as such.
Even though his body and soul were incompatible with one another, he might still have been fine if he hadn't overexerted himself. But he did, and now he had to tolerate an insufferable pain in his soul.
Honestly, Zhang Xuan wanted to leave a good impression on the other party by saving her, but such a situation happened instead. He couldn't help but feel a little stifled.
Zhang Xuan forcefully suppressed his soul to force it to adapt to his physical body. Who knew that the more he tried to do so, the more violent the backlash became? It was as if the side effect of forcefully stuffing his soul back into his body was coming back to bite him all at once.
With a roar, Zhang Xuan couldn't hold on any longer, and his soul began gushing out of his glabella.
It was the previous problem playing up again—an overly powerful soul for a relatively weak physical body. Unless he could raise the strength of his physical body, the two wouldn't be able to fuse together perfectly.
Feeling that his soul was about to leave his body, Zhang Xuan heart turned cold.
Actually, if his soul were to leave his body, he would be able to avoid such pain… but if he were to allow it to occur now, it would be as good as telling the other party that he was a soul oracle, and this would be difficult to explain.
Even though the soul oracle occupation was a complete one, its heritage had already gone missing for many years, and it had officially been eradicated by the Master Teacher Pavilion a long time ago. In the view of most cultivators, they were a callous and mysterious existence.
If the other party were to learn that he had such a sinister occupation, the goodwill that he had built up with much difficulty would definitely disappear instantaneously.
What in the world was this? Of all the times for his condition to work up, it just had to be now…
How would the other party view him after this? Would she think that he was up to no good?
Just as Zhang Xuan was at a complete loss, the white-robed lady stood up and pressed on his glabella lightly.
The soul that was about to slip out of his body was suppressed in an instant, and it returned obediently back into his body.
At the same time, a unique energy flowed through his entire body, relieving it of the extreme pain it felt instantaneously.
Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in shock.
This was a problem which had troubled him greatly, and yet the other party resolved it with a single pat. What was this?
Could it be that… the white-robed lady possessed a cultivation far higher than the Transcendent Mortal 8-dan Ye Wentian?
One must know that not even Ye Wentian could resolve the problem of his soul going missing. Otherwise, he wouldn't have just placed Zhang Xuan on the stone table helplessly.
Doubtful, Zhang Xuan was just about to ask about the issue when a pang of exhaustion suddenly struck him. His vision darkened, and he gradually lost consciousness.
Amidst his sleep, he felt as though his soul and physical body were harmonizing once more, and the discomfort he felt previously gradually vanished…
Sometime later, he woke up.
Rubbing his eyes, Zhang Xuan sat up. Indeed, the incompatibility between his soul and physical body had vanished, and he felt much more relaxed than before.
"My physical body hasn't gotten any stronger, but my soul seemed to have undergone some kind of refinement. It has become much purer, making it easier to slip it into my body!"
Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
Even though his soul was still ten meters tall, it had become much more flexible, making it easier to enter his body and control it.
'I should give it a try!'
Closing his eyes, Zhang Xuan's soul swept through his body, and he could feel that every single muscle and cell was within his control. He could now perfectly move his entire body.
Even before the affair at the Cleansing Lake, he had never felt such precise control over his body before.
'This is… Perfect Consonance of Body and Soul?'
Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly, and his body trembled in excitement.
At Transcendent Mortal 5-dan, a cultivator would be able to harmonize his body and soul as one. This consonance would refine his control over his strength and body, allowing for more precise movements.
Rumor had it that if this consonance were to reach the level of perfection, one would be able to look inwardly into one's physical body and repair the damaged regions. One's body would be able to become as flawless as a piece of white jade.
However, even Transcendent Mortal 9-dan experts would be unable to reach such a realm. Only Saints would have a chance of accomplishing this… and yet, Zhang Xuan actually succeeded!
In the midst of Zhang Xuan's excitement, a thought suddenly flashed through his mind, and he froze.
'But… if my soul and body are perfectly consonant, won't my soul be unable to leave my body?'
Typically, becoming a soul oracle meant abandoning one's natural body. As far as Zhang Xuan knew, no soul oracle had achieved a Perfect Consonance of Body and Soul before… If his soul and body were to be perfectly consonant while he was unconscious, would it mean that he had lost his ability as a soul oracle?
If that was the case, then there was nothing for him to be happy about!
Even taking the occupations from ancient times into account, the abilities of a soul oracle were one of the more practical and useful ones. For example, there would be no other occupation that would have allowed Zhang Xuan to absorb the spiritual energy from the Cleansing Lake earlier on.
Thus, Zhang Xuan quickly drove the Soul Guiding Formula. Fortunately, he realized that his soul could still part from his body and move freely.
Only then did he heave a sigh of relief.
Sending his soul back into his physical body, Zhang Xuan stood up and looked around the cave.
However, the cave was oddly silent. The campfire was already extinguished, and there was not a person to be seen. The white-robed lady whom he had saved previously had already disappeared without a trace.
"Lady?" Zhang Xuan yelled. He was just about to go out to look for the latter when he caught sight of a line of neatly written words on the stone wall not too far away.
'You have saved me once, and I have returned the favor. Thus, we are even now. There is still a long time ahead of us, so may we meet again in the future!'
"Meet again in the future?"
Zhang Xuan was dumbstruck. "She left?"