Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
With a tense look, Zhang Xuan began to drive his zhenqi according to the Saint 2-dan Heaven's Path Divine Art.
A brilliant glow burst from his Origin Core, and it slowly began to revolve with increasing speed. An immense wave of spiritual energy gushed in from the surrounding formation, nourishing his Origin Core. In the blink of an eye, a vortex of spiritual energy reminiscent of a tornado had already formed above Zhang Xuan, producing a deafening whirring sound.
The process to opening one's Incipient Eye was extremely complicated, so Zhang Xuan dared not let his guard down. He controlled the immense amount of zhenqi flowing through his body with incredible precision, not leaving the slightest gap for error.
Hong long long!
As spiritual energy was gathering at a rate too fast, the Myriad Anthive Nest began to shake violently. The Ten Kings of the Cloud Mist Ridge looked over with astonished looks, unable to believe what they were seeing.
They had reached Spiritual Perception realm not too long ago, and from their experience, opening the Incipient Eye should not have caused such a huge ruckus. But why was it that such conventions did not apply to their master?
Not only so, they even felt a powerful pressure weighing down on them.
Being driven by the Heaven's Path Divine Art, the devoured spiritual energy was swiftly converted into the incomparably pure Heaven's Path zhenqi before being channeled toward the Origin Core.
Under the massive influx of zhenqi, the massive Origin Core slowly opened up, similar to a blossoming flower. A being reminiscent of an eyeball slowly emerged from within, and it looked as if it would open its eyes at any moment.
This was the crucial period, and Zhang Xuan knew it as well. Widening his pores as large as he could, he swiftly consumed all of the spiritual energy around him and gathered it all together, forming an incredible deluge similar to a rapid river.
"Open!" Zhang Xuan roared as a torrent of zhenqi surged toward his Origin Core.
In the breakthrough to Saint 2-dan, a cultivator had to channel his zhenqi toward his Origin Core to tear open the Incipient Eye. As long as the point that the zhenqi was channeled toward was correct, the Incipient Eye should open easily, thus unlocking the cultivator's Spiritual Perception.
The torrent forcefully struck against Zhang Xuan's Origin Core, causing a brilliant light to burst from the latter as it revolved on the spot from the impact. However, it slowly came to a halt, and the seemingly opening Incipient Eye reverted back to its original shape, as if nothing had happened at all.
Why isn't it working? Zhang Xuan frowned.
He had strictly followed the Saint 2-dan Heaven's Path Divine Art for his breakthrough, and under normal circumstances, he should have opened his Incipient Eye easily. Yet, why was nothing happening at all?
Could there be a problem with his Heaven's Path Divine Art?
That was impossible!
Zhang Xuan took another look at his cultivation technique and confirmed that there were no flaws in it. Just to double check, he examined every single sentence carefully, and there was not a single mistake in any one of them. Frowning, he thought, I should give it another try.
Spiritual energy gushed into Zhang Xuan's body once more, and after it was successfully converted into Heaven's Path zhenqi, it was channeled toward his Origin Core.
After the powerful collision of the zhenqi, Zhang Xuan's Origin Core began spinning once more. However, just like before, it stopped not too long after and fell silent.
Zhang Xuan was bewildered. This…
His cultivation had always progressed smoothly all along, and not once had he failed in pushing for a breakthrough before. But this… He had already attempted it twice, but it still was not working!
That could not be right.
There was no flaw in his cultivation technique, and the amount of zhenqi that he had was sufficient as well.
Let me give it another try!
Frowning, Zhang Xuan attempted to push for another breakthrough.
Some time later, Zhang Xuan finally came to a halt. He was panting heavily at the moment, and there was a bitter smile on his face.
I finally get it. There's no mistake the cultivation technique, and I didn't comprehend it incorrectly either. It's that my Origin Core is too powerful, and the spiritual energy within high-tier spirit stones isn't pure enough to stimulate it. That's why I wasn't able to open my Incipient Eye!
After multiple tries, Zhang Xuan had finally managed to make sense of the situation.
It was not that there was a problem in his cultivation; his Origin Core was simply too powerful.
The Origin Core formed from the Saint Ascension Decipher was too stable, and it had been further refined in the Saint Ascension Ordeal, which created a layer of sacred energy around it. To make a comparison, the sturdiness of his Origin Core was roughly at the level of a Saint intermediate-tier artifact. The purity of the spiritual energy within high-tier spirit stones was insufficient to break it open!
Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in distress as he halted the formation and stood up once more. I must find an even purer source of spiritual energy.
He had encountered such a problem before. As his cultivation rose, his requirement for spiritual energy steadily increased as well. There was a time when his cultivation could be advanced greatly with just low-tier spirit stones, but before long, he had found himself needing middle-tier spirit stones, then high-tier spirit stones… and now, even high-tier spirit stones were not sufficient.
This was not a problem of quantity but quality.
If the quality did not meet the minimum requirement, no amount of quantity could make up for it.
Previously, he had already felt high-tier spirit stones becoming less and less effective on his cultivation, and the quantity he needed for each breakthrough was increasing exponentially. Nevertheless, he had thought that it should still suffice for a few more realms… but it seemed like he had been too optimistic.
The Combat Master Hall must have purer spirit stones. Let me see if I can purchase some from them.
While Zhang Xuan was helpless before this matter, the Combat Master Hall might just be able to resolve the issue.
After all, the Combat Master Hall was an organization that the Master Teacher Pavilion heavily invested in so as to create powerful experts to protect mankind. As such, they never lacked resources. This was also why he had sent Zheng Yang to the Combat Master Hall headquarters to vie for the position of the Progeny of Combat.
If Zheng Yang successfully cleared the trial, through tapping into the vast resources and complete heritage of the Combat Master Hall, he would likely be able to advance his cultivation at an astounding speed.
And more importantly, this was a good opportunity to temper his state of mind too.
Let me ask Hall Master Xing about the matter then, Zhang Xuan thought.
As long as he could obtain even purer spirit stones, he would be able to make a breakthrough to Spiritual Perception realm easily. However, such spirit stones were bound to be extremely valuable and rare. Nevertheless, he had no intention of taking them for free. As long as the Combat Master Hall was willing to sell them to him, he would surely pay a price that could satisfy them.
After leaving the Myriad Anthive Nest, Zhang Xuan swiftly left the library and entered the main hall of the Martial Arts Division, where Hall Master Xing happened to be waiting.
Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up, and he quickly walked up to him. "Hall Master Xing, it's great that you are here. I happen to have a matter that I need to trouble you on."
"Hmm? Sun shi, feel free to state your request. There's no need to stand on ceremony with me. As long as it's something within my means, consider it done!" Hall Master Xing swiftly responded in delight.
He had just been wondering how he could convince Sun shi to help him with the matter of the Xuanxuan Faction when the latter suddenly said that he had a request.
After everything that Sun shi had done for their Combat Master Hall, mending his Primordial Spirit and gifting the altered Vitreous Heart Tempering Sutra back to them, he wasn't in a good position to ask the latter for another favor. However, if Sun shi had a request to ask of them, that would make things easier for him.
"It's actually like this… I need a spirit stone that is even purer than a high-tier spirit stone for my cultivation, and I would like to enquire if your Combat Master Hall has any. If so, I am willing to pay any price to purchase it!" Without beating around the bush, Zhang Xuan dived straight to the main point.
"This…" Hall Master Xing was slightly taken aback. "If you are seeking pinnacle spirit stones, that is a commodity that only those of Saint 6-dan and above are qualified to use, so I'm afraid that it will be nigh impossible to find even one of those in the Qingyuan Empire. You will have to head to a higher tier empire than that!"
"Qingyuan Empire Combat Master Hall doesn't have any pinnacle spirit stones?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"Regretfully, that's the case." Hall Master Xing shook his head. At this moment, he suddenly recalled something and said, "Actually, if you don't mind, we do have some concentrated high-tier spirit stones. The spiritual energy contained within them is indeed significantly purer than ordinary high-tier spirit stones, so perhaps they might just work for you?"
"Concentrated high-tier spirit stones?" Zhang Xuan was bewildered.
He had never heard of such a thing before.
"Un. High-tier spirit stones can be mined from ordinary spirit veins, but concentrated high-tier spirit stones are only found in the more potent spirit veins that produces pinnacle spirit stones. In terms of purity, they are nowhere near pinnacle spirit stones, but there is no doubt that they are still much purer than high-tier spirit stones. It's for that reason that they are known as 'concentrated high-tier spirit stones'," Hall Master Xing explained.
Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.
Spirit veins could be divided into several levels, too. Some of the weaker spirit veins could only produce the inexpensive low-tier spirit stones, whereas those truly formidable ones could produce pinnacle spirit stones at their very core.
In those spirit veins that could produce pinnacle spirit stones, due to the incredible concentration of spiritual energy, even the outskirts of the spirit vein would produce spirit stones, and their quality far exceeded that of ordinary high-tier spirit stones.
"May I know how many concentrated high-tier spirit stones the Combat Master Hall has? If possible, I would like to purchase some," Zhang Xuan quickly replied.
Since concentrated high-tier spirit stones were purer than ordinary high-tier spirit stones, they just might prove useful in helping him achieve a breakthrough to Saint 2-dan realm.
"In truth, even our Combat Master Hall doesn't have too many concentrated high-tier spirit stones. All in all, we only have ten of them. However, if Sun shi requires it, we can give five of them to you!" Hall Master Xing said.
"That would be imposing too much on you. How much do they cost? I'll just buy them from you," Zhang Xuan replied.
If he were to accept a favor from the other party, he would probably have to pay it back somehow in the future. Since he was not in any lack of money, there was no need for him to owe such a debt to others for the sake of saving money.
Hall Master Xing hesitated for a moment before speaking. "To be honest with you, there's something that we need Sun shi's help on. If you can help us with this matter, we will be more than glad to give the five concentrated high-tier spirit stones to you!"
"May I enquire what it is?" Zhang Xuan was bewildered.
The Combat Master Hall was one of the strongest organizations in Qingyuan Empire, and Hall Master Xing had even recently made a breakthrough to the Leaving Aperture realm. It was really a little unexpected to hear that they would require his help.
"It's regarding the trouble that I mentioned to you not too long ago," Hall Master Xing said with an unsettled look.
"Oh?" Zhang Xuan's interest was piqued.
"It's a little embarrassing, but that trouble is caused by a single cultivator. That cultivator's cultivation isn't too high, but he wields incredible fighting prowess. I fear that given the same cultivation realm, there are none in our Combat Master Hall who are a match for him!" Hall Master Xing sighed deeply as he spoke with a vexed tone.
He had done a rough gauge, and even he would struggle to face Principal Zhang's direct disciples given the same cultivation realm. It was likely that the teacher would be even stronger than that.
"If the cultivation of that cultivator who is causing you trouble is not too high, why don't you just find someone to pummel him secretly? Surely it should suffice for you to scare him off? The Combat Master Hall isn't as rule-bound as the Master Teacher Pavilion, so such should be fine, right?" Zhang Xuan asked.
The Combat Master Hall served a differing function as the Master Teacher Pavilion. The Master Teacher Pavilion served as the teachers of humanity, so naturally, they had to be role models for others, so it was inevitable that there would be many rules surrounding it. On the other hand, the Combat Master Hall served as the military of humanity, so it was not necessary for them to be as rule-bound as the Master Teacher Pavilion.
Besides, since the other party dared cause trouble despite his lack of strength, it should be well within the rights of the Combat Master Hall to retaliate. If he was the hall master, he would have had that cultivator pummeled into the ground first before talking the matter out.
Was there a need for them to be so vexed over the matter?
"Cough cough…" Hall Master Xing choked on his saliva. "That cultivator happens to be a master teacher…"
"He's a master teacher?" Zhang Xuan stroked his lower jaw and frowned. "There could be troublesome repercussions if such forceful methods were to be used against a master teacher. However, that should not be a problem either. Master teachers are bound by many rules, so you can use that against him. For one, you could challenge him on something that he is not proficient in and force him to back down. Alternatively, you could bring in the Master Teacher Pavilion to mediate in the matter. If he still refuses to budge then, you could just capture him and have him sent to the Subterranean Gallery!"
Master teachers were protected by the Master Teacher Pavilion, so it would be difficult to deal with him directly. Nevertheless, given the considerably close ties between the Combat Master Hall and the Master Teacher Pavilion, it should be possible to deal with the other party through bureaucracy.
Since the other party was not too strong, he was likely just a 6-star master teacher. Even if he had powerful fighting prowess, his standing in the Master Teacher Pavilion was unlikely to be very high. Any higher ranked master teacher would be able to subdue him easily.
Zhang Xuan had been placed in such a situation several times himself, so he was rather familiar with it.
Surely, there was no need for Hall Master Xing to worry so much about this matter.
"If only it were that simple…" Hall Master Xing shook his head and sighed. "The other party is an upstanding and reputable master teacher, so we dare not go too far with him. That's why we wish to invite Sun shi to fight in our stead. His cultivation realm is at the same level as yours, and with your means, we believe that you should be able to defeat him with ease!"
"You want me to fight him in your stead?" Zhang Xuan smiled confidently. "That isn't a problem at all! I have never lost in a fight against a peer before! Don't worry, I'll help you knock all of his teeth out! He'll regret having messed with the Combat Master Hall."