Chapter 1750 – Apricot Pavilion
“How far has your strength recovered after assimilating your upper body?” Zhang Xuan asked as he watched Vicious recovering more and more as he absorbed the energy from the Stone of Divine Crusade.
Vicious had recovered a great deal by assimilating his finger, head, and eyes. Considering how huge his entire upper body was, he should be able to raise his cultivation significantly by assimilating it as well.
“Master, my strength is currently equivalent to a newly ascended Ancient Sage!” Vicious replied.
“Ancient Sage?” Zhang Xuan’s eyes lit up in excitement.
He had been wondering if Vicious’ fighting prowess would be raised to Ancient Sage after assimilating the upper body, and that was indeed the case!
Even if Vicious only wielded strength comparable to a new Ancient Sage, given his previous fighting experience, the chances were that he would be far stronger than the Ancient Sage Otherworldly Demon corpse that he had forged.
Paired with the Infernal Blacksaber, that would be equivalent to having a real Ancient Sage protecting him all the time. He would not have to be too worried about his safety for the time being.
“Un. My upper body has been suppressed under the Sanctum of Sages for tens of thousands of years, and all of the killing intent within has pretty much been squeezed out, leaving behind nothing but pure power. In my current state, I should be able to pass off as a master teacher while using my powers without anyone seeing through it!” Vicious added.
“That’s really great!” Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly in agitation.
Even with his standing on the Master Teacher Continent, it would still be unsafe for him to get too involved with the Otherworldly Demons. Considering the tension between mankind and the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, a simple accusation that he was colluding with the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe could land him in deep trouble. Thus, as far as he could, he wanted to distance himself from any possible connections with the enemy.
Considering how Sage Kui was Kong shi’s grandstudent, as well as the fact that he had made use of his sculpture and the academic aura in the Sanctum of Sages to suppress Vicious’ upper body for tens of thousands of years, it was no wonder that the killing intent within had been purified.
With this, he would be able to use Vicious without worrying about others misunderstanding him.
“Alright, I’ll leave you to recover your soul. Try to get to your peak as soon as possible!” Knowing that he had yet another powerful trump card in his possession, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief before making his way out of the stone forest.
The opened Temple of Confucius had attracted many Ancient Sages, and it was likely that some of them bore malicious intentions toward him. The stronger Vicious was, the greater the guarantee on his safety.
In any case, it would never hurt to be more careful.
Stowing his artifacts and tamed beasts away, Zhang Xuan returned to the hall and collected the paintings on the wall one after another. Then, he turned around and headed to the entrance.
Leaving the Hall of Divine Crusade, he saw that there was a large group of master teachers outside sitting around the perimeter of the Subordinate Hall, still deeply focused on learning the secret arts inscribed on the walls.
“Where else could Yuan Tao be if he isn’t here?” Zhang Xuan frowned.
The fact that there were only Otherworldly Demons there meant that the Hundred Schools of Philosophers had not been there. If that was the case… where did Yuan Tao go?
Zhang Xuan intended to return to the stone forest dimension to continue searching for Yuan Tao when he suddenly felt something. He flicked his wrist and took out his Communication Jade Token.
There was a line of words on the token.
“Zhang Xuan, come to the Apricot Pavilion as soon as you can!”
“A message from Luo Ruoxin? Apricot Pavilion… Where is the Apricot Pavilion? Wait a moment, is it possible to send messages across different dimensions?” Zhang Xuan was confused.
He had tried when he first arrived, and the conclusion that he had come to was that the Communication Jade Token only worked when they were in the same dimensions. Yet, he had received Luo Ruoxin’s message…
He was certain that the Apricot Pavilion was not in that dimension, or he would have already seen it.
When did it become possible to send messages across different dimensions? If it was possible to do so, why had he not been able to reach Luo Ruoxin or his parents earlier on?
As if sensing Zhang Xuan’s doubt, Luo Ruoxin sent another message over. “The Apricot Pavilion corresponds to the desert dimension. I’ll wait for you in the desert dimension.”
“Desert dimension?” Zhang Xuan repeated with a frown.
He pondered for a brief moment before returning to the stone forest dimension.
As he knew where the various exits were, it did not take him long to backtrack to the desert dimension.
At that moment, there was no longer any sweltering heat in the desert dimension. Spiritual energy suffused the area. Except for the fact that there was no greenery or native beasts in the dimension, its environment bore some similarities to the forest dimension that he had been in.
Most of the cultivators who had entered the desert dimension chose to sit down on the spot to cultivate, and their hard work had been significantly rewarded.
The Intuitive Impulse realm cultivator whom he had been with earlier had achieved a breakthrough to the Sempiternal realm as well after several hours of absence. At the same time, he also looked much younger in terms of appearance.
Knowing that this was the mystical effects of the Temple of Confucius, Zhang Xuan did not dwell too much on it. He quickly determined the direction to the oasis and flitted over. It did not take long before he found Luo Ruoxin and Wu Chen.
“You’re here,” Luo Ruoxin remarked with a smile. As if seeing right through Zhang Xuan’s doubts, she explained, “The dimensions in the Temple of Confucius have already been opened. It’s no surprise that we are able to send messages to one another now that the space has been joined together.
“The space has been joined together?” Zhang Xuan taken aback for a moment before widening his eyes in realization.
It seemed like when he opened an exit, he was effectively joining two dimensions together. Considering how master teachers were now able to traverse from dimension to dimension without any trouble, it was not surprising that messages were able to do the same.
“How did you know that this dimension corresponds to the Apricot Pavilion?” Zhang Xuan asked.
It was impossible to know what the name of the Subordinate Hall was before entering it. If Luo Ruoxin knew such details about the Temple of Confucius, why did she not tell him in advance?
“Considering how some people have already been to the exteriors of the Temple of Confucius, it isn’t too surprising that I know. Not only so, I have also managed to find out the details of the other Subordinate Halls,” Luo Ruoxin said.
“All in all, the six Subordinate Halls are the Great Kui Hall of Literature, Apricot Pavilion, Twin Auxiliary Halls, Hall of Great Accomplishment, Hall of Lull, and Hall of Divine Crusade. Those from the Hundred Schools of Philosophers possess the Celestial Amulet of Legacy to enter the Great Kui Hall of Literature, and they have already taken away Kong shi’s entire collection of books. The Master Teacher Pavilion has the amulet to enter the Twin Auxiliary Halls.
“The amulets in the possession of the Luo Clan, Zhang Clan, and Otherworldly Demonic Tribe correspond to the Hall of Lull, Hall of Great Accomplishment, and Hall of Divine Crusade respectively. Those places have already been opened and explored, leaving only the Apricot Pavilion behind. If I’m not mistaken, you are the one who took the crux of the desert dimension away, right? Let’s enter the Apricot Pavilion together and see how we can obtain the ultimate treasure of this Subordinate Hall!”
“Are you referring to this seedling?” Zhang Xuan asked.
“Un.” Luo Ruoxin nodded in response. “We need to hurry up. There are already a couple of people there, and the Hundred Schools of Philosophers are also intending to use Yuan Tao’s Emperor Bloodline to get into the Apricot Pavilion. I’m not too sure what exactly they are intending to do.”
“I understand!” Hearing that Yuan Tao was in the area as well, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
“Let’s go in!” Luo Ruoxin turned to Wu Chen.
“Un!” Wu Chen nodded before tapping his finger upward.
A crack appeared in the space above the oasis, and a spatial passageway formed before their eyes. Vaguely, one could see a grand palace at the very end of the passageway.
“Tearing apart space with just a single finger?” Zhang Xuan frowned.
Having been to the desert dimension before, he knew how resilient its space was. At the very least, one had to reach Ancient Sage in order to be able to tear apart its space. Yet, Wu Chen was able to pierce through it with just a single finger, much more easily than what the Infernal Blacksaber was capable of. Could it be that he had stumbled upon his own fortuitous encounter and successfully advanced to Ancient Sage?
Luo Ruoxin noted the confusion in Zhang Xuan’s eyes, but perhaps because they were in a rush, she did not explain the matter to him. Instead, she took the lead and flew into the spatial passageway.
Zhang Xuan followed closely behind her.
Just like the previous few times that he had arrived in an exterior of the Temple of Confucius, he found himself standing before a towering building after traveling for some time. There were two massive words inscribed on the entrance plaque that radiated faint light—Apricot Pavilion!
Just as Luo Ruoxin had said, there were a lot of people gathered outside the Apricot Pavilion. There were some from the Hundred Schools of Philosophers, some from the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, and a couple of those from the Beast Tribe as well. Heavy tension weighed in the air although the different parties did not come to blows with one another. They seemed to be waiting patiently for the final Subordinate Hall of the Temple of Confucius to be opened.
Vaguely, one could feel overwhelming auras lingering in the background. It seemed like the only reason that they were enjoying this eerie, transient peace was because of the Ancient Sages tying one another down.