Chapter 1803 – You Found Me!
“Trust and rules are of the utmost importance on the Master Teacher Continent, so the principles imposed on the appraisers are much higher. On the other hand, the Spirit Tribe is a largely lawless area, so appraisers here tend to lie and exaggerate. As a result, the prices that they come up with are unreliable. How distasteful!” The elderly Ancient Sage shook his head, seemingly displeased with such circumstances.
The Otherworldly Demonic Tribe lived in an environment that could be described as ‘survival of the fittest’. Most appraisers had devoted their lives to the pursuit of knowledge in order to refine their craft, and they were highly dependent on their eye of discernment and reputation for a living. In terms of strength, they could only be said to be subpar at best.
If their client was an ordinary cultivator, they could still speak the truth. However, if they were standing before powerful experts, speaking the truth could very well cost them their life.
After all, who knew when an expert would fly into a rage and slay them in the fit of their anger?
There were plenty of cases where powerful cultivators suffered a lapse in judgement while purchasing an expensive artifact, only to have their foolishness pointed out while consulting an appraiser. Often, the honest words of the appraiser would incur the wrath of the powerful cultivator, thus inducing the powerful cultivator to vent their anger on the appraiser.
As such, it had become a custom for appraisers to mince their words when making an evaluation.
Despite that, there were still many appraisers around due to market demand. Without appraisers to value artifacts, the market would swiftly descend into chaos.
“Did you inform them that we are interested in finding out the real value of those artifacts instead of inflated numbers?” the elderly Ancient Sage asked.
“I have made sure to relay those words to every single one of the appraisers, but there are still a handful who jotted down ridiculously inflated figures in their valuation!” the middle-aged man reported.
“Drag those people out and execute them. I trust that the other appraisers will know what’s best for them once we make an example out of them!” The elderly Ancient Sage harrumphed as his killing intent burst forth.
In an instant, it felt as if the area had been plunged into the midst of a snowy mountain. Even the massive tree that Zhang Xuan was hiding on swiftly withered as a result of the overwhelming aura.
The might of Ancient Sage experts was not just for show. Even a mere sliver of their strength was enough to place one in great discomfort.
Zhang Xuan’s heart jolted.
There was indeed a wintry edge to the aura emanated by the Ancient Sage’s aura, but it was not due to coldness. Rather, there was an eerie undertone to the aura, reminiscent of the netherworld.
Such an aura was not foreign to Zhang Xuan, and he only knew of one occupation that was capable of exerting such an aura.
The soul oracles!
Could the elderly Ancient Sage possibly be a soul oracle?
As Zhang Xuan noticed the anomaly, the elderly Ancient Sage seemed to have noticed something amiss in his surroundings as well, and a momentary frown crept onto his forehead.
Noticing the anomaly on the elderly Ancient Sage’s expression, the middle-aged man asked, “Ancient Sage Mo Ling, what’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing much.” Ancient Sage Mo Ling waved his hand. “You can return for the time being. Do what I have just said. Kill a couple of appraisers and make an example of them to the others. The others should fall in line fast enough!”
“I understand!” The middle-aged man nodded.
He quickly turned around and left the area.
After the middle-aged man left, the elderly Ancient Sage remained on the spot for quite a while, not moving at all.
Hiding in the tree, Zhang Xuan’s lips could not help but twitch in worry.
Have I been noticed?
He did not dare claim that his ability to conceal himself was unparalleled, but with his Soul Depth exceeding 30.0, even Ancient Sages would have trouble sensing his presence.
A brief moment of bewilderment earlier had caused a slight fluctuation in his soul energy, but he had suppressed it quick enough. Under normal circumstances, not even Sovereign Chen Ling would have noticed his presence through something as subtle as that. Was it really possible for this elderly Ancient Sage to have noticed his presence?
Time ticked by slowly, but the elderly Ancient Sage remained rooted to the spot. It might just have been Zhang Xuan’s imagination, but it felt like the spirit of the elderly Ancient Sage was locked upon him. He realized that if he did not flee, he might not have the chance to do so in the future.
Without any hesitation, he immediately dived right into the ground.
“Lost patience, eh?”
Seeing that Zhang Xuan had finally moved, the elderly Ancient Sage, Mo Ling, suddenly opened his eyes, and a brilliant light shone forth from them, almost as if a crack of dawn illuminating the dark sky. Following which, he stomped his feet heavily on the ground.
The earth immediately began shuddering as ripples of energy diffused beneath his feet like water undulations.
At that moment, Zhang Xuan’s Primordial Spirit came into contact with the ground. He should have been able to dive underground with absolute ease, but he felt as if he had crashed into a metal board. The energy ripples were warding him away, causing him to fall weakly to the ground instead.
Seeing that a casual stomp from the other party was more than enough to block his passageway, Zhang Xuan’s face warped awfully. “This is really bad…”
He was a simple soul. In order to hide his presence, he had not brought the Infernal Blacksaber, Vicious, the Dragonbone Divine Spear, and the rest with him. If the elderly Ancient Sage cornered him, he would no doubt die.
Knowing that the surface had been sealed and that it was nigh impossible for him to escape underground, Zhang Xuan immediately shot into the air instead.
“If I allow you to escape, I will really be a failure of an Ancient Sage!” the elderly Ancient Sage scoffed as he raised his hand.
A chilling aura swiftly shrouded the massive tree. Before Zhang Xuan could soar into the air, his Primordial Spirit froze once more. It was as if he had fallen into a bog and was unable to move.
“Break!” Zhang Xuan raised his finger and tapped it lightly.
The surrounding space rippled, and cracks started to form on it.
Previously, he had still needed the power of the Dragonbone Divine Spear in order to break space and form a spatial passageway. However, with his cultivation reaching Sempiternal realm consummation, he could do it easily even with just a tap of his finger.
Ancient Sage Mo Ling’s lips curved upward, almost as if he had expected Zhang Xuan to make such a move. He raised his palms together and clapped them together midair.
The cracks in space swiftly mended back together. At the same time, the surrounding space swiftly fortified itself to the point that it was as tough as steel. Despite being able to tear open the space easily a moment ago, Zhang Xuan found that he was unable to even faze it anymore.
The strength of an Ancient Sage was simply too great. Without Vicious and the Infernal Blacksaber, Zhang Xuan really did not stand a chance.
Knowing that he could really lose his life if this continued, Zhang Xuan did not dare hold back.
The Library of Heaven’s Path jolted a little, and an additional book materialized in it.
With a hurried tap, the wisdom contained within the book flowed into Zhang Xuan’s mind.
In the blink of an eye, the flaws of the sealed space appeared in his mind.
Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.
The other party was using soul oracle arts to seal the surrounding space. Even though it seemed tough and impenetrable, the truth was that there were many openings.
Thus, he retreated slightly from the air before tapping his feet lightly on the space beneath him.
The space that he had just tapped on lightly was where one of the flaws of the soul oracle art was located. Cracks began spreading throughout the surrounding space once again.
Not expecting a Sempiternal realm soul to be able to overcome his seal so easily, a slight frown formed between Ancient Sage Mo Ling’s brows. He raised his hand and grasped at Zhang Xuan.
Zhang Xuan could tell with a single glance that there were eight flaws in this strike, so he continued charging forward without bothering to dodge the other party’s attack at all.
His silhouette entered the dimension rift, and it seemed like he would tread through space and disappear at any moment.
“Don’t you dare!”
Seeing how the other party dared to ignore his attack and continue with escaping, Ancient Sage Mo Ling’s face darkened further. He raised his hands and clapped them together forcefully.
The dimension rift began closing at a rapid pace once more. If Zhang Xuan failed to stand his ground, he could very well be crushed into bits.
Without the slightest hint of panic, Zhang Xuan exhaled a mouthful of turbid air before stretching his arm thirty meters away to tap at a certain point in space.
Deng deng deng deng!
Ancient Sage Mo Ling immediately felt his flow of energy being abruptly severed, and he retreated two steps in a fluster.
Unable to take it any longer, he drew his soul out from his glabella.
In an instant, a furious gale blew across the entire area, and a sinister aura descended upon the land.
Barely after Ancient Sage Mo Ling drew out his soul, a calm voice sounded in his ears. Following which, the dimension rift vanished, and the soul that had been present in the area just a moment ago vanished without a trace.