Due to these inscriptions, even though these gates looked like a door, if someone were to really pass through the spatial passageway, he would be silently transported to a random place around Xuanjiang City.
Otherwise, given how he had been unconscious when he passed through the spatial passageway back then, there was no way he would have survived after being caught by this group of people.
"This place can only be activated with Kong shi's and my bloodline, such that even Semi-Divinity realm cultivators wouldn't be able to find it either way. Yet, he still dispatched his subordinates here… Just who is he trying to guard against?" Zhang Xuan was getting a little confused.
The secrecy of the spatial passageway was definitely top-notch, even by the Azure's standard. It was likely that Kong shi had designed it specifically in order to make sure that no one from the Azure would be able to find it. Even if someone were to find it, they would be unable to harm those coming over from the Master Teacher Continent.
Thus, it was contradictory for Kong shi to instruct his subordinates to guard the spatial passageway. It was as if he was trying to eliminate anyone coming over from the Master Teacher Continent.
If that was really true, wouldn't that also mean that he was unable to read the inscriptions and didn't know that those who entered the spatial passageway would be randomly teleported away?
"It is very likely for what Vicious said to be true… That man is likely to be a fake Kong shi!"
Previously, he still harbored some reservations when he heard those words from Vicious, but at this moment, he was starting to see some sense to it.
If the Kong shi he had faced was real, there was no way the other party wouldn't know about the various mechanisms he had installed in place… unless the other party lost his memory one way or another, just like a certain little yellow chick.
Thinking about the little yellow chick, a sigh escaped from Zhang Xuan's lips.
He had fed the unique aura of the Azure Bridge to the little yellow chick, but for some reason, the latter was unable to achieve a breakthrough to Semi-Divinity realm!
He had tried all kinds of means to further its cultivation, but nothing worked at all. He was really unable to comprehend just what were the criteria required for it to make a breakthrough.
Shaking his head, Zhang Xuan moved forward to check the condition of the spatial passageway. Seeing that it was still working fine, he took out the disguise amulet and used it to suppress his cultivation.
At the same time, he turned to Wu Chen and said, "Let's suppress our cultivation down to Ancient Sage 4-dan before entering the spatial passageway."
Ancient Sage 4-dan was the limit of what the Master Teacher Continent could withstand. If it had been any other Semi-Divinity or High Immortal, even if they were to suppress their cultivation, they would still be rejected by the world if they attempted to descend to Master Teacher Continent.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan had the disguise amulet whereas Wu Chen had the disguise method imparted to him from Luo Ruoxin. Using these to conceal their cultivation, they would be able to fool even the heavens of the Master Teacher Continent.
After all, Luo Ruoxin also used the same method to enter the Master Teacher Continent back then. It was only because she revealed her true strength during the fight for the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn that she was eventually rejected by the heavens and was forced to leave the Master Teacher Continent.
Entering the spatial passageway, Zhang Xuan saw the chaotic spatial currents raging in the surroundings. All kinds of spatial turbulence flew in his direction, threatening to slice him apart.
Any other Ancient Sage 4-dan in his place would have likely lost consciousness before long. However, both Wu Chen and Zhang Xuan were top-notch experts of the Azure. Even if they were to compress their cultivation, they still had their powerful soul energy and physical body to protect them.
As a result, the spatial turbulence striking on them dealt no damage at all.
At the same time, their speed was also much faster than before. Previously, Zhang Xuan took half a month before he finally reached the other end of the spatial passageway, but this time around, he could also see the exit when he had only been traveling for less than two hours.
A massive coffin was floating peacefully in the air, sealing the space around the exit. It had fused as one entity with the exit, sealing it off entirely.
Zhang Xuan placed his finger lightly on it, and the formation immediately unraveled. He leisurely passed through the exit together with Wu Chen.
The glaring rays of the sun shone on his face. The familiar scent of the Master Teacher Continent tingled his nose.
He had returned.
Barely after Zhang Xuan landed on the ground, he heard a shout coming from not too far away. Shortly after, Ancient Sage Yan Qing appeared before him.
Over a year of absence, the latter had managed to advance his cultivation significantly. At the same time, he didn't look as feeble as before anymore.
"Un," Zhang Xuan nodded in acknowledgement.
He turned his gaze to the side and saw someone standing before an altar, chanting endlessly. A furious flame was blazing atop the altar, emanating a sinister glow. This was the ritual that had guided their way back to the Master Teacher Continent.
However, the person conducting the ritual was an unfamiliar face.
"Who is he? Where's Liu Yang?" Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.
Wasn't the current Sovereign Chen Yong his direct disciple, Liu Yang? Why would the one conducting the ritual be an Otherworldly Demon whom he didn't recognize instead?
"This person over here is the new sovereign of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, Chen Xiao. He's Liu Yang's direct disciple," Ancient Sage Yan Qing replied.
"Liu Yang's direct disciple? So, he's my grandstudent?" Zhang Xuan was slightly taken aback.
It felt weird for him to have a grandstudent when he was only in his early twenties.
"That's right," Ancient Sage Yan Qing nodded.
"If he has become the sovereign of the Otherworldly Demon, then where is Liu Yang? Where are Kong Shiyao, Zhao Ya, and the others?" Zhang Xuan asked doubtfully.
He had told First Elder Zhao Yue to send a message down to the incumbent Sovereign Chen Yong to hold the ritual. Even though he didn't explicitly state that he was planning to descend to Master Teacher Continent, it was still very likely that Liu Yang and the others would be interested to watch the proceedings of the ritual to the Azure.
"Zhang shi, your nine direct disciples have entered the Azure through the passageway you took three months ago…" Ancient Sage Yan Qing replied.
"They went to the Azure too?" Zhang Xuan was stunned.
If they entered the Azure three months ago, that would equate to roughly nine days in the Azure… Back then, he was at the Ocean of Exiled Stars teaching Elder Hong Wu and the others…
"I'll have to look for them after I return to the Azure…" Zhang Xuan remarked with a deep sigh.
Considering how they had left some time ago and that he didn't encounter them in the spatial passageway, it was very likely that they were already at Xuanjiang City. So, he decided not to think too much into the matter.
Just as he was about to continue speaking, he suddenly spotted two silhouettes flying over hurriedly from the horizon.
They were his parents, the Xingmeng Sword Saints!
"Xuan-er…" Sword Saint Meng called out in agitation. Seeing that her son was fine, her eyes reddened slightly as she breathed out deeply, "I'm glad that you are fine…"
The Azure was fraught with dangers. Ever since her son left for that place, there had never been a single day that she didn't worry for him. There was completely no news from him at all, and this had been weighing on her mind over the past year. It was only after seeing that Zhang Xuan was fine was she able to heave a sigh of relief.
Seeing the Xingmeng Sword Saints, Zhang Xuan smiled gently and said, "Mother and father, I'm fine."
His parents had managed to make significant breakthrough in their cultivation during his absence. They, too, had managed to reach Ancient Sage 4-dan.
Zhang Xuan enquired about the current situation on the Master Teacher Continent. The Master Teacher Continent had been developing well, and the reforms Yang shi pushed for were being implemented well. As for the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, there hadn't been any problem ever since Liu Yang took over as the next Sovereign Chen Yong. There was still some tension, but the situation was peaceful.
The Hundred Schools of Philosophers had managed to lower the concentration of the mercury-like spiritual energy to a level where even human cultivators could absorb them without too much problem. At this rate, the chances of a war happening would keep lowering.
Heading to the main hall where the Hundred Schools of Philosophers host its guests, Zhang Xuan saw a bunch of familiar faces—the head of the Luo Clan, the head of the Jiang Clan, Master Teacher Pavilion's Yang Xuan…
Just like the Xingmeng Sword Saints, their cultivation had reached Ancient Sage 4-dan. If those warriors blocking the spatial passageway were to attempt to invade the Master Teacher Pavilion once more, it was likely that they would simply get killed on the spot.
They began chatting with one another to catch up with one another.
Halfway through the conversation, Luo Xuanqing suddenly looked at him worriedly and asked, "Zhang Xuan, did you see my younger sister while you were in the Azure?"
"Your young sister?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback. "Isn't Qiqi on the Master Teacher Continent?"
He had left alone back then, and it was certain that he hadn't seen Luo Qiqi anywhere on the Azure either!
"A year ago, shortly after you left for the Azure, she said that she'll head there as well to look for you…" Luo Xuanqing shook his head and sighed.
"Look for me? Did she enter the Azure through the spatial passageway as well?" Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.
"That's not it. She used the Dimension Silencer to break open the dimension barrier of the Master Teacher Continent," Luo Xuanqing replied.
Zhang Xuan was stunned.
With his current cultivation, he would be able to break open the dimension barrier as well. He was no longer that reliant on the spatial passageway to return back to the Azure anymore.
However, the Luo Qiqi from a year ago, no matter how powerful she could have been, at the very most, she could only have been at Ancient Sage 4-dan. How did she manage to break open the dimension barrier of the Master Teacher Continent?"
"Do you know why she called herself Qiqi?" Luo Xuanqing suddenly asked this question.
He knew that there was already a massive gap between the two of them, so his desire to compete with the young man standing before him had already died down. All he hoped was for the young man to find his younger sister and take care of her.
"Isn't the reason why she called herself Qiqi because she has six older brothers in front of her?" Zhang Xuan seemed to have recalled something like that before.
"Indeed. She has six elder brothers in front of her. I am in the sixth place in terms of seniority, and my five elder brothers have all passed away! Given that the Luo Clan's standing and power on the Master Teacher Continent, don't you think that it's weird that all five of my elder brothers have passed away prematurely?" Luo Xuanqing asked.
Zhang Xuan was stunned.
He had indeed been a little curious about it back then, but he chose not to probe too deeply into the matter.
Given the Luo Clan's standing on the Master Teacher Continent, even if the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe were to launch an assault, there was no way they would have been able to kill all five sons of the esteemed clan head so easily!
"It's because of the Dimension Silencer," Luo Xuanqing suddenly said. "It's an artifact that our predecessor acquired, and it harnesses an unbelievable amount of power within it. You should have heard about how my younger sister was able to assimilate it shortly after her birth because of the sheer purity of her bloodline… That isn't entirely true. More than that, it's because of my five elder brothers that she was able to do so!
"Back then, something triggered the Dimension Silencer, and it was on the verge of tearing open the dimension barrier and escaping. If that were to happen, the Luo Clan would slip from the position of the Three Premier Sage Clans. In order to prevent the decline of the family, my five elder brothers sacrificed themselves and fed the Dimension Silencer with their blood essence before the latter finally calmed down. As a result of that, the spirit within the Dimension Silencer also slowly began awakening… and she eventually became the Qiqi you know of!"
"Wait a moment, you are saying that Qiqi is actually the weapon spirit of the Dimension Silencer?" Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes in shock.
"The spirit slipped into my mother's womb, and my mother eventually gave birth to Qiqi. She is the spirit of the Dimension Silencer, but at the same time, there's no doubt that she's my younger sister as well. After all, her flesh and blood originate from our Luo Clan," Luo Xuanqing said.
Zhang Xuan nodded slowly.
He had seen many different kinds of weapon spirits, and he had tamed many of them before. However, none of the spirits were able to leave the confines of their main body, and that applied to even Semi-Divinity artifacts too.
Thus, it was inconceivable that the spirit of the Dimension Silencer was able to leave its body and reincarnate as a human.
"How did she tear apart the dimension barrier? How did you know that she was heading to the Azure?" Zhang Xuan continued asking.
"Shortly after you left, her will to follow you to the Azure grew stronger and stronger. In resonance with her emotions, the Dimension Silencer emanated overwhelming energy that allowed her to overcome the limitations of Ancient Sage 4-dan. She reached an unfathomable level, which resulted in her being rejected by the heavens of the Master Teacher Continent. Eventually, she was squeezed out of the world together with the Dimension Silencer," Luo Xuanqing said.
"The experts of our Luo Clan did everything that we could, but we weren't able to stop her from leaving…"
Zhang Xuan fell silent.
That was also rather similar to how Luo Ruoxin left back then. They were squeezed out by the space of the Master Teacher Continent, a bit similar to a wooden log in the face of water.
No matter how hard one pressed the wooden log down into the water, the moment the force was released, it would simply float back to the surface of the water.
Given the situation, it was very likely that Luo Qiqi had been forced into the Azure.
"Alright, I'll take a look around when I return to the Azure later on. If I were to find her, I'll relay the news to the sovereign of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe," Zhang Xuan said.