“This is…a Dragon Seal?”
Tantai Xuan looked at the object floating in front of him and his face drained of color . The carving of the golden dragon on the seal was life-like, as though any moment it would soar into the sky .
As he gripped the seal, a feeling of warmth flowed from it .
While Tantai Xuan was not a top-tier cultivator, he had come in contact with many other cultivators and could recognize the powerful strength contained inside the seal .
It was indistinct but the seal seemed to reflect the power he had just received in his own body .
There was no doubt that this was something good!
“What on earth is this power?”
Tantai Xuan sucked in a deep breath .
Beside him, Mo Beike was observing the seal with the carving of the dragon . There was no question that it represented authority and a position above man .
However, half of this seal seemed to have been cut away .
This meant that there was another half of this Dragon Seal somewhere .
Tantai Xuan was speechless as well, regarding the cut made on this seal .
His life was so difficult . This was the first time he was blessed with an Immortal Encounter, and he only received half of its gift .
Mo Beike muttered to himself for some time, having thought of something . His heavy eyelids twitched, and he looked in the direction of Beiluo City, releasing a heavy sigh .
“Could all of this be the work of that man in White Jade City?”
This thought came to Mo Beike .
“Giant, I feel a powerful strength within me . I do not know whether this is the Immortal Encounter of legends . As I’ve never had an Immortal Encounter before, I am unable to master this strength…”
Tantai Xuan had tried to consciously muster the Dragon Qi, but he found that the Dragon Qi in his body seemed to be different from Spirit Qi .
“Congratulations, my lord,” Mo Beike smiled as he said with hands cupped respectfully .
“With regards to this energy, if my lord has the time, you can make a trip to Beiluo City . ”
Mo Beike’s advice gave Tantai Xuan pause .
“Beiluo City, huh?”
It was the place where he had suffered his first defeat .
Still, Mo Beike was right . Perhaps…he really should make a trip down to Beiluo City .
Tantai Xuan grasped the half of the Imperial Dragon Seal in his hand .
After Mo Beike had taken his leave, Tantai Xuan continued to study the Imperial Dragon Seal and Dragon Qi .
In the capital city, in front of the narrow long corridor in Zijin Palace, Overlord stood upright, the snow falling from the sky evading his body .
“Dragon Qi…Dragon Seal…”
Overlord’s eyes shone brightly .
He held in his hand, his half of the Imperial Dragon Seal . Looking at the life-like carving of the golden dragon, he felt a vague sense of familiarity . He was no stranger to this sense of familiarity . After all, he had just fought the Black Dragon .
“Is this the Great Zhou Dynasty’s Black Dragon?”
Holding the Imperial Dragon Seal, Overlord could tell that half of it was missing .
“Yuwen Xiu used to rely on the Black Dragon . If Dragon Qi represents the destiny of the Great Zhou Dynasty… Then now, this destiny has been split in two . If I have one piece of it, does that mean Tantai Xuan also has a piece?” These thoughts sprang up in Overlord’s mind .
He looked for one of the Xiang Family’s Army and ordered him to check on Tantai Xuan’s situation .
As he expected, the member of the Xiang Family’s Army came rushing back to him .
“My lord! According to the information from our spies in Yuanchi City, the Lord of Beixuan has indeed received half of the Dragon Seal,” the Xiang Family’s Army soldier reported .
This information was not difficult to come by as the strange phenomenon in Yuanchi City had been extremely visible to all .
Overlord, seated in his chair, stood up as his eyes lit up .
“As I thought!” Overlord whispered excitedly . “The Dragon Seal represents the Great Zhou Dynasty’s fate . Now that the Great Zhou Dynasty has collapsed, the Dragon Seal has been split into two .
“This world has changed, as expected .
“Jianghu has become a place for cultivators . And now, this imperial court is also going to become a court of cultivators?”
The era of cultivators… Inexplicably, it gave him a depressing sense of oppression, as though a giant hand was covering up the sky .
Even so, Overlord’s heart was on fire .
Dragon Qi, Dragon Seal…
It would strengthen his cultivation . Overlord naturally longed to become stronger .
Maybe he ought to think of a way to get the other half of the Dragon Seal .
“The other half of the Dragon Seal is in Tantai Xuan’s possession?”
The Overlord’s lip curled up slightly in a smirk .
With slow steps, his burly body moved to stand in front of Zijin Palace . Looking up at the snowy sky, he lightly let out a breath of air .
“Come,” Overlord commanded .
Outside the gates, one of Overlord’s guards hurried over rapidly .
“Call General Xu to me . ”
“Yes sir . ”
The guard departed after receiving his orders .
Not long after, the big and tall Xu Chu strode to the front of Zijin Palace with big steps .
“My lord, what happened?”
Xu Chu was at a loss . He had just gotten his men to organize the books in the Library Pavilion, piled them up, and had just set fire to them when Overlord sent for him .
“You need to make a trip to Yuanchi City,” Overlord ordered .
Xu Chu was dumbfounded . Huh?
Go to Yuanchi? Right now?
Why such an intense mission all of a sudden?
Yuanchi City was currently under the Great Xuan Dynasty’s control . If he, a commander of Western Liang, were to go there, would it not be equivalent to feeding them a piece of fatty meat for nothing?
“What are you afraid of? You think Tantai Xuan dares to kill you?” Overlord chuckled .
It was true, Tantai Xuan would not dare . If Xu Chu died, Overlord would react in with a frenzy . With how imposing the Xiang Family’s Army was now, it would probably not be difficult for them to trample the Great Xuan Dynasty underfoot .
“Afraid? My lord, when I was five I ran naked in front of a tiger . How could I be afraid?” Xu Chu replied, eyes glaring .
“Then go to Yuanchi, and bring along a banquet invitation .
“Invite the Lord of Beixuan into the Zijin Palace . I have just received the Golden Dragon Seal and am unable to contain my joy . I am especially holding a banquet to invite the Lord of Beixuan to take a look at it . ”
Overlord leaned on the carved wooden door of the Zijin Palace long corridor and laughed lightly .
He spoke matter-of-factly, but it still left Xu Chu completely stunned .
Golden Dragon Seal?
“I heard the Lord of Beixuan received a Golden Dragon Seal as well… I’d like to see if it’s the same as the one I have,” Overlord continued .
With this, Xu Chu finally sensed the unusual meaning behind his words .
Xu Chu cupped his hands solemnly with respect .
“You dare to go?”
Overlord laughed, looking at Xu Chu .
“Why wouldn’t I dare?” Xu Chu answered, beating his chest .
Overlord turned to enter Zijin Palace’s study to draft a banquet invitation and passed it to Xu Chu .
With it, Xu Chu headed out of the Imperial City .
He called for someone to bring him a black-maned horse and took off the armor he was wearing . He also did not bring along his two spiked balls . Just like that, he headed alone to Yuanchi City .
The falling snow gradually swallowed him up .
However, Xu Chu’s heart was burning hot .
Beiluo Lake Island .
Lu Fan leaned on the railing listening to the sound of the snow falling as a faint breeze blew past . It was a rather pleasant experience .
In front of him, three round beads were floating in the air .
One was a Buddhist prayer bead that he had taken from the Buddhist monk .
One was a round white bead, with Dead Spirit Fire, a Heavenly Fire of Heaven and Earth produced in a High Level Martial World, sealed within .
Last but not least, there was a round golden bead that had been the heritage of the blond man .
Three different systems of cultivation from three alien wanderers .
To Lu Fan, this was a pleasant surprise . If he wanted to realize his goal of developing a hundred schools of cultivation, these three cultivation systems would be very helpful .
He tucked away the three beads, vaguely sensing a disturbance from the west . Lu Fan looked reactively towards Trial Pagoda on the West Mountain and was slightly surprised .
Because someone had made a breakthrough .
Beiluo, West Mountain, Trial Pagoda .
Kong Nanfei sat cross-legged on a straw cushion, but he felt a change in his consciousness as he appeared in a vast and dense primeval forest .
Strange masked spirits appeared, approaching him with deadly intent .
In the beginning, Kong Nanfei was quite uncomfortable, because the strange spirits he was facing were quite similar to him, dressed in Confucius robes . If not for the strange mask and the icy eyes that gave Kong Nanfei chills down his spine, their outward appearance and behavior would have fooled him into thinking that he was fighting a group of scholars .
Compared to Nie Changqing’s battle at Trial Pagoda, Kong Nanfei’s fight was more cultured . After all, it was a fight between educated scholars .
One by one, the strange masked spirits began chanting in a language he did not understand . Following this, what appeared in the sky above him…was Righteousness Qi!
Kong Nanfei was dumbfounded, but the terrifying killing intent made him counterattack instinctively .
He sat down cross-legged on a huge tree that stretched into the heavens .
The wind and clouds surged, his eyes glowed, and words streamed out from his mouth like a river .
His Righteousness Qi collided with theirs . This was a contest of ‘Qi’ .
Kong Nanfei drew upon the Spirit Qi in his Qi Core, displaying the technique he had developed on his own . However, what left him stunned was the fact that these strange spirits seemed to fully understand his technique and were copying what he did .
They also fused Spirit Qi with their Righteousness Qi .
Moreover, these people were at a more profound level of fusion than Kong Nanfei himself .
From the start, Kong Nanfei was at a huge disadvantage .
Even so, his eyes shone brightly . Sensing the differences between his technique and theirs, he began making changes .
Righteousness Qi burned hot like a blaze .
The strange spirits began to melt one after another as though they were made of ice and snow .
The surroundings grew peaceful and Kong Nanfei thought he had figured out how to do this .
A formation appeared under his feet, transforming into a mysterious stairway that stretched up to the second floor .
This was the Trial Pagoda that Young Master Lu spoke of . Without any hesitation, Kong Nanfei stepped up to the second floor .
The reason he continued was that he wanted an answer .
On the second floor, Kong Nanfei was once again surrounded by danger . After all, the cultivation of the strange spirits had improved .
Even so, during the fight, Kong Nanfei gradually managed to realize the fusion of Righteousness Qi and Spirit Qi . Even as he was chanting, Righteousness Qi could gush out of his mouth, almost imperceptibly turning tangible and piercing through his enemies, obliterating them .
He had learned yet another new technique .
Although Kong Nanfei was in grave peril in every fight, he still felt an inexplicable sense of excitement .
He had felt lost once, but now in the Trial Pagoda, he seemed to have found a path forward into the future for the Haoran Sect .
When he reached the fourth floor, Kong Nanfei received a huge shock .
This was because he received a verbal attack from a Five Internal Organs Realm Confucius Scholar .
His opponent’s Righteousness Qi was like a towering mountain and Kong Nanfei resisted its fiery heat for some time before he was melted away .
The feeling of his body gradually melting away—that sensation of death left Kong Nanfei feeling as though his heart was being clasped tight .
Having failed on the fourth floor, Kong Nanfei sat motionless on the straw cushion for a long time .
After he had gained some kind of new insight, he absorbed Spirit Qi, concentrating Spirit Qi in swirls to temper his internal organs . Then, he continued to challenge the fourth floor .
With much difficulty, he passed the fourth floor .
He reached the fifth floor .
He was killed instantly, the Righteousness Qi which exploded out from the strange spirit melted him at once .
He was not discouraged .
He brought himself back to his best condition and challenged the trial a second time .
He struggled to block his opponent’s first thunderous blow and was left drenched in blood, fresh blood seeping out from every pore on his body .
He did not give in, however, he continued sitting motionlessly atop the tree and steadfastly held his ground .
He contained an amount of Righteousness Qi within him, holding it in his heart .
Confucianist was originally a slur used to describe weak scholars .
But with the appearance of Confucian sages and people like the Master, perceptions changed and Confucianism became a doctrine of righteousness .
However, with the beginning of the era of cultivators, Confucianism gradually regained its original scholarly qualities with the manifestation of Righteousness Qi and its fusion with Spirit Qi .
It seemed as bizarre as the techniques of the Necromancers from the Yinyang School .
However, Righteousness Qi was an honorable technique that forcefully met enemies head-on .
Kong Nanfei seemed to gain some new understanding from this battle, and his eyes shone brighter and brighter .
He thought back to his time in the Library Pavilion and recalled the words the Master had spoken to him . He had cupped his hands in respect as he asked the Master what Confucianism was, and the Master had given him an answer .
The Master’s Righteousness Qi was, in fact, developed from other techniques .
Kong Nanfei sat cross-legged in the tree canopy, the leaves around him rustling loudly .
Around him, five shadowy figures in Confucius robes were sitting cross-legged atop five different trees . They each wore eccentric-looking masks, words streaming from their mouths as they suppressed Kong Nanfei .
Kong Nanfei’s dirty Confucian robes were stained with blood, but he let out a hearty laugh .
Joyful and fearless, the sound of his recitation lingered in the air .
Righteousness Qi gushed out of his mouth, transforming into a tangible sword .
This sword of Righteousness Qi abruptly beheaded the other five figures .
Kong Nanfei also disappeared from the primeval forest, his entire body melting away .
Arriving at the ground floor of the Trial Pavilion, Kong Nanfei sat upright on the straw cushion, the number “5” above his head blurring and turned into the number “6” .
Kong Nanfei awoke this time, laughing out loud in a carefree way .
He had made it past the fifth floor, even though it was through mutual destruction .
He did not even have time to receive his reward for making it past the fifth floor, the “chance to see and understand the Origin of the world” .
On Kong Nanfei’s body, five Spirit Qi swirls formed, absorbing the Spirit Qi from the world around him and slowly morphing into a Spirit Qi armor .
Around him, others were seated cross-legged on straw cushions, challenging the trials .
Kong Nanfei’s aura grew more and more firm . As the Spirit Qi swirl in his heart spun, Righteousness Qi was nurtured within it in the shape of a small sword .
“The Haoran Sect, a manifestation of Righteousness Qi…
“Enemies will be destroyed . ”
Kong Nanfei’s eyes sparkled . Righteousness Qi held in one’s heart would transform into one’s inner desires . Each Confucius scholar’s Righteousness Qi manifestation would be different . Kong Nanfei’s Righteousness Qi was a small sword . Meng Haoran’s might be a spear, or perhaps a book, and so on .
And the Haoran Sect cultivated this manifestation of Righteousness Qi in one’s heart .
At this moment, Kong Nanfei did not know this .
But on Lake Island, Lu Fan observed him in amazement .
“He really forged a new path forward!”
Lu Fan laughed .
Though Kong Nanfei had continued on this path by standing on the shoulders of the Master, sometimes being able to find a way out of a dense thicket was accomplishment enough .
In the Trial Pavilion, Kong Nanfei did not attempt any further trials, having gained enlightenment .
He walked out of the Trial Pavilion and met by many people peering at him from the outside .
Kong Nanfei’s aura was stronger than when he had entered the Trial Pavilion, making many of the people outside sharply inhale the cold air .
The sharpness in his gaze left them unable to meet his eyes directly .
Meng Haoran scuttled over, looking at Kong Nanfei in surprise . “Master, you’ve made a breakthrough?”
Kong Nanfei nodded, still in his dirty Confucius robes . Taking the jar of wine that Meng Haoran was holding, he began to drink it with big gulps .
He was filled with happiness and needed to let it out .
“That’s right . Let’s go back to the island . ”
Suddenly, Kong Nanfei, who was drinking wine, heard a sound by his ear .
With the sleeve of his Confucius robe, he wiped his mouth, his eyes shining brightly .
He had made it past the fifth floor, and Young Master Lu had said that if he could make it through, then he would be given a gift that would be beneficial for his Righteousness Qi .
He was suddenly curious as to what it could be .
Stuffing the jar of wine back in Meng Haoran’s hands, Kong Nanfei patted him on the head, saying, “Cultivate well and get to the ninth stage Qi Core as soon as possible . If you don’t work hard, you’ll never catch up and become a master . ”
With that statement, Kong Nanfei clasped his hands behind his back and stepped onto the thick snow . Five Spirit Qi swirls appeared around his body, transforming into an exquisite Spirit Qi armor that covered his body . In the field of snow, without leaving behind any footsteps, he disappeared into the densely falling snow .
Kong Nanfei left West Mountain and headed for Lake Island at top speed .
Boarding a lone boat, he rushed to the island, pushing the boat forward with the boat’s pole .
In the distance, White Jade City Pavilion finally came into view .
Under the pavilion, Kong Nanfei shook out his sleeves and cupped his hands respectfully towards Lu Fan .
“Young Master Lu . ”
Kong Nanfei took in a deep breath . He had now completed tempering his internal organs, and they had combined to give him a set of Spirit Qi armor . Even so, he could still feel the immeasurable depth of Lu Fan’s strength .
He was so afraid that he found breathing difficult .
Lu Fan sat atop the Thousand Blades Chair on the second floor of White Jade City Pavilion, leaning against the railing and listening to the snow .
His white clothes flapped in the wind .
Seeing Kong Nanfei, he said impassively, “I told you before that if you made it past the fifth level, I would give you a gift .
“Your resolve is commendable . To get through the fifth level with a suicidal attack…”
“Young Master Lu, your praise is unnecessary,” Kong Nanfei said .
Lu Fan gestured nonchalantly, saying, “I won’t go back on my promises .
“Read this . I’ll only write it once . ”
Below him, Kong Nanfei immediately tensed, looking up quickly .
He saw Lu Fan raise his hand, sweeping it through the air lightly .
Countless wisps of Spirit Qi accumulated and condensed, transforming into a scroll of paper that unfurled gradually .
He flicked a finger resting on the armguard .
Like a blazing flame, the Phoenix Feather Sword shot out, fire trailing behind it .
It was like a brush of fire .
Lu Fan’s expression grew serious . With Spirit Qi as the parchment and the Phoenix Feather Sword as his brush, he slowly began to write .
Kong Nanfei looked upwards, his messy hair continually being blown about in the wind .
His eyes were fixed on the Spirit Qi scroll hovering in the air .
He saw words began to appear beneath the flaming feather .
Kong Nanfei furrowed his brows deeply .
“Pervading Heaven and Earth is a righteous Qi, mixed and manifold, it assumes various forms…”