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Seeing the two experts of the Combat Master Hall reacting in such a bewildering fashion, the crowd frowned. They quickly gathered around the door to take a look.


The door to the passageway was pushed opened entirely, and the sight inside came into plain view.


All of the combat masters instinctively drew in sharp gasps, and their eyes widened in horror.

After a long moment of silence, Xiao Bo gulped and spoke hoarsely. "Shi Hao, when you came out previously, are you certain that… the trial reverted back to normal?"

"Un. When I left, the trial had definitely reverted back to normal. It must be him. There's no one else; it must be him!" Shi Hao replied in agitation.

Despite being labeled as a trial, the Trial of Inner Breath was actually rather simple. The challenger only had to stand at a specified location and exert their zhenqi to destroy the stone walls located several dozen meters away.

These stone walls were conjured by the formation, and they were particularly resistant to zhenqi. Without a sufficiently large reserve of zhenqi, it would be impossible to puncture a hole through it.

Under normal circumstances, a Ten Men Commander would have to use his full strength just to break the first wall.

The fact that Shi Hao had received 38 points meant that he had nearly broken through the fourth wall before his zhenqi was depleted.

Without a doubt, this achievement should have made him the number one Saint 1-dan pinnacle expert of the Qingyuan Empire Combat Master Hall since its founding.

But right before his eyes…

All ten stone walls had been shattered into fragments. The Trial of Inner Breath had been reduced to little more than a rubbish dump.

"Did he intentionally destroy our trial?" asked one of the combat masters.

The Trial of Inner Breath was one of the most important facilities of their Combat Master Hall. To reduce it to such a state, wasn't that a little too much?

"That isn't it." Xiao Bo walked into the wrecked room and stopped right before the first stone wall. His eyes narrowed in disbelief as he explained, "The formation in the trial was created by an 8-star formation master sent by the headquarters. With his Saint 1-dan pinnacle cultivation, he wouldn't be able to cause damage even if he wanted to!"

Given that this was a location for a cultivator to test the amount of zhenqi they had, it was natural that it was built to be able to withstand a great deal of damage. Even with a combat master exerting their full might, it wouldn't even leave a scratch in the area. Given so, it was impossible to intentionally destroy it!

"Then how…" the combat master who had spoken earlier asked.

"This… was caused by a single palm strike!"

The one who spoke was Shi Hao this time around. There was a grim look in his narrowed eyes.

"A single palm strike?"

Everyone was perplexed by those words.

"In other words, he challenged the trial as anyone else would, but… due to the overwhelming zhenqi that he harnesses, the ten stone walls were destroyed in an instant. At the same time, the formation was unable to withstand the violent might he exerted, thus resulting in the ruination that we see!" Shi Hao explained.

"His strength… exceeded the tolerance of the formation?"

"He destroyed ten stone walls simultaneously?"

Everyone gulped down a mouthful of saliva.

This news was simply too shocking! It was at a level far beyond their imagination!

"Shi Hao is right. Look at those broken stone walls. I believe that you should notice something peculiar about them, too." Xiao Bo nodded as he pointed to the fragmented walls before him.

Everyone quickly rushed into the room to get a closer look, and before long, their eyes were widened in shock.

On the first wall face, there was a clean palm print smashed into it. As if a wrecking ball, the palm print had crushed through it with great ease.

Xiao Bo nodded. "This is just the first stone wall. Look at the others, and you should understand why Shi Hao said that."

The others quickly turned their gazes over.

There were palm prints on the other nine faces as well, and they were identical in size. If one were to line them up, one would realize that they were connected by a straight line.

In other words… all ten of the stone walls were shattered simultaneously by just a single move!

Shi Hao could already be known as the greatest genius of the Inner Breath Division in the past several millenniums, and yet, he had only achieved a score of 38 points, not being able to break even the fourth wall before he ran out of zhenqi. And yet, that fellow actually broke through all ten walls in a single palm strike, and even the formation couldn't withstand his might.

How in the world did he do it?

"I just said a moment ago that no one will break Combat Master Shi's record for the next three hundred years…"

"I was also thinking the same as you, but who could have known that… in just two short minutes, someone would have already out done him? And as if to rub salt to his wounds, it was done so overwhelmingly, fully displaying the vast contrast in their strength."

Everyone's body were shaking wildly.

They had just mocked the other party for being so arrogant to challenge their trial despite only being a spirit awakener, but who could have known that a single palm strike from the other party was more than sufficient to devastate their trial?

"How could a Saint 1-dan cultivator have so much zhenqi? In any case, there's no way this can be true. Say, is it possible that he might have used some kind of formidable artifact?" asked one of the combat masters among the crowd.

As combat masters, they were geniuses among geniuses, but even clearing the Trial of Inner Breath posed a great difficulty for them. So how could the fellow achieve such an inconceivable feat?

"Artifact? You are really overthinking this one. Look over there!" Shi Hao shook his head and pointed in a certain direction.

Frowning, the combat master turned his gaze over, and what he saw left his body shivering in shock.

On the wall, a string of numbers could be clearly seen—100!

Since the result was reflected on the wall outside, it went without saying that it would be reflected within as well so that the challenger would know how well they had performed.

The formation had the ability to detect whether artifacts had been used or not, and once the presence of an artifact was detected, the results would automatically be voided.

"100…" The combat master felt the back of his throat running dry. "If he achieved a score, why isn't it reflected outside?"

The other combat masters also turned their gazes over.

Indeed, if there was a score reflected within, why wasn't it reflected on the wall outside? It did not make sense.

It was precisely because there was nothing outside that they had thought that the spirit awakener had failed the trial in the first place!

"Most likely, the formation was destroyed before it could transmit the result to the wall outside," Shi Hao said with a bitter smile.


Taking another look at the devastated surroundings, the crowd came to a realization.

"Still, to be able to destroy all ten of the stone tablets with a single palm strike… just how much zhenqi does that Sun shi possess?"

Hearing that question, the combat masters couldn't help but fall silent.

Upon entering the library, Division Head Wei gestured to the shelves of books and said, "This is our library. Its scale is nowhere up to par to the Master Teacher Pavilion, but our cultivation techniques are all top-notch. There won't be any problem cultivating them!"

Most of the books in the Master Teacher Pavilion were created by many different generations of master teachers. As a result, there were many books that contradicted one another, making it difficult to determine the 'truth' from the 'false'. If one were to read aimlessly, one would just serve to confuse themselves. It was for this reason that it was a huge taboo for a master teacher to randomly browse through books.

Without direction, the more one read, the more confused one would be. Eventually, it would erode one's state of mind and result in the birth of inner demons, thus causing one's cultivation to stagnate or even go berserk.

However, the libraries of the Combat Master Hall were different.

Most of the cultivation technique manuals on their shelves had been practiced by preceding combat masters, and they were proven to be practical time and time again. Otherwise, they would either be further refined or eliminated altogether. No matter which book one picked off the shelves, it was bound to be a formidable cultivation technique that would allow one to advance one's cultivation swiftly!

Zhang Xuan nodded before heading forward to take a look. Soon, however, he could not help but feel a little disappointed.

Just as the other party had said, there were indeed not many cultivation technique manuals on the shelves. All in all, they only numbered several hundred.

But while they did not have many cultivation technique manuals, they did have a bunch of introductory manuals filled with the insights of the predecessors. There were around several hundred thousand of those altogether.

"Those shelves over there contain the insights of preceding combat masters. However, due to the unique constitution of each cultivator, the path that each individual takes is bound to differ from anyone else's. Thus, you should keep this in mind while browsing those books. If you simply read through them aimlessly, you might risk confusing yourself!" Division Head Wei explained.

"These books over here are the insights left behind by Hall Master Xing. If you must, it'd be better to study his. This way, if you have any questions, you could at least clarify them with him!"

Zhang Xuan nodded before turning his gaze back to the hundreds of cultivation technique manuals.

Those insights meant very little to him. What was more important were the cultivation techniques themselves.


With a quick glance, he collected all of those books into the Library of Heaven's Path.

"Compile," Zhang Xuan muttered softly.

In the blink of an eye, a brand-new book appeared. Placing his finger on it, the knowledge contained within it flowed into his mind.

Hmm? Not too bad, I managed to compile a complete cultivation technique from those books. Zhang Xuan frowned. However, there are still three flaws in it.

Even though there were several hundred books, due to their concise and profound content, Zhang Xuan was still able to successfully form a Saint 2-dan cultivation technique. However, there were three flaws with it.

Zhang Xuan shook his head. There are still too many flaws for me to cultivate it. Never mind, I should take in all of the other cultivation technique manuals first!

It was one thing for his battle technique to be flawed, but for his cultivation technique…

All along, he had only practiced the flawless Heaven's Path Divine Art. The only flawed cultivation technique that he had practiced was the Saint Ascension Decipher, but even so, he had made up for those flaws by using artifacts as catalysts. Thus, it was unacceptable for him to cultivate such a flawed Saint 2-dan cultivation technique!

It seemed like he would have to find some way to gather more Saint 2-dan cultivation techniques to remove those flaws.

Zhang Xuan turned his gaze to the insights, and after sweeping through them, he realized that they did little to remove the flaws in the Saint 2-dan cultivation technique. Thus, he decided not to collect them anymore.

Zhang Xuan turned to Division Head Wei and asked, "Are there any Saint 3-dan cultivation techniques here?"

"Saint 3-dan cultivation techniques? We do have some of them here. Follow me!"

Given how Division Head Wei was at Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, it went without saying that the Combat Master Hall had Saint 3-dan and Saint 4-dan cultivation techniques.

Soon, they arrived at the area where the Saint 3-dan cultivation technique manuals were stored. Just as he had guessed earlier, there were even fewer of them around.

It took just an instant for him to collect all of them into his Library of Heaven's Path, and after taking a look at it, he could not help but feel even more disappointed.

He did not even manage to successfully compile a Saint 3-dan cultivation technique.

Under Division Head Wei's lead, he collected the Saint 4-dan cultivation techniques too, but he could not compile a cultivation technique either.

Seeing how the young man had been walking around the library without picking up any book at all, Division Head Wei couldn't help but ask, "Sun shi, may I ask exactly what kind of book you are looking for? Perhaps I may be able to assist you in searching for it."

"I'm not too sure either, but it doesn't seem like there's anything suitable for me here." Zhang Xuan shook his head.

After a moment of hesitation, he continued. "Right, do you have any other Saint 2-dan cultivation technique manuals? Their tier doesn't matter; I need as many of them as possible."

To him, the tier of the cultivation technique truly did not make much of a difference at all.

As long as the number was sufficient, he would be able to compile a Heaven's Path Divine Art.

Well, it was true that high-tier cultivation techniques had fewer flaws, so he needed less of them to compile a Heaven's Path Divine Art, but the problem with that was that they were rare and hard to obtain!

"I'm afraid that there are not any more in our Inner Breath Division. However, Division Head Feng of the Martial Arts Division might have some. He was originally from the Master Teacher Pavilion, and he has a huge collection of battle technique and cultivation technique manuals. In the Combat Master Hall, he's the one who is the most likely to fulfill your needs!" Division Head Wei replied.

"Oh? May I trouble you to take me to the Martial Arts Division to take a look then?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"That isn't a problem!"

Smiling, Division Head Wei led Zhang Xuan out of the library.

However, upon reaching the entrance, his eyelids suddenly began twitching.

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