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"Everything else after that is pretty much the same as what you know. Despite the tremendous strength wielded by the Spirit God, she was still unable to withstand the pressure coming from the dimension barrier, resulting in her sustaining severe injuries. Her blood fell into the Ocean of Exiled Stars and nourished the Blackback Tortoise, Shark One, and the others. At the same time, I gave a droplet of her blood to Wu Chen and Jiang Yao, allowing them to reach the Semi-Divinity realm too," Du Qingyuan said,

Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.

It was roughly the same as what he had deduced thus far.

"Not too long after she arrived here, she received Wu Chen's summoning and descended to the Master Teacher Continent. I don't really know what happened afterward. However, one thing that is certain is that she has already returned to the Firmament. She didn't stop too long in the Azure, simply instructing me to take care of you before rushing right back to the Firmament."

"Then... did she mention where she is in the Firmament?"

This was also what Zhang Xuan was the most concerned about.

Du Qingyuan shook her head and replied, "I'm afraid that she hasn't mentioned anything along those lines to me. However, as the Spirit God, I reckon that she should be in Spirit God Palace, which is also the place I told you about previously. She told me to tell you that the two of you will eventually meet if she survives the ordeal. If things don't go as planned, there's no need for you to grieve too much over her."

"Survive the ordeal?" Zhang Xuan's eyes widened in horror. "Did she mention what she is facing?"

The fact that Luo Ruoxin was able to tear apart the dimension barriers and enter the Firmament directly bore testimony to her immense strength. There was no doubt that she was far stronger than even the current him.

Yet, such pessimistic words came out of her mouth despite her strength. Did she encounter some sort of problem that she was unable to resolve?

"The Spirit God didn't mention the details, so I don't really know much about the matter. However, based on what she said, it appears to be a life-and-death duel with another individual," Du Qingyuan replied grimly.

As a subordinate, all she had to do was obey the Spirit God's orders. She would be overstepping her bounds if she tried to pry into the private affairs of the Spirit God.

Zhang Xuan asked a few more questions, but from the looks of it, it did not seem like Du Qingyuan knew much about Luo Ruoxin's affairs. In the end, he could only shake his head helplessly.

"Zhang shi, what do you plan to do next?" Du Qingyuan asked.

"From the looks of it, I think I'll have to make a trip to the Firmament," Zhang Xuan said with a wry smile.

It had been quite some time since he parted from Luo Ruoxin, but just the knowledge that she was in danger left his heart beating in anxiety.

Had it been before he encountered the tombstone of the Undying Monarch, he would have thought that gods were immortal and eternal. However, it was apparent to him that he was gravely mistaken. Even those who had wielded powers as great as the gods did not have the ability to govern their own fate.

Du Qingyuan had expected Zhang Xuan to make such a decision, so she simply nodded quietly.

After obtaining the answers that he wanted from Du Qingyuan, Zhang Xuan quickly gathered Zhao Ya and the others and informed them of his decision.

"Teacher, we wish to go with you!" Zhao Ya stepped forward with a firm look in her eyes.

"I want to head to the Firmament together with you!" Wei Ruyan nodded, her voice devoid of any hesitation.

"Teacher, we wish to follow you. We hope that you won't throw us behind as you did previously..." Zheng Yang and the others nodded in agreement.

Facing his determined students, Zhang Xuan felt a headache. He looked at them grimly and said, "I don't know what the current situation in the Firmament is, and there's a good chance that we might face grave danger there. We might even be torn apart by the spatial turbulence before reaching there. Are you certain that you want to follow me despite that?"

Back then, Zhang Xuan had faced a spatial turbulence and sustained severe injuries while making his way from the Master Teacher Continent to the Azure. If he was not so lucky as to have been saved by the kind-hearted Dan Xiaotian, it was hard to imagine what could have happened to him.

As a teacher, he felt responsible for his students' safety, so he was reluctant to involve them in situations of unknown danger.

"We aren't afraid!" Zhao Ya replied determinedly. Teacher, even if you don't bring us along with you, we'll still eventually find a way to get to the Firmament ourselves. It makes no difference at all!"

Zhao Ya's words echoed the will of the other direct disciples. Even though the others were not saying a word at all, their gazes conveyed their intentions.

Seeing this, Zhang Xuan fell silent.

If he could have his way, he would definitely leave Zhao Ya and the others behind. At the very least, he would want to be able to ensure the safety of his direct disciples before bringing them along with him.

The situation in the Azure was a perfect example.

Kong shi's clone had actually planted his subordinates at the entrance of the spatial passageway, ready to capture him as soon as he arrived. If not for the real Kong shi discreetly leaving a hand in the spatial passageway, he could have died long ago!

However, he could also tell that his direct disciples had no intention of letting this matter rest so easily. If he left them behind, his direct disciples would surely find a way to enter the Firmament themselves. That could potentially put them in greater danger.

The answer was clear.

"Let's head to the Firmament together then." Zhang Xuan nodded. "We might meet fearsome adversaries in the Firmament, but so what? I believe that we'll surely be able to overcome any problems that stand in our way!"

"Thank you, Teacher!"

Zhao Ya and the others bowed deeply in agitation.

Shortly after they ended the discussion, an elder walked into the room and reported, "Sect Leader Zhang, there are two people standing outside who claim to be your parents!"

"My parents?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.

He quickly headed out of the room, and there, he saw Sword Saint Xing and Sword Saint Meng in the courtyard.

"What brought you two here?" Zhang Xuan asked with a hint of surprise and joy in his voice.

The last time he had met them was on the Master Teacher Continent. However, as he had been about to have a showdown with Kong shi and had not been absolutely confident of victory, he had chosen not to take the two of them along with him. Who could have thought that they would have come over through the spatial passageway of their own accord, just as Sun Qiang did?

"Xuan-er, we'll follow you wherever you go. We have been separated for twenty years, and I don't want to miss any more time with you." Sword Saint Meng walked forward and hugged Zhang Xuan.

Wrapped within Sword Saint Meng's tight embrace, Zhang Xuan found himself at a loss for words. He did not know what the right way for him to respond to her emotions was.

At the same time, he realized that he had not thought through the consequences of his decision.

The difference in the flow of time between the Firmament and the Azure was 1:100, a very significant difference. He had no idea how long he would be in the Firmament for, but if he spent just ten years there, it would translate to a thousand years in the Azure.

By then, his parents would have already returned to the earth!

His parents had spent twenty years looking for him, and they had spent barely a few days together with one another in total. He would have to be the most unfilial son in the world to abandon his parents just like that!

"Let's go to the Firmament together then." Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement. "However, you'll need to raise your cultivation first!"

There was nothing to hesitate about since he had already come to a decision. So, he immediately got to action.

With a flick of his wrist, he brought out the sealed Kong shi's clone.

"What are you planning to do?"

Not expecting to be let out so suddenly, Kong shi's clone had a premonition that something bad was going to happen to him.

"Weren't you thinking of ways to steal my Library of Heaven's Path this whole time? You know, the more I thought about the matter, the more I feel that it wasn't fair for me to let things rest just like that. So, it's about time for you to return the favor!" Zhang Xuan said with a sinister smile on his face as his hands slowly reached out toward Kong shi's clone.

A few moments later, a powerful sphere of energy was revolving on top of Zhang Xuan's palm. With a flick of his finger, it diverged into two portions, each of them surging into Sword Saint Xing and Sword Saint Meng's body respectively.

Zhang Xuan had also made sure to infuse his divine energy into the sphere of energy in order to protect them from harm.

Hong long!

In the blink of an eye, their cultivation began surging forth from Ancient Sage 4-dan.

Three days later, they had already reached the Heavenly Semi-Divinity realm, just like Zhao Ya and the others. Furthermore, as they had absorbed the powers of Kong shi's clone directly, their bodies had been refined by the latter's divine energy, enhancing their potential. As long as they could acquire sufficient Aura of Divinity, they would be able to swiftly make a breakthrough to godhood.

"This is the swordsmanship that I have comprehended. Study it carefully," Zhang Xuan said as he imprinted his comprehension of swordsmanship into their minds.

As individuals who were able to rise to the very top of the Master Teacher Continent, there was no denying Sword Saint Xing and Sword Saint Meng's talent in swordsmanship.

The advancement of their mastery in swordsmanship had been slowing into stagnation back at the Master Teacher Continent, but with the knowledge they had just received from Zhang Xuan, it was as if a set of doors leading to a new world had been opened to them. They trembled excitedly as they swiftly assimilated Zhang Xuan's comprehension of swordsmanship, leading to an exponential growth in their fighting prowess.

"Young Master, can you bring me with you? I will put my heart and soul into cultivating this time around! Look, I have already reached the True Immortal realm. Even though I haven't managed to reach the High Immortal realm yet’ I_m not too far away from it," Sun Qiang said meekly from the side.

He had thought that he would be able to stay by Zhang Xuan's side and live the adventurous life of showing off and bragging that he desired, but who could have known that the latter would be leaving for the Firmament so quickly?

This time, he was determined to clutch onto this opportunity. He was not going to be the only one who was left behind!

"Fine!" Zhang Xuan replied without too much hesitation.

Sun Qiang might be unreliable at times, but there was no doubt that he was a highly competent butler. He was much more useful than Cao Chengli, and he had also taken good care of Zhao Ya and his parents in the past.

Since he had already chosen to take the others with him, there was no reason for him to exclude only Sun Qiang.

He took out the corpse of a Semi-Divinity realm cultivator, extracted the power from within, and passed it over to Sun Qiang. At the same time, he made sure to prepare plenty of Premier Immortal Pills and all sort of treasures in order to ensure that Sun Qiang did not lack cultivation resources.

As a result, it did not take too long for Sun Qiang to raise his cultivation all the way up to the Heavenly Semi-Divinity realm.

With everyone ready to set off, Zhang Xuan bade Han Jianqiu, Kui Xiao, Du Qingyuan, Qing Yuan, and the others farewell before placing everyone else into his folded space.

With a spatial leap, he was already standing right at the top of the Heaven Anchoring Boulder. Then, he began ascending the Azure Bridge, and it did not take him long to arrive before the Hall of Gods.

The black vortex beneath the Hall of Gods was still revolving slowly with a furious gale raging all around. It was a sight that would leave any rational man halting in his footsteps.

Driving his divine energy, Zhang Xuan swiftly formed a tight net around his storage ring through A Heart of Intertwined Threads, ensuring that there was nothing that could hurt it at all.

Having reached the level of the gods, he was confident that he would be able to deal with most dangers that came his way. The only thing he was afraid of was the safety of the others in the folded space.

Just as Zhang Xuan was about to step into the vortex, a voice sounded in his ear. "There's no need to go through so much trouble. I can just swallow the storage ring and hide inside your dantian. Even if there is danger, you need not worry about the safety of the storage ring unless you encounter something that even you are unable to overcome..." Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up as he asked, "You're awake?"

The one who was talking to him was none other than Little Chick, who had nearly been roasted while facing the God Ordeal.

He did not think that the latter would suddenly regain consciousness at a time like this.

Scanning Little Chick with his Spiritual Perception, Zhang Xuan found that the little yellow chick's cultivation had only increased by one cultivation stage after the God Ordeal. Nevertheless, it showed that there was some credence to their previous deduction that the latter could raise its cultivation through tempering via flames.

"We'll do as you've said." Zhang Xuan nodded.

The idea proposed by Little Chick would be much safer than him carrying the storage ring on his fingers.

Even though it might not look like it, Little Chick was a being that had reached the level of the gods. In fact, in terms of the quantity of divine energy, it seemed to be above his!


With a peck, Little Chick quickly swallowed Zhang Xuan's storage ring before diving into his dantian to laze around. "Let's go then!"

Without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan made his way into the vortex right ahead of him.

At the center of the vortex was a pitch-black passageway that seemed to lead on and on, reminiscent of an endless abyss.

Space seemed to have broken down in this vortex, and there was a lot of spatial turbulence raging in the area. Even a Semi-Divinity realm cultivator would be swiftly reduced to dust in the face of the devastating force of nature.

However, Zhang Xuan had already reached the level of the gods, and he had also comprehended a cultivation technique that surpassed the Heaven's Path Divine Art. It was not to say that he was having it easy, but it was still within his means to deal with.

He continued ahead for three whole days, covering an unimaginable distance before some major spatial turbulence appeared before him. It was similar to what he had faced when he was traveling from the Master Teacher Continent to the Azure.

Braving through the destructive spatial turbulence, he immediately felt the world spinning swiftly around him. It was such a powerful force of disorientation that he had to cast a net of sword qi to protect himself.

Right after, boundless destructive force bombarded his net of sword qi, threatening to tear him to shreds. Gritting his teeth, Zhang Xuan drove his divine energy to his limits as he leaped forth, disappearing from the spot.

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