He had never heard of the Nine Skies Lotus Leaf before, but for reason, its name reminded him of the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo.
It was the material that he had used to forge his clone!
It was due to being made of such a material that his clone was practically indestructible and possessed superior fighting prowess. Even Zhang Xuan, when he cultivated the perfect Heaven's Path Divine Art, was no match for it.
It was only after he started comprehending the Pathos of Heaven that he managed to overpower his clone a little.
The Nine Skies Lotus Embryo and the Nine Skies Lotus Leaf…
Could they somehow be related to one another?
With such a thought in mind, Zhang Xuan brought out his clone.
As of this moment, his clone's cultivation had also reached Conferred God King realm pinnacle, making them roughly on par.
"Take a look at that lotus leaf over there." Zhang Xuan pointed.
The haughty clone tilted his chin upward to look at the lotus leaf, and his eyes lit up. "I don't know what that thing is, but I somehow feel my body being drawn to it…"
As the clone spoke, he began flying toward the massive lotus leaf.
At the same time, the massive lotus leaf seemed to have sensed something as well, and it began shrinking.
With a slight sway, the clone landed on top of the lotus leaf before morphing into a lotus core that seemed ready to blossom to any moment.
Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes.
It was how the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo had looked before he had forged it into his clone.
The powers of the lotus leaf surged into the lotus core, nourishing it with energy. A pure white flower blossomed from it before slowly becoming transparent.
An intense burst of energy rippled from the lotus as a nine-colored lotus flower blossomed in full, emanating a scent that intoxicated one.
"To think that it's the Primordial Golden Lotus of the Nine Skies," Conferred God King Liu Yan muttered with eyes widened in disbelief.
"You know about it?" Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.
"Legend has it that before the Nine Skies were created, the primordial energy of the universe gave birth to the Primordial Golden Lotus to establish order in the Five Elements and the Four Extremities. However, before it could mature, it suddenly vanished without a trace, resulting in the rise of chaos in the world. From the chaos came the Four Legendary Beasts, who eventually came to be known as the God Monarchs of the Northern Sky, Southern Sky, Eastern Sky, and Western Sky."
As one of the older Conferred God Kings to have served the God Monarchs, he had heard of many things that were not recorded in the books.
"I thought that the Primordial Golden Lotus was just an artifact of the history, but to think that it would appear here… Furthermore…" Conferred God King Liu Yan clasped his mouth in shock.
The Primordial Golden Lotus of the Nine Skies was a treasure that even God Monarchs would find difficult to tame, but the young man had managed to forge it into his clone.
This was unbelievable!
If I'd known that you'd already tamed the lotus, I wouldn't have come here to snatch it from you…
Zhang Xuan could feel his clone growing stronger by the moment as it continued to fuse together with the lotus leaf. Its power had already exceeded that of a Conferred God King by this point.
He could not help but heave a sigh of relief.
His clone seemed to have far more fortuitous encounters than he did.
At this rate, his clone was likely to become a God Monarch before him, and once that happened, he would probably become a truly indestructible and unrivaled existence in the world.
All this time, he had been wondering just what tier of artifact the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo was to be able to defeat him, a practitioner of the perfect Heaven's Path Divine Art. It was only at this moment that he discovered just how frightening a background his clone had.
"I should have long thought of it," Zhang Xuan said with a bitter smile. "In any case, given that the lotus has bloomed fully, my clone should be able to make a breakthrough to the God Monarch realm. However, it'll probably take some time before he completes the process…"
The Nine Skies Lotus Embryo carried the name of the Nine Skies, so he should have realized it when he finally came to the Firmament. It was just that he could not have imagined that his clone would actually be so formidable!
Taking a closer look at the lotus, he saw the lotus becoming more and more brilliant. Through their telepathic connection, he could sense that his clone had already fully assimilated the lotus leaf.
Once the two energies finally fused together, his clone would become a God Monarch.
"I first found the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo back on the Master Teacher Continent. Initially, I thought that it was an unripe Nine Hearts Lotus due to its gray color, so I nourished it with my Heaven's Path zhenqi. It was only then that its color started changing… Now that I think about it, the reason the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo was in such a state back then could be the result of that bizarre gray energy as well…" Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in realization.
Back then, there was a soul oracle by the name of Mo Hunsheng possessing the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo, and through it, he was able to survive tens of thousands of years without dissipating.
All this time, Zhang Xuan had thought that it was his Heaven's Path zhenqi that had led to its maturity, but now that he pondered upon it once more, he felt like it could have been the doing of the same gray congregation of energy that had suppressed Feng Jiuge's cultivation.
It was due to him neutralizing the gray energy with his Heaven's Path zhenqi that it reverted to its original color!
That was probably the reason he had eventually managed to forge a clone out of such a powerful artifact.
Most likely, the bizarre gray energy had already devoured all the energy within the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo by the time it got to his hands, allowing the Transcendent Mortal him to assimilate it easily.
"Be it the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo or the Deathless Monarch, it seems too much of a coincidence that I managed to get involved with them… It feels I am walking down a path that someone paved for me," Zhang Xuan mumbled with a frown.
He felt that it was simply too lucky for him to stumble upon such fortuitous encounters, especially when he was on the lower Master Teacher Continent. What were the odds of it happening?
If it was just a slightly more powerful artifact, he could still attribute it to his good luck. However, the Nine Skies Lotus Embryo was a precious treasure that even God Monarchs would die to get their hands on. Yet, he had ended up forging it into his clone unknowingly.
On top of that, he had somehow tamed the Deathless Monarch, one of the nine strongest experts of the myriad worlds, and even the strongest God Monarch Lingxi of the Sky of Freedom ended up as his girlfriend.
No matter how one looked at it, something was off!
How much luck did one need for all that to occur to one person? It was not as if he was the protagonist of some novel!
Zhang Xuan knew that Kong shi had played a hand in orchestrating some matters, but he felt like there was another enigmatic force that had been pushing him to grow all this while.
Unable to figure it out, Zhang Xuan decided to put it aside for the time being. Instead, he turned to look at his direct disciples.
Zhao Ya stepped forward and presented a storage ring to him. "Teacher, here are the treasures you have acquired at the Flooding Sea. We hope that they will be of some use to you…"
Zhang Xuan accepted the storage ring and took a look at the contents within. Then, he nodded and remarked, "Not bad!"
The items that his direct disciples had gathered were far more valuable than what he had found. There were at least ten items in there that were on the same tier as the Condensed Earth Essence and a few more that exceeded it.
For them to be willing to present the invaluable treasures they had procured to him, he could really feel their sentiments toward him.
"It looks like I don't have to search any further. With these, I will be able to push for a breakthrough to the God Monarch realm without any trouble," Zhang Xuan said with a smile.
However, when he was taking a second look through the items in the storage ring, he suddenly noticed something that made him frown. "Hmm? This is weird. Aren't you the ones who took away the Midnight Flower and the Desolate Iron?"
He realized that the Midnight Flower and the Desolate Iron, which had vanished by the time he arrived in the vicinity, were not in the storage ring.
Was it possible that there was someone other than his direct disciples who possessed the ability to claim the treasures from those dangerous locations?
"Midnight Flower? Desolate Iron?" Zhao Ya and the others tilted their heads in confusion. "We've never heard of those items before."
"What does this mean? Is there someone else who possesses great capabilities lurking in the Flooding Sea other than you all?" Zhang Xuan frowned in alarm.
 Four extremities refers to the four directions of the world.
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