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Ignoring everyone's shock, Zhang Xuan reached the ceiling and touched the mechanism.
Then, his fingers began operating swiftly, tapping on various protrusions on the ceiling.
Possessing the Library of Heaven's Path, Zhang Xuan could easily find the flaws within a mechanical trap. It was just like with the Crimson Metal Coffin before. Even though it was known to be 'unbreakable', in truth, if one were to find the flaws and exploit them, it wouldn't be a problem at all.
This mechanism was the same as well.
After a few taps, a crisp sound echoed and a boulder slowly split open, revealing a passageway. Zhang Xuan immediately dived into it.
The passageway was completely dark. There should be another mechanical system installed above the passageway to prevent the lake water from collapsing in.
After walking several dozen meters, he saw a gigantic boulder. As long as he knocked the boulder open, he should be able to return back to the bottom of the lake.
Just like with the entrance, there was a unique mechanical system installed here which allowed humans to pass but prevented the lake water from gushing in.
Taking a brief sweep of the mechanical system, Zhang Xuan realized that its design wasn't inferior even when compared to formations. He couldn't help but feel awed.
As expected of a celestial designer. Some of the systems behind the mechanical traps were so complex that many men wouldn't get it even if they spent their entire life studying them.
After recuperating for a moment and recovering from the massive expenditure from the Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps, Zhang Xuan finally returned back to the crowd once more. He took a rope from Luo Zhu and fastened it to the passageway.
The group didn't hesitate and hurriedly climbed up.
They were all cultivators so even though they weren't capable of flight, scaling a rope was extremely simple.
Swimming up the lake, they finally returned back to the shore. Everything they just went through suddenly felt like an illusion, as though a dream they'd all had.
Even though they were only in the soul oracle tomb for a short moment, they had been on the verge of death and experienced despair. To think that they would be able to see the surface once more.
"Thank you, Zhang shi!"
After drying his clothes with zhenqi, Hall Master Sai stepped forward and bowed earnestly.
As expected of a Celestial Master Teacher. In the face of such danger, unlike the rest of them, he was able to maintain his calmness and use his wits to twist the situation around. Through doing so, he even managed to turn a 6-star soul oracle into his servant.
If he hadn't witnessed it with his own eyes, he wouldn't dare believe this to be true.
"You're being too polite, everyone has worked hard as well. Since we are in no hurry to leave, why don't we rest here for the night?"
After all that they had gone through, the sun had already set. Stars shone brightly in the sky, and a crescent moon was hanging above the top of the mountain. The atmosphere felt peaceful.
There was a slight scent of autumn in the air. Green had faded from the leaves on the trees, turning into a more yellowish shade. A mountain wind blew past, caressing the group with a chilly touch.
Hearing that they were in no rush to leave, the crowd heaved a sigh of relief.
Their mind had been tense during the entire time in the soul oracle tomb, and that had left them in a withered state. They felt even more exhausted than if they had fought an intense battle.
This was the Demon Cinque Beast's nest, and there weren't any spirit beasts who would dare to wreak havoc here. Everyone started a campfire and whipped out the food they had stored in their storage ring. Before long, the fragrance of meat began wafting in the air.
Zhang Xuan was also ravenous. While he was in the midst of digging into his food, Wang Ying suddenly walked over and asked concernedly, "Teacher, what's wrong with your neck?"
Taken aback, Zhang Xuan grabbed the copper mirror that Wang Ying offered him and observed his neck carefully. Below his lower jaw, there was a portion that was slightly gray.
"Oh, it is caused by Little Mo's soul oracle aura. Don't worry, it'll fade away very soon!"
Back when they were still in the soul oracle tomb, in order to bait Mo Hunsheng so as to use the Dragon Scale Amulet against him, he allowed the other party to grab him. It was probably then that the mark was left behind. Even so, it wasn't very conspicuous and one wouldn't notice it unless when paying close attention to it.
It was only because of Wang Ying's meticulousness that she noticed it.
A soul oracle was a very different lifeform from a human being, and coming into contact with such a powerful soul oracle, it was perfectly normal for a mark to be left behind. However, it should gradually disappear soon.
"That's good!" Seeing that it wasn't a major issue, Wang Ying heaved a sigh of relief.
"I need you and Zhao Ya to bring Lu Chong over. Meanwhile, I'll investigate some things," Zhang Xuan instructed.
Lu Chong didn't come here along with the crowd. Instead, he was placed on the back of Zhao Feiwu's spirit beast. Now that the Demon Cinque Beast was tamed, it posed no threat whatsoever anymore. Thus, it shouldn't be a problem for them to bring him over.
"Yes!" Knowing her teacher's intention to save Lu Chong, Wang Ying nodded her head.
After delegating several tasks, Zhang Xuan stepped into the Demon Cinque Beast's cave.
The cave was wide and clean. Finding himself a quiet place, Zhang Xuan took out the Nine Hearts Lotus.
He didn't have any time to ask Mo Hunsheng anything when they were in the tomb previously. Since he had some time now, he could properly question him to see if there was any way to save Lu Chong.
Upon leaving the storage ring, Mo Hunsheng immediately realized that he was out of the tomb and a tinge of excitement could be heard in his tone.
After being trapped for several dozen millenniums, he finally managed to see the surface once more. The agitation he was feeling at the moment was unimaginable.
As such, his use of 'master' was completely earnest; there wasn't the slightest sarcasm or insincerity in it.
"I want to know if you have any way of waking a dormant soul!" Zhang Xuan asked with a grim expression.
"Wake a dormant soul?"
Mo Hunsheng was stunned for a moment before replying, "To wake a dormant soul, you just have to send your soul into the other party's body to wake him up. It isn't too complicated!"
Zhang Xuan fell into contemplation. In truth, he knew of this method as well. But back then, his soul was still unable to leave his body so he could only drop the idea. But now... everything was different.
Having cultivated the Heaven's Path Soul Art, his soul could already exist separately from his body. He could easily enter the Lu Chong's body to wake up his soul.
"However, this action is very similar to possession. The slightest mistake might result in you taking over control of the other party's body instead." Bound to Zhang Xuan by the soul contract, Mo Hunsheng didn't dare to hide anything from the other party.
Sending a soul into another person's body was an action no different from possession. It was still alright if one could wake up the other party, but if it failed, it was very possible that a possession would really take place, and the intruding soul would suffer from Possession Decline.
"More importantly... if you fail to wake the other party up, your soul might just be acknowledged by the other party's body. If so, it would be impossible to wake the other party up anymore!"
Mo Hunsheng hesitated for a moment before continuing, "After all, a soul capable of intruding into the body of another has to be incredibly powerful. Furthermore, given that the other party's soul is in a dormant state, he must be completely defenseless at the moment. A body which hasn't been nourished by a soul for a very long time is extremely likely to acknowledge the wrong master. If that happens, not only will you fail to save the other party, you might even directly cause his death!"
With a grim expression, Zhang Xuan clenched his fist tightly.
"Is there any way to avoid that from happening?"
Since he was going to make a move, he should ensure that there was a hundred percent chance of success. If he were to fail, how could he face his own conscience?
After all, he was the cause of Lu Chong's current plight.
If he failed to treat him own student, he should be ashamed of being the other party's teacher!
"Avoid that from happening? If the other party's soul becomes resilient and powerful, then even if you fail to wake his soul up, he should still be in control of his physical body. At the very least, a possession won't occur!"
Mo Hunsheng said. "The best method is to use Soulrouse Grass to forge Soulrouse Incense. If you were to light the incense and allow the person with a dormant soul to breathe it in first, there will be a significantly higher chance of waking him up!"
"Soulrouse Grass?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
As an apothecary, he had browsed through many herbology books but he had never heard of such a medicinal herb before.
"Soulrouse Grass isn't a plant but a unique object bred through the nurturing of a soul oracle's soul!" Mo Hunsheng said.
"How long does it take to grow one?" Zhang Xuan asked.
If it took too long, he would have to resort to other alternative solutions.
"Not too long, just a month! However... my soul is trapped within the lotus so I am unable to grow one..." Mo Hunsheng smiled bitterly.
Even if he wanted to help, trapped in the Nine Hearts Lotus, he was completely powerless.
Instead of replying the other party's words, Zhang Xuan asked, "Can all soul oracles nurture one?"
"Yes. As long as one is a soul oracle who has succeeded in drawing his soul out, one will be able to nurture it. The method is extremely simple, I'll tell you about it now!" Mo Hunsheng said.
Zhang Xuan shook his hands and said calmly, "Un, tell me the method!"
Thus, Mo Hunsheng began speaking.
Very quickly, he explained the entire process for breeding a Soulrouse Grass.
Just as he'd said, the Soulrouse Grass wasn't a specific plant but an object bred through the nurturing of one's soul. Only then would it harmonize with one's soul and achieve the purpose of waking up a soul.
"It can't be that... you're thinking of learning the Soul Guiding Formula to become a soul oracle and nurture one?"
Seeing that his master had jotted the cultivation method for the Soulrouse Grass down, Mo Hunsheng was taken aback.
"That's right!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
Since this object was useful to Lu Chong, he did have the intention to plant it.
"But you're a Celestial Master Teacher..." Mo Hunsheng was shocked out of his wits.
His master was a talented Celestial Master Teacher! If he were to cultivate the Soul Guiding Formula, that would be equivalent to giving up his identity... Wasn't that being a little too reckless?
"Don't worry, I've already revised the Soul Guiding Formula. Even if I were to succeed in drawing out my soul, it won't have any adverse effect on my physical body such that my soul will still be able to harmonize perfectly with the body," Zhang Xuan said calmly.
"Revised? Harmonize perfectly?" Within the lotus, Mo Hunsheng's eyes widened into perfect circles and his lips quivered in disbelief.
The Soul Guiding Formula was the cultivation technique that was passed down among soul oracles for innumerable years. Countless experts had revised and improved it, but even so, they were unable to get past this bottleneck. Yet, just by studying the formula for a few breaths, this fellow had actually revised it such that it didn't affect the compatibility between one's body and soul?
How was that possible?
Just as he was thinking that the other party might be bragging, he saw his master's body suddenly sway and an intangible shadow suddenly appeared above the body.
"He drew his soul out?"
The voice trembled.
As a 6-star soul oracle, he could clearly see that his master's soul had already separated from his body.
"Can you see me?" Just as he was overwhelmed with shock, the other party's soul voice sounded. Then, Zhang Xuan stepped forward and sat in front of the lotus.
"I can see you now..." Mo Hunsheng trembled.
Zhang Xuan nodded his head in satisfaction.
It seemed like the soul he drew out using the Heaven's Path Soul Art was similar to his Heaven's Path zhenqi. As long as he willed it to be so, if he wished to conceal his soul, even a higher ranked soul oracle would be unable to see him.
On the other hand, he could also choose to reveal it as well.
After confirming this fact, Zhang Xuan returned back to his physical body.
"Return of the Soul... Perfect Consummation, Concord of Acupoints, Harmony of Body and Soul... Y-you really managed to improve the Soul Guiding Formula!"
Seeing that Zhang Xuan's soul had returned back into his body without any problems, and his souls were even calling in harmony, producing a sound reminiscent of the call of a dragon, Mo Hunsheng screeched in shock and he nearly fainted on the spot.