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It couldn't be that this was the Yin-Yang Lake, could it?
If that wasn't the case, how could there be such a bizarre thing?
But if that was the case... Why was it that small?
With just a radius of two meters, it would already be extremely cramped for one to enter it.
After all, cultivating wasn't bathing. There was no cultivator who would be willing to let their guards down before another at such proximity to cultivate.
If the Yin-Yang Lake was only this big, there was no reason why the Glacier Plain Court would be so famous.
Not to mention, it didn't match with how they had so many powerful disciples who were cultivating yin and yang cultivation techniques.
"I should take a look to see what's happening first..."
Walking forward, Zhang Xuan touched the surface of the lake lightly.
A book appeared in his mand.
"Origin Flame Glacier Plain Seed Water. Created by members of Origin Flame Glaicer Plain by fusing the Origin Flames created by sealing the earth veins with unique material [Glacier Plain]. It is an extremely rare material. Flaws: 1, it requires specialists to sustain it or else it'll be damaged very easily..."
There were many things written in the book.
Soon, Zhang Xuan finished reading through the book.
"Turns out it isn't the Yin-Yang Lake... I thought that I'd found it."
Zhang Xuan shook his head in disappointment.
From the looks of it, the Yin-Yang Lake probably couldn't be found that easily. After all, it was the most important resource of the Frigid Plain Court so how could outsiders get access to it so easily? Not to mention, this underground chamber wasn't guarded at all.
Based on the description from the Library of Heaven's Path, this [Origin Flame Glacier Plain Seed Water] was made by the members of the Glacier Plain Court fusing Origin Flame with Ice Plain.
Initially, Zhang Xuan thought that Ice Plain referred to a land harnessing the power of ice. However, from the looks of it now, it seemed to be the name of a unique material, just like the Origin Flame.
"Pavilion Master Kang said that this land used to be a volcano before it became a land of ice... This should probably be the reason behind it."
On the way here, Pavilion Master Kang had told them some details regarding the Origin Flame Glacier Field.
This place used to be a searing sea of flames, a place uninhabitable even to the most resilient of weeds.
The members of the Glacier Plain Court had changed the entire landscape into a land of snow.
And if Zhang Xuan wasn't mistaken, it was most probably the doing of this small lake.
The small lake had sealed the heat energy in the earth vein through the Ice Plain, resulting in the inability for heat to disperse in the region. Given the height of the mountain, it was just a matter of time before snow filled its entire terrain.
It was just like if someone were to seal the heat of the burning lava through some means, as time passed, the temperature in the region would naturally fall.
A thought suddenly emerged in Zhang Xuan's mind.
'Given how this item is capable of creating illusions, it must have a certain degree of effect on one's soul. What if... my soul were to enter the lake?'
Even though this wasn't the Yin-Yang Lake, there was one thing he could confirm-this lake had an effect one a cultivator's soul. Given the huge amount of energy harnessed within the pool... Was it possible for his soul to be tempered by the energy within?
"Let me give it a try!"
Without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan immediately got down to business. In any case, this was part of the trial, so he wasn't really causing any trouble anyway.
Sitting down on the ground, Zhang Xuan immediately drew his soul out, and his soul headed for the lake.
As soon as he entered, the surge of cold and heat immediately assaulted him, making his soul feel as though it had been plunged into a pot of burning oil and a river of freezing water simultaneously, placing him under great agony.
But at the same time, his soul became stronger and more tangible.
Zhang Xuan nodded his head in satisfaction.
The soul cultivation technique he was using was the Heaven's Path Soul Art. This made his soul exceptionally resilient, fearing neither yin or yang, thus allowing him to devour such overwhelming power. If it was any other soul oracle, their soul would have already dissipated from the heat in the water.
In fact... this didn't just apply to soul oracles. Even bodies of Consonant Spirit realm expert would easily crumble before this simultaneous assault of heat and chill.
Unlike the body, the soul is intangible. It wouldn't expand or contract when in contact with heat or chill, which would make a material very fragile.
As such, Zhang Xuan was the only one who could make use of this precious resource to train his soul. No one else in the world would be able to do the same.
Understanding this fact, Zhang Xuan chuckled as his soul swallowed both the yin and yang energy in the water.
Driving the Heaven's Path Soul Art to the maximum, Zhang Xuan's cultivation soared furiously.
The sound of a wall breaking down sounded. In just a few breaths, Zhang Xuan's soul cultivation had increased from Transcendent Mortal 2-dan pinnacle to Transcendent Mortal 3-dan primary stage.
But still, his cultivation showed no sign of stopping. On the contrary, he seemed to be absorbing the energy even faster.
Transcendent Mortal 3-dan primary stage!
3-dan intermediate stage!
3-dan advanced stage! Absorbing the yin and yang energy in the lake, Zhang Xuan's cultivation surged swiftly, a fold faster than the pace his zhenqi cultivation usually progressed.
"This lake is the amalgamation of yin and yang, the collision of heat and chill. This is sligned with the Heaven's Path Soul Art, thus hastening the rate of my cultivation..."
Zhang Xuan also understood the underlying principle behind this sight.
The single origin conceives two, two conceives three, and three conceives all.
The Heaven's Path cultivation techniques were created by putting countless formulas together, and it contained the utmost truth of the world. On the other hand, the lake before him represented the amalgamation of yin and yang in the world...
It was due to the two factors in harmony with one another that his cultivation speed had been boosted significantly.
But in truth, this increase in rate of cultivation wasn't too useful to him.
After all, the main problem he had at hand was the lack of spirit stone. Even if he were to absorb spiritual energy from a spirit stone instead, he could easily achieve a breakthrough within two hours. Cutting it down by half into one hour didn't make much of a difference.
So, it wasn't as effective as it sounded.
But still, this was due to his cultivation technique being too overpowered. If anyone else could raise their rate of cultivation by twofold, they would probably be smiling in their sleep.
After an unknown period of time, Zhang Xuan's soul trembled before he stopped his cultivation.
Transcendent Mortal 4-dan pinnacle... reached!
In less than two hours, his soul cultivation had increased by Transcendent Mortal 2-dan pinnacle to Transcendent Mortal 4-dan pinnacle. That was two whole realms!
Upon making the breakthrough to Transcendent Mortal 4-dan Clarifying Turbidity realm, one's strength would raise from 800,000 ding to 1,000,000 ding.
Every single tier would mean an increase of strength by 200,000 ding. In other words, having reached 4-dan pinnacle, the strength that Zhang Xuan could derive from his soul added up to more than 1,600,000 ding!
Factoring the 400,000 ding from his zhenqi, that would mean Zhang Xuan's strength was currently standing at 2,000,000 ding! Even Pavilion Master Kang wouldn't be a match for him!
That was how powerful he was at the moment!
Zhang Xuan never expected that his cultivation would increase by so much in less than two hours.
But still, given that the soul oracles had already disappeared from the face of the world, it was best for Zhang Xuan to avoid using this power.
Otherwise, all kinds of trouble might end up coming his way. This could prove to be extremely troublesome.
"Time to return!"
Now that Zhang Xuan's soul cultivation had reached its cap, he stopped his cultivation and his soul dived back into the body. Then, he stood up.
Taking a look at the lake before him, the lake which showed a sight of the amalgamation of yin and yang before had disappeared altogether. At the current moment, it was no different from a normal lake. The yin and yang energy it harnessed before had been completely sapped dry by him.
Zhang Xuan's soul was twofold larger than that of an ordinary Transcendent Mortal 4-dan pinnacle soul oracle. As a soul, his height was more than a single zhang (3.33m) tall, and even two ordinary humans stacked together would be unable to match up to his size.
"Two hours have already passed. I should leave the room now!"
Making a rough calculation, Zhang Xuan scratched his head in embarrassment.
For the Room of Ice and Fire trial, Zhang Xuan had to leave the room within two hours to gain an opportunity to enter the Yin-Yang Lake. Given that the time had passed, it wasn't wrong to say that he had already failed the test.
Pavilion Master Kang had worked so hard for him, going to the extent of even giving up on his student just so that he could get this opportunity... He wondered if the other party would faint in anger at his failure.
"Forget it, I'll just deal with it when it comes my way!"
In any case, Zhang Xuan was content with his gains here. Executing the Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps, Zhang Xuan flew back to where he came from.
Possessing a zhenqi cultivation of Transcendent Mortal 2-dan advanced stage now, Zhang Xuan could now sustain his flight for at least more than a dozen seconds.
Covering a distance of several thousand meters in this time period wasn't too hard of a task for him.
In just ten breaths, Zhang Xuan returned to the Room of Ice and Fire, and tapping on a few spots on the wall, the trapdoor closed.
After ensuring that everything was in place, Zhang Xuan tidied his clothes before walking out.
The moment he walked out, he saw Court Chief Wu, Pavilion Master Kang, and Ruohuan gongzi standing anxiously in front of the door. From the looks of it, if he didn't appear soon, they would immediately barge into the room.
"Zhang shi, are you okay?" Pavilion Master Kang asked worriedly.
"I'm fine!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
"Then you..." Ruohuan gongzi was perplexed. Since the other party was fine, why didn't he come out earlier? In the end, he exceeded the timing and lost the opportunity to enter the Yin-Yang Lake...
Court Chief Wu was also bewildered by the situation before her.
Even though Ruohuan gongzi and Zhao Ya had left the room within the allocated time, their states were rather unkempt when they walked out. On the other hand, not only was Zhang shi completely uninjured, his clothes were also completely intact as though they were new. He looked exactly the same as how he did when he first walked into the room...
What was going on?
This situation would normally only occur to geniuses who broke out of the illusion very quickly. Otherwise, under the effects of the illusion, one would suffer the assault of the power of yin and yang. Even if one's physical body was still fine, one's clothes would surely be tattered.
"Oh... I felt that the yin and yang energy in the room wasn't too bad so I started cultivating. But due to my moment of excitement, I actually forgot about the time..." Zhang Xuan replied sheepishly.
He couldn't reveal the matter about the soul oracle, so he replied with a half-truth instead. However, hearing those words, everyone staggered and nearly spurted blood.
To cultivate... in a treacherous place like the Room of Ice and Fire?
Anyone else who entered the area would be thinking of how they could hold on, and yet, this fellow actually thought it was a good place and lost track of the time while cultivating...
Are you serious?
Court Chief Wu frowned.
"The Room of Ice and Fire has a special mechanism that plunged one into illusions as soon as they entered... How did you cultivate under such a situation?"
"I just happened to do so by sheer luck..." Zhang Xuan shook his head. Feeling that it might be dangerous for him to continue speaking of this matter, he changed the topic. "If that's the case, could I be considered to have passed the trial?"
"The conditions for passing the trial states that one must pass the Room of Ice and Fire within two hours... Even though you missed the timing due to being immersed in your cultivation, rules are still rules. I can't make an exception and qualify you..."
Court Chief Wu shook her head.
Even though she would have loved to see the young man before her succeed... the rules of the Glacier Plain Court were absolute.
Regardless of the reason behind the young man's delay, he had failed the trial, and thus, he failed to earn the qualification to enter the Yin-Yang Lake.
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He had already known this would be the result when he looked at the timing. In any case, he didn't bear much hope for the Yin-Yang Lake for the first place. Besides, his soul cultivation had increased tremendously within the last two hours. Thus, he wasn't too disappointed.
"I'm willing to pass my slot on to my teacher..." Zhao Ya offered anxiously.
"There's no need for that!"
Zhang Xuan was touched by Zhao Ya's thoughtfulness, but he shook his hands. "The Yin-Yang Lake isn't of much use to me. Instead, you, as a cultivator possessing the Pure Yin Body, should make full use of this chance to cultivate properly and metamorphose."
"Why? Are you disobeying my words now?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"No, just that..."
"No 'just that'! Follow Court Chief Wu to the Yin-Yang Lake and cultivate properly. Try to awaken your unique constitution further during this period of time!"
Then, turning to Court Chief Wu, Zhang Xuan said, "Court chief, since I've failed to earn the qualification to enter the Yin-Yang Lake, please bring Zhao Ya and Ruohuan gongzi over. I'll wait here with Pavilion Master Kang..."
Seeing that Zhang shi didn't insist on tagging along, Court Chief Wu heaved a sigh of relief. She beckoned to the duo and said, "The two of you, follow me."
Seeing the displeasure on her teacher's face, Zhao Ya didn't dare to say much. Thus, she followed Court Chief Wu to the Yin-Yang Lake. Ruohuan gongzi also followed closely behind. Before leaving, he turned around to look at Zhang shi with a look of awe.
Despite losing such a precious opportunity, Zhang shi didn't cause a fuss or leverage on the other party's weakness for the other party to make an exception for him. As expected of the person whom even his teacher was impressed with. He was indeed a true master teacher.
"Zhang shi, this opportunity is so hard to come by... It's truly a pity!"
After the trio left, Pavilion Master Kang couldn't help but lamented.
The nature of the Yin-Yang Lake made it extremely beneficial to the cultivation or Origin Energy realm and Yin-Yang realm cultivators. Otherwise, Pavilion Master Kang wouldn't have paid such a heavy price to bring the master teachers who passed the selection over.
He thought that given Zhang shi's ability, the latter would surely be able to pass the trial easily. Who could have expected that... he would actually fail!
If Zhang shi could have entered the Yin-Yang Lake, the chances of him getting into the top ten would be increased greatly.
And now... With the cultivation of a Transcendent Mortal 2-dan primary stage cultivator, it would be nearly impossible for him to succeed.
Before leaving the Myriad Kingdom City, Zhang Xuan had already made a breakthrough to Transcendent Mortal 2-dan advanced stage. However, this sudden leap in cultivation would raise doubts in the mind of others, Zhang Xuan chose to hide it. Thus, even Pavilion Master Kang was unaware that his cultivation had already increased by several tiers.
"Actually, it's nothing much..."
Zhang Xuan shook his head, "The Glacier Plain Court has its own rules as well. A failure means a failure; there's nothing much I can do about it. Speaking of which, I require middle-tier spirit stones for my cultivation. If Pavilion Master Kang has any of them... I am willing to exchange them with something of equivalent value."
What Yin-Yang Lake or blessed land... As the one who grasped the Heaven's Path Divine Art and Heaven's Path Soul Art, nothing was more useful to him as middle-tier spirit stones.
As long as he had sufficient spirit stones, achieving breakthroughs was a walk in the park.
"Middle-tier spirit stones?" Pavilion Master Kang was taken aback by the request. "I do have a few of them. If you need them for your cultivation, I can give them to you straight..."
As the head of the Master Teacher Pavilion, he had gathered quite a few middle-tier spirit stones over the years. However, as he required them for his own cultivation as well, he didn't have many of them left.
Still... if Zhang shi could get a better placing in the Master Teacher Tournament, he would have no regrets even if he were to go bankrupt because of this.
The Myriad Kingdom Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion was where he had devoted his effort to. As the pavilion master, naturally, he wished the best for it as well. If Zhang shi could actually reach top ten, even if he were to die on the spot, he could at least face his predecessors proudly.
"Give them to me?"
Zhang Xuan was taken aback. Knowing the other party's thoughts, he actually felt impressed by the other party's devotion. "Pavilion Master Kang, there's no need to stand on ceremonies. I won't take your spirit stones for free..."
Even though the other party had his own motives as well, he was an upright person. Zhang Xuan wasn't willing to take the item from such a person without giving something equivalent in exchange.
Just as Zhang Xuan was considering whether he should help the latter achieve a breakthrough to Consonant Spirit realm when they return back to Myriad Kingdom City, a savage aura suddenly burst in the air, gushing into the heavens. It seemed as though the rage of an incredible expert had erupted.
Feeling the suddenly outburst of power, Pavilion Master Kang and Zhang Xuan narrowed their eyes simultaneously.
"It's Court Chief Wu... Shit!"
This aura couldn't be any more familiar to them-it belonged to Court Chief Wu.
What did this fellow intend to do by releasing such a powerful aura all of the sudden?
Could it be that... she means harm to Ruohuan gongzi and Zhao Ya?
She was a Transcendent Mortal 5-dan expert! If she were to really harbor such thoughts, even if the two of them were to work together, they would still be unable to withstand a single blow from her!
There was too huge of a difference between their cultivation!
"Let's go over and take a look!"
With a darkened complexion, the duo rushed toward the place where the aura was released from.