Volume 1, Chapter 16 – Heavenly Sect’s Contention at the Clear Sky Peak (Part 7)
Hearing Zhang Yan’s words, leaving no space to negotiate further, Shen Jingyue was not angry. Instead, he only lightly smiled, “Brother Zhang, let’s put our best efforts into this fight!”
He turned and stepped down the platform. Not long after, the fat and round-faced Zhang Zhen slowly stepped onto the platform, but since he was not good at words, he only sent a courteous greeting to Zhang Yan. Afterward, they immediately took their own seats respectively.
Zhang Zhen quickly looked at the first Star Stele. The first one was divided into three chapters, containing more than 10,000 characters. He had secretly read those laws inscribed on this first stele in the previous Daoist convention.
However, as he looked at those mnemonics again, he felt as if there were ants and insects crawling in his eyes. The sensation quickly made his heart and state of mind greatly disturbed. He anxiously took a few deep breaths and tried to calm his mind. He then took bamboo tokens out of his sleeves and prepared to deduce the text. Meanwhile, his eyes accidentally glanced over Zhang Yan. However, Zhang Yan’s actions made him greatly startled.
He could see that Zhang Yan had unceasingly written several lines on the paper with an ease expression. The doubts couldn’t help but fill his heart. What kind of play did this Zhang Yan currently make?
Not only did he become puzzled, all the onlookers from the various sects, including Shen Jingyue, were also puzzled. They didn’t know why Zhang Yan would act so mysterious like this.
It must be known that most people didn’t believe that Zhang Yan had already started to decipher the text and wrote his interpretation. Not only did he not use a bamboo token, his writing speed was also very fast. It was as if he didn’t deduce the profound Eclipse text, but was simply copying the article onto a new transcript.
In fact, Zhang Yan’s writing pace when deducing this Star Stele’s inscriptions was no different than the pace of what it would take to copy a manuscript onto another piece of paper.
However, nobody knew that at this time when he was facing the Vast Origin Sect, he looked calm and relaxed on the surface as if everything was in his control. But in fact, how could he have a trace of relaxation? Almost all of his efforts were solely focused as his consciousness sank into the broken jade’s space and crazily deduced the text’s meaning at an unbelievable speed.
As he read the texts, the content would be directly sent to his jade’s space and the text’s interpretation would unceasingly flow out through his pen brush. So an outsider could only see that Zhang Yan’s act was simply inconceivable.
Looking at Zhang Yan’s act, Zhang Zhen quickly shifted his sight, as he didn’t dare to look at him anymore. He thought that it was Zhang Yan’s strategy to confuse his mind. He quickly decided to no longer pay any attention to him. After calming his mind and controlling his breath, he used the Vast Origin Sect’s particular method to decipher the text.
At this moment, Zhang Yan also had no time to divide his attention to other things. However, after writing the first sentence, his inner force moved inexplicably and then randomly seeped into all of his limbs’ bones. This wonderful sensation was very marvelous, it was as if his consciousness was currently blended into one entity with the heavens. The star axle started to revolve, shining within his body as with thousands of Dao laws were condensing. He ignored all the subtle changes within as he then continued with double the caution.
Before long, the awe-inspiring feeling he got from the Star Steles’ aura was greatly reduced. His previously shaken mental state gradually turned into a normal feeling that the Star Steles were only a ‘mediocre’ thing.
It was not because Zhang Yan was arrogant or conceited, but the more he deduced the Star Stele’s inscriptions, the more he could glimpse into certain mysterious laws.
Deducing the Star Stele opened the opportunity for a cultivator to subconsciously revolve their Qi along with all the characters and phrases they were currently reading and writing, it would be very difficult for one to carefully think and analyze it. However, once one was facing difficulties and stopped deducing; of he couldn’t find out the solution for the next step and meanings from the text in a certain time, their Qi flow would be in disorder and fall into chaos.
This was like a horse which was anxiously galloping forward at high speed. The rider must keep removing obstacles for it as it cannot be stopped at the rider’s will.
Such an Eclipse text interpretation, if not conducted by highly skilled people was extremely dangerous. However, even Zhang Yan’s speed in deducing the texts was far beyond many people.
This was Zhang Yan’s forte. Added with his broken jade’s functions, he almost had never made any mistake and misinterpreted anything. His deduction time was also one tenth of anyone’s due to the jade’s function. Even if he was facing any difficulties, he was only slightly troubled by it, but it didn’t change his pace at all.
Under this situation, he could completely open up his mind and savor the wonderful sensation of the Qi revolution within his body, as he slowly and gradually became more familiar and understood the Qi flow’s natural laws.
It was said that the Star Steles’ inscriptions corresponded to the subtle moves of the stars in the sky. However, Zhang Yan felt that this was not really the case.
In his interpretation, there were several Eclipse texts that had been repeated on the Stele, and each time the texts were repeated, his Qi flowed correspondingly.
According to this point of view, it seemed that if the interpreter silently read this specific text, his Qi would be voluntarily and silently revolved.
Just when he was thinking about this conclusion, several lines amongst these dense Eclipse texts gradually shone in his eyes! Zhang Yan suddenly became aware, as he was enlightened that this was caused by the star revolving on its orbit. The wise Daoist from ancient times had written several scriptures associated with this natural law phenomenon!
Could this fact prove that the saying in the legend was really true? That as long as a person could perceive the true meaning behind the profound Eclipse text, they would be able to reach the sky through the Great Dao?
As Zhang Yan’s thought was immersed in this new enlightenment, he became more focused. He wholeheartedly recited the Eclipse texts that corresponded with his Qi and prepared to conduct deep research along with his interpretation.
About an hour later, Zhang Yan had completed reading more than 3,000 characters of the Eclipse text. The Qi inside his body suddenly condensed into one and automatically flowed back to his Dantian. It seemed that his Qi’s circulation was finally completed and it would start again – A new cycle. Reaching this state, Zhang Yan stopped and started to observe his surroundings.
At this time, he thought about his showdown with Zhang Zhen. He raised his head and looked up, finding that Zhang Zhen’s complexion had turned pale. His breath was short and his fat body was trembling. His hands holding the bamboo tokens were unsteady and trembled as if they were about to fall at any time. It was very obvious that he had fallen into the inescapable state.
However, Zhang Yan was surprised that this fat young disciple, although his body was trembling, he did not really fall and insisted on surviving the first hurdle instead.
Zhang Zhen panted and abruptly stood up as he then took out a handkerchief from his sleeve and wiped the sweat from his forehead. He wanted to exchange his interpretations with Zhang Yan’s, however, as he found that the front section was soaked with his sweat and his writing became blurred, his face blushed as he was embarrassed.
Zhang Yan didn’t care about it, he smiled and took the paper with his hand and exchanged his interpretation with his other hand.
Zhang Zhen carefully read Zhang Yan’s interpretation. He quickly discovered that regardless of his advantage in having seen the Star Stele before, it was very obvious that his comprehension of the text engraved on the stele or even his interpretation words were not up to par. The outcome was very clear as to who was the winner and the loser. Not to mention that he was very shocked that Zhang Yan didn’t even use bamboo tokens to aid his interpretation, which made him feel that he had truly lost. He was extremely impressed with Zhang Yan’s ability, “Senior Brother really has a god-given ability, I’m so ashamed of my own incompetence.”
As he finished speaking, Zhang Zhen was aware that he no longer had the face to stay on the stage. He stepped down the platform, staggered, and almost fell down until Qi Xuan rushed to help him up, “Brother, be careful…”
Zhang Zhen managed to stand and straightened his body. He raised his head and saw Wen Jun’s and Shen Jingyue’s worried expression looking at him. He apologized to the both of them, “Senior brothers, this junior is very ashamed, I have disappointed you.”
Wen Jun comforted, “Junior brother, you have done the best you could. Just relax and recuperate your state of mind first. Let me, your Senior brother, see this Zhang Yan’s true worth.”
Shen Jingyue was instantly startled. This was not the previous arrangement he had made. As he was about to speak, Wen Jun quickly interrupted, “Junior brother, our plan would still be the same, I will step forward and try to exhaust this Zhang Yan’s spirit and mind. According to my sight, this person still has much energy left, and if you were to come forward now, he would still be in his prime condition and you may not be his opponent. Let me fight him for this session and you can step forward later.”
As Shen Jingyue tried to block his path and speak, Wen Jun’s face turned resolute, “I have already decided, I will do it!” He winked to Qi Xuan, who rushed forward and stopped Shen Jingyue.
Shen Jingyue had never seen Wen Jun so determined and resolute like just now. It was the first time Wen Jun used his position as a head disciple to press others. He was frozen for a while and couldn’t find any means to block him. He could only watch Wen Jun walk onto the stage helplessly. But Wen Jun’s complexion gradually showed his resoluteness.
“Junior brother Zhang, myself is Vast Origin’s head disciple, Wen Jun. Let me respect you!”
Wen Jun had long entered his Daoist path since he entered the sect. He wore a black robe with a five-lined hat, and high shoes. His figure was tall and slim with a beautiful long beard fluttering by the wind. His whole bearing carried the aura of an influential and dignified head disciple from a sect’s Lower Court.
Zhang Yan also solemnly returned the courtesy, “Please!”
The second chapter of the Star Stele’s was more difficult to understand compared to the previous one. Wen Jun’s skill in deciphering the text was even inferior to Zhang Zhen’s. His cultivation had reached the peak of the Primordial Qi Establishment Realm. However, he hadn’t opened his meridians for the moment and instead was purifying and compressing his Qi. So, his Qi would not be easily disrupted and flow on its own. Even if his Qi was forced to flow, he could also close his meridians’ path and suppress his Qi, making his breath enter into a stagnant-dormant state. His ability provided him a better security than that of Zhang Zhen’s.
This also meant that these cultivators could also generally used this method when deducing the Eclipse text. Although it wouldn’t make their interpretation speed increase, they could suppress their Qi in advance before it flowed out of control. Although it was more difficult, and they could not obtain any benefits, it was a good method that provided far better safety measures.
Therefore, in the competition of deducing the text engraved on the Star Steles, of which, would put a cultivator’s life at the stake, many disciples felt unoptimistic about Zhang Yan’s chance. Had the cultivator’s interpretation on the Eclipse codes been quite similar, the winner would then be decided with their martial arts prowess. This was the true reason why many disciples pitied Zhang Yan. Even if Zhang Yan was holding a legendary artifact to aid his interpretation, he could never break through this common sense.
Wen Jun sat down and started his deduction. His expression was very calm and reserved. He truly had a head disciple’s demeanor.
Zhang Yan didn’t pay any attention toward him. He took the pen and started to write just like before. Under the platform, the thousands of disciples from the various sect’s could clearly see that Zhang Yan didn’t even need bamboo tokens to aid in his deduction. Many shouted and exclaimed their admiration toward him. Moreover, Zhang Yan’s movements when writing were just like the passing clouds and water, slow but firm and steady. His demeanor gave off a wonderful sense of comfort, of which greatly amazed all the onlookers under the stage.
However, many people’s vision were actually locked onto Wen Jun. They wanted to find out whether this Vast Origin Sect’s Lower Court’s head disciple would be able to surpass Zhang Yan in this contention?
Unknowingly, everyone’s heart unconsciously already put Zhang Yan on the higher and stronger position. They no longer underestimated and regarded him as a trivial unknown novice disciple anymore.
As time passed by, Wen Jun’s forehead was faintly suffused with sweat. However, compared to Zhang Zhen from before, he was much stronger, as the hand holding the pen brush was still steady and firm. He wrote his interpretation on the second chapter smoothly.
At that moment, it seemed that he was also aware of his own limit as he didn’t dare to rush forward. He let out a small sigh and put down his pen brush.
Wen Jun raised his head and saw that Zhang Yan had long put his pen down as the ink mark on his paper had also been dried up. Wen Jun shook his head, stood up and said, “This Junior Brother Zhang Yan wins.”
Wen Jun’s self-control as the Vast Origin Sect’s Lower Court’s head disciple was truly extraordinary. His demeanor made Zhang Yan really respect him, as he then cupped his hands and watched Wen Jun step down the platform.
At this time, the scene being shown on the stage was clearly contrary to the various sects’ disciples’ expectations. It turned out to be Zhang Yan’s win again. Not only did he not lose devastatingly, he also won easily two times. Whispers and talks were buzzing about, laughing at the Vast Origin Sect’s disciples in the back. They couldn’t help but wonder about this endless daydream.
Shen Jingyue’s complexion was still greatly dignified as he secretly mused, “It seems that I had previously still underestimated this guy!”
When he thought about it, a trace of regret couldn’t help but fill his heart. Zhang Yan truly had such abilities. It was no wonder he directly refused to join the Vast Origin Sect. Shen Jingyue, at the same time, also had suspicions as he wondered, ‘was the information given by that Lin disciple false? Could Zhang Yan’s true status be a direct disciple cultivated by the Blue Ocean Sect’s Lower Court in secret?’