Book 6, Chapter 42: Sage Aspect

The full-strength attack of a Thought Manifestation Realm cultivator was not weak in the slightest. Guo Wenchang was immediately thrown into a precarious situation.

Shen Junan laughed loudly and reached out to grab Guo Wenchang. “Die, you bandit!”

The Clouddragon appeared, wriggling through the air as it opened its mouth.

Guo Wenchang sighed. “Why bother?”

“Hm?” Shen Junan was taken aback. An item appeared behind Guo Wenchang’s head — a book.

Golden light shone forth in all directions.

The pages of the book slowly flipped by themselves as words began to pour out from its pages, sending streaks of light in all direction and causing Shen Junan’s heart to tremble slightly in fear.

What was that?

Shen Junan watched as the words pouring out of the book began to fill the sky, forming a strange yet beautiful sight. A sage had descended from the heavens with this book in his hands. The words quickly gathered to form a large character for “suppress.”

As soon as this character appeared, Shen Junan felt as if a mountain was pressing down on him, causing him to almost fall out of the sky.

How was this possible?

How could a Spirit Burning Realm cultivator display such strength?

He despondently watched on as Guo Wenchang flew into the sky yet again.

Blood trickled from the corner of Guo Wenchang’s mouth, indicating that his wounds were as serious as they appeared. However, the pages of the book behind him only fluttered even more rapidly. The sage writing in the book actually looked somewhat similar to Su Chen.

This…… What was going on?

Shen Junan was completely dumbfounded by what had just happened.

Guo Wenchang loudly orated:

Pervading Heaven and Earth is a righteous spirit—

Mixed and manifold, it assumes various forms.

Below, it makes rivers and mountains;

Above, it makes the sun and stars.

In the world of man, it is what Mencius called ‘flood-like,’

Surging forth to fill all that lies beneath the blue sky…… [1]

As he recited this poem, the saintly figure waved its brush, and giant character after character began to descend. In but an instant, a massive cage of golden characters had appeared in the sky around Shen Junan, rendering him completely unable to escape from no matter how violently his Clouddragon thrashed.

“What is this?” Shen Junan howled in disbelief. He was completely incapable of understanding or accepting that a Spirit Burning Realm cultivator could actually capture him.

“My Aspect! The Song of the Spirit of Righteousness, the Vastness Book, the Sage Portrait!” Guo Wenchang replied loudly as a brush appeared in his hand.

This brush was not a Top-Grade Origin Tool. Rather, it was just a normal brush, but it had accompanied him for many years, from the time when he was merely a governmental official until now.

With this familiar brush in his hand, Guo Wenchang suddenly seemed to transform into a divine being. His consciousness expanded as his aura soared to the sky.

He made a brushstroke across the sky, and the sagely figure behind him mimicked his motions.

Every brushstroke was profound and filled with grace.

Guo Wenchang had always been a scholar by nature, but fate had forced him onto the path of cultivation. Even so, the arts were where his true interests had always lain.

Su Chen’s creation of the Aspects and gathering all the bloodlines that he could get his hands on had resulted in the development of hundreds of Aspects.

Guo Wenchang, however, was totally uninterested in any of them. He didn’t pick a single one, and instead chose to spend his days drawing and painting in vacuous sentimentality.

Some people believed that he didn’t know how to use Aspects as a result.

This was true.

But the Aspects that he didn’t know how to use were merely the ones that Su Chen had passed down, not the one that he had created himself.

Very few people knew that he had asked Su Chen for a vial of his blood in the past.

Su Chen’s blood!

He was also conducting his own research.

However, he was not researching how to increase the overall strength of the human race.

Instead, his research of Su Chen was purely out of his interest in the path of a Sage.

At his core, Guo Wenchang believed that Su Chen’s Seven Bloodline Microcosm Aspect still fell into the trap of relying on the Beasts for strength and that it wasn’t the true path that a human should take.

He believed that this path should originate from a human in the first place.

Guo Wenchang hoped that the future Seven Bloodline Microcosm Aspect’s core would not be the Windbite, any other Desolate Beast, or even the Origin Beast, but rather a human.

Su Chen understood this sentiment, but he didn’t have enough time to follow up because there were too many other things that he needed to study.

And what Su Chen had no time to do, Guo Wenchang had decided to do.

He studied the path of the Sage, with Su Chen as his Aspect.

Su Chen had become the embodiment of a sage.

Su Chen was more than happy to participate. He didn’t reject a good research proposal and freely gave away his blood.

This was how Guo Wenchang cultivated.

His Song of the Spirit of Righteousness and his Vastness Book were both created in preparation for this saintly figure to use.

Before this, he had never demonstrated his aptitude in this regard. Actually, even he himself had no clue how strong this Aspect of his would be.

But in this moment, he didn’t care about how powerful or weak this Aspect was. All he wanted to do was fully express everything in his heart in that moment.

His brush danced through the air as black ink filled the sky. Each brushstroke was filled with Guo Wenchang’s comprehensions and experiences that he had accumulated all throughout the years. At that moment, his deepest, most genuine, sincere thoughts were released.

Even Shen Junan was stunned by Guo Wenchang’s performance. As he gazed at the golden characters hanging in the sky, he couldn’t stop himself from crying out, “What is that? What is that?!”

However, he was still a Thought Manifestation Realm cultivator. Even though Guo Wenchang’s Sage Aspect had shocked him quite badly, he was still capable of fiercely growling, “What a ridiculous Sage Portrait! Watch me rip it apart!”

He raised his hands high into the sky, conjuring a large swath of wind and smoke that gathered into the form of a black dragon. This black dragon exuded an incredibly sinister, demonic aura, and immediately began to charge at the golden cage formed from characters.

Guo Wenchang’s Chains of Righteousness rapidly corroded away under the the black dragon’s vicious attacks, turning into black smoke before dissipating.

Even though Guo Wenchang was still inscribing new characters, they were not capable of preventing the black dragon from advancing.

Upon closer inspection, every time the black dragon collided with the golden characters, it was wounded quite seriously as well. In terms of pure, absolute Origin Energy content, the dragon was actually being damaged more heavily than the golden characters were.

However, Shen Junan didn’t care about that at all.

He was a Thought Manifestation Realm cultivator, making him about ten times as strong as Guo Wenchang. There was no need for him to worry about this kind of expenditure.

He was going to use his own personal strength to forcefully pressure the opponent to death!!!

Five more black dragons emerged from his fingers and charged forward, causing the golden prison to crack. The Chains of Righteousness could no longer withstand the mammoth pressure and shattered.

The book behind Guo Wenchang’s head ripped noticeably, and the Sage Portrait shimmered and wavered, becoming more transient.

“Hurry up and die!” Shen Junan’s five dragons combined into a hand, with each dragon forming a finger on the hand. This was the renowned Five-Dragon Hand technique. At that moment, the black hand forcefully pressed down upon Guo Wenchang.

The Sage Portrait drew its brush through the air again as the Vastness Book transformed into a shield.

However, this time, the spirit of righteousness was unable to win against evil. The five dragon fingers penetrated the Vastness Book, destroyed the Sage Brush, and slammed into Guo Wenchang’s chest.

After the attack landed, Guo Wenchang could sense darkness permeating every corner of his body. He howled as he flew backwards, and the blood he spat out was pitch black at this point.

Guo Wenchang knew that he was in dire straits, but he refused to leave. Instead, he began to laugh maniacally as he charged forwards again, pulling out all of the treasures in his possession as he relentlessly continued attacking. Instead of sending them all at Shen Junan, however, he scattered them in order to delay Shen Junan even further. He had no idea how much longer it would take the Boundless Sect’s disciples to arrive, but he was going to waste Shen Junan’s time until they arrived no matter how long it took.

Shen Junan’s anger surged as he watched Guo Wenchang scatter the treasures everywhere.

Guo Wenchang had already wasted far too much of his time. When he saw that Guo Wenchang was still willing to stall him, even at the cost of his own life, Shen Junan knew that something unexpected had happened. He decisively forsook the treasures, intent on returning to Ten Thousand Swords Mountain at once.

But at that moment, a group of people appeared on the horizon. They were obviously charging in this direction.

“What’s happening?” Shen Junan was stunned. He could already tell that these people were not his subordinates, but rather disciples of the Boundless Sect.

But why would the Boundless Sect’s disciples suddenly charge in this direction?

Shouldn’t they all be locked in a fierce battle at Ten Thousand Swords Mountain?

Could it be……

A horrible thought flashed through Shen Junan’s head.

No, that was impossible.

Even now, Shen Junan refused to believe that the Boundless Sect was capable of wiping all his soldiers out. He still held onto the belief that everything the Boundless Sect was doing was merely a last-ditch effort to make things difficult for him.

All he was worried about was how he would take responsibility if his troops’ losses were too great.

The possibility that he might not be able to win had never crossed his mind.

However, when this vast group of Boundless Sect disciples appeared, Shen Junan’s heart was dealt a heavy blow.

And when they got closer, this anguish intensified especially when he sensed that these disciples were all…… at the Light Shaking Realm!

His heart immediately sank.

There were too many of them for him to even count, but it was obvious that there were at least hundreds.

How could this be?

How could the Boundless Sect have this many Light Shaking Realm cultivators?

Hadn’t they all gone on the expedition to the Limitless Sea?

Was this an illusion? Were they trying to trick them?

But their strength and speed simply could not be faked.

These hundreds of Light Shaking Realm cultivators were not a force that a lone Thought Manifestation Realm cultivator like him could take on. Shen Junan knew that he no longer had any time to ponder over what had happened. All he could do was run.

Thankfully, despite the numbers advantage of the Boundless Sect, their individual strength was too weak to keep up with him.

Shen Junan immediately turned tail and ran away as fast as he could.

However, he didn’t forget to reach out and try to grab Guo Wenchang, hoping to at least take a live captive with him.

Unexpectedly, Guo Wenchang smiled as he made no attempt to dodge. He also charged forwards and reached out to grab Shen Junan.

Shen Junan was badly startled. He immediately knew that something was wrong. If, even in this state, Guo Wenchang was still trying to prevent him from leaving, then wouldn’t he just be falling for Guo Wenchang’s trap if he tried to capture Guo Wenchang now?

He hurriedly retracted his hand, but Guo Wenchang had already swung the now-broken brush in his hand. The Chains of Righteousness emerged yet again, and the golden cage of words once again imprisoned Shen Junan. At the same time, he threw himself recklessly at Shen Junan with no regard for his own safety.

“Damn! You insane bastard!” His actions terrified Shen Junan.

Shen Junan desperately threw himself at the Chains of Righteousness.

However, the never-ending chains that Guo Wenchang was producing made it momentarily impossible for him to break free.

Bang!

Bang!

Bang!

The chains of righteousness constantly shattered and reformed. By now, the army of disciples had already closed in.

Yan Tuohai, who was leading the troops, loudly commanded, “Attack! Weapons!”

“Weapons!”

The Origin Qi Scholars cried out fiercely as countless weapons once again filled the sky.

The weapons formed by these Light Shaking Realm cultivators were far superior to the ones formed by the ordinary cultivators from earlier, and their combined strength was also many times greater. The razor-sharp weapons began to rain down from the sky.

Shen Junan had only just managed to escape from the prison when he was greeted by the sight of thousands of weapons descending upon him. He didn’t dare to hold back in the slightest, and the Five-Dragon Hand appeared once again.

The Five-Dragon Hand howled recklessly as it charged at the storm of weapons, but it was totally incapable of keeping all the weapons at bay. In but a few moments, the hand fell apart as the weapons unrelentingly bore down on Shen Junan. The astonishingly powerful waves of Origin Energy detonated as they met his body, immediately ripping him to shreds.

Death in a single blow!

“Master!”

Guo Wenchang’s body began to fall from the sky.

Yan Tuohai howled mournfully as he sprinted to Guo Wenchang’s side. He gently cradled Guo Wenchang, but found that Guo Wenchang’s skin was beginning to turn completely black. The sinister energy had pervaded throughout his entire body. There was no hope.

But even so, Guo Wenchang was still smiling.

Even as tears of blood streamed from his eyes, he was still smiling. “I finally understand what the Sage Portrait is lacking……”

“Master, please stop talking! I’ll take you to the infirmary right now!” Yan Tuohai yelled agitatedly.

Guo Wenchang, however, shook his head and said in a low voice, “There’s no need. I have always hated fighting, but fate has never once respected my wishes. Now, I can finally rest. These are the realizations that came to me in today’s battle. Help me…… pass them onto the Sect Master.”

As Guo Wenchang spoke, he tapped his finger against Yan Tuohai’s forehead, and a streak of golden light flowed forth.

Then, Guo Wenchang’s head drooped as he breathed his final breath.


[1] Guo Wenchang here is quoting the “The Song of the Righteous Spirit,” written by Wen Tianxiang of the Song Dynasty (c. 1200). Translation is pulled from http://bs.dayabook.com/poetry/the-song-of-the-righteous-spirit.

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