"Whats the situation?" Jian Qingzhu asked those around him after returning to where Tianshen Academy was positioned.
The person next to him shook his head and said, "No one can crack it. Im afraid that ordinary people cant pass."
Those who could come here were all qualified to be called geniuses in the 3,000 Realms of the Great Path. Being considered "ordinary" was dependent on context. Those powerful cultivators who had gathered in front of them were considered geniuses by the top forces and were only "ordinary" in comparison to the best.
Jian Qingzhu understood what he meant, and he could also see that it was difficult. Unless top geniuses were willing to render aid in the effort to crack it, there was not much hope.
"Everyone has arrived. Hasnt anyone tried?" Jian Qingzhu looked at the cultivators around him, many of whom he had met before. Several of them were the same extraordinary geniuses who were also from the Central Emperor Realm just like him.
He recognized Shen Hao of the Shen Clan, that princess, and several other extraordinary individuals.
In addition, not only the Central Emperor Realm had arrived this time. Other realms within the Nine Realms were also represented by their own top talents. The strongest from each realm was bound to be unusually outstanding. Ye Futian, for example, who led his group coming from the east, was not a simple man. Like him, he would be a creator for the history of Gods relic.
"Has anyone here got a clue how to solve the mystery?" Jian Qingzhu asked the crowd. As the first person among the descendants of Tianshen Academy and someone in the Renhuang Realm, he exuded an ethereal aura. As soon as he spoke, he attracted everyones attention.
"This road is the only way to enter the Heavenly Palace. This means that we must gain passage through these statues. However, until now, no one could solve the meaning of these statues," said Shen Hao from the Shen Clan rather calmly. He stood there with a divine light shining upon him.
"Well," Jian Qingzhu nodded, "it seems that it is not easy to decode the meaning of this statue. But we have here a gathering of many genius talents from the Nine Realms. Is there someone who would like to be the first one to give it a shot?"
"Tianshen Academy is the leading institution of all the academies. Its disciples are all colorful figures in their own rights. Not to mention, Brother Jian was also the first person who set foot into the relic, hoping to gain entry first. Why doesnt Tianshen Academy take the lead in solving this mystery?" some cultivator from a top force in the Emperor Realm suggested, hoping Tianshen Academy would take the lead in this.
"Im not the first person to set foot here," Jian Qingzhu said, and the others didnt seem to pay him any mind. This wasnt important, after all. Jian Qingzhu did not bother to explain anything. He merely looked at a young man next to him and said, "Ziyu, how about you give it a try?"
Hearing his words, many became expectant. For those from the top powers of the Nine Realms, everyone knew of the reputation of Tianshen Academy as the academy that stood inside the Central Emperor Realm. It was known as the premier institution in the 3,000 Realms of the Great Path.
It was only appropriate that disciples from Tianshen Academy would step up in situations such as this.
"Very well." The young man next to Jian Qingzhu nodded, and then walked toward the ancient path in front of him with countless eyes fastened on him.
This young man, Han Ziyu, was a well-known figure in Tianshen Academy. Because of Jian Qingzhus presence at the Academy, Han Ziyu was not as dazzling in comparison. But on the Book List at the Academy, his ranking was rather high on the list.
Above the Heavenly Palace, as divine might descended, Han Ziyu stepped forward. His long robe fluttered even though there was no wind.
The crowd looked at the Heavenly Palace above, which seemed to be closed despite the fact that it was still quite a distance away. The ancient path in front was about ten kilometers long, but this was nothing to the cultivators of this realm.
As Han Ziyu moved forward, his temperament transcendent, the will of the Way was released from his body. He quickly walked in front of a statue, and suddenly a terrible will erupted from it. It was as if there were ancient peaks blasting onto Han Ziyu, but it was also akin to thundering attacks on the spiritual soul.
Han Ziyus feet planted themselves firmly into the ground. His eyes became extremely sharp as he stared at the statue, and a magnificent spirit exuded from him.
"Worthy disciple of Tianshen Academy." Many who saw him praised him. Indeed, the reputation befitted the man himself.
Cultivators of the Divine Palace were also concerned because the Divine Palace was a famous place for cultivation and held a supreme position in the Upper Heavens Realm. However, its reputation in the Nine Realms was certainly not superior to Tianshen Academys.
There seemed to be a dazzling and radiant divine light that shot out from the eyes of Shen Hao.
Ye Futians eyes also changed. He seemed to be able to look beyond falsehood.
He observed that the statue seemed to be able to perceive Han Ziyus approach as an extremely overwhelming will emanated from the statue. In the next moment, a terrible will of the Way spread and converged between heaven and earth.
"Birth of illusions," many whispered, staring closely.
On the ancient path, some changes were taking place as a suffocating will of the Great Path appeared. Many could vaguely see a purple radiance, ruinous thunder, and the mountain peaks.
It was hard to distinguish between illusions and reality.
Ye Futian was able to see it a little more clearly and saw a region of the Great Path appeared there.
Han Ziyu was enveloped by that region of the Great path. That region was closed off by ancient peaks guarding it on all sides, blocking all directions except for a sliver of the sky above. Dazzling golden divine light fell, and there was also a terrible purple light of destruction that continued shining.
Han Ziyu must be under tremendous pressure at this moment, Ye Futian thought. Han Ziyu saw that countless purple divine swords suddenly emerged from the sliver of an opening in the sky, like the sword of the end of days, instantaneous diving towards him.
Under the pressure of the Great Path, he could hardly move.
However, he was a talented genius from Tianshen Academy. An extremely sharp divine light flashed through his eyes, and an overpowering will erupted. Suddenly, there were many radiant golden swords that flew toward the sliver in the sky.
A violent sound came out, and many did not actually witness the destruction but heard the terrible sound of the Great Path instead. Han Ziyus long hair suddenly loosened and spread out, dancing wildly in the wind.
There was another loud bang, and he continued to retreat. In that illusion, he felt that he was extremely small. It was as if he was competing with heaven. No matter how hard he tried, he still could not overcome it.
An incredibly strong will of the Way burst from him. His eyes were extremely firm as his will became even more determined. The crowd saw many swords rush out of Han Ziyus body to illuminate the space he occupied.
"This genius talent from Tianshen Academy is quite impressive, and his will is tough enough. Hes still hanging on," Dou Zhao said, his eyes turning golden as he saw much more than many others.
The divine light of destruction fell down like an illusion, and yet seemed all too real.
Accompanied by a loud bang, Han Ziyu spat out a mouthful of blood. His body was quickly weakening. He bowed his head and dared not look at the statue in front of him.
A wave of divine might blasted on his body and knocked him backward. Jian Qingzhu reached out with his hand, and suddenly, an invisible light blocked Han Ziyus backward momentum and stopped his fall.
Han Ziyu retreated after steadying himself and whispered, "I have failed."
"The statues will was far too aggressive. Failure was not surprising." Jian Qingzhu comforted him, and Han Ziyu said nothing more but simply returned to the crowd from Tianshen Academy.
Many felt somewhat disappointed, having witnessed the power of the statue. Han Ziyu from Tianshen Academy had failed, and this was only one of them. It was probably going to be extremely difficult to pass them.
"Tianshen Academy gave it a shot. Do any of you want to test the remaining will of might in the other statues?" Jian Qingzhu asked, eyeing the crowd.
Han Ziyus failure at least shed some light on one of the statues.
Since all the cultivators from the Nine Realms wanted to enter the Imperial Palace, it was unreasonable for just Tianshen Academy to do all the heavy lifting.
"Shen Clan will give it a try," Shen Hao said, but he did not make the move personally, either. Instead, he looked at a cultivator from Shen Clan beside him, who took the cue and walked toward another statue. Before he had time to get close, he felt like he was suffocating, and his heart was about to stop beating as well. Similarly, he seemed to have also entered an invisible phantasmal space where everything had become unreal.
After a few moments, he met the same fate as Han Ziyu. In even less time, he was injured and knocked out.
After that, many cultivators from various forces tried their best. Most just wanted a taste without letting their most powerful person take the risk, so they had all ended in failure.
"Each of the nine statues contains a different will. In order to get through the passage, the will of might from all nine statues has to be broken at the same time." Jian Qingzhu continued, "And, in my opinion, it would be difficult for someone to break the will of the nine statues at the same time. Therefore, I have a suggestion."
All the cultivators looked at him, and someone asked, "What suggestion?"
"Select nine people from the cultivators of Nine Realms and rush in at the same time, cracking the will of the statues in one fell swoop," Jian Qingzhu said. All previous attempts ended in failure, but Jian Qingzhu wanted all nine people to walk out with success at the same time, breaking apart the statues will.
But this ambition was not something commoners dared to consider.
In the Nine Realms, it was not so difficult to find nine top contenders.
"How?" someone asked.
"If there are exactly nine statues, then each of the nine realms may choose one representative. If someone thinks that he is more suitable than the others chosen by the other realms, he can fight for the opportunity on the side." Jian Qingzhu asked everyone, "How about it?"
Central Emperor Realm was the strongest among all nine realms and had the most top contenders. One position was clearly not enough, so they could compete with the others selected from the other realms. If they thought they were more suitable candidates, they could grab additional positions from the other realms.
Obviously, after one attempt, Jian Qingzhu did not plan to continue testing slowly but wanted to solve the mystery in the most direct way and enter the sky stairwell.
"Sounds good." The people from Shen Clan nodded and did not disagree. They, too, wanted to get it over with instead of wasting any more time here.
The top figures from Central Emperor Realm are indeed more decisive, Ye Futian thought. If there were any selections from the Heavenly Mandate Realm, there should be no question!