The pale-gray stone statue instantly turned translucent and sparkling, as if the enormous stone statue had become a statue that was forged from jade.
Almost at the same time, an joyful exclamation came from the Chu Clan members’ location.
A female Qi warrior from the Chu Clan seemed to have also derived enlightenment from the same stone statues.
A vague shape also slowly came to form over her head, as if someone had drawn it with her spiritual power.
The clamor over at the Chu Clan members’ location naturally attracted everyone’s attention.
Zhou Shang’s face dropped as he shouted, “Withdraw your soul awareness now, all of you!”
Upon hearing his shout, the observers from the other seven parties all hastily withdrew their soul awareness from the stone statue that had horns growing out of its head.
However, that young woman from the Chu Clan didn’t want to give up just yet, since she had also derived precious enlightenment from that stone statue.
Therefore, the wisp of her soul awareness stayed inside that stone statue and continued to derive enlightenment from it.
A fierce look suddenly appeared in Zhou Shang’s eyes as he shouted, “A stupid kid who doesn’t know how to appreciate my kindness!”
With these words, Zhou Shang’s immense soul awareness instantly descended upon the stone statue. It captured the young Chu Clan members’ soul awareness like pinching a puny insect, and threw it out.
The young woman from the Chu Clan was only at the early Worldly realm. How could she possibly resist him?
A pained expression appeared on her face as her soul awareness was thrown out, and her weak, thin body shuddered as the vague shape, which was a condensation of her spiritual power, scattered and vanished.
The connection between her and the stone statue was instantly severed, disabling her from examining the stone statue.
Face ghastly, she glared at Zhou Shang from afar, fury and grievance brimming her heart.
Another observer from the Chu Clan couldn’t help but shout, “Senior Zhou! My younger sister also derived enlightenment from that stone statue, isn’t it a bit too much to forcibly tear her soul awareness from it? How will the Pure Heaven Sect win people’s respect if you bully the weak like this? Every one of us respected the rule your sect set up and paid ten thousand spirit jades for our stay.”
Even though the cultivation base of the Chu Clan member who spoke was higher than that young woman’s, he was still only at the Profound realm.
Zhou Shang didn’t even want to spare him another glance. In an arrogant manner, he said, “First come, first served. You must understand this too. Since Zhang Tian from our sect was the first one who managed to interact with that stone statue, it’s only right that this opportunity belongs to him. I’m thinking your younger sister was only able to come to the same enlightenment because of Zhang Tian’s initial effort. So what right does she have to fight him for this opportunity?”
A furious expression spread across the face of the young man from the Chu Clan.
Just as he was about to say something back, Zhou Shang waved his hand impatiently and said, “Considering your status in your clan, you don’t even qualify to talk to me. If you’re not happy with this, you’re welcome to leave.”
Upon seeing Zhou Shang’s tough approach, the other Chu Clan members on that air-transportation spiritual tool all fixed him with angry stares, but none of them dared to say a word.
Eyebrows furrowed, a Qi warrior from the Divine Flame Sect, who was standing beside Qiao Yunxi, let out a soft exclamation, “The Pure Heaven Sect’s overbearing manner is outrageous!”
A purple figure suddenly flew out of the Chu Clan’s ancient starship that was berthed in the distance, and arrived in front of everyone in the blink of an eye.
It was a graceful man with impressive bearing. As the Chu Clan’s overseer in this place, Chu Tianlu was at the early Void domain.
Eyebrows furrowed, he gave Zhou Shang an unpleasant look and said, “You don’t have to adopt such a manner towards a bunch of juniors, right, Brother Zhou?”
Eyes narrowed, Zhou Shang said with a plain tone, “So you seem to have learned about what happened here. Our juniors observed the eight stone statues for quite some time, but failed to find anything.
“Zhang Tian from our sect made great efforts, and finally interacted with one of the stone statues.
“It’s of great importance that he derive enlightenment from that stone statue. Nothing shall jeopardize that. If that girl from your clan proceeds together with him, it might very well affect him, which will benefit neither of our parties.
“So we might as well let him derive enlightenment by himself. If he succeeds, then it means we’re going down the right path. Not to mention the fact that he interacted with that stone statue first.”
Chu Tianlu pondered in silence for a few second before nodding and saying, “So you’re saying that from now on, as soon as someone manages to interact with a stone statue, that person will get to derive enlightenment from that statue by himself or herself, and the others will have to withdraw their soul awareness from it?”
Zhou Shang nodded. “That’s right.”
“Alright, this will be the new rule then,” Chu Tianlu said, not wanting to tear his pretended friendly relationship with Zhou Shang. Then, he called out to everyone present, “You heard him. From now on, the opportunities to derive enlightenment from these stone statues will go to those who manage to interact with them first. Everyone else will have to withdraw their soul awareness immediately afterwards.”
The other seven parties, who had stopped observing because of Zhang Tian’s interaction with one of the stone statues, responded one after another.
“Let’s do that then.”
“As long as the Pure Heaven Sect doesn’t act on their own.”
With a fake smile, Zhou Shang said, “That’s for certain.”
Chu Tianlu then landed on the Chu Clan’s air-transportation spiritual tool. After whispering a few words to the young members of his clan, he flew off in order not to disturb their observance.
“Elder Zhou...” One of the observers from the Pure Heaven Sect whispered, an inquiring look appearing in his eyes.
Zhou Shang chuckled weakly. Looking at Zhang Tian, who was still focused on the stone statue, he said in a low voice, “Now that Zhang Tian has succeeded, it means that we’ve obtained the method to interact with all of these stone statues. Once he tells you about his successful experience, you’ll have much better chances at interacting with the rest stone statues than those from the other sects or clans.”
The disciples of the Pure Heaven Sect were all enlightened by his words.
They all fixed Zhang Tian with anticipating gazes, as if they were waiting for him to finish and then explain the key to them, so that they would be able to interact with the other stone statues with the same method.
Zhang Tian, however, continued to stare unblinkingly at that stone statue, his eyes glittering. Then, shortly afterwards, he suddenly closed his eyes.
The vague shape of the stone statue that loomed over his head gradually grew clearer, as if it were on the verge of taking solid form.
Meanwhile, none of the observers were in the mood to observe the stone statues themselves. Instead, they paid close attention to every move Zhang Tian was making, hoping to grasp the gist of how he managed to interact with that stone statue.
However, none of them dared to send their soul awareness to Zhang Tian’s location to examine what was happening inside of him because they were afraid that that would displease Zhou Shang again.
Nie Tian smiled coldly and thought to himself, “The Pure Heaven Sect… Their overbearing way of doing things even surpasses the Heaven Palace Sect in the Domain of the Falling Stars.”
Unlike the others, he didn’t pay any special attention to Zhang Tian.
He had only come to the Seven-star Blue Sea with the intention to broaden his horizons and take a look at this mysterious sea that floated in the void.
He still had yet to derive enlightenment from his three fragmentary star marks and examine the regions of different attributes in the Realm of Shattered Earth.
Therefore, it didn’t matter to him whether he would be able to make any gains here.
A long time passed...
The vague shape made of Zhang Tian’s spiritual power suddenly exploded and vanished, yet the stone statue was still as translucent and glittering as a huge piece of jade.
“So?” Zhou Shang asked Zhang Tian.
“I’ve derived a method of circulating spiritual power from it, but this unique method is very different from how we humans usually do it, so I haven’t been able to understand it completely just yet,” Zhang Tian said. He was only at the early Worldly realm, and he didn’t rank very high among the Pure Heaven Sect’s chosen ones.
Furthermore, he wasn’t young anymore. If he failed to make a breakthrough in his cultivation soon, chances were that he would be excluded from the ranks of the Pure Heaven Sect’s chosen ones.
Zhou Shang put on an amiable face and said in a warm voice, “You’re doing great. Now tell them how you managed to interact with that stone statue. Your experience will be very helpful for them to derive enlightenment from the other stone statues, so don’t hold anything back.”
Zhang Tian nodded and said, “I focused a wisp of my soul awareness on the part between the statue’s eyebrows. There seems to be something similar to our acupoints there, but it’s very hard to find. I actually didn’t know how it happened, but the wisp of my soul awareness suddenly flew into that acupoint, and then some sort of connection formed between me and the statue.”
“Something like an acupoint between it’s eyebrows!” Zhou Shang’s eyes instantly lit up, then with great confidence, he said to the other Pure Heaven Sect disciples, “You should know what to do now.”
Thrilled, the other Pure Heaven Sect disciples nodded vigorously before dropping to the floor in the lotus position and fixating their soul awareness on the spots between the stone statues’ eyebrows.
Their conversation seemed to be sealed away by Zhou Shang, so no one else was able to hear them.
In the location where the Chu Clan members were gathered.
After Chu Tianlu left, the few young Chu Clan members inquired of the young woman, who had also managed to interact with the stone statue, in low voices.
The young woman pondered as she explained, “A wisp of my soul awareness somehow suddenly flew into something that resembled a person’s heart in that stone statue’s chest, and then a strange connection formed between us. But Zhou Shang dragged my soul awareness out of there before I could sense it thoroughly.”
The Chu Clan members grew spirited upon hearing her words. “Target their hearts!”
Afterwards, the members of the Pure Heaven Sect and the Chu Clan started sensing again, targeting the spots between their eyebrows and the stone statues’ hearts respectively.
An hour passed...
Another disciple of the Pure Heaven Sect managed to interact with another stone statue, causing it to assume the texture of jade.
Zhou Shang let out a long laugh and ordered everyone else to withdraw their soul awarenesses from that stone statue.
Since a new agreement had been made, the other seven parties didn’t object. They all did as he said and withdrew their soul awarenesses, lest Zhou Shang swoop in and tear their soul awarenesses out of there.
Four hours later, that young woman from the Chu Clan once again caused changes, this time was to another stone statue.
Right after she did, a disciple from the Pure Heaven Sect also caused changes to that stone statue.
However, the young woman from the Chu Clan was the first this time.
Zhou Shang’s eyes grew cold as he let out a discontented snort.