Chapter 1013: Luo Ruoxin’s Request
A brilliant sun hung brightly above, and a warm breeze caressed the world.
After flying for roughly ten days on the Byzantium Helios Beast, the massive outline of Hongyuan City gradually came into view.
Within the ten days, Zhang Xuan had managed to internalized all of the knowledge he had learned from the Poison Hall and fused it with his current fighting style. At the same time, he had also cultivated the Saint Ascension Decipher to its very peak, just a step away from breaking through to the Saint realm.
However, it was a pity that the Seven-colored Earth Jade Essence was nowhere to be found at the moment, or else he would have long made a breakthrough.
I should get Sun Qiang to look into the matter…
In terms of logistical efficiency and intelligence gathering, he was nowhere on par with Sun Qiang. Thus, it was reassuring to leave it in the hands of the latter.
As long as he could find the Seven-colored Earth Jade Essence, he would be able to push for a perfect breakthrough to Saint realm, thus inducing a huge leap in his fighting prowess once more.
By then, regardless of the dangers that lurked in the ancient domain, he would surely be able to deal with them easily.
Not too long later, right after the Byzantium Helios Beast landed in his manor, Sun Qiang rushed up to Zhang Xuan and reported, “Young Master, Young Master Zheng Yang has been taken away…”
“Taken away? By whom?” Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.
“It’s Combat Master Liao from the Combat Master Hall. He says that he will take Young Master Zheng Yang to participate in the Progeny of Combat Selection, or else this matter might end up being pushed a year back,” Sun Qiang replied.
“Progeny of Combat Selection?” Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
“Yes. This is the letter that Young Master Zheng Yang left for you…” After saying those words, Sun Qiang passed a letter over.
With a complicated look on his face, Zhang Xuan opened the envelope and saw a note filled with words within.
It didn’t take long for him read through the entire note, and at the end of which, he couldn’t help but sigh deeply.
Combat Master Liao had reported the matter concerning Zheng Yang to the headquarters, and the headquarters had instructed him to bring Zheng Yang to them at any cost to participate in the Progeny of Combat Selection. If Zheng Yang cleared the selection, he could very well inherit the heritage of the Combat God and become the next head of the Combat Master Hall!
The founder of the Combat Master Hall had been a direct disciple of Kong shi, and out of respect for the overwhelming strength he possessed, those of the Master Teacher Continent had given him a nickname—Combat God!
As long as one cleared the Progeny of Combat Selection, one would be qualified to inherit his heritage and become one of the strongest experts of the Master Teacher Pavilion or even the entire Master Teacher Continent.
It looks like he has found his own path…
To have sent two of his students away within just a short period of ten days, Zhang Xuan couldn’t help but feel a little lonely within. Nevertheless, he still felt gladdened for them.
After all, they couldn’t possibly remain his students for their entire lives. They would eventually have to find their paths to tread on.
If Zheng Yang could become the Combat God of this generation, the head of the Combat Master Hall… at the very least, this would mean that his teachings hadn’t been in vain. As Zheng Yang’s teacher, Zhang Xuan would be more than delighted to see that.
Forget it. After I am done dealing with the matters concerning the ancient domain, I should bring the members of the Xuanxuan Faction to Qingyuan Conferred Empire’s Combat Master Hall for the both to interact and learn from one another. I should be able to receive updates about Zheng Yang there.
With a smile, Zhang Xuan tossed aside the loneliness he felt within.
He had already promised Combat Master Liao and the others that he would take the members of the Xuanxuan Faction for a visit to the Qingyuan Empire Combat Master Hall once they settled the affairs regarding the ancient domain at Firesource City. While the Qingyuan Empire Combat Master Hall was only a branch, it was still possible to gather some news regarding Zheng Yang from there.
“Is there anything else other than that?”
“Young Master, the head of the Formation Master School and Blacksmith School took 10,000 students from their respective schools each to Firesource City for a mission. They set forth roughly five days ago!” Sun Qiang reported.
“Firesource City? Mission?” Zhang Xuan frowned.
It wasn’t anything much for the other school heads to head to Firesource City in advance, but… due to the great implications tied in with the ancient domain, there was a need to keep the matter confidential. To mobilize twenty thousand students from the Master Teacher Academy there despite so… could it be that there had been some kind of compelling situation in Firesource City that warranted aid?
Due the grave importance of the matter, even Sun Qiang wasn’t qualified to learn more about the matter. In fact, it was likely that even the students who had set forth to Firesource City were unaware of what they were going to do either.
“Is there anything else?” Zhang Xuan continued asking.
“Also… Luo Ruoxin has visited here twice in your absence. It seems like she has an important matter to ask of you,” Sun Qiang reported with a peculiar look on his face.
Having followed the young master from the start of their journey at Tianxuan Kingdom, they had encountered plenty of beautiful ladies, each possessing their own unique charm. Yet, not once had the young master granted them any preferential treatment or behaved differently around them, except for this Luo shi!
Speaking of which, there was also something bizarre about Luo shi as well. No cultivator was uninterested in his young master’s teachings, but this Luo shi was really the first. The way she acted around the young master showed that she only regarded the latter as another ordinary cultivator.
This in itself was truly perplexing.
“She came over to find me?” Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
Luo Ruoxin was the only woman who had ever touched his heart, be it in his previous life or his current one. There had been many problems cropping up one after another, and he had been busy trying to deal with them, resulting in the both of them not meeting one another for a considerable period of time, but his heart still couldn’t help but thump in anticipation upon hearing her name.
This was completely different from how he felt around Yu Fei-er and the others.
“Yes. As she is young master’s good friend, I dared not probe further into it.” Sun Qiang nodded.
“It’s fine. I will pay her a visit to ask her about it later on,” Zhang Xuan replied with a smile.
After confirming that there was nothing else to tend to, Zhang Xuan got up and made his way right toward the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy. Not too long later, he landed at Luo Ruoxin’s residence.
Standing before the entrance of Luo Ruoxin’s residence, he quickly tidied his clothes. After which, he took out a mirror and saw a handsome face staring back at him. Nodding in satisfaction, he knocked on the door.
“Luo shi, I am Zhang Xuan!” Zhang Xuan said, transmitting his voice into the residence through his zhenqi.
The pleasant voice of a female replied, “Come in!”
Walking into the residence, Zhang Xuan saw Luo Ruoxin standing not too far away. Just like always, her presence felt calm and serene, reminiscent of a still painting. Surprisingly, there was another man standing not too far away from her—Mu Yuan.
After agreeing to meet at Firesource City back then, Mu shi had left together with Wu shi to return to Qingyuan Conferred Empire. Zhang Xuan didn’t think that he would meet the other party here.
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan, Mu shi exclaimed anxiously, “Senior Uncle, you came at the perfect time. Help me talk some sense into Luo shi; she is insisting on following us to Firesource City as well!”
“You wish to go to Firesource City as well?” Taken aback, Zhang Xuan turned his gaze toward the young lady before him.
“Un.” Luo Ruoxin nodded with a slight smile on her lips. “With all of the mysteries surrounding the ancient domain, as a master teacher, I should also go and check it out as well.”
“But… we know next to nothing about the ancient domain! Even Wu shi won’t be able to guarantee your safety,” Mu shi said worriedly.
Back then, the old principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy had ventured into the ancient domain together with a team he had assembled, only to disappear from the face of the world. On top of that, the Qingyuan Master Teacher Pavilion had no records about the interior of the ancient domain at all, so there was no saying what dangers were lurking in the depths of the ancient domain
Not to mention, they had recently received news that the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe was involved with the ancient domain as well.
It could be said that this expedition into the ancient domain would likely result in great casualties. Given Luo shi’s noble standing, there was no way he could take responsibility should anything happen to the other party.
While speaking, Mu shi was blinking frantically at Zhang Xuan, attempting to signal to the latter that he wanted help persuading Luo shi against it. With such obvious gesturing, he thought that his senior uncle would surely receive his signal. Yet…
“That’s great, let’s head there together then!” Zhang Xuan eyes gleamed in excitement.
It just so happened that he had been searching for an opportunity to spend some time with Luo shi when such a news came his way. It was as if even the heavens were on his side!
“Senior Uncle…” Mu shi’s vision darkened, and he nearly fell to the ground.
To say such words after I have gestured so clearly for you to help me persuade her against it, don’t you think that you are a little too shameless?
Even if you like Luo shi, at least be a little more reserved about it! To make it so obvious for everyone to see… don’t you think that it is unbefitting of your standing as the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy?
“It’s fine! How can a master teacher grow if they attempt to avoid every single danger that comes their way?” Zhang Xuan waved his hands leisurely. “Besides, I will be around to protect her, so there is no way anything bad can happen!”
“…” Dark lines streaked across Mu shi’s face.
You are the very reason that I am feeling very unsettled about this expedition! Look at all of those ridiculous things you have done in the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy; it is as if trouble chases you wherever you go.
If only I knew that you were so unreliable, I would have never asked for your help!
Just as Mu shi was about to argue back, Luo Ruoxin waved her hands and said, “Zhang shi is right. Mu shi, there’s no need to persuade me anymore; my mind is set.”
“… Alright then.” Seeing that there was no way he could convince the young lady before him otherwise, Mu shi shook his head helplessly.
Seeing that Mu shi had given up on the matter, Luo Ruoxin turned to Zhang Xuan and said, “Since you are back, let’s set forth as soon as possible.”
Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement. “Alright, let’s set forth now.”
There wasn’t anything major in the Master Teacher Academy at the moment, and even if there was, School Head Mo and the others were more than capable of dealing with it themselves. Besides, there were only around eight days to the date on which they had agreed to meet at Firesource City. If they didn’t set forth soon, it was likely that they would be unable to make it in time.
As Zhang Xuan often journeyed around, his necessities were neatly packed in his storage ring at all times, so there was no need for him to make any preparations. Mu shi swiftly called for his aerial spirit beast, and before long, the trio was on their way toward Firesource City.
Sitting in the wooden hut atop the saint beast’s back, Zhang Xuan turned to Mu shi and asked, “I heard that Zhao Bingxu and the others have brought quite a number of our students over to Firesource City. Did something happen?”
Sun Qiang might not have been qualified to learn about the details of the matter, but as one of the leaders of the expedition team, Mu shi definitely knew something about it.
“Something did happen,” Mu shi said grimly. “Not too long ago, the seal leading to the ancient domain suddenly grew unstable, and it seems like it could collapse at any moment. As such, School Head Zhao lead the students over in the hope that they could stabilize the formation and buy some time until the seal finally opens once more.”
“How did such a matter occur?” Zhang Xuan was bewildered.
When the ancient domain appeared two years ago, the Master Teacher Pavilion did send some men to investigate it, and there hadn’t been a problem then. Why would the seal be destabilized all of a sudden?
“I am not too sure about the details either, but my guess is that the Otherworldly Demons are involved in this matter!” With a deep frown on his forehead, Mu shi hesitated for a moment before continuing. “According to reports from the local master teachers, there have been Otherworldly Demons sighted in the vicinity of the seal. Eyewitnesses claimed that they were carrying some kind of artifact with them, and they loitered around the area for a brief moment before hurriedly leaving. Shortly after they left, the seal suddenly destabilized.”
“Artifact? Could it be a booklet?” Zhang Xuan frowned.
The booklet that the Skyleaf King had stolen from the Poison Hall was said to have come from the ancient domain within the seal. For Otherworldly Demons to appear around the seal and destabilize it at this moment, could both matters possibly be related to one another?
The more Zhang Xuan thought about it, the more convinced he was of the matter.
As a Saint 5-dan expert, the Skyleaf King was capable of flying at speeds far greater than he could. While it had taken Zhang Xuan roughly ten days to travel from Jingyuan City to Hongyuan City, it was likely that the Skyleaf King wouldn’t even require five days to travel from the Poison Hall to Firesource City.
Furthermore, in his communications with the Violetleaf King, he had learned that the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe possessed exceptional spatial means. Just take the altar that Zhang Xuan had found from the Greenleaf King and Goldenleaf King for example, it was capable of transporting and receiving items remotely.
“Booklet?” Not expecting to hear such a question, Mu shi was stunned for a moment before replying with a light chuckle. “That is impossible. How can a booklet possibly wield the power to destabilize the seal?”
In his view, books were only meant to store and impart knowledge. An artifact that could destabilize a powerful seal, which even they were helpless before, was bound to be an incredibly powerful one.
So how could it possibly be a mere booklet?
Seeing that the other party didn’t believe him, Zhang Xuan shook his head and fell silent.
At this point, that was only a hypothesis on his part. It would still require confirming after they arrived at Firesource City.
Recalling the order received from the headquarters not too long ago, Mu shi said, “Oh, right! Senior Uncle, Wu shi won’t be taking charge of the expedition into the ancient domain. Instead, the Master Teacher Pavilion has appointed a 7-star pinnacle Formation Master, Han Xu, as the expedition leader. The Master Teacher Pavilion has ordered for everyone involved in the expedition to follow his commands after entering the ancient domain, and no one is to move around recklessly so as to avoid undue trouble!”