Chapter 1023: Twisted
The cultivation technique that he practiced had been personally taught to him by Sun Jin. Every time he met with a problem in his cultivation, Sun Jin would always step in personally to guide him. This was also the reason he was extremely grateful to the other party, and he felt deeply guilty that he had brought shame to the other party’s name. That was also one of the major contributing reasons he had eventually decided to end his life.
Yet, why was the other party denying it now?
“Nonsense!” Sun Jin flung his sleeves and harrumphed coldly. “You aren’t my direct disciple or even my student, you are just a mere apprentice. Who do you think you are for me to impart a cultivation technique to you and even personally guide you along?”
“I…” Song Zhen’s body shook in disbelief.
He wanted to scream that what he had said was the truth and that he wasn’t lying. Yet, he wasn’t able to find any way to refute the other party’s words at all.
Back then, when he first learnt that cultivation technique, the other party had told him that it was a very formidable technique and that others might attempt to lay their hands on it should they learn of its existence. As such, he had hidden the nature of his cultivation technique very well for the past twenty-four years. Who could have known that it was a trap laid by the other party from the very start? At this point, there was no way he could explain it anymore.
After all, given his identity, it was indeed irrational to think that a 6-star pinnacle blacksmith would devote time to guiding him personally.
“I have taught you for more than twenty years, and this is how you return my kindness? To actually bring someone over to injure my disciples… Song Zhen, I must have been blind to have taken you in back then!” Sun Jin bellowed furiously.
“You are going overboard with your acting.” Seeing how the other party’s disposition was growing stronger and stronger with each word spoken, as if he was the one who had the moral high ground, Zhang Xuan tapped his finger on the table beside him impatiently. “Since you are unwilling to speak the truth, I guess I’ll just have to find some other way to get it out of you.”
After saying that, Zhang Xuan flicked his finger.
As if struck by a sudden streak of lightning, Sun Jin’s figure retreated swiftly into the distance before coughing violently on the ground, and fresh blood spouted from his mouth.
“You…” Not expecting the other party to make a move against him, overpowering him with a mere strike of his finger, Sun Jin’s body trembled in disbelief.
Arrogant! The other party was too arrogant!
This was the Blacksmith Guild they were in!
To barge in and attack him fearlessly, did the other party think that the Blacksmith Guild was just for show?
Wiping his finger on his sleeve, as if disgusted by how dirty it was, Zhang Xuan gazed down coldly upon the fallen Sun Jin. “How about it now? Do you recall anything yet?”
“You…” Sun Jin clenched his jaws tightly as his face flushed crimson. Knowing that he couldn’t admit to the matter at any cost, he bellowed back, “All that I have said is the truth!”
“That’s right! He’s just a mere apprentice, a person who hasn’t even qualified as a 1-star blacksmith yet. How can he be qualified to have me lie for him?” At this point, a look of savagery surfaced in Sun Jin’s eyes as he roared, “And you! Regardless of who you are, to dare to act so arrogantly in the Blacksmith Guild, I have to say, you are a goner!”
Had Zhang Xuan not known about Song Zhen’s affairs in advance, he might very well have fallen for Sun Jin’s act. However, having learned of the atrocities that Sun Jin had committed over the years, he didn’t have the slightest shred of pity for the other party. Shaking his head in disappointment, he said, “It seems like you are unwilling to speak after all!”
To be honest, Sun Jin was indeed a very crafty person. Knowing that he would be severely punished if he were to be caught misguiding his apprentice, he had prepared in advance so as to absolve himself of any blame.
As long as he refused to admit that he had taught Song Zhen his cultivation technique, there was no one who would be able to do anything to him.
After all, the previous batch of apprentices whom he had imparted the cultivation technique to had nearly died out. There was nothing that the other party could possibly find to utilize against him.
But while such a mean might be effective in fooling others, there was no way it would work on Zhang Xuan.
If he really wanted the other party to speak, he could easily find several dozen methods to do so.
The only reason he hadn’t done so was give the other party an opportunity.
“What I am saying is the truth,” Sun Jin insisted adamantly, but before he could finish his words, he felt another aching sensation at his chest, and he was sent flying once more. The injuries he had sustained this time around was even more severe; it felt as if something had mashed his internal organs together. He lay weakly on the ground, unable to get back up.
“How is it? You still can’t remember?” Zhang Xuan asked.
“It will make no difference even if you kill me. If you dare kill me, you will definitely be chased to the end of the world by the Blacksmith Guild,” Sun Jin roared angrily.
He knew deeply that he couldn’t admit to it. The moment that he did so, he could very well be sentenced to death by the guild. On the other hand, if he were to deny it vehemently, there would be nothing the other party could do, having no evidence on hand.
“Since you desire to die, allow me to grant your wish!”
Zhang Xuan flicked his finger once more, and a surge of sword qi flew toward Sun Jin.
“Hold it right there!” At this instant, a loud bellow sounded, and three white-bearded elders entered the room. Upon seeing the surge of sword qi, they hurriedly rushed forward to deflect it.
Dressed in conventional blacksmith robes, there was an emblem with six gleaming stars pinned on the chests of each of the three elders. With the three of them making a move simultaneously, a powerful might reminiscent of the relentless currents of a river burst forth.
The two forces collided, cancelling one another out.
The eyebrows of one of the elders shot up, and a powerful air of authority exuded from him. Stepping forward, he glared at Zhang Xuan with wrathful eyes.
“This friend over here, to barge in here and severely wound one of my elders, are you belittling us, or does the Blacksmith Guild mean nothing to you?”
Upon seeing the elder, Song Zhen hurriedly sent a telepathic message to Zhang Xuan. “H-he is Guild Leader Zhong…”
“Guild Leader Zhong?”
“Un, Guild Leader Zhong Mingchun. He is a Saint 1-dan pinnacle expert, as well as a 6-star pinnacle blacksmith. His strength is even superior to the head of the Master Teacher Pavilion, and it is no joke to say that he is the strongest expert of our Firesource City,” Song Zhen explained anxiously.
Due to its unique geographical terrain, the Blacksmith Guild and Apothecary Guild had developed to become far more prosperous and stronger than the other occupations. As a result, the head of the Blacksmith Guild was even stronger than the head of the Master Teacher Pavilion.
Now that an expert of Guild Leader Zhong’s caliber had gotten involved in this matter as well… how were they to resolve this issue?
Before Zhang Xuan could say a word, Sun Jin had already climbed to his feet and exclaimed furiously, “Guild Leader Zhong, save me! He actually dared to make a move against me. This is completely preposterous; he does not care about the law at all. A person like him must be killed, and his corpse must be incinerated with the earth flames so as to serve as a warning to others.”
“I am a blacksmith myself, so naturally, I have no thoughts of belittling the Blacksmith Guild!” Paying no heed to Sun Jin, Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist and took out his 6-star blacksmith emblem.
“You are a 6-star blacksmith?”
Upon seeing the emblem, Guild Leader Zhong frowned. A moment later, he spoke with a grim voice. “Even if you are a 6-star blacksmith, any grudges you have with Sun Jin should be resolved through the headquarters. If you had applied for a Life-and-Death Duel beforehand, there would have been nothing that we could have said about the situation. However, to barge into our guild and harm one of our men, there is no way you are getting out of here alive today. Set up the formation!”
Right after saying those words, Guild Leader Zhong waved his hand.
The two elders beside him immediately rushed into their positions, forming a unique formation around Zhang Xuan.
“I have already told you my identity. As the guild leader, instead of investigating the situation, you chose to set up a formation to deal with me instead. Don’t you think that you are being a little too hasty here?”
He had already revealed his identity as a 6-star blacksmith, and yet, the other party still unhesitatingly chose to make a move against him. After all of the talk about rules and order, the other party was still siding with his own men!
“Take down that insolent fellow first before we talk about the matter!” Ignoring Zhang Xuan’s words, Guild Leader Zhong bellowed furiously before raising his palm and charging forward.
As Guild Leader Zhong made his move, the other two elders also raised their palms. The three surges of zhenqi formed a unique formation that shrouded the entire lounge.
Under the effects of the formation, the three of them could transmit their powers to one another freely, allowing them to practically double the strength of an individual among them in an instant. Guild Leader Zhong might only have been at Saint 1-dan pinnacle a moment ago, but with the other two elders infusing their strength into him, he had gained the power to face even a Saint 2-dan primary stage cultivator face-on.
Taking a glance at the formation, Zhang Xuan shook his head. “Three Stars Violetmoon Formation?”
As a 6-star pinnacle formation master, he saw through the other party’s seemingly profound formation with a single glance.
The Three Stars Violetmoon Formation had been created by a Saint realm formation master two thousand years ago. Requiring three men for it, the formation served to create a remote connection between the trio, allowing them to put their strength together and exert a might far greater than a normal collaboration among them.
For Guild Leader Zhong and the two elders to go all out and utilize such a formation right from the start, they must have felt threatened by his strength.
“If you know of the formation, you would do well to raise your hands and surrender peacefully. Perhaps, I can consider sparing you this once. Otherwise, today shall be the day of your death!”
Zhenqi rumbled in Guild Leader Zhong’s palm, threatening to burst forth at any moment.
“Day of my death?” Zhang Xuan shook his head, his face reflecting the deep disappointment he had in the other party. “Despite serving as the guild leader, you are unaware of the atrocities committed by your own subordinate, allowing him to bring harm upon many budding blacksmiths. Not only so, you jump swiftly to conclusions, choosing to turn against me to protect your own subordinate without investigating the matter. It seems like it’s about time to clean up the Firesource City Blacksmith Guild!”
Even if Guild Leader Zhong wasn’t able to see through the anomaly in Song Zhen’s cultivation technique in a glance like Zhang Xuan had, he should have at least noticed or heard something about the huge reserve of ores that Sun Jin had amassed over the years. That should have been enough to send warning bells ringing in Guild Leader Zhong’s mind to investigate the matter!
Regardless of whether Guild Leader Zhong was intentionally covering for Song Zhen or hadn’t noticed it in the first place, there was one thing that was certain—he had seriously failed in his responsibilities as a guild leader, and he had to be punished for that.
“We can talk about that once you survive our attack!”
On the other hand, seeing how the other party was uttering such big words even when death was imminent for him, Guild Leader Zhong harrumphed coldly. Stepping forward, a powerful aura reminiscent of an imposing dragon burst forth from him, and a huge congregation of energy exploded out.
That huge congregation of energy swiftly warped into a massive sword as it bolted toward Zhang Xuan with unbelievable speed.
Song Zhen’s face paled in fright, and he exclaimed anxiously, “Be careful!”
The might gathered within the massive sword felt so great that it seemed as if it could even split the world in two. Not even a Saint 2-dan expert could possibly stand against such immense force.
It was for his sake that the other party had come here. If the other party were to be killed because of him, he would feel guilt-ridden for life.
Clenching his jaws in determination, Song Zhen was just about to charge forward to take the attack in Zhang Xuan’s stead when the other party abruptly grabbed the teacup on the table beside him and poured its contents forward.
The next instant, the massive sword of zhenqi abruptly swerved upward.
The sword tore through the roof, leaving debris and dust scattering all around the lounge.
He actually deflected that attack with a single cup of tea? This… Unable to believe his eyes, Song Zhen rubbed his eyes forcefully, seemingly trying to check if he was dreaming.
The trio had brought out the might of the Three Stars Violetmoon Formation perfectly, such that even Saint 2-dan experts would have had no choice but to flee before that overwhelming strength. Yet, that fellow had actually deflected that powerful attack with just a cup of tea? Just how in the world did he manage to do it?
As much as Song Zhen was astonished, Guild Leader Zhong and the others were flabbergasted by the ludicrous sight before them as well.
To redirect the might of their formation with just a cup of tea, that was something that had exceeded the scope of their imagination. Inconceivable!
“There is something bizarre about that fellow. Let’s use our strongest move!” Guild Leader Zhong roared furiously.
In the next instant, the three elders drew their swords. Three chilling gleams flashed through the air, heading right for Zhang Xuan.
This is bad.
Upon seeing Guild Leader Zhong and the other two elders drawing their swords, Song Zhen’s face turned as pale as a sheet of paper. It was apparent that Guild Leader Zhong and the others were enraged, and they were planning to kill Zhang Xuan! He hurriedly turned his gaze toward Zhang Xuan anxiously, only to see the latter frowning in displeasure.
“Are you done yet?”
After saying those words, he stood up and lifted the chair beneath him with a single hand before walking forward with widened strides.
A chair…? Seeing Zhang Xuan’s actions, Song Zhen nearly spurted a mouthful of blood.
Of your three opponents, two are wielding Spirit pinnacle swords and the last one has a Half-Saint sword in hand. Yet… you are going to face them with just a chair? Do you think that this is a street fight?
How in the world do you expect to win with such a weapon in hand?