Library of Heaven is Path
843 Who Is Your Teacher?
Chapter 843: Who Is Your Teacher?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Indeed! The reason I didn't contact you all is because I was at a crucial moment in my breakthrough, so I was unable to divert my attention," the Byzantium Helios Beast said.
"If not for my master, I could have been trapped at Saint 1-dan pinnacle for my entire life!"
What it was saying was the truth.
For nearly twenty days, when it wasn't being pummeled, it would be tightly squashed within the narrow space of the Myriad Anthive Nest, where it couldn't even stretch its limbs. This had led to an immense frustration and rage bubbling within it, but coincidentally, that had formed the foundation of its breakthrough as well.
Spiritual Perception realm was closely tied to one's soul and state of mind. As indignant as it was at the suffering it had been put through, it had to admit that the experience had tempered its mental resilience.
If not for this experience, even with the inner core of the Ancient Ape, it was questionable whether the Byzantium Helios Beast would have been able to achieve a breakthrough or not.
Hearing those words, the crowd fell silent.
It wasn't uncommon for cultivators to go into seclusion for several months or even years at once. Going into seclusion for half a month was indeed not much.
Realizing that the tables had turned, Zhao Bingxu was the first to counterattack. "As the tamed beast of our old principal, Senior Byzantium Helios has contributed greatly to our academy. I believe I don't have to say this, but Zhang shi has really done our academy a great favor this time around… Yet, despite all he has done, you accused him of being an Otherworldly Demon! Lu Feng, if you don't explain yourself well today, I will make sure you are charged for aspersion even if I have to bring this matter all the way up to Qingyuan Empire!"
You said that Zhang shi had pummeled Senior Byzantium Helios and thus was an Otherworldly Demon, but now, even the 'victim' has stepped forward to clarify the matter… What else do you have to say?
Hearing those words, Lu Feng's face warped in savagery, and veins began popping up at his temple. He felt so stifled within that he could puke blood.
He had thought that with this intelligence, he would be able to have Zhang Xuan begging him for mercy. Who could have known that the situation would end up turning on him instead?
Standing by the side, Dong Xin, who had been watching the entire scene throughout, trembled uncontrollably as well. If she could, she would have loved to disappear that very moment.
She had seen with her own eyes how Zhang Xuan had viciously ordered his subordinates to pummel Senior Byzantium Helios, how did it turn into helping the other party achieve a breakthrough in the blink of an eye?
Where in the world could one find a person pummeling another to the point of near death to help him achieve a breakthrough?
In that instant, a thought suddenly emerged in Dong Xin's mind. "Wait a moment! Could it be…"
She immediately clasped her fist and said, "Mu shi, Senior Golden Origin Cauldron, and school heads, I have a hypothesis in mind, but I am not sure if it will be appropriate for me to speak of it!"
"Feel free to speak!" Mu shi nodded.
"I am certain that I saw Zhang Xuan ordering his subordinates to pummel Senior Byzantium Helios, but at this moment, Senior Byzantium Helios is speaking in his stead… I find that there is something really unnatural about this situation. Thus, I am thinking, could it be possible that Senior Byzantium Helios is being threatened? Maybe there is something he is unable to tell us about, or perhaps, the very reason for the pummeling might have been to make Senior Byzantium Helios submit!" Dong Xin said.
She knew what she had seen, and she was certain that there had been tension and hostility between Zhang Xuan and Senior Byzantium Helios back then. Yet, all of this had disappeared all of a sudden, and the latter had even acknowledged Zhang Xuan as its master. Had it been anyone else, they wouldn't have been able to believe it either.
For one's attitude to change that quickly, there could only be one possibility—he was being blackmailed!
"You mean that he is being coerced into saying those words?" Mu shi frowned.
The other school heads fell into deep contemplation upon hearing those words, too.
Such a situation had indeed happened before.
Even if Zhang Xuan was a disguised Otherworldly Demon, he had spent some time as a master teacher, so it wouldn't be too surprising for him to be capable of spinning lies that could convince even them.
"Indeed. Everyone knows that Senior Byzantium Helios is deeply loyal to the old principal. So far, we don't even know whether the old principal is alive or dead, and for Senior Byzantium Helios to acknowledge another man as his master under such uncertain circumstances… I find that hard to believe!" Lu Feng's eyes lit up upon hearing Dong Xin's words, and he immediately leaped at the opportunity to build on it.
It was true that the old principal had gone missing on an expedition in an ancient domain, but until his corpse was found, it was impossible to conclusively tell whether he was alive or dead.
Considering the loyalty Byzantium Helios Beast had for the old principal, to acknowledge another man as its master while its old master could still be alive, there was indeed something really suspicious about the situation.
Chen Chengxun stood up and said, "Could it be that Zhang Xuan possesses some news regarding the old principal, and he is using it to threaten Senior Byzantium Helios into acknowledging him as his master and speak on his behalf? Or perhaps… if he is truly an Otherworldly Demonic Tribe royal, he could very well be using some kind of special means unknown to us!"
He was on the same boat as Lu Feng. Sink or swim, their fates were already closely tied together.
Hearing those words, Mu shi had no choice but to rethink the matter.
If his old friend was truly alive, and Zhang Xuan was using this piece of news to coerce the Byzantium Helios Beast into doing his bidding, given the loyalty of the latter, it was indeed highly likely that the latter would speak on Zhang Xuan's behalf.
"Until we can confirm whether Senior Byzantium Helios has been coerced or not, I think we should invalidate his testimony on the grounds of reliability!" Lu Feng said.
Not expecting that someone would use this kind of ridiculous theory to cast suspicion on his words, the Byzantium Helios Beast's face turned scarlet, and he bellowed furiously, "Every single word of mine comes straight from my heart, how is it unreliable?"
"Senior Byzantium Helios, please calm down! The Otherworldly Demons specialize in beguiling the heart, so until we can ascertain that you were not subjected to such means, it is difficult for us to determine the authenticity of your words. We have to ask for your understanding on this matter!" Lu Feng said.
Before they had been eradicated, the soul oracles had once sided with the Otherworldly Demons. From them, the Otherworldly Demons had learned some techniques relating to the manipulation of the soul as well.
Even if Dong Xin's testimony was unreliable and Zhang Xuan had truly helped the Byzantium Helios Beast achieved a breakthrough, it was still hard to believe that someone as loyal as the Byzantium Helios Beast would abandon its possibly still living master and acknowledge a man whom it had barely known for half a month as its master.
At this point, Pavilion Master Mo, who had been watching the scene silently all this while, suddenly spoke up. "School Head Lu, if we start delving into such conspiracy theories, can I also claim that you have been beguiled by the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe into plotting against a talented master teacher who possesses the Eye of Insight?"
School Head Mo harrumphed in agreement as he stroked his beard.
"Indeed! All of us are more than aware of the significance of a master teacher possessing the Eye of Insight to mankind, and yet, School Head Lu has intentionally acted against Zhang Xuan time and time again. Could it be possible that you are an Otherworldly Demon in disguise?"
Sure, you might have cast suspicion on Senior Byzantium Helios's words… But how credible are your words compared to his?
Not expecting that the duo to counterattack from such an angle, even pinning such a huge crime on him, Lu Feng nearly spurted blood. Left with no choice, he could only wave his hands and relent.
"Fine! We will get nowhere with that, so let us put that aside for the moment… Even if Senior Byzantium Helios's testimony holds, surely the matter of Zhang Xuan having Otherworldly Demons subordinated to him is a fact that cannot disputed? We visited Leiyuan Peak, the place where Senior Byzantium Helios was last seen before his disappearance, and I believe we can all agree that the lingering aura and remaining traces there belonged to Otherworldly Demons!"
According to Dong Xin's description, not only did Zhang Xuan assault Senior Byzantium Helios, he had an army of Otherworldly Demon subordinates as well.
That was also the most crucial point to proving that Zhang Xuan was an Otherworldly Demon.
Furthermore, since all of the school heads had visited Leiyuan Peak to investigate the Senior Byzantium Helios's 'kidnapping', they wouldn't be able to refute this point.
And as expected, School Head Mo, School Head Zhao, and the others all fell silent.
Given Zhang Xuan's current cultivation realm, there was no way he could be Senior Byzantium Helios's match without any external help. Furthermore, Zhang Xuan had also acknowledged that he had ordered his 'men' to pummel Senior Byzantium Helios.
Could he really have Otherworldly Demons as his subordinates?
If that was really the case, that would complicate matters.
Master teachers were banned from coming into close contact with Otherworldly Demons, and most would often refrain from doing so as well in order to avoid suspicion.
"Otherworldly Demon subordinates… Do you mean this?" Knowing that this matter would become a permanent stain on his record if he failed to explain himself well today, he flicked his wrist, and an Otherworldly Demon puppet appeared before him.
"I believe that with everyone's eye of discernment, you should be able to tell that this is a puppet forged out of the body of an Otherworldly Demon!" Zhang Xuan said.
"This is a puppet forged out of an Otherworldly Demon!"
The crowd examined the puppet before them for a moment before nodding in agreement.
All of those gathered there were 6-star pinnacle master teachers, and unlike Dong Xin, who had only seen the puppets from afar, they were examining it in close proximity as well. Whether it was a puppet or a real Otherworldly Demon, they were more than capable of differentiating.
"As School Head Zhao will know, before enrolling at the academy, I once accompanied Luo Qiqi, Princess Yu Fei-er, and a few others into an underground chamber, and in there, we managed to stumble upon Elder Wu Yangzi's heritage," Zhang Xuan said.
"Un!" Zhao Bingxu nodded, confirming his words.
He had compiled a report on it and sent it to the other school heads as well, so they should be aware of the matter, too.
"The 'Otherworldly Demons' mentioned earlier are actually puppets forged by Elder Wu Yangzi back when he was still alive, and I only managed to obtain them out of a stroke of luck!" Zhang Xuan explained.
"Master teachers are indeed forbidden from coming into contact with Otherworldly Demons, but Elder Wu Yangzi had already forged them into puppets to serve mankind. Even if I haven't contributed to mankind through them, at the very least, my possession of them can't be considered a sin, right?"
Everyone was stunned.
They had thought that Zhang Xuan's subordinates were Otherworldly Demons, but to think that they were only puppets… Puppets were mindless and possessed no sentience of their own. Unless they were commanded to do so, they wouldn't be able to hurt anyone.
Thus, there was no harm in Zhang Xuan possessing them.
After studying the puppet carefully, Mu shi remarked, "This is indeed a mindless puppet, and the manner in which it was forged does bear a striking resemblance with Wu Yangzi's smithing technique…"
The puppets had personally been forged by Wu Yangzi during his captivity in the underground chamber. Precious materials had been devoted to the forging process, so each of the puppets was invaluable treasures.
"However… this puppet still harnesses killing intent within its body, and it retains its innate instincts as Otherworldly Demons. Even Wu Yangzi might not have been able to tame it, so how did you make it follow your orders obediently?"
Realizing the crux of the matter, Mu shi frowned.
Just as the Otherworldly Demons were mankind's nemeses, the opposite was true as well. The hatred for mankind flowed in the very bloodline of the Otherworldly Demons, making it nigh impossible for a human to command them.
Even an expert like Wu Yangzi would not necessarily be able to tame them, so how did a Perfect Harmonization realm cultivator like Zhang Xuan succeed?
Hearing Mu shi's words, Zhang Xuan frowned.
The reason he had been able to make the Otherworldly Demon puppets obey his commands was due to Vicious, and exposing Vicious' existence meant exposing the existence of the Book of Heaven's Path and possibly his greatest secret, the Library of Heaven's Path, as well.
Those were his greatest trump cards, so by no means should he ever reveal them!
"On top of that, this puppet was forged by having body parts forcefully switched while it was still alive. Judging by the marks, it seems like the Otherworldly Demons didn't reject the swapping of the parts… or to be more exact, they were willing to have it done! Back then, the disappearance of Wu Yangzi caused a huge uproar, and there is even a report documenting it in the Qingyuan Conferred Empire Master Teacher Pavilion.
"If Wu Yangzi possessed the ability to have the Otherworldly Demons obediently undergo his forging and listen to his commands at the end of it, he should have been more than capable of escaping from his captivity. If that was the case, he wouldn't have been trapped in an underground chamber until his death," Mu shi analyzed.
As a 7-star master teacher, as well as a 7-star blacksmith, Mu shi was able to easily deduce the forging process of the Otherworldly Demon puppet. Even with Wu Yangzi's outstanding smithing capability, it would have been hard for him to successfully forge it had the Otherworldly Demon resisted.
Hearing Mu shi's words, Lu Feng's eyes lit up. "Mu shi is right. These might just be puppets, but their origin is dubious. On top of that, you clearly don't possess the strength to tame them!
"Unless… you are royalty of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, allowing you to command the Otherworldly Demons just by your bloodline itself. That would explain why the Otherworldly Demons would willingly allow themselves to be torn apart to be made into puppets, and why they would obey your commands even after death!"
Zhang Xuan's face darkened upon hearing those words.
Naturally, he wasn't royalty of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, but Vicious was, and he could very well be an emperor among them.
It was due to him exerting pressure on those Otherworldly Demons that Wu Yangzi had been able to forge them into puppets successfully.
But if he had to reveal the existence of Vicious, he would risk having to reveal the existence of the Library of Heaven's Path too.
"I have no idea how the Otherworldly Demons were forged into puppets either; that was Elder Wu Yangzi's doing. But as for the matter of taming them…"
After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan said, "My teacher, fearing for my safety, tamed them and gave them to me."
Lu Feng harrumphed coldly. "Which master teacher is that? I would like to know which formidable master teacher possesses the capability to make so many mindless Otherworldly Demon puppets obey the orders of a 4-star master teacher!"
"My teacher…" Zhang Xuan began to speak, but before he could finish his words, an impassive voice suddenly sounded from beyond the door.
"His teacher is me!"
The room was abruptly engulfed by a devastating aura.