Library of Heaven is Path
1284 Taming of the Swords
"It's really you!" Upon seeing Zhang Xuan stepping out from the mist, a cold glint flashed through Brother Sun's eyes.
When they saw the pillar of Sword Intent emerging earlier, they had swiftly realized that a treasure had emerged in the world. Anyone who obtained it would surely be able to rise through the ranks and make a name for themselves even in the Sanctum of Sages!
Even though they were master teachers, they were still humans with desires. This was a rare opportunity for them as well. They could not allow it slip through their fingers just like that. No matter what, they had to at least give it a try.
They could not allow Zhang Xuan to hog it just like that!
The master teachers swiftly moved to surround Zhang Xuan tightly, and their representative, Brother Sun, said with a cold voice, "Hand over the treasure and share it with all of us, and we'll consider sparing you this once. Otherwise, don't even dream of getting away today."
"Treasure?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"You need not feign ignorance before us. All of us know that we are at the Sword Lagoon, and the previous pillar of Sword Intent is a clear sign that the heritage of the Old Sword Maestro has surfaced. Quickly hand it over, and we can spare you this once. Otherwise… this matter won't just end with you losing your slot!" another master teacher bellowed coldly.
As long as the young man did not use his artifacts, there was nothing of him to fear!
Even if he did use his artifacts, considering how many of them were here, they would still be able to incapacitate him swiftly.
"That's right! Zhang shi, you should know the position you are in very well!"
"There's no denying that you possess incredible strength, and you possess powerful artifacts as well. However… are you certain that you will be able to withstand our combined strength?"
The other master teachers looked at Zhang Xuan coldly.
After that fellow embarrassed all of them the previous day, they had already had a huge bone to pick with him. Now that the heritage of the Old Sword Maestro was at stake as well, they did not hesitate to show their hostility toward him.
"Are you all going to disregard your standing as master teachers and snatch my possession?" Zhang Xuan frowned in displeasure.
Due to the standing and identity that master teachers had on the Master Teacher Continent, they would usually conduct themselves honorably and respectably. When it came to the allocation of a treasure, they would compete with one another fairly through duels. However, those men gathered there clearly had no intention of playing it fair. They were outright forcing him to hand over the heritage to them.
"Snatch? It's only natural for a treasure to go to those deserving of it! If you wish to keep it for yourself, you should first consider if you have the capability to do so!" Brother Sun waved his hands impassively. "Alright, let's not waste our breath anymore. Attack him! Don't give him any opportunity to release his puppets!"
The next moment, the master teachers surrounding Zhang Xuan charged forward simultaneously.
All of them knew that Zhang Xuan had an army of puppets in his possession, and once released, things would become troublesome for them. For this reason, they did not hesitate to gang up on him. In an instant, zhenqi abruptly flooded the entire Sword Lagoon, causing the air to turn a little suffocating from the viscosity of the energy.
To be able to clear Zhao Xingmo's preliminary selections, there was no doubt that they were all outstanding geniuses possessing talent and strength on par with Zhang Jiuxiao. Even though this was the first time they were collaborating with one another, they were still able to draw out strength far beyond a normal cultivator's imagination.
Gathered together, their strength was like a river gushing forward relentlessly, threatening to tear down everything in its path.
Given the momentum of their offense, it was likely that even a Half-Grand Dominion like Pavilion Master Yue would have been hard-pressed to withstand their attack.
"Not too bad!" Seeing how those master teachers were able to draw out so much strength from their teamwork, Zhang Xuan nodded leisurely. Then, he drove his Sword Quintessence.
In the blink of an eye, his presence seemed to have turned into a sharp sword, and a burst of Sword Intent rose into the clouds. At the same time, he emanated a dangerous aura that threatened to tear anything in its path into shreds.
In the face of Zhang Xuan's aura, the master teachers revealed looks of astonishment and fear, but they did not allow their emotions to impede their offense at all.
With the summoning of Zhang Xuan's Sword Intent, countless gales rose throughout the Sword Lagoon, and innumerable swords began flying in his direction.
"Since you were the ones to make the first move, don't blame me if you get hurt."
With a cold harrumph, Zhang Xuan's figure abruptly vanished from the spot. Through the Unbounded Voyager, he flitted at a speed as fast as a specter.
Zhang Xuan charged right into the river of energy created by the master teachers, and as if a sharp blade, he sliced their attack in two. After which, more than twenty individual surges of sword qi abruptly burst forth from his body, aimed at each of the master teachers.
Had it been before, the combined prowess of the crowd might have been able to stop him. However, after he had comprehended Sword Quintessence, his sword qi had grown far sharper and more condensed than before. While Brother Sun and the others were not weaker, they were insufficient to put up a fight against him.
In just ten breaths, all of the master teachers were wounded by the sword qi.
However, their injuries were not too severe. Zhang Xuan's goal was just to punish them; he did not intend to claim their lives.
But the master teachers did not seem to have any ideas of backing down. On the contrary, seeing how their collaborative offense had been neutralized so easily, and the young man had even managed to launch a successful counterattack, their eyes reddened further with greed.
"That fellow has been hiding his strength all along. With his current prowess, even Pavilion Master Yue would be no match for him."
"Isn't he from the Qingyuan Empire? How can he be so powerful? Have you all realized it yet? He was only at Primordial Spirit realm intermediate stage yesterday, but at this very moment, he is at the pinnacle stage!"
"Not only so, it seems like he has managed to comprehend Sword Quintessence as well."
"There's no doubt about it. This must be the result of inheriting the Old Sword Maestro's heritage. Otherwise, there's no way he could grow so much within this short period of time."
They had fought with Zhang Xuan the previous day as well, and while he had not been weak, it was certain that he had not been so strong!
For his cultivation to rise by two small cultivation stages within a single day… there was no way this had nothing to do with the Sword Lagoon! After all, there was no cultivator who could possibly advance his cultivation so quickly!
"To be able to raise an individual's strength by such a degree within a short period of time, the heritage of the Sword Lagoon is truly no joke." Clenching his jaws tightly, Brother Sun bellowed, "Everyone, we must unite! If we don't stand together on the same front, not only will we be unable to obtain the treasure and the heritage, there's a good chance that we might all lose our lives here!"
"Yes!" the crowd echoed in response.
Just a day ago, the young man could only achieve victory when their cultivation was lowered, but today, he had already gained the strength to rival all of them simultaneously. If they could obtain the heritage of the Old Sword Maestro for themselves, they would be bound for greatness!
With a furious roar, the geniuses immediately charged up together.
Even though their teamwork had been decent previously, all of them had held back quite a bit. After all, after they defeated Zhang Xuan, there was a chance that they would have to fight it out among themselves for the allocation of the heritage. However, after witnessing Zhang Xuan's strength with their own eyes, they realized that they would not even get to come close to the heritage if they continued holding back at this point.
With their wills united by a common foe, their combined strength soared to new heights.
Innumerable surges of zhenqi began gathering together to form a huge cluster of power that covered a radius of over several hundred meters. Under the immense influx of power, the air became as viscous as mud. Putting aside a cultivator, even weapons would find it hard to proceed in the face of such atmosphere.
Immense pressure weighed down on Zhang Xuan, who stood at the very center of this hurricane of energy. The overwhelming power tugged and pulled at his body, as if attempting to tear him into shreds.
"Humph!" Facing the offense of the master teachers, Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes frostily.
He had shown them mercy, but they had simply taken his magnanimity as a sign of weakness and carried on their offense. With this, he felt that his tolerance had come to a limit.
There was indeed no end to a human's greed.
From their attitudes, it could be seen that even if he imparted the Three Swords of Lingxu to them, they would still think that he was holding something back.
Since that was the case, it was time to take forceful measure and have them know the meaning of fear.
Without wasting any words, Zhang Xuan pushed his foot against the ground and dashed into the crowd of master teachers.
For some reason, the viscous space created by the full might of all of the master teachers present seemed to be completely ineffective on him. He flitted through the area as if a phantom, and with every grasp, he would accurately catch a master teacher, acquire his jade token, and send him flying with a light push.
Just like that, the master teachers fell one after another.
While the collaborative offense of the master teachers was powerful, through his Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan was still able to find many flaws here and there, allowing him to overcome it with ease.
Peng peng peng peng peng!
It was almost as if Zhang Xuan was a tiger diving into a crowd of goats. As many master teachers as there might have been, there were none who lasted more than a breath before him.
"My jade token!"
"He took away mine as well!"
"He isn't just knocking us down; he's taking away out jade tokens too! Be careful!"
It did not take long for all of the master teachers to be collapsed on the ground, and every single one of them were moaning in pain.
Since Zhang Xuan had been able to guess that a part of the test was to have confidence in one's strength and keep one's jade token with one, the other master teachers had also come to realize the same as soon as they calmed down, and they had chosen to bring it along with them as well. Yet, who would have thought this would end up presenting a chance for Zhang Xuan to acquire all their jade tokens at once?
Despite collaborating with one another, they were actually unable to withstand a single move from the other party at all. How in the world did this freak cultivate to gain such monstrous capabilities?
In this moment, Brother Sun and the others were still in a state of disbelief, unable to believe what had just happened.
"Since you all tried to eliminate me, it's only right for me to do the same to you. This isn't a breach of the rules, right?"
Paying no heed to the state of shock the master teachers were in, Zhang Xuan flicked his hand, and the twenty jade tokens floated right in front of him.
The crowd immediately panicked.
Those jade tokens represented their chances to enter the Sanctum of Sages. If they were to be destroyed, it would mean that they had failed the secondary selections, and they would be unqualified to enter the Sanctum of Sages anymore.
Their initial thought had been that as long as they collaborated with one another, they should be able to eliminate Zhang Xuan with ease. Yet, instead of overpowering the young man, they had ended up placing themselves in a precarious situation.
"Is there any reason I shouldn't do it?" Zhang Xuan scoffed coldly as he closed his grip.
Kacha! Kacha! Kacha!
The crisp echo of the jade tokens shattering sounded simultaneously, and in an instant, all twenty jade tokens were reduced to powdery remains.
Seeing the sight, the master teachers were completely frozen for a moment.
Gradually, the master teachers returned to their senses. Some let loose despaired howls, some collapsed to the ground in utter shock, and some glared at Zhang Xuan in hostility, as if swearing to exact vengeance.
"This is catastrophic. If all of us have been eliminated simultaneously, doesn't that mean that… that bastard is the only one who has cleared the secondary selection?" Brother Sun muttered in disbelief.
There was a total of 33 candidates participating in the secondary selection, and the selection should have come to an end as soon as thirteen candidates were eliminated. However, if all of them were eliminated simultaneously… would that make Zhang Xuan the only one who had cleared the selection?
If that was really the case, they might really lose their minds!
Furthermore, how was Zhao Xingmo supposed to explain this matter to the Sanctum of Sages? For there to be only a single candidate from the Empire Alliance…
Just as complete chaos had descended upon the situation, a series of whistling sounds suddenly echoed from afar. Soon after, more than a hundred Saint intermediate-tier swords flew over, surrounding Zhang Xuan tightly.
"These… are the superior swords that have chosen to remain in the Sword Lagoon?" one of the master teachers exclaimed with narrowed eyes.
Each year, the Sword Lagoon would draw countless sword practitioners in. When these sword practitioners died in the Sword Lagoon, their swords were likely to choose to rest in Sword Lagoon due to the Sword Intent lingering in the area.
Due to this, there were also sword practitioners who would visit the Sword Lagoon in the hope that they might be able to take away some formidable swords to enhance their fighting prowess.
"These swords are able to grow by devouring the Sword Intent lingering in the area, so they tend to abhor outsiders who interrupt their peace in the Sword Lagoon. For this reason, they assault cultivators from time to time. Haha! It seems like Zhang Xuan is in deep trouble this time around!"
Coming to realize what was going on, the master teachers burst into gleeful laughter.
So what if you have eliminated all of us?
Now that you are surrounded by so many Saint intermediate-tier swords, no matter how powerful you are, there's no way you will escape from here alive!
"Kill him! Let's all go down together…" Brother Sun roared frenziedly.
But before he could finish his words, the swords abruptly fell to the ground respectfully.
"Paying respects to Master!" the hundred or so swords declared simultaneously, their deafening voices shaking even the clouds.
"These swords have all recognized Zhang Xuan as their master?"
The master teachers were completely flabbergasted and crazed by the sight before them.