The very reason why he came to the Sanctum of Sages was to seek Luo Ruoxin and free her from the engagement with the Zhang Clan so that he could be with her...

He had put in so much effort to come this far, and he was currently just a step away from meeting her, so how could he not be agitated?

Rest assured, I'll marry you openly. I'll never put you in a spot and make you choose between me and your family. Zhang Xuan vowed as he calmed down his agitated heart.

This engagement concerned two of the strongest clans on the Master Teacher Continent, so his mission was bound to be fraught with difficulties. But, so what?

Anyone who dared to stand in his way, even if the other party boasted the strongest power on the Master Teacher Continent, he would simply crush whatever opposition they had down like a domino!

Exhaling deeply, Zhang Xuan gazed at the world beneath him.

A cluster of towering buildings rose from the ground, reminiscent of a crouching behemoth prowling in the mountain range. Its sheer grandeur bestowed it with a natural air of majesty and authority.

The person who founded the academy must have possessed a comprehension of formation on par with 9-star formation master… Zhang Xuan noted in wonderment.

The entire academy was built along the mountain range, and every single bit of it was exquisitely constructed, placing it in perfect alignment with its surroundings. Looking at it from above, it felt as if one was looking at a beautiful artwork.

From this, it could be seen that the founder of academy, on top of being a 9-star formation master, was likely to be a highly-skilled landscaper as well.

"The founder of the Sanctum of Sages is Ancient Sage Bo Shang. He has followed Kong shi and learned from him as one of his direct disciples!" Noticing Zhang Xuan's astonishment, Zhao Xingmo remarked.

"Kong shi's direct disciple?" Zhang Xuan was startled.

Despite the prestige of the Sanctum of Sages, he had thought that it was just an organization created by a 9-star master teacher or one of the normal students under Kong shi. He hadn't even considered the possibility that it was founded by Kong shi's direct disciple!

"Indeed. Otherwise, how could the Sage Clans possibly be willing to send their inner clan members to the Sanctum of Sages to study?" Zhao Xingmo replied with a hint of pride in his voice.

"Ah, that's true." Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.

In truth, this was also something he had been wondering about all along. Clans as powerful as the Zhang Clan and the Luo Clan were bound to at least have some 9-star master teachers in their ranks, as well as experts of most major occupation. Given so, was there really a need for them to send their offspring to the Sanctum of Sages to study? After all, they should have the resources required to groom their own offspring!

However, if the Sanctum of Sages was founded by one of Kong shi's direct disciples, that would change the nature of things.

Just on that fact in itself, there was bound to be something extraordinary about the Sanctum of Sages.

"Ancient Sage Bo Shang is neither the most famous nor the most powerful of Kong shi's direct disciples, but he possesses an extraordinary ability in imparting knowledge and ideology to others. It has been several ten thousand years since the Sanctum of Sages was founded, and despite the trial of time, Kong shi's ideology is still perfectly passed down from generation to generation. Students there are able to feel the very spirit of the World's Teacher, as well as his deep desire to bring mankind to greater heights! Learning in such an environment could open up one's mind, allowing one to view the society and the entire world from a higher perspective from before, thus giving them an insight into how they could better use their strength to bring about greater prosperity for mankind. This is something that no clan or blessed land is able to do!" Zhao Xingmo continued on.

Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.

Naturally, there was no doubting Kong shi's selfless spirit for mankind.

Just the very fact that Ancient Sage Bo Shang was passing from Kong shi's knowledge and ideology in full from one generation to the next was more than enough to reinforce the Sanctum of Sages' position as the number one training institution in the world.

It was no wonder why all powers over the world wanted to send their offspring in. Just the inheritance of Kong shi's spirit represented a prestige that no other blessed land could possibly bring.

"I have heard of the affairs of Ancient Sage Qiu Wu before, and just out of curiosity, may I know that compared with Ancient Sage Bo Shang, who is stronger?" Zhang Xuan couldn't help but ask.

"Well... Ancient Sage Qiu Wu is Kong shi's servant whereas Ancient Sage Bo Shang is his direct disciple. But of course, this is a matter from ancient times, and it involves Ancient Sages at that, so it wouldn't be our place to speak too much about it." Zhao Xingmo replied with a smile.

"I see…" Zhang Xuan nodded in response.

While Zhao Xingmo didn't point it out explicitly, the meaning behind his words was clear. Ancient Sage Bo Shang was stronger than Ancient Sage Qiu Wu!

To make a comparison, it was just like how Sun Qiang and Zheng Yang were like to Zhang Xuan, albeit Sun Qiang might not exactly be a good comparison.

While Sun Qiang did receive Zhang Xuan's guidance from time to time, his fighting prowess was still nowhere in comparison to Zheng Yang and the others.

"Of Kong shi's 72 direct disciples, the ten strongest are referred to as the 'Ten Apostles', and Ancient Sage Bo Shang is one of them. He's one of the few possessors of the Eye of Insight, which grants him strength unmatched by most." Zhao Xingmo said.

As a member of the Sanctum of Sages, he revered the founder of the academy deeply, and he was also well-versed in the latter's background as well.

"Eye of Insight?"

"Un. Ancient Sage Bo Shang is the second master teacher after Kong shi to comprehend Eye of Insight, and he even created a set of optic arts for it. It was said that back in the war against the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, a look from him would kill even an ordinary Otherworldly Demon Emperor instantaneously! However, it was a pity that despite having being passed down over the years, no one has been able to master the optic arts he has created…" Zhao Xingmo shook his head in lamentation.

"Optic arts? Kill even an ordinary Otherworldly Demon Emperor instantaneously?" Zhang Xuan was astonished.

He possessed the Eye of Insight, and he knew what it was capable for. So far, he had only known it to wield the ability to peer through the facade to look into the essence of things, identifying the intrinsic flaws in them... To be able to kill others with just a look, this was something he had never imagined to be possible before.

If that was really the case, wouldn't the Eye of Insight be a really frightening ability?

"Indeed. But of course, the set of optic arts isn't easy to master. Those who are able to master it to that extent would have already inherited Ancient Sage Bo Shang's heritage, and they would be immediately conferred the position of the head of the Sanctum of Sages! Just to give you a sense of what that represents, the standing of the head of the Sanctum of Sages on the Master Teacher Continent would only be higher than that of the heads of the Zhang Clan and the Luo Clan." Zhao Xingmo remarked.

"Becoming the head of the Sanctum of Sages?" Seeing through the hidden meaning behind those words, Zhang Xuan frowned. "Is there no sanctum head for the Sanctum of Sages at the moment?"

As the number one training institute of the Master Teacher Continent, it served to groom generations and generations of geniuses. There were many elders and clan heads of the Sage Clans that used to be students from the Sanctum of Sages... So, how could the Sanctum of Sages have no sanctum head at all?

"One of the requirements to becoming the head of the Sanctum of Sages is to possess the Eye of Insight and master the optic art which Ancient Sage Bo Shang has left behind. It has been three hundred years since such an expert has appeared in the Sanctum of Sages, so the affairs are currently managed by a deputy head." Zhao Xingmo explained.

These matters couldn't be considered as secrets. Those who were members of the Sanctum of Sages were aware of such matters, so there were no qualms about speaking of them to Zhang Xuan.

"I see." Zhang Xuan nodded.

Most powers with long history had their own set of heritage. If one was unable to inherit the heritage, one would be unable to receive the acknowledgement of the predecessors. This would, in turn, make it nigh impossible for them to earn the recognition from the crowd and have them submit to one.

This was especially so for an organization as prestigious as the Sanctum of Sages. These requirements were viewed with grave importance, and there was no way of working around them.

Taking a step back, if someone were to really attempt to circumvent the requirements and proclaim himself as the head of the Sanctum of Sages... Putting aside the headquarters of the Master Teacher Pavilion, even the students of the Sanctum of Sages themselves would rise up in opposition to it!

And for the sanctum head to not even be recognized by his own students... Putting aside the question of legitimacy, was there anything more disgraceful than that?

"Alright, we have arrived at our destination. Let's head down."

Just as Zhang Xuan was about to ask on, Zhao Xingmo suddenly declared loudly. Glancing downward, he noted that the aerial saint beast had already stopped right above an empty square, and it was beginning to descend slowly.

Zhang Xuan knew that this wasn't a good timing for him to ask on, so he decided to hold his questions off for later.


Soon, the aerial saint beast landed on the ground, and the group swiftly leaped off its back.

The square was filled with many men and all sorts of saint beasts. It seemed like they had rushed here from all over the Master Teacher Continent to participate in the final selection as well.

Even with a swift glance, it could be seen that every single one of them possessed exceptional strength.

"Zhao shi, are we going against these men in the final selection?" Ma Minghai asked with quivering lips.

While they weren't the weakest bunch in the square, there were plenty who were stronger than them. The powerful auras that they exerted were more than enough to tell Ma Minghai and the others that they stood no chance against them in a proper duel.

Back when they were still in their own homeland, they had always thought that they were top geniuses on the Master Teacher Continent. Even if there were people in the world who were more talented than them, the disparity between them was unlikely to be too great. However, after seeing the crowd that had gathered in the area, they swiftly realized that their thoughts were too naive.

"Most of them are inner clan members of the Sage Clans. On top of the superior purity of their bloodlines, they were also given the best guidance from young, so it's only natural that they would be that strong. In any case, like I have told you earlier, strength is only one of the criteria being assessed in the Mountain Gate. As long as you were to perform to the best of your abilities in every test, you should stand a decent chance. So, there's no need to be too worried…" Noting the air of anxiety shrouding the group, Zhao Xingmo consoled.

The inner members of Sage Clans were able to grow swiftly in the earlier stages of their cultivation through awakening their bloodline. Furthermore, they were also had access to the best cultivation resources and the best guidance from a very young age, so it was a given that they would be stronger than the other candidates.

With that huge of a difference in the starting line, it was inevitable that there would be some distance between them at this point. This was an innate factor, so there was nothing they could do to help that. Nevertheless, as long as the group continued working hard, they might just be able to catch up with them.

"We understand. Thank you, Zhao shi."

Even though the group understood this much too, they still couldn't help their nervousness.

On the other hand, Zhang Xuan was secretly scanning his surroundings with his Eye of Insight.

As expected of the offspring of Sage Clans, they are indeed powerful."

Not only were there Leaving Aperture realm cultivators who had undergone the lightning tribulation amongst the crowd, there were even some who had reached Half-Grand Dominion realm! To possess such strength when they weren't even in their thirties yet, their talents could be said to be almost on par with him!

As powerful as Zhang Xuan's fighting prowess was at the moment, his true cultivation was still only at Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle at the moment, a long distance away from reaching Half-Grand Dominion realm.

"Hm? There seems to be quite a few who aren't master teachers amongst them…" someone within the group suddenly remarked.

Zhang Xuan had also noticed the same as well.

There were quite a few young men in the square who weren't wearing master teacher robes, and they didn't carry the disposition that master teachers would usually have either.

"The Sanctum of Sages serves not only to groom master teachers but those of the other occupations as well, such as blacksmith and apothecary. As such, those from the other occupations would come to challenge the Mountain Gate each year too." Zhao Xingmo replied with a smile.

The Sanctum of Sages was the highest training institute on the Master Teacher Continent, but it didn't seek to just cultivate master teachers. It also had heritages for the other occupations as well.

In fact, the number of non-master teachers amongst the candidates, as a whole, was far higher than the number of master teachers.

"So that's the case…" Everyone nodded.

All of the candidates from the Eight Conferred Empires only numbered thirty in total. If the secondary selection had gone as planned, there would only be twenty of them left.

But on the square, there were more than ten thousand young men, and this disproportionate number of candidates was deeply bewildering to them. However, if the scope of the candidates wasn't just limited to master teachers, that would make perfect sense.

Even though the occupations in the world were divided into Upper Nine Paths, Middle Nine Paths, and Lower Nine Paths, that didn't mean that there were only 27 occupations in total. It was only a conventional terminology used to rank the occupations.

There were at least a thousand occupations out there in the world, and which occupation wouldn't have a couple of geniuses each year? Given so, it was within expectations that there would be so many candidates taking the final selection.

"Let me see how the strength of the geniuses from the other occupations are like…" Upon understanding all of these, Zhang Xuan began assessing those of the other occupations.

A moment later, he shook his head.

While there were plenty of experts amongst those of the other occupations too, on the whole, they were still rather lacking as compared to master teachers.

After all, master teacher wasn't the number one occupation in the world for nothing.

"Hm?" Just as Zhang Xuan was about to retract his gaze, he suddenly caught sight of a certain group which made his eyes light up in agitation. "Are those people... from the Glacier Plain Court?"The landscaper occupation has appeared in King Zhongqing's arc. It's an occupation which serves to design and position structures and ornaments in a way that places them in harmony together with the surroundings, thus maximizing its defensive ability. They differ from formation masters in the sense that formation masters create formations but landscapers take these formations into account along with the surrounding environment and determine the best positioning to enhance defense.



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