"Zhang Heng? Why is he here?" Yuan Xiao's face immediately darkened.

Bi Hongyin and the others also frowned upon hearing that name.

"He is…?" Zhang Xuan asked in confusion.

Of the Zhang Clan members, he had only heard of Zhang Yu and the young prodigy. He had never heard of Zhang Heng before.

"Brother Luo and Zhang Heng are geniuses who entered the Sanctum of Sages in the same cohort. They have always competed with one another, and their relationship…" Yuan Xiao took a glance at Luo Xuanqing before whispering with a suppressed voice, "They are not too amiable!"

"Not too amiable?" Hearing those words, Bi Hongyin burst out laughing. "More like mortal enemies! No matter what they do, they just have to compare with and outdo the other. If Luo Xuanqing destroys a hall, that fellow would run off to destroy two. Just think of all the trouble they have caused throughout the years!"

"This…" She did not bother lowering her voice, so Luo Xuanqing heard her words loud and clear. His face immediately reddened in embarrassment. He wanted to retort, but he found that there was nothing he could say.

"Destroys a hall? You are saying that Brother Luo's reputation of being a King of Destruction… is intentional?" Zhang Xuan was shocked.

"Of course not!" Luo Xuanqing harrumphed in displeasure. "It's just that… I was too focused on winning and forgot to hold back a little…"

"Too focused on winning?"

"If Zhang Heng clears a trial in ten minutes, Luo Xuanqing would desperately do everything he could to clear the trial in nine minutes. Of course, there's no way he would be able to control himself when he's going all out!" Bi Hongyin uttered leisurely.

It was indeed hard to control one's strength when one was attempting to break a record, so it was inevitable that mishaps would occur.

Looking back, Zhang Xuan found that even though he had caused a fair bit of destruction as well, he was at least in control of himself. He never caused trouble for the sake of it, and more often than not, they were all freak accidents resulting from unfortunate coincidences or misunderstandings.

In comparison to Luo Xuanqing, he felt like he was just a gentle lamb.

"If that's the case, does this mean that Zhang Heng heard news about the Dongxu Gourd and came here to stick his nose into the matter as well?" Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.

Given that Zhang Heng and Luo Xuanqing were rivals of one another, their cultivation was likely around the same level as one another. If Zhang Heng was really there to meddle in the matter, things could get really troublesome for them.

"Don't worry, I have only told you about the matter concerning the Dongxu Gourd. There's no way he could know about that. He's here for something completely different," Luo Xuanqing replied confidently.


The others were slightly surprised by Luo Xuanqing's words.

What other business would Zhang Heng have there other than the Dongxu Gourd? The Sanctum of Sages was at least several million li away, so he could not possibly have been there to sightsee, could he?

"Look at the group with him. Zhao Xun and Zhao Yi from the Beast Tamer Hall, Li Heng from the Celestial Designer Guild, and Yu Wen from the Physician Guild here—if I'm not mistaken, he's here to tame a saint beast," Luo Xuanqing replied.

"Tame a saint beast?" Yun Lianhai pondered for a moment before widening his eyes in realization. "Now that you mention it, I do remember hearing something related to that. Not too long ago, Zhang Heng posted a beast taming mission, offering three Jade Spirit Essence for helpers to aid him in the taming of a saint beast that possesses the Dragon Bloodline. Could it be that the saint beast he is hoping to tame is the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast?"

"I also recall something like that!"

Everyone was taken aback by those words.

Even Zhang Xuan was slightly surprised.

A few days ago, Sun Qiang had told him that there was a beast tamer mission that offered generous rewards. He had intended to take it up, but he had eventually forgotten about the matter because he was in a rush to report for the Elite Division. Who would have thought that the mission was actually posted by Zhang Heng!

More importantly… to think that they would meet one another here!

"That seems to be the case!" Luo Xuanqing said as a sharp glint flashed across his eyes.

"That's way too much of a coincidence!"

"Indeed! Just as we were planning to deal with the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast, they suddenly arrived here to tame it. Brother Luo, could this actually be your doing?"

Everyone quickly turned their gazes toward Luo Xuanqing.

Considering how many saint beasts there were in the world, it was far too much of a coincidence for them to meet one another in somewhere as remote as this. It was hard to believe that Luo Xuanqing did not play a part in orchestrating this matter.

"Who else could it be?" Luo Xuanqing's lips crept up gleefully. "That fellow constantly keeps a tab on my whereabouts. So, I knew that it was only a matter of time before he found out what I'm up to no matter how discreet I am. In order to prevent the secret of the Dongxu Gourd from getting out, I went around buying beast taming tools and had the Soulbinding Golden Bead forged so as to create an image that my goal is to tame the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast. Who could have known that fool would really fall for my ploy?"

The crowd glanced at one another.

Such a thing was possible?

But thinking again, everything made sense.

There had always been bad blood between the both of them, so it was only natural that Zhang Heng would attempt to sabotage Luo Xuanqing's efforts after learning that the latter was intending to tame a Saint 8-dan beast.

"Smart!" Zhang Xuan remarked.

This was truly two birds in a stone. Not only did he manage to turn Zhang Heng's attention away from his real goal, he even managed to get the latter to clear away the danger for him!

Regardless of whether Zhang Heng would successfully tame the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast in the end or not, he would surely be a great aid to them by helping them distract the latter's attention, thus opening a gap for them to sneak past the latter.

As expected of an offspring of the Luo Clan, his future brother-in-law sure was skilled in scheming against others. Hidden beneath his reckless, brash exterior was a calculative, black-hearted soul!

After coming to realize what was happening, Yun Lianhai's eyes glowed in respect as he asked, "Since he's intending to tame the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast, should we hide ourselves and wait for the two to engage one another first before heading in?"

He had been feeling a little apprehensive about how they would deal with the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast should the Soulbinding Golden Bead fail to work its wonders. Since Zhang Heng was willing to confront that beast in their place, they were more than willing to sit back and enjoy the show.

"That won't do either." Luo Xuanqing shook his head. "I have competed with Zhang Heng for many years, and as much as I hate to admit it, I can roughly fathom his train of thoughts. Most likely, he realized that I was on my way here, so he quickly chased over here as well. He will become suspicious if I am nowhere to be seen. Furthermore, if he chooses to explore the cavern further, there's a good chance that he will notice the existence of the Dongxu Gourd as well."

"What should we do then?" Yun Lianhai asked.

"Simple," Luo Xuanqing said with a sharp glint in his eyes, "aren't they intending to tame the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast? We'll act as if we are hindering them while luring the saint beast over to them. Once they have their hands preoccupied with it, we will be able to do whatever we want!"

"Good idea!"

The others quickly gave their approval to that course of action.

Since they were putting on a show, they should go all the way.

Since you are here, don't you think that you will be letting down the audience if you don't make a move?

So, why don't I set the stage for you?

It will be two birds with one stone like that. Not only will your vanity and pride be satisfied, I can also reap the fruits of victory at the same time.

It was apparent that Luo Xuanqing had an idea in mind from how confident he was, so Zhang Xuan asked, "Brother Luo, do you have a plan in mind?"

"Of course!" Luo Xuanqing nodded. "My plan is for us to split into two teams. One team will aim to hinder their advancement whereas the other will engage the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast and act as if they are trying to tame it. Once Zhang Heng realizes that I am a step ahead of him, he will surely panic and hurriedly make a move… and the rest will be simple!"

The others nodded upon hearing his plan.

Considering that Zhang Heng 'knew' that Luo Xuanqing was there to tame the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast, he would surely realize that something was off if Luo Xuanqing allowed him to engage it without hindering him. Since that was the case, it would be best for them to struggle a bit and enrage the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast while they were at it before passing the mess over to Zhang Heng.

With Zhang Heng's strength and means, the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast would not be able to kill him. However, it would be able to give him a hell of a time and stall him, thus preventing him from stopping them from obtaining the Dongxu Gourd.

"Since everyone agrees that there's no problem with this, I'll start making arrangements."

Seeing that the crowd approved of his idea, Luo Xuanqing first turned to Zhang Xuan and Yuan Xiao and said, "The two of you will proceed ahead to engage the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast. Yuan Xiao, you possess stronger defense so you should take the front line whereas Zhang shi will support you from the back with his formations.

"If that bastard Zhang Heng hasn't appeared, we still might have some trouble dealing with the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast, but since he just has to stick a leg into my business, there's no need for us to hold back agaisnt him anymore. Try to make the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast as angry as you can later on, we'll find a way to make Zhang Heng take over. Got it?"

"Un." Zhang Xuan and Yuan Xiao nodded.

The instruction was actually rather simple. He and Yuan Xiao were in charge of pulling the aggro of the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast until Zhang Heng's group appeared.

"As for Hongyin and Lianhai, follow me. We'll be engaging Zhang Heng and his group. Remember, we must try our best to stop them from advancing!" Luo Xuanqing said.

After saying those words, he began making his way over Zhang Heng's group, and Bi Hongyin and Yun Lianhai followed behind.

"We should make a move, too." Seeing that the others had left, Yuan Xiao walked past the boulder and carefully entered the cavern.

"Zhang shi, you should set up your formation over here first. It doesn't have to be too strong, just sufficient to trap the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast for a short while. Meanwhile, I'll try to draw it out of the cavern and into your formation. That should suffice for our part," Yuan Xiao told Zhang Xuan telepathically as he proceeded ahead.

Zhang Xuan nodded in response.

That was indeed the simplest way to go around doing that. Their goal was not to tame or kill but to anger that huge fellow.

"After trapping the Netherworld Azure Dragon Beast, we'll have to rush over to assist Luo Xuanqing and the others. Zhang Heng isn't a weak opponent; even in the Inner Sanctum, he is considered one of the strongest experts! The battle between the both of them is spectacular even by the standards of the Inner Sanctum. I'm sure you'll be able to learn a lot from spectating their battle," Yuan Xiao said with a hint of excitement in his voice.

Cultivators loved to watch duels between true experts as they were a good opportunity for them to reflect on themselves and learn new things.

Luo Xuanqing and Zhang Heng were figures who stood at the very top of the Inner Sanctum, so naturally, a fight between them was worth watching.

"Alright." Zhang Xuan nodded indifferently.

To be honest, he was not too interested in the fight between the two of them. As his cultivation had not reached Saint 7-dan yet, there were bound to be many details that he would not really be able to make sense of.

Besides, he would definitely have to invoke the Library of Heaven's Path in the midst of watching the battle, and he was certain that he would feel so disgusted that he might even puke once he saw all of those ridiculous flaws in their techniques.

"What? You aren't interested?" Seeing through Zhang Xuan's thoughts, Yuan Xiao chuckled. "Are you thinking that a fight between the both of them will just be another ordinary spar? You are greatly mistaken then. Whenever the two of them cross blows, each and every single move they make is sharp and deadly!"

"Sharp and deadly?" Zhang Xuan was astounded. "Just what kind of grudge do they have to go that far?"

As fellow students, surely there could not be a reason for such animosity.

"You are really unaware of the matter? Well, I guess that's to be expected, considering how you have only arrived at the Sanctum of Sages a couple of days ago," Yuan Xiao said with a nod.

He swiftly scanned his surroundings, and after confirming that there was no one around, he said with a hushed voice, "According to rumors within the Sanctum of Sages, it's said that Zhang Heng intends to court the little princess of the Luo Clan… Wait, where are you going?"

Before Yuan Xiao could finish his story, the young man behind him suddenly turned around and left.

"I'm going to poison that Zhang Heng to death!" Zhang Xuan uttered coldly.

"…" Yuan Xiao.



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