"You want me to accompany you to the Zhang Clan? Which Zhang Clan?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.

"Is there a second Zhang Clan? It goes without saying that I'm referring to the number one Sage Clan in the world!" Jian Qinsheng harrumphed. "I'm about to head there soon, and I hope that Zhang shi can accompany me there."

"Me?" Zhang Xuan was unable to keep up with the situation. "Pardon me, but why would you need me to head there with you?"

It was not like he was from the Zhang Clan, so there was no point in him heading there, right?

Besides, it was just a moments ago that he had given Zhang Chun a good pummeling, and to run to the enemy's home base right after… He still had many good years ahead of him, and he did not want to die a premature death just yet!

"Well, it's like this…" Jian Qinsheng's face flushed slightly red before he started speaking. "In truth, I have some history with the Xingmeng Sword Saint of the Zhang Clan, and I once vowed that I would groom a successor who would surpass his. You should have met my students; none of them are really strong enough to shoulder this burden, so I can only hope for Zhang shi to make a move in my stead."

If he had not really been cornered to this point, he never would have troubled the other party.

As fellow swordmasters, he and the Xingmeng Sword Saint had been rivals in the Sanctum of Sages, and they had competed with one another frequently. Eventually, he had become an elder of the Sanctum of Sages whereas the latter had returned to his clan to serve as the deputy clan head. In view of their identities, they could not compete like they did back then anymore, so they agreed on competing through their students instead.

And in the previous few battles, his students had lost tragically.

The talent and bloodline of those in the Zhang Clan were simply too powerful. Even their aptitude toward swordsmanship was also far stronger than that of his students.

Initially, he had given up hope on this matter, but upon meeting Zhang Xuan, one of the few aspiring, young swordmasters outside of the Zhang Clan, he had suddenly seen a ray of hope. Unwilling to simply accept his loss just like that, he had chosen to buck up the courage to ask Zhang Xuan this favor.

Compared to the young man before him, all of his students were like frogs in a well. In fact, in terms of swordsmanship mastery, even he was not a match for the young man.

"What you mean is that you want me to challenge the Xingmeng Sword Saint in the capacity as the successor to your swordsmanship?" Zhang Xuan finally understood what was going on.

He had seen Jian Qinsheng's students, and indeed, it would be rather embarrassing to bring them out in public.

Even the strongest Senior Xie had been utterly defeated by him with just a strand of hair, completely unable to retaliate.

"That's not it. You wouldn't be able to stand against the Xingmeng Sword Saint even with your current proficiency in swordsmanship. What I hope for you to do is to challenge his successor," Jian Qinsheng said awkwardly.

Considering how the other party had not learned the slightest thing about swordsmanship from him—on the contrary, the other party even provided him valuable pointers to bringing his swordsmanship to another higher level—it was indeed a little embarrassing for him to ask the other party to act as his successor.

"This…" Taken off guard by the abrupt request, Zhang Xuan found himself at a loss.

Even though he was extremely displeased with how the Zhang Clan was treating Luo Ruoxin and wanted to teach them a lesson, he would still rather challenge them in his capacity as Luo Ruoxin's boyfriend than as Jian Qinsheng's successor.

Instead of turning down Jian Qinsheng's request immediately, Zhang Xuan frowned. "Elder Jian, if you wish to turn the tables on the Xingmeng Sword Saint, you should be able to win fair and square soon enough if you use the modified version of the Flowing Water Swordsmanship that I have given you to groom your successor. It shouldn't take too long for the effects to show, so there shouldn't be any need for you to be in such a rush, right?"

Out of guilt for destroying Jian Qinsheng's residence and unintentionally severely injuring the elder, he had altered the Flowing Water Swordsmanship and handed the manual over to Shui Qianrou.

Given Shui Qianrou's aptitude toward swordsmanship, as long as she cultivated the modified manual strictly, there should be a massive leap in her fighting prowess very soon. Considering how she was Jian Qinsheng's direct disciple, the honor and glory that he would derive from the victory should be far greater.

After all, even though it had only been less than a month since Zhang Xuan had come to the Sanctum of Sages, considering the various commotions surrounding him and his current identity as 'Yang shi's student', it was likely that the Xingmeng Sword Saint would swiftly realize that he was not Jian Qinsheng's student.

Once that happened, it would render Jian Qinsheng's efforts meaningless.

"The sword art that you have imparted to us is truly formidable, such that even I have benefited greatly from its ingenuity. If Shui Qianrou studies it diligently, she should be able to improve swiftly within a short period of time. However, I am indeed in a rush. The Zhang Clan's Clan Assembly is just about to start, and if I were to miss this one, I don't know how much longer I'll have to wait for the next opportunity," Jian Qinsheng said.

"Clan Assembly?" Zhang Xuan was bewildered. "What does the Zhang Clan's Clan Assembly have anything to do with the challenge between you and the Xingmeng Sword Saint?"

This is a private grudge between you and the Xingmeng Sword Saint, right? Is there really a need for you to confront the other party during their Clan Assembly?

Or does this mean to say that you intend to wreak havoc in the Zhang Clan?

But if the Zhang Clan could be bullied so easily, there is no way it would have been able to survive so long and retain its position as the number one Sage Clan on the Master Teacher Continent!

"All of the top geniuses of the Zhang Clan would be returning to attend the Clan Assembly, so we'll be able to challenge their strongest sword practitioners if we challenge them at this event. Only when their best sword practitioners have been defeated can this be considered a victory for me!" Jian Qinsheng explained.

"And most importantly of all, if my successor can defeat all of the sword practitioners of the Zhang Clan during such an occasion, I will be able to embarrass the Xingmeng Sword Saint and force him to acknowledge his loss to me!"

"This…" Zhang Xuan was rendered completely speechless.

However, there was indeed some sense into what Jian Qinsheng was saying. If he wanted a good platform to defeat the Xingmeng Sword Saint once and for all, the Zhang Clan's Clan Assembly was definitely a good opportunity to do so.

If he could triumph over the Xingmeng Sword Saint before the entire Zhang Clan, he would be able to cleanse all of the humiliation that he had suffered thus far.

Of course, if he lost in such a setting, his reputation would be swept into the gutters.

"That's equivalent to putting your reputation and honor on the line. The stakes are simply too high; I fear that I'm unworthy of your confidence." Zhang Xuan pondered for a while, but eventually, he still decided to turn down the offer.

As much as he wanted to get back at the Zhang Clan, he did not dare gamble with Jian Qinsheng's reputation and honor. While everything would be great and wonderful if he won, he could not bear to imagine the consequences if he lost.

As confident as Zhang Xuan was in his strength, the implications behind this matter was simply too big. As an outsider to the grudge, he was unwilling to shoulder such a heavy responsibility.

"Ah…" Hearing Zhang Xuan's rejection, a bitter smile surfaced on Jian Qinsheng's face. "It seems like my request is really a little too abrupt. It was indeed a little inappropriate of me to attempt to involve you in my private affair, and I apologize for that."

He had only met Zhang Xuan once, and he had not imparted anything to the young man at all. On the contrary, it was the young man who had corrected the flaws in his cultivation, so in that sense, the young man could even be said to be his benefactor.

And instead of repaying the kindness of his benefactor, he had made such an inappropriate request to the other party. It was understandable why the young man would turn down his request.

"Elder Jian, you needn't feel disheartened. If there's still some time, I can offer some pointers to Shui Qianrou's swordsmanship, and hopefully, she will be able to bring you glory during the Clan Assembly!" Zhang Xuan offered with a smile.

"I'm afraid that there's no time for that anymore. The Zhang Clan's Clan Assembly will be held a month from now, and I'll have to start making my way over now in order to make it in time." Jian Qinsheng shook his head.

Considering how the young man before him had been able to see through his flaws and offer pointers to correct them, there was no doubt that Shui Qianrou's fighting prowess would improve immensely under his guidance. However, it was a pity that time did not allow it.

"The Zhang Clan's Clan Assembly will be held a month from now?" Zhang Xuan was slightly intrigued. "Shouldn't the Clan Assembly be usually held during festive seasons and the like? Why now?"

He seemed to recall Zhang Jiuxiao saying that the Clan Assembly would be held during the start of the new year, and it would only be the eleventh month a month later. Did they bring their Clan Assembly forward?

"I heard that some unexpected situations occurred. It seems like the Zhang Clan decided to hold their Clan Assembly earlier to discuss the bringing forward of the matrimony with the Luo Clan!" Jian Qinsheng paused for a moment before adding, "However, that's just speculation on my part."

"The Zhang Clan intends to bring forward the matrimony with the Luo Clan?" Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in astonishment.

"Indeed. According to the rumors, it seems like the little princess of the Luo Clan has someone she likes, and that has provoked the ire of the Zhang Clan. Thus, they decided to bring forward the matrimony from the third month of the next year to the start of the year so as to prevent any unexpected situations from occurring." Jian Qinsheng told Zhang Xuan everything that he knew about the matter.

"Start of the year?" A bolt of lightning flashed across Zhang Xuan's mind as his clenched fists trembled intensely in agitation.



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