Library of Heaven is Path
1432 The Magnanimity of the First Elder
Tens of thousands of years of prosperity had allowed the Zhang Clan to grow to a scale that was even larger than that of the capitals of Conferred Empires. Even though the Dual Spirit Heaven Dominating Formation had been constructed against the mountain and covered a vast area, it only guarded the entrance to the city.
Nevertheless, the prowess of the formation was not to be underestimated. It was only under its protection that the Zhang Clan was able to remain standing for so many years, overcoming multiple crises without anyone successfully shaking its core.
Thus, everyone thought that as long as the formation erected by the old ancestor stood, the city would be unshakable. Yet, who could have known that a mere Grand Dominion realm pinnacle fellow would actually be able to render it on the verge of collapsing with just a stomp of his feet?
"Stop it!" Zhang Wuchen yelled in agitation.
However, it was already too late. With one last violent tremble, the formation finally reached its very limit and burst apart, bringing down innumerable buildings along with it.
A cloud of dust swept across the area, and countless shadows flitted out from the many buildings in a hurry, staring dumbfounded at the devastation before them, completely oblivious to what was happening.
Zhang Wuchen suddenly felt strength receding from his entire body, and he collapsed weakly to the ground.
In this moment, he finally understood why the young man asked if he was able to speak on the behalf of the Zhang Clan. It seemed like he had known that this would happen right from the start!
The collapse of their Defense Formation and the destruction of innumerable buildings… Even if he was the Third Elder of the Zhang Clan, this was not something that he could take responsibility for!
It would be no joke to say that this was a tight slap to the Zhang Clan's face, an irredeemable botch on its reputation!
At the same time, Jian Qinsheng could not help but flinch at the destruction before him as well.
It was true that he hated the Xing Sword Saint for stealing the person he loved, and he desired nothing more than to embarrass the Zhang Clan. However, to destroy the other party's Defense Formation before even officially entering the city and even bring about the collapse of so many buildings, raising such a huge commotion…
Even he was unable to avoid feeling frightened jitters in his heart.
He could not help but wonder if it was really the right choice for him to have invited the young man along.
"This…" Zhang Xuan was also a little startled by the happenings before him, but unlike the rest of the crowd, he quickly nodded in realization.
He had never seen any grade-9 formations in action before, so he did not have a clear gauge of their strength. He had not thought that the collapse of the formation would actually bring about such a powerful explosion.
But, so what? What was done was done. In the first place, his goal was to wreak havoc in the Zhang Clan, and since the so-called Third Elder had said that the Zhang Clan would not take any responsibility for whatever happened in the formation, there was no reason for him not to pull his punches.
He should just let himself loose!
If he could not force the so-called young prodigy out to face him, he would not be called Zhang Xuan!
"Third Elder, what's happened?"
A powerful gust of wind blew over, and following which, a figure suddenly appeared right before the scene of devastation. His face twitched upon seeing the extent of the destruction before him, and he hurriedly turned to question Zhang Wuchen.
"First Elder, I was collecting the storage rings here when a person who is supposedly the senior of the Sanctum of Sages' Jian Qinsheng suddenly insisted on challenging the Formation Trial, and the next thing I knew, this had already happened!" Zhang Wuchen swiftly went through the events that had just occurred.
"This was caused by someone who challenged the Formation Trial?" The First Elder was also visibly stunned by the matter.
He quickly turned his sights over to Zhang Xuan, only to see the young man looking back at him with a nonchalant expression. There was not the slightest hint of nervousness or fear that would usually be on the face of one who had done wrong. A frown emerged on his forehead as he asked, "May I know who you are?"
"I am Zhang Xuan, Jian Qinsheng's senior. I came to the Zhang Clan this time around to test the Zhang Clan's famed swordsmanship," Zhang Xuan replied calmly.
"Zhang Xuan?" The First Elder muttered the name beneath his breath before waving his hand lightly. He turned to another elder and said, "Wuzhen, bring Zhang Xuan and Sword Saint Jian Qinsheng to our guest rooms to rest."
"What? But First Elder…" Hearing the First Elder instructing Zhang Wuzhen to bring the culprit behind the destruction to their guest rooms, completely paying no heed to the collapsed formation and buildings, Zhang Wuchen could not help but panic.
"Enough. Since our esteemed guest has cleared the Formation Trial in accordance to the rules, regardless of the outcome, we'll have to accept it," the First Elder lectured.
The First Elder had an impassive expression on his face that made it extremely difficult to read his mood, so it was hard to figure out whether he had truly chosen to let this matter go or was simply suppressing his rage.
Zhang Wuchen clenched his fists tightly for a moment before eventually relenting with a nod. "Yes."
As indignant as he felt, there was nothing he could do either.
In the Zhang Clan, the word of the First Elder was the law. No one would dare to question his command.
On top of that, the clan head had needed to leave a while ago on urgent business, so the one who truly called the shots in the Zhang Clan at the moment was the First Elder.
"First Elder, it'll take us several months in order to reconstruct the destroyed formation." One of the elders could not help but ask, "In the meantime, what do we do about the storage rings of the guests?"
The formation was used in order to determine whether the guests had brought any spatial artifacts along with them. Now that it had been destroyed, it would be hard for them to check the guests who arrive subsequently. What should they do?
"All those who have traveled far and wide to come to the Zhang Clan are our esteemed guests. The collection of the storage ring is more of a formality from our old ancestor rather than a safety concern, and all this while, I have thought that it was rather inappropriate to treat our guests so rudely.
"Because it has been part of our tradition for so many years, I didn't want to abruptly bring up this matter and cause contention within the clan. However, since our young friend over here has helped us destroy it, this could be a blessing in disguise. There's no need to rebuild the formation. Please return the storage rings that all of you have collected so far to the guests," the First Elder said with a smile.
"Return the storage rings? But…" Not expecting the First Elder to make such a call, the elder's face warped in horror.
Considering how many outsiders there were visiting the Zhang Clan, would they not be in deep trouble if even one of them bore malicious intentions toward them?
"There's no need to worry. Since our Zhang Clan is famed as the number one Sage Clan in the Master Teacher Continent, I believe that no one will overstep their boundaries here either!" The First Elder flung his sleeves majestically, revealing deep confidence and pride.
"This… Yes, I understand!" Feeling the powerful aura that the First Elder was emanating, the elder hesitated for a moment before eventually nodding.
As expected of the First Elder of the Zhang Clan, he does have the magnanimity of a large clan. Zhang Xuan nodded.
He had thought that he would be criticized for his actions, but it seemed like the other party had no intentions of doing so. Not only that, he even made use of this opportunity to implement such a change.
Through doing so, not only would he be able to preserve the reputation of the Zhang Clan as the number one Sage Clan on the Master Teacher Continent, at the same time, the world would also be awed by his magnanimity. This was truly two birds in a stone.
On top of that, it would also reinforce the strong image of the Zhang Clan, thus instilling deference in others.
It seems like the Zhang Clan isn't all that bad. The young prodigy of the Zhang Clan could learn a thing or two from his elders, Zhang Xuan remarked internally.
The young prodigy of the Zhang Clan was engaged to Luo Ruoxin, but not once had he appeared before Luo Ruoxin or done anything for her at all. This had reinforced the reprehensible image of the young prodigy in Zhang Xuan's mind, which also led him to feel that the Zhang Clan was a den of despicable individuals. After all, they allowed the young prodigy to act as he pleased, showing completely no regard for others at all.
However, after seeing how the First Elder dealt with the situation, he suddenly felt that his perception might have been mistaken.
Perhaps, the Zhang Clan was not completely irredeemable.
Maybe, the young prodigy was just an exception.
The elder whom the First Elder had instructed earlier, Zhang Wuzhen, walked up to Zhang Xuan and Jian Qinsheng and said, "This way please."
Seventh Elder, Zhang Wuzhen.
"Thank you." Nodding, Jian Qinsheng quickly followed behind the other party, and Zhang Xuan followed suit.
After the three of them left, Zhang Wuchen walked over to the First Elder and asked doubtfully, "The formation is a symbol of the Zhang Clan's many years of history. Are you really going to let it go… just like that?"
"What else are you going to do? Are you going to teach him a lesson?" The First Elder shot a glance over.
Zhang Wuchen's face flushed crimson upon hearing those words.
"As a clan of master teachers, our Zhang Clan must pay careful attention to rules and propriety. If we don't even follow our own rules, how can we expect others to follow them? Since Zhang Xuan was able to overcome our formation with his own ability, we have no choice but to let it go. No, not only should we let it go, I also want you to make this matter known to every single member of our Zhang Clan so that they can learn from it," the First Elder said.