"Me? Champion?"

Zhang Jiuxiao was stunned. He hurriedly shook his head and said, "How can I possibly become the champion?"

He was currently only at the Grand Dominion realm. Even if he immediately made a breakthrough to the Phantasmal Space realm, he would still be far from matching up to Saint 7-dan pinnacle experts like Zhang Chun and Zhang Feng. It was doubtful whether he could clear the first match or not, let alone vie for the champion seat. This was something that he did not even dare dream of!

It was already a wonder to him how he, a member of the side family, was able to attend such an important clan event. Obtaining the champion seat on top of that was something that he did not dare dream of!

"Nothing is impossible in this world. As long as you trust me, I can grant you strength far surpassing the other members of the Zhang Clan within a short period of time," Zhang Xuan replied.

"This…" Seeing that Zhang Xuan was not joking around, Zhang Jiuxiao replied with a bitter look on his face. "Of the younger generation, the strongest individual that I know of, Zhang Chun, has already reached Half-Dimension Sundering realm. According to the rumors, there might even be others who have already reached the Dimension Sundering realm. Against them… I am simply far too lacking at the moment!"

It was not that he did not believe the young man before him, but some things were simply impossible.

He knew full well how large the gap between Saint 6-dan Grand Dominion realm and Saint 8-dan Dimension Sundering realm was. Against a real Dimension Sundering realm expert, even if there were a thousand of him, he would only be able to run for his life!

Besides, the core members of the Zhang Clan were top-notch geniuses, and it was questionable whether combat masters of the same level would be able to compete with them or not! Thus, the chances of him achieving victory was pretty much zero!

"There's no need to put yourself down like that. Just the fact that you have chosen to acknowledge me as your teacher means that you have far better eyes than the others," Zhang Xuan said.

"It's my honor to be able to become your student, but still…" Zhang Jiuxiao's face still as bitter as a bitter gourd.

He would have loved to be confident as well, but the tournament was the very next day, and his current strength was just too…

"I know what you're worried about." With his hands placed behind his back, Zhang Xuan turned to look at Zhang Jiuxiao. "I, Zhang Xuan, have risen through the ranks from the Tianxuan Kingdom. Within less than fourteen months, I have advanced by cultivation from Fighter 3-dan to Saint 6-dan pinnacle. All in all, I have seven direct disciples.

"My first disciple, Zhao Ya, is the young court chief of the Glacier Plain Court.

"My second disciple, Wang Ying, has entered the Spirit Awakener Guild, and she's a strong candidate to becoming their future hall master.

"You have met my third disciple, Liu Yang, before. Even though his whereabouts are unknown at the moment, he's a person with both guts and determination. I have no doubt that he will find his own way in the future.

"My fourth disciple, Zheng Yang, is currently the Progeny of Combat of the Combat Master Hall, in the line of succession to becoming its next hall master!"

Zhang Xuan slowly walked toward Zhang Jiuxiao as he spoke, and the presence he exuded seemed to grow taller and taller.

"My fifth disciple, Yuan Tao, is the young master of the Yuan Clan. Possessing the purest Emperor's Bloodline of the Yuan Clan, he's in the line of succession for the position of its clan head.

"My sixth disciple, Lu Chong, will be inheriting the heritage of soul oracles, and his comprehension of soul arts will be matched by none in the world!

"My seventh disciple, Wei Ruyan, is the newly-appointed head of the Poison Hall. Possessing the Innate Poison Body and Poison Soul Constitution, only the foolish would dare stand in her path!

"All seven of my direct disciples have achieved great accomplishments and made me proud. The reason I took you in as my student is because I bear great expectations of you too, but are you going to retreat in the face of my high expectations?"

At this point, Zhang Xuan was already standing right before Zhang Jiuxiao. Their heights did not differ too much from one another, but for some reason, it felt as if he was towering over Zhang Jiuxiao. There was a sharpness in his eyes that seemed to peer right into the depth of one's soul.

"I…" Zhang Jiuxiao's hands were trembling non-stop. At this point, he could not even tell whether it was excitement or trepidation anymore.

He had known that his teacher had quite a few direct disciples, but he had not known that they were all such formidable figures!

The young court chief of the Glacier Plain Court, the Progeny of Combat of the Combat Master Hall, the head of the Poison Hall, the young master of the Yuan Clan… All of these titles were not beneath that of the deputy clan head of the Zhang Clan, and yet, they were all his students!

If he had not heard it with his own ears, this was something that he never would have believed!

Hearing all those exploits left his blood running wildly in excitement. He desired to become as powerful as the rest of them, but at the same time, he could not help but doubt himself. Was he really able to reach such a height, too?

But even that hint of doubt was swiftly eliminated from the back of his mind. His teacher was a man of great ability, someone who had redefined what was impossible over and over again.

Since such a great figure was willing to believe in him, why should he not believe in himself?

If he truly wanted to make it big, this was the leap of faith that he would have to take!

Seeing that fighting spirit that was ignited in Zhang Jiuxiao's eyes, Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction. He looked Zhang Jiuxiao straight in the eye and threw out the very last bomb. "If you can win the champion seat in the tournament, I'll take you in as my eighth direct disciple."

"Eighth direct disciple…" Zhang Jiuxiao's breathing hastened upon hearing those words, and his face reddened in agitation.

He could not believe what he was hearing.

The only other Celestial Master Teacher that the world had ever known was Kong shi, and of his seventy-two direct disciples, even the weakest of them had successfully become an Ancient Sage!

In fact, even the founder of the Sanctum of Sages, the legendary Ancient Sage Bo Shang, could not be considered one of his stronger direct disciples!

From this, it could be seen just how formidable a thing it was to become the direct disciple of a Celestial Master Teacher.

The young man standing before him was a Celestial Master Teacher, too, and while his seven direct disciples were still little known figures on the Master Teacher Continent, there was little doubt that they would rattle the continent at its core in the near future. If he could become the eighth direct disciple of the young man, his future would be boundless!

Even the founder of our Zhang Clan didn't possess extraordinary bloodline from birth. It was only after he reached the pinnacle that his abilities were passed down generation after generation through his bloodline! So what if I'm from the side family? That doesn't mean that I'm unable to surpass the others and reach the very top!

The more Zhang Jiuxiao thought about the matter, the more excited he felt.

Kings, dukes, generals, and ministers, did they only attain the influence that they possessed because power and nobility was etched into their bloodline?

Who said that one's bloodline would determine one's final destination?

If that was the case, despite so many outstanding geniuses possessing the purest of bloodlines being born in the Zhang Clan over the past several dozen millenniums, why had none of them been able to surpass the founder?

Of the seventy-two Sages of Kong shi, none of them had been born with powerful innate bloodlines!

Success did not hinge on one's bloodline but relentless hard work and perseverance! It was only with the grit to push through the tough and unyielding will to forge a way to the top that the slim chance of getting a glimpse at the peak would open up to one.

Of course, a good teacher to point out the right way was crucial, too!

Right now, those two factors were already in place. He had the best possible teacher in the world, and he also had the grit to climb to the top. Now, he just had to make the journey there! As long as he could clear this trial and become his teacher's eighth direct disciple, a whole new world would appear before him!

"Teacher, what do I have to do? Just give me your instructions, and I'll definitely achieve it!" Deciding to leap right in, Zhang Jiuxiao looked at Zhang Xuan with burning passion in his eyes.

"Good!" Seeing that the young man had made up his mind, Zhang Xuan nodded. "Alright, kneel down and pay respects to me!"

"Right now?" Zhang Jiuxiao was taken aback. "Won't I be qualified to become your eighth direct disciple only after I emerge as the champion in the tournament?"

He dared not believe his ears. It was just a moment ago that his teacher had said that he would only take him as his direct disciple after he became the champion of the tournament. It should have been something very far away and uncertain, so why would…

In response to Zhang Jiuxiao's doubt, Zhang Xuan directed a confident smile at Zhang Jiuxiao and said, "Since I said that I'll make you the champion of the tournament, you'll definitely emerge as the champion. What harm is there in conducting the acknowledgement ceremony in advance?"

Hearing those words, Zhang Jiuxiao felt goosebumps rising on his skin, and his heart began beating faster and faster in agitation.

The unwavering confidence of his teacher had eliminated every shred of uncertainty from his mind. He felt that as long as his teacher said that he could do it, he would definitely be able to achieve it.

All of a sudden, those insurmountable mountains that had once stood in his path did not seem impossible to scale anymore.

Zhang Jiuxiao kneeled onto the floor and conducted eight resounding kowtows before solemnly rising to his feet, completing the teacher acknowledgement ceremony.

"Teacher, what should I do now?" he asked.

Since his teacher had such deep confidence in him, he clearly had a plan in mind.

"Currently, your cultivation is only at the Grand Dominion realm. If you wish to win the tournament, you will have to raise your cultivation swiftly. It would be nigh impossible to push your cultivation up to Saint 8-dan within a single night, unless…"

At that point, Zhang Xuan paused for a moment as he looked in a certain direction.

"… we make use of the Zhang Clan's Blood Reservoir!"



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