"Good, good!"

Zhang Xuan watched as the soul oracle before him reverting to the size of an ordinary human, and the appearance of the slightly reclusive young man came clearly into his sight. He could not help but nod in gladness.

The soul oracle before him was none other than the student of his that had headed to the Ancient Domain of the Soul Oracles previously, Lu Chong!

When he had first taken the young man in as his student, the latter had been quiet and reticent. In fact, he had gone on not speaking a single word for years, fearing that his enemies would find him. Yet, he had become a man who dared mock even the deputy pavilion master of the Master Teacher Pavilion.

That was a sign that he had finally walked out from the trauma resulting from the massacre of his clan.

To be honest, Zhang Xuan was not bothered about the talents or even the strength of his students. With him around, no matter how strong his students currently were, he was confident that he could groom them into powerhouses of the world. As such, what he was the most concerned about was their character.

A person's character would ultimately determine their path and their fate.

Only a person driven to surpass themself would be able to reach the peak and even beyond. To Zhang Xuan, that was really the only criterion that he felt one needed to become an expert.

On the other hand, a person who was unmotivated and indolent, spending precious time thinking only of how they could brag to others instead cultivating, such a person would never become an expert even with the best teacher and best resources. The person whom he was speaking about was, of course, Sun Qiang.

Sun Qiang had followed him for the longest period of time and used the largest bulk of his resources. Yet, in the end, he was still the weakest of them all.

Hearing his teacher's compliment, Lu Chong's eyes lit up in agitation as he clasped his fist. "Teacher, I have successfully awakened the Combat Soul Constitution!"

"I've seen," Zhang Xuan replied with a smile.

Back then, in order to save him, Lu Chong had charged into harm's way and ended up being severely wounded by the crown prince of the Xuanyuan Kingdom, thus ending in a deep sleep. It was after going through much trouble to wake him from his coma that he had found that Lu Chong's soul was incomparably large. Once it was awakened, there was no doubt that it would surely grant him tremendous strength.

Given how the current Lu Chong was able to fool around with even Ren Qingyuan, it was apparent that he had already successfully awakened his Combat Soul Constitution and gained full control over it.

There was no other way that he could have advanced his cultivation so much within the span of a single year.

"Un!" Seeing his teacher's smile, Lu Chong suddenly felt fulfilled within, as if the hard work that he had put in over the past year had finally come to fruition. Nodding, he quickly passed over the Pavilion Master Seal that he had taken from Ren Qingyuan. "Teacher, I'll leave this with you for now. If that old fogey gets it back, we won't stand a chance against him anymore!"


Understanding the logic behind that, Zhang Xuan reached out to take the Pavilion Master Seal from him.

The reason Lu Chong had been able to snatch the Pavilion Master Seal from Ren Qingyuan was not because he was stronger than him. Rather, when soul oracles intentionally hid their presence, it would be difficult for any cultivator to find them. On top of that, Ren Qingyuan's attention had been completely focused on Wei Ruyan then. It was due to these two factors that Lu Chong had managed to catch Ren Qingyuan off guard and seize his Pavilion Master Seal.

Had Ren Qingyuan been guarded against him from the very start, even if Lu Chong had been two times stronger than he currently was, he still would have been unable to seize it the seal from Ren Qingyuan's grasp.

As soon as Zhang Xuan came into contact with the Pavilion Master Seal, he immediately felt a feeling of intimacy to it. It was almost as if the seal was made just for him, and he could tame it for his own use at any moment.

Zhang Xuan was taken aback. What's going on?

He was certain that this was his first time coming into contact with the Pavilion Master Seal, and he had thought that it would be difficult for him to control an artifact so much stronger than him. Yet, when he held it in his hand, it felt almost as if it was an artifact that he had personally forged. It was filled with fondness and affection for him.

Should I try assimilating it? Zhang Xuan wondered as he placed his hand over it, wanting to try to fuse his blood into it.

However, just as he was about to do so, he suddenly felt a heavy pressure weighing down from above. Raising his head, he found all of the 9-star master teachers gathering together as one, collaborating with one another to form a formation that manifested in the form of a massive light barrier in the air.

"Teacher, that's the City Defense Formation of the Empire Alliance! It's built with the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion at its very center, and it was constructed to defend against enemies that threatened the security of the Empire Alliance. It seems like the 9-star master teachers have activated it!" Wei Ruyan said grimly.

After learning that her teacher was in Empire Alliance, she had swiftly gathered all of the intelligence available on the Empire Alliance so as to heighten the chances of success for the rescue operation.

"City Defense Formation?"

"Un. The formation isn't really too powerful by itself, but with so many 9-star master teachers augmenting it with their zhenqi, it has formed a powerful force that we can't afford to underestimate," Wei Ruyan explained.

For many years, the Master Teacher Pavilion had succeeded in keeping the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe off the Master Teacher Continent. The strength of the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters did play a part to that end, but more than that, the Master Teacher Pavilion had also set up many branches across the continent, and each of those branches had constructed massive formations in the cities that they resided in. Those massive formations had lain dormant for many years, nourished by the spiritual energy in the surroundings, such that when an invasion finally happened, they would be able to call forth devastating might once they were activated.

Such was the case at that moment. In the first place, the Empire Alliance was not a weak power, so its City Defense Formation was of considerable power. With so many 9-star master teachers working together to augment it, once it was activated, it formed a formidable force that even Yang shi would have found hard to deal with.

"Teacher, rest assured. With my Soul Traverse and junior's poison art, no matter how strong their formation may be, they won't be able to keep us in here easily!" Lu Chong replied with a confident smile.

The journey to the Ancient Domain of the Soul Oracles had made him mature considerably as well. He was no longer the helpless young man that he had once been. Just like Wei Ruyan, he had also become a powerhouse on the Master Teacher Continent, and his every word and gesture carried an imposing air to it that commanded respect of others, making others dare not cross him.

"Indeed. Their formation might be powerful such that it would be impossible for me to face it straight on, but if it's just escaping, that won't pose a problem for me at all!" Wei Ruyan replied as the poison aura around her billowed, seemingly ready to sweep into the surroundings and corrode everything in its path.

Seeing how confident his students were, Zhang Xuan replied with a smile, "I have never been worried about escaping. While my cultivation might not be too high at the moment, if I really intend to escape, there's no way they would be able to keep me here!"

His cultivation might have been far beneath his students', but formations, to him, were really not much different from a free gift from the enemies. Ever since he walked out from the Tianxuan Kingdom, he had never seen a formation that could truly trap him before!

"Then…"

Perplexed looks surfaced on Wei Ruyan and Lu Chong's faces.

Since their teacher was able to escape from the encirclement by himself, why was he still idling around the area?

While they were able to hold their ground for the time being, the situation was really not in their favor.

"I can't afford to leave right now. Your Senior Zhao Ya is at a crucial period in her cultivation, and if we leave now, it'll be one thing for her efforts to be rendered futile, but she might even lose her life as a result of that," Zhang Xuan explained.

"Senior Zhao Ya? Cultivating? Where?" Hearing that their senior was here as well, the two of them were taken aback.

Zhang Xuan had wrapped Zhao Ya tightly using his zhenqi, forming something resembling a cocoon around her. Even the two of them could not fathom that the cocoon-like item emanating the killing intent of the Otherworldly Demons would actually be their senior.

"She's in there… Something happened with her meridians, and in order to increase the chances of success, I used the blueprint of a more efficient meridian network to reconstruct the meridians in her body, but a side effect of that is that she emanates such an aura!" Zhang Xuan explained.

"Reconstruct the meridians in her body?"

"Used the blueprint of a more efficient meridian network?"

Wei Ruyan and Lu Chong gasped in astonishment.

They had never even heard of such a thing before. Indeed, only their teacher would have the guts and ability to do something as bold as that.

"Since our senior is here, we'll have to protect her even at the cost of our lives!" Wei Ruyan declared as she straightened her back imposingly.

Since their teacher was willing to face an army of so many master teachers fearlessly for the sake of their senior, as his students, what did they have to fear?

At most, they would just die together!

"I also swear to protect teacher and senior!" Lu Chong declared resolutely.

"I understand your feelings. Don't worry, it won't be easy for them to kill us even with the formation they have over there. For the time being, I need the two of you to protect me while I study this seal over here. I think that I might just be able to use this seal to get us out of our current quandary!" Zhang Xuan instructed before turning his sight back to the Sanctum Head Token.

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