Zhang Xuan could see Luo Ganzhen and the other elders' point, and that was precisely why he found it difficult to turn them down.

Putting aside the vengeance against Zhang Xuan, this was also an ideal opportunity to build up Luo Tianya's reputation. Luo Tianya might have become the head of the Luo Clan, but the world was still ignorant of who he was and what he was capable of.

Who else would serve as a better stepping stone to build Luo Tianya's reputation than the celebrated young prodigy of the Zhang Clan, whose name had been hanging on the tip of everyone's tongue in recent days?

In this moment of frustration, Zhang Xuan caught sight of Luo Ruoxin in his peripheral vision. There was a dazzling smile on her face—he had no recollection of seeing such a bright smile on her placid face before.

In an instant, Zhang Xuan felt even more frustrated.

Aren't you my girlfriend? Aren't you supposed to support me in my time of distress? How can you remain silent after seeing all this?

Just as Zhang Xuan had no idea how he should respond to the expectant faces around him, he suddenly heard a telepathic message from Luo Ruoxin. "Actually, I think it would be better for you to agree to their request."

"Agree to their request?" Zhang Xuan's face twitched. "You want me to beat myself up?"

"That's not it. You should lead them first to the Zhang Clan, find a suitable moment to reveal your identity, and force the two clans to sit down and resolve the situation peacefully. Otherwise, given the hostility the Luo Clan bears toward the Zhang Clan, the more you compensate them, the more weapons they will have at their disposal to use against the Zhang Clan. In the worst-case scenario, the Luo Clan might even feel prompted to start a war with their newfound power. It won't be easy to reconcile the two clans, but you can't keep putting it off either," Luo Ruoxin explained.

"This…" Zhang Xuan fell into deep thought.

Ruoxin's words made sense.

The Luo Clan had a deep grudge against the Zhang Clan. While it was out of goodwill that he wanted to compensate the Luo Clan for their loss, such an action was actually no different from stoking their desire for vengeance. Not only would it not resolve the conflict, it would only worsen it!

Since our Luo Clan is already strong enough by ourselves, why should we reconcile with the Zhang Clan? Such poisonous thoughts could very well take root within the Luo Clan.

If Zhang Xuan left things as they were, it would only be a matter of time before a fight broke out between the two clans. Instead of allowing this volatile situation to continue, he might as well resolve it once and for all!

After all, he could not possibly keep alternating between Luo Tianya and Zhang Xuan! He would die of exhaustion that way!

"I guess there's no other way…" Having thought the matter through, as frustrated as Zhang Xuan was, he eventually gave his nod of approval. "Very well, I'll agree to your request. Let's head to the Zhang Clan right now!"

"Woohoo! Off to the Zhang Clan we go!"

"Kick Zhang Xuan's ass!"

"Kill that pathetic excuse of a man!"

The elders cheered in delight.

"…" Zhang Xuan.

The crowd from the Luo Clan were already all prepared and ready to set off. Upon receiving Zhang Xuan's approval, without any hesitation, they quickly rose to their feet and beckoned their aerial saint beasts over.

Dozens of saint beasts immediately appeared in the sky above, forming a truly majestic sight.

The purpose of the Luo Clan was to rebuild their reputation. As such, even though Zhang Xuan could easily teleport them over, especially since he had already grasped the Spatial Quintessence of Sealing, they chose to fly over on aerial saint beasts instead to draw attention.

Standing atop the aerial saint beast, Zhang Xuan glanced at Luo Ruoxin, who was having trouble suppressing her laughter, and he pouted unhappily.

Do you think that I wanted to be in this plight?

Just what did I do wrong in my previous life for the heavens to punish me like that?

Forget it, I won't think about it anymore! I'll focus my attention on trying to achieve a breakthrough to Great Sage 1-dan instead!

As frustrated as Zhang Xuan was, he knew that it was meaningless for him to think too much into it. Thus, he closed his eyes and focused on sorting out the insights that he had collected, hoping to find an impetus for him to make a breakthrough to Great Sage.

Two days passed in a flash, and just as Zhang Xuan felt that he had found a feasible direction and was about to push for a breakthrough, a voice suddenly echoed in his head.

"Are you intending to push for a breakthrough to Great Sage right now?"

He turned his gaze over and saw Luo Ruoxin looking down at him.

"That's my intention!" Zhang Xuan nodded.

There was no reason for him to hide this from the young lady before him.

If it had been anyone else, he might have felt compelled to explain how he managed to advance his cultivation so quickly or at least conceal it. However, he did not think that there was a need for him to do so before this young lady at all.

For some reason, Luo Ruoxin was not surprised by the swift advancement of his cultivation, and she had never questioned it. On the contrary, it was almost as if she expected it to happen.

"Don't rush into it yet. There are different classifications for a breakthrough to Sainthood, such as Celestial Saint, and there's also something similar to that for Great Sage. It would be unwise for you to rush into an inferior breakthrough," Luo Ruoxin replied.

"There's different classifications for a breakthrough to Great Sage?" Zhang Xuan asked doubtfully.

Back then, he had found the real Saint Ascension Platform and used the energy there in order to push for a breakthrough as a Celestial Saint. It was precisely due to his extraordinary breakthrough that the capacity and concentration of his zhenqi far exceeded that of his peers.

Was there something like that for a breakthrough to Great Sage too?

"There's no such thing as a Celestial Great Sage," Luo Ruoxin replied, seeing through Zhang Xuan's doubts, "but depending on how one makes a breakthrough to Great Sage, there could be a vast difference in one's fighting prowess."


Zhang Xuan had no idea what his girlfriend's true identity was, but if there was one thing that he was certain about, it was that his girlfriend was far more knowledgeable than him in the field of cultivation. If not for her, he might never have successfully become a Celestial Saint.

Since she had said such words, he should indeed take note of the matter.

"The first realm of Great Sage is known as Introspective Convalescence. It allows a cultivator to immerse their Spiritual Perception into their cells and influence their body from a fundamental level, such as metabolism," Luo Ruoxin explained. "An ordinary breakthrough to Introspective Convalescence requires a cultivator to temper their Spiritual Perception into a more refined and powerful form. Such a breakthrough isn't too difficult, but it's an inferior method. It's known as the low-tier breakthrough method."

Since there was a low-tier, there was bound to be a high-tier.

"That being said, this is the only method that all cultivators know of that will allow them to advance to Great Sage. There's only one person on the Master Teacher Continent who has managed to design a superior method to achieving a breakthrough to Great Sage and succeeded to doing so," Luo Ruoxin continued.

"Are you referring to… Kong shi?" Zhang Xuan asked.

In the history of the Master Teacher Continent, the most notable figure was indubitably Kong shi. If anyone could design a superior method to achieving a breakthrough to Great Sage, it would have been him.

"Indeed, it's Kong shi." Luo Ruoxin nodded. "When he was still at Saint 9-dan pinnacle, he drew the heavenly flames into his body to temper his Spiritual Perception through its searing heat, making it far more resilient and stronger than before. Due to that, he was far stronger than an ordinary cultivator after making a breakthrough. The capacity of his zhenqi and the strength that he wielded were unmatched by any normal Great Sage, and that formed the foundation for him to become the strongest person in history."

"Heavenly flames?" Zhang Xuan's body stiffened upon hearing those words.

Previously, Kong shi's will had told him that the key to resolving the Innate Fetal Poison was to become a 9-star master teacher and draw the heavenly flames into his body to sear it…

A 7-star master teacher would have cultivation realms ranging from Saint 2-dan to Saint 4-dan, a half 8-star master teacher at Saint 5-dan, and an 8-star master teacher ranging from Saint 6-dan to Saint 8-dan.

Saint 9-dan would conventionally correspond to half 9-star master teacher.

There were some unique cases where Saint 9-dan pinnacle cultivators were bestowed with the 9-star master teacher emblem in advance, but conventionally, the prerequisite to becoming a 9-star master teacher was to be a Great Sage.

Could it be that… when Kong shi mentioned becoming a 9-star master teacher, it referred not to the emblem from the Master Teacher Pavilion but his cultivation realm? He had to push for a breakthrough to Great Sage, and he had to use the high-tier breakthrough method on top of that?

"Similar to the lightning tribulation, the heavenly flames are a kind of retribution the heavens inflict upon the cultivators. When you survived the Saint Ascension Ordeal and became a Celestial Saint, did you feel your soul and physical body becoming far stronger than before, allowing you to defeat enemies stronger than you with ease?" Luo Ruoxin asked.

Zhang Xuan nodded slightly.

Typically speaking, it was only at Saint 5-dan Leaving Aperture realm that a cultivator would be able to use the lightning tribulation to temper their Primordial Spirit. However, having undergone the Saint Ascension Ordeal, his soul and physical body were able to advance to a level far beyond his current cultivation realm, putting him far ahead of ordinary cultivators.

Given so, it was understandable that the heavenly flames would make his Spiritual Perception stronger and grant him greater fighting prowess compared to other cultivators.

"I have browsed through many books regarding breakthroughs to Great Sage, but none of them mention the distinction between a low-tier breakthrough method and a high-tier breakthrough method… If Kong shi is the only one in history who has managed to pull it off, then Ruoxin, how did you learn of it?"

Unable to hold back his curiosity anymore, Zhang Xuan turned his gaze over and asked, "What is… your relationship with Kong shi?"



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