When the light finally faded from view, Zhang Xuan found that he was already standing behind a boulder. As soon as he regained his balance, he felt a chilling intent moving along the ground, dashing right toward the jade token in front of his chest.

If the strike landed, he would be eliminated right away.

This examination was indeed advantageous toward those who entered the mountain early. Those who had arrived earlier were already lying in ambush, waiting to spring upon those who walked into their trap.

"Not bad. You are quite fast!" Zhang Xuan chuckled as his fingers darted forward in retaliation.

Weng!

The weapon that was surging in his direction was held firmly on the spot, unable to advance any further on him.

Even though Zhang Xuan had limited his strength to the level of a Saint 9-dan cultivator, his eye of discernment and reaction speed were more than enough to make him a match for Great Sage cultivators. Considering how his assailant was only an ordinary Macrocosm Ascendancy realm cultivator, there was no way his ambush could possibly succeed!

Having blocked the assault, Zhang Xuan took a good look at his assailant—it was a young man dressed in black. A hint of horror could be seen reflected in the depths of the young man's eyes upon seeing how Zhang Xuan caught his dagger so easily. Knowing that he was outmatched, the young man decisively abandoned his dagger and turned tail.

It was a wise move on the young man's part. Had it been any other competitor, his decisiveness would have ensured his survival.

"I have to say that you are very sharp on your feet. It's only unfortunate that you chose me as your opponent…" Zhang Xuan nodded in approval as he lifted his finger and tapped it lightly in the air. "Freeze!"

Huala!

As if the air had frozen over, the young man found himself standing completely still on the spot, unable to move at all.

"This is… a spatial seal!" the young man cried in fright.

For a Saint 9-dan cultivator to actually comprehend such an ability… this meant that the young man before him was ranked amid the top among the descendants of the seventy-two Sages! How could he have been so unlucky as to meet such a powerful foe at the very start of the examination?

"F-friend, I-I apologize for my brash actions. I was truly foolish to have dared make a move on you. Please be so magnanimous as to spare me…" The young man begged desperately for mercy.

He boasted the greatest fighting prowess among his peers in his clan. He had thought that as long as he prepared himself well, he would be able to hunt down others with ease. However, who could have known that his first target would end up being this ridiculously powerful expert?

If only he had known earlier, he would have surely snuggled up tightly in his hiding position. He wouldn't have courted his own death!

"It's not entirely impossible for me to spare you," Zhang Xuan remarked as he looked at the young man before him purposefully.


"Please speak of any conditions you have for me!" Understanding the intention behind Zhang Xuan's gaze, the young man gritted his teeth. "I am willing to offer up my possessions in exchange for your mercy. However, you should also be aware that the resources that each clan passes down to us are limited, so I don't have too many good items…"

"I don't need your possessions. You have two choices in front of you. You can either have your jade token destroyed and be eliminated, or you can tell me what I want to know," Zhang Xuan said as he gazed deeply at the young man. "Rest assured, I won't probe into the secrets of your clan and put you in a tight spot."

"I'll choose the second!" the young man replied decisively.

Only he knew how much effort he had put in to get so far. If he failed to get into the Great Phrontistery of Confucianism, all of the resources that he had been entitled to would come to a halt, making it impossible for him to advance any further in the future.

No matter what, he could not allow himself to be eliminated there!

"Wonderful," Zhang Xuan remarked nonchalantly as he placed his hands behind his back. "From the moment you started how cultivating, how did you climb to the current stage you are at? I want you to describe every single thing in detail, be it the trials or examinations you have been through!"

"H-huh?"

The young man had been wondering what Zhang Xuan would ask him, but it turned out to be something that practically everyone knew about. Even though he was bewildered by the question, he still answered it honestly. "I have been through twenty-seven exams so far, roughly one or two every single year. In every single examination, I saw many of my peers getting eliminated, thus having whatever resources they had been entitled to completely cut off. Instead, they are entrusted with the responsibilities of managing the clan's businesses instead…"

It did not take long for the young man to go through his entire story.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

As Zhang Xuan listened to the young man, a frown slowly etched its way between his brows.

Just as he had guessed, it seemed like competition was an integral part of the life of the Hundred Schools of Philosophers. From the moment they started cultivating, they were put through trial after trial. They would be entitled to more cultivation techniques and resources if they cleared the trial, but if they failed, they would be stripped of their right to cultivate.

This was no longer nurturing the young; it was practically nurturing gu!

It was rumored that those who nurtured gu would toss thousands of poisonous creatures together into a jar and have them kill one another. The one to emerge victorious at the end of it all would be the strongest gu of all.

This seemed to be the same method that the Hundred Schools of Philosophers were employing as well. Those who were given the opportunity to participate in the examination of the Great Phrontistery of Confucianism had to go through many trials and rise above all of their peers in order to come this far.

It was no wonder all of them emanated such feral auras, reminiscent of the combat masters. Only those who had the most tenacious drive of all could possibly survive under such conditions.

Perhaps this was also why Yan Xue and the others had no qualms about collaborating with the Otherworldly Demons. To them, results were the most important of all. As long as they achieved what they aimed for, the means were not important at all.

It seems like the Hundred Schools of Philosophers have created an environment that promotes the survival of the fittest, Zhang Xuan thought as he looked at the young man once more.

"You said earlier that the resources you are given from your clan is limited. What does that mean?"

"As an offspring of a major clan, do you not know that?" the young man asked incredulously.

However, knowing that his future was in the other party's hand, he could only answer obediently. "Depending on one's level of cultivation and the examinations one has passed, the amount of resources that one is entitled to is fixed. Based on what I know, it's the same for all clans. There is no exception at all!"

Zhang Xuan gasped in shock. It felt like he had suddenly gotten a glimpse into how the Hundred Schools of Philosophers operated.

At the very start, they would choose the offspring that showed some aptitude toward cultivation and groom them. At fixed intervals, those who failed to advance beyond a certain level would be eliminated, thus losing their right to access cultivation resources and cultivation techniques. Other than that, there would also be all kinds of competitions and trials that they would have to overcome.

If they wished to continue cultivating, the only thing they could do was charge ahead as desperately as they could in order to ensure that they would not lag behind.

It could be said that the resources in this world were controlled to a degree so precise that it could make one shudder in fear!

"Can't one venture into ancient domains or the like in order to obtain cultivation resources and cultivation techniques?" Zhang Xuan asked.

Most cultivators on the Master Teacher Continent did not have too many resources either. However, through trading or venturing into ancient domains and finding treasures, they would be able to gather the resources required for them to continue cultivating for quite a while.

So, why could the population here not do the same? There was no way they had not thought of such a thing.

"How could there be any ancient domains around? After a cultivator dies, all of the resources he has been given are taken back by their respective clan. Even if you kill me right now, you won't be able to take my resources because every single item I have brought with me has been logged in my clan's logistics records. If there's anything missing, my clan will make an official visit to your clan and demand the return of the missing resources!" the young man said.

Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up in disbelief.

Just what in the world was the Hundred Schools of Philosophers up to? Why in the world would they go to such extreme lengths to control the circulation of resources in the Kunxu Domain?

Was this dimension in such a dire shortage of resources?

After asking a few more questions to clarify the matter, Zhang Xuan flicked his finger lightly at the young man.

Hu!

The young man collapsed to the ground.

"You will regain your consciousness after I leave, but you won't remember meeting me and everything that has happened afterward," Zhang Xuan whispered softly before leaving the area.

Memories were stored in the soul, and given Zhang Xuan's prowess in soul arts, it was not too difficult for him to isolate a specific memory and wipe it away. Even though the questions that he had asked were insignificant in nature, it was likely that it could bring some trouble to Fan Xiaoxu in the future.

Since that was the case, he should stem any potential problems at the roots.

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