Library of Heaven is Path
1915 Dan Xiaotian
"Forget it!" After pondering over the matter for a moment, the crippled young man shook his head sorrowfully. "I am indeed unworthy of her. It was only a matter of time before our marriage agreement fell through…"
As their grandfathers were close with one another, they had heartily decided to betroth the grandchildren to one another. However, with the death of his grandfather, his clan had begun to decline. Following which, the young man himself had ended up sustaining severe injuries that had destroyed his inner breath, rendering him unable to cultivate anymore. At the same time, his left leg had ended up crippled, and no matter how many physicians he found, none of them were able to cure it.
Facing such a hopeless situation, he had eventually become very pessimistic.
Furthermore, he had always suffered from low self-esteem due to his appearance. Considering the difference between the two of them, he did not feel that he was worthy of her.
Their difference in standing made the collapse of their marriage agreement an inevitability.
Sighing deeply, the young man walked into the room and grabbed a jade box. He entrusted the jade box to the elder.
"This is the marriage agreement that sealed our relations together. Give it to her and tell her that we'll be strangers from this day forth. I hope that she'll be able to find someone better suited to her in the near future," the young man said.
"Third Young Master…" Elder Yi's face reddened. He understood the significance of this action, and he was just about to say something when he eventually halted himself and nodded instead. "Alright then!"
He's going to chicken out just like that? Zhang Xuan blinked blankly.
He had thought that the young man would lose his temper, thus triggering some kind of incredible drive that pushed the young man to accomplish something extraordinary, but contrary to his expectations, the young man actually delivered the marriage agreement back just like that. This was no different from the young man putting his face out there for others to stomp on.
Even as an onlooker, Zhang Xuan could hardly bear to watch.
However, he had always maintained a low profile, and it had not been long since he arrived in the Azure. Thus, he eventually decided against speaking recklessly.
After obtaining the marriage agreement, Elder Yi turned around and left.
In the silent courtyard, the Third Young Master abruptly raised his sword and hacked it down furiously on a nearby boulder, inflicting a deep cut on it. It seemed like he was not completely unaffected by the matter, just that he had chosen to hide his emotions from Elder Yi in order not to worry him.
Through the strength that he had exerted, Zhang Xuan could tell that the young man was at Saint 6-dan.
If it was on the Master Teacher Continent, it would have been an incredible feat for a person to reach Saint 6-dan by sixteen or seventeen. However, judging from the earlier conversation, it seemed such a feat was below average in the Azure.
Having vented his rage, the crippled young man seemed to finally calm down a little. It was only at this moment that he recalled that the person whom he had saved was standing nearby, and his face blushed in embarrassment.
"My apologies. I have shown you an embarrassing side of myself. Right, I haven't asked you for your name yet."
"I am Yao… Pui! I mean, I am Zhang Xuan!" Zhang Xuan replied with a nod.
"So, it's Brother Zhang!" the crippled young man said. "I am Dan Xiaotian, the Third Young Master of Baiye City's Dan Clan."
"Brother Dan." Zhang Xuan returned the greeting with a nod. "I heard you speaking about the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion earlier, Brother Dan. I'm just asking out of curiosity, but is it a sect?"
The exceedingly obvious question seemed to have surprised Dan Xiaotian as he asked, "Brother Zhang, do you not know about the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion?"
Seeing the confused look on Zhang Xuan's face, he widened his eyes in realization and remarked, "Ah, I nearly forgot! Brother Zhang, you aren't a cultivator, so it's no wonder you have never heard of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion! The world that we live in is known as the Forsaken Continent.
"According to legend, the world that we live in used to be a part of the world of gods, but it was severed from it and cast away. There are six major sects in the Forsaken Continent, and the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion is one of them. Entering any of these six major sects is viewed as a great honor. Countless desire to join the ranks of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. Even if one enters as a menial disciple, the clan behind that disciple will be able to rise through the ranks."
Back when he saved Brother Zhang, he could not feel the slightest pulsation of zhenqi within the latter's body. From that, he had deduced that the latter was an ordinary human, not a cultivator.
The Six Sects were existences that no cultivator on the Forsaken Continent could overlook, but to ordinary humans, such existences were too far away from them to bother about. Considering that Zhang Xuan was not a cultivator, it was not too surprising that that he had not heard of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion.
"Six major sects… Is there no Master Teacher Pavilion here?" Zhang Xuan asked in confusion.
"Master Teacher Pavilion? What's that?" Dan Xiaotian shook his head doubtfully.
"Ah, it was just an inside joke…" Judging from Dan Xiaotian's tone, it seemed like there was really no Master Teacher Pavilion on the Forsaken Continent. He pondered for a moment before continuing. "So, the Six Sects are the de facto leaders of the Forsaken Continent?"
"Exactly. Aside from the Six Sects, there's also a formidable power known as Ethereal Hall. It suddenly appeared on the Forsaken Continent several thousand years ago when a powerful expert founded the organization. They manage the distribution of the Ethereal Token, a resource that all cultivators on the continent require in order to trade for valuable cultivation resources and become true experts!"
"Un. The Ethereal Token is sold in practically all cities on the Forsaken Continent. By coming into contact with the token, one's consciousness will be brought into the Ethereal Hall. In there, as long as one is able to pay the price, one will be able to learn cultivation techniques, purchase medicinal herbs, raise one's cultivation, or even hire killers. It has pretty much everything that you can think of. Even those of the Six Sects use it!"
"The Ethereal Token brings one's consciousness into the Ethereal Hall?" Zhang Xuan was rather curious about this peculiar artifact. "Brother Dan, may I know if you have that artifact here?"
"My cultivation is weak, and my talent is severely lacking too. Even my fiancée has chosen to withdraw from our marriage agreement. How could I possibly be qualified to possess something like that?" Dan Xiaotian said with a deep sigh.
"I apologize. It seems like I was too tactless with my words." Zhang Xuan clasped his fist.
Following which, he moved on to other topics and asked a few other questions to gain a deeper understanding of the Forsaken Continent.
While Dan Xiaotian was a little awkward in expressing himself and suffered from low self-esteem, Zhang Xuan could tell that the other party was actually very kind. Upon seeing the severely injured him, the other party had actually brought him back and bandaged him. From this, he felt like Dan Xiaotian was a person whom he could trust.
Through Dan Xiaotian, Zhang Xuan learned that three days had passed since Dan Xiaotian had spotted him and brought him back.
Strength was highly regarded on the Forsaken Continent. The Dan Clan that Dan Xiaotian came from had its era of glory twenty years ago too. It had been viewed as an equal to the City Lord Residence, or to be more exact, even the City Lord Residence had to tread carefully around the Dan Clan. Unfortunately, the accident ten years ago had caused nearly all of the experts of the Dan Clan to pass away, and his two elder brothers had lost their lives in that incident.
Even his foundation had ended up being wounded, resulting in his current state.
With the decline of his clan, previous allies swiftly turned against them, and their enemies capitalized on the situation to get back at them. This resulted in the powerhouse swiftly falling to ruins. Currently, other than him and the old servant Dan Yi (Elder Yi), there was practically nothing left.
What was left of a residence that had once covered over a thousand mu was just this inner courtyard and an outer courtyard. The Dan Clan had truly become a shadow of its former self.
If not for the marriage agreement between him and the City Lord Residence, it was likely that they would not even have had this much left.
However, with the Second Young Mistress backing out on the marriage agreement, even the final restraint stopping the enemies of the Dan Clan from making a move on him would vanish. Then, everything would really be over.
"I see…" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
Strength was the foundation of prosperity. Without sufficient strength to protect itself, a power, no matter how prosperous, would eventually fall into decline.
"Brother Zhang, I think that you should have also gotten a rough idea of my current situation. I was hoping that I could tap into the opportunity in three days, when the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion recruits new menial disciples, to possibly allow the Dan Clan to make a comeback, but it seems like the situation is completely hopeless now. Furthermore, with Xue Qin backing out of the marriage proposal… I'm afraid that this place won't remain safe for too long," Dan Xiaotian said with a bitter smile.
As the saying goes, 'a child from a poor family matures early'. The many difficulties that Dan Xiaotian had gone through together with Elder Yi over the years had taught him the callousness of the world. It was truly a miracle that he had preserved his kind soul after all he had been through.
"Brother Zhang, since you are already able to move, I think you should leave as soon as possible. I wouldn't want you to be implicated in my affairs…"
As he spoke, Dan Xiaotian took out two specially crafted golden coins from his pockets and placed them into Zhang Xuan's hands. "These are Ethereal Coins, a currency accepted by the Ethereal Hall. While this isn't too much, it should cover a few meals…"
"You are too kind."
Seeing how Dan Xiaotian was still worried about him despite his difficult plight, a wry smile crept onto Zhang Xuan's lips. He looked at Dan Xiaotian intently for a moment before saying, "Brother Dan, can you execute your swordsmanship for me once more so that I can have a look?"