Library of Heaven is Path
1940 The Trial of Inner Disciples
While Elder Lu Yun was in charge of only managing the outer disciples, there was no denying that he was a real Pseudo Immortal realm cultivator. Originally, he was only in charge of the outer disciple trial in Starlight City; he wouldn't have even come to a place like Xuanjiang City where only menial disciples were recruited!
Unless there were exceptional circumstances, he would only pass by the area at most.
So why would he suddenly drop by at this moment?
Xue Gan couldn't believe what he was seeing, but he dared not to show the slightest disrespect toward Elder Lu Yun either. Thus, he quickly rushed forward and bowed down, "City Lord Xue Gan pays respects to Elder Lu Yun!"
"Un," Elder Lu Yun waved his hands casually before turning to Huo Jiange. "How is it? Has he appeared yet?"
"Elder, I'm still uncertain exactly who that person is, but my guess is that he has something to do with that young man over there!" Huo Jianghe said as he gestured toward Dan Xiaotian.
Yesterday night, while he was still at the Ethereal Hall, World's Edge had asked him for a favor, requesting him to appear here at this timing. In the end, there was indeed a court case happening here, and it was due to his presence that Dan Xiaotian was able to redress his grievances… Thus, even if Dan Xiaotian wasn't World's Edge, it was likely that he was related to him in one way or another!
"Him?" Elder Lu Yun looked at Dan Xiaotian doubtfully.
With his eye of discernment, he could instantaneously tell how powerful Dan Xiaotian was… Great Sage 3-dan consummation!
A person of such cultivation was actually able to kill all of his disciples with ease?
"It's like this…" Huo Jianghe began recounting everything that had happened to Elder Lu Yun.
After hearing the story, Elder Lu Yun's face darkened.
To think that there would be someone who would dare to act so audaciously in the territories of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion… There was no way he could let this matter slide so easily!
Taking a deep breath, he suppressed his displeasure before turning to look at the young man standing at the center of the court, "You are Dan Xiaotian?"
"That's right, Elder Lu!" Dan Xiaotian bowed deeply as he replied.
"Do you have any intention of joining the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion?" Elder Lu Yun asked.
Dan Xiaotian was stunned for a moment as he discreetly glanced at his teacher. Upon receiving a nod from his teacher, he immediately bowed down and replied, "It would be my honor to join the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!"
"Very well!" Elder Lu Yun nodded. "Form this day onward, you are an outer disciple of our sect! Anyone who dares to oppress you will be an enemy of our sect as well, and you can be certain that he will face the full wrath of our sect!"
"Ah…" Dan Xiaotian was stunned.
He thought that Elder Lu Yun would want to test his prowess before coming to a decision, but who could have thought that he was accepted so easily. Everything happened so fast that it almost felt like a scam.
Were it not for his knowledge that the person standing before him was an elder of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, he would have definitely thought it was a farce!
He had long heard that Elder Lu Yun, who was in charge of recruiting outer disciples, was a hot-blooded and straightforward person, and it seemed like those rumors weren't completely unfounded…
"Xiaotian, congratulations on becoming a disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!"
The first one to react was Xue Gan. He congratulated Dan Xiaotian with a bright smile on his face, not showing any sign of awkwardness due to their earlier argument.
Paying no heed to Xue Gan's act, Dan Xiaotian took in a deep breath, and as if coming to a major decision, he kneeled down on the floor and cried out indignantly, "Elder Lu, I beseech you to redress my grievances!"
"Feel free to speak your mind!" Elder Lu Yun replied.
"Our Dan Clan used to be a major power in Xuanjiang City. However, due to our great strength and influence, the City Lord Manor has always viewed us as a threat. Thus, the City Lord Manor set us, and that eventually caused the death of all of my family members… This is the evidence of their evildoings!" Dan Xiaotain passed a jade token over to Elder Lu Yun.
After the Dan Clan had been destroyed, Elder Yi had devoted himself to uncovering the truth behind the fall of the Dan Clan. However, the more pieces of evidence he gathered, the more suspicious City Lord Xue Gan became.
He dared not to reveal it in the past fearing that the City Lord Manor would silence them, but with an elder of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion standing before him at this instant, he knew that there was no better opportunity for him to resolve this regret of his.
This was the will of his teacher as well.
Elder Lu Yun took the jade token and took a look at it. A moment later, his eyes narrowed in fury.
Every evidence stored in the jade token indicated clearly that the deaths of all 97 members of the Dan Clan had an inseverable relationship with City Lord Xue Gan's doings.
"What do you have to say for yourself?" Elder Lu Yun spat as he tossed the jade token over to Xue Gan.
Xue Gan hurriedly picked up the jade token, and upon seeing the contents, his eyes widened in astonishment. He swiftly kneeled onto the floor and cried out, "Elder Lu, these are all lies! I am framed! Everyone in Xuanjiang City can testify to the friendly relations between the City Lord Manor and the Dan Clan! The very fact that there's a marriage agreement between Xiaotian and Xue Qin is more than enough to show that. I have nothing to gain by making a move against the Dan Clan!
"There must be a misunderstanding somewhere… It could be because Xiaotian is angered by my daughter's foolishness in listening to Xue Chen's words and attempting to annul her engagement… Elder Lu Yun, I beg of you to investigate this matter carefully and return me justice!"
"Hmph! Rest assured that I'll give you a satisfactory answer!" Elder Lu Yun harrumphed before turning his attention away from the kneeling Xue Gan. He looked at Dan Xiaotian and said, "While the evidence you have compiled is convincing, most of them can't be verified anymore due to the long interval since then. Furthermore, given that Xue Gan is the city lord, if he were to intentionally hide his trails, I wouldn't be able to do anything about it either!"
"I understand," Dan Xiaotian replied with his head lowered.
He knew that this would be the case. He knew it all along.
It had been ten years since tragedy struck the Dan Clan, and Xuanjiang City had changed a lot since then. Even if the evidence compiled was convincing, the passing of time would render most of them unverifiable, which meant that they couldn't be used to indict Xue Gan anymore.
Furthermore, Xue Gan was a person who was willing to kill even for a mere annulment of engagement just to protect the reputation of the City Lord Manor. Considering how huge the massacre of the Dan Clan was, he would have surely dealt with it promptly so that it would be impossible to link the incident to him anymore.
"It would undermine the authority of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion if I were to sentence a city lord to death without proper justification! However, there's an exception to the rule!"
At which, a glint flashed across Elder Lu Yun eyes as he continued on, "And that is… true strength! As long as you are able to display overwhelming talents that would make you an asset to the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, you can be assured that the sect will side with you instead of a third-tier city lord. The only way you can do that is to become an inner disciple of our sect. If you are able to do so, you can be assured that the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion would resolve any problems you are facing so that you are able to focus on your cultivation!"
"Inner disciple?" Dan Xiaotian was stunned.
The Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion was only accepting menial disciples from Xuanjiang City.
Even this role of a lackey was enough to puff Xue Qin up with pride, leaving her feeling as if she had risen to the top of a peak. It was due to this that prompted her to annul her engagement with him in the first place. If he were to become an inner disciple, his standing would be higher than even Huo Jianghe and Xue Gan.
Naturally, the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion would feel more obligated to side with him instead of Xue Gan.
It was simply too difficult.
Huo Jianghe was already an Ancient Sage 4-dan Dimension Shatterer realm cultivator, but he still remained an outer disciple. Considering that Dan Xiaotian was only at Great Sage 3-dan consummation, would he stand a chance at all?
"Indeed. Every single inner disciple is an asset to the sect. Their standing is even higher than an outer elder like me! As long as you successfully become an inner disciple, even if you kill City Lord Xue Gan without any justification, no one would question your judgement at all!" Elder Lu Yun said.
"This…" Not expecting Elder Lu Yun to suddenly say such words, Xue Gan's eyebrows shot up in astonishment.
It couldn't be that… the other party intended Dan Xiaotian to take the examination to become an inner disciple?
But the examination for inner disciples was no joke. Dan Xiaotian might be talented, but it was nigh impossible for him to succeed!
"Elder Lu, may I ask how does the examination for inner disciples work? I'm willing to give it a try!" Dan Xiaotian pondered for a moment before asking.
"The examination for inner disciples focuses not on the cultivation of the individual but his potential. As long as one's potential is sufficiently high, even if one's cultivation is lacking, one would still be able to join the ranks. It's also possible for an outsider to become an inner disciple right away after joining the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion; there's no need for one to become an outer disciple first before progressing upward.
"There are two criteria which one has to meet in order to become an inner disciple. Firstly, one has to reach Ancient Sage before seventeen. Secondly, one has to clear the inner disciple swordsmanship examination!"
At this point, Elder Lu Yun turned to Dan Xiaotian and asked, "How old are you at the moment?"
"I am sixteen right now, but…" Dan Xiaotian was just about to continue speaking when Elder Lu Yun suddenly interjected.
"It's fine as long as you aren't seventeen yet. Since you are already at Great Sage 3-dan consummation, there's a good chance that you should be able to become an Ancient Sage before your seventeenth birthday! As for the swordsmanship examination for inner disciples… Huo Jianghe is the first senior for outer disciples, and his swordsmanship mastery already meets the requirement. As long as you are able to defeat him in the same cultivation realm, you can be deemed to have cleared the examination!"
"I have to defeat Senior Huo in the same cultivation realm?" Dan Xiaotian was a little nervous.
He had only learned a night of swordsmanship with his teacher whereas the other party was an expert from the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, having studied swordsmanship for at least twenty years.
It would be extremely difficult for him to defeat Senior Huo even if the latter were to suppress his cultivation down to the same level as him.
Elder Lu Yun nodded, "Indeed. Do you wish to give it a try?"
"Yes, I would like to give it a try!" Dan Xiaotian hesitated for a moment before nodding firmly.
This was the greatest opportunity in his life to exact vengeance for his parents and brothers!
Once this opportunity slipped past his fingers, it would be nigh impossible for him to redress the grievances of the Dan Clan anymore.
After all, there was no way Xue Gan would quietly sit here and wait to be killed. By the time he rose through the ranks, the other party would have long made his escape.
Given how large the Forsaken Continent was, trying to find Xue Gan again would be no different from searching for a needle amidst the boundless ocean.
"Very well!" Elder Lu Yun nodded. He turned to Huo Jianghe and said, "Suppress your cultivation down to Great Sage 3-dan and fight him with everything you got. Don't hold back anything at all, understood?"
"Yes, Elder Lu!" Huo Jianghe nodded.
He began walking toward Dan Xiaotian while suppressing his cultivation down to Great Sage 3-dan. Getting into his position, he drew his sword before beckoning for Dan Xiaotian to come at him with a wave of his hand, "Come!"
This was the first time Dan Xiaotian was fighting with a real expert, so he couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. He turned to look at his teacher for support, but the latter was staring quietly into space, as if everything that was happening at the moment had nothing to do with it.
From the looks of it, it was obvious that he didn't plan on interfering in this duel!
"Forget it, I'll just have to give it my all!" Dan Xiaotian gritted his teeth in resolution.
His teacher had already given him a lot. He would have to take the last step himself in order to become an inner disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, so he couldn't back down at this crucial moment!
In this short moment, Huo Jianghe was already charging toward him with incredible speed. It was almost as if a raging current was gushing toward Dan Xiaotian.
However, after seeing Huo Jianghe's swordsmanship with his own eyes, what Dan Xiaotian felt wasn't trepidation but surprise.
Huo Jianghe's sword art might appear to be complex on the surface, but this was all things that his teacher had spoken about before. With this knowledge, he found that he was able to swiftly deconstruct Huo Jianghe's move, stripping it of all of its elegance and complexity. It no longer held any secrets from him anymore, as if it was standing stark naked in his face.
With this, everything else was a walk in the park.
Staring right through the facade to peer into the enemy's intention, Dan Xiaotian was able to find eight ways to overcome Huo Jianghe's swordsmanship in a moment's time.
Thus, he drove his sword forward toward one of the core weaknesses in Huo Jianghe's swordsmanship.
Taken aback, Huo Jianghe immediately leaped backward.
To Dan Xiaotian, this was concrete evidence that his teacher's impartation was effective. So, he sent yet another pierce forward.
Once again, Huo Jianghe was forced to retreat.
Just like that, with one side advancing and the other side retreating, the cycle repeated for more than twenty moves. Their swords hadn't even clashed with one another once, but Huo Jianghe had already retreated forty steps thus far.
"It's truly formidable!"
Huang Tao, Hu Bin, and the others were stunned by Dan Xiaotian's fighting prowess. They looked at one another as if they had seen a ghost.