A breakthrough to Ancient Sage required Aeon of Ancient Sage, but this energy was everywhere in the Azure, so it wasn't a concern at all. However, a breakthrough to this realm was much more than just having the required amount of energy. Just like his breakthrough to Zongshi realm back then, it required one to have sufficient accumulation.

Dan Xiaotian's talents and mental resilience were decent, but he lacked accumulation.

If they had another month's time, Dan Xiaotian would surely be able to make a breakthrough even without relying on any artifacts or special processes, but one's age waited for no one. Dan Xiaotian was on the verge of reaching seventeen soon, and once the momentum fully died down, all hopes would be dashed.

"Swallow it!" 

Zhang Xuan took a deep breath slitting his own wrist with his sword qi. Blood spurted out like a fountain, but he quickly gathered the blood together into a sphere before delivering it into Dan Xiaotian's mouth.

The sudden loss of so much blood caused his face to pale a little.

Dan Xiaotian opened his mouth and swallowed the fresh blood. In the next instant, he felt incredible energy pulsating within his body. As if someone had sparked up a blazing flame within him, the receding momentum immediately came back with greater vigor than before.

As an Ancient Sage 4-dan cultivator, every single droplet of Zhang Xuan's blood essence contained an incredible amount of power. The sheer amount he had just given Dan Xiaotian was at least be comparable to that of a Basic Immortal Pill. With such energy fueling him on, it took only a breath for Dan Xiaotian to return back to his peak, and his zhenqi swiftly built up at a frightening speed.

Boom!

The final bottleneck to Ancient Sage eventually succumbed under the heightening pressure, and a powerful shockwave gushed out from Dan Xiaotian. His aura surged up rapidly, not stopping at all just because of his breakthrough.

It continued for quite a while before finally trailing to a halt.

At this moment, Dan Xiaotian's cultivation had already reached Ancient Sage 1-dan Bloodline Continuance realm consummation, a step away from reaching Great Philosopher realm.

Dan Xiaotian quickly reinforced his cultivation a little before turning to the young man before him in agitation, "Teacher…"

In order to allow him to achieve a breakthrough, his teacher had really sacrificed himself.

He didn't know whether he could repay this massive favor to his teacher in his lifetime.

"I'm fine… The time is about to be up, so you should head out now… Given that your cultivation has reached Ancient Sage 1-dan consummation, no one should dare to doubt you anymore… Cough cough!" While Zhang Xuan was relaying some instructions to his student, he couldn't help but cough a little.

He had really overexerted himself this time around.

Just the blood essence he had lost would take several months for him to recover.


"Teacher, please have a good rest. I'll head out now!" Dan Xiaotian said before leaving the room.

Watching as Dan Xiaotian's figure disappeared outside the doorway, Zhang Xuan shook his head helplessly. He was just about to absorb the surrounding spiritual energy to recover his strength when he noticed that there was still a lot of gourd bathwater left in the huge pot.

He hesitated for a moment before walking over and swallowing the rest down.

Gugugu!

He felt a buzz running through his body as his weakened body swiftly recovered. In the blink of an eye, his blood deficiency had been resolved, as if he had never been injured in the first place. 

"This is…" Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in shock.

The energy he had lost didn't return, but he was more than pleased with the current outcome.

The Heaven's Path zhenqi could heal one's injuries, but it couldn't replenish the deficiencies in one's body. Yet, the gourd bathwater was able to do it so easily… Didn't this pretty much mean that he had an endless supply of Senzu Beans in his hands?

That was really incredible!

"Just what in the world are you?" Zhang Xuan asked the gourd, which was swimming in the remaining water left in the pot.

"This gourd is just an avatar I'm using at the moment. I'm afraid that I'll scare you out of your wits if I tell you the truth! My real body is actually a heaven-crushing earth-shattering top-tier beast. You should kneel down right now and worship me like the divine being I am!" the gourd shook its bottom gleefully.

"..."

That didn't sound trustworthy at all to Zhang Xuan. Deciding to ignore the delusional Dongxu Gourd, he stored the remaining water into bottles before keeping his stuff and walking out.

As soon as he stepped out of the room, his face immediately turned yellowish, and his body wobbled from side to side with each step that he took, as if he would collapse to the ground at any moment.

Many had already expressed their skepticism when he claimed that Dan Xiaotian was already an Ancient Sage whose cultivation plummeted as a result of overexertion. Of course, they might be more inclined to believe it now given that the latter was already at Ancient Sage 1-dan consummation, but there would still be those who held their reservations. If the both of them were to walk out completely fine, there were bound to be those who would try to probe deeper into this matter in order to find out the truth.

Thus, he decided to feign injury. This way, he would send out the message that even if Dan Xiaotian had really forcefully raised his cultivation to Ancient Sage within the span of an hour, one would have to pay an extremely heavy price for that. That should at least deter most people.

… 

"Do you think that Dan Xiaotian will succeed?"

The trial for the menial disciple selections concluded rather swiftly, leaving Elder Lu Yun and the others with some time on their hand. Huang Tao looked at the direction where Zhang Xuan and Dan Xiaotian had disappeared toward and asked.

"It's impossible to raise one's cultivation from Great Sage 3-dan to Ancient Sage in just an hour's time!" Yun Feiyang shook his head, pessimistic about the odds.

"Indeed. Such a thing is unheard of even in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. In any case, I don't think Dan Xiaotian stands a chance at all!" Square-faced nodded in agreement.

Regarding this matter, even Elder Lu Yun harbored some reservations too.

"There's no need to wait anymore. Unless the gods were to make a move personally, it's impossible for him to achieve a breakthrough to Ancient Sage within an hour…" Knowing that it was impossible Dan Xiaotian to become an inner disciple anymore, Xue Gan also lost his fear and sneered coldly.

But before he could finish his words, footsteps echoed outside as a young man approached the court.

"How is it?" Knowing that it was Dan Xiaotian, Elder Lu Yun hurriedly turned his gaze over and asked.

"It was not easy, but I managed to do it!" Dan Xiaotian replied with a smile as he began circulating his zhenqi.

The energy within his body immediately burst out, and his aura pierced right into the heavens.

Boom!

The sudden outburst of zhenqi caused the entire court to shudder nonstop, producing a frightening creaking noise.

The thousand spectators that were gathered here felt great pressure crushing down on them. It was as if a compelling force was trying to force them to their knees.

"Ancient Sage 1-dan… consummation?" Xue Gan's face froze.

All of the words he was intended to say were clogged at the back of his throat, and he looked stupefied.

Putong!

Not too far away, Xue Qin's body slumped to the ground as her lips quivered fearfully. She couldn't find a word to say at all.

The fiancé whom she had looked down on for so long, over the span of a single day, in the most forceful method possible, crushed every shred of her dignity without any mercy. She had never felt that a day could be that long before… 

Had she known that this would happen, she would have never dared to lay her hands on Dan Xiaotian… 

If she hadn't been so foolish as to attempt to break her engagement the previous day, things wouldn't have ended up like this either… 

"Xiaotian, we are in-laws. Surely you wouldn't…" Even at this point, Xue Gan was still determined to make a final struggle.

"In-laws?" Dan Xiaotian interjected with a cold sneer. "My apologies… This is my divorce letter! Xue Qin has shown herself to be a depraved individual lacking any shred of decency, and for that reason, I am unwilling to have her as my wife!"

With a flick of his finger, he threw a piece of paper into the air, and it floated quietly to the ground, The crowd could clearly see the two words 'Divorce Letter' written at the top of the paper. This was yet another heavy blow on Xue Qin's pride.

Instead of annulling the engagement, she ended up being divorced instead… There was probably no greater fool in the world than her!

She was so desperate to protect her pride that it ended up making her the greatest laughingstock of Xuanjiang City. What an irony!

Pu!

Unable to take it any longer, Xue Qin spurted a mouthful of blood.

"Elder Lu, I can be considered to be an inner disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion now, right?" Dan Xiaotian looked at Elder Lu Yun and asked.

Elder Lu Yun responded with a nod of his head.

"That's good. I'd like to trouble Junior Huo to strip Xue Gan of his cultivation and hang him outside the City Lord Residence. I'll announce his crimes and have him publicly executed for his vile deeds!" Dan Xiaotian instructed.

"Yes!" Huo Jianghe replied with a nod.

Now that Dan Xiaotian had been confirmed as an inner disciple, it was only natural that he had become the other party's junior. The difference in seniority also meant that he had to heed the other party's instructions too.

… 

"Father, mother, and my brothers… I have finally avenged all of you…"

It didn't take long before Xue Gan's head was publicly decapitated. Kneeling down on the floor, all of the emotions that Dan Xiaotian had bottled up within him finally came pouring out all at once.

For ten whole years, he had sealed all these feelings deep in his heart, but right now, he couldn't contain them any longer. He cried loudly like a little child, but gradually, the heaviness that had weighed him down all this while was disappearing. He was finally free.

By the time he finished his venting his emotions, he saw his teacher standing a distance away with a pale face.

Astonished, he hurriedly got up and rushed over.

If not for this young man, he would have never been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He would just have been another pitiful soul killed by the City Lord Manor.

It could be said that everything he had right now was given to him by the other party.

He really wanted to shout out to the world and tell everyone that this person was his teacher, and all of his accomplishments were due to his teacher's guidance. But knowing that his teacher's desire to keep a low profile, he could only hold himself back.

But while he was swiftly making his way over to the teacher whom he deeply respected, he saw the shaking young man reaching his palm out to Yun Feiyang and the others and saying, "Dan Xiaotian is now an inner disciple of your sect. As outer disciples, shouldn't each of you offer a couple of Basic Immortal Pills to him as congratulation? This is not a gift but an investment for the future. As long as he gets a footing in the sect, it'll do you much good in the future too…"

"..." Dan Xiaotian's passionate run screeched to a halt.

Is my teacher… trying to collect protection fees from Yun Feiyang and the others?

Is this really my low profile, stern, and righteous teacher?

Why does he seem so superficial to me right now?

"..." Yun Feiyang and the others were dumbstruck too.

When they saw Dan Xiaotian's cultivation leaping two realms in an hour, they thought that it was the credit of the young man before them. So, they approached him in hopes of asking about the details, but who could have thought that the other party would cheerily ask them for pills instead… 

That crushed the grand image they had formed of this young man in their minds.

It seemed like Dan Xiaotian was really an Ancient Sage right from the start, and this young man had only used some kind of secret art in order to help him regain his strength!

Otherwise… how could such a formidable expert possibly be so shameless as to ask for protection fee right in front of so many people?

There was just no way the utterly shameless man before them could be capable of such a formidable feat! Impossible! 

"Cough cough!"

Elder Lu Yun also couldn't bear watching the sight any longer. He coughed lightly to dispel the awkwardness in the air before saying, "Xiaotian, inner disciples are allowed to bring their servants with them to the sect. I believe there's no reason binding you to Xuanjiang City anymore, so why don't we head over to the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion now?"

"Yes, Elder Lu!" Dan Xiaotian replied.

Having exacted his vengeance, there was nothing left for him to reminisce about Xuanjiang City anymore. It was time for him to head to the larger world out there and experience new things.

"I wish to bring Elder Yi and Brother Zhang along," Dan Xiaotian informed Elder Lu.

There was no doubt that he had to bring his teacher along with him. Elder Yi had also served him for many years, so he couldn't just abandon the other party either. To him, these two were more than enough. He didn't need any menial disciple or the sort to serve him.

Besides, his teacher valued his privacy. It would be jarring on him if he were to bring more people with him.

"Alright. You should head back and make some preparations. We'll set off from here two hours from now!" Elder Lu Yun said.

Dan Xiaotian nodded before finally walking over to his teacher. He couldn't help but notice that there was a slight tinge of disappointment on his teacher's seemingly nonchalant face.

Clearly, he didn't receive the protection fees he had demanded earlier.

"Teacher, let's return home for a while. I would like to pack some stuff and take one last look around the residence before leaving for the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!" Dan Xiaotian said.

By now, they were already far away from Elder Lu Yun and the others, so there was no need to conceal their identity anymore.

Zhang Xuan nodded in response.

In truth, the reason why he demanded protection fees was so as to divert attention away from him, and it seemed like it was working out fine. He really wasn't disappointed that he didn't receive anything at all!

"I wonder how long I'll be able to conceal myself in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion for… Being too talented can be exasperating at times!" Zhang Xuan rubbed his forehead as he thought.

If he had a choice, he wouldn't want to be so conspicuous either. But people were simply too easily dazzled whenever he made a move… it was not something that he could help!

Putong!

While Zhang Xuan was deep in thoughts, the bandit, Cao Chengli, suddenly rushed over and kneeled onto the ground in front of him. His eyes were filled with sincerity and expectations.

"Young Master, please accept me as well. It would be my greatest honor to serve as your humble servant!"

"Look. I am simply too outstanding that even bandits can't help but fall for my charms…" Zhang Xuan sighed deeply.Reference to Dragon Ball Z, it's a medicine that heals one up quickly

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