Library of Heaven is Path
1976 A Show
"I..." Zhang Xuan's face reddened in embarrassment upon hearing those words.
He simply stood there with a confused look on his face, not knowing what he should do at all.
"Grandpa Feng, let's go!" Bai Ruanqing said.
Bai Feng appeared to be a little conflicted at how things had gone, but eventually, he nodded slightly and left together with Bai Ruanqing.
"It seems like I have managed to fool him for the time being..."
Watching as the two figures departed into the distance, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
He really had no intention of becoming a disciple of an elder or something! Well, if Elder Bai Ye wanted to become his student, he might still consider the matter a little.
Thus, he chose to put on the earlier show together with Bai Ruanqing. By feigning weakness and having Bai Ruanqing to report on the matter personally, it was highly likely that Elder Bai Ye would give up on the idea of taking him in as his student.
After settling the issue, Zhang Xuan quickly flitted all the way back to his residence.
When he walked through the residence doors, he noticed that Dan Xiaotian was still practicing his swordsmanship. The latter was making good progress with the Third Young Master's Swordsmanship, having achieved a mastery of roughly 90% in terms of form and conceptualization.
With sufficient money on hand this around, Zhang Xuan bought several Basic Immortal Pills for him and provided him some guidance on his cultivation.
It didn't take too long for Dan Xiaotian to advance his cultivation to Ancient Sage 2-dan.
As for Cao Chengli, despite his lustful nature, he was much more hardworking than Sun Qiang when it came to cultivating.
As a bandit, he knew of the importance of strength. After receiving an ample amount of Basic Immortal Pills and high- tier cultivation techniques, his progress in his cultivation was extremely swift.
Over the past ten days since coming under Zhang Xuan, he had managed to advance his cultivation from Great Sage 2- dan to Great Sage 3-dan, and he was steadily progressing toward Great Sage 4-dan. At this rate, he should be able to push for a breakthrough to Ancient Sage within the next few days.
Zhang Xuan told them to keep up the good work with their cultivation before finally returning back to his room.
It's my turn to make a breakthrough now...
Using the second Ethereal Token he had, Zhang Xuan bought a hundred Standard Immortal Pills before swiftly browsing through the Pseudo Immortal realm Heaven's Path Divine Art once more. Once he was ready, he calmed his mind and began his cultivation.
He first swallowed a few Standard Immortal Pills, which instantaneously dissolved into a relentless current of spiritual energy within his meridians. He swiftly circulated them around his body before refining them into his zhenqi.
His cultivation had already reached the zenith of Dimension Shatterer realm consummation previously. With the appropriate cultivation technique in hand right now, he would be able to overcome the bottlenecks in the way of his cultivation without any problems.
As he assimilated the spiritual energy from the Standard Immortal Pills, his zhenqi began to undergo a qualitative change.
Ten minutes later, when he finally built up zhenqi across the tipping point, his cultivation burst forward and tore through the final ceiling that was limiting it.
He had successfully reached Pseudo Immortal realm!
However, he didn't stop just there.
He consumed several more Standard Immortal Pills and continued cultivating.
Cultivating the Pseudo Immortal realm Heaven's Path Divine Art caused his Standard Immortal Pills to deplete swiftly, but fortunately, he had enough money to sustain his cultivation this time around.
As soon as he sensed the momentum of his cultivation dying down, he would immediately consume a couple of Standard Immortal Pills to replenish his energy. Under the circulation of the Heaven's Path Divine Art, his cultivation rose steadily.
Lesser Pseudo Immortal!
Greater Pseudo Immortal!
Earthly Pseudo Immortal!
By the end of two hours, he had already successfully raised his cultivation by an entire realm, reaching Heavenly Pseudo Immortal realm!
Nearly all hundred of the Standard Immortal Pills he had purchased earlier had been depleted in the midst of his cultivation. At the same time, he realized that Standard Immortal Pills were no longer effective enough to raise his cultivation anymore. If he wanted to advance his cultivation further, he would require something more potent.
Alacrity in thoughts, purity of soul, and invulnerability to flames... So this is the strength of a Pseudo Immortal! Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly in agitation.
His cultivation had only risen by another realm, but the increment in his strength was massive.
There was a qualitative difference between Dimension Shatterer realm and Pseudo Immortal realm. Be it his lifespan or strength, they were completely different from before.
If what he was using before was Origin Energy, the energy that flowed through his meridians this very instant could only be described as Immortal Energy. This was the energy that only immortals were able to access.
It's really a huge stroke of luck that I was able to knock out Bai Ruanqing... Zhang Xuan thought in relief.
It was only after feeling the humongous strength in his body did he realize how tremendous the fundamental difference between him and Bai Ruanqing had been.
Had he not taken the initiative and strike out relentlessly back then, most likely, he would have been the one who would have lost the battle once Bai Ruanqing had regained her footing in the battle.
Putting aside True Immortals, even Pseudo Immortals were already at least ten times stronger than Dimension Shatterer realm cultivators.
At the same time, the massive growth in his cultivation also gave him a deeper insight into what the Gods' Sword Intent truly was. With the current might of his swordsmanship, he felt that he would be able to subdue even Heavenly True Immortals with ease now.
As for High Immortals, as he had never crossed blows with one before, he had no clear gauge of how powerful they actually were. Nevertheless, based on the records from books, it didn't seem likely that the current him would be a match for them.
It's also about time for Vicious and my clone to make a breakthrough too... Zhang Xuan thought.
He bought more Standard Immortal Pills before letting his clone and Vicious out to cultivate.
As for the Dongxu Gourd, it was still nowhere close to recovering its original body even after eating a hundred Standard Immortal Pills. As soon as Zhang Xuan let it out, it immediately began bawling for food.
Finding it too noisy, Zhang Xuan unhesitatingly stuffed it into his storage ring.
Just thinking about how he would have to deal with the annoying Dongxu Gourd left him with a huge headache. He must have sinned greatly in his previous life to deserve this!
And to make things worse, he still didn't know what it was capable of other than the fact that its bathwater could be used to heal injuries...
Maybe he could try letting a High Immortal split the Dongxu Gourd in the future. If it was able to survive even that, he could consider using it as a shield in the future...
While Zhang Xuan was still cultivating, Bai Ruanqing and Bai Feng had already returned back to Elder Bai Ye's residence.
"How is it?" Elder Bai Ye asked.
"The Young Mistress has tested the young man's skill personally, so I'll allow her to speak instead..." Bai Feng took a step back and said.
"Grandfather, Zhang Xuan's swordsmanship is truly horrid. He is incapable of even executing the most basic sword art.
I have suppressed my cultivation down to his level and tested him out with some of the most fundamental swordsmanships of our sect, but it's already more than enough to subdue him... He's unqualified to be your student!" Bai Ruanqing exclaimed.
As she said these words, she couldn't help but feel even deeper admiration for her 'Senior Uncle'.
Within the sect, there were countless who would bleed their heads dry just to become her grandfather's student, but her 'Senior Uncle' actually had no interest in it at all. He would go through so much trouble to put on an act just to turn it down... He sure was a humble person!
All cultivators should really learn from his example!
On the other hand, Elder Bai Ye frowned upon hearing his granddaughter's words.
"I have taken down a recording of the earlier battle. Do take a look!" Bai Ruanqing said as she passed a Record Crystal over.
Elder Bai Ye took the crystal and infused his zhenqi in. The earlier scenario surfaced on the crystal, showing how Bai Ruanqing had managed to easily subdue Zhang Xuan.
"Look! I'm not lying to you, right? His skill is really abhorrent. Grandfather, it would only undermine your authority if you take a person like him in as your student!" Bai Ruanqing exclaimed.
"Alright, I understand. You should take your leave for now. There are some private matters which I want to discuss with Ah Feng privately!" Elder Bai Ye replied with a wave of his hand.
Yes, grandfather!" Bai Ruanqing turned around and left the room.
Barely after she left the room, Elder Bai Ye turned to look at Bai Feng and asked, "What's your view of the matter?"
"I'm confident of my disguise, but for some reason, I got a feeling that the other party anticipated my arrival. His eyes and gestures speak of fluster, but I can sense a hint of assurance from him. It's like he isn't worried that he would be killed at all..." Bai Feng revealed the doubts that had been in his heart.
He had always been a very discerning and meticulous person. Even though Zhang Xuan had put up a good act, he was still able to keenly notice that something was off.
"If he was really afraid, he would have tried to run away or desperately cry for help. He wouldn't have reacted in the way he did..." Elder Bai Ye nodded in agreement.
He shared the same thoughts as Bai Feng too.
"Then, Old Master..." Bai Feng asked doubtfully.
"I have really spoiled that granddaughter of mine! She's an intelligent and discerning child, but she often allows her emotions to overtake her rationality, resulting in that incredible reckless nature of hers. Usually, she would have probably gone to confront that young man straight, but this time around, she waited patiently for you to appear before confronting that fellow. I find it hard to believe that this isn't an act between that young man and her..." Elder Bai Ye stroked his beard and he sighed bitterly.
"An act? Old Master, you mean that..." Bai Feng frowned upon hearing those words.
"That lass left the residence shortly after your departure, so I had someone follow her. My men reported that she had entered the core disciples' library and shared a private chamber together with Zhang Xuan. She ended up staying in the private chamber for nearly two hours straight..." Elder Bai Ye tossed a jade token over to Bai Feng as he spoke.
Bai Feng quickly caught the token, and after seeing the contents, his lips twitched in horror.
For a man and a woman to share a private chamber for such a long period of time... could there really be something between them?
"Old Master, are you suspecting that there might be some kind of unusual relationship between Zhang Xuan and the Young Mistress?" Bai Feng asked.
"I want you to discreetly follow her the next few days so as to find out what she's up to. Report anything that you find to me right away. Also, make sure to keep a lookout on Zhang Xuan as well... I would have never thought that an inner disciple would be capable of making that fearless granddaughter of mine obediently put on an act together with him. I sure would like to see what he's truly capable of!" Elder Bai Ye instructed.
To be able to become one of the Three Grand Elders of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, Elder Bai Ye's ability to analyze situations was naturally superb as well.
He was afraid that her granddaughter would cause some kind of trouble after learning that he was intending to take Zhang Xuan as his student, so he had his men follow her... As a result, he caught wind of the happenings at the core disciples' library too.
The fact that they had been together with one another in the private chamber for quite some time, as well as his granddaughter's sudden appearance while Bai Feng was testing Zhang Xuan... It was very obvious that something was amiss here.
"Make sure not to follow her too closely. Otherwise, if she notices your presence, she would kick up a fuss with me once again. Also, I want you to investigate Zhang Xuan's background and identity. Somehow... I don't recall seeing his name amongst the inner disciples!" Elder Bai Ye said with a wave of his hand.
Yes, Old Master!" Bai Feng nodded before taking his leave.
Bai Ruanqing was completely oblivious to the fact that the act she had put up together with her 'Senior Uncle' had already been exposed. At this moment, she was busy practicing her swordsmanship in her room.
By the tenth move, a furrow was already gradually etching itself onto her forehead.
The swordsmanship imparted to her by her 'Senior Uncle' was truly profound. She was able to grasp the initial phases easily and improve swiftly, but as she progressed on, she realized that the swordsmanship was a lot more layered and veiled than what appeared on the exterior. There were far too many seemingly minor yet significant details that she was unable to make sense of, causing her to frequently bump into bottlenecks.
Let me consult him on this...
She continued cultivating for another hour, but it felt that she was really getting nowhere at all. Thus, she got onto her aerial beast and began making her way over to the Inner Disciple Sector.
Prior to their parting at the core disciples' library, she had asked the other party here he resided at. She was able to swiftly find her way, and it didn't take long for her to reach her destination.
She leaped down from her aerial beast and knocked on the doors of the residence.
A middle-aged man opened the door. Upon seeing Bai Ruanqing, his eyes immediately lit up as he asked in the most gentlemanly voice possible, "May I know you are..."
"I am here to find Seni-I mean Junior Zhang Xuan!" Bai Ruanqing said.
She knew that her Senior Uncle was unwilling to reveal his identity in public, so she dared not address him in a manner that would compromise his identity.
You are looking for our Young Master?" the middle-aged man asked in surprise.
Of course, this middle-aged man was no other than Cao Chengli. He thought that his fame as a skilled lover had brought this beautiful lady to his door, causing his heart thump in excitement for a bit. But it turned out that she was here for their Young Master...
He would have never thought that the dense-looking Young Master of his would actually have it in him after all...
There was a period of time which he thought that the eccentric Young Master of his belonged to a certain breed of humans whose special trait was 'forever alone', but who could have thought that the latter would actually get entangled with such a beautiful lady within less than a day after his arrival...
One must indeed not judge a person by his appearance... or his character!
"Our Young Master is inside. This way please..." Cao Chengli gestured Bai Ruanqing into the residence.
He was just about to take the lead to guide the guest in when he suddenly recalled something. With a slightly awkward shuffle, he switched to his right leg before stepping across the doorsill.