Library of Heaven is Path
1980 Zhang Xuan Is Out of Seclusion
Bai Feng was rendered speechless after hearing the Old Master's confirmation.
If they put it like that, everything made perfect sense!
The Young Mistress had left with the intention to challenge Zhang Xuan, but somehow, she had ended up willingly putting on an act with Zhang Xuan. After she returned, she had somehow managed to learn I Am Low Profile's swordsmanship, and using his moves, she dominated all the core disciples.
Thinking back, it was indeed suspicious how Zhang Xuan had medicine that was capable of treating the Old Master.
Furthermore, it had just been a day since he entered the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, yet he had somehow managed to comprehend the Gods' Sword Intent and challenge all of the inner disciples.
Thinking more into it, all the clues indeed pointed toward Zhang Xuan. They could not deny it even if they wanted to!
"Let's not rush to conclusions. We still need to verify whether it's truly him or not," Elder Bai Ye said. "I'll test him out myself!"
"Yes, Old Master!" Bai Feng replied.
As the two of them had been communicating via zhenqi telepathy all this while, the old man before them was unaware of the exchange that had just gone on between them.
"Do you not intend to interfere in this issue?" Seeing how they were ignoring him, the old man was so angry that he could have exploded on the spot.
"Of course not. We'll head over there to take a look now."
Elder Bai Ye instructed Bai Feng to fetch two Ethereal Tokens of the core disciples, and immersing his consciousness into it, he swiftly entered the Ethereal Hall together with Bai Feng.
Upon entering, they swiftly disguised themselves so that outsiders would not be able to tell.
At that very moment, the dueling location had already switched from the private rooms to the public ring.
Many core disciples had received the news about Bai Ruanqing's consecutive successful challenges, so more and more of them were gathering around the dueling ring. At this moment, there were already dozens of people. Their names were a little unfamiliar, presumably because they had used their spare Ethereal Tokens so that no one was able to tell who was who.
In the dueling ring, Bai Ruanqing was currently exchanging blows with fifth ranked Mo Xiangyun.
Just as her name suggested, Mo Xiangyun was a female disciple. But unlike Bai Ruanqing, she had a massive physique that towered over most men. Furthermore, she made no attempt to tidy herself up, resulting in her appearance being frequently unkempt.
If one did not hear her name, one might just mistake her for a male.
This was not limited to her appearance but extended to her swordsmanship. In contrast to the usual elegant and delicate swordsmanship that most female sword practitioners opted for, her swordsmanship was extremely brutish, almost reminiscent of the hack of an axe.
As soon as they got into position, Mo Xiangyun could not be bothered to waste any time on words. Without any hesitation, she dashed forward like a tank while swinging her sword forcefully.
Her sword was different from that of most sword practitioners. It was freakishly huge, standing at seven chi[l] long. Sonic booms echoed along with its movements, leaving one with no doubt that it would smash everything in its path.
Bai Ruanqing knew better than to face Mo Xiangyun in a direct encounter. She skillfully deflected Mo Xiangyun's first attack with a horizontal slash before decisively flicking her sword outward.
She was basically betting everything on the sword toss.
It was one of the two strongest moves that she had. She knew that her other sword arts would not work against the top five of the core disciples. If anything, it was likely that the other party would exploit the openings in that swordsmanship to corner her instead. As a result, she knew that she had no choice but to use her trump cards right from the start.
"Heh, that move is useless against me!" Mo Xiangyun said as she swiftly swept her sword upward.
The incoming sword was deflected away.
Astonished, Bai Ruanqing quickly backed off.
As expected of an expert from the top five! Each of them had their own trump cards. She could not hope to defeat them just by learning the bare basics of Senior Uncle Zhang's swordsmanship.
Not to mention, the other party had watched her previous battles and knew that she was only capable of those two moves. Naturally, it was much easier for the other party to take precautions!
"If you dare, why don't you wait here a moment... I'll come right back to fight you in a moment's time!" Seeing that it was impossible for her to defeat Mo Xiangyun with just two moves, Bai Ruanqing decided to make a strategic retreat.
"Bring it on! I'll be here whenever you wish to pick a fight!" Mo Xiangyun roared while laughing.
She had heard of what had happened previously, and she knew that Bai Ruanqing was not just joking around. She was curious to see what Bai Ruanqing would be able to do once more within a few minutes.
Bai Ruanqing clasped her fist toward Mo Xiangyun before dissipating into light fragments. The next moment, she was already back at Zhang Xuan's residence.
"Junior Xiaotian, teach me another two moves," Bai Ruanqing shouted as soon as she rushed out of her room, but the next moment, she saw a figure who caused her face to immediately crumble from awkwardness. "Senior Uncle Zhang!"
That figure was none other than Zhang Xuan!
Having advanced his cultivation to Heavenly Pseudo Immortal, he had finally concluded his momentary seclusion! "What's going on here?" Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.
Why was this woman in his residence? Not to mention, she was even asking Dan Xiaotian to impart swordsmanship to her?
"Senior Uncle Zhang, I'm using your swordsmanship to challenge others in the core disciples' Ethereal Hall..." With a crimson tinge on her cheeks, Bai Ruanqing quickly filled Zhang Xuan in on the details.
After hearing the full story, the first question that Zhang Xuan asked was as followed.
"Did you place a bet on the battle?"
"Ah? I didn't..." Bai Ruanqing was surprised by that abrupt question, but she quickly shook her head.
I am using the swordsmanship you taught me to fight with others... Why are you asking me if I placed a bet on the battle?
She found that she was completely unable to keep up with Zhang Xuan's train of thought.
"If there's nothing on stake, what's there to fight over?" Zhang Xuan's face looked as if he could not have been more disappointed in Bai Ruanqing's stupidity.
He had been thinking of finding an opportunity to sneak into the core disciples' Ethereal Hall to earn another killing. After all, he was not so naive as to think that the Sword Pavilion Coins that he had earned would be enough for him to reach High Immortal.
Who could have known that this woman would do something so futile as to fight without earning anything in return? Are you running a charity? Do you have too much time on hands so squander around on meaningless pursuits?
“...”Seeing the look of disappointment on Zhang Xuan's face, Bai Ruanqing suddenly found herself utterly speechless.
All along, she had thought that I Am Low Profile was a low-profile expert who thought nothing of fame and glory... but it turned out that he was simply too absorbed in making money to care about anything else!
The reason I'm challenging them is to prove my own swordsmanship. Yet, somehow, you make it seem as if I'm foolishly missing out on an ideal opportunity to rob them of their money.
Would I, the granddaughter of one of the Three Grand Elders, need to rob others of their money?
Oblivious to the fact that his transcendental image was crumbling at the moment, Zhang Xuan continued asking, "Do you have any core disciple Ethereal Tokens left? Give me one, I'll head in to challenge them. The core disciples should be rather wealthy, right?"
He felt that he should clarify some matters first so that he would not be too disappointed by the results later.
Y-yes, I guess so..." Bai Ruanqing could not help but clasp her face.
That being said, most of the core disciples in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion were indeed rather wealthy. Given that even the weakest of them was at the Pseudo Immortal realm, there was no way the wealth of inner disciples could begin to compare to theirs!
"Good. Where's my Ethereal Token?" Zhang Xuan stretched out his hand.
"Even the weakest core disciple is a Lesser Pseudo Immortal... In other words, there's a strict limitation that only those who have reached the Pseudo Immortal realm are able to access the Ethereal Hall. This is to ensure that inner disciples aren't able to sneak in by any chance," Bai Ruanqing said hesitantly.
When she fought against Zhang Xuan four hours ago, the latter had only been at Dimension Shatterer realm consummation. It was clear that his cultivation was still insufficient to enter the core disciples' Ethereal Hall!
"That won't be a problem at all. I have already achieved a breakthrough," Zhang Xuan said as he allowed a hint of his aura to flow out.
"Heavenly Pseudo Immortal?" Bai Ruanqing nearly fainted on the spot.
She was extremely certain that the other party had only been at Dimension Shatterer realm consummation when she fought him earlier! Yet, in just four short hours, he had actually managed to advance an entire cultivation realm... What the holy cow!
Even a pill junkie would not be able to advance his cultivation that fast!
"Amazing!" Cao Chengli muttered as his eyes glowed in excitement.
Dan Xiaotian also clenched his fists tightly.
They knew that Zhang Xuan was extremely powerful, but they did not think that he would actually be that formidable!
"Given Young Master's incredible strength and superior swordsmanship, he would definitely be able to defeat that I Am Low Profile fool easily!" Cao Chengli exclaimed in agitation.
Over the last few hours, he had kept hearing others talk about how powerful I Am Low Profile was, but no matter how strong I Am Low Profile was, could he be any more powerful than the young master?
Look at how our young master advanced from Dimension Shatterer realm consummation to Heavenly Pseudo Immortal within a day. Is there anyone in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion who could match this accomplishment?
But barely after Cao Chengli said those words, he suddenly felt yet another painful smack on the back of his head. He indignantly turned his head around, only to see the livid face of the young master looking back at him.
"I saw you stepping into the residence with your right foot earlier. You broke my rules, so you deserve to be punished!"
"But you said that I can't step in with my left leg too! How am I supposed to get into the residence?" Cao Chengli nearly burst into tears from sheer indignation.
It was like there was no correct answer at all!
Paying no heed to that thick-skulled, lustful bandit, Zhang Xuan walked into a room together with Bai Ruanqing. With a flick of his finger, he infused a droplet of his blood into the jade token. His consciousness faded from reality, and the next moment, he was standing in the core disciples' Ethereal Hall.
I caused a huge fuss previously with the nickname 'I Am Low Profile', so the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion will surely be keeping a close lookout for that name. Thus, I should avoid using it again.
Zhang Xuan fell into deep thought.
Given that inner elders were on the lookout for him, he could not use that name again. Thus, he had to find a new, fitting nickname for himself.
It sure is difficult to find a good nickname. Since I can't use low profile, I'll just have to find other strengths of mine instead... Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before he finally nodded affirmatively. I guess I should just call myself I Am Very Handsome... It might not be as low profile, but it's honest at the very least!
He was fairly satisfied with this new name that he had put so much thought into.
Of course, nothing would beat I Am Low Profile in his mind. That was the name that perfectly embodied his ideals and dreams.
Nevertheless, I Am Very Handsome was still able to capture his disposition to some degree, so it was acceptable to him.
On the other hand, seeing the name that her Senior Uncle had come up for himself, Bai Ruanqing clasped her face for the umpteenth time that day.
Bro... can you come up with something that sounds a little more pleasant and humbler?
It feels almost like some sort of humiliation play walking beside someone with such a nickname...
With an awkward and conflicted look on her face, Bai Ruanqing walked toward the dueling ring together with I Am Very Handsome.
While walking over, Bai Ruanqing sent a telepathic message to Zhang Xuan. "I am going to fight with Mo Xiangyun right now, but I'm no match for her. What should I do?"
She had come back without learning anything at all, so there was no way there would be any difference in the outcome of the match.
"Simple. What you have to do right now is make a bet with her where the loser must give all of their Sword Pavilion Coins to the winner. After that, I'll give you some guidance during the duel so that you can easily achieve victory!" Zhang Xuan replied telepathically.
"During the duel?" Bai Ruanqing's lips twitched in disbelief.
The situation in a battle was everchanging, such that every decision had to be made instantaneously. Would it not be way too late to give her guidance only during the duel?
Even an expert of her grandfather's caliber would not dare do something like that. How could her Senior Uncle be so sure that he would be able to do it?
If it was just an ordinary battle, she would have had no qualms about it. After all, she had been killed plenty of times in the dueling ring. However, it would be completely different with that bet in place.
She had no desire to go bankrupt!
"Indeed!" Zhang Xuan nodded. "Go on, you won't lose!"
"Alright then!" Bai Ruanqing was not too sure if it was the right decision to heed Zhang Xuan's words, but eventually, she decided to trust him.
With a heavy heart, she marched back up to the dueling ring.
"Since you're back, let's resume our duel!" Mo Xiangyun replied as she raised her sword with a resounding screech.
"Wait a moment!" Even without turning her head over, Bai Ruanqing could feel the piercing glare that Zhang Xuan was shooting at her. It almost felt like he would skin her alive if she failed to propose the bet. Thus, she pursed her lips tightly for a moment before saying, "Since we're going to have a duel, I think it would be good if we spice things up with a bet!"
"A bet?" Mo Xiangyun frowned.
"Indeed. If I win, you must give all your Sword Pavilion Coins to me! On the other hand, if I lose, I'll give you all my Sword Pavilion Coins!"
As Bai Ruanqing said those words, her face turned as red as it could get.
She dared not go against her Senior Uncle's words, but still... it just felt so shameful saying those words aloud! "You want me to bet all of my money?" Mo Xiangyun widened her eyes. "Are you trying to rob me?"
"Y-yeah!" Bai Ruanqing thickened her skin. "That's exactly it!"
The old man earlier had come into the Ethereal Hall with Elder Bai Ye and Bai Feng. At this very instant, he could not help but look at Elder Bai Ye in utter shock.
"Your granddaughter... has she gone mad from being too poor?"
"Erk..." Elder Bai Ye was stunned, too.
To gamble on a duel in front of so many people... Was this really the obedient and filial granddaughter he knew?
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