"It's too dangerous!" Han Jianqiu exclaimed anxiously.

In response to Han Jianqiu's worry, Zhang Xuan replied, "I am someone who has comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent. Just like you have mentioned many times before, it's only a matter of time before I become the sect leader of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. How can I mature if I were to constantly remain under your protection? A sword practitioner should have the tenacity of a raging bull, charging down adversities without any hesitation. Fear would only fill my swordsmanship with hesitation."

"But even so..."

Han Jianqiu wanted to protest, but he knew that there was some sense in what Zhang Xuan was saying.

It was often in times of danger that cultivators matured and rose to greater heights. Without facing adversities and putting one's swordsmanship to the test, it was impossible for one to reach the peak.

It was not to say that being careful wasn't important, but things that had to be done must be accomplished with gusto and spirit. Once a sword practitioner lost his decisiveness, his swordsmanship would only become dull and conventional.

There were such cases in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion too. A thousand years ago, there was a sect leader whose swordsmanship had reached an unsurpassable level, such that he had no rivals in the world. However, a small incident caused him to accidentally harm his closest friend, and under great self-reproach, he ended up doubting his own path. This seed of doubt swiftly grew, wavering his faith in the sword. Eventually, his very Sword Intent collapsed, resulting in the swift regression of his cultivation.

Eventually, he died a humble man.

There were bound to be many regrets and difficulties in life, but learning how to overcome them was the way how one could mature and grow. If someone who had comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent were to falter in the face of danger, he would never become a great person.

Protecting someone didn't mean sheltering him from all dangers in the world. It was to provide him with the necessary conditions required for him to mature and eventually become independent in the world

"I understand. I'll lend you the swiftest aerial immortal beast in our sect then," Han Jianqiu was still deeply apprehensive, but he knew that this was something he would just have to learn how to cope with.

"There's no need for that. That would be too eye-catching," Zhang Xuan replied. He contemplated for a brief moment before asking, "Are these any aerial immortal beasts residing around the area? I think I'll try to tame one myself."

He didn't know where the experts of the Hall of Gods were hiding, but riding an aerial immortal beast of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion would simply be too eye-catching. That would be no different from declaring to all of them that he was leaving the safe grounds of the sect.

Since that was the case, he might as well discreetly leave and tame an aerial immortal beast while he was at it. That shouldn't hinder his journey by too much.


"You wish to tame an aerial immortal beast yourself?" Han Jianqiu was stunned. "Immortal beasts are known to be extremely arrogant, and taming them often takes a very long time. It isn't as easy as you think it out to be."

The aerial immortal beasts that the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion were rearing were all bought over from the Myriad Beasts Hall. Their members were completely focused on furthering their swordsmanship that practically none of them knew anything about beast taming at all.

Nevertheless, they were still aware of the difficulties in attempting to tame the immortal beasts.

Even the disciples of the Myriad Beasts Hall, who devoted their lives to learning to master their craft of beast taming, would take an incredibly long time in order to tame even a single immortal beast!

"I understand. I'm just intending on giving it a try," Zhang Xuan replied with a smile.

"This... I see that you have already made your mind. Since that's the case, I won't stop you either. This is a Protective Jade Token I have forged. In times of danger, you can infuse your zhenqi into it, and it'll form a defensive light barrier around you. It will protect you from a single decisive strike by a Semi-Divinity realm expert."

Seeing that Zhang Xuan's mind was made up, Han Jianqiu shook his head helplessly before passing a jade token over. "Thank you," Zhang Xuan replied as he accepted the Protective Jade Token.

"Regarding the aerial immortal beast you mentioned earlier, on the Ascendant Cloud Mountain roughly ten thousand li away from here, there are several High Immortal and True Immortal realm beasts... The Myriad Beasts Hall has sent their members over to tame them several times, but none of them have succeeded to date. You have to take caution if you really wish to head there!" Han Jianqiu advised.

Zhang Xuan nodded in response.

He moved on to clarify the location of the Starchaser Palace and enquire a few more questions, and once he received all the answers he needed, he quickly headed over to Dan Xiaotian's residence.

By this moment, Bai Ruanqing had already received a message from Elder Bai Ye and returned back from Wuhai City. "Xiaotian, I have taken Ruanqing in as my direct disciple. From this day onward, she'll be your senior."

"Paying respects to Senior!" Dan Xiaotian clasped his wrist and greeted Bai Ruanqing.

"These are the cultivation techniques and sword arts you will be practicing in the future. Feel free to pose any doubts you have," Zhang Xuan said as he passed two jade tokens over to them with a flick of his wrist.

Embedded within the jade tokens were the cultivation techniques and some pointers regarding the direction they should focus on in the future.

Dan Xiaotian and Bai Ruanqing quickly immersed their consciousness into the jade token to take a look, and soon, they found themselves completely engrossed with what they were reading.

The cultivation technique and sword art recorded within the jade token truly an ingenious work. As long as they practiced it seriously, they would surely be able to advance their cultivation swiftly.

It didn't take them long to finish going through everything in the jade token, and they began posing the uncertainties they harbored in their minds.

Zhang Xuan answered their doubts one after another patiently.

After which, he swiftly entered the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion's Ethereal Hall and purchased two bottles of Standard Immortal Pills and Superior Immortal Pills. Passing one of each to his two direct disciples, he said, "These are the Immortal Pills that the two of you will require for your cultivation. I hope that you'll be able to meet my expectations the next time we meet!"

By the time he finished arranging future plans for his direct disciples, dawn was already around the corner.

Before he knew it, he had already spent two days in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. That was quite a long period of time.

Fortunately, the time he had spent here had been quite fruitful as well. He managed to advance his cultivation to Heavenly True Immortal realm, and he had comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent as well. At the same time, he tamed two High Immortal-tier weapons and refined three Heavenly True Immortal realm Soulless Metal Humanoids...

All in all, he had become much more powerful than before, and he was no longer completely helpless even against the top echelons of the Forsaken Continent anymore.

"We'll not let down teacher's expectations!"

Bai Ruanqing and Dan Xiaotian kowtowed deeply with reddened eyes.

Watching this sight, Zhang Xuan nodded his head in satisfaction.

His journey in the Azure was destined to be a short one, especially since his primary goal was to find Luo Ruoxin. It was not a part of his plan to take in any direct disciple at all, but he didn't regret his decision.

Dan Xiaotian and Bai Ruanqing had fine youths with resilient characters, and he was very satisfied with them.

It was just a pity that he couldn't bring them around like Zhao Ya and the others and teach them carefully. They could only rely on themselves in the future.

"Cao Chengli, I want you to take care of Xiaotian and Ruanqing after I leave. These are your cultivation techniques and pills. Stop lusting over women all the time and focus more on your concentration. Instead of hearing you talk about your sexual exploits and how you have conquered a hundred flowers or something, I hope to see substantial improvements in your cultivation the next time we meet. Is that understood?" Zhang Xuan called the bandit Cao Chengli over and lectured him.

"Cough cough... Young Master, I have actually conquered my thousandth flower already!" Cao Chengli replied with an awkward scratch of his head. Then, he peeked at Zhang Xuan curiously and asked meekly, "Just out of sheer curiosity, Young Master, but how many flowers have you conquered at the moment..."

Those words immediately turned Zhang Xuan's face utterly black. This fellow sure was getting ahead of himself!

"I heard that you have been hopping across the doorsill recently? Just look at what is becoming of your manners! If I were to ever find out that you have been conducting yourself in such a ridiculous manner, you can be certain that I'll break your darned legs!"

"I can't hop across the doorsill either?" Cao Chengli was appalled.

The left leg was a no-go, and the right leg was a no-go too... And now, he couldn't even hop across either! Was the Young Master thinking of keeping him out of the residence or confining him inside the residence for life?

Leaving Cao Chengli to reflect on his own wrongdoings, Zhang Xuan harrumphed coldly once more before leaving the residence.

By the time the sun started rising by the horizon, he had already left the mountain gate, disappearing completely amidst the vast wilderness.

A moment after he disappeared, two elders suddenly appeared in midair. They looked at one another with utterly confused looks on their faces.

They were no other than Elder He Tian and Elder Chou Huo.

Han Jianqiu did permit Zhang Xuan to leave on his own, but eventually, he found himself unable to leave the latter to be. It was the safety of their future sect leader they were talking about here, nothing must go wrong!

Thus, as soon as Zhang Xuan left, he immediately arranged for the two elders to follow Zhang Xuan closely and protect him from the shadows.

Who could have thought that they would lose Zhang Xuan as soon as they left the sect...

"Quick, we have to find him!"

The two of them combed the area frantically in search of the young man, but the entire area was completely empty. There was no sight of Zhang Xuan to be seen at all.

Four hours later, the two of them had no choice but to return to the Elder Council awkwardly to report on their failure.

To think that two Heavenly High Immortals like them would lose sight of a Heavenly True Immortal... They had no idea how they could face the sect leader like that!

"You lost him?"

...

Han Jianqiu seemed to have guessed what had happened upon seeing their figures, thus sparing them from the agony of having to explain their own failure.

"This..."

Elder He Tian and Elder Chou Huo dared not to raise their heads.

"He knew that I would send the two of you to follow him, so he made countermeasures in advance..." Han Jianqiu sighed helplessly.

"He knew that we were following him?"

The two elders raised their heads simultaneously.

"This is the message he has left for the two of you," Han Jianqiu said as he flicked two jade tokens into the hands of the two elders.

The two elders quickly infused their zhenqi into the jade token, and soon, Zhang Xuan's voice sounded in the air, "Elder He and Elder Chou, there's no need for you two to follow me. I'm capable of protecting myself. This is a sword art I have created for the two of you after analyzing the flaws in your swordsmanship. As long as you cultivate according to it, you should be able to bring your mastery of swordsmanship to greater heights..."

"This..."

They quickly peered into the contents of the jade token, and in the next moment, the two of them were shocked speechless.

The sword art in the jade token happened to resolve all of the flaws in their swordsmanship. As long as they practiced this technique diligently, they would be able to reach a higher level in their mastery. In fact, it might even prop their cultivation to higher grounds even!

"H-how did you see through this?"

The two of them widened their eyes in disbelief.

It was only common sense for a sword practitioner to keep the flaws of his swordsmanship to himself. Such a thing was not something one could reveal even to one's closest kin. Yet, all it took was a single duel for the young man to uncover the entirety of their flaws and figure out a feasible method to correct them...

They had known all this while that the sword practitioner who had comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent was bound to be exceptional, but this was way beyond their imagination!

One must know that every single move in a swordsmanship was like a gear in a complete system. Even if one were to become aware of a problem in this single gear, altering it haphazardly could cause even more trouble in the entire system instead.

It was for this reason that they dared not to correct their flaws despite being aware of the problems they posed. It was not that they didn't want to do so but that they were unable to do so!

Yet, such a feat was achieved impeccably by the young man...

"How can we ever hope to repay this favor?"

The eyes of the two elders reddened in agitation.

They were intending on protecting the young man, but not only did the young man not need their help, he even gifted them with such a huge present. Words could hardly describe their current feelings.

"It isn't just the both of you. Every single one of us received something similar too..." Han Jianqiu said as he looked out of the Elder Council with a deep look in his eyes.

It felt as if the young man was a deity who had descended upon them, bestowing them with his blessings before vanishing without a trace.

Elder He Tian and Elder Chou Huo looked around the room, and it was only then did they realize that the sect leader and the other elders had a jade token in their hands as well. Most likely, these jade tokens contained their flaws and the ways to resolve the issue.

"Cultivate well. Don't let down his expectations of you!" Han Jianqiu said as he stood up. "Given Zhang Xuan's capabilities, I believe that the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion would only soar to greater heights under his leadership."

"Indeed!"

The others in the room nodded their heads in agitation.

It turned out that the appearance of a practitioner who had comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent wasn't just a blessing to the sect but its individual members as well... As long as they could internalize Zhang Xuan's teachings, they could pass the knowledge down to the disciples as well, and the fighting prowess of the sect would soar swiftly.

Just thinking about the matter left every one of them trembling in excitement.

A talented genius could ensure a sect's prosperity for a generation, but a talented teacher could ensure the prosperity of the sect for generations to come!

"I have made up my mind!" Han Jianqiu suddenly declared with conviction.

As if knowing what was on Han Jianqiu's mind, Elder He Tian asked in astonishment, "Sect Leader Han, are you certain

"Absolutely so," Han Jianqiu replied. "I was still worried about his boastful temperament, so I thought that there's a need to temper his character a little more before entrusting the sect to him. However, the fact that he's willing to impart his teaching unreservedly to us shows that his mind is already in the right place. I believe that he's ready!"

After saying those words, Han Jianqiu took out the token which represented his identity as the sect leader and held it in front of him.

His deep voice echoed loudly across the entire Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion.

"From this day forth, Zhang Xuan shall be the new sect leader of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!"

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