Library of Heaven is Path
2015 Double Kill
Back at the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, he had to slowly rise through the ranks, starting from pummeling the inner disciples before moving on to the core disciples, then the elders, and finally the sect leader. Despite moving along the conventional path with his swordsmanship, he was only given the position of a 'potential successor' instead of the 'sect leader' position...
On the other hand, he had only arrived at the Myriad Beasts Hall for two hours so far, but before he could make sense of what was going on here, he was already offered the position as the next hall master...
Was this some kind of new prank that cultivators played on one another in the Forsaken Continent?
This was one of the Six Sects they were talking about here! They were selecting a sect leader over here, not cabbages for dinner!
Or could it be that this Hall Master Qin actually had some sort of tragic history with the sect, so the other party wanted to destroy this wretched place of misery through his hands or something?
Otherwise, he could only conclude that this bunch of people were fools who could trust even an outsider to lead them!
If not for the fact that he had seen how majestic the entire place was, he would have really thought that he might have stepped into the headquarters of a multilevel marketing company!
"Indeed," Hall Master Qin nodded earnestly as he looked at Zhang Xuan with intense eyes.
After meeting 'Zheng Yang' in person, he was certain that there was no one more suited to become the hall master than him.
An organization as large as the Myriad Beasts Hall was bound to already have all of its administrative processes down, so there was no need for the leader to be too involved in the day-to-day administration of the sect. There were elders who were specially assigned to handle those matters. When it came to major issues, there was the Elder Council whose primary purpose was to confer over strategic decisions.
To put it bluntly, the position of the sect leader was similar to that of a living mascot. They served to unite the sect members together as one and instill fear and deterrence in the enemies. Of course, it would be a huge blessing if a capable man were to become the sect leader, but otherwise, the sect would be able to function properly even without if the sect leader wasn't present.
Given so, someone who possessed superior beast taming skills like Zheng Yang would be the ideal candidate. If he could pass down his knowledge, the overall fighting prowess of the sect could be brought to greater heights.
On the other hand, seeing the earnest look on Sect Leader Qin's face, Zhang Xuan realized that he wasn't being pranked over here. There was no value in pranking him either.
He didn't rush into giving an answer, choosing to ponder carefully over the matter for a while before finally giving a response, "There are pressing matters which I have to attend to. I'll have to head to the Sea of Exiled Stars very soon, so I fear that I won't be able to remain here for too long. Furthermore, I'm completely ignorant about the management of a sect..."
He had taken on many leadership positions in the past, such as the principle of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy and the head of the Zhang Clan, but he had never involved himself in its administration before. There were always people there to manage those matters for him. Thus, his efforts had always been directed toward his cultivation.
To be honest, he wasn't sure if he could really handle the troubles that came along with being the sect leader.
In response to that, Hall Master Qin replied, "In truth, I don't know too much about the management of a sect either. The position of a hall master is mostly symbolistic. Your very presence will reassure the disciples in times of danger, allowing them to fight bravely without defeat. At the same time, a powerful leader would grant us more bargaining power on a negotiation table. As for the miscellaneous affairs, you need not worry too much about it. The elders are there to deal with them."
Zhang Xuan nodded slowly in agreement.
Seeing that he was receiving a positive response, Hall Master Qin pressed on, "Besides, if you are intending on heading to the Sea of Exiled Stars, you would have even more need for the identity as the leader of our Myriad Beasts Hall."
Those words left Zhang Xuan tilting his head in confusion.
"The Sea of Exiled Stars is where the Starchaser Palace is located at. It consists of innumerable islands, and living on each of these islands are the indigenous population of the Forsaken Continent. They are an extremely exclusive group of people, and they tend to act hostile toward outsiders. There have been quite a few cases where those islanders have lynched visitors to death, and there are even High Immortals who have fallen victim to that as well," Hall Master Qin explained.
"If you were to take on the identity of the leader of the Myriad Beasts Hall, your words would carry more weight. At the very least, no one would dare to make a move on you, and it would be much easier for you to get things done as well."
Naturally, there was no one who would be foolish enough to offend the leader of the Myriad Beasts Hall. That would be as good as waging war on it.
Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.
He had asked Elder Liao some details regarding the Sea of Exiled Stars on his way over, and it was exactly the same as what Hall Master Qin was saying at the moment as well.
It was rumored that some of the indigenous population practiced the art of slaughter, so their temperament tended not to be too good.
If he were to enter as a nobody, it would be hard for him to achieve his goal of accessing their libraries and uncovering clues regarding Luo Ruoxin there.
"If you become the hall master, you'll be able to mobilize our informants hidden amidst the Sea of Exiled Stars, thus making it easier for you to gather information," Hall Master Qin dropped another bait before Zhang Xuan.
"This..." Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up. "Since that's the case, I guess I don't really mind taking on the position then!"
It would indeed be difficult for him to investigate the information he required by himself. However, if he were to become the leader of the Myriad Beasts Hall, he would be able to tap into its vast intelligence network, thus making it far easier for him to gather information.
As the Myriad Beasts Hall had a monopoly in the business of transportation on the Forsaken Continent, its members were spread throughout the entire continent. There were many disciples just like the old man who had ferried him over to the Ascendant Cloud Mountain spread all over the continent.
Given so, Zhang Xuan could imagine that their intelligence network would be far more developed than that of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion.
"That is wonderful news. I'll make preparations now, and the inauguration ceremony will be held a month from now!" Hall Master Qin nodded.
"A month from now?" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "I can't afford to wait that long. There's no need to hold an inauguration ceremony either. It's not convenient for me to show myself presently either!"
"It isn't convenient for you to show yourself?" Hall Master Qin frowned.
They were an orthodox organization, not some shady demonic sect operating undercover to destroy the continent or something. Surely there was no need to be so secretive about this!
"My cultivation is only at Heavenly True Immortal realm at the moment. While I am able to barely defeat Heavenly High Immortal realm beasts using my secret art, I fear that my cultivation is still too weak at the moment. I'm worried that I might catch the attention of the Hall of Gods if I were to stand out too much..."
At this moment, Zhang Xuan paused for a moment before adding, "I heard that the genius who comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent at the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion had recently faced an assassination attempt from the Hall of Gods."
It was better for him to be careful, especially since he didn't have a golden page with him at the moment.
If the Hall of Gods were to dispatch numerous Heavenly High Immortal experts after him, he would be in a very dangerous position.
"The Hall of Gods?" Hall Master Qin narrowed his eyes coldly. "I have indeed heard of that matter from Han Jianqiu..."
Their informants had found that the Hall of Gods was becoming more active in recent years, and the news he had just received from Han Jianqiu affirmed his worries. This was also the reason why he was worried that Zheng Yang might be a spy from the Hall of Gods.
He had crossed blows with Han Jianqiu for many years now, and he had a good grasp of the latter's temperament. He thought that it was weird for the latter to step down all of a sudden and nominate a young man as his successor.
It was only after enquiring about the matter did he learn from Han Jianqiu that the Hall of Gods had attempted to assassinate the disciple who had comprehended the Gods' Sword Intent. The latter had only passed down the position of the sect leader to that disciple in hopes of protecting him.
To be honest, he hadn't expected the lofty Hall of Gods to lower their pride just to nip a potential threat in the bud... If an exceptionally talented individual were to emerge from the Myriad Beasts Hall, would the same situation occur as well?
Hall Master Qin pondered deeply over these issues before finally giving his response, "I think that your worries make perfect sense. Since that's the case, I'll put aside the inauguration ceremony for the time being and simply make an official announcement to declare that I will be passing the position of the hall master down to you. I'll introduce you as an ascetic core elder of our sect who has devoted all of his time to cultivation. Due to that, your cultivation has reached Heavenly High Immortal realm, and you wield capabilities beyond that of other core elders in our sect. That would help to justify how you were able to tame the four immortal beasts easily."
Thank you for your consideration, Hall Master Qin," Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
If his cultivation was at Heavenly High Immortal, it would make much more sense for him to be able to tame the four immortal beasts. At the very least, the matter wouldn't be so astonishing as to catch the attention of the Hall of Gods.
"Un, it's no problem," Hall Master Qin nodded in response.
With a flick of his wrist, he took out his Sect Leader Token and floated it before him.
"Hear me, members of the Myriad Beasts Hall. I hereby officially declare that I'll be stepping down as the hall master, and the one who will succeed me is Elder Zheng Yang. Just earlier in the day, he has successfully tamed the four immortal beasts of Ascendant Cloud Mountain, and his prowess as a beast tamer is indubitably unparalleled..."
"We are going to have a new hall master too?"
"Why have I never heard of this Elder Zheng Yang before?"
"You buffoon, are you even listening to what Hall Master Qin was saying? Didn't he say earlier that Elder Zheng Yang is an ascetic? Putting aside the elders, how many of the ascetics amongst the disciples do you even know?"
"Well, I guess you're right..."
The abrupt announcement from Hall Master Qin caused all disciples and elders to halt whatever they were doing on hand and listen attentively.
There was no one amongst them who wasn't curious about the mysterious Elder Zheng Yang who had just been chosen to become their next hall master.
That being said, due to the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion setting a recent precedent, this announcement didn't stir too much of an uproar from the disciples.
Ascetics were cultivators who had forgone all social interaction to devote themselves entirely to the refinement of their craft. There were plenty of ascetics in every sect, and given how this group of people usually conducted themselves, it was inevitable that they would be little known by their peers.
"The hall master is passing down his position just like that?"
Elder Yuan and the others knew that there was a chance that Hall Master Qin would pass down his position to Zheng Yang, but they didn't expect it to happen so quickly!
It had only been two hours since Zheng Yang had arrived in their Myriad Beasts Hall, but the most powerful position in the sect was already passed on to him...
Why did the sect just have to be so damned efficient on a matter as important as this!
"Look, isn't that the Serpentine Dragon?"
"It must be the one from the Ascendant Cloud Mountain. Look, the Nine-headed Fiery Phoenix and Seven-tailed Swordfang Tiger are there as well..."
"They have indeed been tamed! The new Hall Master Zheng Yang sure is an amazing beast tamer!"
All of a sudden, Elder Yuan and the others heard a commotion outside. When they raised their heads, they saw the four immortal beasts they had encountered back at the Ascendant Cloud Mountain soaring through the air, flaunting Zheng Yang's accomplishments.
It was hard for the members of the sect to accept a little-known figure as their new leader all of a sudden, so they were still harboring some doubts and reservations. However, upon seeing this sight, it felt like all of their doubts were vanquished in an instant.
"Disciples of the Myriad Beasts Hall, I am Zheng Yang, your new hall master. I have made some modifications to the beast taming techniques you have been learning previously, so may I invite you to head over to where Elder Ying is to receive the improved version."
Following that, the voice of the new hall master echoed in the air. His deep and steady tone was charismatic and confidence-inducing.
"An improved version of our beast taming techniques?"
"But the beast taming techniques of the Myriad Beasts Hall have been passed down for several millenniums now. Isn't it making light of them to alter them so casually?"
"I think so too..."
The disciples were a little perplexed at the sudden announcement they had received. They weren't too sure what they could expect from their new hall master.
Mu Xu was an inner disciple of the Myriad Beasts Hall. His ranking was in the mid-lOOOs.
Amongst the ten thousand inner disciples, his ranking still wasn't too bad. However, he was currently facing his greatest crisis ever since he joined the Myriad Beasts Hall...
He was on the verge of having his identity as an inner disciple revoked!
It was not because he had made some kind of mistake or anything. It was because he had failed to tame a single beast whose cultivation was equivalent to him within the past three years!
According to the rules of the Myriad Beasts Hall, those whose age was beneath twenty and cultivation had reached Ancient Sage were eligible to become inner disciples, but they had to tame a beast whose cultivation equaled theirs within three years in order to retain their position.
Once the time was up, they would be automatically stripped of their identities as inner disciples, and in the worst-case scenario, they might even be asked to leave the sect.
Three years might seem like a long time, but in relevance to beast taming, it really wasn't much.
After all, taming a beast required one to find an appropriate beast, capture it, and nurture feelings with it... Each of these steps was easier said than done.
From the moment he was promoted to become an inner disciple, he had begun searching for a target, and it was just last year that he found a fitting target... An Ancient Sage Stonefire Beast!
The attribute of the Stonefire Beast was a perfect fit with the cultivation technique and movement technique he practiced. If he were to fight alongside it, his fighting prowess would surely be greatly enhanced... The problem was that the Stonefire Beast was simply too haughty. It refused to submit to him no matter what he did.
He had tried tempting it with all kinds of delicacies and treasures, but the Stonefire Beast wouldn't even spare him a glance, as if he didn't exist at all.
Over the span of a year, he had tried more than twenty different strategies, but none of them were effective at all.
And today was the very last day of the three years he had.
If he still couldn't succeed today, he would have his identity as an inner disciple revoked, and he would be forced to leave the sect in disgrace.
"I'll have to give it my all!" Mu Xu gritted his teeth in determination as he walked into a room.
There was a massive cage in the room, and locked within it was a beast with lava-like skin. It stood proudly on the spot, not moving at all, reminiscent of a statue.