Library of Heaven is Path
239 Strange Bird 2 in 1
"Elder Zhang Xuan…"
Upon seeing the couple leaving, Yun Tao hurried forward.
"We're heading for the Beast Hall, so we won't bother you in your taming of a savage beast. Farewell!" Zhang Xuan waved his hand.
They were strangers, and the reason why Zhang Xuan had waited here previously was for fear of ruining the other party's situation. Now that the Gold Alloyed Panther had been tamed, there was no longer any need for Zhang Xuan to remain here.
"Taming a savage beast…"
Yun Tao nearly burst into tears.
There was a time limit to the beast tamer examination, and tracking down this Gold Alloyed Panther had nearly used up all of his time. Even if he wanted to tame another savage beast, he had to be able to find one first…. Besides, even if he did find one, given how his formation was ineffective, his survivability was the problem, let alone actually taming the savage beast.
"Senior, may I consult you on a matter?"
Quelling his gloom, Yun Tao clasped his hands.
"Hm?" Zhang Xuan glanced over.
"Just now… how were you able to tell that there was a problem with the setup of my formation, and that it wouldn't be able to trap the Gold Alloyed Panther?" Yun Tao asked.
He wasn't the only one who was curious about this. The eyes of the others also fell upon Zhang Xuan, and even Shen Bi Ru's eyes sparkled with curiosity.
Based on his actions and words, the fellow before him was definitely a complete amateur at formations. Thus, it was inconceivable how he could see a flaw in it immediately.
"That's simple!" Without hiding anything, Zhang Xuan explained, "The Green Wood Formation is built using formation flags made of the spotted laurel, and requires the wood element to sustain the formation. The location you chose is lush with trees and shrubs, and is aligned with the conditions required for the formation. There also weren't any errors in your setup. However, you neglected a single detail!"
"Senior, please enlighten me!"
After musing for a while, Yun Tao couldn't tell what was wrong with his formation. As a result, he asked with earnestness.
"The mountain range we stand upon!" Zhang Xuan lifted his head to look at the various mountains in the distance, his expression carefree.
Yun Tao was even more confused.
What was wrong with this mountain range?
When he bought this Green Wood Formation, he had tried setting it up once and there was no problem at all! Even a Tongxuan realm primary stage expert would find it difficult to overcome this formation.
"The mountain range extends from the north to the south, and is imposing and staunch. The airstream sinks and doesn't move. The plants that grow on land where soil lacks nutrients have a yellow tint, and the ridges along the mountain range have a slight shade of red…"
Sitting on the back of the Gold Alloyed Panther, Zhang Xuan pointed around to the various signs. "From this, you can tell that there is a metal deposit beneath the mountain! Of the five elements, metal opposes wood. As such, the Confinement Formation has been opposed by the metal element below, so how could it exert its full might?"
Yun Tao trembled.
His teacher had once taught him that one shouldn't just focus on the geographical terrains. More importantly, he should borrow the strength of the environment, the might of the heavens, and even the power from the stars, harboring them within his formations.
Back then, those words sounded ridiculous to him. Yet, at this moment, he realized that… it was all true!
To be able to tell that there was a metal deposit just from the ridges and the direction the mountains extended, and deduce that it affected the Green Wood Confinement Formation… What kind of discernment aptitude was that?
Even a 3-star formation master would be hard-pressed to perform such a feat.
To think that he was bragging in front such a person a moment ago, even asking the other party if he could even understand the formation….
Yun Tao felt a burning sensation on his face.
He wasn't the only one shocked. Also seated on the Gold Alloyed Panther, Shen Bi Ru's mouth twitched and she nearly fainted from surprise.
Brother, didn't you know nothing about formations just a moment ago?
Why were you able to talk about metal deposits, ridges, airstream, and whatever else in the blink of an eye?
Do you have to be so incredible?
She felt that it was laughable how she thought that Zhang Xuan was spouting nonsense a moment ago….
Recalling her previous experiences, Shen Bi Ru felt helpless.
Common sense truly didn't apply to this fellow. If she continued to stick fast to common sense, it would just be a matter of time before she was shocked to death.
"I will stop here. If there's nothing else, I'll be taking my leave!"
After explaining the faults with the formation, Zhang Xuan waved and left.
"Senior, since there isn't sufficient time to capture a savage beast now, I would like to return to the Beast Hall along with you. Is that fine by you?"
Since his examination was already a lost cause, he chose to throw it aside altogether and strike up a connection with the expert before him instead.
Regardless of his strength, his previous means to induce a breakthrough in a savage beast, or his understanding of formations, this Elder Zhang Xuan seemed to be a person with great ability. So Yun Tao deemed it beneficial for him to establish a relationship with him.
"The Gold Alloyed Panther is swift. If you can keep up, feel free to do so!"
Even though the prince was a braggart, he was a person with true capabilities. Furthermore, he was an apprentice beast tamer. With his guidance, it should be easier to find a good aerial savage beast, allowing them to reach Tianwu Kingdom faster and smoother.
However, it was already cramped for two people to ride the Gold Alloyed Panther. It would be impossible to house any more people.
"Thank you, senior!" Upon seeing him agree to it, Yun Tao heaved a sigh of relief.
Zhang Xuan instructed the Gold Alloyed Panther, and it started dashing swiftly forward.
Even when it was at Pixue realm, the Gold Alloyed Panther had possessed incredible speed. At this moment, it was no different from a swift steed. Even though the terrain of the mountain forest was rugged and littered with obstacles, there simply weren't any signs of it slowing down.
Initially, Yun Tao and company could still keep up. However, as time went on, the rate at which their zhenqi was being sapped increased as their faces turned pale. They were so exhausted from running that they were about to spit out blood.
"Let's rest for a while!"
After around two hours, seeing that the others were completely exhausted, Zhang Xuan and Shen Bi Ru leapt from the back of the Gold Alloyed Panther.
Initially, if the duo proceeded to the Beast Hall by foot, it would take at least an entire day. However, with this fellow, they would reach in at most another two hours, so they were no longer in a rush.
Knowing that the other party was stopping for their sake, Yun Tao heaved a sigh of relief. After resting for a moment and recovering a slight bit of his stamina, he walked forward and greeted Zhang Xuan respectfully.
"Given that I have tamed the Gold Alloyed Panther, does it mean that you have failed your beast tamer exam?"
Along the way, Zhang Xuan gave the matter some thought. Yun Tao and the others had pursued this Gold Alloyed Panther for several days, only for the prize to land in Zhang Xuan's lap. While the savage beast wasn't a huge deal, the beast tamer examination was. With this, Yun Tao would likely fail the examination.
"This…" Yun Tao replied awkwardly, "If not for elder taming the Gold Alloyed Panther, we might all have died on the spot. Compared to our lives, the exam means nothing at all!"
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
While the fellow might be narcissistic, he was rational.
It was impossible for the Green Wood Confinement Formation to trap the Gold Alloyed Panther. If Zhang Xuan hadn't been there, given the strength of Yun Tao and his Pixue realm subordinates, they would have died for sure. Even though Zhang Xuan had taken the Gold Alloyed Panther out of their hands, he had also saved their lives.
"What are the tests required for the beast tamer exam?"
After riding on the Gold Alloyed Panther, Zhang Xuan understood the convenience of having a savage beast as a mount. If he could become an official beast tamer, it would be convenient for him to travel long distances in the future.
If Yun Tao could hear his thoughts, he would definitely spew blood.
For the beast tamer examination, he had lived alongside savage beasts for many years in order to study from them. Even so, he had yet to pass the examination. On the other hand, this fellow wanted to take the examination just because he felt that it was tiring to walk on foot….
"First, one has to become an apprentice beast tamer. There are two parts to the apprentice examination: Theoretical Paper and Savage Beast Distinguishing. Only after passing these two will you be qualified to take the beast tamer exam. Similarly, there are also two parts to the beast tamer exam. First, you have to gain the recognition of a savage beast. Second, you have to tame a savage beast," Yun Tao explained.
"Gain the recognition of a savage beast?"
"Yeah. The examinee will be placed in an enclosure with five savage beasts. Within two hours, the examinee has to gain their approval and stop them from attacking him. If you can't do so, it only means that you don't have a good understanding of savage beasts! Also, there's a requirement for the tamed savage beast. Its cultivation realm has to be higher than the examinee's."
Yun Tao explained, "Otherwise, if the savage beast is too weak, one could use brute force to coerce its submission. If so, it would be impossible to determine whether the examinee has the true skills to become a beast tamer."
Zhang Xuan nodded.
The beast tamer examination was similar to the apothecary examination.
To become an apprentice, one had to possess sufficient theoretical knowledge. And to become an official member, one had to possess practical skills.
For the latter, one had to forge a tier-1 pill. As for the former, one had to tame a stronger savage beast.
It was no wonder why Yun Tao was pursuing this Gold Alloyed Panther. At Dingli realm pinnacle, the latter was an entire cultivation realm higher than him and fulfilled the prerequisites of the examination. Once he succeeded in taming it, he would pass the examination.
"There is a time limit of half a month to the taming of the savage beast. Just looking for this Gold Alloyed Panther has already taken me more than ten days. It is impossible for me to find another one right now. Besides, if I met one that was even fiercer than this Gold Alloyed Panther, I might even lose my life…."
Yun Tao had managed to let it go.
It was all thanks to the youngster before him that he was able to survive this ordeal. He might not be as lucky the next time.
It seemed that he would have to make thorough preparations the next time he took the examination, such that all precautions were in place.
Otherwise, if he died before becoming an official beast tamer, it would be too late for him to cry about it.
In fact, there were numerous apprentices who died at the hands of the savage beasts every year while taking the beast tamer examination.
"It's good that you are willing to let it go. However… no matter what, I feel partly responsible for it. How about this: if you wish to tame another savage beast, I can give you a helping hand!" Zhang Xuan said.
More importantly, he was interested in seeing how someone could tame a savage beast that was stronger than the tamer.
After the affair with the Gold Alloyed Panther, Zhang Xuan knew that it would be difficult to build camaraderie with a savage beast if it didn't admit defeat willingly, let alone taming it.
Even if not used for taking the beast tamer examination, the art of beast taming would prove useful in his future journeys.
After all, he couldn't possibly be so lucky as to happen to meet a savage beast weaker than him and that submitted easily.
What if he encountered a strong one?
Therefore, he wished to make use of this opportunity to see how this fellow would go about it in order to steal his skills.
Of course, he wouldn't say these words out loud. Otherwise, wouldn't the image of a "senior" he had built with great difficulty crumble in an instant?
Having disguised himself as Yang shi, he understood that the identity of a "senior" would make it easy to resolve many issues.
However, it carried risks as well. Once exposed, he would likely be pummeled to death.
"Senior… is willing to help me?"
Hearing his words, Yun Tao immediately trembled in excitement.
He had witnessed the strength of Elder Zhang Xuan for himself. If he were to lend a helping hand, capturing a Pixue realm savage beast would definitely be an easy feat. As long as the savage beast was captured, he had his owns means to tame it.
"Yeah!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head with the look of an expert.
"That's great! As long as Senior is willing to help me, I will definitely succeed…"
Balling his hands into fists, Yun Tao's eyes reddened in excitement.
"Calm down first. Even if I did help you, can you find a suitable savage beast first?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"A suitable savage beast…"
Yun Tao immediately puckered his face.
He had already taken more than ten days to find a Pixue realm Gold Alloyed Panther. Even if the other party had agreed to help him, it was useless if he wasn't able to find another suitable savage beast.
"Your Highness, have you forgotten about that?"
A subordinate stepped forward.
"That?" Yun Tao was perplexed.
"The one who comes by daily to cause trouble," the subordinate said.
"That thing?" Seemingly recalling something, embarrassment appeared on Yun Tao's face.
"It's too late to find any other savage beast. Your Highness, if you can capture and tame that fellow, you will pass the exam. Right now, the priority is to pass the beast tamer exam. We can talk about taming other savage beasts in the future!" the subordinate persuaded.
"This…" Yun Tao hesitated for a moment before turning to Zhang Xuan. "Elder, there is indeed a suitable savage beast. I will require your help in this matter."
"Oh?" Zhang Xuan stared at Yun Tao curiously.
"It's a… strange bird!" Yun Tao said.
"An aerial savage beast?"
Given that Yun Tao was a Dingli realm pinnacle cultivator, and since the savage beast he had to tame had to be a cultivation realm higher than his, the savage beast he was speaking of had to be Pixue realm. On top of that, given that it was a bird, Yun Tao was probably asking him to capture an aerial savage beast for him.
All of the aerial savage beasts Zhang Xuan had passed by in the Xuanluo Mountain Range were soaring in the skies several thousand meters above them. Even if Zhang Xuan intended to capture them, he was helpless.
"It can't be considered an aerial savage beast. It is quite small in size, about… the size of a palm!" Yun Tao's face reddened.
"The size of a palm?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
Based on Shen Bi Ru's descriptions, Zhang Xuan knew that aerial savage beasts were around several zhang long, and their wings were two to three zhang wide. Only with such size could they possess sufficient strength to carry a human to the skies.
To be the size of a palm… Indeed, it couldn't be considered an aerial savage beast. At best it was a canary.
"Even though that thing is small, it is a savage beast. Furthermore, its strength has reached Pixue realm primary stage, so its cultivation realm is slightly higher than mine…. It's just that its physique isn't suited for battle, so it isn't a match for me. However, it possesses incredible speed and is impossible to catch up to!" Yun Tao explained in detail.
"Small but fast? Even if you want to tame it, it probably won't be easy to find it!" Zhang Xuan frowned.
Even a large and slow savage beast was hard to find. A palm-sized, flying-type savage beast possessing tremendous speed could be hiding anywhere in this vast forest. How could they possibly find it!
Furthermore, it could freely fly about in the sky…. It was probably even harder to tame than the Gold Alloyed Panther.
Upon hearing those words, Yun Tao felt a little sheepish. "It is hard to find it, but for the past few days, that fellow has been pestering us. Even if we don't take the initiative to look for it, it will come to look for us on its own."
Zhang Xuan was puzzled. Even though he didn't have much of an understanding of savage beasts, he knew that they were guarded around humans. If a savage beast realized it wasn't a match for its opponent, it would immediately run away as far as possible. If so, why would it pester them every day?
"This… I happened to smash its nest. Infuriated, that fellow has been coming to harass us every day…."
Yun Tao quickly explained the situation to Zhang Xuan.
After hearing the story, Zhang Xuan shook his head, unsure of whether he should sympathize with Yun Tao or burst out laughing.
This strange bird apparently liked to consume the wild honey of the mountain forest. Unaware of this fact, Yun Tao stumbled upon its nest and took away its collection of honey. That little fellow had probably been saving up for many years before being able to collect such a huge stockpile. Upon realizing that someone had stolen its treasure, it flew into a rage and chased the group.
However, due to its small physique, it wasn't suited for battle, so it wasn't a match for Yun Tao and his subordinates. Unable to take back its property, it had been trailing behind the group's back. At a fixed time, it would charge in and wreak havoc.
This was now the eighth day. Looking at the time, it was roughly the time for its entry.
"That fellow seems pretty persistent…." After learning of the grudge between the bird and the man, Zhang Xuan chuckled.
"How does it wreak havoc?" Shen Bi Ru asked, curious.
Since it would charge in to cause trouble at a fixed interval, given the number of Pixue realm experts they had here, couldn't they find some way to capture it?
"It…" Yun Tao's face turned as red as an apple. He coughed. "It poops when it is directly above me…."
Zhang Xuan and Shen Bi Ru stared at one another. They almost failed to contain their laughter.
It had to be said. This bird was truly eccentric.
"It always gets me, every time. After doing so, it flies several dozens of meters away to provoke us. By the time we catch up with it, it has already flown far away. Every day it torments us like that for two to four hours…."
Yun Tao was honestly speechless with the actions of this strange bird.
He had only stolen its honey, yet it was tormenting him every day to the point that he was already on the verge of insanity.
If not for his desire to pass the beast tamer examination, he would have never revealed it to Zhang Xuan. After all, it was very embarrassing.
For the great seventh prince of Hanwu Kingdom to be treated as a toilet by a strange bird, flying by the moment it felt an urge….
Just thinking about it drove him crazy.
"Why don't you just return the honey?" asked Shen Bi Ru, her hand over her mouth.
"Eventually, I returned its honey to it. Yet, that fellow… still comes to harass me every day! It is too fast to be struck by our arrows, so I was preparing something for it after I finished taming the Gold Alloyed Panther. However, since I've failed to tame the Gold Alloyed Panther, I can use that bird for my exam instead!"
At this point, Yun Tao hesitated for a moment. "Just… that fellow is way too fast. Even an arrow can't outpace it. Capturing it… is simply too difficult. Does Eder have anything in mind?"
"I don't even know the appearance of that fellow or its speed. Even if you ask me now, what kind of plan can I come up with?" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He had never even seen this strange bird before, so how could he formulate a plan to capture it?
"Ah, right! Didn't he say that whenever the strange bird comes over to wreak havoc, it flies a dozen of meters forward to taunt them? At that moment, it would be near the ground. You can use your movement technique to dash forward to capture it!"
Shen Bi Ru suddenly thought of something and turned to look at Zhang Xuan.
She had seen Wang Ying's movement technique, and the speed of her movements was almost equivalent to teleportation. No matter how fast that bird was, it shouldn't pose a huge problem to Zhang laoshi.
"Yeah, I can consider that…"
Zhang Xuan nodded.
After his cultivation reached Tongxuan realm, the distance and number of times he could execute the Heaven's Path Movement Art increased once more.
In the past, when he used the full might of the technique, he was able to travel twenty meters in a tenth of a breath. But now, in the same amount of time, he was able to travel forty meters.
Furthermore, compared to the past when he was only able to execute the technique once, he was able to execute it twice now.
Of course, this was when he was using the complete version. If he used the simplified one which he imparted to Wang Ying, given the amount of zhenqi he possessed, executing it twenty to thirty times wasn't even a problem.
Just, his speed would decrease significantly.
With the complete version, Zhang Xuan was able to leap forty meters in a tenth of the breath. On the other hand, with the simplified version, Zhang Xuan could only cover three to four meters. Furthermore, the burden the simplified technique had on his body was significantly lower. This was precisely the reason why Wang Ying was able to execute the technique six times in the battle with Du Lei before she felt drained.
Even so, it was still an extremely fearsome technique.
Covering three to four meters in a tenth of a breath, most people would be struck before they could react.
That bird might be fast, but it was only Pixue realm. It would definitely be unable to match up to the Heaven's Path Divine Art.
"You wish to depend on movement technique? I'm afraid that it would be difficult to do so…"
Hearing the conversation of the two, Yun Tao shook his head.
Even the most profound movement technique of their Hanwu Kingdom, [Tortoise Firmament Sonic Steps], at its top speed, was unable to match up with that strange bird.
Furthermore, there was a limit to a person's attention as well. Since Elder Zhang Xuan seemed to specialize in strength-based assault, speed was likely to be his fatal flaw. Even if he possessed a formidable movement technique, it would still be difficult for him to keep up with the strange bird. Besides, given that the other party came from Tianxuan Kingdom, what kind of formidable movement techniques could he know of?
Based on his knowledge, the kingdom's most powerful movement technique was [Illusory Shadows Nine Celestial Steps], and the technique paled far in comparison against the Tortoise Firmament Sonic Steps.
Since even executing the latter technique was insufficient to keep up with the bird, the former was out of question.
Thus, Yun Tao continued, "That strange bird is extremely wary of its surroundings. It often stays a suitable distance away so that it has time to react to abrupt changes. Given that even arrows are unable to hit it, catching it bare-handed is a nigh impossible task. I think we should make a trap similar to the one from before. Perhaps… we might stand a chance like that!"
"We have tried setting up traps before, but none of them worked!" a subordinate mentioned.
Upon hearing those words, Yun Tao nodded his head helplessly. "Indeed, we have set several traps for it in the past, but they never worked. The strange bird seems to know of the preparations we have made beforehand. Regardless of what we did, it refused to fall for our traps…."
Before he could finish speaking, the whistling of the wind echoed from the on high. Something seemed to be whizzing through the sky, heading straight for Yun Tao's head.
Upon hearing the sound of the wind, Yun Tao's complexion turned awful. Knowing that the strange bird was here, he didn't even bother lifting his head and dodged to the side immediately.
However… he had barely taken a few steps when a stench assaulted his nose. His entire body was drenched with slimy white spots.
Without even looking, he knew that he had fallen for the bird's tricks yet again!
Smelling the stench on him, Yun Tao was on the verge of tears. Turning his head to take a look, he realized that what that had fallen where he was standing before was just a rock.
Seemingly aware that Yun Tao would dodge, the bird threw a rock first to distract him.
"This fellow is capable of strategizing?"
Upon seeing the sight, Zhang Xuan was stunned.
After hearing the story, he only thought that the strange bird was vindictive. To think that it would be this smart as well.
It was completely different from the reckless Gold Alloyed Panther.
Lifting his head to take a look, a small flying bird appeared in his sight. Just like Yun Tao said, it was barely larger than a palm. Its entire body was dyed black and its appearance was reminiscent of a crow. It carried along with it a sharp aura similar to a Pixue realm expert's.
There were many different sizes to savage beasts. Since there were beasts as huge as the Gold Alloyed Panther, there would naturally be small ones as well.
Having struck Yun Tao accurately, the strange bird was gleeful. "Caw caw!" it called before flying to around a distance of thirty meters ahead of everyone. Its beady eyes stared at the group, as though mocking everyone.
Even though Yun Tao was infuriated at being done in by the bird again, he felt more dismay than anger.
The fellow came before they could come up with a concrete plan. Thus, it was unlikely that they could capture it today.
While he felt conflicted over the next course of action he should take, his vision suddenly blurred. A figure abruptly appeared before the strange bird, and with a pinch of his thumb and forefinger, whoosh, the swift bird was caught in the figure's hand before it could even react.
"This… is a movement technique? How is this possible?"
Yun Tao froze.