Library of Heaven is Path
277 Another One Appears
Chapter 277: Another One Appears
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
Just as the Great Herb King was wondering how Physician Bai would deal with the three Vice Hall Masters and the numerous elders, he heard the other party's reply. At this moment, he could almost see the grim future which awaited him.
The Golden Poison Heart Token bore testimony to the identity of the envoy, and it was natural that the other party would request to see it. There was no problem with their words at all.
Yet, to ask if they were qualified...
The old Hall Master had died, and the three Vice Hall Masters and the numerous elders were already the top leaders of the Poison Hall. If even they weren't qualified, who could be?
No matter how noble the position of an envoy is, there should be a limit to your arrogance. To act so haughtily... You will surely be beaten be death!
"Envoy must be pulling our legs!"
As the Great Herb King expected, Vice Hall Master's smiling face crumbled upon hearing Zhang Xuan's words. "I am the first Vice Hall Master of the Red Lotus Branch. Now that the Hall Master isn't around anymore, I have become the highest ranking person here, so naturally, I am qualified!"
"I already know that your Hall Master is dead, and the reason why I am here is to decide on the next Hall Master. Otherwise, why would I come to such a rundown place?"
"Before deciding on a new Hall Master, all of you have the same standing. If you think that you're qualified, don't tell just tell me with your mouths... prove it to me through your mastery and understanding of poison."
Zhang Xuan flung his sleeves, and he stared at the group authoritatively. "What our Poison Hall needs are capable poison masters, not a bunch of useless fools!"
"Mastery of poison?" Liao Xun was taken aback. "Envoy wishes to test us?"
"That's right. I have no time to squander on you, and I don't want to waste my breath. The value of a poison master should be determined by the poison they can create. You will all concoct a poison while I observe by the side, and whoever is able to concoct a poison that I've never seen before or speak of a theory I've never heard before, will be qualified to see the Golden Poison Heart Token and become the next Hall Master!"
Zhang Xuan glanced at the crowd with an indifferent gaze. "Otherwise, rather than handing over this branch to any useless fool, I might as well destroy it myself!"
Upon hearing the straightforward words of the envoy, the group looked at each other with grim expressions.
In the past, as long as they served the envoys well, the envoys would satisfy their demands.
But from the looks of it, this method would not work on this envoy.
As soon as he reached, this envoy established his dominance, and declared that the top seat would be granted based on nothing else but capability!
And those who didn't possess the capability should stop spouting nonsense.
"As expected of the man who managed to remove the Poison Gu from me, incredible!"
Seeing how 'Physician Bai' resolved the crisis with a few words, the Great Herb King heaved a sigh of relief. At the same time, he felt completely impressed with the other party's ability.
This Physician Bai wasn't just capable in the Way of Medicine, he also possessed a precise understanding of the human heart.
Aware that the three Vice Hall Masters were vying for the seat of the Hall Master, he used it as a bait very conveniently.
They had already been fighting for the seat for a long time now, and none of them was willing to submit to anyone else. Now that there was a charter to resolve the conflict, they were determined to make use of this opportunity to surpass the other candidates.
Even if they doubted his identity, they weren't in any position to make the verification. If any of them insisted, it would mean that... he was incapable, and wasn’t able to establish dominance!
With a single word, he turned the arrows back at the three Vice Hall Masters and forced them to fight it out.
He is indeed incredible!
In order to test the three of them, you yourself must be adept in poison as well. Given how you don't even know what a poison master is just half a month ago, how do you intend to test them?
If you aren't able to recognize any of the poison the three Vice Hall Masters concoct, it would be clear that you are a fake without even having to check on your Golden Poison Heart Token!
Upon thinking of this, the Great Herb King's face turned bitter.
He felt that his life was truly hanging by a thread, and a single mistake would send him crashing straight down.
After settling this matter, the three Vice Hall Masters led the duo to the grandest building in the city.
"Envoy, please enlighten us on how you intend to conduct the examination!"
As soon as everybody was seated, Vice Hall Master Liao asked.
"Simple, my test will consist of two stage. In the first test, each of you will display your capability and concoct a poison you are adept at. In this stage, whoever who concocts the highest grade poison wins! As for the second stage, each of you will concoct a poison that you have created through your own research. Whoever can create a poison that is the most lethal and complex, such that even I am unable to discern it, will be declared the winner!"
Zhang Xuan said calmly.
Hearing the contents, the three Vice Hall Masters nodded their heads simultaneously.
Just like the apothecaries, the grade of the poison a poison master could concoct was directly proportionate to his tier. At the same time, the more incredible the poison one could create, the more likely one could reach greater heights as a poison master.
Thus, the first test assessed their abilities while the second one assessed their talents. If any one of them could stand out in both tests, no one would be able to object to him becoming the new Hall Master.
"Alright, I'll give you four hours to prepare!"
Casually waving them away, Zhang Xuan stood up. "Right, where's your book collection vault? I've received orders from the headquarter to look for a certain book."
"Look for a certain book?"
Everyone was perplexed, but upon hearing that it was an order from the headquarter, they hesitated for a moment and decided against asking.
"Envoy, the book collection vault is over there. I'll send my man to lead you there right now!" Liao Xun hurriedly said.
"There's no need, I can walk over myself. You all should start preparing for the examination. The position of the Hall Master is at stake, and I hope that you can give me a satisfactory performance so that I can account to the headquarter!"
Placing his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan said.
Liao Xun and the others nodded.
Ignoring the others, Zhang Xuan started walking toward the book collection vault.
The Red Lotus Range Poison Hall had been established for several millenniums, and they had a vast collection of books. The number of books here was nowhere inferior to that of the Beast Hall.
Upon entering the vault, a huge array of books placed neatly on bookshelves appeared before Zhang Xuan. The other end of the room could not be seen with just a single glance.
There were bamboo scrolls, papers tied together with strings, and even engravings on porcelain and animal bones.
Due to the secure location of the Poison Hall, it had not been through any war and the books were able to be maintained in good condition.
"To think that I would be able to enter so easily..."
After checking that there was no one behind him, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
His purpose at the Poison Hall was to browse through these books, and he thought that he would encounter a lot of trouble along the way. He didn't expect to succeed so easily.
But thinking about the matter, it wasn't that surprising either. While the others doubted his identity as the envoy, they didn't dare to challenge him openly.
After all, if Zhang Xuan turned out to be the real envoy, it meant that he represented the headquarter himself. It was completely possible for the entire branch to be destroyed if they were to get on his bad side.
On the other hand, if he were a fake, giving himself away was a matter of time and they would be able to get even with him then.
"I shouldn't care that much for now, reading the books and resolving the poison aura in my body is the priority at the moment!"
Even though the poison aura in his body had been suppressed by Heaven's Path zhenqi, Zhang Xuan knew that it was a matter of time before it rebounded. Once that happens, his life would be in grave danger. If not for this tangible threat he felt, he wouldn't have risked his life to barge into the Poison Hall.
Since he has managed to enter the Poison Hall's book collection vault, it was imperative that he made good of his time.
The few Vice Hall Masters might have been daunted by him at the moment, but nobody could ensure that they wouldn't notice his disguise and turn on him at the next moment.
There was a huge collection of books here, but with Zhang Xuan's new 'Sprinting Book Browsing Technique', he should be able to finish duplicating them in the Library of Heaven's Path within two hours.
"Time to start working!"
Exhaling deeply, Zhang Xuan focused his attention. Placing his hands on the first row of the first bookshelf, he started to run.
"Vice Hall Master, do you think that the envoy... is authentic?"
At the back of the room, Liao Xun was seated on an extravagant throne, and standing before him was the worried Elder Blackeye.
Everyone knew that Elder Blackeye was an impartial person, but they weren't aware that he was actually a subordinate of Vice Hall Master Liao Xun.
"Without seeing the Golden Poison Heart Token, even I am unable to confirm it!" Liao Xun hesitated for a moment before speaking. "However, even though the Poison Hall has kept a low profile for innumerable years, its name still strikes fear in hearts. I doubt that there's anyone who would be so daring as to come and court death!"
"That's true..." Elder Blackeye nodded.
While the Poison Hall had been living in seclusion, it didn't mean that anyone could climb over their heads. Impersonating an envoy... is no different from courting death!
"Besides, there should be a motive behind for every action anyone does. If he is a fake, there has to be something here that is worth him risking his life for..." Liao Xun continued. "Other than poisons, our Poison Hall does not have anything valuable. I doubt that there'll be anyone who would risk his life to sneak in here!"
No matter what one does, there has to be a purpose behind it.
All the Poison Hall had was poison, and the most valuable commodity they possessed was medicinal herbs. Once the other party was exposed as a fake, he would definitely be killed within the blink of an eye. It was unthinkable for the other party to take such a huge risk for just that!
He didn't think that anyone would do this for any medicinal herb, which could be bought using money.
Of course, if he were to know that the other party was here for merely the books... He would probably puke blood and go insane.
At least their poisons had a market value... What’s the use reading those books?
More importantly, he was running about instead of flipping through them...
"Vice Hall Master, have you forgotten... about that?" Elder Blackeye hesitated for a moment before speaking.
"You mean that object below the volcano?"
Liao Xun's complexion turned grim.
"Indeed!" Elder Blackeye nodded. "The main reason why our Red Lotus branch is located in this remote and barren area is that object’s existence. Could it be that news of that object’s maturity had leaked and that the old Hall Master died because of this?"
"It's not impossible!"
Upon hearing those words, Liao Xun could no longer remain calm. "Call the Great Herb King in, I want to interrogate him!"
"Yes!" Elder Blackeye stood out, and in a moment, the Great Herb King was brought into the hall.
"The Great Herb King pays respect to Vice Hall Master Liao Xun and Elder Blackeye!" The Great Herb King clasped his fist.
"Speak, how did you meet the envoy? Also, if I'm not wrong, you should be dead by now. Why are you still alive and kicking?"
Liao Xun's eyes narrowed.
"Under the effects of the Poison Gu, I was indeed on the verge of death. It was the envoy who saved me, and after which, he told me to bring him to the Poison Hall. Other than that... I don't know anything else!"
The Great Herb King poured out the words, which had he agreed on with Physician Bai previously, hastily.
"Do you really not know anything else?" Vice Hall Master Liao Xun harrumphed. "You do know the consequences of lying to me, right?"
Fearful, the Great Herb King knelt to the floor.
"There's no a single falsehood in my words. Vice Hall Master is also aware that I am only a puppet and spokesperson of the Poison Hall. Because the elder said that he is the envoy, I didn't dare to stop him. Thus, I could only bring him here. I am truly unsure about anything else!"
"Un, you can leave now!"
After asking a few more questions, Liao Xun realized that he couldn't get any more information out of the Great Herb King's mouth.
As if he were pardoned by the emperor, the Great Herb King rushed out of the hall without a second thought.
"Even my teacher is unable to remove the Contract Gu once it has melded into one's bloodstream. To be able to cure him without leaving any traumas, that person must be at least a 4-star poison master!"
After the Great Herb King left the room, Liao Xun tapped a finger on the table as he analyzed the matter. "Only the headquarter has 4-star poison masters!"
Even the greatest poison master in Red Lotus Range Poison Hall was only a 3-star.
Only the headquarter was capable of dispatching 4-star poison masters.
With that being established, the envoy was likely to be authentic.
"However, it's best to be careful. Elder Blackeye, I'll have to trouble you to head to the book collection vault to see what kind of book the envoy is looking for and see what he's up to!"
After hesitating for a moment, Liao Xun instructed.
Elder Blackeye replied and stepped out of the room.
About two hours later, he returned back to the same room. He had an expression on his face that spoke of puzzlement and bewilderment.
"What's wrong? Is there anything amiss? Did he find the book he was looking for?"
Seeing his expression, Liao Xun couldn't suppress his curiosity and asked.
"There's nothing wrong... and he didn't seem to be looking for a specific book either!"
Recalling the sight back then, Blackeye shook his head fervently.
He saw the incredibly callous envoy run around the book collection vault as though a lunatic. Even though the other party claimed that he was looking for a book, he didn't pull out a single book at all.
He had experienced and witnessed many different things in his life, but even so, he was unable to comprehend what he just saw.
If he wasn't certain that the other party was the envoy, he would have thought that the other party was a lunatic.
"It's good that there's nothing wrong!"
Liao Xun heaved a sigh of relief. "Seems like the envoy should be authentic, there's no need to doubt his identity anymore! We should spend more effort thinking of what poison to concoct later to win his admiration!"
Elder Blackeye nodded. Just as he was about to speak, the flustered Poison Master Liu from before barged into the room all of a sudden.
"Vice Hall Master..."
"What's wrong?" Liao Xun frowned.
"There's someone outside. He demands you and the other two Vice Hall Masters meet him... he claimed that he is the... envoy!"
Anxious, Poison Master Liu stuttered.
Liao Xun and Elder Blackeye glanced at each other and their eyes widened in doubt.
Isn't the envoy already here?
Why would… another one appear?