Library of Heaven is Path
357 Second Promised Duel 1
She was obstinate and unruly. Yet, Liu laoshi forgave her and solved the pill poison that was plaguing her, guided her on her cultivation, and even imparted her a formidable saber art. He was her benefactor!
She wanted to repay her teacher by earning him honor. Yet... she ended up sullying his reputation instead...
Despite that, he didn't give up on her. Worried that she would be wounded, he even dashed onto the stage to save her!
Teacher, thank you!
Teacher, please pardon Qing-er for causing you trouble!
Teacher, I'll never do it again...
Mu Xueqing clenched her fists tightly.
The teacher before her may be young, but his existence felt like a humongous mountain, a reliable figure which she could fall back on, giving her an aim in life and allowing her to charge forward fearlessly.
It was because of him that she was motivated to train hard and grow stronger!
Just as Zhao Ya was conflicted over whether she should slice all the way down, a figure appeared right between her sword and Mu Xueqing.
It was a twenty-four to twenty-five-year-old young man with a slightly yellowish complexion.
Under the momentary shock from the sudden appearance of the other party, she failed to stop her sword in that crucial moment, and it continued to fall straight down.
The young man frowned. Stretching out his hand, he bent his middle finger and flicked it lightly.
As the tip of his finger came into contact with the sword, Zhao Ya suddenly felt a surge of pain in the area between her thumb and her forefinger, causing her grip to loosen. The sword immediately broke into two before flying straight out of her hand.
Deng deng deng deng deng!
Retreating two steps, Zhao Ya immediately adjusted her chaotic breathing. Fearful that the other party would attack her once more, she kept her guard up. Fortunately, it seemed like the other party only intended to flick away her sword—it was only due to the immense force of her slash that resulted in the sword breaking abruptly when coming in contact with the other party's finger.
Her eyes narrowed.
It was an attack with the full might of her physical constitution behind it, and the strength behind the slash was so great that even she was losing control of her movements. Yet, the other party, with just a single finger, neutralized her attack without hurting her in the least. The eye of discernment and precise movements required for this feat were completely unimaginable. In fact, she would have never believed it to be possible if not for the fact she had just witnessed it.
"May I know why elder is interfering in our fight?"
Even though Zhao Ya was astonished by the sudden turn of events, she didn't panic. Clasping her fist politely, she spoke impassively. Her attitude was neither subservient nor arrogant.
"You two are really... preposterous!"
Flinging his sleeves, Zhang Xuan bellowed furiously. He was truly dismal by the actions of his two students.
Of countless people in Tianwu Royal City, you two just had to fight with one another. Despite being under different personas, the both of you are my students. Is there really a need for you two to compete with one another like that?
I imparted one of you a sword art and the other a saber art, but the both of you simply ended up using them to hack at one another.
You call this vying for honor for me?
Clearly, you are trying to destroy my reputation!
That explains the bizarre expression on Mo Yu’s face when she said that she was going to bring me to a good show. The heck... this truly is an incredible show!
"You must be Liu laoshi!"
Having guessed the identity of the young man before her, Zhao Ya walked forward with a look of determination on her beautiful face. "Your students have insulted my teacher, and to defend the honor of my teacher, I challenged her to a fair duel. Why would you speak of our actions as preposterous?"
Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
It wouldn't have been wrong for Zhang Xuan to reprimand his own students for acting preposterously, but in his persona as Liu laoshi, that would be equivalent to making light of the other party’s actions.
It was one thing for him, as a teacher, to hinder a fight among students. Yet, on top of that, he even said that the other party was acting preposterously. If this wasn't being unreasonable, what else could this be?
So it is right for your student to hit me, but if I do the same, I am acting preposterously?
"Enough, let's stop this matter here. You should return!"
Not expecting to be questioned by his own student in this persona, Zhang Xuan suddenly felt his head hurt.
He really couldn't have imagined that such a farce would occur.
If only he had paid these two ladies a little more attention, he could have avoided this embarrassing misunderstanding!
"Return? Why should we return? Mu Xueqing has clearly lost the duel, so she should fulfill the end of her bet and apologize at this very instant and admit that you are inferior to our Zhang shi. Otherwise, even if we have to cause a ruckus at the Teacher Guild or even the Master Teacher Pavilion, we won't back down!"
Bellowing furiously, Zheng Yang jumped onto the stage and glared furiously at Zhang Xuan.
This time, he was truly angered.
How can a respectable teacher like you blatantly side with your own student in public?
It is one thing for you to stop the duel as soon as you see that your student is falling in defeat, but to say that we are acting preposterously and declare that this matter will stop here like that... I have seen shameless people, but you are truly one-of-a-kind!
As a teacher, are you going shamelessly refuse to admit defeat?
"Indeed! We've already agreed on it before the duel. Could it be that you are going against your words?"
"A loss means a loss. As a teacher, you should at least have some dignity!"
Yuan Tao, Liu Yang, and the others charged up and bellowed at Zhang Xuan furiously.
"The reason why I've lost is because of my own inability. It has nothing to do with teacher!"
Upon seeing her teacher being doubted by others, Mu Xueqing stepped forward.
She had intended to vie honor for her own teacher; never in her dreams did she expect her actions put him in such an awkward position instead. Clenching her jaws tightly together, she said, "I'll apologize, but it'll only be in my capacity as an individual. It doesn't mean that my teacher is inferior to your Zhang shi!"
"What do you mean by that... After all that has been said, you’re simply refusing to admit defeat? Surely you should remember the words you uttered so arrogantly three days ago! Are you trying to avoid fulfilling the end of the agreement now that you’ve lost?"
Zheng Yang glared at Mu Xueqing coldly.
Three days ago, you arrogantly declared that Zhang shi is inferior to Liu laoshi, and proposed for the loser of the duel to admit that their own teacher is inferior to the other’s. How could you simply disregard your words now? Do you think that we're easy targets to bully?
"Apologize immediately and admit that Liu laoshi is inferior to Zhang shi, and we'll end things here. Otherwise, don't blame me for getting nasty!" Liu Yang stepped forward.
Mu Xueqing's face steeled.
If she were to admit to this matter here, how was Liu laoshi supposed to face others and build his prestige in the academy?
Seeing how the few rascals were trying to force their own teacher into a corner, Zhang Xuan felt even more dismal. "We'll just take the duel today as a draw. You can return now!"
He had never seen them getting so motivated in other matters.
For his own students to pressure his other students to admit that he was inferior to himself...
What in the world was this!
"Why should we accept it as a draw?"
After hearing those words, Zheng Yang and the others immediately erupted. Even Zhao Ya, who was usually the most rational one of the group, couldn't help but darken her face at those words.
How could a person say those words unabashed?
It was obvious that the other party had lost! It was one thing for the other party to not fulfill their end of their promise, but how dare they brazenly claim that it was a draw?
Initially, they were still impressed by Liu laoshi ability in inducing such massive growth in his student and thought that he was a true genius worthy of respect. But from the looks of it now, the word 'genius' seemed to be completely wasted on him!
How could a person who doesn't even dare to admit his defeat be considered a genius?
How could a person who pulled his seniority to twist the truth be considered a genius?
Do you think that you're really a big shot? To put an act before us, why don’t you try your luck somewhere else!
You should at least try to retain the final shreds of your dignity!
"Zhao Ya didn't win, and Mu Xueqing didn't lose either. What else can this be if not a draw? Stop causing a commotion here and return! Otherwise, I will tell your teacher to teach you a lesson!" Zhang Xuan shook his hands.
He had no other choice but to announce it as a draw.
If he said that Zhao Ya had won, wouldn't that mean that he, in his persona as Liu Cheng, was inferior to Zhang Xuan? When his identity finally gets exposed, he would really die of embarrassment!
On the other hand, if he were to claim that Mu Xueqing had won, wouldn't that mean that Zhang Xuan was inferior to Liu laoshi...
The consequences were the same!
What in the world was this?
No matter what he said, he would be the one to take the bullet.
Instead of going through so much trouble, he might as well throw these rascals out first.
Not expecting this Liu laoshi to act so shamelessly, not admitting to the defeat of his student despite clearly losing, even going to the extent of acting so brazenly about it, Zhao Ya and the others were on the verge of erupting.
"This truly isn't a wise move on Liu laoshi's part!"
Principal Xie and the others shook their heads.
"He shouldn't have interfered. What in the world is a teacher like him interfering in a fight between the students for?" Another elder harrumphed.
"Even so, if he didn't stop the duel just now, Mu Xueqing would definitely be severely injured. As a teacher, he couldn't simply watch idly from the side as his students got injured!" Principal Xie replied.
The crowd nodded.
On top of guiding them, teachers had a responsibility to protect their students from harm as well before they mature. If they were in Liu laoshi’s place, they would surely be unable to remain idle too if their students were getting injured right before them.
"The academy is in a difficult position now. If it were to help Liu laoshi, Zhang shi will be dissatisfied. However, if we help Zhang shi, Liu laoshi will be angered. What makes things even more difficult is that Liu laoshi is no ordinary teacher. Not to mention, he's the guild leader of the Physician Guild as well. Helping one side would simply bring the academy the ire of the other. But if we were to wash our hands clean and stay out of the matter, we would risk angering the both simultaneously. After all, we simply watched idly as this duel went on..."
Principal Xie rubbed his glabella in distress. This matter had truly left him with a splitting headache.
A while ago, he was just excitedly thinking that regardless of which of the two ladies won, Tianwu Academy would stand to win.
He couldn't have imagined that the things would get to this point.
With this turn of events, the entire academy was put into a difficult position.
"If it comes down it... Principal, why don't you step out and invite Zhang shi and Liu laoshi to sit down together and get to know one another. After all, given that they're both geniuses, there is a good chance that they might just find fellowship in one another through this."
An elder proposed.
Principal Xie contemplated over the matter.
"It's not a bad idea, but Zhang shi is currently in the midst of taking his 2-star master teacher examination and isn't in the capital now. If he were to know of the conflict and refuse the meeting, what should we do?" Another elder asked.
It was a good method to solve the conflict by having the both of them sit down and talk things out. However, the problem lies in getting them to do so.
Liu laoshi was a teacher of their academy, so at the very least, he wouldn't blatantly turn down the principal's instructions. However, Zhang shi was a 2-star master teacher, and his standing was superior to even that of the principal. If he were to refuse to meet Liu laoshi, then all of the plans they had prepared beforehand would be for naught.
"Forget it. I'll just to plead with Zhang shi on this matter. At the very least, I am still a 1-star master teacher and the principal of Tianwu Academy. Zhang shi should probably sell me this favor!"
After hesitating for a moment, Principal Xie shook his head.
"Also, prepare a few of the academy's [Esteemed Guest Token]. I want to give them to Zhang shi's students so that they can freely enter the academy and browse through our books or any other resources!"
The elders nodded in agreement.
Below, Mo Yu, who initially intended to watch the commotion from below, was completely dumbfounded.
She thought that it would interesting see the students of Zhang Xuan under two different identities of his fight one another. However, she didn't expect things to evolve to this point.
Zhang Xuan was put in an extremely awkward position with this.
Regardless of which side wins, his reputation would be tarnished.
"I have to stop them..."
At this, she pushed aside the crowd and walked up.
"Zhao Ya, Zheng Yang..."
Just as Zhao Ya and the others were burning with anger, they heard someone calling them, and turning around, they saw Princess Mo Yu. Teacher had once taught her, so in a sense, they could be considered as fellow peers.
They had met her back when their teacher was taking the master teacher examination.
"Why don't... you all return for now? If Zhang shi were to know that you all are causing a ruckus at Tianwu Academy, he would surely be displeased!"
Nodding her head, Mo Yu tried to persuade them.
If not for her selfish motives, Zhang Xuan might have learned of this matter in advance, and things wouldn't have gotten so troublesome.