Chapter 851: Scarlet Firefly Fruit

Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
At the point where the earth dragon and the dark sky intersected was a river that flowed along the walls of the academy and into the depths of the seemingly boundless darkness.

Looking along the body of the earth dragon, there were several ponds with flowers and trees by the side. It resembled patches of clouds, which further accentuated the image of a dragon rising to the heavens.

After studying the area for over ten minutes, Zhang Xuan's head was starting to spin from overusing his Eye of Insight. Shaking his head, he could only stop there.

From what he had deduced so far, it seemed like the three stars Wu Yangzi had referred to weren't literal stars or a figurative description of the geography. It didn't seem like he would be able to figure out what it was with just a quick glance, and a more thorough investigation was required.

Nevertheless, having found the earth dragon, he was already at the halfway mark to finding Wu Yangzi's treasure. As long as he were to put in some more effort, he should be able to find the three stars easily.

After all, if Wu Yangzi was willing to reveal the location of his treasure, he would have hidden it with the expectation that someone would be able to find it.

Thinking that he should head to the banquet first and continue his investigation after that, Zhang Xuan was just about to descend back to the ground when he saw a figure in the distance flitting swiftly toward the manor.

"Hu Yaoyao? What is she doing here at this time?" Zhang Xuan muttered under his breath.

The Eye of Insight could peer through the darkness, thus allowing Zhang Xuan to recognize the other party immediately. However, it didn't seem like she had noticed him in the sky, bypassing him and rushing straight to a vantage point amid the rubble.

Despite being a Chrysalis realm pinnacle expert, it still wasn't easy for her to find a person in the dark. Flicking her wrist, she took out a Night Illumination Pearl and began scanning the area carefully.

"Zhang laoshi!" she shouted.

As an apprentice, her relationship to Zhang Xuan was reminiscent to that of a teacher and a student, so she had changed the way she addressed him accordingly.

Zhang Xuan was just about to descend back to the ground to reply to her call when he suddenly noticed something. The faint glow of the Night Illumination Pearl in Hu Yaoyao's hand was reflected in a pond not too far away from where she stood, and from his point of view, it bore an uncanny resemblance to a star.

"Could it be…"

Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up, and he hurriedly turned his gaze to the other ponds in the courtyard as well. As expected, as if resonating to one another, the faint radiance of the Night Illumination Pearl was reflected in their surfaces as well.

This addition to the formation created a picturesque sight of the earth dragon traversing across the night sky, journeying in the accompaniment of the stars.

Over the past two thousand years, the layout of the manor has gone through massive changes. Perhaps, at the very start, there might only have been three ponds… I will have to find the original three stars then!

There should only be three stars according to the message left behind by Wu Yangzi. If the light reflected in the ponds were the stars mentioned in the clue, he had too many of them at the moment.

However, this didn't necessarily mean that Zhang Xuan's direction was wrong. Too long a time had passed, so the layout of the manor could have undergone numerous changes.

Others might stumble before this problem, but this isn't an issue to me… Zhang Xuan smiled confidently.

It would be difficult for even Mu shi to decisively determine which of the current eight ponds were existent two thousand years ago, but this was a piece of cake for Zhang Xuan. With the Eye of Insight, he could easily tell how long each pond had been around for.

In just a few moments, he had already confirmed which the three ponds he was looking for.

After which, he swiftly mapped out the midpoint of the triangle formed by the three stars.

The resulting location was a towering ancient pine tree positioned just in front of the manor's main hall.

It seems like the treasure is hidden beneath the pine tree! Zhang Xuan thought.

Heaving a sigh of relief, Zhang Xuan descended to the ground and walked up to Hu Yaoyao.

"You were looking for me?"

"Zhang laoshi, you are fine! I really didn't expect you to go so far just to find Wu Yangzi's treasure…" Hu Yaoyao was visibly relieved for a moment after seeing Zhang Xuan before gesturing to her surroundings speechlessly.

Do you know how much this manor cost? If you do, how could you destroy it like that?

Even if it is to find Wu Yangzi's treasure, surely you didn't have to reduce the manor to this state?

Black lines streaked across Zhang Xuan's face as he heard those words. "I didn't do this to find the treasure. It was an accident…"

"It can't be that you came here to watch the commotion after hearing that the manor has collapsed?"

"N-no, it's not that… I have something that I need your help on!" Hu Yaoyao said.

She had heard about the treasure that Wu Yangzi had left behind, but many of her predecessors had already attempted to find it, to no avail. Thinking that there was little hope in that direction, she had decided to not pay it any heed.

"What's wrong?" Zhang Xuan asked with a frown.

While Hu Yaoyao was docile before him, she was still one of the most influential figures in the Master Teacher Academy, and she had many tricks up her sleeves as well. What kind of matter could it be that would require his help?

Hu Yaoyao hesitated for a moment before speaking. "To tell you the truth, Dong Xin, Long Cangyue, Xue Zhenyang, and I have found a treasure that can increase the chances of making the breakthrough to Half-Saint by twenty percent…

"Naturally, we are planning to obtain the treasure, but… there are two powerful beasts guarding it, and we aren't a match for them. Thus, we hope to seek your help for this matter!"

"A treasure?" Zhang Xuan fell into deep thought.

Back then, he had once followed Hu Yaoyao to a gazebo and overheard them speaking about some kind of treasure maturing by the end of the month, and looking at the current date, it did seem to be about time to harvest it.

"That's right. You possess both strength and knowledge, so we were unable to think of anyone more suitable to help us with this matter than you," Hu Yaoyao said.

Even though the four of them were powerful figures who no one dared to offend in the academy, for some reason, all of them had stumbled before him. She had become his apprentice, Xue Zhenyang had become his grandstudent, and Dong Xin, the most pitiful one of them, had not only become his great grandstudent but was expelled from the academy as well.

Long Cangyue, who had chosen not to take any action, was the sole survivor of their group.

Typically speaking, considering how three out of four of them had some kind of grudge with Zhang Xuan, they would be reluctant to seek his help. However, with that object's date of maturity swiftly approaching, they were pressed on time. They had to make a move soon or else those two huge fellows would have devoured it for themselves. By then, they would be left with nothing at all.

Thus, after some serious discussion, they had eventually decided to seek Zhang Xuan's help.

That fellow might be the God of Destruction, but he had proven that he was a capable individual on multiple occasions. Otherwise, the three of them wouldn't have been subdued by him either.

"To be able to increase the chances of making a breakthrough to Half-Saint by twenty percent, what kind of treasure is it?" Zhang Xuan asked curiously.

Back at the Saint Ascension Platform, he had seen many insights from the predecessors, and from that, he had gained a rough understanding of how difficult it was to make a breakthrough from Chrysalis realm to Half-Saint. To talents like that, twenty percent could make a huge difference.

Under the dim light of the Night Illumination Pearl, Zhang Xuan could see Hu Yaoyao biting her crimson lips together hesitantly before saying, "It is the Saint realm medicinal herb… the Scarlet Firefly Fruit!"

"Scarlet Firefly Fruit?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before his eyes abruptly lit up.

He had heard of the Scarlet Firefly Fruit before. It was a saint herb with a scarlet exterior, and upon maturity, it would release a beautiful fluorescent light reminiscent of a firefly.

Growing by absorbing sunlight and moonlight, the fruit had a maturity period of a hundred years. On top of that, it was extremely rare and couldn't be artificially cultivated, thus making it very difficult to obtain.

While consuming the Scarlet Firefly Fruit wouldn't guarantee a breakthrough to Half-Saint, its ability to increase the chances at doing so was more than sufficient to make Chrysalis realm cultivators go insane over it. Even Zhang Xuan was moved by its effects as well.

Even though Zhang Xuan's cultivation was only at Ethereal Treading realm primary stage at the moment, around two realms away from reaching Half-Saint, given his current rate of cultivation, as long as he had sufficient high-tier spirit stones and the relevant cultivation technique, he should be able to reach it within six hours.

The compilation of insights from the Saint Ascension Platforms had already greatly boosted his chances at making a breakthrough, and the aid of the Scarlet Firefly Fruit could make his breakthrough go even more smoothly.

For one, as a cultivator of the Heaven's Path Divine Art, the spiritual energy he required to make a breakthrough was enormous. While he did obtain quite a lot of Earth Vein Spirit Essence from the Cloudmist Ridge, it was hard to tell if it would still be effective by the time he reached Chrysalis realm.

After all, the Earth Vein Spirit Vine was still slightly lacking in purity. However, if he could obtain the Scarlet Firefly Fruit… he could confidently say that Half-Saint was finally within sight!

"That's right. Based on our investigation, there is a total of ten Scarlet Firefly Fruits in the area. As long as you help us obtain them, we will split them equally among us, meaning that each of us will obtain two fruits!" Hu Yaoyao said.

"Two each?" Zhang Xuan stroked his lower jaw in contemplation before nodding slightly. "I am fine with that!"

Given that he hadn't participated in the scouting and the preparation work, it was indeed not bad that he was going to receive an equal share.

And of course, if he were to contribute more than proportionately to the obtaining of the Scarlet Firefly Fruits later on, he could always renegotiate the distribution then.

"So, you will help us?"

Honestly speaking, Hu Yaoyao had thought that Zhang Xuan would try to bargain for more favorable terms for himself, so she was slightly taken aback when she heard him agreeing to it so readily.

"Of course!" Zhang Xuan nodded. "When are we setting off?"

"We can set off now if you are ready. We will be riding on Dong Xin's tamed beast, and it will take roughly three days for us to arrive at our destination. So, even at the very minimum, our trip will take seven to eight days!" Hu Yaoyao said.

"Seven to eight days?" Zhang Xuan frowned.

His inauguration ceremony as the next principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy was three days from now, so he couldn't afford to leave for such a long period of time now.

"That's right. We have made a rough calculation of when the Scarlet Firefly Fruit will mature, but we will be arriving earlier to give us some leeway in case it matures earlier. However, if it matures later than we expected, we might end up spending a few more days there," Hu Yaoyao said.

"You are saying that the trip could be even longer than that?"

Didn't that mean that he might spend nearly half a month away from the academy?

That was too long!

He could potentially raise his cultivation to Nascent Saint in half a month. To waste it for a mere Half-Saint was not worth the time and effort.

And most importantly of all, he would miss the inauguration ceremony as well.

"But the inauguration ceremony for the new principal of the academy is three days from now. If we leave now, we will definitely miss it," Zhang Xuan said.

"I have heard of the matter, too. According to the rumors, the reason Mu shi was sent to our academy was to nominate our next principal. I sure do wonder who our next principal is… I tried asking my teacher, but she refused to say anything about the matter. However, it should probably be either School Head Lu or School Head Zhao. They are the most respected elders in the academy, and they wield the greatest influence as well. Thus, the probability of them becoming the next principal should be the highest!"

At which, Hu Yaoyao smiled and reassured, "Don't worry, I have asked my teacher, and she has granted me the special privilege to skip on the inauguration ceremony to obtain the Scarlet Firefly Fruit. Besides, Zhang laoshi, you aren't a student of the academy now, so it shouldn't matter to you who becomes the next principal of the academy, right?"

As the leader of the Bewitching Devil Faction, she had heard about the conflict between School Head Lu and Zhang Xuan, and how the latter had been kicked out of the academy.

Given that Zhang Xuan wasn't even considered a student of the academy anymore, it shouldn't matter to him who became the next principal.

Naturally, he should have nothing to do with the inauguration ceremony.

"This…" A bitter smile surfaced on Zhang Xuan's lips.

It just so happened that he did have a role to play in the inauguration ceremony, and a huge one at that.

"You should quickly make your decision. The Scarlet Firefly Fruit will be maturing in the next few days, so we have to set off as soon as possible!" Hu Yaoyao urged.

After a moment of contemplation, Zhang Xuan proposed, "Since that's the case, let's set off straight later in the night then. However, instead of riding Dong Xin's tamed beast, I suggest that we ride on mine. We should be able to make a round trip within a day with that."

He still had to attend the banquet at the royal palace to determine whether the Bodhi Saint Tree could be used to save Wei Ruyan or not before heading out.

Considering Dong Xin's current cultivation realm, her tamed beast should also be at Chrysalis realm at the very most, so the speed of travel wouldn't be too fast. However, if they were to ride on Byzantium Lad, they should be able to cover the three days' journey within half a day.

That would save them quite a bit of time.

"Your tamed beast? You mean your Great Violetwing Beast?" Hu Yaoyao frowned. "But its speed is likely slower than Dong Xin's tamed beast, right?"



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