Library of Heaven is Path
858 Zhang Xuan, Rejected!
Chapter 858: Zhang Xuan, Rejected!
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
I am finally out!
After cultivating his soul to the Ethereal Treading realm, Zhang Xuan had left the residence and continued moving straight, and soon, he managed to escape from the royal palace.
Upon leaving the palace, he scanned his surroundings and swiftly deduced where he was.
After which, he suppressed his aura to the bare minimum and swiftly made his way through to the main entrance of the royal palace and then the main hall where the banquet was held.
As soon as he entered the main hall, he immediately darted back to his body before heaving a huge sigh of relief.
In his short journey, even though he failed to find the Bodhi Saint Tree, he did manage to compile the Ethereal Treading realm Heaven's Path Soul Art, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.
Also, he managed to get an insight into the layout and security of the royal palace, especially regarding the existence of soul cultivators in the palace. With this knowledge, he would be able to better plan his movements the next time.
Seeing Zhang Xuan open his eyes, Luo Qiqi, who sat beside him, asked, "Teacher, are you done cultivating?"
She'd had the scare of her life when her teacher started cultivating. Not only did his breathing stop, even his heartbeat had disappeared as well. If he hadn't told her that he was cultivating in advance, she would have thought that he was already dead.
"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded. "Has the banquet begun yet?"
"Not yet, but it should be starting soon. All of the guests have arrived," replied Luo Qiqi.
Coincidentally, at that moment, a eunuch outside suddenly announced, "Her Highness has arrived!"
Everyone swiftly turned their gazes to the doorway, and they saw a beautiful figure slowly making her way in; it was Yu Fei-er.
She was dressed in a purple dress embedded with innumerable gemstones, and it glowed beautifully beneath the light of the Night Illumination Pearls.
She had light make-up on, which further accentuated her beautiful facial features, sending the hearts of men leaping uncontrollably.
She was simply too beautiful!
"Your Highness!" A fiery passion lit up in Shen Jun's eyes upon seeing Yu Fei-er, and he hurriedly rushed forward to greet her.
However, Yu Fei-er paid him no heed, walking straight past him. Her beady eyes scanned the hall swiftly, and before long, she found Zhang shi's figure.
"Zhang shi, Qiqi, you are all here!"
With a delighted expression, she rushed up to the group excitedly.
Even though she had sent an invitation letter to Zhang shi, she wasn't sure whether he would really come. After all, considering the latter's personality, he would probably have no qualms snubbing even the royal family.
Thus, upon seeing him, she heaved a sigh of relief.
"Fei-er, you are really beautiful today!" Luo Qiqi complimented earnestly.
In terms of beauty, the both of them could be considered equal, each possessing their own unique charms. However, Yu Fei-er had dressed up meticulously today, allowing her to grab the spotlight as soon as she stepped into the room.
"Brother Shen, isn't that the greedy fellow you spoke of?" Liu gongzi asked Shen Jun doubtfully.
Didn't you talk to him earlier?
Why does it seem like Princess Yu Fei-er is more concerned with him than you?
"Humph!" Shen Jun's expression turned livid.
Even without Liu gongzi pointing it out, he could see it clearly.
Privately, he had already viewed Yu Fei-er as his woman, and he had been destroying all rivals who dared stand in his path. Even Xing Yuan had been utterly defeated by him, so where did this fellow pop up from?
He had thought that that fellow was just an insignificant figure, but from the looks of it now, that wasn't the case!
"Sixth Princess, it has been too long since we last met. Knowing that it's your birthday, I specially prepared this for you…"
Concealing his displeasure in the depths of his heart, he put on a warm smile before walking up to Yu Fei-er once more and presented a jade box to her.
A dense concentration of spiritual energy gushed out from within, leaving those standing before it feeling energized and spirited.
"This is… the inner core of a Saint 1-dan Water Serpent?" someone amid the crowd exclaimed in shock.
"The inner core of a saint beast?"
"What an incredible gift!"
Hearing that voice, a commotion broke out in the main hall. Everyone was shocked.
Relishing the shocked expressions of the crowd, Shen Jun chuckled lightly and explained gleefully, "Indeed, this is the inner core of a Saint 1-dan Water Serpent. I heard that it has the ability to nourish a cultivator's body, and if one wears it frequently, it can help to calm their state of mind and enhance their cultivation speed. As such, I specially made the trip to the depths of the ocean to obtain one for Your Highness!"
The Water Serpent wasn't a member of the Dragon Tribe; it was only a unique saint beast living in the deep oceans. Nevertheless, its inner core was a highly sought after artifact due to the incredible properties it possessed.
If a cultivator wore it on them often, it could increase their rate of cultivation and strengthen their body.
As such, its inner core was easily worth hundreds of high-tier spirit stones.
As expected of Shen Jun, his hand was indeed amazing. In an instant, the gifts that the others had prepared for the princess seemed to pale in comparison.
Yu Fei-er also hadn't expected Shen Jun to present her with such a valuable gift. Nevertheless, she gracefully took the gift and stowed it in her storage ring.
As the princess of Hongyuan Empire, she had seen plenty of treasures in her time. The inner core of a Water Serpent might be valuable, but it wasn't enough to make her lose her nerve.
"It is my pleasure!" Seeing Yu Fei-er accept his present, Shen Jun's lips curled up in delight. He turned his gaze to Zhang Xuan and asked, "Today is Her Highness's birthday. May I know what gift Brother Zhang has prepared for her?"
In an instant, all gazes fell upon Zhang Xuan.
They had also noticed that the princess had walked straight up to this Zhang shi after entering the hall. No matter how slow they were, it was clear that Shen Jun was challenging his 'love rival'.
"Me? I didn't prepare one." Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He had only learned that it was Yu Fei-er birthday right before stepping into the main hall, so how could he have the time to prepare a gift in advance?
He had always been poor, so he couldn't afford a treasure like the other party's Saint realm Water Serpent's inner core. Besides, even if he had such a treasure in his possession, he also couldn't bring himself to give it to Yu Fei-er anyway. After all, his relationship with her wasn't as close as with Luo Qiqi.
Since it was a fact that he had no gift, he might as well admit it candidly.
"You didn't prepare one? Cough cough!" Shen Jun had prepared lines in advance to put Zhang Xuan down as soon as he took out his gift, but upon hearing Zhang Xuan's words, he nearly choked on his own words.
He had thought that by putting down Zhang Xuan's gift, he could quash the latter's pride while highlighting his own sincerity, but who could have known that the other party hadn't even brought one?
The crowd was dumbfounded by the revelation as well.
To think that there would be a person who didn't prepare anything while attending the princess's birthday banquet… Are you sure that you aren't teasing us?
Recovering from his surprise, Shen Jun sneered coldly, "Brother Zhang, your joke isn't funny at all! It is out of sincerity that Her Highness has invited us to her birthday banquet, so it is natural that we should reciprocate with a gift… and yet, you arrived empty-handed. Don't you think that this is greatly disrespectful to Her Highness?"
Yu Fei-er's face darkened upon hearing Shen Jun's words. "Shen Jun, what do you mean by those words? Zhang shi is my guest!"
Seeing that the princess was speaking up for Zhang Xuan, Shen Jun felt his blood boiling in rage. "Your Highness, it is your birthday today, and we have all prepared gifts for you. Yet, Zhang shi chose to come empty-handed. It is clear that he is disrespecting you!"
"He…" Yu Fei-er was just about to say that she hadn't told Zhang Xuan that it was her birthday banquet when she saw Zhang Xuan waving his hands casually.
"Does a gift truly signify respect for a person? Does the value of a gift really signify how much respect one has for another? So… are you implying that the reason Her Highness invited everyone to this banquet is to demand gifts from everyone?" Zhang Xuan asked with a sharp glint in his eyes. "In your eyes, is Her Highness a petty person who pursues little gains?"
"This… That is not what I mean!"
Not expecting the other party to twist his words in such a manner, Shen Jun's complexion turned awful. "What I am saying is that the fact you chose to arrive empty-handed signifies your lack of respect for Her Highness…"
"So, in other words, you are saying that my lack of gift signifies a lack of respect, and your valuable gift signifies a great deal of respect. In the end, aren't you still implying that Her Highness is only interested in the gifts and not the people giving them?"
Zhang Xuan shook his head grimly and said, "To insult Her Highness like that, just what malicious intentions do you have?"
"Stop spouting nonsense! When did I insult Her Highness?"
Seeing that Zhang Xuan was pinning such a huge sin on him, Shen Jun turned to Yu Fei-er anxiously and said, "Your Highness, don't listen to his words. This isn't what I meant…"
On the other hand, Luo Qiqi, who had been watching the farce from the side, nearly burst into laughter.
Her teacher's mouth sure was a formidable weapon.
It is one thing for you not to bring a gift to a Fei-er's birthday banquet, but to think that you can still take pride in it, arguing unabashedly that the other party was insulting Fei-er by bringing a gift here…
The crowd was also dumbstruck by the turn of events.
They had all prepared gifts of their own as well, but given the current circumstances… if they were to present them, it would look as if they were implying that the princess was a superficial person who was only interested in material gains. Yet, if they didn't present them, it would seem as if they were being disrespectful… Conflicted, their faces scrunched up tightly as if they were suffering from constipation.
Interrupting in Shen Jun's apology, Yu Fei-er flung her sleeves and harrumphed. "Alright, that is enough. I have invited everyone here today just to get together. If anyone dares to present me with another present, I will ask you to leave and never return. I, Yu Fei-er, will not welcome you in the royal palace!"
"I…" Shen Jun's face turned livid, and he clenched his fists tightly together.
After going through so much trouble to obtain such a valuable gift, he had thought that he would be able to win the princess' fancy. Who would have thought that not only did his gift not delight her, it even incurred her ire instead!
What was this?
He had truly made a huge loss this time around.
It's all that fellow's fault! Glaring at Zhang Xuan coldly, Shen Jun flung his sleeves furiously and returned to his seat.
He was currently in a disadvantageous position. The more he talked, the deeper he would err. As such, he decided to back down silently for the moment. In any case, as long as the fellow remained in Hongyuan City, he would surely be able to find a chance to teach him a lesson in the future.
To think that a day would come when he, despite being the successor of the Shen Clan and reaching a Chrysalis realm pinnacle at such a young age, would suffer such a setback in the hands of a twenty-year-old brat.
Just the thought of it left him incredibly stifled inside.
Shaking his head, Zhang Xuan ignored the infuriated Shen Jun and turned his eyes to Yu Fei-er and asked, "Are you currently cultivating your soul?"
While he snuck around the royal palace in his soul form earlier, even though he had failed to find the Bodhi Saint Tree, he did notice that the royal family seemed to pay quite a bit of attention to the cultivation of the soul. Since Yu Fei-er was a member of royalty as well, she should have dabbled in soul cultivation.
"I did cultivate my soul for a while." Yu Fei-er nodded as she gazed at Zhang Xuan doubtfully, unsure of what he was up to.
"I learned from Xing Yuan earlier that your royal family specializes in soul cultivation, so I spent some time a moment ago to tailor a soul cultivation technique for you. Consider it my birthday gift to you!" Zhang Xuan told her telepathically.
He had secretly learned the soul cultivation secret arts of the royal family and devoured an entire hall's worth of spiritual energy dry… Given that he had taken so much from the other party, it was imperative that he returned the favor.
"A soul cultivation technique tailored for me?"
"Un, I came up with it while musing over the quintessence of demonic tunes and terpsichorean arts. It has a high affinity with your constitution!" Zhang Xuan replied.
His inheritance of the soul oracle's heritage was a secret that he couldn't reveal, and he couldn't possibly tell the other party that he had secretly learned their soul cultivation secret arts either. Thus, he could only try to cover it by using his high mastery as a demonic tunist and terpsichore as a front.
In any case, he stood at the peak for those two occupations in the Master Teacher Academy, so there was no one who was sufficiently qualified to question him.
After a moment of hesitation, Yu Fei-er clenched his teeth and said, "I… don't want it!"
"You don't want it?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
Since the cultivation technique was from him, there was no doubt about its prowess. At the very least, it was several times stronger than the Thousand Tempering Soul Refinement Art!
Yet, the other party said she didn't want it!
To think that an impartation from the principal of the Master Teacher Academy… would actually be turned down!
This… what was going on?