Library of Heaven is Path
878 Returning to Cloudmist Ridge
Chapter 878: Returning to Cloudmist Ridge
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Even though the master teachers felt indignant and frustrated, they knew that they had to obey the orders made by the Master Teacher Academy or else there would be chaos. Thus, they withdrew from the battlefield and headed to Leiyuan Peak.
Watching as the students retreated, Zhang Xuan instructed, "School Head Zhao, you should remain behind to command the students. They need a leader to unite them at a moment like this. Try to avoid all confrontations with the spirit beasts for the time being if possible. It will suffice for just School Head Mo and me to head to the negotiations!"
Hearing that Zhang Xuan was sending him away, Zhao Bingxu hurriedly shook his head. "That won't do; I will follow you to the Cloudmist Ridge as well!"
Even though their principal had made huge progress in his cultivation recently, he was still only at Chrysalis realm primary stage. With the other party's current cultivation, heading into the Cloudmist Ridge, which was filled with saint beasts, was no different from courting death. Even at the expense of his life, Zhao Bingxu was determined to follow the other party to ensure his safety.
"Are you going to disobey my orders right after nominating me as your principal?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"If you are unwilling to listen to my commands, the two of you might as well remain here. I will head in myself!"
"Principal Zhang…" Zhao Bingxu frowned in worry.
"School Head Zhao, those students do need you with them, so you should go. Don't worry, I will make sure that no one harms Principal Zhang," School Head Mo said.
In the next moment, he sent a telepathic message to Zhao Bingxu. "After you return, reorganize our forces and find Mu shi and the others. Four hours; if we don't return in four hours, launch an attack against the Cloudmist Ridge. I will remain by Principal Zhang's side to ensure his safety for the next four hours!"
"This…" Zhao Bingxu was taken aback for an instant before he nodded grimly. "Alright then, I will be heading off now!"
Zhang Xuan could tell that the duo had communicated telepathically as well, but he didn't pay it any heed. Standing on top of the Infernal Dragon Saint Beast, he and School Head Zhao began heading for the Cloudmist Ridge.
Zhao Bingxu watched their departing backs with clenched fists for a moment before rushing back to the Master Teacher Academy.
"Principal Zhang, no harm can come to you…"
He knew that their principal was proposing this negotiation for the sake of the students of the Master Teacher Academy. It might seem as if he was undermining the authority and dignity of the academy, but this battle had come too suddenly, and they were largely unprepared. This was the best solution to preserve their fighting power at the moment.
To bear the blame of failure so as to protect his fellow master teachers from harm, such decisiveness and courage…
They had indeed chosen the right candidate for the job!
Zhang shi was indeed a person whom they could count on, a true master teacher who, just like Kong shi, possessed a heart that was large enough to embrace the world.
Perhaps, they might just become witnesses to the birth of a new legend.
The Inferno Dragon Saint Beast flew swiftly, and in just a few moments, they had already arrived at the Cloudmist Ridge.
Standing tall on top of the saint beast, School Head Mo bellowed, "I, Mo Zhu of the Master Teacher Academy, have come as agreed. I ask the kings of the Cloudmist Ridge to meet me!"
A composed voice responded.
"Ride on the Eagle Beast, he will bring you to us. As for your saint beast, leave him outside. I fear that we might end up putting him in a difficult position if negotiations fail!"
School Head Mo's Inferno Dragon Saint Beast was a beast as well. If negotiations were to break down, it would be cast in a difficult position. If it were to help its master, that would be equivalent to betraying his kin, but if he were to help the beasts, that would be equivalent to betraying his master. No matter what he did, there was no correct decision.
After issuing some instructions telepathically to his tamed beast, School Head Mo wrapped Zhang Xuan with his zhenqi before leaping over to the back of the gray-feathered Eagle Beast not too far away.
The Eagle Beast let out a sharp call before it spread its wings wide and flew forward.
The Eagle Beast bore some resemblance to the Viridescent Eagle that Zhang Xuan had tamed before, but it was much stronger. Having reached Chrysalis realm, it was able to move at incredible speeds.
"Principal Zhang, for the time being, let's just say that you are a student of mine. If they try to make things difficult for us, I will try to find a way to send you out safely," School Head Mo told Zhang Xuan telepathically.
Zhang Xuan shook his head. "There is no need to go through so much trouble. If I don't reveal my identity, how can we negotiate with them?"
"That would be too dangerous." School Head Mo shook his head grimly.
"These saint beasts have always been at odds with us humans, and it was just a matter of time before a battle broke out. In truth, our Master Teacher Academy has been looking for a way to eliminate them as well, but those fellows are constantly holed up in their dens, refusing to come out. Both the Master Teacher Academy and the royal family have dispatched many men to scout the depths of the Cloudmist Ridge over the years, but very few have managed to return alive…"
"Dispatched many men?" Zhang Xuan frowned as he recalled the many corpses he had seen around the lake of Earth Vein Spirit Essence back then.
Most likely, those corpses were probably a squadron dispatched by the royal family or the Master Teacher Academy as well.
"The Cloudmist Ridge is consistently covered in mist all year round, and its terrain is extremely complicated as well, making it a stout natural fortress. The saint beasts gathered in the area are like a thorn stuck in our throat, posing a potential threat to us. We have been wanting to eliminate them for some time already, but it's a pity that we have been unable to breach their defenses!"
At this point, School Head Mo suddenly recalled something, and his complexion turned grim. "Furthermore, there seems to be a deeper reason behind why the saint beasts choose to dominate the Cloudmist Ridge. The old principal seemed to have uncovered something about them, but he disappeared before he could tell anyone else about it. Also, according to the investigations over the years, it seems like Elder Wu Yangzi's disappearance also had something to do with the Cloudmist Ridge!"
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes.
He had a rough understanding of the mystery concerning Wu Yangzi's disappearance, and he had obtained the latter's treasure as well. If the Cloudmist Ridge was involved in Wu Yangzi's disappearance too, it could mean that the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe was behind them.
Could… Vicious be involved in this matter as well?
After obtaining Wu Yangzi's treasure, Zhang Xuan had asked Vicious about this matter, but the latter had lost most of his memories, so he wasn't able to say much.
However, it was certain that Wu Yangzi's disappearance was plotted by the Otherworldly Demons… Were these saint beasts involved in the operation as well?
That might really be the case!
For an expert who was nearing Saint 2-dan to be kidnapped discreetly in Hongyuan City, where the Master Teacher Academy was located, it was impossible for the Otherworldly Demons to conduct such an operation by themselves.
"In order to uncover the truth, we have dispatched even Saint realm experts into the Cloudmist Ridge, but none of them succeeded. Seven hundred years ago, I tried to scout this land myself as well, and if not for the old principal, I might have just lost my life here," School Head Mo said with reddened eyes.
When he was still young and hot-blooded, he had secretly crept into the Cloudmist Ridge in hopes of uncovering the secrets surrounding it. However, before he could get far, he had already found himself assaulted by hordes of beasts.
If not for the old principal lending a helping hand, he would have lost his life then.
"I see…" Zhang Xuan hadn't expected for School Head Mo to have had such an experience.
He had ventured into the Cloudmist Ridge once as well, and there was indeed something rather bizarre about it.
Were it not for his means as a soul oracle and his Otherworldly Demon puppets, he would have definitely been unable to sneak into the depths of the Cloudmist Ridge and steal the Earth Vein Spirit Essence.
"Thus, you really mustn't reveal your identity later on. Otherwise, the saint beasts might just attempt to capture you and hold you hostage," School Head Mo said.
"Un, alright then." Zhang Xuan nodded.
Considering the many uncertainties and implications surrounding the matter, it would be very dangerous for him to reveal his true identity.
Even with the Byzantium Helios Beast, the Golden Origin Cauldron, and his many Otherworldly Demon puppets, it would still be difficult for him to escape from the hordes of Half-Saint, Nascent Saint, and Saint realm beasts of the Cloudmist Ridge.
While the duo was speaking, the Eagle Beast flew across the mist and arrived on the mountain peak.
Taking a closer look, Zhang Xuan realized that the surroundings looked familiar to him. It was the place where he had procured the Earth Vein Spirit Essence.
The Eagle Beast called out sharply before descending to the ground. After which, School Head Mo and Zhang Xuan leaped off the back of the Eagle Beast.
"I, Mo Zhu of the Master Teacher Academy, have arrived with my student. I beseech the kings of the Cloudmist Ridge to meet us!"
Stepping forward, School Head Mo exuded the impressive aura of a Saint realm 1-dan pinnacle to put up a display of power.
"School Head Mo, come in."
An impassive voice sounded from the cavern ahead of them. Following which, two Half-Saint Black Spirit Panther walked out and made a welcoming gesture. They seemed to be the guards of this cavern.
Taking a deep breath, School Head Mo took the lead and walked in, and Zhang Xuan followed behind him.
Scanning his surroundings, Zhang Xuan noticed that there were many Half-Saint and Nascent Saint beasts guarding the area, similar to how it had been the last time he was there, except for the significant decrease in their numbers.
It seemed like a handful of them had been dispatched for the battle with the Master Teacher Academy.
Advancing deeper into the cavern, they soon arrived at the area where the Earth Vein Spirit Essence had been stored, and there, they met ten seated Saint 1-dan pinnacle saint beasts.
As soon as School Head Mo and Zhang Xuan approached, they immediately turned their eyes to them, and there was chilling killing intent in their gazes.
One of the ten Saint 1-dan pinnacle saint beasts, a Golden Beartiger Beast, uttered coldly, "Mo Zhu, you sure are arrogant to bring a Chrysalis realm student here!"
As the head of the Beast Tamer School, School Head Mo had a rough idea regarding the various saint beasts that lived on the Cloudmist Ridge.
Paying no heed to the Golden Beartiger Beast, School Head Mo said with a wave of his hand, "Since I am here, we can begin talking about how we can resolve the battle between the Master Teacher Academy and Cloudmist Ridge amicably. I believe that we can both agree that if we continue fighting like that, both sides will just suffer severe losses. There will be no winner in this battle."
"Suffer severe losses? So what if we suffer severe losses? You humans stole our Earth Vein Spirit Essence, destroying our very foundation! Let me tell you this straight. If we beasts are going to suffer, I will make sure that you humans feel double the pain!" the Saint 1-dan pinnacle Scarlet Blaze Lion roared.
"We stole your Earth Vein Spirit Essence?" School Head Mo frowned.
"Indeed. This is the ground where we store our Earth Vein Spirit Essence, but it has been completely emptied out now. Only you despicable humans are capable of such underhanded actions!" the Scarlet Blaze Lion bellowed furiously.
School Head Mo took a look at his surroundings, and there was indeed a depression in the cave reminiscent of an empty lake. Even though there was nothing in it, he could still feel the lingering spiritual energy, indicating that something extremely rich in spiritual energy had once been stored in the depression.
But this was the very core of the Cloudmist Ridge! Countless Nascent Saint and Saint realm beasts guarded the area. To be able to steal the spirit essence under such circumstances… which expert could it be?
One must know that School Head Mo had already reached a considerable height in his cultivation when he had attempted to scale the mountain back then, but he had nearly been killed before he could even reach the halfway mark of the mountain.
To be able to successfully sneak in, steal the treasure of the saint beasts, and escape alive… That fellow sure had helped mankind vent the countless years of pent-up frustration at those arrogant saint beasts!
"I am unaware of such a matter."
But even though School Head Mo was full of awe for that anonymous expert, he didn't allow it to show on his face. Instead, he frowned deeply and asked, "You claimed that it is the doing of a human, but do you have any evidence? Have you uncovered the culprit yet?"
"Hah, unaware of the matter? Do you think that you can cover this matter just by saying that you are unaware of it?" The Golden Beartiger Beast harrumphed.
"I am not trying to cover up the matter. It's just that if you don't have any evidence or suspects in mind, there is no way I can help you redress your grievances. I don't think that we will be able to get anywhere by arguing about that, so let's talk about the battle instead," School Head Mo said.
"If it's just a small skirmish between us, the Master Teacher Pavilion wouldn't bother getting involved. However, if this matter were to blow up and bring great misery and suffering to the populace, there is no guarantee that the Master Teacher Pavilion won't decide that there is no need for your Cloudmist Ridge to continue existing in the world and wipe it away with a swipe of their hands. Even if I don't point it out, I believe that you should be extremely clear of this as well. Since you have already lain low for so many years, why start something now and let your efforts go in vain?"
Hearing School Head Mo's words, the Golden Beartiger Beast sneered coldly and said, "In the past, we still had the Earth Vein Spirit Essence. It represented hope for us to advance our stagnated cultivation, so we were still willing to lie low back then. But now…
"We won't take reconciliation completely off the table just yet. As long as the Master Teacher Academy is willing to compensate us fifty thousand high-tier spirit stones and help us set up five hundred grade-6 Spirit Gathering Formations all over Cloudmist Ridge, I will order my spirit beasts to retreat immediately!"