Library of Heaven is Path
884 Zhang Xuan“s Change
Chapter 884: Zhang Xuan's Change
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"An incomplete soul? My emperor is a deity, a saint beast from an ancient era. For you to have plotted against the Cloudmist Ridge, you have already infringed on his authority. There is no doubt that he will extract your soul and tear your body into pieces to exact vengeance for me," the Golden Beartiger Beast howled in rage.
It seemed that he was extremely loyal to the so-called emperor, revering the other party even.
He had already placed the other party on a divine pedestal in his mind, so he couldn't bring himself to believe that the other party would only be a mere soul.
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
If the so-called emperor was truly that powerful, it wouldn't have been stuck on the Cloudmist Ridge, dependent on the Golden Beartiger Beast's tributes.
"If the emperor you spoke of is as incredible as you say, don't you think that it would have appeared after seeing the state you are in?" Zhang Xuan replied with a wry smile.
"My emperor will never abandon me. You will be regretting your actions against me very soon," the Golden Beartiger Beast yowled frenziedly.
But despite the words it spoke, uncertainty had already crept into his gaze. His confidence had wavered.
He knew that his relationship with his emperor was one built on mutual profit. He would offer tributes to the latter, and the latter would grant him power or the Earth Vein Spirit Essence.
Even if he was pummeled to death, all his emperor had to do was find another agent to work for him instead. There was no need for the other party to save him, or rather, if the other party had any intentions of saving him, the other party wouldn't have watched as the massive cauldron pummeled him viciously.
Noticing the hint of apprehension in the depths of the Golden Beartiger Beast's eyes, Zhang Xuan knew that his words had worked. Thus, infusing his words with the Impartation of Heaven's Will, he said, "I heard earlier that you were going to offer School Head Mo and me to your emperor. Is this what you have done with the many master teachers before us?"
Earlier, when the Golden Beartiger Beast negotiated with his emperor and offered the lives of School Head Mo, Zhang Xuan, and countless other master teachers as tribute, the latter had agreed immediately. The deal had gone so smoothly that it felt like they had conducted the same trade innumerable times over the years, and they had already come to a mutual understanding of the needs of each other.
Furthermore, recalling the many corpses he had seen in the surroundings, it wasn't too difficult to put the story together.
Considering the huge implications of this matter, the Golden Beartiger Beast couldn't possibly allow the other saint beasts to learn of this matter as well, so he had to get the information out of the beast in question.
Perhaps, the full mystery might be unraveled with this.
The Golden Beartiger Beast immediately shook his head. However, halfway through his words, the figure of the young man before him suddenly seemed to tower above him, reminiscent of an inviolable deity of the heavens. He desired deeply to deny the matter, but his mind wouldn't listen to him. Unable to control himself, he began confessing, "That's right! My emperor would devour the blood and flesh of those master teachers, and in exchange for that, he would bestow us with the Earth Vein Spirit Essence, granting us an opportunity to achieve a breakthrough in our cultivation!"
Previously, Zhang Xuan's Impartation of Heaven's Will had only been effective on those who had the blood of a human running through their veins, which resulted in it being ineffective against beasts. However, after comprehending the Heart of a Teacher, the effects of his Impartation of Heaven's Will had been extended to beasts as well, allowing him to beguile even a saint beast like the Golden Beartiger Beast easily.
"Devour the blood and flesh of master teachers?" School Head Mo clenched his trembling fists in agitation.
He had thought that the saint beasts were just an impending threat that the Master Teacher Academy would have to deal with soon, but who would have thought that they had been committing such atrocities over the years?
If he had learned of this earlier, he would surely have convinced the Master Teacher Academy to send an army up to utterly destroy the Cloudmist Ridge long ago.
If this had been going on over a span of more than a thousand years, he could hardly imagine how many master teachers had died brutally due to the other party.
Zhang Xuan's complexion had darkened as well, but he continued to interrogate the other party. "Are those white bones in the cavern the corpses of the deceased master teachers?"
"That's right! They are the master teachers who dared to brazenly barge into my Cloudmist Ridge over the years. I offered their blood and flesh to my emperor, and all that is left of them is the pile of bones here. In exchange, my emperor has used his divine strength to alter the geography of the Cloudmist Ridge, turning it into a natural formation to gather Earth Vein Spirit Essence. It is precisely this that has allowed the beasts of the Cloudmist Ridge to grow rapidly stronger over the years!" the Golden Beartiger Beast explained proudly.
He dared not kill master teachers openly, but each year, there were still a substantial number of master teachers who went missing due to undertaking dangerous missions or various miscellaneous reasons each year. As such, he was still able to tribute dozens or even several hundred master teachers each year without drawing much attention.
Suppressing his fury, Zhang Xuan continued asking, "Since your emperor is consuming the blood and flesh of master teachers, it is surely not an ordinary soul. Where is he now?"
For a soul to live, it had to be nourished by a body. Otherwise, it would be extremely vulnerable by the Five Soul Declines, resulting in it getting weaker and weaker over time.
The main reason Mo Hunsheng was able to survive several ten thousand years was due to the unique nature of the Nine Hearts Lotus. If not for that God artifact, his soul would have long dissipated as well.
To be able to survive the ancient era and feed on the blood and flesh of master teachers, the so-called emperor was definitely not an ordinary soul.
"That… I am not too sure where my emperor is either. I only know that he only appears if I summon him here," the Golden Beartiger Beast replied.
"Summon him here?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
Activating the Eye of Insight, he began scanning the surroundings.
The previous time he was here, he had taken a look as well, and he hadn't noticed anything at all.
But if the so-called emperor would only appear when summoned here, the chances were that there was something amiss here…
Even through the Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan only saw an ordinary cavern. There didn't seem to be anything out of place in the surroundings.
Wait. That fellow appeared here not long ago, so perhaps I might be able to trace his aura… Suddenly recalling this matter, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
Due to the intangible and elusive nature of souls, it was extremely difficult to find the trail of a soul. However, as one who possessed the Eye of Insight, he should still be able to find some traces if he looked closely.
Focusing his sight on the area where the so-called emperor had appeared earlier, lines of insight began gathering in Zhang Xuan's eyes, and finally, an extremely faint trail could be seen leading into the depths of the cavern.
"Ding Ding, I will leave this fellow to you!"
Having finished his interrogation and uncovered the trail to his next target, Zhang Xuan issued his instructions to the Golden Origin Cauldron before taking huge strides into the depths of the cavern.
The Golden Beartiger Tribe had the blood of far too many master teachers on his hands. That was beyond Zhang Xuan's bottom line, and he had no intention of sparing him.
"You are leaving him to me? Great, that's exactly what I like!" Cheering in excitement, the Golden Origin Cauldron immediately leaped toward the Golden Beartiger Beast.
"W-what are you going to do?" Hearing the glee in the Saint artifact's voice, the Golden Beartiger Beast's body immediately stiffened in fear. "Zhang shi, I will acknowledge you as my master. Please, spare me. Spar—AHHHHH…"
Before he could finish his words, a cry of agony had already escaped from his mouth. A certain massive cauldron had descended right onto its face, and raging flames burst from it, producing a sizzling sound in contact with the other party's skin. Soon, a fragrant aroma drifted within the cavern.
The Scarlet Blaze Lion, Steelbacked Bear, and the others gulped before the sight.
That monster… It was fortunate that they had submitted, or else they could have been in the Golden Beartiger Beast's position…
This particular emotion was intensified as they stared at the Golden Beartiger Beast's face… The face that they had respected and feared for many years had distorted into a hideous shape indescribable using words…
Paying no heed to the Golden Origin Cauldron, which was having the time of its life, School Head Mo hurriedly rushed forward to catch up with Zhang Xuan.
After walking up to Principal Zhang, he hurriedly advised telepathically, "That 'emperor' seems to be an extremely powerful being. Since we have managed to subdue the forces of the Cloudmist Ridge, I don't think that emperor will do anything for the time being. Why don't we just leave this matter for the headquarters to deal with?"
That so-called emperor was able to heal a severely wounded Saint realm 1-dan pinnacle beast fully and raise his cultivation to 3-dan on top of that. Such prowess was unimaginable to him.
To pursue such an enemy, and not even bringing Senior Golden Origin Cauldron at that… he feared that Principal Zhang would face grave danger.
This matter was already beyond their scope of power, so it was best to leave it to the higher ranked master teachers of the headquarters.
"That 'emperor' will definitely escape after seeing that his loyal subordinate has perished. It will take at least around half a month for the personnel of the headquarters to arrive, and by then, it will already be too late!" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
That fellow was an incomplete soul, which was extremely useful to him, so how could he hand such a treasure over to anyone else?
If the personnel from the headquarters were to arrive, it would be impossible for him to take the soul for himself, and all he would receive were a few words of commendation. Since that was the case, he would have to take matters into his own hands.
"This…" School Head Mo hesitated for a moment before replying, "Since that's the case, allow me to call Mu shi and the other elders here too. It should be safer that way…"
"There's no need for that. You should stay here to manage the situation, I will go in to take a look. Don't worry, even if I am no match for the other party, I still do have some means up my sleeves to at least escape safely!" Zhang Xuan reassured.
That 'emperor' was at least a Saint realm 5-dan expert, an extremely dangerous being to go against. One reason that he dared to pursue the other party was because he had Vicious in hand, but more importantly, it was because he still had a golden page in his Library of Heaven's Path!
It was formed when he took School Head Jiang Qingqin in as his student back then.
No matter how powerful that 'emperor' may be, could he be more powerful than the heavens itself?
Even Vicious was forced to kneel before it, let alone an incomplete soul.
Of course, he couldn't mention this matter to anyone else. Even though he could tell that School Head Mo earnestly cared for him, and he trusted the latter as well, this matter was simply too important for him to reveal to anyone.
"Zhang shi…" Seeing that Zhang Xuan insisted on entering, School Head Mo cut into his path to stop him.
"Enough! … Don't worry, I will be fine. Have the Scarlet Blaze Lion and the other kings issue an order for all of the battling spirit beasts to return to Cloudmist Ridge. After that, inform School Head Zhao that the negotiations were a success, and have him send the students involved in the battle to rest. After such a long battle, they must be exhausted!" Zhang Xuan instructed with a wave of his hand.
School Head Mo was still hesitant, but he eventually relented and nodded. "This… Alright!"
Sighing deeply, Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist and took out a pile of high-tier spirit stones. "Here are two hundred high-tier spirit stones. Please compile a list of the students who have lost their lives in this battle and use this money to compensate their families."
There were exactly two hundred of them in there.
As much as he loved money, there were some things that just had to be done.
Ultimately, the trigger to the beast stampede was his theft of the Cloudmist Ridge's Earth Vein Spirit Essence, so it was only right for him to compensate the victims of the conflict.
He didn't have the power to raise the dead, but if his money could aid the family members of the victims and allow them to lead better lives, perhaps it would at least allow the souls of the victims to rest in peace.
Seeing Zhang Xuan take out so many high-tier spirit stones all of the sudden, School Head Mo was shocked. He hurriedly waved his hands to reject it. "This… Zhang shi, our academy will fork out the expenses to compensate the students. How can we allow you to pay out of your own pocket!"
Even if Zhang Xuan wanted to provide some form of aid to the family members of the deceased students, he need not pay out of his pocket. The Master Teacher Academy and the Master Teacher Pavilion had their own measures for that.
Those master teachers had died while protecting the populace of Hongyuan City, so there was no way the Master Teacher Pavilion would allow their sacrifice to go unrecognized.
"Take it!" Zhang Xuan insisted with a displeased frown. "This is from me; it has nothing to do with the academy!"
"… Alright!" Seeing the determination in Zhang Xuan's eyes, School Head Mo could feel the earnest sincerity in his gesture, so he couldn't bring himself to turn the latter down anymore.
At the same time, his admiration for the latter deepened once more.
Only such an upright and selfless person would be qualified to become their principal! They had indeed made the correct decision.
I must learn from Principal Zhang's example and strive to lead an upright and altruistic life, School Head Mo vowed within.
"Alright, you should hurry along now. I will be fine here, so rest assured."
After leaving behind those instructions, Zhang Xuan turned around and followed the barely visible trail he saw with his Eye of Insight into the depths of the cavern.