Chapter 908: The Frustrated Puppet
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97

"Different? What can there be different about the puppets?" Wei Ranxue was perplexed.

After a moment of hesitation, Zhao Bingxu replied. "To tell you honestly, the guardian on the eighth level isn't a puppet but a clone that Principal Mo Liuzhen made out of one of his rib bones back then!"

"A… clone?" Wei Ranxue was stunned.

"Indeed. Back then, when Principal Mo Liuzhen advanced his cultivation to Chrysalis realm pinnacle, he challenged the Mountain of Records once more, and unlike the first time, he managed to reach the eighth level this time around. In that battle, he felt that there was a fatal flaw with the puppet, so he took out one of his rib bones, and making use of an Earth Core Crystal he had in his storage ring, he forged a new guardian for this floor and infused his fighting skills into it!"

"Earth Core Crystal? Do you mean that rare ore that can only be found near the world's core?" Wei Ranxue frowned.

She had heard of the Earth Core Crystal before. It was an extremely rare ore that was known for its toughness due to being tempered by the extreme conditions near the world's core. Harnessing great heat energy within it, it was an ideal material for tempering one's physical body and forging puppets.

However, it was said that this incredible ore had been completely depleted several thousand years ago, and it was nigh impossible to find a piece of it in the world. For Principal Mo Liuzhen to use it to forge a puppet for the Mountain of Records… even though it was for a good cause, they couldn't help but think his actions extravagant!

In any case, if the puppet was truly forged out of Earth Core Crystal, by no means should its strength ever be underestimated.

Even with the cultivation of Nascent Saint realm pinnacle, such a puppet would be able to emerge victorious in a battle against a Saint realm 1-dan expert!

"Not only so, Principal Mo Liuzhen has also left a sliver of his will within it… In other words, the puppet of the eighth level is no longer an ordinary puppet but an existence with a battle sense nearly on par with Principal Mo Liuzhen back then! Pairing that with a cultivation of Nascent Saint realm pinnacle cultivation, nigh invincible defense, and a body that knows no pain, it is unlikely that even the Chrysalis realm pinnacle Principal Mo Liuzhen would stand a chance against it, needless to say the Chrysalis realm primary stage Principal Zhang!" Zhao Bingxu said with a bitter smile.

It wasn't that he didn't have any trust in Principal Zhang, but the enemy he faced was simply too strong.

Furthermore, when Principal Mo Liuzhen left behind the puppet, he was already at Chrysalis realm pinnacle, not too far away from reaching Half-Saint.

Between fellow top-notch geniuses, nearly a realm of difference in strength was a practically unbreachable gap. On top of that, the opponent was a monster that knew no pain nor fatigue. It was no wonder School Head Zhao and School Head Mo had no confidence whatsoever.

Wei Ranxue was at a loss for words. If that was truly the case, it would be truly too difficult for Principal Zhang to emerge victorious. It could almost be said that victory was a pipe dream!

"There's no point discussing it here. Let's head up, and we will know the answer soon enough!" Xu Changqing waved his hand to stop the discussion before gesturing toward the stairs upwards.


The others nodded in agreement before heading toward the eighth level.

The eighth level was extremely quiet, but the many depressions of different areas and depths on the wall and ground made it clear that an intense battle had occurred there.

Zhao Bingxu took a quick look at the surroundings and said, "We were late. The battle has already ended."

As master teachers, they could easily tell that the battle had already ended a day ago, so they quickly rushed into the room and look around. However, they couldn't see anyone or any miscellaneous parts anywhere.

Eventually, they could only stare at one another and ask doubtfully, "So, who won?"

If it was just like in the previous level, various miscellaneous parts scattered about the area, there would be no doubt that their principal had won!

But the ground was clean except for the marks of battle here and there… Could their principal have really lost?

But if he had lost… where was the puppet guarding this level then?

Why would it have disappeared too?

Suddenly, Wei Ranxue exclaimed anxiously, "There is some blood here!"

Alarmed, the crowd hurriedly gathered together and saw a pool of blood on the ground. Judging from the amount of blood shed, the wounded must have suffered rather severe injuries.

"Principal Zhang…" The crowd clenched their fists together tightly.

While the puppet was a clone made out of Principal Mo Liuzhen's rib bone, blood didn't run through its body… In other words, the blood could only have come from Principal Zhang.

For their powerful principal to have stumbled here, indeed, defeating the Principal Mo Liuzhen's clone to clear this level was no easy feat.

Noticing everyone's apprehension, Zhao Bingxu reassured them. "Even though Principal Zhang is injured, there should be no need to worry. Since the puppet of this level harnesses Principal Mo Liuzhen's will, it shouldn't have executed a killing blow against Principal Zhang!"

The puppets of the previous seven levels possessed ordinary spirits, capable of only fighting as they were commanded. They didn't have the emotions or sentience of a human.

On the other hand, the puppet on the eighth level had a sliver of Principal Mo Liuzhen's will imbued into it, so naturally, it possessed his consciousness as well. After learning of Principal Zhang's identity, it shouldn't have gone too heavily on him!

At the very least, Principal Zhang's life wouldn't have been in danger.

Just as everyone was deducing what had happened, the head of the Painter School suddenly exclaimed, "Everyone, take a look over there!"

Everyone quickly turned to him, only to see his finger pointed toward the ceiling with a dumbfounded look on his face.

Turning their gazes upwards, the crowd was also taken aback by what they saw.

There was a huge '大' depression on the ceiling with a human silhouette embedded deeply into it. The human silhouette had its eyes tightly closed, probably still unconscious from the impact of the blow it had suffered.

"That is the puppet Principal Mo Liuzhen forged!" Zhao Bingxu exclaimed in astonishment.

Upon recognizing the figure, the school heads quickly rushed up to pull the puppet out from the ceiling.

School Head Zhong and School Head Feng hurriedly examined its condition and treated it. A moment later, it finally opened its eyes.

As soon as it opened its eyes, its face immediately flushed in anger as it cursed furiously. "Damn it! Just who in the world is that shameless fellow who came by just now?"

"Shameless fellow?" Hearing Principal Mo Liuzhen's evaluation of Principal Zhang, the mouths of the crowd began twitching uncontrollably.

According to historical records, Principal Mo Liuzhen was not only known for his talents but his composed temperament as well. This was also the main reason he was able to leave his mark in history as the number one figure of the Master Teacher Academy in its ten thousand years of history, respected by many generations of students and teachers.

Yet, such an incredible figure actually began cursing without the slightest bit of concern for his bearing?

"In the duel, that fellow wasn't a match for me at all!" The puppet that Principal Mo Liuzhen had left behind explained indignantly. "After a few blows, I could already tell that he was bound to lose in the end, so I told him to leave and return only after he had cultivated to Chrysalis realm pinnacle… But who knew that the fellow would suddenly proclaim his admiration for me passionately, requesting desperately for me to impart my battle techniques to him. Not only so, he even grabbed my hands and began spewing praise after praise for me…"

At this point, a regretful look emerged on the puppet's face for falling for the other party's ploy. "After all he had said, it wouldn't have been right for me to turn him down as a master teacher, so I began to offer him some pointers for his breakthrough…

"But who knew that fellow would adamantly clutch onto my hands, claiming that he wanted to come into close contact with his idol… I thought that his actions were out of earnest admiration for me, but who could have known…" The more the puppet spoke, the more furious it became. Eventually, its face reddened to the point that it seemed like a volcano on the verge of eruption.

Seeing the other party stop at the crucial moment, Wei Ranxue urged it on. "Who could have known?"

"Who could have known that it was all a trap by the shameless fellow! From the start to the end, his goal was to use the Earth Core Crystal within my body to cultivate!

"You all should be able to tell that my body is forged out of Earth Core Crystal… If that fellow had absorbed the energy of my Earth Core Crystal rapidly, I would have surely noticed something. But h-he secretly stole it bit by bit while distracting me with his sweet words, so by the time I noticed, he had already stolen most of the energy contained within the Earth Core Crystal…"

Even if a puppet was infused with the will of a human, its senses still wouldn't be as sensitive as a human body.

Taking the Soulless Metal Humanoid for example, it was a body constructed mainly for movement and battle. Other than that, its senses and other functions were secondary to humans.

"Even without the Earth Core Crystal, I will only suffer a drop in my defense. But for some reason, that fellow's physical strength suddenly soared as well. With these two factors coming into play simultaneously, I was sent flying into the ceiling with a single punch and was knocked out from the impact…"

The puppet recounted the happenings furiously.

If it had known that that fellow intended to secretly cultivate using its Earth Core Heart, it would have never listened to his words! The state it was in… Putting aside how it had suffered from a significant dip in its defense and fighting prowess, it had even been utterly crushed in a battle against someone it had defeated easily a moment earlier…

In Principal Mo Liuzhen's many years of cultivation, he had seen many master teachers, but never had he seen one as shameless as that fellow!

Rage, frustration, and indignation bubbled furiously within him, which had led to his outburst upon seeing the school heads.

"This…" After learning what had happened, the crowd glanced at one another with twitching faces.

In a desperate life-and-death battle, such actions would be nothing much. But to resort to such in a trial, especially when the opponent had already stopped fighting… that was indeed a little improper.

After venting his frustrations, the puppet sighed deeply and waved its hands to show that it was over the matter. "Forget it, this is how battles are supposed to be. There is no room for compassion or fairness in it. On the bright side, this shows that he isn't a rigid person restricted by conventions and the sort. A person like him will be able to reach greater heights than others!"

As the role models for others, master teachers were expected to uphold their bearings. Nevertheless, they mustn't be too inflexible, or else how could they innovate and reach greater heights?

Putting everything aside, even Kong shi had been an extremely adaptable person. Back then, he had sneaked into the Subterranean Gallery thrice and mixed in together with the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, disguised as one of their own. Eventually, he had even managed to rise through the ranks, being conferred as a king, followed by an emperor, and so on… Through such efforts, he had nearly managed to wipe out their entire tribe!

If master teachers had insistently embraced conventions, choosing to follow only the teachings of the predecessors instead of bravely forging their own path, humanity also wouldn't have come such a long way over just several dozen millenniums…

Hearing Principal Mo's words, Zhao Bingxu and the others heaved a sigh of relief.

"It's good that Elder is able to think of it like that…"

On one hand was the will of the esteemed preceding principal, Mo Liuzhen, and on the other was their current principal. As the saying goes, 'the ones to suffer in a battle between deities are the mortals'. It wouldn't have been right for them to side with anyone in a conflict between the two, so it was best if Principal Mo could let this matter go himself.

Shooting a glance at the stairway above, the puppet stood up, turned to Zhao Bingxu, and said, "Since that fellow was able to defeat me, he must have proceeded on to the ninth level. The ninth level is a forbidden ground, so even with your Elder Tokens, you won't be able to enter it. Since that's the case, you should wait for him here instead!"

A restriction was placed on the ninth level such that only those who had defeated the guardian of the eighth level with their own strength were allowed to enter it…

As Mo Liuzhen himself had only managed to clear the eighth level by exploiting a fatal flaw in the puppet, he hadn't been allowed to advance any further back then either.

"Un!" Zhao Bingxu and the others nodded. They were aware of the rules as well, and knowing the difficulty of the eighth level, they had thought that they would find Principal Zhang here. However, the latter had surpassed their expectations and advanced even further.

Suddenly, School Head Feng of the Celestial Designer School noticed something and exclaimed in astonishment.

"Wait, something is wrong… Elder, it doesn't seem like your cultivation is at Nascent Saint pinnacle…"



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