Chapter 931: The Representatives from the Combat Master Hall Arrive!
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97

Zhu Jian was one of the Grade-1 students chosen by School Head Xu Changqing to participate in the Combat Master Selection. Two years ago, Hongchi Empire had sent him to the academy to study.

After the guidance of his teacher and the hard work he had put in for two years, he had finally reached Consonant Spirit realm pinnacle, a step away from reaching Cosmos Bridge realm.

In truth, he had already accumulated sufficient zhenqi to achieve a breakthrough three months ago. However, in order to participate in the Combat Master Selection, he had decided against it, choosing to further refine his Consonant Spirit realm cultivation instead. Through his hard work, he was able to almost reach the limits of what could be achieved in his realm.

This was also the reason he had able been to emerge victorious in the internal selection with an outstanding result of being in the fifth place.

He had originally been an unfavored prince of Hongchi Empire, but if he could become a combat master, he would surely stand out among the other princes. Even if he couldn't inherit the throne in the end, at the very least, he would be able to free himself from the scorn of others and become a respected figure in the royal family.

He had thought that with his outstanding achievement of finishing fifth place in the internal selections, he would be able to emerge victorious in the Combat Master Selection as long as he were to work hard.

However, when he saw the power display from the other three Master Teacher Academies, his heart had turned cold. Even though the candidates from the other academies were in Grade-1 as well, their strength was at a totally different level.

Even without exchanging blows, he could clearly feel from the might the others emanated that he wouldn't even make it into the top forty with his current strength.

Given that there were only twenty slots for each grade, it could be said that… it was hopeless for him.

While the principal had said that he would conduct a lecture just to impart his combat insights to them, he still didn't think a short two hours could cause any significant change in his strength.

After all, cultivation was a process of accumulation. It was infeasible to raise one's fighting prowess abruptly just by some last-minute training.

Even if the knowledge that the principal was going to impart to them was profound and exquisite, allowing him to raise his fighting prowess up a notch, he had no doubt that he would still be utterly defeated at the hands of the experts from the other three Master Teacher Academies.

The display of power from the other candidates had utterly shattered his confidence.

Sighing deeply, he turned his gaze back to the front.

The principal was looking over with a kind gaze, and his warm voice echoed in his ear like heavenly music. He was explaining the utilization of certain tricks and battle techniques in combat. Just by hearing a few words from him, the students could feel their zhenqi pulsating excitedly, wanting to practice as he had taught.

Listening to the lecture, Zhu Jian was awed as well.

It had to be said that the principal's comprehension of battle techniques and combat had reached a masterful level, far more formidable than any master teacher he knew of.

However, it was a pity that time was too short. Two hours was just insufficient to change anything.

If only Principal Zhang had returned half a month earlier, there might still be hope of victory. Zhu Jian sighed deeply.

If they had half a month's time to ruminate over the principal's combat insights and incorporate them into their fighting style through practice battles, they might just have been able to make a massive improvement that could allow them to potentially achieve victory in the Combat Master Selection.

However, now that they were only two hours away from the selection, what was the point?

Shaking his head, Zhu Jian was thinking that he should just give up and listen no more when the eyes of a junior seated not too far from him suddenly lit up, seemingly having comprehended something. That junior raised his finger and tapped forward, and the glint of a sword materialized on the tip of his fingernail before falling straight to the ground, creating a huge depression.

This is… Sword-Man Union? Zhu Jian narrowed his eyes in astonishment.

He had sparred with this junior before, and the other party did possess quite a bit of talent in swordsmanship. Nevertheless, the other party had still been a huge distance off from matching up to him. Why would the other party… suddenly reach Sword-Man Union when he wasn't even close to it yet?

Sword-Man Union, that was an extremely important demarcation line in swordsmanship. One who had achieved that realm would have their fighting prowess increased immensely! Even though the junior had only ranked tenth back in the internal selection, with the newfound prowess he had just obtained through comprehending Sword-Man Union, the other party would definitely be able to get into at least the top three should the internal selection be conducted once more!


Geji! Geji!

While he was still trying to digest the shock from his junior's abrupt breakthrough, he suddenly heard another sound not too far away. It came from the creaking of bones and muscles, but the deafening loudness of the noise made it sound like the rumbling of thunder instead, and even the ground seemed to tremble under its sheer volume.

This is… the sound of the Tigerhowl Adamantium Fist being cultivated to Major Accomplishment! But when I crossed blows with that fellow just yesterday, wasn't his mastery of the technique… only at Novice level? Zhu Jian's lips twitched as he felt his head spin in confusion, unable to make sense of what was happening around him.

The person who had produced that loud creaking sound was a familiar face too. In the Grade-1 internal selection, the other party had ranked seventeenth. Just the day before, he had sparred with the other party, and the other party's mastery in his Tigerhowl Adamantium Fist had clearly been at Novice level, still a certain distance away from reaching Initiate.

One's mastery of battle techniques could be classified into several tiers: Novice, Initiate, Minor Accomplishment, Major Accomplishment, and Consummation.

How could that fellow, in the blink of an eye, make a breakthrough of three whole tiers and reach Major Accomplishment in his mastery of the Tigerhowl Adamantium Fist?

Wasn't that a little too exaggerated?

Hu hu hu!

However, that wasn't the end of Zhu Jian's shock. Not too far away, zhenqi suddenly started gushing out of a young man's Taiyang acupoint, gathering atop his head in the form of a bizarre bird that seemed like it could soar into the sky at any moment.
(The Taiyang acupoint refers to one's temples, which are located between the top of the ear and the eye.)

With just a glance, Zhu Jian could immediately tell that this was another symbol of one achieving Major Accomplishment in the mastery of a certain battle technique.

Peng peng peng! Pah pah pah!

Be it his front, back, left, or right, innumerable surges of zhenqi spurted chaotically within the area of the barrier. Almost every single student, after listening to the principal's lecture, had comprehended something and achieved a breakthrough.

The principal's lecture… is that formidable?

It was only at this moment that Zhu Jian realized that he was about to let the opportunity of a lifetime slip through his fingers. He swiftly suppressed the shock and incomprehension in his mind to listen to the lecture carefully.

It had to be said that the principal's lecture was first-rate. The content gradually delved from the basics to the complex, and the essence regarding combat skills and battle techniques was carefully sieved out and laid bare before everyone to see.

Profound concepts that they struggled to understand normally were deciphered into simple language that they could easily comprehend and grasp.

Just by listening to it for a short moment, Zhu Jian found himself falling into a deep trance, his attention completely absorbed by the words spoken before him.

It was at this moment that he realized that, despite his many years of cultivation and studying of battle techniques, his understanding of combat was laughably shallow. As compared to what the principal was lecturing, it was indeed not worth a mention at all.

Due to the barrier, it was impossible to see or hear what was happening inside. Thus, those who were outside were unaware of the innumerable breakthroughs in the comprehension of battle techniques occurring within.

Seeing that their principal had gathered all of their candidates together to conduct a lecture, School Head Mo fell into a daze.

"Isn't it a little too late for Principal Zhang to be conducting a lecture at this moment?"

Based on the news he had received, the representatives of the Combat Master Hall would be arriving very soon. To be conducting a lecture now… wasn't it a little too late to be trying to hug the Buddha's leg?
(Hugging the Buddha's leg: This is proverb referring to desperate last-minute attempts.)

"It is indeed a little too late for that…" Zhao Bingxu shook his head.

"The fighting prowess of a cultivator comes from the accumulation of cultivation and battle experience over a long period of time. Just a simple lecture itself can't possibly raise the students' fighting prowess by much. It is probably a last-ditch attempt from Principal Zhang, but it doesn't seem optimistic…" Xu Changqing sighed deeply.

It was not that they didn't believe in Principal Zhang's prowess, but there was a limit to a student's ability to comprehend. Within the span of two hours, no matter how profound or incredible a teacher's lecture was, it would be futile if the students hardly comprehended a word of it!

In fact, even if they were to comprehend it, it was not guaranteed whether they would be able to utilize it effectively in a real battle or not.

It seemed like their principal was still too young and naive.

"Sigh, but it isn't as if we have any other solution in mind either. Let's just wait and see then…" Shaking his head, Zhao Bingxu fell silent. However, the worry in his eyes was unconcealable.

It wasn't just the Ten Great Master Teachers who didn't think Zhang Xuan's efforts were appropriate.

Wo Tianqiong, Shen Pingchao, and Wu Ran also shook their heads after seeing Zhang Xuan's actions.

Indubitably, impartation of knowledge was something that would benefit the students. However, whether it was effective or not was another question.

Knowledge was something that had to be built up, tested, and reinforced over time. If a few lectures could easily raise a person's fighting prowess immensely, wouldn't that mean that just anyone could become an expert of the Combat Master Hall?

Not even the Combat Master Hall had the capability to raise the prowess of their own members that quickly!

Recalling Zhang Xuan's identity, Wu Ran muttered meaningfully, "Perhaps… he is just reluctant to admit defeat!"

One must know that he was an incredible genius who had the capability and courage to point out even Kong shi's flaws!

It was natural that a person like him would be prideful. It was inevitable that he would find it hard to accept that his students were far weaker than the other candidates, and Wu Ran could empathize with such an emotion as well.

However, it was futile. No matter how well the other party did for two hours, the only plausible conclusion was failure!

Oblivious to the thoughts of the others, Zhang Xuan was busy imparting the essence of the simplified version of the Heaven's Path battle technique and his combat experience to them in the most simplified explanation he could come up with, not intending to keep anything from them.

He was imparting the exact same knowledge that he had imparted to Wang Ying and the others, disregarding whether they were his direct disciples or not.

"Speed is not everything in combat. The person who is able make his move faster than the other may not necessarily claim the advantage in the battle. What is more important is to understand the intent and purpose behind your opponent's move, because only through knowing that will you be able to prepare yourself and make countermeasures in advance…" Zhang Xuan spoke calmly, his tone carrying a unique rhythm to it that piqued one's attention.

The Heart of a Teacher paired with his Soul Depth comparable to a 7-star master teacher allowed the knowledge he explained to penetrate deep into the mind of the students, allowing them to understand just by hearing, accomplish just by understanding, and master just by accomplishing.

The amount of spiritual energy in the surroundings is insufficient…

As the students before him comprehended the essence of his impartation, their zhenqi began to palpitate in excitement, and their mastery over their battle techniques rose swiftly. However, in face of such a situation, not only was Zhang Xuan not delighted, he even frowned instead.

In order to master a battle technique, not only must one comprehend the essence of it, the zhenqi circulation pathway for it must also be paved entirely.

Most powerful battle techniques had their own unique zhenqi circulation pathways, and if one didn't drive zhenqi through it often, it was extremely easy for it to become blocked.

This was also the reason one was sometimes unable to fully execute a battle technique despite comprehending the essence of it. After all, not everyone possessed the Heaven's Path zhenqi, which could travel through any meridian easily without being impeded.

As such, the cultivation of battle techniques involved the driving of zhenqi as well, so naturally, one would have to consume spiritual energy as well. Considering that Zhang Xuan's lecture had caused so many students to achieve breakthroughs one after another, the spiritual energy within the barrier was running low.

If this continued, the students could very well find themselves being disturbed in the midst of their comprehension due to the lack of spiritual energy to fuel their zhenqi circulation.

Once that happened, it would be extremely difficult for them to return back to their state of comprehension once more.

In a sense, this was similar to musing over one's sudden inspiration, where disturbance could break one's train of thought, causing one to lose their grasp over their comprehension.

Narrowing his eyes, Zhang Xuan swiftly took out the Earth Vein Spirit Essence and flicked droplets of it from the tip of his finger to the acupoints of the students.

While the spiritual energy within high-tier spirit stones was purer, it was more difficult to absorb, making it less effective in comparison.

At this point, he was running low on Earth Vein Spirit Essence, but this was a crucial moment, and he couldn't afford to hesitate.

Tzzz la la!

The students, who were in the midst of their comprehension, suddenly felt a resurgence of energy. Their understanding of their battle techniques swiftly deepened, and the meridians that had been closed previously also suddenly opened up entirely.

Infused within the spirit essence wasn't just concentrated spiritual energy but a tinge of Heaven's Path zhenqi as well. Under the effects of Heaven's Path zhenqi, the students were able to overcome the previous blocks easily.

"Hmm?" Heaving a sigh of relief, Zhang Xuan was just about to continue his lecture when he suddenly frowned and look into the distance.

Beneath the vast blue sky, a massive aerial saint beast could be seen whizzing through the air. In just a few moments, it was already floating right above the academy.

The representatives from the Combat Master Hall are here. It has only been an hour though…

Zhang Xuan had thought that he would have two whole hours to lecture, but just an hour in, the representatives of the Combat Master Hall had already arrived.

"Alright, I shall end the lecture here!"

Stopping his lecture, the students within the barrier gradually roused from their trance.

After all of them had recovered, Zhang Xuan raised his hand and removed the barrier.

With this, the Combat Master Selection… had commenced!<script>chaptererror();</script>



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