Library of Heaven is Path
943 The Stifled Combat Masters
Chapter 943: The Stifled Combat Masters
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Zhang Xuan was well aware that his lectures had the ability to raise a person's strength swiftly.
However, this was also dependent on the aptitude that each cultivator possessed. There were some who possessed mediocre talent in combat, and any effect that Zhang Xuan's lecture would have on them would be minimal at best.
Furthermore, in order to raise the zhenqi and physical strength of the hundred candidates swiftly, he had put in five hundred high-tier spirit stones to fuel their cultivation. On the other hand, there were a hundred thousand students in the entire Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy. There was no way he could fork out 500,000 high-tier spirit stones, and he couldn't afford to set up a Spirit Gathering Formation large enough for all of them as well.
Thus, it was clearly an infeasible notion to have the entire academy become combat masters.
Besides, the Combat Master Hall also had limited slots. Whether one could join their ranks or not didn't hinge on him but the call of a certain middle-aged man seated not too far away.
At this point, Zhang Xuan turned to Zhuo Qingfeng to seek his opinion on the matter, only to see the latter's face twitching uncontrollably with exasperation reflected in his eyes.
Honestly, at this point, Zhuo Qingfeng felt as if he was on the verge of losing his mind.
If Principal Zhang really did so, it probably wouldn't take long before the entire Combat Master Hall became a branch of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy.
"Cough cough." Suppressing his frenzy, Zhuo Qingfeng replied with forced composure, "Principal Zhang, it would indeed be great for our Combat Master Hall to take in as many talents as possible. However, the responsibilities of a master teacher are far greater and nobler. It will be a great loss to mankind should most of the students of Hongyuan become combat masters."
Naturally, the Combat Master Hall sought to take in as many talents as possible to bolster their forces. However, too many people and the resources would be spread thin, and that wasn't a good thing.
This was just like how every nation needed an army to safeguard the interests of their people, and naturally, a larger army would be preferred over a smaller one. However, if the nation were to recruit too many soldiers, that would put a stain on their finances, which could have been devoted to other purposes, causing the nation to lose out in the other aspects.
Thus, balance was necessary.
This was also the reason there were limited slots to the Combat Master Selection each time round.
If all master teachers were to become combat masters, who else would impart knowledge to the cultivators to encourage growth among the populace?
If all were to devote their time to learning the art of combat, wouldn't the whole world fall into chaos?
"Indeed." Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.
If he were to lose all of his students to the Combat Master Hall right after taking over the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy… that was indeed not really good.
After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan spoke up. "Alright, I will hold a lecture among the official members of the Xuanxuan Faction later on, but no one is allowed to take the combat master assessment after that!"
With his current capability, it would be difficult for him to induce significant growth among the entire student populace through a public lecture. However, if it was just the Xuanxuan Faction, that would still be possible.
Furthermore, these men had been following him for a long time, and they were extremely loyal to him. They could be considered the foundation of his influence.
Naturally, he would preferentially offer this opportunity to the members of the Xuanxuan Faction. This would serve as a reward to them, as well as an impetus to encourage loyalty among the students toward Hongyuan and him so as to further unite the academy.
"Alright!" Hearing that the principal would be conducting a lecture for them, the members of the Xuanxuan Faction nodded their heads in excitement.
Even if they were forbidden from taking the combat master assessment, it would still be great if their fighting prowess could rise considerably.
Zhuo Qingfeng raised his hands and declared, "Alright, I hereby announce that the Combat Master Selection has come to an end!
"In three days, there will be several non-master teacher candidates taking the combat master assessment here. Anyone who is interested is more than welcome to spectate!"
"Non-master teacher candidates will be taking the combat master assessment?"
"I have no idea as well…"
The crowd was bewildered by the abrupt announcement.
Zhang Xuan was also intrigued as well. He couldn't help but turn to Zhuo Qingfeng and ask, "May I know which geniuses will be taking the combat master assessment despite not being master teachers themselves?"
"Cough cough!" Hearing Principal Zhang's question, Zhuo Qingfeng choked. "They are… your direct disciples, Principal Zhang!"
"My direct disciples? You mean Wang Ying and the others? How do you know them?" Zhang Xuan was baffled.
He had been in the middle of lecturing the candidates when Zheng Yang challenged the combat masters the previous night, so he was still unaware of the matter.
"That… Last night, a direct disciple of yours named Zheng Yang came to challenge us, and none of us were a match for him in a battle of equal cultivation. Even I fell in defeat against him," Zhuo Qingfeng explained awkwardly.
"That fellow… Preposterous!" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
It was no wonder the members of the Combat Master Hall seemed a little deflated and subdued earlier on. Having suffered such a heavy blow, it couldn't be helped that they were unable to accept it all of a sudden.
Zheng Yang had indeed gone overboard this time around.
Sighing deeply, Zhang Xuan attempted to console them. "There is no need for you to feel so dispirited over this matter. Zheng Yang is my direct disciple, and I have already taught him for around a year. I have been teaching him ever since he was at Juxi realm 1 , and he has gone through a lot since then. It is only normal that you weren't able to defeat him!"
It was still fine when Zhang Xuan hadn't spoken, but after hearing his words, the combat masters suddenly felt like keeling over.
Are you saying that he has grown from Juxi realm to become a Chrysalis realm expert within just a single year, jumping over a dozen realms? And more importantly, despite his rapid growth, he is still able to harness power capable of matching cultivators beyond his cultivation realm?
Why do we feel even more stifled after hearing your consolation?
Furthermore, what do you mean by 'it is only normal that you weren't be able to defeat him'?
We are combat masters, the occupation boasting fighting prowess far beyond ordinary master teachers!
Knowing that he and his subordinates' morale would only continue to decline if they were to continue hearing the fellow's words, Zhuo Qingfeng hurriedly stood up and bade his farewell. "Alright, that will be all for today. I have to bring my subordinates away for their training now!"
There was a kind of talent in the world that allowed one to pierce a person's heart deep with unintentional words. This was probably it.
The other party's gaze and tone couldn't have been any more earnest, but why did it feel like their faces had been viciously slapped by his words?
We are also geniuses, you know…
As Zhuo Qingfeng left, the other combat masters hurriedly followed behind him, and it didn't take long for them to disappear into the distance.
The other three principals also felt extremely stifled within, and they felt that they would only be embarrassed further were they to remain there. Thus, they quickly found an excuse and left hurriedly. Were it not to spectate the assessment that would occur three days later, they probably would have marched up to the Cloudcliff Flying Ship and left that very instant.
Seeing that the others had left, Zhang Xuan shook his head before getting up and heading toward the headquarters of the Xuanxuan Faction.
By the time he arrived at the headquarters, the entire area was already fully packed.
Zhang Xuan swiftly headed to the front and began his lecture. The content that he spoke of was identical to what he had imparted the other candidates, but this time, he didn't use the Impartation of Heaven's Will, so the effects were significantly poorer. As such, most students weren't able to achieve breakthroughs on the spot.
Nevertheless, the students still benefited greatly from his teachings. Their comprehension of battle techniques and combat techniques grew significantly, and the new physical body cultivation technique and method to condense zhenqi they were imparted with had left them incredibly excited as well.
The lecture lasted ten whole hours, until the sky had darkened once more. After resting for a brief moment, Zhang Xuan left the headquarters of the Xuanxuan Faction to seek School Head Mo.
"Help me prepare. I intend to visit the Mausoleum of Principals," Zhang Xuan said.
He could tell that Zhuo Qingfeng and the three principals were avoiding him like the plague, so there was no need for him to remain around to host them.
In any case, it was a good time for him to pay the Mausoleum of Principals a visit so that he could procure the Lightning Resonance Rock required for his breakthrough from Half-Saint to Nascent Saint.
His cultivation had already reached Half-Saint pinnacle, so it was about time for him to seek out the object to attempt a breakthrough.
"I knew that you will want to pay the Mausoleum of Principals a visit very soon, so I applied for the artifact to help sever your soul from the headquarters as soon as I received news that you have cleared the 6-star master teacher examination, and it arrived a few days ago," School Head Mo replied with a smile.
A while ago, when he had spoken to School Head Mo about wanting to enter the Mausoleum of Principals, the other party had told him that he would have to sever his soul and leave it on the Mausoleum Tablet. However, doing so forcefully would inflict significant harm on his soul and possibly reveal his identity as a soul oracle, so he had to borrow an artifact from the headquarters in order to do so, but the requirement to doing so was that he had to be a 6-star master teacher at minimum.
At this moment, he had cleared the 6-star master teacher examination and successfully procured the artifact as well, so it was about time for him to head over to take a look.
"Great!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
The duo headed toward the Mausoleum of Principals, and just as they arrived at the entrance, they met up with Zhao Bingxu, who passed the soul-severing artifact from the headquarters over to Zhang Xuan.
"This is the Copper Bell. As long as you hold this artifact in your hand, it will automatically nourish your soul and sever a small portion of it safely," Zhao Bingxu explained.
Examining the artifact in his hand, Zhang Xuan noted that it was a spherical bell around the size of his fist. Holding it in his palm, he immediately felt a warm surge of energy flowing into his soul, nourishing it.
"This is indeed a good artifact." Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
While it wasn't too difficult for a soul oracle to severe their soul, it was a daunting task for an ordinary cultivator and potentially extremely damaging as well. Zhang Xuan had been wondering before how the preceding principals had managed to leave their will behind without fail, and now, it seemed like this artifact was the real reason for that.
After the soul was nourished, it would be severed and stored in the Copper Bell before being deposited into the Mausoleum Tablet. The Copper Bell served to minimize the effects of the Five Declines on the severed souls deposited in it, allowing it to exist for over ten thousand years without dissipating.
"Principal Zhang, you should be able to open the entrance and enter the mausoleum with your Principal's Seal. We aren't qualified to accompany you in, so we will be seeing you off here," School Head Zhao said with a smile.
"Un." Nodding, Zhang Xuan took a look at the Mausoleum of Principals.
It was located near the Elder Hall, built against a mountain. There was a massive Concealment Formation built around the Mausoleum of Principals, such that even the entire mountain had disappeared from view. Had the two school heads not brought him over personally, he never would have been able to find it.
It seemed like the place of rest for the generations of principals were viewed to be more important than even the Cultivation Compendium to the Master Teacher Academy.
Flicking his wrist, Zhang Xuan took out his Principal's Seal and flashed it in front of him. In an instant, a small passageway appeared in the formation, and Zhang Xuan made his way to it.
The next moment, the world around him suddenly warped, and he found himself standing amid a lush mountain forest.
The mountain wasn't too high that it was probably more accurate to call it a hill. The scenery within the formation was completely different to what he had seen on the outside. There was a road paved with bluestone tiles, and walking along it, Zhang Xuan soon found his passageway blocked by a massive stone tablet.
It was roughly eighty meters in height and twenty meters in length. It was hard to tell what kind of material it was made from, but it carried a lofty and ancient air around it, as if one had walked into history.
Is this the Mausoleum Tablet? Zhang Xuan wondered.
Previously, School Head Mo had told him that to enter the Mausoleum of Principals, he would have to infuse a sliver of his soul into Mausoleum Tablet. Considering the sheer size and unique air shrouding the stone tablet, this was probably it.
Circling around the stone tablet, Zhang Xuan could feel powerful soul energy being harnessed within the stone tablet, as if many souls were infused into it, giving it a formidable presence reminiscent of a heavy mountain weighing down on one.
There is no doubt about it, this must be the Mausoleum Tablet… Zhang Xuan nodded. I should find Founder Mu Kai's tombstone first and obtain the Lightning Resonance Stone before infusing my soul into the Mausoleum Tablet!
Zhang Xuan had just obtained the Copper Bell, and it hadn't been long since his soul had started being nourished by it, so he was still incapable of severing his soul.
Even though he had been told that he had to leave a sliver of will on the Mausoleum Tablet, he realized that he could proceed forward without doing so. Most likely, it would suffice as long as he were to do so before leaving. Thus, he circled around the Mausoleum Tablet and proceeded in.
The Mausoleum of Principals was tranquil but solemn, leaving one feeling slightly pressured walking through it.
Not too long later, Zhang Xuan finally caught sight of the first tombstone. Inscribed on it were the following words—Tombstone of the 103rd Principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy.
103rd principal? Doesn't that mean that this is the grave of the old principal? But didn't he go missing before he could enter the Mausoleum of Principals? Why is his grave here?
Zhang Xuan was stunned.