Chapter 969: Returning to the Surface
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97

He had just said that their combat masters were powerful, and the next moment, they had been utterly defeated by two youths.

It was one thing for the young man, considering that he was strong, but the young lady had only started cultivating two months ago, completely ignorant of battle techniques.

The moment they stepped into the academy, they had been subdued by ordinary students of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy. After which, the incredibly difficult Dragon Gate Formation, which only a handful of their countless combat masters had cleared in the past three hundred years, ended up being overcome by two challengers consecutively.

Honestly speaking, he was starting to doubt life itself.

Principal Zhang, even if you are really formidable and powerful, surely you need not tear us apart so callously!

It is one thing for you to be so powerful, but even students that you have casually taught are so formidable as well! What does that make us combat masters?

Just as Liao Song was still feeling frustrated over the matter, Wang Ying suddenly spoke. "Combat Master Liao, it seems like… your men are unable to carry on with the next trial. What about the both of us?"

It was then that Liao Song suddenly recalled that the nine combat masters on the stage were still unconscious from poison.

In the past trials, it had always been their combat masters knocking others unconscious. Yet, the other party had only sent two students up, and their men were already either knocked unconscious or severely injured.

Liao Song couldn't help but feel his heart turn cold.

He pondered for a moment before replying. "Our men need to rest for time being. We will resume the trial in three days! Just in case, we will bring in some more combat masters from the Combat Master Hall as well."

There was nothing else he could do.

His nine subordinates were clearly under the effects of a very potent poison. Even if he were to treat them right now, they would still need several days to fully recover to their peak.

If their strength was already compromised before the start of the battle, the results of the trial would be inaccurate, and the headquarters might not be willing to recognize it.

Since that was the case, it would be best to first rest for several days and request for more men to be dispatched to serve as back up.

It couldn't be that the great Combat Master Hall couldn't even deal with a couple of students.

"Alright!" After a moment of hesitation, Wang Ying nodded.

Zheng Yang had succeeded due to the preparation he had made beforehand, and Wei Ruyan had her unique constitution to fall back on. On the other hand, she and Liu Yang had neither of the two. If they were to depend solely on their strength, it would be too difficult for them to clear the trial.

If they had three additional days, perhaps their teacher might have returned by then. They would be able to seek guidance from him, and their chances at clearing the trial would be significantly higher.

It was not that their fighting prowess was beneath Zheng Yang's, but many of their moves and maneuvers had been exposed to the combat masters in the earlier fight, and the combat masters were bound to be guarded against them in future fights.

Without the element of surprise, it would be hard for them to succeed.

On the other hand, seeing that Wang Ying had agreed to it, Liao Song heaved a sigh of relief. If the other party were to insist on challenging the trial that instant but they were unable to come up with the required numbers for it, that would be truly humiliating for the Combat Master Hall.

"That was truly exciting!"

"After watching such an incredible battle, I can pass away without any regrets!"

"As expected of Principal Zhang's direct disciple, that Zheng Yang is indeed powerful!"

"Of course! Just think about how formidable Principal Zhang is, how can his student be ordinary?"

Only two trials had been held, and many people were unable to comprehend the happenings in Wei Ruyan's trial, but nevertheless, Zheng Yang's battle had still been incredibly exciting. The many cultivators who had travelled from far and wide to spectate the battle couldn't help but feel that their trip hadn't been wasted. They had managed to witness the birth of a new legend with their own eyes.

"I wonder what the conditions are to becoming Principal Zhang's direct disciple."

"If it is possible, I would love to become his direct disciple, too."

There were also quite a few among the crowd who began to contemplate about how they could become Principal Zhang's direct disciple and ascend to the top in a single step. Even the candidates of the other three academies who had failed to clear the Combat Master Selection couldn't help but harbor such thoughts as they gazed at Zheng Yang with an excited gleam in their eyes.

At this very moment, however, the man whom they wanted to acknowledge as their teacher was currently still within the depths of the Subterranean Gallery, seated within the seal with his eyes closed.

After some time, he finally opened his eyes.

Just a little more!

Exhaling deeply, Zhang Xuan got to his feet.

The previous few days spent recultivating the Saint Ascension Decipher, which had been modified according to the structure of the seal, while repairing the seal had enhanced his strength by leaps and bounds. While his cultivation was still at Nascent Saint pinnacle, the same as before, the fighting prowess he could exert was far greater than before.

At the same time, his Origin Core had also become even stabler and sturdier, revolving slowly within his dantian in the form of a golden sphere. At this point, he was already at the final step of his cultivation, lacking just the final decipher.

According to Zhang Xuan's deduction, he would need to take in vast amounts of spiritual energy as soon as this step was completed, and that could destabilize the seal if he were to do it within. Thus, he decisively halted his cultivation.


Zhang Xuan leaped out from the interior of the seal.

The seal didn't pose much of an impediment to humans, but to the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, it was no different from a barrier severing space, making it nigh impossible for them to cross through it.

Returning to the Subterranean Gallery, Zhang Xuan quickly found himself a safe location. Taking out his formation flags, he set up a grade-6 Spirit Gathering Formation with a snap of his fingers. After which, he took a seat at the center, tossed a few hundred high-tier spirit stones around him, and began to cultivate.

With the spoils of war from slaying the two hundred Otherworldly Demons and the profits he had obtained from the Shen Clan, he had no lack of high-tier spirit stones at the moment. Besides, as long as he could raise his strength, there was no price too heavy to pay.

Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan opened his acupoints, and the surrounding spiritual energy immediately gushed into his body with furious momentum, creating a whirlpool of spiritual energy around him.

The vast amount of spiritual energy was swiftly converted into zhenqi before being gathered together to be crafted into a decipher through a unique method, filling up the last remaining gap of the golden sphere.

Hong long!

After some time, with a resounding blast, the spiritual energy in the Spirit Gathering Formation was abruptly dried out in an instant, and the hundreds of high-tier spirit stones were reduced to dust. Following which, Zhang Xuan felt his dantian jolt violently. The golden sphere underwent a metamorphosis as a deep shade of violet crept onto it.

This violet Origin Core carried a weight reminiscent of an entire planet, granting one immense strength as it revolved slowly on the spot.

What a powerful Origin Core… Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up as he clenched his fists tightly in excitement.

He could clearly feel his perception of the surrounding spiritual energy becoming even clearer and more vivid, allowing him to tap into it and refine it into zhenqi far more efficiently.

In other words, with this violet Origin Core, he could cultivate zhenqi far quicker and purer than before.

Could this be… a First Grade Origin Core? Zhang Xuan's eyes trembled in agitation.

He had already achieved a Second Grade Pinnacle Origin Core before. While there was nothing detailed in the Saint Ascension Decipher about an Origin Core metamorphosing into a violet sphere, chances were that it was a First Grade Origin Core!

In the entire history of the Master Teacher Continent, Kong shi was the only one known to have successfully formed a First Grade Origin Core. It wielded strength far beyond the others, and it was the key to becoming a Celestial Saint!

It is a pity that I am still lacking the catalyst artifact, or else I would be able to attempt a breakthrough to Saint realm on the spot.

The more Zhang Xuan studied the violet Origin Core in his body and learned about it, the more impressed he felt.

Currently, his comprehension of the Saint Ascension Decipher still had a few flaws. He needed Scarlet Firefly Fruits for a breakthrough to Half-Saint, a Lightning Resonance Stone for a breakthrough to Nascent Saint, and the Seven-colored Earth Jade Essence for a breakthrough to Saint realm.

This artifact was only found in the depths of an earth vein, and it was even rarer than the Earth Vein Spirit Essence. Even despite the many treasures and huge fortune that he had accumulated, he had never seen the Seven-colored Earth Jade Essence before.

Without this catalyst artifact, he wouldn't be able to reach Saint realm.

Seems like I can only search for it patiently.

While Zhang Xuan did not have it, it didn't mean that Hongyuan Empire didn't have it. After leaving the Subterranean Gallery, he could take his time looking for it.

If worst came to worst, he could always apply for it from the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters.

Having guarded mankind for several dozen millenniums, what artifacts would the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters possibly not have in their treasure vault?

As long as one had an ample amount of contribution and wealth, one could exchange for anything existing on the Master Teacher Continent with the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters.

I am done repairing the seal, and the invading Otherworldly Demons have been killed as well. It is about time for me to return.

Getting to his feet, Zhang Xuan stretched his back lazily before storing the formation flags. After which, he took one more glance at the seal and heaved a sigh of relief.

Over the past few days of hard work, he had mended the weakened areas of the formation perfectly. With that, it would be difficult for the Otherworldly Demons to breach it again, regardless of whatever means they had on their hands.

It had been several days since he had gone down to the Subterranean Gallery, so it was about time for him to return.

The conditions in the Subterranean Gallery was indeed harsh. Just the concentrated killing intent in itself would make it difficult for any ordinary cultivator to catch their breath. Nevertheless, Zhang Xuan had still managed to make considerable gains in here. He had managed to advance his cultivation to Nascent Saint pinnacle and upgrade his Origin Core to First Grade, and these two gains were sufficient to make this trip worthwhile.

Furthermore, his Saint 1-dan puppets had been upgraded to Saint 3-dan, and this represented more cards he could use to help himself out of dire situations.

Flying back, Zhang Xuan didn't see Lu Feng and the others. He assumed that they had returned in advance after noticing that the threat from the Otherworldly Demons had been resolved, so he decided to head straight back.

Soon, he reached the area that he had arrived at the Subterranean Gallery from and used his spirit to communicate with the wills contained within the Mausoleum Tablet.


A powerful suction force drew him in, and in the next moment, he was already standing back in the area within the Mausoleum Tablet.

Mu shi's will was waiting for him. He swiftly informed the other party about the situation in the Subterranean Gallery, and this left the other party astonished.

"This seal was set up by one of Kong shi's followers back then, and it has the laws of space tied into it. It is impossible to damage it without the strength of one who has reached the pinnacle of Saint realm. The other side of the seal links to an otherworldly battlefield known as the Qingtian Battlefield. It is said that the strongest Otherworldly Demon within possesses the strength of Saint 5-dan.

"Even Qingtian Conferred Empire would struggle to face an expert of that caliber. Fortunately, it is impossible for the Otherworldly Demons on the other side to breach the seal. This is also the reason the headquarters didn't station any personnel here. For them to be able to dispatch soldiers over to our side through certain means, that is truly unnerving!"

"There is no need to worry. I have already repaired the damaged seal…" Zhang Xuan began to speak about what he had encountered over the past few days.

Of course, the unique method he had used to repair the seal was conveniently attributed to 'Yang Xuan'. Otherwise, considering his current cultivation, there was no one who would possibly believe that he had been able to repair the seal.

"A person who is qualified to take a Celestial Master Teacher as his student can't possibly be someone simple. It is truly a pity that I am unable to meet your teacher and seek his guidance…" Mu shi lamented.

After chatting for a while longer, Zhang Xuan managed to reassure the wills of the preceding principal that the problem had been resolved. After which, he left the Mausoleum Tablet before making his way out of the Mausoleum of Principals.

As soon as he was out, he saw School Head Zhao and School Head Mo waiting for him outside with worry on their faces.

Seeing their expression, Zhang Xuan frowned. "What is wrong?"

"Principal Zhang… Why did it take you so long to return?" School Head Zhao asked.

"After entering, I suddenly had a moment of inspiration, so I remained inside to make a breakthrough," Zhang Xuan replied with the excuse he had already come up with in advance.

In order to avoid unneeded fear and panic, it was best for as few people as possible to learn about the matter regarding the Subterranean Gallery and the Otherworldly Demons.


School Head Zhao and School Head Mo traded a glance as their mouth twitched with uncanny harmony. "Is… the Mausoleum of Principals still well? How great is the destruction? Does it need fixing? Sigh, what is done is done. Principal Zhang, you don't need to blame yourself for it."

It seemed that nothing good had ever happened whenever their principal cultivated.

Take the Blacksmith School for example, the Chamber of Earth Flame and Passageway of Records had ended up collapsing due to him cultivating his physical body.

"Destruction? Blame myself?"

It was only at this moment that Zhang Xuan finally comprehended what the two school heads were worried about, and he couldn't help but fall speechless.

For someone as reliable and dependable as him to be misunderstood like that… That was utter nonsense!

Are the both of you fine?

Are you really my subordinates?



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