Library of Heaven is Path
980 Sepulture Flower
Chapter 980: Sepulture Flower
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
He had been keeping a close watch over the other party's actions while the poisoned wine was forced down his throat. From the very beginning, the other party had never touched the wine at all, coming into contact with the cup and gourd only. Considering the discreet poisoning method, there was no doubt that the other party was a poison master!
More importantly, the poison was so potent that even a Saint 1-dan pinnacle expert like him was rendered powerless. Without a doubt, the other party must be a 6-star poison master at the very minimum.
For a poison master of your caliber to not even know the location of the Poison Hall... Were you intentionally doing this to teach me a lesson?
It was laughable that he even tried to use poison against the other party... In the end, he ended up getting a taste of his own medicine...
"Hah, why would I bother looking for the whereabouts of the Poison Hall if I wasn't a poison master?" Sneering coldly, Zhang Xuan snapped his fingers and commanded, "Come, puke a mouthful out for me!"
Zhang Xuan had known from the very start that the other party had poisoned the wine. Through driving his Heaven's Path zhenqi, he was able to neutralize it easily. After which, he secretly infused two surges of Heaven's Path zhenqi into the wine, thus lacing it with lethal poison.
Due to the incredible purity of the Heaven's Path zhenqi, it was capable of infiltrating any single acupoint and organ of a human body, making it nigh impossible to guard against it. Even with a cultivation of Saint 1-dan pinnacle, the other party was still completely powerless against it.
Right after Zhang Xuan said those words, his zhenqi rampaged within Hu Yunsheng's body and induced a scream of agony from him, followed by a spurt of a fresh blood.
"Y-you... I will kill you!" With a pale face, Hu Yunsheng forcefully drove his zhenqi and charged at Zhang Xuan.
As the boss of Inkcloud Quarter, he was an existence that even the city lord of Jingyuan City had to defer to. Yet, for him to actually be poisoned by a Nascent Saint, the immense fury coursing through his veins turned his face was red as lava. He leaped forward vehemently and crushed his palm down upon Zhang Xuan.
"You sure aren't obedient at all. Come down!"
Sitting idly in his seat, Zhang Xuan lifted his eyelid to glance at Hu Yunsheng idly before snapping his fingers once more.
Before the palm could even strike, Hu Yunsheng's entire body jolted as if he had been electrified. He crashed back down onto the ground, his body splayed out as if a toad.
"T-this poison... is sentient?" Hu Yunsheng gasped in disbelief. His body trembled uncontrollably upon the realization, and his face suddenly became ghastly pale.
Poisons could be classified into two categories, non-sentient and sentient
Non-sentient poison was dangerous, but more often than not, they could be resolved by finding the correct antidote. On the other hand, sentient poison was capable of averting danger or even obeying commands. It might not be possible for one to resolve the poison even with the antidote in hand.
However, concocting a sentient poison was an extremely complicated process. Just like gu, it had to be reared. Even at the bare minimum, one had to be an 8-star master teacher to be able to concoct it. Could it be that the middle-aged man before him was such a poison master?
(Gu is basically a poisonous insect which can be planted into another's body to create certain effects, such as forcing a person to love another, put one under great suffering, control the other's mind, etc. It is more commonly associated to certain ethnic tribes in ancient China, and can be considered as a combination of black magic and poison.)
But to become an 8-star master teacher, one had to possess a cultivation of Saint 6-dan at the very minimum! Every single person who had reached that level was a famed expert of the Master Teacher Continent, so why would such a person possibly come to such a remote little city in search of the local Poison Hall?
In that instant, Hu Yunsheng's heart trembled in trepidation as fear swiftly overwhelmed him.
"Hehe!" Zhang Xuan chuckled softly, not bothering to explain at all.
He could control his Heaven's Path zhenqi with his will remotely. As such, even though his zhenqi wasn't sentient, he could easily produce effects similar to one.
But of course, this only applied at close distances. If he was too far away from the target, Zhang Xuan's psyche would be unable to reach his Heaven's Path zhenqi, thus making it impossible for him to control it anymore.
A true sentient poison would be like his Innate Fetal Poison. It would be impossible to struggle free of it no matter where one went, rendering the afflicted completely helpless before it.
Realizing that there was no way he could stand up against the other party, Hu Yunsheng's face reddened and paled intermittently, and after a long while, he gritted his teeth tightly and uttered, "I... admit defeat!"
What else could he possibly do in this situation? He couldn't defeat the other party, and the poison he had sustained further worsened his position. At this point, his life and death hinged on the other party's whim.
He thought that he had truly struck gold this time round, but in the end, it turned out to just be a bait to lure him in. Just the thought of it left him incredibly stifled within.
"This is more like it…" Receiving Hu Yunsheng's surrender, Zhang Xuan smiled in satisfaction. "I want to know everything you have on the Poison Hall."
Hu Yunsheng gritted his teeth and replied, "Honestly speaking, despite the extensive connections that our Inkcloud Quarter has, it doesn't know much about the Poison Hall. They are an extremely careful bunch…"
"You just have to tell me whether the Poison Hall is located in the vicinity of Jingyuan City." Zhang Xuan said.
"Yes!" Hu Yunsheng nodded. "In the past few years, there have been quite a few people seeking the whereabouts of the Poison Hall as well, so I have been keeping a lookout myself too. Based on the information I have received so far, I am certain that it is in the Viridian Cloud Sea. However, I still don't have enough information to pinpoint the specific location. Furthermore, according to what I have heard, it seems like it is impossible to enter the Poison Hall without a special token, even if one were to find the real location!"
"Viridian Cloud Sea?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
The Viridian Cloud Sea was the largest inland sea of Hongyuan Empire, spanning a distance of around several hundred thousand kilometers from one end to another. Vast and boundless, there were countless ferocious spirit beasts and saint beasts in its midst. Even a Saint 5-dan expert would hesitate to enter it.
If the Poison Hall was in the midst of the Viridian Cloud Sea and was concealed by a formation, it was nigh impossible for one to find it without knowing the exact location.
It was no wonder why the old principal was only able to track the Poison Hall down to Jingyuan City. It was indeed really well-hidden.
"Yes. An elder of the Poison Hall unintentionally leaked the news while he was purchasing something at our Inkcloud Quarter a while back... Other than that, I really know nothing else other than that…" Hu Yunsheng said with a reddened face.
Afflicted by the other party's poison, if he didn't receive the antidote soon, he could very well lose his life. However, he really didn't have the crucial information which the other party wanted to know.
In truth, the news that the Poison Hall was located in the Viridian Cloud Sea... could be considered to be completely useless. The Viridian Cloud Sea spanned over such a huge area, and it was teeming with countless saint beasts on top of that. Who could possibly have the strength and time to comb the entire area?
"Purchasing something at your Inkcloud Quarter?" Paying no heed to Hu Yunsheng's worry, Zhang Xuan frowned at the few other words that the other party said instead. "What did the elder of the Poison Hall buy from you here?"
"There was a hundred-year-old Sepulture Flower for sale in a previous auction we conducted. It is an extremely rare medicinal herb which serves as an excellent mediating factor in the concoction of many poisons, so it caught the attention of one of the elders of the Poison Hall... Eventually, he took it away at a very low price…" Hu Yunsheng said with a livid face.
He had spent over a hundred high-tier spirit stones in order to obtain the Sepulture Flower, and he had expected to profit greatly from it... Yet, that Poison Hall elder actually poisoned more than a dozen of his subordinates, and even he himself was nearly afflicted as well. Left with no choice, he could only agree to selling it at a discounted price.
It could be said that he had made a huge loss in that deal, and even a year's worth of profits wasn't sufficient for him to cover that loss.
This was precisely reason why Inkcloud Quarter rarely dealt in medicinal herbs anymore. The risk was simply too great. If poison masters were to willfully steal their medicinal herbs, there was nothing they could do about it.
"Do you have any medicinal herbs that the Poison Hall will require in your Inkcloud Quarter? It will be best for it to have as high a maturity as possible so that it can lure their men over." After a moment of contemplation, Zhang Xuan asked.
Hu Yunsheng might have been unaware of the location of the Poison Hall, but the elders of the Poison Hall themselves were bound to know.
It was entirely possible to use a medicinal ingredient they required to lure them out of their dens. As long as one of them were to appear, he could subdue the other party and force him to lead him to the Poison Hall. This way, the problem would be solved.
While his understanding of poison was still only equivalent to that of a 2-star poison master, he possessed Heaven's Path zhenqi, which could easily neutralize most poison. Even if a 7-star poison master were to appear before him, he had nothing to fear.
But of course, anything beyond that could very well be beyond his means. Take the Innate Fetal Poison for example—its ability to avert danger made it impossible for his Heaven's Path zhenqi to do anything to it.
It was not without reason that the poison masters could instill deep fear in the hearts of the cultivators of the Master Teacher Continent. They did indeed possess capability and strength rivaling their reputation.
Had it not been out of fear of the Master Teacher Pavilion, as well as the high difficulty and risk in pursuing the Way of Poison, there would indubitably have been a seat in the Upper Nine Paths for poison masters.
"Medicinal herbs that the Poison Hall requires?" Understanding the other party's intention, an embarrassed look appeared on Hu Yunsheng's face as he said, "Our Inkcloud Quarter hasn't taken in any medicinal herbs in recent years. Even if we do have a few, they are unlikely to be of much value and won't be sufficient to move the poison masters!"
After the setback that he had suffered, he got a clear glimpse into how fearsome poison masters were. As a result, he had made up his mind to steer clear of the medicinal herb business.
Otherwise, if a few more of such robberies were to occur, wouldn't his Inkcloud Quarter go bankrupt?
"I see... Do you know what kind of medicinal herbs will be able to move the poison masters?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"Based on what I know, the 7-star poison master examination requires one to concoct a poison capable of killing a Saint 2-dan expert, and such poisons usually require the Sepulture Flower... If anyone were to have a high maturity Sepulture Flower, it will surely draw many poison masters in! Just that... the Sepulture Flower is an extremely rare medicinal herb. To tell you the truth, it was a huge stroke of luck that we were able to obtain it the last time…" Hu Yunsheng said.
"Sepulture Flower?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before sighing deeply.
Back during his inauguration ceremony, the saint beasts of the Cloudmist Ridge did give him quite a lot of medicinal herbs. However, there didn't seem to be any Sepulture Flowers amidst the pile. He also didn't recall seeing that medicinal herb amongst the various items he had collected thus far.
It seemed like he would really have to go to some trouble to obtain the Sepulture Flower.
"Since that's the case... I want you to make a public announcement saying that Inkcloud Quarter has recently obtained a 200-year-old Sepulture Flower, and it will be auctioned very soon. It will do as long as we are able to draw the poison masters in." Zhang Xuan said.
His only goal was to lure the poison masters out, not to obtain a Sepulture Flower. The most important thing he had to do at the moment was to draw the other party out. Everything else could be decided later on.
"This... Even so, I fear that things might not go as planned! If a poison master doesn't utilize any poison, there is no distinctive trait to tell him apart from an ordinary cultivator. If they were to realize that the news regarding auctioning the Sepulture Flower is fake, they might not make a move, and there will be no way for us to confirm their identity." Hu Yunsheng said with a bitter smile.
Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before nodding, "You're right."
Just like the soul oracles, poison masters were one of the most loathed occupations on the Master Teacher Continent. As such, they would rarely display their means publicly unless required, making it nigh impossible to identify them.
He could only assess the information of a cultivator through the Library of Heaven's Path after he had used a battle technique, so it would be futile if the poison master didn't use any battle technique. On top of that, there would surely be many people who would be at the auction. Sieving an individual or two out of a huge crowd was no easy task.
"More importantly, if they were to abide by the rules and purchase the Sepulture Flower through the normal bidding process, that would place us in a very bad position..." Hu Yunsheng continued.
It was true that he was coerced to sell his Sepulture Flower at a loss to a poison master the previous time, but that could have been considered as an exception rather than the norm. After all, it was not like the Poison Hall was a band of heinous villains. If the other party were to purchase the Sepulture Flower honestly but they were unable to produce the medicinal herb... it probably wouldn't take long for the entire Inkcloud Quarter to be destroyed under the poison master's wrath.
"That's right…" Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in frustration.
It seemed like his idea was not feasible.
At that point, a thought came to Hu Yunsheng, and he said hesitantly,"Actually... there might be no need for us to feign it. The Sepulture Flower might be rare, but... I just recalled a person who could very well have it, and the maturity is bound to exceed a hundred years at that!"
"Oh? Who is it?" Hearing that someone had the Sepulture Flower, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
"I am not too sure what his name is, but he is a rather strange person. Everyone addresses him as [Eccentric Old Man]. He is quite into herbology, and he has accumulated quite a few precious medicinal herbs. He also has quite a collection of artifacts as well. The Sepulture Flower which I obtained the previous time around came from him... If you were to find him, you might be able to find another Sepulture Flower." Hu Yunsheng said.