Library of Heaven is Path
993 Heading to the Poison Hall
Chapter 993: Heading to the Poison Hall
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
After asking for a while longer, it seemed like the Violetleaf King didn't know anything much about the ancient domain in the Firesource City either. Seeing that it was impossible to obtain any more useful information from him, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
At this point, Vicious had also managed to procure information out of the Waterleaf King's Primordial Spirit, and the result was similar to what he had received from the Violetleaf King as well. They were only aware of the existence of the map, and everything other than them was vague.
It was said that when the ancient domain first appeared two thousand years ago, many powers had attempted to vie over the possession of the map. Eventually, it fell into the hands of the Poison Hall.
However, for some reason, the Poison Hall didn't dispatch anyone to search for it. On top of that, the Poison Hall had always been secluded from the rest of the world, so it didn't take long before the news regarding the map to fade from the minds of the world.
It was only through a very thorough investigation did the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe learned of its existence. After much preparation, they finally found a perfect opportunity to dispatch two of their Kings out to search for the map. However, who could have thought that the two powerful Kings they sent would end up being done in by Zhang Xuan before they could even catch a glimpse of the Poison Hall.
"What about the Goldenleaf King and Greenleaf King? What is their motive?"
The motive of the Waterleaf King and Violetleaf King for coming to Jingyuan City was to procure to map, so naturally, the Goldenleaf King and Greenleaf King had to be up to something as well. It was just that they were already killed before they could achieve anything, so up to this point, Zhang Xuan still had no idea what they were planning to do.
"Their motive is to... kill the principal of the Master Teacher Academy, that is to say... you, young master. They hope to create chaos that can divert the attention of the Master Teacher Pavilion away from everything else…" The face of the Violetleaf King reddened as he spoke.
"Kill me?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
He never expected that the goal of the Goldenleaf King and Greenleaf King was to deal with him. It was fortunate that he found them early, or else, if he were to find himself challenged by two Saint 4-dan experts out of the blue, there was a good chance that he might have just died then.
He could already imagine what would happen if the two Kings and the two hundred or so Saint realm Otherworldly Demons were to appear at Hongyuan City. It would definitely stir up a huge mess, and even the Qingyuan Conferred Empire Master Teacher Pavilion would be embroiled into the conflict. By then, there would be no one paying attention to the ancient domain, allowing the Otherworldly Demon to sneak the artifact away easily.
"This…" Looking at the surprised on his young master's face, the Violetleaf King couldn't help but shake his head lamentably.
The Goldenleaf King and Greenleaf King sure had died pitifully.
They were dispatched to kill the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, only to end up being killed by their own target. On top of that, it turned out that their target didn't know anything about it at all. How indignant they would be if they were to learn of it in the afterlife!
"It seems like their deaths aren't unwarranted…" Zhang Xuan remarked meaningfully.
What goes around comes around. Those Otherworldly Demons in the Subterranean Gallery were planning to kill him, only to end up being killed by him instead.
"I have a folded space. You should enter it for the time being!" After asking all of the questions plaguing his mind, Zhang Xuan ushered the Violetleaf King into the Myriad Anthive Nest.
It took him a lot of effort before he could convince Elder Xu that he was a poison master. If the other party were to see him together with the Violetleaf King at this moment, the trust which he had cultivated painstakingly would shatter immediately, rendering his previous efforts futile.
Thus, it was best for the Violetleaf King to remain hidden for the time being.
After keeping the Violetleaf King into the Myriad Anthive Nest, Zhang Xuan tore away the grade-7 Beguilement Formation. At that point, Hu Yunsheng and the others hadn't gone far yet. He instructed for Hu Yunsheng to mobilize the troops of Inkcloud Quarter to take down the guards before writing a letter and arranging for it to be sent to Hongyuan City and its Master Teacher Pavilion.
The collusion between the city lord of Jingyuan City with the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe was a matter for Yu Shenqing to frustrate over. It was the other party's call how he would deal with the traitor.
Nevertheless, one thing was for sure. As long as this letter was sent into Yu Shenqing's hands, that arrogant city lord would become a thing of history.
Returning back to the chamber, Zhang Xuan noted that Elder Xu's wounds had mostly recuperated. His condition was much better than before, but his face was still ghastly pale due to the immense damage his soul had sustained earlier.
A thought surfaced in Zhang Xuan's mind, and he swiftly took out a beetle before passing it over, "I went to the City Lord Manor just a moment ago and retrieved this for you."
The beetle was Elder Xu's Lifebound Venomous Bug, and he had been feeding it with his blood essence for many years. It would be a huge loss to Elder Xu if he were to lose it, so Zhang Xuan had the Violetleaf King hand it over after the latter submitted to him.
Thinking back, it seemed like the beetle was also the reason why the Violetleaf King was able to trace them down to Inkcloud Quarter so quickly. Otherwise, considering the huge size of Jingyuan City, there was no reason why they should conduct a search on Inkcloud Quarter first.
"This…" Upon seeing the beetle, a look of agitation surfaced on Elder Xu's face. He hurriedly took the beetle and replied, "Thank you!"
This was his Lifebound Venomous Bug. If it were to die, he would definitely sustain heavy damage. He thought that it would be impossible for him to retrieve it after it fell into the hands of the Saint 4-dan expert. Yet, who could have thought that the man before him would actually risk his life to retrieve it for him!
He couldn't help but feel touched by this gesture.
"Are you injured anywhere?" Keeping the beetle, Elder Xu asked with a concerned tone.
He had witnessed with his own eyes how fearsome that Saint 4-dan expert was. To steal something from the other party's grasp was a deed so difficult that he could hardly fathom it.
"Rest assured, I am fine…" Zhang Xuan said with a gentle smile when his face abruptly paled, and his body staggered.
Spurting a mouthful of fresh blood, Zhang Xuan's body suddenly slumped weakly to the ground, as if having succumbed to the severe injuries it had sustained.
"Ah! Are you fine?" Alarmed, Elder Xu hurriedly rushed forward to help Zhang Xuan. Deep worry could be seen arched in his brows.
To actually put himself in danger to retrieve his beetle, how could he ever thank the other party for this?
More importantly, the other party even claimed that he was uninjured despite having sustained severe injuries for fear that he would worry... This was exactly the type of person which one should befriend and entrust one's back to!
Elder Xu quickly took out a few recovery poison pills and fed it to Zhang Xuan. Seeing the latter's complexion gradually recovering, he heaved a sigh of relief.
"It isn't safe to remain here. We should leave quickly!" After recuperating for a moment, Zhang Xuan exhaled deeply and said.
Elder Xu nodded in agreement.
Had the other party not gone to retrieve his beetle, that Saint 4-dan expert might have thought that the both of them had already escaped far and thin his forces to comb the surroundings.
But now... the other party definitely knew that they were still at Jingyuan City. With their search area reduced, there was a good chance that they could be found very soon.
"How do you feel at the moment? Do you still need to rest for a while longer?" Elder Xu asked worriedly.
While escaping was important, he couldn't allow the other party's injuries to worsen because of it. Otherwise, he would feel guilty for his entire life.
"It's fine, my injuries are still within a tolerable range. Let's quickly leave this area first. I can slowly recuperate once we reach the Poison Hall!" Clutching his chest, Zhang Xuan spoke strenuously.
"Alright then. Let's prepare to set forth!"
The both of them swiftly planned their route before discreetly making their way out of the chamber. They proceeded stealthily towards the city walls, and not too long later, they managed to make their way out of the city gates.
They stepped into the forest just beyond the city wall and descended into a mountainous valley. Soon after, a massive saint beast appeared before their eyes.
"This is the saint beast of our Poison Hall. Elder Xue and I rode this when we came here earlier…" Speaking up to this point, Elder Xu fell silent for a brief moment as sorrow surfaced in his eyes.
The Elder Xue whom he spoke of was the shorter fellow who was with him back in the City Lord Manor. In order to save him, the other party had stepped forward to face the Violetleaf King's palm strike, resulting in his immediate death.
"Elder Xue gave his life to save you. The best way you can repay his sentiments is to return to the Poison Hall safely." Zhang Xuan consoled.
"Un." Understanding that Zhang Xuan was trying to console him, Elder Xu nodded and fell silent.
The duo got on the saint beast and began making their way towards the Viridian Cloud Sea.
The Viridian Cloud Sea was the largest inland sea of Hongyuan Empire, spanning a diameter exceeding a hundred thousand kilometers. There were many powerful saint beasts whose cultivation reached Saint 3-dan or 4-dan within the sea, making it an extremely dangerous area to explore. As a result, it had always been considered as one of the restricted lands to the cultivators.
The saint beast they were riding on was a Saint 1-dan intermediate stage Steelarmored Winged Dragon. It wasn't particularly adept at speedy maneuvers, but its stamina was top-notch.
After flying for half a day, they finally caught sight of the boundless sea. Staring into the distance, the beautiful blue sky and the emerald seawater seemed to close in on one another, creating a breathtaking painting which harmonized the beauty of heaven and earth as one.
Gazing upon it at extended periods of time would widen one's mind, granting one greater composure and a stronger disposition.
"There are a total of 27 poison formations on the pathway to the Poison Hall. Even a Saint 3-dan cultivator could be easily poisoned to death if he were to attempt to infiltrate the Poison Hall recklessly." Within the wooden hut on top of the aerial saint beast, Elder Xu gazed down at the emerald seawater beneath and remarked.
"27 poison formations?" Zhang Xuan was astonished.
"Indeed. Furthermore, the poisonous formations are located around the dens of the Saint 3-dan saint beasts. Thus, if one were to attempt to avoid the poison formation, one would come under their attack instead. As such, most of the cultivators who sought the Poison Hall ended up dying on the journey there. Even by conservative estimates, there are at least several hundred casualties each year."
At this point, Elder Xu shook his head.
"Several hundred casualties... each year?" Zhang Xuan was astonished.
Those who dared to venture into the Viridian Cloud Sea to search for the Poison Hall were bound to be not too weak themselves, reaching Saint realm at the minimum. Yet, there were actually a few hundred deaths of experts of such calibers each year... While this wasn't the direct doing of the poison masters, it was intricately tied to them.
It was no wonder the occupation was feared throughout the continent, it was indeed a powerful force that one should be careful around.
"But considering how deeply hidden the Poison Hall is, how does it sustain its heritage?" Zhang Xuan asked with a deep frown.
Every occupation needed influxes of new blood to pass down its heritage, but considering how deeply hidden the Poison Hall was, most people wouldn't even be able to find it. Given so, how could they pass down their wisdom to the next generation?"
"Poison masters would usually venture into the world in search of talented individuals to take under their wing. There are also some who would adopt a lot of orphans and expose them to lethal poison from young, and only those who survive at the end of it are qualified to acknowledge the poison master as their teacher." Elder Xu explained.
Zhang Xuan frowned.
That was a method similar to raising gu—placing all of the venomous insects together, allowing them to fight it out. Eventually, the final survivor was the victor.
As orphans, they were bound to have no experience with poison whatsoever. Exposing them to it abruptly was bound to give rise to casualties. How many lives would have to be lost in order to nurture just a handful of poison masters?
"Given that you didn't come from any particular lineage, how did you become a poison master?" After explaining the matter, Elder Xu turned to look at Zhang Xuan and asked doubtfully.
Even those who had inherited the lineage of a poison master was unable to achieve such high resistance to poison. On the other hand, the man before him had never been to the Poison Hall, and yet, he had achieved a feat which most poison masters were unable to accomplish. Just how did he do so?
"Actually... I have been to a Poison Hall before, but it isn't this one. It is a branch located in a remote location under Xuanyuan Kingdom called the Red Lotus Mountain Ridge... After I left the area, I began exploring the world, and by a stroke of coincidence, I happened to obtain a secret manual regarding the Way of Poison. Studying it carefully, I eventually became who I am today…" Zhang Xuan casually replied.
If he were to say that he had never come into contact with poison masters and yet achieved such mastery in the Way of Poison, the story would be too inconceivable for anyone to believe. Thus, he mixed truth and falsehood within the words, making it difficult for the other party to discern the authenticity of it.
"A secret manual regarding the Way of Poison? To be able to grant you such astounding capability, it must be a rather powerful secret manual!" Elder Xu complimented before turning his gaze towards Zhang Xuan. "Will it be convenient for you to allow me to look at the secret manual you spoke of? Rest assured, I won't open it. I am just curious to see which master did the book come from!"
"This…" Zhang Xuan's lips twitched.
He was just making things up on the spot, so how could he have any secret manual of that sort?
But for the other party to be asking such a question... could it be that the other party still harbored doubts regarding his identity?