Library of Heaven is Path
996 Sneaking In 1
One's ability to utilize poison had always been used to determine one's standing in the Poison Hall, so naturally, the duels conducted were usually centered around the utilization of poison as well. Yet, the fellow before them actually sent them flying with his fists and kicks without any hesitation... How could there be a person as violent as him?
"Poison Master Sun, you... you are really too reckless!"
Upon recovering from his daze, Li Yuan suddenly recalled a matter, and his complexion darkened. "They are the subordinates of Senior Duan Ren, so if you were to injure them, the latter will surely be displeased…"
"Indeed! Senior Duan has always been biased towards those whom he was close with, and he has an explosive temper as well. Those who have offended him never ended well…" Another young man added with an awful look on his face.
Had Poison Master Sun held himself back, the most that could have happened was for him to be poisoned for a brief moment, and the matter could have passed just like that. Yet, Poison Master Sun actually beat the other party up to such a state... Senior Duan was bound to be displeased. If Senior Duan were to exact vengeance for his brothers, who could possibly stop him?
"Senior Duan?" Seeing how frightened the young men were, Zhang Xuan couldn't help but ask curiously.
"Senior Duan Ren is Vice Hall Master Ming Zhen's direct disciple, and he is a 6-star poison master possessing the cultivation of Saint 1-dan advanced stage... He is considered the strongest poison master in his generation, and all of us have to address him respectfully as our senior. Liu Xu, whom you have just beat up, is his most loyal subordinate!" Li Yuan hurriedly explained.
The hall master and the elders were the most senior generation in the Poison Hall at the moment, and their disciples and students were all considered to be in the second generation.
But despite being in the same generation, Duan Ren was leading far in front of the others, to a point where the others could only look on in admiration.
"A Saint 1-dan advanced stage 6-star poison master? Is he going to take it out on me just because of a subordinate?" Seeing how frightened the others were, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
No matter how unreasonable the other party may be, surely he had to at least give some respect to Elder Xu!
Elder Xu was amongst the most senior generation in the Poison Hall, and he was Elder Xu's savior. Duan Ren might be arrogant, but as a junior, surely he wouldn't risk getting on Elder Xu's bad side just over a mere subordinate?
"Poison Master Sun, I am really not exaggerating the matter. There was one incident in the past where Liu Xu had acted disrespectfully to Senior Wu Haiyuan, so Senior Wu Haiyuan taught him a lesson. Upon learning of the matter, Senior Duan flew into a rage and poisoned him mute. Even to this day, Senior Wu Haiyuan is still unable to utter a single word…" With a tearful face, Li Yuan hurriedly explained.
"Senior Wu Haiyuan is a 6-star poison master, and his cultivation has reached a staggering Saint 1-dan…"
"There's such a matter?" Zhang Xuan was bewildered. With a doubtful look, he asked, "To offend a fellow 6-star poison master over a mere subordinate, isn't that very reckless of him?"
It was no wonder why Zhang Xuan found it hard to believe this matter.
He had taken a look a Liu Xu earlier, and the latter was only a Transcendent Mortal 8-dan Ethereal Treading realm cultivator. Most likely, he was only a 5-star poison master as well. There were plenty of those who could rival him easily in the Poison Hall, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find another person to replace Liu Xu as his subordinate. To offend a fellow 6-star poison master over this fellow... Wasn't Senior Duan needlessly bringing himself enemies for no good reason?
"This…" Hearing those words, Li Yuan hesitated for a moment, and eventually, gritting his teeth tightly, he said, "As a newcomer, it is not surprising that you are unaware of it, but... Liu Xu isn't just Senior Duan's subordinate. He is also Senior Duan... gigolo!"
"Gigolo?" Zhang Xuan was perplexed. "Senior Duan... is a lady?"
Gigolo referred to men who were financially supported by a woman to become her escort. Could it be that the Duan Ren person they had been talking about all along was a lady?
The other party had been addressing Duan Ren with 'he' all along, so he had assumed that Duan Ren was a male. Perhaps he might have just misheard him.
Nevertheless, considering how ugly Liu Xu was, just how bad could that Duan Ren's eyesight be?
"Senior Duan Ren... is a male!" Li Yuan said with an incredibly awkward expression on his face. "Due to consuming too much poison, his sexual orientation has changed as well…"
"Cough cough!" Zhang Xuan choked on his saliva.
He could have never thought that Duan Ren was a homosexual!
However, thinking about it once more, it wasn't really too surprising.
Poison masters spent their days alongside poison, and to concoct potent poisons, they might sometimes opt to try the poisons out of themselves... Putting aside changing one's sexual orientation, it wouldn't be impossible for one to fall in love with spirit beasts, saint beasts, trees, or even rocks and plants.
Also, there were poisons which could induce hallucinations. Even though Liu Xu looked incredibly ugly to him, there was no saying that the other party might be a huge beauty in Senior Duan's eyes.
"That's right. Such situations aren't too uncommon here. Senior Duan will surely fly into a rage if he were to learn that you have beat his gigolo up. If he were to come and get even with you... that will be a huge disaster!" Li Yuan said worriedly.
There was no one in the Poison Hall who was unaware of how fearsome Senior Duan was. This was precisely the reason why no one dared to offend him. Yet, this fellow actually beat Liu Xu up to such a state without any warning... There was no way to resolve the conflict peacefully anymore.
Even though Elder Xu could be considered to be a senior to Senior Duan, he was also only a 6-star poison master, so there wasn't too huge of a gap between their standings. Furthermore, the latter could very well become an elder if he could advance his capability a step further, thus putting the both of them on equal standings.
"If he wishes to come for me, so be it!" Stretching his back lazily, Zhang Xuan replied leisurely.
What Senior Duan or something, he couldn't care less about it.
If the other party intended to cause him trouble, he didn't mind releasing the Violetleaf King and stirring up a huge mess within the Poison Hall.
In any case, he had already found the Poison Hall, and the Compendium Hall was located just a short walk away. There was no need for him to pretend to be a samaritan to a bunch of fellows who only thought about poisoning others every single day.
"But…" Seeing how laidback Zhang Xuan was, Li Yuan and the others glanced at one another and smiled bitterly. They were at a complete loss as to what to do.
At that moment, a young man with an incredibly awful look on his face walked over with widened strides.
Upon seeing the young man, the faces of Li Yuan and the others immediately warped in fear, "Senior Duan…"
Speak of the devil!
The accommodation prepared for Zhang Xuan might be peaceful, but there were still quite a handful of men in the vicinity when Poison Master Sun sent Liu Xu flying with a punch. News spread swiftly, and it didn't take long for Senior Duan Ren to learn of it and rush over.
Doomed... It was already too late to escape at this point.
Swiftly walking forward, Senior Duan Ren leaped up and carried Liu Xu down from the tree branch. He carefully fed the latter some pills with a frighteningly chilling look on his face.
"Senior Duan, I challenged that fellow to a poison duel, but he assaulted me instead... I beg of you to redress my grievance!" Upon coming to, Liu Xu raised his finger and pointed it at Zhang Xuan with gritted teeth.
"Don't worry!" With narrowed eyes, Duan Ren stood up and glared at Zhang Xuan coldly, the killing intent in his eyes flaring furiously, "I will make him pay the price!"
"Senior Duan, Poison Master Sun over here is Elder Xu's savior…" Seeing that the situation was heading down a very dangerous path, Li Yuan clenched his jaws in determination before hurrying forward to explain.
Elder Xu had entrusted the other party to them, so they had to take care of him well. If the other party were to be poisoned to death right after arriving at the accommodation, they would have to take responsibility for his mishap as well.
"Scram!" Duan Ren roared furiously.
Deng deng deng deng!
A powerful shock wave surged forth from Duan Ren. Li Yuan's face paled, and he was knocked back eight steps before spurting a mouthful of blood.
Possessing only the cultivation of Ethereal Treading realm, he was completely no match for a Saint realm expert like the other party.
"I don't care how you are related to Elder Xu or anyone else. Anyone who dares to hurt my man has to pay the price!" Duan Ren stomped forward and glared at Zhang Xuan with wintry eyes. "I will give you two choices now. You can either kneel down and apologize to Liu Xu right now, and allow him to do whatever he wants to do to you, or I will make a move personally and show you what a living hell looks like…"
There was no one who didn't know that Liu Xu was his gigolo, and yet, this fellow still dared to lay his hands on his man. This was a blatant disregard for him. If he didn't teach the other party a lesson, how was he going to establish his authority within the Poison Hall?
"Interesting. What if I choose neither of them?" Zhang Xuan said with a wry smile.
It was no wonder why Elder Xu said that the Poison Hall wasn't peaceful and told him to be careful. From the looks of it now, that was indeed the case.
There were simply far too many fools who overestimated themselves here...
He was planning to keep a low profile here, but looking at the other party's punch-seeking face... It seemed like he would be letting himself down if he didn't give it a good one!
"Choose neither of them? You are seeking death!" With a fearsome roar, Duan Ren leaped forward, and with swiftness reminiscent of a streak of lightning, he appeared before Zhang Xuan at the very next instant. Clenching his fingers into claws, Duan Ren swiped at the middle-aged man before him.
A powerful surge of zhenqi burst from his fingertips. At the same time, a unique powder cloaked the air before him.
This powder was a lethal poison which he had spent great effort developing and concocting. Even a Saint 1-dan pinnacle expert would succumb just by coming into contact with a tinge of it.
"Hah!" Facing the other party's surge of zhenqi and poison powder, Zhang Xuan shook his head with a pitying look in his eyes.
He raised his palm and sent a direct slap towards the other party, not even bothering to utilize any battle technique at all.
Facing Zhang Xuan's attack, Duan Ren sneered in disdain. However, in the next moment, his eyes abruptly narrowed in astonishment, and he hurriedly gathered the full strength in his body into his hands to block the seemingly simple slap.
However, he was too late. Just like Liu Xu, before he could even let out a scream of agony, he fell atop one of the tree branches and fainted.
Zhang Xuan's current cultivation might only be Nascent Saint pinnacle, but not even the Saint 2-dan Liao Song was a match for him. For this Duan Ren guy, a mere Saint 1-dan advanced stage, to challenge him, the other party was truly seeking death. It would take nothing more than a mere snap of fingers for hm to destroy the other party.
"This…" The faces of Li Yuan and the others paled, and their bodies began shivering.
This was way too frightening!
They were well-aware of Senior Duan Ren's strength, having witnessed it themselves. Paired with his poison, not even a Saint 2-dan primary stage cultivator would dare to fight him face-on. Yet, this Poison Master Sun actually knocked Senior Duan Ren out with a single slap...
Just how powerful could he be?
"Alright, I will be heading in to rest now!" Couldn't be bothered to explain the matter to the others, Zhang Xuan waved his hand before shooting a glance at Li Yuan. "If anyone still wants to provoke me, make sure to report it to me beforehand!"
Leaving those words behind, he stepped into the residence.
"Yes…" With twitching lips, Li Yuan and the others quickly nodded.
After entering the residence, Zhang Xuan closed the door and swiftly located the area where spiritual energy seemed to converge towards before taking a seat.
"Since I am already at the Poison Hall, I should quickly finish reading the books and find a way to save Wei Ruyan. This matter mustn't be stalled for any longer!"
Even though he had stabilized Wei Ruyan's condition for the time being, every second wasted meant an additional second of danger for her. Since it was the Poison Hall that he was in, there was no need for him to bother about the rules of the Master Teacher Pavilion. The important matter at hand was to swiftly finish reading those books and analyze a plausible solution to treating Wei Ruyan.
With a thought, Zhang Xuan's soul slipped out from his body.
He wouldn't be allowed to access the books in the Compendium Hall until he took the poison master examination, so there was no way he could march there in his body openly. In any case, it was equally efficient for him to read in his soul form as well, so there was no need to delay this matter any further.
With a slight movement, Zhang Xuan flew into the air.
It was still the day, but as a practitioner of the Heaven's Path Soul Art, he was unaffected by the yang energy of the sun rays. On top of that, after sharing soul essence with Wei Ruyan's soul, his soul had gained a certain immunity to poison. As such, the myriad of poisonous gases lingering around the island was completely ineffective towards him.
After flying up to a decent altitude, Zhang Xuan lowered his gaze to get a bird's eye view of the entire city.
"Elder Xu said that the Compendium Hall is one of the Three Great Halls of the Poison Hall. Naturally, it should be the highest and grandest building here…"
Sweeping his surroundings with the Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan soon caught sight of three particularly towering halls in the area.