Chapter 1012: Hu Yunsheng's Horror
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97

It might sound complicated, but it wasn't too difficult to deduce the series of events after learning of the other party's identity.

While Zhang Xuan was in the midst of conversing with the Violetleaf King, Poison Master Bai's Primordial Spirit returned to his body before walking up to the Earthleaf King. With a tap of his finger, a unique poison seeped into the other party's body.

After which, with a wintry face that was devoid of the slightest warmth, he bellowed, "Who sent you here?"

"This is bad!"

Seeing Poison Master Bai forcefully interrogating the Earthleaf King, Zhang Xuan's face immediately warped in horror, and he hurriedly rushed forward to stop the other party. However, it was already too late. The trapped Earthleaf King forcefully clamped his jaws together, and his face immediately turned extremely red.

"Hahaha, you have fallen for our ploy…" Right after saying those words, the Earthleaf King's head fell powerlessly to the side. Fresh blood spurted from his every orifice as his breathing came to a halt.

Just like the Goldenleaf King and the Greenleaf King, the Earthleaf King also had a pill that contained lethal poison in his mouth. So that they wouldn't find themselves in a position where they had no choice but to spill the secrets of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, they would bite down on the pill and commit suicide were they to be captured.

Right after learning of the assailant's identity, Zhang Xuan had busied himself trying to deduce how the other party had managed to sneak into the Poison Hall, hoping to make sense of the story. However, he didn't think that Bai Ting would use poison against the other party while his attention was away, and that became the final push that forced the Earthleaf King to commit suicide. By the time he realized, it was already too late to intervene.

The poison was extremely potent, and it brought about near immediate death to the Otherworldly Demons. Even with Zhang Xuan's 7-star proficiency in the Way of Medicine, there was no way he could bring the already deceased Earthleaf King back to life.

"He said that we have fallen for his ploy?" Poison Master Bai scoffed coldly, thinking nothing of the other party's words.

It mattered not to him whether the other party had died here or not as long as the booklet he needed to procure for his mission was still around.

Walking up, he took the other party's storage ring and searched its interior, but soon, his complexion became incredibly awful.

Noticing Poison Master Bai's expression, Poison Master Hai asked worriedly, "What's wrong?"

"The booklet isn't in here!" Poison Master exclaimed anxiously.

"It isn't in there?" Poison Master Hai was astonished.

It was just a moment ago that the Otherworldly Demon had killed Hall Master Ruo and stolen the map, and the both of them had swiftly collaborated with one another to capture him shortly after. Given the short span of time between both events, there shouldn't have been any chance for the booklet to have left the other party's possession.

"Damn it, we have really fallen for their ploy! This fellow's goal was to lure us away!" Clenching his teeth tightly together, regret could be seen in the depths of Poison Master Bai's eyes.

Poison Master Hai and the others weren't fools either. They immediately realized what was going on after hearing those words.

It seemed like the one in charge of stealing the booklet was someone else. This fellow was probably intending on giving himself away from the very start even if Zhang Xuan hadn't found his trail so as to draw all attention to him, thus creating an opportunity for his companion to escape.

It had been ten minutes since the incident occurred, and if it was exactly as Poison Master Bai thought, the Earthleaf King's companion should have already gotten away from the Poison Hall by now. Once he entered the surrounding sea, it would be impossible to track him down anymore.

Naturally, it didn't take long for Zhang Xuan to come to the same conclusion as well. Just as his complexion turned awful, the Violetleaf King suddenly exclaimed with a trembling voice, "The culprit is probably… the Skyleaf King!"

"Skyleaf King?"

"Yes, he is the strongest of the Ten Great Kings of the Qingtian Lineage, as well as the one who boasts of the most brilliant mind of us all! His cultivation has reached Saint 5-dan Leaving Aperture realm primary stage. He is the only one of us all who possesses the ability to enter and flee discreetly from the Poison Hall," the Violetleaf King explained.

"Leaving Aperture realm primary stage?" Zhang Xuan's face turned livid.

If that truly was the case, there was a really good chance that their deduction was true!

An expert of the Leaving Aperture realm could easily hide his physical body outside the island and sneak in with only his Primordial Spirit. Right after obtaining the map, the other party could swiftly flee without anyone noticing. Furthermore, in the form of a Primordial Spirit, the other party could move at an incredible speed, such that even a Saint 4-dan aerial saint beast would find it hard to catch up.

Not expecting for there to be such an expert among the Ten Great Kings of the Qingtian Lineage, Zhang Xuan hadn't thought of the possibility that his Eye of Insight might currently be too weak to uncover the enemy's trail. This had resulted in an opening for the enemy to exploit.

It seemed he would have to be more careful in the future.

After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan asked, "Who else is among the Ten Great Kings, and how powerful are they?"

Even though he had already taken down half of the Ten Great Kings, he still didn't have a concrete idea of who or how powerful they were so far. It sure was stifling for him to still know next to nothing about the opponents he was facing.

Of course, if the Qingtian Emperor were to learn of Zhang Xuan's current thoughts, he might just very well spurt a mouthful of blood on the spot.

Of his ten most capable subordinates, four of them had been killed through a scheme of some kind and one had ended up submitting to the enemy… and yet, the culprit behind all of it actually knew nothing about them at all.

If the culprit could already do this much despite knowing nothing about them, just what kind of calamity would befall them once the other party knew everything about them?

"The Goldenleaf, Greenleaf, Waterleaf, and Earthleaf are already dead. Other than me, the Skyleaf, Jadeleaf, Windleaf, Stoneleaf, and Fireleaf are still remaining. Of them, the Skyleaf King is the strongest of us all, and he is the head of the Ten Great Kings as well. The Jadeleaf King holds the title of being the second strongest of us all, possessing a cultivation of Half-Leaving Aperture realm. Following on are the Windleaf King, Stoneleaf King, and Fireleaf King. Each of them wields incredible might that is far beyond the rest of us. As such, they are known as the Upper Five Kings whereas the rest of us are known as the Lower Five Kings." Without any hesitation, the Violetleaf King spilled everything he knew about the Ten Great Kings.

After hearing the news, Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.

Just dealing with the Lower Five Kings had already exposed him to grave danger on multiple occasions, but who could have thought that there would still be an Upper Five Kings above them. From the looks of it, they were determined to obtain the item in the ancient domain. Considering that they had even successfully obtained the map, there was a good chance that the humans would be placed in grave danger once the ancient domain opened once more.

Forget it, I will just have to deal with whatever comes my way!

There was no way Zhang Xuan could have predicted such a twist in the situation. At this point, there was nothing he could do anymore. The Skyleaf King had more than sufficient time to make his escape, making it nigh impossible for them to locate the other party. Taking a step back, even if they were able to find the Skyleaf King by some stroke of luck, there was no way that Poison Master Bai and Poison Master Hai, who had just made a breakthrough and hadn't had the opportunity to reinforce their cultivation yet, could be a match for the other party.

Less had to be said about Zhang Xuan himself.

With the Violetleaf King and the Otherworldly Demon puppets, he might still be able to subdue a Saint 4-dan expert. But against a Saint 5-dan expert… the wisest decision he could possibly make in such a situation was to flee as far as he could.

Leaving Aperture realm experts were capable of fighting with their Primordial Spirits, which made them very difficult opponents. Not only were Primordial Spirits capable of flitting through space at incredible speeds, they also wielded immense strength that made it impossible for normal cultivators to match them. Without reaching Saint 5-dan himself, it was impossible for any cultivator to face an expert of that caliber!

Master teachers prided themselves on their ability to match opponents stronger than them due to their discerning eyes, but the Leaving Aperture realm was too huge of a rift to bridge. The differences between a physical body and a Primordial Spirit were reminiscent of that between a mortal and a deity, a gap that could never be bridged.

Take Zhang Xuan's current situation for example, despite having yet to reach Saint realm, he was able to defeat Saint 2-dan Spiritual Perception realm experts, cultivators of two whole cultivation realms higher than him.

The capability to rival opponents stronger than himself wasn't too uncommon for those beneath Saint 5-dan, albeit it was often not as exaggerated as in Zhang Xuan's case. However, even if a genius of such caliber were to reach Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, it was unlikely that he would be able to match an ordinary Leaving Aperture realm primary stage cultivator.

Not to mention, a Leaving Aperture realm expert could flee with their Primordial Spirit even if they were no match for their opponent. Those whose cultivation had yet to reach Saint 5-dan had no way of catching up at all. Putting everything aside, just the ability to travel through the ground, those who hadn't reached Leaving Aperture realm, with the exception of those who possessed unique bloodlines like the Earthleaf King, were incapable of doing such a thing.

On top of that, Primordial Spirits need not breathe. This meant that they could enter places with harsh conditions without fear, such as venturing into the depths of the ocean, a feat that those bound by their bodies would never be able to achieve.

While Zhang Xuan was conversing with the Violetleaf King, Poison Master Bai turned a grim look toward him and said, "The Otherworldly Demonic Tribe has stolen the booklet and killed Hall Master Ruo on top of that. This matter must be reported to the headquarters immediately. Poison Master Sun, the both of us will be taking our leave first!"

Clearly, they also knew that it was unlikely that they would be able to find the other party. It would only be a waste of time if they continued searching the area. Thus, they felt that it would be much better for them to send the founder, who was in a dangerous position at the moment, back to the headquarters first.

"Alright!" Zhang Xuan nodded.

The hall master of the Hongyuan Empire Poison Hall had been killed; such a huge organization couldn't go without a head for too long. Thus, the crowd unanimously voted Vice Hal Master Xu as the new hall master.

Zhang Xuan handed the Sepulture Flower over to Vice Hall Master Xu and offered him guidance on the concoction of grade-7 poisons so that the latter could make a breakthrough to become a 7-star poison master. After all was done, he heaved a sigh of relief.

With his aim at the Poison Hall accomplished, there was no longer any need for him to remain in the area. Thus, he stood up and bade everyone farewell before leaving with Poison Master Bai and Poison Master Hai.

The aerial saint beast that Poison Master Bai travelled on was extremely swift. In less than a day, Zhang Xuan had already returned to Jingyuan City.

After alighting from the saint beast, Zhang Xuan made the two poison masters promise him once more that they would put everything they had into protecting Wei Ruyan before he was willing to let them leave.

Students would eventually leave their teachers; Wei Ruyan was no exception to the rule.

Even the most ferocious of eagles would never be able to mature if it were to live under the protection of another its entire life, deprived of the opportunity to fly independently in the azure sky.

It was the same for students.

This was precisely the reason Zhang Xuan had allowed his students to leave him one after another despite his reluctance.

First Zhao Ya and Lu Chong, followed by Yuan Tao, and now, it was Wei Ruyan's turn.

Zheng Yang would also likely head to the Combat Master Hall eventually, which meant that five out of his seven direct disciples had already left him.

Sighing deeply, Zhang Xuan made his way back into Inkcloud Quarter once more.

It didn't take him long before he met Hu Yunsheng, and the latter informed him that the Master Teacher Pavilion and Hongyuan royal family had already dispatched some men the previous day to seal the City Lord Manor for investigation purposes.

It turned out that the city lord's only son was held hostage by the Otherworldly Demons, leaving the city lord no choice but to obey their commands.

Nevertheless, it was unpardonable for a human to serve an Otherworldly Demon to deal with his own kind regardless of the reason. As such, the guards had apprehended the city lord, and they were currently in the midst of transporting him back to the capital, where he would be judged by Yu Shenqing personally.

Upon hearing this news, Zhang Xuan couldn't help but sigh again.

A human really shouldn't commit evil, no matter how small a sin it was. Often, it was a single wrong step that eventually led to an endless downward spiral into the abyss.

After settling the Heaven's Path zhenqi lying dormant in Hu Yunsheng's body, Zhang Xuan stood up and bade farewell. Upon finding a rural area, he summoned the Byzantium Helios Beast from the Anthive Nest and adeptly leaped onto its back. With a light stomp of his feet, the Byzantium Helios Beast soared into the sky, making its way straight toward the Master Teacher Academy was.

"Byzantium Helios Beast… A Saint realm Byzantium Helios Beast?" Watching as Zhang Xuan depart from the distance, Hu Yunsheng's body abruptly froze. In that moment, a multitude of information flashed through his mind, nearly exploding it.

Having never seen his boss acting with such indecorum before, Zhu Xiao asked doubtfully, "Boss, what's wrong?"

While Byzantium Helios Beasts were indeed rarely seen in the world, there were still a couple of them in Hongyuan Empire.

Noticing Zhu Xiao's doubts, Hu Yunsheng replied with a bitter smile, "It's true that a Byzantium Helios Beast is an extremely rare tamed beast, but… there is only one Saint realm Byzantium Helios Beast in the whole of Hongyuan Empire!"

"Only one?" Zhu Xiao was taken aback. "Boss, could it be that you have already deduced Elder Sun's real identity?"

"If my guess isn't wrong, the current form he is assuming is a disguise. His real name is… Zhang Xuan!" Hu Yunsheng replied.

"Zhang Xuan?" Zhu Xiao's body stiffened as his face turned completely pale. "You are talking about the newly-appointed principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, Principal Zhang?"

As an intelligence agency, Inkcloud Quarter had a lot of information regarding Zhang Xuan. Even Zhu Xiao had heard of the legends of that Principal Zhang and viewed the latter as a role model whom he would strive towards.

"Un, that's him." Hu Yunsheng nodded. "I just recalled that Principal Zhang has a butler called Sun Qiang. Furthermore, for the Master Teacher Pavilion and the royal family to come so swiftly to deal with the city lord… According to internal news, it seems like the order to do so has come directly from Principal Zhang. Putting together all of this, I would really have to be a fool to still not figure out the other party's identity!"

"This…" At this point, Zhu Xiao finally realized as well.

It truly felt like a dream. To think that Principal Zhang would personally come to Jingyuan City and even visit their Inkcloud Quarter…

"Wait a moment, Boss. If I recall correctly, you attempted to kill the other party to steal his wealth back then…"

Recalling that matter, Zhu Xiao hurriedly turned his gaze toward Hu Yunsheng, only to see the latter's face turning completely pale as veins popped out by his temples. "If you dare speak of this matter to another soul, I will definitely hunt you down and kill you!"

Thinking about the matter again, Hu Yunsheng couldn't help but feel fearful.

Who would have thought that he would actually end up trying to rob the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy? Wasn't this no different from courting death? It was fortunate that the other party was a master teacher, a reasonable person. Otherwise, he might very well have become a corpse already.



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