Chapter 1145: Landscaper
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric

As a transcender, Zhang Xuan had grown up being inculcated by the positive values of his previous world. As such, he preferred to avoid confrontation, choosing to resolve all problem amiably wherever possible.

But... all dragons had scales 1 which couldn't be touched, and those who flout the rules would have to pay with their lives!

Sun Qiang had been with him ever since the time he was at Tianxuan Kingdom. Despite the other party's indolence when it came to cultivation, the other party had always dealt with all kinds of miscellaneous matters for him skillfully without a single word of complaint. If not for the other party, he would probably have been bogged down by all sorts of things, and there was no way he would have been able to devote his attention to cultivation and achieve so much within such a short period of time.

It could be said that Butler Sun was one of the most important people in his life, and he viewed him as a family member as well, just like Wang Ying, Zhao Ya, and the others.

Yet, the fellow before him actually dared to threaten him using Sun Qiang's life, so how could he possibly not fly into a rage?

"You dare to kick me?" Not expecting that the other party would dare to make a move on him even when they had a hostage in hand, the black-robed young man struggled weakly to his feet and glared at Zhang Xuan with eyes brimming with hostility.

"I want you to di—" Roaring furiously, the young man charged forward, but before he could finish his words, he suddenly felt his entire body tensing up. Someone had grabbed him by his neck and pulled him up.

Following which, a pair of frosty eyes appeared before him.

"If you want to die, I can fulfill your wish right now."

The frosty voice paired with the killing intent left the black-robed young man paling in fear. The words which he had wanted to speak stifled in his mouth, rendering him incapable of utter anything at all.

Having undergone life and death situations before, the black-robed young man could tell that the other party was deadly serious about this matter. If he were to dare speak another word of the matter, the other party would very well have him killed.

"Who is your Old Master, and where is Sun Qiang at the moment?" Zhang Xuan uttered frostily.

"I…" The black-robed young man shuddered upon hearing those words completely devoid of warmth. Fearing for his life, he quickly replied, "O-our Old Master is the First King of the Qingyuan Empire, King Zhongqing!"

"King Zhongqing?" Zhang Xuan frowned. "Why did he kidnap my butler?"

It had only been three days since he arrived at Qingyuan City, and his activities had been mainly centered around the Spirit Awakener Guild, Combat Master Hall, and Terpsichore Guild.

He had never been anywhere else other than those three places, so how in the world did he manage to offend the so-called First King of Qingyuan Empire?

If he hadn't offended the other party, he couldn't think of a reason why the other party would go to the extent of provoking a reputable master teacher like himself!

To kidnap his men without any warning was as good as challenging his dignity, and not to mention, the other party even sent a small fry over to threaten him... He must be really tired of living!

"I am just a servant, I really don't know anything else!" the black-robed man shuddered.

"Lead the way!" Seeing that the other party earnestly didn't know anything at all, Zhang Xuan dropped the young man on the ground and bellowed.

"Yes!" the black-robed man replied fearfully. He dared not pull his weight as he did previously anymore, and he quickly headed forward.

"Zhang shi, I have heard of King Zhongqing before. He's not an easy figure to deal with, you must be absolutely careful around him!" While following behind the black-robed young man, Yu Fei-er warned with a deep frown.

Even though she wasn't interested in politics, as a princess of Hongyuan Empire, she still knew a thing or two about Qingyuan Empire.

"Oh?" Seeing that Yu Fei-er knew about King Zhongqing, Zhang Xuan immediately turned his gaze to her.

"This First King of Qingyuan Empire used to be a humble peasant, but twenty years ago, the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe somehow managed to find a way to arrive at the Master Teacher Continent, and they planned to launch an invasion. The Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion, Combat Master Hall, and royal family swiftly learned of the matter and dispatched their men to eradicate the Otherworldly Demons. It was an extremely bitter fight; the three powers suffered great losses, and the head of the Combat Master Hall, Hall Master Xing, even suffered grievous wounds in the fight and nearly lost his life."

"Back then, the emperor of Qingyuan Empire, Chu Tianxing, personally led the forces of the Qingyuan royal family into the fight, but a sudden ambush by the Otherworldly Demons left him in a truly dangerous position. At that desperate situation, King Zhongqing suddenly appeared and massacred the Otherworldly Demons, saving Emperor Chu Tianxing from that seemingly hopeless situation. After that incident, he continued to accrue merit after merit, and within just a short twenty years, he managed to rise from a mere peasant into a conferred king. In the entire Qingyuan Empire, he's definitely the number one figure of the external kings 2 !" Yu Fei-er explained.

"The Otherworldly Demonic Tribe attempted to invade Qingyuan Empire?" Zhang Xuan frowned.

Thinking back, the wound on Hall Master Xing's Primordial Spirit was indeed left behind in a fight roughly twenty years back too. The was in line with the details of the story.

"Emperor Chu Tianxing is bound to be protected by countless experts, and he probably is a powerful cultivator himself too... If the Otherworldly Demons were able to corner him that far, just how powerful must King Zhongqing be to be able to break him out from that desperate situation?" Zhang Xuan frowned.

Even Hall Master Xing had nearly succumbed to the Otherworldly Demons and lost his life, so how did a humble fellow manage to break Emperor Chu Tianxing out from the encirclement of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe?

"I'm not too sure about the details... Wait, I seem to recall my father discussing this matter with another person before. If I recall correctly, King Zhongqing used... poison!" Yu Fei-er exclaimed.

"Poison?" Zhang Xuan frowned. "Is King Zhongqing a poison master?"

If King Zhongqing was truly a poison master, then it might really be possible for him to pull such a matter off.

The reason why poison masters were so deeply feared was because of their ability to fend against multiple enemies simultaneously. As long as they were to play their cards right, they could easily eradicate a group of experts with their poison.

Just take the Ten Kings of the Qingtian Lineage for example; back then, he was only at Nascent Saint pinnacle, and any one of them could have easily killed him in a direct battle. Yet, nearly all of them ended up dying from the poison within his Heaven's Path zhenqi anyway.

"I'm not too sure whether he is a poison master or not, but there is one thing particularly sinister regarding him. It's uncommon for an individual outside of the royal family to be conferred a King, so naturally, there were many influential officials who opposed King Zhongqing. Yet, over the past twenty years, they had either disappeared or died... As such, King Zhongqing currently wields immense influence in the royal court. Furthermore, due to his merit of having saved Emperor Chu Tianxing, he is well-favored, and there's no longer anyone who dares to confront him directly in Qingyuan Empire anymore!" Yu Fei-er said.

Zhang Xuan nodded as the frown on his forehead deepened.

Putting aside whether that fellow was truly a poison master or not, the fact still stood that he wasn't acquainted with the other party. It simply didn't make sense for the other party to kidnap Sun Qiang.

"Considering that he has gone to the extent of kidnapping Sun Qiang, it goes to say that he has absolutely no fear of my identity as a 6-star master teacher and the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy. It would be best for you two to stay out of this matter. I'll deal with this alone." Zhang Xuan paused for a moment before saying.

Regardless of what the other party was up to, it was clear that the other party was aiming right for him. Since that was the case, there was no need for these two to bear this risk along with him.

"Zhang shi, you are my teacher. As your student, how can I flee and leave to face danger by yourself? I would be unworthy of being a master teacher if I were to do so!" Luo Qiqi stepped forward and spoke determinedly.

She was Zhang Xuan's apothecary and blacksmith student. While she wasn't his direct disciple, and they had never officially acknowledged their relationship, there were still the bonds between a teacher and student between them.

"I won't leave either! I'm willing to brave through any danger with you!" Yu Fei-er looked straight into Zhang Xuan's eyes and said.


Seeing that the wills of the duo were unwavering, Zhang Xuan shook his head and whipped out two pills from his storage ring. "These pills are antidotes which I have personally forged, and they are capable of resolving most poisons. If you are intent on tagging along, consume one first. This way, you shouldn't be in any danger even if King Zhongqing is really a poison master."

The antidote which Zhang Xuan spoke of was just an ordinary pill, but it was infused with his Heaven's Path zhenqi.

"Un." The duo knew that Zhang Xuan wouldn't allow them to follow him if they were to refuse, so they swallowed the pill without any hesitation.

"Alright, let's go!"

All this while, they had been conversing through zhenqi telepathy, so it didn't affect their movement. Following behind the black-robed young man, it didn't take long before a massive manor appeared before their eyes.

The manor was truly huge. While it couldn't be compared with behemoths like the Combat Master Hall, it was definitely one of the largest and grandest manor in Qingyuan City. The interior of the manor was filled with all kinds of formations, and even before coming close to it, one could feel the surrounding spiritual energy gravitating towards the manor. Without a doubt, the manor was definitely a top-notch land for cultivation.

Even ordinary men would find their lifespan lengthening by living in such an environment.

"This is the manor of our Old Master." the black-robed man said before walking forward to discreetly whisper some things to the guard standing by the door. The guard glared at Zhang Xuan and the others for a moment before heading in.

Not too long later, the guard returned and gestured with a nod.

"This way please!" the black-robed man gestured forward politely. A vicious glint flickered swiftly across his eyes as he turned his head to lead the way into the manor.

Zhang Xuan noticed it, but he decided to feign ignorance. With Yu Fei-er and Luo Qiqi following behind him, he headed into the manor as well.

As expected of the manor of the First King of a Conferred Empire, it was far grander than the royal palace of Hongyuan Empire. Even its pavements were crafted out of valuable ores. Every single part of the manor screamed of extravagance.

"On top of powerful formations, it seems the entire manor has been specially designed by a landscaper." Shortly after entering the manor, Luo Qiqi remarked.

"Landscaper?" This was the first time Zhang Xuan was hearing of this name.

"Un. Just like spirit awakener and herbologist, landscaper isn't considered to be a unique occupation either. However, due to the unique capabilities that landscapers possess, they are still deeply welcomed by influential powers and clans as honorary guests." Luo Qiqi said.

"Oh? Are there landscapers in Hongyuan Empire?" Zhang Xuan turned to look at Yu Fei-er curiously.

"I haven't heard of such an occupation before…" Yu Fei-er shook her head.

"I learned of the existence of this occupation from an ancient record." Luo Qiqi replied with a smile. "It's said that landscapers are able to assess the geographical terrain, geomancy, and many other factors of the environment to design structures, be it residences, sects, formations, or mechanisms, and fuse them perfectly together, such that they complemented one another to exert the maximum strength possible. If a power were to have its base designed by a landscaper, its overall defenses could potentially be enhanced by severalfold!"

"But of course, it is an extremely rare occupation, and it doesn't have a complete heritage either, so I can't be too sure about the matter. It's in view to the exquisite layout of the manor and the perfect harmony of the various structures and formations that I made such a deduction."

"You're right, the harmony of the various structures within this manor is indeed exquisite." Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement.

As a 7-star pinnacle formation master and a possessor of the Eye of Insight, it went without saying that he would be able to easily notice what Luo Qiqi saw.

He had been to Hongyuan royal palace, and as numerous as the formations there were, they were all separate entities from one another. Each formation had to be manually triggered in order to come to life. On the other hand, the formations within King Zhongqing Manor were interconnected with one another, as well as the structures in the area. If they were to just trigger a single formation, they might find other formations coming to life as well, swiftly cornering them.

If the formations within Hongyuan empire were said to be mouse traps, effective only when in contact, the formations within King Zhongqing Manor were most definitely dominoes. Touch a single one of them, and it could cause a chain reaction with devastating outcomes.

What Luo Qiqi had said could very well be true, the manor had been worked on by landscapers.

Just as Zhang Xuan was still in the midst of contemplating over the matter, a bunch of footsteps suddenly sounded right in front of the black-robed young man. Following which, dozens of guards abruptly rushed out.

In the blink of an eye, they had the trio tightly encircled.

"Brat, you sure acted arrogantly a moment ago. Give him a good beating! Let him know that we from the King Zhongqing Manor are not to be trifled with!" the black-robed young man sneered savagely as he hid behind the crowd.

When he heard that he had to 'invite' the other party here, he thought that it would be an easy assignment. He had never thought that he would be nearly kicked to death. From that point onward, he was filled with nothing but utmost antagonism for the young man before him. Thus, back when he was still at the doorstep, he secretly informed the guard to prepare an ambush.


Upon hearing those words, the guards began walking forward as they brandished the sharp weapons in their hands threateningly. Their movements seemed to be aligned with the surrounding formations, causing an overwhelming pressure to fall upon Zhang Xuan and the others.



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