Library of Heaven is Path
1178 Today, One of Us Shall Fall!
Chapter 1178: Today, One of Us Shall Fall!
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Pavilion Master Gou, Hall Master Xing of the Combat Master Hall and I witnessed this matter with our own eyes. There is concrete evidence to prove it!" Wu shi anxiously exclaimed.
"You said that there is concrete evidence to prove this matter?" The old man spoke once more. "As a master teacher, you should know better than to blindly trust your eyes! You have to carefully investigate the issue in order to discern fact from fiction, not to mention, this matter involves a vice pavilion master! If we go by your judgement and rule that our vice pavilion master attempted to frame a 6-star master teacher, what will become of the reputation of our Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion?"
"This…" Wu shi's voice grew slightly hesitant.
In order for the local Master Teacher Pavilion to maintain order in the region, reputation was of utmost importance. If it was made known that a vice pavilion master had tried to oppress a lower-ranked master teacher, the credibility of the entire Master Teacher Pavilion would be doubted, and they would become the laughingstock of the world!
Wu shi paused for a moment before responding. "Pavilion Master Gou, I understand that our reputation is important, but even more so is fairness! As master teachers, we should conduct ourselves properly and remain neutral. If we side with our own master teachers for the sake of our reputation, how can we be qualified to pass judgement upon others?"
It was true that the reputation of the Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion would be sullied if Vice Pavilion Master Tian was convicted for the current accusations. However, if it was discovered that their Master Teacher Pavilion had willfully sided with their own men, it would cast doubt over the leadership of the master teachers over the Master Teacher Continent!
"Fairness? Are you trying to tell me that your words are the very embodiment of fairness? What I heard is that Vice Pavilion Master Tian has been wronged instead!" The old man harrumphed coldly. "Tian Qing, recount the matters that happened yesterday to me once more!"
"Yes!" Vice Pavilion Master Tian said from within the room. "It's like this. King Zhongqing is in charge of the defenses of the city, and after capturing the vice head of the Hongyuan Empire Poison Hall, he managed to acquire critical intelligence regarding the Poison Hall and successfully led an expedition to eradicate it.
"On top of that, he also learned that there was a particularly formidable poison master known as Sun Qiang hiding within the city, and there was a very good chance that the latter's existence could place mankind in danger. After investigating the matter, he found that Sun Qiang happened to be Zhang Xuan's butler!
"Given that a master teacher was involved in the matter, he knew that he could not act recklessly, so he came to seek my assistance in the matter. Thus, I invited Zhang Xuan over to King Zhongqing's manor in my name, but not only did Zhang Xuan refuse to cooperate with the investigation, he even forcefully freed Sun Qiang and made a move against the both of us…"
"Made a move against the both of you?" Wu shi's eyes shot up in displeasure. "Vice Pavilion Master Tian, don't you think that your words are ludicrous? Principal Zhang is a Saint 2-dan pinnacle cultivator whereas you are a Half-Leaving Aperture realm expert. Are you trying to tell us that Principal Zhang is so foolish as to pick a fight against someone more than two cultivation realms stronger than him?"
He could not tell anyone about Zhang Xuan's identity as a Celestial Master Teacher, but that did not mean that he would not fight against anyone who dared to frame him!
"The one who has attacked me wasn't Zhang Xuan himself but a cauldron in his possession. The cauldron is a Saint intermediate-tier artifact, and it wields strength comparable to mine," Vice Pavilion Master Tian replied.
"That only discredits your story further. Despite being a master teacher, you aren't able to match a mere Saint intermediate-tier cauldron?"
As powerful as a Saint intermediate-tier artifact was, without a person to drive it, it was unable to bring out its full prowess. For someone as powerful a Vice Pavilion Master Tian to be unable to match a mere Saint intermediate-tier artifact… wasn't this a joke in itself?
"Fine." Vice Pavilion Master Tian harrumphed coldly. "Since you insist that I have attempted to frame Zhang Xuan, let me ask you this… do I have any reason to pick on him?"
"This…" Wu shi are stumped.
"I am the vice head of the Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion, as well as a 7-star master teacher. In terms of standing, he's nowhere near me. Do you think that it makes any sense for me to put my career as a master teacher on the line just to deal with a mere principal of a Master Teacher Academy whom I have no connections whatsoever with?" Vice Pavilion Master Tian argued.
This was exactly what had confounded Wu shi as well.
He could not understand why Vice Pavilion Master Tian would make a move against Zhang Xuan either.
A person who was seemingly superior to Zhang Xuan every way, at least on the surface… He should not have any reason to deal with Zhang Xuan!
This was the missing piece of the puzzle that he had been struggling to find all along!
"Wu Rufeng, what do you have to say?" Pavilion Master Gou said coldly.
"While I have no idea why Vice Pavilion Master Tian would deal with Principal Zhang, it's a fact that King Zhongqing and Vice Pavilion Master Tian were making a move on him when we arrived on the scene. If we were just a second slower, Principal Zhang would have been a dead man by now! Countless master teachers and combat masters witnessed that with their own eyes, so if Pavilion Master Gou doubts my words, I can bring them over to testify before you!
"Furthermore, the vice head of the Poison Hall whom Vice Pavilion Master Tian spoke about has already confessed that King Zhongqing and Vice Pavilion Master Tian forced him into complying with them to frame Principal Zhang!"
"Is the vice head of the Poison Hall you spoke about Ming Zhen?" Pavilion Master Gou asked.
Pavilion Master Gou harrumphed coldly. "He died last night!"
"He's dead? But he's in the prison cell of the Master Teacher Pavilion… How could he have died?" Wu shi could not believe his ears.
"How am I supposed to know that? You were the one who captured him, and now you are telling me you do not know why he died in the Master Teacher Pavilion. Don't you think that you should be the one explaining the matter to me?" Pavilion Master Gou replied in a frosty tone.
"Pavilion Master Gou, are you… doubting me?" Wu shi's eyes widened in disbelief.
"It's not that I want to doubt you, but think about what has happened. Do you think that it's possible for me to not doubt you? You claimed that Chen Zhe has betrayed the Master Teacher Pavilion and requested for permission to capture and investigate him, and I granted you permission for that. Yet, he passed away in your custody! Given how secure the Master Teacher Pavilion is, there is no one who could have gotten to him other than you! If you had not used torture on him to force a confession, how could he have died?
"Furthermore, I have also investigated the affairs of that Zhang Xuan, and you seem to have gone through a life-and-death situation with him. Considering the deep ties between the both of you, I cannot help but suspect that you are intentionally siding with him in order to protect him, perhaps even making a false testimony in his favor!" Pavilion Master Gou harrumphed.
"It hasn't been long since you have been promoted to a vice pavilion master, so I understand that you might be eager to prove yourself to replace Vice Pavilion Master Tian. But no matter what you do, you need evidence! Look at the mess you have caused, and you still expect me to believe you?"
Seeing that Pavilion Master Gou was doubting him, Wu shi anxiously explained himself. "I swear on my name as a master teacher that I have been perfectly impartial in this matter, and I have no interest in usurping Vice Pavilion Master Tian's position…"
"Enough! I do not wish to talk about this matter anymore. I don't care how the both of you fight with one another, but you had better not do anything that will harm the reputation of our Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion!" Pavilion Master Gou interjected coldly.
"It has been five hundred years since I became the pavilion master, and while I have not accomplished anything outstanding my time, I have not erred in my leadership either. It's already nearing my retirement date, and I hope to leave the Master Teacher Pavilion in peace. I do not want to retire as a laughingstock of the town, so I do not want to see anything happen till then. You hear me?"
Not expecting Pavilion Master Gou to suddenly pin such a severe accusation on him, Wu shi panicked. "Pavilion Master Gou, I am really not doing this for power! While I have braved through a life-and-death situation with Principal Zhang, I would not dream of willfully siding with him over something as important as this…"
"Enough! I have already said that I do not want to interfere in the matters between the both of you! You can do whatever you like, just do not make our Master Teacher Pavilion appear to be a joke before others!"
"But…" Indignant, Wu shi gritted his teeth, but seeing that Pavilion Master Gou was unwilling to listen to his words, he could only clench his fists and reluctantly reply. "Fine, I understand."
"Un, that had better be the case. Alright, send a man to bring Zhang Xuan over here right now to clear things up. If he's willing to listen, I can still consider giving him the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise, just on the grounds of insubordination alone, I will have him condemned for his entire life…" Pavilion Master Gou instructed.
However, before he could finish his words, a voice suddenly sounded. "There's no need to send anyone. I'm already here."
Following which, a young man walked in.
He had only gone there to take the 7-star master teacher examination, but who would have thought that he would hear those words instead? He could almost feel his blood boiling from the rage within him.
Initially, he had thought that Pavilion Master Gou had only been blinded by the words of Vice Pavilion Master Tian, but as he listened on, he had realized that the other party was just an incompetent superior who did not want the pot to be stirred so that he could retire in peace.
Horrified by Zhang Xuan's sudden arrival, Wu shi exclaimed in shock, "Principal Zhang!"
From the earlier conversation, he could tell that Pavilion Master Gou was deeply displeased with Zhang Xuan. This was truly a bad moment for the fellow to appear… If Pavilion Master Gou were to pass a judgement on the fellow in a rage, the fellow could very well be doomed!
At the same time, a cruel glint flashed across Vice Pavilion Master Tian Qing's eyes as he hurriedly stepped forward and said, "Pavilion Master Gou, this young man over here is the person who framed me, the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, Zhang Xuan!"
"You are Zhang Xuan?" Pavilion Master Gou narrowed his eyes threateningly. "How dare a mere 6-star master teacher like you eavesdrop in our conversation? You audacious brat!"
"Audacious? I don't think I am as audacious as you are!" Zhang Xuan replied with a voice that was freezing like a winter's night.
"What did you say?" Pavilion Master Gou smacked the table out of rage as a powerful aura burst forth menacingly from him.
As the head of the regional Master Teacher Pavilion, his standing was unmatched by anyone in the Qingyuan Empire. Yet, a pesky principal of a small Master Teacher Academy had actually dared to speak to him in such a manner. This was a complete lack of respect for his elders, a blatant breach of the formalities among master teachers!
"Don't you have a clear idea as to what I just said?" Facing the other party's wrath, Zhang Xuan did not show a hint of worry or anxiety. With eyes filled with nothing but apathy, he said, "After so many years, you should know Wu shi's temperament better than anyone else. Vice Pavilion Master Tian has aided King Zhongqing in a scheme against me and my butler, and yet, instead of investigating the matter, you chose to side with Vice Pavilion Master Tian blindly in order to protect yourself, even coming over here to berate and put down Wu shi. Are you really that blind, or has water gotten into your head? How in the world can the Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion be so unfortunate as to get a pavilion master as incompetent and useless as you?"
"Principal Zhang!" Not expecting the good-tempered Zhang Xuan to actually criticize Pavilion Master Gou openly, Wu shi was nearly scared of his wits.
From the very start, Pavilion Master Gou already had a bad impression of the other party. After saying these words, there was no longer room for reconciliation.
"You impertinent scoundrel, how dare a mere 6-star master teacher like you insult our pavilion master? Pavilion Master Gou, I shall have him apprehended for breaching the formalities of master teachers right now and cripple his cultivation!" Vice Pavilion Master roared furiously as he charged forward to nab Zhang Xuan.
"Qing Tian, you dare!" Wu shi bellowed furiously as he quickly stepped forward to protect Zhang Xuan.
"There's no need for that!" Zhang Xuan replied coldly as he waved his hand lightly.
Before Vice Pavilion Master Tian could process what was going on, he was already smacked into the wall.
Following which, Zhang Xuan slowly advanced step by step, and with a gaze as sharp as daggers, he spoke with a voice that resounded clearly throughout the entire Qingyuan City.
"I have walked here step by step from Tianxuan Kingdom, and no one has ever dared to frame me for anything before!
"I, Zhang Xuan, as a 6-star master teacher and the principal of the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, hereby request permission from the headquarters to crash the Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion!
"Today, one of us shall fall!"