Library of Heaven is Path
1199 Decree of the Progeny of Comba
The trio etched the name into the depths of their hearts.
As the heads of their regional Combat Master Halls, they were existences who were looked up to by countless combat masters, revered for the overwhelming strength they wielded. Even within the Leaving Aperture realm, there was nearly no one who was a match for them. Yet, they were not a match for the young lady at all. This went to show the young lady's astounding prowess!
"May I know if Lady Qiqi is interested in joining our Chongyuan Empire Combat Master Hall?" Hall Master Zhao Yi stepped forward and clasped his fist.
"I am not interested," Luo Qiqi replied curtly.
If she was truly interested in joining the Combat Master Hall, she would have long taken the examination for it. There was no need for her to have dragged it out till now. And to be honest, she was only interested in staying by her teacher's side at the moment. If only she could, she would willingly stay with him until the end of time…
"This…" Hearing the other party's unhesitating rejection, Hall Master Zhao Yi knew that it would be impossible for him to convince the young lady otherwise, so he could only give up with a bitter smile.
Just as he was about to continue speaking, a resounding horn reminiscent of the roar of thunder reverberated deafeningly throughout the Qingyuan Empire Combat Master Hall. It was so loud that it felt as if it would tear through even the heavens.
The sound was coming from the very heart of the Combat Master Hall, the Great Combat Master Atrium!
"It's the Combat Master Assembly Decree!"
The eyes of the four hall masters widened in astonishment.
The Combat Master Hall was in charge of maintaining the security of the region, and for that purpose, they devoted most of their time to training and cultivating. However, once the horn was blown, all combat masters that heard the sound had to assemble immediately. Even the slightest delay would not be tolerated!
"Let's head over!"
Knowing that this was not the time to speak, they hurriedly rushed over to the Great Combat Master Atrium.
The fact that the horn had been blown meant that something major had occurred.
In the blink of an eye, they arrived at the concourse right before the Great Combat Master Atrium. At this moment, all the combat masters in the Qingyuan Empire had assembled in the area. With grim expressions, they stood upright in neat rows, as if soldiers awaiting their commands.
Right after the four hall masters landed at the very forefront of the crowd, a powerful energy suddenly rippled in the Great Combat Master Atrium, forming a massive screen in midair.
"It's news from the headquarters!"
Upon seeing this, Hall Master Xing and the others heaved a sigh of relief.
They had been worrying that there had been an invasion and that they would have to march onto the battlefield. Fortunately, that did not seem to be the case.
If it was a war, the headquarters would have sent a command straight into their minds and had them set forth as soon as possible. They would not have gone to the trouble of producing this massive screen.
While the four hall masters were trying to deduce what was going on, the voice of an elder suddenly sounded from the massive screen, echoing in the hearts of every single combat master present.
"The candidate that the Qingyuan Empire Combat Master Hall nominated, Zheng Yang, has successfully cleared the Dragon Gate Formation, and I hereby declare him the Progeny of Combat of our Combat Master Hall!
Following which, a silhouette gradually surfaced on the massive screen. It was a young man holding a spear in his hand. He commanded a sharp aura that felt as if it would pierce through the heavens.
The current Zheng Yang looked much keener than before. Under Zhang Xuan's tutelage, he had already been extremely formidable, but having never experienced the cruelty and the bloodshed from life-and-death battles, it was inevitable that he would appear a little immature. However, at this moment, the presence that he commanded was formidable, and it exerted immense pressure on those before him.
It felt as if the sharp blade of a dagger was pressed on their skin, threatening to part their skin and flesh.
"Progeny of Combat?"
Hall Masters Zhao Yi, Wei Qianshu, and Lin Qinshan narrowed their eyes in astonishment, and their bodies froze on the spot.
It had been three hundred years since the passing of the previous Progeny of Combat of the Combat Master Hall. They were well aware of the significance behind this declaration.
They had thought that the Qingyuan Empire was just a declining empire that would soon fall out of its ranks and that its Combat Master Hall had fallen into a spiral of frailty. Yet, who would have thought that a combat master from their ranks would actually succeed in clearing the Dragon Gate Formation and become the next Progeny of Combat?
Putting the rest aside, just the 'gratitude of nomination' was more than enough for them to rise to unprecedented heights.
That realization left the trio with a hoarseness at the back of their throats, and they found themselves unable to speak a single word.
They had still been lamenting their bad luck from being unable to claim a single slot from the friendly spar, but after witnessing the sight before them, they realized that it had not been bad luck at all. From the very start, the Qingyuan Empire Combat Master Hall wielded strength far exceeding theirs!
At the same time, Hall Master Xing could not help but narrow his eyes either.
In truth, when he sent Zheng Yang over to the Combat Master Hall headquarters, he did not bear much hope for success. But contrary to his expectations, the young man really managed to pull it off!
Progeny of Combat… That was the man who would become the next head of the entire Combat Master Hall, the future Combat God of the Master Teacher Continent!
And that man had actually come from their branch!
While he was still overwhelmed by emotions from that realization, the sight on the screen suddenly changed as Zheng Yang swept his spear toward a massive dragon ahead of him.
"This is… challenging the Dragon Gate Formation?" Hall Master Xing remarked.
In order to become the Progeny of Combat, one had to first clear the Dragon Gate Formation.
The Dragon Gate Formation was divided into three stages: Dragon's Tail, Dragon's Back, and Dragon's Head. In every single stage, the challenger would have to face three challengers with consecutively ascending cultivation stage, ranging from an equivalent cultivation to eight cultivation stages higher!
Furthermore, the fighting prowess of the three cultivators was further enhanced by the Dragon Gate Formation, making it extremely difficult to defeat them.
It was for this reason that no one had cleared the Dragon Gate Formation in the past three hundred years.
"The headquarters are playing the recording of the Progeny of Combat clearing the Dragon Gate Formation to all combat masters in order to muster their morale through the strength of the new Progeny of Combat, as well as to show them that the trial was carried out fairly!"
The sight was recorded using the Record Crystal in the headquarters, and naturally, it was played to the combat masters for a reason.
The intent was clear as well.
It was to force all the combat masters to acknowledge the strength of the Progeny of Combat, thus building up authority and respect for him. This was a necessary procedure for the Progeny of Combat to lead the Combat Master Hall in the future.
While Hall Master Xing was pondering over the matter, he saw Zheng Yang making his way over to the Dragon's Tail.
His spear shot forth with a speed so swift that it was nearly indiscernible, flying forth as if a streak of lightning.
"Too strong…" Even though it was only a video, Hall Master Xing still could not help but shudder upon seeing the speed of the spear.
If he were to face the Progeny of Combat at the same cultivation realm, there was no doubt that the spear would have pierced through his throat before he could even respond.
But before this despairing strength, the combat masters in the Dragon's Tail actually manage to react to the spear. They swiftly moved to meet Zheng Yang's spear with their own, and a powerful shockwave burst into the surroundings.
Despite having his assault foiled, Zheng Yang did not show the slightest hint of apprehension. He took a leisure step forward, and despite his light movement, for some reason, his body still moved at an exceptional speed. In the blink of an eye, he was already standing before one of the combat masters.
With a quick flick of his spear, he sent the combat master flying out of the field. After which, he continued executing his spear art relentlessly toward the two remaining combat masters, overpowering them swiftly. In just three moves, the both of them were subdued as well. With this, the Dragon's Tail had fallen.
"What swift spearmanship…"
The combat masters in the concourse could not help but tighten their fists in agitation.
At the same time, the eyes of the combat masters from the Martial Arts Division lit up as they watched the fight.
All in all, Zheng Yang had used five moves to deal with the Dragon's Tail. Even though it appeared that he had only used the most straightforward movements, a pierce and a sweep, they had been infused with the very essence of spearmanship, making it extremely difficult to guard against them.
Even if they were to devote their entire lives to the spearmanship, they could not see themselves pulling off the same spear that Zheng Yang had used.
However, this was not the end of the Dragon Gate Formation yet. The Dragon's Tail could only be said to be the starter, and there was still the Dragon's Back and Dragon's Head to go.
The trio on the Dragon's Back had a cultivation of three, four, and five cultivation stages higher than Zheng Yang.
Similarly, it did not take too long for Zheng Yang to subdue them. He met with slight difficulties in the midst of doing so, but it did not pose too much of a problem.
"He has used 17 moves in total!" Hall Master Xing exclaimed in shock.
After clearing the Dragon's Back, Zheng Yang moved on to the Dragon's Head.
The three cultivators in the Dragon's Head were of six, seven, and eight cultivation stages stronger than him. The moment they made a move, a powerful gale blew furiously in the surroundings as overwhelming auras crushed down in the area.
It was as if a true dragon had surfaced in the area, causing ominous clouds to gather in the sky, as if the entire world was cowering in fear before its might.
On the other hand, Zheng Yang seemed like a withered leaf floating on the surface of a raging ocean. It seemed as if he would be submerged under the furious might of the three cultivators, but somehow, he still managed to remain firmly afloat.
Peng! Peng! Peng!
Sometime later, the clouds finally scattered, and Zheng Yang's figure surfaced once more. He was panting heavily, and beads of sweat trickled relentlessly down his forehead.
He was severely wounded; there were many bloodied gouges all over his body. However, his three opponents were lying unconscious on the floor, leaving him the only one standing on the field. Without a doubt, he had successfully cleared the Dragon's Head trial as well!
"Now, for the final Dragon's Pearl…"
Unlike the simplified Dragon Gate Formation, the complete Dragon Gate Formation in the Combat Master Hall headquarters contained a Dragon's Pearl as well, and it was also known to be the most difficult phase of the entire trial.
Over the past three hundred years, there had been around ten cultivators who were able to clear the simplified Dragon's Gate Formation, but not a single one of them had managed to clear the Dragon's Pearl.
Standing on the spot, Zheng Yang took in a few deep breaths to recuperate slightly from his wounds before proceeding forward. Blood was still trickling down from his wounds, leaving a crimson trail behind him.
Despite so, his footsteps were firm and steady. It was as if there was some kind of faith that granted him the courage to march on fearlessly, not cowering even in the face of death.
Boom boom boom!
Soon, a cultivator stood before him—the guardian of the Dragon's Pearl.
Without any hesitation, the duo began clashing with one another.
The guardian of the Dragon's Pearl was an incredibly powerful cultivator. Every blow of his harnessed immense strength that seemed to warp even space itself, and halfway into the battle, Zheng Yang's spear even broke in a direct clash against the guardian.
Nevertheless, Zheng Yang did not give up. Fist art, movement art, leg art… He utilized every kind of technique at his disposal, executing profound moves one after another. Eventually, through utilizing his body as a spear, he successfully breached the cultivator's defense and achieved victory.
"388 blows… It really isn't easy to become the Progeny of Combat!" Hall Master Xing remarked.
Even though Zheng Yang had managed to defeat the Dragon's Pearl in the end, he had also come to the very limits of his body. At this point, there was not a single unwounded patch of skin on his body, and his body was trembling weakly.
However, he still remained firmly standing.
Completely astounded by the sight before them, all the combat masters fell silent. They had a feeling that they would never be able to erase this sight from their minds.
To be honest, if they had been in Zheng Yang's place, they would have already given up at the Dragon's Back. This had nothing to do with their strength but their willpower.
It was as if Zheng Yang carried an unwavering faith within him. No matter how many gorges one pierced through him, he still firmly stood his ground, determined to defeat his opponent.
This undying spirit was what set them apart from him.
"I, Zheng Yang, was only an ordinary spear practitioner from the humble Tianxuan Kingdom!"
The recording cut off from the Dragon Gate Formation, and when Zheng Yang appeared once more, he was already cleaned up, and his wounds had recovered as well.
"It's the blessing of the heavens that I met my teacher. Not only did he impart the strongest spearmanship to me, he also taught me important values, correcting me patiently whenever I stray off from the path. It's thanks to his guidance that I was able to become the person I am today.
"In cultivation, the aim is not only to cultivate one's strength, but more importantly, to cultivate one's character. The Way of the Spear is but a means to that. The reason I was able to become the Progeny of Combat isn't due to strength but the principles, values, and aims that I hold onto dearly! I hope that all of you will come to comprehend this someday…
"Last but not least, I shall make my first decree as the Progeny of Combat!"
The crowd in the Combat Master Hall swiftly got to their knees and clasped their fists. "We will humbly listen to the decree of the Progeny of Combat!"
In the absence of the hall master, the Progeny of Combat Decree was effectively the Hall Master Decree, an order that all combat masters had to comply to unconditionally.
"I am deeply indebted to my teacher. Without him, there would be no me. Thus, I hereby order everyone in the Combat Master Hall, regardless of strength or position, to honor and respect him as a teacher!"
"Yes!" A resounding response sounded from the crowd.
The teacher of the Progeny of Combat was effectively the teacher of the entire Combat Master Hall.
Anyone who dared disrespect him would be disrespecting the entire Combat Master Hall as well.
"My teacher has always been humble, so no one is to speak of his identity outside of the Combat Master Hall. Anyone who dares leak any detail about him shall be executed on the spot! Understood?" Zheng Yang commanded authoritatively.
"Yes!" the crowd replied thunderingly.
"Very well. Etch the name of my teacher into your minds lest you cross him…
"My teacher is Zhang Xuan!"