Library of Heaven is Path
1246 Ji Ruochen
Right after those words were spoken, a peculiar power began shrouding Zhang Xuan, and it gradually converged to form a unique token in his hands.
On the front was an emblem representing the Empire Alliance, and on the back were the words 'Honorary Elder'. The token was golden in color, and it carried an aura of authority.
"Honorary elder? I became an elder of the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion?" Zhang Xuan was stupefied.
It was just a moment ago that Yao shi had been filling him in on how difficult it was to become an elder, advising him to drop the hopeless idea. But in the blink of an eye, he was suddenly bestowed with this identity?
Zhang Xuan subconsciously shot a glance toward Yao shi, only to see the latter's face completely red as her body trembled uncontrollably. It seemed like she was already on the verge of tears.
Well, it was no wonder she would react in such a manner.
Her teacher had spent so many years applying for the position of an elder time and time again, only to fail each time around. Yet, he, a 7-star master teacher who had never even been to the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion, had actually become its elder so easily.
Not to mention, he had even received the title right after Yao shi explained how difficult it was to obtain it!
"Thank you!" Knowing that this was probably the result of Wu shi and the others passing on the credit of the expedition to him, Zhang Xuan quickly turned around to thank them.
Other than bestowing Zhang Xuan with the position as an honorary elder, Pavilion Master He also announced Wu shi's promotion as the new head of the Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion.
"Yao shi and Pavilion Master Wu, I'll be counting on you to deal with the affairs here."
As the two clasped their fists, Pavilion Master He's voice gradually faded into silence.
With this, the problem that Sun Qiang and the others had caused had been resolved, so there was no longer any need for Zhang Xuan to remain there. As for dealing with the post-crisis clean up concerning the Qingyuan Empire and the Master Teacher Pavilion, Wu shi and Yao shi were clearly more competent than him in that area, so his interference in those matters would only be excessive.
Thus, Zhang Xuan bade farewell and prepared to take his leave.
At that moment, however, Wu shi suddenly stopped him and asked, "Zhang shi, wait a moment. Chu Tianxing's death has resulted in a power gap in the Qingyuan Empire. Who do you think will be a suitable candidate to become the next emperor?"
The Qingyuan Empire could not go on without an emperor. Since Chu Tianxing was dead, they had to ascertain a successor as soon as possible, or else it would not be long before internal strife broke out for the throne.
Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before replying. "This… Chu Tianxing has a son named Chu Xiang. I know him personally, and he does have the qualities suited for the crown. I think it's worth considering him."
Sun Qiang had revealed Chu Xiang's identity to him in the message that he had left for him in the Jade Communication Token.
While that young man was indeed a little lustful, he was no profligate scion. Putting aside his superior talent in cultivation, the young man did have a keen eye for assessing the big picture, and in the interactions with him, Zhang Xuan had realized that he harbored compassion for the populace. From those two aspects, he would make a much better emperor than Chu Tianxing.
"I understand. I'll take a look at Chu Xiang," Wu shi replied.
"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded before leaping down from the execution platform. He walked up to Sun Qiang and asked, "Where is Liu Yang's letter? Let me take a look at it!"
Shortly after Chu Tianxing's death, Liu Yang had gone missing, leaving behind only a letter. Considering how Song shi had mobilized the entire Master Teacher Pavilion to comb Qingyuan City and its surroundings, only to find no trace of him at all, there was a good chance that he had already left Qingyuan City.
Sun Qiang had expressed that he was unaware of the details concerning Liu Yang's departure as well, and the only clue that was left behind was the letter.
Since the crisis was already over, it was time for him to deal with Liu Yang's issue.
"As the letter was addressed to Young Master, I didn't dare open it," Sun Qiang explained as he passed it over to Zhang Xuan.
Taking the letter, Zhang Xuan tore open the envelope, and lines of words immediately appeared before him.
"Teacher, I'm sorry for my abrupt departure. I have really caused you much trouble this time by killing Chu Tianxing, but that's only partly why I have chosen to take my leave. I know that with you will be able to absolve me from blame, but I really do not wish to remain a burden by your side. You have already done too much for me…"
The words were neat with distinctive strokes, and they carried an air of resolve to them.
Soon, Zhang Xuan finished reading through the letter, and he shook his head silently.
In truth, he was able to understand the reason behind Liu Yang's abrupt departure.
Liu Yang was one of the first few students he had accepted, and in that sense, he could be considered the senior of Zheng Yang, Lu Chong, Yuan Tao, and the others. But now, Zheng Yang had become the Progeny of Combat, Lu Chong had headed to the Ancient Domain of the Soul Oracles to inherit the heritage of the soul oracles, and Yuan Tao had returned to the Yuan Clan. It was clear that all of them were destined for greatness!
On the other hand, of Zhang Xuan's three female students, one had gone to the Glacier Plain Court, one had taken root in the Poison Hall, and one had joined the Spirit Awakener Guild.
In contrast, he appeared to be the only unaccomplished one, still silently following behind their teacher's back.
The pressure he had been under was unimaginable.
It was one thing for him to expend their teacher's cultivation resources, but he even fell for the enemy's ploy and was held hostage by them in order to threaten his teacher.
The immense guilt that he felt nearly had suffocated him!
He knew how much his teacher cared for them, and that only served to deepen the pressure on him. He realized that the only way he could stop being a burden to his teacher was to leave. This way, no one would be able to hold him hostage to threaten his teacher, and his teacher would not be put in a spot because of him.
Thus, he hardened his resolve and departed without any hesitation.
"Jeez…" Zhang Xuan sighed deeply. "You are my precious student; I would never think of you as a burden."
Even though Liu Yang could not be said to be particularly outstanding of the seven direct disciples, he was still a student who had been with Zhang Xuan since Tianxuan Kingdom, and step by step, they had come this far together.
Zhang Xuan had long viewed the young man as his own child, so how could he possibly view the latter as a burden?
"Young Master, what should we do about Young Master Liu Yang?"
At this point, Sun Qiang had also finished reading the letter, and he could not help but ask.
Zhang Xuan shook his head. "There's no need to look for him. Given his capability, it'll be impossible to track him down. We can only wait for him to think things through and find me of his own accord."
As his direct disciple, what Zhang Xuan had imparted to Liu Yang were not just cultivation and battle techniques but practical skills such as disguising and anti-tracking. If Liu Yang really wanted to hide himself, unless it was Zhang Xuan himself, not even a 7-star master teacher would be able to identify him!
"I have really neglected his state of mind and sentiments…" Zhang Xuan sighed deeply.
Zheng Yang becoming the Progeny of Combat must have been a huge blow to Liu Yang.
His peer had already become someone who could bring pride and honor to their teacher whereas he was still living off their teacher. It was inevitable that he would feel dispirited.
However, Zhang Xuan had simply had too much on his hands then to pay any heed to Liu Yang's state of mind, or else, he never would have allowed such a thing to happen.
"In grooming a student, a teacher mustn't just focus on developing their cultivation and capabilities." Zhang Xuan sighed deeply once more.
For the past year, he had been too focused on developing the capabilities of his students that he had neglected their feelings.
His students did not just view one another as seniors and juniors, they also thought of the others as rivals whom they compared themselves with.
However, it was already too late to do anything about it. He could only wait for Liu Yang to walk out of this matter by himself now.
In the sky far away from Qingyuan City, a beautiful figure was seated on the back of an aerial saint beast with her eyes tightly closed. A surge of pure zhenqi flowed through her veins, resulting in a peculiar deep melody.
Some time later, as if successfully breaking some kind of bottleneck, the young lady slowly opened her eyes.
"I have finally made a breakthrough…"
She had been cultivating diligently during this period of time, and her efforts had finally paid off. Even though she was still some distance away from reaching Saint realm, it was no longer a distant target for her.
"Zhang shi, just you wait! I'll look for you once more I catch up to you," the young lady declared with a determined gleam in her eyes.
She really fancied the talented master teacher who dared treat her as his maid for a period of time, but she knew that blindly following behind the other party would only bring her greater and greater despair.
Since that was the case, she would just have to focus all her effort into her cultivation, and hopefully, she would be able to get him to spare her an additional glance.
She had thought over many matters in the ten days that she had spent on top of the aerial saint beast, and she had come to understand a lot.
Leaving did not mean that she was giving up or admitting defeat. Rather, it was to build the foundation for a sweeter reunion.
Hopefully, when I meet you once more, I will have the courage and strength to speak on equal grounds with you.
While the young lady's eyes were still wandering over the place, the piercing call of a beast sounded in her ears. Following which, she felt the aerial saint beast beneath her trembling non-stop, as if it had encountered an overwhelmingly powerful existence.
She quickly raised her head and saw an emerald-colored saint beast slowly flying over from the horizon.
Roughly ten meters in length, the saint beast before her was indescribably beautiful. It had nine tails that fluttered elegantly behind it, and its movements seemed to manipulate space itself, allowing it to soar freely in the sky.
"That is the… Saint 9-dan Nine-tailed Empyrean Phoenix?" the young lady gasped in disbelief.
While it was only a short stay in Qingyuan City, she had not spent her time idling away. Through visiting the various guilds and reading the books they had on their shelves, she had managed to deepen her understanding in most of her supporting occupations, including beast tamer!
Based on what she knew, the saint beast that was appearing before her was likely one of the rarest saint beasts in the Master Teacher Continent… the Nine-tailed Empyrean Phoenix!
It would already be a blessing of a lifetime if an ordinary cultivator was able to catch a glimpse of it, so it felt too much of a coincidence for her to encounter it there in the middle of the vast, endless sky.
As the young lady stiffened her body warily, a figure suddenly emerged on the back of the Empyrean Phoenix.
Her face was covered with a veil, making it impossible to discern her appearance or age. However, from the veiled lady's slender and elegant figure, the young lady could tell that the other party was likely a ravishing beauty.
Just from the fact that the other party was standing upon the Saint 9-dan Nine-tailed Empyrean Phoenix, there was no doubt that the veiled lady was a formidable expert, an existence who stood at the very peak of the Master Teacher Continent.
Not daring to hesitate in the least, the young lady immediately got to her feet and bowed respectfully.
There was no way she could afford to offend such a powerful expert!
The Nine-tailed Empyrean Phoenix stopped at a distance not too far away from the young lady's aerial saint beast.
With a pair of eyes that twinkled like the brilliant stars in the sky, the veiled lady looked at the young lady and said, "You are Yu Fei-er."
It was a crisp voice reminiscent of the jingle of bells. Rather than a question, it seemed like she was making a statement instead.
Nevertheless, the young lady still hurriedly nodded in response. "Yes!"
She was indeed Yu Fei-er.
"My teacher wishes to accept you as her disciple." Despite her crisp voice, the veiled lady's tone was one of nonchalance.
"This…" Yu Fei-er's body stiffened. She could not believe what she had just heard.
Considering how the veiled lady was riding a Saint 9-dan Nine-tailed Empyrean Phoenix, she was bound to be an incredible expert herself. So, just how powerful of a person would the teacher she spoke about be?
"May I know who your esteemed teacher is?" Yu Fei-er asked meekly.
"My teacher is a 9-star master teacher of the Master Teacher Pavilion main headquarters, Elder Ji Ruochen!" the veiled lady replied calmly.
"9-star master teacher? An elder of the Master Teacher Pavilion main headquarters?" Yu Fei-er's breathing hastened. In this moment, she found her head insufficient to process the astounding news she had just heard. "But I am just an ordinary person from a Tier-1 Empire, and I have never met Ji shi before. Why would… Ji shi want to accept me as her disciple?"
Everything had happened so abruptly and quickly that she dared not believe that something as good as this could possibly happen to her.
"You will have to ask my teacher personally. My job is just to bring you to my teacher," the veiled lady replied impassively. "So, what's your decision? If you are willing to become the disciple of my teacher, I'll take you with me. Otherwise, I'll convey your refusal to my teacher."
"I-I'm willing… I'm willing!" Yu Fei-er quickly woke up from her daze and nodded vehemently.
If she could become the disciple of a 9-star master teacher, her cultivation would surely grow by leaps and bounds. Perhaps, she might even be able to catch up with Zhang Xuan!
Without a doubt, this was much better than fumbling her way forward.
This was a rare opportunity that countless dreamt of. She would have to have been a fool to let it slip through her fingers!
"Very well, follow me then!"
The veiled lady waved her hand, and Yu Fei-er suddenly found the world blurring before her. Before she could understand what was going on, she realized that she was already standing on the back of the Nine-tailed Empyrean Phoenix.
While she was still dazed, the Empyrean Phoenix beneath her roared furiously before abruptly disappearing. As if teleportation, several thousand kilometers disappeared behind them in an instant.
"How fast!" Seeing how fast the world was passing by her, Yu Fei-er's face reddened in astonishment.
Glancing back in the direction of Qingyuan City, she tightened her fists in agitation and made a vow. Zhang shi, I'll definitely stand proudly before you once more and have you make your choice again!