"He's challenging Pavilion Master Yue to a duel?"

"But Pavilion Master Yue is a Half-Grand Dominion realm expert!"

Everyone froze, unable to believe what they had just heard.

Yue Yiquan was not only the head of the Qianchong Empire Master Teacher Pavilion, he was also a Half-Grand Dominion realm expert. To challenge him to a duel... had Zhang Xuan gone mad, or was he really that arrogant?

"You are challenging me?" Caught off guard by those words, Pavilion Master Yue was visibly startled for a moment before his eyes gradually narrowed into thin slits.

"That's right!" Zhang Xuan replied with a cold smirk. "Surely you wouldn't shy away from a challenge from a junior, would you?"

From the very start, that fellow had been trying to make things difficult for him at every turn, and this had left Zhang Xuan deeply displeased.

The reason why he feigned weakness at the very start was to draw others to challenge him so that he could earn his fair share of concentrated high-tier spirit stones. Now that his strength was finally exposed, there should be no one so foolish to challenge him anymore.

Since that was the case, it was about time for him to settle some personal grudges.

You wanted to play politics with me?

Alright then. Let's see if you have the strength to back up your actions!

"Audacious!" An elder standing behind Pavilion Master Yue stood up and roared. "Zhang Xuan, mind your own standing! You are a mere 7-star master teacher from a Tier-1 Empire whereas Pavilion Master Yue is a quasi 8-star master teacher. Do you think that you are qualified to challenge him?"

"You are questioning my qualifications?" Zhang Xuan scoffed coldly as he flicked his wrist, and a token floated in the air. "Tell me, am I still unqualified now?"

"That token! You are... an honorary elder of the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion?"

"H-how can that be?"

The revelation of the token left everyone in the room horrified, unable to believe what they were seeing.

They understood very well just how powerful the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion was. Even the most normal of managers there would be a top-notch expert at the very least, wielding unquestionable authority in his grasp. As for an honorary elder... that was a position so high that they couldn't even begin to fathom it!

Not only was the crowd astounded by this, Pavilion Master Yue's body had stiffened in horror as well.

Very clearly, Song shi hadn't informed him of this!

If he had known this in advance, even if one were to inflate his guts tenfold, he still wouldn't dare to provoke an elder from the Empire Alliance!

"Y-y-yes, you are qualified!" The face of the elder who had spoken earlier turned ghastly pale, and he fearfully replied with quivering lips.

With his eye of discernment, he could tell that the token was real. In other words, despite the young man's lacking cultivation and low master teacher rank, he was indeed a bona fide elder of the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion.

A figure whom they could only look up to, not daring to offend in the slightest.

"Good!" Retracting his emblem, Zhang Xuan looked at Pavilion Master Yue coldly and said, "Pavilion Master Yue, are you going to turn down my challenge? You used a cup of Tianchen Brew to turn everyone against me, all just to exact vengeance for your wife's brother. Really, watching you play out your own act is truly cringeworthy. We are all master teachers here, do you think that your little ploys would really go unnoticed? Are you going to coward out after you have provoked me, an elder of the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion?"


"Exact vengeance? Does anyone know what's going on?"

"I arrived earlier, so I heard some news. It appears that there are some problems in the Qingyuan Empire Master Teacher Pavilion, so Pavilion Master Yue sent his wife's brother to deal with the matter. However, the latter failed to resolve the issue properly, abusing his authority even, so he ended up being crippled, and he's currently awaiting punishment from the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion as well…"

"There's such a matter? That explains why there's something weird about Pavilion Master Yue's behavior today…"

Hearing up to this point, there was no one else in the room who didn't know what was going on. They turned to look at Pavilion Master Yue once more, but this time, the nature of their gazes was very different.

They had thought that Pavilion Master Yue was an impartial and magnanimous person, and his personal charisma had also won them over for a while. However, from the looks of it now, it seemed like he was nothing more than a hypocrite...

To manipulate them to deal with Zhang Xuan, doing in his enemy without soiling his hand, Pavilion Master Yue sure knew how to play politics.

"Since it's a request from Elder Zhang, there's no reason for me to turn you down!" Noticing the hostile looks from the surroundings, Pavilion Master Yue clenched his fists tightly.

At this point, he knew that he couldn't back out of this matter anymore. Those in this room wouldn't allow him to retreat with his hands clean.


Pavilion Master Yue got to his feet and walked forward before stopping at the center of the hall. With a soft chuckle, he said, "Elder Zhang, you are an honorary elder of the Empire Alliance, a person of extraordinary standing. It's an honor to have a duel with you, as well as a great learning experience. Considering that you are my senior, surely I don't have to suppress my cultivation, right?"

"Don't have to suppress his cultivation?"

"Pavilion Master Yue means to... fight against Zhang shi with his Half-Grand Dominion realm cultivation?"

"But Zhang shi is only at Primordial Spirit realm intermediate stage! Even if he were to use his cauldron as well, it's questionable whether he would be able to rival a Leaving Aperture realm expert or not, let alone a Half-Grand Dominion realm! Isn't Pavilion Master Yue clearly taking advantage of him?"

"This is really too much. I was still doubting the authenticity of Zhang shi's words earlier, but from the looks of it now, it's clear that Pavilion Master Yue is indeed intentionally trying to trip him over!"


A huge commotion broke out amidst the crowd.

At the same time, Zhang Xuan also narrowed his eyes menacingly.

Indeed, those who were advanced in age tended to be more cunning.

In his years of experience as the head of the Qianchong Empire Master Teacher Pavilion, it seemed like Pavilion Master Yue had become rather adept at playing within the rules.

He first intentionally addressed Zhang Xuan as Elder Zhang so as to lower his standing, making Zhang Xuan appear as if he was in a superior position...

If it was a senior who had proposed the duel, the junior accepting the duel wouldn't have to lower his cultivation. Such was the convention in the Master Teacher Pavilion, especially considering that there were nearly no circumstances where a senior master teacher would be weaker than a junior master teacher.

And this was exactly the convention which Pavilion Master Yue was building his argument upon. Such conventions had already become something similar to unspoken rules, so from an 'official' stance, Pavilion Master Yue would be safe as long as he were to insist on it. Despite the condemnation from the crowd, there was really nothing Zhang Xuan could do to force Pavilion Master Yue to lower his cultivation.

So, in just a single move, Zhang Xuan had been cornered instead.

It seemed like Pavilion Master Yue had also realized that he wouldn't be a match for Zhang Xuan even with his cultivation suppressed, that was why he disregarded his reputation to propose something like this.

"Sure. You don't have to suppress your cultivation." Zhang Xuan nodded slightly.

You want to thrash me with your full power?

Sure, let's see if you have enough teeth for me to knock out!

From the point where I started my journey here from Tianxuan Kingdom, those who had attempted to do me in had all either suffered tragic fates or ended up becoming my students!

"I'll be thanking Elder Zhang for your kind guidance then!" Pavilion Master Yue chuckled politely, but the sharp glint that flickered across his eyes showed a very different story.

As he stretched his body slightly, a domineering aura burst forth from his body, reminiscent of a massive dragon soaring into the clouds.

At Half-Grand Dominion realm, Pavilion Master Yue's cultivation had already surpassed that of the other Vicious. With just a grasp of his hand, the surrounding space suddenly seemed to freeze on the spot, preventing anyone from making a move.

Hu la!

After driving his aura to its strongest, Pavilion Master Yue flicked his wrist and whipped out a sword.

He drove his zhenqi into the sword, and a resounding metallic call echoed from it. With just one look, it was apparent that the sword was of superior tier, Saint intermediate-tier at the very minimum.

A weapon of such caliber, paired with Pavilion Master Yue's cultivation and profound grasp of swordsmanship... There was no doubt that he was one of the strongest enemies that Zhang Xuan had encountered so far!

"Pavilion Master Yue has even taken out his sword?"

"He's clearly trying to quell Zhang shi!"

"Well, given that Pavilion Master Yue was exposed and challenged in public, it's a given that he would want to vie his dignity back!"

"It seems like Zhang shi is in a really dangerous position then…"

The crowd frowned upon seeing this sight.

Pavilion Master Yue was already a difficult adversary even without a sword, and now that he was equipped with one... it seemed unlikely for anyone beneath Grand Dominion realm to be able to match him.

"Since you took our your weapon, can I take that to mean that you wish to have a clash of weapons with me?" Zhang Xuan asked calmly.

Pavilion Master Yue nodded, "My specialty happens to be swordsmanship, so naturally, I hope to receive Elder Zhang's pointers in that aspect."

"Since you have wielded a weapon, I won't hold back either then." Zhang Xuan stated nonchalantly.

"Elder Zhang, feel free." Pavilion Master Yue replied with an impeccably polite smile.

He had seen Zhang Xuan's cauldron, and with his eye of discernment, he had gauged its fighting prowess to be roughly on par with Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage cultivators. Naturally, to a Half-Grand Dominion realm expert like him, that cauldron wouldn't pose any threat at all.

"Very well then." Zhang Xuan nodded slowly.

Then, he flicked his wrist.


More than a hundred puppets suddenly appeared in the middle of the hall.

These were the puppets forged he had obtained from Vicious back at the Marshlands of the Northern Meadows.

As these puppets were forged from the hands of celestial designers, they didn't carry the aura of Otherworldly Demons. As such, there was no problem with Zhang Xuan using them in public.

"These are my weapons." Zhang Xuan replied calmly. "You guys, Pavilion Master Yue over there seeks your guidance. Make sure to give him plenty of it!"


These puppets had all submitted to Zhang Xuan, so upon hearing his order, they immediately roared furiously before charging at Pavilion Master Yue.

While their cultivations were only at Leaving Aperture realm intermediate stage to advanced stage, lower than the Half-Grand Dominion realm Pavilion Master Yue, the issue lay in that there were more than a hundred of them! Watching as the hundred puppets charge toward him, Pavilion Master Yue suddenly felt as if someone had opened the gates of hell and let the demons loose on him.

"You…" Pavilion Master Yue could have never dreamed that Zhang Xuan would have so many powerful puppets in his possession, and his face immediately warped in horror.

He immediately flicked his sword to fend off the first incoming puppet, but in the next moment, two fists were already on their way to striking his back.

Before he could even turn around, more punches and kicks were already on their way to him from all different direction. To make things worse, they were all accurately aimed for his blind spots. It was as if those puppets knew the openings in his swordsmanship in advance, and they were exploiting them intentionally.

"It's a collaborative formation from the Combat Master Hall... and it seems like someone is guiding them too!" Pavilion Master Yue's body stiffened at the realization.

If these puppets were to attack randomly, with his Half-Grand Dominion realm cultivation, even though it was still likely to end in his loss, at least his defeat wouldn't have been too tragic. However, that was clearly not the situation now. Somehow, it seemed like Zhang Xuan knew where all of his openings were, and he was getting the puppets to attack him while cooperative with one another impeccably through using one of the most profound collaborative formation of the Combat Master Hall...

Things were really dangerous for him then!

And as expected, after trading a few blows, the puppets still remained completely unhurt whereas he was already covered with wounds.

Peng peng peng peng!

As the battle went on, the number of blows that Pavilion Master Yue received increased swiftly. From time to time, there would even be a kick landing squarely on his face. By ten minutes, his eyes were already swollen to the point where he had to squint to barely see what was before him.

As powerful as he was, there was no way he could withstand the simultaneous assault of more than a hundred Leaving Aperture realm combat master level fighting prowess puppets!

"If only I knew this would happen, I would have never proposed using weapons…" In this moment, Pavilion Master Yue really wanted to cry.

It was just a moment ago which he deeply believed that as long as he didn't suppress his cultivation, he would be able to destroy Zhang Xuan easily... Who in the world was to know that that fellow would have so many puppets in his possession!

Puppets were indeed considered to be weapons as well, so from that perspective, what Zhang Xuan did couldn't be considered to be against the rules...

But what that had left him even more frustrated was how leisurely he had told the young man to 'feel free' previously!

The young man sure had taken his words at face value!


On the other hand, the rest of the crowd gulped down a mouthful of saliva as they watched the sight before them fearfully.

It was really fortunate that they didn't propose to have a duel using weapons after the precedence with the cauldron, or else even if all of them were to go at him simultaneously, their forces would still be utterly devastated!

"Zhao shi, please! Save Pavilion Master Yue!" Seeing how pitiful Pavilion Master Yue was being pummeled, the elder who had spoken earlier quickly turned to Zhao Xingmo and pleaded desperately.

Zhao Xingmo shot a nonchalant glance at Pavilion Master Yue as he casually picked up a piece of fatty meat and placed it into his mouth. After chewing and swallowing the piece of meat slowly, he calmly replied, "Pavilion Master Yue has agreed to the duel, and he was the one to set the rules too. I don't think that there's anything I can do to help him."

After witnessing everything with my own eyes, why should I bother helping someone like Yue Yiquan?

If a student from the Sanctum of Sages couldn't even stand up for himself after being bullied, he would be better of living a humble life as an ordinary master teacher!


That fellow didn't even hesitate to beat me up either! Why should I sacrifice myself to save you?

"Pavilion Master Yue…" Seeing that Zhao Xingmo was reluctant to make a move, the elder could only panic helplessly by the side.

By this moment, Pavilion Master Yue was already lying feebly on the ground. His face was filled with footprints, and blood spouted out from his mouth as his body convulsed uncontrollably...



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