After ten minutes of pummeling, it had already come to a point where it seemed like Pavilion Master Yue would lose his life if the puppets continued hitting him. Thus, Zhang Xuan could only reluctantly order his puppets to stop.

After stowing his puppets away, Zhang Xuan placed his finger on Pavilion Master Yue's renzhong to wake him. Then, looking at the latter earnestly, he asked, "Pavilion Master Yue, you have used a weapon in the battle, so I used mine as well. It was a fair duel, so you should have no disagreements with the conclusion, right?"

"A fair duel?" Blood spouted from Pavilion Master Yue's mouth once more.

To send more than a hundred puppets to pummel the individual me, can that still be considered as a fair duel?

"If Pavilion Master Yue has any objections with the conclusion, I don't mind having a match with you right now without using any weapons," Zhang Xuan replied. "I fought four battle earlier without any rest whereas you have only fought one. Such will be advantageous to you, but considering that you are my junior, I'll make an exception just this once."


Pavilion Master Yue spouted blood once more.

You weren't even injured in the four matches you fought whereas I am clearly on the verge of death, unable to move at all… How the heck am I supposed to battle with you?

"Pavilion Master Yue, can I take your silence as consent? Since that's the case, I guess I'll just have to reluctantly accompany you for a duel then!"

Seeing how the other party was focused on spouting blood, neglecting to answer his question, Zhang Xuan began walking over to Pavilion Master Yue with clenched fists, ready to sink it into the latter's flesh at any moment.

"I admit defeat! I admit defeat!" Pavilion Master Yue exclaimed.

At this point, there was nothing else he could do. He was clearly unfit for battle in his current state, so if the duel continued, he could very well lose his life.

For a Half-Grand Dominion expert like him to be forced to admit defeat to a mere Primordial Spirit realm intermediate stage lad… The more he thought about it, the more stifled he felt.

It's all that bastard Song Xuan's fault! Pavilion Master Yue thought with gritted teeth.

Had Song Xuan not misreported the information, he would not have been pummeled so badly. It felt as if Song Xuan wanted to pull him down with him!

"It's good that you have admitted defeat." Placing his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan straightened his body. "As the head of the Master Teacher Pavilion, instead of thinking about how you can bring greater prosperity to mankind, you waste your time obsessing over your personal interest and making paltry gains.

"If I wasn't strong enough, not only would I have humiliated myself here, I might even have been severely injured as well. I'll report this to the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion, and I'll leave them to judge this matter."

Pavilion Master Yue had exploited his position in order to settle his personal grudges. In the first place, the punishment that Song Xuan had received was justified, and yet, due to his personal ties, Pavilion Master Yue still attempted to exact vengeance on him. Just the lack of magnanimity he had displayed this far was already enough to show that he was not worthy of being the head of a Master Teacher Pavilion.

"I…" Pavilion Master Yue's face paled.

Zhang Xuan was an honorary elder of the Empire Alliance Master Teacher Pavilion. These words were more than enough to end his career as the head of the Qianchong Empire Master Teacher Pavilion.

"Alright, feel free to continue. I'm going to rest now."

After everything that had happened, Zhang Xuan knew that it would only be uncomfortable for everyone if he remained in the hall. Thus, he turned around and left.

The moment he walked out of the door, two apprentice master teachers immediately rushed up to lead him to his accommodation.

Regardless of whether Zhang Xuan had a conflict with Pavilion Master Yue or not, he was still a guest of the Qianchong Empire Master Teacher Pavilion. Even if only due to formalities, they would still have to prepare a proper accommodation for them.

Zhang Jiuxiao, Sun Qiang, and the others quickly followed along as well.

Their accommodation was a residence. Zhang Xuan took one of the rooms and closed the door before entering the Myriad Anthive Nest.

While there were some unpleasant events that had happened at the banquet earlier, he did earn fifty concentrated high-tier spirit stones, so it was not too bad. With this many spirit stones, he could attempt to break the bottleneck of Primordial Spirit realm and reach Half-Leaving Aperture realm.

Once he reached that cultivation realm, he would be able to deal with Pavilion Master Yue even without his puppets.

Sitting on the ground, Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist and took out all the concentrated high-tier spirit stones that he had obtained earlier.

After making some preparations, he began absorbing the pure spiritual energy through his acupoints and converted it into Heaven's Path zhenqi.

Hong long!

Some time later, he successfully achieved a breakthrough—Primordial Spirit realm advanced stage!

Kacha! Kacha! Kacha!

Soon after, just as Zhang Xuan had reinforced his cultivation and was attempting a breakthrough to Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, he found that the fifty concentrated high-tier spirit stones had been completely expended, reduced to mere dust.

Zhang Xuan could not help but shake his head. The effectiveness of concentrated high-tier spirit stones is falling along with the advancement in my cultivation.

Back when he achieved a breakthrough to Primordial Spirit realm, he had already noticed that the effectiveness of concentrated high-tier spirit stones was starting to dip. Nevertheless, he had thought that fifty of them should at least suffice for him to reach Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle. However, in the end, it was only enough for him to raise his cultivation by one stage.

It seemed like he would have to find some way to acquire higher tier spirit stones if he wished to achieve breakthroughs swiftly!

I should go out and take a look around!

Seeing that there was no way he could cultivate on, Zhang Xuan sighed deeply as he left the Myriad Anthive Nest and walked out of his room.

"Young Master…" Upon seeing Zhang Xuan, Sun Qiang and Zhang Jiuxiao immediately walked over and greeted him.

"Jiuxiao, are you familiar with Qianchong City? I need someone to take me around. I want to check if there's any place where I can exchange for or earn concentrated high-tier spirit stones," Zhang Xuan said.

"I came to Qianchong City three years ago, so I am quite familiar with the city. Is Zhang shi in urgent need of spirit stones?" Zhang Jiuxiao asked, slightly perplexed by Zhang Xuan's question.

Did the other party not just earn fifty pieces at the banquet?

Was it insufficient for his use?

"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded, not explaining anything much.

If he told the other party that he needed more spirit stones because he had already expended those that he had earned during the banquet, there was a chance that the other party might have been shocked to death. In any case, it was a risk not worth taking.

"How many do you need?" Zhang Jiuxiao asked.

"As many as possible." Zhang Xuan roughly estimated. "It would be best if there's around three hundred or so!"

Based on his current consumption of spirit stones, in order to reach Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, he would require at least a hundred more. Furthermore, his soul cultivation was only at Saint 2-dan, and to raise it to Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle as well would require roughly another two hundred.

"Three hundred?" Zhang Jiuxiao's lips twitched. "You need so many of them? It won't be easy to find that many even in Qianchong City…"

While Qianchong City did have a spirit mine that produced concentrated high-tier spirit stone, it was far from becoming a common commodity in the city. Only the strongest of powers in Qianchong City would have the connections and wealth to obtain that many concentrated high-tier spirit stones.

Zhang Jiuxiao pondered for a moment. "Currently, I only know of three places that will have that many concentrated high-tier spirit stones. First, the Master Teacher Pavilion, which is here. Second, the Qianchong royal family. Third, the black market that I told you about earlier!"

"How could I have forgotten the Master Teacher Pavilion!" Zhang Xuan was taken aback for a moment before he slapped his forehead.

Indeed! Considering how even those individual master teachers were able to take out ten to twenty of them easily, it should not have been too difficult for the Master Teacher Pavilion to take out three hundred of them.

"Hmm… Should I go look for Pavilion Master Yue and have him take out those spirit stones?" Zhang Xuan stroked his chin as he pondered. A moment later, he shook his head. "Better not. I have just beaten him up, and it would be bad for my reputation if I continued pummeling him."

If he extorted spirit stones out of Pavilion Master Yue right after pummeling him to a state of half-death, it would have seemed as if he was taking advantage of the weak, and it would have reflected badly on him.

No matter what, he still had his image and standing to uphold. If he extorted spirit stones from Pavilion Master Yue like that, he would have been no different from a street thug!

"The Master Teacher Pavilion is out for the moment then. As for the Qianchong royal family… I don't have any ties with them, so that's probably unfeasible, too."

After a moment of contemplation, Zhang Xuan said, "Where is the black market you spoke of? If I don't have anything to exchange for concentrated high-tier spirit stones, is there any way I can earn some there?"

"The black market is just outside of Qianchong City," Zhang Jiuxiao replied. "The fastest way you can earn concentrated high-tier spirit stone if you have nothing to trade for them would probably be… gambling!"


"Un, gambling with your life." Zhang Jiuxiao nodded. "The black market has something known as the Ring of Death. A victory in the Ring of Death will earn one a high-tier spirit stone, two consecutive victories two high-tier spirit stones, three consecutive victories three high-tier spirit stone, so on and so forth. But of course, that is only spare change—the big money lies in what comes later on. By winning ten consecutive matches, one will have earned the title of 'Conqueror of Ten', and that grants one the opportunity to clash with the other Conquerors of Ten. There will be many people putting their bets on those matches, and if one plays it right, it's possible to strike a windfall!

"But to be honest, those who were able to become Conquerors of Ten are all nigh invincible existences in their own class. There's no doubt that great wealth lies there, but the slightest misstep could spell one's death. Every year, countless experts are brutally killed in the ring!"

"I see." Zhang Xuan nodded as his eyes grew brighter and brighter.

He was confident that he would not lose to anyone in the same cultivation realm, so if he became a Conqueror of Ten and clashed with the others, wouldn't he be able to learn lots of money swiftly?

Seeing through Zhang Xuan's thoughts, Zhang Jiuxiao advised, "Zhang shi, you are indeed extremely powerful in your power class, but… I think it would still be best for you to steer clear of the Ring of Death."

Intrigued, Zhang Xuan asked, "Why?"

Zhang Jiuxiao should have been fully aware of his strength, and yet, to still ask him to steer clear of the Ring of Death… could it mean that he had encountered cultivators who were even stronger than him in the Ring of Death?

"Other than the usage of excessively powerful artifacts, the Ring of Death has basically no rules whatsoever. Usage of poison, hidden weapons, trickery… Such means are all fair game. Putting everything aside, it's unlikely for even the powerful combat masters to last till the tenth round!"

At this point, a bitter smile crept on Zhang Jiuxiao's face before he said, "I also visited the Ring of Death out of curiosity back then, but in the fifth match, I was defeated."

In view of their standing, there were many means that a master teacher wouldn't be able to use in a battle. On the other hand, the fighters in the Ring of Death were those who underwent life-and-death battles every single day. They had no qualms resorting to whatever means they could think of, as long as it would aid them in slaying the opponent before them.

"You were defeated by the fifth match?"

"That's right. The ten victories required to become the Conqueror of Ten must not only be consecutive but continuous as well. In other words, you have to remain on the stage and fight ten opponents without any rest in between. While the opponent chosen for each match is selected by random, they typically grow stronger and stronger.

"Furthermore, each of them have different specialties—some are adept in physical assault, some are more skilled in soul arts, and some are masters of mystical arts, making it extremely difficult to guard against them. The reason I was defeated is due to exhaustion piling up, and the fellow in the fifth match took advantage of that well," Zhang Jiuxiao explained.

"Take me over to take a look," Zhang Xuan said.

To be plunged into a life-and-death battle one after another was indubitably a great challenge on one's mind and body.

But to Zhang Xuan, it was really nothing at all.

"Does Zhang shi really want to go?" Seeing how the other party was still insisting on it after all he had said, Zhang Jiuxiao shook his head and sighed. "If you find yourself in danger, it would be best for you to admit defeat quickly."

"Don't worry!" Zhang Xuan said confidently.

If he could earn spirit stones just by fighting matches one after another, just as Zhang Jiuxiao said, he should be able to easily earn enough to shut down the entire black market!

Just the thought of it left his heart trembling in excitement!Renzhong is a traditional Chinese medicine term that refers to the curved area between one's nose and mouth. In English, it is called the philtrum.



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