Library of Heaven is Path
1268 Beating Up the Boss
"Annulled?" Zhang Jiuxiao was taken aback for an instant before his eyebrows shot up, "What do you mean by that?"
"Exactly as it sounds." the middle-aged man harrumphed. "Whatever gambling we conduct in our Ring of Death is built upon the idea of fairness, but you collaborated with one of the challengers of the ring, one feigning weakness on the ring to influence the payout and the other to make the bets... This is considered a cheating behavior, and it is a violation of our rules. Not only will your winnings be confiscated, you are also to compensate the Ring of Death for your disruptive behavior!"
"Compensate?" Zhang Jiuxiao's face turned livid.
"You are hereby under arrest under the charges of disrupting the black market's order and fraud. Men, capture that fellow!" the middle-aged man commanded with a grand wave of his hand.
In the blink of an eye, a dozen guards dressed in tight-fitting armor, each possessing a cultivation of Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle, dashed forward and surrounded Zhang Jiuxiao tightly.
"You all…" Not expecting that the black market would refuse to acknowledge its loss, attempting to capture him even, Zhang Jiuxiao was seething with rage. With a raise of his hands, a Saint intermediate-tier sword materialized before him, ready to make a move at his command.
While he had the strength to challenge opponents stronger than him, there were simply too many people before him at the moment. Furthermore, from the start to the end, the middle-aged man hadn't been concealing Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle cultivation. Even if he were to utilize all of the means at his disposal, he would be no match for the middle-aged man.
"To think that the black market would resort to forcing others to submit after losing in a gamble... Is this how you all usually act?"
But before anyone could make a move, an impassive voice sounded in the air. Following which, the young man who had just defeated Hong Yang on the ring suddenly appeared on the spectator stand as well, and his displeasure was clearly carved onto his face.
He was intending to use the money he had won to attend the auction and buy down the Annal of Bedstead Disquisition, but who knew that not only would the black market refuse to pay up, they even had Zhang Jiuxiao surrounded. Unable to watch on anymore, Zhang Xuan flew over from the ring.
"The both of you collaborated with one another to conduct fraud in the Ring of Death, and that's a clear violation of our rules. If we don't punish you to make a warning to the others, how can our Ring of Death continue to operate if everyone were to do the same?" the middle-aged man flung his sleeves furiously.
The middle-aged man was the Boss of the black market.
20,000 concentrated high-tier spirit stones—the entire fortune of their black market was only worth about this much! If they were to really pay this sum to those two, their black market might really have to shut down for good!
"You want to talk rules with me? Sure, let's talk just that then!"
Even the Master Teacher Pavilion, an organization which was heavily dictated by rules, could hardly do anything to him, and yet, the head of a black market actually wanted to talk to him about rules... This was almost the same as flaunting your wealth before a bank!
"Regarding the matches in the Ring of Death, there are no rules preventing anyone from placing any bet. Zhang Jiuxiao is my friend, and he has confidence in my strength, so naturally, he would be inclined to bet on me. Surely there's no problem with that, right?" Zhang Xuan reasoned.
"There's no problem about that, but…" the Boss nodded.
There were no rules preventing the kin or friends of a challenger from betting on him; on the contrary, it was common practice. It was in view of the wealth that they could earn that the challengers were willing to go all out in their own fights. Wealth and honor upon victory, poverty and humiliation upon loss—it was the stakes at play here that they were willing to stake even their own life here.
As such, this couldn't be considered to be a violation of the rules.
"Since there's no problem, and you were the one who set the payout under the premise that you would be willing to pay up no matter how much you lost. Given so, what rights do you have to say that we have violated the rules?" Zhang Xuan interjected the Boss' words.
"You were clearly able to achieve a victory easily, but you maliciously feigned weakness on the ring. Such a behavior can be considered as fraud…"
"Fraud? By fraud, do you refer to using trickery and deception to achieve victory? Putting aside the fact that there are no rules to the ring, you can ask everyone here what has happened. In the duel against Hong Yang, I kept telling him that I am no match for him, and that we should stop the duel there and then, but he simply wouldn't listen, insisting adamantly that I should have a fight with him. It's out of no choice that I had to counterattack... Given that the duel is forced upon me in the first place, are you sure that my behavior can be considered to be fraud?"
Zhang Xuan turned to the Boss and continued, "If I really want to achieve victory that much, I could have just accepted his duel straight. There's no need for me to turn him down again and again!"
"This…" the eyebrows of the Boss shot up.
He had also been watching the match earlier as well.
Indeed, the young man kept telling Hong Yang that he didn't want to fight anymore, but the latter just kept charging at him relentlessly... From such an aspect, if anyone was guilty of cheating, it should be Hong Yang.
However, with a huge sum of nearly 20,000 at stake here, he couldn't afford to back down. Knowing that it was impossible for him to win in a proper debate, he flung his sleeves furiously and bellowed, "Don't bother playing word games with me over here. I am the Boss of the black market, and my words are the law! Men, take these two troublemakers down!"
"You are just going to use force since you are unable to reason against us? Very well, I would like to see who dares to touch a strand of hair of ours!" Zhang Xuan bellowed as he swept a cold gaze across his surroundings.
One of the guards bellowed before taking the lead, charging at Zhang Xuan.
Even if the fellow before them was strong enough to defeat Hong Yang easily, they had the numerical advantage. On top of that, they were all Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle experts as well. They were confident that they would be able to take him down easily.
The guard brandished his sword furiously, and the cold glint of a sword qi swiftly fell toward Zhang Xuan.
Considering the lawlessness of the black market, those who were qualified to become guards to ensure order and security had to wield extraordinary strength as well. As the sword qi flew over, the air was groaned under the immense strain from its pressure, as if testifying to the humongous strength behind it.
Facing the powerful sword brandish, Zhang Xuan didn't bother to dodge at all. Instead, he lifted his finger casually and tapped on the space before him.
The sword qi shattered, and the burst of zhenqi continued gushing forward to the guard. 'Pah!', the latter suddenly felt a violent pressure striking his dantian.
Following which, his dantian abruptly shattered into countless pieces.
Feeling that his zhenqi was gushing out of his body like a leaking balloon, the guard widened his eyes in horror, "Y-you... you crippled my cultivation?"
The breaking of one's dantian was equivalent to destroying a person's cultivation. This meant that the countless years of hard work that an individual had put into advancing his cultivation had gone to utter waste.
Couldn't be bothered to respond to the guard's question, Zhang Xuan continued to move. A series of exploding sounds echoed in the air over the next few breaths, and the dozen of guards that were surrounding Zhang Jiuxiao suddenly collapsed to the ground as well.
Feeling as power gradually seeped away from their bodies, a fear so powerful that it left them hardly able to breathe consumed the guards.
These guards had made used to the authority that had been granted to them to oppress the weak and make benefits for themselves. Even killing them outright wouldn't be considered as going overboard. In a sense, crippling their dantian could already be considered as a mercy from Zhang Xuan to them.
But of course, considering all of the evil deeds they had done before through exploiting their strength, this mercy might not be one that they would appreciate...
On the other hand, seeing that a mere Primordial Spirit realm advanced stage cultivator actually crippled his subordinates right before him, the eyes of the Boss reddened in fury. Unable to hold himself back anymore, he thrust his palm forward with overwhelming might.
Facing the Boss' palm strike, Zhang Xuan had no intentions of dodging either. On the contrary, he took a step forward to receive the other party's palm.
He hadn't found a worthy sparring partner ever since he advanced to Primordial Spirit realm advanced stage. Since this middle-aged man was flinging himself at him, he didn't mind using the other party as a moving punching bag!
As their palms clashed against one another, a resounding explosion swiftly swept across the entire Ring of Death. Under the shockwave that diffused from the collision of palms, the entire area immediately began collapsing.
Most of the spectators had chosen to linger in the area to watch the drama, but in face of the powerful shockwave, they immediately fled in fright. Even Zhang Jiuxiao also had to retreat several dozen meters away before he felt that he was finally a safe distance away.
"How can this be... How can you be so powerful?" the Boss widened his eyes in astonishment and fright.
He thought that even if Zhang Xuan possessed strength far beyond his cultivation realm, the latter should still be a long distance away from matching up to him. After all, it was nearly unheard of for a Primordial Spirit realm cultivator to match a Leaving Aperture realm cultivator, let alone a Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle expert like him! Yet, in a direct clash of palms, they were actually on equal footing!
For the other party to wield raw strength on par with him...
Even seeing it with his own eyes, he still found it hard to believe.
"Who in the world are you?" the Boss questioned warily.
There was no way a person who wielded such overwhelming power could possibly be from a humble background.
"I am Zhang Xuan. You can etch that name into your head!" Zhang Xuan replied nonchalantly as he flicked his palm and sent the second wave of attack toward the Boss.
His palm strike appeared to be flimsy on the surface, but for some peculiar reason, it exuded an indomitable aura that was at odds with its exterior.
The Boss was still intending to say something, but facing such an attack, he knew that he couldn't afford to waste any time on words. He quickly gathered his strength into his fist and launched a counterattack.
However, before his fist could meet with Zhang Xuan's palm, the latter's figure suddenly flickered before abruptly materializing right before him. Before he could react, the palm had already landed lightly on his body.
With a furious spurt of blood, the Boss was sent flying all the way back, dragging a long gorge in the ground in his wake.
Back when Zhang Xuan was at Primordial Spirit realm intermediate stage, he was already roughly a match for Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle experts, let alone now. The Boss might be a powerful cultivator, but he didn't stand a chance at all.
After trading two blows, Zhang Xuan also realized that the Boss was hardly a challenge at all, so he began losing his interest too.
Couldn't be bothered to make a move himself anymore, he waved his hand and commanded, "Go, cripple him for me!"
From a room connected to the ring below, more than a hundred different types of sabers flew forth, headed right toward the Boss.
These sabers might just be Saint low-tier artifacts, but there were simply too many of them. With all of them launching an offense simultaneously, it didn't take long before the entire area was flooded with saber qi.
Upon seeing this sight, the Boss widened his eyes in shock. Before he could even put up his defenses, several saber qi had already cut into his body, leaving him bloodied all over.
Seeing the familiar sabers, the eyelids of the middle-aged manager who had led Zhang Xuan into the Ring of Death earlier began twitching uncontrollably.
These sabers were no other than the weapons they were providing to the challengers of the ring! But these weapons shouldn't have any spirit at all! Why would they listen to that young man's command and attack the Boss?
"That lad must have enchanted them…" The middle-aged manager clenched his fists in realization.
Very clearly, Zhang Xuan must have enchanted those weapons. This would also explain why they were so loyal to him, attacking the Boss without any hesitation on his command.
But he had personally followed that young man into the Weapon Room, and the young man had only spent a few minutes testing out several weapons before leaving empty-handed... To actually successfully enchant all of these weapons within that short period of time... Just how in the world did he do it?!
Aside from the middle-aged manager, Zhang Jiuxiao's lips were also twitching from the sight before him.
He had known about Zhang Xuan's unparalleled proficiency in spirit enchantment, but he had never thought that the latter would be so vicious as to tame all of these weapons!
Looking at it now, it seemed like Zhang Xuan had known from the start that the black market would never allow them to walk away with the sum they had won from the Ring of Death from the very start, so he had made preparations against it in advance.
It seemed like the hundred Saint low-tier sabers had been through some kind of special training. Every single attack of theirs was accurately aimed at the blind spot or mingmen of the Boss. Under this furious onslaught of deadly saber qi, it didn't take long for the imposing Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle expert to be bleeding all over. Countless cuts were inflicted throughout his body, and from the looks of it, it seemed like he wasn't too far away from death anymore.
"Stop... I'm willing to compensate you…" Knowing that he might really die at this rate, the Boss finally exclaimed anxiously.
Even though he felt incredibly frustrated, he knew that there was nothing he could do but to surrender.
If the other party really wanted to claim his life, he could have been dead by now.
"Compensate?" Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up.
With a wave of his hand, the hundred sabers immediately flew back and neatly took their positions behind Zhang Xuan's back, forming something reminiscent to the feathers of a peacock.
"Yes, I'm willing to compensate you…" Struggling to his feet, the Boss took out a storage ring and passed it over, "Here are 19,800 concentrated high-tier spirit stones…"
This was the profit which the black market had accumulated over countless years. If he were to give it away just like that, the black market would soon find itself facing severe financial troubles.
But at this point, he had no other choice either.
Taking the storage ring, Zhang Xuan swiftly swept its contents before nodding.
There was no mistake with the quantity. It seemed like the other party wasn't playing tricks with him.
"Alright, what are you going to compensate us? These 19,800 concentrated high-tier spirit stones are what we have earned fairly through the gambling earlier, but you have made a move against me and my friend. How do you intend to resolve this matter?" Keeping the spirit stones safely into his own storage ring, Zhang Xuan turned his sight back to the Boss and asked.
"You still want me to compensate you?" the Boss' face turned pale in horror.
You have nearly taken everything that I have, and you still want to squeeze me dry?
"Isn't that a given? Or do you expect to be so magnanimous as to forget what you have just done?" Zhang Xuan sneered.
"How... do you want me to compensate you?" the Boss asked through gritted teeth.
"I heard that your black market has just obtained a certain book, Annal of Bedstead Disquisition?" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before asking.