Chapter 926: Premature Commencement of the Combat Master Selection
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Even though Zhang Xuan had been allocated a residence within the Master Teacher Academy with a good location and rich spiritual energy after becoming the princ.i.p.al, he would still spend most of his time staying at the manor outside of the academy.
In any case, the manor wasn’t too far away from the academy, so he wouldn’t be delayed much should any emergencies occurred. Besides, it was much quieter than the residence in the Master Teacher Academy, and his students were living in the manor, too.
Shortly after landing in the courtyard, Sun Qiang rushed forward and greeted him agitatedly. “Young Master, you are back!”
Over the past two months, this fellow seemed to have gotten even rounder. His cultivation had advanced, but not by much.
He had always been gluttonous and lazy, and it seemed like, in Zhang Xuan’s absence, he’d had his fair share of good food but neglected his cultivation.
Knowing that the other party was unlikely to change, Zhang Xuan lectured him for a short moment before instructing, “Call w.a.n.g Ying and the others over.”
“Yes!” Sun Qiang replied before backing away.
Not too long later, w.a.n.g Ying and the others walked into the main hall.
Over the past two months, his direct disciples had made significant advances in their cultivation. It seemed like their progress hadn’t slowed just because he wasn’t by their side.
w.a.n.g Ying had managed to reach Chrysalis realm primary stage whereas Zheng Yang and Liu Yang were at Ethereal Treading realm pinnacle. Even though the cultivation of the latter two was slightly lower than w.a.n.g Ying’s at the moment, Zhang Xuan could tell that they were nearing their bottleneck and were likely to make a breakthrough very soon.
Before Zhang Xuan departed, he had imparted the simplified version of the Heaven’s Path Divine Art to them and gave them many pills and other resources he had received from the beasts of the Cloudmist Ridge, which could help aid the advancement of their cultivation.
As such, if their progress had been slow, they would have truly let him down.
While the three of them had made significant advancement in their cultivation, Wei Ruyan’s cultivation had remained stagnant, still at Chrysalis realm primary stage as it was two months ago.
However, this was within expectations too.
Wei Ruyan had progressed simply far too quickly due to the nourishment from the ma.s.sive acc.u.mulation of medicinal energy in her body. While her cultivation was at Transcendent Mortal 9-dan, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to compare it to a castle in the air. If she were to cultivate carelessly, it might lead to everything crumbling down instead.
As such, before leaving, Zhang Xuan had left her a single goal—to cultivate her way up from the very bottom, Fighter 1-dan, reinforcing every single realm of her cultivation thoroughly.
Within two months, she had managed to cultivate up to Chrysalis realm primary stage. While her cultivation hadn’t advanced at all, her foundation and fighting prowess had grown to become far greater than they had been when she first awoke.
She was no longer the weak person whose cultivation was propped up by the mere consumption of medicine but a real Chrysalis realm cultivator both in cultivation and fighting prowess.
“Not bad!” Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction.
Unlike the lazy Sun Qiang, at least his students were still reliable and didn’t let him down.
“At this moment, some of you are at Chrysalis realm primary stage while others are swiftly approaching it. Currently, there are two routes for you to choose from.”
Activating a formation to prevent any information from leaking beyond the walls, Zhang Xuan gazed at his students grimly.
“I have two sets of cultivation techniques in hand. The first one will allow you to advance your cultivation swiftly, and it won’t take you too long to reach Saint realm.
“The second one will be significantly slower, and it will be difficult to cultivate too. However, if you succeed, your fighting prowess will increase manyfold, granting you extraordinary might.”
The Saint Ascension Decipher was powerful, but the difficulty was steep as well. Without a resolute will, it would be impossible for one to reach the end of the path.
Zhang Xuan had no intention of forcing his student into anything. Whether to cultivate the Saint Ascension Decipher or the ordinary Heaven’s Path Divine Art, he felt that this was a decision for them to choose for themselves.
After a moment of silence, w.a.n.g Ying suddenly spoke up. “Teacher, I choose the second option!”
“We also choose the second option!”
Before long, the others also spoke in agreement.
Having reached this point, an opportunity to increase one’s fighting prowess manyfold didn’t come easy. They were reluctant to miss it.
“Choosing the second option means that you will have to work harder and suffer more than anyone else, but even so, success is not guaranteed at the end of the path… Have you considered this matter thoroughly?” Zhang Xuan warned grimly.
Zhang Xuan’s students quickly replied.
“We have made up our minds!”
“Pain means nothing at all. As long as we can become stronger, we don’t fear anything!”
Seeing his students choosing the second option without any hesitation, Zhang Xuan nodded in approval. “That’s good.”
From the very start, cultivation was a battle against the heavens, a tussle with fate. If they couldn’t even find the courage for something like this, it was unlikely that they would be able to reach greater heights in the future even if they remained under his tutelage.
Zhang Xuan swiftly took out a few manuals of a simplified version of the Saint Ascension Decipher, which he had compiled and copied earlier, and pa.s.sed it on to his students. After which, he gave them some time to read and memorize the content before beginning to explain it thoroughly.
The Saint Ascension Decipher was an extremely complicated cultivation technique, and even he had struggled slightly to comprehend it back then. If he didn’t explain the content clearly and his students were to comprehend it incorrectly, there was a good chance that a major problem might occur with their cultivation.
Four hours later, after seeing that his students had a thorough understanding of the Saint Ascension Decipher, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
He instructed his students to cultivate diligently and dismissed them before turning his sight back to Sun Qiang.
“I believe you are well aware of the strength my teacher wields.”
“Yes!” Sun Qiang hurriedly responded with a nod.
Even though he wasn’t too sure how powerful the old master was, he was certain that the latter, at the very minimum, was an 8-star master teacher or even beyond, an existence that stood at the very top of the Master Teacher Continent.
“It’s good that you know. So long as he wishes, he could easily find 7-star master teachers or even 8-star master teachers to serve as his butler. If this is the limit of your potential, I think that it won’t be long before my teacher changes his butler,” Zhang Xuan said nonchalantly.
Against Sun Qiang, he could only be vicious. Otherwise, the other party would slack at every single opportunity he found.
Cold sweat began trickling down Sun Qiang’s back.
In his period of time, the fawning of the Hongyuan Empire royal family and the gifts from the Shen Clan and the Liu Clan had all confused him, causing him to forget his priorities.
It was only after hearing those words that it dawned on him that if he wanted to follow the young master and the old master, he would need to become more powerful.
If he were to lag behind the others, it wouldn’t be long before he became worthless to the old master and the young master. Neither of them would spare him an additional glance.
He clearly understood that without those two, he would be nothing more than an ordinary fatty. All of the prestige and wealth he enjoyed at the moment was just like the moon in a lake, dissipating with a single touch.
“You have been with me since Tianxuan Kingdom, and it is for your own good that I am saying these words. I hope that you know what is best for you. Alright, putting that aside for now, in the two months that I have been away, did anything happen?” After seeing that Sun Qiang understood his message, Zhang Xuan decided to stop there and asked about another matter instead.
“Un. The head of the Shen Clan visited a while ago, saying that it was best for the Cloudmist Flower to be sold in small batches over time so as to fully capitalize on its reputation as a rare commodity and maximize the profits from it. Thus, after some negotiation with them, we decided that we will release only ten jin of it every month in each empire…” Sun Qiang swiftly brought Zhang Xuan up to speed on the various business dealings.
“Un, I will leave all decisions for that to you.” Zhang Xuan waved his hand.
He didn’t possess the acute business sense that Sun Qiang and the Shen Clan had, so it was best for him to stay out of the matter and leave it to be professionals.
“Alright. This is the first sum of profit from the sale of the Cloudmist Flower!” Seeing that the young master was uninterested in the details of the business, Sun Qiang spoke no more of it. Instead, he presented a storage ring to him.
Taking it, Zhang Xuan took a look inside, and his eyes widened in shock. “So many?”
A warm radiance emanated from a humongous pile of several thousand high-tier spirit stones within the storage ring. The spiritual energy that shrouded them felt so concentrated that it took one’s breath away.
“The profits we have earnt so far total to 3,327 high-tier spirit stones. The next sum should be coming in next month,” Sun Qiang replied with a smile.
“More than three thousand high-tier spirit stones…” Zhang Xuan’s lips twitched.
He had spent so much effort beguiling others and taming beasts, but he had only earned a few hundred high-tier spirit stones to date. Yet, just by selling a small portion of the Cloudmist Flower, he had easily earned a profit many times greater than that. Somehow, it felt like his efforts in the past had been in vain.
But nevertheless, he did need as many spirit stones as possible at the moment, so this was good news for him.
Three thousand high-tier spirit stone might seem like a huge fortune, but it might not necessarily last him till Saint realm 1-dan primary stage.
Not to mention, his students had also begun cultivating the Saint Ascension Decipher, and their consumption of spirit stones would surely rise exponentially. On top of that, there was also the Byzantium Helios Beast and the nine kings of the Cloudmist Ridge. It could be said that high-tier spirit stones were disappearing in his household at every moment.
Putting aside a few thousand, even several dozen thousand high-tier spirit stones wouldn’t last long in his household!
In truth, while the Cloudmist Flower was valuable, it was still extremely difficult to sell it for such a price. Otherwise, the saint beasts of the Cloudmist Ridge would have long initiated such a business.
However, with the Earth Vein Spirit Essence being sapped dry and the mist shrouding the Cloudmist Ridge dissipating gradually, the conditions for producing Cloudmist Flowers were gradually deteriorating. As such, the Cloudmist Flower had become an exclusive and highly limited commodity.
On top of that, the Cloudmist Flowers on sale had a high maturity, and the Shen Clan had worked extremely hard on its marketing as well. Naturally, the price was driven up to an unbelievable extent.
Sun Qiang pondered for a moment before saying, “Also, School Head Mo came by yesterday. It appears that several guests have arrived at the Master Teacher Academy, and they are looking for you!”
“Looking for me? Who is it?”
“It is the princ.i.p.als of the other three Master Teacher Academies. They seem to have arrived at Hongyuan City recently. They wish to discuss the Combat Master Selection with you,” Sun Qiang reported.
“They have arrived?” Zhang Xuan was stunned for a moment before recalling that the centennial Combat Master Selection was just around the corner.
“I will return to the Master Teacher Academy now!” Zhang Xuan nodded.
The Combat Master Selection was a huge event that occurred among the Four Great Master Teacher Academies every hundred years; the pride and dignity of each and every academy was at stake. As the princ.i.p.al, this was a responsibility he couldn’t s.h.i.+rk from.
He swiftly left the residence and headed to the Elder Hall.
Shortly after he walked into the room, he saw Zhao Bingxu rus.h.i.+ng up to him with an anxious look on his face.
“Princ.i.p.al Zhang, you are finally back. That is a huge relief…”
Noticing that something was wrong with Zhao Bingxu’s state, Zhang Xuan asked with a frown, “Did something happen?”
“Reporting to Princ.i.p.al Zhang, Princ.i.p.al Wo Tianqiong from the Yunxu Master Teacher Academy, Princ.i.p.al Shen Pingchao from the Luoqing Master Teacher Academy, and Princ.i.p.al Wu Ran from the Qingzhu Master Teacher Academy have arrived at our academy. According to the news we have received, the representatives from the Combat Master Hall will be arriving shortly after as well. School Head Mo is currently keeping watch, waiting to welcome them in at any moment. I was also with him, but I rushed over as soon as I heard that you have returned,” Zhao Bingxu said anxiously.
“Isn’t there some time before the commencement of the Master Teacher Selection?” Zhang Xuan was perplexed.
Back then, shortly after he returned from the Saint Ascension Platform, the Golden Origin Cauldron had said that there were still three months before the Combat Master Selection began. Judging from that, there should still have been several days for him to prepare. Why would everyone arrive so quickly?
“We just received news from the Combat Master Hall a moment ago that they received new orders from the Master Teacher Pavilion headquarters; the Four Great Master Teacher Academies are to finish the selection exercise within three days,” Zhao Bingxu explained.
“Such a rush?”
Zhang Xuan was still intending to conduct a lecture for his academy’s candidates so as to raise their fighting prowess ahead of the selection, but who would have thought that the selection would begin shortly after his return? That was way too fast!
“I am not too sure about the details, but the Combat Master Selection will be commencing very soon, so I have to ask Princ.i.p.al Zhang to head over!” Zhao Bingxu said.
If Princ.i.p.al Zhang hadn’t returned in time for the Combat Master Selection, they, as the Ten Great Master Teachers, would have had to overstep their authority to hold the fort in his absence. However, since Princ.i.p.al Zhang had returned just in time, it was only right for him to manage the situation personally.
They had managed to find quite a handful of outstanding youths in the internal selection within the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, but after seeing the candidates from the other three academies, they had no confidence whatsoever that their own candidates would be able to stand their ground against the others.
There was a clear difference between their candidates and the others, and if things went as they expected, they would only have one or two candidates clearing the selection.
“Let’s head over to take a look.”
Nodding, Zhang Xuan and Zhao Bingxu swiftly made their way to the training ground.