Library Of Heavens Path - Chapter 295
After reprimanding the Howling Firmament Beast, Zhang Xuan turned to the leader of the group.
Even though they were stubborn at the start, upon being forced to consume poison by Zhang Xuan, they realized immediately that the person before them wasn't just a simple painter and cultivator. He was a poison master as well!
Recalling the stories about poison masters that they heard of, the final line of defense in their minds crumbled. They disclosed everything that they knew.
"Ji Mo gongzi told you not to kill me, but to strip me, hang me on the tree, and then record this down using a Record Crystal?"
Hearing the other party's motive, Zhang Xuan became speechless.
However, after giving the matter some thought, Zhang Xuan realized why the other party would want to do so.
Zhang Xuan had become a 3-star painter, and if he were to be humiliated, he would probably keep silent for fear of embarrassing himself.
On the other hand, if he were to be killed, the Painter Guild would definitely pursue the matter. Given that he had a recent dispute with Ji Mo, the latter would become the prime suspect. That would put the Ji Mo at risk of facing the Painter guild’s punishment.
If it were just a 1-star or 2-star painter, the headquarter might not even be bothered to interfere. However, if a genius who managed to reach the level of a 3-star painter before twenty were to be killed, it was possible that they would destroy the Ji Clan out of rage.
On the other hand, if they were to humiliate Zhang Xuan and use the Record Crystal to tape down his shameful demeanor, Ji Mo would gain a weapon against him. Even when he eventually discovers the culprit, in order to prevent the video from getting out, Zhang Xuan wouldn't dare to confront the Ji Clan.
It must be said that even though Ji Mo gongzi appeared to be a rash person, he had actually planned out the matter carefully in consideration of the consequences.
However, it was a pity that he had underestimated Zhang Xuan's cultivation, causing the five of them to land in such a pitiful state.
Upon uncovering the other party's motive, Zhang Xuan glanced to the five and gave each of them another kick.
"The poison that I fed you will act up within five days and it will corrode your organs, making you die in agony. Regardless of how you do it, strip Ji Mo gongzi naked, hang him up on a tree and record a video using a Record Crystal. In return, I will give you the antidote to your poison. You don't have to dream about finding any other poison masters to treat you. The poison that I introduced into your body is my own secret concoction, even a 3-star poison master would be helpless before it!"
An eye for an eye.
Weren’t you trying to embarrass me?
Fine, I'll have these subordinates of yours give you a dose of your own medicine. Let’s see what happens.
As for the secret poison concoction that Zhang Xuan used, it was actually just Heaven's Path zhenqi. However, it was true that no one could remove it except for him. With a single thought, Zhang Xuan would be able to detonate the zhenqi, already hidden deep inside their acupoints, causing them to die on the spot.
Thus, he wasn't lying.
Upon hearing about the poison that was planted in their bodies, their lips quivered in fear.
Poison masters were a feared throughout the continent, their methods sinister and terrifying. Offending any of them spelled certain doom.
If only they knew that the person whom their young master sent them after was such a terrifying figure, they would have disobeyed his order and escaped from the city. They had never thought of rushing to their dooms just like that.
After instructing them, Zhang Xuan sent them away.
Supporting each other, the five of them struggled to their feet and left the forest in a haste.
The moment they returned back to the city, they glanced at one another with uncertainty.
"What should we do?"
The severely injured Zhang Qing asked the others in a feeble voice.
"What else can we do? We can only obey his commands. At worse... we'll just leave Tianwu Kingdom after that, never to return!" The leader gritted his teeth.
They were all mercenaries who worked for the Ji Clan in return for money and resources. Now that their lives were threatened, it was clear what was the most important.
Besides, if not for Ji Mo gongzi’s willful nature, he wouldn't have offended such a formidable character, which eventually landed them in such a tragic state.
Their hatred for this young master fella had long permeated their bones.
"We should discuss this matter carefully to see how we can accomplish his mission within five days..."
Having decided their next course of action, the five men pledged their brotherhood, before limping to find a suitable resting spot to treat their injuries.
Ignoring the crippled five, just as Zhang Xuan was just about to return to the city to look for Tianwu Kingdom, he heard a ruckus in the mountain not too far away. There seemed to be a battle going on.
"I should go and take a look!"
Zhang Xuan leaped onto the back of the Howling Firmament Beast, and with a strong gust of wind, the savage beast soared into the skies and, under the cover of darkness, crept toward the source of the noise.
"Are you saying that... teacher took the painter examination just moments ago?"
Zhao Ya and the others stared at Lu Xun, their faces red with agitation.
They had thought that their teacher would require another period of time before he could arrive at the kingdom. To think that he would get here earlier than them!
"I heard that from the personnel of the Painter Guild that a person named Zhang Xuan had passed the examination to become a 3-star painter. As for whether he is... senior uncle, I’m not too certain!"
Lu Xun said.
After he passed the apprentice painter examination, he rushed back to the inn immediately to inform the group about the news he had.
"It must be him! For two people to possess the same name and, at the same time, be capable of painting a fifth level art piece, is such coincidence even possible?" Huang Yu said.
She had personally witnessed Zhang Xuan painting, and not only were his painting skills formidable, his speed was one to behold. She didn't think that it was impossible for him to use a savage beast to produce a fifth level painting.
"Since teacher took the painter examination less than two hours ago, he should still be nearby. Let's search around, perhaps we may be able to find him!"
"I agree, I want to look for teacher as well!"
Hearing that their teacher was in the vicinity, Zhao Ya and the others couldn't remain seated.
"Alright, let's check the area and meet back here in four hours then!"
Understanding their feelings, Liu shi found it hard to reject them. Thus, he issued his instruction.
Unable to remain still any further, Zhao Ya and the others dashed out upon hearing the elder’s command.
Hong hong hong!
Zhenqi filled the air and shock waves ravaged the surroundings.
A human and a beast was engaged in an intense battle.
"A Zongshi realm cultivator against a Zongshi realm savage beast?"
Standing on the back of the Howling Firmament Beast, Zhang Xuan observed the battle from above and felt somewhat astonished.
A Zongshi realm pinnacle cultivator was actually battling a Zongshi realm advanced stage Crimson Tiger.
The Crimson Tiger’s physique greatly resembled the Gold Alloyed Panther that Zhang Xuan tamed previously. Not only did it possess tough fur and skin, it also wielded tremendous strength in its compact body.
This Crimson Tiger was clearly much stronger than the Gold Alloyed Panther. Every single claw and kick seemed to rip air apart.
Under the devastating force from both human and beast, trees were torn into pieces while boulders were smashed into fragments.
Even though the Crimson Tiger was only at Zongshi realm advanced stage, it's physical advantages allowed it to match up against cultivators stronger than it. The Zongshi realm pinnacle seemed to possess multiple incredible methods, but he was unable to overcome the Crimson Tiger’s defense. In a mere few moments, they had already crossed blows numerous times, but none of them was able to get the better of the other.
Peng peng peng peng!
After a few more blows, upon realizing that there would be no conclusion to this battle, the Crimson Tiger shook its thick tail, turned around, and left.
Seeing it disappear into the distance, the Zongshi realm pinnacle cultivator heaved a sigh of relief. Just as he was about to leave, his eyes narrowed suddenly, and he lifted his head to look at the Howling Firmament Beast which was airborne.
It was already late into the night, but the Howling Firmament Beast wasn't flying too far off the surface and was visible to the naked eye. Back then, the cultivator's attention had been completely taken by the battle with the Crimson Tiger, so he failed to notice its presence. However, now that the battle had ended, if he still were to be unable to notice that powerful presence lingering above him, he should really jump off a building.
"May I know which elder it is? I hope to seek your understanding for being unable to welcome you!"
The cultivator clasped his fist respectfully and in a hurry.
Since the other party was able to tame a Half-Zhizun savage beast, he was probably a Zhizun realm expert. Even though he possessed a Zongshi realm pinnacle cultivation, he didn't dare to act impertinently before the other party.
Right after the battle, Zhang Xuan was about to leave when he was noticed by the cultivator below. Hearing his words, a thought suddenly surfaced in his mind.
"That's right, I am looking for a student to make him feel grateful toward me! Since this fellow thinks of me as his elder, I can make use of this opportunity to hoodwink him. Perhaps, this might work out!"
Zhang Xuan was getting frustrated over where he could find a student when this fellow appeared out of nowhere. Thus, he decided to give it a try.
"However, my current appearance is too young. He will definitely question my abilities if he sees my face... I should assume Yang shi's appearance!"
Thus, making use of his disguise ability, Zhang Xuan's bones and muscles shifted to model: 'Yang Xuan'.
In any way, he was on the Howling Firmament Beast, and it was late at night. Even though the other party had noticed his presence, he was unable to see his appearance clearly.
Upon command, the Howling Firmament Beast slowly descended to the ground.
Landing on the ground surface, Zhang Xuan could see that the Zongshi realm pinnacle cultivator was a spirited, middle-aged man dressed in tight clothes.
With prior experience from passing off as Yang Xuan, Zhang Xuan was able to get into character easily. Standing atop the Firmament Howling Beast, Zhang Xuan placed his hands behind his back, and then with a completely calm expression, he replied, "There's no need to worry, I am just passing by this area. I happened to see you battling with the Crimson Tiger, so I stopped for a moment to observe the fight. Are you trying to tame it?"
There were many ways to tame savage beasts, and pleasing them was just one method. Battling them was another.
Even though the beast and the human had fought ferociously, if they were to truly get serious, they should have been bleeding by now. Given that this middle-aged cultivator allowed the Crimson Tiger to leave freely, it was highly probable that he was trying to tame it.
Furthermore, judging from their battle, they seemed to have some understanding of each other's techniques. It was most likely that that wasn't the first battle between them.
"You're right, elder. I do intend to tame it."
The middle-aged man clasped his fist in response.
He had tried to examine the other party, but he realized that he wasn't able to detect any signs of his cultivation at all. To be capable of this feat, the other party’s zhenqi must either be purer than his or... that his cultivation far surpassed his!
Given that the other party possessed a Half-Zhizun Howling Firmament Beast as a tamed beast, and that he was unable to see through his cultivation, the elder before him was at minimum a Zhizun realm expert!
Coming to this conclusion, the middle-aged cultivator's attitude grew even more respectful.
"The Crimson Tiger is the king of the forest, and taming it is no easy task. It is impossible to do so through a few mere battles!" Zhang Xuan spoke casually.
Even though Zhang Xuan might not have heard of rarer savage beasts just as the Lava Beast, as a 2-star beast tamer, he nevertheless knew quite a bit about the Crimson Tiger.
The Crimson Tiger is the king of the forest, and upon maturity, it would possess the strength of a Zongshi realm pinnacle. Given that this Crimson Tiger was only at Zongshi realm advanced stage, it had yet to reach maturity.
Such savage beasts, who are powerful from birth, rarely submit to anyone. The chances of taming it with just a few fights is extremely low.
"I understand that as well, but... I can't help my greed!"
The middle-aged man flashed a bitter smile.
He knew that it was too difficult to tame this Crimson Tiger. However, when he thought about the benefits taming it could bring him, he found himself unable to suppress his desire.
"I can impart to you the way of taming it!" Zhang Xuan said.
"Is Elder willing to teach me?"
The middle-aged man was feeling distressed over this matter when the other party spoke these words. Narrowing his eyes, his face grew slightly red in agitation, "Elder, may I ask if there's anything you need help with? As long as it is within my abilities, I won't speak a single word of complaint!"
Knowing that there was no such thing as a free lunch in the world, even though the middle-aged cultivator was thrilled by the idea, he didn't allow it to consume his rationality.
"I've nothing that requires your help, and given your cultivation realm, you won’t find it worth to be used by me. However... I can't allow my techniques to be leaked. Since it's fate that brought us together, I’ll teach you the method, but you’ll have to acknowledge me as your teacher!"
Zhang Xuan glanced at the other party.
"Acknowledge you as my teacher?" The middle-aged cultivator had thought of the countless different request that the other party could come up with, but even so, Zhang Xuan's words caught him by surprise, and for a moment, he became dumbfounded.