Chapter 294: Sneak Attack
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
Can it be that this person is... Uncle Zhang?
Lu Xun's body swayed, and an urge to vomit blood welled up within him.
From the moment he challenged him in Tianxuan Kingdom, he had been suffering blow after blow. He thought that now that he had come to Tianwu Kingdom, he would be able to walk out from the other party's shadow and make a name for himself. Yet, the moment he arrived, he suffered yet another blow.
Are you my nemesis?
Why must you appear wherever I go, just like a vengeful spirit? More importantly... to always hog the limelight...
Holding back his dismay, Lu Xun asked, "How does this Grandmaster Zhang look like?"
"He's around my height, slightly thin, having fair and smooth skin..." The green-robed attendant pondered for a moment before describing Zhang Xuans physical traits.
Halfway through, Lu Xun could already tell that it was definitely Zhang Xuan.
"Forget it, I'm already used to suffering these blows on my confidence..."
Ascertaining that it was the person he was thinking of, even though Lu Xun felt gloomy, he heaved a sigh of relief.
This monster wasn't just incredible, the students he taught were the same. Competing with him would just frustrate him and shorten his lifespan. Lu Xun had thought this matter through on the way here and had decided to just accept his lot.
Initially, when he heard about the legendary affairs of this grandmaster, he thought that there were monsters like Zhang Xuan in Tianwu Kingdom.
But since they were the same person, at the very least, it was proof that Zhang Xuan was the anomaly. Otherwise, if everyone were like him, Lu Xun wouldn't stand a chance at all.
"I should first take the apprentice painter examination. After I'm done, I'll inform teacher, Zheng Yang, and the others about it. They'll probably be delighted at the news!"
Adjusting his state of mind, Lu Xun decided not to dwell on this matter and, under the lead of the green-robed attendant, entered the examination hall.
Zhang Xuan was oblivious to the fact that Lu Xun had entered the Painter Guild right after his departure. At this moment, he was strolling casually on the streets.
In order to form the golden page, he must find students and win their earnest gratitude.
But where can Zhang Xuan find a student?
He couldn't possibly grab a random passerby and demand the person to acknowledge him as his teacher, right? If he did so, he would probably be pummeled to death on the spot.
Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up all of a sudden.
He would definitely be pummeled to death if he were to grab random passer-bys and plead with them to become his student, but... in an academy, the situation was completely different.
The reason why students join an academy is to seek knowledge, and they offer their unconditional trust to its teachers.
It was feasible for Zhang Xuan to impersonate a teacher. As long as he is able to find a suitable student, it wouldnt be difficult to make him feel grateful.
Furthermore, he had heard that the best academy in Tianwu Kingdom is in the capital when he first entered the city.
"Not a bad idea, I shall head over now!"
Thus, he made up his mind to ask around for directions to this academy. However, at this moment, he noticed something strange and his eyebrows shot up.
"Someone is following me!"
He is currently a Half-Zongshi expert, and even without utilizing the Library of Heaven's Path, he is able to sense the hostility in others. Despite the dense crowd, he could clearly sense a faint but malicious intent in the air.
Even though this intent was carefully concealed to the point that any other Zongshi realm experts would find it hard to detect, Zhang Xuan, who had reached a Soul Depth of 5.0, was still able to discern it easily.
"Could it be that Ji Mo gongzi?"
He had just arrived at Tianwu Kingdom and didn't know anyone. The only enemy he had made was Ji Mo, whom he had just taught a lesson. He didn't expect the other party to send someone after him so quickly.
He glanced over casually using his peripheral vision.
There was a total of five people, and they were all at Tongxuan realm. Two of them had even achieved Tongxuan realm pinnacle.
It seemed that Ji Mo gongzi was unaware of his actual cultivation realm, thus he thought that sending these few people would be sufficient to deal with him.
After all, painters are different from the other occupations of the Upper Nine Paths.
A prerequisite for beast tamers and apothecaries to attain a promotion to 2-star is to possess Zongshi realm cultivation and to reach 3-star, they have to possess a Zhizun realm cultivation.
On the other hand, one's cultivation realm is irrelevant to his status as an official painter. Regardless of whether he is at Tongxuan realm or Pixue realm, as long as one has reached a level of enlightenment and is capable of painting a fifth level work, he would be eligible to become a 3-star painter.
That being said, those who are capable of produce a fifth level painting tend to have a rich experience in life, most of them already in their seventies and eighties. In addition, given the huge amount of money they could earn from each of their painting, they wouldn't lack resources. Thus, even if they weren't able to reach Zhizun realm, they would be at minimum Zongshi realm pinnacle. Thus, on the whole, there wasn't too large of a difference between painters and the other occupation.
It was extremely rare for a quirk such as Zhang Xuan to appear. To paint a fifth level painting before the age of twenty, he had already broken all of these underlying assumptions.
Back in the Painter Guild, he didn't display his strength, and the Heaven's Path zhenqi allowed him to conceal his cultivation realm perfectly. Thus, no one was able to tell how high his cultivation realm was. However, based on his age, it was unlikely for him to exceed Pixue realm. Thus, Ji Mo gongzi thought that these few experts would be more than enough to give him a punishment.
"There are too many people here. I should look for somewhere remote to play with them!"
Zhang Xuan chuckled.
Since his transcension, even though he has been trying his best to raise his cultivation all along, he didn't have much of a chance to try out his moves, and his fists had been itching for an opponent. Since these fellows were here to cause him trouble, he could make use of them to test his techniques.
Acting as if he didn't notice the other party, he glanced around to look for a remote alley. To his frustration, he realized that Tianwu Kingdom was way too prosperous. Given that the sun had just set not too long ago, the streets were still filled with crowds, so he was unable to find any suitable locations.
"Time to go out of the city then!"
Besides, he was on the outskirts of the city and wasn't too far from the city gates. Thus, he began walking with widened strides.
"Why is this fellow heading out of the city?"
The group of pursuers, upon seeing Zhang Xuan stride past the city gates, became dumbfounded.
There were too many people in the city, and if a conflict occurs, it was highly probable that it would blow out of proportions. Just as they were in a dilemma about how they could bring this fellow to an isolated location, this fellow took the initiative to leave the city, all by himself.
Isnt he acting too obediently!
"Who cares, he's just a young lad. Don't tell me that you're scared of him?"
"That's true. Even if he were to have started cultivating even from inside his mother's womb, he can only have attained Tongxuan realm at best. It is impossible for us to lose!"
The few men hesitated for a moment before nodding simultaneously.
Even though the environment and resources for cultivation in Tianwu Kingdom were much better than that of Tianxuan Kingdom, a Tongxuan realm cultivator could already be considered an expert.
Given that not one but five such experts were at once sent to deal with an insignificant young lad, it was no wonder why they were so confident.
"I shall remind all of you once more, the young master has instructed us not to kill that fellow. No matter what, he's a 3-star painter. If he were to die, the Painter Guild headquarter would definitely look into the matter, and this would bring the young master a lot of trouble! What we'll do is to humiliate him. I trust that you know what you should do!"
A Tongxuan realm expert, who appeared to be the leader of the group, instructed the others in a suppressed voice.
"Rest assured, we know what to do!"
The others nodded simultaneously.
Because of his status as a 3-star painter, the Painter Guild headquarter would definitely send someone to investigate if he were to go missing.
Even though the Ji Clan was one of the Three Great Clans of Tianwu Royal City, it was impossible for them to withstand the Painter Guilds rage.
Thus, Ji Mo gongzi had already instructed the group that instead of killing Zhang Xuan, they were to humiliate Zhang Xuan and allow him to comprehend the meaning of a fate worse than death.
Tailing behind Zhang Xuan, it didn't take long for the group to leave the city. After walking for a distance, they soon arrived at a remote forest.
"Be careful, I think that lad has already noticed us, and he brought us here by intention..."
The leader said with a hushed voice.
"What do we have to fear? This is just what we wanted, we can let loose and teach him a lesson here!"
The rest of the group was unsuspecting.
From their perspective, Zhang Xuan was simply courting death.
Despite knowing that there are people on his tail, he dared to come to such a secluded place. Isnt it obvious that he is tired of living?
Drawing their weapons simultaneously, the few of them entered the forest.
They were wondering if the fellow would conceal himself and wait secretly for them, when they suddenly caught sight of him lying opening on a tree branch, looking at them with a bright grin.
"Did Ji Mo send all of you here?"
Since there was no one here, Zhang Xuan couldn't be bothered to beat around the bush. To him, they were just a few small fries.
Not expecting the young lad to face them so fearlessly, the leader harrumphed coldly and gestured.
"I'll do it!"
The weakest of the group, a Tongxuan realm intermediate stage cultivator, chuckled. Pushing forcefully against the ground, he leaped straight at Zhang Xuan with amazing speed.
The human was airborne, the powerful zhenqi that he exuded causing the surrounding flora and fauna to bow before his presence, and sent sonic waves into the surroundings.
"This battle technique is not bad. Judging from his wholesome aura and the might of his leap, it seems that Zhang Qing isn't too far off from reaching Tongxuan realm advanced stage!"
The leader nodded. At the same time, he bellowed, "Control your strength, do not kill him..."
"Don't worry, I know what I am doing..."
Zhang Qing replied. He was still considering how much strength he should put into his fist when the vision before him blurred all of a sudden.
With a crisp sound, a slap struck his face, and an excruciating pain assaulted his cheeks. Before Zhang Qing could react, his entire body had twisted like a fried dough twist, and he flew several dozen meters away. Coughing up mouthfuls and mouthfuls of blood, a few of his teeth could be seen on the ground amidst red liquid.
Initially, they thought that Zhang Qing would be able to subdue the young lad easily. Yet, contrary to their expectations, he was sent flying with a single slap. The sight left the leader and the three remaining members stunned with astonishment.
"I'm sorry. I've been cultivating by myself, and I haven't really fought with anyone. Thus, I accidentally put too much strength into my slap!"
Zhang Xuan scratched his head.
Ever since he transcended into this world, he hadnt fought with anyone. Thus, he wasn't able to accurately gauge how much strength his slap would wield. He thought that it was just a gentle hit, and at the very most, the other party would just feel a slight sting, but... Upon seeing how the other party was already on the verge of death, Zhang Xuan apologized immediately and sheepishly.
"This fellow isn't as simple as we thought him out to be. Everyone, use your full strength!"
Seeing that Zhang Xuan was capable of exerting such great might easily, the leader's face turned pale immediately.
Initially, he thought that the young master was making too big a deal out of nothing to send so many of them just to deal with an insignificant fellow. Nevertheless, they obeyed his order since it was just a simple mission.
However, upon witnessing this situation, they realized that... it wasnt as they thought.
That young lad was definitely stronger than them.
Possessing a strength exceeding Tongxuan realm pinnacle under the age of twenty?
Probably only the number one genius Mo Hongyi is capable of rivaling him!
The others weren't fools either. With a single glance, they recognized that the fellow was much stronger than they had expected. They held their swords tightly as they surrounded Zhang Xuan, each of them with a grim expression on their face.
Of the four, two were Tongxuan realm advanced stage and the rest were Tongxuan realm pinnacle. With their strength united, they exerted an imposing might, and the atmosphere seemed to have grown heavy all of a sudden.
Knowing that the other party was strong, the leader didn't hesitate and immediately ordered everyone to charge forward, in order to claim the initiative.
Four weapons stabbed out at the simultaneously.
All four of them were guards of the Ji Clan, and they had been living together for more than five years, so they possessed great teamwork. Driving their zhenqi, they struck at the same time with amazing speed, and their swords were aimed at each of Zhang Xuans top, middle, and bottom, sealing all possible escape routes.
With their outstanding coordination, coupled with powerful battle techniques, it would be difficult for even a Half-Zongshi to deal with them.
However, Zhang Xuan wasn't an ordinary Half-Zongshi but could be considered an unparallelled genius.
The four of them thought that they would be able to land at least a single strike on the young lad, but the moment they sent their swords out, they suddenly felt an emptiness in their palms.
Looking downward, they realized that their ferocious assault had been completely neutralized, the swords in their hands were already in the other party's grasp unknowingly.
The entire group was alarmed and they shrieked in fear.
This is too frightening!
To be able to steal their swords with bare hands, it was no longer just a problem of the difference in their cultivation.
The other party had to have a complete understanding of their battle techniques, strengths, their movements, and the position of their swords to be capable of achieving this feat.
With a single error, it could mean the loss of his fingers!
Even a Zongshi realm pinnacle expert... would be incapable of doing so!
They thought that it would be a walk in the park to teach this young fellow a lesson. Yet, it turned out that what they were dealing with was a... ferocious tiger!
Narrowing his eyes, the leader knew they would die if they continued to remain here. Thus, after yelling out a command, he turned around to escape immediately.
Without any hesitation, the other three turned to flee as fast as they could as well.
They had no choice but to ignore the convulsing fellow on the floor who was sent flying by Zhang Xuan with a slap.
"We haven't even done anything, why are you in such a hurry?"
They had yet to cross any blows, yet these fellows were already escaping. Speechless, Zhang Xuan beckoned.
Before the four could react, the view before them turned pitch black. A massive figure descended from the sky.
As though they were struck by a small mountain, the four of them were blasted like a cannon ball. The sight before them blurred, and they spurted large mouthfuls of blood.
"It... is a Half-Zhizun realm savage beast..."
It took them much difficulty before they could recover from their stupor. Squinting at the massive fellow, they nearly lost their minds.
To think that it would be a...
Half-Zhizun realm savage beast!
Only the old ancestor of the Tianwu Kingdom would possess the strength of a Half-Zhizun! This beast can already be considered the most lethal weapon in Tianwu Kingdom! To think that the other party would possess such a tamed beast...
What kind of monster did they exactly provoke?
The Howling Firmament Beast had been roaming around the forests and, upon hearing Zhang Xuan's commands, rushed over immediately.
In its eyes, these few fellows were mere ants. If it hadnt held back, these fellows would have been easily reduced to meat paste.
After knocking the four away, before they could even land on the floor, the Howling Firmament Beast's massive body shook once more. It dashed forward and struck them with its wing.
Padah! Padah! Padah! Padah!
Four consecutive thuds sounded loudly in the silent forest. As they fell limply to the ground, fresh blood gushed from their mouths. Most of their bones seemed to have been fractured from the impact.
The Howling Firmament Beast had a Half-Zhizun realm cultivation and, not to mention, savage beasts tend to be significantly stronger than cultivators with the same cultivation realm. With just a few light sweeps, it nearly shattered half of all the bones in their bodies and dissipated their zhenqi. Even with treatment, it was likely that they would remain crippled for life.
"I told you to go easy on them, didn't I? I still have questions to ask them. How in the world can I interrogate them when you have reduced them to such a state?"
Seeing how the Howling Firmament Beast had crippled the four of them, Zhang Xuan frowned.
It would have been better if they did not hear him. Upon catching those words, the four of them twitched, and tears nearly spilled from their eyes.
Brother, how can you be so thick-skinned as to criticize your savage beast? You were the one who attacked Zhang Qing, and his state seems to be worse than ours. Until now, he is still puking blood, and his entire face has distorted under your slap. Even his mother wouldn't be able to recognize him now!
If he isn't given treatment soon, losing his cultivation would be a small matter, he might not even survive tonight...
Dealing such cruel blows yourself, how do you have the skin to criticize others?
Who in the world told us that this would be a simple mission!
Young master, come here! We promise that we won't beat you to death...
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 294
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