Chapter 440: Ding Hong [2in1]
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Most cultivators were able to reach a State of Mind at the level of 2-dan Heart of Tranquil Water.
But to exceed that level was extremely difficult.
It was said that only upon reaching the level of a 4-star master teacher would one have the chance to make the breakthrough.
Heart of Tranquil Water only allowed one to remain impervious to external factors. The higher realm to that was 'Vanquishing Facade, Lucid Mind' that Luo Qianhong just exclaimed.
Upon reaching this level, one would be able to peer through chaos to see the crux of the matter. At the same time, with a clearer mind, one's analytical power would grow substantially stronger.
Even though it was far from a match for the Eye of Insight, it was useful in the sense that it provided a master teacher with a greater degree of rationalizing abilities.
For example, no matter how knowledgeable one was, it was impossible for one to have seen all questions in the world and know the answers to them.
However, if one had reached this state, one could easily deduce the motive of the one setting the question and the content which the question was trying to assess a person on. By seeing through all of the facade, one would be able to provide the most accurate answer.
Knowledge is omnipresent around us, only waiting to be analyzed!
As such, this realm was also known as [Lucid Analytical Realm].
This Zhang Xuan was able to see through Ding Mu's Heaven Shattering Fist and blood-burning secret art, immediately aiming for the neck instead. Clearly, he had seen through all of the facades contained within the moves and the purposes each of them served. Even if the person hadn't reached the Lucid Analytical Realm yet, he wasn't too far from it.
This explained why the other party could neutralize his Whisking Sleeves so easily.
As for whether it was the higher realm, Eye of Insight, this was something that he dared not even imagine.
After all, this was an ability that even most 6-star master teacher didn't possess. How could it appear in a 2-star master teacher who wasn't even twenty yet?
Even so, just the thought that the other party had reached Lucid Analytical Realm had already left him incredibly shocked.
What kind of monster was the other party?
Having his neck grabbed, a mix of shock and fear surfaced on Ding Mu's face.
He thought that by using the blood-burning secret art and his most powerful move, even if he wasn't a match for the other party, he would still be able to stand his own ground. He didn't even consider the possibility of being subdued as soon as he made a move.
"Don't kill me! I was bewitched by that woman, Lin Long, back then. I was blind to have made a move on you... As long as you don't kill me, I'll give you whatever you want. Anything that is within Xuanyuan Kingdom's means, I'll give it to you! Even a hundred or two hundred spirit stones isn't a problem at all!"
The young man before him had defeated Luo Qianhong, dispelled the Great Xuanyuan Formation, and even his final ace was crushed that easily. This time, Ding Mu truly felt frightened and helpless.
Xuanyuan Kingdom was qualified to deal with spirit stones, and as long as the other party was willing to spare him, no amount of wealth was too much.
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
If not for Lu Chong taking the blow for him, he would already have been dead. Could spirit stones be used to trade for the welfare of his student?
"Since I said that I'll kill you, then pardon me... Only one fate awaits you!"
Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up as he exerted more force through his fingers.
"AH... Great grandfather, save me!"
Seeing that Zhang Xuan was about to really make a move, Ding Mu's face paled and he hurriedly shouted for help.
"Let him go!"
As soon as Ding Mu shouted for help, a loud bellow reverberated across the entire city.
It sounded as though the rumbling of a thunder, shaking the ground and buildings in the area.
Frowning, Zhang Xuan glanced over.
The voice came from the depths of the royal palace right in front of him. Deep and steady, those words seemed to wield an immense pressure.
Even despite Zhang Xuan's recent massive breakthrough, he found himself on the verge of caving in from the pressure.
He clenched his fists tightly.
Accompanied with the Eye of Insight and Library of Heaven's Path, Zhang Xuan could match up to even a Half-Transcension at his current strength.
Yet, the other party was able to induce such a sensation within him with just words. Without a doubt, the other party's cultivation definitely exceeded that of Luo Qianhong, reaching that legendary realm.
He didn't expect such an expert to exist amidst the Xuanyuan royal family!
"Great grandfather? Could it be... He isn't dead yet?"
Atop of the savage beast, Grand Elder Wei Yuqing's face darkened.
"You know this man?"
'Gongzi' turned to look at Grand Elder Wei Yuqing.
Grand Elder Wei Yuqing nodded. "There's a ranking board for the strongest experts within Xuanyuan Kingdom known as the Green Leaf Board, and on it, despite being a Half-Transcension expert and a 3-star intermediate master teacher, Luo Qianhong was only in the third place!"
'Gongzi' and Jin Conghai glanced at one another.
They had seen the pavilion master's strength for themselves previously when he made a move on Zhang Xuan. Even though he was defeated by Zhang Xuan in an instant, his true strength shouldn't be underestimated.
Among Half-Transcension expert, he definitely ranked amidst the top.
Yet, with such strength, he was only placed at the third rank. Who could the other two in front of him be?
"The one ranked second is not a cultivator, but the greatest backing of Xuanyuan Kingdom a Half-Transcension savage beast, [Steelback Winged Dragon]!" Grand Elder Wei Yuqing said.
"You're referring to that powerful savage beast which possesses a trace of the Dragon Bloodline?"
Jin Conghai frowned.
Similar to the Nightmare Beast, the Steelback Winged Dragon also possessed the Dragon Bloodline. Even though it was extremely thin, it granted them a portion of the overwhelming strength of the Dragon Tribe. It possessed steel wings as sharp as knives, and its speed was one that would leave the mouths of onlookers agape. Thick scales filled its body, granting it an impenetrable defense. On top of that, it possessed immense strength and stamina as well.
From birth, it was already destined to reach Half-Transcension realm. In fact, with its powerful physical traits, it could even match up with some of the weaker spirit beasts.
"The other Conferred Kingdoms may not know much about the Great Xuanyuan Kingdom, but the Steelback Winged Dragon is common knowledge. This was precisely the reason why, despite Emperor Ding Chong's weak personality, no kingdom dared to turn their blades to us!"
As the Grand Elder of the Beast Hall, there was no way Wei Yuqing wouldn't know about such a powerful savage beast in Xuanyuan Kingdom.
If not for this formidable backing, even if Zhang Xuan didn't do anything at all, this kingdom would have been annexed by the other Conferred Kingdoms already.
"But if the Steelback Winged Dragon is only ranked at second place, could the first place refer to..." Gu Mu turned his gaze over in astonishment.
"That's right, it's the person who had just spoken, Crown Prince Ding Mu's great grandfather, the 178th emperor of Xuanyuan Kingdom... Ding Hong!"
Grand Elder Wei Yuqing clenched his fists tightly as he said, "This Ding Hong could be considered a genius among geniuses. Eighty years ago, he was already the number one expert in the kingdom, just that, one day... he faded out of public view. Even I had thought that he was already dead and the reason why his name remained on the Green Leaf Board was out of remembrance... Yet, to think that he was still alive!"
"The number one expert eighty years ago? But his lifespan..." Gu Mu widened his eyes in shock.
Making the breakthrough to Zhizun realm meant that one's level of existence had reached greater heights, and there would be an overall enhancement in one's physical attributes. Even though one's lifespan would be increased as well, this increment was minimal, perhaps just a few years at best. Under normal circumstances, a hundred years was already the limit for most Zhizun realm experts.
If Ding Hong was the number one expert of the kingdom eighty years ago, he must have at least reached the Half-Transcension realm at that time. To be still living now...
Didn't this mean that he was already beyond a hundred years old?
"If it's really him, he should be one hundred and fifteen this year!" Grand Elder Wei Yuqing said.
"A hundred and fifteen? Transcendent Mortal 1-dan... Prolonged Longevity realm?" Jin Conghai asked.
The Transcendent Mortal realm, also known as the Surmounting Mortality realm and the Mortal Metamorphosis realm, meant overcoming the limits of a mortal and reaching a brand new level of existence.
This was the terminology used for the realms, and just like the Fighter 9 dans, it had nine different realms to it as well.
1-dan Prolonged Longevity realm.
Upon reaching this level, there would be a huge leap in one's level of existence. At this realm, one would be able to absorb the spiritual energy in the world to heal the various traumas cultivating had brought to them, and through such means, enhance their longevity.
At Fighter realm, even if one had reached Zhizun realm pinnacle or even Half-Transcension, surpassing the century limit was an extremely difficult task.
But if one were to reach this higher realm, one's longevity could potentially be doubled to two hundred years.
Given that Ding Hong was still alive and kicking despite exceeding the hundred year mark, he must have made the breakthrough to become a full-fledged Transcendent Mortal expert.
To think that there would be a Transcendent Mortal expert in Xuanyuan Kingdom!
"There is a huge gap between the strength of a Transcendent Mortal cultivator and a Half-Transcension cultivator. Gongzi, should we help him?" Jin Conghai asked grimly.
Even though it was just a difference of a small cultivation realm, it represented the difference between a mortal and a transcendent being. How could the two begin to compare with one another?
Zhang Xuan might be able to defeat a Half-Transcension expert easily, but a Transcendent Mortal was definitely beyond his means.
With such a huge difference in their level of existence, there was no way his fighting prowess could match up to Ding Hong.
It was just like how the possibility of a human defeating a tiger bare-handed was practically zero.
"Wait a moment first, let's see how he deals with this matter. We'll only help him when things look dire!" 'Gongzi' shook his head.
The other party had defeated a Half-Transcension expert easily and stopped the Great Xuanyuan Formation with just a single finger. The means that he had displayed had piqued 'gongzi's' curiosity. He was interested to see if the other party had any unique methods to deal with a Transcendent Mortal expert.
Besides, Jin Conghai was a person who had traveled quite far in the path of a Transcendent Mortal. With his strength, it wasn't difficult for him to subdue a Prolonged Longevity realm in an instant. Thus, there was no harm in doing so.
Nodding his head, Jin Conghai turned his gaze back to the field below.
Gu Mu and the others also anxiously shifted their sights.
"You're a master teacher, right? Can you sell me a favor and let this unfilial progeny of mine off? I'm willing to offer you two thousand spirit stones in exchange for this favor!"
After a moment of hesitation, the deep and ancient voice echoed once more.
"Two thousand spirit stones?"
The breathing of the crowd hastened.
The value of a spirit stone was immense. It was difficult to trade for a single one even with a massive sum of gold.
Yet, the other party offered two thousand spirit stones immediately. This was truly a generous offer.
With so many spirit stones, one could buy up the entire Tianwu Kingdom!
To be giving away wealth equivalent to the value of a Tier 1 Kingdom just to save Ding Mu, it was clear to see how important the latter was to him.
Upon hearing those words, Zhang Xuan was stunned as well.
Even when he was at the peak of his wealth, he only had fifteen spirit stones in his possession. He knew how valuable spirit stones were, and this two thousand spirit stones would surely contribute greatly to his cultivation.
"That's right, two thousand spirit stones. I believe you should understand the value of my offer!"
The elder spoke slowly and deeply. "Besides, you have nothing to gain from killing him. Rather, you'll face my relentless pursuit for revenge then. You are a wise man, so I believe you should know what to choose!"
The other party's voice may seem calm, but it was laced with threat.
If Zhang Xuan truly intended to make a move, Ding Hong would surely step forward and kill him.
Hearing the other party's threat, Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly together.
Zhang Xuan loved money, and he was in dire need of spirit stones as well. However, he would never compromise his own principles for such material wealth.
If he were to do so, how could he face Lu Chong when he finally wakes up?
With a slight exertion of force, his grip tightened and a crisp sound echoed. Before Ding Mu could make a single sound, his head tilted and he breathed his last breath.
The corpse was thrown to the ground.
Not expecting that this young fellow would actually kill Ding Mu despite all that he had said, Ding Hong couldn't hold back his rage anymore. The restraint present in his voice previously vanished, and his bellow reached even the heavens, threatening to tear the sky apart.
Hearing that thunderous voice, the crowd who was watching the commotion suddenly lost their balance and fell to the ground.
The rage of a Transcendent Mortal caused even the skies to pale!
"This is bad..."
"He should have just exchanged for the two thousand spirit stones!"
"Indeed, he's really doomed this time. That's a Transcendent Mortal! No matter how powerful he is, it's impossible for him to be a match for Ding Hong..."
An uproar broke out beneath the Heaven's Altar as well.
Clearly, they didn't expect Zhang Xuan to kill Ding Mu either.
Even more so, they didn't think that there would be such a formidable expert behind Xuanyuan Kingdom.
With just a loud bellow, he was able to make so many cultivators topple down. His strength was terrifying.
Even though Zhang shi had shown them plenty of miracles before, no one thought his prospects looked good.
There was too huge of a gap between Transcendent Mortals and Fighters. It was like a battle between a god and a mortal, there was completely no hope of victory.
"Transcendent Mortal... Zhang Xuan, I've brought harm to you..."
Mo Yu's face paled, and her body trembled uncontrollably.
She knew that Xuanyuan Kingdom was powerful, and without the strength of a Zhizun realm pinnacle, it was best not to cause any trouble here. However, she couldn't have imagined that the famous old ancestor who had rattled the entire kingdom during his time was actually still alive.
And on top of that, he was stronger than he was back then.
Putting aside the increment in one's strength upon reaching Transcendent Mortal realm, Transcendent Mortals could tap into the energy existent in the surroundings, making no Fighter a match for them.
As long as this old ancestor made a move, no matter how many aces Zhang Xuan had up his sleeves, it would be futile.
Master teachers had the ability to see through flaws, but it didn't guarantee their omnipotence.
It was just like how everyone knew that the easiest way to capture a city was to destroy its walls... but without sufficient strength, could one do so?
It was one thing to know the flaws, but it was another thing to be able to exploit them.
Upon reaching Transcendent Mortal, one's physical attributes would have raised to a whole new level. On top of that, most weaknesses would be hidden as well. Even if one was able to find an opening, without sufficient speed and strength to get past the enemy's defense, it would be impossible to get to it.
Just as everyone was anxious and worried about what was to happen, the deafening roar of a beast sounded from the depths of the royal palace. Then, a bolt of lightning streaked out from within, and a figure appeared in the aerial space above the Heaven's Altar.
It was a massive aerial savage beast with a length of ten meters, and when its gigantic wings were spread open, it spanned a width of thirty meters. Thick scales covered its entire body, and the sharp aura it exuded was greatly intimidating.
"Steelback Winged Dragon?" Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up.
Having read so many books on beast taming, Zhang Xuan instantly recognized this beast that was at the pinnacle of savage beasts.
Similar to the Nightmare Beast, it was a Half-Transcension savage beast which possessed the Dragon Bloodline as well. However, this fellow was significantly stronger, and its nature was even more callous as well.
It was already frightening that there was a Transcendent Mortal old ancestor in the royal palace. To think that there would be such a formidable savage beast on top of that.
As expected of a Conferred Kingdom. Zhang Xuan had truly underestimated the other party.
A man stood proudly on the back of the Steelback Winged Dragon
This person wasn't as old as his voice sounded, and he looked like he was only in his fifties this year. The aura he exuded felt as vast as the ocean, making it impossible for one to peer into its depths.
Upon reaching Prolonged Longevity realm, one's aged body would also become younger as well.
Even though this old ancestor of the Xuanyuan Kingdom was already beyond one hundred years old, he didn't look as old as Zhang Xuan expected.
"It's indeed him..."
Luo Qianhong's eyes narrowed.
Even though he had never met this old ancestor before, he had seen his painting before. All along, he had thought that the other party was dead. Yet, not only was the other party still alive, he was still vigorous.
"I gave you a chance; it's a pity that you didn't grasp it well!"
Clenching his jaws tightly, Ding Hong stared down at Zhang Xuan coldly.
He doted on that great grandson of his greatly. Otherwise, he wouldn't have made Ding Chong bestow him with the position of the crown prince so early on.
Yet, this fellow actually dared to kill his beloved grandson right before him... Unforgivable!
The voice reverberated from the heavens, falling down upon Zhang Xuan like a plummeting massive hammer.
Deng deng deng deng!
Zhang Xuan felt a stifling sensation in his chest, as though someone had struck it forcefully. His face paled and he was forced to retreat several steps backward to ward off the force.
A Transcendent Mortal expert was already capable of manipulating the strength of the world. It wasn't difficult for him to launch an attack from a distance.
It was just like Su shi back then. With a single sound, he made the Gold-scaled Lightning Beast fall from the sky and dealt Liang Qingming severe injuries.
Ding Hong's cultivation was not a match for Su shi, and Zhang Xuan was significantly stronger than Liang Qingming as well. Even so, he was still knocked back by the other party's words. The strength of a Transcendent Mortal was indeed fearsome.
"I didn't grasp the chance? Pardon me, but even if I could redo it, I'd still kill him!"
Driving his Heaven's Path zhenqi, Zhang Xuan dispelled the pressure on him and glanced into the sky.
"Eye of Insight!"
Lines of insight flowed within Zhang Xuan's eyes as he tried to look into the flaws of the other party, but as expected, it was futile.
At Zhang Xuan's current level, he could only peer into the flaws of those at most a small cultivation realm higher than him, meaning a Half-Transcension expert. His Eye of Insight was completely useless against a Transcendent Mortal expert at his current cultivation.
Despite knowing that his ability as a master teacher was completely useless to him at the moment, Zhang Xuan didn't panic. Without any hesitation, he turned to the Library of Heaven's Path.
A book appeared in his mind.
The other party was exerting pressure on him through his voice, and this could be considered as a battle technique of some sort. Thus, the Library of Heaven's Path was able to compile a book on him.
Zhang Xuan hurriedly flung it open and browsed through it.
After a quick look, Zhang Xuan's face turned grave.
There were many flaws on Ding Hong detailed in the book, but given Zhang Xuan's current cultivation... even if he knew of them, he still couldn't pose a threat to the other party.
It was just like how even if an infant knew that the crotch was a man's weakness, putting aside whether the infant could strike it or not, even if he could, he might not be able to injure the other party.
Zhang Xuan's current strength totaled up to 50,000 ding, but wounding a Transcendent Mortal expert with such a level of strength was still nigh impossible.
In other words, this was a hopeless battle for Zhang Xuan!
"Since you wish to die, I'll grant your wish!"
Seeing how this fellow still dared to talk back to him under such circumstances, Ding Hong harrumphed coldly.
The Steelback Winged Dragon immediately flapped its massive wings violently.
The immense body of the beast swooped down as though an arrow released from a bowstring, and in the blink of an eye, it was already right before Zhang Xuan, threatening to sweep across Zhang Xuan with its dagger-like wings.
Judging from the shrilling sound, it seemed that even metal would be torn apart under the sharpness of the wings, lest to say, a human.
Zhang Xuan narrowed his eyes. While his Heaven's Path Golden Body 2-dan granted him incredible defense, he knew that his body wouldn't be able to withstand this attack.
Heaven's Path Movement Art.
In the blink of an eye, he appeared at a distance several dozen meters away, thus dodging this assault.
Missing the attack, the Steelback Winged Dragon immediately turned around in midair and darted toward Zhang Xuan once more.
Zhang Xuan retreated once more.
Having the same situation happen again and again, Zhang Xuan's face turned grim.
Even though the number of times Zhang Xuan could use the Heaven's Path Movement Art had increased due to the rise in his cultivation, he knew that there was a limit to his stamina. If this went on, it would just be a matter of time before his zhenqi ran out.
"It's not a solution to continue dodging like that but... a Half-Transcension realm savage beast and a Transcendent Mortal expert... Zhang shi isn't a match for either of them!"
"Indeed, Zhang shi is in a bad position!"
A tense look was on everyone's faces.
Putting aside the Transcendent Mortal realm Ding Hong, even the Steelback Winged Dragon, placed second on the Green Leaf Board, wasn't an existence that Fighter realm cultivators could deal with.
Putting aside its powerful defense and overwhelming offensive ability, more importantly, it was able to fly...
No matter how powerful Zhang Xuan was, he could only withstand its assault. After all, it was impossible for Zhang Xuan to fly into the skies and knock it down.
"Will... Zhang shi be killed?" someone amidst the crowd asked.
Zhang shi had just helped him achieve a breakthrough, and he owed him a debt of gratitude. Yet, upon seeing that the other party was in a difficult situation, he wasn't able to do anything at all. Thus, he panicked.
"If Zhang shi knocks the Steelback Winged Dragon down, there might still be a chance... But is that possible?" another person replied.
The Steelback Winged Dragon was a Half-Transcension realm savage beast. Its aerial capability was its greatest strength, so how could it give up on it?
The only possibility was for one to cripple its flying capability.
But... even if one possessed sufficient strength to break through its nearly impenetrable defense, one had to be able to catch up with it first.
In other words, the Steelback Winged Dragon was already in a position that made it impossible to lose. If this went on, Zhang Xuan would only be killed.
The crowd fell silent. They were anxious, but there was nothing they could do.
"You sure dodge fast, let's see how many more times you can avoid its attacks!"
Since the crowd was able to analyze this much, Ding Hong, being a Mortal Transcendent expert, was able to do so as well. Sneering coldly, he stared at Zhang Xuan haughtily as if he were looking at a dead person.
So what if you could run fast? Can you exceed the flying speed of the Steelback Winged Dragon?
"You're right, I can't go on dodging its attacks forever!" Zhang Xuan abruptly came to a stop. Lifting his head, he said, "Since that's the case... I'll stop dodging then!"
"You'll stop dodging? Hahaha, accept your death then!"
Harrumphing coldly, Ding Hong was just about to get the Steelback Winged Dragon to advance toward Zhang Xuan when a sharp voice suddenly echoed from below.
Before Ding Hong could react, his footing suddenly disappeared. Along with the Steelback Winged Dragon, he plummeted head down into the ground, raising a huge cloud of dust.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 440
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