Chapter 444: Slaying a Transcendent Mortal
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Sword Heart was the state of driving one's sword with one's heart, controlling it with one's intentions. Every move made in this state could be considered as a sword art in itself.
In contrast with it, Sword Intent was extremely mediocre and immature.
It was like the difference between a weed and a towering tree.
Ding Hong thought that with his Sword Intent, even if he couldn't kill the other party, he could at least force a draw and step down from there. Yet, never in his dreams did he expect that everything he did was only a farce to the other party... The other party's sword mastery was far above his own, reaching the level of Sword Heart!
That was a realm that countless Transcendent Mortal dreamt of and dedicated their lives to, only to never reach it in their lifetime. Yet, a fellow who wasn't even twenty yet and who had just barely reached Half-Transcension actually managed to comprehend it...
When he mocked the other party for being unable to fly, the other party yelled and the Steelback Winged Dragon immediately fell from the sky.
When he mocked the other party for being too weak to hurt him... in the blink of an eye, the other party broke through to Half-Transcension.
When he mocked the other party for his incapability to wield Sword Intent, the other party topped him with the higher realm Sword Heart...
Brother, can you at least tell me what you aren't capable of? At the very least, I can prepare myself. Do you know how terrifying it is...
Ding Hong felt his confidence crumbling.
"You're right, it's indeed Sword Heart!"
Chuckling softly, Zhang Xuan finally drew his sword completely.
His sword came from the Lin Clan, and it was only at Phantom intermediate-tier. At the same time, it wasn't too sharp either. Yet, it had an indomitable presence.
Sword qi flowed around its edge. With a slight flick of Zhang Xuan's wrist, the air seemed to have been torn to shreds.
Under normal circumstances, as long as one's strength didn't exceed him by too much, Ding Hong's Sword Intent barrier would be hard to break. Yet, for some reason, as soon as the blunt-looking sword came into contact with it, the barrier immediately dissipated without the slightest resistance.
A sword qi flew across, severing Ding Hong's left arm. It was so sharp that not even blood flowed out of his wound.
The sword qi emanated by a swordmaster who had comprehended Sword Heart was indomitable. On top of that, Zhang Xuan's strength also wasn't inferior to him as well. Even though the other party was a Transcendent Mortal expert, he wasn't able to withstand the attack.
Knowing that he would surely die if he remained here, Ding Hong's face paled. He immediately turned around and fled.
He had stepped in ferociously back then, but he ended up escaping with his tail between his legs.
No one expected for the legendary old ancestor of Xuanyuan Kingdom, a Transcendent Mortal expert, to meet with such an ending. It was truly beyond expectations.
"To achieve a breakthrough at that crucial moment and slay a Transcendent Mortal, how valiant! This is how a man should act!"
"From today on, Zhang shi shall be my idol. Don't even try to steal him from me!"
"This is what a true genius is. Compared to him, Ding Mu was nothing at all."
The eyes of the spectating youngsters burned with passion.
When Zhang Xuan came alone to challenge the incumbent crown prince, everyone thought that he was being too arrogant and they felt intense loathing toward him. But after undergoing his teachings via the Impartation of Heaven's Will and becoming his half-students, their feelings for him gradually changed into gratitude.
And at this moment, looking at him sending even the old ancestor of Xuanyuan Kingdom fleeing, it evolved into veneration.
A person single-handedly standing against an entire country!
That is how a man should be!
"You all might not know, but I heard that the reason why Zhang shi came after Ding Mu is because the latter had killed his student!"
"How did you know?"
"My cousin, Zhou Jin, is an Imperial Beast Tamer serving the crown prince. He blurted the matter out when he was drunk!"
"Standing up against an entire country alone to avenge his student, even going to the extent of standing against a Transcendent Mortal?"
"On top of that, when he came, he wasn't that strong yet. How much courage must it have taken to make this move..."
"With such a teacher, even if I were to die now... it would be worth it!"
Amidst the crowd, some of the well-informed ones spoke of the matter from start to the end. The eyes of the listeners gradually reddened, and they clenched their fists tight.
The greatest fortune that a cultivator could encounter was a good teacher.
Not only was Zhang shi strong and capable at teaching, more importantly, he cared for his students. He stood up against an entire Conferred Kingdom alone just for his student. With such sentiments, he was more than worthy of being addressed as a 'teacher'.
While everyone was overwhelmed with agitation, on the Heaven's Altar, Zhang Xuan's eyes narrowed as he noticed Ding Hong escaping.
"Hmph, do you think that you can get away?"
Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up, and exerting force on his feet, he immediately dashed forward.
After the matter with Ding Mu, he realized the danger of sparing one's enemies. Since he had already fallen out with the other party, he had to clear them out cleanly. Otherwise, the one who would be threatened would be him.
If not for his compassion back then, Lu Chong wouldn't have been sacrificed.
Thus, he was determined to leave no more threats behind.
"Don't even try!"
With a flick of his wrist, Zhang Xuan's sword sliced down.
Tearing through a hundred meters of space, a sword qi flew toward the escaping Ding Hong.
After reaching Half-Transcension, Zhang Xuan had already gained a certain level of control over the environment. In the past, the range of his sword qi was limited to only a dozen meters. However, with his enhanced degree of control and enhanced zhenqi, a hundred meters was no longer a problem.
The sword qi struck the other party's back, tearing open a massive, glaring wound in an instant.
Due to the long distance, the sword qi had dissipated significantly. Otherwise, it would have been more than sufficient to slice Ding Hong into two.
Feeling the sharp pain on his back, Ding Hong was alarmed. He knew that it wasn't easy for the other party to kill him due to the long distance, but if he were to be struck any more of that sword qi, he would surely die. Thus, gritting his teeth, Ding Hong burned his life force and his speed abruptly increased by a single fold.
Like the Blood Tribute that Ding Mu used back then came from him, even though it allowed him to utilize strength and speed beyond his current cultivation, it had a time limit. After the duration, one's cultivation would automatically fall.
It was a technique that hurt oneself as much as it hurt one's opponent.
It was a move that wouldn't be used unless the situation truly called for it. Usually, Ding Hong would surely go after the other party if he activated the Blood Tribute to avenge his great grandson... But this time, he was truly frightened by the other party.
Every time that fellow looked as though he were going to lose, he would always make a shocking comeback.
He was afraid of the means that the other party would continue pulling out if he chose to continue to fight. If so, once the Blood Tribute duration ran out, he wouldn't be able to even escape.
With his hastened speed, Ding Hong disappeared amidst the labyrinth-like infrastructures of the capital.
Seeing the other party vanish into the shadows, Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly.
Even though he had managed to reach Half-Transcension, he had suffered quite a few traumas in the midst of doing so.
On top of that, he had used the Heaven's Path Movement Art too many times previously, and he was already reaching his limit now. If he were to attempt to catch up, he might collapse before he could catch up with the other party.
On the other hand, he had never learned any other movement arts before. Furthermore, his cultivation was beneath that of Ding Hong, so it would be difficult for him to catch up.
"There's no need to feel pity over this. That fellow has lost his arm, and on top of that, he even used the Blood Tribute. Even if he manages to get away with his life, his cultivation would definitely plummet.
"Based on my estimations, it'll be hard for him to even sustain his cultivation as a Half-Transcension. Thus, he's not a threat anymore!"
Zhang Xuan was just thinking whether he should make use of these soldiers to search through the entire city to cut off the weed at its root when a voice echoed.
Turning around, he saw a youth walking toward him with a bright grin on his face.
He was around the same age of Zhao Ya, but his body seemed a little weak. His black eyes were gleaming with spirit, and his skin was smooth. All in all, he had an exquisite appearance.
Zhang Xuan frowned.
Even though the other party was dressed in the clothes of a man, it wasn't sufficient to deceive Zhang Xuan's Eye of Insight.
This was an ability that only a 6-star master teacher had the chance to comprehend. It could even see through the hidden flaws of a cultivator, lest to say, a cross-dresser.
"I am Zhao Feiwu, and I came from the Myriad Kingdom Alliance. Nice to meet you, Zhang shi!"
The youth didn't know that her identity had been exposed, and she clasped her fists with a carefree smile.
This youth was the 'gongzi' from the Myriad Kingdom Alliance. Just that, no one could have expected that 'he' was actually a she.
"Envoy, thank you for your help!"
Upon hearing that the other party came from the Myriad Kingdom Alliance, Zhang Xuan immediately understood the situation.
That alliance decree that declared Ding Mu's inauguration as illegitimate probably came from this person.
Otherwise, he couldn't think of anyone else.
"The Xuanyuan Kingdom has acted on their own whim, conducting an inauguration ceremony without reporting the matter to the alliance. I am just dealing with this matter as per the rules!"
'Gongzi' Zhao Feiwu smiled admiringly at the young man before her. "Speaking of thanks, I should be the one thanking you instead. It's due to your treatment method that I was able to recover. Otherwise, I would still be lying on the bed waiting for my death now!"
Zhang Xuan was stumped.
"It was the final question that Zhang shi solved in your alias as Liu Cheng on the Wall of Dilemma in the Tianwu Kingdom Physician Guild. I was afflicted with the illness, and my father had consulted countless physicians about the matter but they were all at a loss. It's only because of you that I was able to make a full recovery!" Zhao Feiwu said.
The noble 'gongzi' who was cross-dressing as a male was the second princess of the Myriad Kingdom Alliance who lay sickly on her bed just a few days ago.
Upon knowing that the one who provided the treatment method was a physician named 'Liu Cheng' from a Tier 1 Kingdom, she immediately rushed over along with her subordinate, Jin Conghai.
While passing through Xuanyuan Kingdom, Jin Conghai received a message from Gu Mu and headed over to the Poison Hall. Over there, the two of them met Sun Qiang, and upon learning that Liu Cheng was Zhang Xuan, they chose to head over to Xuanyuan Royal City to assist him.
Otherwise, given how the both of them were unrelated, there was no reason for Zhao Feiwu to favor a 2-star master teacher over a vassal Conferred Kingdom, or even harboring the thought of sending Jin Conghai over to save him?
"Innate Muscular Deficiency?"
Zhang Xuan also recalled the matter.
Back then, he only solved the problem thinking that it was a necessity for him to become a physician. He didn't expect to save a person due to that.
Furthermore, from the looks of it, this lady seemed to have a powerful background.
"Exactly!" Zhao Feiwu nodded.
"My treatment method has saved you, but you have already returned the favor by helping me out of this matter. So, we're on equal footing now!" Zhang Xuan clasped his fist.
Zhang Xuan didn't want to owe a debt to anyone as this could bring about a karmic cycle.
Since he had helped the person before, in a sense, the other party's actions could be considered as returning the favor. Thus, neither of them owed anything to the other anymore.
Zhao Feiwu was taken aback.
Despite learning that she was the envoy from the Myriad Kingdom Alliance, and on top of that, it was clear that she was expressing goodwill toward him, he actually shrugged it off, not demanding anything at all. He was truly a peculiar person.
There were very few people who could resist this kind of opportunity.
However, Zhao Feiwu quickly recovered and smiled, "Let's do that then! However... you've killed the emperor of a Conferred Kingdom and driven away his old ancestor. How should we settle this matter? If we don't resolve this matter properly, it could cause a huge pandemonium."
To think that the royal family of a Conferred Kingdom could be reduced to such a state; the inaugurating emperor dying and the old ancestor fleeing in a fluster. If other kingdoms were to learn of it, they would definitely make use of this opening.
Zhang Xuan was taken aback.
He was too preoccupied with avenging Lu Chong that he failed to consider this matter.
The current circumstances were indeed dire for Xuanyuan Kingdom. If this matter wasn't resolved properly, it would be a matter of time before the entire kingdom falls into chaos.
"Actually, I have an idea in mind."
Seeing the other party's hesitation, Zhao Feiwu's eyes twinkled and she smiled.
"Since you were the one who destroyed the royal family, I believe that no one would dare to raise any objections if you became the new emperor. This way, I'll be able to report the matter to my superiors as well," Zhao Feiwu suggested.
The main reason why she had spoken her previous words wasn't to put Zhang Xuan in a spot but to bring up this suggestion.
In truth, she had already considered this outcome. Otherwise, she wouldn't have helped Zhang Xuan.
The person before her was able to stand up against an entire kingdom on his own. If he were to become the emperor, he would surely be able to bring the kingdom to greater heights.
At the same time, she could return the favor as well. Thus, in her opinion, this was a win-win situation.
"Becoming the emperor?"
Zhang Xuan shook his head. "I'll pass on that."
He had to reach 9-star master teacher before thirty to live on. The thought of staying here as the emperor had never crossed his mind.
Not expecting to be rejected, Zhao Feiwu was stunned.
An emperor wielded absolute authority over the territory he governed; it was a dream for countless people. Yet, the other party turned her down without any hesitation...
"However, it's indeed my fault that Xuanyuan Kingdom was reduced to its current state. Even though I'm reluctant to become the emperor, why don't I nominate another candidate?" Zhang Xuan said, after a moment of hesitation.
But no matter what, a country mustn't go a day without an emperor or else it would lead to social instability and various other problems. This wasn't what Zhang Xuan hoped to see.
Not expecting Zhang Xuan to reject it and nominate another candidate instead, Zhao Feiwu stared at him with an intrigued expression, "Nominating another emperor? May I know who it is? Don't tell me that you're going to nominate Sun Qiang!"
If it was Sun Qiang, she would probably burst into tears on the spot.
That fellow was weak, yet he was exceptionally arrogant and boastful. More importantly, the words 'wise' and 'astute' were in a whole different world from him. If he were to become the emperor, Xuanyuan Kingdom might fall into greater ruins.
"Sun Qiang? How can that be? There's no way such a great talent should be placed in such a humble position!" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
Sun Qiang was his butler, and he was going to venture out into the larger world alongside him. How could he leave the other party behind in such a shabby location?
"... Cough cough!"
Zhao Feiwu choked on her own saliva.
Truly, the attitude of the servant reflected the personality of the master.
At the start, she thought that Sun Qiang's boastful nature was an individual problem. However, after looking at Zhang Xuan, she realized that it was impossible for him not to be boastful with such a young master...
An ignorant Pixue realm cultivator becoming the emperor of a Conferred Kingdom, and you think that it's a waste of his talents... Can we still talk properly?
Suppressing the stifling sensation in her chest, Zhao Feiwu asked, "Then who are you nominating?"
Zhang Xuan smiled as he beckoned to the skies, "Mo Yu, come down!"
The Steelfang Howling Firmament Beast in the skies howled furiously and swooped down. Mo Yu immediately rushed up to Zhang Xuan with reddened eyes, wanting to dive into his embrace. However, she hesitated and eventually decided against it.
He had truly left her worried just now.
However, she was aware that the other party harbored no feelings toward her. If she were to dive into the other party's embrace, that would truly be awkward.
Not expecting the candidate that Zhang Xuan was going to nominate to be a lady, Zhao Feiwu was perplexed.
"Indeed, I want her to become the first empress of Xuanyuan Kingdom. I wonder if it's acceptable?" Zhang Xuan chuckled.
"Empress? Xuanyuan Kingdom's empress?"
Upon hearing Zhang Xuan's words, Mo Yu's body began trembling uncontrollably.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 444
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