Chapter 780: Why Donâ€™t You Stay as Our Gatekeeper?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Xuanxuan Factionâ€¦" Upon hearing the name, Zhang Xuan nearly spurted a mouthful of blood.
I understand that the names of most student factions have two syllables, so you wanted to do the same as well. I know that unlike Xue Zhenyang and Long Cangyue, my name only has one syllable, but surely you can just add my surname in as well! Xuanxuan Factionâ€¦ Xuan your head!
Look at the names of the other student factions! True Helios Faction, Ashen Moon Factionâ€¦ Each of them sounds majestic and impressive, but as for mineâ€¦ Donâ€™t you think it sounds a little too cute for the name of a faction?
"Yes. Our initial intention was to go with Xuan Faction, but there were quite a few people who opposed to it, saying that it is an inauspicious name, as if casting doubt on the future of our faction. They proposed for it to be named Xuanxuan Faction instead. This way, it gives an unfathomable and profound feeling to those hearing its name!" Ruohuan gongzi explained 1 .
"â€¦" Zhang Xuanâ€™s body swayed weakly.
To think that even his name would be scornedâ€¦
"Those seniors have come to challenge our faction, and as you are the leader of our factionâ€¦ itâ€™s only natural that theyâ€™ve demand an apology from you. However, none of us are a match for them, so I can only ask for Zhang shiâ€™s help with this issueâ€¦" After explaining the matter, Ruohuan gongzi revealed the purpose behind his visit.
His initial thought was to first build up Xuanxuan Faction and only bring Zhang Xuan in once everything was in place. But who could have known that the other party would go to the extent of blockading their entrance? Left with no choice, he could only head here to ask Zhang Xuan for help.
"Alright, since itâ€™s my student faction, it wonâ€™t do for me to just watch by the side while someone is hindering and beating up my members. Letâ€™s head over to take a look," Zhang Xuan said as he rubbed his glabella in frustration.
At this moment, Zhang Xuan felt like he was Zhao Kuangyin 2 , being forced to don the yellow robe 3 after the coup at Chen Bridge.
Even when idle, disaster would still somehow find its way to him as if he was a magnet attracting trouble. Without any prior warning, he suddenly found himself as the leader of a faction.
Just what in the world was this?!
It would be too late even if he were to turn down the position now. The seniors and the other student factions had already decided that he was the ringleader behind the mess, and they would do everything they could to bring him down. Rather than standing against them alone, he might stand up as the leader of the Xuanxuan Faction and organize its members to stand against the seniors together.
Honestly, his only goal here was to read books and live his life in peace, but somehowâ€¦ he found himself becoming the nemesis of the seniors and the messiah of the freshmenâ€¦
Just the thought of it left him feeling a little stifled.
Unlike Zhang Xuan, who had been given the highest of privileges right after his enrollment in the academy, freshmen usually lived in shared dormitories in a corner of the academy.
With Ruohuan gongzi leading the way, it didnâ€™t take long for the trio to arrive at the dormitories.
The area was filled with many high-rise buildings, and a vast square stood at the very center of the buildings.
There were several dueling platforms on the square with chairs and tables scattered around them. Looking at the sides of the square, there were quite a few cleaning tools lying in the corner. It seemed this was the area where duels were often conducted, and it was frequently cleaned to maintain the area.
At this moment, the square was packed with countless freshmen.
Even though it was already in the middle of the night, there were several torches lit around the square, and quite a number of Night Illumination Pearls were floating above as well, bringing light to the area.
On the dueling platform at the very center of the square, three men stood proudly as they gazed down at the crowd beneath them with an air of superiority.
"Those three are the seniors who came to challenge us," Ruohuan gongzi said.
Zhang Xuan turned his gaze to the trio.
Instead of the usual master teacher robe that students wear, they were dressed in tight training clothes.
The first one seemed to be in his late twenties, and he was slightly taller in stature than the other two. There was a well-groomed beard on his face, and what was particularly striking about him was the aggressive glint in his black eyes.
Held in his hand was a majestic Nine-ringed Saber which was nearly half of his height in length. Bulky and heavy, it was a weapon that demanded immense strength from its wielder.
The second one had long arms and legs, but his figure was slightly slimmer than the othersâ€™. He held no weapon in his hands, but his figure was reminiscent of an agile ape.
The third wielded a long spear that extended over two meters long. His very presence felt sharp like a sword, as if he would slice apart even the air itself.
"Not bad!" Zhang Xuan offered a rare compliment to the trio.
As expected of veteran martial artists, he could already feel the aura they were exuding even from a distance away. It was no wonder they dared to challenge all of the freshmen; they did possess the strength to act so arrogantly.
Recognizing the trio, Luo Qiqi sent him a telepathic message. "They are from the True Helios Faction!"
"True Helios Faction?"
"Yes. I recognize the three of them, they are Grade-4 students. Their cultivation levels have already reached Transcendent Mortal 8-dan Ethereal Treading realm pinnacle.
"The one who is wielding the Nine-ringed Saber is called Bai Shuang 4 . Due to the stark contrast with his dark complexion, he was mockingly addressed as White Face in the beginning. However, as he comprehended the Saber Heart and began making his name as a skilled saber user, others began calling him the White-faced Frenzied Saber. As time went by, this name stuck with him, so he decisively chose to change his name to Bai Mian 5 . Even within the Martial Arts School, he can be considered as a famed genius!" Luo Qiqi explained.
"The second is known as Yuan Gang. Due to his long arms and his exceptional proficiency in close-quarters combat, he was given the nickname Supreme Ape. After hearing that name, instead of flying into a rage, he even took delight in it, thinking that it was particularly suited to him. As a result, others also began addressing him as such.
"As for the last one, he is called Ying Qin, and he is the strongest of the group. He learned his spearmanship straight from Xue Zhenyang, and he once severed a river several dozen meters wide. This feat bore testimony to his immense strength and aptitude with the spear, so came his reputation as the â€˜River Severing Steel Spearâ€™!
"The three of them are experts of the Martial Arts School, possessing exceptional talent for battle techniques. Considering that they are the ones challenging the freshmenâ€¦ it will indeed be difficult for the freshmen to defeat them!" Luo Qiqi shook her head.
Of the entire Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, the students of the Martial Arts School possessed the greatest fighting prowess. Skilled in battle techniques, they were capable of utilizing profound maneuvers in battle to turn the tables on their opponents.
Even among the powerful students of the Martial Arts School, these three men stood amidst the top. For a bunch of freshmen who had never undergone the advanced training of the academy, it was nigh impossible for them to defeat such opponents.
Even with their cultivation suppressed, their sharp insight into the flow of battle and reaction speed werenâ€™t things that Clarifying Turbidity realm or Consonant Spirit realm cultivators could match.
"They are from the Martial Arts School? I see!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
Back then, when he was traveling to Hongyuan City, Luo Qiqi had touched on the Martial Arts School while introducing the basic system of the Master Teacher Academy to him.
Unlike the other schools, the Martial Arts School wasnâ€™t affiliated with any supporting occupation. It was constructed for the sole purpose of raising the fighting prowess of the master teachers.
Most of the students of this school had achieved a profound understanding in the study of martial arts, making them unmatched in a duel against their peers.
Taking the trio on the dueling platform for example, even amongst Ethereal Treading realm pinnacle experts, they could be considered as the cream of the crop. Considering the skills that they possessed, it was no wonder they dared to provoke all of the freshmen at once. They indeed had nothing to fear.
"Is there anyone else?"
While they were speaking, another freshman was defeated by Supreme Ape Yuan Gang. The latter sneered coldly as his gaze swept across the crowd. "Is this all this batchâ€™s freshmen has? I thought that you were still alright, but it seems like I overestimated all of you. With capability like yours, you all still dared to create a faction? How laughable!"
"Youâ€¦ Iâ€™ll fight you!" Hearing the other party mocking them, a freshman couldnâ€™t suppress his rage and stepped forward.
This freshman was at Consonant Spirit realm intermediate stage, so Yuan Gang suppressed his cultivation to equal his. As soon as the battle started, Yuan Gangâ€™s figure immediately disappeared. Before the freshman could even process what was happening, he was already struck in his chest, and the impact sent him flying from the dueling platform.
"They arenâ€™t a match for them at allâ€¦" Zhang Xuan shook his head.
The freshmen consisted of the top geniuses from the various areas, but there was simply too huge a gap between them and the top students of the Martial Arts School. It was no wonder Ruohuan gongzi had rushed to his residence to bring him over. It was indeed impossible for the freshmen to defeat them on their own.
They were simply on two completely different levels.
With several millenniums of history behind it, the Martial Art Schools possessed the most valuable of insights from countless preceding master teachers. On top of that, there were formidable master teachers who were experts in combat themselves guiding the students personally. Perhaps if the freshmen were given a few more years to refine their skills in the academy, they might still be a match for the trio. But at this very momentâ€¦ it was impossible for them to stand against the trio.
"Letâ€™s head over!" Knowing that none of the freshmen would be a match for the trio, Zhang Xuan sighed deeply before making his way forward.
"Zhang shi is here!"
"Our faction leader has come!"
"This is great, we are savedâ€¦"
"Faction leader, these old students are too much. You must teach them a lesson in our stead!"
"Indeed! We canâ€™t simply let them step over us like thatâ€¦"
Before Zhang Xuan could reach the dueling platform, there were already several freshmen who had recognized him, and they shouted in agitation. Following which, the other freshmen in the surroundings immediately turned their gazes over, their eyes glowing with relief and hope.
This young man before their eyes had done a lot for them. He had given out his points in the entrance examination, allowing more than twenty thousand students to successfully enroll into the academy as well. After which, he had given out the Teacher Information Documentation for free, sparing them from the extortion ploy of the seniors.
Furthermore, at this very moment, he was the head of Xuanxuan Faction, their leader. His arrival was like an injection of confidence to them, as if they had finally found their pillar of support.
The crowd swiftly opened up a pathway for them, allowing Zhang Xuan, Luo Qiqi, and Ruohuan gongzi to walk right up to the dueling platform.
Beneath the dueling platform lay several dozen injured students. Even though their injuries werenâ€™t too severe, they were left in quite an unsightly manner.
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan, Song Chao, Luo Xuan, and the others rushed up to him agitatedly.
Ever since they had known Zhang Xuan, there had not been a single occasion they could recall in which the latter had been incapable of something. The trio on the dueling platform might be impressive, but they had absolute confidence in Zhang Xuan. In their view, it was already a certain victory for them from the moment Zhang Xuan arrived on the scene.
While a wave of excitement washed across the crowd beneath, the trio on the dueling platform also glanced down to look at Zhang Xuan.
"So, he is the legendary Zhang Xuan? He looks so-so!" the dark-faced Bai Mian sneered.
"Regardless of whether he is so-so or not, we must make him learn the price of offending our True Helios Faction!" Supreme Ape Yuan Gang harrumphed.
"Be careful when you strike later on. Our faction leader has already warned us about his incredible background. Itâ€™ll suffice for him to learn of our prowess; thereâ€™s no need to go too far. It wonâ€™t be in our favor if this matter reaches the elders," Ying Qin instructed.
"Donâ€™t worry. We know what to do. Heâ€™s just a freshman; Iâ€™ll leave him on his knees, begging for mercy, within three blows!" Bai Mian declared confidently with a sneer.
With a flick of his wrist, his immense saber flew in an arc, creating a deep resounding whir in the air. Stabbing his saber into the platform, he glanced at Zhang Xuan coldly and asked, "You are Zhang Xuan?"
His voice was overflowing with aggression toward Zhang Xuan.
Looking at the hostility the other party was exuding, as if he had wronged the other party grievously somehow, Zhang Xuan could only nod helplessly. "Others do address me as such."
"Good. Do you dare duel against me?" With a provocative smile on his lips, Bai Mian issued his challenge. "Donâ€™t worry, Iâ€™ll suppress my cultivation to your level. I wonâ€™t take advantage of you."
Seeing the other party challenging him to a duel right away, Zhang Xuan sighed deeply before replying, "Thatâ€™s fine by me, but if I am not mistaken, you seem to have said that you want me to apologize to the True Helios Faction and have all of the freshmen purchase the Teacher Information Documentation if the freshmen lose this confrontation. Is there such a matter?"
"Thatâ€™s indeed the case!" Bai Mian nodded smugly.
"Since you have imposed a bet on the duel, what do you have to offer if you lose then?" Zhang Xuan questioned.
"Us?" Bai Mian was slightly thrown off his momentum by the question. However, he recovered swiftly and answered, "Thereâ€™s no way we will lose!"
A higher-grade student challenging a lower-grade studentâ€”while it was a challenge in name, it couldnâ€™t be clearer to everyone that this was just a means to teach the other party a lesson and impose hierarchical order upon them! Given such, how could they possibly lose?
Zhang Xuan shook his head. "Thereâ€™s no way you will lose? Donâ€™t be so certain about it. Thereâ€™s no such thing as a sure victory in a duel.
"If you arenâ€™t willing to put anything on the line, why should I waste my time fighting with you?"
You wish to bet with me without putting anything at stake? You must be joking with me!
If thereâ€™s nothing to earn, why should I tire myself out?
"Thisâ€¦" Not expecting the other party to raise the issue about the stakes as soon as he arrived, Bai Mian turned to the other two to seek their opinions.
Ying Qin had a frown on his face as well. After a moment of contemplation, he stepped forward and said, "Zhang shi is right. Since we have imposed conditions on you, itâ€™s only right for us to put something on the line as well. How about this? If we lose, Iâ€™ll take back everything I have said and apologize to all of you."
Zhang Xuan shook his head. "How about this instead? It hasnâ€™t been long since our Xuanxuan Faction was established, and it just so happens that we are lacking some servants to guard our doors. If you lose, you shall back out of the True Helios Faction to watch our doors. What do you think of that?"