Chapter 548 - Origin Flame Glacier Plain
Ignoring the crying Ruohuan gongzi, Zhang Xuan asked, "Who are those Origin Flame Glacier Plain men you spoke of?"
It wasn't that he was without sympathy but that he thought there was definitely a chance at turning the situation around here. Besides, even if they were to end up being stuck with only two slots, Zhang Xuan could simply compensate the other party by providing some pointers to his cultivation.
In any case, Zhang Xuan's guidance would definitely be much more effective than training in that Yin-Yang Lake.
"Origin Flame Glacier Plain is the name of an extremely powerful influence. Just like the Apothecary Guild and Blacksmith Guild, they wield a sizeable number of spirit veins and blessed lands. As such, even though I am the head of the Master Teacher Pavilion, I dare not offend them easily. Thus, the most I could do was a propose a fair trade with them," Pavilion Master Kang explained.
"Spirit veins and blessed lands?" Zhang Xuan was astonished.
Just this in itself was sufficient to show that the power was anything but ordinary. After all, given the innumerable formidable powers in the world, how could they possibly allow a small fry hog onto such precious resources?
"Indeed. Every branch of the Origin Flame Glacier Plain has a court chief, and I happen to be acquainted with the current generation of court chief. That was how I managed to obtain the two slots to undergo the trial... Honestly speaking, it'll rely heavily on your abilities whether you can enter or not later on!" Pavilion Master Kang said.
"Un, she was once injured, and I saved her!"
Stroking his beard, Pavilion Master Kang said, "Do you remember the case study on the person who cultivated the Great Ancient Incursion Art, the one whose chest was wounded by searing sword qi?"
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
When he first met Pavilion Master Kang, the latter had once posed a test to him. The test was based on a real-life case study of a severely-wounded cultivator attempting to achieve a breakthrough to Transcendent Mortal realm.
That situation was extremely complex, and given the difficulty in the level of treatment, it was natural that Pavilion Master Kang would win the other party's gratitude after the matter.
After chatting a while longer, Zhang Xuan gained a deeper understanding of the Origin Flame Glacier Plain.
This power controlled a significant portion of blessed lands all over the world, and one thing that they didn't lack was resources. As such, wealth meant nothing much to them. Only a master teacher could possibly make them willingly fork out two slots.
After chatting for a while longer, the group started on their cultivation.
Due to a lack of spirit stones, Zhang Xuan didn't focus on attempting breakthroughs in his cultivation. Instead, he spent his time reinforcing his cultivation and enhancing his maximum zhenqi capacity.
After his cultivation reached Origin Energy realm advanced stage, his strength had increased tremendously once more. His strength of 200,000 ding had increased by twofold to 400,000 ding.
A normal Origin Energy realm primary stage expert would only wield a might of 150,000 ding, intermediate stage 200,000 ding, advanced stage 250,000 ding, and pinnacle 300,000 ding. On the other hand, Yin-Yang realm was divided by a difference of 100,00 ding between each tier-primary stage 500,000 ding, intermediate stage 600,000 ding, advanced stage 700,000 ding, pinnacle 800,000 ding!
Despite being only at Origin Energy realm advanced stage, Zhang Xuan already wielded power much greater than that of an Origin Energy realm pinnacle cultivator.
If he were to complement it with his Transcendent Mortal 2-dan pinnacle soul cultivation, his total might would exceed 700,000 ding. With such strength, he would be able to stand toe-to-toe with even Yin-Yang realm advanced stage cultivators!
But of course, this was all just theory. Strength wasn't the determining factor of one's fighting prowess. More important than that was one's battle instinct and abilities. If it was that easy to challenge those of higher cultivation realms, master teachers would truly be too overpowered.
But even so, a Yin-Yang realm intermediate stage expert should still be a piece of cake.
Along with Zhang Xuan's rise in strength, his reaction speed and physical prowess had improved significantly. While the change wasn't as obvious as that when he first stepped into Transcendent Mortal realm, there was still a clear growth in his overall fighting prowess.
"It just happens that I still have some time. I should study Heaven's Path Sword Art, Heaven's Path Spear Art, and Heaven's Path Saber Art once more!"
Reinforcing his cultivation had increased his zhenqi capacity significantly. Pleased with the results, Zhang Xuan decided to turn his attention to battle techniques instead.
The current level of Heaven's Path Sword Art and Heaven's Path Movement Art was mainly compiled from the books in Tianxuan Kingdom. Even though he had augmented it several times with more books, the current Heaven's Path Sword Art was already insufficient to meet his requirements. Thus, he had to reorganize everything and compile even stronger moves.
Along his way here, Zhang Xuan had gathered quite a few battle techniques-not to mention, he even collected all of the battle technique books from the Myriad Kingdom Alliance. As such, all he had to do was to reorganize the books for compilation.
Thus, he first worked on Heaven's Path Sword Art.
Sword is the emperor of all weapons. There was nearly no cultivator who would be ignorant of swordsmanship. As such, there were innumerable secret manuals on swordsmanship, thus making it convenient to find them.
Not too long later, Zhang Xuan managed to reorganize the entire set of Heaven's Path Sword Art.
Due to the narrow space on the back of the beast, Zhang Xuan was unable to execute it. Thus, he simply played out the skill in his head. It didn't take him too long to master the technique.
After that, he turned his attention to saber art, spear art, fist art, leg art, and movement art.
With the enhanced Heaven's Path battle techniques, Zhang Xuan's fighting prowess rose tremendously.
If Zhang Xuan could only match up to an Origin Energy realm pinnacle cultivator with just his zhenqi cultivation only previously, at this moment, he could easily match up to a Yin-Yang realm primary stage cultivator.
Factoring in his soul cultivation as well, probably even a Transcendent Mortal 3-dan Yin-Yang realm advanced stage cultivator could be easily destroyed by him.
But of course, his greatest trump card at the moment wasn't his battle techniques-it was the Eye of Insight and Impartation of Heaven's Will.
The former allowed him to see through flaws whereas the latter allowed him to beguile the minds of others. With these two trump cards, he could beguile even Pavilion Master Kang easily.
While Zhang Xuan was cultivating, Zhao Ya had been working hard too. After the last few days of hard work, she finally surpassed the bottleneck of Zhizun realm and advanced into the Half-Transcension realm.
In just a short few months, she'd advanced from a Fighter 1-dan to such a realm. This rate of progress was sufficient to leave innumerable people dumbfounded.
Sometime later, while Zhang Xuan was in the midst of cultivating, Pavilion Master Kang announced, "The Yin-Yang Lake is just right ahead!"
Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan calmed his cultivation and stood up.
Through the windows, he saw a towering mountain not too far away. Amidst the peak piled with a thick layer of white snow, a conspicuous dark-green court stood.
"This is the Glacier Plain Court. The Yin-Yang Lake is inside the court!"
Pavilion Master Kang pointed.
Taking a closer look, one could see a plaque on the entrance of the court, and the three words 'Glacier Plain Court' was exceptionally eye-catching.
Silent but dignified.
Standing by the window, Pavilion Master Kang stared at the snowing mountain peak not too far away as he said, "Just by looking at the thick layer of snow here, you probably can't imagine that this place used to be a volcano before the Glacier Plain Court was built. Back then, the searing heat was so unbearable that even a Transcendent Mortal cultivator would suffer grievous burns if he attempted to cross the volcano."
Not only was Zhang Xuan stunned, even Ruohuan gongzi seemed to be bewildered by those words.
This towering mountain was completely cloaked in white snow. Just the sight was enough to leave one shuddering in coldness. How could such a place have been a volcano before that?
"Honestly speaking, when I first heard of this news, I shared your reactions as well!"
Seeing through everyone's bewilderment, Pavilion Master Kang shook his head. "This is strength of the Origin Flame Glacier Plain! Not only do they possess the strength to claim blessed lands, they are also capable of changing the geomancy of a land to nurture the blessed land. Under their hands, many treacherous environments had turned into a spiritual energy haven that many looked forward to."
Zhang Xuan couldn't help but ask, "Could it be that... the men of Origin Flame Glacier Plain could be considered to be of a unique occupation?"
To be capable of turning the unusable into a treasure, converting a feared volcano into a snow mountain; unless it was a unique occupation, Zhang Xuan found it hard to imagine that there was any power capable of such a formidable feat.
"Your way of putting it can't be said to be wrong, but it isn't entirely correct either!"
Seeing the confused looks on everyone's faces, Pavilion Master Kang chuckled. "Whether a certain heritage is considered as a unique occupation or not is decided by the Master Teacher Pavilion. One of the factors the Master Teacher Pavilion uses for making such decision is whether the heritage has a complete system of knowledge and a strict progressive ability ranking system. But there are simply some occupations whose members are unable to be judged under a hierarchical structure, such as herbologists.
"The capability of a herbologist depends heavily on their knowledge. Often, medicinal herbs required very specific knowledge to cultivate them, and it was possible for a highly skilled herbologist to be unable to cultivate a basic medicinal herb. Thus, a progressive ability ranking system couldn't really work in this case...
"An occupation without a strict progressive ranking system cannot be considered as a unique occupation. While it is true that the men of Origin Flame Glacier Plain possess mysterious means to turn a volcano into a snow mountain, a marsh into a plain, but... they had no true heritage or a specific way of doing so. Rather, their abilities seem to be more closely related to their talent and ability!
"Besides, there are very few members of the Origin Flame Glacier Plain alive in the world. Even in the area of jurisdiction of Myriad Kingdom Alliance or even the entire Huanyu Empire, there is only one of such branch... Given such, how could it possibly be proclaimed as an occupation? But at the same time, they did indeed possess a unique ability, a characteristic that only occupations have. Thus, even the Master Teacher Pavilion was a little troubled and was unable to come to a verdict over this matter."
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
An occupation must have a unique heritage that everyone could take on, and it must have a lot of branches across the world.
But the Origin Flame Glacier Plain men were sorely lacking in their number of members, and their heritage was slightly chaotic. Not to mention, their ability relied heavily on their innate talent as well. As such, they had yet to be proclaimed as an occupation.
"To turn a searing volcano into a frigid snow mountain, how did they do it?" Zhao Ya asked curiously.
"I'm not sure about the details, but it is certain that this place was a volcano a thousand years ago. It was said that the men of Origin Flame Glacier Plain traveled here and reshaped this place over the course of a century to turn it into its current state. On top of that, they even created the Yin-Yang Lake where the power of yin and yang amalgamate with one another, creating a paradoxical combination of clarity and turbidity. It is said that any cultivator that has yet to reach Transcendent Mortal 5-dan will benefit greatly from cultivating in it."
Pavilion Master Kang shook his head. "However, the slots for the Yin-Yang Lake are very limited every year. It is insufficient for even their internal consumption, let alone, to offer it to outsiders. Throughout the years, there were many influential powers who approached them, only to leave in disappointment."
The ability to reshape the environment was a secret of the Origin Flame Glacier Plain men. Even as a powerful 4-star master teacher, he had no access to such secrets.
"Perhaps, it might be a powerful formation created via the terrain such as the mountain pulse and such!" Ruohuan gongzi interjected.
One common method used to change one's environment was via formations. Thus, Ruohuan gongzi immediately thought of the use of formation.
"It isn't a formation. The mountain range extends for several hundred kilometers, how huge of a formation would be required to encompass the area? Not to mention, the spiritual energy required to sustain its activation over so many years?" Pavilion Master Kang said.
Even though formations had the power to alter an environment, its area of effect tended to be limited. While it was theoretically possible to create a formation that extended over several hundred kilometers and modify an entire mountain, it was nearly completely unfeasible to implement it.
Even a Transcendent Mortal 9-dan expert would be unable to accomplish such a task! Perhaps, only the legendary beings surpassing the 9-dans would be capable of doing so.
"Indeed, it's not a formation!"
Zhang Xuan shook his head too. When Pavilion Master Kang raised the topic earlier, Zhang Xuan used the Eye of Insight to look into the matter as well. There wasn't the slightest trace of a formation across the entire mountain range, so that definitely wasn't the case.
Otherwise, given his eye of discernment, it was impossible for him to see through something so basic.
Chuckling, Pavilion Master Kang interjected the conversation and said, "Forget it, let's not bother about that anymore. Our motive here is to enter the Yin-Yang Lake, not to deduce its origin!
"Later on, when we're in, do not act on your own whim. Follow my lead. I'll try to vie for three slots, and even if that fails, we have to try to secure our two slots at the very least!"
"Un!" Everyone nodded.
"Good, let's descend then!"
Hearing the voice, the aerial spirit beast flapped its wings and began gliding toward the Glacier Plain Court.