They were well aware of their teacher's talents. If he had a year or so, he would have surely been able to recover from his injuries and perhaps, he might have even made a name for himself too. However, considering the severity of the injuries caused by passing through the spatial passageway, it really seemed improbable for him to be able to walk out of Xuanjiang City within just the passing of a single month.
Furthermore, they were in a brand new world. Back at the Master Teacher Continent, Ancient Sage 4-dan cultivators were existences who could make the world tremble with a single word. But here, they were mere fishes in a massive ocean.
"Un, let me find someone to ask about that matter!"
With this thought in mind, Zhao Ya turned to the maid not too far away and asked, "May I trouble you to relay our wish to meet the Old Master? My juniors and I would like to express our gratitude to him!"
"Yes, Young Miss," the maid replied as she left the area.
Not too long later, a middle-aged man walked in with widened strides, and upon seeing the group of nine, he remarked in astonishment, "You all have regained consciousness so quickly despite being so heavily injured?"
He didn't know much about medicine, but he had the physicians in the residence to specially take a look at them. Under normal circumstances, those who had sustained injuries to that extent would take at least several months before they could wake up. Yet, barely a few days had passed and they had all regained consciousness. It looked like there were more to them than he thought!
Could it be that, just like Dan Xiaotian, his luck had arrived?
"We are extremely grateful to you for saving our lives!"
The nine of them stood up and clasped their fists together.
"You're too polite, I'm just doing what any other person would have done," Zhang Yuanwai replied with a smile.
After trading a few pleasantries, Zhao Ya got straight to the point, "Our memories are currently a little befuddled due to the injuries we have sustained, so may I ask which power does Xuanjiang City fall under, and is there a Master Teacher Pavilion or anything similar here?"
"Master Teacher Pavilion?" Zhang Yuanwai blinked his eyes. "I'm afraid that I have never heard of something like that before."
Then, he paused for a moment before replying to the first question, "Xuanjiang City is under the jurisdiction of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, one of the Six Sects."
"One of the Six Sects?"
"Indeed. The Forsaken Continent is ruled by the Six Sects, and they are namely the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, Myriad Beasts Hall…" Zhang Yuanwai began going into the details.
The group of nine widened their eyes in realization.
It seemed like they had really arrived on the Azure. This was clearly a world completely different from that of the Master Teacher Continent.
"Speaking of the Six Sects, something shocking happened just a few days ago!"
As Zhang Yuanwai began on that topic, he couldn't help but recall the various exciting news he had heard recently, such that he was slowly getting more and more into the conversation.
"Have you heard of the new hall master of the Myriad Beasts Hall, Zheng Yang?"
The group was stunned for a moment. Eight of the nine youths turned their gazes to the young man sitting amongst them.
"He shares the same name as me?" Zheng Yang scratched his head awkwardly.
"Your name is Zheng Yang as well?" Zhang Yuanwai was slightly surprised by the coincidence as well. A moment later, he burst into laughter and said, "There are plenty of people who share the same name in the world! This is not a cause for concern at all!"
Given the scale of the Forsaken Continent, there must be at least thousands of people who were known as Zheng Yang here!
"I understand. It's just that I'm slightly surprised to hear that such a powerful expert would share my common name…" Zheng Yang replied.
"Common? If you are talking about the most typical, run-of-the-mill name, there's probably no one who can compete with the new pavilion master of the Sevenstar Pavilion," Zhang Yuanwai remarked with a smile.
"Oh? A name that's even more common than Zheng Yang? Just how horrible must it be for you to describe it as run-of-the-mill?" Liu Yang chirped in as he glanced at Zheng Yang playfully.
"Indeed. The pavilion master goes by the name of Liu Yang!" Zhang Yuanwai said.
"…" Liu Yang.
Seeing how the gazes of the youths had centered around the young man who had just spoken, Zhang Yuanwai realized that something was amiss with their expressions, so he asked, "What's wrong? Could it be that you don't find this name common and run-of-the-mill enough? If you were to ask me, I think Liu Yang sounds a lot more awful than Zheng Yang. Do you all not agree? Ah, please don't misunderstand me. It's not that I'm trying to insult your name, Brother Zheng. It was just a passing thought…"
Liu Yang's face darkened as he said, "Well… I share the same name as the pavilion master. I am Liu Yang too."
"…" Zhang Yuanwai was stunned.
Did he just pick up a den of sect leader impersonators?
He looked at the nine youths before him and hesitated for a moment before asking carefully, "Then… by any chance, are any one of you called Zhang Xuan?"
"You know Zhang Xuan?" Zhao Ya was stunned.
"Indeed. There's no one on the Forsaken Continent who wouldn't have heard of this name," Zhang Yuanwai replied as a matter-of-factly. "He's the sect leader of our Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!"
The sect leader of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion?
Zhao Ya and the others fell into deep thoughts.
"Could it be just another person going by the same name?"
"Our teacher has only arrived here a month ago. How could he manage to become the head of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion? Even for our teacher, such a feat doesn't seem too likely…"
"Zhang Yuanwai also mentioned earlier that the minimum requirement to becoming the head fo the Six Sects is for one's cultivation to reach Heavenly High Immortal realm…"
Earlier, while they were chatting, Zhang Yuanwai also mentioned the various cultivation realms. He was unaware of the existence of the Semi-Divinity realm, but he still had some knowledge about the Pseudo Immortal realm, True Immortal realm, and High Immortal realm…
In order to become the head of a sect, one's cultivation would have to be at Heavenly High Immortal realm at the very minimum. It was already a huge question whether their teacher would be able to recover from his injuries when he had only arrived a month ago, let alone advance his cultivation so far…
Zhao Ya pondered for a moment before asking, "Do you know how Sect Leader Zhang looks like?"
"He's a dashing young man, probably still in his early twenties. I had the honor of meeting him once. Speaking of that, he shares a deep fate with our Xuanjiang City. Around a month ago, our city's Dan Xiaotian found Sect Leader Zhang severely injured in the vicinity, so he brought the latter back to his house and treated him. Then, before anyone of us knew it, the news that he has become the head of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion began spreading all over the Forsaken Continent…"
As Zhang Yuanwai spoke of Zhang Xuan's happenings, his eyes glittered in reverence, similar to how a hardcore fan would react when his number one idol was mentioned.
"Not only so, do you remember the Hall Master Liu Yang and Pavilion Master Zheng Yang I have mentioned earlier? I actually haven't finished the story yet. The truth is that… they are all aliases of Sect Leader Zhang! To put it in other words, he is currently the head of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, Sevenstar Pavilion, Myriad Beasts Hall, and Starchaser Palace right now! That is four out of the Six Sects! Do you know what that means? It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that he's currently the most powerful man in the world!"
"He's the head of four sects?"
"The most powerful man in the world?"
In this instant, all nine of the youths were stunned. Wang Ying's face was twitching. Zhao Ya was clutching her hair frenziedly. Yuan Tao had bitten his tongue but he didn't even realize it.
At this point in time, no matter how slow-witted they could it, it was obvious that this Zhang Xuan was really their teacher!
It was one thing for the various heads of the Six Sects to share their names, but surely it would be too much of a coincidence if a single man known as Zhang Xuan were to use their names as aliases…
They were still thinking a moment ago that it was impossible for their teacher to fully recover from his injuries given that he had just arrived a month ago…
They couldn't help but clutch their hearts tightly.
Wasn't their teacher's rate of cultivation impossible?
To advance from Ancient Sage 4-dan to Heavenly High Immortal realm over the span of a single month, and that was not all… He even somehow managed to find the time to take on leadership positions in four of the sects, thus becoming the most powerful man on the Forsaken Continent!
It seemed like their teacher was still the same as ever. No matter how diligently they trained, he still remained a person whom they could only look up to.
"You are acquainted with Sect Leader Zhang?"
Seeing the dazed looks on the faces of the nine youths, Zhang Yuanwai sensed that something was amiss with the atmosphere, so he asked with a slight frown.
"If my guess is not off, I think that he might very well be our teacher…" Zhao Ya said with an awkward smile.
"Your teacher…" Zhang Yuanwai was taken aback by what he had just heard.
"Pardon me, but may I trouble you to bring us over to the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion?" Zhao Ya asked.
The group of nine asked a few more questions after that, and it didn't take long before they were confident that the so-called Sect Leader Zhang was indeed their teacher.
"That's easy. I'll have it done right away!" Zhang Yuanwai replied before rushing out of the room.
He did harbor some doubts about the story of the nine youths, but if, by any chance, what they said turned out to be true, and that they were really Sect Leader Zhang's direct disciples, as their savior, he would surely be handsomely rewarded for his deeds!
At the top of a mountain in the vicinity of Xuanjiang City, Zhang Xuan and Wu Chen waited for an hour before the red string on the halberd began floating up. It was pointing toward a certain direction.
Zhang Xuan immediately rose to his feet.
The direction which the red string was pointing toward was where, surprisingly, Xuanjiang River located.
"It's no wonder I was unable to find the entrance…"
Zhang Xuan had asked Dan Xiaotian where the latter had found him, and he had made sure to examine the place earlier after he arrived at Xuanjiang City. However, he was unable to find anything there at all.
In the end, it turned out that the entrance of that spatial passageway was actually in Xuanjiang River.
The flow of water would mask the pulsations of spiritual energy that usually came from a formation. Considering the vastness of the river, if a formation was set up within it, it would indeed be difficult for even the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion to notice it.
Zhang Xuan quickly kept his formation flags and the halberd back to his storage ring before heading to the area where the red string was pointing toward.
Without any hesitation, he leaped into the river and swam downward.
Xuanjiang River was rather deep; its seabed was roughly a hundred meters below water level. Nevertheless, it didn't take long for Zhang Xuan to reach the bottom.
However, a frown soon formed on his forehead.
Based on his observation, everything within a diameter of several hundred li of him appeared to be perfectly normal. He couldn't sense any anomalies at all.
Wu Chen was unable to find anything as well, so he turned his head over to look at Zhang Xuan questioningly.
Did something go wrong with the formation earlier, leading them to the wrong place?
"Hold on for a moment," Zhang Xuan said.
He pricked his finger with a tiny surge of sword qi and flicked out a droplet of his blood.
With a resounding buzz, the silt that was deposited at the bottom of the seabed immediately rose up, revealing a stone door beneath.
Zhang Xuan walked over and pushed on it gently.
The stone door opened with a bit of resistance, revealing a dark passageway.
Zhang Xuan was about to walk in when he saw Wu Chen looking at the stone door with a look of incomprehension on his face. With a light chuckle, he explained, "This passageway was sealed by Kong shi back then in order to prevent the mercury-like spiritual energy fo the Azure from leaking over. My bloodline is different from that of Kong shi, but as fellow Celestial Master Teachers, our powers still resonate to a degree with one another. Through my bloodline, I was able to activate the hidden formation. Otherwise, there's no way we would have been able to find it!"
In fact, the resonance wasn't just because they were Celestial Master Teachers. More importantly, both of them carried fragments of the heavens within them.
It was just that Zhang Xuan didn't feel like sharing it with others.
On the other hand, Wu Chen widened his eyes in realization.
Heading down the passageway, it didn't take long for Zhang Xuan to arrive at a spacious hall. There were eight Ancient Sage 4-dan guards in the hall, and they were currently drinking with one another.
"What's the difference between imprisonment and guarding this area?"
"It's too boring! Boooorrrriiiinnnngggg!"
"I heard that those living in the world on the other side are extremely weak…"
"They are weak, but the entrance is completely sealed. There's no way we can head down there…"
The eight guards muttered as they gulped down their wine.
They must be the guards Kong shi has dispatched to guard the passageway, Zhang Xuan thought as he listened to their conversation.
He waved his hands lightly, and before the guards could even react, they had already turned into dust.
They were only guarding this area under Kong shi's commands, but them lingering in this area would pose a huge threat to the Hundred Schools of Philosophers and the Master Teacher Continent. Out of safety concerns, he had no choice but to get rid of them.
With his current strength, he could easily completely vanquish a person's existence from the face of the world.
At the very center of the hall was a massive spiral. Surges of mercury-like spiritual energy were drawn into the spiral, disappearing into an unknown land.
The two doors by the sides of the spiral were inscribed with some sort of bizarre patterns. Taking a closer look, the patterns were rather similar to that of the Starchaser Palace's altar.
It seems like Kong shi was worried that someone would blockade the entrance, so he designed the formation to be so that anyone traveling to the Azure from the Master Teacher Continent would be teleported straight to a random place near Xuanjiang City…
Zhang Xuan stroked his lower jaw contemplatively.