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No matter what, Luo Qiqi was still his student. If someone bullied her, he could not possibly sit idly.

This was just like how he would stand up for Lu Chong and the others.

"Thank you…" Seeing the unwavering look in the man's eyes, Luo Qiqi could not help but recall the sight of the latter standing up against the Otherworldly Demon puppets back in the underground chamber, and a faint smile crept onto her lips.

It had been half a year since she had come to know this man, and she knew what kind of person he was.

For his student, he would stand against an entire kingdom unhesitatingly. For his butler, he was a man who would oppose the First King and a vice pavilion master of a Conferred Empire. Domineering, but very protective of those whom he cared for. Just by this alone, she had no doubt that he would rush to her rescue if something happened to her.

And this was why she loved him.

Earnest, gutsy, responsible, and decisive!

To those whom he cared for, he would treat them earnestly, not showing the slightest hint of hypocrisy.

"Teacher, I'm happy to hear such words from you. Alright, I'll be heading back first!" Luo Qiqi patted the dust off her hand as she flashed Zhang Xuan a smile. "I won't impose on you any longer."

Zhang Xuan waved his hand. "Go on."

Even though he had not voiced it explicitly, his actions should have clearly shown his rejection for her feelings.

After the affairs today, she should understand that he viewed her as another one of his precious students, and her affection toward him would never bear fruit. Hopefully, she would cast aside those thoughts and find one who was truly suited for her.

Luo Qiqi turned around before muttering softly, "Farewell… Teacher."

After which, she leaped into the air, and before long, she vanished from sight.

At Luo Qiqi's departure, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.

He had only spent two hours with the other party, but he felt as if he had fought a war.

It seemed like he would really have to hold himself back in the future and maintain a lower profile, or else it would be troublesome if too many ladies were to fall in love with him.

Sometimes, being too outstanding was a sorrow.

Shaking his head, Zhang Xuan was just about to find a place to cultivate with his newly-acquired Spirit Reinforcing Pills when he suddenly saw a figure heading over. It was none other than Yu Fei-er!

"Zhang shi, aren't you being a little biased? You should have told me that you were teaching Qiqi pill forging! I want to learn it, too!" Yu Fei-er harrumphed as soon as she landed on the cliff, apparently displeased by the private time he had spent with Luo Qiqi.

The both of them had confessed, and yet, Zhang Xuan had still chosen to spend some private with Luo Qiqi. She could not help but feel a little jealous at that.

"I was only teaching her pill forging. Nothing of what you are thinking happened…" Zhang Xuan rubbed his glabella in frustration. Knowing that it would be better to be straightforward with someone of Yu Fei-er personality, he decided to get straight to the point. "To be honest with you, I already have someone that I like!"

"Really? Who is it? Is it Qiqi?" Yu Fei-er asked in alarm.

"It's not her but… the little princess of the Luo Clan!" Zhang Xuan replied.

"Luo Clan? As in the Sage clan?" Yu Fei-er did not believe what she was hearing. "The Luo Clan is a lofty existence in the Master Teacher Continent, so how could you be acquainted with their little princess?"

The Sage Clans were existences that stood at the very peak of the Master Teacher Continent, the very embodiment of absolute power! In comparison to the Luo Clan, her Hongyuan royal family was truly nothing at all.

Considering that Zhang Xuan originated from the humble Tianxuan Kingdom, how could he possibly be acquainted with someone as noble as the little princess from the Luo Clan, let alone fall in love with her?

"You can choose not to believe my words if you want to. As for how I came to know her… I can only say that it was the workings of destiny. Furthermore, I can tell you that the feelings that we have for one another are mutual!" At this point, Zhang Xuan could not help but think of Luo Ruoxin, and his lips unknowingly curled up into a smile.

It was a misunderstanding that had brought them together the first time they met. He had thought that she was being pursued by spirit beasts back then, and he had forcefully pulled her down into a river, only to faint in the end. Thinking about it, the misunderstanding seemed almost like the miraculous working of fate. If that had not happened, would they still be together today?

In any case, since he already had someone he loved, he did not want to get too deeply involved with other ladies anymore. Yu Fei-er was a headstrong and resolute person, so he felt that he should nip her feelings in the bud.

"I don't believe you. You are lying…" Yu Fei-er's face paled.

All along, she had thought that Zhang Xuan had no girlfriend and that she, Luo Qiqi, and Hu Yaoyao all stood a chance as long as they worked diligently. However, it seemed like they were already too late.

"You are a wonderful lady, but what I am saying is the truth." Zhang Xuan shook his head.

"But I…" Too agitated, Yu Fei-er's breathing hastened, rendering her unable to continue. Gritting her teeth, she turned around. After a moment of silence, she spat, one word after a word, "Zhang shi, I have imposed on you today. I'll be leaving now…"

Then, not even waiting for Zhang Xuan's response, she leaped into the sky and took flight, disappearing into the horizon in a few moments.

Even though she did not say anything, her voice was tinged with sorrow and shock.

She could not believe that Zhang Xuan was taken, and she could not accept it either.

"Jeez." Seeing that he had unintentionally hurt two ladies in just a few moments, Zhang Xuan shook his head and sighed.

If possible, he did not want to have done that either.

But he simply did not harbor any romantic feelings toward them. If he had allowed their feelings for him to develop, it would only have caused them greater pain in the future.

Only for Luo Ruoxin did his heart beat.

Having experienced two lifetimes in two different worlds, he had already seen many things, allowing him to remain unfazed and composed before most matters. Yet, before Luo Ruoxin, he acted like a young man. Out of jealousy, he had ended up beating Feng Xun up and intentionally traumatizing Zhang Jiuxiao. Despite his rational personality, he found himself with an irrational hate for the Zhang Clan as well.

Luo Qiqi and Yu Fei-er were beautiful and outstanding ladies, but neither of them were able to generate such feelings within him.

He knew very well that all he felt for them was the care and concern that a teacher would have for his students.

Since that was the case, rather than get needlessly entangled with them, it would be better to dash whatever hope they had before they descended deeper into the abyss. After all, the greater the expectation, the greater the disappointment.

He was certain that this was the best course of action.

"Forget it, I shouldn't think too much into it now. I should raise my cultivation to Embryonic Soul realm pinnacle first!" Shaking his head, Zhang Xuan tossed aside the other thoughts he had in his mind and sat cross-legged on the ground.

The area was exceptionally quiet, and there was not a person in sight. It was the ideal environment for him to cultivate in.

He quickly conditioned the internal state of his body and his breath, and when his physical condition finally peaked roughly two hours later, he took out a Spirit Reinforcing Pill and swallowed it.

The Spirit Reinforcing Pills that Luo Qiqi had forged were made using extremely mature medicinal herbs. Those medicinal herbs harnessed rich medicinal energy, and the pills were perfectly forged on top of that, reaching the tier of Inscribed Pill. As such, every single one of the four pills harnessed several dozen times more spiritual energy than the one he had obtained from Hall Master Xing.

As the pill dissolved in his mouth, he immediately felt a blazing surge of energy coursing through his meridians before eventually gathering around his Origin Soul.

Upon reaching Saint 3-dan intermediate stage, his Origin Soul had adopted a form reminiscent of an eight-year-old child. Its every move seemed to be tinged with incredible might that could shatter the world.

Calming his mind, Zhang Xuan focused his consciousness on the internal state of his body as he began to drive his zhenqi according to the Saint 3-dan Heaven's Path Divine Art. Whenever he felt that he was running low on spiritual energy, he would unhesitatingly swallow a Spirit Reinforcing Pill.

As he absorbed more and more spiritual energy from the Spirit Reinforcing Pills, his cultivation and strength swiftly rose.

Embryonic Soul realm intermediate stage!

Embryonic Soul realm advanced stage!

Embryonic Soul realm pinnacle!

An hour later…

His Origin Soul had already adopted the form of a sixteen to seventeen-year-old young man, sharing an identical appearance with him, just slightly younger.

Its size remained the same as back when it was just an infant—ten meters tall. It did not become any taller during its development.

"Finally!" Zhang Xuan exclaimed after a deep exhalation.

He had really gone through a lot of trouble just to raise his cultivation to this level. Fortunately, diligence did not fail him. After overcoming all the difficulties in his path, he had finally managed to reach Embryonic Soul realm pinnacle!

However, the four Spirit Reinforcing Pills that Luo Qiqi had given him also ended up being depleted as well, and he had become poor once more.

Assessing his internal condition again, he felt that the flow of zhenqi in his body was far smoother than ever, and his strength had already risen by leaps and bounds as compared to before.

He stretched out his hands and lightly closed his fist together.


A sonic boom sounded, and the next moment, the boulder beneath him suddenly burst into dust.

It was fortunate that he had flown up in advance, or else he would have been cloaked in dust.

This is the might wielded by an Embryonic Soul realm pinnacle expert? Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly together in excitement. Incredible!

Even though it was hard for him to determine his current strength until he exchanged blows with a true expert, he was confident that if he were to meet the Qingtian Emperor once more, he would be able to crush the latter into meat paste with a single punch.


Rising to his feet, he reined in his aura, and the pressure he exerted finally vanished. In the eyes of other cultivators, he would only appear as an ordinary Saint 3-dan pinnacle.

Even though he had raised his cultivation significantly, he still had every intention of maintaining a low profile. If he could avoid standing in the spotlight, he would try his best to do so to avoid unnecessary trouble.

At my current cultivation realm, ordinary Spirit Reinforcing Pills won't be of much use to me anymore. There's no longer any point in me heading to the Apothecary Guild.

Zhang Xuan's original intention had been to pay a visit to the Apothecary Guild to purchase some Spirit Reinforcing Pill to advance his cultivation. However, along with the rise in his cultivation, it would seem that the concentration of the spiritual energy within ordinary Spirit Reinforcing Pill was no longer sufficient for his cultivation.

As such, it would be futile no matter how many of them he acquired. He would only be wasting his money.

Forget it, I should just return to the Combat Master Hall. Those three hall masters should still be around, so I can assess my new strength on them, Zhang Xuan thought with a chuckle as he began making his way back to the Combat Master Hall.

However, just as he was about to make his way back, he suddenly froze for a moment. Flicking his wrist, he took out a jade token.

Wu shi had sent him a message. After taking a look at it, his face immediately turned grim.

Pavilion Master Gou… is dead?

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