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There were no words that could describe the shock that the other members of the group were feeling.

In fact, they might even have started to feel numb to it already.

There was an exponential rise in the difficulty for each additional formation overlapped on a compounded formation.

Even the most talented of 8-star formation masters that they knew of would require a minimum of four months to set up the most basic grade-8 double compounded formation and sixteen months for the most basic triple compounded formation. As for a quadruple compounded formation… Without at least two decades of work, there was no way one could succeed!

Yet, with just a shake of his hand, the young man before them managed to set up four of them in less than a breath…

His comprehension of formations could not just be defined with the word 'formidable' anymore. It was already beyond their imagination, reaching the realms of 'terrifying'!

Bi Hongyin could not help but ask, "Zhang shi, did you really just clear your 8-star formation master examination just a few days ago?"

"I did. I took it together with Brother Luo, and it was really quite troublesome…" Recalling the examination he had that day, Zhang Xuan shook his head.

"Troublesome…" In this instant, Luo Xuanqing was seriously contemplating whether he should never speak to the young man ever again.

From looking through the formation blueprint to activating the formation, it took you only five breaths… and you freaking call that troublesome?

If anyone was troubled by that examination, it should be me!

Even until now, my 8-star formation master emblem hasn't arrived.

"The Slaughter Formation is about to execute!" Zhang Xuan suddenly interjected.

While they were chatting, the Slaughter Formation that he had set up seemed to have absorbed sufficient spiritual energy, and with a brilliant burst of light, it began to whir into action.

The next moment, countless bursts of sword qi shot forth.

All the others could see was innumerable cold glints flashing before all of the Crimsontail Hornets collapsed to the ground, severed into two.

"How powerful…"

Witnessing the might of the Slaughter Formation, the others felt shivers running down their spine.

Even though it was only a grade-8 primary Slaughter Formation, it was complemented by a Beguilement Formation and Spirit Gathering Formation, which raised its prowess to an unbelievable extent. Even for them, they would require a great deal of effort before they could break out of the formation.

"Something is wrong…" Luo Xuanqing suddenly noticed something. "Considering the powerful might of the Slaughter Formation, why are the Crimsontail Wasps floating stationary in the air, allowing the sword qi to slice right through them? Even if their sense of direction has been confounded by the Beguilement Formation, their innate sensitivity to danger should still prompt them to dodge the sword qi!"

"You're right!"

"What's going on?"

Luo Xuanqing's words had jolted everyone into realization as well.

As formidable as a grade-8 Slaughter Formation was, it should not have the power to kill Crimsontail Wasps so easily. Yet, the situation before them… the Crimsontail Wasps were floating around idly, as if they were completely oblivious to the assault of the Slaughter Formation!

This was a really mystifying situation.

"Oh. Regarding that, I had set up an Illusory Formation as well. These Crimsontail Wasps aren't too powerful, and their minds aren't too resilient. As such, they are particularly susceptible to Illusory Formations," Zhang Xuan replied with a light chuckle.

"Again?" Luo Xuanqing's cheeks twitched intensely, and unable to stand it anymore, he asked, "Just how many formations did you compound in here!"

He had only expected Zhang Xuan to set up a single formation to prevent sound and shockwaves of combat from leaking out. Yet, he actually ended up performing far beyond expectations, setting up five formations on top of one another!

Just how many more were in there that they did not know of?

"Well, didn't you all say that the Crimsontail Wasps would release poison clouds upon their death? I implemented a Gathering Formation to channel the poison clouds together. Other than that, I also set up a Compression Formation. Considering how the poison of the Crimsontail Wasps could kill even a Saint 7-dan expert, if I can just extract some, I should be able to sell it for quite a hefty sum!"

Zhang Xuan continued calculating with his fingers. "Oh, there's also a formation to search for the Wasp King. Since that fellow is the king, it's bound to have many valuable parts to it. However, I still am not too sure how powerful the Wasp King is, so out of safety considerations, I set up a Confinement Formation so that I would at least be able to trap it should I fail to kill it. Other than that, there's also a Visibility Formation for us to look through the mist, a Ventilation Formation to ensure that we receive fresh air so that it won't feel too suffocating here. Oh, and not to forget, a Temperature Regulation Formation as well so that we can watch the show comfortably… I think that should be all."

After saying those words, he turned back to the crowd and saw Luo Xuanqing and the others with their mouths wide open. They were all looking at him as if he was a monster.

It took a long while before they managed to recover from their shock, but even so, a stifling sensation still continued to suffocate their chests.

Talking to that fellow felt almost as if they were stabbing a dagger into their own hearts.

Their current feelings could totally be described in five words—Screw this sh*t, I'm out.

"Brother Luo, I heard that the little princess is quite a proficient formation master as well." Bi Hongyin turned to Luo Xuanqing and discreetly asked, "Is she able to set up formations this quickly, too?"

"S-she… She's unable to do it that quickly!" Luo Xuanqing replied while gulping. "But again, my younger sister didn't spend too much time studying each occupation either—she simply masters them too quickly. Well, perhaps except for pill forging I guess."

His younger sister was not just a highly talented cultivator—she also grasped each of the occupations extremely quickly. What took others several decades to master, she could become proficient within just several months and reach the peak.

The only supporting occupation that she was slightly lacking in was pill forging.

This was just like how formations were what he was the worst at. He had to take the 8-star formation master examination three times before he managed to barely scrape by.

"I see…" Bi Hongyin nodded. A moment later, she turned to Zhang Xuan and asked out of curiosity, "Zhang shi, are you proficient in pill forging?"

"I'm afraid I can't really forge pills." Zhang Xuan shook his head dejectedly.

He had a tight grasp over the various theories and knowledge concerning pill forging, but he lacked the skills to put this knowledge into practice. Otherwise, he would not have to engage the help of others each time.

Upon hearing that, the others heaved a sigh of relief.

Considering how monstrous he already was in the field of formations, he would really be inhuman if he was equally formidable in the other supporting occupations.

At the very least, the fact that he could not forge pills showed that he was not infallible.

"Wait a moment, don't you have the 7-star apothecary emblem?" Luo Xuanqing asked with a doubtful frown.

Back then, the fellow had even whipped it out to flaunt to him that he had received the emblem through special application. That was one memory that he would probably never forget.

"Ah, regarding that, I really am unable to forge pills. I only managed to be promoted through clearing the Pill Debate examination," Zhang Xuan explained.

"Pill Debate…" Another bout of light-headedness assaulted Luo Xuanqing. At this point, he really wanted to bang his head on the wall.

There was no apothecary who did not know that Pill Debate was many times more difficult than the pill forging examination!

The clearance rate for the pill forging examination was at least several dozen in a thousand, but there might not even be a single apothecary out of a group of a hundred thousand who would be able to clear the Pill Debate examination!

A moment later, after sensing that the formation was not moving anymore, Zhang Xuan told the other members, "Alright, all of the Crimsontail Wasps are dead."

The others did a swift sweep of their surroundings, too, and as expected, all of the Crimsontail Wasps had collapsed to the ground.

With a quick scanning of his formation, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement. "I have managed to capture the Wasp King too. Let's head over to take a look!"

After which, he hurriedly advanced forward.

Fearing that they would make a misstep and end up being attacked by the formation, the other members of the group followed tightly behind him. Not long later, they saw a withered Crimsontail Wasp floating in the air, seemingly on the verge of death.

In terms of appearance and size, this wasp was actually not much different from the others, making it nigh impossible to differentiate it from the rest.

Zhang Xuan activated his Eye of Insight to conduct a closer examination of the Wasp King.

While the other Crimsontail Wasps were at Saint 3-dan to 4-dan, the Wasp King wielded a cultivation of Saint 6-dan Grand Dominion realm pinnacle.

"The Wasp King's poison is too strong; I think it would be best to just kill it so that needless trouble doesn't arise from this," Luo Xuanqing proposed.

Even ordinary Crimsontail Wasps could kill Saint 7-dan experts when sufficient poison built up. Given how this one was able to become the Wasp King, its poison was bound to be far more potent. Just to be safe, it would be best to kill it quickly.

After all, it would be a disaster if any single one of them was pricked.

"Yes, its poison is indeed rather potent!" Zhang Xuan nodded as he reached out to grab the Crimsontail Wasp between his forefinger and middle finger.

"Be careful!" Seeing that Zhang Xuan actually used his bare hands to grab the Wasp King, cold sweat immediately trickled down everyone's back.


At that moment, an unexpected change occurred. The seemingly debilitated Wasp King dived forward, and the venomous sting on its tail shot straight toward Zhang Xuan's skin.


A small incision was made on Zhang Xuan's forefinger, and the venom immediately flowed into his bloodstream.

The Wasp King had actually been feigning weakness all along! As soon as it saw that Zhang Xuan was going to grab it, it immediately leaped up to retaliate!

"That's the Wasp King's Lifebound Venomous Sting! Its known to be lethal to even Saint 8-dan cultivators. This is really bad. There's no antidote in the world for it!"

Seeing how Zhang Xuan had ended up being stung in his moment of negligence, everyone's face paled in fright.

The Crimsontail Wasp's Lifebound Venomous Sting was a weapon that even 8-star pinnacle physicians were helpless before, and any cultivator of Saint 8-dan and beneath would die within moments after being stung.

Without a doubt, the countdown to the death of this genius formation master had already started ticking.


While everyone was panicking, the Wasp King suddenly collapsed to the ground. It convulsed twice before breathing its last breath. Even at its death, its eyes were widened in indignation.

"The Wasp King… has been poisoned to death?"

Everyone leaped in shock.

It was apparent from the situation that not only did the Wasp King fail to poison Zhang Xuan, it even ended up being poisoned to death instead.

"This…" Zhang Xuan scratched his head awkwardly, unsure of how he should explain the situation.

The Wasp King's assault was so sudden that he did not even have the time to react before the sting was plunged into his finger. At the same time, the Heaven's Path zhenqi flowing through his body also ended up entering the Wasp King's body, and as a result of that… the Wasp King died.

"You are a poison master?"

Everyone turned to Zhang Xuan with shocked faces.

"I…" Zhang Xuan was at a loss as to what to say.

The Wasp King attempted to poison him, only to be poisoned to death instead. This situation had unfolded right before their eyes, so there was very little he could say to vindicate himself.

"If I said that it died on its own, would you believe me?" Zhang Xuan asked hesitantly.

The others shook their heads.

"Alright, I'll tell you the truth then." Driving his state of mind, Zhang Xuan calmly explained, "Actually… I am a physician! Prior to entering the valley, I swallowed some antidotes. The Wasp King tried to kill me, but it ended up being afflicted by the poison of the antidote I consumed, thus resulting in its death."

Poison masters were capable of poisoning others to death, and so could physicians.

It was just that the former specialized in the concocting of poison whereas the latter sought to create medicine. Nevertheless, both occupations still intersected at some points.


"Antidote? Just what kind of antidote could possibly poison the Wasp King to death?"

The others frowned in disbelief.

"It's this one." Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist and took out a pill.

"This one?"

The others took the pill and examined it closely. Before long, deep frowns were etched onto their foreheads.

No matter how they looked at it, it was only an ordinary antidote pill. Could such a thing really be able to poison even the Wasp King to death?

"If you don't believe me, you can give it a try. There are many poisonous substances in the area, so you can just take a few breaths here and there to test the potency of the antidote." Zhang Xuan shrugged.

"Forget it… we'll believe that you are a physician."

The eyebrows of the others twitched upon hearing Zhang Xuan's words.

Who in the right mind would willingly ingest poison, even to test out the effects of an antidote pill?

In any case, every single one of them had their own secrets keep. There was no reason for them to pursue the matter to the very end.

"Alright, let's go then." Seeing that the others had given up on interrogating him, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief. With a wave of his hand, he swiftly retracted the formation flags in the surroundings, and after a moment of hesitation, he eventually decided to chuck the carcass of the Wasp King into his storage ring as well.

While the carcass of the Wasp King was not of much use to him, he could always use it to deal with others.

After retracting the formation flags, their surroundings returned to absolute silence. It seemed like their earlier battle did not draw the attention of other saint beasts.

The group heaved a sigh of relief.

Holding the antidote that Zhang Xuan had passed them tightly, Luo Xuanqing hesitated for a moment before carefully storing it in a jade bottle. After which, he hurriedly headed to the front of the group once more and began leading the way forward.

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