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I asked you for a solution to my problem, why are you suddenly asking me about Pavilion Master Kang?
But even though Court Chief Wu was perplexed, knowing that this was probably related to the treatment, she replied earnestly, "I've known Pavilion Master Kang for many years, so I guess we can be considered to be familiar with one another."
Standing by the side, Kang Gan was already bewildered. He had no idea what Zhang shi was thinking of.
"Since the you are familiar with him, that should make things simple!"
With a bright smile on his face, Zhang Xuan continued, "Our pavilion master is a righteous and honest person. On top of that, he's a master teacher, so he has a bright future ahead of him. More importantly... his looks are above average as well..."
The more Zhang Xuan spoke, the more confused Court Chief Wu became. Bewildered, she asked, "Pavilion Master Kang is indeed a fine man. For the welfare of the Master Teacher Pavilion, he was willing to pay a heavy price just to obtain the slots to enter the Yin-Yang Lake for his juniors... Just that, what does this have to do with treating my conflict of yin and yang?"
"This had everything to do with it!"
Zhang Xuan's eyes rotated between the two parties involved and said, "Why don't the both of you... get married?"
Pavilion Master Kang choked on his own saliva and nearly fainted over. Ruohuan gongzi also widened his eyes in shock.
Aren't you trying to treat Court Chief Wu? Why does it seem like you're matchmaking instead?
To dare to propose a matrimony between Pavilion Master Kang and Court Chief Wu... You sure are brave...
Court Chief Wu's body shook, and her vision went dark. She had only asked this fellow to treat her… how in the world did it turn into a talk about marriage instead?
What the heck does the other party mean by trying to get me to marry Pavilion Master Kang?
"That's right. There is no problem with you cultivating a forceful yang cultivation technique. The main issue lies in you changing your cultivation technique halfway through, resulting in a collision between yin and yang. The best way to completely cure you of your affliction is to find a spouse whose cultivation is around your level and possesses outstanding control over zhenqi to mediate the yin and yang within your body!"
Zhang Xuan continued, "As a Transcendent Mortal 4-dan pinnacle expert, Pavilion Master Kang is just a step away from reaching Consonant Spirit realm. On top of that, he is a 4-star pinnacle master teacher, and his knowledge and control over zhenqi is superior even when compared to yours. Thus... he is the most ideal candidate in mind! If the two of you get together, in just three to six months, you will be able to completely neutralize the yin and yang energy in your body and make a complete recovery!"
Court Chief Wu was stunned.
She didn't expect for her situation to be able to be solved in such a manner.
Ever since she started cultivating, she had been guarding her purity closely. She never tried to get close to any men, and she didn't allow any men to get close to her either. For her to marry someone so abruptly... Even if it was to treat her physical affliction, she still found it hard to accept.
While she was still hesitating, Pavilion Master Kang hurriedly said, "Are there no other solutions? This... won't work!"
Even though he was still single... how could he accept marrying a bearded beauty?
Just the thought of the other party's beard growing even more diligently than his made his goosebumps stand on ends.
"Of course there are other solutions, but this is the simplest one!" Zhang Xuan said.
"Let's use the other solutions then. As long as it's within my means, I'll definitely give my all..." Pavilion Master Kang hurriedly said. However, before he could finish his words, a vicious glare fell on him and a cold voice sounded.
"Kang Gan, what do you mean? For you to turn down a marriage with me so hurriedly, are you hinting that I am unworthy of you?"
Even if it was to treat her affliction, she didn't want to marry this old man either. But... even if the marriage didn't go through, she should be the one rejecting the other party! For this old man to quickly reject her as though he had stepped on something disgusting, what the heck did he mean by that?
Am I that repulsive?
In terms of cultivation, as a Transcendent Mortal 5-dan, I am way superior to you. In terms of standing, as the only head of Glacier Plain Court throughout the entire Huanyu Empire, there are countless pavilion masters wanting to fawn over me. In terms of appearance, even though there are others that are more beautiful than me, I am at least a 'one in ten thousand' beauty. Even though I'm no longer in my youth, my beauty still lingers on...
I haven't even agreed to the marriage yet, what rights do you have to be rejecting me so anxiously?
"Court Chief Wu, you must be jesting. How could I dare to harbor such thoughts? I just think that..."
Not expecting the other party to fault him over this matter, Pavilion Master Kang's lips twitched, "... I am unworthy of you! I am the one who is unworthy of you!"
"It's good that you have some self-awareness!"
Hearing those words, Court Chief Wu's expression finally softened. Turning to the young man before her once more, she said, "What other ways are there? As long as it's within my means, I'll definitely give my all!" Pavilion Master Kang was rendered speechless. Wasn't that exactly what I said? If not for you interrupting the conversation, we could have progressed much faster than that...
"There's another way to do so. That's to find an expert with Pure Yin Body whose cultivation is on par with you. You can make use of her blood to neutralize the remaining yang energy within your body. You don't need too much of it, just one drop is sufficient," Zhang Xuan said.
"Pure Yin Body?"
Court Chief Wu smiled bitterly.
Unique constitutions were like a grain of sand amidst a gigantic ocean. If it was that easy to possess a unique constitution, everyone would have been an expert by now.
The reason why their Origin Flame Glacier Plain had been training their members in yang attribute and yin attribute cultivation techniques, even going to the extent of creating the Yin-Yang Lake, was just so to groom a cultivator with the Pure Yang Body or Pure Yin Body...
But after so many years, there hadn't been a single success yet.
Besides, even if they were successful, that person would surely have been taken away by the headquarters already. To find such a person to cure her affliction was nigh impossible.
"This... Since it won't work, why don't... Pavilion Master Kang and I get married?" Court Chief Wu proposed hesitantly with an awful complexion.
Hearing the bearded lady's intention to marry her, Pavilion Master Kang nearly fainted on the spot. He hurriedly shouted, "N-no need for that. Isn't there a person with Pure Yin Body here?"
Court Chief Wu was taken aback. "Where?"
There might not even be the birth of a person with this unique constitution over the span of a millennia, so how could such an expert be found so easily?
"Zhang shi's student, Zhao Ya, is a person possessing the Pure Yin Body. On top of that, she has even awakened it by twenty percent already..."
Afraid that the other party would lay her thoughts on him, Pavilion Master Kang hurriedly said, "You... possess the Pure Yin Body?"
Narrowing her eyes, Court Chief Wu hurriedly assessed the girl before her.
"Yes, she possesses the Pure Yin Body. There's no mistake about it!"
After saying so, Pavilion Master Kang hurriedly turned to Zhang Xuan and asked, "Since your student possesses the Pure Yin Body and a single droplet of her blood can solve the court chief's affliction, why would you propose for the both of us to get married..."
This Zhang shi was truly... Since the second method was that simple, why would he propose for the both of them to get married?
"Zhao Ya is my student. I have the responsibility to protect her from any harm. Naturally, I've no choice but to sacrifice you. Besides, I'm doing you a huge favor by helping you find a wife. Tsk, for my goodwill to go unreciprocated..." Zhang Xuan replied.
Pavilion Master Kang staggered.
To protect your student, you actually decided to sacrifice me...
And you still dare to say that you are doing me a favor…
Goodwill your head!
Why don't you try marrying a bearded lady yourself?!
While the duo was arguing, Court Chief Wu was slowly walking to Zhao Ya with a body trembling in disbelief. "You... really possess the Pure Yin Body?"
Zhao Ya's eyebrows shot up. Driving the zhenqi in her body, the characteristics of her constitution immediately appeared. A surge of cold air blew into the hall, gushing toward the skies.
As her cultivation reached Half-Transcension, the powers of her unique constitution were gradually drawn out. With her current strength, there was no one of equal cultivation realm as her that could defeat her, not even master teachers. Most probably, only a monster like Zhang Xuan could match her on equal grounds.
"Indeed... She possesses the Pure Yin Body... There's hope for our Origin Flame Glacier Plain..."
Feeling the powerful aura exuded from Zhao Ya, Court Chief Wu's eyes reddened. She rushed forward to grab Zhao Ya's arm and asked, "What's your name?"
Seeing the normal Court Chief Wu suddenly behaving so frenziedly, Zhao Ya frowned and pushed her hand aside.
"Zhao Ya xiaojie... do you want to go to the headquarters with me? As long as you agree to it, you'll be granted the best cultivation resource immediately. You'll be able to awaken your Pure Yin Body completely in the shortest time possible, thus becoming the strongest expert across the entire continent swiftly..." Court Chief Wu said in agitation.
"There's no need for it. I wish to follow behind my teacher," Zhao Ya replied nonchalantly.
It was due to Zhang shi's guidance that she had been able to come so far. The other party's position in her heart was already comparable to that of her own father, and he was the person she respected the most in the world. It was impossible for her to leave him on her own accord.
"Teacher? Who is your teacher?"
Due to her agitation, Court Chief Wu was a little muddle-headed at the moment.
"It is Zhang Xuan, Zhang shi!" Zhao Ya said proudly.
Only then did Court Chief Wu finally come to a realization. She hurriedly turned to Zhang Xuan and asked, "Zhang shi, can you... lend your student to our Origin Flame Glacier Plain? We truly require a Pure Yin Body expert..."
"Lend?" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "My students are thinking humans. They can decide on their own. If they wish to follow you, I'll support them with all my heart. If they are unwilling to do so, no one will be able to force them into a decision!"
Even though Zhang Xuan's voice was calm, it carried immense confidence.
As the owner of the Library of Heaven's Path, he was destined to walk a path different from the others. Even though he might be weak at the moment, he had the confidence to grow stronger in the shortest time possible. As long as Zhao Ya was unwilling to accept the other party's request, Zhang Xuan would not allow anyone to force her into it.
Hearing the other party's confident words, Court Chief Wu recovered from her agitation and hurriedly shook her head.
"That... is not what I mean. Zhang shi, please don't misunderstand my intentions!"
"Why don't you tell us what is going on?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Through his eye of discernment, he could tell that Court Chief Wu's agitation was for real.
She didn't even react so intensely when she heard that there was a cure for her affliction. Most probably, there was something much deeper to the matter.
On top of that, she even said something along the lines of 'there was hope for the Origin Flame Glacier Plain'.
"This... I apologize but it concerns the utmost secret of our Origin Flame Glacier Field, so I'm unable to tell you anything further than this..."
With a conflicted expression, Court Chief Wu hesitated for a moment before saying, "How about this, I'll consult with the headquarters about this matter while you enter the Yin-Yang Lake. Regardless of the reply of the headquarters, I'll give you an explanation for this matter."
"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
Every single occupation had their secrets and privacy. It was normal for the other party to have some things she was unwilling to reveal.
Changing the subject, Court Chief Wu asked, "Just to confirm, the three slots should refer to the three of you, right?"
"Yes. Me, Ruohuan gongzi, and Zhao Ya." Zhang Xuan nodded.
"Good. The Room of Ice and Fire is right ahead. Only after passing the trial can you enter the Yin-Yang Lake!"
Court Chief Wu explained, "The reason why we have the trial is due to the bizarre nature of the Yin-Yang Lake. The amalgamation of yin and yang can create huge stress on one's body, putting them in immense pain. If one couldn't even endure the Room of Ice and Fire, one might end up being seared to ash by the flow of yang energy or frozen into an ice block by the flow of yin energy in the Yin-Yang Lake."
Zhang Xuan nodded.
He was wondering why they still had to undergo the trial despite everything that had happened. This seemed to be the true reason behind it all.
It was just like how one had to be administered suspect penicillin before the real injection. Otherwise, one might die from the inability to adapt in the Yin-Yang Lake.
As such, the trial was, in truth, a preventive measure to assess one's ability beforehand.
Walking up to the entrance of the Room of Ice and Fire, Zhang Xuan assessed the interior of the room. It was somewhat similar to the House of Trust he had entered during the master teacher examination in Tianwu Kingdom.
"Who wants to give it a try first?" Court Chief Wu asked with a smile.
Hearing those words, Ruohuan gongzi quickly rushed forward anxiously.
After several rounds of competing with Zhang Xuan, he had finally understood a fact. If he were to allow the latter go first, putting aside how all of his glory would be stolen from him, he might even wreck the entire area...
After all, his history with Elder Wu, Elder Yun, and Elder Bai spoke a lot... Regardless, one thing was for sure-Zhang Xuan shouldn't be allowed to go first.
This was a safety precaution.
Rather than dealing with the possible problems in his aftermath, he might as well be the first to clear the trial.
At the very least, he could still retain a little bit of confidence.
Seeing the other party volunteering so actively, Court Chief Wu nodded her head and instructed, "Drip of a droplet of blood on the crystal outside the door before entering!"
Walking up to the crystal, Ruohuan gongzi bit his finger, dripped a drop of blood on it, before walking into the room.
As soon as he walked in, rumbling sounds reminiscent of thunder began echoing ceaselessly. It was hard to imagine what kind of terrors were occurring inside.
Court Chief Wu seemed to have known this would happen, and she was standing quietly by the side with her hands behind her back.
After an unknown period of time, a charred figure walked out of the room. His hair was standing at ends, and black smoke was rising from his body. Who else could this be other than Ruohuan gongzi?
At the current moment, Jun Ruohuan bore no resemblance to the dashing gentleman he usually was. Instead, he seemed like a beggar who had just climbed out from a rubbish dump. With a body completely charred, he was in an extremely miserable state.
"Even though his mental fortitude had been breached, given how he was able to clear the test within two hours, his foundations are still quite strong. Alright, you are qualified to enter the Yin-Yang Lake!"
Glancing at the bit of incense still burning outside the room, Court Chief Wu nodded her head.
Even though Ruohuan gongzi had stayed inside for nearly two entire hours, he was still able to leave within the allotted time. On top of that, he still retained his consciousness. This showed that he possessed outstanding endurance and perseverance. With these, he was qualified to enter the Yin-Yang Lake.
"Didn't Court Chief Wu say that the Room of Ice and Fire is a test of one's mental resilience? Why would..." Zhang Xuan asked doubtfully.
"The Room of Ice and Fire is indeed a trial on one's mental resilience. However, if one's mental fortitude is breached, one's physical body will incur injuries as well. Even so, to be able to walk out under such conditions, that person must possess outstanding endurance."
After explaining, Court Chief Wu turned to look at Zhang Xuan. "Zhang shi, are you going in next, or is Zhao Ya going?"
"Allow me!" Zhao Ya stepped forward.
With the same procedures from before, Zhao Ya entered the room. However, in just an hour later, she was already done. Seeing this sight, Ruohuan gongzi fell into depression, and internally, he was shouting 'monster'.
One must know that Zhao Ya's age and cultivation was way beneath his.
Of course, this trial didn't mean that Zhao Ya's capability was above that of Ruohuan gongzi. Rather, the Pure Yin Body granted Zhao Ya immunity to the cold and a form of defense against the heat... This trial might have been difficult for most cultivator, but for her, it wasn't anything much.
As such, even though Zhao Ya's condition was slightly unkempt when she walked out, she was in a much better state than Ruohuan gongzi.
"It's my turn!"
Since the other two had cleared, Zhang Xuan followed the same procedures as before and walked into the room. Seeing Zhang Xuan walk into the room, Ruohuan gongzi asked, "Teacher, how long do you think Zhang shi will take?"
"Since you took around two hours and Zhao Ya around an hour, I think that Zhang shi... should be able to clear the challenge in less than fifteen minutes!" Pavilion Master Kang said.
That fellow had created too many miracles. Since even his student was able to clear the trial in an hour, most probably, he wouldn't even take half of the time.
Ruohuan gongzi shook his head, "I think he would only take a maximum of five minutes!"
Ruohuan gongzi had a very deep impression of the latter's monstrous capability. Every time he thought it was impossible for the other party to succeed, the other party would do so in a manner that exceeded their expectations.
Taking this situation for example, in truth, he also shared his teacher's thoughts that the other party would be able to complete the challenge within fifteen minutes. But... for some reason, his subconscious made him feel that the result would be even more frightening than his estimates.
"Five minutes?" Hearing the conversation between the duo, Court Chief Wu shook her head.
That was the Room of Ice and Fire, an extremely fearsome trial. Clearing it within five minutes? Surely you two must be dreaming!
"Court Chief Wu, you simply don't understand how fearsome Zhang shi is... In truth, I'm thinking that five minutes might be an underestimation..." Ruohuan gongzi explained.
"Is he that incredible?"
Hearing this talented master teacher declaring the matter so confidently, Court Chief Wu's opinion wavered.
That Zhang shi did indeed see through a problem that escape Pavilion Master Kang's eyes, and honestly speaking, there was something bizarre about him. Perhaps, he really might be able to accomplish the unthinkable.
"Indeed. Let's wait and see then!"
Ruohuan gongzi said so with a confidence even greater than that when he challenged the trial.
"Five minutes have passed..."
It didn't take long for five minutes to pass, but the room didn't seem to be opening any time soon.
"Perhaps... ten minutes..."
With an awkward expression, Ruohuan gongzi changed his words.
But after ten minutes had passed, the room still remain sealed.
"Could it be... fifteen minutes?" Having two of his guesses fail, Ruohuan gongzi uttered doubtfully.
But... a pity it was, but after fifteen minutes had passed, not a figure emerged from the shut doors.
Soon, two hours passed but the Room of Ice and Fire remained bizarrely quiet.
"The time has ended but the other party isn't out yet... Seems like he failed to clear the trial!"
Court Chief Wu shook her head in lamentation.
She thought that the young man would create a miracle just as the others had said. But from the situation, it seemed like they were overestimating him.
Not only did the latter fail to create a miracle, he didn't even pass the trial.
"He failed..." Ruohuan gongzi muttered with a face warped as though it was suffering from constipation.
Every time he doubted that fellow, the other party would immediately make a comeback and prove him wrong. This time, he announced his trust in the other party's ability to achieve an outstanding result... But in the end, he failed?
Zhang shi, are you intentionally trying to oppose everything I've said...
Clutching his chest, Ruohuan gongzi felt a stifling sensation in his chest.
Pavilion Master Kang's body also shuddered. He was on the verge of crying.
Zhang shi had fared so well in the Master Teacher Hall, why would he suddenly fail here?
What in the world... happened inside? Going back to two hours ago, when Zhang Xuan just entered the room…
Beyond the room was a long passageway that seemingly stretched to the ends of the world.
As soon as the door closed, Zhang Xuan immediately felt stifling heat assaulting him from all directions. It was as if he had accidentally walked into an incinerator.
Driving the Heaven's Path zhenqi, he turned his gaze backward and frowned.
The door which had just shut on its own accord actually disappeared from view, as though it had never existed from the start.
"Do I have to walk through the entire passageway to leave?"
Zhang Xuan frowned.
Could this Room of Ice and Fire actually be a formidable formation? And the only way to leave it is to walk to the end of the passageway?
Slightly doubtful, Zhang Xuan proceeded forward.
But right after taking a few steps, the heat seemed to intensify. A sea of flames appeared in the surroundings, and there was no way to avoid it if Zhang Xuan wanted to proceed any further.
"Forget it, I should continue heading forward!"
Even after walking around the area, Zhang Xuan was still unable to find the exit. Thus, he decided to proceed forward.
The Heaven's Path zhenqi was extraordinarily powerful. Despite the searing heat scorching his skin, it was unable to hurt him at all.
Just as Zhang Xuan was standing right before the flames, ready to step over it, his eyes suddenly blurred, and in an instant, it was as if he had stepped into a field of ice. Piercing chill penetrated his bones and spread across his body via his meridians, causing him to shudder involuntarily.
He was on the verge of being reduced to an ice block.
As a Transcendent Mortal expert, under normal circumstances, even if he were to sleep in an ice vault, as long as he had zhenqi to protect his body, he wouldn't feel cold in the least. But at the current moment, he was shivering involuntarily. This was an extremely eerie situation.
Driving his zhenqi to ward off the cold, Zhang Xuan thought, 'It's no wonder Ruohuan gongzi was in such a terrible state when he exited. He probably suffered greatly under the torture of the alternating flames and ice...'
While Transcendent Mortal experts had the ability to ward off the effects of one's environment, but still... an abrupt steep change in temperature would still be hard to tolerate.
It was just like how one could tolerate having one's hand being plunged into a bowl of cold water, but if one were to put one's hand in a bowl of warm water before that, the huge contrast in the temperature would be difficult to bear.
Just as Zhang Xuan was able to proceed ahead, a thought suddenly appeared in his mind.
'Fire and ice... No, it can't be a formation. Even a 4-star pinnacle formation is incapable of such might.'
Even a 4-star pinnacle formation would be incapable of the abrupt steep change in temperature that occurred in this Room of Ice and Fire. But if that was the case, how in the world was this trial created?
'Besides, I didn't sense the movement in spiritual energy before entering. If there's a formation here, I would have surely sensed it...'
As a 4-star formation master, if there was a formation here, even though he hadn't tried using the Eye of Insight, he would have noticed it. Given the alternating fire and ice despite the lack of formation...
There must be something much deeper to the trial. At the very least, it wasn't as simple as simply walking through the corridor.
Furthermore, Court Chief Wu had said previously that this was a test of one's mental fortitude, and that Ruohuan gongzi's mental fortitude had been breached. This left him even more perplexed.
"I should see what's going on... Eye of Insight!"
With such doubts in mind, Zhang Xuan activated the Eye of Insight.
A dazzling radiance glowed in the surroundings, and several lines of insight surfaced in his eyes.
After taking a brief look, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
"It's indeed a test of one's mental fortitude... My soul and consciousness has been brought into an illusion!"
Through the Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan finally made sense of the happenings.
The fire and ice that appeared before him weren't real; it was just an illusion.
It was just like the crystals in the House of Trust-through one's blood, it created illusions that made one feel as though one was braving through a land of flames and ice. Those who succumbed to it would be permanently trapped within it. No one could save them.
The Eye of Insight had the ability to see through falsehood. Despite how realistic the illusion was, under Zhang Xuan's sharp eyes, it still revealed its true nature. In truth, the exit from before was still at the same place, and his physical body was standing motionlessly at the center of the room. The interchanging heat and chill that he was experiencing at the moment wouldn't hurt him at all.
That was to say, the pain and torture he had just felt was an assault on his consciousness.
"To possess such means without the use of a formation, the Glacier Plain Court is indeed impressive!"
After taking another look, he confirmed that this wasn't a formation. But still, to be able to generate effects similar to a formation, the Room of Ice and Fire wasn't as simple as it looked.
It was just like the traps from celestial designer that he had seen in the soul oracle tomb back then.
There were some non-formation master occupations that could create things that was in no way inferior to a formation.
Otherwise, it would have been impossible for them to create their own heritage and pass it on for innumerable years without declining.
"There must be something here that is affecting my consciousness, causing me to perceive the interchanging heat and chill!"
Even though it wasn't a formation, a lifelike illusion of this level that made one unable to discern one's soul from one's body definitely had to be powered by some powerful artifact or unique energy.
After understanding the situation, Zhang Xuan brought his consciousness back into his physical body, and went around touching the wall and the ground in the Room of Ice and Fire.
Not too long later, a book surfaced in his mind.
After reading through the content, Zhang Xuan smiled in understanding.
"Origin Flame Ice Plain, a bizarre phenomenon created by the overlapping of an Origin Fire and an Ice Plain... Going by the directions, it should be somewhere here!"
After measuring the room, Zhang Xuan walked to a certain location and tapped on several parts.
As the mechanical trap whirred into action, a huge hole appeared before Zhang Xuan's view.
It was like a pitch-black abyss, and its depth was inestimable.
"I should go down to take a look!"
Facing this hole of unknown depth, others might be hesitant to proceed downward. However, possessing the Red Dust Heaven Ascending Steps, Zhang Xuan had no such worries.
Leaping downward into the abyss, Zhang Xuan's body fell swiftly. After a moment of freefall, Zhang Xuan activated the Heaven Ascending Steps momentarily to slow his falling speed. Repeating the process several times, Zhang Xuan fell several thousand meters before stepping on solid ground once more.
This underground cavern was extremely vast, and it was impossible to see its ends with just a single glance. A huge lake of a radius of two meters stood right before him. However, the lake had an extremely bizarre appearance; half of it was flowing with lava whereas the other half had ice floating on it.
He thought that the liveliness of the spiritual energy was already amazing in the hall above, but here, under the effects of the lake, the spiritual energy in the surrounding was several times that of the hall.
'Could this be the Yin-Yang Lake?' Zhang Xuan thought.