Clan Head Lin did not think that the first genius of his clan would actually be trampled by those two, and he immediately lost his temper.
Peng peng peng!
Just like Lin Xie, after a few firm slaps, Clan Head Lin was left sitting on the ground with a dazed look on his face.
Before, he had been respected as the head of the strongest Lin Clan. While he was no match for Lin Xie, he could still deal with the likes of Tian Fei and Zhao Meng with ease. When had they reached a level that was unreachable for him?
For some reason, those two seemed to be able to see through his maneuvers. No matter what he tried, those two could defend and retaliate impeccably.
"Challenge all of the offspring of the Lin Clan and leave them on their knees!" Tian Fei ordered coldly.
After those words were spoken, a crippled young man limped out from behind.
Clan Head Lin recognized the crippled young man. He was known to be the trash of the Tian Clan. After an unfortunate accident that crushed his legs, he had fallen into negativity and eventually become the weakest among his peers.
The crippled young man swiftly made his way over to the offspring of the Lin Clan, and with a sword in hand, he dominated all of them like a wolf amid a pack of sheep.
In less than ten minutes, dozens of Lin Clan offspring were sprawled all over the ground, subdued.
Clan Head Lin was losing his mind.
When did this trash become so powerful as well?
Just what in the world was going on with those from the Tian Clan?
Over the next hour, all the experts of the Lin Clan were challenged by the counterparts of the Tian Clan and Zhao Clan, but all of them ended up suffering tragic defeat. It was as if the world was signaling that it was about time for the Lin Clan to retire from the top echelon.
After the Tian Clan and the Zhao Clan left, Clan Head Lin turned to his butler and bellowed in a fluster, "Quick, go and check! How in the world did all of them suddenly become so formidable?"
In a position of rivalry, the Three Great Clans of Dusklight City had often clashed with one another both on the surface and in the shadows. Usually, the Lin Clan would be in an advantageous position due to its superior strength, making the other two not dare voice their opposition.
But in the span of a few hours, the tables had suddenly turned on them.
Clan Head Lin could not accept this. Had those two been lying low all this while in order to catch him off guard?
The butler quickly rushed out of the manor, but not long later, he returned with a bruised face.
"What happened? Are they camping outside the entrance to humiliate us?" Clan Head Lin asked with gritted teeth.
Was there a need for them to be so petty? All they did was complain about the city lord a little! There was no need to go this far, right?
"No, it's not those two clans. Two beggars provoked me while I was walking down the street. I thought that I could crush them easily with my strength, but even they seemed to have become experts all of a sudden. I ended up getting pummeled by them instead..."
The butler's eyes were filled with so much indignation that it seemed as if tears were going to be squeezed out from them very soon.
"Beggars?" Clan Head Lin was rendered speechless.
To think that the esteemed butler of the Lin Clan would actually be bullied by beggars!
"According to word on the street, it seems like everyone became powerful from listening to the lecture of the city lord. This has caused a major growth in the combat sense and cultivation of everyone," the butler said.
"It's due to the lecture of the city lord? Did you manage to get a recording of the lecture?" Lin Xie asked anxiously.
"I had to go through much difficulty and pay a hefty price in order to obtain a copy," the butler replied as he passed a Record Crystal over.
Lin Xie took the Record Crystal anxiously and channeled his divine energy into it. The surface of the crystal rippled a little before revealing a young man seated atop a monument. The young man was speaking with a calm but powerful voice.
Just by listening to a short segment of it, Lin Xie and Clan Head Lin fell paralyzed to the ground.
It was at this instant that they realized why the Tian Clan and the Zhao Clan had suddenly become so powerful, such that none of them were their match. It was all because they had listened to the lecture of the new city lord!
"It's impossible to emulate the effects of the lecture just by listening to the recording, so any learnings we gain from it will be greatly discounted. It seems like our Lin Clan has really missed out this time, and this has caused us to lag far behind the others. It's only a matter of time before we are kicked out of the Three Great Clans and fall to the ranks of a second-tier power," Clan Head Lin said with a bitter look on his face.
It was impossible to recreate the enlightenment that those cultivators present at the lecture had received just by looking at the recording. It was the atmosphere of the lecture and the gradual buildup of knowledge that brought about the epiphanies they had received, and they had all missed out on this golden opportunity.
With this, the decline of their Lin Clan was sealed.
"If only I'd known that the new city lord was that formidable, I would have listened to Ming Laixiang's words," Lin Xie remarked as tears flowed down his cheeks.
It was no wonder even the vicious Ming Laixiang had chosen to come under the new city lord and help him consolidate his power. It was an honor, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to serve such a capable master.
If they had been willing to let go of their pride and listen to the new city lord's lecture, they would still have been the esteemed number one clan of Dusklight City. It was just a pity that there was no way for them to go back in time and do it all over again.
They had sapped the cultivation of their eight elders, only to fall in defeat at the hands of Tian Fei and the others.
Once news spread, Lin Xie, as well as the entire Lin Clan, would become the greatest laughingstock of Dusklight City!
Oblivious to the major changes that had happened in Dusklight City as a result of Zhang Xuan's lecture, Qi Ling-er looked at the dizzy group before her and explained, "This is the heart of the Sky of Drifting Specter, Drifting Specter Royal City!"
The group was currently standing atop a massive circular Teleportation Formation. They had just teleported over to Royal City, and the spatial turbulence around them had yet to calm down sufficiently for them to regain
The previous night, in the four hours that Zhang Xuan had lectured, many low-tier Gods had become middle-tier Gods, and many middle-tier Gods had become high-tier Gods. Overnight, the overall prowess of Dusklight City had grown more than it had in the past thirty years.
This caused a temporary vacuum of spiritual energy to appear above the city.
Be it humans, divine beasts, or even artifacts, those who had listened to Zhang Xuan's lecture were deeply inspired by his words, and they had grown in one way or another.
As a result, his reputation had soared right to the top, earning him a loyal following.
Of course, none of this meant much to Zhang Xuan. Such things had happened so many times that he did not even pay much heed to it anymore.
As the spatial turbulence finally faded, the group left the Teleportation Formation and looked toward Royal City.
At a glance, it was clear that Royal City was many times larger than Dusklight City, and the buildings around were much grander and more exquisite. Naturally, the streets were crowded as well, but not to the extent of being as packed as Dusklight City.
The streets were generally clean, and the positioning of the buildings made sense as well. This hinted that the city had been governed well.
Looking toward the sky, there were all sorts of divine beasts flying around. However, what was even more mystifying were the massive mountains shrouded amid clouds floating in the air. It was as if one had stepped away from reality and into a fantasy world.
Those who are able to reside on the divine mountains above Royal City are mainly those from major clans and powers. Almost all these clans and powers are headed by high-tier Celestial Gods and above," Qi Ling-er explained.
"High-tier Celestial Gods... As expected of Royal City, it's indeed a frightening place," Zhang Jia muttered to itself.
Even while it was still a high-tier God, it was able to do as it pleased in Twilight City, disregarding even the city lord. But Royal City was simply filled with so many experts that it would have to lie low if it wanted to survive.
Putting everything aside, just by scanning its surroundings, it was already able to find five divine beasts that were more powerful than it.
It immediately reined in its bulging pride and quieted down.
This was kind of similar to a nouveau riche walking into high society for the very first time. Only upon seeing how rich the rich truly were would one realize that one was nothing special at all.
"What's there to fear? Brother Sun is here with you! It's only a matter of time before we conquer Drifting Specter Royal City together!" Sun Qiang said with a confident smile as he hooked his arm around Zhang Jia's neck.
Those words made Zhang Xuan's eyebrows twitch a little.
Every time Sun Qiang said those words, he would have a premonition that trouble was trailing not too far away from him.
Zhang Jia coldly pushed Sun Qiang's arm away from him before turning to the small Little Chick sitting atop Zhang Xuan's shoulder and smiling fawningly. "Boss, is there anything I can do for you?"
Without even looking at it, Little Chick replied nonchalantly, "I want to die. Do you want to die with me?"
Zhang Xuan covered his face from sheer embarrassment.
Just what mess of a group did he land himself in?
With a deep sigh, he decided to ignore this bunch of eccentrics and turned to Qi Ling-er instead. "Let's find a place to stay. Do you have any suggestions?"
He would not mind living in a shabby place if he was all alone, but with his parents coming around with him, he was determined to at least find a decent place so that they could have a good rest.
Even though the Teleportation Formation was nearly instantaneous and his parents were protected by the Province Lord Tokens, the Xingmeng Sword Saints still inevitably sustained some damage due to their low cultivation realm.
"I spent most of my younger years living in the Qi Clan's manor, and I left Royal City as soon as I came of age," Qi Linger replied awkwardly.
"Since that's the case, let's just find any suitable place!" Zhang Xuan replied.
Even though Qi Ling-er came from one of the major clans in Royal City, her standing was not high enough to allow her to bring an outsider back with her.
Furthermore, most major clans were bound to have many rules, and that would be very stifling to them. It would be much more comfortable and convenient for them to find their own place.
As travelers frequently dropped by Royal City, it was quite easy for them to secure accommodation. In less than two hours, they were able to find a satisfactory residence. The only issue was that the price was much higher than the one they had lived in back at Twilight City.
Fortunately, the cost was still within Zhang Xuan's spending power.
"Here are fifty Beauty Pills. I need you to help me sell them one way or another. At the same time, I hope that you can help me look into all news regarding the Spirit God," Zhang Xuan said as he passed several bottles of God Essence Pills over.
Along the way, he used the money that he had earned previously to buy more low-tier God Essence Pills.
To him, the Beauty Pill was as good as free money. All he needed was a surge of his zhenqi.
"Alright," Qi Ling-er replied as she left the courtyard.
Following which, Zhang Xuan turned to Sun Qiang and sent a telepathic message to him. "I need you to investigate the current political situation in Royal City. While you're on it, I want you to look into Lu Chong as well. He was taken away by Demon Monarch Qiankun, so he should be somewhere in the city at the moment..."
Shortly after Lu Chong's breakthrough on the Celestial Mountain, he had been taken away by Demon Monarch Qiankun of the Sky of Drifting Specter. Given so, he should be in Royal City at the moment.
"I understand." Sun Qiang nodded before leaving the residence.
After they left, Zhang Xuan helped to settle his parents in their rooms before returning to his room. He sat down on the chair, took out the crimson pendant hanging around his neck, and fondled it quietly.
Where are you, Ruoxin?
What is your identity in the Firmament?
Through his interaction with Luo Ruoxin, he could tell that her standing should be rather high in the Firmament. Otherwise, she would not have been so prudent around him.
Perhaps I could try to figure something out from this droplet of blood, Zhang Xuan thought as he looked at the crimson fluid flowing within the pendant.
The pendant had been given to him by Luo Ruoxin. He was not sure if the blood inside was really hers, but even if it was not, it was likely a vital clue that would lead him to her.
Let me give it a try...
In the past, he had been unable to channel the powers in the blood due to his lacking strength. However, with his physical body, soul, and zhenqi cultivation reaching high-tier God, he should finally be able to do it.
He quickly set up a formation within his room before finally floating the pendant at the very center.
Then, he began to channel his consciousness into the pendant.
The exterior of the pendant seemed to be made of some sort of incredibly resilient crystal, such that he could not break it even with his current strength. Fortunately, his consciousness was still able to seep through it, albeit with some difficulty.
It did not take long for his consciousness to finally arrive before the droplet of blood.
The droplet of blood sat quietly within the pendant, not revealing the slightest hint of power. If not for all the times it had saved Zhang Xuan in the past, he might have been duped by its seemingly ordinary appearance.
Determined to get to the bottom of this, he pushed consciousness toward the droplet of blood.
As soon as his consciousness came into contact with it, his body jolted in astonishment. A familiar aura shrouded his body, and the words that he had heard shortly after his transcension to the Master Teacher Continent sounded in his mind.
The callous heavens regard all beings as nothing more than straw dogs.
"The sun sets, and the moon wanes. The heavens are imperfect...
"The arrogant heavens dictate the rules of the world, enforcing order upon all beings...
"Impartially, the heavens assess all beings on the path to enlightenment..."
As those voices sounded in Zhang Xuan's head, the Library of Heaven's Path in his head suddenly jolted. The world spun around him before everything went dark.
He collapsed from the chair he was sitting on and fainted.
Straw dogs are basically dogs made out of straw, and they serve as ceremonial objects in ancient China....
A meaningful quote from Wikipedia regarding the topic from Su Zhe:...
"The heavens are not partial. They do not kill living things out of cruelty or give them birth out of kindness. We do the same when we make straw dogs to use in sacrifices. We dress them up and put them on the altar, but not because we love them. And when the ceremony is over, we throw them into the street, but not because we hate them."