Zhang Xuan's Zongshi realm Heaven's Path zhenqi could neutralize all poisons of grade-3 and below.
It was hard to tell what kind of dangers Sun Qiang would meet, so it was best for him to be careful.
With this surge of zhenqi, Sun Qiang should be able to protect himself from the poison of ordinary poison masters.
"Thank you, young master!"
Knowing that the young master was doing this for his safety, Sun Qiang bowed in gratitude.
After the last few days of fellowship, he knew that even though the young master might be inferior to the old master, he was also a man of great capability.
Since he decided to do so, he must have his own considerations.
After explaining the method of triggering the surge of zhenqi and ensuring that the other party understood his words, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
Even though Sun Qiang was a little coarse, his ability to get things done was reliable. All along, he had been able to reliably accomplish the tasks Zhang Xuan entrusted to him, saving him a lot of hassle.
'Yang shi' was an unfathomable, advanced master teacher, and the butler of such a figure had to possess a befitting disposition. Even though Sun Qiang's cultivation was so-so, he had been able to play the role of a butler perfectly.
Otherwise, Zhang Xuan would not have gone through the trouble of bringing him here from Tianxuan Kingdom.
"These are a few pills beneficial to your cultivation. Remember to cultivate hard even when traveling."
With a flick of his wrist, Zhang Xuan took out several pills that he obtained from the Lin Clan and passed them over.
"Yes!" Sun Qiang hurriedly received them.
He was no fool. Given that his cultivation was already lagging behind, he knew that if he did not work harder, he would soon lose his value.
While Zhang Xuan was delegating a few more points for Sun Qiang to take note of, Hall Master Xie Jiuchen returned with an elder before him. It was Wei Yuqing,
"The Poison Hall is dangerous, and after much consideration, I decided to assign Elder Wei to follow him. This way, his safety can be guaranteed!" Hall Master Xie said.
On top of being a 3-star beast tamer, Wei Yuqing was a Zhizun realm pinnacle expert. Other than Xie Jiuchen, he was the strongest person in the entire Beast Hall. Also, he possessed the deepest understanding of the affairs of the Poison Hall as well.
It should be safer for him to escort Beast Tamer Zhang's subordinate.
Beast Tamer Zhang was an important guest of the Beast Hall. On top of that, they had yet to fully tame the Nightmare Beast. Thus, no matter what, they had to protect the other party's subordinate well.
"I'll be depending on Elder Wei then!"
Zhang Xuan clasped his fist.
"Don't worry!" Wei Yuqing nodded with a smile. "Even though I've never been to the Poison Hall, I've heard some rumors about it. If it's just looking for someone, there won't be any danger!"
As long as they weren't going to the Poison Hall to wreak havoc, it should be fine.
After all, even though poison masters were formidable, beast tamers, as a member of the Upper Nine Paths, were not to be trifled with either.
"Un!" Since Grand Elder Wei Yuqing was making a move personally, Zhang Xuan felt reassured.
The duo left on an aerial savage beast. After trading some pleasantries with Zhang Xuan, Hall Master Xie Jiuchen took his leave.
The Nightmare Beast had awoken, and he had to make use of this opportunity to strike up an intimate relationship with the latter before it recovered fully.
"Time to start!"
After the crowd left, Zhang Xuan found a quiet room, conditioned himself, and sat down cross-legged.
With his recent gains, he should have sufficient spirit beast blood essence to reach Heaven's Path Golden Body 2-dan.
After adjusting his state, Zhang Xuan flicked his wrist, and a few droplets of spirit beast blood essence appeared in his palm.
There was a dense concentration of spiritual energy in the room. This was a unique cultivation chamber in the residence, and a spiritual energy gathering formation had been set up here.
Closing his eyes, Zhang Xuan began to drive his zhenqi according to the formula stated within the Heaven's Path Golden Body 2-dan. Then, with a flick of his finger, the blood droplets suddenly turned into a mist, permeating into the pores throughout Zhang Xuan's body.
The spirit beast blood essence was the essence of the blood extracted from a spirit beast. Even though it wasn't as valuable as inner cores, harnessed within every droplet was the very essence of a spirit beast. The energy contained in every droplet was even purer and denser than those in spirit stones.
A huge spiral formed within his body, taking in all of the energy within the blood to nourish every single cell within him.
"The effects are indeed significantly less effective than before..."
Taking a look at his body after absorbing the first batch of spirit beast blood essence, Zhang Xuan frowned.
Along with the rise in his strength, the requirement on the spirit beast blood essence would increase as well. In the past, a single drop could induce massive improvements, but now, its effects had been greatly cut.
But in any case, Zhang Xuan had sufficient spirit blood essence in his possession, so he had no worries.
Based on his previous calculations, twenty droplets of spirit beast blood essence should be sufficient for him to reach Zhizun realm pinnacle.
As long as his strength reached that level, it would be possible for him to face even a Half-Transcension cultivator through the Eye of Insight and Library of Heaven's Path.
He would be able to exact vengeance then.
Under the effects of the Heaven's Path Golden Body 2-dan, the constitution of Zhang Xuan's muscles was modified, augmenting his physical strength immensely.
After an unknown period of time, with the sound of an explosion, Zhang Xuan seemed to have broken a shackle binding his body. It felt as though he was submerged in a tub of hot water, and a feeling of relaxation spread all over him.
Finally, he had broken through the 9999 ding bottleneck to reach the level of Zhizun realm!
Even though there was only a single ding of difference between 9999 ding and 10,000 ding, it set apart the boundary between a Half-Zhizun and Zhizun. With this leap, one's level of existence became completely different.
Zhizun was the peak of the Fighter realm. Regardless of whether it was one's physical body, spirit, or energy, one would be approaching the limits of a human at this realm.
Only when one had reached this realm could one attempt to break their mortal limits to become a Transcendent Mortal. Upon success, their lifespan and strength would be enhanced immensely.
If one could not even take the step to Zhizun realm, one would be doomed to remain as a mortal for life. One could only watch helplessly as time left its mark on one.
In other words, it was the stepping stone to becoming a true expert.
Many cultivators found themselves locked outside of its gates, unable to take the final step in, and thus, dying in regret.
After previously absorbing the two droplets of spirit beast blood essence, Zhang Xuan also found himself stuck before this hurdle, unable to raise his strength by that final ding to push through the next realm no matter how he cultivated.
However, with sufficient blood essence in his hands, he could finally take that final step.
With the breakthrough in his cultivation, Zhang Xuan's reaction speed and senses were enhanced immensely.
His vision became much sharper and clearer.
As expected of the top realm of a Fighter. Just the breakthrough in his physical body had brought him many benefits.
Even though his strength was just increased by a single ding, his overall fighting prowess rose by almost two folds.
If he were to fight with the Steel-armed Golden Ape once more, even without the Library of Heaven's Path, he would be able to crush it easily with just his strength.
This was Zhizun realm!
Knowing that it would be easier to raise his cultivation now, having broken through his bottleneck, Zhang Xuan frenziedly absorbed the spirit beast blood essence within the jade bottle and drove the Heaven's Path Golden Body 2-dan. Once again, his strength rose at a rate visible to the eye.
In just a single day, Zhang Xuan reached 30,000 ding straight, granting him strength equivalent to a Zhizun realm advanced stage expert.
At this moment, he had already expended a total of eighteen drops of spirit beast blood essence.
"The expenditure is greater than I'd expected..."
He thought that it would only take at most ten droplets for him to reach Zhizun realm advanced stage, but contrary to his expectations, it took eighteen instead. That was far beyond his estimations.
It was fortunate that he received ten additional droplets from Hall Master Xie. With twelve droplets remaining, it should be sufficient for him to push to Zhizun realm pinnacle.
Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan closed his eyes and continued cultivating.
While Zhang Xuan was in seclusion, Sun Qiang had finally arrived at the Gale Valley in the Duskfall Mountains after half a day of traveling.
Similar to the Red Lotus Range, it extended far beyond the horizon, and the Poison Hall was hidden somewhere amidst this vast plot of lush greenery.
If one didn't know the exact location of the Poison Hall, putting aside finding it, one would probably end up dead at the hands of the powerful savage beasts prowling around or from the poisonous mist which lingered in the air.
Grand Elder Wei Yuqing took out an antidote pill in advance.
The duo abandoned the aerial savage beast and began proceeding through the mountain valley on foot.
Grand Elder Wei Yuqing's strength of Zhizun realm pinnacle made the weaker savage beasts dare not approach him. On top of that, he was an experienced veteran, and under his guide, the duo avoided most of the danger.
After a day of walking, having circled around innumerable savage beasts and poisonous mist, a massive infrastructure appeared before them.
Countless tall dark-gray stone buildings reminiscent of ancient relics clustered around it.
The layout was similar to the Red Lotus Range Poison Hall, but it was clearly larger and grander. There were all kinds of formidable formations laid out in the area.
After circling around a massive boulder, they finally arrived at the entrance.
Before they could walk in, they seemed to have triggered some kind of mechanism. Jiya! A loud rumbling echoed, and immediately afterward, the ringing of bells sounded.
A few poison masters wearing long robes appeared before the duo.
Even though Poison Hall was well-hidden and no one would easily attempt to besiege it, it was still one of the most hated and feared occupations in the continent. As such, they went to the extent of building a strong defensive system.
"Who dares to barge into the Poison Hall?"
A young man walked forward as he assessed the two intruders with a cold gaze.
These few people seemed to be in their thirties, and they had all reached Zongshi realm, and the young man who spoke had even reached Zongshi realm pinnacle.
But of course, what was fearsome about poison masters wasn't their strength but their ability to utilize poison.
Even though they were only at Zongshi realm, Grand Elder Wei Yuqing didn't dare to underestimate them.
"I am a 3-star beast tamer from the Beast Hall, Grand Elder Wei Yuqing. I'm here to seek a friend!"
Wei Yuqing stepped forward and clasped his hands.
After a day of accompaniment, Wei Yuqing realized that Sun Qiang was only at Dingli realm. It was likely that the poison masters would simply disregard his presence so he chose to take on the job of interacting with the other party.
"An elder from the Beast Hall?"
Taken aback, a grim look slowly surfaced on the young man.
Even though they rarely interacted with the outside world, poison masters still roughly knew the various powers out in the world. Given that the other party was an elder of the Beast Hall, his strength was most probably at Zhizun realm pinnacle. This wasn't a figure that they could trifle with.
"May I know which poison master within our Poison Hall you are looking for?"
The young man replied politely.
"It's a poison master named Gu Mu!" Sun Qiang said.
The young man was taken aback by Sun Qiang's words, and a furrow slowly appeared on his forehead. "You're looking for Hall Master Gu Mu?"
Sun Qiang and Wei Yuqing were dumbstruck.
Wei Yuqing knew that they were here to look for Zhang Xuan's junior nephew... He thought that the other party would just be some unknown poison master, to think that he would be the head of the Poison Hall!
The standing of the head of the Poison Hall was in no way inferior to the head of the Beast Hall.
"That's right!" Seeing that the other party clearly didn't know that Gu Mu was the hall master despite being here to look for him, a wary look appeared on the faces of the poison masters. "May I know the reason why you are looking for the hall master? I'll help you relay your message!"
Sun Qiang hesitated for a moment, but upon recalling his standing, he straightened his plump body and stood imposingly.
Placing his hands behind his back, his eyebrows shot up, and an arrogant look appeared on his face, "Hmph, tell him that his Uncle Sun Qiang is here, so he should hurry out to welcome me!" 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far