Beneath their feet was a massive valley with a diameter of around three li.
Activating his Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan peered into the valley.
Just as the Golden Beartiger Beast had said, there were indeed three thousand of them, and every single one of them had reached Transcendent Mortal 7-dan at the very least.
If such a huge group of aerial spirit beasts were to launch an assault toward Hongyuan City, it would indeed be difficult for any defending force to stop their charge perfectly.
In the event of an attack, even if they did successfully clear away every single one of them in the end, Hongyuan City would probably suffer devastating damage as well.
I have to set up a formation to ensure that none of them manage to escape! Zhang Xuan thought.
There were simply too many aerial spirit beasts in the area. If any of them noticed that something was amiss and escaped to inform the Golden Beartiger Beast of the matter, School Head Mo would be placed in a very dangerous position.
Taking a deep breath, Zhang Xuan began scanning his surroundings to analyze how he should set up his formation. This geographical terrain seems to be suited for the grade-6 Resplendent Helios Illusory Formation! Alright, that shall be it then…
Even though he hadn't taken the formation master examination yet, his comprehension of formations was already on par with a 6-star pinnacle formation master. With his current capability, he could still easily determine the most appropriate formation to use swiftly by looking at the terrain.
Flicking his wrist, he took out a bunch of formation flags.
After which, he stepped forcefully against the ground and leaped down into the midst of the aerial spirit beasts.
Upon seeing that a human was amid them, the aerial spirit beasts roared in astonishment. However, just as they were about to launch an assault to kill the intruder, the two Black Spirit Panthers abruptly leaped up as well and roared, "This is the man who has come here to negotiate with our kings, Zhang shi. He is here to take a look at our aerial spirit beast army camp, as well as set a formation around here. There is no need to be alarmed!"
Those Black Spirit Panthers spoke in the beast language, so the aerial spirit beasts could comprehend what they were saying.
As those speaking were the attendants of their kings, the aerial spirit beasts had no objections whatsoever; they scattered and returned to whatever they were doing before.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Zhang Xuan drove his zhenqi, and the flags in his hands began scattering into the surroundings.
As the Resplendent Helios Illusory Formation came to life, a thick mist began to set into the valley, shrouding all of the aerial spirit beasts within it.
Knowing that the young man was going to set up a formation, the aerial spirit beasts didn't panic, waiting for him quietly to finish instead.
"Time to start!"
With a chuckle, Zhang Xuan brought out his clone, and the both of them dived into the mist.
Roar! Roar! Roar!
In an instant, the cries of the aerial spirit beasts immediately filled the valley.
Even the strongest of these aerial spirit beasts was only at Chrysalis realm pinnacle, so they were no match for Zhang Xuan and his clone at all. As such, there wasn't even a need to bring out the Byzantium Helios Beast and the Golden Origin Cauldron.
Every few steps Zhang Xuan took, an aerial spirit beast submitted.
While Zhang Xuan was busy taming the aerial spirit beasts, in the cavern, School Head Mo's forehead was covered with sweat.
It had been two hours since Zhang Xuan left, and the saint beasts were beginning to get suspicious.
The Golden Beartiger Beast, who stood at the very center of the room, bellowed with a livid face, "Why aren't they back yet? Mo Zhu, what the hell is your student doing?"
A trip to the valley where the aerial spirit beast army was located and back should only take twenty minutes at most. For them to be gone for two hours, it was clear that there was something really wrong.
"My student is only a Chrysalis realm cultivator while your Cloudmist Ridge is filled with many saint beasts, what are you worrying about?"
Even though School Head Mo was panicking inside, he didn't allow any of it to show on his face. With a composed chuckle, he said, "My student is a very meticulous person, so he is probably checking thoroughly to confirm the strength of your aerial spirit beast army. Or… are you worried that he will escape?"
"Escape? Hah! With you here, what can a mere student like him do?"
The Golden Beartiger Beast harrumphed coldly. "Scarlet Blaze Lion, go and check what that fellow is up to! Humans have always been a cunning race, so don't fall for his lies!"
"Yes!" Nodding, the Scarlet Blaze Lion began to walk out of the cavern.
"Wait a moment…" Astonished, School Head Mo immediately got to his feet. "He is just a student. Are the kings of the Cloudmist Ridge so timid?"
"Timid?" The Golden Beartiger Beast burst into laughter, as if he had just heard a hilarious joke. "Scarlet Blaze Lion, ignore him. Go and take a look!"
Ignoring School Head Mo's attempt to stall for time, the Golden Beartiger Beast gestured for the Scarlet Blaze Lion to move on.
Seeing that the Scarlet Blaze Lion was really going to head out, School Head Mo suddenly chuckled softly and said, "I have long heard that the great Golden Beartiger Beast King of Cloudmist Ridge possesses extraordinary strength. Do you dare to have a match with me? I am interested in experiencing the prowess of the Beast Tribe myself!"
"You are challenging me to a duel?" Not expecting School Head Mo to make such an abrupt request, the Golden Beartiger Beast frowned.
"Pardon me, did I scare you?" School Head Mo said with a wry smile.
"Scare me? You must be joking! If a duel is what you want, a duel is what you'll get!" Harrumphing coldly, the Golden Beartiger Beast got to his feet.
"Good! Scarlet Blaze Lion King, why don't you remain here to watch our battle? You will be next after I am done with Golden Beartiger Beast King!" School Head Mo said haughtily.
Naturally, this was an attempt to stall for time as well. Even though he wasn't sure what Zhang Xuan was up to, he was determined to accomplish what he had promised the latter.
"Sure!" the Scarlet Blaze Lion nodded.
Both School Head Mo and the Golden Beartiger Beast were the strongest existences in Hongyuan Empire. Naturally, watching a battle between the both of them was much more interesting than looking for a Chrysalis realm fellow.
"Let's begin then!" Fearing that the Golden Beartiger Beast would notice that he was stalling once he was given time to think, School Head Mo rushed forward and thrust his palm at the saint beast.
The incredible might of a Saint 1-dan pinnacle abruptly permeated the entire cavern. With just a single palm, the ground of the cavern began creaking in protest, seemingly on the verge of breaking under the immense force.
"Hahaha! If this is all you've got, I have to say that you are a disgrace to the name of 'Ten Great Master Teachers'…"
Against the immense pressure, the Golden Beartiger Beast didn't show the slightest fear. Instead, with a furious bellow, he raised his paw and swiped forward, causing the air to release a painful screech as it was torn in two.
Under the powerful might, the strength of School Head Mo's palm thrust was completely neutralized.
In the next instant, the Golden Beartiger Beast furiously flicked its whip-like tail toward School Head Mo. The strength and speed behind it were so great that even with School Head Mo's Saint realm 1-dan pinnacle cultivation, he would surely suffer severe injuries if it were to land on him.
Not daring to face the tail directly, School Head Mo swiftly dodged with a side leap.
But in that instant, the Golden Beartiger Beast sent yet another swipe toward School Head Mo.
In the midst of a leap, he was unable to change the trajectory of his motion abruptly, so he could only face the swipe head-on with a punch.
As the paw and the fist came into contact, School Head Mo instantaneously felt a crushing pressure on his chest, and he was sent flying away. His back crashed heavily into the wall of the cavern, creating a huge hole behind him.
Beasts had always possessed superior physical resilience and strength compared to humans, and the Golden Beartiger Beast was the most formidable saint beast in the Cloudmist Ridge. School Head Mo was, by no means, weak, but it was still impossible for him to face the other party head-on.
"Haha, is this the strength of a member of the Ten Great Master Teachers? Nothing impressive about it at all!"
With a deafening roar that jolted one's mind silly, the Golden Beartiger Beast charged forward with impressive momentum.
As the saying went, the dragons soared amid the clouds, and the tiger raced against the wind.
Even though the Golden Beartiger Beast wasn't a tiger in the truest sense, it did possess part of its bloodline. Even before the other party had reached him, School Head Mo could already feel a huge gust of wind blowing in his face. Astonished, he quickly freed himself and whipped out a sword to counterattack.
If he was no match for the other party in terms of brute force, he would have to rely on his weapon then.
Sou sou sou!
Moving at an unbelievable speed, the sword left after-shadows in its wake as it charged toward the Golden Beartiger Beast.
In the face of the powerful stab, the Golden Beartiger Beast didn't even bother to dodge. Instead, it took in a deep breath, and its fur immediately turned pitch-black, reminiscent of a scale.
Ding ding ding!
The tip of the sword and the fur collided with astonishing momentum, but the sword was unable to pierce through the fur!
"What?" School Head Mo's face paled.
He had known that it was unlikely that he would be a match for the Golden Beartiger Beast, but he hadn't expected the other party to be so powerful!
To think that his sword wouldn't even be able to penetrate the other party's defense, this was way too fearsome!
It was no wonder that, even though the Ten Indomitable Kings of the Cloudmist Ridge were all at Saint 1-dan pinnacle, they still obeyed his orders without the slightest hesitation. Just this defense itself was sufficient to render most saint beasts and cultivators powerless.
"Thirteen Swords of the Red Leaf!"
However, he couldn't back down now. The slightest hesitation in his movement could spell his defeat. School Head Mo immediately drove his zhenqi through a unique circulation pathway in his body, and a piercing buzz emanated from his sword.
In that instant, astounding might gathered in his sword, and it felt as if it would tear down anything that stood in its path.
The Thirteen Swords of the Red Leaf, his strongest battle technique!
Back then, the Inferno Dragon Saint Beast had fallen under this move of his and willingly became his tamed beast.
In that instant, the after-shadows of the sword seemed to form a red leaf in midair as it rushed forward with a might that threatened to shatter everything before it.
"Interesting! However, if you hope to defeat me with just this, you must be dreaming!"
The Golden Beartiger Beast was slightly astonished for an instant when he saw School Head Mo execute his sword art, but his astonishment swiftly gave way to a wry smile. Sharp claws emerged from his raised paws, and he launched a devastating swipe toward School Head Mo's sword.
Ding ding ding!
The paw and the red leaf collided. The Golden Beartiger Beast was forced to retreat a single step under the immense force, but School Head Mo was sent flying once more as blood spurted from his mouth. His body smashed heavily onto the ground, and his complexion turned ghastly pale from the severe internal injuries he had suffered.
He hurriedly stood up and swallowed a recovery pill, and after a brief moment of recuperation, he finally felt his injuries alleviating slightly.
"How is it? Does my strength satisfy you?" the Golden Beartiger Beast roared with laughter as its gaze fell on the defeated School Head Mo.
Even though it had sustained some injuries from the previous collision as well, its condition was still much better than that of the other party.
This battle had ended with a complete victory on his part.
"You are indeed powerful," School Head Mo said as he got to his feet.
He truly wasn't a match for the other party.
Even though they were at the same cultivation realm, it was still too difficult for a cultivator like him to overcome the innate advantages that saint beasts possessed.
Otherwise, the Byzantium Helios Beast wouldn't have been known as the strongest expert in the Master Teacher Academy.
The Golden Beartiger Beast returned to his seat and commanded, "Alright, since this duel is over, Scarlet Blaze Lion, you can hurry over to see what that lad is up to now. If he is plotting something against the Cloudmist Ridge, you have permission to kill him on the spot!"
"Yes!" The Scarlet Blaze Lion nodded before heading out of the cavern.
Hearing those words, School Head Mo panicked. He was going to step forward to stop the Scarlet Blaze Lion, but the Golden Beartiger Beast's cold words suddenly reverberated through the cavern at this moment. "Why? Does School Head Mo want to have another round with me?"
"I…" School Head Mo's body trembled.
With the injuries he had sustained, he couldn't afford to fight against the Golden Beartiger Beast again. Otherwise, he might just lose his life.
He had no idea whether or not Zhang Xuan was done with whatever he was trying to do, but he was already at his wits' end. He couldn't stall the other party any longer…
At this point, the Golden Beartiger Beast had also noticed School Head Mo's motive, and he bellowed furiously, "What are you waiting for? Go!"
"Yes!" the Scarlet Blaze Lion swiftly rushed out of the cavern, and in a moment, he had already disappeared from sight.
Watching as the other party's back disappeared, School Head Mo's body fell feebly to the ground. I have already done all I can…1.5 km