Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 1025
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
As a 6-star pinnacle blacksmith, if Guild Leader Zhong still couldn't understand what was happening after hearing so much, he might as well just end his life then and there.
However, while doubts had sprouted his heart, he still couldn't really believe that Sun Jin would commit such atrocities.
Sun Jin was the elder he favored the most, and he had even intended to pass down his position as the guild leader to him. Why would the other party commit such foolishness?
However, the truth was already laid clearly before him, and he had no choice but to face it. There was no way the principal of a Master Teacher Academy would barge into the Blacksmith Guild and cause such an uproar without investigating the matter properly.
"What is going on here?" Gritting his teeth coldly, Guild Leader Zhong questioned the fellow in front of him. He really wanted to skin the other party alive at this moment.
If this matter was indeed true, not only would Sun Jin be disgraced, the headquarters would also make an example out of the Firesource City Blacksmith Guild to warn other blacksmiths from engaging in such immoral actions. As the guild leader, he would have to bear the criticisms from the public for his neglect of responsibility, perhaps even going down in historical records for his incompetence!
"I" Sun Jin's lips twitched uncontrollably as he tried to explain. "Guild leader, I didn't do it! I really don't know what is going on!"
"You don't know what is going on?" A sharp glint flashed across Guild Leader Zhong's eyes. "You should know full well the consequences of lying to a master teacher. Come clean now, and I might still be able to plead on your behalf. Otherwise, once your sins surface, I won't be able to say a word even if Principal Zhang has you executed at this very moment!"
Master teachers weren't to be deceived!
If one were found lying to a master teacher in the midst of an investigation, their sins would engender far graver consequences. Not only would the person in question be executed on the spot, even their kin and students might be implicated, possibly being barred from joining any Upper Nine Paths occupations for their entire lives!
This wasn't the rule set by the Master Teacher Pavilion but a joint agreement made by the various occupations. This was something they had decided upon out of respect for the Master Teacher Pavilion due to their contributions to the world.
If one would deceive even the teachers, they had already lost their principles. A person who lived by no principles would only eventually become a disaster for society!
Sun Jin's face paled, and his body began trembling non-stop.
It went without saying that he was aware of such a rule as well, but there was a spark of hope in the depths of his heart. Perhaps, if he could drag things out and the other party was unable to find any concrete evidence of his wrongdoings, he might just be acquitted of his sins.
"Is there nothing that you want to say?" Guild Leader Zhong bellowed as the disappointment in his eyes deepened.
From the moment that Sun Jin hesitated, the truth was already apparent to him. If Sun Jin had really done nothing of the sort, he would surely have fought hard for his innocence. There wouldn't have been a look of dilemma on his face.
A slight gesture, but it spoke a thousand words.
Having come to the same conclusion as well, Pavilion Master Feng Yihui harrumphed coldly by the side. "Don't harbor hopes that the Master Teacher Pavilion will let this matter pass just by dragging things out. Do you honestly think that the Master Teacher Pavilion would be so incompetent as to be unable to uncover the truth of a matter as simple as this?"
He felt that this matter was a failure on his part as well. Such an atrocity had been committed in his area of jurisdiction, and yet, he was actually ignorant of it. In the end, it even required Principal Zhang, who had barely arrived a few days ago, to point the matter out and resolve it.
Having his thoughts being voiced, Sun Jin's body froze in horror. His lips pursed tightly together in fear.
Indeed, as long as the Master Teacher Pavilion put its mind into it, there was nothing that it couldn't uncover.
Many years might have passed after what he had done, but the family members of the thirty apprentices he had taken in back then were still around. He was only able to get away with it thus far due to the lack of attention on the humble apprentices in the Blacksmith Guild. However, if a thorough investigation were to be conducted, the Master Teacher Pavilion would surely be able to find evidence of his wrongdoing.
An apprentice failing the blacksmith examination for many years might be attributed to his lack of talent, but for it to happen to thirty apprentices even a fool could tell that something was wrong with it.
Gathering his zhenqi in his left hand, he discreetly reached out for the storage ring on his right hand, intending to forcefully destroy it. However, before he could succeed, a powerful surge of sword qi flashed across his eyes.
The right hand's middle finger was severed from the major knuckle, and the storage ring fell to the ground as well.
"If I am not mistaken, the cultivation technique that he had imparted to Song Zhen is in here!" Zhang Xuan said coldly.
"I'll check it right now!" Guild Leader Zhong walked forward and picked up the storage ring on the ground.
With a surge of zhenqi, he erased the Soul Imprint on the storage ring before immersing his consciousness into it. A moment later, a book suddenly materialized in his hand.
Flipping it open, his face gradually grew darker and darker, to the point that it seemed as if he might just explode on the spot. With gritted teeth, he passed it over to Song Zhen by the side.
"Is this the cultivation technique that you practice?"
Song Zhen took the book and browsed through it. A few moments later, he nodded. "That's right. This is the cultivation technique that he imparted to us back then!"
Holding the book tightly in his grasp, Guild Leader Zhong turned his gaze back upon Sun Jin. "Is there anything else that you have to say for yourself?"
"I" Knowing that he was done for, Sun Jin's knees fell onto the ground in despair.
It might have been possible for him to argue his way out of this a moment ago, but with that cultivation technique manual coming to the surface, there was no way he could do so anymore! That was irrefutable evidence of his wrongdoing!
"Greed blinded my eyes. I thought that if I could find a way to procure the valuable ores lying all around Firesource City, I would be able to accrue a huge fortune for myself. Even if I were to retire in the future, I will be able to enjoy a life of luxury."
"For your life of luxury, you cast aside your morals and harmed so many innocent young children. How dare you call yourself a blacksmith? How dare you call yourself a teacher?" Guild Leader Zhong roared vehemently.
While blacksmiths weren't master teachers, they had their own heritage that they passed down from generation to generation as well. As such, teaching was something they viewed with solemnity and sanctity as well. Yet, the fellow before him had actually used nurturing the next generation as an excuse to commit grievous atrocities. This was going beyond the ethical bottom line of all blacksmiths!
With a tap of his finger, Guild Leader Zhong sealed Sun Jin's cultivation before turning to Zhang Xuan and Feng Yihui, saying, "Principal Zhang, Pavilion Master Feng, it is me putting my trust in the wrong person and failing to keep my subordinate in check that allowed for atrocities. I shall resign from my position as the leader of the Blacksmith Guild and spend the rest of my life compensating the families of the thirty deceased apprentices."
As the leader of the Blacksmith Guild, it was a huge breach of responsibility of his that Sun Jin had been able to act as he pleased for more than two whole decades, harming not only Song Zhen but many more apprentices as well. Even though those apprentices had long passed away, they were bound to have kin and friends still living. To make up for his failure, he had decided to dedicate his entire life to making up for this mistake.
"You aren't the perpetrator, but you do have a heavy responsibility to play in this matter!" Zhang Xuan said with his hands behind his back.
While the crime had not been committed by Guild Leader Zhong, it was a fact that he was the one who had failed to notice Sun Jin's misdeeds and granted him the authority of an elder. The greater power that Sun Jin wielded had made it even more difficult for anyone to stand up against him, thus emboldening him to harm even more people. For one, there was no way Sun Jin could have been able to hide the deaths of so many of his apprentices if not for the power granted to him.
In this sense, Guild Leader Zhong wasn't free from blame either.
"I understand. It is a pity that there is nothing I can really do to make it up to them."
After saying those words, Guild Leader Zhong shot a glance at Song Zhen and sighed wearily.
Putting aside the deceased apprentices, even for the middle-aged man before him, there was nothing he could do that could salvage the damage done to him.
The cultivation technique that the other party practiced was fundamentally at odds with the earth flames. Even as a 6-star pinnacle blacksmith, there was nothing he could do that could change that.
"That might not necessarily be so" Noting Guild Leader Zhong's gestures, Zhang Xuan could somewhat fathom a guess on what the other party was thinking about. Walking up to Song Zhen, he stretched out his hand and said, "Pass the book to me for a moment."
"Yes." Nodding, Song Zhen respectfully passed the cultivation technique manual that had just been procured from Sun Jin's storage ring to Zhang Xuan.
Taking the book, Zhang Xuan casually flipped through it before lowering his head contemplatively.
A moment later, he took out a book and a brush and began writing swiftly. A few moments later, he had already written out a brand-new cultivation technique. He passed it over to Song Zhen and said, "Cultivate according to the method written here."
By this point, Song Zhen had already made sense of everything that had just happened. The gaze that he directed toward Sun Jin was devoid of the respect it had before, replaced with endless hostility.
It was with a heart filled with hope that he had become the other party's apprentice. For more than twenty years, it was the hope that he harbored that drove him on, allowing him to persevere through even the toughest of times. However, the more hope one harbored, the greater the despair upon failure.
When Song Zhen took the book from Zhang Xuan's hands, his mind was completely blank.
He was very grateful toward Principal Zhang for bringing him justice, but having the goal that he had spent his entire life striving for being deemed impossible all of a sudden had left him completely lost. He had no idea what he should do from there onward.
"I have said that I will make you a blacksmith. I never renege on my promises." Zhang Xuan chuckled softly. "Once you are done cultivating the cultivation technique I have written down, you will be ready to take the 5-star or even the 6-star blacksmith examination!"
"5-star? 6-star?" Song Zhen was flabbergasted by what he was hearing. He dared not believe what Zhang Xuan had said to be true.
"That's right." Zhang Xuan nodded with a smile.
Song Zhen hurriedly flipped open the book in his hand. The faint aroma from the slightly damp ink and the elegant calligraphy, which seemed as if they would leap out from the pages at any moment, calmed his unsettled mind.
It didn't take him too long to finish reading through the entire book. By the time he was done, his body had already gone completely still, unable to believe what he had just seen.
The fact that he had attained the incredible strength of a Transcendent Mortal 9-dan in his thirties without the guidance of a master teacher was testimony to the incredible talent he possessed in cultivation. Even though he had only swiftly browsed through the manual once, he could already imagine the frightening might one could potentially harness after mastering it.
Not only would it resolve the conflict between the attribute of his zhenqi and the earth flames, it would even bring his cultivation to greater heights!
Seeing the daze Song Zhen was in, Zhang Xuan urged him on with a smile. "You should start cultivating now!"
"Yes!" Without any hesitation, Song Zhen hurriedly sat onto the floor and began cultivating according to the method recorded on the book.
After Song Zhen began cultivating, Zhang Xuan turned his gaze toward Guild Leader Zhong and said, "I will need to trouble you to find three grade-6 pills for me. They are namely the Bone Reinforcing Body Tempering Pill, Great Reversal Meridian Reconstruction Pill"
As Song Zhen had practiced the cultivation technique from Sun Jin for more than twenty years now, it was no easy feat to alter his meridians and change the attribute of his zhenqi. Just the cultivation technique that Zhang Xuan had tailored for him wouldn't suffice to make him a blacksmith.
It was necessary to complement the cultivation technique with some pills as well.
Reconstructing the meridians to change the attribute of a zhenqi that was at odds with the earth flames previously to complement it instead was a feat that would have been impossible for anyone else to pull off. Only he, who cultivated the perfect Heaven's Path Divine Art, was capable of calculating a method that could resolve the issue.
"These pills might have been difficult to find anywhere else, but they aren't too uncommon in Firesource City. I will get it done right now!" Guild Leader Zhong said before rushing off.
A city built on a land rich in earth flames, blacksmiths and apothecaries there possessed an inherent advantage given the nature of their craft, thus making them the most popular occupations in Firesource City. Furthermore, there were many precious medicinal herbs in the area.
So, pills that would have been difficult to find anywhere else could easily be found within this city.
It didn't take too long for Guild Leader Zhong to return with the three pills Zhang Xuan spoke of.
Zhang Xuan passed the three pills to Song Zhen and gave him specific instructions on when he should consume them while cultivating.
An hour later, a resounding buzz suddenly sounded from Song Zhen's body, and his aura abruptly surged. Within this short period of time, not only did he manage to change the attribute of his zhenqi, he had even succeeded in achieving a breakthrough to Half-Saint!
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