128 Chapter 128
The man with the gem in his forehead looked to be in his twenties, but in reality, he was already fifty years old. He was quite the famous young master from the Dark Palm sect. He looked quite handsome and was adored by everyone, or at least that's how it looked on the outside.
"Thanks for letting me tag along with you, Elder Ming."
The man bowed with his hands clasped, the Dark Palm sect elder was on a little errand here and this young master had used this opportunity to join him on his journey.
"It's nothing really, didn't think you'd find this place that interesting little Kai, I'm just here for the items at the auction."
The old man sat back and sipped some green tea, the tea leaves being the highest quality that this city could offer, the water and tableware being the same.
"Hm, the tea is satisfactory at least..."
The young man straightened up and looked outside the window, his eyes narrowing.
"Ah yes the auction, to be exact I wanted my disciple to participate in that little festival those little clans are having."
"Oh? The Dao Festival?"
The sect elder's brow moved upwards slightly, but almost immediately went down.
"Well, I won't pester you for details, but if your disciple is taking part then be sure not to sully the sects name, he has to win."
The man waved with his hand at his junior member, even though this was the son of the Patriarch this elder outranked him by quite a bit, his cultivation level was something that made him a king among men already.
"Well then, Elder Ming rest well, I'll see you tomorrow."
The Dark Palm member named Kai exited the room that this elder of his was staying, he knew when this Elder Ming didn't want him around so he had enough tack to back of, on his own. He was stationed a flor below, which was still quite the expensive-looking apartment.
This man's full name was Yang Kai. He returned to his quarters, the view at the city was grand but the man in question wasn't really impressed by it.
"Mmm, give me your report..."
There was another man in that room, Yang Kai was sitting on an expensive couch, his legs spread apart in a nonchalant way. The man opposite him was a rough-looking gentleman in a less expensive Dark Palm sect robe.
"Yes young master, the 'target' arrived not long ago, they are staying at this grand dragon hotel on the fortieth floor."
Yang Kai licked his lips slightly after he heard that the person that he was here for was already in this hotel with him. He had to stop himself from just going directly there, that would just make him look bad and he would lose face, it was not yet time to strike.
"Good... good... now I just have to wait for this festival to start and then..."
The bodyguard was silent, his eyebrows quivering after seeing quite the devilish expression on his face.
"Ahh... tell my disciple to prepare, he is not allowed to lose or he will be severely punished! But not like any of those backwater clans can hold a handle to him."
He waved with his hand at the guard while smirking to himself. The moment the man left Yang Kai stood up, his gaze moving over to his spatial ring. He pulled out a thin scarf, it had a cherry blossom pattern sewn into it. He placed it soon up towards his nose and inhaled with vigor, his eyes closed but his eyelids quivered back and forth during the inhaling.
"You got away once and I thought that I lost you... but now here you are... If I wasn't stuck cultivating at the sect I would have come sooner, but that's fine...he he he..."
The man licked his lips in a gross fashion, the scarf he was holding looked a bit scuffed up.
"Soon you will be mine, this time I won't let you run away... even if I have to..."
The man didn't finish the sentence and moved the scarf back into his spatial ring, his head shaking.
"Oh my, I'm getting too excited here...
Yang Kai sat down to meditate, the chaotic thoughts in his mind calming down while the night ended.
At dawn you could hear people walking, all the shops were opening up and the day was starting. The Dao Festival wasn't only for the clan's but a lot of people saw it as a chance to make some coin or spirit stones. There was a big marketplace, with various cultivation materials and trinkets gathered in one place.
Usage of magical treasures during the fights was allowed, so was taking pills. The use of weapons was allowed as well, everyone could bring weapons of their choosing, using dual swords was also allowed. It didn't matter if the quality of the weapon of one participant was lower than the others, that was taken into account as your personal strength. It was the same with the defensive treasures or any magical trinkets, the cultivators knew that life wasn't fair and that everyone was born unequally. Having resources to back yourself up was something that these people agreed with, but due to this, you didn't see poorer practitioners winning that often.
The preliminary round would start tomorrow so everyone from the clan had some free time today, they could use it to tour the city or just stay and cultivate if they felt that it would give them an edge over the competition. Most of the youths were quite interested in the new environment and decided to form a couple of smaller groups. In front of those groups stood one of Zhang Jin's retainers, the grand elder had other things to take care of besides being a chaperone for these kids.
"Listen up, you are free to visit the city. Fighting with anyone is forbidden, remember that this isn't Spirit Spring city and Elder Jin won't be able to help you out if you offend someone."
"Don't worry, the other clans are also forbidden from causing trouble before the festival starts, anyone that doesn't follow the law will be banned from the competition, so use some common sense and don't bring shame to our Zhang Clan!"
The young adults all replied in unison, the loud shout even alerting some other tournament participants that were standing on the side. Some of them already whispering as the Zhang family was slowly gaining notoriety, mostly because their Patriarch apparently soundly beat the famous Demon Hunter a few weeks ago.
The acclaimed Lei Yinglo was someone with quite a high status, his strength was already legendary. He had built it up by slaying demon beasts and cultivators all in the late and great circle stages of core formation, which was quite a feat in the eyes of anyone without a nascent soul cultivator in their camp. Also, Zhang Dong made it sure to order to spread this information through the land so that he would gain some clout.
As long as it wasn't something pointing people to think that he was in the nascent soul stage, it was fine. Even this feat wouldn't really be taken seriously by the Dark Palm sect, the famous demon hunter was just a renegade cultivator with no backing so they didn't fear him much.
"Junior Sister, why don't we visit some sights in this Jade City, I heard they have really nice tea shops!"
After the Zhang Clan elder went back to his room, the first thing Zhang Tai did was walk over to Zhang Xue to ask her out. There were some other people around them, the youth would like to get someone on one time with this lovely younger sister of his, but their relationship wasn't quite there so he had to settle for some 'dead weight' to come with him.
"Tea shops? Why don't we go to the Jade Arena instead, maybe some experts will be fighting today!"
Zhang Lie chimed in, he was also with another small group of people. He smirked at Zhang Tai who was trying his best to not shout out in protest, this disciple of Zhang Dong was mostly just messing with his older brother. He found the courting that this senior brother was doing quite silly and loved to push his buttons.
"Tea shop?... Arena?... Hmm..."
Sparks started flying between the two youths some more, but before Zhang Xue could make her mind up someone else spoke up, it was a female voice.
"Hey, leave sister Xue alone, why would she spend time with you boys~"
A group of girls appeared out of nowhere, these were quite the cute and lovely junior and senior sisters that were also participating in this Dao Festival. There were fewer girls than boys at this event, with a ratio of five to one. They quickly shuffled between the youngest female member that was Zhang Xue and started pulling her away.
"Yes, this is time for us girls to bond, you boys go to your arenas or fight all you want~"
They all chuckled to each other, Xue did the same and let herself be escorted out by her clan sisters. The group of young beauties wasn't going out alone, they had a couple of clan elders go along with them, it would be unwise to just let a group of beauties go out without any bodyguards whatsoever. Though, all of those girls were quite decent fighters they still needed some backup if things got out of hand.
The girls left, Zhang Tai had his hand outstretched in the position where Zhang Xue went down the floating platform, his hand soon falling down and going limp as he gave out a sigh. One of the members from his group came closer and gave his shoulder a pat, then spoke out with a smile on his face.
"Don't worry senior brother Tai, there is no way that junior Sister Xue didn't notice you. I bet the next time you'll be able to share some tea with her!"
"Yes, there will always be a second chance."
His buddies cheered him up while on the other hand Zhang Liu just walked away while snorting, it was enough to see his senior brother mope around, he would poke fun at him at another chance. For now, he also wanted to leave and see the city, he had some other Zhang members with him to keep him company.
"Hah, while brother Tai sulks let us depart to see the city, that Jade Arena is said to have quite the ferocious fighters, even core formation experts do battle there!"
Zhang Liu proclaimed and departed down onto another floating platform, the trip to the first level of the pagoda hotel was quite tedious and took the same amount of time as before. Outside, the small group of youths rejoiced and departed they were all young men in their prime and they had a whole day of free time to play around. They all knew that they had a serious competition coming up the next day, but being young made them think that they could take on the world and they didn't think that they would actually have any problems with the preliminary round.
"I heard that they have quite the nice tasting wine in this city... the rice they make it from is rich in spiritual energy too..."
The youths looked at each other, they were planning to check out that arena and then go out drinking. Still, they had two elder members from the clan tagging along with them, but they knew these two uncles would probably give in if they offered them some alcohol as well.
"Yes, let us head out!"
Zhang Liu shouted out with a smile on his face, his friends smiled at each other and left. Soon they joined the sea of people and made their way towards the arena building. Even during the day, it was open it was quite the popular area for betting. But while Liu was taking a turn into another street, he felt something hit his chest.
A cute voice cried out as the youth realized that a girl crashed into his chest. The youth cultivated his body refining technique to quite a high degree so the young lady rebounded off him and fell down on her butt. Liu instinctively reached out with his hand to help her out, the peculiar thing about the girl was the color of her hair that was light pink, her skin tone made you think that she was out tanning or spent a lot of time on a beach.