Three months later, in the capital city of the Great Qian Dynasty…
There was no telling whether it was because the Great Qian Dynasty had run out of bad luck or because the new emperor was indeed a man of fortune. When it came to the sunny, flourishing April, the Great Qian Dynasty’s devastation from when the wolf knights of Ghost Qin marched all the way to the capital city seemed to have entirely disappeared.
It was perhaps the most favorable and peaceful spring for the Great Qian Dynasty in the past twenty years.
In the north, Ghost Qin had suffered a lot of losses during their armed robbery the previous year. After they retreated to their nest, they slowly treated their wounds and digested the trophies. They showed no intention of marching south again in the near future.
In the southeast, the White Lotus Cult had not been on a rampage for a long time. The terrible scenes where ghosts were singing in thousands of households became nightmares of old.
In the west, Qi Changsheng’s Heaven Battering Army was crushed by the court’s Sky Ascension Troop again. Hundreds of thousands of homeless peasants surrendered on the spot.
The leadership of the Heaven Battering Army, including Qi Changsheng and hundreds of Cultivators who betrayed their sects, fled in panic. They had fractured in the snowy world and were divided into dozens of disordered groups of bandits.
Rumor had it that even Qi Changsheng himself had been heavily wounded during the split and disappeared.
Although both the White Lotus Cult and the Heaven Battering Army were not so easy to eradicate and had been through similar desperate situations countless times before, only to rise again later, it was expected that the two forces would not be able to stir much trouble for a year and a half.
More importantly, ever since Lead Eunuch Wang Xi fell, the Cultivators who had been in conflict reached a new deal on the distribution of interests after the Dragon Spring Meeting and gradually stabilized. The new balance among the sects and between the sects and the new emperor had been achieved.
It meant that the Cultivators of the Great Qian Dynasty were finally freed from the complicated internal strife and shifted their attention to the external problems such as the White Lotus Cult, the Heaven Battering Army, and Ghost Qin!
The fate of the dynasty seemed to have been changed so shortly after the new emperor assumed the throne. Even the capital city had recovered from the depression when it was besieged by the Ghost Qin’s army after only one year. The previous prosperity and liveliness had been restored, with even more vivacity!
The capital city, Divine Capital, was the largest city in the Ancient Sages Sector.
The splendid city, claimed ‘never to fall’, had been regarded by more than ten dynasties as the capital city. It was divided into four levels in total.
The underground space at the bottom level was the residence of the ordinary people.
Like diligent ants, they had excavated sophisticated and splendid caverns below the ground over thousands of years. Then, with all kinds of huge bronze mirrors, they directed the sunlight hundreds of meters below the ground.
As a result, not only was the underground golden and spectacular, even the entire capital city seemed to be floating on a blossoming golden lotus. It was indeed fabulous and brilliant and could be called a heaven on earth!
The buildings on the ground belonged to the Cultivation sects that were headquartered in the capital city and their vassal families. The red walls and the vast yards were too intricate to be measured.
In the sky, dozens of floating mountains were listed in a strict square. They were the pivot of the Great Qian Dynasty. The central offices of the dynasty and the elites of the troops, as well as the tea houses, hotels, fairs, auctions, and casinos for the Cultivators, together with the headquarters of the six major sects or their most important local office in the capital city, had all been founded here.
Right above the floating mountains was a group of carefully built palaces made possible by emptying an entire floating mountain. It was also the headquarters of the Thunder Qian Sect, the founder of the Great Qian Dynasty in the past. It was surrounded by barriers that were glowing purple. Even a full-strength strike of a Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator would not be able to shake it. Known as the Forbidden City, it was the royal palace that could theoretically command the entire Ancient Sages Sector!
At night, when just the lanterns were on, the tea houses and restaurants below the Forbidden City would all be packed with guests. The Cultivators from all over the world had come to the same place.
Those qualified to be entertained there were at least above the Building Foundation Stage, which meant that they were the main forces in the world of Cultivators. Many of the guests were in the Core Formation Stage or even in the Nascent Soul Stage. They were all well-informed. Naturally, their conversation topics were the latest changes and the celebrities in the world of Cultivators.
However, in whichever tea house or restaurant, after the conversation went on for a while over the delicious wine, the same name would always been brought up.
Master Spiritual Vulture.
It had indeed been the most heated topic in the world of Cultivators over the past three months.
The glaciers at the northernmost deserts, the volcanoes in the westmost lands, the islands in the depths of the eastern ocean, the sultry forests in the south… In any place that had a Cultivation sect or Cultivators, somebody would always mention the name mysteriously.
It was said that he was the strongest Cultivator in the Southland of Sorcerers in the past hundreds of years. His Cultivation was already unimaginably high. During the Dragon Spring Meeting, he had suppressed three Cultivators in the middle level of the Nascent Soul Stage in a row with ease.
It was said that not only was his Cultivation immeasurable, he also boasted the most extraordinary refining arts. In his debut during the Dragon Spring Meeting, he pointed out the shortcomings of three marvelous weapons. He even turned on his furnace and repaired the three marvelous weapons on the spot.
Later, he also hosted a lecture in the Dragon Spring Meeting on the mysteries of the ancient arts of sword forging. When he reached the best part, flowers were falling from the sky, and countless experienced sword forgers were enthralled!
It was said that, after he became a visiting elder of the Purple Pole Sword Sect, he did not stay there all the time. Instead, he travelled far and wide, searching for eccentric fires, water sources, and other materials desirable for refining. He also visited a lot of super sects including the Grand Mystery Sect, the Gold Armor Clan, and Flying Spirit Island, partly to fight with the experts of the sects in combat and partly to compete with the sword forgers of the sects in refining!
There was no telling the outcomes of the matches, but there was a theory among the Cultivators stating that Master Spiritual Vulture was the one best at refining among all the fighting Cultivators and the one best at fighting among all the sword forgers!
Some of the gossipers even claimed that, after Master Spiritual Vulture broke out of seclusion, another name had to be added to the ‘Three Saints of the Great Qian Dynasty’, making it ‘Four Saints’!
“Did you hear? A few days ago, Master Spiritual Vulture officially turned on his furnace and began refining. He completely repaired the ‘Gold Crow Devil Sweeping Sword’ of the Gold Armor Clan. There’s no telling what the result was, but the price that the Gold Armor Clan paid was shocking enough. Not counting anything else, they offered twenty ‘Ten Square Star Soul Pearls’ the size of fists!”
“It is certainly more than that. I’m told that Master Spiritual Vulture is best at forging and examining swords with the heritage from the Great Zhou Dynasty. Right now, not only is the magical equipment refined by himself invaluable, countless people have also visited the Purple Pole Sword Sect to ask him to examine their swords and analyze the advantages, disadvantages, and hidden injuries of the magical equipment. The fee for the examination is scary enough!”
“I have also heard an interesting tale. It is said that ‘you-know-who’ in the Forbidden City is of a mind to invite Master Spiritual Vulture to visit the royal treasury, examine the treasures that have been left for a thousand years, and clean and maintain them!”
“Well, well, well. Isn’t it—”
Similar conversations were underway in every tea house and restaurant.
But they were interrupted by an ear-splitting roar at the same time.
The long roar, like a peal of thunder on a sunny day, made the hearts of all the Cultivators on the floating mountains palpitate. They threw away their cups and chopsticks, ran out of their rooms, and raised their heads.
As they expected, a crimson shadow covered in vague golden brilliance was rushing over from the southeast. The long flames at its tail seemed to be tearing the night sky into halves!
Among the floating mountains, a lot of Cultivators were flying slowly on their rafts, cranes, or jade discs.
On the crimson shadow, a tired knight was yelling at them furiously and even slashed out a red sword aura, blowing away many Cultivators standing in his path with no consideration for their probably honorable identities.
All the Cultivators looked awful when they saw the crimson shadow.
“The ‘Red Lightning Flying Horse’!”
“Even the ‘Red Lightning Flying Horse’ has been boosted to the maximum without bothering about the cost. Something terrible must’ve happened in the southeast!”
The Red Lightning Flying Horse rushed right toward the Forbidden City. The purple glow around the Forbidden City shook slightly and took it in.
Before midnight, rumors were already spreading on the streets and valleys on the floating mountains. The Great Qian Dynasty, which had just caught its breath, suffered yet another unbearable blow.
It was said that the largest typhoon in decades had already landed on the southeast!
When the news that the typhoon had landed made too many Cultivators unable to sleep at night, on the God Shocking Peak—the highest place in the Hundred Blade Mountain, which was nine thousand and five hundred kilometers south of the capital city—two unpredictable shadows, like two clouds that were ripped apart by the rocks, were flickering in their fierce fight!
The God Shocking Peak had the roughest terrain on the Hundred Blade Mountain. It was like a wolf’s fang stabbing right upward toward the sky. The cliffs in many places were adjacent to the ground, with no place to set foot on at all.
The peak was not worth developing. The top was frozen in ice all the time, too. It was too high, steep, and cold even for a Cultivator if they intended to turn it into their residence. Therefore, it had been abandoned by the Purple Pole Sword Sect for hundreds of years.
But after the ‘Sword Maniac’ Yan Liren distinguished himself, the place became the best location for his meditation and hard training.
At this moment, it was naturally Li Yao and Yan Liren who were engaged in a fierce battle above the God Shocking Peak.
Although Yan Liren’s sword was fast, it was not invincible. Even the fastest sword had a range of attack and had to lock onto the enemy.
So, it would do if Li Yao could find a way to make Yan Liren unable to lock onto him or keep out of the range of his attack.
But in reality…
Li Yao was almost rolling on all fours as he tried to get rid of the will of the sword that was right behind him.
He had kept his speed above three times the speed of sound. Only in such a way could he get away from Yan Liren’s sword.
Whenever his speed was below 2.9 times the speed of sound for more than three seconds, he would feel chilly in his neck, waist, and ankles.
It was the threat of Yan Liren’s sword!