The outline of the imperial city was slowly getting bigger in their eyes as the carriage was slowly getting closer and closer.
After 3 more hours they had arrived in front of the gates and Shun Long could see that the city gates and the walls were even higher than the Blue Forest-city's walls.
There were guards standing on the front collecting a fee from everyone who wished to enter.
Each person needed to pay 1 gold coin, while each carriage had to pay an extra 10.
1 gold coin could feed a family of 3 for half a year in the imperial city but this was a paltry amount to a formation master like Shun Fang.
The driver paid the city guards and as soon as Shun Long's group entered the imperial city Shun Long and Shun Fang left the carriage.
''Go and book us 2 large courtyards in the 'imperial inn' to spend the next 2 nights'' Shun Fang ordered the driver, who bowed and left to go to the best inn of the city.
The 'imperial inn' was under the imperial family, the prices in the inn were more than 10 times higher compared to any other inn in the 'Sky Fortune Kingdom' but their service and courtyards were the best in the entire kingdom.
However it wasn't just anyone that could enter the inn, only people with status like Shun Fang and their families could spend their night here.
Shun Long and Shun Fang, spent their next 2 days touring the imperial capital since it was Shun Long's first time arriving here. They tasted the best foods and wines of every well-known restaurant in the city during the day and Shun Long cultivated during the night.
His focus was on refining the already created qi balls and bringing their quality on par with the 55th ball he had created. It was a process that required a lot of sweat and effort, but in these 2 nights, Shun Long had further refined 6 more balls of qi. His cultivation didn't advance with this but his strength was advancing really fast.
Shun Long estimated that when he finished refining all the balls of qi and entered the 7th rank of qi circulation, he could probably even beat a middle stage rank 9 qi cultivator.
The morning came as the sun slowly rose from the east and revealed a city that was bustling since very early in the morning.
The guards were on tight alert around the perimeter of the palace.
Commoners and nobles alike would all have to wait outside today, as special guests from a famous sect had arrived for a selection test to choose outer disciples for their sect.
Only the young people who met their listed qualifications were allowed to enter the imperial palace today.
Shun Fang and Shun Long arrived in front of the entrance of the imperial palace where a guard stopped them and said
''Unless you are participating in the selection process, entry in the imperial palace is forbidden!''
It looked like he had already said that line more than 100 times today.
Shun Long ignored the guard and turned to face Shun Fang as he said
''Father, I'm going''
Shun Fang's eyes were proud inside but also slightly red
''What are you waiting for? Just go!'' he said in an impatient tone that was trying to hide his embarassment.
Shun Long smiled as he turned around and walked towards the guard.
Then he revealed his aura of a middle rank 6 qi condensation as he ordered the guard
''I'm here for the selection test of the 'floating cloud sect', lead the way''
The guard was astonished and a bit angry at the same time that a kid dared to be rude to him, an imperial guard, especially a kid with a much lower cultivation than him when he himself was at the early rank9 of qi condensation..... but he couldn't do anything about it.
The orders were that anyone who wished to participate in the selection process and met the requirements of the 'floating cloud sect', had to be brought to the palace hall.
The guard brought Shun Long inside the palace and from there through a mass of complicated corridors, they went straight to the palace hall.
On the way Shun Long could see plenty of other guards making it obvious that the security was very tight today.
There were even a few earth grade guards that were holding their positions when they headed deeper inside the palace.
When Shun Long and the guard finally reached the end of the corridor the guard said in an impatient tone
''Here, at the end of this corridor is the palace hall. I am not allowed inside so I'm returning to my post.''
Shun Long ignored the guard for the second time today, who felt as if he had just swallowed a fly.
'How is this kid so hateful ?' he thought as he turned to return to his post.
Shun Long arrived at the end of the corridor and pushed open the large door in front of him.
21 young men and women were in the room in front of Shun Long.
The room was decorated with many jewels and stones, golden tables and luxurious chairs along with many couches and sofas.
When Shun Long entered, all the young men and women inside turned their eyes to look at him.
Most of these people seemed younger than 20 years old but there were also a few that seemed older than 20.
Shun Long then heard a familiar voice speaking to him
''Wow little brother Shun I didn't think that we would meet here''
A smilling young man dressed in white, approached Shun Long.
Shun Long's blue robes and his handsome face, along with the young man dressed in white created a scene so dazzling that made all the young ladies in the room blush.
Shun Long turned around and saw Lu Wen smilling at him.
Lu Wen walked towards Shun Long's side and patted his shoulder as he said
''Hahaha who would believe it that in such a short amount of time you would advance so much, this is practically unbelievable''
Then he whispered and asked
''Is it because of the pill that expert gave you?''
Lu Wen knew that although he couldn't sense Shun Long's cultivation, he must definitely be at the 6th stage of the qi condensation, or he couldn't enter the palace.
In reality Lu Wen was an arrogant person deep inside, but he had benefited a lot from the cauldron that Shun Fang had gifted him back at the Shun estate, so his opinion of the Shun family was especially good.
Lu Wen's mindset was actually extremely simple: 'if you help me then I treat you as a friend, but if you don't, don't expect me to give you any face, after all I'm a talented grade 2 alchemist'
And that's why he was so warm towards Shun Long this time.
Shun Long nodded at Lu Wen and as they were both ready to find a place to sit, the voice of an unfamiliar man that was oozing hatred came from behind them
''So you are Shun Long?''