Boom! Boom! Boom!
Booming, thunder-like sounds rang out continuously in the void. During this rumbling commotion, a 10-meter long, 45-meter wide vehicle appeared in front of Luo Yunyang.
An ear-splitting screech was heard as its four huge, rough tires came to a stop.
"The car is here. Let's go!" A rich-looking family of three standing next to Luo Yunyang was impatient to open the carriage door and get inside.
When the vehicle stopped outside Donglu Town, there were about 12 passengers waiting. Luo Yunyang and Zhu Yan were among them, but they didn't stand out too much.
Luo Yunyang had already changed clothes. Shen Yunying had bought the best materials in Donglu Town and made an outfit for him. However, his clothes still seemed too cheap when he stood next to rich people.
Zhu Yan was dressed even more casually.
"Hey, you! Please wait!" The carriage door opened slowly. A beautiful, elegant lady wearing a red standard uniform extended her hands gracefully and prevented the family of three from getting on board.
The skinny woman who walked forward had an unpleasant expression on her face. She waved the silver tickets in her hands around and argued loudly, "We have VIP seats! We paid 10,000 dayuan per ticket! Why can't we just board the carriage? Shouldn't everyone else wait and board it after us? We are VIPs after all! VIPs! Do you understand?"
The skinny woman, who was throwing her weight around, made many people frown. The young passengers standing in the back were especially disgusted by her.
"Sorry, madam. Your VIP tickets have been canceled. Elite martialists from the Rising Dragon Army will be using this service instead. We are really sorry, but there aren't enough VIP tickets for everyone."
The lady in the red uniform was speaking calmly, but her stance was clear. Her answer was a blow to the skinny woman's ego.
The woman was exasperated. She wanted to open her mouth and scold someone, but she was held back by the man standing next to her, who shot her a serious look.
Meanwhile, the graceful lady in the red uniform had already turned to Zhu Yan and Luo Yunyang.
"Mr. Zhu Yan, Mr. Luo Yunyang. You may board the carriage."
Zhu Yan had already gotten used to this sort of treatment, but this was the first time Luo Yunyang was experiencing it. This was also the first time he would be leaving Donglu Town.
The two of them hopped aboard the enormous vehicle and walked into a space the size of a small room.
Inside it were two exceptionally cozy chairs one could sit or lay on and a huge liquid crystal screen.
An exquisitely-arranged plate of fruit had been placed between the two chairs. On the plate were all sorts of fruit that Luo Yunyang could not name.
Zhu Yan sat down on a chair at random and told the lady who had guided them in, "Two cups of grade-one Longjing tea."
When the lady, who had been courteous ever since they had entered, heard Zhu Yan's instructions, she coquettishly placed an arm on his shoulder and squeezed it. "You devil. You are ever the good actor. You can't afford to have grade-one Longjing tea. You can have some drinks later for free!"
Luo Yunyang was a little taken aback by her change of attitude. Zhu Yan gave her an embarrassed smile before he said, "Alright, Qianqian. Knock it off. There is a young kid present!"
Then, he looked at Luo Yunyang and introduced them. "Yunyang, this is my girlfriend, Gu Qianqian. She works for the Heaven Pass Corporation.
Luo Yunyang had never heard of the Heaven Pass Corporation, but he thought the company's name made it sound great.
"Luo Yunyang is from Donglu Town. He will be getting his D-rank elite verification soon and becoming a member of the Rising Dragon Army."
"How promising! Becoming a member of the elite class is really hard..."
Gu Qianqian's huge, gentle eyes scanned Luo Yunyang carefully, as though she was looking at a piece of treasure.
Luo Yunyang's entire body felt uneasy under her gaze.
He had some experience with girls, but this was the first time he'd come into contact with such a mature woman.
Luo Yunyang was too embarrassed to meet her gaze.
"His face has turned red! Zhu Yan is good at everything, except making introductions. He is just too playful! You must help me keep an eye on him, Yunyang!"
"You are so young... You don't have a girlfriend, do you? Let me introduce you to a few girls. They are all younger sisters that have just been recruited. They are all pure, adorable and very attractive!"
Luo Yunyang aspired to reach the summit of a martialist's path, so he politely turned down Gu Qianqian's offer.
"Thank you, Sister Qianqian, but I would like to focus on cultivation."
"Alright. If you change your mind, just let me know." When Gu Qianqian was done speaking, she shot Zhu Yan a meaningful look and walked out slowly.
Zhu Yan watched her lovingly as she left. Then, he turned his head around and joked, "This woman has gotten in my head. You should steel yourself in the future. Don't make the same mistakes I did!"
Luo Yunyang snickered in his hands. Zhu Yan had already fallen for a woman, yet he was giving him advice.
"We will travel to Chang'an City today. The assessment will probably take place in the afternoon. You have to score over 95 points to be able to enter the Rising Dragon Army's elite class."
As he changed the topic, Zhu Yan's tone became serious. "The people in the Rising Dragon Army are separated into the strong and the weak. This opportunity is very important. If you fall a step behind, you will get different results and have access to different resources. Do you understand?"
Luo Yunyang, who knew that Zhu Yan was giving him priceless advice, nodded solemnly. "I get it, Brother Zhu."
Zhu Yan was about to speak again, when an earth-shaking roar was suddenly heard. Luo Yunyang, who was caught off guard, felt his own body tremble.
The roar sounded very far away, but when he heard it, he felt like his entire body was about to crumble.
Zhu Yan appeared very calm, but his trembling body showed Luo Yunyang that he felt the same sense of dread.
"It's alright. It's too far away."
Zhu Yan reached for the remote control next to the plate of fruit and pressed a button. Suddenly, an image appeared on the screen.
An enormous golden tiger stood 30 meters away from a mountain, roaring at the sky. Its gigantic claws looked as dazzling as if the tiger had the power to burn down the heavens just by smashing its claws towards the void.
Suddenly, the sky and the earth started to shake. A mirror-like object seemed to obstruct the tiger's claws as cracks and splinters started to appear.
The numerous cracks looked like a fishnet.
The giant tiger roared and then headed towards the distant mountains. When the image showed the mirror-like barrier once again, all the tiny cracks were slowly beginning to disappear.
In just one minute, all the cracks had vanished completely.
"There isn't much time left!" Zhu Yan sounded gloomy.
Luo Yunyang was a little puzzled as he looked at Zhu Yan, but Zhu Yan didn't say anything else. All he could see on the screen was a colossal mountain with all sorts of rare, strange kinds of grass growing all over it.
"Enjoy life to the fullest, Little Bro!" Zhu Yan shut his eyes as he uttered these words. Half an hour later, Gu Qianqian walked in with two cups.
"It's grade-one Longjing tea!"
Gu Qianqian set the two cups of tea down and smiled. "Is this your first time seeing a source beast? Don't worry, it won't come any closer. We see their reflections every day as we pass by various places. They are alright. You just have to get used to it."
Although Luo Yunyang didn't know how source beasts and dire beasts were related, he didn't ask any questions.
He believed that he would learn everything in time as he cultivated.
Tall city walls made out of silver alloy loomed before them. Outside the city walls was a dense electric network no less than 3,000 meters long. All the dazzling rays lit up cold-looking cannons that flickered from the flashes...
It was a fort made of steel!
Steel was very expensive in Donglu Town, but this hard alloy had been piled up to form a big city.
Who could breach such a city?
"This is Chang'an!" Zhu Yan said when he noticed Luo Yunyang's spellbound expression. "One of the 13 Eastern Cities of the Da Alliance."
Luo Yunyang unconsciously rubbed his nose as he asked, "Can elite students stay in Chang'an?"
"Of course!" Zhu Yan nodded.
The carriage slowly rode through the 10-meter wide city gates. The gates looked a little small in comparison to the 30-meter tall steel fort of Chang'an.
"There are only two doors in the entire Chang'an City, the South and the North Door! The difference between this place and Donglu Town is as vast as that between Heaven and Earth."
Zhu Yan pointed ahead and said, "Look! Isn't it a lively place?"
"It's lively, indeed!" The city was buzzing with activity. All sorts of dazzling, splendid store fronts were teeming with pedestrians. Luo Yunyang felt as if this was paradise.
"Can I bring my little sister and mother here?" he asked again after being silent for a long time.
"No!" Although Zhu Yan didn't raise his voice, his tone was firm. "Do you know how many people live in Chang'an?" he said indifferently. "100 million!"
Without waiting for a reply, Zhu Yan added coldly, "Chang'an City only occupies 50 square kilometers, but there are 100 million people living here."
"Plus, the buildings can't be taller than 300 meters. That's why the Da Alliance allows only elite martalists to enter and garrison the city. The Da Alliance is not being cruel. There just isn't any other choice!"
Luo Yunyang was silent for a bit. Then, he glanced at Zhu Yan. "What do I have to do to move my family to this city?"
"There are two ways. The first one is to become a B-rank elite."
"A B-rank elite?"
As Luo Yunyang recalled the evaluation Zhu Yan had given him, his expression became calm.
"Don't you think that becoming a B-rank elite is easy, boy. Elite martialists are actually divided in many levels. A, B and C rank elites are known as the upper-class elites. Their standards are much higher than D, E, F and G elites, who are known as the lower-class elites.
"The difference between them is huge! This is too difficult for the average person to achieve."
As Luo Yunyang watched the people living peacefully around him and glanced at the environment, which looked like paradise, he became even more resolute to live there.
"What's the second way?"
"Once you accumulate sufficient military merits, you can use them to bring your family to Chang'an!" Zhu Yan lowered his voice. "Don't let your imagination run wild. Hurry up and prepare for your assessment!"
"I will definitely bring my mother and little sister to Chang'an." Luo Yunyang's words were firm.
Zhu Yan didn't say anything, but his expression had a hint of desolation.
Hadn't he been just like this back then?
Accomplishing that was just too difficult...