Chapter 93 Heavenly Jewel Island! (1)
As compared to the wide eyed curiosity the Fei Li Battle Team members had when they first entered the ZhongTian Skill Storing Palace, these other seeded teams with Great Saint Lands background seemed to be used to it. They did not look around, instead staying together and waiting to leave.
Shangguan Longyin patted Zhou Weiqing on the shoulder warmly, saying: “Alright, let’s go. It’s time to gather and head towards the Heavenly Jewel Island.”
From a detached point of view, Zhou Weiqing noticed that for the other three teams, the WanShou Battle Team were all dressed in white, the ZhongTian Battle Team in light blue, and the BaoPo Battle Team in yellow. Along with the dark green uniforms of the Fei Li Battle Team, there was certainly a contrast in colours today.
Yesterday, when they had officially entered the top four, they had been just too excited and overjoyed that they had not had the time to actually observe the other three seeded teams, and now he took the time and opportunity to observe them closely.
Currently, as he set his gaze upon them, Zhou Weiqing noticed that the two youths leading the WanShou Battle Team were about twenty six or twenty seven of age, and they actually looked exactly the same, clearly a set of twins. The two of them had cold looks upon their rather handsome faces, and the only way to differentiate them seemed to be a white lock of hair upon their heads. Both had the same white lock, but one had it on the left, while the other had it on the right.
As for the ZhongTian Empire, the leader also looked to be a youth of around twenty seven years old. Tall, well built and handsome, he looked calm and peaceful, but his eyes were deep and soulful like looking into a bottomless pool.
As for the Passion Valley team, it was another pair leading the team. This time, it was a young man and lady pair, and they stood there hand in hand, smiles on their faces. From the intimate way they acted, they were clearly a couple. The strangest thing about the Passion Valley was that out of the five main team members and three reserve members, all eight of them were made up of four couples! They truly lived up to their name of Passion Valley indeed.
Seeing that Shangguan Longyin had arrived, the other members of the Fei Li Battle Team hastily gathered. Lin TianAo stood at the front, with Zhou Weiqing standing just behind him.
After the series of fights in the preliminary heats, Zhou Weiqing’s status in the Fei Li Battle Team was second only to Lin TianAo. If Lin TianAo was the symbol of strength, power and steadiness, the bedrock of their team, then Zhou Weiqing was the brains of the entire team. Of course, in their words, he was called their ‘Dog Head Military Advisor’… 1
Shangguan Longyin stood in front of the four Battle Teams, the smile on his face when speaking with Zhou Weiqing had vanished, he did not elaborate much, just saying a quick and simple line: “Follow me.”
Led by Shangguan Longyin, all of them headed out of the Skill Storing Palace. There was a line of five large horse carriages waiting for them on the road outside, each grand and luxurious, even more so than the one that the Heavenly Bow Unit Leader Hua Feng had used to ‘earn money’ in the past. Each of them had a team of eight gallant steeds harnessed to the carriage to pull them.
Shangguan Longyin motioned to them to get on, and he took the first horse carriage. The teams followed suit, each of them taking a horse carriage. As the horses galloped away, the five horse carriages sped away out of the ZhongTian City.
Sinking back into the comfortable seats of the luxurious carriage, Zhou Weiqing relaxed, his face showing his enjoyment as he turned to Lin TianAo, who was sitting beside him, and asked: “Leader, do you know anything about this upcoming semifinals and finals? Any secrets perhaps?”
Lin TianAo shook his head, saying: “The four seeded teams have been the only ones to enter the top four for many decades, and they have always kept silent on the issue. After so many years of the Heavenly Jewel Tournament being held, I have actually never heard of the semifinal and final fixtures being passed around.” As he said that, he glanced subconsciously towards Little Witch. Without question, since she was from one of the Great Saint Lands, she was probably in a better position to have some knowledge about this.
Little Witch shrugged, saying: “Unfortunately, even though we are also a Great Saint Lands, we have never been through the top four personally as well. Although we have managed to get some news, it is definitely incomplete. As for the exact rules and fixtures, I do not know, but I have heard that this upcoming ‘fight’ will be held by all four teams at once, and may not be separated into a semifinals and finals fight. As for what exactly lies ahead, I do not know for sure.”
Upon hearing that it would be an all out battle amongst the four team at once, the faces of the Fei Li Battle Team members changed. Although they knew that their overall strength had increased by a large amount due to Little Witch joining them, but they knew there was still a large gap between them and the other three seeded teams. No matter any one of the other seeded teams would be a large threat to them, let alone all of them.
Little Witch giggled and said: “Do not worry so much. I have said that our Battle Team will definitely get at least second, with the potential to even get the champion, and I truly meant it. Still, let’s wait and see when we get to the Heavenly Jewel Island and hear the actual rule. In any case, whatever happens, we have at least entered the top four, entered the Heavenly Jewel Island right?”
Although the rest of the team was still wary of Little Witch, but hearing her words, they all relaxed a little. Indeed, what she said was true. No matter what happened, they had already exceeded all their hopes and expectations, created history, and entered the Heavenly Jewel Island! In the future fights, they did not need to have any stress or pressure about doing well, and could just concentrate on doing their best.
The horse carriages traveled for almost two hours before they finally left the ZhongTian City and headed down the official road. It was another hour of traveling before the speed finally started slowing down.
As the horse carriage stopped, they all disembarked. Right in front of them, they could see one of the huge rock pillars which supported the entire Heavenly Jewel Island.
Although they were already quite close to the pillar, one look could tell them that there was still some distance to it. Right below the pillar was a massive encampment, which surrounded the entire pillar.
Shangguan Longyin stood at the front, saying passively: “The sixteen grand pillars which support the Heavenly Jewel Island are each guarded by four Regiments of our ZhongTian Central Army. The Heavenly Jewel Island can be accessed by any of the sixteen pillars, but if anyone tries to break through to it by force… hmph–!”
Hearing his words, the ZhongTian Battle Team members showed respectful looks on her face, while the four couples of the Passion Valley had faint smiles on their face. Only the Heavenly Snow Mountain members had a rather deprecating look on their faces.
Thirty two streaks of light shot forth from Shangguan Longyin in the next instant, separating immediately and reaching each and every one of the thirty members of the four Battle Teams. Subconsciously, everyone raised their hands to meet it, and in their palms a small plaque appeared.
None of them had even seen Shangguan Longyin move, and the thirty plaques had already been distributed to their targets. This was a show of power indeed!
Naturally, Zhou Weiqing also had a plaque, and as he examined it, he saw its top half was round in shape with a sharpened bottom half. It was a warm jade of a pale blue shade, and on it were inscribed the three words Heavenly Jewel Plaque. He could faintly sense a swirl of energy within the plaque itself, though he was unable to tell what material it was made out of.
“Let’s go.” Throwing down those two words, Shangguan Longyin soared into the air like a cloud as he headed towards the army camp.
Four Army Regiments was forty thousand soldiers, and guarding sixteen pillars meant an entire six hundred and forty thousand soldiers to guard them all! Just the central army of the ZhongTian Empire alone had so many soldiers, let alone the rest of its army!
As Zhou Weiqing flew along with his companions towards their destination, he couldn’t help but feel shocked in his heart.
In his eyes, the ZhongTian Empire was just too powerful, and yet, what did that entail for the power of the WanShou Empire? After all, the WanShou Empire alone was the entire north of the mainland, and was able to fight with almost all the other empires at once without losing. What sort of astonishing power did they have?!
Lost in his thoughts, Zhou Weiqing followed robotically behind the group as they entered the army camp in front. With Shangguan Longyin at the lead, and with the Heavenly Jewel Plaques in hand, they had no problems entering the heavily guarded encampment.
Observing coldly from the side, Zhou Weiqing noted that all the soldiers here were actually in full armour, and according to their different type of service arms, they had a different armor as well. For example, the archers were dressed in leather armour, scouts in light chain mail, and there were others with split mail, heavy armour and all sorts of different scale armours. It could be said that these ZhongTian Empire soldiers were armed to the teeth. Their personal strength aside, just their superior equipment already caused Zhou Weiqing’s eyes to lit up.
When will our Heavenly Bow Empire ever have an army like that! At this time, the urgency in Zhou Weiqing’s heart was at a highest possible point, and his hands gripped together tightly in fists.
The more he wandered the world, the more he saw, and the more he realised how little time he had. Compared to all these powerful Empires, or even some of the ‘weaker’ ones, his own Heavenly Bow Empire’s gap between them was more like an uncrossable chasm. How he wished that he could bring his Empire to as strong as them!
Zhou Weiqing had made the decision that besides buying some necessities, he would save the rest of the bulk of his winnings to bring back to the Heavenly Bow Empire. With this several millions of gold coins, it would at least be able to gear up their army, improve recruitment, and especially aid in training and improving their Jewel Masters. No matter what, it would be a great boost to his Empire’s growth. When he returned from the Fei Li Military Academy, he would join the army. Dad, just wait and see, when I finally return for good, I will replace you, and lead our Heavenly Bow Empire to become one of the strong empires of the world!
The supporting pillars were not actually fully straight all the way up, but with a slight incline in the centre. When they got very close to the pillar, they were able to see that steps had actually been carved into the pillar side.
In front of the steps, there were eight men guarding it, dressed in the white uniform of the ZhongTian Skill Storing Palace. They saluted and bowed towards Shangguan Longyin, before examining each and every one of the team members’ Heavenly Jewel Plaques before letting them through.
Shangguan Longyin said passively: “All of you Battle Teams should not cause trouble on the way up, not even with each other, if not your Tournament entry will be revoked.” After saying that, he vanished into a puff of green smoke as he sped up the pillar.
The four Battle Teams did not dare to be tardy, and they immediately followed suit up the steps.
From the distance, the rock pillar did not seem particularly large, but when they were right front of it, it was clearly as immense as a mountain. The ones to move out ahead were the ZhongTian Empire and the WanShou Empire, as the sixteen members of the two large Battle Teams soared into the air almost at the same time, rushing up to steps as if unwilling to play second fiddle to the other.
The BaoPo Battle Team members also followed suit right on their heels, but the Fei Li Battle Team members hurried along calmly.
“Leader, should we rush up as well?” Little Four said, clearly itching to go.
Lin TianAo shook his head, saying: “No, do not try to chase them. Firstly, we do not even know if we have the power and speed to catch up to them. This is just the trip to get up there, not part of the tournament, and we do not need to expend too much energy in doing so. Remember, Senior Shangguan said no getting into trouble as well. We’ll go up together, quickly but not hastily.”
The stairs or path up the pillar was rather precipitous, and Lin TianAo got Xiao Yan and Drunken Bao, who had the next highest cultivation levels in the team, to stay at the back as a precaution, while he himself took the front spot. In that formation, the team ascended the steps swiftly.
No matter what they heard about it previously, it was only when they started climbing the pillars when they couldn’t help but sigh inwardly at the amazing miracles of nature, and what wonders it could conjure up with.
As the ground got further and further away, and the view got hazier, the steps up the pillar got steeper and even more dangerous. They could almost raise their hands and touch the step in front. It was almost impossible to estimate how much man-hours of effort, how much work and materials had been expended into cutting these steps into the pillars by the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, and to imagine they had done so for all sixteen pillars could almost blow one’s mind!
- That’s actually a literal translation of a chinese idiom, basically meaning a bad advisor / someone who gives bad plans. In this case, they are of course joking/teasing ↩