Chapter 58: Competition at Star Argus Palace
“Heh heh, have you heard? The decennial competitions of the Star Argus Palace will begin in three days times. It seems that both the South Sect and North Sect think that their victory is a foregone conclusion.”
“Psht. How could that bunch of broads from the North Sect win out over the beasts of the South Sect. They haven’t won against the South Sect for the last sixty years.”
“What goes around comes around. It’s said that Sectmistress Jade of the North Sect has obtained a few disciples whose potentials are quite good. They’re all beautiful to a fault, and there’s high hope for the sect triumphing over the South Sect this time.”
“Whatever! Whether it’s the South Sect or the North Sect that wins, it won’t be our turn to live in the Star Argus Palace. It’s just be a bunch of men changing to a crowd of women.”
Jiang Chen heard this snippet of conversation from a neighboring table in some tavern.
In the days after he’d arrived in the Large Rock Country, he’d heard the most information about the North and South Sects of the Star Argus Palace.
The winner would be able to take up residence in the Star Argus Palace, and the loser would have to depart and find another location to settle down in.
Of course, this occurred once every ten years. If a sect lost, then they merely needed to stage a comeback next time.
Jiang Chen drank alone, but his hearing was focused on all sides. His “Ear of the Zephyr” was now at the third level and his hearing was at least two to three times stronger than the average practitioner.
All sorts of information and messages flowed in at the moment.
Star Argus Palace, North Sect, broads, beauties…
The useful information was constantly filtered out and listed separately by Jiang Chen.
Resting his wine cup, Jiang Chen put down a few silvers and floated out the door. He’d decided to make a stop at the Star Argus Palace.
If the Lotus Harvester was to commit an incident lately, then there was no location more suitable in the entire Tianhu territory than the Star Argus Palace.
Beautiful disciples, just this item was of enough interest.
The law of rapists was that the higher the level the training of the victim, the better. Therefore, girls who trained were the favorites of rapists.
And where else in the Large Rock province would have more beauties than the Star Argus Palace at this moment? Not to mention the fact that they were all practitioners, it would be one big harvest if these girls were plucked.
Jiang Chen contemplated things from the perspective of the Lotus Harvester and felt that even if the Lotus Harvester didn’t commit an incident, he was sure to come out and pluck something or another.
Jiang Chen used a few materials to make a few adjustments and disguise himself after leaving the capital. His current visage appeared as a thirty something wandering gallant.
Vagabond gallants and characters like these numbered at least eight hundred million, if not one billion within the Eastern Kingdom. Jiang Chen’s disguise was beyond ordinary. It was the type that wouldn’t be picked out if thrown into a crowd.
The Star Argus Palace’s topography was exceedingly ideal. A city called Star City had formed in the 50 km around the Star Argus Palace, and it’d been built reliant on the Star Argus Palace.
The existence of a sect, even an ordinary sect, would bring pervasive influence to its local surroundings.
Two days later, Jiang Chen arrived at the Star City to discover that not just anyone could spectate the competition between the North and South Sects of the Star Argus Palace.
There were only three hundred audience members allowed. After eliminating the predetermined quota, there were only roughly one hundred places left for outsiders.
The number of wandering gallants that had surged into the Star City the past couple of days numbered more than a hundred thousand.
More than a hundred thousand competing for roughly one hundred spots was the equivalent of one out of a thousand. This wasn’t just an ordinary level of difficulty.
However, Jiang Chen knew that in order to investigate the Lotus Harvester, he would have to obtain an observation spot.
If Jiang Chen revealed his status as the heir to a dukedom, he was bound to cause a ruckus within Star City. It wouldn’t be a hard thing to obtain an observation spot.
However, if he did so, that would be in violation of the rules, and he would be directly thrown out of the competition.
Jiang Chen arrived at the Star Argus Palace headquarters stationed in Star City. There was already a sea of humanity and it was packed full of people.
“I’ll pay thirty thousand silver, who’s willing to give me a spot?”
“Psht. Pal, did you just awaken from your dream? A hundred thousand silver won’t even buy a spot now, how could you offer a price in the tens of thousands?”
“I’m of five meridians true qi, don’t I have the right to spectate the battles?”
“Apologies, our rules are that unless you have the right to enter only if you’re of six meridians true qi.”
“Brother, I have a relationship with Xie Qiang of the South Sect. Make an exception for me?”
“Who’s Xie Qiang? We only recognize relationships with the Sectmaster and the elders.”
“Brother, I’m the boss of Thousand Horse Hall. Your Star Argus Palace has also done business with me. This observation spot…”
“Sorry, business is business and relationships are relationships. If you have money, there are still a few spots for sale. A hundred thousand silver for one.”
“Gah, I’ll buy one!”
Jiang Chen did an auditory sweep and comments such as these travelled into his ears. The entire scene was in a chaotic uproar. Everyone was trying their utmost and breaking their heads trying to get an observation spot.
“Ai, when a man is poor his ambition is not far reaching. Looks like we’re destined to be without luck for observing this decennial competition between the North and South sects.”
“What can we do, the Star Argus Palace is just that cocky. Apparently the disciples that are participating this time are all disciples of five meridians true qi.”
“Tsk tsk, the strength and influence of a foremost sect in the Tianhu territory alright. These genius disciples probably wouldn’t be inferior even when placed amongst the sons and disciples of the various nobles?”
“This… they’ll probably be on a similar level?”
Jiang Chen was speechless when he heard those words. Five meridians true qi was absolutely the lowest level of existence amongst the heirs.
However, this Star Argus Palace was just a sect in the Tianhu territory. It was a thing worth having pride and dignity in that they boasted so many disciples of five meridians true qi.
Jiang Chen stood in a corner, debating how to get his hands on an observation invitation.
He’d purposefully disguised himself as a three meridians true qi independent practitioner with humble strength. He had no desire to reveal his talents and attract the Lotus Harvester’s attention.
Therefore, he absolutely could not reveal his true strength.
After thinking for a while, Jiang Chen hit upon an idea.
“Brother, my strength in martial dao is mediocre, but my potential in spirit medicine is quite high. I’m also exceedingly adept in the dao of alchemy. I can help out if any injuries from the blade result in the process.”
“High potential in spirit medicine? That will only be proven through tests. If you truly have such abilities, then it will be no problem obtaining an invitation.”
Jiang Chen sat through a spirit medicine test according to the other’s instructions. This was practically as simple as eating to Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen was treated as an honored guest in less than fifteen minutes. His spirit medicine caused even the spirit medicine administrator from the Star Argus Palace, who had assumed personal command over the area, to even slightly admit defeat.
In this way, an invitation was in hand and “Spirit Medicine Great Master Chen” was written on it.
Jiang Chen had given himself a shake and become “Great Master Chen”.
Jiang Chen’s status immediately increased greatly with the invitation, becoming a distinguished, honored guest. A specially assigned person led him into the headquarters of the Star Argus Palace and arranged a first class guest room for him.
“Heh heh, it looks like one must have expertise in one specialty. One wouldn’t even be able to enter the door without a particular specialty.”
Jiang Chen laughed self deprecatingly and sat cross legged on the bed.
It would obviously not be the thing to do if he started practicing techniques in a powerful and dynamic way whilst on someone else’s territory. Jiang Chen meditated for a while and started circulating vast waves true qi in his body, strengthening his meridians.
After strengthening his meridians, Jiang Chen started training the three abilities of “God’s Eye”, “Ear of the Zephyr”, and “Boulder’s Heart”.
As of now, Jiang Chen had trained “God’s Eye” to the peak of the third level, and “Ear of the Zephyr” to the peak of the third level as well.
Progress was still slow in “Boulder’s Heart”, as he had just entered the second level.
“It’s said that these abilities can penetrate the Thirty Three Heavens (2), therefore there should be 33 levels. I have only but just started from ground zero.”
Jiang Chen also knew that the earliest stages of training were the easiest. It would unfortunately become more difficult as one progressed.
The range in which the “God’s Eye” and “Ear of the Zephyr” could cover was only a radius of a thousand meters.
Any further would be beyond his power.
The mental strength of “Psychic’s Head” wasn’t able to be defined in quantitative terms, but Jiang Chen could clearly sense that his mental state of being had increased greatly.
A mental state of being could only be perceived in the finest of details. It was an instinctive strength, a sixth, seventh sense that exceeded the five senses…
Jiang Chen woke up early the next morning because the decennial event of the Star Argus Palace was beginning today.
As “Great Master Chen” in the spirit medicine world, he had actually been arranged a second class seat. This seat was quite ideal and was situated behind only the “high and mighty” in the first row.
Jiang Chen used the “God’s Eye” for slight observation and discovered those sitting in front all possessed power that didn’t lose out to the North and South Sectmaster/mistress of the Star Argus Palace.
They were mostly all at seven meridians true qi.
“Looks like the culture of martial dao is flourishing in the Large Rock province. It’s a rare sight to have so many seven meridians true qi practitioners present.” Jiang Chen evaluated silently, but was also slightly worried. “With so many seven meridians true qi practitioners holding down the fort, even with the Lotus Harvester’s eight meridians true qi, he probably wouldn’t dare to brazenly do something impetuous?”
Jiang Chen’s emotions were quite complicated. He both hoped for the Lotus Harvester to appear, but also didn’t wish for female practitioners to be targeted.
Just as he was wavering, a group of people walked out from the hallways on the two sides.
One side wore all black, they were from the South sect.
One side was all female and mostly wore downy yellow clothes, patently the North Sect.
The South Sect Sectmaster was called Shen Rong and roughly forty years old. Long sideburns along with his thin, lean features, gave off a dignified bearing.
Everyone called the Sectmistress of the North Sect as “Madame Jade”. She was a young, married woman who actually looked only roughly 27 or 28. A pair of tapered almond eyes adorned her face and she was exceedingly alluring. No one knew if that was her true age or if she was skilled in making herself look youthful.
As a guest, Jiang Chen couldn’t very well have no respect and observe the two heads of their sects through the “God’s Eye”. But from external appearances, the two were absolutely of the advanced realm of true qi.
As for whether it was seven meridians true qi or eight meridians, Jiang Chen couldn’t gauge it either, without a careful look.
“Heh heh, junior sister Jade, it’s been ten years but your elegance remains the same as before.” Shen Rong chuckled and took the lead in speaking.
“Save the idle chatter Shen Rong. In this time’s competition, my North Sect will absolutely take back control of the Star Argus Palace.” Madame Jade’s delicate brow arched and her jade like voice sounded.
“Alright, then let our disciples fight decisively!” Shen Rong smiled freely and easily.
1. Land of the Thirty Three Heavens is the desired god realm in Buddhism.