Among the ten halls, the Past Hall reigned on the subject of beauty. In the past, the temple was controlled by the Linglong Pavilion, which was ninety percent women. Because of that, women also accounted for ninety percent of the Past Hall. The Sky Hall, where Qingyu resided, ranked second, which probably had something to do with the Sky Hall King being a woman. The rest of the halls were mostly male.
The Decimo Dao Palace was a battleground for young people, not only for fame and glory, but also for beauty. At the age of youth and the first awakening of love, many young men fought over the affections of young women. There were countless beauties who were well-known within the Decimo Dao Palace. Who were lovers, who was pursuing who, and who was marrying which family were always hot topics for gossip.
Here, the young geniuses from the entire Theocracy had gathered, all of whom were dragons among men, from powerful clans in the Divine Capital, or other bigwigs. Where countless talents gathered, naturally only those who were superior would stand out and win over these beauties.
The First Sky Pavilion was marked by its many white courtyards, beautiful mountains, and breathtaking scenery. Under a towering old tree stood a boy in grey robes. His eyes glimmered a faint grey, his face was slightly pointed, and two canines were faintly visible at the corners of his mouth, seemingly sharpening his temperament.
Just then, a handsome, white-clad young man with an outstanding temperament approached from the distance. The white scarf on his head and jade pendant at his waist, as well as deep, clear eyes, made him appear gentle and elegant.
"Dongyang Yu, I’ve been waiting for you for a long time," said Wei Wushang. When those sharp canines appeared, he seemed almost wicked.
"What is it?" asked Dongyang Yu.
"What’ve you been up to recently?" Wei Wushang walked up to Dongyang Yu, hooking his arm around his shoulder. Although Dongyang Yu frowned, he didn’t push him away.
"Cultivating and painting."
"Is it still like this, you painting fanatic? But then again, your paintings contain the dao of divine patterns, and are incomparable throughout the Divine Capital. Out of all the descendants of the Autarch, none can compare to you in this aspect,” praised Wei Wushang.
"Hmm." Dongyang Yu nodded, a little absentmindedly.
"Still shocked by the Autarch’s death?" asked Wei Wushang.
"Yes. It’s been hard to regain my composure." Dongyang Yu frowned.
"The Ancient Theocrats have all left, but why didn't you return to the Imperial City? After all, you’re a descendant of the seventh prince, and you have power. Despite not making it to the coronation as Autarch, your grandfather was once crown prince."
"Because the Imperial City is in chaos, my father asked me to stay here instead of involving myself," said Dongyang Yu.
"He’s right. That's what the West Hall King said as well," replied Wei Wushang.
"Wei Wushang, most of the clans consider the ninth prince the proper heir. The Ancient Greedwolf Clan isn’t hiding the ninth prince, are they? Tomorrow, the thirteenth prince will be enthroned as the Autarch, while the ninth prince has been convicted of treason. If you don’t give up, the new Autarch is sure to eradicate dissidents,” added Dongyang Yu.
"That's for sure. Everyone knows that. But the patriarchs told me not to worry about what’s going on outside. No matter how chaotic things get, the Decimo Dao Palace won’t be affected. In the struggle for power, the seventh prince will definitely be pulled into the whirlpool, but as long as you don't go out of the Decimo Dao Palace, it won’t affect your painting.”
"With the changes outside, perhaps the Ancient Greedwolf Clan and the seventh prince’s descendants will stand on opposite sides one day. When the time comes, things between you and I won’t be so simple," said Dongyang Yu.
"Us juniors can do nothing about world matters. However, if that day truly comes, we’ll be brothers within the Dao Palace, but enemies outside," laughed Wei Wushang.
"That’s a decent way to think. So you called me out today just to say this?" Dongyang Yu grinned.
"Of course not. I want a painting from you, something elegant and profound. How many beautiful girls in the Dao Palace collect your paintings just for you? Just give me your best work."
"Do you have a new target?"
"Yes, she’s top quality," said Wei Wushang.
"Let's hear it."
"She’s the disciple of Sky Hall King, Wang Xin, named Li Qingyu. I heard she’s a descendant of Li Shenxiao, the ancestor of the Decimo Dao Palace. Like Li Shenxiao, she’s a pentabane with a boundless future. Most importantly, she’s deliciously pure, clean, and elegant. Lately, all I’ve seen are the noble descendants of the Divine Capital. Compared to women who wear heavy makeup and play up to those in power, she’s a breath of fresh air," Wei Wushang said excitedly.
"Any girl who receives such a high evaluation from you must be good. With five bane-rings, she’s definitely strong. Why haven’t I seen her name in the ranking?" asked Dongyang Yu.
“She awakened rather late, and only became a pentabane at the age of sixteen. She’s been cultivating for less than a year. But in the past two months alone, with the help of the Sky Hall King, her cultivation has soared to fifth-level Heavenly Will. In a few years, even you may not be her opponent. Now, while she’s still new to everything, her naivete means she’ll be easy to trick. It’s the perfect time for me to act. In a few years, once she gets used to the abundance of the Divine Capital, it won’t be so easy to trick her." At the thought of the young lady, Wei Wushang smiled confidently.
"It's rare for you to be so serious. Fine, I’ll give you the ‘Moonlight Sword Dance’ painting.” Dongyang Yu pulled out a scroll from his spatial ring. The spiritual energy that assailed their senses indicated that the scroll was made of ground spirit herbs.
"No, I want your most famous work, ‘Impeccable Beauty.’ You’ve painted all the beauties of Divine Capital. It must be a gorgeous painting,” said Wei Wushang. "You might look like a cold gentleman, but you burn with passion on the inside."
"What do you know? Beautiful women are a breathtaking scene to behold. I just appreciate them, and have no intention to blaspheme. I’m certainly not as superficial as you,” he argued.
"So will you give me ‘Impeccable Beauty’?" asked Wei Wushang.
"No, I’ve not finished painting it. It’s still short of a leading lady that can wow the audience. Only a celestial beauty is worthy. I won't finish this painting without this person."
"In fact, I don’t really want ‘Impeccable Beauty.’ Li Qingyu is a moon-type beastmaster, she’ll like your ‘Moonlight Sword Dance’." Wei Wushang laughed mysteriously.
"Then why are you talking about ‘Impeccable Beauty’?"
"That's because I’ve found the girl who’ll complete your painting."
"What did you say?!" shouted Dongyang Yu.
"Look at how anxious you are. I’ll take you to see her right away," laughed Wei Wushang.
"What do you mean?"
"A girl beside Li Qingyu, whom I came across last time. I was so amazed I wrote this the moment I laid eyes on her: this lady could only exist in heaven. How often can the mundane world glimpse her?"
"Don't be shameless. That wasn’t written by you."
"The point is she’s extremely beautiful, indescribably so. In short, she’s no mortal beauty," Wei Wushang praised.
"Let’s have a look, I don't believe you. No such woman exists."
"Haha, open your eyes and see clearly. But first, I must warn you that this girl has a fatal flaw."
"She doesn’t possess any beast ki. That is to say, she’s nothing but beautiful."
"It doesn't matter. As long as she’s beautiful, she’s heaven to me," replied Dongyang Yu.
"Ah, you’re such a fool." Putting away the ‘Moonlight Sword Dance,’ Wei Wushang led the way with a nervous Dongyang Yu behind him.
Some time later, they stood in front of an elegant courtyard. At the entrance, Dongyang Yu tidied himself.
As Wei Wushang knocked at the door, Dongyang Yu found himself a little nervous. Soon after, the door opened and a girl with long white hair appeared. Like the bright moon, her eyes flickered toward Wei Wushang and she immediately closed the door.
"Junior Sister Li, I just want to gift you a painting today."
"Get lost," said Qingyu.
As she spoke, a young woman rose from where she was sitting in a pavilion in the courtyard. But upon realizing the visitor wasn’t the one she was waiting for, she sat down once more. Wei Wushang and Dongyang Yu merely caught a glimpse of her before the door was shut in their faces.
"She won’t even show us any courtesy!" Wei Wushang never imagined he would be treated like this. His gaze cooled in an instant. Turning around, he saw Dongyang Yu transfixed.
"What do you think? Isn’t she beautiful? My taste isn’t bad, eh?"
"Who are you referring to?" Dongyang Yu sounded hoarse.
"Let’s talk about Li Qingyu first."
"She’s exactly as you described, a first class beauty."
"What about the one in the back?"
"I want to paint her, put her right in the middle of ‘Impeccable Beauty’!" Regaining his senses, Dongyang Yu’s eyes burned with a trace of madness.
"I want to paint her all my life!" he said resolutely.
"Even if she’s beautiful, she’ll only live for seventy or eighty years, at most. By the time she’s thirty, she’ll be old. You’ll be lucky if you can paint her for ten years,” said Wei Wushang.
"No...." Dongyang Yu pointed to the courtyard, fingers trembling slightly.
"This is her best age, so she should end her life now and sleep in an ice coffin. That way I can paint her for hundreds of years, even a lifetime!" The obsession in his voice indicated he wasn’t joking.
"What did you say?" Dongyang Yu glared at him angrily.
"Nothing. Don't get excited, Brother. It doesn’t matter what you want to do, I’ll help you. I might as well handle Li Qingyu, too, so she knows who the Divine Capital belongs to. How dare she humiliate me like this! Hehe..." Holding up the scroll in his hand, Wei Wushang said, “I’ll make this ignorant woman kneel naked under me as we appreciate this painting."
Over the years, he had pursued many people, but this was the first time he had received such a reply.Previous Chapter Next Chapter