Chapter 89: Arrival
Old Hu and the others were watching everything in the sky intently. When Thousand Heavens was killed, everyone yelled with happiness.
Given their strength, it was only natural that they couldn’t tell who was stronger and who was weaker.
But they were still able to see the fighters’ auras.
They could see that the Harpy Cloud Leopard was fighting was unleashing techniques that were much more resplendent than what most other Harpies could unleash, and that he was also using offensive techniques even as he teleported repeatedly. The waves of fearsome beast projections were more than enough to inform them that this individual was incredibly powerful.
However, this fearsome individual had been stabbed to death by Cloud Leopard. Given how respectful Lin Xiao and the others were to him, it was only natural that they were able to get somewhat of a feeling for the situation.
“Big shot! Cloud Leopard is definitely a big shot!”
“Truly skilled people never show off!”
“Well fought, Cloud Leopard!”
“Cloud Leopard is really something!”
“Be quiet, you fools. The one who doesn’t participate in the fight is the real boss. See, Iron Cliff is still here with us. This means that Iron Cliff is the best!”
One of the smarter individuals instead turned his attention to Iron Cliff — rather than singing the praises of people who were far off, it was better to latch onto this sturdy support sitting right next to them.
A large group of laborers surrounded Iron Cliff to try and flatter him. Because he was a Stoneskin, he was used to being looked down upon by others. It was rare for people to ingratiate themselves toward him like this, so he didn’t know what to say. After some time, he finally said, “I’m not anyone’s boss. I’m just a servant. There’s no need to praise me like this.”
“If Iron Cliff is this powerful, then your master must be even more amazing.”
Iron Cliff thought for a moment before nodding in affirmation. “Mhm, that’s about right.”
Someone asked, “Where is your master? Could we have the honor of meeting him?”
Iron Cliff obediently replied, “He is not here right now.”
Everyone was disappointed. Their dreams of finding a sturdy support also disappeared.
However, that also made sense. If Cloud Leopard and Iron Cliff were a person’s subordinates, then their superior must be incredibly talented. How could he possibly spare them even a glance?
That leg was actually too sturdy. The workers’ arms weren’t long enough to wrap around it.
But unexpectedly, Iron Cliff then said, “You probably won’t be able to serve my master, but it shouldn’t be a problem for you to learn what he’s developed.”
What did that mean?
No one understood what Iron Cliff was trying to say.
In this kind of world, how could these lowly workers learn anything valuable without paying a colossal price?
They had been slaves for decades, so they had only managed to learn bits and pieces about cultivation. They were already quite fortunate. They only wanted to find a powerful person in order to be treated better and find a stronger backer. None of them dared to even dream of actually learning something.
However, Iron Cliff seemed to be implying that becoming a servant was even more difficult than becoming a student?
“Iron Cliff…… Sir, are you sure that you aren’t miswording something?” one of the more courageous workers asked.
“Yes, absolutely. If you want to learn about cultivation, then go to the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain’s Boundless Sect.”
Most Origin Qi Scholars would have known who Iron Cliff was referring to as soon as he mentioned the Boundless Sect. However, it was impossible for these workers to know about these high-leveled affairs. Most of them lost interest when they heard that they needed to run somewhere to even learn something.
When Iron Cliff saw them lose interest, he then said very seriously, “My master is the master of the Boundless Sect. He has opened his door to anyone who wants to cultivate. None of you have very good talent, but the Boundless Sect is currently looking for more members, so our standards are very low. You will have more opportunities if you go there right away. If you miss out now, it will probably not be that easy to enter the sect in the future.”
Because they lived in a time of aristocrats, most people still viewed sects as a muddled mess, not worthy of any attention.
And since Iron Cliff was trying to entice them into joining by saying that the selection criteria was very low, they were even less likely to think highly of it. There were even some people who believed that Iron Cliff and the others were up to no good. Because they weren’t sure about the situation, it was only natural that most of them were unwilling to take Iron Cliff up on his offer.
Even so, there were always a few people who thought differently.
Perhaps it wasn’t that they had a great expectation for the Boundless Sect, but rather that they had no other option. Either way, some of them were willing to give it a shot. Even if they lost their lives as a result, they didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to embark on this journey.
A few people were moved by Iron Cliff’s words and would eventually head for Thousand Swords Mountain.
Of course, this would all happen in the future.
The situation of the midair battle was gradually becoming clearer after Cloud Leopard’s and the twelve Sword Servants’ victories.
The death of a Seventh-Ring Harpy had completely shattered the spirit of the Hunting Wind Bandits.
Red Raven flapped his wings, unleashing a gust of wind that blew Zhu Yunyan back as he howled, “Retreat!”
All of the Hunting Wind Bandits began to retreat at the same time.
Most of the raiding Harpies disappeared with a few flaps of their wings. They were obviously much faster than the Cloud-Piercing Shuttles.
This was a common war tactic for the Harpies. Not many races could compete with them in terms of guerilla warfare. By the same measure, however, the Harpies were also not very good in a straight-up battle.
As they watched the Harpies retreat, the members of the Cloud-Piercing Shuttles burst out with the cheers of victory.
To the low-level human warriors, this was a hard-fought victory, but the situation was obviously different for the higher-ups.
Scattered Moon Mist had obviously also noticed what the purpose of these attacks were. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for her to explain the appearance of those later Harpies. And it was obvious that this probe had been effective — the Zhu Clan had been forced to reveal a bunch of hidden experts on board.
There was a total of thirteen Light Shaking Realm cultivators. One of them was incredibly courageous and had managed to slaughter a Seventh-Ring Harpy, while the other twelve possessed extraordinary teamwork.
But if they had so many strong Light Shaking Realm cultivators available, why wasn’t there a single Spirit Burning Realm cultivator?
This was because the Harpies recognized most of the Spirit Burning Realm cultivators amongst the humans. If they were afraid of the hidden experts being spotted, Light Shaking Realm cultivators were much easier to hide. At the very least, the Harpies had never heard of any one of these thirteen cultivators. After all, the Harpies could not possibly keep track of all of the humans given how many there were.
Scattered Moon Mist had automatically come up with the perfect excuse for the Zhu Clan.
She could absolutely understand why the Zhu Clan would bring along these hidden troops. Obviously, they were well-prepared, but it seemed that it had nothing to do with the broodmother. They had only been brought along enough of a force to prevent any accidents from occurring.
The Hunting Wind Bandits departed, as did the Cloud-Piercing Shuttles.
No one knew whether the Hunting Wind Bandits had been instigated into attacking them by someone, and no one was interested in finding out the answer. Both parties believed that, as long as they ultimately reached their destination, their mission would be completed, and that was good enough for them.
The shuttles finally reached Sky City after seven more days of travel.
As Sky City loomed into view, all of the humans were assaulted by a fresh wave of awe.
This city was almost as large as a mountain — no, actually, even a mountain wasn’t as big as the city. Because this city was floating, it towered over most mountains.
And not only was it a city, but it was also a sustained ecosystem in and of itself. There were forests, mountain peaks, plains, fields, and rivers distributed throughout its area.
The city sat high in the ninth heavens, as if it had been there since time immemorial. Because it was so large, it was impossible to clearly see its original form. In terms of pure shock and awe, Sky City was actually inferior to the Chaos Tower.
But as they drew closer and closer and the full vastness of the city came into view, it felt like they had suddenly returned to the ground.
As they gazed at the wild plains, the verdant foliage, and the countless Harpies flying up and down all over the place, the awe in their hearts reached its climax.
The Hidden Dragon Institute possessed some records of how Sky City had come about.
According to those records, Sky City had not originally been this large in the beginning.
But after Sky City was locked in place, many of the Harpies had discovered that, because they were anchored to the Boundless Origin Sea, Sky City’s carrying capacity had greatly increased.
Since there was no hope for them to continue moving Sky City around, they began to furiously expand Sky City’s land.
This was how Sky City had gone from a large, isolated city to a massive floating ecosystem.
There were now three cities in total on this floating island.
Sky City itself was obviously at the very core, and to its sides were two smaller neighboring cities. They were like two wings flanking Sky City, or defensive citadels meant to protect the capital. Of course, given Sky City’s incredibly powerful defensive capabilities, adding on more layers of defense didn’t have much meaning. The two cities were actually meant to house the expanding Harpy population and to develop the land a bit more.
In some sense, the Harpies had managed to create a self-sufficient territory for themselves in the sky. However, they still had ambitions for the ground.
The shuttles landed near the outskirts of Sky City.
They went through another round of inspections.
From Flat Sky City to here, the merchant group had been thoroughly inspected three times, with countless other small inspections here and there. They had even been secretly inspected once via the Hunting Wind Bandits’ raid. It was obvious how important the broodmother was to the Harpies.
Only now were the Harpies able to rest easy.
That night, the merchant group arrived at the inn that had been prepared for them in Sky City.
“We’re finally here!” Zhu Xianyao let out a long sigh.
She glanced at Su Chen and asked, “Hey, everything went smoothly. You can finally take it easy now, right?”
“Perhaps,” Su Chen replied with a nod.
Even though they had run into some small bumps in the road on their way here, they were still pretty successful, all things considered.
“So do you still want to……” Su Chen understood what Zhu Xianyao was hinting at even though she hadn’t explicitly stated it outright. She was asking him if he still wanted to assume a Harpy’s identity.
Halcyon Wing Streak was still present. He was amongst the diplomatic envoy. As one of the war prisoners, he had been inspected a number of times, and he had still not yet been released. As for Jade Brilliance, he had performed a great meritorious service and was being treated extremely well by the Harpies. However, for the same exact reasons, he had not been released either.
This point in time was incredibly sensitive right now. Zhu Xianyao was making it quite clear that she hoped that Su Chen would stop things here. All they needed to do next was buy a list of items and return to Liaoye Country. Then, she would be able to enjoy Su Chen’s company for as long as she desired.
But this was obviously not what Su Chen was after.
He shook his head and replied, “Sorry. There are too many things the Harpies have that I need to pursue.”
“We have any resources that you could possibly want……”
“I’m not talking about material items,” Su Chen interjected. “You know that I am not lacking in money. What I am after is knowledge.”
This was probably the only thing that Su Chen couldn’t necessarily buy outright with money.
And the Harpies, who were very intelligent, possessed a vast wealth of knowledge. Su Chen didn’t want to miss out on this no matter what.
“So…… You will still continue down this path,” Zhu Xianyao said helplessly.
Su Chen smiled slightly. “Don’t worry — I just want to learn a few things. I promise to not to stir up trouble unless I absolutely have to. I will be an obedient student this time.”