Xiankan, the Nephrite capital!
This was Lu Yun’s first real glimpse into the world of immortals. The capital wasn’t so much a city as it was a hub world. Heavy traffic roamed about towering architecture like any other city, but a good number of giant glowing orbs filled the air, every one of them a small, standalone world.
Renowned clans and aristocratic families lodged in these floating worlds instead of the buildings within the city. Owning a small world in Xiankan was testament to one's identity and status.
Lu Yun took in a deep breath and abruptly sensed signs of a breakthrough in his stagnant cultivation! There was an abundance of qi in the surroundings, or more precisely, immortal energy. It was almost ten times as thick as even Life Province!
And this was just the outer city.
Ambient energy within the small worlds was more than a hundred times denser than in Life Province. Even though Lu Yun had occasionally viewed the capital through his envoys’ memories, he still couldn’t help but be awestruck when faced with the real thing.
“First time in Xiankan, bumpkin?” mocked a haughty voice.
Cultivators around them sniggered at Lu Yun’s look of wonder, sneering at him with self-importance and conceit. Their gazes made Lu Yun very uncomfortable; these people didn’t just think they were superior, but were picking on him on purpose.
Xiankan is a minefield!
“It is indeed my first time here.” Lu Yun kept a level head and nodded slightly.
Upon entering the city, he, Qing Han, and Ge Long had disembarked and stowed the fortress ship. Chen Xiao had taken it from a powerful clan in Nephrite Major, and Lu Yun didn’t want to give anyone an excuse to move against him.
If anyone dared attack him, a Nephrite official, in the capital, it’d be considered a challenge of the imperial court’s authority. No matter who the attacker was, they and their faction would be eliminated by the court, especially in sensitive times like these.
If Lu Yun courted death himself, however, that was another story. Outside the city, the fortress ship could protect him from powerful immortals, but here, it would only doom him.
Expressions further sharpened with arrogance and condescension upon hearing his response. A peculiar atmosphere descended, as if the crowd were teachers to a humble, grovelling supplicant.
“Ignore them.” Qing Han stopped Lu Yun from engaging them in a conversation. “Cultivators in the outer city are mostly degenerates, struggling to live. They don’t dare enter the inner city, nor do they have the courage to adventure in the outside world. Thus, they hole up here and hide away.”
“What did you just say, brat?!” The cultivator who’d spoken shot Qing Han a malicious glare, manifested a sword, and pointed it at the imperial envoy. “On your knees and apologize, or die!”
Rumble. He released the power of peak transformed spirit realm.
“He doesn’t know who you are?” Lu Yun looked askance at the cultivator.
“They’re just a bunch of lowly scum who bully the weak and fear the strong,” Qing Han scoffed. “I go in and out of Xiankan on my fortress ship and rarely walk about in the outer city. They don’t have a chance to know me.”
“Fortress ship?” came a derisive snort. “You sure know how to run your mouth. Don’t blame me for not knowing mercy if you don’t apologize and compensate me with thirty thousand immortal crystals!”
How important could nascent spirit and refined spirit realm cultivators, followed by an elderly golden core servant, possibly be?
There were ten more days until the new celestial emperor took the throne. Over the past few days, cultivators from all around Nephrite Major had gathered in Xiankan to witness the ceremony. Folks in impoverished circumstances and residents of the seedier part of town would never pass up this golden opportunity that’d fallen into their laps.
They wouldn’t, and couldn’t, do anything to those who entered the inner city via fortress ships, of course. People who walked or rode a sword, however, they would stop and extort.
That’s right, this was an extortion.
Roughly three dozen other cultivators had gathered, all looking predaciously at Lu Yun and Qing Han. Uneasiness percolated through the air; it seemed they would indeed kill the three travelers if the latter didn’t comply. Regular cultivators would rather surrender their crystals than get into trouble with these thugs.
“Immortal crystals?” Lu Yun paused. “I only have spirit stones.”
Dusk Province was so poor that its main currency was inferior spirit stones. Outside the province, people used immortal crystals. It was, after all, the world of immortals.
“Spirit, spirit stones?! Hahahahaha! You really are a bumpkin from nowhere! Leave your storage item behind and get out of here.” The transformed spirit realm cultivator burst into hearty laughter.
“Piss off!” Qing Han could tell that Lu Yun wanted to avoid conflict. If he was forced to make a move, it would give others an excuse to attack him. Thus, the imperial envoy flared his power as a refined spirit realm cultivator. When he’d last returned to the Qing Clan, he’d made the ascension from a nascent spirit cultivator to the refined spirit realm, after everything he’d gone through in Dusk Province.
“How dare a refined spirit realm brat tell the Blue Dragon Gang off? If you crave death so much, I’ll grant you your wish. Let’s go, boys!” The transformed spirit realm cultivator charged Qing Han with a killing move, wasting no time with probing attacks and pulling no punches.
Physical altercation was prohibited by law in Xiankan, but cultivators fought at the drop of a hat. It was impossible to prohibit scuffles and tussles. As long as the repercussions weren’t that serious, the guards usually turned a blind eye.
The Blue Dragon Gang had run amok, robbing and extorting in the outer city for years. A relationship with the guards had been formed a long time ago and, in fact, part of their income went to the guards. Backing from the local authorities had only further emboldened them.
Lu Yun sighed. “It looks like there are some things I just can’t avoid.”
Sneaking a quick glance behind him, he could see Jin Heyi and his younger brother Jin Hexi trailing behind them, waiting for a good show from afar. Even if Qing Han dealt with the trouble for him this time, more would follow.
Lu Yun took a step forward and tapped his friend on the shoulder, then waved his hand.
A giant beast shot out of the Gates of the Abyss. The rimesnake king! After its death, it’d been kept in hell until Lu Yun summoned it to the outside world.
“An immortal beast! A golden immortal beast!” Cultivators in the area cried out when they saw the faint golden hue around the snake. Standing in the forefront, those from the Blue Dragon Gang found themselves unable to move in the beast’s presence.
Hisssss!! The snake reared up and grew in size.
“Bastard!!” boomed a voice from midair. “Death is the only punishment for the crime of allowing a beast to run rampant in the capital!”
A colossal aura slammed into Lu Yun.Previous Chapter Next Chapter