“You worthless scoundrel! You’ll be the death of me one day!” The vice city lord was thoroughly infuriated by his fop of a son.
His henchmen immediately ran up to hold him back from lunging forward. “City Lord! Stop! Stop!”
“He might die if you go on!”
Stymied by the efforts of his henchmen, the city lord slumped back in his chair, panting, and glared at his son. “You bastard! What did you receive from Dong Sheng for the incident at Prancing Pony?!” His eyes were as wide as a bell as his voice thundered around the hall.
“I… father… I had nothing to do with the incident at the Prancing Pony.” The good-for-nothing son continued to deny his involvement.
“Still trying to weasel your way out of it?” The vice city lord lifted his leg, moments away from kicking his son straight across the room. The latter would’ve likely been bedridden for three months if the city lord’s men didn’t once again rescue him. “Bastard! The crown prince himself will deal with you if you don’t cough up the truth! You’ll land me in trouble too! Nobody can save you then!”
The good-for-nothing was shocked by the vice city lord’s attitude. “T-t-the incident at the Prancing Horse has alarmed the crown prince?” He stammered.
“Do I seem like I’m in the mood for jokes? How dare you put your hands on one of the crown prince’s men! Your bastard! You’ve given me nothing but trouble!”
“Wu Niuhua… h-he’s one of the crown prince’s men?” The good-for-nothing seemed confused. “That’s impossible! How could he be exploited by Dong Sheng if he’s truly the prince’s man?”
“Exploited? Do you really think he was being exploited by Dong Sheng?” The vice city lord’s voice sounded extremely cold. “What does a jackass like Dong Sheng know? He’s done for! You’ll only sink in the same ship as him if you remain this ignorant!”
The good-for-nothing realized that this was no longer a laughing matter, especially after seeing how furious his father was. His face turned deathly white as he muttered. “I’m innocent! I received nothing from Dong Sheng! I was only trying to be a good brother by backing him up a little! How could I have known that Niu Wuhua had a direct relationship with the crown prince?”
“I don’t bloody care about your history with him! From now onwards, you must maintain a clear divide between you and him! Report every single untoward act he’s done. If you don’t rat on him now, don’t blame me if this blows up in your face.” The vice city lord’s voice dropped to a low, sinister growl.
The good-for-nothing trembled at the command to betray his brother. He hesitated, torn.
“What’s wrong? Can’t bear to do it? He’s been nothing but a fairweather friend good for drinking and eating together. How deep can your friendship be?” The vice city lord laughed. “Fine, don’t say that I didn’t warn you. You’ll join him in deep waters if you don’t grab this opportunity to rat on him.”
Dong Sheng never imagined that things would turn sour so quickly. He was detained by the authorities of Goldtower City the very same afternoon. Everyone he knew was ratting out his every misdeed and act of debauchery to the authorities. The entirety of House Dong was also caught in this maelstrom and detained.
On the other hand, Niu Wuhua was receiving one piece of good news after the other. Dong Sheng was detained, Dong Sheng’s residence was raided, House Dong was in total shambles...
Three days later, all of Dong Sheng’s businesses were transferred to Niu Wuhua. The latter was almost in disbelief by how little of a price he had to pay for so much to happen. The fighters that Dong Sheng had assigned to the Prancing Pony had also abandoned the sinking ship. Some were detained, some left for a different opportunity, and others ran away. Dong Sheng’s brother-in-law was also thrown into prison.
The great turnaround at Prancing Pony left the citizens at Goldtower City speechless. Everyone was certain that Dong Sheng would end up winning the dispute. Suddenly, there were all kinds of speculations about Niu Wuhua. Various rumors spread among the streets and back alleys of Goldtower City.
Some speculated that Niu Wuhua was directly connected to the throne and had a close relationship with the crown prince. There were even rumors that Niu Wuhua wasn’t just closely related to the crown prince, but also with a great emperor realm faction from Veluriyam Capital.
As a result, Niu Wuhua, at best a second-rate character in Goldtower City, was suddenly catapulted to the top of the dogpile in the city. Never in his mind did he expect something like this to happen. He knew that he had young master Ji San to thank for all of this. However, he didn’t expect that Ji San was such an influential person. He was overwhelmed by emotion; the change in his fortunes was so surreal that it felt like a dream. It felt like he’d used up a lifetime of luck just for this to happen to him.
The perpetrator behind all of this good fortune was already a few thousand miles away from Bluesky Nation. What happened at Goldtower City was Jiang Chen’s way of repaying a favor. The information that Niu Wuhua had given him was of incredible significance. To him, repaying the favor was as simple as lifting a finger, but absolutely life changing for Niu Wuhua.
Of course, Jiang Chen had other reasons for doing this. As the young lord of Sacred Peafowl Mountain, he would eventually have to rule over the entire region. These nations and cities under the capital’s rule had to roped in appropriately. It was also the reason why he’d invited the crown prince to Taiyuan Tower. Bluesky Nation was one of the most outstanding nations under the capital’s rule. It was only natural to treat them well and take proper care of them.
One had to traverse at least half of the Upper Eight Regions to reach Pillfire City from Veluriyam Capital. Fortunately, Jiang Chen had cultivated many kinds of travel arts, especially Kunpeng Meteoric Escape. It was capable of both short distance bursts of speed and long distance traveling. He didn’t cause any trouble during his journey and kept a low profile throughout every land and nation he crossed. He managed to keep a lid on his temper even when he traveled across Eternal Celestial Capital’s territory. He currently only had two targets. One was Pillfire City, and the other, Tilted Moon Region.
Pillfire City and the Star Harvesters… He continued to make haste as he traveled. A few months later, he’d finally arrived.
Pillfire City was situated in the northern region of the Upper Eight Regions. Its territory spanned for miles and miles, not a whit inferior to that of Veluriyam Capital. In fact, it may even have been ever so slightly larger. The land under Pillfire City’s jurisdiction was also much more fertile than those under Veluriyam Capital. As a result, their soil had a lot more spirit energy in comparison. This geographical advantage and pill making pedigree had positioned them as the foremost pill maker in the human domain.
Upon entering the city, Jiang Chen immediately noticed how adept they were at refining spirit medicines. Their medicine businesses were also flourishing and incredibly successful. As expected, they have a very deep roots in the art of pill making. The pill industry plays an integral part in every piece of land under Pillfire City’s jurisdiction.
Jiang Chen was in awe. He’d seen many things when he’d traversed through the Upper Eight Regions. Pillfire City clearly outmatched Veluriyam Capital when it came to pill dao. It was perhaps unparalleled throughout the entire human domain. Veluriyam Capital held ess than twenty percent of the market, while Pillfire City held at least seventy percent of the market. This was an incredible disparity.
The dependence on Pillfire City’s pills grew increasingly apparent the closer one moved to the city. Pillfire City didn’t become one of the strongest factions in the Upper Eight Regions without reason. Their influence in pill making alone would solidify their position in the region. Every other faction somewhat depended on Pillfire City for their pills. This meant that they could never afford to become enemies with the city. They had to show great reverence and respect to the city, which only further intensified the power the city held.
It was an endless feedback loop. Unless Pillfire City burned itself to ground, there was no way any other faction could possibly replace or take over the power they held. Not even Veluriyam Capital. Of course, that was assuming that Jiang Chen wasn’t factored into the equation. A monstrous existence like him could topple any house, no matter how solid its foundations.
Very like the three pagodas that stood as the landmarks of Veluriyam Capital, the iconic landmark of Pillfire City was the Pill Emperor Mountain. The entire city itself was built around the mountain, expanding outwards with it as the center.
The peak of the mountain held were statues of various pill emperors, so tall and mighty that they seemed to tower beyond the clouds. Each statue represented a period of prosperity and excellence throughout the city’s history. Each pill emperor had been the pinnacle of their own respective eras of pill dao. They were the pride of Pillfire City and also the heritage of the city. There were nine pill emperor statues erected on Pill Emperor Mountain. This meant that throughout the history of Pillfire City, there were at last nine great emperor realm pill experts worthy of being written into the history texts. They’d borne the fate of the city upon their backs and contributed greatly to the land.
Jiang Chen immediately realized that these towering statues were the totem buildings that represented the pride of the city. The city had very rigorous security checks. Fortunately, he had been traveling under the guise of a wandering cultivator for a while now, and the checks failed to notice anything amiss. He could immediately feel the prosperity when he set foot into the city.
Pillfire City had an atmosphere that simply wasn’t present in Veluriyam Capital. It was an atmosphere unique to only Pillfire City. However, he was in no mood to enjoy the delights of Pillfire City. He immediately tried to contact Lin Yanyu using a secret method they’d agreed on beforehand. It didn’t take long before he located him.
Lin Yanyu was no match for Jiang Chen in speed. He’d left months before Jiang Chen had, but he arrived only two weeks earlier than him.
“Young lord, I’ve made inquiries and confirmed that the Star Harvesters have purchased a slave with an innate wood constitution of high order. They seem to view the slave with high regard. Many nobles and factions in Pillfire City have tried to purchase the slave, but the Star Harvesters rejected every single one of them. It’s one of the hottest topics right now in Pillfire City. It didn’t even take effort to gather this much information.”
The winners for the SOTR 1000 giveaway have been picked! We received over 300 entries and of those, 270+ qualified entries. There were so many thoughtful, funny, and savage reviews! I enjoyed reading them all, thank you guys for loving these novels as much as the translators do! In order of ranking:
We will be reaching out shortly and working our way down the list to have people pick their prize! Dibbadri you have until Sunday, midnight GMT +8 (that's noon, Sunday US EST) to respond before we move down the list~
Thank you all once again for participating. <3 <3 <3