Aggressive guards wearing a “Wild Cloud” badge at their breast pockets stared at the crowd below the open city doors. The place was a hive of villains, scum and other complicated figures. Additionally, there were a reasonable number of Warriors. In general, they were several times more powerful than what Green Stone Town had to offer.
The majority of Warriors were explorers or mercenaries, so they had to pay some tax to the lord of Wild Cloud City for things they purchased and sold. They weren’t happy about it, but they didn’t dare to complain due to the nature of the city.
There were only two streets in the residential and business areas, though that didn’t change the fact that the buildings of varying heights were magnificent. The items on the stalls of the bustling street were marked as items to be exchanged or their prices, catching Yang Tian’s attention for it was his first visit. Having surveyed the stalls briefly, he shook his pocket, only to realise he was too darn poor to afford any of the pills, cultivation methods or refinement materials offered. When he went to leave, the dormant Ancestral Dragon Ring in his body suddenly trembled.
What’s going on?
Yang Tian examined Ancestral Dragon Ring, which returned to its normal state. He paused for a moment before walking again, but the ring trembled right as he took another step.
Could something close by be attracting it?
Yang Tian squinted and ambled around. When he approached a particular stand, the ring’s trembling gradually intensified.
Yang Tian scanned the fur of a Fierce Beast and beast cores on the stall. What attracted Ancestral Dragon Ring, though, was a piece of a jade shaped after a dragon.
“What do you like, young man? Choose anything you like. Everything I have here is considered rare. This fur was taken from high-tier Fierce Beasts. Check out this colour…” the elder past his fifties promoted.
“You have yet to reach the Fifth Layer of Blood Refinement, yet are spouting tripe about High-tier Beasts’ fur?” Yang Tian cursed to himself. He looked at the stall as if it was sheep he was going to slaughter.
After Yang Tian examined the fur, he glanced over to the red dragon-shaped jade. While it looked resplendent, he couldn’t detect any energy from it. However, before he could utter a word, the owner jumped in to praise, “Fufu, good taste, Young Lad. The fur is premium quality. Look at the luscious red colour; it came from a High-tier Beast. You can use it to create a precious defence item…” The elder sounded so excited. He kept babbling with no end. One would think flowers bloomed from his mouth.
“This red fox fur is worth squat. Judging from its toughness, I’d surmise it came from the Third Rank,” Yang Tian remarked, rolling his eyes and chuckling.
“Uh… You are very perceptive, Young Lad,” shamelessly responded the elder, extending four fingers.
Yang Tian shook his head. He picked up the dragon-shaped jade he had his sights on. Voice calm, He asserted, “At most, twenty bloodstones for the fur and this piece of jade. I’m leaving if we don’t have a deal.”
“I can’t do that. That is a family heirloom. Look at the pure colour of the jade…” Seeing Yang Tian prepare to leave, he quickly changed his mind. “Deal, deal, twenty it is.”
Yang Tian’s tension eased off after finishing the deal. If the elder didn’t accept the deal, he’d have to take the risk of buying something useless.
The only city connecting the city to Beast Mountain was abnormally rowdy. In spite of the countless low-rank beasts, swamps, bugs and insects roaming the mountains, people, such as the mercenary team headed there, ventured to the mountain because there were infinite resources to be obtained. The cruel reality of the cultivation world was that only the strong could reach higher realms. The mountain was a bloody place.
A handsome young man’s appearance caught the attention of a good number of people. A number of people venturing into the mountains alone wanted to recruit Yang Tian; however, he kindly turned them down.
A group of mercenaries shook their heads over Yang Tian’s decision for they believed him to be offering himself to the beasts.
A few shady figures began to tail Yang Tian not long after he left, splitting up into groups that started at different intervals. The look of pity on the mercenaries looked more prominent as they realised what was happening. The beasts on the mountains weren’t the most terrifying, humans were!
Yang Tian suddenly halted during his run. Like a monkey, he leapt into a shrub by the side and completely vanished from the forest. He then leapt up onto a tree with a ridiculously thick trunk, which was located five hundred metres away from Beast Mountain after he recovered his qi and blood. With the sun shining down, the jade in his glowed with a weird red tinge.
“What in the world is this?” Yang Tian detected an aura so faint that it should’ve been described as barely there. “What the hell is this thing?” The overbearing will had Yang Tian turning slightly pale. He faintly detected palpitations deep within his blood. He moulded qi and poured it into the piece of jade.
“Interesting,” remarked Yang Tian after the piece of jade absorbed the qi he offered. A trace of blood appeared on the jade’s surface. Satisfied, he began to siphon a larger volume of qi and blood in.
After continuing to pour qi and blood in for some time, Dragon Jade’s red glow brightened. Yang Tian kept it up until he began to feel drained, compelling him to cease. Alas, he panicked upon finding that he couldn’t control the qi and blood inundating the ring.
“Damn it! Stop!” Yang Tian desperately tried to suppress the qi and blood flowing erratically, but his qihai began to hurt from swelling as the attractive force was augmented more and more. If it kept absorbing at the rate it was, he’d lose an entire year’s worth of cultivation.
“Calm down. Calm down.” Yang Tian desperately racked his brains for ideas. “I’m counting on you.” Yang Tian silently focused inside Ancestral Dragon Ring and passed on his will swiftly. The paler Yang Tian’s face turned, the more the Dragon Jade pendant’s red glow grew in magnitude.
“Roar!” suddenly roared Ancestral Dragon Ring. It stood straight up in the centre of Yang Tian’s qihai and unleashed an overpowering aura, promptly bringing Yang Tian’s qihai under control.
Suddenly, the qi and blood absorbing Dragon Jade took to the air and rotated.
The five hundred metres is going by the standardised number as of 1929 in China. There are variations of what it equated to in previous dynasties. I’ve just chosen that after consulting the author and will stick with it for consistency.