Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
“Of course, when you first enter the Sect, your status and treatment certainly won’t be too high, but given your cultivation state, as long as you complete a few tasks for the Sect, becoming an Inner Disciple won’t be a problem. If Little Brother Yang has any interest in participating in the trial, this Young Lady can give you a participation token.” Saying so, Chen Shi Tao looked at Yang Kai eagerly, seeming to really look forward to him joining her Sect.
After all, Yang Kai’s strength wasn’t low, and once they become fellow Sect disciples, she could openly invite him to travel together with her in the future.
Under her expectant eyes, Yang Kai couldn’t help sighing to himself and not immediately refusing. This made Chen Shi Tao feel like there was a chance of success so she decided to strike while the iron was hot, but Yang Kai quickly cut her off, “I’m afraid I’ll have to decline Sister Chen’s good intentions; temporarily, I have no plans to enter any Sect.”
Chen Shi Tao’s expression drooped at Yang Kai’s surprise answer.
Yang Kai proceeded to explain with a smile, “If I was really alone, I wouldn’t mind entering a Sect, but Sister Chen has seen that I have my own companions.”
“You mean that Sister Yang Yan?”
Yang Kai nodded and said, “Not only her, but there are several dozen as well.”
“Several dozens…” Chen Shi Tao was stunned.
“Yeah, and their cultivations vary greatly. There are a few Origin Returning Realm masters, some Saint King Realm, but also a number who are just Immortal Ascension, Transcendent, and Saint Realm cultivators,” Yang Kai smiled slightly.
“This…” Chen Shi Tao mutter to herself for a moment before smiling, “No wonder you would refuse. Since Little Brother Yang has such concerns, this Young Lady won’t say anymore.”
Although she failed to invite Yang Kai to participate in the trial, causing Chen Shi Tao to be slightly disappointed, since he had such a reason, she wouldn’t try to force the issue. After chatting with Yang Kai for a while, she left to return to the small mountain she had occupied a short distance away.
After she left, Yang Kai smiled slightly, seemingly pondering something before turning his eyes and staring at a certain spot up in the sky and calling out lightly, “Did you see something interesting after looking for so long?”
As soon as he spoke these words, a slight aura fluctuation appeared where Yang Kai was looking at, but in the next moment everything became calm once more, as if nothing had happened.
Yang Kai coldly snorted, “What’s wrong? Since Brother Wang has already come, does he want this Yang to offer an invitation before showing up?”
Listening to Yang Kai address him by name, a ripple suddenly appeared in the sky and a figure soon revealed itself. Staring down somberly at Yang Kai, this newly appeared person asked solemnly, “How did you discover me?”
As he spoke, he took back a cloak-like artifact and stared at Yang Kai, quickly adding, “My Concealing Aura Coat is an Origin Grade High-Rank artifact, it’s impossible for someone like you to notice any flaws.”
“An Origin Grade High-Rank artifact!” Yang Kai raised his brow as he grinned slightly, “Brother Wang actually possess such a good artifact. En, but despite this artifact not being low grade, with your strength, it seems you can’t activate it completely, and this Yang has always been quite sensitive to other peoples’ prying eyes, heh heh!”
“Seems you have some skill!” Wang Yu Han snorted coldly, not showing the slightest embarrassment after having been exposed.
“Shouldn’t Brother Wang be concentrating on recovering right now? Why stealthily stalk her? If I hadn’t realized it was Brother Wang’s aura nearby, I might just have attacked,” Yang Ka smiled faintly.
“Hmph, my injuries are already healed; moreover, I didn’t come here with any malicious intent, I was simply curious,” Wang Yu Han replied bluntly.
“If it was just curiosity, then I suppose it can’t be helped. If Brother Wang has something he’d like to say to me, you might as well say it directly. If I can do something to alleviate some worry for you, I certainly will. If not… Brother Wang need only be patient for a few more days.”
“Why would I need anything from you?” Wang Yu Han’s complexion suddenly sank as he said meaningfully, “But you rejecting Sister Chen’s proposal was a wise move. Although your strength isn’t too low, it’s still not enough to enter a great force like Clear Sky Sect. If you had made an attempt, it would have only disappointed Sister Chen’s good intentions. At that time, it would certainly be awkward to face her.”
“Such matters are my concern; Brother Wang does not need to trouble himself over them. En, if Brother Wang has nothing else to say, please go back, my companion and I simply wish to use the Space Array in Black Crow City, so we will naturally leave when the time comes.”
“That would be for the best!” Wang Yu Han nodded flatly before cupping his fists and turning to leave.
At that time, Yang Kai suddenly called out, “Right, I should remind you that I dislike being spied upon by others. This time I will let the matter go, but if it were to happen again…”
“You’ll what?” Wang Yu Han turned back to Yang Kai and snorted disdainfully.
Yang Kai smiled mysteriously as he released a pulse of Spiritual Energy from his Knowledge Sea to envelope Wang Yu Han.
Wang Yu Han’s face changed greatly as at that moment, he felt the aura of death sudden descend upon him. Just as he was about to fight back though, he discovered that the ominous feeling had disappeared. Meanwhile, Yang Kai was simply standing exactly where he had originally been, looking at him with a smile, as if what just happened had nothing to do with him.
Wang Yu Han’s expression immediately became suspicious as he felt some cold sweat drip down is back, but after a short silence, he turned his head and flew off into the distance.
“Suddenly treating me like a love rival for no reason, how annoying!” Yang Kai muttered to himself.
Yang Kai had long since realized why Wang Yu Han was constantly opposing him and why he had stealthily snuck over to observe him. However, Yang Kai really had no intentions towards Chen Shi Tao; after leaving Black Crow City this time, they might never even meet again, so Wang Yu Han’s worries were completely unnecessary.
Although Yang Kai could tell that Wang Yu Han wasn’t a good thing, there was no need for him to remind Chen Shi Tao; after all, he was disinclined to meddle in such troublesome matters. On top of that, Chen Shi Tao was not some naive young girl who didn’t know how the world worked, so there was no need for him to warn her about something she clearly already knew.
For Yang Kai, as long as he could gain access to Black Crow City’s Space Array, he wasn’t interested in intervening in these matters, but Wang Yu Han spying on him in secret had touched Yang Kai’s nerves, so he had given him a small warning. Although the Soul pressure Yang Kai used just now didn’t appear to do any immediate harm to Wang Yu Han, he had actually planted a kind of Divine Sense mark deep in his opponent’s Knowledge Sea. With this seed of fear laid down, in the future, if they really came to blows, all Yang Kai would need to do is trigger it and Wang Yu Han would degenerate into a lamb waiting to be slaughtered.
With the current power of Yang Kai’s Divine Sense, pulling this kind of small trick on a Third-Order Saint King was a simple matter, and unless a Second-Order Origin Returning Realm master or someone stronger were to carefully probe Wang Yu Han’s Knowledge Sea, it would be impossible to discover and destroy this Divine Sense seed.
The probability of this happening was minimal though, and Yang Kai wasn’t worried even if it did happen.
After a moment of contemplation, Yang Kai felt that he hadn’t exposed his strength or means a moment ago, so he closed his eyes and nodded with satisfaction before continuing to focus on his own affairs.
Three days later, Chen Fan Lei and the others had finished healing from their wounds and recovering their strength. Yang Yan had also handed a ring-like object to Yang Kai already. This ring had a bitter cold chill about it and one could tell at first glance that cold materials had been used to refine it. Yang Kai even noticed some traces of the Ten Thousand Year Ice Jade’s aura.
Sweeping it with his Divine Sense, Yang Kai found that Sun’s True Essence, which had rendered him helpless to even touch it, was stored inside with multiple layers of barriers surrounding it, gathering Ice Attribute Energy in order to restrain the Sun’s True Fire.
This ring was somewhat similar to a Space Ring, but its capacity was extremely small, only about ten square metres. It was obviously an artifact refined by Yang Yan specifically to store the Sun’s True Essence.
With such a thing, Yang Kai didn’t need to worry about the Sun’s True Essence’s aura being exposed and he could easily transport it from place to place. After investigating this ring slightly, Yang Kai put it away while liberally praising Yang Yan’s skills, declaring that she was unparalleled under the Heavens.
Of course, Yang Yan only shot Yang Kai a disdainful look.
Finished with what they needed to do here, Yang Kai and Yang Yan met up with Chen Shi Tao’s group and learned that they too were ready to depart.
After a brief discussion, the group of six set out for Black Crow City. On the way, Wang Yu Han’s former incessant chatter gave way to silence and he also seemed to intentionally or unintentionally distance himself from Yang Kai, often shooting him strange looks.
Chen Shi Tao and the others seemed to not notice this change and instead busied themselves telling Yang Kai in detail about the situation of Black Crow City.
Through their explanations, Yang Kai learned that because the geographical location of Black Crow City was a bit special, it didn’t fall under the jurisdiction of any single great force. Three mid-sized forces, Extreme Path Sect, Imperial City Sect, and Honoured Oath Pavilion, all had their headquarters roughly the same distance from Black Crow City, and as a result had competed with each other for many years and lost many disciples to gain control over it. However, in the end, no single Sect was able to triumph over the others.
In the end, the three Sects came to some kind of agreement where all of them swore not to interfere with Black Crow City any further.
After this agreement was reached, Black Crow City itself began to rise in strength, with its City Lord recruiting a number of powerful cultivators to guard and protect it. With the help of some nearby mineral lodes, over time, Black Crow City managed to survive even though it was caught between these three Sects.
There were actually many cities like Black Crow City on Shadowed Star, most of them achieving a degree of independence because the local Sects were unable to agree on who would take ownership of it. As a result, these cities would often grow into sizeable forces.
This kind of independent city force was very attractive to lone cultivators, and through some solicitation, these cities would occasionally be able to attract some powerful masters to join them.
These cities were generally referred to as Free Cities, and even if there weren’t a thousand of them on Shadowed Star, there were are least eight hundred. Because these Free Cities didn’t have strict constraints like formal Sects, and their management was relatively loose, the City Lord position would often change hands. Essentially, whoever’s fist was biggest would become the City Lord, so although these Free Cities had some strength, they were never able to form large, cohesive forces. As a result, the surrounding Sects wouldn’t pay much mind to these Free Cities, instead maintaining cooperative relationships with them.
However, there were always exceptions. On Shadowed Star, there were a few Free Cities that weren’t inferior in strength to great Sects. Such cities were often controlled by a single, extremely powerful family or governed by several families that were relatively united with each other. Although infighting was unavoidable, it was restrained to an acceptable range, and once outside enemies invaded, they would band together to repel them.
After thousands of years of prosperity, these super cities obtained status and strength no worse than other great forces on Shadowed Star.