Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Almost the entire mountain valley of more than a dozen kilometres long was the site of this shopping district with the ground on both sides of the canyon and even caves on the cliffside lined with shops. Countless cultivators came and went, and the endless shouting was deafening. This was the shopping district of Orthodoxy Temple, so all the shops were the property of Orthodoxy Temple, and some were businesses run by the disciples themselves. Anything and everything was sold here, but although it was generally a lively place, it was never as bustling as this.
The main reason for the activity was the recent opening of the Martial Gathering. Tens of thousands of cultivators from all around the Southern Territory had gathered here so it was only natural for some of them to come here for a stroll. Before Yang Kai landed, he saw that the cultivators walking about underneath were all dressed differently, with disciples of the same Sect wearing similar uniforms walking about in groups of threes or fives.
Every major Sect would have a shopping district like this one. Azure Sun Temple had a shopping district too, but Yang Kai had never been there before. Be that as it may, it would not be any inferior to this one.
They were not stopped by anybody when they landed in front of the shopping district, so Yang Kai and Yu Zhuo entered the shopping district without any trouble. Women were born with an inherent interest in places like these, and Yu Zhuo was already a lively and cheerful girl, so she was all smiles after arriving here. Walking backwards with her hands behind her back as she faced Yang Kai, she looked at him and asked, “What is Senior interested in buying here?”
Despite walking backwards, it was as though she had eyes on the back of her head, and from time to time, she would shift her shoulders slightly to avoid the crowd.
“I want to buy some seeds,” Yang Kai looked around.
He decided to come here out of the blue to buy some seeds. The main reason was that Mu Zhu and Mu Lu had a high demand for seeds recently. Although he managed to exchange for some rare seeds during the last exchange meeting, they were not enough for the two Wood Spirits’ use. When he sent the seeds over to them, the two Wood Spirits only kept pestering him to bring over more as soon as possible. Yang Kai didn’t know there was a shopping district here before, but now that he did, he figured he might as well come and check it out.
“Seeds?” Yu Zhuo was a little taken aback by this request as she had not expected him to come here for something so simple, but after thinking about it for a moment, she said, “I know where to find them. Follow me, Senior.”
While speaking, she turned around and wormed her way into the crowd like a fish swimming in water. She was very nimble and her pace was neither fast nor slow, so he did not fall behind too much.
Not long after, the two of them came to a certain shop, one that sold herbs. These shops would generally carry some seeds for sale, but there wouldn’t be much in terms of quantity. That turned out to be the case here too as following Yu Zhuo’s inquiry, the shopkeeper only took out a few types of seeds.
Yang Kai quickly checked through them without turning his nose up at them. He immediately wanted to pay for them and leave, but to his surprise, Yu Zhuo began haggling with the shopkeeper over the price. She was very witty and eloquent, forcing the price down by a fifth of the original price. It was very amusing for Yang Kai to watch. Yu Zhuo also tried to snatch the bill, but how could he allow her to pay? It was only natural that he did not agree.
After leaving that shop, Yu Zhuo led Yang Kai to the next one. She seemed rather familiar with this area, so who knows how many times she had been here before? Approximately half a day later, the pair finished walking the shopping district that spanned more than a dozen kilometres and Yang Kai had gotten quite a good haul. Although the seeds he bought were not priceless treasures, the two Wood Spirits had not specified much in their request so he figured he would let them try planting these seeds and see how it went.
“Do you still have anything you want to buy, Senior?” She blinked at him.
“Not for the time being,” He smiled slightly and looked at her. “You still have a match tomorrow, so you should go back early to rest. Many thanks for accompanying me today.”
Yu Zhuo smiled so widely that her eyes curved into crescent-like shapes as she replied, “It was my pleasure. Senior, please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any other requests.”
Pausing for a moment, she added, “I’ll take my leave now. Senior, you should also go back and rest soon.”
Yang Kai nodded and only then did Yu Zhuo fly up into the sky. Halfway up, she turned around to look at him again and waved at him energetically. Watching her leave, he weighed the bag in his hand that was filled with seeds before casually stuffing it into the Sealed World Bead. He simply placed the bag in front of the medicine garden as he was certain that Mu Zhu and Mu Lu would be able to find it. Afterwards, Yang Kai turned around and flew towards the Spirit Peak that was the temporary accommodation for the people from Azure Sun Temple.
News about Yu Zhuo of Luo Sha Sect coming to find Yang Kai spread like wildfire among all the people of Azure Sun Temple, and Murong Xiao Xiao even dropped by just to ask about it, wondering if Yang Kai and Yu Zhuo had some sort of secret relationship between them. It left Yang Kai feeling rather speechless. Even Gao Xue Ting looked at him strangely when this matter came up. Needless to say, Xiao Bai Yi’s expression of contempt made Yang Kai’s blood boil.
The following days passed by calmly without anything remarkable happening. In a few more days, Yang Kai would need to come out of retreat, go to the mountain valley, and serve as a Referee for a day. As time went on, more and more cultivators were eliminated from the competition and those that could continue to stand in the arena were more or less famous talents.
During this period, Yu Zhuo stood on the Eighth Arena again. Her opponent was, once again, another person in the Third-Order Dao Source Realm. This battle was even more difficult than the one she faced on the first day, but even so, she resolved the fight due and taking advantage of her flexible tactics and keen battle sense, she used everything she had to knock her opponent out of the ring.
Unfortunately, Yang Kai could tell that it would be impossible for her to make it to the top ten even though her abilities were outstanding because her cultivation was a huge shortcoming. If she was also in the Third-Order Dao Source Realm, she would surely make it into the top five in this Martial Gathering.
Yang Kai did not go to the exchange meeting between the Emperor Realm Masters again as there was nothing to be gained from it now. However, Gao Xue Ting came back to deliver a message to him. Many of the Emperor Realm Masters wanted to exchange for the Emperor Grade Spirit Pills in his possession again, even saying he could set his price. His only response was to ignore them all.
Taking out the Emperor Grade Spirit Pills to exchange them for rare seeds was something he did as a one-time thing. How could he possibly bring out even more Emperor Grade Spirit Pills that everybody was coveting?
On the 20th day of the Martial Gathering, the results of the individual rankings came out. The first-place winner was not a disciple from Azure Sun Temple nor even the disciples of any of the three top forces. Instead, it was somebody from Eight Paths Sect.
Moreover, it was somebody Yang Kai knew. That person was the daughter of the previous Sect Master of Eight Paths Sect, Su Zi.
The fact that the competition was won by a small and unknown Sect was a huge blow to the pride of the three top Sects.
Yang Kai and Su Zi had not interacted much with each other of course, all he knew was that she had feelings for Luo Yuan. Back when he refined the Extraordinary Treasure Pills in the Four Seasons Realm, she had asked to exchange for one of them from him, originally planning to gift the pill to Luo Yuan to aid him in becoming an Emperor Realm Master as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Luo Yuan had not appreciated her sentiment and stuffed the Extraordinary Treasure Pill into her mouth, forcing her to swallow it instead.
After so many years, Su Zi’s cultivation finally reached the peak of the Third-Order Dao Source Realm and it would not be hard for her to become an Emperor Realm Master with the Extraordinary Treasure Pill from back then as her foundation. Nevertheless, she completely overwhelmed tens of thousands of young talented individuals in the Southern Territory and brought glory to Eight Paths Sect by winning the individual competition. For that reason, a little-known Sect like the Eight Paths Sect once again caught the attention of many Masters.
The truth was that ever since the day Luo Yuan became an Emperor Realm Master, Eight Paths Sect was no longer the same small Sect it had been back in the past. It had expanded its influence greatly, while Luo Yuan had assumed the position of Sect Master.
It was easy to imagine how much honour and glory Su Zi’s victory in the individual rankings of the Martial Gathering had brought to Eight Paths Sect. The current Eight Paths Sect was just slightly poorer in heritage with Luo Yuan being the only Emperor Realm Master overseeing the Sect. But, in time, when both he and Su Zi had fully spread their wings, they were bound to lead Eight Paths Sect to prosperity.
It should not be forgotten that the reward for obtaining first place in the Martial Gathering was permission to enter the secret cultivation areas of the three top Sects. Combining that with the supplementary effects of the Extraordinary Treasure Pill, Su Zi would surely advance into the Emperor Realm in short order. It truly made one green with envy just thinking about it.
The second-place winner was actually Xue Yi from Azure Sun Temple. This result did not disappoint, and at the very least, he had overpowered the participating disciples of Orthodoxy Temple and Heavenly Martial Holy Land.
The third-place winner belonged to the Orthodoxy Temple while Heavenly Martial Holy Land missed out on the top three spots this time around, causing the Elder leading their team to look extremely vexed. He was probably troubled by how he was going to assume responsibility for the disgrace. As the results continued further down the rankings, most of the disciples from the major Sects were ranked in front, highlighting the heritage of these forces.
Now that the individual rankings were over, the remaining ten days would be used for group battles. The competition venue was still the same mountain valley, but hundreds of Emperor Realm Masters spent a whole day removing all small arenas and reorganizing the valley into ten large ones. Each arena could fit up to about a hundred people fighting at once.
In the individual rankings, only one Referee was needed for each battle, but that would not work for the group rankings. Every arena needed five Referees to ensure that there were no casualties in each battle. It went without saying that Yang Kai was also recruited. Just as before, everyone took turns to act as a Referee, rotating once every three days this time.
In order to compete for the group rankings, the disciples fought with everything they had and the battles were very flashy and intense. Every method and every trick came into play during these battles and it was quite the spectacle. It was also very difficult to imagine that they were doing all this just to obtain the first place in the rankings. Still, it was no wonder seeing as the rankings would determine the reputation of their Sects. Who would dare to be sloppy about it?
The disciples Azure Sun Temple sent out were all elites, and regardless of their individual rankings, they were invincible in the group rankings. Their opponents couldn’t even lay a finger on them in the first few matches and it wasn’t until they met the disciples of the other two top Sects that they had more difficult battles.
On this day, Yang Kai was meditating as usual when the maid came to report that Yu Zhuo was asking to meet him again. Ever since the first time she came here, she would visit every few days; however, she always had legitimate reasons. It was mainly to send some seeds to him. When she saw that he had been very interested in those seeds back at the shopping district, she went back and asked her Sect members to help collect more, and every few days, she would come to deliver them.
This was the third time she had done so already, and although these seeds were not expensive, Yang Kai had a vague feeling that something was not right. This young woman’s gaze was gradually becoming more and more attached over time. Yang Kai was not inexperienced in these matters, so how could he not know her intentions? Perhaps, he had planted a seed in her when he saved her back then and that seed was slowly showing signs of taking root in her due to their constant contact these days.
Of course, Yu Zhuo was very careful to conceal her feelings, but Yang Kai was not blind so it was impossible for him not to notice after so much time. As such, he felt that it was necessary to have a serious talk with her. He really did not want to get entangled with any more women right now, besides, he still had yet to figure out what was going on with Ji Yao; hence, he asked the maid to show her in.
Soon, a head popped out from behind the door and Yu Zhuo smilingly said, “I hope I’m not bothering you, Senior.”
After meeting several times, she realized that Yang Kai did not put up any pretences; thus, she had gotten very familiar with him.
“You are already here, so what does it matter if you did bother me?” Yang Kai looked at her, rolling his eyes. After meeting several times, they had naturally become much more familiar with one another.
Silavin: Scheduled wrongly last week. Sorry about that.