Chapter 143: The Sword Technique Conference
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Fire Dragon Commandery Prince pulled Zuo Longlin down quickly and apologized. "My son is so impulsive. I hope you aren't offended or angry."
Minister Ning sneered and said, "Your Highness, you should discipline your son more, so as not to bring disaster upon Flame Dragon Commandery. Ning An, see them off."
An old housekeeper came out and lead them both out.
Minister Ning had Yunwu Commandery Prince and Zhang Ruochen stay, and they spoke for a long time. After the banquet, he had someone see them to the manor.
Back at the manor, Zhang Ruochen held the Competition Invitation in his hand and looked at the delicate script. Why did the Thirteenth Commandery Princess send this to him?
Zhang Ruochen put the invitation away and put it out of his mind. He went into the internal space of the Time and Space Spinel and refined a drop of the Half-Saint's Essence before the Sword Technique Conference.
Two days later, he grabbed his invitation and attended the Conference at the Qianshui Commandery's palace.
The so-called "Sword Technique Conference" was actually an event where a Prince Consort was selected for the Thirteenth Princess. Only prodigies who were nominated by the Thirteenth Commandery Princess herself were eligible to participate.
Not even Yunwu Commandery Prince could enter the palace without an invitation.
This was an influential meeting of young masters. Top prodigies from all over the world gathered to fight and compare notes. But only the strongest of them would be able to marry the Thirteenth Commandery Princess.
The Sword Technique Conference was held at Qianshui Royal Palace's Jinfeng Garden. It was guarded by 3,000 imperial guards and only those with a Competition Invitation could gain access.
Qianshui Royal Palace looked unusually magnificent with many splendid vermilion houses and hanging towers. Some of the large plazas surrounded powerful fourth level savage beasts, which were panting heavily and locked with thick iron chains.
Even the ordinary imperial guards who were guarding Jinfeng Court had cultivated to the Black Realm. They far surpassed the imperial guards of Yunwu Commandery.
1,000 imperial guards would be able to defeat an army of 100,000 soldiers.
A commander of the imperial guard, who was at the Final State of the Black Realm, blocked Zhang Ruochen's path and said, "Please show me your Competition Invitation."
He took the silver Competition Invitation out and showed it to him.
The commander of the imperial guard bowed respectfully and said, "Please come in, Prince."
When Zhang Ruochen walked into Jinfeng Court he saw that the garden contained many exotic herbs and exuded a pleasant scent. The Spiritual Qi in the air was very powerful, almost four times stronger than that of Yunwu Commandery's imperial palace.
Practicing in such an environment meant that their warriors would be able to increase their skill faster than others.
Above the pool of Jinfeng Court was an array, and a battle stage about 81 square meters was suspended above.
Many young prodigies had come to the pool area. Not just princes from other countries, but also young prodigies from big families or sects from Qianshui Commandery. They were all outstanding in their own right, along with being handsome.
All of the mediocre and less attractive warriors had already been excluded by the Thirteenth Commandery Princess.
Suddenly, Zhang Ruochen saw a familiar face. It was the School of the Martial Market's Eastern Campus' top master, Xun Guihai.
He actually attended the Sword Technique Conference!
Xun Guihai sat not far from the Thirteenth Commandery Princess in a brocade gown of the School of the Martial Market, looking very handsome. Everyone could see that she favored him because he was sitting so close to her.
In addition to Xun Guihai, there were three other young men sitting beside the Thirteenth Commandery Princess.
These three young men exuded a powerful vigor, and each one of them was as strong as Xun Guihai.
Zhang Ruochen had a strange feeling when he entered Jinfeng Court. He had come to Qianshui Commandery for help, so why should he participate in this inexplicable Sword Technique Conference?
What was even stranger was all of the young prodigies from around the world that were gathered here.
Did everyone come here to seek assistance?
"My name is Chen Tianshu. Could you tell me your name?" asked a smiling young man about 17 or 18 years old who appeared beside Zhang Ruochen.
Zhang Ruochen looked at Chen Tianshu and found him to be exceptionally handsome, even more so than Xun Guihai.
"Zhang Ruochen." he said.
Chen Tianshu seemed very friendly. He stared at the Thirteenth Commandery Princess in the distance, laughed, and said, "Do you also want to win the Sword Technique Conference and win her heart?"
"Ah?" Zhang Ruochen hesitated slightly.
"What did he mean, to win her heart?"
Chen Tianshu continued, "Look at these people. They all want to show their amazing talent and capture the Thirteenth Commandery Princess' heart. But what they don't know is that they are all just for show. Only the four sitting over there have any true hope, 'Xun Guihai' of Daqian Commandery, 'Tuoba Linsu' of Longchuan Commandery, 'Liu Xin' a student of Left Prime Minister, and 'Qing Chibai' the disciple of a Half-Saint."
"Wait... what did you say? The best person in the Sword Technique Conference can also capture the heart of the Thirteenth Commandery Princess?" Zhang Ruochen asked.
"Didn't you know?" Chen Tianshu said in amazement. "The Sword Technique Conference is to help select the Prince Consort for the Thirteenth Commandery Princess."
He was speechless.
Chen Tianshu looked at the expression on Zhang Ruochen's face. Suddenly realizing something, he said, "No wonder you are just standing at the back, you don't even know the true purpose of the Sword Technique Conference. We cannot compete with those four young prodigies anyway, just stand here and enjoy the show!"
Zhang Ruochen recalled the words of Yunwu Commandery Prince and finally understood what was going on.
Yunwu Commandery Prince actually wanted him to marry the Thirteenth Commandery Princess. As long as Yunwu Commandery and Qianshui Commandery had an arranged marriage, Square Commandery would naturally no longer dare attack Yunwu Commandery.
Zhang Ruochen, however, didn't like the Thirteenth Commandery Princess and even found her to be obnoxious. It would be impossible to marry her.
Besides, Chen Tianshu was right. It would be hard to compete with them anyway. He might as well stay and watch. It was rare for so many young prodigies from all over the world to be gathered in one place.
In addition to the young prodigies, there were a number of commandery princesses and aristocratic daughters from Qianshui Commandery who were participating in the Sword Technique Conference.
If they happened to favor any of the young prodigies, they could take the initiative and show their fancy.
Every show of power would be an attempt to gain the favor of one of the prodigies, even if it required a marriage to establish the relationship.
This was the way of survival in big families and sects!
At the same time, prodigies also needed to rely on the cultivation resources provided by these great forces to be truly powerful.
It could be said that they were mutually beneficial. Marriage was the simplest and most direct way to establish a relationship.
Not far from Jinfeng Court there was a Flying Pavilion.
It looked like a giant loft suspended in the air. In fact, it was a ninth-order Genuine Martial Arm.
The surface was covered in Array Inscriptions, and it was invisible even as it was suspended in the air above the Jinfeng Court.
Qianshui Commandery Prince and many beautiful concubines all were standing above the Flying Pavilion, looking towards Jinfeng Court.
The Ten Powerful Ministers of Qianshui Commandery were also in the Flying Pavilion. One of them was Minister Ning.
The Ten Powerful Ministers represented the top ten forces of Qianshui Commandery. They were second only to the royal family in terms of power. Each force was individually much stronger than a medium level commandery.
Qianshui Commandery Prince looked about 40 years old. He had a beard, a crown, and a golden robe on, and his body exuded an aura of royalty. "Left Prime Minister, who do you think will win and marry the Thirteenth Commandery Princess in this Sword Technique Conference?"
Left Prime Minister of Qianshui Commandery, one of the top ten powerful ministers, appeared hale and hearty as if blessed by the heavens. He laughed and said, "Liu Xin, my disciple, only 22 years old, has reached the Advanced Stage of the Earth Realm. He has practiced the sword comprehension realm to the Sword Following the Heart's Advanced Stage. He may be able to win."
Major General laughed and said, "The talent of Liu Xin is indeed very high, but unfortunately he is much older than the Thirteenth Commandery Princess. I feel that Qing Chibai has a much greater chance. He is only 20 years old and has already broken through to the Mid Stage of the Earth Realm. He is also Half-Saint Blood Space's own disciple, his understanding of sword comprehension is unfathomable."
Right Prime Minister who was sitting not far away, laughed and said, "Liu Xin and Qing Chibai are both incredible young prodigies from Qianshui Commandery. I feel that since Your Majesty sent invitations to hundreds of surrounding countries, we should give those princes from medium level commanderies and inferior commanderies a chance. "
"For example, Xun Guihai from Daqian Commandery. Although only at the Completion of the Black Realm, he is 14th on the 'Profound Board'. He is definitely a prodigy with great potential."
Ten Powerful Ministers all strongly recommended those of the younger generation who had a relationship with them until their faces were red.
Qianshui Commandery Prince saw that Minister Ning was silent. He laughed and said, "Minister Ning, they all have someone in the younger generation to attend the Sword Technique Conference. The Ning family is also one of the top families of Qianshui Commandery, didn't you send a prodigy to participate?"
Minister Ning smiled and said, "There are a few natural prodigies among the younger generation of Ning indeed, but unfortunately they aren't comparable to Liu Xin, Qing Chibai, and Xun Guihai. I chose not to allow them to participate. It would have been shameful."
Minister Ning turned around and added, "However, I also recommend a prodigy to Your Majesty. He is neither a disciple of a Half-Saint nor a successor to the great forces. His cultivation is not of the Earth Realm, but he is still a top prodigy."
Qianshui Commandery Prince looked intrigued. He laughed and asked, "Minister Ning, to whom are you referring?"
"His name is Zhang Ruochen. He is the prince of an inferior commandery, Yunwu Commandery. He is 17-years old this year, and his martial cultivation is at the Medium State of the Black Realm..."
Minister Ning hadn't finished when Major General Gongsun Lin, who was sitting alongside him, laughed and said, "Too common, much too common. There are hundreds of prodigies like him in our Qianshui Commandery."
Minister Ning smiled and said, "Major General please listen to what I have to say, then you can tell me if he is too common. Zhang Ruochen activated his Sacred Mark at the age of 16, and he has been practicing for less than a year."
The smiles of the other nine ministers completely disappeared.
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