Chapter 177: The Devil Martial City
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Being an elder brother wasn't easy, particularly when it came to giving welcoming gifts.
Zhang Ruochen smiled slightly. He took out the Wings of Wind and the Beast Bone Bow, giving them to Yao Qingtong and Zi Qian respectively.
Both The Wings of Wind and Beast Bone Bow were Yue Linchong's treasures.
Lu Han had killed Yue Linchong, and yet Zhang Ruochen was the one to loot these treasures from his corpse.
The Wings of Wind were worth 500 merit points, which equaled 500,000 silver coins; it was definitively a valuable treasure.
The Beast Bone Bow was made from the backbone of a Fourth-Class savage beast. This bow qualified as a sixth-level Genuine Martial Armament and was roughly equal in value to The Wings of Wind.
Since Zi Qian and Zhang Ruochen were close friends, she accepted the Beast Bone Bow without any formality.
Yao Qingtong looked shy in contrast. Zhang Ruochen's welcoming gift was so valuable in her eyes that she felt embarrassed to accept it.
Zi Qian pressed the Wings of Wind into Yao Qingtong's hands. "Junior sister apprentice Yao," she said, "don't be embarrassed on your elder brother's account. He's never short on minor cultivation resources like these."
"If that's so, Qingtong will accept this gift. Thank you, elder brother Zhang!" Yao Qingtong replied, clutching The Wings of Wind tightly in her arms.
With The Wings of Wind, she could easily escape from any run-ins with warriors of the Earth Realm.
Zhang Ruochen stared at Zi Qian and smiled. He didn't see the Wings of Wind or Beast Bone Bow as valuable treasures.
Time flew by. Zi Qian and Yao stayed at Dragon Martial Temple for a whole month.
While one month passed for people on the outside, three months passed for Zhang Ruochen.
Zhang Ruochen spent most of those three months in seclusion refining. He'd refined 15 Three Leaf Holy Clovers, bringing his martial cultivation to the peak of the Completion of the Black Realm.
His Qi Lake was chock-full of Pure Jade Genuine Qi. If he stopped breaking through into new realms, his Genuine Qi capacity would never grow any further.
The Qi Lake between his glabellas had grown incomparably massive--as massive as a real lake. His Genuine Qi surged within this boundless ocean.
"Although my Genuine Qi capacity has reached the pinnacle of the Black Realm, I must continue refining my Genuine Qi to enhance its purity."
Zhang Ruochen could now dash at speeds of up to 79 meters per second--his fastest record yet.
"If I want to break through into the Ultimate Realm of the Black Realm, I'll need to focus on two aspects in order to succeed. First, I must refine my Genuine Qi and physical body. Second, I must successfully master Shadow of the Royal Wind Dragon."
Zhang Ruochen estimated that if he successfully mastered Shadow of the Royal Wind Dragon, his top speed would increase to 80 meters per second.
If he could enhance his body's physical quality while purifying Genuine Qi at the same time, he had a fairly high chance of breaking through into the Ultimate Realm of the Black Realm.
Zhang Ruochen took time out from his practice to participate in a quarterly assessment two weeks ago. To no one's surprise, he became the No. 1 student on Western Campus.
From now on he would receive 10 drops of Half-Saint's Essence every quarter. This was one of the benefits of the No. 1s of four campuses enjoyed.
As before, Zhang Ruochen entered Divine Power Palace on a monthly basis to practice his Spiritual Power. However, this did not significantly enhance his abilities.
It seemed that he had reached a bottleneck that made it hard to elevate his strength further. For the time being, he would need to keep accumulating experiences and refinements in order to build a solid foundation for his skills. Once he broke through into new realms, his power would be like a dragon surfacing from the deep sea and ascending to the heavens.
During this period of time, he also practiced with the Master-Verifying and defensive Inscriptions of Space.
The defensive Inscription of Space was divided into three main categories--The Incription of Shield-shapes", The Inscription of Enclosure-shapes, and "Inscription of Formation-shapes". These inscription types could be continuously divided into dozens of different sub-categories.
Once Zhang Ruochen successfully engraved these inscriptions, his Spatial Ring would serve both as a storage Ring and a defensive Genuine Martial Arms.
Zhang Ruochen spent a whole month practicing inside his Time and Space Spinel. After using up hundreds-no, thousands of Spiritual Papers, he finally managed to engrave the Master-Verifying Inscription of Space.
With another day's work, Zhang Ruochen engraved both the eight fundamental Inscriptions of Space and the Master-Verifying Inscription of Space onto his storage bracelet, refining a brand new spatial storage treasure.
Zhang Ruochen let a drop of his blood drip onto the surface of the storage bracelet.
The blood drop flashed with light. The Master-Verifying Inscription of Space absorbed Zhang Ruochen's blood and turned into a thin, ruby-red line.
The master verification was successful.
From now on, no one but Zhang Ruochen would be able to open the storage bracelet, even if they stole it from him.
"After adding the Master-Verifying Inscription, the value of my space storage bracelet has doubled at least." With a satisfied look on his face, Zhang Ruochen continued to practice with his Warding Inscriptions.
After completing Intermediate Relic Exploration Test, Zhang Ruochen went through a year's worth of practice in the Time and Space Spinel over the course of four months.
During this year he made significant improvements. Though he could only increase his speed to 79 meters per second in short bursts, he had greatly increased his fighting force and learned to use the Genuine Qi in his body more precisely.
One day, Zi Qian came to Heaven No.1 in search of Zhang Ruochen. "Elder brother," she said, "I'm heading to Coliseum of the Martial Market in Devil Martial City to challenge Warriors of Division Profound. Want to join me?"
"Devil Martial City..."
Zhang Ruochen was already planning to visit Devil Martial City in order to look for a brilliant weapon refiner that could fix his broken Abyss Ancient Sword.
The Abyss Ancient Sword was an 800-year-old weapon gifted to him by Princess Chi Yao. Though the sword was broken, Zhang Ruochen wanted to continue using it so he could access the inscriptions carved on the blade.
He would be able to perform the most exquisite sword techniques using the Abyss Ancient Sword.
He couldn't find any capable weapon refiners in Yunwu Prefecture, so he hoped to have better luck in Devil Martial City.
Devil Martial City was the largest city among the 36 prefectures of Omen Ridge, a community filled with secretive, hidden masters. Perhaps there would be some weapon refiners among them who could fix his valuable sword.
Zhang Ruochen and Zi Qian rode the Snowflake Eagle, a Third-Class lower level savage bird. They left Western Campus and flew towards Devil Martial City.
The Snowflake Eagle's strength was comparable to a warrior at Mid Stage of the Earth Realm. When it spread its wings, the Eagle had a wingspan more than 20 meters long, its feathers shiny and white as snow. At its fastest speed, it could reach up to 90 meters per second.
Zhang Ruochen hadn't purchased this Snowflake Eagle from the School of the Martial Market with his merit points: Blackie himself had subdued this savage beast in the midst of Omen Ridge.
Blackie's ability had greatly increased in step with Zhang Ruochen's cultivation. When he entered his war form, his body would grow as large as a brute elephant. Even a warrior at the Advanced Stage of the Earth Realm could not match him.
Currently, Blackie had shrunk to a fist-sized lump resting on Zhang Ruochen's shoulder. He was burying his nose in a book about inscriptions for refining weapons.
Blackie closed the book, stood up straight and raised his head high. "Zhang Ruochen, could I trouble you to pass me your broken sword? I might be able to fix it for you!" he said, completely serious in tone.
"You know weapon refinement?" Zhang Ruochen asked.
"Am I not the King of Slaughter? Nothing lies beyond my grasp!"
Zhang Ruochen fell into deep thought. After a time, he took out the four-foot broken sword and handed it to Blackie.
Blackie's round eyes glittered as he caught a glimpse of the Abyss Ancient Sword.
Wrapping their claws around the sword handle, Blackie jumped off Zhang Ruochen's shoulder and landed on the Snowflake Eagle's back.
Blackie raised the Abyss Ancient Sword and swung it around, sending wisps of Sword Breath flying up towards the sky as he let out a mighty roar.
Blackie had attained some surprisingly high-level sword techniques.
"My word, Zhang Ruochen! This sword is quite remarkable!"
Blackie stopped flailing around and brandished the heavy sword with his two claws. "Not only are there fundamental inscriptions carved on this sword," he said, "but also inscriptions of medium stage and superior level. I fear you'll need a fifth-level weapon refiner at the minimum to re-infuse these particular inscription carvings! For that matter, you'll only be able to access the fundamental and medium stage inscriptions; the superior level inscription is right out!"
Even though an inscription had been etched onto the ninth-level Genuine Martial Arms, it was merely an elementary inscription. There were no medium level inscriptions.
Only soldiers who had surpassed the need for Genuine Martial Arms could possess medium and superior level inscriptions.
"So, can you infuse it?" Zhang Ruochen asked.
"I can certainly try." Blackie replied. "With my current strength, I can only recharge 66 of the fundamental inscriptions on this sword." Once these 66 fundamental inscriptions have been restored, the power of this broken sword should be equal to a Ninth-Class Genuine Martial Arms."
Zi Qian, listening off to the side, was taken aback by Blackie's words. "Could this broken sword really match a Ninth-Level Genuine Martial Arms?" she asked.
Every ninth-level Genuine Martial Arms was worth more than 10 million silver coins. There were but three of these items in the whole of Yunwu Prefecture--two of them belonged to the Royal Family, to be assigned to their soldiers defending the country.
Most martial arts legends in the Heaven Realm used seventh-level Genuine Martial Arms. Only a select few owned ninth-level Genuine Martial Arms.
Blackie stared at Zi Qian. "It's merely a ninth-level Genuine Martial Arms," he said disdainfully. "Why raise such a fuss?"
Zhang Ruochen had become very anxious about finding other master weapon refiners. If Blackie could fix the Abyss Ancient Sword by himself, that would be a great help.
For the time being, Zhang Ruochen handed the Abyss Ancient Sword to Blackie, trusting that he would return the sword after fixing it.
Although Zhang Ruochen had solved his sword problem, he still wanted to visit Devil Martial City.
Devil Martial City was built on the lofty mountain peaks of Omen Ridge. No country laid claim to it, as it was a city built by a multitude of Suzerains, associations and powerful figures.
Devil Martial City was originally constructed by the movers and shakers of Omen Ridge as a trading center for warriors.
Afterward, the 36 Prefectures rose to prominence and trained up more and more warriors, which led to an endless series of super Suzerains appearing around Omen Ridge.
All the warriors from different commanderies joined the Martial Market School while still paying respect to their Suzerains. This arrangement transformed a mere frontier trading outpost into a bustling center of commerce. Over time, the outpost gradually expanded into a proper city.
Besides the School of the Martial Market, there were two Fourth-Class Powers, five Fifth-Class Powers, 12 Sixth-Class Powers and 36 Seventh-Class Powers in the Omen Ridge region.
If there were any Heaven realm martial arts legends among these factions and powers, they were probably only "Seventh-Class powers" at best.
As for the inferior commanderies like Yunwu Commandery, they could be classified as "Sixth-Class Powers". Medium level commanderies like Square Commandery were more or less "Fifth-Class Powers".
These commanderies needed the power of Half-Saint leadership to at least be count as "Fourth-Class Powers".
Despite the power held by the School of the Martial Market, they weren't strong enough to rule Omen Ridge themselves. There were two Fourth-Class Powers with the strength that rivaled the School.
These two Fourth-Class Powers were Yuntai Suzerain and Tai Qing Palace.
The School of the Martial Market, Yuntai Suzerain, and Tai Qing Palace comprised the three most powerful parties in Omen Ridge. Except for these groups, only organizations that hid in the dark could challenge them were organizations like Black Market and Moon Worship Demonic Sect.
The Internal School of the Martial Market was built in Devil Martial City. Once warriors became inner disciples there, they were allowed to bring their family to Devil Martial City and become citizens.
Moreover, Yuntai Suzerain and Tai Qing Palace had also established themselves in Devil Martial City, giving rise to a three-way power struggle between them and the School of the Martial Market.
Since Devil Martial City was full of many hidden masters, Young Geniuses would periodically emerge from the new generations of the populace. This city was the premier location for warriors from all 36 commanderies to meet.
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