Chapter 178: Tianyue Tower
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
The Snowflake Eagle flew over towering mountains covered in trees. Unsure of how far they had flown, Zhang Ruochen stood up on the back of the eagle and finally glimpsed Devil Martial City beside a green lake.
Devil Martial City was constructed magnificently. Watchtowers and array towers protruded from the city walls, which were built from rows of stone blocks five meters in depth.
Once the wall's Defender Array was activated, it would shield Devil Martial City from harm even against a full assault from the savage beasts of Omen Ridge.
Entering Devil Martial City, they saw warriors dressed in differing varieties of clothes who hailed from all the major commanderies. These warriors had made their way to Omen Ridge from distant locales out of a thirst for adventure. They brought along treasures acquired during their adventures to sell in Devil Martial City, exchanging them for the resources they needed for their practice.
There was a 30 years old werewolf, bare-chested and covered from head to toe in fur. He carried a massive battle-axe and rode a Silver Dragon-lion, a second-level savage beast that swaggered down the broad street.
Behind the werewolf marched dozens of warrior servants whose cultivation had reached the Yellow Realm. They followed the werewolf from a respectful distance, gazing upon the half-man, half-wolf with awe.
A pair of young women entered through the city gates, identical twins with combat swords slung over their shoulders. They wore the robes of students from the Yuntai Suzerain, distinguished by the cloud-wisps embroidered on the collars.
They both led two colorful savage birds down the street. As Internal students of the Yuntai Suzerain, they seemed to attract the attention of numerous warriors.
Everyone was extremely respectful towards the disciples of the Yuntai Suzerain and gave way to them.
Entrepreneurs shouted from their stalls on both sides of the street, loudly promoting their own goods:
"I've got Spiritual Doses fresh from Broken Moon Peak! Only 500 silver coins each!"
"Behold, the Heaven Deficient Sword! A fourth-level Genuine Martial Arms with 15 inscriptions carved on the blade," a 50-year-old skinny man said, staring eagerly at Zhang Ruochen. "For just 35,000 silver coins, this can be yours! Come and take a look, young hero! If it's not the right blade for you, get it for your girlfriend!" He brandished the white-hued combat sword in his hand, giving Zhang Ruochen a hopeful look.
Zhang Ruochen snorted and shook his head. Tugging on the reigns of the Snowflake Eagle, he led Zi Qian and Blackie towards the Coliseum of the Martial Market.
The skinny man let out a long, disappointed sigh and continued loudly peddling his wares.
Zhang Ruochen suddenly heard two people yelling behind him.
Zhang Ruochen turned around and saw the far-off figures of Liu Chengfeng and Zhang Shaochu sprinting in his direction.
They had also come to Devil Martial City.
When Liu Chengfeng and Zhang Shaochu saw Zhang Ruochen's face, their joy and excitement quickened their steps.
"Elder brother, I thought you'd secluded yourself to break through into the Earth Realm! What are you doing here in Devil Martial City? If I hadn't spotted senior sister apprentice Zi by your side, I never would have believed my own eyes!" Liu Chengfeng said, laughing.
Liu Chengfeng's present martial cultivation was greatly improved. He had already reached the Advanced Stage of the Black Realm.
Zhang Shaochu, whose cultivation had also reached the Final State of the Black Realm, chuckled and said, "I told you it was my ninth brother. How could I fail to recognize him?"
Zhang Ruochen smiled. "Why are you two here?" he asked.
"The Fourth Prince and I came here to buy some Pills and pay my father a visit." Liu Chengfeng replied. "Once again, thank you so much for saving my father's life. He's been praising you to the moon and back; he even told me to learn from your example."
Liu Chengfeng's father, Liu Chuanshen, was once the Manager of the Martial Market Bank in Yunwu Commandery.
"It was no trouble at all," Zhang Ruochen said.
Liu Chengfeng was slightly surprised. "Elder brother, senior sister apprentice Zi; are you guys going to the Coliseum of the Martial Market?" he asked.
"She is," Zhang Ruochen replied. "She wanted to visit the Coliseum of the Martial Market and fight for a spot on the Profound Board. I'm just tagging along with her; I may buy some practice resources to bring back with me."
Zhang Shaochu's expression betrayed his disappointment. "Ninth brother," he said, "if you try for a spot on the Profound Board, I'm sure you'll get into the top 200 with your ability. It's such a pity you're not going to compete!"
"With elder brother's ability, he could get into the top 10 ranks on the Profound Board without breaking a sweat," Liu Chengfeng said with a chuckle.
Liu Chengfeng didn't actually believe Zhang Ruochen could make into the top 10 of the Profound Board. He said this just to display his goodwill.
Zhang Ruochen was currently the first ranked warrior on the Western Campus. As long as Liu Chengfeng stuck close to him, he could do as he pleased on the Western Campus without repercussions.
"Since elder brother and sister Zi are here in Devil Martial City, let's go grab a meal at Tianyue Tower!" Liu Chengfeng went on to say, "My treat!"
Zhang Shaochu's eyes twinkled with mirth. "The food at the Tianyue Tower is crazy expensive!" he pointed out. "It's said that the cost of one meal is expensive enough to bankrupt a warrior at the Initial Stage of the Black Realm. It seems you have money to burn today, Brother Liu."
"To treat elder brother and sister Zi to a meal is a pleasure worth every coin!" Liu Chengfeng said with a smile.
Generally speaking, warriors didn't need to eat ordinary food; they could satiate their bodies with Blood Pills alone.
However, the food at Tianyue Tower was far from ordinary.
Every ingredient in their meals was very expensive, greatly beneficial for warriors and impossible to enjoy anywhere else. Furthermore, the environment of Tianyue Tower was magnificent, containing a plethora of quiet gardens, luxury palaces, and flying Pavilions.
Many warriors had emptied their purses just to enjoy a nice meal and bottle of fine wine in Tianyue Tower.
Like Zhang Shaochu said, a single Tianyue Tower meal was costly enough to bankrupt an ordinary warrior. Therefore, most of the warriors who dined at Tianyue Tower were either Martial Arts superiors or geniuses from a powerful background.
"Tianyue Tower is no mere restaurant; it is one of the 12 Sixth-class Powers in Omen Ridge. The Mansion Master of Tianyue Tower is a particularly talented figure who attracts many Martial Arts superiors. There are even some martial arts legends from the Heaven Realm who work for Tianyue Tower."
Liu Chengfeng regaled Zhang Ruochen with the background of Tianyue Tower as they made their way there.
"Incredible! How could a simple restaurant become a Sixth-class Power? I wonder what the Mansion Master of the Tianyue Tower is like?" Zhang Ruochen thought.
To be classified as a Sixth-class Power in the Martial World, Tianyue Tower was definitively strong enough to contend with inferior Commandery such as Yunwu. Without a doubt, it was a powerful association.
"Hey, shopkeeper; are there any tables open at the Sky-approaching Pavilion?" Liu Chengfeng asked.
The shopkeeper of Tianyue Tower glanced over at Liu Chengfeng. He noticed he was wearing the robe of an external student from the School of the Martial Market and smiled. "There's one table left," he said with a chuckle, "however, you'll need to pay 4,000 silver coins in advance to dine at the Sky-approaching Pavilion."
Obviously, this was not Liu Chengfeng's first time dining at Tianyue Tower. He quickly took out four Spiritual Crystals and handed them to the shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper tucked away the four Spiritual Crystals and gave instructions to one of the armor-clad warriors. "Lead the mounts of these young heroes to the savage beast stables; make sure they're settled in."
After that, the shopkeeper handed four silver number tokens over to Liu Chengfeng. "With these numbered tokens, you can ride the Yellow Stage Flying Boat of Tianyue Tower to the Sky-approaching Pavilion," he said.
The Sky-approaching Pavilion was built by Tianyue Tower so that customers could dine while drifting through the skies of Devil Martial City. Since it floated 400 meters above the ground, restaurant guests needed to ride a flying boat up to the Sky-approaching Pavilion.
The restaurant guests boarded the Flying Boat of the Yellow Stage, an aerial vessel only a dozen or so meters long. It was a seventh-level Genuine Martial Arm directly controlled by a Martial Arts superior of the Earth Realm.
"With just 4,000 silver coins, we can be chauffeured around by a warrior of the Earth Realm. This is so worth it!" Zhang Shaochu said excitedly.
Zhang Ruochen rose to his feet aboard the Flying Boat of the Yellow Stage and looked up towards the Sky-approaching Pavilion floating in the sky.
It was a three-story loft of glass that drifted through the air, supported underneath by a giant array 100-meters in diameter.
From a distance, the Sky-approaching Pavilion seemed to be shrouded in a hazy mist. Cranes fluttered around the Pavilion as if it was the abode of immortal fairies.
They heard the faint sound of string and woodwind instruments echoing down from the Sky-approaching Pavilion, music as pleasing to the ears as the celestial melodies of heaven.
One could not deny the power and influence of Tianyue Tower. The Sky-approaching Pavilion alone was a ninth-level Genuine Martial Arm that could ferry hundreds of people in flight across the sky.
The Yellow Stage Flying Boat pulled up next to the stone stairs on the first level of the Sky-approaching Pavilion.
Liu Chengfeng, Zhang Ruochen, Zi Qian and Zhang Shaochu disembarked from the flying boat and walked up the stairs.
A pretty young lady in a palace outfit walked out and welcomed them to the Sky-approaching Pavilion. "My apologies, young heroes," she said, leading the four of them to an empty table. "We have a full house on the second and third floors. This is the only open dining table here on the first floor. Of course, meals here are half the price they would be on the second floor."
It became clear that higher status folks sat on the upper floors and spent more money.
Zhang Ruochen didn't seem to care. He took a seat near the window and scanned his surroundings, taking in the environment of the Sky-approaching Pavilion.
20 odd warriors were seated on the first floor, most of them youngsters. Some were dressed extravagantly, while some wore their Martial Arts robe uniforms. Every one of them looked lively. They were all Martial Arts masters; none of them had cultivated to a point below the Black Realm.
Eight beautiful young women wearing colorful, fluttering dresses danced in the center of the first floor. They had fair features, shapely bodies and snow-white skin. Their beauty was the stuff of fairy tales.
When Liu Chengfeng noticed Zhang Ruochen staring at the eight dancing beauties, he leaned in close. "They are called 'eating companions' and all of them are virgins," he whispered, "They were handpicked by the Martial Arts masters of Tianyue Tower from every city in the 36 commanderies. Each day Tianyue Tower selects eight unique beauties and offers them to the warriors as 'eating companions'."
"What do you mean by 'eating companion'?" Zhang Shaochu asked out of curiosity.
"Ha-ha! Obviously, it means they sleep with the warriors!" Liu Chengfeng said with a laugh. "What's the matter? Feeling tempted, Your Highness?"
The eight dancing women were all undoubtedly great beauties, carefully selected by the Tianyue Pavilion before being sent to the Devil Martial City. Naturally, Zhang Shaochu was completely captivated by these women; he even looked like he was going to drool.
Liu Chengfeng knew that by indulging Zhang Shaochu he could curry favor with Zhang Ruochen. "Later this evening," he went on to say, "the Sky-approaching Pavilion will auction off the 'first night' of all eight 'eating companions'. If you bid high enough, perhaps you could purchase one of them. Of course, the price for their first night is unbelievably high. If you don't have at least a couple hundred thousand silver coins, don't even think about claiming one of them."
When Zhang Shaochu heard Liu Chengfeng list the price, the blaze in his eyes flickered and died. "That's way too expensive!" he said.
Zhang Shaochu suddenly turned towards Zhang Ruochen. "Ninth brother." He pitifully moaned. "You have to help your Fourth Brother. I have neither queen nor concubine; how can you stand to see me spend the rest of my life alone...?"
Zhang Ruochen barely registered Zhang Shaochu's words. Staring off into the distance, he noticed two familiar silhouettes.
Far across the restaurant floor, Lin Chenyu and Lin Ningshan were drinking, laughing, and having fun with other external students from the Yuntai Suzerain. They seemed to be discussing several recent events.
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