Chapter 448: Martial Tea Gathering Begins
Translator: Swammped Editor: Hitesh_
Ye Chen and Murong Qingcheng arrived neither late nor early. After having rested for a day, the Tea Gathering was to begin the third day.
The morning in Thunder City was different than usual. There was a thin layer of fog with a hint of blue. It wasn't the fog that was unusual, but the buildings in the Thunder City. The constructions in the city weren't made with ordinary materials, but a unique thunder-grained stone which had a thunder efficacy. With the passage of time, the stone would involuntarily emit a faint blue radiance. The radiance couldn't be seen with naked eye, and was only reflected by the fog in the morning or evening, giving a blue color to the fog.
But, the fog didn't affect people's enthusiasm at all. With the first ray of light falling down, the whole city seemed to come alive, exploding with an astonishing vitality. If one were to raise his or her head, regardless of how sluggish one was, they could see the clouds morphing and winds rumbling.
The Biennial Tea Gathering could even be regarded as the event where numerous young elites sought to prove their worth. Being a tyrant in one's local area meant nothing. Only by establishing one's supremacy on the grand stage concerning the whole of the southern sector would one be able to prove their worth. Who knew how many individuals had strived for the sake of this year's Tea Gathering. Gaining fame here would mean gaining fame in the entire Southern Sector.
The Tea Gathering was finally about to begin. Apart from a few individuals, everybody felt excited and nervous. The desire for battle which had been suppressed until now could no longer be suppressed, breaking free and soaring into the heavens.
Countless battle intents interweaved in the sky above Thunder City, giving people a feeling as if dragons were dancing in the air and the world's color had changed.
But, this fiery atmosphere had no effect on Ye Chen and Murong Qingcheng. The two walked down the stairs to eat breakfast and drink their morning tea. It seemed as if it wasn't the beginning of the Martial Tea Gathering, but an ordinary tea gathering.
Sitting by the window, Ye Chen raised his head. In his gaze, the sky hadn't changed at all; it was still filled with clouds and winds. However, relying on the dragon Qi within his body, he could feel Qi of three other true dragons. Adding his own dragon Qi on top, there were total of four true dragons. The former three ought to represent Thunder Princess, Edict Prince, and Astral Spirit son.
"Four true dragons and seven-eight false dragons that resemble true dragons, dozens of serpent dragons, and hundreds of great serpents that could transform into dragon serpents... The entirety of Thunder City can be regarded as nest of dancing dragons."
In the nearby restaurant, Yan Chihou uttered rare words of encouragement for Li Daoxuan as well as for himself. "Work hard, and don't lose face for our South Rudra Region."
"Yeah, we both have to work hard."
Taking in deep breaths, the two walked out of the restaurant side by side.
The moment they walked out of the restaurant, they knew that they would not only fight for themselves, but also for the entirety of South Rudra Region. The invisible pressure was enough to suffocate them, but not enough to make them afraid. Regardless of how much talent one had, they believed that one would only become stronger the more they fought, and the stronger they became, the more they would fight.
Never had there been a time when they had thirsted for battle this much.
At the southern outskirts of the city, a youngster walked out of the mist.
"Thunder City, I, Tuo Baku, have arrived!"
The splendid youngster was precisely the mysterious Tuo Baku- the belligerent youngster was late again. This time, there was no expert to bring him, so he could only hasten over several nights in a row and run for his life. Fortunately, it was different from before. His speed had greatly increased, allowing him to arrive at the last moment before the Tea Gathering began.
He spread his arms wide; his valiant aura even influencing the situation up in the sky. There had been four true dragons contending against each other, and there were still four dragons now. However, among the four dragons was now another false dragon, which was exceptionally powerful
"Eh, another expert has arrived."
Outside a restaurant, an elegant youngster in seven-starred robe and with an exceptionally refined appearance raised his head and said. By his side stood a beautiful shadow. It was an exceptionally beautiful young woman, not overshadowed by standing at the side of elegant youngster at all.
"Eldest Senior Brother, which expert could be worthy of your attention?"
Behind the individuals was a group of people. It was someone from the group who spoke.
The elegant youngster shook his head, "Although it's not a true dragon, it's not someone to be underestimated. He or she could turn into a real dragon at any moment."
"If the Eldest Senior Brother says so...!"
The group seemed to admire the elegant youngster to the extreme. The Eldest Senior Brother they spoke to was none other than one of the five great geniuses of South Rudra Region, Edict Prince. In terms of strength, he was considered as the number one of the southern sector for the majority. Of course, there were many who believed that Thunder Princess or Astral Spirit son were the real number one. However, in any case, he was the leading figure of the southern sector's leading figures. Despite that, he didn't have a shred of arrogance. One couldn't help but admire him.
"You Xin, let's go!" Edict Prince said to the beautiful woman, who nodded her head.
They had merely taken a step when the Edict Prince raised his head again with somewhat of a dumbfounded face. The four true dragons were vividly separated and between them were nine false dragons. However, at this moment, another towering false dragon appeared.
In a few breaths, two false dragons had appeared out of nowhere.
"Ye Fourth, you seem to be somewhat excited."
At the western outskirts of Thunder City, three figures stood there. The youngster that seemed to have a godly gaze said indifferently, "Not really. Let's go on."
The figure to his left curled his lips and spoke, "Even without you telling, we know that you have some sort of relationship with that Ye Chen. It's quite likely that he will appear during this time's Tea Gathering. But now that you have trained under Master for these past two years, things will be completely different."
"Don't babble whatever you want. He is not that simple.;"
"Hehe... Alright, I won't speak much. Though, I really hope he attends the Tea Gathering. I and sixth really want to see whether he is as powerful as you say, or if he has lost his splendor these past years and turned into a falling star."
The youngster in the lead no longer spoke as he stepped inside the city gate.
"Alright, let's go to Glory Garden," Ye Chen stood up and suddenly said, "You don't need to suppress yourself either. There aren't many in the sky like your false dragon."
Murong Qingcheng shook her head, "A false dragon is a false dragon in the end, and I'm different from you."
Ye Chen glanced at her. He was mysterious in her eyes, so how could she not be mysterious in his?
He had a feeling that Murong Qingcheng was nowhere as simple as she seemed. Even if she didn't have a demonic will, even if she hadn't improved, she was still not a simple character. She simply didn't like to show off at all.
Perhaps, there might be some reason for that!
The moment Ye Chen walked out of the restaurant, the sun rose in the horizon. Coincidentally or not, the dawn's first ray fell on his body, illuminating and making him seem otherworldly. The restaurant's owner and assistant gaped at his leaving figure, unable to take their sights off him.
Glory Garden was the number one garden of Thunder City.
Its total area was four thousand and five hundred hectares. It was so vast that it didn't fall behind an entire small city. The venue for the Martial Tea Gathering was precisely this garden.
Outside the garden, a group of Astral Reaching experts stood guard. To the right of the entrance were two power testing pillars. On each pillar were ten rows of crystal stones, and each row consisted of ten crystal stones. Pasted underneath the crystal stones was a thin crystal sheet.
To enter the garden, one must possess the required qualifications. These qualifications didn't stem from fame, but one's own strength. Although surveying strength within a short time interval was an extremely hard task, power testing pillars certainly made the job easier. After all, although there wasn't a direct relationship between strength and offensive power, if one's offense wasn't strong, how powerful could they really be? A truly powerful person couldn't be lacking in any aspect.
"What's the standard for qualification?" A youngster asked.
An Astral Reaching expert guarding the entrance spoke, "Seventy eight or above, seventy eight included."
Hearing these words, the youngster sucked in a breath of cold air. What kind of a joke was this? Seventy eight or higher? The qualifications for the last Tea Gathering were not this high at all.
This was not their first time in contact with power testing pillars. The crystal stones on the pillar represented a numerical value. The first and second row represented the offensive power of Mortal Realm; third and fourth represented Condensing Reality Realm; fifth and sixth row represented Clasping Yuan realm; seventh and eighth row represented Astral Reaching realm, and the ninth and tenth row represented Sea of Soul realm. To light seventy eight crystals meant to light all ten crystals of the seventh row, as well as eight of the eighth row, which would leave only two lacking from the peak of Astral Reaching realm. This criterion was too harsh, immediately creating a lot of dissatisfaction.
One of the Astral Reaching expert guarding the door sneered, "If you can't reach seventy eight, I advise you to head back. This is the Martial Tea Gathering, the most prestigious gathering of talents across the whole southern sector. It's not something anyone can walk in. And, even if you do go in, you'll only bring humiliation upon yourself. Why even bother?"
"Let me have a try!"
The youngster who asked the first question gnashed his teeth and circulated his Zhen Yuan to peak, then punched the crystal sheet while deploying his most powerful martial skill.
The pillar didn't budge, but the crystal stones on it rapidly lightened up. First row, second row... seventh row, eighth row- one stone, two stones... six stones.
At the sixth stone of the eighth row, the crystal stones stopped lighting up.
"Damn it! Let me try again."
The youngster was bleeding at the corner of his mouth. He had come to Thunder City with great difficulty. If he couldn't even participate in Tea Gathering, not only would he be left with a big scar, he would be ridiculed to no end upon his return; it was now or never for him. He didn't believe he couldn't even achieve the score of seventy eight here.
There were three opportunities for every challenger. So, the guarding Astral Reaching experts did nothing to stop him.
The lights again went up, a bit more swiftly and violently this time. At the eight row's seventh light, his power still seemed to be faintly surviving. It then reached the eighth stone, lighting it up ever so slightly, but lighting it nevertheless.
The youngster looked towards the guard with eyes filled with expectation.
The guard glanced at him, and as if he couldn't bear the latter's gaze, saying, "Go in!"
The youngster faced the sky and spread out his arms. The excitement he felt couldn't be described with words. Perhaps he would only be a passerby here, not even a supporting character. But, simply attending the gathering was an honor in itself, an honor that nobody could take away from him.
Following that, other aspirants stepped forward to take the test one by one.
The criterion of seventy eight stones was too high, and left many youngsters in despair. Even when many exhibited much more power compared to usual, they had no chance. On the other hand, some easily lightened up seventy-eight or even seventy nine lights, and headed inside. Many failing youngsters wiped their tears away when nobody seemed to be looking. On the other hand, many youngsters who succeeded seemed extremely excited, while others went in as if they had come for a stroll. All sorts of emotions were flying through.
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