AST 2074 - A serving girl to warm the bed, Phoenix City
Azure Rainbow City had been restored and Yu Xixuan was back. She was visibly surprised by the sight of Qing Shui and Shen Huang. Qing Shui had left her a letter previously, informing that he was going to take a trip and would be gone for a month or so. For that reason, she hadn’t expected him to be back this soon.
Qing Shui didn't mention his destination at the time, neither did he tell her who he would be traveling with. Now the sight of Shen Huang left her stunned. She had seen Shen Huang once and was shocked by her beauty. While she was a beauty herself, she felt inferior when compared with Shen Huang. She felt jealous; there wasn’t anyone who had made her feel inferior before.
"Back so soon? By the time I saw your letter, you were already gone. Did something happen?" Yu Xixuan asked Qing Shui with concern lacing her words.
"It's nothing. I went out to look for a medicinal herb and found it." Qing Shui took a glance at Shen Huang, knowing that she didn't want to explain her own situation, so he chose to spin another reason for his departure.
Yu Xixuan didn’t probe any further. "Well, all’s well as long as you’re back.”
"This lady is beautiful." Yu Xixuan shifted her gaze towards Shen Huang.
"You are Xixuan, right? You are very beautiful yourself." There wasn’t much content between the two ladies’ conversation. At least, to Qing Shui, there wasn’t much about the compliments they exchanged. After all, there was never a doubt about either of their beauty, so was there really a need for their compliments…?
The friendship between women was wonderful and often incapable of being explained by reason. It was unexplainable to Qing Shui, the way these two ladies could interact as though they were long lost sisters after just a few words.
Qing Shui became insignificant. Shen Huang and Yu Xixuan were both graceful ladies. However, there was a distinction between them; Yu Xixuan possessed a type of inner beauty, sophisticated and mature in comparison. After all, she had to interact with all types of characters as an inn owner, while Shen Huang was the master of a sect, there were others who handled matters on her behalf, coupled with her personality; she was more passive in terms of communication with others.
That said, upon their return, Qing Shui noticed a change in Shen Huang. Qing Shui didn’t think the woman would have warmed up to Yu Xixuan this quickly. It seemed as though her personality had changed too. This was a good thing; it was good for her to gain more friends. This way, she wouldn’t feel lonely.
"Qing Shui, why don’t you cook something and the three of us can have a drink together? The New Year’s celebration hasn’t ended yet." Yu Xixuan asked Qing Shui while busying herself with her conversation with Shen Huang.
There was nothing Qing Shui could do but prepare the dishes in the kitchen, and then came back out with some wine.
"This wine is still the best. Qing Shui, I’m afraid I’d die if you disappear in future. Why don’t you let me follow you? At least I’ll be well fed." Yu Xixuan spoke up as she was enjoying their meal with a sip of wine and another bite of the delicious meal.
Qing Shui chuckled. He said, "What a coincidence. I happen to be in need of a serving girl to warm the bed."
"Go to hell, like I’d be a serving girl to warm your bed." Yu Xixuan said with a snort and glared at Qing Shui.
"Then, I guess it can’t be done. I have both wives and children, just lacking a serving girl," Qing Shui replied with a frown.
"Alright, Princess, we are in collaboration now. You promised that we would expand our inn across the continent." There was a shift in Yu Xixuan’s expression.
Qing Shui smiled. "Of course, that will definitely become a reality."
"Oh, that’s right. I got a manor in Northern Blue City. Oh—no, not yet. There was an influential person who wanted to consult with you regarding his illness but found me instead. He said that if you could treat him, the manor would be mine.” Yu Xixuan spoke up after some thought. “What do you think? Should we expand this inn and your Imperial Cuisine Hall into Northern Blue City?"
"If there is a patient in need of treatment, then treating them goes without saying. Get his details and information for me. This way, I’ll be able to determine how much to charge for his medical fees," Qing Shui responded with a smile.
"That’s not a problem. They’ll probably need some time to get here for their consultation."
The three of them stopped at the Imperial Cuisine Hall for a day before Qing Shui accompanied Shen Huang to Phoenix City. Qing Shui had no idea where Phoenix City was and was shocked when he took a look at the map. Phoenix City was actually the second biggest city in the Northern Blue Domain, situated next to Northern Blue City.
Yu Xixuan stayed behind to take care of the inn and the Imperial Cuisine Hall while she was at it.
On the other hand, Qing Shui brought Shen Huang along with his Nine Continents Steps. They were still far from Phoenix City, but if they maximized the full distance of his Nine Continents Steps each time, they could still arrive at their destination quickly. After all, the Nine Continents Steps could cover more than a million miles with each step and could be used more than dozens of times a day. That was enough to cover the entire Northern Blue Domain.
The contour of Phoenix City looked like a soaring phoenix on the map. There was a huge mountain named Phoenix Mountain, and it was the largest within the Northern Blue Domain. Legend said that a phoenix did make an appearance there, and Phoenix City was also named after the Phoenix Mountain.
Losing count of the number of Nine Continents Steps they took, they appeared at the foot of Phoenix Mountain.
Qing Shui halted his steps. Here they were, at the Phoenix Mountain, and Shen Huang’s force was established at the Phoenix Mountain Peak. The guild's name was Phoenix, and Shen Huang's name was likewise called Phoenix.
Phoenix Mountain was too big, and the location of the mountain peak where the Phoenix Guild was located was also a distance away. It was strange scenery on the Phoenix mountain, with sycamore littering a mass of the space. Many of them were at towering heights, giving an illusion that it could truly house a phoenix.
"This is the Phoenix Mountain. According to legends and myths, there used to be a large number of phoenixes here. Phoenix Paradise, as they called it, like raging fire. Even now, you could see a tint of red on this mountain. See, these rocks are reddish. Only sycamores can survive here, and no other plants are able to live for long."
“Will your guild leave this area?” Qing Shui questioned as he pondered.
"No." Shen Huang flashed a smile at Qing Shui.
"Oh, I understand. Can you tell me if you’ll be able to defeat me at your current stage?" Qing Shui asked.
"I don't know, but I suppose I may be able to." Shen Huang answered with uncertainty.
Qing Shui touched the tip of his nose. He had his set of undisclosed strengths but so did the woman and she was a lot stronger than him in terms of pure strength. How much stronger, he didn’t know. Her aura was tremendous; it was an unfathomable feeling. In addition, there was the Divine Flower Inheritance to account for and the Divine Rainbow Dragon...
Qing Shui knew that it was truly a possibility that he might not be able to defeat her. In fact, his current strength was likely not a threat to her.
"Cough cough. Goddess, how pressuring." Qing Shui muttered under his breath.
“What are you muttering about?” Shen Huang asked. In reality, she already had an inkling about Qing Shui’s thoughts. With her ability, she could feel other people's thoughts in less than a breath’s time, but this amount of time was enough to kill off a number of opponents in combat.
This ability of hers was exactly for the needs of combat. Even if one knew about her ability, it couldn’t be defended against because it was too difficult to keep one’s mind as a completely blank canvas. Hence, even if her opponent knew of this ability, there was no way to counter it.
This ability could help to avoid the opponent’s killing technique. At the same time, the opponents would be unable to dodge her attacks. It was terrifying and strong; it made her capable of finishing a battle with just one move.
"I was wondering if we are in a relationship now," Qing Shui snickered.
"What relationship?" Recalling their kiss, and even being kissed and fondled on other parts of her body; Shen Huang's face grew tinted red.