The passenger liner broke through the winds and the waves, creating snow white water droplets which flew high into the air and sparkled under the sunlight like silver beads, causing Zhang Tie to slightly narrow his eyes as he was standing on the deck of the second floor and gazing at the sea in the front.
Today was Monday, December 5th, the day when Zhang Tie was going to register at Hidden Dragon Palace.
It was a good day today. Thinking of when he was attending the beer festival in Blapei last month and was heading for his new life on the sea at this moment, Zhang Tie couldn't help but sigh the miracle of fate.
Thinking of those affairs, a girl with black eyes reappeared in Zhang Tie's mind——Pandora! Before he left Kalur, this was the very name that Zhang Tie concerned the most.
Pandora's family had suddenly left Blackhot City. Nobody knew where she had gone. It seemed as though she was never there in the first place. She was like a drop of water jumping and falling back into the sea without warning. She disappeared, leaving no signal at all. Even her neighbors didn't know when they had moved away.
Alice's family also left Blackhot City. When they left there, Alice left a letter and told Barley to hand it to Zhang Tie——Alice's father took her and her mother to Nordinburg, the capital city on the North Border of the Norman Empire.
Beverly worked as a nurse at a hospital in Blackhot City. The girls of Rose Association also lived their own lives like before. That absurd affair seemed having been a distant memory.
The former City Guard Army of Blackhot City had completely disbanded. The No. 39 Division that defended Blackhot City had started the official expansion of its establishment. Most of his partners and friends at school had joined the army. Only a few of them didn't pass the physical examination for joining the army.
Fatty Barley didn't pass the physical examination due to his asthma. Sharwin didn't pass because he was too weak to reach the minimum standard to be a new recruit of the Norman Empire. The other one left was Potter——the juvenile who was cheated into being a fire holder in the mining cave because of his flatfoot.
Compared to that of the former Andaman Alliance, the conditions for joining the army of the Norman Empire became much stricter.
Zhang Tie had always been sorry for Potter. Only Potter was digging in the mines when the others of the Gods Bliss Association had joined the army when Zhang Tie left the Blackhot City. He was still trying to improve the "Big Bliss Skill" through mining. Besides expecting for Potter to give it up by himself and letting Barley take care of him when necessary, Zhang Tie had no other ideas to aid him. Facing the weak Potter's eyes which were as firm as fire, Zhang Tie couldn't even stand to tell him that as a joke.
"Argh, look, dolphins..."
Hearing the surprise, Zhang Tie was instantly drawn back into the reality. Zhang Tie then shook his head and drove everything about Blackhot City out of his mind. What counted most now was to improve his own strength. If he had strength, it would be no problem for him to bring everybody that he knew in Blackhot City along with his family member to the East Continent when the holy war between human and demons started. However, for the time being, he was just a tiny shrimp in the torrents of destiny, who could only jump at the bottom of the water and could not even see the direction ahead.
On the sea in the distance, some dolphins were jumping out of the sea and played alongside the steamer. Zhang Tie looked back and five more people were standing beside him on the deck.
Three of them were male, while two were female. They were all older than Zhang Tie and carried weapons. The three males all had tiger-like shoulders and bear-like waists. The moment Zhang Tie caught sight of them, he knew that they were warriors. One of the two females was over 30 years old while the other one was 17-18 years old. The older women had a slim waist and thrusting breasts while still looking valiant and heroic. Although looking a bit experienced, she was still very enchanting and as mature as a ripe honey peach. The younger lady had almond-like eyes, peachy cheeks and a pair of long legs. She also looked very beautiful. Although being younger, she was taller than that 30-odd-year-old woman.
The exclamation just now was from this young lady. She was looking at the dolphins in the distance and clapped her hands out of excitement.
"Even now sister Fu likes dolphins so much, why not let junior brother Yu catch two for you after you've advanced to level 6 and form battle qi. I think once you make a request, junior brother Yu will never refuse no matter what trouble he will encounter. Right, younger brother Yu?" The 30-odd-year-old woman casually joked.
"Senior sister Fang, don't tease me!" The 17-18 old girl stomped her feet as she sneered at the man who was most handsome among the three male.
The male looked even more bashful than the woman as his face had already blushed the moment he heard the joke. He then stuttered, "If...if junior sister...Fu likes it, we can go see the dol...dolphins!"
Junior sister Fu...junior brother...senior sister...Hearing those official appellations with Chinese features, Zhang Tie could almost guess their status. They must belong to a certain Chinese sect as was usually mentioned by Donder.
A Chinese sect was a fresh concept for Zhang Tie. In his mind, a sect was an organization that was a melting pot that had clans, business groups, academies, churches, guilds, and even an army. It was a group that was tied together through similar interests and personal attachments.
A sect was rarely seen in other places except for Chinese countries. Zhang Tie had not heard about any sects in the Andaman Alliance. Although he had seen many churches, academies, fighting clubs and various secret teams even the relations between teachers and apprentices, he knew they were all scattered traditional inheritance systems.
In Hebrew-spoken areas, sects were most close to schools. Compared to schools, the greatest difference between sects and schools was that all the sects were involved with beliefs and idolatry, yet beliefs or idolatry might or might not exist in schools. Schools were more flexible on management. Sects focused on belief yet schools focused on secret knowledge. They all had their own features.
Because it was his first time to contact the people in a certain sect, Zhang Tie kept enjoying the scene as he paid attention to their chat. Seeing Zhang Tie was just a 15-16-year-old juvenile, they didn't care about him either as they started to chat for free.
Their topics soon shifted to their target on this trip from "junior sister Fu" and "junior brother Yu".
"It's too expensive. It takes each of us 15 silver coins for only several hours of travel on the sea. This is no different than robbery. In other places, it might not take 5 silver coins for even one day's trip on the sea!" A person complained.
"Junior brother Feng, no more complaints about that. As it's the first time for you and Junior brother Yu to come out to form battle qi, there are things you don't know. If you were in other places in Jinyun Country, you might not able to enter the underground world even if you spent 10 times the amount. Recently, five entrances towards the underground world have been discovered in Jinyun Country. Besides this one on Hidden Dragon Island where you could enter for free, three of the others have been occupied by the big clans of Jinyun Country and you're not allowed in unless you pay 5 gold coins each time. The last entrance is in the Yangui Mountain Range. That entrance was over 1000 km away from Yangui City. You can also access their at your will; however, besides a few great fighters, nobody could arrive there."
"Senior brother An, you mean Huaiyuan Palace has done a good thing?" Junior brother Feng questioned.
"Heh heh, the Zhang clan of Huaiyuan Palace is so rich that it occupies 8 cities and enjoys the benefit by being adjacent to the sea. Even if the gold coins gained from trades between east continent and west continent were many times more than the benefits gained through this entrance to the underground world. This Hidden Dragon Island is far away from the coast. It's wiser to open it to us than building a new city and dispatching soldiers here for a good reputation. Additionally, people will gain various useful items by hunting magical beasts in the underground world which will be inconvenient to take away. Therefore, most of them will choose to trade the items directly on Hidden Dragon Island, which will definitely bring great benefit to the Changfeng Business Group under the affiliation of Huaiyuan Palace!" Senior brother An explained.
"That's really shrewd!" Junior brother Yu sighed.
"It doesn't only rely on fortune for Huaiyuan Palace to reach such a scale. Based on their means, of course, they will carry out their plan very well so that they could gain others' praise and benefit others." senior sister Fang answered.
"Senior sister Fang, I heard the magical beasts in the underground world are very large and fierce. Even the black spider of the lowest level is as big as an ox."
"Don't worry, junior sister Fu. Although those black spiders are very fierce, your senior brother An and I have encountered them before. This time, it won't be difficult for us to deal with those black spiders at all. Your senior brother An and I will definitely help you three form wind-breaking battle qi safe and sound. We will not start advancing to level 7 until you three reach level 6. By then, you can just stand aside and observe what it's like to assail to level 7 from us.
Hearing this, Zhang Tie turned back and prepared to leave the deck. At the same time, a glimpse of a land could be seen from afar. Looking at the passenger liner driving towards that big island. Zhang Tie knew that must be Hidden Dragon island.
The moment he left the deck, Zhang Tie had heard the sound of splashing from under the liner. Zhang Tie felt the sound of the water was a bit strange. Before he turned back had he heard an exclamation behind him and the powerful clashes between weapons accompanied by some furious growls and muffles.
Zhang Tie turned back and saw one more person on the deck.
A person in watertight clothing with scattered hair was standing in the middle of the deck, his hair dripping water. That man's eyes were incredibly alert as he continued to scan the deck. However, his weird fingers were tightly grasping the throat of "junior sister Fu", who looked to be in quite the amount of pain and had completely lost her ability to fight back. The people who had been together with "junior sister Fu" had been thrown away and lying far away on the deck. Junior brother Yu and junior brother Feng were struggling to climb up from the deck while senior brother An and senior sister Fang were standing several steps away with an ugly look in their eyes. Senior sister Fang's hands were quivering. She looked pale. The corners of senior brother An's mouth revealed a wisp of blood. The moment they fought the mysterious man, they had been wounded.
Behind the man was a rolling fighting qi, presenting the image of a serpent.
After another splash, one more young man, less than 20 years old, suddenly appeared on the deck, who had a naked upper body and was barefoot. He was casually wearing a pair of underpants and was rotating a water-breaking dagger in hand. He looked at that man in a distant way, "Let her go, as you've been reduced to such, why do you have to involve in an innocent girl to make you more guilty?"
"Bull****!" Holding her throat, that man loudly shouted. As he looked at this young man, he drew the girl closer to his side and carefully hid behind her, "You jump off the boat and let the boat turn back to send me back to the mainland!" That man had been raving loudly.
"You've violated the laws of Huaiyuan Prefecture on Hidden Dragon Island, do you think that you can still escape?" Even if you can get to shore, do you think that you can escape from Huaiyuan Prefecture? Don't be that naive." Playing with his water-breaking dagger, the youth became more cordial, "As I've chased you for three days, we've gotten familiar with each other. Save me some face. I will give you a quick death so that you can go to hell as soon as possible and I can go onto submit my mission as soon as possible. From then on, we will not interfere with each other, how about that?"
"F***" Before the man loudly swore just before a shiny long sword had penetrated his throat. His eyes popped out of their sockets as he tried to look back who had stabbed him but failed.
His battle qi totem and shortly after, his life, were both now gone.
The man fell down as junior sister Fu who was under his abduction also hurriedly ran away from the man with a terrified look.
At this time, a handsome male youth in white clothes was holding a long sword and standing behind that man. Nobody on the deck had noticed from when had this youth appeared behind that man, including Zhang Tie.
Seeing the man lying on the deck, the youth in white clothes shook his head, "I really wonder how could you reach level 8; after being chased for three days, you didn't even know how many people were chasing after you. With such a poor aptitude, you dare to do business at any cost? Your intelligence is really..." The youth flicked the long sword in a cool way so as to clean off the blood dripping from it. After that, he raised his head and looked into the sky, "What a tragedy."
The moment he finished the word "tragedy", the youth in white clothes had already jumped up from the deck and spun twice in the air while putting his sword back into the sheath before he threw himself into the sea like a dolphin. He directly disappeared into the sea without making any splash.
"Why do you always act cool ahead of me and then leave me deal with the remains?" The other youth with the bare torso who was playing the water-breaking dagger muttered as he walked towards the corpse and searched it thoroughly. He then got a bag from the corpse and opened it in front of everyone. He then took out of a round red bead from the bag. After looking at it for a while, he nodded before put it back into the bag and took it away.
"When the ship arrives at the port, someone will come to deal with this corpse." After saying this, the youth playing the water-breaking dagger instantly jumped into the sea from the deck.
At this moment, the deck had been surrounded by a lot of passengers. Most of the people who came to the Hidden Dragon Island would be fighters who had been used to battles. Therefore, after noticing what happened on the deck, many people didn't feel afraid at all, instead, they all ran out of their rooms to watch.
It was really a splendid fight.
"This dead guy looks familiar!" One onlooker said.
"He's Deng Tong, the Monster of the Sea. He's the head of the pirates wanted by the Qilan Country. I didn't imagine that he could be killed today!" As there were hundreds of passengers on the deck coming from all walks of life, the moment someone felt the one lying on the deck was familiar, someone else had already recognized his status.
"I heard Deng Tong excelled at swimming in the sea and had some secret techniques. He's known for not drowning to death after staying in the sea for seven days. He's escaped pursuit many times in Qilan Country due to this excellent talent. He even reversed the situation in the sea and killed pursuers twice while at sea. I didn't think that he could be killed near Hidden Dragon Island. He was chased after by others and jumped onto the ship. Alas, his luck finally ran out."
"If he had behaved well and hadn't stolen items while killing people over on Hidden Dragon Island, why would he have been killed. It's said that Deng Tong was just level 7. I think he was here to promote himself. However, he had never imagined that he could lose his life right after promoting to level 8!"
"Who are the two youths chasing after and killing Deng Tong just now?"
"They must come from the Hidden Dragon Palace of the Zhang clan. Hidden Dragon Palace is the place where the elites of Zhang clan cultivate themselves. It's said that people who cultivate here have all awakened their ancestral bloodlines."
After letting out a few sighs, the onlookers left. However, after looking at the corpse on the deck, many people warned themselves that they should never perform any questionable activities on Hidden Dragon Island based on their own strength.
"Junior sister Fu, are you okay?" Junior brother Yu looked at his junior sister Fu nervously. His junior sister Fu didn't recover her composure until he repeated this question many times.
"Thankfully, you're okay, I was really worried about you!" Junior brother Yu let out a sigh and smiled. However, he had not noticed that his junior sister Fu was absent-minded at this moment.
Only senior sister Fang sighed inside after looking at younger sister Fu's face, The two young men are too handsome and talented, especially that youth in white who had saved junior sister Fu. After seeing that person, junior sister Fu's eyes didn't even move away from him. What's that person's last sentence? Sigh! Junior brother Yu, what a tragedy!'
"Hidden Dragon Palace..." Zhang Tie muttered this name twice inside as his eyes began to shine. After glancing at the three males and two females on the deck as well that Monster of the Sea's corpse, he returned to the cabin together with the rest people.
Twenty minutes later, the shadow of Hidden Dragon Island grew increasingly larger on the horizon.
Hidden Dragon Island was a big island under the affiliation of Huaiyuan Prefecture. It was 190 km away from the continent and covered 340 sq km. It was densely covered with woods and surrounded by mountains.
Being on the same island together with Hidden Dragon palace was the "Dragon Hole on the Island" which was known as 1 of the 5 entrances to the underground world...