Miao Yi followed suit and laughed, thinking, 'I just came up with the name on a whim, is it something worth praising so much for? What kind of good-for-nothing conclave are they hosting with this level of culture!'
Zhu Daneng chuckled, and changed the subject as he asked, "Brother Niu, I have also had the courtesy of accompanying Commander Yuan to Jade Stream Manor before, but I don't seem to recall ever meeting Brother Niu. May I ask what position did Brother Niu hold under Commander Bi?"
"A mere idle position that's too inferior to show to the public. It is not worth mentioning, so it's fine even if I don't speak of it," Miao Yi said as he waved his hand. Since the other party had been to Jade Stream Manor, then he wouldn't want them to ask too many questions about it, for fear that he might expose himself if he spoke too much. Miao Yi laughed and changed the topic. "I have just come to visit my cousin. She told me that Brass Gong Fort was hosting the Bejeweled Nectar Conclave. I inquired further out of excitement, then cousin gave me this token, saying that if I were to bring it here with me, Fort Master Zhu would definitely regard me as not an outsider!"
"It wasn't your token?" Zhu Daneng was taken aback once again, then cautiously asked, "May I ask who Brother Niu's cousin is?"
Miao Yi replied, "Madame Wu Hua."
"Oh… Oh…." Zhu Daneng suddenly came to a realization, thinking, 'So that's why I've never heard of a character with the surname Niu in Jade Stream Manor being able to obtain Commander Bi's token. Turns out it was Madame Wu Hua's token.'
But did Madame Wu Hua have such a cousin? He couldn't remember, nor had he investigated before. The sea stretched far and wide, and with him being an earthen demonic spirit it wouldn't be good to look too deeply into it. Even someone that had nothing better to do wouldn't go look into Madame Wu Hua's family background, but since the other person managed to take out Madame Wu Hua's token, he was probably telling the truth. It was easy to impersonate someone else, but this token could not be faked. It was indeed Commander Bi's token, without a doubt.
The fifty or so people behind them looked at each other, then glanced at Miao Yi again with an air of mockery. They originally thought some bigshot had come over from Jade Stream Manor, so everyone had come forth to welcome him, but it turned out to be just some bloke who relied on women and relations to get in.
The fifty or so people were the Fort Masters of the respective mountain fortresses. Once they heard that Miao Yi was actually this kind of character, many of them immediately lost any interest in fawning over him. With a wave of their cloaks, they turned around and returned back into the abode.
But Zhu Daneng couldn't do so. If they were on someone else's territory, he could also turn around and walk away, without having to pay any heed. But today he was the host, and since the guest had arrived at his Brass Gong Fort, even if he didn't give Madame Wu Hua face, he still had to give Commander Yuan his respect. After all, Commander Yuan still had to call Madam Wu Hua his sister-in-law.
Zhu Daneng's gaze dropped on Charcoal, and said hesitantly, "In the Sea of Constellations, it is rare to see a Yao cultivator riding a dragon steed."
Miao Yi was instantly shocked. "This dragon steed of mine is no ordinary dragon steed. Has the Fort Master never seen another dragon steed as fat as this one?"
"Uh….." Zhu Daneng's face twitched a little, as he nodded, "It is indeed fat beyond belief. That a divine dragon steed could grow like this, it would truly make all the dragon steeds in the world blush with shame."
Charcoal snorted out a 'Harrumph' as it heard Zhu Daneng's words, as though it was slightly displeased at the other person for criticizing its appearance.
Miao Yi gave Charcoal's head a casual push, calming it down. 'Don't be rash, you'd still be fat even if you let others criticize you once or twice. It's not like you'll lose a piece of meat.'
"Fort Master is wise!" As though he was a wealthy man's son, Miao Yi said merrily, "My steed is the only one of its kind in the world. 'Tis a great opportunity to let everyone know my steed's special characteristics."
"..." Zhu Daneng's mouth was agape, and was a little lost for words. 'Is this guy a retard?'
'Did this guy make some random dragon steed his mount just to show off? But what was the point of showing off such a ridiculously fat dragon steed? Could it actually make other people envy him?'
Zhu Daneng suspected this guy was quite the oddball. Staring at Charcoal, he sighed. "Dragon steeds are a breed of Yao since birth, unlike the rest of us who need to cultivate in order to become demons. Furthermore, dragon steeds are born with an innate divine power. If they could cultivate, their futures would have been all but limitless. But unfortunately, they are trueborn hybrids. The two bloodlines will suppress one another, making it difficult for them to gain sentience, which is why they are reduced to becoming mere mounts. Truly a shame!"
Even though his words were implying that he was feeling sympathetic for the dragon steeds, but his tone made one vaguely feel as though he was feeling sympathetic that Charcoal had become the mount of this retard, Niu Youde.
After lamenting, Zhu Daneng didn't want to say anything more. He called for one of his subordinates, and handed down the order to take care of Miao Yi's mount, before turning around again and extending his arm towards him. "Please enter, Brother Niu!"
Miao Yi extended his arm and requested him to enter first.
Zhu Daneng could no longer be bothered to continue being courteous with him. He flicked the cloak that had been dragged across the ground due to his short and fat stature, and led Miao Yi into his abode with great strides.
Inside the abode, the main hall had quite a bit of space, and on the walls, there were numerous candles lighting up the cavern.
Zhu Daneng circled around the host's long table and sat there. Cultivation didn't matter here. He was the host, so it was only right for him to sit at the host's seat.
Even though he wasn't particularly fond of Miao Yi, he still played the role of a host and remembered to extend an arm to Miao Yi before sitting down, inviting him to sit.
And to the side of the host's seat, there were rows of long tables already arranged, and had all manner of wine and food on top of them.
All the Fort Masters sat at their respective seats making merry, as the little demons to the side held flasks and constantly refilled their cups with wine.
In the center area, there were two foxy ladies twisting their bodies and dancing seductively.
"Please, Lord Niu."
A little demon said courteously, as he helped Miao Yi refill his cup before stepping back.
Miao Yi lifted the jade cup and took a whiff of the wine's fragrance, realizing that the liquid was bright and almost transparent. The fragrance enveloped his senses, and he couldn't help but take a small sip. A light flashed through his eyes—it was indeed a fine wine that was hard to come by. It seemed this pack of demons really knew how to enjoy themselves.
What he didn't know was that this was all because Commander Yuan fancied alcohol. If Commander Yuan came and found out that whichever Fort Master didn't have good liquor, he would be displeased.
In order to cater to their superior's fancy, all seventy-two Fort Masters trained hard over the years and obtained a knack for producing superb alcohol. It was not unjust to call it a Bejeweled Nectar, as it was not something other places in the Sea of Constellations could compare to. It could be said that Miao Yi had had the good fortune of tasting it on this journey.
Looking again at the chunks of boiled and roasted meat on his plate, he realized that there weren't any chopsticks. He glanced towards the others again, and found out that they were all just using their bare hands to tear the meat.
He couldn't very well just blurt out, 'Anyone! Get me a pair of chopsticks...'. That would surely expose him.
He could only reach out and tear a piece of thigh meat of unknown origin, but when he took a bite he almost tried to spit it out, realizing that this meat only had the appearance of being cooked. The taste of blood spread inside his mouth as he bit into it. His mouth had a slippery sensation as he chewed. There was not much difference from eating it raw.
Yet when he saw the other Fort Masters drinking mouthfuls of wine, and taking similarly large bites of the meat as though it was a delicacy, he had to forcefully swallow it down in order not to expose himself.
After taking a bite, he didn't want to continue taking another. After all, he didn't have a tough set of jaws and teeth that these demons had.
He picked up a vibrant red fruit that he had never seen before and took a bite. The flavor was sweet and the texture had a refreshing crunch to it. The flavor was rather unique and scrumptious, and worth eating a bit more of.
He looked at the great Fort Masters around him. They were either sitting together and drinking as they chatted, or wandering around and talking merrily in between their long tables. Everyone was chatting amicably, and most of them looked to be enjoying themselves.
The atmosphere was quite lively. It was Miao Yi's first time seeing so many demons, and also his first time sitting together and drinking with so many of them, so he felt somewhat excited.
Yet, he felt that something was off. He had the esteemed Jade Stream Manor at his back, but why wasn't anyone coming over to chat with him?