By the time the night's curtain fell, the seventy-two Fort Masters had all successively rushed to Brass Gong Fort. Everyone was present.
The little demons of Brass Gong Fort began setting up braziers to provide lighting where the Bejeweled Nectar Conclave would be held.
Long tables were laid out in an orderly manner, and the seventy-plus seats were set up to form a concave shape on the three sides of the joint tables. Only a lonely seat was placed within the gap of the concave shape. It was extremely obvious that the seat was reserved for the master of the Brass Gong Fort—Zhu Daneng's seat. Today, he was the master so he should take the head of the table.
Miao Yi strolled about, his hands clasped behind him as he looked on. He caught sight of the little demons coming and going as they laid out all kinds of liquor, meat and fruits all over the long tables. He watched a group of seductive women dressed in a frivolous manner, their enchanting and seductive figures performing their dance's last rehearsal.
By the time the luminous moon was hanging overhead in the night, the brass gong within the mountain fortress let out a startling bang.
"Haha…" The sounds of laughter and footsteps could be heard within the abode.
The seventy-two Fort Masters were high-spirited and full of vigor. With Zhu Daneng as the lead, they all laughed heartily as they walked out to attend the banquet.
Under the luminous moon and the vast sky full of stars, with the raging fires illuminating the banquet grounds, the group of demons exchanged light conversations as they began the event.
Contrary to expectations, Zhu Daneng did not neglect Miao Yi too excessively. He had intentionally placed an extra seat on the banquet table, and requested someone to invite Miao Yi to his seat.
Once everyone was well-seated, with the short and bulky Fort Master Zhu Daneng alone on one side at the top of the table, he pressed his hands together, and the little demons who were moving around immediately came to a halt. The entire site went silent.
"My fellow brothers, let us begin!"
With a wave of Zhu Daneng's large hands, he slammed the top of the long table.
The respective Fort Masters were also shaking their heads from side to side, each one of them speaking in tongues.
Miao Yi couldn't make heads or tails out of it. He suddenly saw a blue light appear before his eyes between every one of the Fort Master's brows. At that exact moment, transcendence energy surged outwards, undulating above the entire leveled plain. The demonic Qi they emitted seemed to surge with greater urgency. He could see the thin black mist amassing together to curl up above them. It was slightly alarming to see the seventy-two Fort Masters displaying their demonic arts all at the same time.
Before Miao Yi could react to what was going on, he was abruptly aware of the ground quaking beneath his feet. He swiftly turned to his left and right, vigilantly surveying the area.
He was greeted by the sight of the entire plain, rumbling and trembling, slowly rising from the ground. Amidst the surrounding dust filling the air, their banquet grounds began to rise, carried by what appeared to be a rapidly constructed high platform. Under the combined forces of their demonic arts, the demons were gradually elevating the platform, causing it to rise higher and higher.
The rumbling quake came to a gradual stop only after the entire platform had already surpassed a height of thirty meters above the plains.
Then all the demons retracted their transcendence energy, looking at each other as they broke out into hearty laughter. The group of demons appeared cocksure, looking greatly satisfied with themselves.
Miao Yi also chuckled along, smiling for no reason. He didn't know what this group of demons were doing.
He looked at his surroundings again—the dust had already dispersed in the gentle, cool breeze. The high platform had risen steeply from the level ground, and had already become the highest place in the whole of Brass Gong Fort, towering over the hilltop and everything in sight. With just a glance, they could take in the entirety of the surrounding mountain ranges, the glistening vista dazzling in the night.
The cool breeze, the bright moon and the specks of stars in the vast sky. The trees and the green sea bathed under the moonlight seemed to glow with a peculiar luster, and the fireflies were dancing about. Being accompanied by fine wine and food, the singers and dancers making a display of themselves, and friends casually addressing each other with mutual admiration, it was truly a fine, dreamlike evening indeed.
Being in this situation and scene, even Miao Yi found himself slightly ensorcelled, and could somewhat understand why the demons had worked together to invoke their arts in raising the high platform. It had been earnestly accomplished for the sake of creating a poetic atmosphere—one felt as if they were rising up high to embrace the moon.
The sounds of singing and dancing had already begun.
In the very center of the high platform, a group of seductive women had begun performing a provocative and soul-captivating dance, their soft bosoms partially revealed, with waists and legs uncovered and unobstructed from view.
Their bosoms shook and their hips were unrestrained, both lovely and enchanting. They were completely unbridled, and gave an air of complete lasciviousness. Yet, he couldn't help but admit that they were indeed pleasant to watch.
The heavens and earth were far apart and in the dead of the night, the demons were without restraint. In a moment like this, how many human cultivators could lay eyes on such a sight within the boundless Sea of Constellations, least of all blending into the demon crowd to be a part of it? It was a feat that had been solely taken on by the extremely daring Miao Yi.
There were several sights that could only be seen by audacious men who dared to foray. As the saying goes, the scenery at the peak of the mountain was merely as such.
Even if there weren't any gains to be had on his journey here, Miao Yi felt that the trip itself had been worthwhile.
"Great!" A Fort Master observing the erotic dance called out as he clapped his hands. He raised his cup of wine at Zhu Daneng, and both parties drank a toast together.
Quite a number of the strangely dressed Fort Masters couldn't take their eyes off the dancing seductive women, shaking their heads from side to side in time with their movements, keen with admiration.
But sadly, Miao Yi did not have the mood for it.
Those who are not of our kin must surely be different at heart. Currently, this phrase was most suited to be used on him. To say that he harbored evil intentions was an understatement.
He was looking to his left and right, trying to find his breakthrough moment. After his eyes flickered about for a while, a resolute look suddenly flashed through them.
He decided to bet on it. If he refused to strike at this opportunity, then it would be too late for him to make a move, especially once the Bejeweled Nectar Conclave was over and everyone had left. Tonight was definitely his last chance.
One of the palms he placed on the long table was slowly moved under. The little ones scurried out of the storage ring one by one. They covered up the long table, slowly crawling towards each of the surrounding long tables in silence.
After the meticulously rehearsed performance ended, Zhu Daneng waved his large hands and the singers and dancers bowed courteously towards the audience, before gradually retreating into the surroundings to await for their orders.
"Everyone! A pleasant day coupled with a nice landscape—a fine, dream-like day—it certainly is the best time to drink a toast to solicit the moon and to sample the bejeweled nectar together. Now is the time to discover which clan will have the most excellent wine!"
The moment Zhu Daneng's vehement words came out of his mouth, the demons applauded with a loud rumble. Quite a number of them even rolled up their sleeves for battle, looking as though they were going to fight, each with an air of extreme confidence.
Inwardly, Miao Yi felt apprehensive. They'd become like this just by sampling some wine. If his ambush failed, wouldn't these old demons beat him to a pulp?
"Everyone, I wonder which clan should start first?" Zhu Daneng looked at his surroundings as he asked loudly.
Instantly, someone called out a jar of wine from his storage ring, standing up as he proclaimed loudly, "This is my calling!"
Bang! Immediately another Fort Master slammed the table as he stood, simultaneously flashing out a jar of wine, fighting with the other as he said, "Begin with me first!"
"This was brewed three hundred years ago, and preserved until now. Isn't everyone eager to taste it first?"
"What a joke! A four-hundred-year-old wine is here!"
A bunch of people started arguing, afraid their taste buds would be attacked by another person's wine first, causing them to suffer losses if they were left behind and the appraisals influenced.
Miao Yi carefully looked around him, thinking to himself that it would be amusing if they were to fight to the death all for the sake of drinking wine, which would allow him the chance to snag up a bargain.
He was thinking a bit too much. Each Bejeweled Nectar Conclave ended up like this, so they definitely had their own rules to settle the dispute.
Upon seeing that everyone was engaged in a heated argument and misfortune was about to happen, the old method of drawing lots to resolve the issue of who would come first and last was once again taken out.
With this method, naturally there would be people who were delighted while there would be some who were concerned. Inevitably, the wine would be arranged by priority. It wasn't possible to mix in all the wine and drink them together.
The one to draw first place would laugh heartily, whereas the one drawing the next lot would look sour.
A Fort Master, delighted in being the first, swept his cloak back as he stood up. Holding a small pot of excellent wine in one hand, he said loudly, "Five-hundred-year-old bloody grapes, eight-hundred-year-old baby ginseng, two-thousand-year-old heartless fruit, and a hundred fifty years of hiding it in a cave to brew this superb liquor, made expressly to sample together with my fellow brothers and sisters."
Everyone immediately took one of the seventy-two small jade cups which were arranged neatly on the table, and placed it on their table.
Miao Yi, who was watching, followed suit on the spot. He also took a small jade cup and placed it on his table.