Chapter 21: Greenhorn (1)
That afternoon, the ship arrived at the pier of the East Arrival City inside the borders of the Celestial Nation.
The booming pier was bustling with people and activity, with shipments filled with the smell of salt and fish being loaded and unloaded from the various ships.
Madame Ji’s uncle had already sent a carriage to the pier to pick her up. After they became more acquainted with each other, she had specially left an empty carriage for Miao Yi to ride on.
As soon as they left the pier, one of the informers quickly carried an urgent report back to Madame Ji’s uncle.
The fleet of carriages were halfway to the East Arrival City when Miao Yi, who was sitting in the carriage, opened the windows to view the scenery. His ears suddenly twitched when he heard a wave of gallops louder than that of a normal horse’s hooves coming towards them. He was no stranger to those sounds; they were similar to the thunderous steps of those dragon steeds that cultivators rode.
And his guess wasn’t wrong. He heard the steward’s excited voice, “Madame, your uncle has personally arrived.”
Miao Yi looked outside the window and could only see dust being blown about by the wind. Two dragon steeds appeared and galloped madly towards them.
Their fleet of carriages weren’t able to stop in time, but the two dragon steeds had already rushed towards them like twin bolts of lightning. Abruptly, they reared their front hooves in the air to forcibly stop their momentum. A middle-aged cultivator with twin swords strapped on his back sat steadily on top of the dragon steed. He swept his gaze across the carriages, frightening the carriage footmen.
Behind the middle-aged cultivator was another cultivator with a head full of white hair, carrying a long, big blade. He didn’t look very young, but judging from the situation, he seemed to be part of the middle-aged cultivator’s troop instead.
Miao Yi predicted that this middle-aged cultivator was none other than Madame Ji’s uncle, since it was unlikely that it was the person at the back bringing a higher authority officer to fetch his niece.
Miao Yi’s gaze fell onto the two men riding the mighty dragon steeds, feeling slightly envious.
Dragon steeds were the most basic spiritual beasts mounted by cultivators. Although they had the appearance of a horse, their bodies were twice as large compared to regular horses. They were also known as dragon horses, which were rumoured to be the descendants of the legendary dragon and heavenly horse. Allegedly, only pure-blooded dragon steeds had the chance to evolve into a real dragon.
Other than their massive size, their skin was also thick. The vital parts of the head, body, and the four limbs were protected by naturally hard bones, just like armor and thus ordinary swords and knives weren’t strong enough to inflict damage on them. Their sustainability, ramming power, and leaping ability were mind-boggling as well.
Their tails resembled a snake; shiny and furless. And since the dragon steeds were omnivores, their teeth were long and sharp.
Two curled and fleshy feelers sprang from the mane, which fluttered like waves at the nape of its neck. Once the elastic feelers were linked with the cultivator’s body, both would be able to flawlessly communicate with each other without the need to speak, thus enabling the cultivator to control the dragon steed without any reins. This made the dragon steed one of the most common spiritual beasts mounted by cultivators.
The dragon steeds also possessed extraordinary strength and were able to travel through any form of terrain with ease, be it land or water. These beasts could run at their fastest speed for days without rest, and were able to cover thousands of li per day. However, non-cultivators wouldn’t be able ride them. It was a feat that would be nearly impossible for an ordinary person to do, even if they resorted to using reins and brute force.
Hooves the size of claypots noisily stomped on the ground. The dragon steeds had a fierce air around them, exuding a valiant aura which caused the other horses in the fleet to be as quiet as cold cicadas, obediently following behind at a safe distance.
There was a great height difference between the people who were riding on the horses and the cultivators who were riding on the dragon steeds, naturally due to the latter’s larger and taller size.
The men on the carriages quickly came down to make their salutations. Meanwhile, the steward who was sent by her uncle to escort Madame Ji, quickly parted the curtains and helped her climb down the carriage as she held her child.
“Master Uncle, this is your niece. And this is your uncle!” The steward who was supporting Madam Ji introduced both parties to each other.
“Ji Fang, greet Uncle.” Madame Ji could only manage a half curtsy with a child in her arms.
The uncle got off his dragon steed, and extended his hand towards Madame Ji to help her up. His eyes were watery and red as he nodded, “Similar, similar, you look so similar to my elder sister. It’s all uncle’s fault, I should have sent someone to find you all, otherwise you wouldn’t be...”
“Uncle...” Madame Ji choked, her delicate shoulders trembled as she wiped away her tears, most likely recalling the unfortunate events that had happened to her family.
Her uncle touched the sleeping baby in Madame Ji’s arms, and comforted her, “Don’t cry, let’s head back first then we’ll talk.” He signaled the steward to escort her back into the carriage.
He turned around and climbed up the dragon steed again. Just then, he turned his gaze to Miao Yi, who had poked his head out to look at them.
The dragon steed immediately strolled to the side of the back carriage where Miao Yi was, as if it knew what its owner wanted to do. From atop his dragon steed, the uncle looked at Miao Yi and asked, “So you’re the friend who rescued my niece from the ship?”
Miao Yi got out of the carriage and, standing near the wheels, replied, “It’s no effort at all!”
“I am Chen Fei, what shall I address you as, my friend?” Madame Ji’s uncle—Chen Fei spoke, as a three petaled white lotus on his forehead began to glow faintly, clearly revealing his cultivation at the third grade of White Lotus. This was an indication that Chen Fei had no ill intentions towards Miao Yi.
“Miao Yi!” he said, tossing out his name. The symbol of the one petaled white lotus on his forehead glowed as they exchanged their names.
Chen Fei nodded, “It is inconvenient to talk here, so I will thank you properly when we get back to the city!”
The dragon steed turned around and sped off with Chen Fei on its back. He had heard about his niece’s encounter with the pirates in the middle of the sea, so he personally came looking for her. Now that he’d made sure that she was fine, he could return without worry. Otherwise, it would have been too conspicuous for a cultivator riding on a dragon steed to escort carriages back to the city.
The white-haired cultivator quickly trailed behind Chen Fei and left...
The carriages arrived and entered East Arrival City. Several servants were waiting for them at the mansion that had been prepared earlier.
After the carriage stopped, Miao Yi was not neglected at all. The servant girls listened to their orders and guided him to a first-class courtyard.
A scented bath had been prepared. There was a servant girl who assisted him into his bath and helped put on clean clothes that had been prepared for him. Having never experienced it before, Miao Yi wasn’t used to this type of treatment.
When night fell, various tasty delicacies were served and arranged on the dining table. Madam Ji’s uncle, Chen Fei, appeared once more. He cupped his hand on his chest and said, “Brother Miao, please forgive me for my poor hospitality.”
“You are being modest.” Miao Yi showed his respect, as well.
Chen Fei appeared to be very enthusiastic. He sat down together with Miao Yi without anyone else accompanying them. Most people wouldn’t dare to sit and have a meal together with two cultivators.
Chen Fei expressed his gratitude once again to Miao Yi for saving his niece. After that, he sighed as he told the story about how he unfilially left home when he was younger.
After a few small topics to break the ice, Chen Fei poured some wine for Miao Yi and then asked, “I am wondering under which domain’s Overlord banner does Brother Miao serve?”
“.....” Miao Yi was stunned. He genuinely didn’t understand what he had just been asked.
When Chen Fei saw his expression, he was also stunned before realizing what had just happened. He laughed it off and explained.
In the world of cultivation, there were six powerful cultivators collectively known as the ‘Six Sages of Heaven and Earth’. The Celestial Nation was a territory owned by Immortal Sage Mu Fanjun.
For the convenience of gathering the power of will and for the sake of managing billions of its followers within the realm, twelve cultivators with profound transcendence energies were assigned. They were categorized into twelve domain Overlords, namely: First Earthly Branch, Second Earthly Branch, Third Earthly Branch, Fourth Earthly Branch, Fifth Earthly Branch, Sixth Earthly Branch, Seventh Earthly Branch, Eight Earthly Branch, Ninth Earthly Branch, Tenth Earthly Branch, Eleventh Earthly Branch, and Twelfth Earthly Branch. It was a requirement that all twelve domain Overlords were to be appointed by Immortal Sage Mu Fanjun himself.
Each domain’s Overlord controlled ten palaces, with each palace controlling ten halls, and each hall controlling ten manors, and each manor controlling ten mountains, and each mountain controlling ten caves.
‘Cave’ was the lowest level. Normally, one Cave Master could control one hundred thousand followers at the least. The more followers one could accumulate, the better.
For example, there was a population of at least a hundred thousand in Miao Yi’s hometown within the city wall. This was guarded by the abode of Immortals situated in the mountains far away from the city.
The domains are named after the Twelve Earthly Branches which you can read more on here.