Chapter 117 – Signing Up for the Competition
Dragon Lake City.
The central region of the 500,00km southern territory. It was the place where the eight great sects, three great institutions, and the six great clans were gathered. Any one of these powers possessed deep resources and reserves, and they were extremely ancient.
Since a single city was able to contain so many colossi settled within it, one could imagine exactly how large the boundaries of the city were and how shocking of a level its luxuriousness had attained.
Chen Xi had just entered the city gate when he noticed the bricks on the streets were all smooth and glossy, untainted by a shred of dust. Everywhere was decorated beautifully, lined with pavilions and palaces, and streets that were 300m wide. Cultivators of great variety and diversity were like tidewater as they moved about on the streets that lead to all directions, yet there wasn’t the slightest feeling of being crowded.
Within Dragon Lake City, every shop was tall, spacious, and deep, and their styles were completely different. It was as if all the building styles in the world had been gathered in a single place; it was a superb collection that was magnificent and grand, and it actually caused Chen Xi to have a feeling that there were too many things for his eyes to take in.
The experts here were extremely numerous!
Chen Xi’s Spiritual perception was extremely enormous, and he’d noticed tens of Golden Hall Realm cultivators all along the way here. They wore a variety of clothes that were embroidered with different symbols, and they were obviously from different powers.
Moreover, Chen Xi had even seen a few Golden Core Realm cultivators that flashed past on the street in a group, their clothes fluttering in the wind, and it caused their figure to seem elegant and unrestrained. Everywhere they passed, everyone revealed an expression of reverence and adoration.
In Dragon Lake City, cultivators at the Golden Core Realm were already great figures at the peak ranks of cultivators. It was unlike Pine Mist City’s highest standard that was only at the Violet Palace Realm, a realm that was even inferior to Golden Hall Realm cultivators, let alone comparing to Golden Core Realm cultivators.
After walking for half a day, Chen Xi had a rough estimate of the city in his heart, and he suddenly stopped a cultivator that passed by his side.
“What!?” This cultivator was a brawny young man whose cultivation hadn’t developed a violet palace and still remained in the Congenital Realm, but a sword symbol hung on his clothes. Obviously, he was a disciple of a large power, and when he was stopped by Chen Xi, his face instantly emitted slight anger, yet when he restrained his anger when he saw Chen Xi’s cultivation.
Because he was able to discern that the youth before him seemed to have an indifferent aura, yet it gave him a deep feeling of a vast sea, thus the youth was at least a Violet Palace Realm expert.
“May I know why Senior has stopped me?” The brawny young man asked in wonder.
“I don’t have any other intentions, I just want to ask where I go to sign up to participate in the Hidden Dragon Ranking competition?” Chen Xi said with a smile.
“So it’s this.” The brawny young man heaved a sigh of relief. “The Hidden Dragon Ranking competition will be held half a month from now. If Senior wants to sign up, then you just have to go to the Darchu Soulguard. It’s to the west of Dragon Lake City and 400km from here.”
“Alright! Thank you.” As Chen Xi spoke, his figure lightly jerked before vanishing like the wind.
“What swift speed!” The brawny young man’s pupils constricted when he saw Chen Xi instantly vanishing, and he muttered. “The Hidden Dragon Ranking competition only allows Violet Palace Realm cultivators below the age of thirty to participate. This youth looks to only be around 20 years of age, but his cultivation is truly formidable! I wonder if this person will be able to obtain a ranking in the Hidden Dragon Ranking competition this year…?”
It was prohibited to fly in the sky above Dragon Lake City, but Chen Xi executed the Heavenly Dragons Eight Steps and still moved over 100 meters in a single step. He was swift like a ghost, and he suddenly stopped moving after flashing out 400kms.
300m before him stood an enormous black palace that was fully constructed from obsidian and was suffused with a bright light that was like water. It was almost 33km in height, like a sword or spear that pierced straight into the sky, and at its center hung a shining gold plaque — Darchu Soulguard!
The Darchu Soulguard was the cultivator’s organization under the command of the Darchu Dynasty. If one were to speak of how terrifying its strength was, its reputation spread extensively throughout the entire territory of the Darchu Dynasty, and every single Darchu Soulguard at least possessed a strength at the Violet Palace Realm!
Of course, Dragon Lake City was only a branch of the Darchu Soulguard, but even then, its might was still extremely formidable, and it wasn’t inferior in the slightest to the great powers of the same class as the eight great sects.
Even though the Hidden Dragon Ranking competition was jointly held by the eight great sects, three great institutions, and six great clans, cultivators from outside the city had to register and sign up at Darchu Soulguard.
At this moment, there was a huge amount of cultivators going in and out of the building. They were like flowing water, and with just a glance, Chen Xi noticed that almost all these cultivators were Violet Palace Realm cultivators!
“Dammit! Signing up requires paying 50 kgs of spirit liquid. This Darchu Soulguard only has eyes for money.”
“Heh. What can we do that we’re not disciples from the great powers of Dragon Lake City? They don’t even have to sign up and can participate as they please, and they even have the home advantage. It’s already not easy for them to allow cultivators from outside the city like us to participate.”
“Ptooey! What’s so great about the disciples from the great powers of Dragon Lake City? I’ll surely enter the first 100 ranks in the Hidden Dragon Rankings this year!”
“Save it. In the Hidden Dragon Rankings of the past, 99% of the first 100 ranks were taken by the disciples of the great powers that are of the same class as the Dragon Lake City’s eight great sects. Only a few cultivators from outside the city had gained a foothold, yet they were all ranked at the extreme end.”
The cultivators that walked out of the great hall discussed animatedly, the topics of their conversations revolved around the Hidden Dragon Ranking competition that would be held after half a month, and it seemed to be extremely bustling.
Is it extremely difficult to enter the top 100? Looks like I can’t be careless. Chen Xi thought for a moment, then he didn’t hesitate any longer and walked in.
The instant he entered the black colored great hall, Chen Xi noticed that the space within it was extremely vast. It carried along a strand of a solemn feeling as if he’d entered into the Imperial Palace or Imperial court, and the atmosphere seemed extremely quiet.
Numerous disciples that wore black clothes and carried swords on their backs stood respectfully all around the great hall. Their features carried killing intent, and their auras were formidable as they maintained order in the great hall. Obviously, these black clothed disciples were members of the Darchu Soulguard.
“Prepare 50 kgs of spirit liquid, then line up to sign up over there.” A Darchu Soulguard noticed Chen Xi entering, and he pointed towards the distance as he spoke coldly.
There was a long line that was like a dragon in the distance, young youths, valiant middle aged men, pretty girls, old men… There were both old and young; men and women. They were all outside cultivators that were at the Violet Palace Realm.
Chen Xi walked at the end of the line as he silently sized up the surroundings. Amongst these Violet Palace Realm cultivators that were lining up, there were people with both strong and weak auras, and the auras of two people were strong to the point it caused Chen Xi to feel extremely surprised.
One of them was a young man in golden violet colored clothes, his brows were pitch black like ink and tilted upwards like blades, and his eyes shone with bright lights, like two dazzling black gems that took one’s breath away. His arms were exceedingly long, around 10cm longer than an ordinary person. As he stood there, a boundless pressure filled the surroundings, and his aura was deep and overbearing.
The other was a youth in clothes made of feathers, his figure was very thin and ramrod straight, and his entire body emitted a soft aura that was gentle like water, causing him to seem extremely unique. But his appearance was exceedingly ordinary, to the point that it couldn’t be found once it was thrown into a crowd.
Seeming to have noticed Chen Xi’s gaze, the violet clothed young man glanced at Chen Xi with a gaze seeming to be of ridicule and disdain, and the youth in feathered clothes instead lightly nodded before turning around.
“Lin Shaoqi, 8th star of the Violet Palace Realm, skeletal age of 23, qualified. This is your command token.” A hoarse voice sounded out. At the front of the line was a grey clothed old man who sat at a table, and atop the table was a jade stone that was the size of a fist that was completely jet-black and twined with dark lights.
Every cultivator that came forward placed their hand onto the jade stone, then the grey clothed old man would slightly distinguish it before being able to measure the cultivator’s cultivation and skeletal age. It was extremely miraculous.
Appearances could deceive others, yet skeletal age was concrete. The Hidden Dragon Rankings only allowed Violet Palace Realm cultivators below the age of 30 to participate, and with this jade stone, there wouldn’t be anyone that slipped through.
At this moment, the one being measured was the violet clothed young man that attracted Chen Xi’s attention.
“8th star of the Violet Palace Realm? 23 years old? He’s simply a genius!”
“This fellow’s future is limitless. There’s surely a place for him in the top 100 rankings of the Hidden Dragon Rankings this time.”
“Heh, Lin Shaoqi? Could it be the Misty Sea City Lin Clan’s genius that’s rare to come by for a thousand years?”
When they heard the content that the grey cold old men announced, the entire line that was almost 300m long emitted a wave of exclaims of surprise, and they looked at the violet clothed youth with a jealous, envious, or extremely complicated gaze.
8th star of the Violet Palace Realm? He does have the qualifications to be arrogant. Chen Xi nodded, and he couldn’t help but sigh with emotion in his heart. Dragon Lake City is worthy of being called the number one large city in the southern territory; people of outstanding talent and ability are concealed and gathered here.
This was only the cultivators from outside the city; there would probably be existences with even better natural talent than Lin Shaoqi amongst the disciples of the great powers of Dragon Lake City.
It was at this moment that Chen Xi suddenly felt a unique aura. He swiftly raised his eyes to look over, and he saw the youth in feathered clothed taking a step forward as his palm sprayed out a wisp of airflow that was watery before pressing it onto the jade stone on the table.
Chen Xi practically recognized it with a glance, the energy that gushed out from the youth’s palm was shockingly the Shaman Energy that only cultivators of the School of Fiendgod Body Refinement that attained the Violet Palace Realm could possess.
“Tang Xu, Eh? Cultivation at the 3rd level of the Violet Palace Realm? Skeletal age 19, qualified. This is your command token.” The grey clothed old man behind the table exclaimed in surprise. His eyes that were drooping all along had suddenly raised and emitted bright lights as he looked at the youth in feather clothes, and he nodded as he said, “Not bad. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to join the Darchu Soulguard.”
Everyone spread their eyes wide open to look at the youth in feathered clothes, and their eyes were filled with shock. Violet Palace Realm in body refinement? He was a terrifying existence that crushed all qi refinement cultivators with the same cultivation!
Even Lin Shaoqi who was about to walk out of the great hall abruptly stopped his footsteps to turn around and glance at the youth in feathered clothes, and his face revealed a slight serious expression.
3rd level of the Violet Palace Realm? He’s actually one level higher than me. I wonder if this person has cultivated a Divine Ability…? Chen Xi was lost in thought.
In the measurements after that, there wasn’t any other figures that caused the rest to be surprised.
When it was Chen Xi’s turn, he slowly stepped forward before taking a deep breath and pressing his right hand onto the jade stone. This jade stone was extremely peculiar; when True Essence was poured into it, it was like a clay oxen entering the sea, vanishing to never be seen again, and there was no other feeling from it.
“Chen Xi, 6th level of the Violet Palace Realm, skeletal age… 17? Not bad, not bad, qualified. This is your command token.” The grey clothed old man took out a command token that was the size of a palm and seemed to be made of gold yet wasn’t, and then he passed it to Chen Xi. He gave Chen Xi a rare few words of praise yet didn’t look up to look at Chen Xi, and even didn’t invite Chen Xi to join the Darchu Soulguard.
Obviously, compared to Tang Xu from before who’d attained the 3rd level of the Violet Palace Realm in body refinement at the age of 19, Chen Xi’s weight was still insufficient.
But even then, Chen Xi’s natural talent of advancing to the 6th star of the Violet Palace Realm at the age of 17 still caused a wave of surprised exclaims from the line behind him, and when he turned around, he saw a row of gazes of envy and jealousy.
If they find out that I also dual cultivate in body refinement, I wonder what sort of expressions they would have? That grey clothed old man would probably invite me to join the Darchu Soulguard, right? Chen Xi shook his head as he dispelled these childish thoughts from his mind, then he took the command token that had the words ‘Hidden Dragon’ written atop it and walked out of the great hall.
There’s still half a month before the Hidden Dragon Rankings starts. Looks like I have to take advantage of this time to properly prepare and build up my strength. Chen Xi pondered as he walked.
“Chen Xi! How dare you! You’ve come to Dragon Lake City, yet you didn’t notify us? What kind of friend are you?!” Right when Chen Xi had just walked out of the Darchu Soulguard’s great hall, an unusual cry sounded out from afar, and when he raised his head to look, he saw that Duanmu Ze, Song Lin, and Du Qingxi, were shockingly standing in the distance.