Chapter 33 – Disciple of Dragon Lake City
It was Du Qingxi who’d come. She seemed gentle and graceful in the black dress she wore that revealed the outline and curves of her body. She stood there beautifully outside the door with black hair that was worn in a bun, and wore no makeup, seeming to carry a type of icy cold and pure sense of beauty.
“Southern Barbaric Nether Domain trials?” Chen Xi was extremely bewildered as he gazed at Du Qingxi who was outside the door. He’d grown up in Pine Mist City and he naturally knew everything about the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain trials.
Every three years, a bizarre space with an extremely unfavorable environment would appear within the Southern Barbaric Mountain Range.
Baleful qi billowed within the space that was devoid of any plants; a type of ash-grey gale blew within it all year long, and whether it was night and day couldn’t be discerned within the space. Most importantly, the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain’s spirit energy of heaven and earth had dried up, it was like an abandoned land that was devoid of life. This space was simply an existence that was like hell to cultivators who breathed the spirit energy of the heaven and earth!
However, after a thousand years of research and searching, people had a new understanding of the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain.
This space did indeed have no living creature, yet there existed a type of ferocious and bloodthirsty baleful beast with a strength that had roughly attained the perfection-stage of the Congenital Realm. Moreover, there was a type of treasure called a baleful pearl that was concealed within the body of a baleful beast. Even though its usage was unknown, its value was extremely shocking.
There was once a cultivator who took a baleful pearl and headed to the capital of Darchu Dynasty, Silken City, that was 5 million km away, and a baleful pearl actually sold for a whopping price of 100 spirit crystals!
This incident instantly caused a stir in Pine Mist City when the news spread back. So when the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain appeared once again, practically all the cultivators in Pine Mist City swarmed over. The weird thing was that only Postnatal Realm and Congenital Realm cultivators could safely enter, and other cultivators would be obstructed by a shapeless force the moment they entered the borders of the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain.
It was precisely because of this that the various institutions and clans within Pine Mist City jointly launched the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain trials activity with the General’s Estate. They encouraged the younger generation of Pine Mist City who possessed a cultivation at the Congenital Realm to participate in the trials.
On one hand they can obtain baleful pearls, and on the other hand the cultivators could temper their survival ability and live combat skills in the unfavorable environment of the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain.
Most importantly, numerous clans and institution used the number of baleful pearls obtained as a standard to test their disciples. Not only would those who obtained a high amount of baleful pearls be able to become a core disciple and enjoy resources that ordinary disciples were unable to hope for, they would also be able to obtain a considerable amount of wealth to help with their expenses.
Moreover, the General’s Estate would send out an invitation to the top three people who obtained the most baleful pearls during the trial and invite them to enter the southern territory’s Dragon Lake City’s Darchu Soulguard’s branch!
The Darchu Soulguard was an organization under the command of the Darchu Dynasty. In terms of how terrifying its strength was, there were rarely any organizations that could compare to it within the entire territory of the Darchu Dynasty. Of course, an invitation was only an invitation, and if one wanted to join the Darchu Soulguard branch in Dragon Lake City, one would still have to pass numerous tests that were extremely harsh. The difficulty of the test was not much different from the test to enter an extremely large sect.
“Baleful qi billows within the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain and its spirit energy is exhausted. Moreover there are numerous baleful beasts there, so staying within the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain would be accompanied by continuous combat. Besides bringing along large amounts of spirit stones and spirit pills, there’s no other way for cultivators to survive within.”
Du Qingxi’s words were succinct and chilly, like her disposition that was icy cold like snow, and it carried with it a trace of being beyond question as she slowly said, “I came looking for you for the sake of entering the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain to cook for me. I’ve already prepared the cooking utensils and ingredients for you. Now I’ll take you to see two people.”
“Wait! When did I agree to go to the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain?” Chen Xi frowned as he asked. He extremely disliked the feeling of being ordered around.
Du Qingxi said as a matter of course, “You’re a spirit chef apprentice employed by Clear Stream Restaurant, this is one of your duties.”
“But, why me?” Chen Xi continued to question.
“You’re the disciple of old man Ma, and your cultivation is already sufficient to enter the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain. Who else can satisfy this condition besides you?”
Du Qingxi seemed to be slightly displeased from being questioned and her beautiful brows frowned. “Stop talking nonsense. I won’t treat you unfairly after we return from the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain.”
As she spoke, she turned around and walked off, seeming to be disinclined to explain another word to Chen Xi.
“Forget it, I’ll just make the trip. I’ve wanted to experience how the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain is like since a long time ago as well.” Chen Xi thought for a moment and followed her.
Du Qingxi was correct, before he left Pine Mist City, he was still a member of Clear Stream Restaurant. Since he’d taken a wage from her, he naturally ought to undertake the corresponding duties.
Most importantly, practically every day during these past few months, he’d trained his culinary arts behind closed doors within the Quiet Room, and the value of the ingredients he’d wasted was sufficient to be described as an astronomical figure. Whereas Du Qingxi had never once asked for repayment from him, and this caused Chen Xi to feel slightly embarrassed. This was probably how it felt to be helpless against someone who you’d accepted and received something from.
The rear courtyard of Clear Stream Restaurant had always been the place Du Qingxi cultivated behind closed doors, and its environment was quiet and refined. Ordinarily, besides some close servants, there was rarely anyone who was able to step foot here.
When Du Qingxi brought Chen Xi into the courtyard, there were precisely two young men waiting there.
“He’s Duanmu Ze from the Dragon Lake City’s Duanmu Clan.” Du Qingxi pointed at the white clothed man as she introduced him briefly and to the point.
Chen Xi raised his eyes to gaze over and he couldn’t help but be stunned.
Duanmu Ze was absolutely a man that was handsome, noble, elegant, and had a tall figure. He wore clothes that were whiter than snow and had a graceful bearing. His thin lips lightly puckered and his serious face carried a trace of a smile that was sufficient to cause war among millions of young women.
However, Chen Xi didn’t care about this, as what he cared about was the clan behind Duanmu Ze.
Even though Du Qingxi introduced him in an extremely casual manner, how could Chen Xi not have heard of the names of the eight great sects, three great institutions, and six great clans that’s discussed animatedly everywhere in the city?
All these powers had deep hidden resources and reserves, and the level of their ancientness could be traced back to over 10,000 years ago. They were far from something a newly developing clan in Pine Mist City like the Li Clan could compare to.
The Duanmu Clan was one of the six great clans, so Chen Xi naturally felt slightly surprised when facing a Duanmu Clan disciple like Duanmu Ze. He’s handsome and energetic and is of good birth, this fellow is presumably extremely famous in Dragon Lake City, right?
“Qingxi, doesn’t this person you found seems to be slightly unreliable?” Duanmu Ze raised his eyes and glanced at Chen Xi, and his brows couldn’t help but slightly frown as he spoke with a flat tone that carried a slight oppressive tone with it. He truly couldn’t understand why Du Qingxi would find a spirit chef apprentice to join their ranks.
In the eyes of Duanmu Ze who was born in a wealthy and influential great clan, even though the culinary arts of spirit chefs were great, chefs were only chefs in the end. Their status was essentially still of the same class as lowly servants, how could Chen Xi mix with himself and the others?
It was precisely because of this that even though Du Qingxi had instructed him about this matter earlier, and he’d agreed to not fuss about it. But when he really saw Chen Xi, Duanmu Ze still felt extremely displeased in his heart, as if Chen Xi’s appearance brought disgrace to his status.
A mere few words caused Chen Xi’s impression of Duanmu Ze to become extremely terrible, and he didn’t care to greet and chat with Duanmu Ze. On the contrary, he instead hoped that Du Qingxi would say that he’s unreliable as well. In this way, he could just leave and he wouldn’t have to stay with this guy who was proud as a peacock.
However regrettably, Du Qingxi didn’t act in this way, and she even didn’t pay any attention to Duanmu Ze. Instead, her gaze moved and she pointed at the other young man before continuing to introduce. “Song Lin, from the Dragon Lake City’s Song Clan.”
Song Lin actually had a rather handsome appearance, but he obviously was an extremely indolent fellow. He had puffy hair and was slovenly dressed, and his eyes were slightly narrowed. His entire body seemed as if it had fallen apart as he lazily leaned on a large tree within the courtyard with a drowsy look.
Song Lin weakly waved his hand towards Chen Xi when he heard Du Qingxi introducing him, then muttered, “Oh, I’ve heard Qingxi talk about you, but wait for me to finish sleeping, then we can chat properly…” As he spoke, his head kept drooping and he once again entered dreamland.
As expected, the clan behind this Song Lin is similarly one of the six great clans.
As he thought about this, Chen Xi’s heart jerked as he suddenly realized something, there was also a Du Clan amongst the six great clans, and Du Qingxi wouldn’t be a Du Clan disciple as well, right?
There was an extremely high probability for this.
Birds of a feather flock together. Looking at the attitude Du Qingxi had when facing Duanmu Ze and Song Lin, they were obviously people of the same kind, but only their characters were different.
It’s only an extremely ordinary Southern Barbaric Nether Domain trials, yet it attracted the participation of three disciples of the Dragon Lake City’s great clans. Could it be that there’s some secret concealed within?
Chen Xi wondered in his heart and he suddenly felt that his trip to the Southern Barbaric Nether Domain this time seemed to not be as simple as he had imagined.
“Qingxi, you really want to take him along?”
Duanmu Ze couldn’t help but be infuriated in his heart when he saw Du Qingxi ignore him, but his face still had a magnanimous appearance as he frowned and said, “I heard demon beasts roam freely within the Southern Barbaric Mountain range, and it’s full of danger. If by any chance we encounter some unforeseen event, then wouldn’t it be a harm to his life?”
Chen Xi kept silent, but he couldn’t help but sigh in his heart. If you want to drive me out, then speak directly. Why do you have to find such a forced and laughable reason? These disciples of great clans are really so hypocritical.
“Are you finished?” Du Qingxi said with an expressionless face.
Duanmu Ze’s expression froze, then he had a serious expression as he said, “Qingxi, I’m thinking for him.”
“If you’re finished, then let’s go.” Du Qingxi was still completely indifferent as she turned and left.
Chen Xi followed her when he saw this, as he wasn’t willing to stay together with Duanmu Ze. Who knew what sort of displeasing words this fellow would say in his anger?
The light smile that hung on the corners of Duanmu Ze’s mouth instantly vanished when he saw the two of them leave the courtyard successively, and his expression became unusually unsightly.
“Oh, let’s go as well.” Song Lin rubbed his sleepy eyes as he weakly yawned.
I won’t let that kid off just like this. Duanmu Ze’s face sank and forced out a line of words from the cracks in his teeth. “Let me see if Du Qingxi will turn against me for the sake of a lowly servant!”