With the invitations to the Feast of Peaches delivered, everyone in the Heavenly Court became boisterous. To make sure the feast would be a success, Haotian and Yaochi were meticulous in their preparations. This was a great opportunity to rebuild the reputation of the Heavenly Court and recruit great talents. Nothing must go wrong.
Those who were invited became busy preparing gifts. This was the first time there was such a grand feast in the Untainted Land. Though the main character was the Heavenly Court, they did not want to be ill-mannered. Or perhaps more accurately, they did not want to be outcompeted.
49 days later, the Heavenly Court was covered in a wreath of halo. Numerous immortals flew toward the Southern Gate, where Taibai Jinxing was long awaiting. As the general manager of the Heavenly Court, the task of welcoming guests ought to be beneath him. But there were many esteemed guests who were invited and it was inappropriate for Haotian to welcome them personally, it was left to Taibai Jinxing.
The Jasper Lake was now partially veiled by a pervading smoke of fragrance, with auspicious clouds floating freely in the skies. In front of the Heavenly Court, flowers and trees grew vibrantly. Various delicacies and bottles of magic fruits wine were piled atop the guest tables, the scent of which would simply carry them away.
There was a growing flow of guests into the now overcrowded and bustling Jasper Lake. Guests sat together in small groups discussing Taoism. The seats in the front, however, were still vacant. The most esteemed guests had apparently not shown up yet.
Several immortals were whispering among themselves. One of them said, "What do you think this feast is for?" This immortal had evidently spent too much time on his Closed Door Meditation that he knew little about the outside world.
Another answered, "When the Human Tribe tried to wage war against the Dragon Tribe, the Jade Emperor intervened and asked for mercy for the Dragon Tribe. However, none of the Four Ancestors of Humanity showed any respect for him. The Martial Ancestors of the Human Tribe even fought him and rumored to have won. Thus, the reputation of the Heavenly Court was severely ruined. This feast is held to recover their fame."
Another one whispered, "Watch your words. It's inappropriate to talk about this right here. We'll all be in trouble if someone hears and it's beyond us to pay the price for offending the Heavenly Court or the Human Tribe."
The second immortal said, "That's true. The Human Tribe is too powerful. I heard they're invited as well. Do you think they'll come? If they do send someone, how will the Heavenly Court and the Dragon Tribe react?"
"The Jade Emperor and the Queen Mother are here!" With a ringing voice, Haotian and Yaochi descended slowly, with all the guests kneeling and bowing toward them. Though they were not members of the Heavenly Court, Haotian deserved their respect for taking charge of the entire Untainted Land.
Haotian and Yaochi took their seats and noticed there were still some vacant ones in the front. They had to be patient as there was still some time before the feast began. They were sure that the Sages would either come in person or send their disciples.
"The Dragon King of the Four Seas is here," Taibai Jinxing cried as the Dragon Tribe and several of their descendants headed toward the Jasper Lake. They knelt before Haotian and Yaochi and said, "Your Highness, these are our gifts, four Primordial Spiritual Treasures. We hope you'll kindly accept them."
The four treasures stunned the guests. Though the treasures were of inferior quality, they were still rare and precious enough to show the profound heritage of the Dragon Tribe. No wonder the tribe was once called the overlord of the Untainted Land.
The reactions of the guests greatly pleased the Dragon King of the Four Seas. Ever since the Human Tribe waged a war against their tribe, their reputation had been on the decline. Now that this Feast of Peaches offered them a chance to rebuild their reputation, they would definitely grasp it to show off their strength to the Untainted Land.
Haotian was also surprised by those treasures. Though he was the Lord of the Heavenly Court, he only owned a few primordial spiritual treasures himself. He never thought the Dragon Tribe would be so generous to offer four Low Grade primordial spiritual treasures as gifts. He accepted them with a wide smile and said, "Do accept my gratitude. Please take your seats!"
"Next comes Immortal Zhenyuan... " Immediately after the cry, Zhenyuanzi approached from afar with several of his disciples. Haotian and Yaochi both rose from their seats, extending their warmest welcome and greetings and said, "Fellow Taoist Zhenyuanzi is here, but I do not manage to welcome you all. Please forgive me." Zhengyuanzi's status was above others. As the host of the Earth Immortal's Residence and a special guest of the Zixiao Palace, he enjoyed the same standing in the Untainted Land as that of Haotian.
Zhengyuanzi said, "Your Highness, congratulations! Here are our gifts, nine Ginsengs. I hope you'll kindly accept them." Those nine Ginsengs were wreathed in fairy dust. Each of them was infant-shaped and looked alluring.
Haotian received them with a smile and said, "I deeply appreciate your gifts. Now, please take your seats over there." When Zhengyuanzi held the opening ceremony for the Nether World, he sent only Taibai Jinxing to offer his congratulations. Yet Zhenyuanzi had come in person this time. Ths was truly flattering.
"Ling Zhuzi, s-stop! Don't pull my beard!" Taibai Jinxing's scream rang out, startling the guests. They began wondering who Ling Zhuzi was to have the nerve to act so impolitely in the feast. This was akin to slapping Haotian on the face.
Haotian's expression darkened. He never thought such a thing would happen before the feast had even started. Right before he lost his temper, a child that seemed about eight years old came scampering and bouncing into sight. He seemed to be fascinated by everything around him.
Ling Zhuzi ran toward Haotian and grinned at him. He said, "Your Majesty, my queen sent me here. This is… " He fumbled around his clothes for a moment before finally finding what he was looking for. With a grin, he continued, "This is what my queen told me to bring you." His words appeared very sincere, but it would have been better if he was not looking around curiously.
Haotian's eyebrow jumped as he looked at Ling Zhuzi , evidently speechless. Just as he was wondering who would send this Child Attendant over, Taibai Jinxing rushed in to explain, "Your Majesty, he's a Child Attendant of Goddess Nvywa."
Haotian was about to reprimand Ling Zhuzi and was forced to hold back all his scolding. If he reproached Ling Zhuzi, won't he be offending Goddess Nvywa? He could only force a smile on his face and said, "Ling Zhuzi, please convey my gratitude to Goddess Nvywa. Now, hurry up and get seated!"
Haotian rejoiced to find Ling Zhuzi's gift to be a Mid Grade Primordial Spiritual Treasure. This Sage was truly rich. She must have received many primordial spiritual treasures at the Treasure Gifting Rock where Honourable Ancestor distributed all his treasures. If only he had the chance to get one then.
After Haotian took the gift, Ling Zhuzi scampered to find a seat. Seeing that, Taibai Jinxing hastened to lead him to the seat reserved for Goddess Nvywa. Since each seat conveyed a different status, they couldn't be taken at random. No one wanted to incur the displeasure of anyone else.
Taibai Jinxing returned back to the gate after settling down Ling Zhuzi. "The Ancestor of Sorcery of the Wu Tribe, Xuan Ming is here." To the ears of the guests came the sounds of the usher. Instantly, Xuan Ming came to view and startled them. The Wu Tribe had not shown up for over thousand years since the battle. Xuan Ming's sudden arrival reminded them there were still Ancestor of Sorcerer left in the Wu Tribe.
Xuan Ming said coldly, "My sister won't be coming for she's occupied with the Nether World. I'm here to represent her to extend our congratulations. This is a gift from Wu Tribe. I hope you'll kindly accept it." With a wave of his hand, another Mid Grade Primordial Spiritual Treasure appeared in Haotian's hand.
Haotian wasn't concerned about Xuan Ming's cold tone for he knew Xuan Ming well. He simply invited Xuan Ming to his seat with extended hands and a moderate bow. Getting six primordial spiritual treasures in such a short time really threw Haotian into high spirits. He thought to himself there ought to be more such feasts in the future. Yet, that could only happen in his mind. Few people would bring such precious gifts a second time.
"Medicine Buddha and Maitreya of the Western Religious Sect is here!" Over ten disciples, led by Medicine Buddha and Maitreya, strutted in. They were shocked speechless. No one thought such a great number of men would come from the Western Religious Sect.
Medicine Buddha and Maitreya both bowed before Haotian and said, "Your Majesty, here is a gift from our master." Though it was merely a Low Grade primordial spiritual treasure, it still caused Zhunti some pain to give it away.
Haotian was rendered speechless by Zhunti's stinginess. He sent so many disciples to attend the feast yet only presented a Low Grade primordial spiritual treasure! How petty. But there was nothing he could say. He could only order for more seats to be added in order to accommodate them all.