Chapter 23- Ye City
Ye City was the closest city to the ZhongMing mountains . The official hosts would make arrangements for all the people participating in the Flower Picking Festival . ‘One Mountain Three Sects, Double Buddhist Temples’ would alternate being hosts . This year was the QingLu Sword Sect’s turn .
Since the QingLu Sword Sect already was established in the Southern Continent and also had some connections with Ye City’s government, many portions of the arrangements proceeded smoothly
With this year’s Flower Picking Festival, they put even more effort into the preparations . It was not only to exhibit the foundation and prestige of an affluent sect, but more importantly- barring any accidents, the pride of their sect: ‘Sword of Rain and Wind’ Zhong Shan will prevail .
The preparations for accommodations for each sect’s disciples, the protection arrays at the base of ZhongMing Mountains, and the safeguarding and renovation of the mountain paths, had all begun half a year ago .
Although the three of them arrived a month before the appointed date, the courtyards for Cang Ya disciples beside Lake Qiu were already arranged .
After Song Tang brought Luo MingChuan to the city center, Luo MingChuan returned to the city gates to wait for Yin BiYue and Duan ChongXuan .
Ye City was built a long time ago; long enough to be traced back to the Ye Town from the ‘End of Dharma Era’ . Because of its geographical location and convenient trade routes, Ye City became one of the biggest cities in the northern part of the Southern Continent .
And later, with the advent of the Flower Picking Festival, the city expanded even more rapidly . As of today, the city wall comprised of eight huge city gates, each day seeing tens of thousands of people passing through .
By the time the three of them entered the city it was already late afternoon; just as the city guards rotated their shifts . The most majestic city on the western side of Southern Continent finally exhibited its glory .
Teams of guards hurried through the city in organized formations . Their polished heavyset black armor reflected the light, obsidian scabbards holding changdao fitted around their waists, their demeanors solemn yet dignified .
All the commoners in the city seemed to be perfectly fine with it .
The old man at the roadside wonton stall was still peddling his goods, the entertainers on the pedestrian overpass were still calling out slogans, and the children running about the streets were still play-fighting with wooden swords and sugared hawthorn skewers .
Yin BiYue could not understand, “What’s the purpose of the city guards here?”
Were they not used for maintaining the image of a tidy and serene city? Why were the peddlers at the roadside stalls not even a little bit afraid of them?
The three of them strolled along the wide streets . Duan ChongXuan flapped his fan and gazed with great interest at the young ladies fluttering their handkerchiefs at him from atop the building .
“It’s a hard job . Even with this kind of hot weather, they’re wrapped head to toe with armor while patrolling the streets . If they happen to meet cultivators fighting, then they must intercept and maintain order by asking them to find a different place to fight so that the children, flowers, and grasses will be not hurt . If they happen on powerful people who are starting fights, they must open the city’s underground passage to allow the elderly, women, and common people to first take refuge… The guards must help even if it’s meeting a old woman carrying a heavy object . Isn’t it miserable?”
Luo MingChuan smiled a little and continued to explain to Yin BiYue . “The road we’re walking on right now is Ye city’s main road . It’s extremely crowded . If we were to ride a horse, these black armored guards would come to remind us to dismount, as to avoid collisions with pedestrians and vendors . They’re expressionless and cold as to represent the city’s prestige and to intimidate the foreign cultivators to stop them from being domineering . ”
Duan ChongXuan smiled, “Although their duties are tiring, the salary is very high . They also are loved and well-respected by the residents of Ye City and has the government as a patron . Here, whoever’s son passed the assessment and was selected to be the city guard is seen as bringing honor to his ancestors . Ye City is probably the only one of with its kind in the entire Southern Continent .
Yin BiYue was deeply moved .
Common people and cultivators, placards¹ and swords, peddlers and black-armored squadrons . In this city, they are harmoniously unified .
He then suddenly thought that this all traced back to Ye City’s owner — a powerful Greater Vessel stage cultivator . Powerful enough to set his own rules unchallenged in the entire Southern Continent . Powerful enough to protect something .
He suddenly felt admiration for this city owner .
At this time, Yin BiYue had not the slightest idea that these emotions came into existence because, subconsciously, he already had something he wanted to protect .
It might be the expansive and misty Xi Hua Peak . Or perhaps his sincere fellow disciples who would defend him unconditionally . Or the endless and majestic Cang Ya . Or maybe it was the disciples who sent them off with their waving swords .
This strongly violated the code of how a villain should feel . But in this moment, Yin BiYue did not feel there was anything wrong .
As the day slowly faded and twilight lost its radiance, the city’s streetlights began to impatiently flickered aflame .
A huge red lantern hung on the eaves of a large estate, the gold-lined festive lanterns hanging from a charming theater house, and the warm yellow glow from the roadside tavern mingled with fragrant wine and laughing words drifted from between the door blinds .
The city at night came even more alive; a sea of lights, a blanket of people .
The three of them slowly walked out of the city’s centre along main road; leaving behind the streetlight, the music, and all of the clamor .
The further south they travelled, the quieter the night became . In the alleyways of the limestone road, the lights and shadows intertwined, occasionally revealing inscribed plaques and divine beasts carved from stone in the depths of a courtyard .
Past the district of rich nobles in the south side of the city, was Lake Qiu .
The glow of manmade lights no longer were present to compete . The brilliance of the stars scattered across the sky, falling onto the lake’s crystalline surface, shimmering . Quiet but not desolate .
The newly built courtyard stood in the darkness of the lakeside silently, engulfed by the night .
In the half month during the Flower Picking Festival, they will be staying here .
The three of them paused on the lakeside . The night wind caressed their faces, refreshing their spirits .
Luo MingChuan spoke, “There are thirty people coming including the three of us . There are ten lodgings in total . In other words, three or four people share one place . ”
Yin BiYue have not yet reacted when Duan ChongXuan replied, “Sure, we’ll share one . ”
Luo MingChuan saw that Yin BiYue did not say anything, seeming to tacitly agree to this arrangement . He couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief . “Let’s go then . ”
They unanimously walked to the courtyard nearest to the lake . The biggest courtyard up north would be set aside for Xi Ping Peak elder, who led this year’s group .
“There were originally servants who cleaned and looked after this courtyard . But seeing as how the only people who’ve arrived are us three, there’s no need for them . I’ll send them back . ”
“The more people, the more chaotic . This is pretty good . Fourth shixiong, what about you?”
Yin BiYue wordlessly nodded his head . He was only thinking that the geographic placement was perfect for practicing the Frigid Water Sword .
The new courtyard, built half a year ago, was tidied and swept clean with a magnolia tree planted in the center . It was the flowering season and the white flowers hidden in the foliage of green leaves embellished the small courtyard with a bit of beauty .
The courtyard was not big . Of the four bedrooms, there were no master bedroom . Yin BiYue chose one at random . A light jade-colored tea table and a veiled bed were placed inside . The room was neither luxurious nor was it barren . He was quite pleased with it .
Abruptly, a loud noise came from the neighboring room . Yin BiYue’s heart suddenly dropped .
Next door is Chatterbox’s room!
He ran out with his sword in hand and immediately broke down Duan ChongXuan’s door-
And saw that… . Chatterbox was moving furniture .
The wooden veiled bed was already replaced by his own red sandalwood one with carvings of flowers and mackerel . The table was changed into a long tea table decorated with lotus carvings and embedded with spiralling metals .
As for the loud noise, it was the chrysanthemum pearl cabinet embedded with jewels being moved .
There were no strange treasures placed around the room . It was just the inlay of spiralling metals, silver, gold, pearls, jewels on the furnitures alone that produced an eye-catching incandescence luminescence .
Yin BiYue simply suspected that this scam can move in an entire palace!
Chatterbox saw him and immediately understood . He apologetically said, “Fourth shixiong, I was being too noisy . ”
Yin BiYue shook his head, “No… I just thought something happened to you . ”
Duan Chatterbox suddenly smiled happily . “Shixiong, you came just in time! I was just going to find you!”
And then he slightly lowered his voice, “Ye city’s Miss Yun XiangRong skills on the pipa² is exceptional . Her reputation is the best in all of the Southern Continent . Tonight at the JinFengYuLu pavilion…
Yin BiYue instantly understood! Duan Chatterbox was inviting him to go to a! Blossom! House!!³
Atop the balconies beneath the night, alongside painted lanterns and river-like sleeves, are beauties playing music .
People who have never visited a blossom house were incomplete!
Just thinking about it… is a little exciting!
Yin BiYue was not going there to do anything . It was just that in his previous life experiences, he could never experience this kind of thing . Knowledge of the unknown will always attract people . Not to mention, going to the brightly decorated blossom house in the dead of night was rather exhilarating .
He was just going to nod until he suddenly saw Duan Chatterbox’s complexion become stern, “ Across from JinFengYuLu pavilion is the TaiHe pavilion . In the evening, there will be a storyteller on stage . His stories will draw you into another world, causing one to applaud and shout praise . It’s definitely worth it to go . Fourth shixiong, what do you think?”
Yin BiYue was shocked!
He felt deeply ashamed of his own vulgarity compared with Duan Chatterbox’s chasteness!
He followed Chatterbox’s gaze around to see Luo MingChuan standing beside the doorway, smiling faintly . An upright noblemen’s appearance .
“So two shidi were actually going to listen to a storyteller . ”
Duan Chatterbox nodded repeatedly, “Exactly . Luo shixiong, do you want to go together?”
Yin BiYue felt even more ashamed .
1) 酒旗 (alcohol flag / placard) : It’s a flag with the word alcohol written on it . It’s one of the oldest first type of advertisement in China .
2) 琵琶 (pipa) : a plucked instrument .
3) 花楼 (blossom house): somewhat similar to a brothel . Rather than only prostitutes, some women have exceptional skill in dancing or performing instruments . Blossom house can also act as a pub, a restaurant, and a meeting place .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!