Situated to the north of the Forest Pass Province, the Swallow Province wasn't nearly as large as the former. The extremely rare veins of primal stones located here was something that ensured its position as one of the more important provinces on the continent, however.
As one of the most fundamental objects needed for a soul cultivator to train, primal stones were in great demand throughout the continent. And as one of the larger suppliers of primal stones, the Swallow Province held a very luxurious business extracting and selling them.
The vein of primal stones ran along a line that crossed along the boundaries of Swallow City. For a hundred years, the house of Qin and the Tianhun School were able to operate the mine together without trouble.
And because of that mine, the Qin were able to go from being one of the strongest in the Swallow Province to becoming the strongest family in the Swallow Province. The resources the Qin had to take from were essentially limitless and were one of the primary reasons how they were able to produce so many powerful individuals. In terms of strength, they were a family that were inferior only to the Five Families and were rumored to be able to produce a Soul Emperor sooner or later.
Should that happen, the Five Families would become the Six Families.
Geographically, Swallow City was located at the central point of its province on top of a large plain. There was also a chain of large mountains, most of which were also veins for primal stones.
While not as large as Mo City, Swallow City had an economy that wasn't any less prosperous. Economically, it was even comparable to Redfire City and their closeness to the Crafting School—which meant an influx of soul armaments every so often.
Considering how massive of an undertaking the mines were, there'd be no way for either the Qin or the Tianhun School to be able to oversee operations of it. So they would employ soul cultivators to 'mine' the vein. The rewards were obviously quite lavish, so there was never a shortage of soul cultivators wanting the position.
With soul cultivators earning a wage in primal stones, the ones living in Swallow City subsequently became far more prone to being thrifty compared to ones living elsewhere. And with an economy where primal stones were in constant circulation, this naturally meant that the economy of the city flourished at a stupendous pace.
One afternoon on the main roads to the southern gates of Swallow City walked a young male and female.
The young male was dressed in plain gray robes and the female in a deep-blue skirt. The male was not someone that could be considered extraordinarily handsome, but the faint smile on his face was quite distinctive. In contrast, the woman with him was exceedingly beautiful with skin as white as snow and eyebrows as supple as the branches to a willow. She looked graceful to the eye and seemed almost fairy-like.
Many passersby would stop and gaze upon her for a moment whenever they passed, as if entranced by the beauty that was traveling on the same road as them.
Overhead the two, a pair of white birds flew in a circle around them. They looked to be playing with one another, but the sight of these white birds flying around the male and female seemed almost poetic. It seemed as if the two were a match made in heaven.
This male was Bai Yunfei, and the female, was of course Tang Xinyun.
Now that Tang Xinyun's mother was for the most part cured of her poison, the two decided to venture out from Mo City towards Swallow City. The path they took wasn't a direct route, as the two decided to sight see here and there, but it took them seven days worth of time to reach their destination.
It seemed everywhere they went, Bai Yunfei would be accosted by a few men who'd send some envious glares at him. He could only wrinkle his nose at such people before he'd lean over to whisper to his companion.
"Xinyun, I've never realized it before, but it seems the envy of even commoners can cause something like a soul attack. The glares I've seen so far…if looks could kill, I'd be dead several times over for having a beauty like you by my side…."
Tang Xinyun raised her robe sleeves to her lips so as to hide her giggle. Then, with a subdued voice and a red face, she asked, "Should…should I alter my appearance too?"
"No, that's not necessary." Bai Yunfei rejected the idea at once. "My wife is so beautiful, how could I not let the world know it? What good would hiding you be? I'd rather let everyone be jealous. It's…a better feeling than I thought, haha!!"
"Ai! What do you mean, 'wife'? Don't speak nonsense like that…" Embarrassed, Tang Xinyun aimed a baleful look at Bai Yunfei.
Ever since Bai Yunfei gained her father's approval, Tang Xinyun was getting more and more used to the words he was saying.
The pinched eyebrows of Tang Xinyun looked absolutely adorable to Bai Yunfei, and he found it impossible not to pinch her cheeks and running off when she yelped…
Meanwhile in the center of Swallow City where a two-storied luxurious restaurant stood.
There was a spacious private room with a table filled with delicacies of all types. Half a dozen young men dressed in richly robes sat equal distance around the table as they dined and wined with one another. With the amount of laughter their group was making, it seemed that they cared not for the dining experiences of anyone else that might've been in close proximity to their room.
"Haha, here's a toast, brother Feng, to an early advancement to the Soul King realm! Become a Soul King and lead the rest of our generation to glory!"
One of the diners was a rather oily-faced youth with a pointy chin. Laughing as he stood, his right hand clasped a goblet of fine wine to toast and flatter the youth sitting in the middle.
The one he was toasting was a quite powerful youth. He was already a Late-stage Soul Exalt at his young age, and even though he wasn't at the limits of his stage, he was still quite close to it. It was a matter of years, if not months, before this person would breakthrough and become a Soul King.
Standing up, the second youth knocked his goblet against the first with a seemingly calm smile. "You're too kind, brother Sun Jian. I apologize for my lacking etiquette today. This place is like my second home, but please, make yourself at home and come find me if you ever need anything!"
It wasn't the restaurant that was this youth was talking about, but the entire city itself! This youth was none other than the second son of the Qin, Qin Shoufeng!
The one named Sun Jian took this invitation with gleaming eyes of adoration. "You've my thanks for your support, lord Feng! Please call upon me if there is anything this little brother is needed for, no matter how hard it may be!"
To the other side of Qin Shoufeng sat a youth with hair long and spread out like a shawl. "Lord Qin, I've heard you were given a heaven-tier soul armament from the Crafting School upon your visit? Are the rumors true? And may we be given the chance to see it?"
"What?!" Sun Jian cried out, "Lord Feng, you've a heaven-tier soul armament?!"
All eyes were drawn to Qin Shoufeng. Looking pleased for just a moment at their envious looks, Qin Shoufeng quickly composed himself before he spoke again.
"You are correct, brother Zhang. I went there not too long ago and was able to request for a heaven-tier soul armament."
A long sword nearly as red as fire itself appeared into his hand, basking the room in a wave of heat when it appeared.
"This elemental fire! As expected from a heaven-tier soul armament!!"
Everyone gasped aloud.
This was truly a heaven-tier soul armament! Only the wealthy families and Soul Kings were in possession of powerful soul armaments such as these, so it was rare for those of the young generation to see such sights.
"My my…lord Feng is blessed in many ways. Talented in cultivation, supported by a powerful family, and in possession of a heaven-tier soul armament. Truly, what an envious sight!" A pudgy young man sighed in admiration.
"How truly envious indeed, but that's not all." A skinny young man to the left of Qin Shoufeng cackled mysteriously. "It's a secret, but I've heard lord Feng is betrothed to the beautiful Tang Xinyun from the house of Tang. He'll be a son-in-law to the Tang soon enough. Not only is lord Feng a genius in cultivation, but also blessed with woman, how envious!"
"Oh? Is that true?! A betrothment to the daughter of the Tang?!" Sun Jian's eyes were bulging out from their sockets at that.
"One of the Five Families! What an absolute dream that would be, married to her…this is a dream for me, but a reality for lord Feng, how wonderful!"
No longer able to maintain his calm composure, Qin Shoufeng cracked a wide smile towards his companions. "Haha, since the secrets out, I may as well divulge it. My father decided not too long ago on fulfilling the betrothment and has already sent the gifts to the Tang. I'll be married to that Tang Xinyun soon enough, so please, come to my wedding! I'll be insulted if you don't!"
It wasn't made public that he was to be wed to Tang Xinyun, but Qin Shoufeng was far too impatient to deny knowledge of it to his companions. It'd be their little secret for now.
Qin Shoufeng's was entirely content with how much praise he was getting. Now that their meal was over, the group decided to continue their talks in another avenue.
Sun Jian was the first to lead the group out from the restaurant when he came to a screeching halt as if he had seen a ghost.
"What's the matter, Sun Jian?" The white-robed youth asked.
"She's…she's beautiful!! Look! Look at that goddess!!" Sun Jian's eyes were glued to a sight in front of him.
Everyone else looked quite annoyed at his actions. He was a country bumpkin in comparison to them, and so the rest of the group thought him of having a standard of beauty that wasn't quite up there. Nonetheless, they all followed his gaze to where a person was just about to walk into a nearby restaurant.
And at the sight, the rest of the group felt their jaws drop wide open as well.
"She's stunning! Did Swallow City have a beauty like her? How didn't I know?"
"Yeah! None of the families in Swallow City have a daughter half as beautiful as she is, why haven't we heard of her before? Is she not from around here?"
The pudgy and skinny youths murmured to one another.
Leaning against a corner of the wall he was next to, Qin Shoufeng watched as the blue-clothed beauty walk into the nearby restaurant. He didn't say a word though his eyes followed after her figure attentively like a hungry wolf eyeing its prey.
Then, a lustful smirk appeared on his face…