The Five-Year Appointment
The carriage came to an abrupt halt, after they had passed a small brook. The setting sun indicated that it was time to set up camp. Since they’d been continuously marching around the clock, they were desperate to get some rest. As fatigued as they might be, they decided to have a sound sleep near the brook, and tomorrow, they would go on with their homeward journey.
“Elder Qingniu, Young lord Qinghan, and Miss Qingwu, we’ve finished preparing the camp. You may get out and have a rest!”
A little while later, Ye Ping rushed in front of the main carriage, to remind them to get out. Elder Qingniu responded with a slight nod, and stepped out of the carriage, before he glanced at the two youngsters in the carriage. While, at the same time, Qinghan winked at Qingwu, and held her hand tight as they went out together. To Qinghan’s surprise, however, Qingwu threw a rebuking glance at Qinghan, escaped his grip with a pouty expression, as if she was annoyed by Qinghan’s rude behavior, or she just pretended to be so. After that, she closely followed behind her grandfather.
“Respectful Elder Qingniu!”
As soon as Ye Qingniu walked into the crowd, he immediately received a warm welcome from all the other elders and young lords. Hurriedly, he bowed back as response. Among all of them, Ye Qingniu was apparently the most-senior in both family status and cultivation ability. It was no surprise for him to be revered among the youngsters, for he was ranked third in terms of defensive ability throughout the Mars Prefecture.
“Hehe, take it easy. I understand it, you guys must be tired from the long, and hasty journey!” With a faint trace of a smile on his face, Ye Qingniu got himself seated next to a burning bonfire.
“Young lord Qinghan, Miss Qingwu, come here and sit with us!” Feng Zi waved to Qinghan, suggesting them to go to another bonfire, which had been surrounded by Qingcheng, Sainan, and Shuiliu already.
“Yes, we’re coming!” Qinghan bowed to Elder Qingniu and the other elders, and took Qingwu towards Feng Zi, and the others. Like the other youngsters, they’d rather stay with their peers, rather than their elders; in that way, they could behave and talk more causally.
“Come, come! Young lord Qinghan, this is your spot. Haha, please sit beside Qingcheng. Oh, Miss Qingwu, errr… take a seat on the other side of Qinghan!” Feng Zi pushed Qinghan forward by his shoulders, showing him the spot, that was reserved for him beside Qingcheng. He was trying to make fun of the intimate relationship between Qinghan and his future wife.
“Young lord Feng Zi, you’re so robust these days. Qingcheng, you have to choose some really special girls for him when we get back.” Qinghan retorted in a mocking tone. While, at the same time, he sat on his spot.
“Eh? No, there’s no need to do so. Just normal ones are ok! Haha, anyway, I’ll punish myself by finishing this kettle of wine all by myself, for my inappropriate remarks.” Hastily, Feng Zi surrendered, for he was afraid that Qingcheng would sacrifice the reputation of the Yue Family, by sending him two of the ugliest girls, if she had been offended. If that happened, Feng Zi would be like a dump taking in a dose of bitter medicine, and he wouldn’t be able to express how miserable he felt.
Seeing her fiancé defending for her, Qingcheng raised her head and smiled at Qinghan, after which, she thrust out two slim fingers, and spoke up, “Two kettles!”
“Haha!” Everyone laughed. They’d already seen the tough side of Qingcheng back on Ghost Island, but Feng Zi still seemingly underestimated her.
Meanwhile, the servants placed trays of stewed meat, and kettles of wine, onto the table. But, to their disappointment, the volume of wine was sharply reduced compared with what they had had at the banquet. It might be Elder Qingniu’s decision to prohibit them from getting drunk once again. Of course, they all knew that they had to stay sober throughout this journey, especially among so many elders. Therefore, everyone opened their stomach, as they accepted the delicious food and wine while chatting cheerfully.
“Tomorrow, we’ll arrive at the legendary Luo Shen Mountain. We should have a close look at the geography there, after all, some of us might have the opportunity to visit and seek treasures there in five years! Hey, young lord Qinghan, I’m sure you’ll be qualified to enter the Heaven Path by then!” Shuiliu looked rather depressed, as he held a kettle of wine in his hands and drank like a fish. No doubt, he was envious of Qinghan for being surrounded by two beauties. A second later, he turned around, concealing his unbalanced mood.
“Why do all nice things all come to Qinghan?” Shuiliu murmured, as he was obviously rather displeased.
“Hehe, the world we live in is so volatile, and no one can predict what will happen several years from now. Young lord Shuiliu, it’s likely that you’ll see big improvements in your cultivation several years from now. Don’t be pessimistic, dude. Ah… the Luo Shen Mountain… it must be a nice place I guess. I’d like to have a look tomorrow!” Qinghan replied perfunctorily, as he was in the middle of a private conversation with Qingcheng.
On the other side, Sainan discovered the depression in Shuiliu’s eyes, so she glanced at Shuiliu before she spoke up, in an instructive tone, “Hehe, hey… if he puts all his time and energy on cultivation, rather than on women, he would already be a Marshal-Realm cultivator! Right? Young lord Shuiliu? You know, I strongly suggest all of you to focus on cultivation, so that we’ll all be allowed to enter the mountain to seek treasures! Some of you, perhaps, can even pass the third trial, and get the most-valued item preserved in the Small Immortal Pavilion at last!”
“Small Immortal Pavilion? The most-valued item? Is that item supposed to be more valuable than a saint-level item?”
Sainan’s motivating speech had grabbed everyone’s attention, except for Qinghan, who had been told the mysteries of the Luo Shen Mountain by Elder Qingniu already. As for Hua Cao, and the other young lords, their elders had kept the legend of Luo Shen Mountain a secret, for their level of cultivation was far too low. But the family had developed a reputation for their fetish in treasure-seeking, thus Hua Cao couldn’t help but ask Sainan closely.
“Don’t ask me, ask your elders for the details. The only thing I can tell you guys is, that in the Luo Shen Mountain, one can get Immortal-level items! We’re not sure, if over the thousands of years, adventurers have actually obtained such powerful items or not. According to legends, only those who pass the third trial will be allowed to get an Immortal-level item. Guys, five years from now, if we’re able to enter the mountain, some of you might have the chance to get one. Of course, sometimes, it all depends on luck. You know, luck plays a major part in seeking treasures in the Luo Shen Mountain…” Sainan reeled off the general picture about the Luo Shen Mountain. As the daughter of Dragon City leader, Sainan had the privilege of having access to the database of Dragon City. That explained why she knew more secrets than the others.
The crowd of youngsters were fully motivated by Sainan’s remarks. As inexperienced young lords and ladies, neither of whom had the chance to get even a saint-level item, let alone use it. Now, to their excitement, the Luo Shen Mountain indeed contained countless such items, and even immortal-level ones. This new information gripped their heartstring for a long while.
Looking at the passionate expression on everyone’s face, Sainan nodded her head satisfactorily. During the Prefecture War, to some extent, they had become sworn friends after going through several arduous battles together. In Sainan’s opinion, as their friend, she thought it obliged to remind them to cultivate diligently, rather than squander their precious time on playing around.
She had, therefore, used the Luo Shen Mountain to encourage them. Since her purpose was fulfilled, she continued after she stoked the fire.
“Nevertheless, I have to admonish of you that anyone below the Realm of the Emperor isn’t allowed to go into the mountain. If you guys wish to seek treasures, when the Heaven Path opens five years from now, you have to cultivate really hard, otherwise you have to wait for the next time this golden opportunity presents itself… During this Prefecture War, I learned a lot, really. Also, I kind of understand the rudiments of the Laws of Heaven and Earth. Ha, I guess I’ll become an Emperor-Realm cultivator very soon. I swear… I’ll go to the Luo Shen Mountain in five years! As for the rest of you, it all depends on your cultivation, whether we can go there together or not. I deeply, deeply hope that all of us will have a chance to try our luck in one of the three most deserted place of our continent, the Luo Shen Mountain!”
Everyone was left dumbfounded by Sainan, this time, not for the mystery of the Luo Shen Mountain, but for her abrupt improvement in cultivation. She was going to break into the Realm of the Emperor very soon! It would take her at most one or two more years to reach this breakthrough. Considering her age, 28-year-old, she was most likely to be an Emperor-Realm cultivator before the age of 30! That was astonishing! Over the last hundreds of years, there had emerged no one with such potential, other than Ye Dao, Qinghan’s father. At the beginning, everyone was shocked and felt rather happy for their friend’s would-be achievement. On second thought, however, with such an exemplary figure in front of them, they felt the pressure upon their shoulders, and felt slightly ashamed.
Soon, some of them figured out Sainan’s good intention. During their one-year company, they had come to understand, that Sainan wasn’t a person who was fond of showing off her merits in front of others. Her unusual behavior could only be explained, that she truly wished to stimulate their desire to increase their cultivation realm. In this way, in five years, they would all be allowed to take part in the treasure-seeking adventure. She hoped, that all her friends would make cultivation their number one priority in the future.
“Hehe… Thanks so much for your kind reminder, Miss Sainan. It’s a sharp warning for all of us! When I get back home, I will submerge myself in cultivation to strive for a chance to join you in five years from now. At that time, we can all gather once again at the Luo Shen Mountain!” After a short while of meditation, Feng Zi spoke up. As a straightforward young lord, he couldn’t hide anything from his heart and threw it all out. Everyone could feel the resoluteness in his tone.
Following Feng Zi’s passionate statement, Hua Cao yelled hysterically, “Me too! I promise, in five years, I’ll have caught up with you in cultivation!”
“We really appreciate it, Miss Sainan. I… I admit my lax attitude in cultivation, but, I will close the door and cultivate inside my room until I’ve improved sufficiently! I hope I can join all of you!” Shuiliu spoke with a blushed face, but his attitude was sincere.
“Heihei, since you guys all vowed to be serious in cultivation, I have to cultivate around the clock in case to be outstripped by any of you!” Qingwu chuckled, as she replied jokingly. While, at the same time, being tired from sitting in an unmoved stance for so long, she stretched herself leisurely, giving emphasis to her proud breasts.
“Yeah, we all have to cultivate hard. Let’s make a five-year appointment at the Luo Shen Mountain!” Qingcheng looked rather confident, for she had Qinghan, who could enter the Soul Tranquil state and help her to improve in cultivation. As long as she married Qinghan, they could both escalate in cultivation with the so-called Dual Cultivation.
“Hey, Little Qinghan? Why are you so silent? Don’t you have confidence in your own cultivation?” Qingwu turned to Qinghan, who just smiled at everyone but didn’t say a word.
“Hehe… To break into the Realm of the Emperor in five years? That’s a piece of cake! I’m only two realms away from it. Don’t you guys remember, I made three breakthroughs within a year!” Qinghan replied absentmindedly. Of course, like Sainan, he was just trying to goad the others to be more diligent.
“Ohhh…” But, Qinghan had somehow left the others embarrassed, including Sainan. Right now, she was the most advanced cultivator among them all, with her current achievement at the peak level of the Realm of the Prince. However, compared with Qinghan’s terrifying speed in cultivation, she would be surpassed by him sooner or later.