Dragon City, located in the center of the Mars Prefecture, was said to have existed since the ancient times. Originally, the three races co-inhabited the continent, without being divided into three prefectures. At that time, small conflicts were commonplace, but no large-scale war ever occurred.
Later, there emerged the first Emperor – Long, who united the whole continent and established the Flame Dragon Empire, by leading the three races to a great number of battlefields. Dragon City was set up as the Capital of the empire, and the continent was segmented into three prefectures, with each prefecture being led by a General.
Although there wasn’t adequate evidence to support the authenticity of this legend, the prosperity of Dragon City was beyond question. The city wall, which was more than twenty meters in height, and ten meters in depth, surrounded the city in a dumpling shape. Moreover, the city moat, that was also dozens of meters wide, flowed along the city in tempestuous torrents, the depth of which was unfathomable.
“What a magnificent city wall!”
It was Qinghan’s first time to come to Dragon City. He was marveled by the grandiose of the city wall, when he pushed the curtain and peeked at the nearby scenery.
The family names printed on the flag of each carriage, allowed them to march into the city without being scrutinized. At least, the authority of the five prominent families wasn’t challenged at the city gates. The soldiers stood along both sides of the streets, saluting the array of carriage, with eyes full of envy and respect.
On a crossroad, the group of carriages diverged into five different teams. Each family went to their respective manor, and planned to assemble tomorrow morning at the city major mansion.
The manor, that belonged to the Ye family, was located in the eastern part of the city. It was a half hour ride from the entrance of the city to the manor. When they arrived at their destination, they saw lines of people standing in front of the bronze gate, greeting them with big smiles.
“Your highness, young lord Qinghan!”
The moment Qinghan stepped out of his carriage, the crowd immediately kneeled down on one leg, as only the middle-aged man in the middle remained unmoved.
“Welcome, I’m Ye Ping. Dear nephew, I hope that you had a pleasant journey!” The middle-aged man, roughly in his forties, broke the silence. He looked like an educated gentleman.
“Nice to meet you, Elder Ye Ping!” Qinghan had been informed about Ye Ping beforehand, and had learned that this guy was from his father’s generation, and had had a good relationship with Ye Dao. As a collateral descendant of the Ye family, as well as a cultivator in the second level of the Realm of the Emperor, Ye Ping was appointed to be in charge of this manor many years ago. Given his capacity, Ye Ping was one of the elders that had real influence within the family. Unlike Ye Gun, who was also a collateral descendant, Ye Ping was one of the family’s top management personnel.
It might be Ye Ping’s sincerity, or his influential status, but Qinghan replied to him with equal kindness.
At first, Ye Ping was surprised by Qinghan’s courteous bow, and sweet smile, for he had been told that Qinghan was a teenager with an unbridled personality, who even dared to curse at his elders.
“Look at him, he isn’t as impolite as the rumor says.” Ye Ping thought to himself, and in a hurry, he grabbed Qinghan’s hand, “Come with me. I have prepared a banquet for you. This is the reception we arranged in honor of your coming.”
“Oh, Elder Ye Ping, you’re so kind!” Qinghan followed Ye Ping, and nodded to Shisan and Dongfang over his shoulder, before he entered the house.
After having dined and wined, together with Ye Ping, Qinghan was now satisfactorily enjoying a cup of tea. He sat there quietly, waiting for Ye Ping to tell him something. Previously, the elders of the Ye family had told Qinghan very little about the upcoming war, so he predicted that this task might fall onto Ye Ping’s shoulders.
“Tomorrow, you have to go to the city major mansion to collect your badge. The day after tomorrow, you’ll be transferred to the island of the Prefecture War through a place in the city major mansion. But before that, let me explain the Elite Prefecture War to you in detail. Also I’ll remind you of the do’s and don’ts of this war.”
Without much formality, Ye Ping cut straight to the point. Although he had participated in the Prefecture War only once, he had drawn experience from the various Elite Prefecture Wars the family had taken part in. Plus, he had deliberately gone to the city major mansion, the moment he had received this task, and he had thumbed through several books on the subject of the Elite Prefecture War. It was fair to say, that Ye Ping was well prepared to finish this job that was assigned to him by the Ye family. Right now, Qinghan was all ears, craving for more knowledge on the war. The rapt expression on Qinghan’s face encouraged Ye Ping to pump out as much information as he possibly could.
“First of all, let me introduce you to the island of the Prefecture War: it is comprised of four small islands. The relatively larger one is in the center, which is surrounded by the three smaller ones. The battlefield of the Elite Prefecture War is on the central island… The central island, which is one-tenth of the size of the Mars Prefecture, is also known as Ghost Island. Later, I’ll show you a map. Oh, remember, the Prefecture War is held on Ghost Island, and except for the descendants from the Ye family, you can kill anyone as you like. You have to make sure to trust no one. It happens that people from the Mars Prefecture will sometimes betray their own fellowmen, and kill someone from the same prefecture by assassination or a secretly schemed plot. As long as no evidence is left, no one will be held responsible for the death.”
“As for the Elite Prefecture War, the number of participants accumulates to over 100,000 people. There are fifty elite teams in total, which accounts for 10,000 people. The other 90,000 people are normal soldiers. As per previous wars, in the beginning, the elite teams will fight with each other for months. The massive final battle, which will be the most chaotic, will be held in the final month. The family suggests that you, young lord, should stay away from this massive battle, for it is too risky. Your main task is to go to Ghost Island, and kill the elites from the other two prefectures. This way, you can collect badges, which stands for credits.”
“Oh, I see. But how do they calculate the credits?” Qinghan winked his eyes, and asked inquisitively.
“Before I start to explain the credit issue, let me first tell you the difference between the Demon Prefecture and the Barbarian Prefecture. The inhabitants of the Demon Prefecture are divided into nine ranks – Demonic Soldier, Mighty Demonic Soldier, Demonic Warrior, Mighty Demonic Warrior, Demonic General, Demonic Marshal, Demonic Emperor, Demonic King, and Demonic Saint. Similarly, the Barbarian Prefecture has also categorized their citizens into the following grades: Barbarian Soldier, Mighty Barbarian Soldier, Barbarian Warrior, Mighty Barbarian Warrior, Barbarian General, Barbarian Marshal, Barbarian Emperor, Barbarian King, and Barbarian Saint. Before the age of thirty, almost no one will be able to become a Demonic or Barbarian Emperor. Of course, your father, Ye Dao was an exception. I remember, he obtained the Realm of the Emperor at the age of twenty-eight. But, don’t worry, you won’t encounter such a genius from the other prefectures, because it takes at least hundreds of years to have a cultivator like your father appear. Listen, in the first half year, you’d better focus most of your attention on cultivation, rather than fighting. You aren’t allowed to frequently participate in the war, until you’ve reached the Realm of the Marshal. Because only by then will you be able to escape from those Demonic or Barbarian Emperors. Shiqi and Shisan will inform you the details about this… Ok, let’s get back to the credits. Taking the Demon Prefecture as an example, the Demonic Soldier and Mighty Demonic Soldier are normal soldiers, so you can only get one point for killing them. One Demonic Warrior equals two points, one Mighty Demonic Warrior represents five points, a Demonic General is worth ten points, a Demonic Marshal thirty points, and a Demonic Emperor one hundred points!”[Editor note: Just so you guys don’t get confused like me, The Demonic and Barbarian Emperors are equal to the human Realm of The Prince. Ye Dao was in the Realm of The Emperor, which is equal to Demonic and Barbarian King]
Qinghan lowered his head, calculating silently. After a short while, he raised his head with a solemn expression, “Do I have to kill at least 100 Demonic Emperors, or more than 300 Demonic Marshals, or 1,000 Demonic Generals, in order to accumulate the 10,000 credits needed to exchange for one Spirit Immortal Dan?”
“Mathematically, you are right.” Ye Ping nodded his head in confirmation, and sighed, “However, the elite teams of each prefecture are led by cultivators in the Realm of the Prince, or by Demonic Emperors, or by Barbarian Emperors. An advanced leader can increase the average power of their whole team. Qinghan, you’re in the Realm of the General, right? But I’m afraid your true ability has already surpassed the first level of the Realm of the Marshal. Hehe, that’s why the family has sent you out. Remember, you must take Shisan and Shiqi’s advice during the war…”
“What a tough task!” Qinghan sighed helplessly.
The Spirit Immortal Dan was a valuable treasure, and it took an enormous amount of effort to get just one pill. Although it was said, that the total number of elites amounted to over 100,000, which should be equivalent to millions of credits, it would take unimaginable effort, or even one’s life, to kill them all. Therefore, even the aim of 10,000 credits was difficult to reach. At least, considering his current level of cultivation, Qinghan found it as an insurmountable mountain, as high as the mountains outside of Wild City!
The conversation continued until midnight. Qinghan listened with great attention, for it was directly related to his own life, as well as his sister’s life. Never in his lifetime did he shoulder such a heavy responsibility. The credits were so hard to obtain. Basically, Qinghan had to risk his life in order to obtain these credits.
Later, Ye Ping arranged a room for Qinghan to rest. Looking at the back of Qinghan, who was disappearing in the darkness, Ye Ping stood up and walked into a quiet study, where a figure in green clothing stood waiting. This figure was reading, while drinking a cup of tea.
“Your highness! Great elder Qingniu!” Ye Ping bent his knees, and greeted him with immense courtesy.
“Have you told him everything?” The man in green clothing turned around, staring at Ye Ping with his prominent eyes.
“Yes, your highness, I have told him everything as per your request.” Ye Ping replied cautiously, and frowned with confusion, “Great elder, I still have some doubts about this. Why do we send Qinghan, but not the others, to the Prefecture War? I don’t think he has much of a chance in obtaining the required credits. Plus, the war is too dangerous. I mean, we could possibly sacrifice a potential supreme cultivator in the process…”
“Both the leader and I know it for certain, that he won’t be able to get the 10,000 credits. You know, we have already arranged a secret team of advanced cultivators to secretly gain credits for him. Since he has been selected by the holy virgin, the Yue family is now also definitely on our side. They’ve promised to send out three advanced elite teams, to contribute to the overall credits.” Ye Qingniu explained after seriously pondering for a while.
“As for why we are sending Qinghan to the war, alas… it is caused by that moron, Ye Jian! If it wasn’t for the mess he created, we wouldn’t think of this method to save the situation. Previously, Qinghan was determined to leave the Ye Castle once and for all. We had no choice, but to regain his trust by saving his sister. As for the risks… our leader said, it’ll good for him to experience this slaughter, because it’ll lay the foundation for him to become an even more advanced cultivator. Moreover, our leader has arranged Shisan and Shiqi to guarantee his safety. As long as he isn’t a radical fighter, there shouldn’t be any problems. You don’t have to worry about these things.”
“I hope that our young lord will still be safe and sound after the three-year Prefecture War!”
“I hope so too! Later, ask Shisan and Shiqi to come to see me. I have something to tell them.”
The sighs made by Qingniu added a touch of melancholy to this summer night…