The Island of the Prefecture War
The white-robed man, after he raised up his head finding the perplexed expressions of the crowd, explained, “The color of the ring matches with your own true capacity. Once the ring is activated, it will cling to your finger until you die. However, you can still find ways to take it off, either by cutting your finger off, or by going to Immortal City at the end of the Prefecture War.”
Following the crowd, Qinghan also collected his ring, and figured out the rules behind it after some careful observation. Based on the exerted Battle Qi, the white crystal bar could identify the ranks of the cultivators: white rings were for normal soldiers, red rings for cultivators in the Realm of the Elite, orange rings for cultivators in the Realm of the Commander, yellow rings for cultivators in the Realm of the General, green rings for cultivators in the Realm of the Marshal, and cyan rings for cultivators in the Realm of the Prince.
As for the cultivators in the same realm, the shade of the color differed as per their level. Those at the first level of the Realm of the General, for instance, had their ring turn light-yellow; while the color of the ring of those in the second level was shallow-yellow, and the final level was marked by a dark-yellow color.
Theoretically, as a cultivator in the first level of the Realm of the General, Qinghan should obtain a light-yellow ring. And if his integration power was included, he was even qualified to get the dark-green ring.
Actually, in the Elite Prefecture War, only cultivators in the same realm were allowed to fight with each other. Therefore, some cultivators cheated in the test, in order to conceal their true abilities, so that their risk of being killed would be somewhat minimized.
Feng Zi, for example, was tested as a cultivator in the third level of the Realm of the General. However, with his special swordsmanship, his power could be improved to the Realm of the Marshal. Hu Cao, who was at the same cultivation level as Feng Zi, with the help of his Invisible Technique, could easily stab those in the first level of the Realm of the Marshal to death. However, the concealment of power wasn’t only an advantage to those from the Mars Prefecture. Some demons and barbarians also intentionally disguised their true abilities. Thus, the rings, sometimes, didn’t tell the whole story of one’s cultivation.
Four hours later, everyone had received a ring as their badge. Qinghan’s ring was shallow-yellow, which was within his expectation. What surprised him was, that Qingcheng had actually collected a dark-yellow ring, indicating her true ability – the third level of the Realm of the General. No one was sure how much she could improve, if she used the special soul-based technique of the Yue family.
Out of sheer curiosity, Qinghan fixed his eyes on Qingcheng’s ring for a little while. When Qingcheng realized Qinghan’s interest in her ring, she tossed her head towards him, “Hehe, you know, I’m able to kill those in the second level of the Realm of the Marshal, as long as their soul isn’t extremely tough. Ye Qinghan, never underestimate a woman! At least, unlike others, I’m not as weak as a flower vase.”
“Oh my goodness!” Staring at her intelligent eyes, Qinghan was shocked. He realized, that even a woman in the five prominent families, could obtain such a terrifying cultivation level… At the same time, the fragrance in the air slightly touched Qinghan’s heart string.
The Ye Family’s Manor, Dragon City.
In one of the small lobbies, Qinghan summoned his newly-recruited disciples. Because of the loyalty these five people had expressed, Qinghan had found them to be trustworthy. Moreover, they were the descendants of those saved by his father, hence Qinghan found it impropriate to snub them.
In public, they called Qinghan young lord, while in private, they called him young master. Nevertheless, Qinghan wasn’t interested in this title at all.
“Tomorrow, we’ll go to the island of the Prefecture War. You know how dangerous it will be, don’t you? I bet you also know our main purpose for this war. Well, if you drop out at this moment, I won’t blame you guys. Also, I’ll ask our family to assign you better jobs.” Qinghan said sincerely, because he thought that it would be a pity for these talented young guys to sacrifice themselves for him.
The five disciples looked at each other, and found the ironclad determination in each other’s eyes.
“If it wasn’t for your father, we wouldn’t be where we are today. You know? We five have made an oath, in front of our deceased elders, to follow Ye Dao’s descendants throughout our lives!” Dongfang stood up and said with great determination.
After some serious pondering, Qinghan nodded his head, and passed them five manuals, “These are king-level Secret Techniques. I will enroll you in my Death Squad. You should regard cultivation as your main responsibility during this period of war. Since I have Shisan and Shiqi to ensure my safety, it’ll be better for you guys to join the Death Squad, and protect yourselves instead.”
“Yes, young master!” A little bit embarrassed by Qinghan’s straightforwardness, the five disciples took the five manuals, each of which had their respective name written on the surface. As cultivators in the third level of the Realm of the General, they were regarded as talents in the Mars Prefecture. However, when compared with their master, Qinghan, whose cultivating speed was one of a kind, their power was apparently overshadowed. It was hard to say, whether they were protecting Qinghan or vice versa. Thus, they were determined to increase the speed of their cultivation, to catch up with Qinghan’s speed. Otherwise, they wouldn’t live up to their name as the Five Bloody Soldiers.
After the five disciples left, Qinghan took out a mysterious wooden box, in which he believed a valuable treasure would be. Since the manual and the box were all handed over by Elder Ye Ping, there was no doubt that these were all valuable items.
On the wooden box, there was no lock, but only a simple switch. By pushing the switch to one side, the box opened, and three items were revealed: a cyan-colored dagger, a set of black soft armor, and a manual.
The first item Qinghan took out was the cyan dagger, which was about 33 centimeters long, and twice the weight of his previous one. However, as a cultivator in the first level of the Realm of the General, Qinghan lifted it up almost effortlessly. He extended the dagger, and stabbed it into the air. With great satisfaction, Qinghan replaced his old dagger with this new one.
After that, Qinghan took out the set of black soft armor, which was made of an unknown material. Out of curiosity, Qinghan used his new dagger, and scratched the surface of the armor with it. Amazingly, not the slightest mark could be found. He tripled his strength, therefore, and scratched it once again. This time, a vague white mark stood on the surface, but disappeared when Qinghan smoothed over it with his hands.
Since the armor was of such supreme quality, Qinghan decided to test his dagger. He took it from his waist, and cut into his previous one.
– Ka Ca! –
His old dagger was immediately broke into two halves.
“It seems, both the armor and the dagger are precious items.” Qinghan laughed out cheerfully.
Usually, the items were divided into four ranks: human-level, spirit-level, treasure-level, and holy-level. Obviously, these two newly-gained objects in Qinghan’s hands were most like treasure-level items. As for the holy-level items, there were only two in the Ye Family, one was possessed by Ye Tianlong, and the other one was on Qinghan’s finger. After all, his grandfather wouldn’t hand him the other holy-level item quite yet.
Eventually, Qinghan picked up the manual, inside which he found a piece of paper. After reading it with great caution, Qinghan realized that this sheet of paper was related to the introduction of these two items. He learned that the dagger was named the Cyan Dragon Dagger, an inferior treasure-level item. Although it couldn’t chop through iron as easily as chopping mud, it was still a lethal weapon for killing people. The soft armor, also known as the Black Tortoise Armor, was also an inferior treasure-level item. By wearing this armor, one could shield himself away from the stabs from any inferior treasure-level items. Theoretically, it could resist the power exerted by a cultivator in the third level of the Realm of the Marshal.
“Ha, treasure-level items! Although they’re all of the inferior type, I’m still satisfied with both of them. Wait, since items are categorized as inferior and superior in the same level, what about my bronze ring? Is it an inferior one or a superior one?” However, thinking of the magical healing function, Qinghan vowed that he wouldn’t change his ring for anything, even if someone gave him several holy-level items in exchange!”
After some self-mockingly laughter, Qinghan grabbed the manual. On the cover, there were three characters, Mysterious Trace Steps, written in elegant calligraphy. When Qinghan placed his eyes on the corner of the cover, his lips slightly parted, as his fingers trembled.
“Holy-level Secret Technique, written by Ye Ruoshui.”
Taking a deep breath, Qinghan managed to calm himself down from his excitement. He had never expected, that his grandfather would treat him with such generosity. Despite the countless resources of the Ye family, the Holy-level Secret Technique was still hard to obtain, because it was created by his most famous ancestor, Ye Ruoshui, whose power was comparable to Ye Huang, the founder of the Ye family!
However, on second thought, Qinghan reckoned he should take it for granted, since his family owed him a lot. He couldn’t help but read through the content.
“As the name of this technique suggests, Mysterious Trace Steps is a method of pacing, used to avoid attacks from one’s enemies. It involves three levels… The first level requires the cultivator to be in the Realm of the General. For those below this realm, it’s simply impossible to truly grasp it.”
“Haha, with this technique, I can go anywhere I want to go!” Qinghan whispered, as if he saw his ancestor, Ye Ruoshui, standing there with expectant eyes. Although it was a defensive skill, Qinghan found it was a most-needed one at his current stage.
The integration technique Qinghan had obtained, could now kill those in the Realm of the Marshal at a short distance. He had nothing to worry about in terms of attack power, since he had acquired the Soul Blackout technique. What he really lacked was a good defensive technique, with which he could escape any possible attacks during the war. After all, this wasn’t going to be a one-on-one battle.
When hundreds of people mingled together in the war, Qinghan could kill any of them within a second. The problem was, however, that he could also be attacked by anyone in such a chaotic situation. A Life-saving technique would be super important! Thankfully, Ye Tianlong had taken Qinghan’s safety as a priority, and bestowed upon him this precious Holy-level Secret Technique for free.
Thumbing through the manual quickly, Qinghan couldn’t resist the temptation to start cultivating it as soon as possible. The earlier he learned this technique, the more advanced he would become.
The first level of this technique seemed simple enough, but turned out to be complicated in practice. First, he had to unleash his Battle Qi from his feet, in order to propel the speed of his steps. Following that, he had to practice eighteen difficult pacing gestures continuously. Given that he had already learned the skill of unleashing Battle Qi, it would pose no challenge for the current Qinghan. For the eighteen weird pacing gestures, however, it took time and effort to practice unceasingly, until he managed to make this skill become part of his instinctive reaction.
According to the instructions described in the manual, Qinghan embarked on his boring journey of practice.
The next morning, Qinghan opened his eyes when the first rays of the sun crept through his window. Actually, he had been awake, as he had been cultivating the whole night, which made him look like a sagging balloon because of fatigue. However, he managed to pull himself back together, and stood up, to wash himself and have a filling breakfast.
When Qinghan walked through the gates of the manor, Shisan was already quietly here, waiting for him. Qinghan turned to him with a smile, and waved his hands, as a sign of setting off.
After he jumped into the carriage, Qinghan went to the square. The three colossal teleportation spots, a couple of days ago, had been guarded by soldiers, whose responsibility it was to prevent others from getting closer. Now, the three spots were crowded with people, who were waiting to be sent to the island of the Prefecture War.
A dozen of men in white robes were activating the teleportation spots, and arranged people to take their turn in a proper sequence.
“Young lord, I saw young lord Feng Zi over there. I guess he’s waiting for you.” Shisan rolled his shrewd eyes, and found Feng Zi and Hua Cao, who, together with Qingcheng, were looking around, as though they were looking for someone.
“Alright, let’s go!” Qinghan jumped out of his carriage, and asked his team to do likewise. He also instructed the servants of the Ye family to send the carriages back to the manor, before he walked towards Feng Zi.
“Young lord Qinghan, why are you so late? I guess you’ve done ‘bad things’ last night.” Feng Zi made fun of Qinghan, and threw a subtle glance at Qingcheng.
“Fuck you. I’ve been cultivating the whole night. By the way, why aren’t there as much people next to this teleportation spot, like at the other two?” Qinghan first cursed at Feng Zi for his nasty joke, after which he curiously asked about the teleportation spot.
With a sweet smile, Qingcheng broke in, and explained, “This spot is specially designed for people from the five families. Only after all of us have teleported, can others use it.”
“So… Shall we go right now? Or are you guys still waiting for somebody?” Qinghan slightly nodded to Qingcheng, greeting her, before he turned back to Hua Cao.
“I think we can go now. Wuhen… the traitor, has already gone. I also heard that Shuiliu has gone with Long Sainan. Errr… Sainan is his female cousin.” Hua Cao said in a scornful tone, as he was still upset about Wuhen’s betrayal.
“Let’s go!” Qinghan shouted, as he stretched his arms forward, in front of Qingcheng, as if he was saying “Ladies first.”
Without saying anything, Qingcheng led her pink-dressed elite team to the teleportation spot. The white-robed men reminded them about something, before they placed several white crystals into the corners of the spot. All of a sudden, everyone covered their eyes with their hands, to avoid the dazzling beam that emerged from the spot. When they removed their hands, Qingcheng, as well as her elite team, had already disappeared!
“The process is quite simple. But what on earth is the theory behind it? What kind of crystal do they hold in their hands?” Qinghan stared at the teleportation spot, without blinking his eyes. He was amazed by such a heavenly technique, which could teleport anyone from one place to another.
“I’ll go now. See you later!” Feng Zi led his team to the spot, and also quickly disappeared.
Hua Cao followed immediately after Feng Zi, and disappeared with his team.
At last, Qinghan, together with his elite team, stood on the teleportation spot, nervously. The white-robed men eventually even asked him to calm down.
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine.” One of the white-robed men said, after which he activated the teleportation spot.
As the glaring beam emerged, Qinghan closed his eyes, feeling as if he was being sucked in by a giant force. He had some symptoms in the process of teleportation, such as a slight blood congestion in his brain, and raucous ringing in his ears. Thank goodness, it only lasted for a few seconds, and when he opened his eyes, he found himself in a picturesque place.
“Welcome to the island of the Prefecture War. Here, you’ll enjoy a grand feast of slaughter, for three whole year!” Unexpectedly, a resounding voice sounded in the air.