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Upon hearing Qin Wentian refer to her as his girlfriend, an expression of shyness shimmered within the depths of her beautiful eyes. A sweet smile adorned her face, indicating that her heart had already agreed and approved this relationship .
However, Mo Qingcheng also felt somewhat amazed, had she really fallen in love with this guy? If it were a year ago, she would definitely not feel this way.
Upon hearing his words, disappointment could be seen clouding the features of Yi Xiang. The reason he wormed his way into being friends with Qin Wentian was naturally because of Mo Qingcheng’s beauty.
“I see.” Yi Xiang smiled with a nod, silently cursing the dogsheet luck of Qin Wentian. Exactly what kind of background did he have to cause Mo Qingcheng to fall in love with him?
The moment he thought of this, Yi Xiang tried to probe more as he asked, “Doesn’t Brother Qin know the reason we are here? Which state city in the nine continents is Brother Qin from?”
“I truly have no idea, I’m not from any of the nine state cities.” Qin Wentian casually replied, not bothering to explain in detail.
“As to why they named it the Celestial Lake Palace, this was due to the natural celestial lake found within the palace. The lake was of especially great help to cultivators below the Heavenly Dipper Realm. There was a huge commotion during the year that Fairy Qingmei discovered the lake, with many powerful experts seeking to possess it. But what sort of character was the Azure Emperor? He was ranked first among the 36 heavenly starlords! On account of the Azure Emperor, even the various overlords of the nine continents had to give face, and not fight Fairy Qingmei for the celestial lake.”
Yi Xiang explained, “After news of the Azure Emperor’s disappearance was made known, many other powers began to voice their objections, not wishing Fairy Qingmei to possess the celestial lake alone. Fairy Qingmei then issued a proclamation allowing talented youths from the nine continents to come visit any time. As long as they could pass the tests she designed, they would be able to enjoy the benefits of the celestial lake. It was only then did the other powers cease their protests. After all, no one wanted to offend the extremely long-lived celestial demoness.
Only then did Qin Wentian understand. Demons were different from humans; a majority of demonic beasts had an extremely slow cultivation rate. However, their lifespan was much longer compared to humans. Especially for those demonic beasts that had broken through to the Heavenly Dipper Realm, after obtaining forms of humanity, they would have a lifespan of around 5,000 to 6,000 years. In consideration of that, the other powers naturally wouldn’t dare to push Fairy Qingmei too far.
“If that’s the case, does this mean that all the cultivators are here because they wish to borrow the celestial lake’s powers to aid in their cultivation?” Qin Wentian swept a glance at the crowded streets, and indeed, young cultivators of both genders flooded the area. They were about 25-26 years of age and many had extraordinary demeanors. None of them would dare to come here without possessing a certain level of strength.
Far off in the distance, a gaze was directed over to Qin Wentian as he observed the crowd., The onlooker laughed demonically; it was none other than the arrogant young man from before, the one who rode the Hawk-eye Lion.
Yi Xiang followed the gaze of Qin Wentian, and upon seeing the young man, his countenance underwent a slight change. Speaking in a whisper, “That’s the beastman named Shiki, from the Beast King Hall, one of the hegemonic powers of the Demon Continent.”
“Beastman?” Qin Wentian’s eyes flickered.
Yi Xiang sidled up to Qin Wentian as he lightly remarked, “The master of the Beast King Hall is a demonic lion at the Heavenly Dipper Realm. The beast king is extremely lecherous, and has slept with many human wives and concubines. With both demonic and human blood flowing in their veins, their descendants were known as beastmen. This Shiki is a descendant of the beast king himself.
“Hey brat, what are you mumbling about?” Shiki stated coldly, glancing over at Yi Xiang, causing him to shiver. With a smile, Yi Xiang quickly replied, “Just casually chatting.”
“Oh, is that so?” Shiki shifted his gaze to the young woman behind Yi Xiang, licking his lips, as an expression of lust appeared in his eyes. At his actions, the young woman felt intense anger boiling in her heart; the descendants of the beast king were all incomparably licentious in their shameless behaviour.
At that moment, a few ladies clad in white walked out of the Celestial Lake Palace to stand in front of the crowd, each appearing as beautiful as a celestial maiden.
The crowd’s attention shifted over and saw the graceful silhouettes clad in muslin, upon which the majority of people lost their senses as they stared in rapture.
It appeared that the rumours the Fairy Qingmei only accepted exceptionally beautiful women as her disciples were true. In addition to gaining permission to use the celestial lake, those who passed the tests could also choose a female disciple to be their dao companion, provided that the female disciple agreed. This enheartened many to pass, igniting their fighting spirit.
This rule had never been broken despite the passage of thousands of years. Nobody understood the Fairy Qingmei’s reasoning for doing this.
“Everyone, please, you may enter the Celestial Lake Palace now.” The celestial maidens led the way, as the crowd followed behind, stepping into the Celestial Lake Palace.
The interior of the palace was splendid in its magnificence. The cultivators entered a long hallway with pavilions situated to the left and right. Every pavilion was graceful and unique, with each of them already occupied by people. The majority of the crowd reserved cold looks on their faces, upon seeing the heads of the residents peeking out. These people should be similar to them, coming here to take the test. What foolish dreams they had; the Celestial Lake Palace opens to the public once a month, and only a total of seven people would be able to enter the celestial lake each time.
And this month, there were numerous cultivators coming to try their luck, it wouldn’t be easy for anyone to stand above the rest.
Qin Wentian contemplated the Celestial Lake Palace, feeling wonder in his heart. To think that the palace design of Fairy Qingmei would be so charming, it’s scenic beauty was akin to a dream-like quality. At the end of the long hallway, they arrived at an area filled with residential buildings, arranged in picturesque disorder. Located right ahead, there was a flight of stairs and at the end of the stairway, was the celestial palace.
“Is Fairy Qingmei still around?” Qin Wentian mused, he could already confirm that the location in the map of Dicang was referring to this place, but had no idea as to what should be done after finding it.
According to Yi Xiang, legend has it that the Azure Emperor abandoned the Fairy Qingmei. However, Qin Wentian had doubts. There should be many things concealed within, otherwise the Azure Emperor wouldn’t have left the map scroll on the 9th level of the Heavenly Star Pavilion, and would not have ordered the headmaster of each generation to stand guard there.
Qin Wentian had a bold hypothesis, maybe the greatest secret of the Azure Emperor wasn’t in the Azure Emperor Palace, but was left under the protection of Fairy Qingmei instead.
Naturally, Qin Wentian came to this conclusion only because he had the map of Dicang. Back then, after those powerful old freaks witnessed the Azure Emperor battling it out with Fairy Qingmei, it would never have crossed their minds the possibility of her guarding the hiding place of the Azure Emperor’s greatest secret.
“Shiki, you non-human, non-demon piece of sheet dares to come here, too? Are you not afraid that I, your father, will turn you into something neither human nor demon?” A loud, clear voice resounded, causing Yi Xiang to tremble in shock. Who was it that dared to publicly humiliate Shiki of the Beast King Hall like this?
Turning his head, Yi Xiang saw a youth clad in blue robes, about 18 years of age. The young man had a squarish face, with huge eyes, and was laughing uproariously at Shiki.
“Ouyang Kuangsheng.” Yi Xiang drew in a breath. The cultivators who came here wouldn’t have too high a level of cultivation. Usually, youths below the 3rd level of Yuanfu would pay a visit to the Celestial Lake Palace; the majority of them would be at the 9th level of Arterial Circulation, wishing to borrow the mystical effects of the Celestial Lake to breakthrough to Yuanfu. The Yuanfu formed with the mystical effects of the celestial lake would be larger than usual, enabling the cultivator to store even more Astral Energy within.
Ouyang Kuangsheng was also at the 9th level of Arterial Circulation, and considering his age, his cultivation base still being at the peak of Arterial Circulation Realm wasn’t something to be proud of. In the nine continents, there were numerous youths already at the Yuanfu level. However, there was a faction of cultivators who placed more importance in consolidating foundations, done by increasing their level of affinity and sensory abilities first. Thus, in order to ease their future cultivation pathway, there were many who chose to condense an Astral Soul only after a long period of time, resulting in a later age to start cultivation compared to others.
This Ouyang Kuangsheng belonged to the second type of cultivators. He paid no heed to the thoughts of others, and only began cultivation after the age of 16. Not just outsiders, even within his clan, there were many who looked down on him.
However, in one night, Ouyang Kuangsheng shocked everyone when he condensed an Astral Soul from the 4th Heavenly Layer. The entire Ouyang Clan was in an uproar, silently admiring Ouyang Kuangsheng’s resolution, having determined that he was a character worthy of being nurtured.
Indeed, in the next two years, Ouyang Kuangsheng’s cultivation advanced by leaps and bounds, quickly reaching the peak of Arterial Circulation. Although he was slower compared to some others, both of the Astral Souls he condensed were from the 4th Heavenly Layer. Thus, his combat prowess was extremely tyrannical and not many on the same level could defeat him.
Shiki was another such tyrannical character; had it been any other cultivator with a cultivation base at the 9th level of Arterial Circulation other than Ouyang Kuangsheng, he would have definitely slaughtered them for speaking to him in such a manner. However, he wasn’t confident he had the ability to defeat Ouyang Kuangsheng.
“Ouyang Kuangsheng, remember what you just said,” Shiki coldly remarked.
“You think as your father, I would be afraid of you?” Ouyang Kuangsheng continued laughing loudly as a beautiful young lady appeared beside him. Upon seeing her, an expression of extreme fascination appeared on the face of Yi Xiang. She too, accompanied Ouyang Kuangsheng.
It seemed that this time around, the journey to the Celestial Lake Palace was filled with crouching tigers and hidden dragons, with the rumor that Yao Sheng from the Skydemon Sect had also arrived earlier as well. He was also an extremely hard-to-deal with character and at this thought, Yi Xiang gradually lost his confidence, and felt somewhat depressed.
“First off, would everyone please choose your place of residence? You are all welcome to stay in the still empty pavilions. There are still a few more days before the date of the tests,” announced those from the Celestial Lake Palace, and the crowd dispersed, choosing the pavilion that they wanted to stay in.
“Lets stay there.” Qin Wentian pointed at a pavilion, as he smiled at Mo Qingcheng.
“Okay.” Mo Qingcheng agreed, and together they walked towards and entered the pavilion. It was split into two levels; the first level consisted of a living room while the second level consisted of two bed rooms, just big enough for the two of them.
Walking to the balcony outside the bedroom, Qin Wentian discovered that Yi Xiang and his companion chose the pavilion opposite to them, while Ouyang Kuangsheng chose the residence beside Yi Xiang.
“Hey kid, where are you from?” Curiosity flickered in Ouyang Kuangsheng’s eyes as he fixed his gaze towards Qin Wentian.
Qin Wentian was 17 years of age, fiendishly handsome. His eyes had an incredible depth to them, possessing an air of uniqueness.
“I’m from a very small country, I don’t think you would have heard of it.” Qin Wentian laughed. “How about you?”
Ouyang Kuangsheng stared blankly, but quickly recovered with a grin on his face. Yi Xiang in the next pavilion, suddenly added, “Brother Qin, this person is Ouyang Kuangsheng, a young elite from the Ouyang Clan of the Azure Continent.”
As Yi Xiang made the introduction, he nodded his head towards Ouyang Kuangsheng as though he was intent on expressing his good will. However, Qin Wentian had no concept of the Ouyang Clan’s power, and didn’t know who Ouyang Kuangsheng was.
“The Azure Continent, the Azure Emperor Palace should be located there,” Qin Wentian mumbled to himself, and upon hearing his words, Ouyang Kuangsheng was momentarily startled, before laughing earnestly. What an interesting kid. Although the Azure Emperor Palace was incomparably glorious in the past, their power had gradually waned over the years. How could they still be mentioned on equal terms with the Ouyang Clan?
Yi Xiang was speechless as well. Could it be that in the eyes of Qin Wentian, the Azure Emperor Palace had a higher level of importance compared to the Ouyang Clan?
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