AGM 0115 - Lighting up the Starry Skies
Royal Capital, the Chu Emperor District occupied an immense area, and was a place where tens of thousands of soldiers stood guard in all directions. Normally, no one was allowed to enter.
In this vast and extensive Chu Emperor District, with a single glance, one could see a total of nine towering platforms constructed there. They were displayed in a triangular formation, with one platform in front, three platforms in the middle, and five platforms at the back.
On the left and right side of the nine towering platforms were flights of stairs with a total of tens of thousands of stone seats. In fact, there were even stone tables in front of the stone seats; the distribution was even and scattered, but was also extremely organized. It was as though there would be no problems if one wanted to hold a grand banquet in this area.
In front of the first towering platform, there were a flight of steps carved from Azure Dragon Jadeite. It emanated the aura of an emperor: revered, aloof, looking down on everyone. And on the top of that flight of steps, there was an impressive-looking grand seat. This was none other than the Azure Jadeite Dragon Seat!
In the past, during the establishment of the Chu Empire, the emperor who founded Chu sat upon this Azure Jadeite Dragon Seat. Inviting dukes, feudal lords and other valuable and important guests from all directions. It was also used to appoint generals for tasks and to muster troops.
Atop the nine towering platforms, the shadow of the nine battalions of troops of the past were still as though they remained there.
The entire Chu Emperor District fully represented the might and power of the Royal Authority. And hence, the Chu Emperor District became the grounds where the Jun Lin Banquet would be held each year.
Jun Lin Banquet was an event that the sovereign king would personally attend, as well as inviting all the dukes and feudal lords, and influential bigwig officers.
It was only that the nine towering platforms were no longer used to appoint generals or to muster troops. But instead, they became the arenas where the geniuses of Chu would showcase their brilliant talents.
Today, the warm and genial sunlight cascaded onto the great land of the Chu Country, as terrifying streams of people could be seen around the area of the Chu Emperor District. Countless people from the Royal Capital made their way towards the nine towering platforms. Not only that, even people from the other parts of Chu traversed a thousand miles, bypassing mountains and rivers, coming to the Chu Capital, all for the sake of witnessing the Jun Lin Banquet.
Tomorrow would be the day when the Jun Lin Banquet would commence, but now, there were already people fighting for the good seats, hoping for a seat with the best view that was able to view the glory of the nine towering arenas.
Some inns that were quite far away from the Chu Emperor District were purposely constructed to be extremely tall. And from there, one could view the happenings on top of the nine towering platforms. Currently, such inns were already fully booked and filled to the brim with people.
The Jun Lin Banquet was the greatest and most magnificent event in the Chu Country every year. Unprecedented enthusiasm abounded everywhere, this type of uplifting attitude towards cultivation also ignited the passions of each and every generation of youngsters in Chu that had embarked on their own pathway of cultivation.
"I've also heard that the Jun Lin Banquet this time round is the most magnificent one ever to be held in over 10 years."
"Yeah, to think that the Snowcloud Country would actually collaborate and co-organise the Jun Lin Banquet this year. Currently, the Seven Nights, Three Swords, and Duo Prides of the Snowcloud Country have already arrived at the Royal Capital, and they are staying in the Imperial Palace. Not only that, our Chu Country's Luo Qianqiu, the 10 prodigies, talents like Orchon as well as the various geniuses of all the martial academies will be attending as well. The competition at the Jun Lin Banquet this year is going to be exceedingly marvellous to behold."
Everyone was anticipating the competition at the Jun Lin Banquet.
The citizens of Chu naturally knew which were the geniuses that received the greatest attention. Heaven's Wonder, as one of the top three companies in the Chu Country, naturally had already conducted a detailed investigation. As long as one looked at the betting rates set by Heaven's Wonder, they could easily understand which were the geniuses that received the most recognition.
The names of Ye WuQue and Immortal Drunken Sword couldn't be found anywhere in the betting rates. This indicated that both Ye WuQue and Immortal Drunken Sword were no longer at the realm of Arterial Circulation, and had broken through to Yuanfu.
Currently, within the geniuses that attained the most recognition, other than Luo Qianqiu, was Sikong Mingyue of the Snowcloud Country. Sikong Mingyue, and the crown prince of Snowcloud Country, were dubbed as the 'Duo Prides' of the Snowcloud Empire.
Other than the two of them, there were 10 prodigies of Chu, The Seven Nights and Three Swords of Snowcloud, as well as a few other geniuses from Emperor Star Academy, Royal Academy and Godly General Martial Palace. This was the batch of geniuses that had obtained the most recognition.
And within the Royal Capital, there were many that had staked all their life's possessions and betted with the Heaven's Wonder. Naturally, there were some still withholding their bets, waiting for the performances of the geniuses before making their decisions. However, at that time, the betting rates would naturally be adjusted as well.
Currently, be it within or outside of the Royal Capital, everyone was paying attention to the situation within the Chu Emperor District.
Even within the grounds of the Emperor Star Academy, only very few of the students could still be seen. The majority of them were already making their way to the Chu Emperor District.
And not only the students, the elders of the academies were also on their way over there.
Although in the dark, the relationship between the Royal Clan and the Emperor Star Academy wasn't that good, they would still have to give each other face on the surface. And thus, elders from the Emperor Star Academy were also allowed to enter, thereby obtaining a seat.
Not only the Emperor Star Academy was as such, all elders from the nine martial academies of the Chu Capital were also be invited to this grand banquet. After all, the main stars of the event were none other than the talented students of their academy.
And when dusk approached, the stray remnants of the students in the Emperor Star Academy had also departed from the school grounds. After all, tomorrow morning would be the commencement of the Jun Lin Banquet.
The students of the Emperor Star Academy had long forgotten that there was still a student that has yet to emerge from the River Astral Hall.
After so many days, the number of people observing Qin Wentian had naturally lessened. The attention of humans was always easily shifted - especially during times when a major event was about to occur.
Outside the Astral River Hall, Luo Huan, Mountain, and Fan Le stood, involuntarily smiling bitterly as they stared at the silhouette sitting on the 4th level.
"If this rascal still doesn't want to come out, he'll miss the chance to participate in the Jun Lin Banquet this year. Although this time round, the probability of him having any accomplishments is not that great, it could still be considered an excellent opportunity to temper himself." Luo Huan helplessly scolded in a low voice.
"Seeing that Junior Brother Qin was able to stay in the 4th level for so long, it shows that his endurance probably surpasses many others. He is indeed someone who had condensed an Astral Soul from the 4th Heavenly Layer. Why not let him stay in there a few days more; when the time comes again for him to condense his 3rd Astral Soul, his consciousness and will will be able to stay in the 4th Heavenly Layer for a longer period of time, and thus he will have more opportunity to form innate links with even more constellations."
It was as though Mountain was worried Luo Huan would disturb Qin Wentian, as he reminded.
"Of course I know that." Luo Huan glared at Mountain as she continued, "Let's go, we should hurry to the banquet."
"Mmm." Mountain nodded his head. This time round, he and Luo Huan were participants of the Jun Lin Banquet.
"Senior Sister, you guys can go first, I will wait for a little while longer." Fan Le smiled at both of them. Luo Huan and Mountain nodded as they departed the academy, leaving only Fan Le behind. Fan Le cast his gaze at the 4th level of the Astral River Hall, as a light flashed incessantly in his eyes. Touching his chin, Fan Le murmured, "Based on your personality, there should be no way that you would be willing to miss the Jun Lin Banquet."
If one were to ask who in the Emperor Star Academy understood Qin Wentian the most, the names mentioned would undoubtedly be Qin Yao and Fan Le.
Fan Le had a nagging feeling that this rascally fellow would emerge from the Astral River Hall before the Jun Lin Banquet commenced.
It was not that Qin Wentian wasn't able to break apart the restriction in the 4th level. Although the 4th level was sufficient to give him a sense of pressure, he had already adapted to it after a period of time. And at this moment, he was intently analysing something.
He discovered that in the starry space of each level of the Astral River Hall, the countless constellations actually formed into pathways of runic lines of divine inscriptions. When the runic lines gathered together, they transformed into an innate technique, which in turn manifested an invisible, formless pressure that was akin to the astral pressure felt in the 9 Heavenly Layers. How incredibly mysterious.
At this moment, Qin Wentian was thinking; if the emulated astral pressure in the 4th level of the Astral River Hall was already so similar as though it was real when compared to the 4th Heavenly Layer, then, what about the 5th level, not to mention the 6th to the 9th levels?
Even the founder of the academy shouldn't be able to emulate the astral pressure of the 9th Heavenly Layer, right? Unless the founder had already reached the stage of condensing Astral Souls from the 9th Heavenly Layer. However, that probability was too low. At the very least, Qin Wentian didn't believe that the founder of the Emperor Star Academy would possess such heaven-shaking strength
Not only that, but the current runic pathways which Qin Wentian observed transformed into fist lights. And in the night sky, four different layer of spaces abruptly appeared. The spaces within the four different layers simultaneously flowed downwards, and transformed into a terrifying spiral, each layer merging into each other, when abruptly, a straight fist exploded forth from the midst of that terrifying spiral black hole.
In that instant of explosion, this was no longer a single, one-time attack, but was as though the silhouettes of boundless fists filled the entire skies, a multitude of attacks combined together. It was something similar to the principle behind the Revolving Sea imprint, the stacking of fist lights in superposition but yet, it was something even more mysterious - the might of the attack was also many times stronger.
"I want to take a look at the 5th level." Qin Wentian silently remarked in his heart. After which, he stood up, and resolutely sent his iron-willed consciousness into the centre of that terrifying black-coloured spiral. Wave after wave of terrifying fist lights blasted downwards, but they were unable to eradicate his consciousness. And as a radiant light flickered, his silhouette disappeared from the 4th level.
Outside the Astral River Hall, night had already descended. The light emitted from the Astral River Hall was still as radiant as before. Fatty Fan Le casually sat on the ground. However, at this moment, he suddenly felt a light so bright he could even see it with his eyes closed. Involuntarily, he wrenched open his eyes, only to see the radiance of the starry skies, incomparably resplendent, lighting up the 5th level. Fan Le froze there, as he stared unblinkingly at the Astral River Hall.
"The 5th level, this monster!" Fan Le's mouth opened gapingly, as an expression of immense shock painted his countenance. That perverse fellow actually stepped into the 5th level of the Astral River Hall.
"Doesn't this means that he has a chance at condensing an Astral Soul from the 5th Heavenly Layer?" Fan Le blinked his eyes, as he contemplated his surroundings. At this moment, the entire Emperor Star Academy was exceptionally silent, which caused Fan Le to feel slightly depressed. Staring at the radiant astral light so bright that it covered the entire sky, Fan Le mumbled, "The astral light is so resplendent, but yet, there's no audience."
"Why are you so good at picking such lousy moments. I really wanted to see what kind of expressions would be on Qiu Mo and Jiang Xiu's faces." Fan Le stood up and he walked about, feeling very unsatisfied. How wasted, such a good chance to boast, but yet the timing so coincidentally collided with the night before the commencement of the Jun Lin Banquet. No one saw......the extremely depressed fatty.
At this moment, the old man in charge of the Astral River Hall was sitting in a remote corner. And as he saw the resplendent radiance lit up by the 5th level, his body involuntarily shook slightly, as a light flickered in his previously muddy-looking eyes.
"Stepping into the 5th level of the Astral River Hall at such a young age." The old man silently murmured, as an unknown sense of joy and surprise arose in his heart.
Buzz! And at this very moment, an eye-piercing beam of light erupted from the Astral River Hall, radiating outwards towards the Emperor Star Academy. The resplendence of that astral light was so dazzling, causing the old man to freeze, before his body abruptly trembled violently.
"How is this possible, how is this possible?!" The old man had a disbelieving expression etched on his face as he gazed at the brilliance of the astral light that covered the entire sky. In just an instant, that earlier beam of light had lit up the entire Emperor Star Academy, and when the countless number of students that still remained behind inclined their heads, it was as though they saw a second piece of a starlit sky!
Fan Le, who was walking back and forth, had his mouth open wide in shock as he froze there. The pupils of his eyes were fixated unmovingly on the 2nd piece of starry sky.
"Damn!" In the middle of the night, a voice rang out as that beam of astral light dimmed. The remaining students all looked about in confusion, as puzzlement was evident on their faces.
Who exactly was it that had lit up that 2nd piece of starry sky!
TN Note: Sikong Mingyue () → Bright Moon in the Skies lmao