Chapter 270: Three Years Later
Translator: TYZ Editor: CakeHermit
Three years later.
Silver Mist Sea, Peace City.
Peace City was a new and developing medium-sized city at the lower reaches of the Silver Mist River.
Ninety percent of the cities in the Silver Mist Sea were distributed across the Silver Mist River. The size of a city depended on the reach of the river it was located at. There were a total of forty-two cities in the upper reaches of the river and more than half of them were large-sized cities. The city located at the far end of the river's upper reaches, which was also considered the center of the Silver Mist Sea, was called Silver City. This city was the largest city in the entire Silver Mist Sea.
At the middle reach of the river, the number of large-sized cities reduced sharply. They were replaced by dispersed small-sized and medium-sized cities.
At the lower reaches of the river, it was hard for one to even see a medium-sized city. The river's lower reaches were mainly filled with small towns.
There was nothing weird about this. Towards the lower reaches of the Silver Mist River, the metal elemental energy in the river became extremely thin. After the metal elemental energy was divided among numerous cities in the middle reaches and upper reaches of the river, only leftover metal elemental energy was leftover for the river's lower reaches. Naturally, capable and experienced elementalists were not willing to stay in such an area.
Nowadays, the water level of the Silver Mist River was continuing to drop. The successive battles over the last three years had caused the collection of artifact remnants to become increasingly difficult. Without a large supply of artifact remnants, the amount of metal elemental energy in the Silver Mist Sea declined sharply every year. This could be verified by the number of times the Silver Mist Sea opened its sea lock per month. Before the blood catastrophe, the sea lock would open twice, once at the start of the month and again at the end of it. Surging metal elemental currents would carry a huge amount of artifact remnants and flow along the expansive river channel that led to Palette Cloud Village. Nowadays, however, the sea lock of the Silver Mist Sea would only open once a month. Today's metal elemental currents could not be compared to those of the past.
Peace City's flourishing had started two years ago.
In the past, Peace City was rather famous for its special local product, blackshell mica. Blackshell mica was a unique cross-bred species between mica species from the Silver Mist River and Peace City. As they were black in color and contained the gloss of shellfish, they were named blackshell mica. Blackshell mica was a fantastic dual-type material; it was both metal attributed and water attributed.
The reason why Peace City could become the only medium-sized city in the lower reaches of the Silver Mist River was its strategic geographical location. It was located on the border of the Silver Mist Sea and Palette Cloud Village.
During the three years of war, instead of withering, Peace City prospered. It had jumped from a small-sized city to a medium-sized city, all thanks to its strategic location
Compared to the Silver Mist Sea, Palette Cloud Village was less affected by the war.
Unlike the Silver Mist Sea, which needed a huge amount of artifact remnants to generate metal elemental energy, Palette Cloud Village's cloud spring did not need man-made means to increase its supply.
The Avalon of Five Elements was only left with the Silver Mist Sea and Palette Cloud Village. Between these two places, their relationship had become much tighter and their trade ties had strengthened significantly.
Fire Prairie and Yellow Sand Corner had fallen into the hands of the Blood of God. Due to the enmity between the Avalon of Five Elements and Blood of God, the possibility of them having trade relations was zero.
It was a different scenario for the Jadeite Forest. When the Jadeite Forest first established independence, the Avalon of Five Elements reacted strongly. However, with Grandmaster Dai Gang overseeing the place, the Duanmu family's support, and the completely intact Deathgrass and Truewood Divisions, the Avalon of Five Elements, whose power had been greatly reduced, could not do anything about the Jadeite Forest.
The higher-ups of the Avalon of Five Elements also realized that it would be disastrous if they were attacked from both sides. Hence, they took the initiative to display goodwill towards the Jadeite Forest.
Similarly, the Blood of God also did not want to be attacked from both sides and thus also needed to get into Jadeite Forest's good books.
Reportedly, the Blood of God and Avalon of Five Elements had sent out their own diplomatic missions to win the support of Jadeite Forest. Even if they could not win Jadeite Forest's support, they could at least prevent them from supporting the other side.
The Jadeite Forest was benefitting from both sides and did not have to worry about its trade being cut off.
The products from Fire Prairie and Yellow Sand Corner were transported to Jadeite Forest, then from Jadeite Forest to Palette Cloud Village, and finally to the Silver Mist Sea. Despite the relations among the three factions, this trade route was unusually busy.
Being situated at a spot the trade route must pass through, Peace City flourished rapidly.
Numerous companies would set up branches and warehouses in these small towns where trading caravans would pass.
Sea Pacific Enterprise was considered a rather powerful company.
Not having many customers in the afternoon, Su Qingye felt extremely sleepy.
A shop assistant walked over and said, "Qingye, I heard that Dragonrise Training Hall has opened a branch here. Tomorrow is its opening day and there's going to be a performance. Do you want to go together to take a look?"
"Dragonrise Training Hall? The one in Silver City?" Su Qingye became slightly awake.
"Other than the one in Silver City, where else is there a Dragonrise Training Hall?" The shop assistant sneered.
"I'm not going." Su Qingye shook his head. "Tomorrow I'm going to the training hall to practise my swordplay."
"Qingye, don't you intend to switch to a different training hall? Given Dragonrise Training Hall's capability, you will definitely be better off there!" The shop assistant egged Su Qingye on.
"I'm not switching," Su Qingye mumbled.
"Alright then, I shall go myself." The shop assistant shrugged his shoulder.
Su Qingye was an elegant and handsome young man. He was kind-hearted and affable. He was not harsh and snobbish towards his subordinates and hence, everyone liked him and behaved more casual around him.
After being disturbed by the shop assistant, Su Qingye's sleepiness had completely disappeared.
At his age, he should have been attending school at the Induction Ground, but after the start of the blood catastrophe three years ago, the Induction Ground had become a disaster area. There were not many survivors from that place. In the past, children that were of appropriate age had to study at the Induction Ground. With the loss of the Induction Ground, everyone had no place to attend school.
The Fire Prairie and Yellow Sand Corner had fallen into the hands of Blood of God, the Jadeite Forest had become an independent faction, and the Thirteen Divisions had undergone assassinations, mutinies, ambushes, terrible losses, and many rebuilding processes. Given these successive major events, coupled with the three consecutive years of war, how would the higher-ups have the time to think about rebuilding the Induction Ground?
The loss of the Induction Ground had resulted in the rise of training halls. Unlike those influential aristocratic families, most families did not have an abundance of resources and famed teachers. Training halls had become their only option.
Even though these training halls could not be compared to the Induction Ground, they were still able to teach the students a lot of things. Furthermore, these training halls taught their students very practical techniques that could be used in an actual battle, which was extremely suitable for the current situation.
The flourishing of Peace City attracted many elementalists to set up training halls. Right now, there were hundreds of training halls in Peace City. Every month, prominent training halls would set up branches there.
In many people's eyes, Peace City's market possessed great potential.
Initially, Su Qingye had not attended a training hall and instead worked at his family-owned company. Sea Pacific Enterprise was not really huge and did not have many customs. His parents felt that it would be best if he did not fight on the front lines and inherit their business instead.
However, the war did not show any sign of ending and instead became increasingly intense as the days went by.
The war between the Avalon of Five Elements and Blood of God had extended from Yellow Sand Corner and the Silver Mist Sea to the Old Territory. The huge population of the Old Territory and the enormous amount of artifact remnants there had become the resources that both sides fought for desperately. The unresolvable enmity between the two sides reached a boiling point.
The internal situation of the Avalon of Five Elements had also become unstable. The conflicts between the new citizens and the aristocratic families became increasingly fierce. During the process of rebuilding the Thirteen Divisions, there were rumors that the candidates for division leaders were being selected from aristocratic families. This had stirred up strong resentment among the new citizens. Jadeite Forest seized the opportunity to bring in a prominent figure selected from the new citizens.
In such unstable times, the livelihood of businesses was severely threatened. Trade routes were no longer safe, the number of desperate crime-doers increased, and public security began to worsen.
The worst thing was, it was very difficult to hire guards.
Lives were lost at a terrifying rate on the front line. Those who were capable would be deployed there. The Thirteen Divisions, which held an abundance of resources, also held a huge captivating power over those talented and ambitious young men.
Joining the war was the fastest way for one to progress in power and status. Those who stood out during the blood catastrophe three years ago had become powerful and prominent individuals in the Avalon of Five Elements.
This was something that one could not achieve during peacetime.
Blood-filled war provided ambitious individuals with a grand platform on which they could perform.
Those capable elementalists were not willing to stay in a small place like Peace City. Those companies that were under the wings of the aristocratic families did not need to worry about these problems. Those small-sized and medium-sized companies like Sea Pacific Enterprise, on the other hand, needed to settle these problems by themselves.
In chaotic times, those who were rich but did not have the ability to protect themselves would become targets for covetous people.
On a particular day, a terrifying crime occurred in Peace City that shocked the entire city.
Red Jewel Enterprise had hired a batch of guards, but it turned out that the guards were bandits in disguise. Their company was robbed of everything and all of the three hundred members in their clan were killed.
The next day, Su Qingye found himself a training hall to enroll into.
The safest way was to train and nurture their own guards.
The training hall that Su Qingye had enrolled in had a very weird name. On the first day of his enrollment, he'd already felt that the teacher was someone who had an eccentric temperament.
That training hall was opened three years ago in Peace City, not too long after the blood catastrophe broke out. It was one of the first few training halls that were set up in Peace City.
It was a small training hall, with only one teacher and a sand puppet.
The teacher was very young, around twenty-plus years old. It was likely that that he'd come to Peace City to set up a training hall after he'd been injured during the blood catastrophe. That was before Peace City had flourished.
There was also a workshop in the training hall. Su Qingye felt that the teacher was more interested in the workshop than the training hall itself.
Perhaps the workshop was the teacher's full-time job and the training hall was his part-time job?
Su Qingye was not in the mood to look after the shop. After saying goodbye to one of the employees, he left. When the young master wanted to slip away from his job, the employees of course did not dare to complain.
Su Qingye stepped onto the street and summoned his sand puppet, which then transformed into a sand leopard. Su Qingye mounted the sand leopard and rode it.
Three years ago, when Su Qingye's father saw that the teacher had a sand puppet, he mistook him for an earth elementalist and paid a considerable amount of tuition fees for his son to enroll in the training hall. When Su Qingye's father found out that the teacher was a metal elementalist, he was extremely vexed, but since the tuition fees had been paid, his father had no choice but to give the training hall a try.
Su Qingye had stayed in that training hall until today.
Actually, the sand leopard was not really suitable for riding as its movements were extremely jerky. Despite that, Su Qingye felt that riding on a sand leopard was cool.
The streets were bustling with activity. The prosperous Peace City did not have any trace of having been through a war. Other than the fully-armored elementalists that flew through the sky, bringing about the smell of war and blood, this place was like Xanadu.
Su Qingye had asked the teacher before, what was war like? In the end, he'd been punished by the teacher to do six hundred sets of quicksand lunges, causing his legs to turn numb. He almost had to crawl home.
From that day onward, he did not dare to ask about this kind of thing anymore. He became even more curious. After all, his teacher was only twenty-plus years old.
After making several turns, he finally arrived at a secluded area and a dilapidated warehouse-transformed training hall appeared before him.
Beside the main entrance of the training hall, there was a huge wooden signboard that had three words written on it.
Swordsman Training Hall.