Chapter 241: A Competition
As they approached, the three of them could finally see the giant building with greater clarity than before.
They could now see the lantern-adorned building the city called the 'Lighthouse'!!
These lanterns weren't made of paper like the others. Instead, they had been made from a special type of crystal that had to have been custom made for this event. With how it was situated in the river, the tower looked as if it was floating over the water rather than being fastened to something underneath. Even more surprising was how the tower wasn't shaking despite it being roughly a hundred meters above the water.
It was as steady as any other tower built on flat land.
At the very top of the tower was a spire with some sort of black cloth covering the point of it.
What confused Bai Yunfei about the sight was a series of ropes were attached to ten meters below the spire. They ran all the way down to the river where over a hundred strands of rope were tied to both sides of the bridge.
The vast majority of the tourists were mainly centered around the bridge or on the shores. As they gazed up at the tower, each one of them pointed and talked to one another about it.
"What a huge lantern! I thought it was a house at first! Brother strawhat, look at how big it is! Can we bring it home?" Huangfu Rui looked first at the small lantern she had in her hand before looking at the huge lantern up above. She then turned her head to look back at Bai Yunfei.
As sweat dripped, Bai Yunfei thought, "If you want it so badly, just put it in your space ring, but are they going to let you take it?"
At that moment, there was a distant cry. Looking up, Bai Yunfei saw a robust-looking person jump from the moonlit bridge onto the rope connecting the bridge to the spire. Then, as if he was walking on an incline, the figure began to run up to the top.
The eyebrows on Bai Yunfei's face rose. Only mid-stage Soul Warriors could accomplish a feat like this.
As soon as the person reached the top, he turned around to salute everyone down below. That was when Bai Yunfei saw that the person was a man in his thirties.
Regaling everyone, the man spoke with a sonorous voice, "Ladies and gentleman!! I am Shi Lan, your host for tonight's events! Tonight, we have a very special program for everyone, so please enjoy tonight to the best of your ability!"
Each person down below had a curious expression, the man continued to say, "This program shall be known as the 'Scramble for the Lantern!' Any interested participants will try their best to find and grab the winning lantern. The winner will be the one who grabs it, and the prize will be... this!"
His right hand tore off the black cloth that had wrapped around the point of the spire.
The resulting sight had been enough for everyone in the audience to let out a cry in surprise; Bai Yunfei himself had let out a gasp. Both of Tang Xinyun's eyes had lit up with interest, and Huangfu Rui let out an excited cry while her eyes immediately lit up like two mini-stars.
Uncovered by the black cloth, everyone could now see a lotus-shaped lantern glowing brightly with all seven colors of the rainbow at the tip of the spire. The lantern was crystalline in material, and a single multi-colored crystal could be seen in the center. The light was coming from this crystal and radiated through each individual 'petal' of the lotus. The light encompassed the entire area around the lotus in a dream-like fashion.
When the lantern was revealed, all the other lanterns seemed to have lost their luster. Only this new lantern looked as bright as a star.
"This lantern is known as the 'Prisma Lantern.' It took tens of artisans to craft this masterpiece over a course of thirty days. At the very center of it is a very precious multi-colored stone! Though it isn't a rare treasure, it is still a very unique lantern!" Shi Lan pointed at it, "The rules for this competition are simple. There are a total of one hundred eighteen ropes tied to three of the four faces to this tower. All you have to do is climb one of the ropes and reach the top. First one there is the victor!
"These ropes are of very sturdy make, so don't be afraid of them breaking! The tower has been reinforced many times over along with its foundation, so there won't be any problems on that side either. If you fall into the water and don't know how to swim, we'll have people stationed around to save you, so there is no harm to be had!
"Gentleman! Take a look at the eyes of the women nearby she'll be the most fortunate woman tonight if you can win this lantern and gift it to her!!"
An immediate uproar followed this final reminder from all over-many of the males were confident in their abilities.
The vast majority of the people here were all young couples, so what kind of male wouldn't want to see a smile on the face of the one they loved?
"How beautiful... sis Yun, is that really a lantern? It looks more like a lotus! It's really beautiful!!" Huangfu Rui tugged at Tang Xinyun's robes in excitement.
Even Tang Xinyun had a look of interest in her eyes when she glanced at the lantern. "Yes, it really is quite beautiful..."
Bai Yunfei hesitated at first, but when he saw the two females interest in it, he suggested, "Then... how about I get it for you two?"
The moment Huangfu Rui heard his words, she let out an excited yelp, "Okay! Yes! Brother strawhat, go get it! I want i-oh! I mean, sis Yun likes it too! Give it to sis Yun!"
Surprised, Tang Xinyun pinched the adorable face of Huangfu Rui dotingly, "Haha, so what if I do. Plenty of others want it as well!"
She looked at Bai Yunfei, "Why not let the commoners take part? If you were to go, you'd be bullying the others..."
Thinking about it, Bai Yunfei offered, "No worries, I just won't use my soulforce. I'll just use my own physical aptitude; that'll even the playing field and make it less likely that I will win."
"In... in that case, please be careful and don't hurt anyone." Tang Xinyun relented after hesitating for a brief moment.
Bai Yunfei didn't know what to say. In times like this, shouldn't it be, 'be careful and don't get hurt'?
After ten minutes had passed, to allow many of the participants to line themselves up by the ropes, Shi Lan gave a smile to everyone. Holding up a stone, he announced, "When this stone hits the waters, the competition will officially begin! Gentleman, for the sake of earning favor with the beautiful women of tonight, do your best! Show off the best of your ability and let everyone see how svelte you are!"
He tossed the stone up into the air. As the stone began to arc back down, he jumped off to the shore.
By the time he reached the shore, the stone he had thrown had coincidentally plopped into the water.
"Splash! Splash! Splash..."
Barely seconds into the start, three distinct sounds could already be heard.
The first shout had been from the excitement of the participants when they heard the competition start.
The second shout was from surprise.
The third was the sound of several people falling into the water.
At the same time, thirty people were already starting to leap onto the ropes to run straight for the top.
That's right, the best way up was to run up the ropes!
Not a single person here had imagined that this 'rope climbing' event would suddenly develop into this!
These nimble young participants were already under close watch by the entire audience, but just seconds later when they progressed up the ropes, the audience began to let out even more excited shouts!
Several of the ropes were starting to get close to one another, meaning that the people on them were starting to fight one another!
There were a few participants who had been prepared to climb up the ropes by hugging onto them upside down. When they saw people running up the ropes, they were all stunned for a moment.
Silently, they the returned to the shores and entered the ranks of the audience; even the ones who had been startled by the 'experts' and had fallen into the water were starting to make their way back to dry land where they could watch this startling situation.
Bai Yunfei hadn't even started to climb the rope when he saw all of this unfurrow in front of him.
"What the fuck!? They're all soul cultivators! This is a carnival meant for the commoners, why are so many soul cultivators taking part!?"
"Brother strawhat, what are you doing! Hurry up! Grab that lantern!!"
Huangfu Rui's shout jolted Bai Yunfei out of his stupor. Giving one final look at the battling people on top of the ropes, Bai Yunfei smiled to Huangfu Rui and Tang Xinyun one more time before leaping up onto a rope.