146 Chapter 146
The door shut behind the Nascent Soul elder. The man with the crooked nose didn't give away his emotions but he was glad that that man left. He noticed that the young lord Kai gave out a visible sigh, making him think that he was feeling the same way as he did. This man was someone that liked to gossip and gather information on various things, so he spoke up and tried to probe this young lord a bit.
"Elder Ming is such a composed man, isn't he? Heard that among the grand peak elders he is one of the more virtuous!"
He smiled while looking at Yang Kai that looked to be taken aback by what this crooked nosed man just said.
"Composed? Hah, that's a nice joke there. Elder Ming makes my old man look like a docile little puppy in comparison."
The cultivator looked to be amused, the man that asked the question was bewildered by the answer. The elder that just left was quite stoic, he never talked much or complained either. But apparently he was a lot more ferocious than even Yang Kai's father, just the mention of that person made this outer sect elder shiver in his boots.
"Young Master must be joking, how could Elder Ming be that fierce?"
Yang Kai's eyes twinkled a bit and a smirk appeared on his face. He leaned back in his seat and got more comfortable. He would tell this ignorant outer sect elder what was really going on.
"Well, you might not know it as you're not part of the inner sect... but let me tell you something... never go against Elder Ming in any way... don't even meet his eyes if you aren't willing to lose your life!"
The outer sect elder was taken aback as he gasped. Was this elder Ming so vicious that he would give you a good thrashing for looking at him the wrong way?
"What, you think that I'm lying?"
The man moved his hands in front of his face and waved them around in protest while replying to that question.
"My young lord, how could I presume such a thing!"
Yang Kai just smirked while taking a swig from some spirit alcohol that one of his bodyguards handed him.
"I don't blame you, If I didn't see it with my own eyes I would probably have a hard time believing some of the stories concerning him..."
The young lord started relaxing and drinking, he got a lot more chatty as well. He started recounting some of Elder Ming's misdeeds and they were quite ghastly. The man even wiped a whole middle-sized clan from the face of the planet, just for a trivial-sounding offense. From the stories, the outer sect elder found out that the man was awfully pedantic. Everything had to go by the book, so if someone of lower status offended him in any way he wouldn't just let it slide. Either they apologized right away in the appropriate fashion or they were in for a bad time.
"You'd better tell your people to keep things nice and tidy around Elder Ming, or he might blame you if someone offends him."
The crooked nosed elder shivered and started sweating profoundly. He soon excused himself from the room that they were talking about and alerted his most trusted aides. He heard some tales about this nascent soul monster, but he thought they were highly exaggerated. But apparently most of those grim stories were the truth, he needed to put more people on the job and keep anyone that might cause trouble away from this overbearing elder.
'What if he blames me if someone steps on his foot? Then decides to chop my head off along with the rest of my bloodline...'
The man went pale and headed out, he wouldn't be sleeping much for the duration of this auction. He had to make sure that no one offended this merciless sect elder.
At the break of dawn in Jade Grass City, you could hear people shuffling around. Everyone was putting up various stands with all sorts of items. Food, trinkets, and even low-level magical treasures could be seen everywhere. This was the true beginning of the Dao Festival, the residents were ready to earn some cold hard cash. Milking the tourists was one of the main reasons that this event was set up. The clans would have a stick measuring competition and the residents along with the Dark Palm sect would profit.
The tournament would start before noon and depending on how long the participants fought, it could take more than one day to finish. Everyone knew the rules before going inside the ring. There would be a main judge at the side of the ring that was of core formation strength.
His or her job would be to determine if the opponent couldn't participate and to point out the winner. There were no life-saving formations that would prevent death, only a shield that blocked any outcoming attacks going into the audience's stance. The judge was required to jump in if the fight got too spicy.
The juniors that were participating were considered the best of the best at this point, so no one wanted their future leaders to get hurt. Still, accidents did happen, anyone could lose their life in a nerve-racking bout like this. The youngsters mostly weren't that good at holding back and if you tried, you might be the one to die instead.
The place that the tournament took place looked similar to an old Roman colosseum. It was just much, much larger than the old earthen structure. The center stage was the size of a soccer field and it was circular in shape. There was a body of water separating the battle stage and the audience area.
There were a couple of two-meter wide bridges leading to the stage through which the contestants were guided into it. The audience stands were layered and could fit thousands of people. The more elite members like from the Dark Palm sect had their own VIP area that had the best spot to overlook the battles.
The participants would face each other on that large stage, due to the size of it they had enough space to maneuver and use their foundation establishment techniques to their heart's content. Even though the distance from the battle stage was far, the eyes of cultivators above a certain level allowed most people to see just fine.
"Is everything ready?"
Zhang Jin asked while standing opposite another older looking fellow from his clan.
"Yes, Grand Elder. Thanks to the Huo Clan's young master's help you will be able to enjoy the VIP seats. The young Matriarch from the Feng Clan will be joining us as well."
The man proclaimed as the triforce alliance had managed to pull some strings. They had to pay quite the hefty price in spirit stones but they had one of the better seats in the arena.
"Good, We'll be able to see the youngsters taking all the glory in style."
Zhang Jin smirked, knowing well that his junior members were the top batch in this tournament. He was still a bit worried about kicking up too much of a fuss, but some good advertisements would also be very profitable.
"What about the other thing?"
The old man asked while walking forward, ready to head out to the festival ground.
"Ah yes, various clans and sects from the area wanted to have a word with you. They probably want to garner some favor with us after their members lost to our junior members in the trials."
Zhang Jin nodded, he agreed thinking that it was probably the main motive.
"Yes... but be careful, some of them might have some ulterior motives. Be sure to check their background, be careful who you invite."
There was still a possibility of some snakes trying to slip their way into their graces along the way. Even though the junior members were doing great, that didn't mean that their elders were powerful. The other clans could try prodding them to see if they have enough power to defend themselves. The Patriarch wasn't here to show off his strength so Zhang Jin would have to cover for him if something happened.
"They should know that we are allied with two prominent clans, so I don't think they will cause trouble. But stay vigilant and report to me immediately if something happens."
Zhang Jin didn't really worry about the lower sects and clans. He was powerful enough to defend himself now and had a couple tricks up his sleeve. The problem would be if the Dark Palm sect got involved. But he was an old cultivator. He was confident enough in being able to maneuver in this sea of schemes and politics. This was the reason he didn't want his grandson Zhang Dong around, he knew that the Zhang Patriarch wasn't so good with people of a higher status than him.
"Don't forget to stay in contact with the main house though, you never know..."
He didn't want Zhang Dong to come here, but he knew that if something went down that the Patriarch was the only one powerful enough to do something about it. He already knew that the boy was edging towards the nascent soul level. He almost passed out when he showed him the full extent of his power, that finger attack that he demonstrated was something that he wouldn't forget till he died.
There weren't many opportunities to meet Nascent Soul cultivators. So Zhang Jin wasn't sure how his grandson compared to an established master at that realm. Zhang Dong told him that he should be able to last a couple of minutes against someone at the early stage. This was already a shocking discovery, how could someone in the core formation stage and slightly above the age of thirty accomplish something like that?
In Zhang Jin's opinion, Zhang Dong was quite the monster himself. Who in the world heard of a person below the age of hundred with such power? He didn't know that it would be wise to reveal him to the world just yet, so he would have to consider his options before calling his grandson for any help.
The old man sighed out while looking up into the sky. The day was nice and warm, the sky was a nice shade of blue and there were almost no clouds around. This tournament would be over within a couple of days. He really didn't want to consider choosing between his young clan juniors and his grandson. But in reality, there would mostly be one right move he could take and he didn't like the thought of that.
In front of the large colosseum looking structure were many vibrant festival stands. People were shouting and trying to get people's attention to sell their wares. The youths from the three clans were heading through the street altogether. After the last trial, they had gotten closer to each other even though only slightly.
Zhang Xue was covering her face with a veil that only let people see her charming eyes. This didn't stop anyone from staring though as they could tell from the way she conducted herself that she was a beauty. She was walking next to some of her clan sisters, not many remained after the three trials.
Huo Kong had his own entourage but he was sneaking glances at the junior sister that he met in the trial. For some reason, he had suddenly seen the light and wasn't thinking about vengeance against this Zhang Clan. His reasoning being, that no clan with such a gentle beauty could actually be evil. The things that his father said must have been true in the end.
Zhang Liu was stuck with Feng Nuana, he had a concerned look on his face. His arm was already a designated boobrest for the short girl, this making the young man have mixed feelings. He also wanted to know who taught this fiendish arm lock technique to this small girl, was she a demonic cultivator in disguise? Only someone like that could have came up with a ghastly technique like this!
Zhang Tai was surrounded from all sides by the Feng gang. The tanned girls were giving any other women that glanced at their 'target' the stink eye, successfully keeping any other potential contenders at bay.
Soon everyone arrived, the Dao Festival would be officially beginning!