Calm Prefecture belonged to the Great Liang’s Dynasty Border Prefecture.1 Overlooking the “Precipice Mountain of the Sea of Clouds”2 that was near the Cloudcover Empire,3 the Precipice Mountain of the Sea of Clouds was one of Liangshan Continent’s largest mountains. The borderless grasslands extended ten million li, and every windy season, appeared to be a rolling sea of clouds. The scent of the Cloud Aromatic Herb4 even floated into Calm Prefecture’s ten towns, thus giving it the name. In addition, beyond the plains at the ends of the Precipice Mountain was the extremely remote and timeless White Tiger Territory.
The Cloudcover Empire used to be more than a hundred nomadic tribes, fighting hand to hand incessantly year in, year out, continuously in a state of division. Due to a leader that appeared in the Flourishing Orchid Clan,5 there were changes. He carried out countless campaigns, allying the hundred thousand tribes to form the Cloudcover Empire. Since then, there was fear of the iron hoof of the oppressor at Liangshan. Due to frequent raids by scattered bandits, as a result, the several prefectures, counties and towns at the Precipice Mountain of the Sea of Clouds were guarded by fierce troops.
Stone Tablet City’s6 walls had been built to several tens of zhang high, the city towers inside the clouds, appearing to be fierce teeth; from the high altitudes overlooking this city’s imposing vastness, it was just like a crawling giant creature. Because the four sides were all connected, Stone Tablet City was also exceptionally prosperous, with the Flourishing Orchid in the western regions, the barbarians in the northern borders saw visitors from all over.
After seven days, Su Xing arrived at Stone Tablet City. He did not conceal his appearance at all, and with the type of fenced off frontier area Calm Prefecture was, news of Star Cultivator sects in the middle of the plains was very difficult to be transmitted here. Even if it was passed on to here, this place’s sects were sparse and harmless.
Lin Yingmei and the rest were not hiding within the Star Nest, confidently following to the left and right of Su Xing, making him out to be an influential family’s son going on a tour. With maids that were like clouds in appearance, those other Star Cultivators would not doubt these four Star Generals were attendants serving him.
At this time, Su Xing’s group stood at Stone Tablet City’s center plaza under an immense stele. The stele’s height reached three zhang. It was created from Precipice Mountain’s dirt, engraved with the ten words of, “Vast Vital Energy Exists, the Stone Tablet Suppresses Supernatural Beings,”7 each word nearly half the size of a person, the stroke intent ancient and inelegant, the strokes themselves powerful and forceful, straight and winding, an unexpectedly direct power whistling under the Blue Dome of Heaven. It was nothing special at first glance, but after a moment of attentive examination, suddenly one would feel dizzy, the whole person unexpectedly could not help but take a step backwards, making Su Xing unable to help exclaim in surprise: Such a despotic imposing manner.
“Ten years before, Cloudcover Empire’s and the Vermilion Bird Territory’s ghoul8 clans colluded to refine tens of thousands of “Demon Cavalry”9 and “Divine Generals”10 that directly entered Liangshan, attacking the seven prefectures and hundred cities. Liang Huizong himself lead a campaign and met the enemy head on, breaking the enemy a thousand li to this Stone Stele City. They say that some remaining Demon Cavalry and Divine Generals are suppressed underneath this Stone Tablet. Ninety-nine Demon Suppressing Seals have been added onto it. Henceforth the Stele Suppressing Border,11 the Cloudcover’s evil monsters do not dare approach anymore.”
Wu Xinjie had just opened her mouth to explain when a voice that sounded as if it had been through a lot stole her discussion.
The group turned and saw an gray elderly man. Wearing a Great Liang Emperor’s brocade, his Star Energy deep and resounding, it unexpectedly was a Galaxy Middle Stage cultivator from the Great Liang Dynasty’s court.
“This one beneath you is Jiang Yundao,12 respectfully presenting the assigned guard to the Devil Suppressing Stone Tablet.13 Is this the first time all of you have come to Stone Tablet City?” Jiang Yundao magnanimously smiled.
“This one beneath you is Yun Youzi,14 to be polite.” Su Xing bowed as he held his hands in front of him. “As senior says, this happens to be the first time we have come to the Stone Tablet.”
“Fellow certainly must by all means not harbor thoughts of striking this Devil Sealing Stele.” Jiang Yundao’s tone was severe, his eyes flashing radiantly, a powerful imposing air rushing out and pressing towards Su Xing.
Su Xing smiled: “Senior misunderstands. On Emperor Liang’s treasures, how could this youth dare to have nosy intentions.”
Jiang Yundao’s eyelids jumped. Seeing a Nebula Cultivator unexpectedly not change under his imposing manner, he could not help but take notice of the seemingly distinguished Su Xing. He relaxed his pressure, stroking his beard with a pleasant countenance: “This Daoist is too worried. Please do not take offense, Fellow.”
“Could it be said there are those with the idea to strike the stone tablet?” Su Xing asked.
“It is hard to fathom a person’s mind.” Jiang Yundao lightly smiled: “The ‘Heavenly Prosperity Establishment’15 of Stone Tablet City’s eastern area recently has a Heavenly Star recruiting a master. This fellow’s appearance is out of the ordinary, your beauties like clouds. You actually could go take a look.
Even this Jiang Yundao knew, so Su Xing then asked, interested, about this matter of a Star General recruiting a master.
Perhaps he previously thought he had wrongly gauged Su Xing. That Jiang Yundao would use this as recompense entirely overturned his appraisal.
Half a year ago, the Heavenly Prosperity Establishment at Stone Tablet City opened its doors for business. Originally, this was not considered anything big. At Stone Tablet City, there were countless restaurants, teahouses and institutions conducting business everyday, but on the second day, the Heavenly Prosperity Establishment’s owner16 just suddenly issued grand word – Heavenly Star recruiting a master!
The Heavenly Prosperity Establishment prepared trials, and as long as one could stand on the platform at the end, a Heavenly Star General would be willing to offer herself to the master, signing a Star Duel Covenant.
This news immediately exploded in Stone Tablet City, and everyone was discussing this matter.
Thirty-six Heavenly Spirit Star Generals. No one was unaware of the Liangshan Continent’s Star Duels, and signing a contract with a Star General was like walking in the clear sky. A few Earthly Stars ordinarily were heavenly dragons with their heads seen but their tails unseen,17 in sight but unattainable. A grand Heavenly Star publicly recruiting a master in the Azure Dragon Territory was rarely seen.
In a moment, Calm Prefecture, Jasper Prefecture,18 Heart Prefecture19 and even the Cloudcover Empire all had been startled. Star Cultivators that were attracted here jumped in eagerly, and three days scarcely had passed since the proclamation when the Heavenly Prosperity Establishment’s customers became the most in Stone Tablet.
However, this Heavenly Star Master Recruitment’s trial of “Language Passes Three Checkpoints, Military Slays Six Generals” was considered harsh. The qualification to enter the door first of all required participation in a solo lifting of two thousand jin20 copper lions. Afterwards, the party was entitled to enter Passes Three Checkpoints and Slays Six Generals.
Some people began to doubt whether or not the owner was deliberately playing to the gallery. However, she continuously made solemn guarantees that seven candidates were assembled, they they would begin. The others had nothing to say, but half a year since, only six candidates had been assembled, and along with the passage of time, the Star Cultivators’ enthusiasm began to ebb. Yet the time those nobles stayed at the Heavenly Prosperity Establishment let them linger, their vitality actually exceedingly flourishing.
“What if there continues to be no seventh? Then it will continue to never begin?” Su Xing could not help but ask.
“However, the Great Liang is a galaxy of talent. It is unlikely to go as far as not being able to gather the seven?” Jiang Yundao shook his head. “It is just that Stone Tablet City’s position is remote. The Central Plains Great Sect21 actually seldom comes, but this cannot be helped. People do not dare make sense of a Heavenly Star’s conditions.”
“Do you know which Heavenly Star?” Wu Xinjie asked.
“This is not clear. She will not appear before the final juncture, and it is said that Heavenly Star is scrutinizing from the dark.” Although Jiang Yundao said as such, his eyes nevertheless revealed a trace of disdain. Perhaps he felt this only was a trick the Heavenly Prosperity Establishment’s owner arranged to raise the popularity of the restaurants, and that was why only when there were seven candidates would there be a final choice. As for the true time everything was assembled, what about it. This owner should have a way out in actuality.
“The Heavenly Prosperity Establishment indeed is considered top quality in this city, and shopkeeper Li Shishi22 also is a beautiful woman that is hard to come by. Even if you do not choose to go to the master recruitment, the Heavenly Prosperity Establishment’s name was poetic, the musical instruments handsomely danced, and the young women serving wine are top quality.” Jiang Yundao’s eyes narrowed as he spoke. He did not go there only just a few times.23
Su Xing looked pensively, glancing at the girls.
“This one beneath you shall go look at this Heavenly Prosperity Establishment.”
The Heavenly Prosperity Restaurant stood in great numbers, layer upon layer. The decor of engraved railings and painted pillars was gorgeous. Even if one was far away on the street, tilt one’s head and the sounds of bustling activity could be heard. Su Xing and Wu Xinjie and the rest entered the restaurant, directly feeling a lively mood. The restaurant’s interior was very large, with more than a hundred tabled, and among them two copper lions were located in the center of two red ladders, grand and majestic.
It gave the restaurant and additional peculiar atmosphere.
When Su Xing entered, he received every sort of attentive gaze. Bringing four beautiful maidens simply would simply not be able to prevent people from thinking of them, seeing as Su Xing was very ordinary. These people did not mind, and Su Xing asked for a seat, chose a few dishes, not at all an impatient participating Star Cultivator, but someone who stayed at the side, first conducting a stakeout.
He saw a man of a tough and stocky build currently use both hands to move the copper lion, a bare upper body, his veins exposed, his teeth grit tightly.
A group of customers cheered and yelled, some encouraging, others sneering.
“Just a little bit more, then it’s Passes Three Checkpoints and Slays Six Generals.”
“Bring out a man’s spirit.”
“Better give up. Even if you of the Mad Bear School24 rely on brute strength to move the copper lions, you can’t pass the checkpoint, don’t invite this disgrace upon yourself.”
“Exactly, I heard the current dynasty’s four Highnesses25 already been selected. Don’t think of yourself as the toad that eats swan meat.”
The man roared loudly, raising both hands. He finally barely propped up the thousand jin copper lions, his brute force out of the ordinary. However, the established rule was to raise it above the head, supporting it for ten seconds. This could be only accomplished with a cultivation of Nebula Stage at the minimum.
The big man yelled loudly, and the copper lions fell to the ground, giving up dejectedly.
The other customers laughed uproariously, one after another applauding.
“The owner that opened this restaurant truly can meticulously plan and carefully account, creating such a free show, no wonder business is so good.” Shi Yuan twitched her lip.
“That sister of ours is also very smart.” Wu Xinjie smiled.
“Does Sister Xinjie believe there truly is this matter of a Heavenly Star recruiting a master?” An Suwen asked, her expression suspicious. She felt a Star General publicly recruiting a master was too bold.
“There should be. Star Cultivators willing to contract with a Star General do not have robust backgrounds, but have significant backgrounds. If strenuous effort and meticulous care are the final result, that is only a ridiculous buffoon, and I fear this Heavenly Prosperity Establishment will be torn down.” Wu Xinjie explained.
The girls looked pensively. Putting it like this indeed was so.
“You all certainly must by all means not underestimate this public recruitment for a master. First of all, the copper lions restrict the Star Cultivator’s cultivation. This guarantees that a chosen person’s qualification are not too low. Secondly, the passes through three checkpoints. Slaying six generals is to make the Star Cultivator’s train of thought gush. Does military force pin Heaven and Earth? Although it can be said this checkpoint can let chamberlains be substitutes, if chamberlains have peerless literary talent on hand, it indicates where the Star Cultivator is exceptional. So this public recruitment for a master is indeed from a talented little sister, truly talented.”
“Could it be she does not fear attracting other sects?” Su Xing asked.
“Ever since the Demonic Sect was extinguished,26 large schools that seized the opportunity to force contracts became very few. In addition, Stone Tablet city is also on the frontier. There is no need to worry too much.
“Language Passes Three Checkpoints, Military Slays Six Generals. Little Sisters, certainly you know which sister has such a refined and elegant attitude of mind?” Wu Xinjie asked.
The group all shook their heads, setting up so complicated was rare.
“This Young Lady sees this simply is not a Heavenly Star, only some Earthly Star pretending to put up a sign, a scam.” Shi Yuan sourly said. Her guess also had much reason. Heavenly Stars were far more noticeable compared to Earthly Stars. Given any Heavenly Star, every large sect would all squabble for her. At that time, sects chose for themselves anyways. Setting things up to be this complicated, it was an Earthly Star’s style.
The Knowledge Star smiled but did not speak.
“Young Master, do you plan to try it out?”
Su Xing was just about to reply, when suddenly he heard the restaurant erupt with fanatical applause. Turning his head to look, he saw the two copper lions already high up floating in the air.
In a few days, I will add some speed, plot out the synopsis from here on then burst out with another plea for monthly votes.
- 邊州 ↩
- 崖山雲海 ↩
- 雲蒙帝國 ↩
- 雲香草 ↩
- 蒙蘭族 ↩
- 石碣城 ↩
- 浩然正氣存，石碣鎮鬼神 ↩
- 巫鬼 ↩
- 鬼騎 ↩
- 神將 ↩
- 石碑鎮境 ↩
- 姜雲道 ↩
- 鎮魔石碣 ↩
- Yes, Su Xing is stealing someone’s identity. After all, dead men tell no tales. ↩
- 天興樓 ↩
- 老闆娘, makes clear the owner is a woman. ↩
- 神龍見首不見尾, remaining hidden. ↩
- 瓊州 ↩
- 懷州 ↩
- More than 2600 lbs. total ↩
- 中原大派 ↩
- 李師師 ↩
- Oh, I bet, old man… ↩
- 狂熊派 ↩
- Eh, Zhao Hanyan and Zhao Heng appear once more? ↩
- The one the Liangshan Maiden personally smote. ↩