As a result of Bold Independent Union’s unique hierarchy, its name had spread quite far and was well known amongst common cultivators, many of whom wanted to join Bold Independent Union to take advantage of its less rigid system.
It was also for this reason that while the number of Bold Independent Union’s disciples was quite large, the number of masters it had was low. Compared with other local forces, Bold Independent Union was considered weak.
Yun Xuan reacted as she did when she heard that Shui Ling was a Water Spirit Temple disciple for this reason. Well aware of the status of the Water Spirit Temple, Yun Xuan was not willing to offend Shui Ling.
However, now that they had acquired the Scarlet Blood Orchid, and their task had been completed smoothly, whether Shui Ling was a true disciple of Water Spirit Temple didn’t matter as much anymore.
After two days, the group of ten left the swamp.
One day later, a huge city surrounded by a vast forest appeared in Yang Kai’s eyes; Bold Independent City, headquarters of Bold Independent Union.
This short three day trip had allowed Yang Kai to truly understand how rich the ambient World Energy of Tong Xuan Realm was. Along with the dialogue exchanged amongst this group of people, he also came to realize just how rich and vast this land was; many resources he had never heard of were often mentioned, along with many famous masters.
Yang Kai’s horizons were broadened greatly, and even his state of mind underwent some subtle changes.
At the gate of Bold Independent City, a number of cultivators who appeared to be guards were checking the passing pedestrians, staring at them vigilantly but not making any attempt to stop anyone.
Under the leadership of Yun Xuan, Yang Kai’s group of people easily entered the city.
The bustling atmosphere was obvious even before they entered the gates as cultivators shuttled back and forth just like an endless stream.
Yun Xuan proudly smiled and explained, “Because our Bold Independent Union mainly deals in cultivation resources, our headquarters is always very lively. Many people come here in order to purchase various Alchemy or Artifact Refining materials. In this realm, with the exception of the Merchant Union’s headquarters, Merchant City, our Bold Independent City has the widest selection of goods. Of course, Merchant Union has connections and dealings with all three major races, so that’s not something we can match, hehe.”
“All three major races?” Yang Kai asked curiously.
“En, Merchant Union’s Merchant City is located in neutral territory which allows them to smoothly conduct business with the Demon Race, Monster Race, and Human Race. Didn’t you know?” Yun Xuan’s beautiful face wore a stunned look as she stared at Yang Kai.
“I rarely come out and walk around so my knowledge of the world is somewhat lacking,” Yang Kai replied calmly and casually.
Yun Xuan nodded lightly and didn’t ask any more; not wanting to annoy Yang Kai. These past three days she noticed that while Yang Kai was not very talkative, he showed exceptionally strong curiosity and interest in even some commonly understood things, this was clearly the performance of someone lacking worldly experience.
However, his mind was also very sharp and his thoughts were quite profound. Anything he wasn’t clear about would quickly be understood after making his own observations and asking a few questions. This only further confused Yun Xuan, making her wonder whether he was a little countryside brat who had never seen the world or an old soul who had traveled many lands and seen many storms.
In summary, whenever Yun Xuan faced him, she felt an inexplicably pressure and bewilderment.
“If the two of you have no objections, why not stay at our team’s lodging while you’re in the city? We purchased our own house inside the city and although it’s not much, it’s certainly better than staying at an inn,” Yun Xuan sent out an invitation.
“Sure,” Shui Ling readily accepted, she couldn’t wait to find a place to clean herself up, she hadn’t had an opportunity to wash her body properly during these past few days of traveling.
“Ji Hong, show them the way,” Yun Xuan lightly said.
The bearded man nodded, “Leave it to me.”
“Please go on ahead, we have to go make a report to the Union and hand over the Scarlet Blood Orchid. When we’re finished, we’ll come join you.”
Yang Kai nodded and then followed the bearded man along with Shui Ling as he walked off into the city.
A short time later, the trio came to a small house that Ji Hong enthusiastically introduced. Upon stepping into the yard, he quickly summoned a few servants and told them to prepare a hot bath and arrange rooms for Yang Kai and Shui Ling.
The house itself was quite simple and although it was located in the city’s downtown area, since it came with a security barrier, once they were inside the bustling noise from the street was greatly reduced.
Yang Kai, who had spent many years in a small rotting cabin and then camping in caves and forests, didn’t feel any sense of discomfort in this place.
In the evening, a maid came and called him, saying that dinner had been prepared.
Exiting his room, Yang Kai immediately met Shui Ling who had now restored her beautiful appearance.
The two met eyes, let out a light laugh, then set out for the dining hall together.
At this simple evening banquet, Yun Xuan and her small team were very hospitable and repeatedly proposed toasts. Shui Ling said that she didn’t drink but Yang Kai did not decline, eagerly tasting all of the exotic and foreign food and wine this new world had to offer.
Yun Xuan also handed over the previously agreed upon 152 pieces of Crystal Stone to Yang Kai, giggling happily as she joked, “Be sure to save it, don’t go blowing it all at once. There are many places in Bold Independent City that are difficult to resist for youths like you, hehe…”
As she spoke, her mood was light and playful, probably because of the alcohols, her tone no longer as rigid and her face blushing a faint shade of red, making her all the more attractive.
The bearded man saw Yun Xuan’s appearance and immediately cast Yang Kai aside while trying to get Yun Xuan even drunker, clearly holding some ulterior motives.
Yun Xuan, however, didn’t refuse, and continued drinking happily, causing Yang Kai to be stunned.
After passing half the night in this lively manner, Yang Kai and Shui Ling both took their leave while the people from Bold Independent Union persisted, but it wasn’t long before the last of them, Ji Hong, collapsed, all of them having been cleanly out drunk by Yun Xuan.
Back in his own room, Yang Kai took out a Crystal Stone from the Black Book space and carefully examined it.
He quickly discovered that this Crystal Stones contained a very pure World Energy that could easily be absorbed and refined into True Qi by cultivators.
Although he had already quietly asked Shui Ling about the function and worth of these Crystal Stones, Yang Kai only now realized just how precious they really were.
If they had these stones back in the lower realm, the cultivators back there would have been able to improve their cultivations at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, there was no such convenient resource there.
Crystal Stones were Tong Xuan Realm’s hard currency and were useful for cultivation, Alchemy, and Artifact Refining, almost all goods and services were priced in Crystal Stones.
Yang Kai couldn’t help sighing in admiration, never having expected that such a magical thing could exist in this world.
Since coming to Tong Xuan Realm, he had truly stepped into a different world, everything around him so strange, fresh, and new.
Suddenly, there was a knock at his door. Yang Kai released his Divine Sense and confirmed who his visitor was, then quickly opened the door, allowing a moonlight bathed Shui Ling to enter.
“What’s up?” Yang Kai asked.
“Nothing. I just can’t sleep so I decided to come over and talk with you,” Shui Ling sat down on a nearby chair and casually poured herself a cup of tea.
“I noticed you went out earlier today for a while. Did you manage to contact your family?”
“You noticed?” Shui Ling asked him, slightly surprised.
Yang Kai smiled and nodded.
“Good, I did get in touch with my family. My Water Spirit Temple has a presence in Bold Independent City, so I went there and let them know about where I’ve been and what happened to me these past two years. About half a month from now someone will arrive from the main Sect to pick me up and escort me back.”
“Just who are you in Water Spirit Temple? From what I’ve gathered, your status shouldn’t be low.”
“Hehe, I’m the daughter of Water Spirit Temple’s current Sect Master.”
Yang Kai raised an eyebrow and smiled, “So you’re the Little Princess of Water Spirit Temple.”
Shui Ling smiled teasingly, “So what if I’m a Little Princess? Wasn’t I still bullied all that time in your mansion? You were ordering me around as and when you like!”
Yang Kai smiled and asked, “Are you going to look for revenge now?”
“I’m not that bored,” Shui Ling waved her hand casually, Yang Kai leading her back home was something she was extremely grateful for, and how could she still be worried about some petty revenge?
“However, I do have a request I hope you can listen to,” Shui Ling’s expression suddenly became serious.
“Can you join my Water Spirit Temple?” Shui Ling went straight to the point.
Yang Kai stared back at her strangely, his brow furrowing slightly, “Why do you want me to join?”
“Because I’ve seen you create many miracles and I believe that with your skill and aptitude, your future achievements in Tong Xuan Realm will be great. Therefore, I hope you can join my Water Spirit Temple. As long as you agree, I can promise you the best cultivation environment and resources so you can quickly increase your strength. You’re also eager to find your friends, right? With my Water Spirit Temple’s help, finding them will be much easier.”
“Your offer is really quite generous,” Yang Kai grinned meaningfully.
“You’re worthy of such an offer, and you shouldn’t doubt I have the ability to fulfill them either.”
“I believe you,” Yang Kai nodded. Since Shui Ling was the Little Princess of Water Spirit Temple, she really had such ability.
“Then do you agree or not?” Shui Ling asked eagerly.
Unfortunately, Yang Kai shook his head and decisively said, “Thank you for thinking so highly of me, but you lived and worked beside me for so long in the Central Capital, so you should understand my personality.”
“Of course I understand, and I can promise you that we won’t place any limitations on you, as long as you agree to join Water Spirit Temple, you’ll be free to do whatever you want.”
“Joining Water Spirit Temple is itself the biggest limitation,” Yang Kai smiled.
“Sure enough…” Shui Ling sighed faintly, although she knew there was at least an eighty percent change he would reject her, she still couldn’t help trying to lobby him, hoping that after Yang Kai had drank so much wine, he would agree in a drunken stupor.
However, ever after all that alcohol, he seemed to be as alert as ever.
“Forget it, I won’t force you, but if you are ever willing to come to Water Spirit Temple, just tell me.”
Yang Kai neither accepted nor rejected her final offer.
After a peaceful night’s rest, Yun Xuan took the initiative to come over in the morning and offered to take Yang Kai and Shui Ling on a tour of Bold Independent City.
Yang Kai also wanted to observe the customs and culture of this new world so he naturally accepted.
Looking at her relaxed demeanor and healthy complexion, Yang Kai suddenly had a clear understanding of this young woman’s incredible alcohol tolerance.
According to the house’s servants, after taking down all the other members of her team last night, Yun Xuan drank a few more jugs of wine before calmly returning to her room to sleep.
Such alcohol capacity was quite shocking to Yang Kai, causing him to raise his opinion of her somewhat.
Bold Independent City was not small; although it wasn’t as big as the Central Capital in terms of area, compared to any other city from that world, it was a colossus.
From time to time, in the sky up above, some strange Monster Beasts would fly by, cultivators riding on their backs. In addition to using Monster Beasts as flying mounts though, there were also some who used artifacts specially designed for transportation. Each of these flying artifacts was beautiful crafted and very eye catching.
Yun Xuan explained that anyone who dared to fly over Bold Independent City possessed great strength or status, while unimportant people like them could only walk along the streets.