After escaping Tian Ao City, they did not dare to slow down the speed, and ran wildly all the way towards the south.
Because the horses summoned by the spirit tool don’t eat, drink or rest, as long as there is spiritual power to support them, they can continue to run without end.
Therefore they galloped away 400 Li(around 200km) within three days.
On the way, through chatting with Meng Sheng, Jiang Chao Ge roughly understood the power distribution over the Tian Ling continent.
Other than the ruling family of Tian Ling Nation the Yu Clan, there are also hundreds of nobles of all sizes.
Among them, four large families are most powerful namely, the Que Clan in East, the Su Clan in the South, the Fan Clan in the west and the Qi Clan in the north.
The imperial capital, Tian Ao City, is located in the southeast part and is the most prosperous region of the entire Tian Ling continent.
“These four families can have an illustrious reputation in the Tian Ling Nation because they each have a speciality.” Meng Sheng took a puff of a self made tobacco pipe, “Que Clan in the East is skilled in making all sorts of spirit tools, particularly spirit weapons and spirit armour which have the greatest reputation.
The quality of the daily use kind spirit tools made by their family are universally acclaimed, the family produces top grade spirit tool masters generation after generation; Su Clan in the South are financially the strongest, yet every industry you can think of they have all set foot in.
It’s wealthier than the royal family and is the only noble who has business dealings with powerful nations overseas; Fan Clan in the West is skilled in using strange monsters and spirits to make strange spirit tools, especially skilled in hidden weapons, poison tools, magic tools and spirit medicine.
Normally, no one dares to provoke people from the Fan Clan; Qi Clan from the North are nobles with the strongest military strength and has the highest number of high rank spirit weapon users and Heaven grade spirit weapons.
Qi Clan people are each brave and battle wise, females don’t yield males.”
“Then where is your house?”
“In the middle region.
It’s more than 700 Li away from Tian Ao City and is a trade city that’s close to the inland canals.
There are many floating populations.
Even if you go there, you won’t attract attention.
You will hide here for a period of time while simultaneously cultivating spiritual power and practising sword art.”
Jiang Chao Ge nodded, “Old Meng, I haven’t formally said this phrase yet, thank you.” Although in the beginning, he was very guarded towards Meng Sheng, but if Meng Sheng wasn’t there, he didn’t even dare to imagine what his fate would be right now.
He was someone who knew clearly to whom to show gratitude to and against whom to feel resentment.
If there is kindness he will return tenfold, if there is a hatred he will return a hundredfold.
One day, he will definitely repay Meng Sheng.
Meng Sheng smiled, “My age is getting older, I have no home nor tiredness here.
I can live but I’m also not afraid of death.
Then I’ll risk my life and gamble on this and see if you can beat the State Preceptor and let us go home.”
Jiang Chao Ge clenched his fist, eyes blazing like torches, “I will definitely go back.”
Zhi Xuan was leaning against the tree, comfortably basking in the sunlight.
He said with half lidded eyes, “Your world, what is it like?”
Jiang Chao Ge thought for a bit, “Our ‘horses’ are many times faster than the horse here.
Our ‘birds’ only need two hours to fly from southern most part of Tian Ling continent to the northern most part.
Our palaces can be constructed many metres high.
I only need to move my finger to immediately talk to an overseas nation.”
Zhi Xuan listened and listened, eyes becoming more and more bright.
But in the end he blinked, “Your boasting right?”
Jiang Chao Ge curled his lips and smiled, glancing at Meng Shang.
Meng Sheng returned his gaze, also filled with yearning and reminiscence.
Zhi Xuan moved over closer, raised his neck and looked at him, “Your world, is it really that strange?”
“Really, its completely different from here.”
Zhi Xuan pursed his lips, “Take me to see.”
Jiang Chao Ge made a wry smile, “If I could go back, why would I still be here?” Who would carefully wait upon you little brat? Jiang Chao Ge cursed in his heart
Zhi Xuan curled his lip, “Trash.”
Jiang Chao Ge pinched his small tender cheek, “Sir Zuzong, I can take you to my world to play, but have to help me.”
Zhi Xuan slapped away his hand, “Don’t touch me as you please!”
“I must have powerful strength in order to get close to the Great Master.
The Great Master is the only one that knows how to return to my world.”
Zhi Xuan gave him a scornful glance, “I’ve already been dead for millions upon millions of years long ago.
My strength depends on your spiritual power.
The more powerful your spiritual power, the more strength I can release.
You can only allow me to appear in this sort of form, what face do you have to ask me to help you?”
Jiang Chao Ge sighed, “Zuzong, you are right.”
Meng Sheng was on the side, smiling but not speaking.
Jiang Chao Ge glanced at that sword.
He’d just become aware that the name of a spirit weapon was named after the name of the spirit beast, so this sword was called Zhi Xuan Sword.
He was not the least bit satisfied with this name.
It sounds like the sword has also become a devilish brat.
But this sword was his only hope.
Meng Sheng smoked again and then extinguished the cigarette, “Let’s sleep, we still have to hurry on our journey tomorrow morning.”
Right now it was between summer and autumn, nights were somewhat cold.
First they didn’t have money and second they also didn’t dare stay in an inn, they could only sleep in the wilderness.
Jiang Chao Ge stayed near the fire, both hands clenched together at his chest, and was still cold that he somewhat couldn’t sleep.
He opened his eyes, and right away saw Zhi Xuan sitting beside the fire, little hand actually stretched into the fire! He grabbed Zhi Xuan’s hand and pulled it out at once.
Zhi Xuan frowned: “What are you doing?”
Jiang Chao Ge placed the small tender paw before his eyes and looked, the skin was fine.
Zhi Xuan pulled back his hand and said disdainfully, “Foolish people, how many times have I said it, you’re not allowed to touch me as you please.
You’re so stupid, no wonder your spiritual is so weak.”
“You’re not afraid of fire?”
Zhi Xuan gave a soft snort, small paws twirling gently on top of the fire.
The tongues of the flame actually started to sway along with his movements, but the effect was very weak.
He pulled back his hand gloomily and glared angrily at Jiang Chao Ge.
Jiang Chao Ge waved his hand, “I know.
I can’t allow sir Zuzong to display his true power.”
Zhi Xuan gave him a scornful glance, and turned his head back around.
From Jiang Chao Ge’s point of view, he could only see half of his face that was lit by the light of the fire.
Those lowered eyelashes and slightly flattened corners of his mouth made his seem somewhat lonely.
Jiang Chao Ge said: “You’re not sleeping?”
“Like hell I’ll sleep.”
“Why is your body temperature so high?” The body temperature of Zhi Xuan was about the same as the body temperature of a person with a fever, skin always nice and warm.
“I’m not human anyway.”
Jiang Chao Ge stared at his punching bag like figure for a short while, and suddenly stretched out his hand and hugged him close to him.
Zhi Xuan said angrily: “What are you doing?!”
“Sir Zuzong, I’m too cold, I can’t sleep.
I can be a bit warmer when I hug you.”
“You lower class human….let me go!” Zhi Xuan slapped Jiang Chao Ge’s face without restraint.
Jiang Chao Ge was hit and was shocked for a bit, heart full of anger, but he did not dare flare up.
He thought, just think of him as his son, but after giving it another thought, that’s not right.
If this was his son, he would’ve long been beaten half to death if he was this disgraceful.
Forget it, let’s just treat him as a Zuzong.
He also didn’t care how Zhi Xuan struggled, and hugged that warm body closer in his embrace, immediately feeling as if he was near a small heater.
Zhi Xuan opened his mouth and bit onto Jiang Chao Ge’s collarbone, two rows of sharp teeth pressing down secretly.
Jiang Chao Ge hissed in pain, and raised his palm wanting to beat him, but still forcefully endured.
He just waited until Zhi Xuan felt his teeth grow sore and loosened his mouth before raising his eyebrows: “Happy?”
Zhi Xuan fumed with rage between gritted teeth, a pair of bright golden eyes like a fiercely burning flame, “Sooner or later there will be a day where I will eat you until not even bones are left.”
Jiang Chao Ge mocked: “I will work hard to cultivate spiritual power and summon the real body of sir Zuzong and allow you to eat me until not even bones are left.”
Zhi Xuan gave him a scornful glance, and turned his body, his butt facing Jiang Chao Ge.
Jiang Chao Ge hugged the soft heater, and immediately felt sleepy, very quickly falling asleep.
The next day, as soon as he opened his eyes, Jiang Chao Ge faced a pair of golden pupils.
He jumped in fright, fiercely leaping backwards and only saw Zhi Xuan sitting beside his head, staring at him darkly.
Meng Sheng sat to the side, picking at salted vegetables and gnawing at a steamed bun.
Zhi Xuan said: “The spiritual power you used to summon me is about to disappear.”
Jiang Chao Ge crawled up and shook his head, “What?”
Zhi Xuan said with emphasis, “I.
When Jiang Chao Ge thought about how he didn’t have to face this Little Zuzong anymore, he almost laughed out loud.
He gave a soft cough, “Oh, then you sleep for a while first, until I have cultivated….”
“No.” Zhi Xuan said without a trace of politeness: “Once we get to the old man’s house, you have to summon me out.”
“But weren’t you unwilling to be in this form….”
“You dare talk back.”
Jiang Chao Ge said embarrassed: “I don’t have spiritual power.
That was borrowed from Old Meng.”
Zhi Xuan turned his head and looked towards Meng Sheng.
Meng Sheng said hurriedly: “Definitely, definitely.
Sir Zhi Xuan please be reassured.”
Zhi Xuan lowered his head, small hand stroking the sword made from his own horn, no longer talking, only his body disappearing little by little.
Jiang Chao Ge watched his small body gradually becoming transparent and suddenly felt a little sympathy for this small rare beast in his heart.
At the moment he was about to disappear, Zhi Xuan suddenly raised his head and said fiercely, “If it’s over five days, you are dead!”
That little bit of sympathy in Jiang Chao Ge’s heart immediately vanished like smoke and dispersed like the clouds, with not even a residue left.
After Zhi Xuan disappeared, Jiang Chao Ge breathed a long breathe out, and had a feeling of emancipated serfs.
Meng Sheng smiled happily: “You can relax for a few days.”
Jiang Chao Ge wiped his face, “Do I really have to summon him again? Other than being rude and unreasonable and calling me ‘trash’, he doesn’t have any other uses.”
“It’s because you are useless, that he is useless.” Meng Sheng threw a steamed bun to Jiang Chao Ge, “Once he is summoned, he won’t be in that sort of dormant state like before.
If you wait a long time and then summon him, he will bear a grudge.”
“But I don’t have spiritual power.” Jiang Chao Ge bit fiercely into the steamed bun.
Meng Sheng said helplessly: “I’ll lend you some once again.”
Jiang Chao Ge frowned, “I’ll start cultivating immediately when we get to your place.”
Meng Sheng nodded, “Let’s get on the road.”
Without Zhi Xuan, their speed was much quicker as they hurried on their journey.
In less than two days, they arrived at Hu An City located in the middle of the Tian Ling continent.
Hu An City relied on the biggest inland canal, Zhou Qu Canal.
The city was prosperous and lively with traders from various regions coming and going throughout the year.
It was one of the wealthiest cities in the central region.
The two entered the city.
Jiang Chao Ge was shocked by the flourishing streetscape of Hu An City.
The outer gate of Tian Ao City was simply undeserving to be mentioned in comparison to here.
The shops on the street were like fish scales and comb teeth, crowds of people surged forward.
There were little businesses and vendors everywhere, hawking everything there could be.
There were spirit weapon users who brought around fantastically odd rare beasts of every description that they summoned themselves, yet city residents seemed to have all become accustomed to it.
Meng Sheng pointed to a three storied bamboo building in front of their eyes, “This is the biggest spirit weapon store in Hu An City.
You can buy very good Dark grade spirit weapons and spirit armour here.”
“Then what about Heaven grade spirit weapons?”
“Heaven grade spirit weapons are bought with money.
Generally speaking, Heaven grade spirit weapons can be split into two types.
One type is the ones that are passed down from ancestors.
This type of Heaven grade spirit weapon are mostly used as family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation.
Perhaps it will wander among the people for some reason or it might be bought by nobles for a price as high as the heavens.
In any case, normal people cannot hope to obtain it.
There is also another type, that is, a newly made one.
Because Heaven grade spirit weapons draw it’s material from over millennium old rare beasts, it’s spiritual power is extremely high.
Spirit tool masters that don’t have extremely strong spiritual power and skill, even if they have the raw material of the rare beast, they don’t dare make it.
If they are even slightest bit careless, they die of being completely sucked dry of spiritual power.
Therefore, only spirit tool masters that already have an illustrious reputation can come into contact with the bodies of millennium old rare beasts that are delivered through various means.
Some spirit tool masters might not have a chance to touch millennium old rare beasts in their entire lives.
Heaven grade spirit weapons are not something you can obtain if you have money or spiritual power, you also have to have the right.
Ordinarily, when a Heaven grade spirit weapon is found, it is first presented to the royal family and big nobles to choose.
Only when the spiritual awareness is not compatible, will they expand the range to look for a compatible spirit weapon user.
A Heaven grade spirit weapon can buy a city-state, a nation.
This point is not exaggerated at all.
So, how good your luck is, you think about it yourself.”
Jiang Chao Ge suddenly felt a bit overwhelmed with emotions and kept in mind that the lousy sword he carried on his back was worth several cities.
It was truly hope mingled with fear.
So it seemed that Prince Shu definitely won’t let him go.
Meng Sheng saw through his thoughts: “Prince Shu originally had the highest spiritual power and cultivation base out of all the princes.
Last year, he also obtained a Heaven grade spirit weapon.
Now, he’s like the sun at high noon, his status is almost equal to the crown prince.
What a pity, the character of this little prince is excessively arrogant, not emperor material.”
“How do you know so much gossip?”
Meng Sheng gave him a look, “This is the city of Hu An, where merchants from various regions come and go.
News from all over the nation can be heard here.”
The two people walked and walked, entering a dark alley.
Meng Sheng stopped in front of a poor and shabby, single story house, and opened the lock on the wooden door.
Jiang Chao Ge took a deep breath, “Do you even need to use a lock here?”
“It not on par with the treatment at five star hotels, I’m truly sorry Boss Jiang.” Meng Sheng pushed open the door.
The door plank made a creaking sound, seeming like it could fall at any time.
Jiang Chao Ge stepped foot into the courtyard, and looked around in a full circle.
He kept in mind that he was living under another’s roof and didn’t have the temper to complain.
Meng Sheng pushed open the door of a small room, covering his nose and fanning at the dust that flew randomly at his face.
“Clean if a bit yourself and then live here.”
Jiang Chao Ge couldn’t help but ask: “How much do you think I can sell my ring and watch for?”
“Have you lost your mind?”
Jiang Chao Ge shrugged his shoulders, “I’m just making a joke.”
Meng Sheng pounded his back, “I have to go to sleep.
Don’t run around.
We’ll talk about everything when I wake up.”
Jiang Chao Ge stood in front of the small hut that was not much bigger than a latrine, dazed for a while.
For a period of time, his head was plugged up, and he was unable to understand how he went from a 700 square m big villa with a swimming pool in Dong Ping City, to such a wretched situation.
He gloomily drew a bucket of water from the well in the courtyard, picked up a broom and dust cloth, and cleaned the worn out room once.
With difficulty, he finally had a place to shelter from the wind and hide from the rain.
He didn’t have a choice.
After cleaning, it was already nightfall.
He was obviously fatigued for a whole day, yet he didn’t feel sleepy.
After lying down for a while, he got out of bed, took off layer upon layer of cloth, and took out Zhi Xuan Sword.
The sword was still that sword, mottled, worn out and lifeless.
But holding it in his hands, that heavy texture made him feel slightly at ease.
Jiang Chao Ge took the sword out into the courtyard, both hands grasping the hilt.
He remained in a steady horse stance, and did a few hacks and chops in succession.
After roaming the streets for a few years, he was forced to join a local organisation.
The second elder brother of that organisation was a lover of traditional martial arts, and was particularly fond of wielding swords and playing with guns.
His skill was way higher than amateur level.
He once learned Chinese boxing and sword moves from the second brother for three years but at that time, they mainly prioritised the use of daggers.
He was highly proficient with the dagger.
A broadsword with a broad hilt like this he was not at all proficient in, but this did not hinder him from obtaining the memories from his childhood, remembering how he used a wooden sword to practise hacking, chopping, flicking and stabbing.
He waved the heavy Zhi Xuan Sword, the sound of the blade cutting through the air penetrated the quiet moonlit night, giving a feeling of deep coldness.
The concentrating, quiet eyes of Jiang Chao Ge had a difficult to shake resolution.
That resolution transcended the limits of time and space, demonstrating extraordinary talent and skill.
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