Chapter 444: 1st Place Zhao Tianjiao
As people continued to alight onto the ancient battleship, the three-eyed old man who had just emerged from the deva rainbow vanished, reappearing on the ship itself. Actually, he wasn’t alone; he was joined by five Nascent Soul cultivators.
It seemed as if the ship was just about to set sail, and yet, it was in that moment that a beam of light pierced through the air off in the distance, causing intense whistling sounds to echo through the air.
“How could I, Zhao Tianjiao, not participate in a major event such as this!?”
It was a travel-worn young man, tall and slender, with long black hair and an icy cold aura. Shocking cultivation base fluctuations rolled off him that, despite being at the great circle of the Core Formation stage, felt even more profoundly powerful than that. He actually seemed like a Nascent Soul cultivator, and even though he wasn’t quite in that level, as he approached, it was possible to see him occasionally blur to the point of being impossible to see.
In truth, he was actually using a teleportation ability. Although he could only teleport for short distances, he was still only a Core Formation cultivator, which made him shocking to a level that surpassed even Heretic.
It took only a few moments for the young man to reach the ship and land on the deck. As he stood there looking extremely lonely and proud, he was so different from the other cultivators that he was like a full moon in a field of stars!
“It’s Eldest Brother!”
“Heavens! Was Eldest Brother teleporting just now?”
“Elder Brother Heretic has his Wind Dash, but Eldest Brother was using real minor teleportations!” Everyone in the crowd was looking at Zhao Tianjiao with expressions of reverence and respect.
“Hey, I can teleport too!” Bai Xiaochun grumbled to himself in irritation. Although he wasn’t fully convinced that Zhao Tianjiao was as amazing as the crowd apparently thought he was, he had to admit that he had skill. Furthermore, Bai Xiaochun could sense from the shocking fluctuations rolling off of him that he was stronger than the statue of Gongsun Wan’er.
The three-eyed Chen Hetian looked over at Zhao Tianjiao, his gaze soft, and yet his words sharp as he said, “And what reason do you have for being late and delaying things?!”
Clasping hands respectfully, Zhao Tianjiao said, “A year ago, a Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect disciple went missing, and in my efforts to find him, I found that these three freaks were responsible. They all fled in different directions, though, which cost me a bit of time.”
With that, he waved his sleeve, causing three heads to tumble down onto the deck.
Two of them were old men, and one was a middle-aged, but all of them had looks of lingering astonishment in their dead eyes. Based on the aura which still remained on them, all three had been Nascent Soul cultivators!
When the surrounding disciples saw the three severed heads, they immediately began to call out in surprise.
“Enlightened Sage Headwind!”
“That’s Eccentric Flamecloud!!”
“All three of them are Nascent Soul experts! Heavens…. Eldest Brother actually killed all three of them!!”
“He definitely deserves to be called Eldest Brother!!”
Chen Yueshan’s pupils constricted, but she didn’t say anything, and as for Heretic, his expression turned extremely grim, and he began to breathe heavily.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide, and he even gasped. Although he had known that Zhao Tianjiao was incredible before, at this point he could tell that he was definitely someone to avoid provoking at all costs.
Looking at the three severed heads, he murmured to himself, “Ah whatever. I’ll just have to deal with the fact that he has a slightly better name than me!” 1
Chen Hetian nodded slightly and then, without another word, turned and headed to the highest deck on the ship, leaving the Nascent Soul cultivators behind to handle the rest of the disciples.
One of the Nascent Soul cultivators, a middle-aged man, stepped forward with an expressionless face and said, “All of you are Chosen of the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, and are already somewhat familiar with this trial by fire. As such, we will not waste time with further explanations.
“However, there is one thing that I must make clear. Our voyage will take half a year, and during that time, you will live in quarters assigned to you based on your ranking in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Superstars!
“The top 3 will be staying on deck 2. Take your pick of the cabins there to be your own personal immortal’s caves. Those of you in 4th to 10th place will stay on deck 3, where you will also have personal immortal’s caves within which to further your cultivation.
“Those of you who occupy 11th through 100th place, you will stay on deck 4. Everyone after that will be on deck 5!”
Meanwhile, the ship had already begun to pick up speed as it moved across the surface of the sea; the crashing of waves against the sides of the ship was already audible.
There was also a fierce wind, and a bit of sea spray that carried with it a powerful corrosive element that didn’t harm the ship, but could be detrimental to cultivators if it touched them.
Bai Xiaochun was a little nervous about that, but when he heard that everyone was being assigned to their quarters by means of their seniority in the ranking system, he was instantly enlivened.
“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” he thought. “The people with higher rankings should have better accommodations!” He already couldn’t wait to see what his own immortal’s cave would look like.
“Use these identity medallions as keys to your immortal’s cave. Very well, you’re all dismissed!” With that, the middle-aged cultivator Nascent Soul spun on his heel and flew up to deck 1 with the other Nascent Soul experts, where they entered their own cabins to meditate.
Now that the members of the Senior generation were gone, the 1,000 other cultivators on board all dispersed, apparently eager to get off of the main deck and away from the powerful sea winds and corrosive spray.
Zhao Tianjiao was the first to fly into motion, heading toward deck 2, with Chen Yueshan and Heretic following close behind. Many of the other cultivators were a bit envious of the fact that those three got an entire deck to themselves, and yet, there was nothing that could be done about the matter.
Bai Xiaochun didn’t feel any irritation at all. He flew excitedly toward deck 3 with the other top 10 cultivators, including Gongsun Wan’er.
As for the other cultivators, they stewed in their frustration and jealousy as they looked for their own immortal’s caves.
Bai Xiaochun was brimming with anticipation as he entered deck 3, and it was to his delight that he discovered that the entire deck had been renovated and fitted with only seven cabins.
Using the identity medallion he’d been given, he randomly selected one and branded the cabin to himself. Then he opened the door, stepped in, and looked around. Despite everything he had seen and done in his life so far, the sight which met his eyes was such that a gasp of shock escaped his lips.
The cabin was huge, fully 300 meters from side to side. Furthermore, it wasn’t actually a single cabin, but a suite of cabins, with seven rooms, plus a pill-concocting workstation. It contained everything a person could possibly need, and was incredibly luxurious.
The floor wasn’t made of wood as one might expect on a ship, but rather, green limestone that was suffused with spiritual power. The slabs were partially translucent, and inside of them could be seen swirling mists and clouds. Not only were they beautiful in appearance, but the spiritual energy that emanated from them could be used in cultivation. Furthermore, there were defensive spell formations built into the cabin that also provided complete sound-proofing from the rumbling sounds that echoed outside.
Even more extraordinary was that the cabin came with six puppet handmaidens, who were tasked with keeping the entire cabin in order at all times. On one side of the cabin were windows which provided a spectacular view of the golden sea outside, and there was also a balcony where one could enjoy the sea breeze if one wished, or even do a little fishing.
Considering that it was currently about noontime, and the sun was shining brightly outside, Bai Xiaochun had the sudden impulse to go outside and soak in the warmth of the sun.
The truth was that this cabin was so large that it could fit a hundred people and still have room to spare.
“How luxurious! The fact that the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect will treat the higher-ups so much better is… it’s wonderful!” Taking a deep breath, he toured the cabin for a bit before sitting down cross-legged to do some breathing exercises.
Time flashed by. During the three days which followed, Bai Xiaochun only continued to be more pleased with his accommodations. That was especially true when he found that every day, his puppet handmaidens would bring large quantities of spirit food.
The amount of spirit food was so extensive that even after working hard, he couldn’t consume it all. For him, life was even better than it had been in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, and after eating, he would pat his belly and burp a bit, then lay down on a divan on the balcony to enjoy the sea breeze and the warmth of the sun.
“I’m in the top 10, and things are great. I wonder what the three rooms for Zhao Tianjiao and the others are like? How big are they?”
Thinking of Zhao Tianjiao caused Bai Xiaochun to suddenly be reminded of Song Que and his other Dao protectors. At that point, he realized that, considering how large his room was, and how it was almost empty, he might as well enjoy it with some others. With that thought in mind, he excitedly rushed out of his cabin and headed to deck 4.
The first thing he did was try to get an idea of what the cabins on deck 4 were like. Considering that there were always people coming in and out of one cabin or another, it didn’t take long for him to get an answer.
Deck 4 was much smaller than deck 3, and each cabin was only a few dozen meters across. Even still, all of the cabins were single-occupancy. However, when he got down to deck 5, he saw that things were much more cramped.
1. Quick reminder that Zhao Tianjiao’s given name “Tianjiao” uses the same characters as the word I usually translate “Chosen”