Chapter 22: Tranquil City
Ye Jing had reached the vicinity of the Tranquil City and this was a city that she had always wanted to visit.
It was because Tranquil city was a unique existence that was up north of the Holy Citadel Mountains range. When she was a child, she had heard that this was a city that no celestial clans hold dominance over but was a place where the mortals sway. It was sort of a neutral city.
In the past, there was a Lord of the Tranquil City that was highly regarded in the celestial fraternity. Although he was a celestial but he had set free the mortals and gave them a homeland. Even though thousands of years may have passed but the various celestial clans still respect the neutrality of the Tranquil City.
Moreover Tranquil City was an important trading hub where thousands of celestials and even dark celestials visited for exotic goods and rare treasures. There were simply too many powerful influences in this place for any celestial clan to take control without offending all the other powerful celestial clans.
So she said excitingly, “Xiaofang, Elder Yunfeng, Li’Er! Follow me to the Tranquil City! The rest of you shall camp here and wait for my return. We will spend a few days in the city.”
Xiaofang asked, “Is this a good idea? If we slow down our pace then we may attract unwanted attentions from the others and even from the powerful devious beasts in these mountains.”
Ye Jing looked a little sheepish as she said shamefacedly, “It is only for a few days…and…it won’t impede our progression…these mountains are quite safe with many caravans…”
Chu Yunfeng laughed, “Elder Fang, you are being too cautious. If the Holy Consort wants to visit the city, we should let her have a look. The Tranquil City is a relative safe city and I’ve been there several times in the past. It is probably the grandest city in the entire celestial fraternity and not to be missed. Moreover we are so near it now.”
Even Li’Er was pleading with her eyes as she looked at Xiaofang…
Ye Jing gave Xiaofang a pitiful pleading look, “Xiaofang…”
Xiaofang sighed softly, “If you wish to…”
Ye Jing cuddled Yu’Er who was now a chicken hard and said delightfully, “Let us hurry!”
Xiaofang muttered to himself, “We’re supposed to stay put for our emotions. A buzzling city is a very bad place to cultivate the Emotion Divinity …”
It was not long before the tall walls of the Tranquil City were seen. There were long lines of caravans and people that were entering and exiting the city.
Chu Yunfeng said, “It seems that it will be hours before we can get into the city. The crowd today is really long.”
While there seemed to be guards but they were mostly manning their posts and did not attempt to inspect or to stop anymore.
Even then the crowd was actually orderly and waited patiently to get into the city. Currently the queue was not moving because there seemed to be merchants who were unloading their long train of goods to the handlers in the city.
Ye Jing saw and asked, “Are these guards slacking?”
Chu Yunfeng smiled, “This is a free city and there is no toll for entering the city. These guards are only here to ensure things are orderly.
Ye Jing secretly used her Divine Sense to probe the inner cores of the guards and were a little startled that they were not cultivators. She thought, “If it is a celestial that is causing trouble, are these guards capable enough?”
Li’Er suddenly said, “The guards seem to be coming our way…”
Xiaofang was instinctively on his guard and he had silently put his hand on the sword handle…
Indeed the relaxing guards were suddenly grouping together and there were about ten of them that were approaching them.
Ye Jing growled softly, “Of all the people, why did they suddenly come our way? Is it because I am the only one that is wearing a veil and therefore I am being regarded as suspicious?”
Li’Er said, “These men have weak auras. They don’t seem to be particularly very strong. We can fight our way through with no issue.”
Chu Yunfeng was also alarmed as he stepped forward hastily as he looked fiercely at the approaching guards.
As a matter of fact, Ye Jing and her group had noticed that hundreds of people were actually looking and pointing in their directions!
Ye Jing squeezed Yu’Er hard, “It seems that we are being targeted by everyone. Maybe we should have listened to Xiaofang…”
Xiaofang smiled weakly, “It is still not too late to flee…”
Suddenly the one of the guards who appeared to be the leader of the group was smiling as he looked at Ye Jing, “Respectful celestial maiden, welcome to the Tranquil City. We are honoured to have your presence today. Why don’t we guide you to the city gates instead and then you can freely explore the city without any hassle? May I know the name of your honorary celestial name?”
Ye Jing looked at the man curiously but he seemed to be friendly enough so she said, “Ye Jing.”
The man smiled broadly, “Celestial Ye, I am Gu Danyang. Please follow us.”
Ye Jing asked, “We don’t need to queue to get in?”
Gu Danyang laughed softly, “Celestial Ye must be really humorous. How can we allow a high ranking celestial to queue like the rest?”
Ye Jing was suddenly secretly smiling behind her veil. How could she have forgotten that she was a Golden Celestial now? It is said that Golden Celestials and Sacred Saints have plenty of prestige in the celestial fraternity and it seems to be true after all. Even a nameless golden celestial like her can have such a convenient advantage so she was naturally delighted.
She winked at Xiaofang as though she was saying, “It is all thanks to me that we are entering the city now.”
Chu Yunfeng was smiling weakly, “This is the first time that I am getting into the Tranquil City this fast.”
Ye Jing thought that Gu Danyang was a friendly man so she asked, “Why are these people staring at us? They are unhappy that we don’t have to queue?”
Gu Danyang smiled broadly, “They are probably looking at Celestial Ye and…”
He pointed at Xiaofang, “…this excellent young master here.”
Ye Jing asked curiously, “Why?”
Gu Danyang said respectfully, “Even though I don’t have the honor to see your face but from far, I know that Celestial Ye must be a peerless beauty. Your exulting beauty is like a sun that caught everyone attention. As for this young man, his splendid appearance makes even a crude man like me think that there is no man that is more perfect than him!”
Ye Jing laughed softly as she secretly took a quick glance at Xiaofang, “That is too much praises. May I enquiry what are the places of interest in the city? And where can we find the best food?”
Gu Danyang smiled broadly, “I am glad to be your honourable guide. The House of the Orange Divine Lion is hosting an active auction now at the Golden Merchant Square. Many faraway celestials are visiting the Tranquil City just for this auction. There may be things that can catch your eyes. The Heavenly Temple of the Lord Tranquil is the main attraction. If it is your first time then you should visit it at least once in your lifetime. As for food, the Hundred Flowers Street are where you can find the best restaurants and the best taverns.”
Yu’Er suddenly clucked excitingly in Ye Jing’s arms, indicating she wants to go to the Hundred Flowers Street!
Gu Danyang halted his steps and smiled broadly at Ye Jing, “Celestial Ye may use this gate to enter the city. I hope that you enjoy your stay in the city.”
Ye Jing laughed softly as she could sense that he wanted a tip, “We will. Li’Er, reward him with a silver.”
Li’Er smiled and dropped him a silver coin into his palm.
When they were gone, Gu Danyang and his men expressions were quite awful. According to the laws of the Tranquil City, they could approach only Golden Celestials and Sacred Saints to guide them into the prestige gate that was meant for them. They were also free to keep any tips that were from them.
But Gu Danyang had never seen any Golden Celestial that tipped so poorly even though she looked like an extremely distinguished celestial maiden with many powerhouses supporting behind her back.
He heaved a soft sigh as he showed his men the silver coin and all the men were sighing at the same time. They had really lucked out. A few days ago, the other squads that were on duty had received a hundred silver coins and another had received a gold coin which was equivalent to 1000 silver coins.
When Gu Danyang and his men saw that it was a Golden Celestial that was approaching, their eyes were beaming excitingly and they were all thinking how they could spend the tips!
Gu Danyang sighed heavily to his men, “There is nothing to be dispirited about. It is still enough to buy us a few drinks.”
When Ye Jing entered the streets of the Tranquil, she did not seem to remember that she was supposed to be cultivating her emotions and her eyes were dazzled by the colourful streets and the number of exotic merchandises that were being displayed.
Li’Er said unhappily, “Protégé mistress, you are too generous. Li’Er wages is only two silvers a month. We should tip them copper coins instead.”
Ye Jing laughed, “We ought to be generous. After all we are not any second and third rate celestial clans. Moreover he is pretty friendly to us so we should be more generous.”
Li’Er gloomily said, “It is easy money for them.”
Chu Yunfeng smiled, “Let’s not talk about it anymore. Where does our Holy Consort wishes to go?”
Ye Jing smiled, “We will drop by the auctions and take a look at the rare treasures that are being displayed. Maybe we can bid for one or two as well. So let’s go…”
It took them some time to find the House of the Orange Divine Lion at the Golden Merchant Square. Along the way, almost everyone was looking in their way and quite a number even offer them a helpful direction when being asked.
When Ye Jing reached the House of the Orange Divine Lion, she was quite relieved in getting away from the crowd as she was beginning to feel more and more uncomfortable.
At the House of the Orange Divine Lion, she did not even need to ask and her group was quickly ushered into the auction halls by the attendants upon seeing her golden eyes.
As Ye Jing entered with Yu’Er, there was a sign hanging quite prominently. “No beggars, weapons or pets allow.”
So she said, “Uh, it seems that my Yu’Er isn’t allowed inside? But I can’t leave Yu’Er outside. And also our weapons…”
A young beautiful attendant quickly smiled and performed a courtesy, “As our distinguished guest, this rule doesn’t apply to you. May our distinguished guest and your friends please follow me to your distinguished seats.”
Chu Yunfeng was secretly whispering to Li’Er, “You know. Today, I have finally known that we are worlds apart from our Holy Consort…”
Li’Er looked at him coldly and whispered, “It is only natural.”
Xiaofang did not say anything but his eyes were wandering at the grandiose of the House of the Orange Divine Lion as he saw rows after rows of expensive paintings and display vases. He was clearly impressed by what he had seen.
He saw a gigantic wall painting that depicted a battle of the gods. All the gods and goddesses numbering hundreds were seen charging up a gigantic bell like dark dome with an evil eye in the middle. So impressed was he by the painting that he stood there staring at the evil eye…
All of a sudden Ye Jing had grabbed his hand and said softly, “What are you doing here? Hurry…”
The young beautiful attendant led them to a hall that was above the common halls below. It seemed that they had the high seats and in this section sat the rich and powerful.
The young beautiful attendant smiled, “I will be here to serve your requests if you have any need. Please have your seats.”
When Ye Jing entered the distinguished section, there were many people that noticed her and they were looking curiously at her.
She noticed that just below her, sat a man and a woman. They too had turned their heads and she saw that they had golden eyes. Both had an imposing aura and Ye Jing was quite startled by them.
Even Xiaofang whispered to her cautiously, “The man is dangerous. Maybe we should sit away from them…”
The man took a look at Ye Jing and smiled before he turned his head around. As for the woman she just looked at them briefly before her attention returned to the auctions.
Ye Jing whispered to Xiaofang, “It is alright. We will do fine here.” But secretly she wondered about their celestial clan of origin. It was because this celestial clan must be quite renowned to be able to produce two golden celestials. Or maybe they were just friends.
She quickly scanned her eyes around the distinguished hall for more golden celestials but however there were none. Half the people where they were seated were celestials. As for the mortals, they were probably the rich and influential in order to deserve a seat here.
Ye Jing attention was quickly reverted to the auction stage however. It was because the attractive auctioneer had just announced a spirit bangle. This spirit bangle was made of the purest jade essence and it was extremely good for spirit cultivating.
Her eyes immediately beamed excitingly at it!
Not just her but all the cultivators that were in the hall as well!
The attractive auctioneer smiled and said, “This spirit bangle can be considered a 9th rank jade treasure. It is wholly refined with the Icy Translucence Jade and come in a pair. Just one bangle alone is able to aid the cultivator to cultivate spiritual force by 20% and wearing a pair can increase the cultivating speed by 50%.”
Everyone was startled as huge muttering gathered below the lower and the upper halls!
While 20% may not seem a lot but most jades could only increase 1% to 10%. Even a cultivating speed of 5% is considered superb. But this spirit bangle alone can increase the cultivating speed by 20% and 50% if wearing a pair!
Ye Jing was stunned. She was expecting these Icy Translucence Jades to be 7th rank jade. A ranking of 9th could only mean that these two jade bungles were extremely refined and ancient to be able to aid the cultivator to absorb the spiritual force so smoothly!
One celestial sitting in the upper hall with Ye Jing could not help out muttering, “It is much more valuable than a high grade earth-step divine sword…”
The attractive auctioneer smiled, “The spirit bangles will be auctioned in a pair. The starting bid will be 10 000 gold coins with an incremental of 1000 gold coins for every bid.”
Ye Jing was totally stunned. 10 000 gold coins are equivalent to 10mil silver coins! That was more than 10 years of what the Holy Citadel City could obtain in revenue!
Just as she was about to protest loudly that no one would be able to afford such outrageous bids, the bidding wars had already started!
“11 000 gold coins!”
“12 000 gold coins!”
“15 000 gold coins!”
“20 000 gold coins!”
“22 000 gold coins!”
In a short while time, there were already tens of bidders!
Ye Jing was so flustered and horrified by the wealth of these celestials and mortals that she almost wanted to cry out. In fact she was trembling as she cursed silently, “These people, their second profession must be either a robber or a bandit!”
Her mood was totally screwed by them!
The man in front of them whispered something to the woman beside him before he shouted, “30 000 gold coins!”
Almost immediately everyone had turned ashen and was staring at the man.
Someone was heard muttering, “Darn it! I shouldn’t have bid earlier. How come this item isn’t on the list? Usually mystery auctions do not have anything valuable to show for…”
The faces of many celestials and mortals were ugly and they were filled with envious as the upper hall suddenly grown quiet.
Even Ye Jing had thrown away her cultivation of the Emotion Divinity as she tried to comfort herself, “If this man wants a mistress then I can throw myself at him…” She was not serious of course but she could not help suggesting it.
She was so flustered and red like the others as she stared at the man in front of her…
Even Li’Er and Chu Yunfeng were all red with miseries in their thoughts…
Only Xiaofang was unmoved and he had suddenly received a jolt. He was secretly delighted, “I have reached the Intermediate level of the Emotion Divinity!…”
He thought, “Jing’Er, wait for me. I will overcome the Emotion Divinity and soon we can be together…”
The attractive auctioneer smiled as she hammered the end of the bid, “30 000 gold coins!”
Even the bid had ended, there were some sour voices. “Even if he is a Golden Celestial, I don’t believe that he can afford to pay up the 30 000 gold coins!”
The man obviously had heard the comments. As a Golden Celestial, he had exceptional sharp hearings. But he seemed to laugh it off as he whispered to the woman next to him in a laughing manner.
Ye Jing thought unhappily, “That bitch must be so happy to receive such a gift from him. She is just so lucky to find such a rich person…”
The man said to the beautiful attendant next to his seating position, “I don’t usually bring so much wealth with me and it is something unexpected…”
Even though his voice was soft but many in the upper hall were all expert celestial cultivators and they could hear him clearly. One even sneer, “So he doesn’t have money and yet he dare to bid so outrageously.”
The man continued to say softly, “I believed that I still have some leftover credits with the House of the Orange Divine Lion from the last round. Am I right?”
The beautiful attendant replied politely, “That is right. It is more than enough. In fact no payment is required from you for this auction bid. You may take away the jade bungles anytime.”
When everyone had heard the beautiful attendant, they were all looking shocked at the fabulous wealth of this man that they did not know whether to laugh or cry.
Ye Jing was crying within her. She was even thinking, “Does this man need a god-daughter or a sugar baby…”
The man smiled at the beautiful attendant before saying casually, “Maybe I will like to give it to the beautiful maiden that is behind me.”
When Ye Jing overheard him, she was so shocked that she had actually risen from her seat!
Even Li’Er and Chu Yunfeng were staring in shock, unable to believe what they were hearing!
Ye Jing trembled and even her lips were trembling, “He…is…giving…to me?” She thought shockingly, “Does he want to take me as his mistress?”
The man rose and he had turned around with the woman as he smiled at Ye Jing, “Are you willing to be my god-daughter? If yes, then this pair of jade bangle will be yours. ”
Li’Er was muttering almost incoherently, “If..only…I have…I want as well…”
Ye Jing eyes were totally red. In fact she felt she was going insane. After struggling with her heart demons, she said weakly and unconvincingly. “I refuse…you…may keep the…jade bungles to…yourself…”
When she had said that, Li’Er, Chu Yunfeng and all the others that had overheard her were stunned.
Only Xiaofang remained indifferently but he was looking intently at the man cautiously. It was because his instinct had told him that this man was extremely dangerous!