Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
Edited by ONI_Ghost
Beta read by OEE
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Book Two – Troubles of the Demon Prince
Tu Wei was charged with guarding the large teleportation array in the southwest part of Cloudsoar City. Pouring some fruit wine in a cup, he took the cup in between his fingers as he leaned back in his chair.
The weather had been superb for the last few weeks. With the sun shining and the occasional rain to keep the lands from drying out, the surroundings of Cloudsoar City seemed to be blessed by the gods. Everything had been peaceful and naturally no wars had been waged be it inside or outside of the country.
Sighing, Tu Wei looked at the fruit wine. He himself wasn’t very strong as he was just a Fourth Layer Star Rank cultivator. The Star Rank was quite close to the bottom tier cultivators in Cloudsoar City and were it not that he was associated with a faction, Tu Wei never would have obtained the position he held.
Although Tu Wei’s strength was not great, he was valued for his fair and loyal character. For this reason he had been given his current position and carried it out with great pride.
Tu Wei was associated with the Sixth Prince’s faction, Jiang Guanyu. The Sixth Prince wasn’t particularly strong when compared to the overbearing Fourth Prince or the cold Seventh Prince, but he outshone both of them when it came to stability.
Jiang Guanyu’s faction was perhaps the most stable and neutral out of all the factions that belonged to the direct descendants of the Demon Emperor. It might not be as big as the Fourth Prince’s faction, but it rarely experienced internal strife and was considered by many a faction worth joining if one didn’t want to involve themselves in matters of succession to the throne.
The Sixth Prince had expressed a lack of interest in the throne and only busied himself with research and his task of keeping the peace within the city. This included managing the city guard and naturally the guarding and taxing of the teleportation arrays within the city.
Tu Wei smiled at the thought of how great the faction he had joined was as he closed his eyes, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on his skin.
Not many people had passed through the array on this day. Naturally, upon seeing the jade slip hanging on his waist, all of them became respectful and paid the tax to enter the city.
Just as Tu Wei was about to finish his cup of wine, the formation lit up once more making him open his eyes and put the fruit wine down.
“Welcome to Cloudsoar City!” he said just as two figures became corporeal and appeared in the middle of the formation. “In order to enter the city, you have to pay one Star Grade spirit crystal each.”
Just as his voice echoed, the cold gaze of the taller man in the formation landed on him, suddenly making his breath hitch. The coldness hidden within was beyond anything Tu Wei had ever seen – it was as if the man’s eyes were ancient icebergs, long since devoid of warmth!
The man’s eyes then moved down to his waist and looked at the jade slip which held the insignia of the Sixth Prince.
“A Star Grade spirit crystal? Has Sixth Brother raised the price again? Last time I was here it was just a hundred Sky Grade spirit crystals…” Naturally, the man who spoke was Jiang Yao, and next to him was Luo Xiao who was currently struggling with a minor bout of vertigo.
However, Tu Wei couldn’t quite connect the dots of the man in front of him with what he knew of the cold Seventh Prince at the moment.
“Sir, yes, the prices were raised… It was done around two months ago,” Tu Wei said. His back was already covered with sweat as he struggled to keep his calm, especially as he felt as though his Fourth Layer Star Rank cultivation shook before Jiang Yao’s gaze.
Jiang Yao looked at Tu Wei for a second longer before his hand went in his robes and took out the wooden insignia. After briefly flashing it in front of the shocked Tu Wei, Jiang Yao put it away and stepped outside of the formation.
“Come, Xiaoxiao,” he said. His voice was unexpectedly gentle when compared with the tone he had just used when he spoke with Tu Wei moments ago.
Holding Luo Xiao’s hand, Jiang Yao led the way into the legendary Cloudsoar City, the center of the Demon Empire.
As soon as their figures disappeared behind the buildings, Tu Wei barely kept himself from collapsing. His body had turned numb all over. Upon seeing the wooden insignia, he finally understood just what an identity the cold man had – a direct descendants of the Demon Emperor!
Being a demon himself, Tu Wei knew very well who the current direct descendants were and their personalities. It took him less than a second to finally connect Jiang Yao to the figure of the Seventh Prince: a person whose coldness, beauty, and strength were the highest amongst all of the direct descendants.
The actual Seventh Prince had stood in front of him and he hadn’t even realized it! Tu Wei suddenly felt like thanking the heavens that he hadn’t tried to force the man to pay or else he would have instantly lost his life and any chance of reincarnation.
Sometime later, Tu Wei finally calmed down as he sat up properly in his chair, the cup of fruit wine next to him just like before. Taking a long breath, he took out a jade slip before branding a message onto it and sending it flying towards the inner regions of Cloudsoar City.
While that was happening, Luo Xiao and Jiang Yao walked deeper into the city. Luo Xiao had gotten somewhat used to extravagance during their stays in luxurious hotels throughout their journey towards Cloudsoar City via teleportation arrays.
Yet even experiencing such luxury, once his head finally cleared, and Luo Xiao could take a look at his surroundings without feeling sick, just the initial look he took was enough to leave him completely rooted in place.
This wasn’t a city, it was an entire country within a country!
Cloudsoar City was a complete megalopolis spanning thousands of kilometers! It seemed immeasurable and unending, and the only way one could describe the size was by comparing it with other cities.
And even such a method wasn’t very good at estimating the size of this city! Just how many people lived here? How many buildings and streets were there?
Luo Xiao couldn’t even begin to take it all in as he stood there rooted in place as he tried to comprehend its size. It was too big of a city for him, someone who had lived most of his life in a tiny village.
If one had given him enough time to acclimate and get used to the big cities he wouldn’t have been so smitten, but because Jiang Yao had given him almost no time to do so, Luo Xiao was now utterly stunned.
Upon seeing his expression Jiang Yao couldn’t help but chuckle a little while reaching out to hold Luo Xiao’s hand, “You’ll get used to it soon, Xiaoxiao.”
Their brief exchange was enough to let Luo Xiao take a long breath before he walked up to Jiang Yao, his hand tightly holding Jiang Yao’s. He found himself in the need of the taller man’s support as the enormous city loomed above him as if ready to devour him.
“Where are we going?” Luo Xiao asked.
“Hmm?” Jiang Yao said as he glanced towards Luo Xiao before turning back to look at the city, “My personal palace. It actually isn’t that far away, we’ll be there by sunset.”
With Jiang Yao’s strength, he could cross most of Cloudsoar City within a few minutes despite the city’s enormous size. Luo Xiao, on the other hand, would need considerably more time to cross even a hundredth of it and that left the two of them with the option to just go by foot.
As they walked through the crowds, Luo Xiao’s breathing became shakier the more he saw of the city. Even if where they were was considered the outskirts of the city, the buildings, shops, gardens, and enormous squares they passed were already beyond what Heavenward City had.
While in Cloudsoar City extravagance was in plain sight; however, that didn’t mean every building in Cloudsoar City was like that – Luo Xiao had spotted multiple places that seemed rather shabby and run down. Clearly, their owners couldn’t afford to showcase the same luxury as the main structures.
The city was a sight to behold. Eventually though Jiang Yao got annoyed with just walking through the busy streets and rented a carriage to get them to his palace.
“It will be much faster this way,” he shrugged at Luo Xiao’s questioning gaze as the two entered the carriage before it sped off through the street.
While their carriage sped towards the area where Jiang Yao’s palace was, in a different side of the city, in a room full of books and paper scrolls, a jade slip flickered between the slender fingers of a young man in gorgeous blue robes.
His hair was just as black as the deepest nights and all of it was loosely held together with an azure hairpin. The man’s skin was as white as jade and his eyes sparkled with the deepest of blues as he read through the message branded on the jade slip.
“Seventh Brother has returned? With a weak human by his side?” he hummed before his fingers crushed the jade slip. “Well, that’s his business. Give Tu Wei a corresponding bonus for the news and forget about the matter. It isn’t in my interest to meddle with what my brothers do after all.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” the servant who had delivered the jade slip said with a bow and left the room.
The blue-eyed man smiled gently as soon as the servant left, stood up from his seat, and walked over to the wide windows. The view which opened from the windows was impossible to describe. As far as the eye could see were beautiful streets of Cloudsoar City, its hills and valleys, and a few of the rivers that went through it.
The blue-eyed man sighed at the sight. He could never get enough of it, despite the hundreds of years he had lived in his palace.
“Ah, Seventh Brother, I wonder if you know that Fourth Brother has been scheming so much against you… So much so that some of his hair turned white and he doesn’t even look thirty-five yet!” the man said with a chuckle as he leaned against the window frame.
Now that the sun lit his face from the front rather than the back one could easily see that he looked a bit like Jiang Yao. However, there were differences: first, his eyes were as blue as azurite, and second, his features were a lot more delicate than Jiang Yao’s. In a sense, he even looked a tad feminine – though that only added to his elegant charm.
That was the Sixth Prince of the Demon Empire, the Blue Sea Prince Jiang Guanyu!
Jiang Guanyu kept smiling gently as his eyes wandered over the city, enjoying the sight. “Ah, Seventh Brother, I wonder what you found outside the Empire – was it the human you brought back with you? I can’t wait to meet you before you report to father…”
Jiang Guanyu sighed at the thought of their father, the Demon Emperor. The Demon Emperor was the only man stronger than Jiang Yao when it came to both cultivation and battle prowess and his influence was unfathomable. A single word from him could overturn the entire continent of Tiandi.
Shaking his head, the prince dismissed his thoughts about their father. Turning back to look at the paperwork, he almost sighed once more before walking back to his desk.
With his keen intuition, Jiang Guanyu felt that it was highly likely that there would be a lot of papers to handle in the future.