The western region of the Barren State looked vast and endless. The place was filled with many magnificent cities, and there were two that were the most renowned among all: Alchemy City and White Cloud City. While other major cities were also very, very influential, none were able to match those two.
White Cloud City reigned supreme in the northwestern region while Alchemy City was situated in the southwestern corner. Alchemy City's influence encompassed all surrounding areas. Many top forces forged amicable relations with Alchemy City. Alchemy City was also immensely grand and luxurious. It was as if the entire city was made out of ritual implements. The designs of the buildings there differed greatly from those of other regions. In Alchemy City, many buildings served as ritual implements themselves. Intensely thick Spiritual Qi was found within Alchemy City, and the concentration of metal and fire elements were especially strong.
Countless mighty ones gathered at that incredibly old and renowned city. Many more kept arriving in the city by air. With the Armorers Competition held once in ten years about to commence, it was a grand event comparable to the Holy Zhi Palace's recruitment. Top forces throughout the Barren State gathered there, and the ones from southwestern regions were particularly eager to participate. The finest armorers from all over Barren State also gathered at the city to show their mettle.
It should be known that the prize of every Armorer Competition ever held had been incredibly terrifying. Many were even given the chance to become the direct disciples of the city lord of Alchemy City, and the one individual who reigned supreme was even given an opportunity to marry a princess of the city lord office. As such, many flocked to participate in the event. However, the ones ranked in the top three in every Armorer Competition ever held mostly consisted of the top forces of Alchemy City, and there had even been ones emerging from the city lord office.
While the number of people who specialized in making armaments was comparatively low in the Barren State, but the sheer size of the Barren State meant that there was still a considerable number of them gathering at Alchemy City. The Armorer Competition was seen to be, without a doubt, the most prestigious event for armorers in Barren State. There was simply no other event comparable.
A line of mighty ones appeared in the airspace of Alchemy City; they were members of Nantian House. While Nantian House was quite a distance away from Alchemy City, the trip was seen to be a must. The Godly Spear of Nantian of the Nantian House was renowned throughout the Barren State, and the very spear among the godly spears held by the lord of Nantian House was crafted by none other than the armorers of Alchemy City. As such, it was only natural that members of Nantian House participate in the event.
Many of the top class ritual implements throughout the Barren State, like the Godly Spear of Nantian, originated from Alchemy City. As such, many top forces respected Alchemy City.
Members of Mortal World arrived as well in their air warships. The Sovereign Family of Zhongzhou arrived to participate in the Alchemy Conference event. Needless to say, the Sacred Fire Sect, the Zhong clan and others who originated from the southwestern regions, all arrived early in Alchemy City.
Many mighty ones also came for another reason: to see if there were useful divine arms and ritual implements to be traded in Alchemy City. There was no doubt that the ritual implements from Alchemy City were the best in the Barren State.
Two more figures were seen flying into the city in the air. Both of those figures were at the pinnacle of the Noble Plane. One looked dashing and handsome, and the other exuded a rather pompous aura.
"Fourth brother, are you really planning to participate in the competition?" one of them asked.
"Not me, us," the other answered.
"But we can't make stuff?" The one who started the conversation shrugged.
"But you are good with fire, aren't you? There is little difference between cooking and making things. I have read a lot of books and tried to catch up. I will know what to do," the one called fourth brother answered.
"Are you messing with me? How can that work, fourth brother?"
"We have come so far and there is nothing else I can do. We'll have to participate whether we like it or not."
"But you're the one pulling all this, not me. Fourth brother, you can't just rope me into this."
"Luo Fan, if you weren't the one egging me on, I wouldn't have made such a huge mistake. Are you really trying to sit around and do nothing?" These two were of the Eastern Barren Territory Cottage, the fourth disciple, Xue Ye, and the fifth disciple, Luo Fan.
"Xue Ye, how can you say that?" Luo Fan glared at Xue Ye. "Well then, why don't we just go beg second sister then?"
"To hell with that." Xue Ye glared at Luo Fan. "I don't have the gall to do that, and besides, what good would that do? If you're not going to participate, I'll smack you down right here, right now."
"Fourth brother, you're too much," Luo Fan said rather dejectedly. How can you bully someone like that?
"We are brothers, no? We share the credit and blame, and we sink or swim together." Xue Ye tapped Luo Fan at the shoulder as a consoling gesture.
Luo Fan turned and look at Xue Ye dejectedly, saying, "But you sure didn't have me around where there was credit to be had."
"Credit, hell no," Xue Ye cursed at Luo Fan. Luo Fan sighed and lamented at his fate.
Ye Futian's party had arrived at Alchemy City, flying in Alchemy City's airspace, tall and proud.
"Zhong Li, does all of Alchemy City fall under the influence of the city lord office?" Ye Futian asked. He knew little about Alchemy City and was able to see so far that it was a city of magnificent prestige and influence.
"No. Other than the city lord office, there is another powerful force with substantial influence in this most renowned place in the southwestern region: the Emperor family," Zhong Li elaborated.
"They call themselves that?" Ye Futian looked rather funny as he asked.
"The Emperor family of Alchemy City has influence on par with that of the Sovereign family of Zhongzhou City." Zhong Li added, "It's said that in ancient times, the ancestor of the You family, which is the city lord clan, was best friends with the Emperor family. They were both saints and armorers when they came to Alchemy City. In later days, the You family retained the armorer lineage and talents of the ancestors, while the Emperor family emphasized the cultivation of their own powers, leaving their armorer lineage behind. Both forces maintained very good relations and completed with each other, ruling the renowned city in the Barren State together.
"Their relations stayed amicable, even to this day, and it was common for members of both families to marry. The city lord of Alchemy City ranked eighth on the Barren Sky Ranking, while the head of the Emperor family ranked twelfth. Both forces never bothered participating in the Holy Zhi Palace's selection processes. They made it out solely on their own." Zhong Li continued, "Furthermore, exceptionally talented individuals emerged frequently from both forces, and it was said that one of the exceptional talents, capable of going against the heavens, has emerged. Rumors sat that person rivals the likes of Bai Luli, and the Emperor family has pinned great hopes on them, hoping that they will one day to become a saint."
Ye Futian nodded. The Barren State was a vast place, and while the Holy Zhi Palace was a sacred ground in the Barren State, it was not the only one. Huang Jiuge of the Sovereign family refused to train in the Holy Zhi Palace. The likes of Alchemy City and the Ice temple made it on their own as well, and mighty ones emerged one after another from their ranks. They thought themselves to be able to meet many excellent armorers participating in the event this time.
"Will many forces from Barren State come?" Ye Futian asked.
"Many will." Zhong Li nodded. "The Armorer Competition is a festival for armorers of the Noble Plane like none other. Some of the best armorers will stay behind in Alchemy City, but there will also be a substantial number of great armorers being bought away by outside forces with hefty prices, becoming their personal armorers. When they become sages one day, those armorers will go on to craft something befitting of their status and power."
"Understood." Ye Futian nodded. It was only natural that any top forces lacking good armorers wanted to recruit from here.
"The event will be held in several days. Anywhere else we can go?" Ye Futian asked the members of his party.
"We'll go see if there are any good ritual implements for sale and have a look around since we're already here in Alchemy City," Xu Que said with a smile. Ritual Implements were what Alchemy City was most famous for, after all.
"You have a point." Ye Futian nodded with a smile. He glanced at Hua Jieyu beside him and thought of finding something to give to her as a gift. However, while the stock of spirit stones on his person was indeed substantial, it would still probably be inadequate as it was still the best sage ritual implements they were talking about.
But many of the ones around him were known to be incredibly rich. Should I just go all out and leech on them? But wouldn't that be rather inappropriate for someone as principled as I am? Futian thought.
"There are few renowned spots in Alchemy City. The two most famous ones are the Sky Treasure Tower, established by the city lord, and the Alchemy Casino. The Sky Treasure Tower houses many top-class ritual implements to be bartered for. The Alchemy Casino also houses much powerful stuff, but the interesting part about the place is that it is still a casino. Every ritual implement can be acquired by betting something of equivalent value, like powerful spells, techniques and methods, other precious ritual implements, and so on. They can be used to trade in gamble fights." Zhong Li then added, "The casino was the most popular place in the city in every Armorer Competition."
"Won't we end up emptying the place if we were to participate?" Ye Futian asked, looking rather shocked.
"..." Zhong Li glanced at Ye Futian without saying a thing. Just what is with this guy?
"Easy for you to say. The rules of gamble fights are determined by the casino, as they are the house, after all. As such, they almost always end up being the winner. But those who gathered here for the event were all incredibly confident people," Zhong Li said with a smile. Ye Futian nodded in acknowledgment.
"Looks interesting." Ye Futian looked at everyone around him, and some looked interested. "The casino it is then."
"Very well." Zhong Li nodded with a smile before taking the entire party there.
The Alchemy Casino was located at the center of Alchemy City. It was indeed the most popular place in the city, and it was said to have very powerful backing. The city lord office and the Emperor family, as well as many clans and forces, were rumored to be the ones backing the place. As such, no one ever dared kicking up a fuss with the casino, as it was no ordinary casino.
The Alchemy Casino was incredibly lavish, grand, and magnificent. One step into the place and one was able to tell it exuded the bearing of a royal palace, flocked to by countless people.
They kept moving forward and saw many flocked to their left side. There were three ritual implements placed on a piece of rockery seemingly made of jade: a short sword, armor, and a long whip. All three exuded aura of sage ranks.
"All ritual implements found in the Alchemy Casino are sage ones?" Ye Futian asked with a rather shocked expression.
"Indeed." Zhong Li nodded. "Noble ritual implements have no appeal to truly mighty ones, and anything of equal value is nothing the casino would bother forking out. As such, everything found here are sage ritual implements."
Ye Futian felt rather interested. The sage ritual implements were simply placed where they were without any concern about them being stolen. That fact alone spoke volume about the casino's confidence, and that in turn meant that their backing was very terrifying. Everything found as they moved forward was tremendously precious. They were not even allowed to go near them, as there were matrixes to keep them aloft.
Ye Futian saw a fearsome golden spear before him, which seemed to have whipped up an appalling storm. The tip of the golden spear emanated light of destruction, where one could somehow see a terrifying black hole. No one dared go near the weapon.
Many gathered around the spear, and everyone lifted their heads to look at the weapon that exuded destructive powers. Their eyes burned with a tinge of passion, and it was obvious that the spear was an incredibly precious ritual implement.
"There is a magical bell." In another corner, a large magical bell was levitating in the air. The light spilled out of it contained terrifyingly destructive powers, and many gathered around the magical bell as well.
Ye Futian swept his gaze around and found the place littered with powerful ritual implements. His eyes sparkled. What a nice place to be.
"Jieyu, if you see anything you like, just pick it out. Wuchen needs a sword as well. Qingxuan and Chenyuan don't lack anything, so there is nothing for them here." Ye Futian's eyes continued shining.
"..." Everyone's eyes froze and they stared at him speechless. Is this guy actually behaving like he owns the place?
"Ye Futian, I see that you've come to Alchemy City." A group of people arrived in the air, staring down at Ye Futian's party. They were members of Nantian House. Nan Hao, Nan Feng, Nan Yu, and all the others were there.
"Let's go." Ye Futian kept going forward without paying them any attention.
"Can't you hear what I said?" Nan Yu's expression turned rather sour seeing Ye Futian ignore them.
Ye Futian spared a glance at Nan Yu and said plainly, "Who do think you are, talking down at me like that and whatnot?"
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