Night descended, wrapping the entire Black Flame Mountain Range in darkness. At the edge of the mountain range, however, Black Flame City remained brightly lit, enveloped in a festive atmosphere.
Every faction of certain clout in Black Flame Province had sent their elite disciples to Black Flame City. Their goal was naturally the currently unowned essence flame vein.
Although they knew that the biggest slices of the pie would definitely end up in the hands of the four overlord sects, just a tiny slice from a vein of such an immense scale was already a sizable haul for them.
Thus, numerous factions swarmed towards this mountain fringe city, turning it exceptionally lively.
Zhou Yuan pushed open his room door and stepped onto the corridor. As he looked down from above, he found that the giant building was currently abuzz with activity.
He leaned against the banister with interest. This was the first time he had been outside after coming to the Shengzhou Continent for so long, since he had basically spent all his time holed up in the Cangxuan Sect for training.
As such, this was his first real view of the scenery in the Shengzhou Continent.
While Zhou Yuan was tasting the lively atmosphere, the faint sound of rushing wind was suddenly heard as a sharp force ruthlessly stabbed towards his back.
Zhou Yuan’s eyes narrowed slightly at this moment, while his body instantly etherealized.
With a single step, the force brushed past his body as Zhou Yuan sent a strike towards a certain direction behind him. Genesis Qi surged as the sound of air being torn apart was heard.
However, Zhou Yuan was a little surprised to realize his fist had landed on empty air, before he quickly sniffed a whiff of fragrance.
“Not bad. You’ve grown much stronger in half a year.” A tinkling laughter sounded. Zhou Yuan raised his head to look, and found a young lady in a black dress seated on the banister beside him. Her fair and slender feet swayed slightly, the snow-white calves a dazzling sight to behold.
It was Zuoqiu Qingyu.
“Your speed… is very amazing.” Astonishment flitted across Zhou Yuan’s eyes. The speed at which Zuoqiu Qingyu had avoided his attack earlier was not the least be slower than his advanced Ethereal Form.
It seems that Zuoqiu Qingyu had also been quite lucky after entering the Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace.
“Since my battle power is not as insane as yours, I should focus on a way to protect myself.” Said Zuoqiu Qingyu with a wide grin, before she gracefully leaped into the air and appeared beside Zhou Yuan.
“Looks like you’re doing pretty well for yourself in the Cangxuan Sect. I almost can’t believe you managed to participate in a mission of such calibre.”
Although she was not familiar with the rules of the Cangxuan Sect, a mission like the Black Flame Province was surely something that only the elite members of the sect would be allowed to participate in. Since Zhou Yuan had reached this level in merely half a year, he was obviously doing quite well for himself in the sect.
“I’m just doing what I can.” Zhou Yuan chuckled. “The truth is… that everyone takes me as a freeloader for this mission.”
Zuoqiu Qingyu placed an elbow on the banister as she propped up a cheek with her hand. Her lovely body leaned slightly to the side, accentuating her astonishingly slender legs, as she displayed a wide smile and said, “Guess you’ll be giving everyone a huge shock in the end.”
“So much faith in me?” Zhou Yuan could not help but laugh. Even Li Qingchan did not have much expectations of him, and only hoped he wouldn’t be a burden. He had not expected Zuoqiu Qingyu, whom he hadn’t seen for half a year, to say such words.
“I’m only flattering you, did you really believe me?” However, Zuoqiu Qingyu laughed teasingly in response.
Zhou Yuan could only roll his eyes.
He asked, “How are you and Luluo doing in the Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace?”
“Rather good actually. That lass Luluo is very welcomed in the sect.” Zuoqiu Qingyu’s red lips seemed to stick out slightly in pride as she looked towards Zhou Yuan. “Although you managed to become the star in the Saint Remains Domain, don’t celebrate too early because you may soon be surpassed by us in the Shengzhou Continent.”
Zhou Yuan smiled and nodded. He knew that the girl before him was quite a proud person inside.
“Right, how’s Yaoyao doing in the Cangxuan Sect?” Zuoqiu Qingyu quickly followed up.
Zhou Yuan sighed deeply. “Obviously doing a thousand times better than me.”
Though Yaoyao was not a Chosen, her status was already on par with them. This was much better than being treated like a freeloader on a Heaven task.
Zuoqiu Qingyu patted Zhou Yuan’s shoulder and consoled, “Don’t be too sad. Isn’t this normal. Unless you think you can compare to Yaoyao? Has your brain short circuited?”
The corners of Zhou Yuan’s mouth twitched for a moment. Is this how you console someone...
However, the two of them grew more and more comfortable as they chatted, as the slight awkwardness from not seeing each other for half a year completely faded.
Zuoqiu Qingyu stretched her back, displaying her alluring curves as she cocked her head slightly and said, “There’s a trade fair going on below. Do you want to go and have a look? We may even find something nice.”
At the sight of the sparkling excitement in her limpid eyes, Zhou Yuan let out a bitter laugh. Looks like even the little enchantress can’t help but be a normal person at times...
He knew of Zuoqiu Qingyu’s fondness for being part of the festivities and naturally did not decline, nodding his head to her in agreement.
The two individuals made their way down, gazes continuously looking over along the way. This was mainly because Zuoqiu Qingyu was just too eye-catching. She was the very embodiment of flirtatious and sexy, making it hard for anyone to turn their eyes away.
The underground floor was extremely spacious. Countless figures shuttled about within it, while the stalls seemed to be haphazardly placed all over. Gasps and cries of surprise could be heard from time to time, as if someone had found something good.
Over all, it was a very festive place.
Zuoqiu Qingyu was full of interest as she roamed about like a black carp, while Zhou Yuan helplessly followed behind.
The two eventually stopped at a certain extremely crowded spot, where countless head-sized black rocks were laid out. These rocks seemed to give off a faint heat.
Zhou Yuan curiously asked, “What are these?”
“Some kind of rock gambling. You basically purchase one of the rocks and break it open to see how old the essence flame within it is. They are categorized into the ten year grade, hundred year grade, thousand year grade and even ten thousand year grade…”
“If you’re lucky enough to find a hundred year essence flame, you will have struck it big.”
“However, these black rocks are said to be essence flame rocks dug out from the depths Black Flame Mountain Range, and can block one’s Spirit senses. Thus, no one can know what’s inside.”
“Only a few extremely experienced masters will be able to find hints from the patterns on the rocks.” Explained Zuoqiu Qingyu.
Zhou Yuan nodded. It was no wonder that this spot was so popular, it was basically a lottery. After all, if you managed to strike a hundred year or thousand year essence flame, you will have earned several hundred or even a thousand times your initial investment.
A Genesis resources of such grade would be worth at least ten million Genesis crystals.
He began to observe. Many rocks were opened, but most of them only contained ordinary essence flames, while a ten year grade essence flame would appear once in a while, drawing numerous cheers and gasps of surprise.
“I wonder if the Decoder Saint Rune works.”
A thought suddenly struck Zhou Yuan as he watched, causing him to recall the Saint Rune in his eyes.
However, just as he was about to test it, laughter was suddenly heard as a figure inserted himself between Zhou Yuan and Yaoyao.
“Hehe, is miss Qingyu interested in flame rock gambling? If I had known, I would have brought you here to have fun long ago. Most of the flame rock gambling businesses in Black Flame Province are under my Flame Cauldron Sect after all.”
Zhou Yuan frowned slightly as his gaze swept towards the figure. It turned out to be a young man dressed in purple and red. Several men followed behind him, creating quite an impressive sight indeed.
The young man was smiling, but he only looked at Zuoqiu Qingyu, while completely oblivious to Zhou Yuan.
Zuoqiu Qingyu also frowned a little. She knew this young man. He was one of the annoying flies that had been buzzing around her ever since she arrived at the Black Flame Province. However, he had a strong background; he was the junior sect master of the Flame Cauldron Sect, and was called Su Duan.
The Flame Cauldron Sect was one of the strongest local factions in the Black Flame Province.
“Do you want to return?” Zhou Yuan looked towards Zuoqiu Qingyu.
Only after hearing Zhou Yuan’s voice, did the young man in purple and red turn around and smile at the former as he said, “Oh, it’s a friend from the Cangxuan Sect… I am Su Duan, the junior sect master of the Flame Cauldron Sect, and am truly sorry that I did not see you earlier… however, may I be so bold as to ask which Chosen from the Cangxuan Sect are you?”
His gaze held a faint hint of hostility, evidently due to Zuoqiu Qingyu. After all, he had basically been shamelessly stalking Zuoqiu Qingyu for the past few days, but had barely made any headway. The sight of her being so familiar with Zhou Yuan naturally alarmed Su Duan, causing him to hurriedly rush over.
Su Duan words may have seemed polite, but they held a deeper meaning to them. He obviously knew that Zhou Yuan was not a Chosen of the Cangxuan Sect, and yet he intentionally brought it up. He was implying that since you aren’t a Chosen of the Cangxuan Sect, while he was the junior sect master of the Flame Cauldron Sect, there was no need for him to be overly concerned about you.
There were after all many disciples in the Cangxuan Sect. Although the Flame Cauldron Sect could not compare to the former, he was the junior sect master. If there was no grudge between them, there was naturally no good reason for him to be fearful of an ordinary disciple.
Zhou Yuan’s eyes narrowed a little as he glanced at Su Duan.
However, Su Duan paid no heed to the former’s gaze, and instead matched it as he pointed towards the rock gambling area in front of them with a smile that clearly hid ill intent.
“Is this friend also interested in flame rock gambling?”
“Do you have the courage to give it a try or two?”
As he lifted his sleeve, a bracelet was revealed on his wrist.
It seemed to be made from some kind of wood that was covered it grainy scars, making it appear quite ancient.
Zhou Yuan’s expression had been uninterested since the beginning, remaining unchanged even under Su Duan’s hostile gaze earlier. However, when Zhou Yuan’s gaze swept across the bracelet on the latter’s wrist, his eyes suddenly widened a little.
In that instant, he had felt the incomplete Taiyi Rune in his body vibrate for a moment as it gave off a certain pulse that felt like desire...
A flash of bright light flitted across Zhou Yuan’s slightly lowered eyes.
What concentrated Yimu Qi. this guy’s bracelet is at least a thousand year grade precious ancient wood...
Wow… it’s like someone was sending him a pillow when he was feeling sleepy.