Canglan County was sat on the southwest border of the Great Zhou Empire.
By the time Zhou Yuan and his group reached the outskirts of the city, half a month had already passed.
Zhou Yuan observed the gigantic city from the carriage. Compared to the grandness of Great Zhou City, Canglan City seemed a little menacing. It was after all close to the border and had a first row seat to the skirmishes that constantly broke out. Hence, a taunt aura of vigilance naturally surrounded the place.
In addition, majority of the passersby gave off a faint bloody scent and varying Genesis Qi undulations.
Canglan County neighboured Blackwater, and only god knew how many Genesis Masters gathered here first before heading to Blackwater to hunt Genesis Beasts or search for other opportunities. The Black Forest Mountain Range Zhou Yuan had went to previously was practically a child in comparison.
Lu Tieshan rode over on his horse and reported in a strong voice, “Your highness, Canglan City is just ahead, but we cannot enter the city because our numbers are too many and have to head for the neighbouring Canglan barracks instead.”
Zhou Yuan nodded. “It’s getting late. We’ll go to the barracks and visit general Wei tomorrow.”
Lu Tieshan acknowledged and turned around to pass the order. Soon after, the thousand men group transformed into a rumbling flood that flowed past the city, heading straight for the barracks.
The approach of unfamiliar troops naturally drew a response from Canglan barracks. Dozens of riders quickly exited the barracks and rode towards Zhou Yuan.
“Who goes there!”
The riders blocked their path, a commander in red armor at their head. As Zhou Yuan and the rest approached, they realised that the commander was a girl.
The red soft-armor she wore nicely wrapped around her rather toned figure. Below her scale-like battle skirt were a set of long slender legs that appeared even more enchanting when paired with her battle boots.
Under her helmet was a cold yet pretty face, the long shapely eyebrows slightly erect, giving her an air of valiance.
“A captain of the imperial guard, Lu Tieshan.” Lu Tieshan gazed at the riders as he continued in a stern voice, “We have come on orders of the king and plan to enter Canglan barracks.”
“So it’s captain Lu.” The face of the red armor girl thawed slightly. It was clear that she had received news of their arrival. “Wei Qingqing greets you.”
“Wei Qingqing?” Zhou Yuan’s heart shook slightly when he heard this name. Wei Canglan had a son and a daughter whose name was Wei Qingqing. It seems that this daughter was valiant looking female commander before them.
“So it’s general Wei’s daughter.” Lu Tieshan cupped his fists together.
Upon hearing this, Wei Qingqing indifferently said, “The only one present here is Canglan army’s second-in-command Wei Qingqing, there is no general Wei’s daughter.”
Lu Tieshan seemed to choke for a moment, before he helplessly nodded his head and moved to the side, revealing Zhou Yuan. “This is his highness Zhou Yuan. He has come with me this time.”
Wei Qingqing lifted her gaze and looked towards Zhou Yuan. She had originally never heard of the latter, but he had become quite a hot topic recently after the class ranking exam of the Great Zhou Institute. Word on the street was that their once crippled and unable to cultivate prince had defeated Qi Manor’s second prince, Qi Yue.
However, her brows quickly knitted together because she had spotted Yaoyao and Su Youwei at Zhou Yuan’s side. The two were extremely beautiful and made him look like one of those frivolous princes.
“So, it is prince Zhou Yuan.” Due to having a bad first impression, Wei Qingqing’s face was stoic as she cupped her hands together while shaking her head inside. Looks like someone must have pulled some strings in the class ranking exam.
She was truly unable to believe how a frivolous prince that would even bring along two beauties on a trip would be able to defeat Qi Yue, whom was rumoured to be rather talented.
Ever since young, Wei Qingqing had a rather strong character and hated those scummy men whom indulged in pretty women. Else she would never have become a part of the Canglan army with her identity as a woman.
“Follow me. I will arrange a place for all of you to stay.” Wei Qingqing did not wait for Zhou Yuan to reply and immediately turned her horse around.
This sight caused Zhou Yuan to be a little baffled. Why did it seem that this girl held some dislike towards him?
“Let’s go your highness. We have no choice but to keep a low profile on someone else’s territory.” Lu Tieshan advised, afraid that Zhou Yuan had been angered. After all, their biggest goal was to bring Wei Canglan to their side. If Zhou Yuan fell out with Wei Qingqing here, it would likely worsen Wei Canglan’s image of them.
Zhou Yuan chuckled, showing that he did not mind. He had been on the receiving end of such treatment for many years and naturally would not be angered by Wei Qingqing’s attitude.
Zhou Yuan waved his hand, indicating for the troops behind to follow. They quickly caught up to Wei Qingqing and entered the enormous Canglan army barracks.
A thousand imperial guards poured into the barracks, drawing the attention of countless eyes as they passed. However, the majority of these gazes were filled with curiosity and provocation.
The three strongest armies in the Great Zhou Empire were known to be the imperial guards, king Qi’s army and the Canglan army.
As troops that were equally well known for being the strongest, the Canglan army soldiers were naturally sizing up the imperial guards, hoping to see if the latter did truly have the qualifications to be as famous as themselves.
While Zhou Yuan and group advanced, the crowd in front of them suddenly parted as several figures emerged.
Wei Qingqing dismounted upon seeing them and muttered something under her breath.
Zhou Yuan and Lu Tieshan also walked forward at this moment.
Wei Qingqing turned around and said, “These are the officers of Canglan army, and this is my elder cousin, Wei Ting.”
She pointed towards a certain woman as she spoke. The latter was also clothed in a set of soft-armor that did nothing to hide her sexy figure. However, her facial features were not as pretty as Wei Qingqing’s. Wei Ting’s eyes swept across Zhou Yuan as a superficial smile emerged on her lips. “Isn’t this our famous prince? It must be so nice to have two beauties accompany you even on such a long journey.”
Zhou Yuan frowned when he heard her words. He could sense that this woman seemed to have something against him.
However, he soon found the reason behind her hostility. A tall and slim young man walked forward from the woman’s side. He wore a set of white armor while his helmet was currently tucked under his arm, displaying a handsome smiling face.
Faint but powerful Genesis Qi pulsed around him, evidence that he was a Qi Nourishing stage expert. Moreover, it was the advance Qi Nourishing stage!
Zhou Yuan’s eyes faintly narrowed as he observed the young man in white armor. The latter’s face was a little familiar.
Under Zhou Yuan’s watching eyes, the white armor man approached with smile and said, “You are prince Zhou Yuan? We can be said to have met before.”
The white armor youth grinned as he extended a hand towards Zhou Yuan, however, the former’s gaze was akin to a snake’s.
“I am Qi Hao. I heard that my disappointing younger brother had one of his arms chopped off by your highness?”
Zhou Yuan eyes hardened. As expected, this young man was Qi Yue’s elder brother, Qi Hao.
“As the saying goes, punches and kicks have no eyes in a fight. No one else can be blamed for his lack of ability.” Zhou Yuan’s expression and voice were calm as he also extended a hand to shake Qi Hao’s.
The smile on Qi Hao’s face grew wider as he nodded in acknowledgement. “Indeed, that brat does deserves to lose an arm.”
He looked straight at Zhou Yuan and continued in a seemingly genuine voice, “Us Canglan army brothers are very happy to hear that our guests today are the imperial guards. Your highness must absolutely attend the welcome party tonight.”
“Moreover, we army people are rather straightforward in nature. If your highness is unable to make it, I’m afraid that everyone will feel that your highness is looking down on them.”
Zhou Yuan’s eyelids dipped a little as he replied, “Don’t worry. Since all of you are so welcoming, I will definitely make an appearance.”
Qi Hao smiled and nodded before he said in a low voice, “However, I feel that there is something I should warn your highness about first. Canglan County is right next to Blackwater, it won’t be strange for even a prince to die here. Hence, your highness must be careful in this place.”
Zhou Yuan chuckled and also lowered his voice, “Then you should be even more careful. Since even a prince may die, a little manor prince dieing will be even more inconspicuous.”
Hearty laughter erupted from Qi Hao as the two tightly grasped each others hand, before releasing at the same time. However, chilling murderous intent swelled in their clashing gazes.