Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Cai Cai said solemnly: "Zhou Weiqing, in the past, even before your Heavenly Bow Empire was destroyed, if your Emperor personally came to the Fei Li City, I would not even personally receive him. This time, I am already giving you a lot of face… What else do you want?"
Zhou Weiqing said passively: "You are not giving me face, you are giving the ZhongTian Empire face right? It is not what I want, but that for the current us, even this reception is not sufficient. Principal Cai Cai, when I was studying at the Fei Li Military Academy, you have always treated me well and given me many opportunities, and I truly do respect you. As such, I must inform you about something serious… please do not let your Fei Li Empire do something they will regret."
Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s words, Cai Cai fell silent. She suddenly felt that Zhou Weiqing’s words were just so similar to what Ming Yu had said to her previously. Could it be that there was some connection between him and Ming Yu? That should not be possible… after all Ming Yu was from the Heavenly Demon Sect. This Zhou Weiqing already had some connection with the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, how could he possibly have any connection with the Heavenly Demon Sect?
There was nothing much left to be said, and Cai Cai subconsciously maintained her silence. Although she had been given control over the entire situation, there was a limit to it, and what Zhou Weiqing wanted was not something she could just decide on a whim. To have the Fei Li Emperor come out personally to receive them, that was nearly impossible. If the Fei Li Empire did that, wouldn’t it be tantamount to admitting weakness to the Heavenly Bow Empire?
The drilling ground was not far from the east gate, and both sides were mounted. Before long, they had reached it. Currently, the entire drilling ground was empty, as some of the Royal Family Cavalry had ridden ahead to clear the zone. Under Shen Wang’s command, besides those who had originally already been there to escort the diplomatic party, another five thousand of the Royal Family Cavalry Troops had also arrived there. If the Heavenly Bow Empire party attempted to do anything against the Fei Li Empire, he was confident that their numbers were sufficient to take care of them.
The Royal Family Cavalry troop was no ordinary army unit; for a soldier to enter such a formation, not only did they have an absolute clean background, their family had to be of Fei Li descent, and to be clean as well. More so, they had to have participated in the border wars against the WanShou Empire, to have achieved sufficient military awards before they even had the chance to be accepted. Even after that, there would be a series of very strict tests and training before one could finally become an official member of the Royal Family Cavalry troop. Amongst the entire Fei Li Military, they had the best pay and treatment, and could be said to be the finest elites amongst them. The entire Royal Family Cavalry troop consisted of fifty thousand warriors, and were the ace troops that were only under the command of the royal family.
The five thousand soldiers of the Royal Family Cavalry were arrayed in a formation around the drilling ground, split into five formations of a thousand men each, covering the four viewing stands and the center VIP platform, fully enclosing the entire area.
Towards this, Zhou Weiqing did not really care much. Cai Cai brought the other officials to the VIP stand, but Zhou Weiqing did not follow. Up until now, Princess Difuya had not left the carriage.
Naturally, Cai Cai could tell that Difuya was just a figurehead in this scene, and the true leader of this diplomatic party was Zhou Weiqing.
Shen Wang did not follow the Fei Li contingent up into the viewing stands, remaining at the bottom of the drilling ground. He was mounted upon a tall, sturdy warhorse, his silver armour giving him a suave and noble air. His fierce gaze rested upon Zhou Weiqing. As the Vice Commander of the Royal Family Cavalry troop, it had been ages since he had been provoked like this. Towards Zhou Weiqing, he only felt a sense of disdain. A mere youth of less than twenty years of age, just because he had some strength, he actually dared to challenge me? He is virtually asking for death!
Zhou Weiqing jumped off his Ghost Demon Horse steed. Turning around, he took a long look at the large Heavenly Bow Empire flag swaying in the gentle winds. Taking a deep breath, he quietly reminded himself in his heart, his fists gripped tightly in resolution. It is time to begin the revival of my homeland!
Striding in large steps towards Shen Wang, Zhou Weiqing only stopped when he was about thirty yards from him. Extending his right hand, he made an inviting gesture.
Right at that moment, Cai Cai’s voice rang out from the VIP stand. "Commander Zhou, you are after all here for a diplomatic visit, and since you are already here, it is not a fortuitous sign if blood is drawn. How about making this a duel about exchanging pointers. If you are really able to defeat Vice Commander Shen, I will get him to apologize to you, how about that?"
Zhou Weiqing looked towards the VIP stand and said arrogantly: "In that case, I will give this face to Your Highness. However, this Vice Commander Shen has insulted my Empire. If I win, he has to kowtow towards my Empire’s flag when he apologizes."
Before Cai Cai could open her mouth, Shen Wang had already said coldly: "Fine. If you can defeat me, I will kowtow and apologize!" He was an old hand on the battlefield, and he could naturally tell that Zhou Weiqing was trying to rile him up. In such a case, he might as well just agree to his terms; not only could he present the generosity and bearing of a general of a large Empire, it would also show his absolute confidence in himself. In truth, he did not think he would lose at all.
At last, a faint smile flashed across Zhou Weiqing’s face. "Very good, simple and direct, I appreciate that." As he said that, Zhou Weiqing’s hand slashed across the air, and the two triangles appeared in midair.
Being much older and stronger, Shen Wang would naturally not attack first. Especially since he was in front of Princess Cai Cai and so many other officials, how could he not want to show off? Towards Cai Cai, he had always harboured feelings towards her, but Ming Yu’s performance in the military was just too outstanding, and he had never had a chance to display his own talents. However, just in terms of personal strength, Ming Yu was no match for him!
Although Shen Wang did not attack first, that did not mean he would be careless in front of Zhou Weiqing. After all, he was an experienced soldier. His nine sets of Heavenly Jewels appeared, glowing brilliantly as the swirled around his respective wrists.
The Physical Jewels on his right wrist were the same type as Zhou Weiqing’s, the Icy Jade Jewels that denoted the Strength Attribute. As for the Elemental Jewels on his left wrist, they were the Tourmaline that denoted the Wind Attribute. A Wind and Strength Attribute Heavenly Jewel Master, at the nine-Jeweled stage. He truly had the strength and right to be confident and proud. It was no fluke that he was the Vice Commander of the Royal Family Cavalry troop, and it was not because of any special background that allowed him to advance to such a position. He had fought his way to this position, and it was his strength that allowed him to do so.
After releasing his Heavenly Jewels, Shen Wang could also see that Zhou Weiqing had also done the same, with his six sets of Heavenly Jewels. Around his right wrist, there were the six Icy Jade Jewels, the same type as his own. However, around Zhou Weiqing’s left wrist, Shen Wang also saw six Tourmaline Elemental Jewels of the Wind Attribute.
Naturally, this was due to the Ring of Concealment that Tang Xian, the mother of the three Shangguan Sisters, had given him in the past. Zhou Weiqing knew that the Fei Li Empire did not know much about his true power, most of them not even linking him to the Zhou Weiqing that had led the Fei Li Battle Team to victory in the Heavenly Jewel Tournament! As such, he would definitely seize any opportunity to mislead his opponent.
As Shen Wang saw that Zhou Weiqing was only at the six-Jeweled stage, the onlooking officials on the viewing platforms could also see it. For a time, looks of disdain, contempt and scorn filled their gazes as they looked at Zhou Weiqing, some even whispering to each other about how these young whippersnappers were reckless and foolish, asking for death!
Of course, whether or not Zhou Weiqing was foolish, asking for death, or not… one could only know after an actual fight. However, it was unfortunate that Shen Wang had also been fooled by Zhou Weiqing’s outward appearance… just like he had expected.
Of all the Fei Li Empire onlookers, only Cai Cai frowned and furrowed her brow when she saw the six Jewels of Zhou Weiqing. She clearly remembered the time when Zhou Weiqing had led the Fei Li Battle Team to win the Heavenly Jewel Tournament years ago. At that time, his cultivation was only at the four-Jeweled stage… in fact most of the Tournament had been spent with him at the three-Jeweled stage!
Cai Cai was all too familiar how difficult the Heavenly Jewel Tournament was, and what kind of monsters of the younger generation they would face there. Those were all the finest elites of every single Empire, especially the cream of the crop of the younger generation in the Five Great Saint Lands. Under such a circumstance, the mere four-Jeweled Zhou Weiqing had still been able to create history and lead the Fei Li Battle Team to defeat all these powerful opponents, bringing back the championship. Now, at the Six-Jeweled stage, how far had his power grown then? If he did not have any confidence, would he dare come here to cause trouble? To actually challenge Shen Wang?
Indeed, that little brat’s cultivation speed was just too astonishing. It hadn’t even been two years since he had left the Fei Li Empire, and his cultivation level had already jumped unbelievably, from four Jewels to six Jewels! That was totally shocking, almost unprecedented and unheard of in history! At this moment, Cai Cai was truly starting to believe Ming Yu’s words. Coming into conflict with Zhou Weiqing was truly not a wise idea.
However, things had already developed to such a stage… and by now they had no choice but to fight first. Furthermore, even though Cai Cai had a very high opinion of Zhou Weiqing, she still did not see how it was possible that a six-Jeweled stage Zhou Weiqing could defeat the nine-Jeweled Vice Commander Shen Wang.
After all, as the cultivation stage of a Heavenly Jewel Master grew further and further, the gap was greater and greater! The difference between six Jewels and nine Jewels was far greater than four Jewels to six Jewels! Not to mention, Shen Wang was an experienced fighter in his own right even amongst the nine-Jeweled stage, otherwise how could he reach the rank of Vice Commander?
Shen Wang did not disappoint Cai Cai. Although he did not attack first, he did not wait to summon out his Consolidated Equipment.
The moment Shen Wang released all his Consolidated Equipment, Zhou Weiqing’s mouth curled upwards in a hint of disdain. This was no longer him acting, but it was truly him looking down upon the Equipment. After all, do not forget the kind of people he had been mixing around with!
Without question, with Shen Wang’s status in the Fei Li Empire, he would have all nine pieces of Consolidated Equipment for his nine Jewels. However, just from his Consolidated Equipment, one could tell how lacking the Fei Li Empire was in the profession of Consolidating Equipment Masters, and the lack of resources and actual Scrolls.
The nine Consolidated Equipment that Shen Wang was wearing were also Set Equipment, however they were three pieces per set, three sets in total, with some Socketed as well.
Amongst the three Sets, one was clearly crafted by a Zong Stage Consolidated Equipment Master, while the other two were just Grandmaster stage ones. Even so, from Shen Wang’s expression, it was clear that he was extremely proud of his equipment. Indeed, in the Fei Li Empire, for a Upper Level Zong Stage to have such a gathering of Consolidated Equipment, it was already extremely good.
Although Shen Wang’s Equipment was separated into three Consolidated Sets, it was already sufficient to cover most of his body protectively. Helmet, two shoulder pauldrons was a set. Chest, girdle and Kilt another Set. The final Set was the Zong Stage one, which included his weapon, a longsword, and the two greaves respectively. It appeared that this Set was not complete, probably lacking two combat boots. Of course, his cultivation level was far from reaching that. Indeed, for him to reach Heavenly Emperor Stage was highly unlikely, perhaps even impossible.
Looking at Shen Wang release all nine pieces of Consolidated Equipment without hesitation, Cai Cai secretly relaxed slightly, sighing in relief. Earlier, her words to Zhou Weiqing were undoubtedly to regain some goodwill, but it was also to tell Shen Wang not to underestimate Zhou Weiqing, but also not to kill him.
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