Chapter 3, Meeting Northmont Baiwei Again

“I heard that it is forbidden to fly in the air above Stillwater City. If anyone dares to fly past its airspace, they will be in trouble,” Meng Jun said, while the others landed on the ground.

Ji Ning stared at the distant city of Stillwater. This was an unfathomably ancient city that had existed since the Fiendgod Era. They were currently only a few dozen kilometers away , but Ning could already sense the boundless torrent of elemental energy that was constantly coalescing within the city grounds. At the same time, a terrifying presence emanated out from it.

“The entire Stillwater City is like a gigantic formation; I imagine that there should be an Immortal-rank formation there,” Ning mused to himself. Ning and the other three members of the Meng clan hurried towards Stillwater City’s eastern gate. The eastern gate was three thousand meters wide and three hundred meters tall; from this, one could imagine how vast Stillwater City’s walls were.

“Your trading caravan has a total of 321 members. Pay three hundred kilograms of thundergold!” In front of Ning, there was an awe-inspiring merchant caravan, with almost all members being at the Xiantian level. The caravan handed over three hundred pieces of thundergold, and then received around three hundred black embossed books as they entered the city.

“The city entrance fee is two kilograms of thundergold.” A soldier dressed in Dao-armor barked towards Ning. Ning was leading the Whitewater Hound with him; naturally, they had to pay for two.

Ning waved his hand, retrieving two pieces of a golden metal that flashed with an azure light. This was thundergold. Its density vastly surpassed that of normal yellow gold’s. In the past, when Ning had purchased his Darknorth swords, he had used just a small piece of thundergold…but to a Xiantian lifeform, two kilograms of thundergold wasn’t that valuable. To Ning, it was even less noteworthy.

“Alright.” Accepting the thundergold, the soldier handed out two black embossed books.

…….

Soon, the three members of the Meng clan and Ji Ning entered the city of Stillwater. The four of them flipped through the black embossed books in their heads, which had three characters on the cover: “Still” “Water” “City”. Upon taking a closer look, they discovered that it actually was a guide to the entire Stillwater City.

“Stillwater City is 9321 kilometers long and 8910 kilometers wide. It is divided into the east city, the south city, the north city, and the west city, and the Marquisate.” Ning read through the material clearly. The Marquisate was located at the very center of the city, and was roughly eight hundred kilometers in length. It was an absolutely forbidden territory! Entering without permission was a capital offense!

The east city, the south city, the north city; battle was forbidden in these regions, and they were safe places to live in. If anyone dared fight in the city, that would mean they were challenging the authority of the Marquisate of Stillwater! Thus, there were many, varied types of Immortal practitioners who lived in these three regions, and even some ancient Immortals would seclude themselves here and live peaceful lives.

“The west city?” Ning’s eyes lit up. The west city. This was the most bustling, lively part of Stillwater City! West Stillwater City was filled with many large estates, whose owners had exalted statuses or power rivaling the heavens. Naturally, there were some supreme clans, schools, and sects that who set up branches here as well. Many would come to Stillwater City and desire to take on a master, and these people would go to these branches to request admission. In addition, the west city had many merchants present as well.

There was just one thing! In the bustling, rowdy, lively west city, combat was only forbidden in the streets. As for the various estates? No matter how viciously or ferociously you battled within the branches of the various schools and sects, it was fine. But of course, that was if the masters of those estates and branches permitted you to do this.

“Northmont Blacktiger.” Ning looked at his book, and at the names of the various estates that were situated in the west city. Amongst them was the name, ‘Northmont Blacktiger’.

“Northmont Blacktiger Estate. It has a perimeter of ten kilometers. In Stillwater City, where every inch of ground is as valuable as gold…for Northmont Blacktiger’s estate to be so large must mean that his power is astonishing,” Ning mused to himself. There were also quite a few member of high-level members of the Marquis of Stillwater’s Northmont clan who had set up their own estates outside as well. Still, the Northmont Blacktiger Estate, in terms of size, was absolutely supreme amongst them. From this, one could tell what a status he had!

“Oh!” Meng Jun slapped his head. “So apparently, although it is forbidden for people to fly about in the skies above Stillwater City, as long as you are at the level of a Primal Daoist, you are permitted to fly about! I thought that all people were forbidden from flying.” Meng Jun had previously spoken about this in absolute terms, but upon seeing the words written on the book regarding the actual rules, he immediately remedied his ignorance.

“Brother Ji Ning, West Stillwater City is an incomparably bustling place, especially the ‘Treasure Trading Plaza’.” Meng Jun said enticingly. “Let’s go take a look.”

“I’ve heard that there are thousands of Immortal practitioners who have set up shop at the ‘Treasure Trading Plaza’,” Meng Xin was also quite eager. Meng Roch nodded as well. “Let’s take a look then.” Ning was quite eager as well. The Treasure Trading Plaza was a place that had been specially set aside for Immortal practitioners to trade treasures.

……………..

Ning’s group had entered from the gates of the east city. They had to pass through the entire Stillwater City in order to reach the west city. This was a journey of thousands of kilometers. Fortunately, all three of them were Immortal practitioners…although they didn’t dare to move too boldly and so didn’t walk too quickly, in but a single hour, they had reached the Treasure Trading Plaza of West Stillwater City.

The Treasure Trading Plaza. This was actually an enormous public square, covered with a dense cluster of stalls. Many Immortal practitioners were here, having set up shop. Next to the stalls were various white stones that were covered with black words, explaining which treasures the stall owners were here to trade.

“So many.” Ning held his breath. “At a glance, I can see at least ten thousand Immortal practitioners. Stillwater City truly lives up to its reputation as a gathering place for Immortals and Devils. It is the heart of the entire Stillwater Commandery. The Treasure Trading Plaza actually has so many people gathered here.”

The Treasure Trading Plaza had all sorts of treasures, and even some extremely rare curious. The greatest benefit to conducting trade here was…it was comparatively cheaper! But the problem was…it wasn’t safe enough!

This was because it was located in the west city. In the west city, only the streets were safe from battle. There were no proscriptions against battle in the Treasure Trading Plaza! It was absolutely possible that someone might appear to kill you and seize your treasures…but of course, this was still fairly rare, because generally speaking, anyone who dared to bring out sufficiently valuable treasures to display also was in possession of enough power to intimidate any thieves.

“Although battle is not forbidden in the Treasure Trading Plaza, there’s no way to tell someone’s power just by looking at them. Thus, how can anyone know how powerful someone else is? Perhaps the merchant might be a bored Primal Daoist out for some fun,” Meng Xin said. Ning nodded.

“Little Jun!” Suddenly, a voice rang out. Meng Jun turned to look, and he was instantly delighted. “Third Uncle!” There was a balding, middle-aged man in the distance who was walking towards them, face covered with smiles.

Meng Xin and Meng Roch turned to look, immediately recognizing this man as well. They, too, hurriedly called out, “Uncle Ming!” “Haha, all three of you left your clan?” The balding, middle-aged man laughed. “It’s good that you came out. In the clan, every day, you’d have to swallow your temper and suffer indignities. It’s better to come out. Did the three of you just arrive in Stillwater City?”

Meng Jun hurriedly said, “We just arrived at Stillwater City. This time, we have come with the intention of finding a master. However, we were curious, and so we first came to pay a visit to the Treasure Trading Plaza.”

“There’s nothing special about the Treasure Trading Pavilion; it just has many different types of treasures, some of which might be valuable.” The balding man shook his head. “However, one gets bored after spending too much time browsing. This is your first time visiting Stillwater City; in the future, after you enter a school, you won’t have much free time to wander about. I’ve spent a century in Stillwater City; I’m very familiar with it. I’ll take you around to tour it and see some truly excellent areas.”

Meng Jun, Meng Xin, and Meng Roch were all overjoyed. “And this person is…?” The balding man had noticed Ning and the Whitewater Hound following behind Ning. Meng Jun glanced back at Ning, but didn’t say anything. At first, he had constantly fawned over Ning, but after having received no benefits after so long, he had begun to look down on Ning. Now, after he saw his Third Uncle…he had naturally mentally discarded Ning already. In the future, he was going to join a school; why would he need to pay attention to this Ji Ning?

“This is Brother Ji Ning,” Meng Xin said in a clear voice. “He saved the lives of us three.” “Oh?” The balding, middle-aged man immediately said, “Then I truly must thank you, fellow Daoist Ji Ning. Fellow Daoist Ji Ning, why don’t you come along with us? This will allow me to take better care of you, fellow Daoist, and show you proper thanks for your assistance.”

“No need.” Ning shook his head. Meng Xin and Meng Roch both looked at Ning, wanting to urge him to come. But Ning laughed and said, “Let’s part here. For us to have met was a form of karma; in the future, if karma wills it, we will meet again.” “Alright.” Roch nodded.

As for the nearby Meng Jun, he quirked his lips. He just smiled towards Ning, not saying anything; however, his smile was clearly quite superficial. “What a shallow person,” Ning, seeing the way by which Meng Jun was acting, couldn’t help but muse to himself.

……

After watching the three members of the Meng clan depart behind their Third Uncle, and especially the way in which Meng Jun continuously chattered with and flattered the old man, causing his face to be wreathed in smiles, Ning couldn’t help but shake his head.

By the time the Golden Crow was about to set beneath the western mountains, Ji Ning, who had strolled about for quite some time, finally arrived at the Northmont Blacktiger Estate.

“What a dominating estate.” Ning stared at the distant estate. Before the gates of this towering estate were rows of heroic-looking soldiers. The enormous stone sculpture of a black tiger which stood next to the gate was especially intimidating; the head of the black tiger stared down at the passerbys, appearing quite tyrannical. All the pedestrians walking through the nearby streets couldn’t help but unconsciously move a bit farther away, not daring to go too close.

As for Ji Ning, he walked straight towards it.

“Who goes there?” One of the soldiers standing at the gate to the Northmont Blacktiger Estate shouted. Ning understood; once one reached a distance of thirty meters of the estate without permission, the Northmont Blacktiger Estate’s forces could simply kill the oncomer.

Ning waved his hand, and the ‘Northmont Blacktiger’ insignia which Northmont Baiwei had given him appeared within it. Upon seeing the insignia, a smile immediately appeared on the soldier’s face, and he said with tremendous respect, “Might I ask who you have come to meet, milord? I will make the report.”

“I am Ji Ning. I have come to meet young master Northmont Baiwei,” Ning laughed. “I’ll have to trouble you to make the report.” “Alright, please wait a moment.” The soldier quickly charged into the estate. As for the other estate guards, the look in their eyes as they glanced towards Ji Ning had become markedly more friendly. Still, they continued to stare icily towards the other pedestrians on the street.

“Hahaha…” Suddenly, loud, clear laughter rang out. A youth strode out quickly, dressed in a black uniform and with a crown on his head. Upon seeing Ning, his face became filled with excitement and joy. “Brother Ji Ning. I’ve waited so impatiently for you! You originally told me that you would come quite quickly, but in the blink of an eye, half a year has passed. You’ve truly broken my heart, hahaha. Your arrival in the city of Stillwater means that you’ve arrived in my home; there’s no need for you to worry yourself over anything. Leave everything to me.” As he spoke, he walked forward, pulling Ning by the arm in a very friendly manner. “Come, let’s enter the carriage.”

By his side, a carriage that seemed to be bathed in flames suddenly moved forward at high speed before coming to a halt outside the gates. In front of the carriage, there was a woman. The woman left the carriage, then said respectfully towards Northmont Baiwei, “Young master.”

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