Chapter 49: Treasures
King Huang He led the group through the halls and directly to the reward stage. By now a large crowd of thousands had formed waiting to see the two victors on stage.
“I would like to present to you the future of the alliance!” King Huang He said as he gestured at Zhang and Shu Shang.
A loud applause broke out and lots of cheering can be heard.
“Prince Shu Shang please marry me!!!!” A few young women in the crowd yelled out.
“Lord Zhou Zhang I’ll be waiting for you tonight!!!” Some other women yelled.
“I’m ready for you any time you two!!!”
However, u when Shu Shang and Zhang looked over from up on stage they felt a gagging sensation in their throats. The person who had listed yelled toward them was a very worth looking old lady.
“Brother Shu Shang I think I’ll pass on that but you go ahead.” Zhang said as he grinned at Shu Shang.
“I have some matters to attend to after this so I’ll have to pass.” Shu Shang said after he was caught off guard by Zhang.
“Without further ado I will now personally lead the two victors to the royal palace so they can pick their prizes.” King Huang He said.
Afterwards rows of knights and carriages broke through the crowd and stopped in front of the stage.
“I will meet you at the palace shortly.” Huang He said to Zhang and Shu Shang as he stepped off the stage and on a carriage that looked much more extravagant than the rest of the carriages.
Seeing this Zhang and Shu Shang both walked off stage and headed for their respectively assigned carriages.
“I’ll see you at the palace brother Zhang.” Shu Shang said as he boarded his carriage. When the door to the carriage opened Zhang could see that a two young women who seemed to be Shu Shang’s wives were waiting for him inside.
“Same to you.” Zhang said as he entered his carriage and behind him Yuying, Ling and Ai filed in one by one.
Once everyone was aboard the carriages began heading for the royal palace. Inside of Zhang’s carriage there was a cheerful air present.
“So once we get in the treasury everyone can pick one item for themselves. And we will pick out the last item together?” Zhang said.
“I’ll let you pick something out for me brother.” Yuying said.
“Me too. You can pick something for me brother.” Ai said in a cheerful tone.
“I already know what I want.” Ling said. Her goal had always been and still is to obtain the string of fate.
“I think it would be best for you guys to pick out your own items. Something I think is good may not suite you.” Zhang replied
“Ah yes Yuying here is Silky back. Zhang had kept Silky in the Ruler’s Domain for the duration of the final stage of the tournament and now it was time to return Silky Yuying.
After a short while the carriages stopped and the doors opened. As Zhang and the three beauties walked out they saw a marvelous palace. This would be the first time Zhang, Yuying and Ai had seen the palace that the King of the Heilong kingdom lived in.
“It’s decent.” Yuying murmured.
“Well nothing can really compare to the palace you grew up in.” Zhang said to Yuying with a silly smile on his face and a chuckle. You can’t really compare the kingdom of the dead that has been around for countless millennia to a small kingdom that only had roughly a thousand years’ worth of history.
Once they got out of their carriages they could see Shu Shang get out of his carriage and behind him two young women followed.
“Brother Zhang I almost forgot to introduce you to my two wives Su Mai and Ao Lin.” Shu Shang said to Zhang.
“It is a pleasure to meet you.” Both of Shu Shang’s wives said to Zhang.
“Likewise.” Zhang said courteously with a smile.
Soon in another carriage Ming Jiang got off and in yet another carriage King Huang He and Huang Zu exited. Once Huang He got off groups of soldiers came and walked in rows behind him. These soldiers were his personal guard.
“If you would follow me I will lead you all to the treasury so you can pick out your prizes.” King Huang He said after getting out of his carriage.
King Huang He led the group through the marble halls of the royal palace and eventually to the front of large solid iron gates.
Upon seeing Huang, He arrived the guards who were standing guard bent on one knee and saluted him.
“We pay our respects to his majesty lord Huang He.” The guards said in unison.
From his robe king Huang, He pulled out a medallion with a dragon carved into it and placed it into mechanism on the middle of one of the gates.
As he slowly turned the medallion clicking sounds could be heard. Soon mechanical sounds rang about and after a while a large clang sounded out and the large iron gates slowly creaked open.
Soldiers who were standing guard quickly came and pushed the two large gates open.
As the gates creaked open and the sunlight shot inside a dazzling light can be seen. The inside the treasury of the Heilong kingdom like many other kingdoms was filled with gold and jewels.
“I would think they none of you would be interest in these things so let’s move forward.” King Huang He said.
“Of course.” Zhang said agreeing with Huang He.
Everyone present besides the soldiers were extremely wealthy. Shu Shang and Ming Jiang are both princes. Zhang could be considered a prince himself so gold and jewels did not peak their interest.
“Indeed your majesty please lead the way to the more unique items.” Shu Shang said while standing beside his two wives.
“Yes lead the way your majesty.” Zhang said with Yuying, Ai and Ling beside him.
Ming Jiang did not comment because he did not actually have permission to pick a prize.
” Follow me.” Huang He said as he began walking on a path through the piles of gold and jewels.
After a short distance a smaller but more solid looking gate was in front of the group. From his robe Huang He pulled out a jade key and stick it into a keyhole in the gate. With a click sound the gate opened.
Once the door opened Huang He led the group inside while his personal guard followed in front behind.
The gates led the group into a long hallway.
“What a long hallway.” Ai said as she stood beside Zhang.
As the group continued on the hallway got narrower and narrower until only roughly four people or so could stand side by side in it.
At the end of the hallway was a flight of stairs that descended into the ground.
“Watch your step everyone.” Huang He said. As they descended the staircase it spiraled around a large seemingly bottomless pit.
“One fall off that and it would ruin anyone one’s day.” Zhang said.
“Yea would not survive that fall.” Ai added.
After some more walking down very long set of stairs the group finally reached the bottom. At the bottom of the stairs there was yet another gate to which King Huang He opened.
“We are here please pick out the treasures you wish to take as prizes. If you have any questions regarding these treasures, feel free to ask.” King Huang He said.
Once the group entered the room behind the last gate they could see many pedestals with items placed on top of them in glass cases. There were many eye catching items in the glass cases and some not so eye catching ones. However, all of these items were placed here because they were considered rare treasures.
Zhang, Yuying, Ai and Ling decided to split up and look at the treasures then come back after having found something to their liking or to recommend something for someone else.
“This looks like a magical sword.” Zhang said as he looked at a gleaming blue sword in a glass case.
“Yes that sword is called the Aquatic Overlord. It has the ability to manipulate water that is close to it.” Huang Zu said he has walked to and stood beside Zhang.
“That is a very interesting ability Zhang said. How about that mirror right there?”
“That is the Mirror of Truths. It has the ability to look through illusions and show its user the truth. Brother Zhang you if you have any further questions feel free to ask.” Huang Zu said he as walked away.
“With so many things to pick from this won’t be easy.” Zhang thought as he continued looking at the various treasures.
As he continued walking through the rows of glass cases. That was when Zhang noticed a pedestal without a glass case. On this pedestal was a black book without a name. The book had a white ribbon tied onto it but beside that there was nothing else that stood out about this book.
“That must be the book that Huang Zu was talking about.” Zhang murmured as he walked closer to the pedestal where the book was.
Zhang reached out his hand and picked up the back and tried to open it by untying the ribbon. However, oddly enough Zhang was not able to take off the ribbon. It was as if the ribbon was a part of the book itself and did not want to come off. After trying to open the book for a while without any success Zhang put it back down and walked away.
But what he did not noticed was when he was walking away a tiny blame flame appeared on the ribbon and slowly burned it. A few moments later the white ribbon was gone.
As Zhang continued walking he noticed something else that caught his eye. it was a set of throwing daggers that looked extremely delicate with many intricate carving on them. Although the daggers looked very delicate Zhang could tell that they were extremely sharp.
Zhang counted around twenty of these throwing daggers in the glass case.
“These would go along great with my chained daggers.” Zhang thought. He decided to go do some more looking around and then ask for some more information about the daggers.
While Zhang was browsing the various treasures, Ling was looking for the thread of fate.
“If I can get this thread then I won’t ever lose brother again.” Ling thought to herself as she combed the rows of glass cases looking for the thread of fate. Besides the thread of fate, no other treasure currently entered Ling’s radar.
After a while of searching Ling came upon a glass case with a single piece of string.
“This has to be it.” She murmured as she lifted the glass case and took the string.
Elsewhere Yuying and Ai were looking for treasures for themselves. Yuying had picked out a flute that she was told was called the Soul Charmer flute. This flute has the power to mesmerize its listeners and place them under a trance.
It was said that hundreds of years ago the previous owner of this flute after completely mastering it had used the flute to charm thousands of people to follow under him. With these people under his influence the man used them to overthrow the lord of a city.
Ai had picked magical bracelet called the Necklace of second chances. It was said that each user could use its power once. The bracelet was able to shield the user from certain death. After a single cast it would not be usable afterward.
After a while the group met back up at the entrance. Once arriving at the entrance Zhang asked Huang Zu about the set of daggers.
“Ah you must be talking about the daggers called the Dragon’s Talons. Those daggers were create from dragons.” Huang Zu said.
“Those daggers are very mysterious. And over the course of many years’ no one has yet claimed and used them in battle. This is of course since they are throwing knives it was hard to retrieve them during battle.” He added.
Shortly after some thought Zhang decided to pick the Dragon’s Talons throwing knives as his reward.
Prince Ming Jiang had picked out a sword that had the ability to shoot out lightning. This sword was called Heaven’s Judgment. While Shu Shang selected a spear that can extend it’s length and bend its shape. This spear was called the Ever Changing Spear. Beside the spear Shu Shang had picked out one more item and then let his two wives select one item each.
“Brother what should we pick out as our last item?” Ling asked Zhang as she touched her finger and smiled. Ling was touching a red string that was tied to her pinky on one end while the other seemed to be tied to Zhang. But of course only Ling was able to see this.
“Actually as I was looking around I found something that would be useful for us to use.” Zhang said.
“What is it brother?” Ai asked Zhang.
“A magical carriage that can change size and appearance. We can change its size to be easily stored away and able to change its appearance at will. Besides being able to change size carriage appears to be smaller on the outside bigger on the inside. The space inside the carriage is roughly the ten times bigger than the outside.” Zhang said.
“Hmmmm I think they will come in handy since we travel so much.” Yuying said.
“Yea travelling on horses for long trips is so tiring.” Ai added.
“Then it’s settled let’s get that magical carriage.” Ling said.
Thus the group picked the magical carriage as their last prize. After choosing their prizes the group had to wait for king Huang He’s soldiers to inspect the treasury to make sure they only took the treasures they had chosen
After the inspection the group was free to go. Shu Shang, Huang Zu and Ming Jiang all bid farewell to Zhang. Although Ming Jiang did not like Zhang very much he still had the decency to thank Zhang.
Once the group consisting of Zhang, Ling, Ai and Yuying arrived at the mansion the king had arranged for them to sleep at.
“Time to hit the hay!” Zhang yelled out as he jumped onto his bed that was located in the same room as Yuying, Ai and Ling’s. The three beauties were also on their huge bead gossiping or something.
However, something odd happened that caught his eye before he could fall asleep.
“This is the book from the treasury.” Zhang thought as he reached out his hand and touched the book.
When Zhang picked up the book he noticed the white ribbon was gone. So Zhang opened the book and a bright golden light enveloped him along with Yuying, Ai and Ling.