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Inside the ma.s.sive palace hall, people were enjoying good wine and various kinds of delicious food. Gentle young girls were dancing on the green tiled floor in the middle of the hall. It was a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.
Da Lei and Da Meng were constantly offering good wine to them with smiling faces. They were showing their warm hospitality to their distinguished guests, making Princess Zi Yao and Prince Du Feng comfortable.
Shi Yan and Bergh's team weren't eligible to join this party. They were all standing behind Princess Zi Yao and Prince Du Feng, waiting for orders.
Many warriors under Da Lei's command visited and cheered with Princess Zi Yao and Prince Du Feng. No one paid attention to the group of warriors standing behind them.
Shi Yan belonged to the group which was neglected. No one gave him even a glance.
When the party had come halfway, Da Lei laughed cheerily. "My distinguished guests, your Highness, I have nothing to offer you but some exotic fruits we don't have in our country. I hope you would enjoy them."
He clapped his hands. Shortly, some maids brought over trays of fruits with so many succulent and fresh fruits. Those fruits had an intimidating energy acc.u.mulated within.
At first glance, Shi Yan was shaken, discreetly amazed.
Those fruits looked really delicious. They had some fine, natural patterns with clear energy waves rippling. It seemed the energy they contained was much easier to absorb than that of the Divine Crystals.
Those fruits should be some kind of heaven and earth products that they could use directly without waiting for the alchemist to refine them.
Right when Princess Zi Yao and Du Peng saw the fruits, their eyes brightened. They didn't wait for the others to offer but extended their hands to grab the fruits.
"Uncle Da Lei's generous, indeed. We haven't seen the fruits with pure energy from heaven and earth like these. It seems we've made the best decision to let Uncle Da Lei guard this area," Princess Zi Yao smiled tenderly while having the fruit. She nodded continually, as if she was in a good mood.
Du Feng didn't say a word as he was wolfing down the fruits, which were the best for his cultivation. He didn't want to let this chance slide away.
While eating the fruits, a clear energy fluctuation rippled from him as though he was taking in the energy of the fruits. Shortly, his Qi became abundant, and his face glowed with full spirit.
Da Lei laughed, "If your Highness likes them, I'll give you some when you leave. You can enjoy more on your trip."
"Thank you, Uncle Da Lei," Princess Zi Yao laughed cheerily. Her beautiful eyes sparkled while she threw a glance at Da Meng. "Da Meng, your realm has been progressed fast. I think you can break through to the King G.o.d Realm shortly. It's our fortune, too. When I get back, I will report my Father on your efforts. I'm sure my Father will be pleased."
Da Meng's eyes brightened. "If I can gain the King's recognition, it will be my greatest honor."
"As long as you're loyal to the Empire and making progress, my Father will recognize you." Zi Yao smiled, but her eyes were somehow strange.
"Come here, come here. We'll drink more. It's not often that your Highness comes here. We must enjoy until we feel pleased," Da Lei laughed and continued to pour wine for them.
Shi Yan was always watching to evaluate Da Meng's moves while standing behind Princess Zi Yao. He knew that this man was really dangerous. If they had to fight, Shi Yan couldn't be 100% sure.
It was beyond his expectation that Zi Yao didn't arrange a battle for him and Da Meng. She hadn't mentioned it even when the party got over. She made an excuse that she was tired due to the long trip and then took him away, leaving the party.
Leaving the palace, Shi Yan saw many warriors under Da Lei's command transporting materials and goods to Zi Yao's battleship. Those were probably the presents, the taxes that Da Lei had to submit to his superior. Many of them were strange and rare things Shi Yan had never seen before.
Da Meng himself took Zi Yao's delegation to a charming but quiet palace. From the beginning to the end, Da Meng had always smiled and talked to Princess Zi Yao and Prince Du Feng, as if they were chatting about some family stuff. He didn't look at Shi Yan even once.
When Zi Yao implied him, Da Meng got her signal and left.
Waiting until the young man left, Bergh and Du Feng immediately put on solemn countenances. "Sis, I think we should forget this battle. Lately, Da Meng's realm has been upgraded. The energy fluctuations acc.u.mulated on his body aren't much less than a King G.o.d Realm warrior. He just hasn't achieved the G.o.d Body yet. We don't need this battle for sure," advised Du Feng.
Bergh nodded in agreement. "Your Highness, I think we don't have even one percent chance of victory in this battle. We don't need to carry on with this idea."
Princess Zi Yao didn't answer them. Her dark brows slammed together as she looked at Shi Yan. "Do you dare to battle with him?"
Under people's scrutinizing look, Shi Yan's visage was cold and somber. "I want to try once. Although I'm not sure I could win, I won't embarra.s.s you."
"You should think about it carefully," Princess Zi Yao was severe. It was rare that she put on such solemn countenance. "Da Meng's a brutal man. Not many people could have a decent end after fighting with him. Have you made up your mind? If you lose, the best scenario would be you being hurt severely. It'd be normal if you got killed. Da Meng holds a n.o.ble status. If he kills you during the fight, I can't say anything. Have you made up your mind thoroughly?"
Du Feng and Bergh let out a low shout. They seemed to be very discontented, as they didn't know why Princess Zi Yao was so stubborn.
Waving her hands, Princess Zi Yao eased the other two's minds. She frowned and then explained. "Although Da Lei looks humble, I can sense his arrogance through his voice. If we don't correct him, he will become wilder. Da Meng's at the Peak of True G.o.d Realm now. If nothing unexpected happened, he would break through smoothly soon. Of course, if he loses this battle or it's a tie, it will leave a deep impression in his heart. It would follow him forever and create a Mara. It's a good chance. Don't miss it. If we miss it and let him enter the King G.o.d Realm, it'll be tough to suppress him later."
"But, Shi Yan has no chance to defeat him," Bergh beamed a forced smile.
Princess Zi Yao didn't say anything, and just looked at Shi Yan.
"I'll do my best." Shi Yan's face was indifferent, as if he didn't know how dangerous Da Meng was. "Your Highness, don't worry. I won't let you down."
"Good. Brave enough!" Princess Zi Yao nodded heavily. "I'll make a bet this time. If you can win this battle, I will give you more benefits. I won't tell you what it is. When you win, you will know what you can get."
Shi Yan's eyes brightened.
"Then, we'll do like that." Princess Zi Yao stopped Bergh and Du Feng from talking more. "In the next two days, you guys have to watch everything carefully, especially the tax. Don't let Da Lei trick us and submit less than required."
It had been three days, and Princess Zi Yao's delegation hadn't come out, using the excuse that they wanted to rest more.
Shi Yan didn't notice anything outside, just focusing on his cultivation. He had performed the powers Upanishad he had learned in his head several times. Also, he always maintained his spirit, soul, and Qi at the peak to be well prepared for the upcoming battle.
Staying on this life star, he found that his Star Martial Spirit had gained the best benefits. When he urged his Star Martial Spirit, the solar energy from the three suns in the sky flowed ma.s.sively into his body, pouring in a scorching heat which made him want to battle to vent it out.
So, a battle was his wish at this moment.
He still maintained this desire for a fight with tense nerves. He had prepared for a strenuous battle, which could happen at any minute.
Eventually, Princess Zi Yao got out of her room. She walked with a group of her men to her amethyst battleship. A warrior handed her the logbook, then she started to check it thoroughly.
As Da Lei and Da Meng saw her, they took a delegation of one hundred warriors and came to greet her humbly.
Princess Zi Yao nodded to them and then continued to read the list of materials and goods in her doc.u.ments. After a while, she lifted her head, talking with astonishment in her voice. "Uncle Da Lei, I think something's wrong with this list."
Shi Yan shuddered. His eyes changed as he secretly put up guard.
Da Lei was still smilingly calm as usual. "What? We've missed something?"
"No, nothing's missed," Princess Zi Yao shook her head, her face odd. "Much more than required. Uncle Da Lei, your required amount isn't that big. You've miscalculated, I suppose."
Shi Yan was surprised. He used to think that Da Lei didn't have goodwill and he would reduce the offerings. He thought that the battle would happen soon. However, the situation was quite contrary. Shi Yan was skeptical.
"Haha, then it's alright," Da Lei laughed. "The added amount is in the hope to open a path for my son. It's... the Extreme Purgatory Field is about to open. Although my son's realm is relatively low, he can reluctantly go there. I'm offering more goods to ask for a favor from the King. I hope he would remember my loyalty and give him a quota."
Princess Zi Yao and Du Feng became odd, frowning.
Shi Yan didn't know what the 'Extreme Purgatory Field' they mentioned was. However, seeing the big amount of goods Da Lei wanted to submit to gain a slot for his son, it was no doubt it was a good place indeed.
"Two quotas Uncle Da Lei nominated have gone to the Extreme Purgatory Field. People who get in there need to contribute greatly to the Empire. Although brother Da Meng has an exquisite cultivation base, he hasn't contributed much to our country. It's not good to favor him." Princess Zi Yao furrowed her brows as if it were hard to decide. "It's not easy to solve this."
Da Lei's face darkened. "I've done so many things for the Empire. It shouldn't be a problem if I let my son share my merit. Moreover, I've offered a lot of good things. Aren't they enough to let my son get in there? When my son gets out, he will contribute to our Empire. Can't you help us with this?"
Da Meng's face was getting colder.
"The number of quotas is limited each time. If Da Meng wants to go, we have to cross out another person. It's not convenient." Princess Zi Yao calmly shook her head.
"I heard that Your Highness has a quota this year. Can you?" Da Lei suddenly smiled again. "You've reached the Third Sky of King G.o.d Realm. You don't need to visit the Extreme Purgatory Field, right? What about you name a price for your quota. I'll really appreciate it!"
Shi Yan immediately reacted. Turned out that Da Lei had planned for a long time to get the quota from Princess Zi Yao.
Princess Zi Yao changed her visage. Rage flashed in her beautiful eyes. She pondered for three seconds and then pointed at Shi Yan all of a sudden. "I want to give that quota to him."