Chapter 253: Meeting the Demonic Beast Emperor
Facing that unbridled scrutiny, although SongZhong remained impassive to it, he secretly began to muster his spiritual power, to activate the Blood River Pattern on himself. Following the cyan radiance, lines of mysterious and profound lines emerged.
The moment the sturdy man saw the Blood Patterns, he hurriedly retracted his own divine sense as his eyes gleamed. He immediately brought his hands together, cupping his fists as he politely spoke: “Forgive my lack of manners! I’ve unknowingly offended the little highness, please do not take offense on this little one!”
How would SongZhong blame him? This fellow was not like the Lightning Eagle King who relied on serendipity to transform herself, but on his own ability to take on a human form. From his imposing manner, one could easily see that he was at least a sixth-ranked Demonic Beast, and furthermore one of great combat strength. At least, he was comparable to Old Devil Feng. If you count the Golden Dragon Boat which he operated, he could even take on the entire Mystical Sky Yard! Facing this sort of demonic beast, how could SongZhong blame him?
Thus SongZhong also hurriedly replied, “I don’t dare, don’t dare. My appearance was too sudden, it is only right that Senior took precautions!”
Even though SongZhong spoke as though it was a small matter, he had actually broken into a cold sweat inside, laughing bitterly to himself as he thought: “How close. At least I managed to fool them! If he had seen through my disguise, then this day of next year would be my death anniversary!”
The demonic beast escort did not sense SongZhong’s nervousness, instead laughing out in a direct manner, “HAHAHA! Actually you appearing out of a sudden is not any big matter, the main point was that you transformed far too early. Only at the fourth grade, this… is totally unprecedented! The purer one’s Emperor Bloodline is, the harder it is to transform. For your type of Blood River Pattern, in general, one would have to wait til they’re at least of Ninth Grade to transform! It is simply too unbelievable, and thus we originally thought that you are an imposter!”
“And what about now?” SongZhong asked with a bit of apprehension.
“There’s naturally no problem now!” The escort laughed “With the Blood River Pattern as proof, coupled with the fact that your body is inundated with extremely pure demonic energy of the Black Tortoise, there’s definitely no question about your bloodline!”
Hearing that, SongZhong could not help but sigh in relief inwardly, thinking, “That’s great, that’s great indeed!”
Seeing the situation, Lei Shan’er smiled as she spoke, “Senior Fang, didn’t I tell you that little elder brother was genuine!”
“Haha, I didn’t say that he was an imposter either!” The escort boomed heartily, then turned to address SongZhong, “Little Highness, His Majesty has sent me to fetch you, let’s go!” As he finished, he made a formal bow.
At this point, SongZhong was left with no other alternatives. How could he reject? He could only grit his teeth and laugh bitterly, “Senior, after you!”
“Haha, this little highness is too polite, you are royalty, you should proceed first!” The escort spoke very amicably. “Furthermore, please don’t call me Senior, I’m not deserving of that! If you don’t look down on me, then please call me Old Fang!”
“This, how could I do this?” Seeing how polite he was, SongZhong could not help but be shocked.
“Can, this can be done!” Old Fang was very sincere. “In the future, Old Fang will still have to rely on you little highness for care, if you are always so polite to me, that means you look down on me!”
Seeing that the person in question was so demanding, he could not reject him as well, and as such could only laugh bitterly. “If that’s the case, then I’ll be presumptuous!”
SongZhong cupped his fists towards Old Fang, then flew up straight into the Gold Dragon Boar. Old Fang could not help but laugh happily at this, and followed directly behind him, followed by Lei Shan’er with a beaming expression.
The three of them quickly arrived at the uppermost deck of the Gold Dragon Boat. From afar, the 3000 feet Gold Dragon Boat doesn’t seem very imposing, but upon nearing it, one would then know how big it actually was! 3000 feet, that was almost the distance of one kilometre! Such a huge dragon boat, made one look like ants on an elephant when they were boarding it, small and insignificant.
Furthermore, the decorations on the Gold Dragon Boat were luxurious beyond belief! The floor was carpeted with high level spirit grass as a form of carpeting, and the floating lamps were all exquisite beyond belief. They looked like they were composed of gold and jade, and the oil used for lighting was even infused with spiritual energy! Walking along the pathway, every three step was a new scenery, and every five steps a new painting, as though one was in the celestial realm! To compare the imperial palace of the secular world with this would make the former look like a thatched cottage of a village, they were on completely different worlds!
Even SongZhong, who grew up in the Mystical Sky Yard and had seen the various elegant and beautiful facilities inside the Yard, could not help but be captivated by the opulence of the Gold Dragon Boat.
Lei Shan’er was similarly captivated, even though she was known as the grand Lightning Eagle King by the human cultivators, in the Eastern Sea Kingdom, she could at most only be considered of the middle class. A ride for the Emperor like this Gold Dragon Boat, this was also the first time she was on board one, and she felt as though both her eyes could not perceive everything fast enough! At this point, she hated herself for not having more eyes to see everything!
Seeing their expressions, Old Fang could not help but let out a gentle smile. “This Golden Dragon Boat was crafted by a LianXu cultivator, in this world, it’s the only one of its kind! The first time I, Old Fang came in, my shock was not any lighter than yours!”
Only now did SongZhong come to his senses, and hearing that could only laugh bitterly: “Old Fang, you just drove a luxurious boat to fetch me, it really makes me feel overwhelmed with favour!”
“This was not my intention!” Old Fang hurriedly tried to explain, “This was His majesty’s idea! Just base on your status alone, the fact that His Majesty could not make it down personally can already be considered disrespectful, thus he purposely ordered me to drive his personal carriage here, as a form of compensation!”
“This~” Hearing that, SongZhong could not help but feel his scalp turning numb. He chuckled mirthlessly and said: “Is there a need to have such a grand procession though?”
“Of course!” Old Fang laughed and replied, “You are a Black Tortoise with a Blood River Pattern! Even for this sort of Black Tortoise, nearly all of them all reached the tenth stage and resisted the heavenly tribulation, finally ascending to the Immortal World! Thus, your position in the Demon Clan is incomparable, whoever sees you have to show respect!”
“But, I’m only at the fourth grade!” SongZhong said with some fear.
“What are you so afraid of? Who doesn’t improve bit by bit? The key point is that a progeny of an Emperor Bloodlines has extremely stable breakthroughs, the moment your strength reaches a certain point, you can automatically advance to the next grade. This is unlike us, stagnating upon reaching the sixth or seventh grades. To improve further would be a tall order!” Old Fang replied a bit emotionally.
At this point, Old Fang seemed to have recalled something, and hurriedly said, “Haha, look at me, why am I talking about such useless matters? Little Highness, hurry and enter the pavilion, that is the highest vantage point on the Golden Dragon Boat. There are many good things inside, so let me entertain you during the trip!”
As he spoke, Old Fang led SongZhong and Lei Shan’er to the pavilion. After which Old Fang shot SongZhong an awkward look as he laughed, “Little Highness, your current attire doesn’t really suit you, there are clothes prepared inside, why don’t you go in and have a change of outfit?”
When Old Fang spoke, his tone was careful, lest SongZhong took offense to his words.
But no one expected that SongZhong had long since entertained the idea of changing his current clothes out. He stood up joyously and say, “There’s new clothes in there? Sure! I’ll go get changed!” The moment he finished, his body flashed and was already inside the chambers. Quickly, he found a few stylish silk garments in the closet.
From young till his present self, SongZhong had always only worn Daoist robes. He had never come in contact with such gorgeous clothing. However, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Furthermore, having such clothes was still better as compared to baring his bottoms. Thus SongZhong did not make a fuss, and chose the biggest sized clothings to wear.
Maybe it was because the Eastern Sea Demons typically had larger bodies, but they even had a fitting size for SongZhong’s perverse body shape! In the secular world, his sort of size would require clothes to be custom made instead. He settled on a purple robe, trimmed with gold silk forming myriad patterns on the robes.
SongZhong did not scrutinise them but rather threw them on immediately before proceeding to the mirror for a look. He found out that the robes lent him a domineering air much like a King, and was definitely much better than his old Daoist Robes.
After adjusting his robes, SongZhong laughed heartily in satisfaction as he walked out. Old Fang and Lei Shan’er’s eyes also brightened upon this scene.
“Haha, it is indeed true that a man needs clothes, just like the Buddha needs gold clothes!”, Old Fang flattered. “Little Highness looks even more like an Emperor’s descendant with such a setup!”
“En! Little Elder Brother looks impressive!” Lei Shan’er also smiled and complimented.
“Such flatteries!” SongZhong helplessly shook his head and laughed.
“How is that so, every word of mine is the truth! Alright, let’s sit down and continue our conversation!” As Old Fang spoke, he began to assign seats to them.
Firstly, Old Fang directed SongZhong to the Seat of Honour, and took the host seat himself, leaving the Guest Seat for Lei Shan’er. After everyone was seated, with a wave of his hands, 10 odd plates appeared simultaneously in front of the three of them, and all of them were succulent and tender fruits which SongZhong could not recognise! However, just based on the rich spiritual energy each fruit was emitting, SongZhong could guarantee that all of them were top class spiritual fruits, even if they could not compare to the Five Elements Lotus or the Mystical Sky Fruit, it was definitely far above the spiritual mushrooms in his natal artifact!
Seeing the feast in front of her, Lei Shan’er’s saliva almost drooled. “Aiyaya, I can’t believe it. Fire dragon fruit, Clear Breeze Fruit and even the Silk Nectar Fruit, all these are the most exquisite spiritual fruits in the Eastern Ocean! So many of them, can Shan’er really eat them?”
“Eat up, eat up!” Old Fang laughed heartily in response, “Thanks to the little highness, this were all selected from the Imperial Palace, and even the Emperor himself would not bear to eat so many in one sitting! Little highness, please don’t stand on ceremony and eat too, this is the Emperor himself expressing his goodwill to you!”
Seeing this situation, how could SongZhong remain polite? He immediately grabbed onto a green skinned fruit, stuffing it whole into his mouth. Immediately, he could feel a surge of aromatic flavours flooding his mouth, and at the same time, a special form of spiritual energy flowing down his throat to his dantian. His body felt as though it had underwent a bath, and was so comfortable that he almost started to moan.
Seeing this situation, Old Fang let out a loud laugh, “Little Highness, what you ate was the Clear Breeze Fruit. This particular fruit only blossoms and bears fruits once every few centuries! Not only is it tasty and fresh, the main point is that it can cleanse the body of impure Qi after eating it, allow them to feel purified, and is of great aid towards cultivation! It’s a pity that the quantities are low, with only a few fruits. If your highness wants more, you can have Old Fang’s share!”
As he spoke, Old Fang was about to send his own Clear Breeze Fruit towards SongZhong. The latter hurriedly waved his hands to reject, “No need, no need, these are enough, I still want to leave some stomach to try the rest!”
Old Fang had also spoken out of courtesy, and seeing SongZhong reject him, he retracted the plate of fruits and smiled. “This is good too, all the fruits there are the cream of the crop. If it wasn’t for you, even for another esteemed guest, his Majesty might not bear to spend it so extravagantly!”
“Is that so?” SongZhong spoke with confusion, “Why would your emperor treat me so well?”
“Hehe, do you still need to ask? You’re a missing descendent of the Imperial Bloodline, of course His Majesty has to take on the responsibility of nurturing you!” Old Fang laughed and continued, “If there is nothing wrong with this, there is a close to 80% chance of you becoming the Crown Prince of the Eastern Sea Kingdom!”
“It can’t go to that extent, right?” SongZhong could not help but let out a bitter laughter. Originally he had heard Lei Shen’er speak of such, but never did he dream that even this Sixth Grade Demonic Beast Old Fang would say it with such confidence. This was simply unbelievable! Obviously, he was completely unaware of the modus operandi of the demonic beasts.
Seeing the situation, Old Fang could only give a wry smile and began explaining from scratch. After finishing the lecture did he finally realise what was going on.
As it turns out, the demonic beast clan actually cared more about relations than the humans. As a demonic beast with an Imperial Bloodline, if he lost his parents from young, even if he is to encounter other demonic beasts, they would stretch out their hands to help, regardless of race. This was even to the point of sacrificing their own lives!
Of course, this sort of help wasn’t fully out of goodwill. In actual fact, those who helped would always reap huge rewards in return. The Imperial Bloodline who was being taken care of would of course develop deep feelings for the caregivers, and after they matured, would definitely take the chance to repay the gratitude shown. If they did not return the favour, then there would be a black mark on their reputation as people who knew not of gratitude.
Therefore, there were many cases where a few mediocre demonic beasts were propelled to the upper echelons after nurturing and taking care of an Imperial Bloodline. Sometimes, they could even use this sort of relationship to obtain those heavenly treasures, allowing them to overcome the problem of their bloodlines, to achieve further breakthrough in their cultivation!
As such, to the demonic beasts, finding a lost imperial bloodline was equivalent to obtaining a treasure bowl! After allowing them to mature, they could just sit back and reap the rewards. Currently, the Emperor of the Eastern Sea Empire was as such. In their eyes, someone like SongZhong, who was a young black tortoise with the Blood River Pattern, was a treasure that had no limits to their future. While a normal demonic beast would find it difficult to cultivate past the eighth grade, most Blood River Patterned black tortoises could reach the tenth grade. At that point, even the dregs given out by it would allow ordinary beasts to raise their grade by at least one!
Not only that, even if they couldn’t raise their grade, with such a hegemon supporting them, who would not give way to them? So when the Emperor heard of the Blood River Patterned Tortoise appearing, he immediately deployed a sixth grade demonic beast with his Golden Dragon Boat, as well as large amounts of spiritual fruits, hoping to rope in SongZhong.
After ironing out all the details, SongZhong secretly felt more relieved. However, he was afraid that the Emperor could see through his cover. Hence he was a little worried during the journey.
Old Fang did not know the exact reason as to why SongZhong was unhappy, and even thought that his service was not up to standard. Old Fang was deeply afraid of this future powerhouse, because even though he was at sixth grade and SongZhong was at fourth, after a few more centuries, SongZhong would ascend to the Sixth, Seventh or higher grades while he remained at the Sixth. This was the benefit of possessing the Imperial Bloodline. Thus Old Fang did not dare to be negligent towards SongZhong.
Sensing his unhappiness, Old Fang immediately began to narrate the interesting points of Eastern Sea to SongZhong. Though this did not alleviate SongZhong’s sense of worry, it gave him a brief idea of the circumstances surrounding the Eastern Sea Empire.
As in turns out, although the Eastern Sea Empire was a famed country, in actual fact there was no sense of a country nor a government. There was only one Emperor, which was another Imperial Bloodline that was elected for the position. It was said that the person was a descendant of the Azure Dragon, but the bloodline was not very pure, and the final form was inclined towards becoming a single horned black dragon.
Other than the Emperor himself being publicly acknowledged, the Eastern Sea Empire did not have any other names that were well known. There was no imperial court nor were there any officials. The Eastern Surveillance Corps like Lei Shan’er were a result of the Emperor’s random musings.
Although the Eastern Surveillance Corps was just a small tribe on the Eastern Sea, close to the Vast Mountains, due to the respect for the Emperor, everyone conceded to the position of Eastern Ocean Surveillance Corps. However, such a title was only called by the human cultivators, and not by the inner circle of the demonic beasts. Most of them were still more used to living under their own clans.
However, do not think that the Eastern Sea Empire was like a basket of loose sand. On the contrary they were extremely united. Even though the Emperor did not interfere most of the time, the various tribes still gave yearly tributes to the Emperor.
Furthermore, any disputes between the clans were settled by themselves, and only in the extreme cases was the Emperor asked to perform arbitration. This sort of arbitration was final, and with the Emperor’s authority and prestige, no one dared to go against it. The crucial point was that once the Emperor gave an order, he could immediately gather all the different clans, to defend against any siege. This was also the reason as to why the demonic beast hordes were formed.
The only problem was that the Eastern Sea Emperor was an expert, and would usually be cultivating, and no one would be out of their mind to cause trouble. Thus the Emperor was more of a symbolic totem for the demonic beasts, and typically did not appear in their everyday lives.
Under Old Fang’s narration, SongZhong felt less gloomy. As for Lei Shan’er, her tiny mouth had never stopped, fully engrossed with eating and nothing else.
In general, the three people ate and talked for nearly an hour before they finally reached their destination.
Old Fang stood up as he laughed, “We’ve finally reached, Little highness, please, our Emperor is waiting for you!
Hearing this, SongZhong dare not tarry, and immediately got up, saying “Good!”. As for Lei Shan’er, she was still reluctant to leave all the remaining fruits on the plates.
Faced with such a scene, SongZhong did not know whether to laugh or to cry. He stretched out his hands and gathered all the fruits together, before giving the bundle that was few jins heavy to Lei Shan’er, saying, “Keep them!”
Seeing such a loot, Lei Shan’er was obviously moved, but with Old Fang on scene, she could only question worriedly “This, is this ok?” She even shot Old Fang a look of worry.
With how shrewd Old Fang was, how could he not be tactful? He turned behind and pretended that he did not see anything.
Seeing him do as such, SongZhong let out a slight smile and told Lei Shan’er, “Take them, no one is looking anyway!”
Lei Shan’er comprehended Old Fang’s intention, and estatically nodded her head, hurriedly stowing the fruits into her own natal space. She then followed behind SongZhong in jubilation.
After settling everything, SongZhong pretended that nothing was wrong as he followed Lei Shan’er and Old Fang out. Upon coming out, he was surprised to find that the area was actually unlike the Imperial Palace that he expected, and instead a barren island of about 10 odd li in circumference. There were no grass on that island, only debris. A tall and sturdy woman, with a figure similar to SongZhong stood there alone.
“A woman?” SongZhong spoke out in surprise.
“Hehe, that’s right!” Old Fang laughed softly. “The Eastern Sea Empire’s sovereign is actually an Empress!”
Having heard this, SongZhong stood rooted to the spot. Never in his dreams did he expect that the grand and stately Eastern Sea Empire’s monarch, who had no opponents on their level, and inspired fear in all the demonic beasts to be the messy haired, buff woman who was dressed completely in a leather suit in front of him! Though she looked above average, with delicate features, her muscular body completely undermined her looks, making her look like a feminine dinosaur no matter how she looked.
Just as SongZhong sized her up warily, the female Empress was also doing the same to him. After a few seconds, her brow furrowed as she started to have suspicions. “You’re that person with the Imperial Bloodline of the Blood River Pattern Black tortoise? Get your ass here!”
As she spoke, the Empress hooked her arm, and SongZhong only felt the surrounding air around him warp. The next thing he knew, he was being grabbed by an unknown strength and dragged towards that female dinosaur. In just a blink of an eye, SongZhong seemed to have soared across the skies to land beside the Empress, almost face to face with each other.
The Empress first gently put him down before furrowing her brows as she said, “The demonic air on you is geniune, it is exactly the clan of the Black Tortoise, and the azure pattern you released cannot be faked. But why are you in human form? If memory serves me right, the Black Tortoises with a Blood River Pattern, never had a case where someone could take on human form without first reaching the Ninth Grade!
“Cough cough!” SongZhong cleared his throat and directly rebutted, “Obviously, now you have a living example!”
“Ha! You definitely know how to talk!” The Empress’s lips curled before she coldly smiled. “I heard from Shan’er that lass that you survived a blow from a YuanYing cultivator, and even managed to wound him twice, is there such a matter?”
“Should be the case!” SongZhong shrugged his shoulders non-committedly.
“But I don’t believe!” The Empress continued coldly smiling. “Who knows if you’re actually playacting?”
“I have no need to act out anything!” SongZhong hurriedly forced out a smile. “If you don’t believe me, there’s nothing I can do!”
“Hehe, it’s alright, I have an idea to prove that you’re not lying!” The Empress smiled in a sinister manner.
SongZhong felt that something was wrong, and could feel cold air brush against his spine. “You, how are you going to prove it?”
“Haha! Simple, One punch from me will reveal everything!” The Empress broke into laughter as she send a fist towards SongZhong without uttering another word!