Chapter 846 – The Merfolk Sea Fair (One)
Over eighteen thousand kilometers south of the shore of the South sea was a vast island. It was long, narrow, and symmetrical, shaped like a huge ship on the sea. It was known as Giant Ship island. The island had a row of three mountains down the middle, where the middle one was large and the other two were small. They were like the masts and sails of a ship, named Main-mast mountain, Fore-mast mountain, and Mizzen-mast mountain.
The three mountains were littered with structures, all bearing the unique style of the South sea. They were magnificent and imposing, obscured by the cloud and mist like abodes of immortals. It was where the greatest sect of the South sea stood, the Cloud Sail sect.
Two white bridges crossed through the clouds like rainbows, joining the three mountains together. If the sea wind dispersed the clouds and mist, then it was possible to overlook the layers upon layers of residences built below, the long streets and the flowing people, filled with the liveliness of the secular world.
People flowed out of the cities and gathered on a vast beach to the south of the island, forming a black mass like a nest of swarming ants. Who knew how many thousand people gathered there, all standing on their tiptoes and gazing at the depths of the sea. Groups of soldiers maintained order. There were many cultivators that hovered in the air without hiding themselves. They proudly basked in the reverence from the mortals below.
It was the eighth month, the peak of summer, but even with the scorching climate of the south, the cool sea breeze could still bring comfort. The sun gradually sank below the surface of the sea like a piece of red jade, dyeing the sky and ocean red. The temperature became cooler.
The sea breeze settled down, and the sea waves lapped against the sea shore steadily.
The port was filled with ships and boats of various sizes, from long boats and huge ships to dinghies. They came in all sorts of shapes and sizes, bobbing up and down with the waves.
At this moment, even more boats drifted over from the sea, anxiously searching for a place to dock. Clearly, the people gathered there were not just from Three Sails city. They bustled about and made a ruckus with various different dialects. They had to shout if they wanted to be heard when they spoke to someone. It was a commotion.
“Oh my god, why are there so many people this year?”
“Are there any years when the Merfolk sea fair occurs without a lot of people?”
“But this is just far too many!”
“You’re still wet behind the years! Shh, let me tell you, the merpeople are about to declare war with the fire people in the north. They must have brought quite a lot of goods this year!”
“What did you say? I can’t hear you!”
Behind the beach was a completely blocked off hill, preventing any mortals from approaching it. On top of it was a magnificent platform with a total of eighty-one white sails fluttering in the wind. Several seats were lined up at the centre.
An old man with hair white like snow sat in the main seat. To his sides were disciples and members of the sect. He was the master of the Cloud Sail sect, Ji Changfeng, waiting there with his disciples.
Ji Changfeng gazed into the depths of the sea. He sat there without budging, but he gave off a feeling like he was about to drift away.
“Father, if the merpeople come, then let them come. Do you really have to receive them in person?” Beside the old man was a handsome young man who disagreed with all of this.
“Qingyu, the Merfolk King might come this year.” Ji Changfeng turned around. He was particularly gentle and patient with this talented son of his.
“The Merfolk King!” Ji Qingyu was surprised. In the past, the Merfolk sea fair was normally held by elders of the merpeople. He never thought the Merfolk King would actually come in person.
The Cloud Sail sect was one of the few, larger sects among the islands of the South sea. They had the Wind Gale King, Ji Changfeng, watching over the place. They could be regarded as the leaders of the sects of the South sea, but in terms of strength, they were nowhere close to the royal court of the merpeople.
On top of that, the Cloud Sail sect was located on the South sea. They were not bound by the rules and laws of the Great Xia empire, but they did not receive their protection either. Even if they were destroyed, no one would care, so maintaining a good relationship with the merpeople was extremely important.
However, Ji Qingyu still felt like he was showing far too much courtesy. It contrasted against his identity as the Wind Gale King.
“Then can’t you just wait on the mountain and come out to receive the Merfolk King once she’s here, father?”
“Fellow Ye of the sword pavilion has also stated that he will come with disciples.” Ji Changfeng gazed into the distance. If it were only the Merfolk King, then there was no need for him to put on such a show. They were acquainted with one another after all.
“The master of the sword pavilion!” Ji Qingyu became even more surprised. The South Sea Sword pavilion was also located on the South sea, but it was relatively closer to the nine provinces, and they rarely had any contact with the many sects of the South sea. As such, the South sea treated them as a sect of the Mist province.
Sword cultivators relied on nothing else but their swords, so the fair was not particularly important to them. Despite all these generations of pavilion masters, this pavilion master Ye was the first one to attend the sea fair. He wondered about his intentions.
Ji Changfeng continued, “There’s also the Myriad Poison Ancestor of the south, the head caretaker of the King of Yue’s estate, as well as… a White Hawk commander.”
Ji Qingyu had already become speechless. The Myriad Poison cult was tens of thousand kilometers away from here, but the Myriad Poison Ancestor still had quite the renown. Although the head caretaker of the King of Zhao’s estate had not undergone the third heavenly tribulation, the significance behind his appearance was no less than that of a great cultivator’s attendance.
The Merfolk sea fair was a grand event for the cultivation community of the South sea, but there was almost nothing that could catch the eyes of people like them. They remained within their own circles when it came to trade and communication. There was absolutely no need for them to show up, so the Merfolk sea fair this time seemed very different from ordinary.
However, what was the White Hawk commander about? He was only a Golden Core cultivator that had undergone the second heavenly tribulation after all. There were plenty of those attending the Merfolk sea fair this time. The cultivation community of the South sea had never been fond of these lackeys of the empire.
“No wonder father is so solemn. None of these seniors can be simply brushed aside. But about the White Hawk commander…”
“The White Hawk commander is called Li Qingshan. He’s a figure that’s risen up recently in the south. He’s claimed Savage mountain so far and calls himself the King of Savages.”
“The King of Savages?” Ji Qingyu immediately wanted to laugh. Even a White Hawk commander dared to call himself a king! However, only when he saw how stern Ji Changfeng was did he hide his smile in a hurry.
“You better not underestimate this Li Qingshan. He’s from the Green province in the north, and in just a few short years, he swept through the various sects in the south and used a Blood Oath Scroll to forcefully recruit a group of powerful subordinates. Even the Myriad Poison cult suffered heavily at his hand, where almost all of their disciples have perished, and the Myriad Poison Ancestor is powerless against him. It’s said that the King of Southern Yue’s estate even wanted to grant him the status of honoured guest, but he declined,” said Ji Changfeng.
The King of Southern Yue’s estate had also once tried to grant him the status of honoured guest, but he declined because he refused to become involved in the conflict of the cultivation community of the nine provinces. However, he struggled to read Li Qingshan’s intentions in declining.
“And yet he’s still bold enough to come! Isn’t he afraid of the Myriad Poison Ancestor?”
Ji Qingyu was amazed. This Li Qingshan really was something else. With a cultivation at the second heavenly tribulation, he was actually bold enough to fall out completely with the Myriad Poison Ancestor and still be fearless enough to attend the Merfolk sea fair. Was he just fearless of death or did he have the skill to back it up?
“The first cave master of Savage mountain, Yu Wufeng, was originally the first senior brother of the South Sea Sword pavilion. He’s now been bound by the Blood Oath Scroll, serving under Li Qingshan… Oh right, this Li Qingshan is about the same age as you. He’s under forty right now, and he underwent the second heavenly tribulation before he reached thirty.”
Ji Changfeng guessed that it was very likely the Myriad Poison Ancestor had come this time to deal with Li Qingshan. The master of the sword pavilion probably had not come for the Merfolk sea fair either, but to save his own disciple. Did Li Qingshan’s fearlessness really stem from just this? If that were true, he was underestimating great cultivators a little too much.
Ye Duanhai had a very staunch personality, so how could he fall for threats so easily? By then, it would be difficult to say who would be threatening who, but who knew? It was said that Yu Wufeng was already close to the third heavenly tribulation, and he wielded an arcane treasure, the Fogbow sword. The South Sea Sword pavilion would definitely care about a successor like that.
Ji Qingyu widened his eyes. He could be regarded as a genius with a bit of renown in the cultivation community of the South sea, but his cultivation was only at late Foundation Establishment. He planned on consolidating his cultivation for another decade or two before attempting the second heavenly tribulation. In comparison to him, the master of the Fogbow sword, Yu Wufeng, could be regarded as a great genius of true renown, yet he had actually been subdued by Li Qingshan and reduced to a slave. What kind of power did he possess to do that?
He vaguely understood Ji Changfeng’s reasons now. The waters here were too deep for him. It was not something he could partake in. Despite being the Wind Gale King’s beloved son, he could not afford to offend any of the people mentioned.
“Father, I understand.” Ji Qingyu found this a little difficult to accept, but the difference in their cultivation was truly there.
Ji Changfeng glanced past the platform again. He had not spoken loudly in their conversation, but he did not try to hide his voice either. With the sharp ears of cultivators, they could make out every single word that had been uttered. They all grew stern and dropped some of their haughtiness as the host.
Ji Changfeng nodded gently, but he let out a long sigh inside. If only the Cloud Sail sect had a Li Qingshan. So far, there was not a single disciple of the sect he regarded as worthy to inherit his legacy.
At the end of the day, the nine provinces were still the basis of this world. At the very least, it was the basis of the human cultivation community.
The South sea was vast, and the scattered islands had many cultivators, but there were only a handful that could reach his realm of cultivation. Instead, there were numerous Daemon Kings that lived in the depths of the ocean. The situation was completely the reverse of that of the nine provinces. The forces that belonged to the otherfolk and daemons far surpassed the forces of humans.
This was unavoidable. Unlike Merfolk and water daemons that thrived in the ocean, humans needed to have the earth beneath their feet. Without millions of mortals, where were they supposed to find thousands of cultivators?
The islands of the South sea covered a very large area. There were even numerous cities or even kingdoms, but their population was extremely limited. Often, they would spend numerous years growing and thriving arduously, only for a large storm to come along and kill off millions. Cultivators still stood a chance against a disaster like that, but if a certain Daemon King decided to change up their diets, it would cause immediate devastation. Even if it were just some Daemon Commanders, there were not a lot of cultivators that stood a chance.
Of course, there were not a lot of cultivators with such poor luck. Water daemons were accustomed to seafood. They might not necessarily be willing to switch over to humans.
The South sea was simply too vast, and the islands were scattered far too sparsely too, so there was not as much conflict. Regular cultivators spent their days relatively peacefully. They could casually claim an island and just cultivate away. Reaching self-sufficiency was still not too difficult, so there were a lot of hermits and independent cultivators.
However, this led to another problem. The variety of resources available was overly limited and trade never occurred, so the development of the cultivation community was nowhere close to that of the nine provinces.
The South Sea Sword pavilion had maintained contact with the Mist province the entire time, constantly clashing with the Myriad Poison cult. It seemed like a pointless waste of their efforts, but the lineage of pavilion masters had never been broken.
Ji Changfeng thought to himself. The last ray of light was close to vanishing. Suddenly, he sensed something and stood up. He cast his gaze towards the depths of the ocean.
PS: Talking about logic in a webnovel is very absurd, but I’m still trying my best to make a logical cultivation community of the South sea. I don’t want great cultivators to be roaming around everywhere, nor do I want the main character hurling insults and sneers wherever he goes, constantly having enemies charge at him for no good reason, wanting to show the main character what’s what, before being slapped across the face to create feel-good moments. I’m doing my best to make every conflict in the plot originate from actual disputes and not “The fuck you looking at? So what if I’m looking at you?” So, I spend so much effort writing, yet you’re still shameless enough to not give me monthly votes?