Pursuit of the Truth Chapter 118
Chapter 118 Han Mountain City
"What Fang Mu said was true… This Yong Ming from Pu Qiang Tribe cultivates using deathly qi just like Wu Sen, but he is far stronger." Muttering to himself, it was a long while before Su Ming retracted his gaze from the peak. Shifting his attention to Han Mountain City in the distance, he picked up himself and took the next step, resuming his journey down the mountain road towards Han Mountain City that was basked in the evening glow.
"If I succeed in refining the spirit seizing pill, I guess that would make me a heretic-Man as well…" Against the setting sun, Su Ming's silhouette stretched into an extended figure. The shadow reflected his loneliness, but it also exuded his resolution and perseverance.
The soft glow of dusk with its last vestiges of warmth bathed the land of this mountain range. Facing the setting sun, Su Ming proceeded on his way to the foreign Han Mountain City. From a distance, the city already presented a breathtaking view. Now that he was getting closer, the vastness of the fortress seemed even more formidable. The city was the mountain and exuded the latter's forbidding might, exerting an oppressing pressure on all those who approached. This pressure can be clearly felt at the foot of the mountain, and together with the three clusters of mist circulating above the city, they delivered a daunting impression. In this manner, even accomplished individuals had to watch their actions during their time in the city.
Watching the Han Mountain City, Su Ming drew a deep breath. He wore a calm expression, and step by step, ascended the mountain path. Below the Han Mountain City were eight spacious platforms.
To enter the city, the only way was through the mountains passes.
Although there were eight gates, only four were opened to outsiders. Out of the remaining four, three were controlled by each of the three tribes that governed the city, whereas the remaining one was known as the guest's passage that was only accessible to the patrons of the three tribes.
The stringent security of the premise was a demonstration of the might of the three ruling tribes, and also served as a factor of appeal for powerful guests.
Since it was his first visit, Su Ming followed on the path leading to the ordinary platform with no haste. This particular road was unguarded, until Su Ming crossed the halfway mark of the mountain and saw one of the eight gates of Han Mountain City.
The gates of the city were formed two ten over Zhang statues of Man-Cultivators in a fighting pose facing each other, unmoving but exuding with killing intent.
This gate was formed from the arms and bodies of the statues locked in combat. And at this moment on top of the interlocking arms was a youth lying there with one of his legs freely hanging and swinging from the gate.
From his waist hung a medallion which had a blue base with a touch of red, his eyes were shut and a gourd laid by his hands emanating with the smell of alcohol as the wind blew past it.
While looking at the door, Su Ming's eyes momentarily flashed, after all this was the grandest city he had ever set his eyes on. After deeply etching the image of this gate into his memories, his feet moved once more but as he walked past the gate into Han Mountain City, a lazy voice drifted over to him.
"Do you know the rules?"
The words were spoken precisely by that youth, his eyes were now open as he took a sip from the green gourd by his side, his eyes sweeping across Su Ming, seeing his clothes suddenly made him more sober.
Su Ming's expression remained calm as the young man spoke, with a flick of his right arm, a white stone coin flew out towards the youth who caught in easily.
Su Ming had previously learnt from Fang Mu that anyone could enter Han Mountain City as long as they paid the required stone coins in accordance to the duration of their stay, the longer they wanted to stay the more they had to pay.
After receiving the coin, the youth threw out a grey medallion and took another sip of wine before returning to his nap.
After receiving the medallion, Su Ming hung it by his waist. The medallions themselves are divided into three portions with three colours, black, red and white which represented the three tribes and could only be used by them. The powerful patrons of the tribes would be given a medallion with a blue base and a colour corresponding to the tribe the patrons was from.
As for the normal guests of the city, their Medallions are grey and had a mild luster, when the medallion lost its shine, they could no longer stay in the city unless they paid more money. Or else if they were spotted by the city's guards, they would be severely punished.
Once you enter the city, the medallion also had to be displayed at a prominent spot such at the waist.
Su Ming remained silent even after receiving the medallion, and continued walking into Han Mountain City, approaching the waves of noise in the city, a completely different atmosphere from the gate which made Su Ming slightly surprised.
Han Mountain City was filled with pedestrians, in this ring around the mountain were many different stores, giving it a bustling atmosphere. The houses here were also made from stone, completely incomparable to the Feng Shan Tribe's city.
Walking within Han Mountain City, Su Ming looked around, the scenery here left him with a foreign aftertaste, as his silence felt out of place in this bustling noisy place.
Rows and rows of houses, rows and rows of shops, even buildings which were over ten zhang tall. Among the people in the crowd, Su Ming barely saw anyone wearing animal hide, at the bare minimum they were dressed in colourful coarse linen, there were also quite a few like him dressed in expensive robes.
"This feels about ten times as large as the chlorite city." Su Ming silently walked along the Han Mountain City roads, his gaze sweeping past the pedestrians passing him.
"The number of ordinary people here is quite little, almost everyone is a Man-Cultivator…… and they are not weak." Su Ming walked and constantly surveillance the people around him, quickly night time approached but the city's bustling did not wane.
From his experience back in the Feng Zheng Tribe as well as from Fang Mu's words, although this was Su Ming's first time here, he did not lose his way as he found his way to one of the buildings that are dedicated to providing accommodation to outsiders.
At this time, the inside of the place was very lively, yet Su Ming remained indifferent as his eyes swept passed the tables and chairs. Silently picking a vacant seat, a person smilingly approached.
After exchanging some words, Su Ming understood how things here worked and reserved a room for himself as well as ordered some dishes to eat and wine to drink, before silently gazing out the windows seemingly in deep thought.
But his ears were attentively listening to the speech of the people around him, most of their words were of no use to him but there were also many people talking of things related to the city itself.
"In the coming months, it's gonna get even more lively around here. Didn't you know, the Dusk Nomads, Dignified Lake and Eastern Sanctuary are recruiting more patrons."
"You are still new here so you might not know this, but the three tribes are always secretly facing off against each other, from time to time they would recruit more patrons trying to strengthen themselves like the Frigid Sky Chiefdom."
"But this is also a chance for us, I heard that the Dignified Lake Tribe has selected ten of their girls to be married off to the patrons, and you must know these girls would greatly help with our cultivation, this time the Dignified Lake Tribe is investing very heavily."
"Too bad we are not awakened cultivators, otherwise the benefits are even greater, that year I heard that the Eastern Sanctuary even gave out a Man-Totem as a gift."
Time slowly trickled on as Su Ming sat there, drinking the wine made him frown as it was really spicy making him feel uncomfortable. But slowly he got used to that wondrous feeling.
He knew that everything here was foreign to him, as such after entering the city he kept observing and listening to the surroundings. From his four hours here, the skies have already darkened yet the city remained lit, even in this attic was brightly lit by the numerous candles spread around.
As he sipped his wine, he listened to the people around him converse, slowly enhancing his own understanding of Han Mountain City.
"Fang Mu had repeatedly hinted for me to join the Eastern Sanctuary, as a patron for the Eastern Sanctuary, as there would be great gifts and lucrative offers. There must be some reason for them making such offers to the guests." Su Ming sipped a mouthful of wine as he continued to listen, as night fell, the crowd dwindled and as Su Ming wanted to head back to his room, his expression suddenly changed as he remained seated and once more sipped some wine.
He saw a thirty or so year old man enter the door, unlike the people around him he was dressed in animal hide, as such Su Ming decided to stay on.
This was the first time today as well as the first time in the city that he had saw someone dressed so familiarly. His face was somewhat pale as he frowning walked in, sitting relatively near Su Ming as he ordered some wine and silently drank.
His expression was filled with suspicion, hesitation and shock.
"This person should be someone at the tenth level of blood condensation and could very well be at the peak of blood condensation, just a step away from the awakened realm." Su Ming thought silently, although the person did not release his blood qi, but the pressure he exuded could be felt clearly by Su Ming.
An hour quickly passed as the man drank his wine mouthful after mouthful without uttering a single word. The internal struggle in his eyes growing more and more intense as he constantly looked towards the entrance, seemingly waiting for someone's arrival.
But as time passed, when the only guests remaining were him and Su Ming and even the waiter was asleep sprawled on the table, this man's expression turned disappointed as he casually took a glance at Su Ming before silently drinking his wine, his hesitant expression slowly turning more resolute and fierce.
Su Ming did not want to be observed and so he got up and moved towards the backyard. After spending several hours here, he understood that out back was where guests retire for the night. As he walked, a gust of wind blew from the door and the candle lights flickered.
At this time, a young looking white robed lady slowly walked in, on her face was a snow white veil covering her features, revealing just her eyes which like the stars exuded a mysterious charm.