Dyon and Madeleine walked hand in hand under the night sky. Although the city itself was relatively small compared to others, as Madeleine pointed out many times as she still argued the side of the martial world, it was quite ridiculously large and bustling.
The roads were wide and diligently made with hexagonal tiles. Vendors filled the sides, often calling out to attract the attention of customers. Buildings as tall as Focus Academies outer pillars were as frequent as the tiny packed stores were.
After spending the whole day here with Madeleine, Dyon was pleasantly surprised that no one bothered them, 'it's either this city is quite morally upstanding, or they know Madeleine's identity and don't dare to offend her.'
Madeleine skipped ahead a bit, pointing towards the tallest building at the center of the city, "that's our last stop for today. It's the reason why this is called Wine City, and also the reason why this city is so active even though its near the edge of the continent."
Dyon allowed himself to be pulled along as he ignored the jealous faces around him.
"It's called Heaven's Wine. They actually have the best wine within thousands of kilometers. An expert of the Saint Stage is actually said to the founder, although no one has ever seen him or her. As for why they decided to come to such a weak place, I've heard that they just liked the ocean view," Madeleine said with a smile as they reached the door.
"We'll only be able to enter the first of 4 levels because we don't have any cultivation currently. But, it's still good wine. I've been to the 3rd level with my dad before too, it's quite good."
"Oh? Are the floors restricted based on cultivation?"
"Yea, there are 4 sets of 10 floors each to accommodate the people from around the continent. You can enter the first 10 with no cultivation, but to enter the last level, you need to be essence gathering."
Just as they were about to enter, a voice came from behind them.
"Oh, so it's Lady Madeleine. It's been a long time since you've been here."
Turning around, they found a well dressed young man followed by another young man and a beautiful girl.
Madeleine smiled, causing the 2 young men to feel their hearts constrict. The beautiful girl's expression darkened, but she said nothing.
"So, it's the young master, it has indeed been a long time."
"We've known each other for so long Lady Madeleine, there's no need to be so formal. You can call me big brother Iacchus. I think about you often, but as you know, my master doesn't allow me to go out very often. I'm always either managing Heaven's Wine or cultivating.
Pardon me, I've spoken too much. I'm actually here with a couple friends of mine to receive some esteemed guests. Since it's a special occasion, I wouldn't mind escorting you to the top floor. It's usually reserved for peak essence gathering experts, but I of course have a way around this. Since I helped them, how could I not help you?"
Dyon who had been standing quietly beside Madeleine raised an eyebrow but said nothing. He had long since gotten rid of his dress shirt and was dressed in a simple White T shirt and blue jeans. This naturally caused the young people to completely ignore his existence. Although he doubted the dress shirt would have made much of a difference.
"That won't be necessary," Madeleine said politely, "I'm sure you have important matters to attend to."
"It's really no trouble at all. I'm sure none of them would object the company of such an esteemed lady."
Madeleine was going to respond when Dyon's voice rang out, "don't mind her, of course we'll follow you up," Dyon said with a smile.
Madeleine gave an odd glance towards Dyon, but instead said nothing.
Iacchus started, finally throwing a glance in Dyon's direction, "who are you to interrupt our conversation? Haven't you understood that attendants should remain silent? I'm not entirely sure why Lady Madeleine would use a man as a servant, or why he'd have such a lack of etiquette, but please learn you place next time."
Madeleine's face darkened, but Dyon's face kept his composed smile.
"Haha, you misunderstand. I simply meant we don't need your help to reach the top floor. By follow you up I only meant that we'll be going to the same place anyway," Dyon said in a carefree way, waving his hand.
Iacchus face changed to a look of sheer disdain but he didn't get a chance to respond as snickers came from behind him.
"HAHAHAHAHA, I never thought I'd meet someone so stupid. Do you have any idea what this place is? To think a kid with no cultivation like you would think of going to the top floor without help. Someone help me, I can't breathe," the boy following Iacchus couldn't help himself as he hunched over in laughter.
Dyon sighed, "idiots… idiots everywhere… Well, two idiots, one refined young man, and 2 beautiful girls," Dyon said with a smile.
Madeleine looked over at Dyon with a 'really?' look, but only got a grin in response.
The girl, hearing what Dyon said, replied with a harrumph.
The expression on the boys face froze, and Iacchus' look of disdain turned to anger.
"WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! We are disciples just recently accepted to the wind blade sect and this is the young master of Heaven's Wine! Did you think I wouldn't attack you just because you're with Lady Sapientia?!"
Iacchus ignored the young man's outburst, "you have 3 seconds to kowtow and apologize, or else I'll be forced to take action against you personally."
Dyon's grin widened, "what? Is what I said wrong? How could you two be anything other than idiots? You stand here fawning over a beautiful woman while insulting her fiancé? Those are some interesting tactics you have there," Dyon couldn't help but laugh.
Iacchus froze. Even the girl who was pretending this had nothing to do with her looked up in interest.
"F-fiancé?" Iacchus couldn't believe what he had just heard, he looked over to Madeleine and his heart sunk as he saw that she had no intentions of refuting Dyon.
Dyon waved his hands in dismissal, pretending to be a magnanimous person, "forget it, forget it. You had no way of knowing I was such a lucky individual. I can allow it to slide this time."
Iacchus' expression darkened, "what right do you have to marry Madeleine! You're nothing but trash!"
Dyon hunched over, laughing hard and wiping tears from his eyes, "I've never heard of anyone more pathetic than you. Here, here, I feel bad. So, I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself."
Iacchus who was about to attack in frustration and anguish paused.
"You said I couldn't climb to the top myself right, so how about we have a little bet?"
Iacchus took deep breaths trying to calm himself. He had pined for Madeleine everyday, and she suddenly appeared with another man claiming to be her fiance? How could he accept this? But, Dyon was giving him an opportunity to embarrass him, so he had to take it. How could a boy with no cultivation reach the top floor? Iacchus smirked.
"if you can't reach the top floor, you can never see Madeleine again. If you reach the top floor, you can eat and drink for free at every Heaven's Wine on the continent."
Madeleine had burning anger on her face. She couldn't believe this was a person she had once considered a friend.
"That's ridiculous. You're equating me being with one of the best women in existence to your shitty establishment? If I win, you'll castrate yourself and get out of my sight."
Dyon seemed unperturbed by Iacchus' response, "you disgust me. To actually think that I would bet with the happiness of my woman. Do you think her feelings are something you can toy with?"
Suddenly the expression of the 3 young people changed as they felt a suffocating pressure engulf them. A devilish killing intent caused them to sweat profusely.
"What's going to happen is that I'll reach the top. Then you'll give me whatever I need to never have to spend a dime here for the rest of my life. And just to make you feel even worse about when I do it, I'll let you know that had I lost, I would have given you a peak grandmaster level weapon."
Madeleine was smiling brightly. It seemed she would never have any grievances as long as she was with Dyon.