They were quick about getting into their battle gear. With small oxygen tanks on their backs, even though it wasn’t needed. What most people often overlook is the disadvantage of continuously using your qi to breath under all of that pressure. It wasn't the smartest plan when you have to fight under a sea. It’s like being buried alive and having to hold up the earth then engaged in a consuming battle over a fruit that isn’t really worth your life.
We dove down, cutting through the water at an extraordinary pace. We were coming up on a large underwater city that stretches for hundreds of miles. A picture perfect blue-green building lit up by floating lanterns. The water formed some kind of dome protective field and it looks legit, amazing.
However, I stopped over several hundreds of miles away. My eyes turned to a corner of the dark sea and stared at someone that had a foot in a realm that utterly left me with cold sweats. Six people rose up and flew within ten paces of us and I quickly caught on.
This Peak Stage Martial Emperor probably wanted to train his youths on us.
“Guys, don’t act reckless.” I spoke to my crew then bowed towards the powerful expert. “Senior, this junior understands your intentions and hopes that you will allow me to battle for us to stay alive. I will face any three or three at once. “
“Arrogant!” someone from that group barked.
A middle aged man appeared in front of us. He studied me and I could clearly feel the dragon might from him. Something that could only be found in the auras of dragons, but his bloodline was obviously weaker than mine or he would have suppressed me right off the bat.
However, his aura was enough to awe me into silence. Even if I could escape, I wouldn’t be able to get far before him and his Martial Emperor and Monarch friends surrounded us. It’s best to look for a peaceful resolution.
I showed the faint image of my true self, a black, scale, tri-horn dragon with six talons. The man's eyes raised but that was the only change. However, I knew his youths were also dragons and far weaker than me overall. Even if they were in a higher stage, my comprehension and the fact I created all of my skills put me ahead of them.
“You make an interesting deal but I don’t very much like it. Instead, if you beat them you will marry my daughter. You lose, you will die.” The middle aged man had pretty decent looks with his sea wavy hair but his voice.
Oh my, his voice reminded me of someone with an impressive build but a girly voice. He had that girly voice though it wasn’t as off putting as being annoying sounding. It destroyed his image. Womanly-man, hahah.
I took a step forward and my cane morphed into a spear. The man waved his hand forward and three people stepped forward. I didn’t want to waste time and shoot forward. Instantly traversing the distances between us as if I am teleporting. My spear struck outwards and images of thousands of spear blades shot towards the group.
One of the bigger of the three step forward and punch out but the other two instantly went on the defensive, summoning an impressive dragon to block them. However, my spear carried the might of explosion and the speed of a falling star.
They were immediately blown away but the man had negated the majority of the spear might. So all I could do is step forward with another attack. The spear transformed into seven dragons, slithering forward like a great tsunami.
The group had not even stabilized themselves when the dragons slammed into them. Yet again, the man negated the majority of the force. So the group of three ended up with minor injuries but major humiliation.
I clicked my tongue and brought my spear back, letting it morph back into a cane.
“Do you wish for the last three to fight me at once? They might be more of a challenge.” Even though my voice was calm and serene. A perfect blend of deep baritone voice but my eyes belied the mocking intentions.
The man studied me but said nothing as the three came back to stand behind the man. One of them stepped forward and took off her helmet.
The girl is an exotic beauty. Deep green eyes with a pale face, thick red lips, and fiery red hair. This is like a mix of scottish and stuff into an asian sublime body. It made me truly think that she could be classified as a top beauty of some force. However, her armor outline suggests that while she is curvy, it isn’t to my standards. At most, she would be heavenly grade beauty.
“This is my daughter. You can get to know her on the journey.” That was all the man said before he wrapped us in his power and we appeared on my ship. Then back at the island, then the lake.
I glanced at the girl who studied me with a passive face. Not to say she was a cold beauty but I learned that most women here had a kind of distant feeling to push away potential suitors. Not that I couldn’t blame them as most men in power only saw beauty as something to entertain themselves. Unless the woman was outright powerful, then nobody took her for much but a tool to be used. Men were also like this but nobody really cared about a man’s feelings.
“Entertain my daughter while I talked to this old fellow.” The man disappeared after dropping that line.
I rubbed my dragon head cane before turning to my men.
“Go rest. I guess our trip was wasted but I feel like we will have another opportunity for life and death training. We can take this time to strengthen our techniques and conceptions.” I tried to save face with an optimistic view.
However, I could see some of them looking at me with a weird look, but they didn’t hang around to test my jokes.
Sigh, even someone like me can be subjected to forced marriages. Isn’t this backwards?
I looked at the daughter of an expert before sighing.
“This area is under a guardian formation. You can set up cabins as you like outside the island.” I gestured at the area around them before turning to take a step on the lake face.
“Wait, let me go with you.” The girl's voice was pleasant and she stepped beside me. “My father already stated that we would be married and given your strength, there is nothing I can complain about. It’s best if we both try to make the best of a situation as my father has a short temper even if he looks very calm and patient on the outside.”
I nodded and led her to my cabin. Tossing off my gear on the bed, I caught her staring. I know that my body was impressive. Unlike others who wanted to be young forever, I wanted to reach the peak of my growth phase. Meaning reaching adulthood in body so that I could pursue the true love of life.
“You know if you are going to watch me. Common courtesy is to return the favor.” I jested while grabbing a guqin,
She tilted her head and studied me in the way a horny girl at a bar would upon seeing delicious meat. Before I could guess what her intentions were, her armor transitioned into liquid that flowed into a bracelet on her wrist. Left behind was white tunic that hugged her body.
I assumed this was her trying to show me her plus points and while she wasn’t flat like the Crown Princess. She wasn’t as thick as Cui Rong but it was still better than nothing. Her curves were there and in your face noticeables.
“I’m Long Yun but you can call me Yun’er.” She smirked and climbed into my bed.
I couldn’t help but sigh at her audacity but I dropped it. Decided to go outside and cultivate instead. Dropping down into a rocking chair, I stared up at the sky turning purple, my mind upon the stars as I began plucking. Allowing a slow almost thumping sound to lull me into dream-state.
When I woke up from this wonderful state, I found that the sun decided to rise and it made me ponder on my back to back failure. I wanted to secure benefits by taking out the bandits but was knocked out for god knows how long. I stayed within the Fire God palace for too long and missed out on Yin Xia, who I know must have been an undercover agent of some sect or group.
Next, I hadn’t found any real large ruins, treasure trove of any kind. When I gained the strength to rob wealth directly, I ran into peerless existences. All of these are uncontrollable variables. These are non-lethal variables but what would happen if I met the lethal kind?
This is a failure of a level that I can’t understand. How is my fate twisting so much? How am I being forced into a marriage in which I don’t even know what benefits I am gaining? At least with the Crown Princess, I understood what I was gaining. Even though it was no better than being considered her servant. I could at least covet a plan.
I glanced at the training yard and the middle aged man appeared there. I knew that I must have made a loop hole in the guardian formation because he easily entered but the old man couldn’t unless invited.
This just goes to show their positions, power, and knowledge were worlds apart.
“How do you like my daughter so far?” He asked while taking a step towards the porch, dropping into the other rocking chair.
“In what way are you asking? Looks? She is beautiful? Body type? She is acceptable. Skills? I’m disappointed. Diligences? I haven’t seen her exhibit any. Talent? If she has it does that excuse her from working hard? Overall, as a dao companion. I am sure I could find better within my own group without trying.”
I gestured at my team who walked outside. Some yawning, others stretching but they still began going through a simple stretching set of movements. The middle aged man's eyes seemed to shift outward and I knew he was checking on his youths but like his daughter. They were fast asleep.
The middle aged man snorted. “I see but if I forced you to marry her. What are your complaints? Take this as me seeing your talent, your potential and investing in it.”
I glanced at the man who wanted to be my father-in-law.
“First, I have to understand your position to know what I can and can’t ask for.”
“I’m Emperor’s son of the Azure Dragons Clan. A king of my own clan under the surname of Long. I have many sons but none of them are outstanding. She is the most outstanding but upon looking at your team, I feel a bit dejected. These five youths are the most excellent of the current generations. If you are willing to become my son-in-law, I’ll confer the title of Crown Princess on Long Yun and you will become Crown Prince in return. This will give you a lot of authority to plan for whatever future you deem necessary.”
I tilted my head and didn’t really have to think about it. Following the Crown Princess of the Tian Dynasty isn’t really a long term goal. I would surpass her so far that my needs will not be met within a century. Even ignoring the gap in our talents, her chances of becoming Empress relies entirely on the scope of her mindset. Right now, I don’t know her well enough but she doesn’t come across to me as mature enough.
However, the only real con from working with the Crown Princess is access to cultivation resources that would take me too long to build connections to gain. Even as a Grade four alchemist that could be considered as Grandmaster, it would take me nearly ten to fifteen years to establish myself. This will hindered my training and my accumulation might be pushed back two or three years.
This guy is an unknown factor and might have a lot of enemies or problems. I could understand why he wanted me though. I, myself, wouldn’t want to pass up a talented dragonling with no ties. Definitely if my Kingdom is facing annoyances.
Hmm, the hardest route wasn’t always the best route. Same with the easy but what he suggests is a status that can help but also be hinderous in the form of royal family internal strife, kingdom internal strife, external strife. This all can become a very devastating influence that turns me from giant on the rise to mediocre warrior a few years behind his peers.
But.. there is also a plus to such trouble… stimulation from pressure. A need to grow strong in the midst of danger is the best tempering fire I can ask for. I would be able to continue soaring through these training levels.
“I don’t have an issue with marrying her if as you say, I become a Crown Prince and can establish my own force or sect. I’m sure you have a lot of internal and external pressure. So you can understand my hesitation to want to take up your offer if I can’t even get these two things.”
The middle aged man nodded his head and stood up.
“Good. I can settle this immediately then. Let’s return to my kingdom and confer the titles.” He grabbed my shoulders and I found myself inside of a tunnel. The void all around me, there was a trickle of something at the back of my mind. I couldn’t help closing my eyes and trying to touch upon this unfathomable feeling.
When I woke up, I found myself dressed in a formal suit. A white long sleeve tunic, golden dragons embroidered on it. A golden slash over my right shoulder. I even felt a weight upon my ear and looking into the full length mirror, I realized they pierce my ear. A flawless cut gem resting on my button earlobe, a golden leaves dangling from it.
They even touched up my hair but I’m not going to go into that. I glanced to the right and noticed a woman staring at me. It didn’t take much guessing to understand it was Yun's mother. They had that same exotic look. The bright, deep green eyes and red hair.
“You must be Queen Long?” I stepped down off the stool I was upon.
The woman didn’t answer but just watched me. I shrugged if she wanted to play the whole silent game. I closed my eyes and focused on the feeling I think I managed to grasp. Taking a small step that didn’t even past my toe of the grounded foot. I tried utilizing that feeling into my steps and at first, like anything. I didn’t achieve it.
However, I continued until someone cleared their throat.
“The ceremony is about to begin.” I opened my eyes and saw the middle aged man standing there with a grin.
I followed the old bastard and he led me out a maze like area. I didn’t stop practicing my new idea. I think because I had practiced something similar to teleportation before that I was picking it up quicker?
No, maybe it was because I shortened the distances with my transversing the void that this idea seemed possible. If I condense a heat spot and used that to blossom into a fire, I believed I could teleport my body to that condensed heat spot.
“I want to inform you that there will be conflict between you and others. That is natural. You are an outstanding lone black dragon that could be a Prince in any dragon clan with your talent alone. They are inferior in many ways to dragons such as yourself, not to mention where your parents came from.”
I merely nodded and tried to transition my body to the heat spot but failed.
“I’m sure you know many people used these types of events to show off promising descendants and a lot of princes will be unhappy with you. They only can go off my words but not understand how far ahead of them you are.”
I paused in step as I thought of changing my method.
“Father-in-law, there is no need to explain about these pointless details. If trash wishes to bother me, I’ll put them in their proper place. If the older generation wishes to step in, I’ll eradicate their families as a warning. What I need to know is who you think is worth keeping.”
The middle aged man looked at me and shrugged, leaning me onto a platform prepared. They really did prepare so much for this. The decor spoke of wealth wasted that could put several hundreds of families into comfort for decades.
Sadly, my eyes immediately shot to the formation that took up the platform.
The middle aged man stared out over the crowd. No, the crowd was too soft of a term, it was a stadium full of powerful people. I don’t mean status, I mean they had the ability to wipe me out million times without breaking a sweat.
“Today, you came to see my daughter marry an outstanding young dragon that will become peerless hope for me. I won’t waste too many words. If anyone wishes to object to this marriage. Believes they are more outstanding, then the arena is open.”
The Emperor turned to me and I sigh, walking slowly to the arena. A bright eyed youth hoped on stage, he cupped his fist and bowed towards the Emperor.
“Yi Ming wishes to be enlightened.”
I shook my head at the first to be the testament of my might. When my foot hit the arena, I raised my hand and unleashed my star palm. A hand of god reached down, blocking out the clouds. People looked up and witnessed a star filled palm slam down.
If not for someone stopping the palm, he would have died. Yet, he looks as if he could have fought back now that he is saved. His eyes filled with both fear and disbelief.
The palm faded away but the stars were still clear in the blue sky. A bigger man jumped up but I gave him no time for pleasantries. The battle field wouldn’t allow you to state your name and sect, why would I?
A white blade shot towards him, transforming into thousand shadows that aim at each weak point. His joints, his major arteries, his heart from each and every possible angle.
My goal was only only to kill. It didn’t matter to me if the people behind him failed to rescue you. I am the hostage.
The big man flash forward, he managed to block a significant number of them but still penetrated within ten seconds of stepping onto the stage. His backers didn’t bother saving him.
Guess, he was the odd man out.
Murmurs ran through the gathering and nobody moved to get up right away. One man stood up and bowed to the Emperor after a while.
“Can Martial Monarch challenge him?”
The Emperor raised an eyebrow while motioning for him to proceed.
As the Martial Monarch walked up, he talked. Smart guy.
“Liao Shi from the Snow Mountain Sect. I am sorry for ending your fate and performance. Well, and taking your woman as well…”
His footsteps onto the stage and I struck. Six swords flashed towards him, six thousands flaming dragons blotted his vision. Starry palm applied pressure stronger than the gravity of a planet.
I ignored him while he strutted about as a formation made of fire laid about me. It took him a count of sixteen breaths to resolve the attacks and his eyes had a lingering sense of seriousness about him.
That smile that was on his face as he talked left him. I didn’t care either way what this guy believed. He gave me plenty of time to inscribe a formation. Currently giving me plenty of time to gather spirit qi for one powerful strike.
My only thought is, what should I use to attack him. A dragon, a star, or just pressure him to death.
“You surprised me but this is where it ends.” A smile crept back on his face and I sighed.
With a wave of my hands the sky darken, the sun was covered and dreadful pressure caused those below the void realm to spit up blood and collapse directly. The sounds of their bones crunching as the pressure builds up.
The Emperor's eyes widened for a second as he waved his hand and the guests were relieved of the pain.