Book 03: Instability in the Divine Continent
It was as Yao Zhengtian said; the allure of a dragon vein was great. When news spread to the islands near Nine-Five Island, some of the Nascent Soul Realm cultivators could not endure the temptation and rushed over to Nine-Five Island.
When these Nascent Soul Realm cultivators arrived, they came with overbearing momentum. They thought that Gu Hai was just a Golden Core Realm cultivator at most and had only gained his strength from the crimson saber. They just needed to find an opportunity, and they could kill Gu Hai in one go.
However, when these experts arrived outside the Han Royal Dynasty’s imperial palace, nearly everyone lost their domineering attitude.
Countless cultivators surrounded a mountain outside the palace.
There were many mundane soldiers stationed around this mountain. Of course, the cultivators did not care about these mundane soldiers. However, the scene on the cliff set these countless cultivators’ hearts pounding.
Sixty people in extremely miserable states were pinned to the cliff. Some were already dead, baked to death by the sun. Some were still alive. However, their dantian and entire body had been crippled before they were pinned to the cliff.
“Is that Eight-Six Island’s Grand Origin Sect Master? He is a Nascent Soul Realm expert!”
“Those are the Nascent Soul Realm experts of Eight-Nine Island? Ah! All of them were…!”
“All these were Nascent Soul Realm cultivators?”
There were Nascent Soul Realm cultivators, Golden Core Realm cultivators, and even Innate Realm cultivators looking at the cliff. All of them inhaled sharply when they saw the cliff.
“Ah? Master, you…why are you here?” A Golden Core Realm cultivator felt shocked when a white-clad man suddenly arrived by his side.
“Your senior brother reported to me at the sect that Gu Hai obtained a dragon vein. A dragon vein will be very useful for my sect. Moreover, your three martial uncles will be arriving soon.” That white-clad man’s eyelids twitched wildly as he asked, “What…what is going on here?”
“Master, many people have tried to snatch the dragon vein recently. Some barged into the Han Royal Dynasty’s imperial palace, some snuck in, but all of them ended up with this fate. There are already sixty Nascent Soul Realm cultivators. Oh, another five are being brought over. Master, look there. They were crippled too. Only Nascent Soul Realm cultivators are qualified to be pinned to this wall!” that Golden Core Realm cultivator said as he pointed nearby.
Only Nascent Soul Realm cultivators are qualified? That white-clad man’s expression turned unsightly as he turned his head to look.
Indeed, a group of Han Royal Dynasty guards brought the already crippled Nascent Soul Realm cultivators to the cliff and used long stakes to pin them to it.
“Master, are you and the martial uncles still going to try?” The Golden Core Realm cultivator turned his head to look at the white-clad man.
The white-clad man’s face stiffened. He wanted to slap this oblivious disciple.
Above a sea right outside of the Thousand Islands Sea:
An overwhelming wave soared up.
Li Shenji stood on a flying ship with a purple-gold bow in his hand.
The bowstring snapped back into place, and twenty rainbow-like beams of arrows fell like meteors towards a gigantic tortoise at sea.
The gigantic tortoise roared, and its shell expanded, forming a tortoise-shell-shaped shield that blocked the arrow rain.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
When the arrows struck the shield, they exploded.
Li Shenji narrowed his eyes as he said, “Miao Chen, you are truly relentless. So, you can sense the location of the Golden Black Tortoise Shell? To think you gave chase all the way here!”
“The Golden Black Tortoise Shell is a holy relic of my race. You defiled the Golden Black Tortoise Shell, so I will relentlessly give chase until my death, no matter where you are. Humph! I will spread word of it to the entire world. Anyone who respects and honors my prime will see you as an enemy. Li Shenji, only one can survive between you and my black tortoise race!” Miao Chen bellowed.
“Mad old man, the Black Tortoise Prime died eight centuries ago. What is the point of remaining loyal?!” Li Shenji said coldly.
Miao Chen roared and charged at Li Shenji. As it charged over, towering waves followed, looking like they filled the world.
“Humph! Let’s go! Don’t waste time on this mad old man!”
As Li Shenji spoke, he drew his bow again.
Then, another twenty arrows streaked towards the gigantic tortoise, like a meteor shower, while Li Shenji’s subordinates operated the flying ship.
Twenty arrows struck the gigantic tortoise again and blasted water into the sky.
“Roar! Li Shenji, stand still! Return the Golden Black Tortoise Shell!” Miao Chen roared while glaring.
The flying ship moved too fast, disappearing in the blink of an eye.
A large amount of water crashed back into the sea.
Miao Chen took on human form again. He coldly eyed the flying ship on the horizon and said, “Humph! You cannot run!”
Miao Chen was about to give chase when he suddenly frowned and stopped.
“The Thousand Islands Sea? This is the Thousand Islands Sea?” Miao Chen showed an unsightly expression, hesitating over whether to enter or not.
After remaining silent for a long time, Miao Chen took a deep breath and stepped into the Thousand Islands Sea, resuming his pursuit.
On the cliff outside the imperial palace in the Han Royal Dynasty:
The Han Royal Dynasty had already pinned eighty Nascent Soul Realm cultivators to the cliff at this point. Only now did the cultivators start to reconsider, their appetite for the dragon vein dampened. Seeing the fate of the eighty Nascent Soul Realm cultivators made them think twice.
More cultivators appeared in the surroundings as many cultivators rushed over from everywhere in the Thousand Islands Sea.
During the imperial assembly in the Soaring Palace Hall, Gu Hai sat on the throne while listening to the daily reports.
“Reporting to Your Majesty, although the crown prince captured all the people intruding into the palace, more cultivators are gathering outside the palace. With so many cultivators, it would be easy for riots to break out.”
“Indeed. Your Majesty, more than ten fights broke out already. There are simply too many people. A conservative estimate gives us at least two hundred thousand cultivators from all over the Thousand Islands Sea gathering outside my Han Royal Dynasty’s palace.”
“Your Majesty, these cultivators have been lingering there for a long time. However, they are unstable elements.”
The officials complained bitterly.
“Gu Qin!” Gu Hai called out.
“Your son and official is present!” Gu Qin stepped forward.
“How are your preparations?” Gu Hai asked.
“Reporting to Imperial Father, I have rushed the construction as per Imperial Father’s request. It has already been completed. We have demarcated an area outside the palace for the cultivators’ lodgings. Of course, the high-quality residences are expensive. Furthermore, the imperial casino that Imperial Father designed should attract the cultivators,” Gu Qin said.
“The Han Royal Dynasty needs to develop and recruit countless cultivators. Aside from the Innate Realm cultivators, the various ministers and officials also need spirit stones to cultivate. Nine-Five Island does have many spirit stone mines. However, we cannot just deplete our resources without generating more. The imperial casino is a monopoly project. No one in Nine-Five Island is to copy it. Execute anyone who does. Immediately open it for business!” Gu Hai said.
“This official obeys the decree!” Gu Qin answered.
With this decree, the area outside the imperial palace officially opened up to the public.
The cultivators outside the palace were still observing the ever-increasing number of Nascent Soul Realm cultivators being pinned to the cliff when a loud shout rang out.
“His Majesty issued a decree. The many cultivators of the Thousand Islands Sea have traveled from afar and are guests here. We have failed in receiving you. However, the Han Royal Dynasty’s palace has limited facilities for receiving guests. During this time, the various cultivators have gathered among the citizens or in the forests and mountains, living a simple life unbefitting their identities. The Han Royal Dynasty has demarcated a piece of land and built the imperial casino holiday villa for the various cultivators to stay and enjoy. There are also other leisure entertainment facilities for everyone to pass your time in!”
A Han Royal Dynasty guard banged on a gong as he continuously repeated this message, shocking the cultivators that heard this.
“What does that mean? The imperial casino holiday villa?” the cultivators said, feeling confused.
After the Han Royal Dynasty soldiers pointed out the direction, many cultivators went to check it out.
Indeed, there was a complex of magnificent and beautiful buildings constructed not far from the imperial palace. Many attendants stood in neat rows, waiting quietly to serve.
“Welcome, Immortal Venerate!” the attendants greeted respectfully while bowing when a cultivator approached.
The synchronized greeting and bowing and the enthusiastic attitude had the cultivators opening their eyes wide in surprise. “Gu Hai? What is Gu Hai doing? Is he starting up some activity?”
The attendants led the confused cultivators into the imperial casino holiday villa.
While the fresh air, the aesthetically pleasing buildings, and the pleasant environment could not interest the cultivators, these were much better than the caves and inns they previously stayed in.
However, it cost spirit stones.
Even so, some spirit stones were nothing for such a comfortable environment. After all, it was not expensive.
After deciding where to stay, the cultivators looked around and found some very novel things.
At a plaza:
“Imperial lottery! We are selling lottery tickets! Just one medial-grade spirit stone for one! Buy a chance to win one hundred superior-grade spirit stones—a ten thousandfold return! Those of you passing by, do not miss out on it. The numbers will be drawn in front of everyone at noon three days later at the plaza. It is absolutely fair!”
“Imperial horse racing! A race is about to start. Place your bets on the horses. The more you bet, the more you win! The horses race live before everyone. It is absolutely fair!”
“Imperial casino! Gamble with playing cards. These cards will help you achieve your dreams of being the god of gambling!”
The imperial casino’s workers shouted, confusing the surrounding exploring cultivators.
Previously, the Great Feng Mafia Family’s beast arena had helped the Great Feng Mafia Family accrue great wealth. Naturally, Gu Hai would not overlook the gambling business. After all, the number of people for grooming increased endlessly. He could not just drain his resources.
Only the beast arena was profitable for the Great Feng Mafia Family. However, how could the Great Feng Mafia Family compare to Gu Hai in gambling knowledge?
Gu Qin had already laid a ritual array in the surroundings. Thus, anyone who attempted robbery would immediately end up like the Nascent Soul Realm cultivators on the cliff.
As for the events that Gu Hai had prepared, Gu Qin managed to use Old Mister Guan Qi’s inheritance to prevent cheating. If Old Mister Guan Qi knew that Gu Qin used his inheritance for gambling, he might come back to life in indignation.
The lottery, horse races, playing cards, and many more gambling events were different from the beast arena, immediately attracting the curiosity of countless cultivators.
On the opening day, the Han Royal Dynasty already earned a lot of spirit stones.
With means for profit, Gu Hai no longer worried about the Han Royal Dynasty’s resources drying up. Simultaneously, it significantly improved public security.
Everything developed as Gu Hai expected.
Occasionally, new Nascent Soul Realm cultivators joined the Nascent Soul Realm cultivators pinned on the cliff. The imperial casino turned bustling. Cultivators also needed to relax; they needed to care for their mental health. All the cultivators who checked out the imperial casino holiday villas became unwilling to return to their previous caves.
Isn’t it just spirit stones? I have plenty of them!
Some people lost and tried to cause trouble. However, the ritual array immediately captured them and tossed them out.
Half a month later, Li Shenji arrived in Nine-Five Island.
He did not charge to the imperial palace in an overbearing manner. Instead, he disguised himself as an ordinary cultivator when he stepped into Gu Hai’s territory.
Bringing twenty people, Li Shenji landed in a remote place. No sooner had they stepped onto the road than someone received them.
“Huh?” Li Shenji raised his eyebrows. I just arrived, and they discovered me already?
“Immortal Venerates! This humble one is a promoter of the Han Royal Dynasty’s imperial casino holiday villa. If everyone does not think me beneath notice, this humble one can function as a tour guide for everyone. How about that? I will make sure that Immortal Venerates feel at home!” That man welcomed the group with a polite smile.
“A promoter? Tour guide?” Li Shenji looked at this extremely polite man in confusion.
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