Tian Shao saw that Jiang Chen looked a bit lost. He hadn’t been in the Skylaurel Kingdom for that long and likely had no prior knowledge regarding the Maze Realm Autumn Hunt, so Tian Shao explained, “The Autumn Hunt is a festive occasion for the practitioners of the Skylaurel Kingdom. It’s held once every five years. Almost all the practitioners at the level of true qi master and above will be participating.”
“What’s so special about it?”
“This Maze Realm is a very special place. Only the Precious Tree Sect has the coordinates of its entrance. But even with the coordinates, it isn’t something that the Precious Tree Sect can open whenever it wants to. The Maze Realm is typically open once every five years. If you don’t leave the Maze Realm within a month, then you’ll be trapped in it forever.”
“Yes.” Tian Shao nodded his head resolutely. “Forever.”
“Doesn’t it open once every five years? There’s still a chance of making it back alive then?”
Tian Shao smiled, “Absolutely not. This is because the space within the Maze Realm is different every time. The Maze Realm has existed within the Skylaurel Kingdom for several hundreds of years and its interior design has never repeated itself. This means that the Maze Realm that appears each time is actually a different world.”
“Oh?” Jiang Chen was actually a bit curious now. He hadn’t thought that an independent space would exist in a small place like the Skylaurel Kingdom, much less flowing independent space.
Jiang Chen naturally knew that this so-called Maze Realm was a crack between different planes of existence, the overlapping portion of different planes of existence, or possibly some form of disorder within the same plane of existence.
There was usually a very defined rhythm to the operations of such a space.
“This Maze Realm Autumn Hunt seems quite interesting. I have a belly full of theory now but lack practical experience. This Autumn Hunt is a chance to test my theories out.”
After his thoughts traveled here, Jiang Chen asked, “Old Tian, how does one sign up for this Maze Realm Autumn Hunt?”
Tian Shao was overjoyed to hear these words, “Do you want to participate? If you want to, you don’t have to worry about signing up. The fourth prince will take care of everything for you.”
“Oh? Ordinary people can’t sign themselves up?”
Tian Shao smiled ruefully, “Only those of second rank noble or above have the right to participate. Those who have the right to participate will also receive some quotas on the number of followers they can bring. It’s similar to participating in Tutor Ye’s birthday banquet but the Autumn Hunt is on a much larger scale than that old tutor’s banquet. At least several thousand people participate each time.”
Tian Shao nodded, “Just think about it. So many princes, sons and daughters of nobles and courtiers, the descendents of all the dukes, and the disciples of all sorts of factions; there are truly many spots.”
“Will the Precious Tree Sect send disciples to participate?” Jiang Chen was rather curious about this.
“The inner disciples of the Precious Tree Sect won’t be participating, so only the outer disciples of these four great sites will participate in the Maze Realm Autumn Hunt.”
Jiang Chen suddenly understood. So the four great sites only counted as the outskirts of the Precious Tree Sect. It was only those who truly trained within the Precious Tree Sect who were viewed as inner disciples.
Inner disciples wouldn’t take part in the Maze Realm Autumn Hunt.
“Do you think it’s odd that although the Precious Tree Sect controls the coordinates, none of their inner disciples participate?” Tian Shao smiled.
“It is indeed a bit odd.” Jiang Chen nodded.
“The reason is actually very simple. The Precious Tree Sect holds two such maze realms like this. The other is called the Aquarius Maze Realm. That maze realm has three to five times the difficulty and danger level of the external Maze Realm. The Aquarius Maze Realm is what holds true attraction for the inner disciples of the Precious Tree Sect.”
Jiang Chen finally truly understood. It wasn’t that the Precious Tree Sect disciples weren’t participating, but rather, they found the level of this time’s Autumn Hunt completely beneath them.
But Jiang Chen didn’t look down on it. He didn’t want to pass up such a good opportunity.
“Old Tian, then please ask the fourth prince to save a spot for me. Wait, if there are enough spots, then please leave me another one as well.”
Tian Shao smiled and nodded his acceptance before he suddenly asked, “I seemed to have seen the first prince just now?”
“Ach, don’t even bother mentioning such a brainless person.” Jiang Chen flapped his hands, completely uninterested in the topic of Ye Dai.
Tian Shao laughed heartily. There weren’t many people in the entire Skylaurel Kingdom who dared call the first prince brainless. Jiang Chen was absolutely the youngest, most unique of them all.
After sending off Tian Shao, Jiang Chen thought for a bit and felt that this Autumn Hunt was a chance to train. If he could find some opportunities during the trials, he’d surely be able to greatly increase his battle strength and progress on the road of the spirit realm.
Since he planned on participating in the Maze Realm Autumn Hunt, he naturally needed to make some preparations.
Jiang Chen never fought a battle without being prepared beforehand.
He made a visit to the Myriad Treasures Palace and prepared some necessities. He also checked in on Jiang Yu. Not only had he thoroughly assimilated into the Myriad Treasures Palace in the span of a month but he was also exemplary at fulfilling his position with sound and colour. Even an old eccentric like Shi Xiaoyao thought him worthy of praise.
Jiang Chen left only after imparting a few words of encouragement. He also planned on making a trip to the Southern Palace. After he arrived at their location in the capital, he learned that Qiao Baishi had followed Elder Ning back to the Southern Palace headquarters. He’d left almost half a month ago.
Jiang Chen purchased a few things at the counter before turning to leave. Since Qiao Baishi wasn’t present, Jiang Chen also didn’t want to linger.
When he was walking out the front door, he suddenly heard a round of shouting, “I’ve already said that the public clinic is over. The spirit alchemists have already left. Even if you kneel here until you faint, we will not be able to help you no matter how much we want to. We’re only businessmen and don’t know how to treat patients.”
“Great sir associates, please. Look, we’ve even prepared our diagnosis fee. Please, can you guys make an exception for us?”
“Ai, I say, what can’t the two of you listen to reason? Since you have the diagnosis fee, why didn’t you come when our Southern Palace was holding the public clinic?”
“Ai, we ran into some accidents on our way here and the diagnosis fee was confiscated. We finally settled the case, but the public clinic was already over by then. Isn’t it just our bad luck?” The man was also quite dejected.
Jiang Chen walked in upon hearing the man’s voice and couldn’t help but call out, “Tang Long?”
This man was the first Skylaurel Kingdom citizen that Jiang Chen had met upon entering the kingdom. He was that Wyvern Knight who had been patrolling the border.
When the person heard Jiang Chen call his name, he was momentarily stunned when he turned his head, “It’s you!”
A trace of awkwardness and shame flashed across Tang Long’s face and he looked a bit embarrassed, “I heard my woman say that she brought the Black Spirit Wood here to ask for help, but it was taken from her. You were the one who lent her a hand, but that caused you to become embroiled in the case instead.”
It wasn’t that Tang Long was devoid of gratitude, but that his status was far too low for him to have the right to know any inside intelligence. He was just a Wyvern Knight on border patrol. There was too big a gap between him and the Dragonteeth Guard.
He only knew this much. As for how the case was resolved and if his savior had been released, he’d tried to learn the result, but no one paid any attention to him.
Tang Long knew that his words didn’t carry much weight, so he had given up after a while.
When he saw Jiang Chen now, he naturally felt a bit embarrassed and felt that he owed Jiang Chen something.
Jiang Chen didn’t know Tang Long’s thoughts as he smiled, “How come you have the time to come back to the capital this time?”
Tang Long’s face dimmed, “Forget it, I heard that something had happened at home and deserted my post to come back. I’ve been fired by the border guard now.
“That’s right, are — are you alright? I’ve heard my woman say that you were involved in a case and offended the Northern Palace. You’re alright?” Tang Long widened his eyes.
He was the lowest blade of grass in the capital. He had absolutely no inkling of the situation within the capital, and hadn’t even clarified Jiang Chen’s identity.
“Aren’t I just fine? The Dragonteeth Guard returned the stick of Black Spirit Wood to you, right? What are you doing?”
Tang Long was much relieved after seeing that Jiang Chen was fine. “This Black Spirit Wood was what I asked you to bring back last time in order to make it to the Southern Palace’s public clinic. Who would’ve thought that I made it in time, only for something unexpected to crop up. My woman said that if it wasn’t for you last time, she probably would’ve been beaten to death by the robbers from the Northern Palace.”
“What did you guys need the public clinic for? It doesn’t look like the two of you are sick.”
Tang Long sighed, “My younger brother is the one who is sick. He was diagnosed with palsy when he was young and can only spend his days in a wheelchair. I was thinking that if I could ask a spirit alchemist to help him, then maybe he’d be able to stand up.”
He then cast a look of resignation at the fellow from the Southern Palace after speaking.
The associate obviously knew of Jiang Chen’s background and his expression changed as he started panicking, “You’re young master Chen? Young master Chen, it really isn’t our fault! The public clinic has long since ended and we lowly associates have no abilities to treat patients!”
Jiang Chen spread out his hands, “Alright alright, there’s none of your business here. What are you afraid of?”
It was as if a huge burden had been lifted off of the associate’s chest. “Young master Chen, would you like to come sit inside?”
“Forget it, you are dismissed.”
The young associate nodded and bowed, smiling happily, “Yes, yes. Young master Chen, then this one will take his leave first.” He walked off as quickly as possible.
What kind of person was Jiang Chen? The young associate had seen it for his own eyes, the way Zhang Meng had been directly hauled out by Sir Bei from the Southern Palace and beaten straight to death that day in the transaction area .
When he left the transaction area, he’d beaten yet another disciple of the Northern Palace to death.
How could the disciples of the Southern Palace not know of someone as fierce as this?
Tang Long felt it odd that the associate feared Jiang Chen that much. “You… haven’t you only just come to the Skylaurel Kingdom? Why does this associate seem quite afraid of you? He doesn’t seem like someone who’s that polite.”
Tang Long felt a bit surprised.
Jiang Chen smiled. “Come, I’ll take you to a place. Perhaps there, we can help your younger brother find a spirit alchemist.”
Tang Long started, “Really?”
‘Why would I lie to you?” Jiang Chen smiled. Tang Long was a warm, enthusiastic man and Jiang Chen happened to need to make a trip to the Qingyang Valley and talk to old man Fei about something anyway.
He’d just so happened to run into Tang Long. Helping him out of convenience would allow Jiang Chen to repay his good intentions in introducing the particulars of the capital to him.
“I’ll say this first, I only have this stick of Black Spirit Wood for the diagnosis fee. I won’t be able to take anything out if the price is higher. Sell my house? My family has only three run down straw huts that no one would want even if I gave it to them.” This Tang Long was quite down to earth alright; his thoughts were also very simple and unadorned.
Jiang Chen liked interacting with simple and unadorned people like him and smiled, “What are you worried about? I won’t ask you to pay since I’m the one who brought you here. Not to mention, they wouldn’t dare take my money.”
Tang Long was half skeptical and half believing. He thought that Jiang Chen was someone who’d just arrived in the Skylaurel Kingdom. How could he speak with such a lofty tone? He was also curious at the same time — as someone who’d killed a disciple of the Northern Palace, how could he be brazenly walking about on the streets now?
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