In fact, Zhang Baitu was not the only one who was envious. Many people had the same stunned expression while looking at her.
“Shangguan Feiyan, the junior sister of the Seashield Prince. Rumor has it that she is already an Intermediate God-Monarch, what a magnificent goddess.” A young cultivator stared at her in admiration but became gloomy when comparing himself to her.
God-Monarch was only a title. In fact, experts at the Virtuous Deity level were eligible to be called God-Monarchs.
There were different levels of this particular title. Cultivators generally divided them into five levels: Minor Monarch, Intermediate Monarch, Grand Monarch, True Monarch, and Bestowed Monarch. 1
There wasn’t a need to explain the levels of Minor, Intermediate, and Grand Monarchs. In fact, some God-Monarchs from the previous generations didn’t think that these levels were necessary. Some even held them in contempt and thought that these three levels only consisted of false God-Monarchs. This was because although they had reached the level of Virtuous Deity, they couldn’t understand the true profundities of this realm.
Of course, a few called themselves “God-Monarch” even before reaching the Virtuous Deity realm. These were the real pretenders.
True Monarch, for many people, was the true baseline of this realm. Individuals of this realm not only understood the mysteries of the Virtuous Deity realm, they could also create their own kingdom and climb up the divine investiture platform to accept the blood energy of their citizens.
For the older experts, only True Monarchs could exert the real power of this realm and were eligible to fight against the world itself.
As for Bestowed Monarchs, needless to say, these were the top existences among the Virtuous Deities. They were normally bestowed the title by an Immortal Emperor and have gone on expeditions around the nine worlds. This was the type to have experienced countless baptisms of blood and sharpening from battlefields.
Even though real experts looked down on the first three levels and considered them fake, Shangguan Feiyan was still an Intermediate Monarch at such a young age, so she was powerful and impressive enough.
“The Roaring Conch is worthy of being one of the strongest sea demon lineages. They have more than just the Seashield Prince among the younger generation, there’s Shangguan Feiyan as well.” A sect master was amazed to see her.
She was a young genius from the Roaring Conch with great aptitudes. She knew that there was still quite a gap between her and her senior brother, the Seashield Prince, so she chose the path of the grand era instead. She was determined to become a top Godking instead of competing for the heaven’s path with her senior brother.
At this time, many people were lined up for the ferry to go to Rainbow City. After arriving, Shangguan Feiyan didn’t try to cut the line and stood there just like everyone else.
“The two of you, eh? It will be ten Ancient Saint Jades for each.” An old man standing by the entrance saw two extravagantly dressed young men and named the price. It looked like these two were from great powers.
This old man was the only person watching over the entrance. He wore a gray robe and had an ordinary appearance; nothing particularly stood out.
One of the two youths wasn’t happy to hear this, so he complained: “Ten Ancient Saint Jades for each person is too outrageous. That person earlier heading for Dragonwell City only paid a single Heaven’s Mandate Jade. We are going to Dragonhark City, yet you are asking for ten Ancient Saint Jades? What kind of tolls are these? I know that Dragonwell is the first stop and Dragonhark is the second stop, but why is this second stop ridiculously more expensive than the first?” The youth was very indignant. They came from a great power and had great statuses, so they weren’t lambs to be slaughtered.
The old man was unmoved. He didn’t bother to even look at them as he arrogantly said: “I’ll collect the fees how I see fit. If you don’t like it, don’t come to Rainbow City.”
He had an unperturbed demeanor, as if he didn’t mind other people coming to cause trouble.
The youth’s friend immediately pulled his sleeve and whispered: “This is the rule of Rainbow City, the fees are arbitrary without a clear criterion.”
“Are the two of you coming or not? Scram to the side if you aren’t, don’t get in the way of the people behind you.” The old man impolitely waved his hand as if he was swatting flies away.
The friend immediately placed refined jades into the old man’s hand and hastily said: “We’re going, we’re going.”
The old man whistled. With a splashing sound, two rainbow fish jumped out from the water. He waved his hand again at the two youths: “Go on.”
This so-called ferry was, in fact, a large well. It had clear water with no bottom in sight. Who knew how deep this well actually was?
Meanwhile, the rainbow fish resembled gigantic goldfish. The main difference was that they also had a tail with seven colors.
The youths quickly jumped on the fish. With a pop, the two fish each spat out a large bubble. The youths began to fly with these bubbles and disappeared right away. This was the way to Dragonhark City.
The old man said: “Next.”
Another boarded the ferry and busily stated: “I want to go to Dragonhark City as well.”
The old man glanced at him and replied: “Three Inner Longevity Jades.”
The person immediately paid the fee without complaint and the old man called for another rainbow fish to take him away.
Cultivators boarded the ferry of Rainbow City one after another. This old man’s pricing had no standard at all. He asked for however much he wanted while the people wanting to reach the end of Rainbow City obediently paid the price.
No one dared to cause trouble. There had been tales of people trying to fight against members of Rainbow City being thrown away very far. Among them, one person needed to fly several hundred years before returning to their home.
After a good while, it was finally time for Shangguan Feiyan’s ship. She stood at the bow and said: “The entire ship to Dragonhark.”
“The whole ship?” He looked at the ship and began to count with his fingers: “A ship of this size requires one hundred rainbow fish. There will be a fee added for labor as well as an entry fee to the city, docking fee and protection fee…”
The old man counted a whole bunch of fees and went all out: “30,000 Prosperous Era Paragon Jades.”
Many people were tongue-tied after hearing this price. This was practically extortion. The majority would never be able to earn this many jades in their entire lifetime. Even a great power wouldn’t necessarily be willing to pay so much to enter the city.
However, she came from the wealthy Roaring Conch; she handed the payment over to the old man without batting an eye.
He whistled again and one hundred rainbow fish emerged. He commanded: “Go.”
The fish immediately pulled the ship away. To see this many fish drag away such a huge ship with their bubbles was quite a spectacular scene.
More time passed, it was finally Li Qiye and Zhang Baitu’s turn. Baitu was only following Li Qiye since he didn’t know which station they were going to.
“Dragonhark.” Li Qiye smiled while looking at the old man.
“You? Free.” The old man looked at Zhang Baitu and then turned to look at Li Qiye: “And as for you, thirty Virtuous Paragon Jades.”
“We, we’re together.” Zhang Baitu was anxious for Li Qiye after hearing the price. In his eyes, thirty Virtuous Paragon Jades was an astronomical figure! He wouldn’t be able to gather this much in his entire life.
“30.” The old man didn’t care at all; it was as if he didn’t hear Zhang Baitu.
Li Qiye only smiled and handed a black pouch over to the old man. The old man didn’t bother looking at it before putting it away in his chest pocket, then he whistled for two fish.
The two jumped on the fish as they blew their bubbles and disappeared. By the time the bubbles disappeared, allowing the two to see again, they had already fallen into a huge ancient city. This was their destination, Dragonhark.
Dragonhark was the first stop of Rainbow City. In fact, Rainbow City was only a general term, it didn’t mean that it only consisted of one city. On the contrary, it was the general designation for everything here, including these cities and stops.
Many believed that Rainbow City gained its name because all of these stops required the riding of the Rainbow Fish’s bubbles to reach them.
Rumor has it that Dragonhark City was named after Dragonhark Valley. The validity of this claim remains unknown.
Dragonhark City was enormous. While standing on the city walls to look outside, people would see blossoming white clouds. This city seemed to be built in the sky. While looking down, one would only see a vast expanse with no end.
Even while inside the city, people didn’t know where it was located. This has always been a hot topic with great discussions and studies. However, the answer remains a mystery.
There were stories of people jumping down from the wall in order to locate where Dragonhark actually was, but there would be no return after jumping down. From then on, no one from future generations dared to jump down the wall unless they were tired of living.
Li Qiye and Zhang Baitu jumped off their fish, and the fish swam away with their tails flapping about.
1. Note, they are all God-Monarch in the raw, but that makes it even longer and these titles will be repeated a lot, so I’m removing the God part for now unless the text requires it to make sense.