The group passed through a vast stone arena where Huangfu Song explained that it was the combat arena. No private sparring was allowed but public combat was. As long as one side challenges another party, who accepts, both parties must come to this arena with a witness to fight. Killing was also allowed under such circumstances.
This rule was so that these cultivators, who valued their lives, would retain a ruthless bone in their body. Without this, after decades of cultivation, they might just become cowards who were afraid of death and embarrass the sect.
After approximately half an hour, Li Chengfeng was brought to his quarters: Jinxiu Quarters.
This was a group of buildings intricately arranged together. Although they were not as eye-catching as the rest of the buildings, nor as luxurious and tall, they were still magnificent in their own name.
They were all single-storey buildings but the roofs were made of golden glazed roof tiles, all of them resembling a shiny, multicoloured river. They had been enhanced with spells, and long corridors were lined with beautiful paintings to create an aristocratic atmosphere. The difference between this place and the magnificent heavenly palace in his dream was that this place was luxurious in a mortal sense. Light flowing off the roofs resembled little streams while the rolling sea of roofs above the patch of buildings resembled a mountain range.
“Junior Zhan, you will live on the west end, Area C. Since you’re the first to arrive, you get the first pick. Right, I suggest you pick a place that is facing south, somewhere deeper into the residential area too,” advised Huangfu Song.
“I understand why it must face south but why must it be deeper inside?”
Feng Wenjuan, who hadn’t spoken till then, finally got her chance. “Those quarters are quieter and it will be more suitable for cultivating.”
Li Chengfeng nodded with a smile and picked his room in Area C along with Huangfu Song and the rest, who advised again, “A senior brother from Cangjin Court will come register you tomorrow. You may wash up now.”
Cangjin Court was a place where many people of rich backgrounds lived. That was why every newcomer would receive huge living quarters. One person’s living quarters was larger than the entire Li Residence, divided into three halls and five courtyards.
The front hall was essentially the foyer, the middle hall was the guest-receiving space, while the back hall was where one lived. The place was quiet and wide. Each of the five courtyards had different model mountains and boulders, little bridges and flowing water all designed to emit an aura of luxury. Although they were not up to his standards, Li Chengfeng knew that this was already an amazing place to live for a newcomer.
He counted twenty rooms, which were one bathroom, one martial arts room, two Qi cultivation rooms, five store rooms, one workshop, one seal-making room, four greenhouses, one pet room, three guest bedrooms and one master bedroom.
“Why are there rooms for plants and animals?”
Huangfu Song smiled. “Cultivators don’t just work on their cultivation, they must be adept at planting herbs for pill concocting. And the sect allows one pet per person. When you get the time to visit Kongliu Valley to capture magical beasts, you must pick carefully.”
“You can make a magical beast your pet?” Li Chengfeng could not imagine someone taking the Grim Stork as a pet!
Ji Chunhua laughed and whistled. A golden oriole fluttered over and stopped on her shoulder, looking left and right as it chirped. “This is my magical pet, it looks like this after I placed a magical seal on it. It will only appear in its true form during combat. Do you see its true form?”
Huangfu Song’s smile looked very forced. “Senior Ji, please do not joke about that. If that animal appears in its true form, this entire valley will be destroyed.”
Ji Chunhua started giggling, delighted with herself as Gu Yuelian and Feng Wenjuan pursed their lips with a little admiration. Ji Chunhua might be nonchalant but catching a magical beast for a pet was difficult. It took a lot of cultivation to be strong enough to tame a magical beast, and rearing one racked up enormous feed costs.
Li Chengfeng was very tempted to get one for himself. He let them all rest in the front hall when he and Su Yuehan went to the back hall to freshen up. When they were far away, Su Yuehan complained, “How could you do that! What are you going to do when the real Sir Zhan shows up?”
He laughed heartily. “I never said I was Sir Zhan! They’re just making stories up!”
“But making enemies on your first day is bad!”
His expression turned solemn. “You reminded me. These people did not care that I was their junior and immediately started to suck up to the Zhan family. Absolutely shameless behaviour, very obvious too… If Zhan Qisheng actually comes, he’ll use these people against me. What will I do then?”
However, he could understand the shameless bootlicking. Although the Zhan family did not have much power here, everyone still knew that a terrifying alligator had just entered the field.
Why wouldn’t they gain his favour as soon as possible?
Su Yuehan smiled bitterly. “So you finally understand the gravity of the situation?”
He rolled his eyes. “Do you really think they won’t suck up to the Zhan family even if I hadn’t played them?”
She made a face. “You’re so vulgar!”
He sneered. “I’m not just vulgar when I talk, I’m also vulgar when I…”
Su Yuehan blushed. “Don’t joke around like that! If it affects your cultivation, don’t blame me then!” She turned to run to one of the extra bedrooms, then tossed her luggage inside.”
He laughed heartily, “What do you mean? Your mind is the one in the gutter!”
She did not turn around. “You’re the worst!”
He laughed heartily and went to the bathroom. When he pushed the door, he saw a large bathtub in the middle that could fit four to five people. Two steel pipes were connected to the tub, one was a tap.
He turned it on curiously to find that it was hot water, thinking to himself, ‘Wow this bunch of rich sons sure know how to live comfortably!’
Li Chengfeng tore off his absurdly smelly clothes on the floor, then jumped into the tub naked and started scrubbing himself.
Su Yuehan left a new set of clothes in the room which he put on after his bath. He suddenly felt energized once more, transforming from a dishevelled beggar to a rich man’s son.
“Young Master, I won’t be going later.” She helped him with his hair and said gently, “I need to do some chores here.”
He nodded. “This is good too, you familiarise yourself with this place and I’ll go meet them. If we meet Zhan Qisheng later, we’ll definitely fight and it won’t be good if you’re there.
Su Yuehan thought to herself, ‘If they actually fight… it’ll only be trouble!”
She could not help but advise, “Young Master, the path to cultivation is long. It’s best you take a step back when necessary, even if it means you’ve got to hold your anger in! Do not fight just for a moment’s glory!”
He grinned. “Alright, alright I understand, you sound like my mother. I’m warning you, if you start speaking like her all day I’m going to send you home.”
She made a face, wrinkling her nose in protest. He laughed and touched her nose, where she dodged and swatted his hand away.
They chatted away happily as they got him ready. When he walked out from the back hall to the front, the crowd that was making small talk lit up when they saw the brand-new Li Chengfeng. The three senior sister’s eyes glittered, for this man was a tall, handsome man with prominent eyebrows, the faint smile on his gorgeous face making him extremely attractive.
Huangfu Song was extremely jealous, though hiding it carefully with a smile. “You live up to your name! This is no ordinary aura of a regular commoner, you radiate power indeed!”
Li Chengfeng laughed, thinking to himself, ‘But what about that real lowly Zhan dog?’
Ji Chunhua smiled. “We were just discussing with Junior Brother Huangfu to make tonight’s banquet grander. We’ll make it a grand feast for the new juniors, what do you think?”
His heart raced. Do you think I can say no to that? Why must you make it so grand? Do you want me to die? Do you want to kill me?
He forced a smile. “You don’t have to trouble yourselves…”
Huangfu Song smiled. “Junior Brother, there will be another formal feast held every time new juniors are recruited. That one will be in three days and many of our Martial Uncles will be there. It is a tedious affair. Unfortunately, there will be a lot of food on the table that you will not get to eat because they will go about introducing everyone and you’ll spend hours just listening to them talk.”
Ji Chunhua continued, “When I first came in, I thought I was about to have a good feast when the Court Master started talking, then the Elder, then one Martial Uncle after another spoke, then some Senior Brothers… I was so hungry I felt light-headed but they still wouldn’t stop!”
Then Feng Wenjuan fought to speak, “And then our own court’s seniors and juniors had to introduce each other and that took up another two hours. And at that point, it was the end of the feast! I did not eat even one bite of food, or even a sip of wine!”
Everyone laughed and looked at him pitifully.
Li Chengfeng paled. He was not worried about the banquet in three days, he was more worried about the feast for tonight. How would he escape that?
If it was going to be a feast, then Zhan Qisheng would definitely be there. And if his lies were found out then, what a huge commotion it would ignite!
What if he just… killed this guy today?
When Huangfu Song saw Li Chengfeng falling deep in thought, they thought he was shocked from what they said so they grinned. If only they knew what he was thinking, he would have been reduced to a pulp then.