When Shao Xuan returned to Fallen Leaves City, he asked Su Gu to request an audience with the Fallen Leaves Lord, Su Lun.
Knowing that Shao Xuan wanted to talk to Su Lun about Lei and Tuo, Su Gu immediately agreed. This was the least he could help with.
Ever since he reached here, Shao Xuan hadn’t been able to meet the lord. The lords of each city wouldn’t go to Beast Battle City like the other masters too. For a lord, to compete in those pits would be embarrassing, if they ever were to battle, only the arenas were fit for them.
The beasts representing Fallen Leaves City in the arena were placed on the other side of the station, separated from the other beasts owned by the other slave masters. Every day, professionals would train them and because of the direction of the wind, people on the other side of the city would not be able to smell the strong stench of blood. If one were to visit that area, they would be overwhelmed by it.
Su Gu went to visit Su Lun and came back soon after.
“Father is busy now, he won’t be able to meet you.” Su Gu told Shao Xuan frustratedly.
Shao Xuan furrowed his brows. Su Lun won’t meet him. He originally planned to ask Su Lun what he should do if he saw Lei and Tuo in the arena, it looked like this plan wouldn’t work.
Looking at Shao Xuan’s reaction, Su Gu continued, “Even though father won’t meet you, I already told him about Lei and Tuo. He said as long as you win against the beasts from White Stone City, he’ll handle the other matters, you need not worry about the trouble they’re giving you now.”
As Shao Xuan stayed silent, Su Gu assumed he had given up. After all, it was the arena, not everyone could compete in it. Even when slaves went down to battle, they were usually the strongest one their masters had. Every year, less than half of the people that went in came out alive.
When Dao Yu competed last year, many dismissed him and some even thought of him as a joke. The unexpected happened, in his battle with the beast from Fallen Leaves City. He got out alive and won the match. It was a big slap to the face for people from Fallen Leaves City. Rumours spread that Su Lun had sent an assassin to kill Dao Yu but not only did the assassin fail, he even got assassinated by Dao Yu’s men.
“Ugh, forget it,” said Su Gu, “If it were up to me, I would never compete.”
“I’ll go,” said Shao Xuan.
“That’s right, if you go you’ll surely die… Wait, what?!” Su Gu pulled his ears and looked to Shao Xuan.
“I said, I’ll go. Please tell that to the lord,” said Shao Xuan.
Su Gu was in disbelief, the words ‘you are an idiot’ painted all over his face, but seeing as Shao Xuan had already made a decision, he decided to not nag him anymore. He thought to himself, these tribesmen really aren’t afraid of anything!
“But, I’ll say it first, even though father had said he’ll settle everything if you win against a beast from White Stone City, he won’t necessarily let you compete. You know this, we don’t get along with the White Stone City people. Father still holds a grudge about the battle last year. This year he’ll send an even stronger slave or maybe even send his own riding beasts down. He’ll throw a fit if we lose again.”
“Yes, I know that.” If he got rejected again, Shao Xuan could only think of another plan.
“Can’t you predict the future? Can you predict what happens after the arena reopens?” asked Su Gu.
Shao Xuan shook his head. He tried it before but he couldn’t see anything. He only saw a mess with nothing substantial which meant that it was impossible to predict the outcome of this incident.
Su Gu once again went to Su Lun’s two-story house, prepared to face rejection from Su Lun. Surprisingly, Su Lun actually agreed and said he would make arrangments for Shao Xuan to compete in the arena later.
Su Gu left in confusion about his father’s intentions.
Shao Xuan was also in the dark about Su Lun’s true plan but his mind was elsewhere as tomorrow was the day the battles in the arena started. It was most likely Lei and Tuo would be forced into battle soon, if he wanted to save them, he could either snatch them back or go headfirst into battle with people from White Stone City and get help from the lord. Both situations were equally risky so he would only make a decision when it was time.
Before that, he had to prepare.
That afternoon, Shao Xuan spent most of his time in the house. Su Gu asked the slaves what Shao Xuan was up to but they couldn’t give him a straight answer. They only said that he came out a few times as if he was looking for something and when he picked it up he went back in.
“What did he pick up?” asked Su Gu.
The slaves thought hard about it, “I think it was a branch? A stone maybe?” They drew in the air as they spoke.
Su Gu dismissed the slaves disappointedly. He wanted to ask Shao Xuan what he was up to but remembered that Shao Xuan had told him to not bother him unless it was important. Su Gu changed his course of path, he needed to check on the supplies that they were bringing tomorrow anyway as tomorrow was an important day.
No one knew what Shao Xuan did that day, no one really cared actually because except for those in charge of guarding the house, everyone’s heart was already in the arena.
The next day, the well dressed Fallen Leave City party set off to Beast Battle City.
Fallen Leaves Lord, Su Lun rode on his beast as per usual except this time he wasn’t alone, there was a woman beside him. They both of them seemed pretty close. Even though there was a curtain blocking them, Shao Xuan knew what was going on behind it when he heard the noise coming from that direction.
The lady was from Shaqi City, the half-sister of the current Shaqi lord. It was unsure whether both of them started their relationship here or they were in contact before this.
Marriages were common between the cities, the slave masters usually got along well too other than during a feud.
Su Gu kept his calm when we saw his father being intimate with another woman, it wasn’t the first time anyway. If he had a larger riding beast, he would have definitely done the same with the pretty female slave that was brought over just now--no-- the slave was too lowly for him, if he brought her along it would be too embarrassing, she wouldn’t match his status as a young master. The girl from Sky Wheel City that lost to him a few days ago wasn’t bad too. It was just that her temper was as prickly as the totem they had there. Or maybe the one from Red Star City? Ah, she wasn’t suitable either, she’s a little unfortunate in the looks department…...
Shao Xuan took a glimpse at Su Gu in deep thought and shifted his attention to the slave masters from other cities.
When they entered the city, there was a foreboding sense of eagerness in the air. The usually arrogant and cocky young slave masters were well behaved today. Even the girl from Sky Wheel City that pulled her sword at Shao Xuan and Su Gu because of a small disagreement looked demure.
Near the arena, Shao Xuan saw the people from White Stone City but he couldn’t see Lei and Tuo. There was a large crate near them, maybe they were locked inside it. Unfortunately, there were too many people around, Shao Xuan didn’t have a chance to check out the box.
There was tension as soon as the people from Fallen Leaves City met those from White Stone City. If the people from Rock Hill City didn’t appear in time, a warm-up battle would have happened then and there.
In the crowd of the people from Rock Hill City, Shao Xuan recognized someone that was riding on a large beast. It had been years since they last met but he would recognize that bright messy golden hair anywhere.
Shi Shu, one of Rock Hill City’s young masters, the master he met when he visited Yan Shuo.
It was an old rule, anyone from the big three cities would have an advantage. The members from other cities knew this well.
At that moment, nobody noticed when Shi Shu was passing by on his beast, Dao Yu who was standing on White Stone Lord’s beast, tilted his head, as if he was bowing to him.