Sheng City glimmered in the bright afternoon sun, a refreshing breeze blew across the busy streets. People came and went in never-ending streams and rivers.
Everything was calm and at peace- oh how different it was from the crisis a few months ago!
After the plague, people lived with a deeper appreciation for life, easily content with the present. Their faces still had that permanent smile even after a few months, forever grateful they’d escaped such a close brush with death.
Perhaps being infected wasn’t even the worst part, it was the experience that left them a little traumatised!
Watching seventy to eighty thousand people wailing in agony, some of them forced to sit in the same spot to wait for death- no one would ever forget this, not ever!
What is past is past. Everything was fine now, now everyone only had one job- to learn their lesson.
Sheng City wasn’t usually crowded but this time it was extremely packed with people. And it wasn’t because of the plague.
While the plague did attract a group of Ai La government officials, it wasn’t the reason Sheng City was so crowded.
The reason why the place was now bustling with life was because of the huge event around the corner- the mainland interschool qualifying competition!
The mere mention of this competition was enough to attract so much attention, that crowds flocked to the competition site for various reasons. There’d always be a surge in the number of people when the competition approached.
The fact that it was now organised in Sheng City attracted even more people.
Sheng City was the holiest, most mysterious place in the mainland, a place people made special pilgrimages to. However, this place wasn’t usually open to the public. Only senior officials of the clergy or special guests were allowed to enter, other than the followers working inside. Even regular believers didn’t have opportunities to make this pilgrimage.
This time, Sheng City was temporarily open to the public due to the qualifying competition so these believers and anyone curious rushed over from across mainland. They only wanted to climb the Holy Mountain and visit Sheng City!
There was still time before Sheng City opened, so they were only allowed to wait in the towns below. Towns at the foot of the mountain were packed!
A group of people arrived. Although the group seemed extraordinary, at the moment, their peculiarity was drowned out by the enormous crowd..
Even without the event, there were always many unique people around. Right now, the place was literally packed so no one paid attention to them.
There weren’t many people in this group, ten at most. There were males and females, most of them around twenty. They were led by a middle-aged man with a broad back and huge muscles. Everything about him shouted---
Cough, well muscles can’t truly represent his skills and abilities but he must have some strength!
The men were handsome, the women gorgeous. There were 3 young ladies, one of them especially captivating.
If a person from Sheng City were to praise her, they’d say her beauty would shine through even if the Sacred Lady stood next to her.
They might be underestimating the Sacred Lady’s beauty though, she only existed in myths and legends and they could only imagine what she looked like.
This group of people attracted little attention. Everyone else was busy and no one had the luxury to check out the ladies.
No one was too bothered that no one talked to them. In fact, after a long and tiring journey, they only wanted to get a place for a good night’s sleep. That was, provided they didn’t have more important things to do.
“Chen Pi…” said Strongman, frowning. He still thought this was a strange name.
[Note: Chen Pi= not only does this name sound weird, it sounds almost like the words ‘orange peel’ in chinese]
It would’ve been easier to accept if this was just a nickname- but no, that was his real name. It was very amusing to Strongman.
Chen Pi was a tanned boy dressed in rough linen. He looked weathered, a stark contrast from the rest standing next to him. One might think he didn’t belong.
Not a single one of the rest among these young adults looked like commoners. They all looked like aristocrats, even the ones who were not as wealthy still looked more put-together than Chen Pi.
It was unlikely Chen Pi wore these just because he liked it either, as he aura he exuded was as normals as any farmer, far from the airs of an aristocrat.
However, he was never looked down upon. So far, no one had treated him badly, but rather with utmost respect.
“Here! I’m here! I wasn’t asleep, I was just resting my eyes for a bit…” exclaimed Chen Pi, scratching his head.
“I didn’t say anything about you falling asleep… And even if you did, no one would blame you,” said Strongman faintly.
“Eh? Why did you call me then? Is there something you need help with?” asked Chen Pi, puzzled. In his experience, he was only called to either receive a scolding or an instruction.
“Sigh… Chen Pi… Look around, we’re at Sheng City!” frowned Strongman, pointing at the Holy Mountain.
“Ah, we’re here?! I’m going to visit the genius doctor, my mom’s recovery depends on him!” said Chen Pi hastily. He rushed back into the horse carriage, then carried a frail and weak old woman on his back.
This old woman was Chen Pi’s mother.
She looked so old she could be his grandmother, perhaps from all the suffering from her illness.
“Little Pi, what’s going on? Where are we going?” asked the old woman weakly. She wasn’t aware of their arrival.
The old woman still looked thin and fragile as ever in the sun, even the warmth didn’t perk her up.