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Chapter 144 – Black Riders

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
    

    The altar was the same as the bell that hung outside the royal palace. Both were artifacts dating back to ancient times and both had unimaginable uses. For instance, the altar was able to reflect the quality of spirits. The 20 sea spirits that were chosen for the competition were carefully selected; they were all of the same rank and the difficulty of treating them was also the same.

    When the 20 trays entered the range of the altar, they all simultaneously began to emit a pale light, just like the altar itself. This proved that the 20 sea spirits had already been restored to normalcy. As time passed, the light that the trays emitted also began to change.

    Several trays began to glow with an increasingly rich color. The white light burned away to slowly reveal a deep blue. This proved that for these several trays, the quality of sea spirit had surpassed the normal level and were now considered excellent.

    A formidable sea spirit teacher could not only treat the wounds and sicknesses of sea spirits, but also help them increase their strength. Of course, only a small portion of sea spirit teachers could accomplish this and they were considered amongst the peak existences of sea spirit teachers.

    There were differences in how deep the blue lights were, and in normal situations, the final two contestants would be chosen from these sea spirits. But at this time, countless sea race members cried out in alarm.

    Counting both inside and outside of Prosperity Square, there were almost a million sea race citizens gathered. As they cried out together, their collective gasps were like a billowing clap of thunder that reverberated through the world.

    Beneath the gaze of countless shocked eyes, a touch of purple suddenly appeared on one of the extremely deep blue trays. It was like a drop of purple ink that fell into water and rapidly dispersed outwards. This purple light was incredibly faint and pale amongst the deep blue, but even so, it was noble and extraordinary, as high and lofty as the clouds overlooking the earth.

    This was because this color represented an entirely different level!

    The sea races revered the color purple. This purple light indicated that not only did the sea spirit increase in strength, but it had made a qualitative breakthrough.

    A change in quality represented a change in its essential nature.

    With a sublimation in nature, that represented a whole new leap in quality.

    This sea spirit had exceeded its original level, surpassing all the other as it reached all new heights.

    The sea spirit teacher competition had been held many times before, but there were actually very few times when this color purple would appear. And from those several times, the overwhelming majority of those sea spirit teachers had gone on to defeat the Purple Card sea spirit teachers they chose, becoming new legends in their own right!

    In other words, the one who cured this sea spirit had an extremely high chance of becoming a new Purple Card!

    Countless eyes gathered towards a corner of Prosperity Square. There were seven or eight carriages stopped there, and those carriages were now swamped with people. Each one of those people was a high ranking individual of the capital city and they were now praising and congratulating freely, all of them with looks of awe and respect.

    A Purple Card did not even have to bow upon entering the royal palace. They were genuinely great existences of the sea region, powerful masters that stood high above all others.

    The Qing Family Patriarch and Madame Qing pushed into the crowd, wanting to join in on the inner circles that were offering their congratulations. But, before they could approach, the cold eyes that landed on them made them stop in their tracks.

    The Qing Family Patriarch revealed a look of anger, but he was held back by Madame Qing. That graceful woman continued to maintain a calm expression with an unassailable smile. They absolutely could not leave because even if they stood here, in the eyes of the commoners they were still one of the top elite families of the capital city.

    In the middle carriage, a young man sat down cross-legged. He frowned upon hearing the noise and chaos outside.

    A fat old man sat across from him, stroking his beard and smiling. “They are congratulating you. Young Master Jin, you are even more powerful than before. You should definitely be victorious this time.”

    The young man faintly replied, “I know.”

    Calm and restrained, this was confidence!

    The fat old man smiled, an expectant look in his eyes. Once they successfully passed this round, the plan that their family had prepared for all these years could continue.

    But suddenly, an even louder clamor sounded out from beyond the carriage. Those high ranking citizens of the capital city all gasped again, their jaws dropping open as dumbfounded expressions crossed their faces.

    On the altar, another tray gushed out with purple light. It complemented the precious Purple Soul Flower within, making it seem even more dazzling.

    Up until now, there had never been a situation in the competition where two purple lights reflected against each other. The audience was stirred into a frenzy, and their cheers seemed to tear through the waters and into the skies.

    First they had seen Mister Ning sequentially cripple two high level sea spirit teachers and had also seen Chief Manager Wu smash committee member Goodra with a chair. Now, they were able to witness two purple lights bloom one after another.

    It was worth it! The price of their tickets was worth it!

    There were people outside who were too cheap to purchase tickets or were too late in doing so. They didn’t expect the people on the grandstands to leap onto their feet and roar. Without seeing it through their own eyes, they would miss out on a topic to brag about for the rest of their lives.

    Chief Manager Wu’s tense expression suddenly broke into smiles. As he looked at the calm and tranquil Qin Yu across from him, he couldn’t help but burst out in admiration.

    This was true confidence!

    As he recalled how his nervous expression just now must have been noticed, he revealed an awkward look. But, he soon calmed down. As long as Qin Yu could win, then let alone turning himself into a joke, he was willing to do even more shameful things.

    Qingqing was ecstatic. She hugged Leon and laughed and cheered. Only by doing this could she release all the pent up joy in her heart.

    Leon clumsily responded to all the congratulations around him. He watched as the previously arrogant sea spirit teachers suddenly tried to be much closer to him, as if they couldn’t wait to drag him to the side and pledge brotherhood.

    The Qing Family Patriarch and Madame Qing suddenly discovered that they were surrounded by people. Those high ranking capital city nobles that had warned them away with their eyes before were now smiling at them and greeting them. They apologized for their disrespectful actions just now, and the atmosphere seemed incomparably peaceful.

    In just a short moment, a great number of invitations were extended to the two of them. Their hearts shook with joy and they smiled as they exchanged greetings.

    Someone asked how Miss Qingqing was doing at Sea Spirit Pavilion, and commented that she seemed to be in a very good relationship with Mister Leon.

    The Qing Family Patriarch looked at his daughter that was happily hugging Leon, and his eyes twitched. He originally wanted to blurt out that this was all nonsense, but apart from feeling a bit sour in his heart, he didn’t feel any anger at all.

    Mister Leon? Heh, these high ranking nobles didn’t seem to care about any sense of face at all. Just a little before this they had been referring to the boy as someone who had managed to step into some dogshit luck.

    Madame Qing calmly responded. She said that her daughter was only work friends with Grandmaster Ning’s disciple, and while they had a good relationship, it wasn’t anything too special.

    The upper circles favored this type of vague and meandering speech. The clearer they spoke the more unclear they wanted to be. And sure enough, the envy in their eyes became even thicker.

    In the middle carriage, the young sea spirit teacher paled. “Mister Ning…how is he still alive?”

    The fat old man bitterly smiled. “We’ve already sent people to deal with him, but it seems we have underestimated his strength. The two high level sea spirit teachers we spent so much time raising have already died.”

    That was right, they had both died, and the fat old man had personally ordered their deaths. This was because only the dead could keep secrets. Even his master didn’t want to directly face that respected lady in Sega City.

    The young sea spirit teacher clenched his teeth. “Kill him. I don’t want to see him again!”

    The fat old man hesitated and then nodded in agreement. He sighed inwardly. What happened in the competition had already stirred up attention. Once Mister Ning died suspiciously, it would surely set off a massive storm. There was even a chance that the plans his master had arranged over all these years might be exposed and destroyed.

    But with things having come this far, it was no longer possible to retreat. He recalled the instructions his master had left him and his face darkened. He lightly rapped the carriage door and the four guards standing outside simultaneously moved into formation. Powerful auras erupted from all of them, blocking all outside interference.

    The fat old man pulled out a spirit shell. Then, he calmly said, “Move from the shadows. Eliminate all obstacles no matter the price.”

    He placed the spirit shell back in his chest and warmly smiled. “Young Master Jin, the matter has been handled.”

    The young sea spirit teacher humphed. He closed his eyes in meditation.

    The two traces of purple light left the entire competition committee shaken. They all paled, unsure of what to do.

    The results spoke for themselves and there was no one willing to argue anything else. After a brief time, Chairman Xu announced the results: Safesea City’s Jing Guanjin and Sea Spirit Pavilion’s Mister Ning were tied for first. Three days from now, a match would be held that would determine the champion of the sea spirit teacher competition.

    Leon and Qingqing bid their farewells. After stepping onto the carriage, Sea Spirit Pavilion’s slowly sailed out the square.

    The cheers of countless sea race citizens were like a tide as they chased after the caravan, all of them shouting out praise and expressing their reverence.

    But as the caravan drove out from the square and turned onto the main road leading back to Sea Spirit Pavilion, the tall building windows on both sides of the street were suddenly smashed open. 20 black-clothed figures leapt out, their bodies emanating a terrifying smell of blood.

    In a few short breaths of time, the guards of Sea Spirit Pavilion suffered heavy losses. The 20 assassins were like ghosts, rapidly flitting towards Qin Yu’s carriage. This sight shocked all the sea race citizens that had been following the caravan. Young ladies screeched out loud as they were pulled away.

    The entire crowd was in upheaval as if a riot had broken out.

    After the changing of the throne, it had been many years since there had been such a public assassination attempt on the streets. Some elderly sea race citizens shivered as if they were reliving those bloody years.

    In the carriage, Chief Manager Wu had a cold look. He didn’t reveal anything even as his guards died.

    Qin Yu opened his eyes. “You were waiting for them?”

    Chief Manager Wu nodded. “Ever since Old Sea was wounded, it was impossible for there to be any following calm. Since Mister Ning has revealed enough strength to pose a threat to their plans, it is only natural that they would try to eliminate you.” His gaze turned even icier. “While I did make plans, they were only there as a last measure. I never imagined they would try to kill you in public view.”

    He reached out and made a gesture.

    Rumble –

    The earth shook. The chaotic crowd was shoved to the side. Countless people cried out in misery as they fell to the ground. But just as they were about to curse at whoever had pushed them, they glanced back and shut up upon seeing the fully armored warriors who had done so. These warriors rode tall and mighty seahorses and were completely wrapped in armor. Their appearance left everyone shivering with a cold sweat.

    The royal family had whale monster guards, and this was of the signs of their strength and status. But, their strongest defensive force was recognized as the royal black riders. This was a mystical force. No one knew who controlled them and no one knew where they were stationed or even how many members they had.

    Their most famous battle occurred during the changing of the throne. 3000 black riders rode straight into the capital city, encircled the old royal family, and slaughtered seven of their top masters. Although they had suffered severe losses during that time, the black riders established themselves as an unsurpassed battle force.

    Thus, even though the black riders hadn’t appeared in the world for a long time, their legends still circulated through the capital city.