Today was the day the tournament began. Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people signed up to participate. Simply by making it to the last round even if they did not win they would still receive a bit of gold.
"My lord all the arrangements have been made." Lu Xun said to Zhang.
"Good let's head out to the colosseum now I think they will start the trip to the Demonic Forest soon." Zhang said to Lu Xun.
The demonic forest was located roughly two days from the capital of the Heilong kingdom. It was a large forest where many low level demonic beasts lived making it a great place to train.
Lu Xun after talking to Zhang had left to enact their plan.
Once Lu Xun left, Zhang, Yuying and Ai met up with Ling and rode horses to the colosseum. On the way they could see many people preparing carriages or horses to make the trip to the Demonic forest.
"Brother so we are taking part in the tournament?" Yuying asked.
"Of course I want to see how far we can get. And it's not like we have anything to do." Zhang replied.
"Unless perhaps you want to go to a wedding?" He said.
"Who's wedding brother?" Ai asked.
"Our wedding." Zhang replied as he grabbed her and gave her a big hug.
"Your wedding?" Ling asked as she looked at the two of them.
"Our wedding." He replied as he grabbed and pulled her into his embrace also.
" what are you waiting for come here." Zhang joked to Yuying.
"Why? It's not like I'm getting married." Yuying joked.
"C’mon don't be like that come here." Zhang said as he pulled Yuying into his embrace too.
The four of them ended up with Zhang having one arm around Ai and this other arm around Ling. Then finally Yuying was sitting on his lap. Zhang was having lots of fun teasing the three beauties since no one else was around.
A short while later they arrived at the colosseum. And departed their carriage.
In front of the colosseum was a sea of people. From youths in their teens to elderly men many people signed up to be a part of it. This tournament was an opportunity for some to meet influential lords and possibly get employed. For others they had high hopes of winning the chance to select one item from the kingdom's treasury.
Of course Zhang himself was pretty interested too. Although the Sai empire had a huge treasure trove of gold it lacked actually magical items. Although he did find a few they were not very useful in combat. For instance, the flask that held a huge amount of water although it was a magical item if had little usage in a fight.
Most likely all of the magical weapons in the Sai empire were stored where the map in the imperial seal led to.
Zhang was hoping to find something useful in the treasury of the Heilong kingdom. It was bound to have some sort of powerful weapon since the kingdom was founded by a man who had slain a dragon.
After the group had arrived at the coliseum they walked around for a bit. There were many people in the crowd some looked very normal while some looked very unique. Many people from different places came to the Heilong kingdom to join the tournament.
If someone was able to make it into the final ten and showed good results in the last stage, then they might be picked by some minister or noble to be a general or something. Many of the participants held high hopes and wild dreams.
As the group walked through the crowd they recorded many looks from the crowd. Some envious, some lecherous and some of reverence.
A young man wearing silver armor came up to Zhang.
"Hello there, my lord the prince of the Qin kingdom is looking for strong individuals to join his party. Would you like to join?" The young man asked Zhang's group while staring at the three beauties.
"I think we are okay by ourselves." Zhang replied as he continued to walk.
"Are you sure? The prince will pay handsomely to those who join him." The man said.
"Yes we will be fine by ourselves." Zhang said as he tried to walk away once more.
Seeing that Zhang was not interest the man walked away and tried to recruit some other people. Various princes, princesses and ministers were recruiting people to join their parties.
They had original thought the tournament would be where individual fighters fought each other. But the king surprised them with a different kind of tournament. So since they did not bring that many servants they had to recruit from the pool of participants.
A few people had walked up to Zhang’s group trying to recruit them to join. However, Zhang declined all of them. Unlike the other people who were invited by the king to attend the tournament he had actually brought a lot of servants. To be exact twenty thousand.
However, he would not take all of them with him in the tournament. Zhang only brought the one hundred guards he originally had and roughly another four hundred to make a grand total of five hundred. He had sent Lu Xun with the rest of the men to accomplish another task.
Soon after roaming about Zhang met up with his five hundred soldiers who all wore matching armor. Seeing this many of the people who had asked Zhang to join them was astonished. They had asked someone who had five hundred personal soldiers to join and become an underling for their boss. How funny was that?
Once Zhang met up with his soldiers they formed ranks behind him. Five rows of one hundred men each stood uniformly behind Zhang. While Zhang was in front of them sitting on the beautiful throne he had offered to give to king Huang He. Zhang looked like a king sitting on that throne with the three beauties by his side. He did this to help promote his image of being someone tyrannical amongst the dignitaries. He wanted to make it so that the other dignitaries would think twice about messing with him.
A few hours later the king of Heilong appeared. He walked on top of a stage arranged in front of the coliseum and addressed the participants of the tournament.
“Welcome everyone to the first ever grand tournament in the Heilong kingdom. The first part of the tournament will take place in the Demonic Forest. I will announce that the tournament will be starting. I wish you all good luck on your journey and whoever arrives at the forest may start searching for the ten golden flags.” He said quickly.
“Wait does that mean that the tournament has started?” Ling asked.
“I guess so.” Zhang said.
This had totally caught everyone off guard. One would think they the tournament would start at the demonic forest itself however instead it began in the capital city which was a day’s ride from the forest. This meant that those who had horses or means of transportation would have an advantage over everyone else.
Thus began the mad race to the Demonic forest. Everyone rushed for their horses or carriages and began setting off.
“Let’s head out everyone.” Zhang said as he put the throne he was sitting on into his interspatial ring.
Unlike most commoners Zhang along with the other dignitaries all possessed horses and carriages which gave them an advantage over everyone. But Zhang had Inferno Wind Walks to be exact and his men all rode war horses.
Once the journey began Zhang had the three inferno wind walkers hooked up to a large carriage and rode inside with Yuying, Ai, and Ling. While five hundred horsemen rode alongside them.
They group traveled until the sun went down and pitched camp. Although there were many thousands of participants after leaving the capital city everyone seemed to go their separate ways. Once in awhile Zhang would spot a small group of participants but he did not see a lot at one time.
Zhang’s group had sent up many tents along a river as to provide a natural barrier to one side of their camp. They then divided into ten teams that would take turns keeping watch over the camp at night. Being in the wilderness they had to be vigilant and who knows maybe they might get attacked by the other participants of the tournament.
Since prizes were at stake many people will resort to underhanded ways to secure victory.
In the middle of the camp was a large tent in which Zhang and the three beauties slept. Of course Zhang had to sleep in a separate bed.
“Make sure to not let anyone come near our camp. Even if they seem like good people.” Zhang ordered to his soldiers before entering his tent.
“Brother you think we will find a flag?” Yuying asked.
“Who knows, but we actually do not need to find a flag. We simply need to possess one at the end of the five days.” Zhang replied with a devious smile.
“Then we should take our time and just wait for others to find flags.” Yuying said with an equally devious smile.
“You guys keep talking I’m going to sleep.” Ai said as she jumped onto a huge bed.
“You are going to sleep without me?” Zhang said as he hopped onto the bed also landing on top of Ai.
“Brother! Go back to your own bed!” Ling yelled as she tugged at Zhang’s arm.
Without saying a word Zhang rotated his arm and grabbed Ling’s. With a smile on his face he pulled her onto the bed also. Then he slowly moved her face closer to hers and gave her a peck on the cheek before rolling off the bed.
“Ok I’ll go sleep all alone on this bed.” Zhang teased.
Ling laid in bed blushing due to the small kiss on her cheeks. Yuying couldn’t help but shake her head and smile at this situation.
The very next day the group decided to stop traveling and fish from the river. They were using thread from silky to make nets to catch fish. And since Silky’s thread was super sticker they managed to snag a ton of wish. This fish of course was shared amongst the group of four and the five hundred soldiers.
They had decided to wait and travel once the participants traveling on foot arrived. They were in no rush to reach the demonic forest after Zhang pointed out they did not need to be the ones to actually find the flag.
Although it would be somewhat unethical to steal a flag the rules only stated that as long as they had a flag on the sixth day they would be a commander. So even if they did not get to the demonic forest for the first couple days then it would still be fine.
“It seems that the king has made the tournament very interesting, everything is more than meets the eye.” Zhang said to Yuying, Ai and Ling while laying in their tent for the second night.
“Indeed he did brother.” Yuying replied.
“Tomorrow the people traveling by foot will most likely have reached the forest. A large number of them had passed us earlier today.” Ling said.
“Tomorrow we will head out toward the forest and I will have our five hundred men spread out and see if anyone has found a flag yet If someone found a flag then we will ambush them and take the flag.” Zhang said as he pulled a blanket over himself and tried to fall asleep.
“Good night brother.” Ai said from on top of her bed that she shared with Yuying and Ling.
That was when Zhang suddenly yelled out.
“Their hatching! Yuying come quickly.”
The next morning the group traveled to the border of the Demonic forest. Many participants had already began searching within the forest and tents could be seen set up all around the forest.
“Split up into squads of five and see if anyone has found a golden flag.” Zhang order his men.
“Yes my lord.” The men said in unison. These men had followed Zhang from Aurora and after seeing him in battle at Red Mist city had sworn their utter allegiance to Zhang.
“Let’s go look also.” Zhang said while looking at the three beauties.
Their group of four decided to go to a less occupied part of the forest. Once there Zhang opened his Ruler's Domain and from within it countless fist sized spiders crawled out. Last night their eggs had finally hatched. Yuying spent the whole night mind washing them to become obedient to Zhang, Ai, Ling and herself.
She saw that Ling was one of them now thus she decided to add Ling in when she was using her magic on the spiders.
Once the spiders all crawled out of the Rulers Domain which had grown to the size of a small house. Yuying ordered them to spread out throughout the forest and search for a golden flag. These little spiders were very agile and many in number which would allow them to quickly comb the forest.
And as demonic beasts of the 6th rank they most likely out classed any demonic beasts they might live in this forest. Despite their size these Titanic Golden spiderlings when working together could wipe out all of the living animals in this jungle.
Yuying had also ordered them to eat their fill while roaming about in the jungle. While in the Ruler's Domain these spiders would enter be supplied with a large amount of essence water like Silky but Zhang could not drop in enough food for all of them at one time. So it was best to have them feed in the forest for now.
“Alright let sit here and wait. Either the spiders will find the flags or our men will find someone who had found a flag.” Zhang said.
The group laid out a small picnic in the forest and ate lunch as they waited. A short while after a group of five soldiers came back to make a report to Zhang.
“My lord it seems that nine of the ten flags had already been acquired. We learned this from another participant we encountered.” The soldier said.
“Good now go inform the others to search for the location and names of the nine people who have those flags.” Zhang commanded.