Chapter 194: Shenanigans
Zhang, the beauties and their entourage of lesser saints walked through the beautifully decorated halls of the Blood Coral Castle. Walking atop a pathway that at first appeared to be made of white marble, however upon closer inspection, one would notice that these tiles were actually made with the dust of grounded pearl which added a dazzling sheen to them.
Artworks made of gold, silver and many other materials depicting various legendary sea creatures could be seen hanging on the walls and used as centerpieces. While massive columns made of white jade that was decorated by spiraling dragons, lilies and lotuses made of red pearls and gold caught the eyes of everyone who walked passed them.
In terms of extravagantness, the Aurora Empire’s Imperial City couldn't even be compared to the Blood Coral Castle to the point where some may call it gaudy. But of course this would be coming from the perspective of a land dweller; because for those who resided in the sea, things such as pearls and other things that are rare on land could be found in troves within the vast sea.
This would be especially true when Zhang and the beauties laid eyes on a magnificent pair of gates with two lifelike dragons poking out of it. Each scale on the bodies of these two dragons that were coiled together were made from rare blue gems called Azurites while their talons were made of black colored obsidian.
“These dragons are missing eyes.” Ai mentioned as she noticed despite the exquisite work and detail placed upon these dragon carvings, they had empty eye sockets.
“That’s where the keys probably go, silly.” Yuying said with a chuckle as she nudged Ai’s shoulder gently.
“My lord and madams, would you like to do the honors?” Chu Shou said holding a simple looking mid-sized box in front of Zhang.
“Only with these can you open the treasure vault. Perhaps it is fate that there are five of you and five keys are needed to open the vault.” Chu Shou said with a smile as he opened the box in his hands revealing five black colored pearls with many runes etched on them.
In a flash, Zhang and each of the beauties picked up a black colored pearl. While the beauties placed a pearl into the empty eye sockets of the dragons, Zhang placed the pearl in his hand into an empty socket in the center of the two gates.
The instant all five pearls were placed in their designated locations, the runes on black colored pearls began to emit a golden glow which eventually envelop the entire pearls and turned them from black to a golden color.
“The pearls became like the eyes of a real dragon, gold in color and mesmerizing to behold.” Hai Xing said with a smile.
While the pearls began to glow, the two dragon carvings seemed to come to life as their scales possessed captivating luster that they hadn't had before and while their opened jaws began to hum.
“You may proceed now, my lord and madams.” Chu Shou said respectfully as he gestured his hands toward the two gates.
“Let's go.” Yuying said as she walked forward, miraculously walking straight through the shut gates, a look of amazement to appear on Chu Shou’s face.
“Ho-how did you know that you could simply walk through the gates like that…” Chu Shou muttered but was ignored.
“Wahhhh!” Ai yelled as she proceeded to walk back and forth through the gates.
“Ai let's go, you can play with the gates later.” Zhang called with a chuckle, despite being inwardly amazed.
“I need to learn how to lay down transcription arrays one day.” Ling mumbled as she walked through the gate in a dignified manner without showing much emotion putting up a front and pretending to not be amazed by the fact that Yuying had just walked through the solid looking gates.; however, her eyes were filled with intrigue which betrayed her dignified look.
Somewhat disregarding Zhang, Ai was about to continue her shenanigans but was stopped by Lingqi who karate chopped her head lightly and playfully dragged her forward by the collar.
Despite Ai’s comedic display, none of the lesser saints present dared to laugh or judge her because they knew fully well that she could easily kill any one of them if she wished. As an old wise man had once said, a gentle beast is still a deadly beast.
Meaning, although Ai is normally very gentle and innocent, often acting very childish, she was in the end still a full saint and is more than capable of killing a lesser saint if she was enraged. In fact, she was stronger than Lingqi, Yuying, Ling and perhaps even Zhang if he didn't have all his treasures.
Soon after Zhang and the beauties entered the Blood Coral Castle’s treasure vault half of their entourage followed suit while the other half stood on guard outside.
Rather than a regular looking treasure vault brimming with treasures, the inside of the Blood Coral Castle was entirely different. Crystal clear streams were flowing over beds of diamonds, trees of coral decorated with fruits made out of rubies, sapphires, emeralds and many other precious stones glittered under an artificial sky with a miniature sun shining upon the treasures.
Along a winding pathway, many different and unique treasures were combined into this one of a kind garden under the sea.
“Shen Yu had personally overseen the construction of this garden of treasure. Ever since its construction, every artifact that is has been added into the vault had been seamlessly integrated into the garden. Rather than a place to store his riches, Shen Yu turned the vault into a please to ease his mind. Even a full Saint would find it difficult to break down those gates.” Chu Shou narratedsaid as he walked up behind Zhang.
“This is an interesting way to display one's wealth.” Zhang said as he tried to spot the various treasures that were hidden within the garden.
“It would take around twenty thirty or perhaps thirty minutes at most for me to disable the inscription array laid out on those gates.” Yuying said in a low tone that only Zhang was able to hear, perhaps Ai would have heard also if she wasn't running about.
“Brother look! Look! This thing here looks like the fruits that we had eaten. The ones you dug up from that one tree.” Ai exclaimed as she held an apple shaped diamond in her hands.
“Well, you can't eat this one. Let's go have a look around.” Zhang said with a chuckle as he linked arms with Ling and Yuying while Ai led the way energetically as Lingqi walked closely to his side also.
“The rest of you may leave and begin refining the heavenly energy in those bodies.” Zhang said to Chu Shou and Hai Xing who replied with a respectful nod before leaving filing out of the treasure vault with all of the other lesser saints.
Strangely enough, as he was walking through this garden of treasures, despite the initial temptations of dismantling it and storing all of the loot away into his interspatial ring, Zhang was enveloped by a feeling of tranquility. Perhaps it was due to the calm atmosphere created by the artificial sky and the otherworldly view. He did not feel the urge to hoard away all the riches in the vault.
“Damn this is strange…” Zhang thought in his mind as watched Ai and the other beauties played around and splashed each other with water from one of the streams brimming with diamonds.
“Well… this isn't bad I guess, at least he didn't have a pool of gold coins or something to swim in because it would cause someone a lot of pain if they tried to.” Zhang thought with a chuckle as he thought how silly it would be to attempt to swim in a pool of gold coins.
Sprinkling droplets of crystal clear water sparkled in the air under the warm light of the artificial sun and splashed into the silk dresses wrapped around the bodies of the four beauties. The cloth that was meant to shield their bodies from preying eyes now created a steamy atmosphere.
“Not showing anything at all but making one want to see what's beneath. Glad I told those guys to leave or else I would have to blind them all.” Zhang mumbled as he stood watching over the beauties, happy that his subordinates weren't around.
“What are you doing standing there blanking out for?” Ling’s voice coupled with the laughter of the other beauties sounded as a jet of water blasted toward Zhang.
“Oh no, you don’t!” Zhang laughed as he attempted to dodge the blast of water heading straight for him by side stepping. However, his efforts were thwarted when the torrent of water suddenly split into four and began spiraling about in the air.
Coming from four different directions and different angles, the torrents of water made it nearly impossible evade.
“You won't get me today.” Zhang chuckled as a circle of fire erupted from his feet forming a protective wall around him evaporating all the water that Ling had directed at toward him creating a blanket of steam that covered the surrounding area.
However, the instant the wall of flames around him dispersed, before Zhang could even say a silly remark or utter a laugh, a pair of gentle hands could be felt on his back. Then Zhang found himself being launched into the air and into the stream of water that the beauties had been playing in.
Once the steam cleared, Zhang could see Ai making a silly face and sticking her tongue out at him.
“You have to pay attention more instead of showing off, silly.” Ai said with a cheerful tone.
“I would have noticed if you weren't so sneaky.” Zhang replied with a chuckle after being blasted by a jet of water.
“Are you sure you would have noticed?” Ling could be heard.
“I'm sure you'll notice this, though.” Lingqi’s voice drifted into Zhang’s ear as he felt a pair of soft mounds pressed against his back as a pair of hands embraced him.
“As aggressive as always, aren't we.” Zhang said to Lingqi as a gentle breeze left her lips and blew against his ear playfully.
“Can be more aggressive if you like.” Lingqi whispered in a low seductive tone that made Zhang’s hairs tingle on end.
“Hey you! What are you doing there!” Yuying’s protested as Lingqi’s hands began to wonder about.
“Trying to get ahead of the game.” Lingqi replied as the sash tying Zhang’s robes together came loose.
“Oh no, you don't!” Ling yelled as the water beneath her feet propelled her forward and in an instant, she appeared in front of her husband as she pressed her lips onto his, much to Lingqi’s protest and the astonishment of the other beauties.
Caught in the moment, Zhang’s arms pulled Ling’s delicate frame closer toward him as a passionate kiss ensued.
Minutes later when Zhang and Ling’s lips finally departed from one another, Lingqi moved in for the kill and continued where Ling and Zhang had left off.
Soon Ling and Lingqi had already moved in, the other two beauties would definitely not be content with being left out so they too soon engaged in some passionate kissing.
Without the need to say much, one thing lead to another and the record of another battle was added to the chronicles of the Bed Chamber Wars.
The following day, Zhang had the entire Blood Scale Army and all of his new lesser saint subordinates assembled before him in the castle’s main courtyard. Although he had called for another banquet to be held, since Madam Diao Yu and Lord Long Feng had basically destroyed the first one, Zhang was not going to personally attend the second banquet. Rather, the four beauties would serve as his representatives while he spent his time learning more about his new subordinates in order to place accordingly for the arrival of the Starry Sea Sect.
He wished to learn of the various battle formations, tactics, and abilities that the soldiers possessed while accurately gauging the powers of the lesser saints who now followed him.
So for the majority of the day, Zhang made the soldiers of the Blood Scale Army run dozens of drills and mock battles while his lesser saint subordinates were ordered to spar with one another to put their skills and powers on display.
Eager to show off their skills in the hopes of obtaining Zhang’s recognition and perhaps a reward in the form of heavenly energy., Tthe lesser saints battled each other intensely, exchanging countless attacks and techniques with each other, however, before the sparring matches got too heated and dangerous, Zhang would order them to stop.
This was because if Zhang’s subordinates ended up killing each other in sparring matches, then that would only serve to lower the battle potential under his command.
Since his regular soldiers would have suffered needless casualties, Zhang had sent them and the students and staff of the Imperial Academy back to Aurora aboard the Sky Fortress. Zhang also left them with instructions to begin the construction of Teleportation platforms near the western coast of Aurora.
Although he had no intentions of taking over the entire Western Sea, but since the Blood, Coral Cove was now a part of his territory, and as some may say being as greedy as he is, Zhang would definitely not want to simply give the Blood Coral Cove away unless he absolutely had to.
“My lord, a few saints who reside in the cove along with some rogue saints who live within the outer borders of our territory, wish to have an audience with you.” Chu Shou said to Zhang who was busy spectating the Blood Scale Army and the sparring matches between the lesser saints.
“Tell them I'll be with them shortly.” Zhang replied as he sent the four beauties a message through his divine sense.
Although he wasn't exactly sure of the intentions of these saints who wished for an audience with him, he had a hunch and figured it would only be proper to have his wife present.