Chapter 281: Prison Break
The 'banquet' wasn't something to write home about. It was grand of course, especially with all the hype about it, but at the same time it looked pretty simple and it looked that way for a reason.
It was good and was probably to help socialize people, but reading the details of the next test I could understand the reason behind this.
The people in the banquet get to know each other better, socializing and making new connections. Since a lot of the partic.i.p.ants here are usually from all over the universe.
The banquet was upheld in one of the largest mansions of the city, the gate itself was dozens of feet tall, not to mention the interior that looked like it could easily host an entire football field from my world.
A lot of tables were set up and cultivators had already arrived and were seated.
There was no commotion or the usual cliché bickering between cultivators who love these events for a d.i.c.k size compet.i.tion.
I looked around before I found Huang Yu, who seemed to be looking for me at the same time.
She was wearing a nice red dress, that had the same emblem of her sect. I, for instance, didn't change my clothes and was still wearing the same rob I had on me yesterday.
I felt a bit out of place but didn't really care much for 'Face' or any of the sorts.
I headed towards her and nodded in her direction, acknowledging her.
She walked towards me, with all the femininity a woman in her late twenties could exude, she was obviously a center of attention to many of the cultivators in the room.
I approached Huang Yu and asked her over to an empty table.
The two of us sat and she asked me, "What do you think of this banquet?" she said.
"Fishy," I said.
"You realized that too," she said.
Honestly, I was surprised, I had a general idea of the next test so I could obviously know the reason behind this event, but she probably didn't and still managed to understand the underlying reason behind this banquet.
"Not many cultivators are fond of socializing, this is clear to everyone that the next test will probably rely on our understanding and judgment of other people. Anyway, never mind that, Chu Xiang, had contacted me and told me about your predicament," she said.
"Yes, about the mortals with me," I said.
"Yes, if you wish I can get a few escorts to take them to my personal land, I have a lot of weight in the Holy Water Palace," she said.
"I would do that after the test, I need to see for myself first before I would trust my people to somewhere I don't fully understand," I said.
"Quite blunt, but I like it," she said exposing a ravis.h.i.+ng smile.
I coughed hiding some emotions that I have long since experienced and said, "I see a few eyes on us," I said.
"Yes, don't mind them, a few of them are from allied sects and even some rivals. I'm a Saintess, one of three of the Holy Water Palace, we're a bit of a special… thing," she said.
The word 'Thing' caught me by surprise, this clearly means that her position even if special, she is some sort of 'tool', to be used. I could understand from her words that she didn't wish to talk more about it.
"There is no need to explain, I can guess the general gist of things," I said.
She smiled and said, "You understand? I'm intrigued, could you please enlighten me to your understanding?" she said.
I looked around and said, "I'm not too familiar with how your sect works, but if I were to guess, you're probably a tool used for a bargain, perhaps your holy palace is a neutral sect, and to get the benefits and protection from other sects, they send the Saintesses they have to forge relations.h.i.+ps with other sects and protect their own interests," I said. "But this is just a guess, I may be completely wrong," I said.
Her eyes were wide open at my declaration, "That's impressive, if I didn't know better I'd say you did some research, but from the few sentences, you said I could judge that you really didn't know much and guessed it. You're almost right about what you said," she added. "But don't worry about it, because once I get a spot at the heavenly academy, they can't pressure me into being married into another sect, no one likes their lives to be tied to something like this," she said.
I nodded and we continued chatting.
Music played as many singers and artists came up, there was even a 'magic' show where a few cultivators used their skills to create beautiful illusions, half-naked women came and danced next to the cultivators and I even had to shoo away one of them because it was awkward with the company of Huang Yu.
I could even see her grinning at my fl.u.s.tered reaction at first but she decided to keep quiet.
It didn't take long before the main event started.
The man in purple appeared like always out of thin air and was immediately the center of attention.
"Congratulations to all of you one thousand partic.i.p.ants to have managed to make it to the second trial. Now, your real journey begins." He said
"But before that, let me award the winners of the first trial. You have proven yourselves better than many and gained the top spot, against all odds even, a few of you managed to risk their lives and overtake their opponents securing victory from the jaws of defeat. As cultivators you all should know, that you must use all that is available to you, to prove your value, and to gain greater heights. Do not belittle those below you, nor be too arrogant, grind your way, and your life to the peak as all cultivators should do."
He spoke and then waved his hand
A thousand rings appeared next to every cultivator in the hall, and wide sounds of awe were spoken when they saw the contents of the rings.
"Everyone is a winner in this race, and the first three have a bit of a special reward for them, use it well in your upcoming trials," he said.
I looked through my ring and realized what he was talking about. The rewards were clearly less than what he personally gave me yesterday, but there were a few extra things. A cultivation manual, a hundred thousand Top Grade Spirit stones, which was the exact amount needed to partic.i.p.ate in this event. And finally, something I didn't expect to see. A Poison Pill, that had a cloud engraving.
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This pill was so pure that I was amazed at whoever made this. If I were to consume this, my cultivation base will skyrocket and I would probably hit the sealing of the Nascent Soul and attempt my breakthrough.
Our vision swam before we were all forcibly teleported to a dark place.
Looking around, there were twenty people among us. Every two people were grouped up next to each other while there didn't seem to be an exit to where we were.
Divine Sense couldn't probe past the walls of this 'Prison' and I know it's a prison from the earlier note.
"Welcome to h.e.l.l," spoke the purple-robed cultivator.
"Now, let's start explaining the test," he said.
"You are all inside a prison, twenty of you are 'Prisoners' and ten of you are Guards, the guard's objective is to capture you prisoners and extract Information from you. The prisoners cannot use any of their spells or skills against the Guards, and the guards cannot kill prisoners, so please, there are shackles on the ground use them. because unless every cultivator is shackled you won't leave," he said.
Once we all wore the shackles, which by the way didn't affect me in the slightest since they block Qi while I didn't use it.
"Now that you're all shackled, let me explain further. This prison is divided into three floors. The guards are all on the second and third floors. You have to exit the prison while at the same time having at least ten Pieces of Information in your possession. Any cultivator that leaves the prison with Ten Pieces of Information will allow all the prisoners alongside him to win the test. On the other hand, if the Guards manage to obtain at least 11 pieces of information, the Guars will win."
"There is also a special condition, if a Prisoner Manages to obtain five pieces of information by themselves, they could Snitch and will be teleported randomly across the prison if the Snitch manages to reach the gate they will be released and will win by themselves. Conditionally, guards cannot harm a Snitch, but the prisoners can kill a snitch to obtain the information back. So be careful of who you give your information," he said.
"Lastly, there are nineteen Information pieces through the prison, your goal is to obtain at least ten of them and exit. Good luck for all," the man in purple said.
"s.h.i.+t," I cursed.
This caught Huang Yu by surprise at why I was cursing, and she asked "What's wrong?" she said.
I replied, "That!" I said pointing forward.
There was actually a man, who I knew very well, he was in the third place, and it seems that he already had five pieces of Information in his hand.
"I choose to Snitch!" he said and immediately teleported away.
"WAIT!" I called, but not a moment later another person spoke, "I choose to Snitch!" and then he teleported away immediately afterward.
"f.u.c.k!" I cursed as I looked at the rest of the cultivators who most had a satisfied look on their faces.
"Wait, what just happened?!" she asked.
"We got done in, the test didn't even start and it looks like we're already screwed," I grumbled.
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