The youth’s tone wasn’t all that respectful, but he wasn’t rude or distant either. The only thing in his eyes was curiosity when he looked at the two of them.
Zhou Weiqing immediately assented respectfully. When Shangguan Bing’er heard this, she rose as well. The two quickly cleaned themselves up and then exited the cabin.
When the youth saw Shangguan Bing’er after she had put on a change of clean and simple clothes, his eyes nearly popped out and he found it hard to even walk. It wasn’t until Zhou Weiqing let out a gentle cough that the youth was awoken from his awe.
The youth hurriedly lowered his now-blushing face, leading the way rather embarrassedly. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but secretly laugh. The kid had to be a young virgin! Bing’er’s beauty was most effective at enticing young male virgins.
When Shangguan Bing’er had first followed Zhou Weiqing all those years ago, she was already quite dazzling. The only difference was that back then she had seemed a bit fresh and immature. As three years had gone by, she had fully blossomed into a truly peerless beauty. Although the three Shangguan sisters were identical, their auras were completely different. Shangguan Bing’er had a soft, gentle quality to her beauty that was the most enticing of the three. Right now, she was dressed in water-green robes and wearing no makeup. She looked like a young orchid, filled with grace and spirituality. Anyone who saw her would feel that her only ‘fault’ was that the only man in her eyes was Zhou Weiqing. She didn’t seem to even notice the way the youth had stared at her just now.
The youth guided Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er into the interior of the ship. This ship was truly enormous, over three hundred meters long and eighty meters wide. Ships of such enormous size were extremely uncommon in the Boundless Mainland, and they wouldn’t even rock when beset by great waves in a storm. They were extremely stable vessels for venturing deep into the ocean. Although this ship couldn’t match the Sea Emperor Shuttle in speed, it could hold far more than just one or two people!
The youth continued to guide them deeper into the ship until they finally reached an enormous cabin. This cabin actually had a banquet prepared within it, and the dishes prepared were all rather foreign and exotic to Shangguan Bing’er and Zhou Weiqing. Clearly, they weren’t from the Boundless Mainland.
Grandmaster Guyu sat in the main seat, while a serious-faced man who looked to be in his forties sat next to him. Zhou Weiqing didn’t see this man earlier during the day, but judging from his clothes he was probably an important member of the crew. It was very possible that he was the captain of the ship.
Three tables had been prepared in total. Aside from the Heavenly Jewel Masters he had seen earlier, the others were probably all important members of the ship’s crew.
Guyu beckoned towards Zhou Weiqing and Bing’er, indicating that they were to join him at his table. Zhou Weiqing understood that it was time to put on a play. These people definitely wanted to figure out what their background was.
As soon as he entered, he had put a grateful look upon his face. When it came to acting, Zhou Weiqing was without a doubt one of the top figures in all the Boundless Mainland.
He pulled Bing’er over to Guyu’s table, then bowed respectfully. “Grandmaster.”
Guyu nodded towards them, indicating that they should sit. The two youths seated below Guyu had appeared earlier in the day, and they couldn’t help but stare at Shangguan Bing’er. Although they didn&rsq
Shangguan Bing’er didn’t even seem to notice their gazes. She simply lowered her head, moving slightly closer to Zhou Weiqing to indicate that every part of her belonged to him.
Guyu’s gaze flickered across the two of them. He then smiled and said, “We were in a bit of a rush when we saved you earlier. Can I ask where you are from? Can you tell me a bit more about the disaster which befell you? I’m responsible for this entire ship’s safety in this dangerous ocean, after all.” His words were quite restrained, but he had made it unmistakably clear that he wanted to know more about Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er’s backgrounds.
Zhou Weiqing nodded, a flicker of grief flashing through his eyes. Even Shangguan Bing’er, who knew that he was just putting on a show, couldn’t help but feel moved by his incredibly realistic grief. How could the others not do so as well?
“Grandmaster, you and your friends rescued our lives. Of course we have to tell you about ourselves! My humble wife and I came from a small clan located near W’Batu Harbor. We were riding a great vessel when we went out to see. Our clan fell long ago, leaving behind just myself and my humble wife. We had been hoping to hunt some sea monsters on this trip and claim their Heavenly Cores to make some money and improve our luck.
“We never would’ve imagined that we’d run into a Terror Sea Dragon, one of the rulers of the seas. I’m not even sure what happened. All I heard was someone scream the words ‘Terror Sea Dragon’, and in the next instant our ship was completely destroyed. We were fairly lucky, as we were swept away by the waves and sent drifting across the seas. If a few more days went by, we probably would’ve both died. Oh, right! My name is Zhou Weiqing, while my humble wife is Shangguan Bing’er. We are tremendously grateful for having been rescued by everyone, and we’ll find a way to repay you for saving our lives.”
Zhou Weiqing spoke with what could only be described as ‘absolute sincerity’. It was perfectly in keeping with his status as a disaster victim, and it also gave a clear explanation as to who he and his wife were. As for W’Batu Harbor, it was one of the other destinations that had been marked within the Sea Emperor Shuttle’s maps. The only other name Zhou Weiqing knew was the ‘Xuantian Continent’ itself, and these people here obviously wouldn’t suspect that he was from the Boundless Mainland. For him to simply report W’Batu to skip over this question was more than enough.
When they saw the bitter look on his face and heard him narrate his tale, most of the people present revealed looks of pity. The only one to be unmoved was Grandmaster Guyu. He said calmly, “In other words, you are independent cultivators? Judging by appearances, you are less than twenty years of age. For an independent cultivator of your age to become a five-Jeweled expert couldn’t have been easy.”
Zhou Weiqing let out a sigh. Not seeming to have heard the suspicions underlying Guyu’s words, he explained, “Although my clan has fallen upon hard times, we’ve never lost our legacies and our cultivation techniques. Grandmaster, how about this? Since you saved our lives, if you wish I can hand over my clan’s cultivation techniques to you. This is just a small token of gratitude from the two of us.”
If there was anyone else who still felt suspicious of him, their suspicions were now completely allayed by his words. Everyone could sense his absolute sincerity.
In both the Boundless Mainland and the Xuantian Continent, ancestral cultivation techniques were incredibly valuable to any and all Heavenly Jewel Masters. Zhou Weiqing expressing willingness to hand his over was more than enough to demonstrate his sincerity. Every single person’s cultivation technique was unique in its own way, and it could be used to judge many things. For him to not even hold back on something as priceless as an ancestral technique meant that he was essentially laying himself completely bare.
Indeed, when Guyu heard these words his expression instantly became much friendlier. He waved his hand and said, “When we have some spare time, let’s spar a little. For you to have reached the five-Jeweled level at such a young age means that you are a promising talent. This old man is willing to give you a pointer or two.”
Zhou Weiqing’s words were beautifully spoken, but Grandmaster Guyu wouldn’t be so easily convinced. If you wish to offer up your techniques, then I’ll first see for myself just how your techniques are. Besides, any technique which could allow a twenty-year-old to reach the five-Jeweled stage had to be a decent one.
The hidden verbal exchange between the two was ‘invisible’, but it was the most dangerous of all confrontations. If something went wrong, the two sides could instantly find themselves enemies. The reason why Zhou Weiqing was able to remain composed was because he truly didn’t have any intentions of harming the people aboard this vessel. In addition, even if something did go wrong he didn’t have to be afraid. So long as he had the Sea Emperor Shuttle, they would still be able to reach the Xuantian Continent. However, if they reached the continent via this vessel they would have a new, proper identity. They would also be able to learn many things regarding the continent, which would be of great use to them.
The meals on the ship were naturally centered around seafood. Large ships like this would only bring fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of dried meat and grains. The vast majority of their provisions, they had to catch for themselves from the sea. This was the only way for them to continue to sail for extended periods of time.
However, this rather plain banquet was more than enough to awaken the appetites of Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er. Any sort of hot food would be unspeakably appealing after the month they had spent subsisting on grains! Their very voracity served as another testament to the terrible experience they had suffered at sea.
After the meal, Grandmaster Guyu didn’t release Zhou Weiqing. Instead, he invited Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er to his private quarters.
Compared to Zhou Weiqing’s residence, Guyu’s cabin was much larger and better furnished. This single cabin took up all the space in the ship’s highest level, and it even came with its own exercise area. From here, they had a superb vantage point to see the ocean around them.
Shangguan Bing’er waited outside, while Zhou Weiqing was ushered inside the cabin. The two peculiar-looking youths were Guyu’s disciples, and they waited outside as well. They tried to strike up a conversation with Shangguan Bing’er and get closer to her. If it had been Shangguan Fei’er who was here, all their secrets would’ve been revealed in a snap. Bing’er, however, was different. No matter what they said, she simply listened with a smile while saying very little. This simply spurred them on, but they remained quite courteous and didn’t act improperly at all.
Roughly an hour later, Grandmaster Guyu let out a startled cry from within his cabin. “This cultivation technique of yours is absolute suicidal! For you to have reached such a level is just incredibly lucky. ‘Immortal Deity Technique’? More like ‘Doomed Deity Technique’!”
The door to the cabin swung open. Zhou Weiqing walked out with a rather helpless look on his face, Grandmaster Guyu by his side. Guyu had an absolutely stunned look on his face, and he couldn’t help but stare at Zhou Weiqing strangely.
As soon as Shangguan Bing’er heard this, she knew what had happened. She lowered her head and forced back her laughter as she walked over to stand next to Zhou Weiqing. The cute and reliant way she acted towards him filled the two youths with jealousy.
Guyu let out a long sigh. “Weiqing, this old man has honestly never even heard of a technique like this, nor can I give you any pointers. Go back to your cabin and have a rest. We’re already on our way back. If we run into any enemies enroute to the continent, I’ll need to ask the two of you to lend a hand.”
Zhou Weiqing said respectfully, “Of course.” His earlier performance had clearly won him Guyu’s acknowledgment, and he was now a member of this vessel’s crew.
Next came the long trip back. To the people on the boat, this was an extremely boring trip. All they did was occasionally hunt a few weaker sea beasts to add to their harvests. To Zhou Weiqing and Shangguan Bing’er, however, this was a far better life than the one they had experienced on the Sea Emperor Shuttle. They didn’t need to do anything at all, but they were still headed where they needed to go. Most importantly, they were learning many new things about the Xuantian Continent.
Zhou Weiqing was highly adaptable to any new environment, and he made friends very easily. He quickly began to learn a great deal of information through his conversations with the people aboard this ship.