An arrogant voice sounded out from the carriage, grating on Xia Moyin's ears and making her teeth itch.
"I am from the imperial family of the Gravime Empire. I need immediate access to this city, and I order you to open up these gates to let us in." It was the voice of an adult male, nasal and holier-than-thou, with a heavy foreign accent and despotic tone.
The Gravime Empire was a medium size country that shared a border with the Moon Empire. It was barely big enough to be considered an kingdom, but because of a large war that happened two or three hundred years ago they ended up getting a large chunk of land and being branded an empire.
One of the guards walked over with a slightly annoyed expression, ready to tell them to be on their way. They had dealt with many masters and misses who decided to flaunt their wealth and power in their faces to get access to the city. So many that the number likely numbered in the thousands. However, all that came in the past had failed, and all that were to come in the future were also doomed to fail.
When the person in the carriage realized the guards didn't immediately go to open the gates and let them enter the city, they tried again, their tone even worse than before.
"I told you already, open up these gates right now! I have an Imperial Order, and if you impede me from completing it, I will have you demoted!" The person huffed loudly, clearly annoyed. He really had an Imperial Order, it just wasn't for him. It was for the Black City City Lord, and it gave him no such power to demote anyone.
The guard ignored his words, calmly walking up the carriage driver. "No one is allowed to skip the line. Either move to the end or please leave." He was completely unconcerned at the thought of an Imperial Order.
The Black City's City Lord was famous, not only for having one of the most criminal infested cities on the continent, but also for his complete disregard for the powers that be. He had been repeatedly told to arrest and give up the wanted criminals inside his city, but every time the kingdom or empire that ordered him was rebuffed completely. This habit was passed on to the people he himself employed, and they had no respect for anyone other than the City Lord. They didn't give face to anyone, and this behavior was actually encouraged within the city.
This was a regular occurrence for the city guards and this time it was no different, directly telling the man in the carriage to go to the back of the line or forget about getting into the city. The man could only swallow the blood back down his throat and go to the back.
The entire exchange was heard by Xia Moyin and everyone else in the line, since it was halting the steady pace at which they were moving. Many of their faces had gone from annoyance to smug satisfaction in the matter of minutes. 'If we have to wait in this line for hours, so should you!'
Xia Moyin ignored them all, debating over whether or not to go and look at the wall. In the end she decided not to, she could just do it once she got into the city, plus there were people behind her now so she couldn't just go back to her spot.
There was a sullen air around the posse as the carriage turned around and headed back toward the end of the line, the mercenaries they had hired following not far behind. They stopped the carriage over by the side, the man sending some mercenaries to take their place behind Xia Moyin and at the end of the line.
The line proceeded as it was before, though it was more tense. The carriage occupants glared at them all, furious and humiliated. They had been held back by a simple city guard with no background, how could they ever live this down? More than one of them was staring holes into the back of Xia Moyin's head, as if she was the sole purpose for their delay. She completely disregarded them, oblivious to the pure animosity manifesting behind her.
Another forty five minutes passed, and there were only two people between Xia Moyin and entering the city. The person at the beginning of the line had just entered the side room when one of the mercenaries guarding the carriage ran over and whispered into the ear of one of the mercenary's already there.
Xia Moyin was now in the body of a young teenager and had no cultivation, but even in her weakened state she could every word that they exchanged, no matter how hard they tried to conceal them. She also had no shame in eavesdropping.
"The client is getting impatient. We need to speed this up, otherwise he will have both our heads! If we just skip over the kid and the other guy, he won't have anything else to complain about."
The mercenary regretted taking up this particular job. Escorting some bigwig to a city was something they did all the time, but most of the time their clients weren't this disagreeable. Usually they either ignored them completely or at least weren't so loud, but this particular one wouldn't stop complaining about everything.
How bumpy the carriage was, how slow the Spirit Beasts were going. How he hated having to go Black City, how he regretted hiring mercenaries, how he wished that he could have just gone alone, how he thought mercenaries were useless anyway. If it wasn't because he was paying more than others, the mercenary would have just dropped the job, high rank be damned.
The kid he was referring to was Xia Moyin of course, and the other guy was the person who was next in line to enter the city. Her small stature made her be mistaken as a small child of six or seven, despite she herself physically being thirteen years old.
Xia Moyin glanced at them, her face blank. If they actually tried to skip the line she would put them in their place but if they didn't act on it she would stay her hand. Unfortunately about five minutes later, right after the person in front her had gone into the city, they attempted to step around her.
The mercenary behind her glanced at her, slightly sheepish. He ignored the tiny bit of guilt from skipping ahead of a child and deftly steeped around her, as if she was just a rock in the middle of the path. Xia Moyin did not move from her spot, just calmly tilting her head back to look at the man in front of her, quietly spreading her consciousness over her body.
This simple action, though rudimentary from the viewpoint of others, was an extremely difficult technique, refined over many years of cultivation practice and training. In her past life, it had taken her nearly six years of practice before she could cover an area the size of a fist, and that was considered genius-level fast.
In this world, only the old men who've been cultivating for years had been able to achieve a fraction of what she could, and even then it was with much difficulty. To see someone who could cover their entire body was practically impossible, and even if you could, they were probably hundreds of years old. She hadn't been cultivating lately so she couldn't use it to attack, however it was still an amazing intimidation tactic.
The mercenary felt biting cold encompass him, an unseen pressure radiating out from behind him and making his heart seize up with fear. A pair of malevolent eyes bore a hole into his back as he stiffened, cold sweat pouring down his face. Although it wasn't the pressure given off from one with a much higher cultivation, it was pretty darn close.
This spread out towards the carriage and its inhabitants, making them all freeze in terror. The arrogant man from before whimpered slightly, the previous arrogance completely having vanished.
A single cold voice sounded out as the guard for the city gate came out, signalling for the next person to come out,"Move."
The mercenary scrambled out of the way, practically tripping over himself to let her pass. He gave her a furtive glance, a bit of surprise and doubt in his eyes. 'She's so young...' Even though he wasn't the strongest cultivator, he wasn't the worst either, and had been cultivating all of his life. For what he a little kid to suppress him, they must have an above average background....
Xia Moyin ignored him completely, walking around him and carrying her bag to the city gate.