Museum of Deadly Beasts - Chapter 388
The Jade Dragon Festival was a traditional holiday in the Jade Dragon Kingdom. The festival starts on the first day of March every year, in the spring season, and celebrations would last for seven days. Since the establishment of the Jade Dragon Kingdom, this tradition had been maintained for more than three hundred years now.
The purpose of the Jade Dragon Festival was actually to give thanks to the jade dragon deity, a ritual to pray for his blessings.
For this exact reason, Lin Jin was currently dressed in ceremonial robes. It was so bizarre that he was completely different from how he used to look. He found the event to be odd and frankly, a little absurd.
He had personally killed that jade dragon deity a little while ago and yet, here he was, hosting an event that was supposedly a blessing received from the jade dragon deity.
This was just…
For a moment there, even Lin Jin didn’t know how to describe what he was feeling.
He just felt like laughing.
Only a handful of people knew about the jade dragon deity’s demise. His Majesty knew it shouldn’t be exposed nor could it be exposed. Hence, the ‘jade dragon deity’ worshipped by their nation was somehow another ‘jade dragon deity’. In other words, what they were praying to was not the one Lin Jin had killed.
As a symbol and subject of faith, the jade dragon deity was sacred and perfect.
Frankly speaking, that jade dragon deity Lin Jin had met wasn’t the least bit sacred at all. Instead, greedy, brutal, and selfish were more suitable words to describe him.
However, to the oblivious citizens, they worshipped this jade dragon deity as a guardian of Jade Dragon Kingdom, and this faith had been ingrained into their culture for several hundred years now. The jade dragon deity may seem powerful, but he was actually just a tool for the He family.
As this had been going on for three hundred years now, the event’s blessing ceremony was incredibly complicated. Instead of headquarters, the procession was held on a spacious main street which would continue until they reached the Jade Dragon Temple.
Folks here were surprisingly superstitious considering the fact that, even when the jade dragon deity was alive, he wouldn’t possibly give his blessings to any of them.
“Appraiser Lin, you may begin now!” an appraiser nearby reminded him.
Lin Jin nodded before initiating the boring yet complex ritual.
In the past, the capital’s Beast Appraisal Association Headquarters would select an appraiser to host the Jade Dragon Festival’s blessing event, and most of the time, the candidates would be the select appraisers that everyone was familiar with.
This year was different. Most people noticed that the host was an unfamiliar character.
Not only was he new, but the man seemed rather young judging by his appearance.
This raised curiosity and suspicion among the crowd. The young appraiser’s identity also became the main topic of discussion, especially after they saw him wearing a three-ringed beast pattern sleeve guard. As outsiders, they were obviously confused.
Rank 3 beast appraisers were few and far between in the Jade Dragon Kingdom. In fact, there was so little of them that some could recite the names of all the Rank 3 beast appraisers in the Jade Dragon Kingdom.
However, no one had a clue as to who this young man was.
Still, there were people who did. Halfway through the ceremony, by word of mouth, many learned that the host of this year’s blessing event was called ‘Lin Jin’, hailing from Maple City and was currently the youngest Rank 3 beast appraiser in the Jade Dragon Kingdom.
“Even if he’s a Rank 3 beast appraiser, isn’t he too young? The Jade Dragon Festival’s blessing event is of great importance. Can a youngster like him handle it?” someone asked.
Many people shared the same thought.
As the procession continued, up to ten thousand citizens formed a human stream as they followed the blessing parade into the Jade Dragon Temple.
As the most important annual festival of Jade Dragon Kingdom, many palace officials joined in the celebration too. Aside from officials, even the nation’s royalty came to view the event as well.
At that moment, inside the Jade Dragon Temple, the officials were neatly dressed, standing solemnly in a corner. Further inside were the members of the royal He family.
As Emperor, He Qian was unsurprisingly present and he was accompanied by his children and grandchildren who stood around him.
Several princesses attended the event as well, including the sixth and seventh princesses.
He Qing was almost bored out of her wits inside the palace. Being a playful character, she loved lively events, so if an opportunity presented itself, she would surely come outside to join in the fun.
In contrast to her, He Yu preferred the peace and quiet of the palace grounds. Celebrations of this sort were boring to her so she usually stayed away. However, something changed her mind this year. She even begged He Qian to let her attend the celebrations, especially after what He Qing whispered into her ear.
“I heard that Appraiser Lin will be hosting the Jade Dragon Festival’s blessing event this year.”
This was the reason why He Yu was so hellbent on seeing the procession. Since just now, she had been craning her neck to look outside as if she was waiting for someone.
Standing beside her, He Qing chuckled and whispered, “It isn’t time yet. This isn’t like you. Are you that desperate to meet Appraiser Lin?”
He Yu’s face turned beet red at He Qing’s words but she forced an indignant look. “Nonsense. Appraiser Lin saved my life but I hadn’t gotten the chance to thank him. I just thought that I would thank him in person when he arrives.”
“Yes, yes, I understand,” replied He Qing.
They were whispering to each other, which was unsurprising given how serious the atmosphere was.
In the past, the Emperor’s prayers were hosted by the palace’s event officer, but this year, His Majesty opted not to follow previous customs. Instead, he chose to wait.
He was waiting for the host of the Beast Appraisal Association Headquarters to direct this blessing ritual.
There had been similar exceptions in the past, but they were rare. Well-informed palace officials were aware that the reason behind this was Appraiser Lin.
In addition, that incident the night before had shaken the entire royal capital. After all, the search for Yang Qingshi saw the mobilization of several thousand city guards.
While it was on the Lieutenant Governor’s orders, the person who commanded him to do so was His Majesty.
Hence, discussions and exchanges of information on Lin Jin had long been going around among the ruling class, and they all came to one conclusion. Lin Jin was highly capable and valued by the emperor.
However, most people reserved their opinions on how good an appraiser Lin Jin actually was. What they all agreed on was the fact that this blessing event would be the greatest trial for Lin Jin to prove himself.
In the last segment of the celebration, a lucky citizen’s pet beast would be picked at random and it would be promoted to the next rank. This was a challenging activity for beast appraisers. No Rank 1 or 2 beast appraiser had absolute confidence in promoting a Rank 1 pet beast to Rank 2. Evolving a Rank 2 to 3 would be even harder. Such an endeavor was impossible for a Rank 1 appraiser, and for Rank 2s, it largely depended on one’s luck.
Even Rank 3 beast appraisers would find it difficult to achieve a one hundred percent success rate when evolving a Rank 2 pet beast to Rank 3, but they had confidence for lower-ranked beasts. Moreover, the crowd was mostly filled with commoners and most commoners’ pet beasts were only Rank 1. Hence, in the past few decades, nearly all pet beasts picked were Rank 1s who got promoted to Rank 2. The only difference would be the beast’s breed.
Even still, randomly picking a pet beast and promoting it from Rank 1 to Rank 2 was incredibly challenging for beast appraisers, even for Rank 2 beast appraisers.
So if Lin Jin could pull off the stunt, it would prove that he was truly a Rank 3 beast appraiser.