Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
At the Holy Zhi Palace, the sunlight sprinkled on the sky stairwell. The legend of the Barren State bathed in its golden glow and walked down the steps. The people of the Barren State were solemn, as if in the presence of the holy.
Ye Futian and the others walked down, and the white-haired youth was more extraordinary in his aura. He looked at the immense crowd underneath, and said to Saint Xia, Saint Li, and the rest of the people next to him, “Please sit down, honorable seniors.” Saint Xia, Glass Saint and the rest then sat, and Ye Futian and other people from the palace also sat in their own seats. The Holy Zhi Palace in Barren State was the host, so it was natural that its people were sitting in the middle.
Ye Futian occupied the middle, with Yaya at the left, the Village Chief was sitting next to him, and Saint Jiang and Douzhan were to the right, and all the cultivators from the four great holy lands were all sitting near Ye Futian. Such a display of power let the people of the Nine States truly feel the strength of the Barren State.
On the side, there were palace lords such as Sword Saint, Yang Xiao, Sword Demon, Daozang, and many others. Every one of them was a well-known figure in the Barren State. In the Barren State, many of their legends had circulated.
All the holy lands of Nine States sat in an arc, with the Xia Clan on the left, the Nine State College on the right, and behind them, the Vajra Region, the Yue Clan, and other principalities of the holy lands that sided with Ye Futian. Their positions were also toward the top, as they themselves already held high status in the Nine States. As for other holy lands, they sat according to their ranking. Since the saints were all arriving today, using the recognizing ranking for sitting, no one would have objected. The exception was the three holy lands of the Endless Ocean and the Yi Clan sitting at the end, and the reason was apparent to the people of Nine States.
In the direction of Jixia Palace, Bai Luli also arrived. Witnessing the prosperity of the Barren State at this moment, his heart was equally filled with emotion and relief. And he released everything in the past to the wind. Ye Futian had not only completed the master’s long-time wish but also brought the Holy Zhi Palace to a new height.
Bai Luli looked up at the white-haired figure who bathed in the sunlight. His eyes took in the people of Nine State.
Ye Futian said slowly, “Nine State Forum is the highest stage for all the young people of the Nine States, proud sons and daughters of all holy lands competed here to witness the true strength of the cultivators of the Nine States. Therefore, the Nine State Forum is slightly different from the past. Instead of dividing the number of people participating in the battles in the Nine States, all the people who participated in the Nine States will be mixed and redistributed. My hope was that we would see the strongest of the Nine States and not about keeping the balance of the participants of the Nine States.
“In the past few years, the Barren State was isolated from the rest of the Nine States and the strength of the outside world was unknown and lagged far behind the average strength of the Nine States. Even though this time the Nine State Forum is being held in the Holy Zhi Palace at Barren State, and perhaps the participants from Barren State were the fewest with the least finalists, it doesn’t matter. I only hope that people in the Barren State will witness the battles of the forum as motivation for them to work harder. The Great Path is long and treacherous, only the faithful will be able to see the scenery farther away.”
The calm voice of Ye Futian sounded in the eardrums of the people of the Barren State. Many even felt their blood boiling. The road to cultivation on the Great Path was long and winding, and only those whose belief was firm could go far. What if the Barren State lagged behind the average strength of the Nine States? Didn’t Ye Futian and these living legends bring the Barren State to a new height?
This time at the Nine State Forum, there was no Yu Sheng and no Hua Jieyu, so it was not as brilliant as the one a few years back, but it did not matter, and no one would really mind. Today, the Nine States Forum took place at the Holy Zhi Palace in Barren State. With the arrival of all the saints, it obviously held historical meaning. Compared to that, the reality of the Nine State Forum was not that important. This year’s Nine State Forum was the grandest in a hundred years, and precisely because of this, the ranking of this time’s Nine State Forum was the most insignificant.
After Ye Futian finished speaking, Douzhan who stood next to Ye Futian also said, “The reward for this year’s Nine State Forum for the top ten are all divine implements or holy items. I hope you will all do your best.”
In this mighty Sacred War, the Hall of Holy Light suffered heavy losses, and three holy lands were eradicated. After the war, the Holy Zhi Palace had obtained many divine implement and holy items as trophies. Today’s Holy Zhi Palace could be considered extremely wealthy, so it was not a big deal for them to put up ten holy items as prizes, but at Nine State Forum it showed extreme sincerity. It was also a sign of respect for all the saints of the Nine States who were present today, highlighting the importance that Holy Zhi Palace paid to Nine State Forum.
“Announce the rules of the law battles, and let’s get started,” Ye Futian said with a clear voice. Instantly, Sword Demon and the Sage Wanxiang stepped forward for the battle platform to preside over the Nine State Forum. Thus, the Nine State Forum hosted by the Holy Zhi Palace in Barren State was kicked off. Under the witness by all the saints of the Nine States, all the proud sons and daughters of Nine States gave their best, but with great sportsmanship, so that as much as it was a great showing, it did not damage the peace between the participants. This was also the current inclination of Nine States. After the turmoil caused by the Sacred War, all the saints hoped that there would be no more turbulence now.
The cultivators in the Barren State were undoubtedly the most enthusiastic and excited among all the participants of this time’s Nine State Forum. Those cultivators from the Barren State, who participated in the law battles gave their all, and in the end, three were able to enter the top 100, but ultimately none of them were able to enter the top ten. Even though the ranking was not really ideal, it was not easy for them. For this, the people of the Barren State did not care much.
The Nine State Form this time took a month to come to a close. Many people in the holy lands of Nine States had left, and the cultivators of the Yi Clan left the fastest. But Ye Futian had asked the people of the Barren State to stay behind. Saint Xia and Saint Li did not rush to leave either, wanting to see what Ye Futian had to say.
The vast number of the people of the Barren State did not leave, staring at Ye Futian on the stairwell as if they wanted to stay in the palace forever.
Ye Futian got up and looked at the people of the Barren State and said, “As everyone knows, our Holy Zhi Palace of Barren State experienced this Sacred War, and now it is finally able to stand firmly atop of all Nine States. This was the wish of the generations past of the Holy Zhi Palace, but it wasn’t just the Holy Zhi Palace I wished to be strong, but also that the cultivators of Barren State so that they could have the best conditions for cultivation. When I was cultivating at the cottage of the East Barren Territory, this was also how my master taught me. Cultivators need to keep an open mind and a great heart, not to be self-centered, but to share the way with the world. In the past, my master was like this, and so is the Holy Zhi Palace, and Saint Jiang also has such a wish. I am now the palace lord, and I will fulfill the wishes of my predecessors, and make them a reality.
“I announce that the land of Zhongzhou City, in the Barren State, will establish Tingxue Palace with Xu Shang as the palace lord of Tingxue Palace. In the northern territory of the Barren State will be Zhuge Academic Palace with Zhuge Qingfeng as palace lord. In the western part of the Barren State, Alchemy Palace at Alchemy City, with You Chi as the palace lord. In the southern part of the Barren State, Ice Palace will be established with Yun Shang was the palace lord. In the east, the Starry Palace will be established with Chen Yuan was the palace lord.
“The five palaces of the Barren State are all branches of the Holy Zhi Palace. I will be sending cultivators directly from the Holy Zhi Palace to the five palaces to share their wisdom, and distribute the spiritual resources to the people who cultivated in the Barren State. Every year, the palaces will meet with the Holy Zhi Palace to exchange. Those who cultivated with hardships, good moral, and outstanding talents can choose whether to enter the Holy Zhi Palace to cultivate, and those who excelled among them could even enter the holy temple and enjoy the resources of the Divine Path.”
Ye Futian’s voice was loud and clear and rang through heaven and earth, trembling in the ears of everyone in the Barren State. Countless felt the flow of their blood in their veins. This was the heart of Ye Futian, palace lord of Holy Zhi Palace. After the Sacred War, the Holy Zhi Palace suffered terrible losses, and his beloved wife died in battle. With the flame of revenge in his heart, he destroyed the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty and Xihua Sacred Mountain on a roll. But to this day, he still cared for the people of the Barren State.
You Chi, Zhuge Qingfeng, Xu Shang, Yun Shang, Chen Yuan, and others stood by Ye Futian. They were all smiling. This was decided after they had discussed it together. Alchemist City, Tingxue House, and Zhuge Family would no longer exist but would be branches of the Holy Zhi Palace. It was just that from now on, instead of being forces of clans and family, they would have evangelical purposes rather than being self-centered.
They were all willing to support Ye Futian and work hard for the same goal. It was also a wonderful thing that when they had cultivated to this level, that in addition to pursuing the Divine Path, they could also contribute to the world.
Saint Xia and Saint Li both smiled and felt relief in their hearts. Saint Li looked at Saint Jiang and released that last trace of resistance about Saint Jiang joining the Holy Zhi Palace. All was well. But in the same way, among the crowds, the Ximen Clan and the other branch of the Zhuge family appeared pale, as if they had fallen into the abyss. They all understood that from this day forward, in the Barren State, there would only be the Holy Zhi Palace. They would all gradually disappear into the long river of history and be allowed to decline with time.
Ye Futian did not take revenge against them, but this order was enough to change their destiny. Everything was over, and the Barren State would have a new landscape henceforth. This Nine State Forum, which was held at the Holy Zhi Palace, was indeed a marker between two eras.
“Thank you, palace lord,” a voice broke through the silence of the space and pulled back everyone’s thoughts. Suddenly, the same sound started to be heard everywhere. Soon, this sound was heard between heaven and earth, and the sound was soaring. Under the stairwell, in the vast palace, countless people bowed their heads and bowed down to Ye Futian. There was sincere respect in their eyes.
Saint Xia saw this and smiled, and said to Saint Li who was next to him, “We should go.”
“Well, let’s go.” Saint Li nodded, and the two led their respective cultivators and left together.
Ye Futian turned and walked up the stairwell, and the people around him followed him as well, climbing up the sky stairwell, step by step. Under the stairwell, countless many looked up behind him, seeing his white hair fluttering in the wind like a real immortal.
Nine State Forum had ended, but it was just a prelude of a new era for the Barren State!