Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ye Futian naturally did not care about what the other top forces thought of him. He turned his gaze and saw some of the most powerful figures who had come. He had seen many of them before, like Lin Shubai from Nine States College, Tong He, and Bai Luli from Jixia Holy Palace. And beside Bai Luli was another powerful figure from Jixia Holy Palace, one of Princess Xia Qingyuan’s Heavenly Chosen Ones. In fact, all of the Heavenly Chosen Ones were here, aside from the ones that he had killed. He knew that these were all people that Xia Qingyuan specifically wanted to train.
Of course, in addition to the people from the Nine States, there were also some people that Xia Qingyuan had chosen to guard her in Emperor Xia’s Palace, like Tian Ji, the son of the Sacred General of Tian.
At that moment, a maid came up to Ye Futian and said, “Imperial Bodyguard Ye, the Princess summons you.” A confused look came over Ye Futian’s face when he heard he call him. Imperial Bodyguard Ye?
He looked at the maid and recognized her as the maid who had told him that the Princess would not see him when he tried to enter the palace. She looked at him coldly, as if she was not pleased by this turn of events. She probably thought that he had no respect for Xia Qingyuan. Ye Futian naturally did not want to get into an argument with a maid, and moreover, there was nothing wrong with being called an Imperial Bodyguard. After all, he was the Princess’s personal valet.
“Go on,” Saint Xia said to him.
Ye Futian nodded and walked forward. All the geniuses of the Nine States watched him with trepidation in their hearts. After all, Ye Futian had grown up with them, and it could even be said that he had risen with their help. But in the last Sacred War, Ye Futian’s reputation as the best in the Nine States had been created, and later in the Battle of Proving Holiness, the Barren State had produced five Saints.
Later, they had heard that after they left with Xia Qingyuan, Ye Futian and Yu Sheng had gone to the Upper Realms, ascended the Sky Stairwell and fought through many layers of heaven to retrieve Ye Wuchen’s life spirit.
They had heard many more rumors about Ye Futian after coming to Emperor Xias Palace. He seemed to be quite famous in the Upper Realms, and he had been named the Princess’s valet. And now the Princess had invited only him to come over. Did that mean she trusted him?
Lin Shubai watched Ye Futian walking over with a conflicted look on his face. When Ye Futian had gone to Nine State College to cultivate, he had been nothing more than a talented junior. There had been many small disturbances in the college because of him. He had once reminded Xu Chehan of this, but now he and Little Butterfly had entered the Holy Zhi Palace, and Saint Jiang as well. It was enough to make one sigh. What kind of charm did he have to make Saints act like this? Even his master, Saint Li, regarded Ye Futian highly.
Ye Futian walked through the crowd to another palace hall. Xia Qingyuan stood there quietly, looking forward so that she could see everyone who was coming in.
“Princess,” said Ye Futian.
“Come here,” said Xia Qingyuan.
Ye Futian nodded and walked to her side. “Why is it that you have summoned people from both the Upper and Lower Realms?” he asked.
“Do you know the history of the Divine Prefecture?” asked Xia Qingyuan.
Ye Futian shook his head. “No.” He had grown up in remote Qingzhou, and although he had read through many books at Nine States College, he still did not know the history of the Divine Prefecture. He only knew a few things about Donghuang the Great and Emperor Ye Qing. Moreover, as he got stronger and set his gaze higher, he realized that what he had once thought was the truth was often just rumors. Only by standing in a higher position could one touch the actual truth.
“In ancient times, the Heavenly Path collapsed, all cultivation was blocked, and the Path transformed into thousands of realms. For thousands of years, powerful figures plundered the heavens and the earth, controlled the Great Path, and enslaved all sentient beings. The world of cultivation became exceedingly strict, and people did as well. The strong became stronger, and the weak had no choice but to submit,” said Xia Qingyuan. She spoke calmly as she recounted the history of the Divine Prefecture.
Ye Futian’s heart trembled as he heard her words. He felt solemn. In ancient times, the Heavenly Path had collapsed. What was the Heavenly Path? What did it mean that cultivation had been blocked and that the Path transformed into thousands of realms?
In Emperor Xia’s Realm, the rules of the Upper Realms were much clearer and richer, and obviously more suited to cultivation than in the Lower Realm. Xia Qingyuan said that powerful figures plundered the heavens and the earth, controlled the Great Path and enslaved all sentient beings and that the world of cultivation became extremely strict. Did that mean that there was a better place for cultivation? At that moment, he thought of Chess Saint. Although he was a plunderer himself, his words were perhaps not meaningless.
“What happened 300 years ago?” Ye Futian suddenly asked. He thought of Emperor Ye Qing. 300 years ago, Donghuang the Great and Emperor Ye Qing had declared themselves emperors of all the world. However, he did not know if what this person from the Lower Realm had told him was true or not.
“The history of the Divine Prefecture is a history of chaotic looting and plundering. Because the great figures of the age created powerful forces, their plundering of the Great Path became even crueler. 300 years ago, Donghuang the Great and Emperor Ye Qing declared themselves emperors and rebuilt the world in an ordered fashion. Thus, the Divine Prefecture has been much better off for the past few hundred years, but the fundamental problems still cannot be solved,” continued Xia Qingyuan. “But this has little to do with us. Best not to think about it too much.” Her father had said that Ye Futian’s background was probably dreadful. She guessed that he might be related to Emperor Ye Qing.
Ye Futian wanted to know why Donghuang the Great and Emperor Ye Qing had fallen out, and why Emperor Ye Qing was taboo in the Divine Prefecture. Everything had been destroyed, and so Xia Qingyuan probably didn’t know. In any case, this gathering probably had nothing to do with any of this. What Xia Qingyuan had said was correct. None of this had much to do with him.
“Does the History of the Divine Prefecture have to do with this gathering?” asked Ye Futian.
“What I was just talking about is just the background. Most of the 3,000 Realms of the Great Path are under Renhuang’s control, but there are some exceptions. These are the Lordless Realms. For example, not far from Emperor Xia’s Realm there is a place known as the Empty Realm, which was formed from a piece of the shattered Heavenly Path. Now that the Divine Path is not scattered, its will covers the Empty Realm. Many wandering cultivators have gathered there to cultivate. In addition, many cultivators from the realms of the three emperors are stationed there,” answered Xia Qingyuan.
“Emperor Xia’s Realm and Emperor Li’s Realm?” asked Ye Futian.
“Mm.” Xia Qingyuan nodded. “And the Demon Emperor’s Realm that is ruled by the Demon Peacock Emperor. These three realms are neighbors, and the Empty Realm is the area in between them all.”
When Ye Futian was cultivating in the Nine States, he had heard that the Barren State was connected to the Demon Emperor’s Realm, and if you continued West past the Summer State you would reach the Dali Dynasty. In the Upper Realms, this represented the Realms of the Three Emperors.
“Is this place there for the purpose of helping people understand the way of the Divine Path?” asked Ye Futian.
“Mm.” Xia Qingyuan nodded. “And the Empty Realm isn’t the only place like this. There are many resources for cultivators in the Upper Realms. You did not take part in the Battle of Proving Holiness, but the resources for these battles come from there. These things were formed from the Heavenly Path, and are extremely mysterious. Not only can they help you understand the way of the Divine Path, but they also contain the broken pieces of Great Path that have been refined into sacred spirit stones. When used for cultivation, they have many uses, such as forging divine implements.”
This stirred up Ye Futian’s feelings. He had not been in the Upper Realms for long, but he had already learned how lacking the Lower Realms cultivation resources were. He had never heard of these things. Not long ago, Yaya had taught him of the four tiers of the Divine Path: the holiness of witnessing the Divine Path, the holiness of knowing your true self, flawless holiness, and Nirvana. This had made him realize that one’s state of mind was very important in becoming a Saint.
What Xia Qingyuan was telling him now made him realize that cultivation resources were also very important. When cultivating it was important to raise your level bit by bit and then understand the Great Path. You needed your level to be stable, and your state of mind to be untroubled. When you had achieved both of these things, you could understand the Divine Path and break through to the next level. His understanding of cultivation had recently become much deeper.
After the Sacred War, You Chi, Zhuge Qingfeng and the others’ mental states were strong enough, but their levels were not high enough. Thus they had participated in the Battle of Proving Holiness, using outside power to understand the Great Path and bring their levels closer to where they needed to be in order to break through to the next plane.
Master Douzhan was the same way. His mental state had reached where it needed to be, and he had used a battle matrix during the Sacred War to transcend the limits of his flesh and raise his level up to the Divine Path, thus attracting the Divine Catastrophe. Thus, there were two difficulties for a cultivator who wanted to break through to the Saint level, which was why there were so few Saints in the Lower Realm.
The first was that if your talent was not enough, you would have no way to reach the peak of what was possible below the Saint level. The second was if your mental state was not good enough, you could not succeed.
For the people of the Lower Realm, the first difficulty was more important. If you didn’t have enough talent, you could not break through the barriers that you would face while cultivating. Therefore, the people of the Nine States greatly cherished the Battle of Proving Holiness.
This was what the people of the Upper Realms called cultivation resources. For the geniuses of the Upper Realms, these were nothing, and instead, the thing that kept them from becoming Saints was the second difficulty. Of course, this was only relative. The top forces of the Upper Realms had a broad vision. They practiced powerful martial arts and had famous teachers to instruct them. For example, Wang Chuan’s state of mind was so strong that he could even set out on the Divine Path through a defeat.
Thus, it was much harder for someone from the Lower Realm to become a Saint than someone from the Upper Realms. Things were unfair for them from birth.
“If this is so important, how does it affect Sages?” asked Ye Futian. The conflict between the three emperors’ realms was a battle between Saints.
“Which is of less importance, the loss of a Saint or the loss of a Sage?” asked Xia Qingyuan.
Ye Futian suddenly understood. Compared to the Sacred War that had just broken out, more Saints would fall in this one.
“The three realms have agreed that a battle between cultivators below the Saint plane will decide who has the right to control the Empty Realm for ten years. Of course, Saint level cultivators will go there as well, since people not following the rules happens all too often. So a battle between Saints could break out at any moment.”
Ye Futian nodded. Emperor Xia was there to enforce the rules of Sacred Wars in the Nine States, and no one would dare to go against him. But in this war between the three realms, the rules were nothing more than a three-way verbal agreement. There were no cultivators above them to enforce the rules. Since the rules were set so weakly, they could be broken at any time. It seemed that Li Yao had also come for this same reason, in order to prepare in advance.
“When do we leave?” asked Ye Futian. He would definitely not refuse. One reason was because Emperor Li’s Realm would take part in the battle, and the other was because he wanted to experience this for himself.
“I will give seven days for every force to send people here. When the time comes, you will command the forces of the Nine States,” said Xia Qingyuan. She was giving her Heavenly Chosen Ones over to him to command.
“Excellent.” Ye Futian calmly agreed to this!