Seven days later, in Emperor Xia’s Palace, many mighty cultivators gathered.
Forces from all corners of Emperor Xia’s Realm gathered together; its composition impressive and strong. Of course, apart from the direct forces belonging to Emperor Xia, many of the top forces of the realm came on a voluntary basis. Still, there were also many who did not participate, such as the swordsmen of Lihen Heaven.
Divine Cloud Valley and the Xiao Clan had the most cultivators in attendance. After all, their relationship with Emperor Xia was an extraordinarily close one, so it was only natural that they would follow Emperor Xia closely. Even though Emperor Xia did not personally participate in this event, since the Princess would personally attend the battle of the Empty Realm, it had already caused a great sensation among the people. This was the first time Xia Qingyuan participating in a direct confrontation involving the imperial realm, therefore defeat was not an option.
The Xiao Clan was the family of Queen Xiao and were the elders of princess Xia Qingyuan, so it was natural for them to fully support her. From this battle onward, Xiao Sheng would officially become part of Emperor Xia’s Palace. The same was true of the Divine Cloud Valley. The valley master of Divine Cloud Valley was an old acquaintance of Emperor Xia, and Gongsun Zhong was its third generation. Though he was in love with princess Xia Qingyuan, he was afraid to show it, but still, he held out hope in his heart.
Of all the forces that arrived today, the people of the Upper Worlds formed one camp, while the cultivators of Nine States formed into a different camp.
Ye Futian also arrived, in the camp of Nine States. It was not just Ye Futian or Yu Sheng, but Yaya, Glass Saint, and the Village Chief would also be attending this time, and the Empty Realm would be a suitable place for Yaya to continue her cultivation.
Xia Qingyuan stood on the stairs in front, and looking down from the sky, she said, “This time in the Empty Realm, those elected from the Nine States shall be directly commanded by Ye Futian as their own independent camp.” All the saints who heard her glanced at Xia Qingyuan and thought that the Princess indeed thought highly of Ye Futian, as she was having him command those who were divinely selected. However, this was not unexpected, as Ye Futian now possessed the talent, strength, status and all of the qualifications to make him a suitable candidate for this role. However, it also implied how highly Xia Qingyuan regarded Ye Futian.
The top forces of Emperor Xia’s Realm had many strong and powerful cultivators, and they were followed by many other cultivators, forming a self-contained camp led by the best of them, such as Xiao Sheng, Gongsun Zhong, and Xuanyuan Ao. Now Ye Futian, along with his group and the divinely selected from the Nine States, although not as strong in numbers, was still able to form a camp of his own, enough to keep up with the top forces of the other camp.
As for the camp of Emperor Xia’s Palace led by Xia Qingyuan, there was no more that needed to be said except that not all the powers were present there. Two great armies had already arrived in the Empty Realm. Not only that, but in the Empty Realm, Emperor Xia also had his own principalities. Although the Empty Realm was not as vast as Emperor Xia’s Realm, it was a complete one.
For those divinely selected in the Nine States to be commanded by Ye Futian, some had no disagreement, but there were also some who had other ideas. They thought that they would be following the Princess, but now, were they to follow Ye Futian instead? It seemed that Ye Futian had gone farther than they had and had a different relationship with the Princess.
“Princess,” guards came over and bowed at the stairs, “Virgin Yao Xi of Yaotai Divine Palace requests an audience with you.”
“What is she doing here?” Xia Qingyuan’s voice was cold. Although Yaotai Divine Palace was also a top force in Emperor Xia’s Realm, it was not very close to Emperor Xia’s Palace. Its remote location was far away from Emperor Xia’s Palace, but recently it seemed that Yao Xi often visited this area, and her motivation remained unclear.
“She said that she wants to participate in the battle with the army.”
“Let them in,” Xia Qingyuan replied.
“Yes.” The guards left, and not long after that, the cultivators of Yaotai Divine Palace came, led by Yao Xi, and attracted countless attention in an instant. After all, the beauty of the Yaotai Goddess was extremely phenomenal, especially Yao Xi, whose beauty was out of this world and incredibly magnificent.
“Yao Xi greets the princess.” Yao Xi bowed slightly to show her respect. Her every move was full of beauty which fascinated everyone.
Xia Qingyuan looked at that beautiful Goddess, and her voice was colder still. “Did Yaotai Divine Palace only dispatch its sage level cultivators?”
“To answer the princess, the battle of the Empty Realm is now the battle below the Saint Plane. If it turned into the battle of the Divine Path, the great army of His Majesty would respond. Therefore, Yao Xi only brought the sages to come lend our help to the Princess.” Yao Xi’s voice was still soft with a wonderful charm. Even as a woman, Xia Qingyuan had to admit that she was an enchanting creature. Just her voice alone was enough to charm one to the bones and led many to fantasize.
“After reaching the Empty Realm, you will wait for deployment,” Xia Qingyuan said.
“Yes, Princess.” Yao Xi nodded. When she finished, she smiled and walked toward the other direction, where the people of Nine States gathered. Yao Xi’s clear and pure eyes were full of smiles, enough to make anyone who beheld them feel their heart skip a beat.
“Master Ye, we meet again.” Yao Xi smiled at Ye Futian.
“Goddess.” Ye Futian nodded in return.
The people of Nine States, when witnessing this scene, all expressed a surprised look, silently watching Ye Futian. Who exactly was this b*stard? In the short time since arriving in the Upper Worlds, the princess clearly favored him, and now this magnificent Goddess greeted him first rather than any one of the powerful characters of the Upper Worlds, this…
Never mind the people of the Nine States, even Ye Futian himself did not quite understand.
“Recent rumors in Emperor Xia’s Realm say that in the battle of the 33rd Layer of Heaven in Lihen Heaven, Master Ye was defeated, but Yao Xi does not believe it. Seeing Master Ye today, I would like to ask Master Ye, how exactly did the battle go?” Yao Xi asked smilingly. The rumors in Emperor Xia’s Realm said that Ye Futian was sorely beaten. To be asked by another person, it might seem a bit rude. If Ye Futian was indeed defeated, it would be more like a deliberate attempt at humiliation, so no one would take the prerogative to ask such a question. However, when Yao Xi spoke, her speech and demeanor did not make anyone feel that there was anything inappropriate with the question, and no one would even consider it as an insult. It was as if she had complete confidence in Ye Futian. In fact, many cultivators of the Upper Worlds also wanted to know the reality of that battle, so their eyes were all fastened on Ye Futian.
“I won, but so did Wang Chuan,” said Ye Futian. In that battle, he had made a breakthrough in his state of mind and his level had become higher. Wang Chuan especially had changed his mindset and had passed the Divine Catastrophe and become a saint. Therefore, there were no losers really; they both won. If no such thing had happened on the 33rd Layer of Heaven, he would probably have said something blatantly humiliating about Lihen Heaven, but he did not do so now.
Yao Xi’s eyes twinkled, and she continued to gaze at Ye Futian. She smiled lightly, “Although I don’t know what that really means, since Master Ye said that both won, then it must be so.”
“Winning is winning, defeat is defeat, how can both win in a battle?” Gongsun Zhong of Divine Cloud Valley piped up. Even if the battle was a tie, it would only be possible to say that both were unbeaten. Ye Futian’s words were somewhat ridiculous.
Ye Futian looked at Gongsun Zhong. The Xiao Clan wanted to groom Xiao Sheng in Emperor Xia’s Palace, following Xia Qingyuan, and become her most trusted right-hand man. Xiao Sheng was unhappy about Xia Qingyuan and Emperor Xia’s interest in him. But what could be the reason for Gongsun Zhong’s hostility toward him? Was it because Xiao Sheng wanted to marry his sister Gongsun Ni? Or, was there a reason similar to Xiao Sheng’s?
“One day, if you can reach the realm of Wang Chuan, perhaps you will understand.” Ye Futian did not expound further, but made a blunt declaration. It was equivalent to saying that the realm of Gongsun Zhong was not as advanced as that of Wang Chuan.
Although that day, Wang Chuan took thousands of swords down the mountain to slay the people Emperor Li’s Realm, many had thought that Wang Chuan was the first person under the Saint Plane in Emperor Xia’s Realm and even Princess Xia Qingyuan may not be able to surpass him. Even though Gongsun Zhong also had a reputation as being one of the best under the Saint Plane, it was probably not quite the same as Wang Chuan. But an unspoken thought was different than Ye Futian’s public declaration, and it did not leave him any room to stand down. Moreover, Ye Futian stated that he and Wang Chuan had both won, which implied that he placed them in the same position. Now that he declared that Gongsun Zhong was not on the same level as Wang Chuan, was he also insinuating that Gongsun Zhong was not as good as he was?
Gongsun Zhong stared at Ye Futian and calmly said, “Wang Chuan has already broken into the Saint Plane. I’m clearly not at the same level as him, but what about you?”
“From the 33rd Layer of Heaven in Lihen Heaven, Ye Futian and Wang Chuan battled, Ye Futian was the winner.” At this time a voice was heard, making everyone’s heart tremble. Everyone turned their attention to the person who had spoken. It was the only figure on the stairs—Xia Qingyuan.
In the battle of the 33rd Layer of Heaven, Xia Qingyuan was a personal witness; who would dare to question her words? In that battle, Ye Futian was the winner.
Everyone present was stupefied. Many had speculated that Ye Futian was defeated, and some had speculated that the battle was a tie, hence Ye Futian’s tight-lipped insistence that both of them had won. But no one had thought that it was Ye Futian who had won.
If he had won, why was Wang Chuan the one who broke into the Way?
Why was he looking thoughtful when he came down the mountain that day?
Why did Ye Futian never again humiliate Lihen Heaven?
Many people were puzzled, and Yao Xi looked toward Ye Futian. Her eyes revealed a strange splendor.
“Even though Wang Chuan was defeated, he used the defeat to enter the Way, eschewed the shackles in his heart and detached himself from winning and losing. He attracted the Divine Catastrophe but was able to enter the Divine Path. Ye Futian’s pronouncement that Wang Chuan also won was not an incorrect statement,” Xia Qingyuan continued. Her voice was calm, but every word was whipping Gongsun Zhong’s heart. She continued, “Do you have any more questions?”
Gongsun Zhong’s state of mind had been shaken. If it was simply the news that Ye Futian defeated Wang Chuan, it would not have affected him much. However, a supposedly simple dialogue today put him into a trap. At the end, when Xia Qingyuan announced the result of the battle, it undoubtedly stung his heart deeply.
Ye Futian had won but he was not arrogant. He had not mentioned anything of the battle, even claiming that Wang Chuan had also won. But because of his persistence in asking for the details, attempting to force Ye Futian to admit his defeat in front of Xia Qingyuan, the level of the two men was now clear as day.
Many people looked at Gongsun Zhong with sympathy. Although Xia Qingyuan did not reprimand him, this was a trap that he had dug for himself. Xia Qingyuan’s simple announcement of the truth about the battle was enough to bruise him.
“The world misunderstood that battle, saying that Palace Lord Ye was defeated, and yet Master Ye never explained it, and even today, he pronounced that both won. This kind of generosity…” Yao Xi looked at Ye Futian with a smile.
“Departure.” She had not finished when Xia Qingyuan interrupted her and made a command coldly, which stunned many!