Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Many people had come from Daoli Mountain, and the one at their head had a powerful aura. He was a Saint who had cultivated to be very powerful. They walked to the front of the platform, then stopped, and swept their gazes over the seats. They bowed slightly and said, “Greetings, Your Highness.”
“Today, you have come here to take part in the sparring session. We are just here to watch, so there is no need to be so polite. Don’t worry about us,” said Li Xun with a smile.
Dali Academy and Daoli Mountain were the two strongest holy lands in the Dali Dynasty. He was also looking forward to the battle between these two vast holy lands. It would undoubtedly be marvelous.
At that moment, Lu Xun’s gaze fell upon a young man who was standing among the crowd. He was standing up straight and tall and was looking forward calmly. No emotion could be seen in his bright and clear eyes. They were as calm and still as water. However, even so, the people in the crowd took notice of him as soon as they saw him. Some people had this kind of quality, that even when they were in a crowd, everyone would look at them.
Di Hao of Daoli Mountain was said to be the strongest person in the Dali Dynasty below the Saint level, and he had cultivated himself to be infinitesimally close to the Saint plane.
“The cultivators of Daoli Mountain greet our brothers on the Path from Dali Academy.” The cultivators from Daoli Academy may have come seeking the Path, but they still expressed themselves very politely. Not a trace of arrogance or taunting could be seen from them. It was as if they had just come to pay a visit.
“You are all so polite. Please sit.” Yan Yuan pointed out the seats for the cultivators from Daoli Mountain. The elders of Daoli Mountain took their seats, while Di Hao and the other youths remained standing. They had come to seek the Path, not a banquet. The disciples of Dali Academy were also standing. They would not sit either.
“The Imperial Adviser is coming,” said Li Xun. From far away, they could see another group of figures coming. In the crowd, Ye Futian also looked up. Among the group of people who were coming were Lu Chuan, who he had seen before. But this time, Lu Chuan was standing behind someone else. He was a middle-aged man wearing sky-blue robes. His face was square and even, and there was no strong sense of majesty coming off him, making him seem like an elegant and refined person. But even though there was no aura bursting from him, one could still feel that he had a strong spirit within him.
Everyone sitting in their seats rose, even the Princes Li Yao and Li Xun and the great figures from the top forces. All of them bowed to him. The disciples of Dali Academy and Daoli Mountain naturally did the same, and they respectfully called out to the one who was coming, “Greetings, Imperial Adviser.”
No matter if you liked him or not, no matter if you sympathized with him or not, as soon as you saw this middle-aged man, you could do nothing but bow respectfully and call out his name. He had not been born into the Imperial family, but he stood at the peak of the Dali Dynasty and was said only to be subject to one person. Moreover, even if you didn’t like him, you had to admit that he had worked his heart out for the Dali Dynasty. He had bent his mind and skill towards training people. He was even basically responsible for carrying out the Battle of Empty Realm.
This middle-aged man was indeed the top figure in Emperor Li’s Realm. Dali Academy alone had trained countless top cultivators.
Before he had come to the Dali Dynasty, Ye Futian had heard a lot of rumors about him in the Battle of Empty Realm. Many in Emperor Xia’s Realm even said that he was a strange and evil man who practiced dark magic. But since coming to Dali, all he had seen and heard was the absolute admiration that people in both the Upper and Lower Worlds had for him.
Even the Princes of Dali Imperial City bowed to him when they saw him. King Tiandao’s household was not at peace with the Imperial Adviser, but the people of Daoli Mountain still had to show respect when they saw him.
This was what he had seen of the Imperial Adviser in the Dali Dynasty. He had wondered what kind of person this man, who stood at the peak of the Dali Dynasty, was. Perhaps only those who stood beside him could truly know anything about him.
The Imperial Adviser walked to his seat and bowed slightly to Li Xun and the others, saying, “May I be seated, Your Highness?”
“Please,” said Li Xun politely. The Imperial Adviser was not a stickler about where he sat, and so Li Xun and the others always left him several possible places of honor at the center.
After he sat, the Imperial Adviser looked at the vast sparring field before him. With only a glance, he gave everyone there a strange feeling. It was as if he were looking directly at them. Everyone had this same feeling, and Ye Futian was no exception.
“There are many holy lands for cultivating in Dali Dynasty, but few of them are in contact with each other. Today, Daoli Mountain has come seeking the Path, and this is a good thing. Thus, I have invited many people form Dali Imperial City and Sword Mountain to come and witness the sparring session,” said the Imperial Adviser. “For the vast majority of people, there are boundaries to cultivation, and once you have reached a certain level, it is difficult to move forward. You can only wait for your juniors to overtake you. I hope that the juniors of the Dali Dynasty can continue to surpass their elders. As a member of the Dali Dynasty, seeing so many outstanding juniors gathered here for this sparring session soothes my heart. If you all can keep coming to seek the Path in the future, that would be a beautiful thing. When you spar with each other, you can see your weaknesses, scrutinize yourself, and then keep moving forward. Today I will choose a disciple from among those sparring here. Of course, if he is not willing, I will not force him. I now give you all time to yourselves.” And on saying this, he said no more.
In reality, all the disciples of both Dali Academy and Daoli Mountain were outstanding people, and all of them were at the Sage level. There were many things that their elders didn’t need to do. Here, all they had to do was observe. These disciples would do very well on their own.
At that moment, a figure walked out of the group of disciples of Daoli Mountain. There was a fierce expression on his face. He wanted to look even more dangerous than Di Hao. His eyes were as sharp as knives, and he gave off a pressing aura. But this aura was not too strong. When he released his rule power, everyone could feel that he had only cultivated up to the lower Sage level. But he was undoubtedly at the peak of that plane.
“I am Kuang Xiao of Daoli Mountain. I have no name of my own, as found on the battlefield, and brought back by the army. The king gave me my name, as my father probably died in battle.” The youth looked at the disciples of Dali Academy. “In this life, most of my time has been spent either cultivating or in battle. I have killed many enemies, and have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat many times. The disciples of Dali Academy cultivate here in the city, reading books. Yet, they receive the respect of the masses, and enjoy many cultivation resources, even though they have rarely experienced the threat of death. This is because no one dares to do anything against them. Thus, I wish to test if my cultivation methods are better, or if those of Dali Academy are better.” Kuang Xiao’s dashing spirit was carried in his voice, and he did not hide his talent. Even the bit of aura that he was projecting was extremely wild.
Unlike Daoli Mountain, Dali Academy was located in a city. Thus the environment that the disciples of Dali Academy lived in was indeed much more peaceful. And each disciple of the academy was relatively famous, with everyone knowing about them. In contrast, the cultivators of Daoli Mountain, which was located in the West, often faced death on the battlefield, and yet few in the Dali Dynasty knew their names. Only Di Hao attracted anyone’s attention.
This diatribe that Kuang Xiao had launched against the disciples of Dali Academy was calling Dali Academy itself into question, as well as the Imperial Adviser’s ideas. In some sense, Daoli Mountain’s attitude was King of the West Tiandao’s attitude.
Li Xun looked at Kuang Xiao. His kingly uncle seemed to want to prove something by this sparring session. The cultivators of Dali Academy talked among themselves quietly, and then a mighty and powerful figure walked out from their midst.
“That is Qian Shan, who has been called the most talented student of rhythmic sorcery in Dali Academy,” Li You told Ye Futian. Dali Academy naturally did not only have top-level Sages. It had cultivators of all levels. And Qian Shan was an extremely powerful lower-level Sage.
After he had stepped forward, Qian Shan bowed to the crowd, then looked towards Kuang Xiao and said, “The Great Path is long. There is no weakest person on it, just those who are better suited and those who are less suited. Reading leads to cultivation, as does killing enemies on the field of battle. There is no distinction about which is better. Moreover, we do not receive cultivation resources and the respect of the masses just because we are disciples of Dali Academy. Any time the Dali Dynasty needs us, we can go to war. In last year’s Battle of Empty Realm, Brother Yuan Jin died on the field of battle.”
Everyone nodded slightly. Qian Shan’s argument was outstanding.
“You may say there is no distinction about which is better, but there is,” said Kuang Xiao. His wild aura swept out from him.
Qian Shan nodded. “Please.” He knelt on the vast sparring field, and a Guqin Spirit appeared. He began to pluck the guqin, and the notes resonated. The melody was warm and calm, seemingly able to calm the anger of a human heart.
Kuang Xiao’s life spirit blossomed, and the figure an impossibly giant beast appeared behind him, full of ferocity and anger. It was the vicious beast Taowu.
A suffocating pressure swept across the sparring field, and Kuang Xiao suddenly stepped forward. The ground trembled continuously. He seemed to be one with Taowu, having transformed into a beast of war as he charged at Qian Shan.
Qian Shan continued plucking the guqin’s strings, and the notes resonated with heaven and earth. Suddenly, an invisible force pierced through everything, as the musical sorcery turned into invisible power and shot towards Kuang Xiao and Taowu, slowing them down considerably.
Hearing the music, Ye Futian felt that the Worldly Rules had been infected by it. It seemed that in that area, everything would only move according to the music. Even those watching on the sidelines had an illusion that their perception and movements had been slowed.
“Kuang Xiao will probably lose,” thought Ye Futian. Although he was very wild, and his combat ability was very high, Qian Shan’s music could control him. Moreover, as a disciple of Dali Academy, Qian Shan’s rule spells would certainly not be weak.
Sure enough, a snowstorm seemed to appear along with the trembling notes. The temperature plummeted, and waves began to crash towards his opponent. The whole area seemed to have turned into a sea world, and the watery prison affected Kuang Xiao’s movements.
As soon as Kuang Xiao had stepped forward, the disciples of Dali Academy must have guessed that he was good at close combat!