Bai Qiu was already a musical sorcerer in the Dharma Plane and Ye Futian was only in the Seven-Starred Glory Plane. It would be difficult enough to just catch up to Bai Qiu's current level in the span of one or two years. Musical sorcerers should indeed enter the Qin clan for cultivation.
Ye Futian looked at Bai Qiu with a peculiar expression. This was his second offer to Ye Futian. The first was to offer him a position as his musical attendant. This second time, even though he now had a better impression of Ye Futian, one could still hear from his tone of voice that Bai Qiu still felt superior to Ye Futian. 'With your current attainments, you might be equal to me after one or two years in the Qin Clan'? Did Ye Futian need one or two years? And must he enter the Qin Clan in order to do so?
Just as he was about to reject the offer, a rough, irritated voice said, "Will you shut up?"
Everyone turned their eyes over to the origin of the voice and saw Yu Sheng standing atop the Black Wind Eagle in the skies. He looked at Bai Qiu with an icy expression. Last time when Bai Qiu had asked Ye Futian to be his musical attendant, Yu Sheng was already pissed. Now, that Bai Qiu was showing his superiority over Ye Futian once again, Yu Sheng could not hold back anymore.
To others, Bai Qiu's offer might have been a sign of his approval towards Ye Futian. The basis of that assumption was that even they thought Bai Qiu was better than Ye Futian. However, Yu Sheng had the exact opposite opinion. To Yu Sheng, Bai Qiu's offer was a blatant insult to Ye Futian, and the reason why he was so irritated.
Many people gave Yu Sheng strange looks. On the other hand, members of the Qin Clan did not have a good expression on their faces. Bai Qiu was a representative of the younger generation members of the Qin Clan. Outside of the clan, Bai Qiu was a representative of the clan's reputation. In their eyes, Bai Qiu admired Ye Futian's abilities and thus invited him to join the Qin Clan, but was berated by Yu Sheng.
"Even though your talents are impressive and is incredibly strong, to speak like that is still a little out of line." Bai Qiu did not say anything in reply to Yu Sheng's outburst. It was another member of the Qin Clan who spoke.
"Scram!" Yu Sheng said nothing else. He did not want to waste his breath.
"You" The young clan member glared at Yu Sheng. How could he be so rude?
"The things he says are just as crazy as the way he fights." Everyone looked at Yu Sheng. He was talking to members of the Qin Clan and particularly, at the clan's Dharma Plane prodigy, Bai Qiu. He really did not show them any respect.
Bai Qiu did a once over of Yu Sheng and smiled. Then, he turned to say to Ye Futian, "I extended an offer to you out of the kindness of my heart. If you were not interested then so be it. However, we are at the Fenghua Banquet, in the presence of the emperor. Your friend is truly lacking proper etiquette."
Ye Futian's pupils contracted slightly. Bai Qiu was insinuating that Yu Sheng had no respect for the emperor.
Lifting his head to look at Bai Qiu, Ye Futian smiled and said, "Will you shut up?" The same question Yu Sheng asked.
Yu Sheng was only enraged because it regarded Ye Futian. Even if he was in the wrong, Ye Futian would not take any other side in front of outsiders. Besides, Ye Futian also did not like Bai Qiu much.
In the huge venue, many people watched Ye Futian. These people were really interesting.
Bai Qiu and the members of the Qin Clan were rendered speechless by Ye Futian utterance. Although Bai Qiu still had a smile on his face, everyone could tell that it was an awkward smile.
"I'll see you on the Fenghua Platform," said Bai Qiu coldly. He said nothing more after that.
Ye Futian did not care. A gust of wind brushed over Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu. The two of them were lifted into the air and onto the back of the Black Wind Eagle. Ye Futian glared quickly at Yu Sheng. Does this guy know how to keep a low profile?
Yu Sheng gave him a carefree smile. It was a good-natured smile, unlike his ferocious self a while ago.
The battles continued and participants joined nonstop. There were indeed many prodigies in the crowd. After the Seven-Starred Glory Plane cultivators were done, it was time for the higher-level cultivators. Eight-Starred Glory Plane, Nine-Starred Glory Plane, the battles were getting more and more intense. More and more extremely talented people emerged. Disregarding natural gifts and talents, if one was in a higher plane, it would be easier to get noticed by the emperor.
Ye Futian and the rest stayed on the Black Wind Eagle's back as they continued to observe the battles. Inwardly they thought, The Fenghua Banquet is indeed a gathering of talents in the Cangye Kingdom. Some participants were indeed very outstanding.
Ye Futian took notice of an Eight-Starred Glory Plane participant. It was a girl, beautiful and pure. She was not lacking in comparison to Cangye Kingdom's number one beauty, Lin Yueyao. The reason why she stood out to Ye Futian was her occupation class. She was a conjurer but also an inscriber. During the battle, she was able to simultaneously display her talents in both classes through drawing.
Her name was Hua Zhixin. As soon as she appeared on the battle platform, she was the center of attention. Spectators began to discuss about. It seemed that she was pretty well-known. Of course, the Cangye Kingdom's number beauty, Lin Yueyao, received more attention when she appeared because she was more attractive.
Besides these two participants, there were others in the Glory Plane who stood out from the rest but none that attracted as much attention as the two beauties.
After everyone in the Glory Plane was finished, it was already almost dusk. Next, it was time for the Dharma Plane cultivators. There was nowhere as many Dharma Plane participants as there was in the Glory Plane. There were only a couple hundred people, and most of them were first level Dharma Plane cultivators.
The battle between Dharma Plane cultivators was far more ferocious than that of the Glory Plane cultivators. When all participants began to release their realization of Dharma, everything became a blur for the audience. Especially because it was a chaotic battle between so many people. It was a truly thrilling scene. Every individual battle was enough to get people's hearts racing.
Ye Futian paid close attention to the Dharma Plane battles. He also took notice of Bai Qiu's battle.
Bai Qiu was arrogant and rightfully so, because he did possess the gifts and talents. During the battle, he stayed to one side and played a piece. No one was able to even get close to him and this was what made him stand out amongst everyone else.
Besides Bai Qiu, several of the Dharma Plane students from Cangye College were also very powerful. There was also a young man, who people called Young Lord. His sword skills were eye-opening. Ye Futian had his name memorized: Ye Wuchen. They shared a surname.
Finally, after all battles had ceased, only a little over 200 of the initial 10,000 plus participants had passed. They were allowed to continue competing in this year's Fenghua Banquet.
The night had fallen and the skies were now pitch black but outside the imperial palace, the lights illuminated the Fenghua Platform.
The emperor stood from his throne and everyone followed suit immediately. A figure walked out from beside the emperor and said with a smile, "His Majesty has set up a feast in the imperial palace. All participants who have passed today may follow His Majesty into the palace."
Everyone nodded lightly. It was a banquet after all, there must be a feast. Besides during the battles, those of true talent were able to share a meal with the emperor. It would be a formal and official meeting with the emperor. That was why, they must filter out only the best of the best in this first round and why there were only 200 some people left from over 10,000 participants.
Ye Futian and his friends traveled to the back of the crowd and arrived in front of Hua Fengliu and the rest. He said, "Master, we're going to head into the imperial palace. Once the dinner is over, we'll head back to the inn."
"Go," smiled Hua Fengliu. There was no need to worry. The emperor of the Cangye Kingdom seemed to be an open-minded person. His reason for holding the Fenghua Banquet was to search for talented cultivators. Naturally, there was no need for Hua Fengliu to worry about anything happening to the trio in the palace.
Ye Futian turned back and the three youngsters walked towards the imperial palace. The emperor left first in his carriage. The participants had others to lead the way.
Passing the Fenghua Platform was the Fenghua Gate. After that, was a straight road to the imperial palace. The palace architecture had its own unique style. The large group was led into the royal garden. The environment was extremely beautiful, extravagant but not lacking elegance.
The emperor and empress were already waiting in the garden. Everyone approached to bow and make their greetings.
"No need to be too formal, just treat this as a regular family dinner. Sit as you please," smiled the emperor. Then, he took his own seat with the empress. Only then did everyone take a seat. Everyone had their own small table. Ye Futian, Hua Jieyu, and Yu Sheng all sat at their own tables.
"Today was the beginning of the Fenghua Banquet. Everyone present now is the pride of the younger generation in the Cangye Kingdom. You guys are the future of our country. The empress and I toast to you all." The emperor lifted his wine glass and everyone followed right after.
"When the Fenghua Banquet comes to an end, I know that not everyone will be pleased with the results. However, to have reached this point, you already proved your talent. Even if you are unable to advance after tomorrow, please do not be discouraged," said the emperor. Everyone seated below was of the younger generation and not suited to have conversation with the emperor, so they just sat and listened.
The emperor continued with a smile, "I know that you guys won't be able to let loose with me here. I will let these youngsters stay to socialize with you guys and I'll take my leave now. No one is allowed to leave too early today or else it will hurt my pride." After he finished, the emperor left with a smile, the empress following alongside him. However, the two princes and the two princesses stayed behind.
The people present today could very well become important people in the Cangye Kingdom. It would not hurt for the princes and princesses to become acquainted with them early on. This was another purpose of tonight's feast.
"Alright, now that Father has left, you guys can let loose," laughed a prince. Everyone laughed as well, and there was a change in the atmosphere. The princes and princesses were of a similar age as everyone seated at the dinner. There was no need to be overly formal amongst a group of all youths. After all, they were all cultivators with outstanding gifts and talents, so compared to ordinary people, they were not as awestruck by royalty.
"This is my first time to see Goddess Lin Yueyao at such close proximity. You are indeed a beauty previously only seen in paintings," the prince complimented Lin Yueyao.
"She is indeed the number one beauty of Cangye Kingdom. It's not just rumors," said a person in the crowd.
"It's simply a title others have given me as a joke. Your Highness had over praised me," Lin Yueyao replied with a hint of a smile.
"In a moment like this, how can we not have some music?" asked a gentle voice. It was one of the princesses. She looked towards Bai Qiu and Ye Futian. Both musical sorcerers were extremely handsome, gentlemanly, and talented.
"The music of the Qin Clan is not suited for this atmosphere. I'm afraid I will have to disappoint you, Princess," smiled Bai Qiu. "However, during today's Fenghua Banquet, Ye Futian played and Hua Jieyu danced. They complemented each other so well, truly a match made in heaven. Why don't you guys take this chance to impress everyone with your performance?"
Everyone at the venue smiled at Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu. Earlier today, the trio really did steal the show with their abilities. Furthermore, Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu were obviously a couple. Their collaborative performance during the Fenghua Banquet was just too pleasing!