In the main hall of the Cangye Kingdom's imperial palace, an ambassador from the Nandou Nation had arrived. Emperor Ye met him seated on his throne.
"Greetings, Emperor Ye," said the ambassador. He knelt down on the floor in a deep bow.
"Rise," said Emperor Ye.
"Thank you, Your Majesty." The ambassador rose from the ground and looked at Emperor Ye. "I have come under the order of His Majesty of the Nandou Nation. We heard that traitors of our country, Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu, were here at the Cangye Palace. His Majesty has sent me in a request that they be returned to the Nandou Nation for punishment."
"They are already citizens of the Cangye Kingdom. Furthermore, I have already conferred the title of princess upon Hua Jieyu and she is now my goddaughter. Relay the message to your emperor, they no longer have anything to do with your country. Do not use the term 'traitor' in reference to them anymore," Emperor Ye said with a cold demeanor. He was dignified and stern.
"They were once citizens of the Nandou Nation's East Sea Prefecture and have defied the orders of the emperor. They are traitors and deserve capital punishment. Is it really proper for Emperor Ye to handle things this way?" the ambassador asked the emperor without fear.
"How preposterous!" said someone on the sideline. They stared at the ambassador with cold eyes but he only lifted his head to look at Emperor Ye calmly, neither haughty nor humble.
"I will repeat myself once more. They are now part of the Cangye Kingdom. Hua Jieyu is a princess and, in the future, Ye Futian will be a prince. Did you hear me clearly?" said with a natural sternness. Noble will befell the ambassador and he could feel an invisible force pushing down on his head.
"Our country is willing to trade a city for each of them," the ambassador bowed his head.
"If I want one your cities, I will fight for it myself. You may head back to answer to your emperor now," said Emperor Ye. Battles always happened at the borders of the two countries. One day, the border cities belonged to the Nandou Nation, the next, to the Cangye Kingdom. It changed hands every couple of days. To an emperor of an entire country, of what use was one city?
The ambassador reached both hands out, bowed down, and said "The Nandou Nation's Tingfeng Banquet is about to begin. We are inviting emperors of each country to attend. Our emperor has sent me here with an invitation, inviting Emperor Ye to attend." He fished out an invitation and submitted it with both hands. Someone took the invitation and then handed it to Emperor Ye. He read it over and smiled. "Very well. Tell your emperor that I will be attending the banquet."
"The Nandou Nation awaits Emperor Ye's presence. I will excuse myself now," the ambassador bowed his head and retreated backward. He continued out of the hall before bowing once again and only then, did he turn his back to leave.
After he left, Emperor Ye put down the invitation in his hand and went into deep thought. Emperor Luo is actually inviting emperors of different countries to attend the Tingfeng Banquet. Was he that confident in this year's banquet?
Standing up, Emperor Ye walked out of the main hall.
Ye Futian had no idea of this. Although he knew that the results of the Fenghua Banquet might attract attention from the Nandou Nation, he never thought they would send someone so quickly.
On the mountain, Imperial Advisor Mo He, said to Hua Jieyu, "Princess Jieyu's Life Spirit seems to have evolved. Back in the old Nandou Nation, I used to follow His Majesty around and have a pretty good understanding of this Life Spirit. Princess Jieyu, you can continue to cultivate here and I can teach you what I know."
Hua Jieyu's eyes sparkled and she quickly nodded. "Thank you, Senior."
"I have hidden my name for so long, not even His Majesty, Emperor Ye, knows my true identity. In public, you can continue to call me Imperial Advisor," said Mo He.
"Okay." everyone nodded. Ye Futian was moved. Who would have thought that in a foreign land, they would be able to meet the imperial sorcerer of the Nandou Nation's previous royal family? Years ago, the royal Nandou family was stripped of their title and moved out of the East Sea Prefecture to avoid danger. They did not dare to even think of revolting because they were afraid that Emperor Luo might try to kill them. Once an imperial bodyguard, Luo Tianyin, had become emperor. One imperial order from him was able to scare the wits out of the entire clan. What a joke.
"Someone's here," said the imperial advisor. He walked outside and moments later, Prince Ye Danchen and Princess Ye Lingxi arrived.
"Greetings, Imperial Advisor." The two of them bowed at the elder in respect.
"No need for formalities, Your Highness," said Mo He.
"Imperial Advisor, we are here for Ye Futian and the others," said Ye Danchen.
Mo He nodded. Ye Futian walked over and asked, "What is it, Your Highness?"
"Not long ago, an ambassador of the Nandou Nation came to see Father, asking him to hand you two over," Ye Danchen explained. Ye Futian's eyes faltered. That was quick.
"Father rejected, of course. However, the ambassador then brought out an invitation, inviting Father to the Tingfeng Banquet. Father wants to bring all ten of the cultivators on the Fenghua Rank along with him and wants to know if you guys would be willing to do so," Ye Danchen asked Ye Futian.
"The Tingfeng Banquet." Ye Futian was frozen. It was a familiar name. Once upon a time, back in the Nandou Nation, Minister Zuo had wanted him to head to the imperial city in the Spring to attend the Tingfeng Banquet. Ye Futian had the same idea himself and prepared to make the trip. But in the span of a mere month, which seemed like such a long time, hearing about the banquet, it seemed so foreign.
Was the Tingfeng Banquet about to begin?
"We'll go," Ye Futian nodded without hesitation. He wanted to see Emperor Luo for himself, the man who ruined his life with one imperial order. As for his safety, Ye Futian was not worried. Even though the Cangye Kingdom and the Nandou nation had been rivals for hundreds of years, there had never been any battles significant enough to ruin either country. Even when there were more serious battles, both countries knew their limits. There was a strange equilibrium in the relationship between both countries. It was something that no one would destroy.
The reason was simple. Both emperors were powerful cultivators in the Noble Plane. Neither person had an advantage over the other. What truly determined the fate of a country was not the strength of its army but the ability of its leader, the ability of the emperor. For example, in the old Nandou Nation, the emperor had fallen and led to the entire family being overthrown, becoming history.
If Ye Futian attended the banquet with Emperor Ye, Emperor Luo wouldn't kill him even if he wanted to because what would happen if Emperor Ye charged into the Nandou Nation's imperial palace in a fit of rage? Fighting with a person in the Noble Plane would only mean death. Even between rival countries, there was a mutual understanding. No one was allowed to cross the line and break equilibrium. Or else, there would be heavy consequences. That was, unless, one of the emperors was already strong enough to kill the other on the spot.
In the world of cultivation, personal abilities were more important than anything else. Even royal power was the result of a person's abilities.
Since Emperor Ye had Ye Danchen come to ask Ye Futian to attend, it was obvious that he had also realized this point. Emperor Luo wouldn't dare to touch Ye Futian, especially not in his own country.
"Are you all going?" Ye Lingxi asked, looking at Yu Sheng and Hua Jieyu.
"Jieyu shouldn't go. She should stay to take care of Master," said Ye Futian. In reality, Hua Fengliu was fine under the care of Nandou Wenyin and Tang Lan. Besides, his injuries had already gotten a lot better, but Hua Jieyu had to stay and cultivate with the imperial advisor. It had to do with her future in cultivation.
"Alright," nodded Ye Danchen. "I'll go ask the others now. I'll come find you again when it's time to go."
"Thank you, Your Highness." Ye Futian nodded in response. Ye Danchen and Ye Lingxi left afterward.
"Are you really going to the Nandou Nation's imperial city?" Hua Fengliu asked Ye Futian.
"Yeah. I had already planned to do so. This is the perfect opportunity." Ye Futian smiled.
"Be careful," warned Hua Fengliu.
"Master, don't worry and focus on your treatment. You have to repair your Life Spirit, or else it'll be really embarrassing for you when I surpass you in a couple of years," laughed Ye Futian.
"Okay. When I'm fully healed, I can guide your cultivation properly." Hua Fengliu smiled at his disciple.
Ye Futian shivered at the fake smile on his face. "Master, your gifts are peerless. When you're fully healed, you'll definitely do great things. I cannot compare."
Only then did Hua Fengliu nod in satisfaction. Deep down, Ye Futian was cursing him for being so shameless. He's such a bully to his disciple!
The next morning, a group had gathered outside the imperial palace. They were the brilliant cultivators from the Fenghua Banquet. Their attention fell on Ye Futian, Yu Sheng, and Ye Danchen when the stepped out. Everyone had a different look on their faces.
Wasn't Ye Futian from the Nandou Nation? Going to attend the Tingfeng Banquet was the perfect chance for them to check out just how powerful the cultivators in the Nandou Nation were.
"Where's Hua Jieyu?" Lin Yueyao could not help but ask when she noticed that Hue Jieyu was missing.
"She has other business to attend to and won't be coming with us," Ye Futian answered. He was quite surprised. He didn't expect that Lin Yueyao would ask about Jieyu.
Lin Yueyao nodded her head lightly and didn't say anything else.
Moments later, a group of people came out from the palace. It was Emperor Ye and his people. Besides the emperor, there were a few very dignified looking individuals. They must have been people of very high cultivation.
A loud roar came from within the imperial palace. Everyone looked up and saw a fearsome creature headed toward them. The scary beast was a flood dragon. The Flood Dragon approached and moved to stay near Emperor Ye.
"Let's head out since we're all here. I wanted to bring you guys on this trip to show you guys cultivators of other countries. Do not limit yourselves to the Cangye Kingdom. There may be a day when you will leave here." Emperor Ye smiled and walked to the Flood Dragon. Everyone followed the emperor on to the dragon's back.
With a loud roar and a huge gust of wind, the Flood Dragon lifted into the air, rising higher and higher. It broke through the clouds at an alarming speed, headed in the direction of the Nandou Nation.
The Cangye Kingdom was over a hundred kilometers away from the Nandou Nation. However, because of the Flood Dragon's high cultivation, it moved with the wind and they arrived in the Nandou Nation's imperial city in a single day.
Presently, powerful cultivators from all around the country had gathered in the imperial city. Emperor Luo had also invited emperors from other countries to attend the banquet. Countless beasts soared through the skies, filling the air with their cries. But when the Flood Dragon flew by, everyone stared from far away. They looked at the line of people mounted on the dragon as they tried to guess their identity.
The Flood Dragon was a ferocious beast like no other. It must be a powerful demon beast. What kind of person would be able to control such a beast?
Emperor Ye stood on the dragon's back quietly, allowing the wind to blow freely on him. His long hair blew in the wind. Beside him stood Ye Futian, who was looking down on the imperial city.
"What are you thinking?" asked Emperor Ye with a smile. Ye Futian must have been experiencing a wave of emotions, coming back here.
"I was thinking about when I can finally wipe out the imperial Nandou Palace," Ye Futian replied as he looked out far ahead. A light smile crossed his face, his tone calm.