Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
At this moment, someone from the Zhaixing House appeared on the stairs at the base of the mountains. Looking at the crowd, he said, “Please make your way up the mountain for the birthday banquet.”
At his words, everyone on the stairs moved aside to create a path. Many people also clasped their hands to acknowledge the messenger before preparing to move up the mountain.
Everyone began walking towards the stairs that led up the mountain. However, some people graciously turned towards those from the Top Three Schools to invite them to go first. In an instant, those who had started moving first stopped abruptly and stood to a side as well. Their gazes turned to those from the Top Three Schools.
Those people had intended to just go up the stairs as if they were oblivious to just who were around them. But since someone had spoken up, they had to show some respect as well. After all, the Top Three Schools were the divine grounds of the eastern region of the Barren State. It would be better to not cause them any offense at all.
There were many guests from the Blazing Sun School and the Bright Moon School. None of them made way for Ye Futian, and they even turned back to throw him a curious glance as they walked up.
This time, the Starry School had not sent any disciple of the Noble plane. Instead, they had put Ye Futian at the forefront of the delegation. However, no one thought this was a sign of weakness on the part of the Starry School. The coronation ceremony held the other day was a move by College Chief Chen to display the Son’s true abilities to everyone. Ye Futian had also proved his worth that day.
Everyone in Divine Sky City was aware that if Ye Futian managed to avoid anything that led to his downfall, he would grow to become a powerful figure like Long Yitian. With his outstanding abilities and his status as the Son, College Chief Chen would definitely do everything in his power to nurture his capabilities. Ye Futian probably had an ulterior motive in leading a party of individuals to this banquet.
“We should go too,” Ye Futian spoke, and they began to move up the mountain as well. Only after everyone from the Top Three Schools had left did the rest of the guests began to move towards the highest peak of the mountain range.
The mountains were lined with ancient palaces. Exquisitely built, these palaces were a majestic sight to see. People began to arrive at the Zhaixing House one after the other, and they were welcomed by those at the Zhaixing House. A large banquet had been prepared to host these guests.
With the arrival of the guests, the atmosphere at the Zhaixing House grew lively. Ye Futian and his companions sat at a distance, quietly observing the event. The high status of the Zhaixing House was clear from the huge turnout for this banquet. Even guests from the Top Three Schools were greeted without any special treatment.
Then, a group of people walked out from one of the pavilions high up in the Zhaixing House. At the head of the group was a lady with her long hair coiled up on her head. She was the image of neatness in a tight-fitting white training outfit. Her eyes sparkled with the brilliance of stars, yet it held the calmness of still water. Her beauty was delicate and otherworldly, and she was even more beautiful than Gu Yunxi, who stood next to Ye Futian.
In Divine Sky City, Gu Yunxi was known as a devastating beauty that could bring down cities. She was incredibly gorgeous, and yet this lady was even more dazzling with her ethereal, otherworldly beauty.
Even Gu Yunxi herself was stunned momentarily by the appearance of this beauty. She then whispered to Ye Futian, “I’ve heard that there were two incomparable talents in this generation of the Zhaixing House, Mu Zhifan and Mu Zhiqiu. Mu Zhifan was born extraordinary. His abilities are beyond comprehension and he was the first person in many generations from the Zhaixing House who managed to enter the Holy Zhi Palace to train when he was in the Noble plane. But some people also claim that Mu Zhiqiu’s abilities aren’t inferior to her older brother’s in any way. This incredibly talented prodigy is also so beautiful that other beauties pale in comparison to her. But for all her incredible looks, she has this aura that prevents people from having any profane thoughts towards her. All it takes is one look for many men to feel inferior and ashamed of themselves.”
Ye Futian looked at the figure next to him. Face-to-face with such a beauty, Gu Yunxi didn’t show any signs of jealousy at all. Instead, she admired this lady who was more elegant than she was. Mu Zhiqiu’s looks and demeanor were pleasing to look at.
“I don’t think you’re inferior to her in any way. In fact, I think you’re on par with her,” Ye Futian told Gu Yunxi, a smile on his face. He wasn’t patronizing her in any way, his admiration for her was genuine. Gu Yunxi may be a daughter of a great clan, but she didn’t have the negative qualities that many other young ladies from powerful families had, nor was she arrogant. Instead, she was peaceful as still water, and her looks were pleasing to the eye. Indeed, she was beautiful both inside and out.
Gu Yunxi was taken aback for a moment before a touch of embarrassment touched her gaze and a faint smile graced her lips.
“You think very highly of me,” she replied modestly.
“It’s the truth.” Ye Futian grinned at her.
At this moment, all eyes were on Mu Zhiqiu. Many young men felt attracted to her, yet they understood that any romantic intentions they harbored for her could only remain delusions. For them, it was enough to be able to look upon her beauty.
Shi Yanfeng and Shi Qinglan from the City Lord Office of Xuantian City were also looking at Mu Zhiqiu. Shi Yanfeng’s eyes burned with passion at the sight of Mu Zhiqiu. To him, she was a goddess whose standards he could only aspire to reach. On the other hand, Shi Qinglan looked at her in admiration. She dreamed endlessly of becoming someone like Mu Zhiqiu.
The person next to Mu Zhiqiu waved a hand to indicate a request for silence, and the chatter of the crowd slowly died down to nothing.
“Grandfather is currently busy at the moment and is unable to welcome everyone right now. However, he will meet with everyone here at noon. Before that, please feel free to make yourselves at home in the Zhaixing House,” Mu Zhiqiu announced. Her voice was not soft and delicate. Instead, it was clear and distinctive, with an otherworldly quality to it. One would immediately recognize her upon hearing her voice.
“Miss Mu, you are too kind. Please let the chief attend to his business first, it’ll be enough for us to meet the chief at his convenience,” answered someone in the crowd. Everyone knew that Mu Zhiqiu was just being courteous. Though many guests had arrived at the chief’s birthday banquet, most of them weren’t that senior that they could demand that the chief entertain them.
The chief of the Zhaixing House was of equal standing with the college chiefs of the Top Three Schools. Only figures of that caliber were important enough for the chief of the Zhaixing House to spend time entertaining. It was already a great gesture of politeness that Mu Zhiqiu was even sent out to speak to them.
After she had spoken, Mu Zhiqiu looked in the direction of the Top Three Schools, and her gaze lingered on those from the Starry School. The Zhaixing House and the Top Three Schools were cut from the same cloth. To be even more accurate, they shared the same origins. One could even say that the Zhaixing House specialized in skills that the Starry School no longer taught today. The only difference was that the Zhaixing House was more singular in its focus since disciples of the Starry School specialized in many different areas.
“Why do the Top Three Schools send people to pay their respects every year?” Ye Futian asked out of curiosity. While the Top Three Schools did share the same origins as the Zhaixing House, there really was no need for this gesture. The Top Three Schools were the ones that were truly recognized as the divine grounds of the eastern region of the Barren State.
In response, Gu Yunxi explained, “Sharing the same origins is only one of the reasons. Actually, all the knowledge that the Zhaixing House has passed down forms the core of the Starry School. The Blazing Sun School and the Bright Moon School are all hoping that the younger members of the Zhaixing House will join them to train. As for the Starry School, I don’t know what the reason is, but relations between the Zhaixing House and the school aren’t too friendly.”
“I bet they’re plotting something.” Long Ling’er chuckled. “Their intentions probably aren’t that pure.”
“Don’t spout nonsense,” an elder from the Long family chastised, glaring at her for the inappropriate comment.
“I do think Ling’er has a point though.” Ye Futian nodded instead, smiling. He doubted that the school’s yearly tradition of attending the chief’s birthday banquet was so innocent. Besides, the chief had tasked him with taking away the Divine Destruction Polearm after all.
A commotion broke out, and many people stood up. Ye Futian looked around and saw that other than the Top Three Schools, everyone else had gotten to their feet and were looking in a particular direction. An elder walked towards them in an unhurried manner and stood before everyone. He had a mighty aura despite his advanced age, and his gaze was strong and majestic. He appeared to be a figure of great authority.
“Chief,” someone greeted him. Ye Futian’s eyes glittered, and the disciples of the Top Three Schools rose to greet him as well. No one was exempt from showing good manners before such a senior character.
As Ye Futian stood with the people around him, he observed the chief of the Zhaixing House. The chief’s eyes were sharp as lightning, and a powerful aura emanated from his gaze. Ye Futian felt as though he had been set up by the college chief. It seemed pretty plausible that the chief might just kill him on the spot without hesitation if he were to dare to ask for the treasure of the Zhaixing House. In fact, it was a very great possibility.
“We wish the chief a happy birthday,” everyone echoed collectively. It was a magnificent sight to see.
“You are all too kind, please have a seat.” the chief of the Zhaixing House surveyed everyone with a strong gaze. His eyes lingered in the direction of the Top Three Schools for a moment.
“We’ve prepared a small token for you, sir. We hope you’ll accept it,” someone said. After that, many people began to present the chief with the gifts they had brought as well.
Even the Blazing Sun School and the Bright Moon School had prepared gifts as well. Since it was a birthday banquet, it was only right that the guests brought presents for the chief. The chief accepted them all without any hesitation.
“Where’s our gift?” Ye Futian asked Master Yun as the people from the Bright Moon School sat back down.
“You didn’t say to prepare one before we left,” Master Yun whispered back.
Ye Futian was taken aback. This was an awkward situation. He was here to take the chief’s treasure, yet he hadn’t even prepared a birthday present for him. Was he to present the chief with one of his own possessions? Even so, there was nothing of value Ye Futian could offer to someone of the chief’s status. His possessions were useful to him, but they all seemed like measly gifts to give to the chief.
Right now, many people were looking towards the Starry School, waiting to see what they would do after the Blazing Sun School and the Bright Moon School had presented their gifts.
Ye Futian wanted to run away upon feeling all the gazes upon him. This was such an embarrassing situation. He couldn’t believe that the college chief had not reminded him to get a gift.
With a solemn expression, Ye Futian then began to speak, his features handsome as a prince’s: “I, Ye Futian, pay my respects to you, sir. The college chief has sent me here to ask after you. We were planning to prepare a birthday gift for you, but we felt that no gift would be befitting enough for a person of your stature. It would be an insult to present you with anything lesser, so we decided to not do that. We hope that you don’t take offense at this.”
Everyone was instantly taken aback. Ye Futian’s words seemed reasonable at first. But then they suddenly realized that something was not right. This fellow wasn’t planning to give the chief a gift at all, yet he had spun such a fancy excuse for himself, instead making everyone who had brought a present seem disrespectful towards the chief of the Zhaixing House.
Recovering from the surprise, everyone turned to glare at Ye Futian in fury. Just how shameless could this guy be?