In the blink of an eye, over twenty days had passed. Two silhouettes were seen leaving the back mountains, returning to Qingzhou Academy.
There had been a significant amount of change to Ye Futian's body. His eyes had never been filled with such energy, and his physique was better than ever. As he walked on the academy's cobblestone road, it all felt like a dream, as if he had been gone for a long time.
"This rascal is finally back after hiding for so long."
"He probably couldn't hide any longer; the Fall Quarter Examinations are only eight days away."
People in the academy whispered amongst themselves upon seeing Ye Futian. The events of Qin Yi's lecture twenty some days ago had already spread. This "infamous character," who hadn't broken through a single plane in three years, disrespected their goddess, Senior Sister Qin. Then he turned around to flirt with Feng Qingxue. Ye Futian was now the talk of the academy.
"Seems like people are looking for trouble." Ye Futian's hearing had sharpened quite a bit; he could now hear even the lowest of whispers.
"How do you feel about that?" Yu Sheng eyed him with pity. Qin Yi and Feng Qingxue were both extreme beauties. The two were very popular in Qingzhou Academy and had countless suitors, especially Qin Yi. At the ripe age of seventeen, she had the looks and the body to captivate any man. So, when this guy flirted with both ladies in a day, he irritated many people.
"It's nothing. I know you have my back," shrugged Ye Futian.
"Shouldn't you be able to handle it by yourself now?" Yu Sheng asked confusedly. Ye Futian was already on the brink of breaking through the Juggernaut Plane; his power might have been able to surpass someone on the sixth Awakening Plane, the Invincible.
"I have to keep a low profile." Ye Futian walked away arrogantly, with his hands behind his back. Yu Sheng looked at the hateful figure ahead, completely speechless. Was this the same person who had announced his identity as a Mandate Sorcerer to the world, despite being stuck on the first plane? Now that he really was a Mandate Sorcerer, he wanted to keep a low profile? How could he be any more contradictory?
Not long after, the two returned to the dorm where they resided together. As expected, there were many other people making their way over there as well. What's more, it was not just one group of people, but two. The two groups met along the way and exchanged wary looks, ready for a fight. Putting their differences aside for the time being, the two crowds became one as they walked towards Ye Futian's residence.
"It's people from the Society of Knights of the School of Martial Arts and people from the School of Divination Arts," said a bystander. Many people were headed in Ye Futian and Yu Sheng's direction. These individuals were all official disciples of Qingzhou Academy. It did not seem like they were there out of jealousy from what had happened with the two girls, things were not that simple.
The School of Martial Arts within Qingzhou Academy consisted of the Battle House, the House of Swordsmen, and the Society of Knights. The School of Divination Arts was made up of the seven Great Elemental Pavilions. One of the two groups was dressed in silver. These people were from the Society of Knights, where the strongest knights were groomed.
On the other hand, the second group of visitors was donned in gold. The two metallic colors reflected off one another. This group was from the Metal Pavilion.
"Senior Brother Mo Lanshan, a three-star Glory Knight, and Senior Brother Han Ye, a Metal Element two-star Glory Sorcerer. I can't believe they're here at the same time," someone recognized the leaders of the two groups, their intentions were now clear to everyone.
Wow, what an honor!
If both schools were there, then it couldn't possibly be for Ye Futian.
Inside the dorm, Ye Futian stood off to the side and looked at Yu Sheng, who was standing in front of the two parties. He smiled lightly. Yu Sheng had always stood behind Ye Futian, but even then, he still shone brightly. His future would only be brighter, Ye Futian believed in him, just as Yu Sheng had for him.
Senior Sister Qin had previously mentioned that Yu Sheng would be exempt from next year's Spring Quarter Examinations and that he would be free to choose whether to join the School of Martial Arts or the School of Divination Arts. Back then, Ye Futian thought that there might be a possibility the higher ups would take action first and recruit him instead of waiting for him to pick. Just as predicted, they were here now.
"You should step outside," Mo Lanshan said. Naturally, Ye Futian understood this was directed at him, so he smiled and stepped outside, not minding too much.
Outside the dorm, a rather large crowd had gathered. Of the thousands of outer sect disciples attending Qingzhou Academy, only a handful were personally recruited as official disciples each year. For this reason, many people would be jealous.
"Yu Sheng is about to be an official disciple while he's about to be expelled, what a joke." The people noticed that Ye Futian was alone and so, they felt no need to lower their voices. There were many others in the academy that did not like him anyway.
"He only made it this far because of Yu Sheng, without him, Ye Futian would've been kicked out of the academy ages ago."
"I'm really looking forward to seeing his performance during the Fall Quarter Examinations." Everyone around laughed at Ye Futian.
"Instead of worrying about me, why don't you worry about yourselves. If you mess up during the exam, it'll be really embarrassing," Ye Futian replied as he leaned on the wall nonchalantly.
"Fits his reputation." Everyone stared and discussed Ye Futian. Even though Yu Sheng always followed Ye Futian, he was going to become an official first. Shouldn't Ye Futian be ashamed?
Ye Futian closed his eyes and tried to block out the noise. Not long after, the Society of Knights exited the dorm. As they walked past Ye Futian, their leader halted.
"I heard that Yu Sheng's father works as a manager for your family clan," Mo Lanshan said, without a single glance at Ye Futian.
"Yeah." Ye Futian nodded.
"People are indeed often blinded by others' family backgrounds; but, as they grow older, they'll come to understand that people from different worlds should not collide. The more arrogant you are now, the more petty you will be later in life. The people you once knew will soar so high above your head that you won't even be close enough to reach out and touch them," Mo Lanshan said coldly and walked away.
From the very beginning, Mo Lanshan never spared a glance at Ye Futian, he was worthless in his eyes.
Ye Futian was confused, his eyes followed Mo Lanshan as he departed. Ye Futian was sure Yu Sheng would not have made a choice without asking for his opinion first, and Mo Lanshan knew that. So, why did Mo Lanshan say all those things to mock him? Were they not complete strangers?
The group from the School of Divination Arts also started to leave. Han Ye glanced at Mo Lanshan's figure ahead of him, his eyes then landed on Ye Futian. "You've got some guts, flirting with a senior sister like that."
"Uh..." Ye Futian was speechless. Had the gossip reached the official disciples?
"Mo Lanshan is from the Society of Knights of the School of Martial Arts, and even though Qin Yi is from the House of Swordsmen, they're still from the same school." Han Ye left this for Ye Futian to think about as he walked away. Ye Futian thought about that for a while and his eyes lit up. He finally understood Mo Lanshan's cold attitude towards him.
Yu Sheng looked as if he had something to say when he saw Ye Futian re-enter the dorm.
"Don't waste your time thinking about this. How can they ask you to just decide like this? Isn't this a mockery of your abilities? Don't choose either school; if nothing happens, they'll be able to see what a genius you are at the Fall Quarter Examinations." Yu Sheng was dumbstruck by what Ye Futian said. It didn't seem like Ye Futian wanted to discuss this situation, so even though Yu Sheng already had his thoughts on the topic, he simply nodded.
Yu Sheng trusted Ye Futian more than he trusted himself.
It was seven days before the Fall Quarter Examinations. Early in that morning, a bell rang all across the Qingzhou Academy campus.
People left the dorms and all headed in the same direction.
Around this time every year, the academy would gather all the outer sect disciples and make announcements regarding the Fall Quarter Examinations. It was also a time for pre-examination inspections.
The outer sect disciple gymnasium was enormous, able to accommodate tens of thousands of people with ease. Even though the outer sect disciples filed in continuously, the gymnasium remained unfilled.
The outer sect lecturers had arrived early on. Qin Yi was wearing something tight-fitting that showed off her curvaceous figure and attracted the attention of all those around her.
"He's here." The news had come from a small group in the crowd. They were all making a fuss while looking in the same direction. From that direction, came two people.
"I heard that senior brothers from both schools went to recruit Yu Sheng yesterday. That sort of treatment isn't for just anyone. How dare that loser walk in front of Yu Sheng like that?" Everyone watched the school's "infamous character", and they were not too happy with him. Yu Sheng was going to be someone important in the future, but what was Ye Futian going to amount to? Probably nothing.
None of this bothered Ye Futian though. Others could not possibly understand his relationship with Yu Sheng.
"Senior Sister Qin," Ye Futian greeted her with twinkling eyes. With a face and a body like that, it was no wonder that a Glory Knight like Mo Lanshan wasted his time getting mad at a nobody like him.
Qin Yi's face fell when she saw Ye Futian. "Where have you been these past days?"
"I went cultivating, of course!" he replied. "Since I made a promise to you, I should give it my all."
It did not seem like he was lying, so her expression warmed up a bit. As long as it was possible to encourage him to develop, and he did not do too badly during the Fall Quarter Examinations, maybe it would be possible to persuade the academy to give him some time.
"Have you progressed into the Enhancement Plane?" Qin Yi asked.
"Senior Sister, I've already stepped into the Juggernaut Plane," he said with a serious look on his face.
After she heard his words, her face fell once again and she glared at Ye Futian. She couldn't believe that she actually trusted him, and that she was even considering putting in a good word for him.
"Haha...!" Everyone around began to laugh. Ling Xiao walked close to the two and questioned Qin Yi while staring at Ye Futian, "Senior Sister Qin, what should we do about this guy?"
"You're running out of time, Ye Futian! If you want to stay in the academy, you have to pick up the pace and try harder to reach the Enhancement Plane." Qin Yi was a bit disappointed. Thinking back on the entrance talent inspections three years ago, it seemed like such a waste.
Ye Futian seemed to understand how she felt, his face broke out into a warm smile. Even though she didn't seem to believe him, he knew she truly cared about his well-being.
"Don't worry, Senior Sister. I won't let you down." His smile was a display of his pride, the morning sun shone off his handsome face.
Qin Yi's heart warmed at his words, but just as she began to feel this way, Ye Futian said, "Don't forget what you promised, Senior Sister."
"You...!" She stomped her feet and turned to walk away. She was only a young seventeen-year-old, she did not know how to deal with this type of thing.
Many people were dumbfounded. They glared at Ye Futian furiously, but also with a bit of jealousy. Even though it was quite shameless of him, they were jealous that he could joke with Qin Yi without worry.
"Why waste your time on a person like him?" A male lecturer stepped beside Qin Yi and asked.
She spared him a glance and said, "He is actually quite gifted. I still don't understand why he couldn't manage to break through the Collection Plane over the span of three years. Maybe a miracle will really happen at this year's Fall Quarter Examinations."
"I really don't understand why you have such high hopes for him." The fellow lecturer beside her shook his head and looked at Ye Futian with disdain.
At that moment, Ye Futian wondered and questioned Yu Sheng, who was standing beside him, "How come no one believes me when I tell the truth?"
Yu Sheng had no answer for him. Who would believe that anyone could make it from the Collection Plane to the Juggernaut Plane in less than a month?
"We'll become official disciples in the Spring of next year. Should we give Feng Qingxue a hand as well?" Ye Futian asked.
Yu Sheng took a quick look at Feng Qingxue and nodded. If she was able to develop with Ye Futian, then she could definitely make it to the Mystery Plane by the Spring Quarter Examinations.
Ye Futian located Feng Qingxue and began to make his way over. The crowd made way for him unwillingly. Of course, this was because he had Yu Sheng behind him.
Before he could get close enough to her, someone stepped out in front and blocked his way. It was Feng Qingxue's best friend, Murong Qing.
"What do you want?" Murong Qing asked emotionlessly.
"I want to speak with Feng Qingxue." Ye Futian gave out a smile.
"I know. You can say what you need to from here," she said.
Ye Futian lifted his head, ignoring Murong Qing, as he looked towards Feng Qingxue and said, "I have to talk to you."
"It'll be the same if you said it from over there." Feng Qingxue was avoiding his eyes.
"Feng Qingxue, what do you mean by all of this?" Ye Futian was confused by this situation.
"You don't understand? It means that Qingxue doesn't want to be near you. So, mind yourself," Murong Qing answered.
Ye Futian's gaze sharpened and he turned serious. However, Feng Qingxue continued to avoid meeting his eyes.
"Forget it." His eyebrows unfurled and he spoke softly.
"Ye Futian wanted to ask you to train together from now on," Yu Sheng spoke out abruptly from his spot off to the side, his gaze sharp as always.
Ye Futian was shocked as he turned towards Yu Sheng. He was never a man of many words, but the Yu Sheng that Ye Futian was looking at now looked extremely mad.
At this point, Feng Qingxue lifted her head and noticed the look in Yu Sheng's eyes. She then greeted him timidly. "Yu Sheng."
Their interactions attracted the attention of others. Ye Futian wanted to invite Feng Qingxue to train together? That's rich. Was he dreaming? However, it was Yu Sheng who brought this up, so no one dared to interfere.
"I know that Feng Qingxue really looks up to you, but do you really think that Ye Futian is worthy enough to have her train with him?" Murong Qing asked Yu Sheng.
Yu Sheng paid her no attention, his eyes were still focused on Feng Qingxue. "I want to know what think."
Feng Qingxue clenched her small fists. She was shaking. She looked at Yu Sheng, then at Ye Futian. Shaking her head, she replied, "Yu Sheng, we're all grown up now, I think it would be best for us to keep our distance."
After saying this, she let go of the breath she had been holding in. A rock had finally been lifted off her shoulders, and she was feeling much more relaxed now. However, she knew that she had just lost something.
Ye Futian finally got the answer he had been waiting for, although it was not the answer he had hoped to hear. He smiled bitterly and shook his head. She really had grown up.