Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
The fighting raged on under Mount Jiuxian. But as Ye Futian predicted, after defeating Arcana Planes of Heavenly City and Yellow City, no one at this level proved capable of posing a threat to White Sovereign City, and no one challenged them anymore.
He silently watched the fight taking place there. Li Xun and the Young City Lord of Heavenly City, Xie Wuji, and then the Young City Lord of Yellow City, Xuanyuan Bashan, fought their respective fights, and the fights looked extremely interesting. Xie Wuji was a powerful swordsman and Xuanyuan Bashan possessed horrifying power. The power of the Heaven-splitting Ax Techniques was impressive. The three were well-matched against each other, and it was hard to tell who reigned superior. None of them was able to overwhelm one another, and if things were to proceed as such, it was only a matter of time before they all ended up losers of the fight and sustained heavy injuries.
Other than that, there was also a noble level figure who displayed immense talent and ferocious combat capacity named Zui Qianchou. From the words of Li Qingyi, he was a genius drunkard known in the regions of Mount Jiuxian. His name might have been fake as well, taken to mean “getting drunk solves all worries”. The man loved liquor more than anything and was known to be a loner. City lord offices of five cities tried roping him to their respective sides, and he never said yes to any of them. Even looking for him proved a daunting task in itself.
He was, however, very famous, and was a swordsman himself. His way with a sword was eerie and tricky, and he took on Xie Wuji, Young City Lord of Heavenly City. Xie Wuji’s way of the sword was sharp due to it being true, and Zui Qianchou’s proved tricky and unpredictable. Before a clear victor was determined between the two of them, someone from Mount Jiuxian ordered the fight to cease, fearing that one of them would end up dead, or at least both suffering grave injuries if they were to continue to fight each other.
“Li Xun, would you be my disciple?”A fleeting voice came from a far corner of Mount Jiuxian, and it was apparent that the voice came from a sage.
Li Xun smiled and stepped forward, bowing before he spoke. “It is my honor to learn under you.”
“Xuanyuan Bashan, will you be my disciple?” Yet another voice was heard from another sage, and Xuanyuan Bashan agreed. While it was said that Mount Jiuxian was the area’s sacred region and it was all done for the Holy Road, being able to have sages of Mount Jiuxian as mentors was one thing that proved to be of no harm.
“Xie Wuji, Zui Qianchou, will you be my disciple?” A sharp voice was heard and everyone’s mind shook. It was the voice of a sword sage.
“It would be my honor.” Xie Wuji bowed.
“Thank you for your generous offer, but I’m a stubborn one and love to be free from restraints. I’m afraid I will end up offending you, and as such, I would rather not dirty Mount Jiuxian further with my presence,” Zui Qianchou said. Everyone was rendered speechless. Someone had actually refused the sages! Furthermore, Zui Qianchou sounded lazy as he said what he said, appearing to care for nothing. His reputation preceded him and it proved true indeed.
“Have it your way then,” the sage said plainly. While he was slightly unhappy about being refused, he was a sage after all, and he would have not done anything else.
Elders of Mount Jiuxian spoke shortly after. “Mount Jiuxian will continue accepting students as we have during the start of all years past. We will leave what happened today as it is. Everyone else, please return.”
Many were speechless. Many mighty ones came, and Mount Jiuxian chose only four to stay. Three of the four chosen have had the honored to study under sages prior and they were young city lords. Only Zui Qianchou trained on his own, and many thought it to be a pity. Furthermore, Longyuan City and Frost City were not chosen. On this trip on the Holy Road, only the finest were retained by Mount Jiuxian.
“What about Ms. Qin Yin’s Path Companion then? Who was chosen?” someone asked loudly, and everyone halted their steps. The elder of Mount Jiuxian took one look at Qin Yin and said, “A Path Companion has an incredible bearing in the life of Ms. Qin Yin. If everything goes smoothly, this figure will be chosen among the ones selected earlier. Of course, this will require a period of time for them to get to know each other. It would be announced after the trip on the Holy Road.”
Everyone nodded, seeing it within reason to do so.
Ye Futian’s eyes sparkled. Mount Jiuxian’s act of taking in disciples and Path Companions was simply and apparently a front of selecting helpers for the Holy Road. The position of being a disciple and the possibility of becoming Qin Yin’s Path Companion, drove the few to be willing to help her out.
The others left gradually and only the ones selected prior remained.
The elder looked at Zhuo Jun, Lin Feibai, Ye Futian and the others and said, “Do you wish to be disciples of Mount Jiuxian and remain here for your cultivations?”
“It would be my honor.” Zhuo Jun cupped his hands.
“Yes indeed.” Lin Feibai nodded plainly.
Ye Futian rose and bowed. “I’m a student of other schools and therefore, it would be inconvenient for me to cultivate in Mount Jiuxian. For that, I would ask for your understanding.”
“No problem.” The elder nodded and turned to look at Zui Qianchou. “Are you getting ready to enter the Holy Road?”
“Of course, why would I be here otherwise?” Zui Qianchou smiled.
“Alright, Mount Jiuxian will also send out excellent students to embark on the journey. Please rendezvous here at Mount Jiuxian a month from now, and embark on the journey to the Holy Road together,” the elder said.
“Acknowledged.” Everyone bowed.
“Will you, Sir Ye, accompany us to the White Sovereign City?” Li Xun asked Ye Futian and his group.
“We will.” Ye Futian nodded.
“Would Sir Qianchou be willing to share drinks with us at White Sovereign City?” Li Xun asked Zui Qianchou.
“Good wine?” Zui Qianchou’s eyes narrowed to a slit.
“Help yourself.” Li Xun smiled and nodded.
“Alright then.” Zui Qianchou smiled from ear to ear and departed with the rest of them.
Li Xun asked within the void, “Why didn’t you, Sir Qianchou, enter Mount Jiuxian? The sword sage has a great mastery of the art, so why would you refuse?”
“We are to enter the Holy Zhi Palace anyway. Why the detour?” Zui Qianchou sounded lazy as ever.
“Indeed.” Li Xun smiled and said nothing further.
“How about you, Sir Ye? Have you really studied under a school?” Li Qingyi looked at Ye Futian and the rest. Everyone in the group possessed immense combat capacity. They were at the seventh level of the Arcana Plane. If they had reached the ninth level, Zhuo Jun and Li Feibai probably would not have been their match.
“Yes indeed.” Ye Futian smiled and nodded. Li Qingyi did not pursue this line of thought any further.
White Sovereign City was quite a distance from Mount Jiuxian, and the journey would take some time. Li Xun and the rest returned to the city lord office. Ye Futian and his group were reluctant to enter the city lord office, and they arranged to stay in a pavilion right outside the city lord office.
Ye Futian and his group had been on the road for quite some time, and it was time to take a break in White Sovereign City. They had planned during their time on the road that they would enter the Holy Road. The trip on the Holy Road was a grand event of Barren State. Regardless if they ended up being able to cultivate in the Holy Zhi Palace, the trip was one worth making in itself, and a precious chance to accumulate experience as they were able to encounter all sorts of geniuses in the trip.
“Are we really going to go with them?” Loulan Xue asked Ye Futian. She understood that since it was an invitation from Mount Jiuxian, it was definitely Mount Jiuxian being the one to hog all the attention.
“Yes.” Ye Futian nodded. He knew what was going inside Lou Lanxue’s head, and smiled, “Headmaster Chen only briefed us on the Holy Road for a bit. We knew next to nothing of the details. Now that we have someone else to make the journey with us, it would be convenient for us as we will able to look out for each other, and learn more about the trip.”
Loulan Xue nodded slightly. She saw it unnecessary to say anything more seeing how Ye Futian had made his decision.
“Since it’s a grand event of Barren State, I think students of the three schools will make it there too,” Ye Futian said while smiling. “Jieyu is still with the Zhuge family. I wonder if she will make it on the Holy Road this time.”
It had been two years since they parted ways. It seemed like ages had passed, come to think of it. He wondered if his eldest senior brother and his teacher were doing well.
He lifted his head to look at the sky. What happened in Eastern Barren seemed to be just right in front of his eyes. The time spent in the cottage was a happy one, yet the brothers eventually parted ways. Forces like the Qin dynasty and the Donghua clan held great ambition, and they ended up being scattered to the winds all the same. The Qin dynasty perished, and the Donghua clan was not all that better off. Even a beauty such as Hua Qingqing chose to become a nun.
Now that he headed to Barren State, he would have been closer to Jieyu and his brothers and sisters in study. He wondered if he would have had the opportunity to break through Noble Plane on the Holy Road.
Reminiscing about old times, Ye Futian sat with his legs crossed and took out the guqin. A slow melody was played, and an incredibly serene air was emanated throughout the pavilion. The sound of the instrument was plain, serene and free from troubles; capable of cleansing one’s mind and washing off all muddled thoughts.
At a pavilion not far from Ye Futian was, Zui Qianchou drank silent leaning on a stone pillar. It was just as quiet over there. A silhouette walked by before stopping to hear the sound of the guqin. A pair of beautiful eyes watched Ye Futian silently, opting to quietly listen from the sides instead of interrupting the sound.
The sound of the guqin subsided after a while, and Ye Futian smiled. “Here you are, Ms. Qinyi.”
Li Qinyi walked up and said, “My brother is preparing a banquet within the City Lord office. Many geniuses from White Sovereign City will come. I’m here to invite you. Would you care to join us, Mr. Ye?”
“I’m not good with bustling, lively places. Thank you, but I’ll pass.” Ye Futian smiled.
“I can hear that from the sound of the guqin.” Li Qingyi smiled and continued, “Your mind must be incredibly calm and serene for you to be able to play such a tune.”
“I’m flattered, Ms. Qingyi, but I’m filled with muddled thoughts myself. Words like ‘calm’ and ‘serene’ hardly fit someone like me.” Ye Futian shook his head. “I was simply cleansing my mind with the sound of the guqin.”
“Cleansing your mind with the instrument,” Li Qingyi mumbled to herself. “Would you mind if I came to listen to you play often from here on out, Mr. Ye?”
“You are welcome to do so.” Ye Futian smiled and nodded. Li Qingyi was the daughter of the city lord, and a Noble figure herself. She looked pretty, and yet he was very polite in front of her, which reminded him of Gu Yunxi.
“Thank you.” Li Qingyi smiled and shifted her eyes to Zui Qianchou. Seeing how Zui Qianchou took one look with smiling eyes at her, she seemed to have understood something, and said, “My brother had me bring you some wine.” She went up and left the wine behind, before taking her leave.
“A banquet, and that means booze. You sure you are not going?” Ye Futian spared a look at Zui Qianchou.
“People are in places like that to act. And I wouldn’t call that a place for drinking.” Zui Qianchou opened the wine jar sent over to him and took a big gulp out of it. “Good stuff indeed. Li Xun didn’t lie. But when it comes to drinking, who you drink with matters a lot.”
Ye Futian was stunned for a bit before smiling and nodding. “Indeed.”
In the month that followed, Li Qingyi often took time to listen to Ye Futian play his guqin in the pavilion. Zui Qianchou would have also been there every time a tune was played. When the playing was over, he was nowhere to be seen. Both men seldom talked to each other, but Ye Futian knew well that his playing had a great effect on calming one’s mind, and it was incredibly normal for cultivators to like hearing him play.
Li Xun came to visit as well, and brought several jars of good wine with him, sitting around and chatting for a bit.
Ye Futian was able to earn himself some quiet time to train at his art for the past month.
They gathered around Mount Jiuxian on that day.
White Sovereign City, Yellow City, and Heavenly City.
All three cities sported impressive lineups.
Other than leaders like Li Xun, Xie Wuji and Xuanyuan Bashan, the others brought tens of men with them as well, and most were of Noble level. Few at the pinnacle of Arcana Plane also came to test themselves out.
It was obvious that everyone made ample preparations, but everyone was aware that only a handful would have been able to make something out on the Holy Road. Most were simply there as foils of sorts.
The lineup of Mount Jiuxian was just as impressive. Other than Qin Yin, there were also two other personal disciples of sages who were of lower Noble Plane levels. The vast and mighty group departed soon after, making for the nearest Holy Road.
Other than them, there were also others who made their journeys in the vast Barren State during this period nearing the end of the year, leaving their homes and making for the nine Holy Roads.
Massive exodus seemed to be taking place across the entire Barren State. Countless mighty ones flew and set out with great vigor, and many bumped into each other in the void. Ye Futian and his group went east, crossing mountains and cities, meeting a lot of people.
22 days later, an ocean appeared before them. It was the Border Sea. Crossing the other side of the sea would have taken them to the core regions of Zhongzhou.
Ye Futian and his group took to the sky above the Border Sea.
“We are almost near the lands of Zhongzhou.” Qin Yin’s beautiful eyes looked out far away. There was nothing in the way above the sea, making it easy for them to see many demonic beasts and ritual implements making their way in the air. People were everywhere, and it was obvious that they were all from Barren State making their way to Zhongzhou.
“The Zhuge family lies within the lands of Zhongzhou.” Ye Futian’s eyes turned flighty. Second elder sister and Jieyu were both in the northern regions of Zhongzhou lands, and he was getting closer and closer to them!