Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
The beginning of Divine Prefecture Calendar, Year 10006. All nine Holy Roads of Holy Zhi Palace were opened, and the event saw massive gatherings of mighty ones among the youths of Barren State at the roads themselves.
Countless took the path across the Sea of Ruins. Some rode on rafts, some crossed through the void, and more powerful figures even took to the skies, either riding on demonic beasts or ritual implements. All headed for the same destination on the other side: Dawn Road.
Ye Futian’s party was among the sea of people heading for the same place. While there were plenty of familiar faces who made it there, there were simply just too many people present within an area, so it was too large for them to meet. Everyone was only aware of the ones who took to the skies, and none of those who were familiar with Ye Futian noticed him around.
“The Dawn Road,” Ye Futian murmured as he cast his gaze forward. He was able to able to hear some gushing sounds from somewhere.
“Look, behind us,” someone somewhere yelled in astonishment.
“A demon ape.” Comments were heard here and there. Ye Futian turned around and looked behind him, and saw the group of people at his rear part way for something. An incredibly huge demonic beast was moving forward with most of its body submerged. While they were near the edge of the Sea of Ruins, the area was still deep. However, the creature was still able to keep its chest above the water, serving as a testament to its massive size.
The beast seemed as if it was made out of gold. It shone with a blindingly brilliant golden sheen. Even its eyes were gold in color, casting a ferociously sharp gaze.
“It’s a golden great ape. The heir of that old demon in Mount Taixing,” somebody commented in an astonished tone.
“Even demonic beasts can go study in the Holy Zhi Palace?” Ye Futian asked.
“Depends if the palace wants to take that thing in. That is a golden great ape, an incredibly rare one among the apes, and no one knows why they are in Barren State instead of the Demon World,” Qin Yin answered.
“I heard that the ape has a name, a human name, in factYuan Zhan.” Li Xun added, “It’s still something rarely seen in Barren State, as most rare demonic beasts are captured and made into steeds. But that old demon from Mount Taixing is just too powerful, and hardly anyone would dare try to make a steed of that thing. As such, it practically has the whole mountain to itself.”
The gushing sounds didn’t stop. Huge waves were thrown about the sea. Yuan Zhan leaped all of the sudden, its hundred meter-tall body looking impossibly ferocious. It even kept shining with a golden sheen. It shrunk its body to the height of about two meters, making it seem like a giant. It then simply flew about the Sea of Ruins.
Members of powerful and notable forces stared at Yuan Zhan with greedy eyes, thinking unsavory thoughts in their minds. Imagine how awe-inspiring one would become, if one would be able to take this ape as one’s steed.
It was a pity that the old demon in Mount Taixing was something most forces would rather not mess with, even if they were someone capable of doing so. The old demon was known to have a feverish temper and performed many notable undertakings. It was only in recent years that it had winded down somewhat. Furthermore, the old demon was the only demonic beast to be listed on the Barren Sky Ranking, which spoke to the extent of its fearsomeness.
Xuanyuan Bashan took a look at Yuan Zhan. The golden great ape was known for its domineering strength. Its defense capacity was also said to be peerless. At the moment, he wanted more than anything to see how well he could fight the ape, but he knew he probably would not be a match for it.
“All walks of life are literally here indeed,” Zui Qianchou commented with a smirk.
“There is something I need to tell all of you,” Ye Futian said.
“What is it, Ye Mo?” Li Xun asked.
“My real name is Ye Futian. Ye Mo is just an alias. I’ve pissed off some people and I had to use an alias instead. For that, I’m sorry,” Ye Futian apologized as he cupped his hands. That fact would have been known sooner or later as they approached the Holy Road, and it became pointless to hide his identity any further.
Li Xun and the others looked funny at the response, as they were unable to fathom what happened. Li Xun said, “No problem. It’s all the same knowing it now. It hardly affects anything.”
“My enemies are probably here too. If I’m unlucky to meet them on the road, I’ll remove myself from the party and save you all the trouble,” Ye Futian said frankly as he cupped his hands again. Being struck by lightning and falling into Mount Jiuxian was all an accident after all.
“We are now traveling as one party, and there is simply no need for you to be such a stranger. The reason we have all agreed to walk as one party was to look out for each other,” Li Qingyi said with a smile. Although she was not all that familiar with Ye Futian, her days spent listening to Ye Futian play his qin made them friends with each other.
“Qingyi is right. No need to mind about that. If you happen to run into any trouble, we’ll be there to help.” Li Xun obviously did not mind, as Ye Futian was only of Upper Arcana Plane. As such, his enemies would have been of the Arcana Plane as well. There was simply no need to fear so long as the possible enemy was not a figure of Lower Noble Plane.
Ye Futian gave a bitter smile. If Li Xun and the others knew that he had gone so far as to offend Nantian House and Mortal World, they would have probably thought otherwise.
“Thank you.” Ye Futian did not say anything further, but he was grateful for the treatment nonetheless.
At the end of the Sea of Ruins, the Dawn Road appeared before their eyes. The place looked like somewhere out of this world, and there was a line of mighty ones who seemed impossibly strong standing guard at the shore. Anyone who stepped on Dawn Road would be given a holy badge. The other end of Dawn Road would open after three months, the passage of which would be granted so long as the one who made the journey possessed the holy badge. They would then arrive at the Holy Zhi Palace, meeting up with the others who arrived from the other Holy Roads.
That was the one and only rule to be observed on the Holy Roads. One was given permission to do as one pleased the roads.
It was also said that the holy badge served another purpose: those who had collected a lot of badges would be given preferential treatment, using the collected badges as payment. On the Holy Roads, however, they served no other purpose but to grant permission to be on the roads.
It was natural for Ye Futian to hear of Qin Yin and the others talking about the holy badge. He took a look at the badge after acquiring it. There were no other rules on the roads, yet the rumors themselves would have almost guaranteed that the coming three months spent on the road would definitely be perilous.
Ye Futian and his party stepped onto the Dawn Road. He looked forward, saying, “I once thought that the Holy Road was somewhere magical. One will be able to enter the Holy Zhi Palace after finishing their journey on the road. It’s only now that I know we are only granted a view of the place once the journey ends.”
“The Holy Zhi Palace isn’t some place you can just walk into. With all the mighty and powerful ones gathered on these roads, it’s a given that the journey will be anything but smooth,” Li Qingyi added.
“It isn’t the Holy Roads that caught the entire Barren State’s attention, but the Holy Zhi Palace itself. The Holy Roads might be called ‘holy,’ but they are little else but roads,” Ye Futian said with a smirk.
“You have an interesting and unique way of seeing things. I do not ask for much. Being able to stand before the Holy Zhi Palace and admire the placed called the sacred ground of Barren State is enough for me. That and seeing what the proud sons and daughters who made it there are like.” Li Qingyi’s eyes shone with admiration. That was her wish, as she knew very well that her level of talent would never grant her entry into the palace itself.
“Your wish will come true,” Ye Futian said and smiled at her.
“Come one, there are cities and mysterious places to be seen on the road. Let’s go have a look,” Qin Yin said.
At the moment, the massive gathering of people glittered as they made their way forward. The crowd gradually dispersed, going on their way to the Dawn Road.
Ye Futian came across their first city on the way. The gates of the city were, however, guarded by a line of mighty figures. Many looked irritated right before the gates.
The mighty ones were none other than members of the Nantian House, who were also the first to reach the city, and went on to take the gates as their own. They went about recruiting followers and denied entry to the city to everyone. Those who wanted to enter were to surrender their holy badges.
“They took the city.” Ye Futian wore a troubled look on his face as he looked at the city gates from afar. He never expected anyone to be able to do that.
“A common occurrence on the Holy Roads, and it is not just the Nantian House that is doing something like this. All the other top-level figures are making their way to other cities on the road with obvious intentions of taking them for their own as well,” Qin Yin elaborated.
“With so many walking the same path, wouldn’t it be rather easy to take on these forces if people were to just gather their strength?” Ye Futian asked.
“Who is going to take the lead then?” Li Xun smirked as he asked, “Furthermore, anyone who dares to do so would need to be incredibly powerful themselves. If they were to force their way into the place or enter through other means, those guarding the place would probably respond with lethal force. But, of course, if someone very powerful wanted to enter the cities, they would simply let those powerful ones pass.”
“Look, over there.” Li Qingyi pointed at the crowd outside the city and a few places where people were fighting. It was apparent that some insisted on not handing over their own badges, wanting to take badges of someone else. For people who were more powerful, doing so would have been easier than going against the Nantian House.
Such were the minds of people. Even if they were angry about the treatment they received, they would simply swallow their frustrations in front of the powerful ones and go on to prey on those weaker than themselves.
A group of people was walking in the direction of Ye Futian’s party. The group was a huge one, both in number and bearing, and they went to gauge his party. Qin Yin and the rest wore cold expressions and glared at them. The group smirked and walked away instead of moving against them. They were apparently wary of Ye Futian’s party, not knowing how powerful his party was.
But what happened attracted the attention of many nonetheless. Men from Nine Cloud Palace were seen somewhere outside the city, and they looked furious. Despite being mighty ones of Noble Plane levels from the topmost force renowned throughout Divine Sky City, they were denied entry regardless. It was an immense insult, but they had heard of Nantian House and knew that Nine Cloud Palace was simply incapable of being compared to them.
At the moment, Jin Yunlang scanned the crowd and saw Ye Futian’s party. Their pupils dilated somewhat when his eyes fell on Ye Futian. He is still alive?
Chen Yuan had announced the news regarding Ye Futian’s death. A possibility came to Jin Yunlang’s mind immediately. His eyes sparkled though his spine shivered. Chen Yuan, you old fox. You sent Ye Futian away then.
“Is that Ye Futian, the Son of Starry School?” The others became aware of him and approached him in a flash. Ye Futian saw the others and raised his eyebrows. What a small world indeed. There were too many people scattered all over the place while traversing the Sea of Ruins. Now that they made it there, familiar faces were seen indeed.
The mighty ones from Nine Cloud Palace glared at Ye Futian. Jin Yunlang said with an incredibly cold expression, “So you are alive.”
“And that disappoints you,” Ye Futian said with a smirk. Qin Yin and the others looked troubled. Those people looked very powerful. Ye Futian, so your enemies are all Noble Plane figures?
“Then I will just have you die for real.” Murderous intent was prevalent in Jin Yunlang’s eyes.
Ye Futian glared at Jin Yunlang and was able to feel the air around him. He then said with a smirk, “So your ego’s been inflated, making it into the Noble Plane, hm? Have you forgotten the lesson back at the martial arts battlefield, wanting so bad to go see Jin Yunxiao then?”
Jin Yunlang saw the sarcasm in Ye Futian’s eyes and looked at the ones around Ye Futian. A vicious smirk appeared on his face, before he uttered in a loud voice, “That guy has the lineage of the saint on him!”