Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
At the foot of the Holy Zhi Palace, the experts from the nine Holy Roads stood cautiously. They all knew that the Holy Road was merely the first stage of the selection, walking out from the Holy Road did not mean that they were a disciple of the Holy Zhi Palace; it was far too early.
They had walked out of the Holy Road, only to arrive here and obtain the qualification to enter the Holy Zhi Palace, simply that.
What would follow would be crueler. The geniuses from the nine Holy Roads had gathered, what a spectacle it would be to behold.
On both sides of the sky stairwell, experts could be seen standing. Due to the sky stairwell being too long, even though there were many experts on the steps, they still appeared to be scattered, many of them appearing alone in a direction. There were those like Bai Luli playing the guqin piece, like Zhuge Canyang and Zhuge Mingyue observing silently and those who were drinking tea and watching.
Now, many influential figures from the Holy Zhi Palace had arrived because it involved the selection of their disciples.
The Holy Zhi Palace’s entrance examinations were different from many other factions, the Holy Zhi Palace’s elders would personally select those they valued, unlike a mass admission. Only those who were valued by the Sage Plane figures had the qualification to step foot on the Thousand Holy Island. For those who wanted to become a disciple on the Core Island, they would have to be selected by an extraordinary Sage Plane figure.
It was exactly because of this that the entire Barren State’s geniuses gathered for the Holy Zhi Palace’s triennial entrance examinations. However, the Holy Zhi Palace would not take in many disciples as the Holy Zhi Palace’s influential figures had extremely high expectations. They had seen far too many geniuses, so it was not easy even to enter the Thousand Holy Island, not to mention becoming a Core Island disciple.
Of course, before the many influential figures took their pick, there were still too many people from the nine Holy Roads. There needed to be another round to eliminate the majority of the survivors.
Because of that, an elder on the sky stairwell announced, “Those who have walked out of the nine Holy Roads, step forward. The Holy Zhi Palace’s elders will personally take their pick, but before that, a huge portion of you will be eliminated.”
The crowd nodded in understanding. It was no surprise to them as many people had already known about the Holy Zhi Palace’s entrance examination rules. Tens of thousands of cultivators had entered the nine Holy Roads, how were the influential figures of the Holy Zhi Palace going to decide?
Evidently, there needed to be a mass elimination. From the nine bearings, everyone stepped forward into the vast area in the middle of the nine words.
At that moment, a blinding light emitted from the nine words signifying the nine Holy Roads and turned into light veils. Following that, the entire area lit up with a holographic glow, causing the area to look like a giant battlefield, spanning tens of thousands of meters.
A normal human’s vision could not even see the edge of the battlefield. However, all those who had gathered here were cultivators with extremely high cultivation levels, so sight was not an issue to them. Tens of thousands of meters was a mere stone’s throw for them.
At that moment, the nine words appeared to transform into nine doors, with an expert guarding each door.
“All of you have stepped out from the Holy Road and have a holy badge in your hands. Some of you have relied on your strength while others may have used schemes. Regardless of how you did it, the Holy Zhi Palace will not interfere. However, in this battlefield, there will only be three thousand people standing at the end. You may all use your methods and there are no restrictions, those who concede can raise their holy badges and no one is to attack you. Step out from the nine bearings, that is the exit. After you have stepped out, return your holy badge to the people from the Holy Zhi Palace,” the expert on the sky stairwell continued.
The crowd was astounded. This time’s elimination would be a battle royale. The tens of thousands of geniuses from the nine Holy Roads would be reduced to only 3,000 within this battlefield. The remaining three thousand would be the true prodigies from all corners of the Barren State. Averaging out the nine Holy Roads, each Holy Road would have about three hundred people.
Keeping in mind that every Holy Road represented countless geniuses from a certain region of the Barren State, from numerous major clans, schools, and sects. 300 people was simply a mere fraction of a clan’s young experts.
“I have to remind you all that you had better start making preparations now. Otherwise, when I announce the start of the elimination, you might not even know how you died,” the expert on the sky stairwell shouted. Immediately, many people’s expression became alert and shied away from others, trying to prevent others from sneaking up on them.
Although the battlefield was huge, when that many experts gathered inside, it still appeared cramped. That was why, once the battle erupted, it would be mass chaos. The people around you could attack at any time, so you would not even be able to select an opponent. Only those extremely strong cultivators could dominate the area around them and aim for their targets.
At the foot of the Holy Zhi Palace, at the edge of the giant island, it was eerily quiet within and outside the battlefield. Everyone was focused, watching the battlefield. The most outstanding cultivators from the nine Holy Roads naturally received the most attention. Ye Futian also had many gazes on him, there were many people who were worried about him.
Zhuge Mingyue had high hopes for him, back then, Gu Dongliu had personally gone to the Cangye Kingdom to invite their little brother, so he had not experienced any entrance challenge. Now, there was such a huge scene to enter the Holy Zhi Palace, she did not know if her little brother could make it through with his cultivation level.
Although she was exceptionally confident in Ye Futian’s potential, she was still a little worried. After all, Ye Futian’s cultivation level was rather low and she knew what level Ye Futian was at two years ago when she had left the Cottage.
On the battlefield, Ye Futian was among the youngest. If he waited another three years, perhaps her little brother would be unparalleled, but at that time his cultivation level might have already surpassed the Lower Noble Plane and be unable to take part in the Holy Zhi Palace’s entrance examination.
Chen Yuan also looked in Ye Futian’s direction. In the colossal battlefield, Ye Futian appeared minute. How would the prodigy of the Divine Sky City that could dominate his generation fare on the stage of the Barren State? What kind of brilliance would he show? He raised his head towards the direction of the Holy Zhi Palace. He knew that many influential figures had come today, including some of the people on the Barren Sky Ranking.
Who among them would select Ye Futian?
In another direction, the Golden Ape from Mount Taixing also looked in Ye Futian’s direction. Yuan Zhan had just told him some things that made him extremely surprised.
At that moment, in the battlefield, Ye Futian told the people around him, “Follow me closely.”
“I’m not intending to participate in the battle, this place is not for me,” Li Qingyi smiled and replied. She was already satisfied enough to have reached here.
“I’m afraid that I will only be a burden to you in this battle. I’d better step out.” Gu Yunxi smiled gently. Long Mu and the rest sighed, Middle Arcana Plane cultivators could still have some opportunities in the Holy Road, but here, there was no opportunity to be had.
“Alright. Giving up in this kind of scenario is nothing to be ashamed of.” Ye Futian nodded. After that, he saw Gu Yunxi, Li Qingyi, and many others walking with their holy badge to the exit. When the battle began, they would immediately step out and watch the battle.
Not just them, but many others made a similar decision at present as well. Previously, many disciples from major factions had followed their peers into the Holy Road and were protected all the way. Now, that method would not work. If they did not have the ability, staying was pointless.
“Begin,” the elder on the sky stairwell announced. As his voice landed, terrifying auras started to burst out in the battlefield and the Spiritual Qi in the air rampaged.
Many people walked out of the exit, these were the people who voluntarily conceded. There were a few people who flew into the air, the people who dared to do so were all elite geniuses. In the sea of people, flying in the air would make them easy targets for those on the ground, and nobody would be so arrogant without enough confidence.
Ye Futian’s gaze swept across the spacious battlefield. His vision was drowned out by the crowd and he could not see where Hua Jieyu was. Around him, nobody attacked Ye Futian’s group. After all, they were in the gathering area for the Dawn Road’s experts, and who in the Dawn Road did not know Ye Futian?
Even the elite geniuses like Yan Jiu did not dare to move recklessly.
The Polearm of Divine Destruction in his hand, Ye Futian flew into the air, his gaze sweeping around the surroundings. In the air, there were others like him, brimming with confidence.
A distance away, from the direction of the Separation Road, there was an icy gaze that fixed itself on Ye Futian with killing intent. There was a group of experts who were covered in flames, and there was a fearsome dark will in one of the expert’s flames.
That was the Holy Fire Clan’s gathering area and Du Ao was within. Back then, Du Ao had led a group of Holy Fire Clan’s experts into the Eastern Barren Territory, forcing Ye Futian to climb the Sky Mountain with them. Du Ao had nearly died in the hands of Ye Futian’s Demon Bird.
He bore the grudge all this time. Now, at the foot of the Barren State’s Holy Zhi Palace, he had met Ye Futian once again.
“Yuan Zhan, Zhiqiu, how much do you know about the Separation Road’s Holy Fire Clan?” Ye Futian asked.
“Not much.” Yuan Zhan and Mu Zhiqiu both shook their heads.
“What will happen if I kill one of the Holy Fire Clan’s disciples?” Ye Futian asked again.
“In the mass chaos, it is common for people to die. If you kill a normal disciple from the Holy Fire Clan, they might just accept that their disciple’s strength was inferior to yours. However, it is possible that the person you kill has connections with elders in the Holy Fire Clan, and that might get you marked.” Mu Zhiqiu continued, “Of course, if you are highly valued by an influential figure of the Holy Zhi Clan and enter the Palace to cultivate, there will be no repercussions.”
“I understand.” Ye Futian nodded, as he saw Du Ao walking in the air towards him. He moved in a flash towards the ground and looked at Du Ao, as though intentionally avoiding him.
Du Ao’s killing intent was rampaging. Someone tried to attack him, but the imposing dark flames surrounding his body shot towards the person and enveloped him, causing the person to ignite with no chance to even surrender.
“Trying to escape?” Du Ao looked ruthlessly at Ye Futian, who was in the crowd. Ye Futian and Zhuge Mingyue were closely related, but even if he could not kill him, he would disable him permanently.
At the same time, a cruel killing intent appeared in Ye Futian’s eyes. Back then, in the Eastern Barren Territory, it was Du Ao who had given the order to eliminate the Donghua Clan. Even though the Donghua Clan Lord and his wife had agreed to disband the clan, they were hunted by Du Ao, and he even chased them all the way to the College and killed them in front of the people in the College.
And the cause of it all, was because Du Ao had wanted Hua Qingqing’s body. On the Sky Mountain, he had almost humiliated her but was saved by Ye Futian’s Demon Bird.
It was also that incident that had caused a pure girl like Hua Qingqing to go into Buddhism.
Although Ye Futian and the Donghua Clan were enemies back then, what Du Ao did in the Eastern Barren Territory was still deserving of death.