Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Hundreds of disciples gathered at the sacred ancient temple within the Daozang Palace. Sitting on praying mats, they listened quietly to Sage Daozang as he explained the ways of cultivation. Occasionally, someone would raise a question they had.
Today was coincidentally the day that Sage Daozang gave a lecture. This was the second time this year he was doing it. By now, it was the end of autumn, and there was only one season left before the year ended. As such, it was imperative that one made good use of the remaining time to train as much as they could. At the Holy Zhi Palace, it was possible that someone could make a sudden debut at the end of the year and bring about great changes to the Law Rank.
However, it seemed unlikely that anyone within this most recent batch of disciples would stir up that sort of excitement. Ye Futian was the only new disciple whose name had been entered into the Law Rank, and he was only 97th place within the rankings. After that, he had disappeared completely, gone off somewhere unknown to train his abilities.
Ye Futian climbed the stairs to get to the temple, keeping his footsteps light so as to not disrupt the Sage’s lecture. He threw the crowd a glance, and scanning through the hundreds of disciples present, his gaze landed on Hua Jieyu, who sat at the front. It seemed that she had been one of the earliest to come to the temple, in order to snag a front-row seat. She was training hard indeed.
The speakers who lectured at the Holy Zhi Palace were not too bothered about disciples from other palaces coming to listen. They were generous in that they did not restrict access to the knowledge they were imparting. Ye Futian sat quietly at the back, preparing to listen quietly for a while.
Though Ye Futian had been a disciple of the Holy Zhi Palace for quite some time by now, he had been busy with training all this while. He was a disciple of the Battle Sage Palace, but other than the time he set foot there on his first day at the Holy Zhi Palace, he had not gone back since then. Ye Futian felt a little guilty. He hadn’t even gone to see that teacher of his yet, but it was good that he had come to listen to Sage Daozang give a lecture now.
“When cultivating, most people seek out high-level techniques and powerful spells, but they often neglect the most basic training,” Sage Daozang’s voice rang across the room as Ye Futian sat there, listening intently.
Sage Daozang continued speaking, his voice calm, “Many of the Holy Zhi Palace’s disciples are incredible characters in their own right. Most are ambitious, and thus intend to learn such techniques and spells. I surmise that there are some who resent me for not imparting powerful techniques and spells.
“And yet,” he continued, “the question cultivators usually neglect is: how do two cultivators of the same plane differ so much in ability? For example, disciples of the Holy Zhi Palace will always be stronger than ordinary people in the outside world, but those in the Law Rank completely outshine ordinary disciples of the Palace. Is this really a matter of how powerful the techniques and spells one knows is? Many disciples of the Palace are incredible in their own right. They definitely have no problems in technique training.”
The Sage carried on, “When we started training in our youth, perhaps our seniors had us focus more on basics, like the ability to perceive Spiritual Qi and our elemental Spiritual Qi abilities. As time passes, we forget about these things. Yet even at the Noble plane, what is required from us is no different from when we were at the start. Even at the same plane, different people can use the same spell to different effect. Why is this so?”
Someone answered him, “Some people have stronger Spiritual Will than others, so there will naturally be a difference in the power of the spell cast.”
“That’s right.” The Sage nodded slightly. “It’s the same even at the Noble planewhat decides the strength of the spell is ultimately still your basics, like how much Worldly Spiritual Qi you can activate to resonate with you and combine into a spell. And all this originates from your own mastery over Spiritual Energy still.
“A mark of being at the Noble plane is possessing Noble Will. Spells are but Spiritual Will. For martial arts cultivators, it’s Martial Will. This all sounds a little abstract. I prefer to imagine them as domains. The cultivations of a sorcerer lie within the domain of Spiritual Energy. The form in which your Spiritual Energy manifests to negotiate the Worldly Spiritual Qi of this domain determines the strength and speed of your spell.”
“The effects of even the simplest spell can be maximized in the hands of someone powerful enough to exercise it effectively within the domain of Spiritual Energy,” Sage Daozang declared, and at his words, frightening energy manifested in the room. In the next moment, everyone was transported into an illusion. The world was now consumed by flames. Currents of air flowed through the space, and terrifying fireballs appeared in the sky, descending towards the earth like suns.
Many people looked to the sky in shock. They felt as though their bodies were about to be burnt up. Then, the suns disappeared in mid-air, and everything returned to normal.
“Was that a fireball spell?” someone asked weakly.
“Yes. It was a beginner fire-elemental spell, the lowest-level fireball spell there is,” Sage Daozang replied, nodding. “Even when it comes to the same fire element, everyone has a different perception of Fire Intent, which determines the power of their spell. So, when it comes to training, before you stubbornly focus your attention on powerful techniques and spells, find a way to build up your Spiritual Energy domain to the best it can be. Then you’ll be able to activate stronger Worldly Spiritual Qi for your own use during battle. That’s all there is to martial arts.”
Many people were listening intently to Sage Daozang’s words and taking them to heart. Ye Futian nodded at his words. Though the Sage was talking about very simple concepts, but normally, not everyone took these concepts seriously. Now that Sage Daozang had pointed these concepts out again, these people would begin to pay them more attention in the future.
Back then at the Cottage, his teacher had made him learn various kinds of spells and know them by heart. In a way, it was to achieve the same purpose.
“After you’ve passed this level, move on to the next one,” the Sage advised. “Use your own perception in the different domains of Spiritual Will to transcend into yet another domain and attain the power generated from a new Spiritual Energy domain. Then, use that power to modify spells and even create stronger spells. Some top-notch spells and martial arts techniques are created from the combination of various elemental abilities, and the results are powerful. Of course, this would require cultivators of a high caliber to achieve, and this is what separates the prodigies from mere geniuses. However, there are more people out there who like things ready-made, like you all. It would be nice to just take something as it is to learn, right?”
Many people laughed at Sage Daozang’s words. Indeed, this was what the majority of the crowd was thinking, even the geniuses and the prodigies themselves.
“Alright, we’ll stop here for today,” Sage Daozang concluded and stood up, looking at the audience before him. Without question, he saw Ye Futian. With the Sage’s plane, he had been alerted to Ye Futian’s presence when he arrived.
With a soft chuckle, Sage Daozang turned to leave. The many disciples in the audience stood up as well. Some were discussing the lecture, internalizing what they had just learned. Every time Sage Daozang gave a lecture, it was always a fruitful learning experience, with many things to become aware of.
“Jieyu,” Ye Futian called out to her mentally. Hua Jieyu was taken aback, before she stood up to look behind her. Upon seeing Ye Futian, a brilliant smile appeared on her face, dazzling those around her.
They then saw Hua Jieyu walking quickly and lightly in that direction, pretty as a young fairy. Many eyes followed her as she walked forward, before they realized that Ye Futian was there.
Some people recognized Ye Futian, and their expressions darkened. How dare Ye Futian step into the Daozang Palace? Yun Shuisheng was here, and even though Hua Jieyu had spoken up for Ye Futian the other day, he hadn’t actually apologized to Yun Shuisheng yet.
“Why are you here at the Daozang Palace?” Hua Jieyu walked up to him and stretched out her hand. Ye Futian took her dainty hand in his and whispered, “I missed you.”
“Me too,” Hua Jieyu whispered back just as quietly. However, those who were intentionally eavesdropping heard their exchange. They thought about the rumors that surrounded Ye Futian, and their hearts ached even further.
Ye Futian had behaved inappropriately towards older sister Yun, and now he even had the cheek to enter the Holy Zhi Palace and hold Hua Jieyu’s hand, acting all intimate.
“Oh yeah, about what you did to older sister Yun back then, do you want to apologize to her? She said she wouldn’t pursue this matter any further,” Hua Jieyu asked Ye Futian, remembering the previous incident. Yun Shuisheng, who was in the crowd, turned to look at Ye Futian as well. The people in between them then quickly dispersed, allowing Yun Shuisheng and Ye Futian to look directly at each other.
“She should be the one apologizing to me,” Ye Futian said grumpily, recalling the memory of that incident.
Looking at how intimate Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu were, Yun Shuisheng understood that everything that had happened that day had been a misunderstanding. As such, if Ye Futian was willing to personally clarify his side of the story and apologize to her, then she would have been ready to just let it go. But witnessing Ye Futian’s remorseless expression and words made her eyes darken again at how much of an a**hole he was.
Ye Futian had interrupted Yun Shuisheng training and forcibly taken her away, and now she was to apologize to him?
What an arrogant guy, many people thought to themselves.
A chill settled upon the space, and Hua Jieyu moved to block Ye Futian from Yun Shuisheng. “Older sister Yun, let me persuade him.”
Hua Jieyu’s pretty gaze flicked over to Ye Futian, wondering just what he was doing. She was annoyed that he couldn’t just give in for once. Older sister Yun was a pretty girl, after all, it couldn’t hurt to give in to her.
“Don’t you like pretty girls? Why can’t you just give in this time?” Hua Jieyu asked Ye Futian mentally, staring at him.
Ye Futian was surprised. Upon seeing the angst in Hua Jieyu’s eyes, he understood that Hua Jieyu was only acting in his best interests. Fine, he thought, but only because you asked.
“I warned you in the past, and yet I got insulted by you. Now you can see it for yourself. Whatever happens between the two of you is none of my business indeed. But the Daozang Palace cannot just ignore what happened to older sister Yun,” a voice rang out from beside them. It was Xiang Zhiqin, who was staring coldly at Ye Futian as she spoke. “We let you off the last time for insulting older sister Yun. Now that you’ve entered the Daozang Palace, you should apologize to her.”
“And I’ve said this before as well, what does this have to do with you?” Hua Jieyu shot Xiang Zhiqin a cold stare.
Xiang Zhiqin looked at Hua Jieyu once again. It was also after one of Sage Daozang’s lectures that she had spoken out of good intentions, only to be insulted by Hua Jieyu. Even older brother Lian Yuqing had stepped in personally, which prompted her to leave things be and not say anything more.
Now, it had happened again.
“On the account of you having just entered the Palace and being my junior, I didn’t argue further with you last time. Now, I’m pointing out how he has insulted older sister Yun. Who are you to say anything about this?” Xiang Zhiqin stared at Hua Jieyu. Months had passed since the last incident, but now, two beautiful women stood before the sacred ancient temple once again, facing each other in a standoff.
Ye Futian’s eyebrows creased, and his eyes were cold.
Hua Jieyu apparently had to endure bullying within the Daozang Palace.