Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
It was now the ten thousand and ninth year of the Divine Prefecture Calendar. Three years had passed, and now something big was happening within the vast Barren State again. The assessment for admissions to the Holy Zhi Palace, which was held once every three years, would be happening soon. The younger generation of the Barren State had set foot onto the nine Divine Roads and was preparing to conquer the Roads and enter the Holy Zhi Palace.
Just like three years ago, many young talents had gathered at the Divine Roads, heading towards the Holy Zhi Palace. Powerful individuals from all across the land had also arrived in large groups at the foot of the Palace, preparing to watch the final battle from there. Among them, there were many influential characters who had come in support of their disciples participating in the assessment.
Within the Holy Zhi Palace, the disciples were busy training. At this moment, there was a crowd gathered before the Law Rank, staring at the rankings carved into the stone wall.
After three years, immense changes had occurred within the Law Rank. About two years ago after the sparring sessions had ended, Hua Fan entered the Sage Palace and emerged from his training a Sage. Afterward, Dou Kun and the person who was third in the Law Rank entered the Sage Plane as well. Even then, they had not been replaced by the fourth and fifth person in the original rankings. Instead, the top three positions had been taken over by those who were lower down in the rankings.
The batch of disciples from six years ago had already advanced to be at the peak of the Noble Plane. This put them ahead of many disciples in the batch from nine years ago, who had not entered the Sage Plane yet.
It was a large leap to get to the Sage Plane, which made it difficult for people to break through into the plane. As such, it was common that disciples from two different generations would clash with each other in the Law Rank at this particular plane. Such occurrences had happened throughout the years.
Even within the disciples that had entered three years ago, there were many whose names had already appeared within the Law Rank. Furthermore, there were many whose positions were especially eye-catching. The person who was tenth in the Law Rank was especially prominent. His rank was not especially high, but he had steadily held that position for two years in a row.
About two years ago, Ye Futian had made a name for himself through a battle during the sparring sessions and become tenth in the Law Rank as a Grade Eight Noble. Afterward, he had maintained that rank without any changes happening. He did not increase in rank, but neither was he replaced by anyone. It was as if his position was fixed. Those who ranked lower than him skipped tenth place when they rose in ranking; those who dropped in rank also fell beneath Ye Futian as well.
Once, there had been a person in 11th place who rose in ranking to take over the ninth place. The person originally in ninth place should have become tenth instead. But that did not happen. Ye Futian remained in his rank, and the person dropped directly to number 11 in the Rank instead. It was strange.
However, those in the Holy Zhi Palace were not fazed at all by this occurrence. Over the past two years, Ye Futian had not participated in any more battles. He had even been absent from the sparring sessions for the past two years. Under these circumstances, even if one wanted to have Ye Futian’s ranking in the Law Rank shifted forward, it was unclear where he should be placed. As a result, a strange occurrence happened within the Law Rank where Ye Futian remained in the exact same ranking for about two years.
“What plane is that guy at now?” someone asked quietly, looking at Ye Futian’s name on the ranking. Those next to him knew exactly who he was talking about. In truth, there were many who were curious about Ye Futian.
Someone else answered from the side, “I thought he would have participated in the sparring sessions a few months back. In the end, he still wasn’t interested. What a character. But even without participating in the sparring sessions or any other battle, his name is still getting more prominent within the Palace.”
They continued, “He’s someone who broke through many relics continuously, and he even helped many of those entering the Holy Zhi Palace in their training. It’s no wonder he’s well known. He has an extraordinary capability in understanding things, we’ve already seen that back at the sparring sessions over two years ago. Today, whether it’s sorcery, martial arts, or the Guqin Path, he probably has outstanding achievements in all of them. Even those talents from the batch three years ago were willing to head to the Battle Sage Palace in order to ask him for training advice.”
Many people chattered before the Law Rank about how Ye Futian had become a legendary character among the Holy Zhi Palace disciples. Despite his unconventional ways, he was still outstandingly capable. They predicted that if Ye Futian were to actually participate once, there would even be the possibility that he could leap straight into the top three from being tenth in the Law Rank.
It had been two years already. With his current abilities and his potential to become first in the Law Rank, it was absolutely possible that he would be able to enter the top three.
Over at the Sky Reaching Tower area, shouts were heard, and there was a ruckus both within and outside the tower.
“Entering the 18th level? This guy’s crazy good!” some people were exclaiming in jealousy.
“Who entered the 18th level?” someone asked outside.
“Who else could it be? It’s Yu Sheng, of course,” someone replied, walking out of the tower. Many people headed for the Sky Reaching Tower in a blink, and they saw the hulking figure on the 18th floor of the tower.
Many felt a twinge of jealousy in their hearts. Yu Sheng was probably only a Grade Four Noble. Even if that was one of the peak states in the Noble Plane, there was still a ways to go before he would be considered a superior noble. However, one usually had to be a Grade One Noble in order to enter the 18th level of the Sky Reaching Tower. Even if one was physically powerful, they probably still had to be at least a Grade Two Noble in order to enter successfully.
Yu Sheng was only a Grade Four Noble. What kind of body did he have in order to be able to enter the 18th floor? He was a monster.
The batch from three years ago already had Ye Futian with his strange ways and Yu Sheng, who was an absolute monster. Many people wondered if these two would be the ones to fight over the top position in the Law Rank in the future, and if so, who would prevail? However, they also understood that these two fellows didn’t seem to have any interest in the Law Rank at all. If not, they wouldn’t have ignored all the opportunities to battle. They were only concerned with training and improving their own abilities quietly. They hadn’t even participated in the sparring sessions.
They wondered what those at the Holy Sage Pavilion would think if two disciples from the Battle Sage Palace were to become number one and two in the Law Rank in future. It would probably be humiliating for them as the top palace in the Holy Zhi Palace. Throughout history, it had always been a disciple from the Holy Sage Pavilion who stably held the first position in the Law Rank. The current disciple at the top of the Law Rank was a disciple from the Holy Sage Pavilion as well.
The Holy Sage Pavilion was the top palace of the Holy Zhi Palace. Situated within the northern parts of the Holy Zhi Palace, the Holy Sage Pavilion towered over the land.
At this moment, a person walked out from an ancient hall within the Holy Sage Pavilion. While this person had absolutely no aura, the sight of him standing there gave one the impression of grandeur. He lifted his eyes to look at the skies, and his gaze seemed as though it could penetrate through the sky.
“Assistant Palace Lord,” an elder from the Holy Sage Pavilion bowed and greeted him from aside. This person who had just walked out was the second most powerful man in the Holy Zhi Palace and was third in the Barren Sky Ranking.
“It’s time for the next batch’s assessment, isn’t it?” the Assistant Palace Lord spoke in a low tone.
“Yes.” The other man nodded.
“Are there any good seedlings in this batch?” he asked.
“There are a few,” came the reply. “They are pretty talented, but they may not be as strong as the disciples from the previous batch. Bai Ze’s already considered pretty good in terms of capability, yet in the previous assessment, he was crushed by two other participants. It was a huge emotional blow to him, and I don’t think he’s walked out of the shadow of that event yet.”
“Training is an individual responsibility. When it comes to one’s emotional state, no one else can help him but himself. If he can’t let that event go, he’s destined to remain average for life,” the Assistant Palace Lord mused. Then he asked, “What about those two from the Battle Sage Palace? How far have they come along in their training?”
“They’re both at the peak of the Grade Four Noble Plane,” the elder answered. “It’s not clear how their battle abilities are at this moment, but with their performance so far, it seems like they’ll be very powerful. They’re both rare geniuses that you can only find once in a blue moon. Perhaps they’ll be of great help to Luli in future. It’s just that a senior of theirs from the eastern region of the Barren State seems to have some disagreements with Luli.”
“As you cultivate, you train the heart as well. If Luli can disregard the animosity between Bai Ze and himself, then hopefully he’ll be able to look past these affairs between seniors,” the Assistant Palace Lord said. “The Battle Sage Palace will nurture them properly. When they reach the peak of the Noble Plane in the future, then we’ll gather the Pavilion Lords for a discussion to permit their entry into the Sage Palace to train.”
The man at his side nodded in response. Many of the disciples in the Holy Zhi Palace thought that the Holy Sage Pavilion would be concerned that Ye Futian was becoming so prominent. This was but an underestimation of how gracious the elders in the Holy Sage Pavilion could be. They were not concerned with the internal competition between the six palaces. The competition between disciples was a way to motivate them in their training, and the palaces would not interfere in that.
“Time’s beginning to run out. It’s about time to put the marriage between Luli and Zhuge Mingyue on the agenda,” the Assistant Palace Lord whispered.
The Barren State had to have a saint. Many top individuals had failed in the past. Even their senior had failed. Bai Luli was to be their new hope.
At the Battle Sage Palace, a few people had appeared by the golden cliffs. Ye Futian was there as well and was sitting opposite an incredibly beautiful woman. That woman was Phoenix from the Daozang Palace. Next to her, white flames hid her figure from sight. A strange area of will fell upon her, making it feel as though she couldn’t even move her body.
“Sage Daozang once mentioned in his lecture that when we reach the plane we’re in right now, integrated energy should come from areas of will. Since everyone has a different perception of energy, the new areas of will created would all be different as well. This is the area of will that I’ve perceived,” Ye Futian said, looking at Phoenix. He then took back his energy.
“Thank you.” Phoenix nodded at Ye Futian in gratitude. Over the past two years, Ye Futian had entered many of the relics’ secret realms. This had not escaped the notice of people, and many came to him for training advice. It was just surprising to Ye Futian that Phoenix, who was reticent in nature, would come to him for advice today as well. Phoenix’s plane was higher than his.
“No problem, we can help each other to become better.” Ye Futian smiled.
“I’ll take my leave now. If the chance arises, I’ll come seek your advice again.” Phoenix stood up and turned to leave. Her sleeves fluttered as she moved, adding to her loveliness.
“Brother Ye, seems like you’ve got pretty good luck with the ladies.” At this moment, a figure moved through the sky towards him. It was Zhong Li, another talent who had entered the Holy Zhi Palace at the same time as him.
“Don’t talk nonsense.” Ye Futian chuckled and shook his head.
“Yeah, I’m talking nonsense here.” Zhong Li laughed and threw a glance at the beautiful woman next to Ye Futian.
In Ye Futian’s second year at the Holy Zhi Palace, Mu Zhiqiu had come to the Holy Zhi Palace’s Core Island from the Thousand Holy Islands through a selections process. Since then, she would often meet Ye Futian to discuss their training in the Celestial Way.
“They come here for the same purpose as you do,” Ye Futian explained. Over the past two years, he had also gotten closer to Zhong Li.
“Got it, got it.” Zhong Li chuckled before coming to Ye Futian’s side to seek his opinion on problems he had faced during training. Though they could turn to the elders for guidance should they meet with issues during their own training, they found that sometimes hearing about Ye Futian’s own experiences in training could inspire them, given that Ye Futian was a peer whose plane was not far from theirs.
At the side, Mu Zhiqiu watched Ye Futian and Zhong Li quietly. After three years in the Holy Zhi Palace, the young man who had once come to the Zhaixing House in order to claim the Divine Destruction Polearm had now become someone who had an incredibly high standing among the disciples of the Palace. She knew that within the palace, there were many disciples who declared that Ye Futian would indisputably become first in the Law Rank in the future.
“Younger brother,” Qi Jie called out, walking towards Ye Futian. Ye Futian looked up at him and responded, “Older brother, is anything the matter?”
“It’s now the assessment period for admissions to the Holy Zhi Palace.” Qi Jie smiled. “Those going through the assessment have already stepped out of the Divine Roads, and many of them are outside the Holy Zhi Palace now. Someone asked me to convey a message to you.”
“Who?” Ye Futian asked.
“Your older sister,” Qi Jie replied. A smile twinkled in Ye Futian’s eyes, and he asked, “What did older sister ask you to say to me?”
“She said to tell you that you were a rascal for not thinking about her for the past three years and that you better go and see her tomorrow,” Qi Jie spoke, his expression caught in the middle of seriousness and mirth.
Ye Futian was speechless. He blinked before breaking out into a grin. His second older sister was coming. It had been three years since he last saw her. Having spent three years in the Holy Zhi Palace, he was excited to find out how everyone else had been while he was away.