Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
What happened in White Cloud City shook Barren State once again. Yuan Hong of Taihang Mountain had actually gone all the way there. If the City Lord himself had not intervened, he would have slaughtered the Gongsun Clan right there and then, just like how he did the Ning Clan. It was an overwhelming show of force indeed.
Furthermore, Yuan Hong had actually fought the City Lord. Although both sides used only one move, many were able to feel that since none of the figures on the Barren Sky Ranking actually fought each other straight up, if another such clash of the titans type of battle was to ever be fought again, the rankings might actually see huge changes. Other than that, the appearance of You Chi in White Cloud City was also something that shocked many. It seemed that the Gongsun Clan’s good days were long over.
The happenings also made it very clear for all the top forces in the Barren State, there was yet another one of the younger generation that was deemed off-limitsthe former number one on the Law Rank, the currently expelled student of the Holy Zhi Palace, Ye Futian.
The expedition of the mass of demonic beasts down Taihang Mountain served as a very good deterrent. The very individual who sparked all this commotionYe Futianseemed to still be recuperating and training in Taihang Mountain, knowing nothing about all that commotion he helped stir up. What he knew was only that Yuan Hong was definitely out to avenge him on that day when he led the golden great apes down the mountain.
Time passed and with the blink of an eye, it was the end of year 10009 of the Divine Prefecture Calendar. The scorching sun was hanging above Taihang Mountain, casting intense light and heat on everything below.
Ye Futian stood at the cliffs and practiced a set of techniques. Every breath filled his internal organs with bursting vigor. His martial arts practice had reached Grade Two Noble Plane and was as steady as bedrock. He was one step away from entering Grade One Noble Plane. It was not just him; many of his acquaintances and friends saw varying progress in their respective cultivations. Their planes had finally and actually equaled out more or less.
Long Ao and Madam Long came to Taihang Mountain and took Ling’er away with them. They were right to worry after something like that happened. Furthermore, the end of the year was near.
Hua Jieyu came beside Ye Futian quietly, looking at the vast mountains that seemed to spread out without end.
“Having not been out for so long, I kind of wonder what the Barren State is like these days,” Hua Jieyu said softly.
“Didn’t Second Sister send someone over? I heard that Third Brother is finally out from his secluded training phase and is now a Third Level Sage. I guess his progress has been great,” Ye Futian smiled and said. While he had been on Taihang Mountain all this while, he came to know what happened outside from Yuan Hong himself, including how the King of Apes went slaughtering the Ning Clan and caused a commotion in White Cloud City.
Ye Futian had also learned that there had been some small conflicts happening in the Holy Zhi Palace. His teacher, Sage Douzhan, intended to have a trial with Ning Xian but was rejected by the Holy Zhi Palace. Ye Futian was, after all, an expelled student, and it was impossible for the Holy Zhi Palace to go punish an elder of the Tianxing Pavilion for his sake. However, while the Holy Zhi Palace did not interfere with the matter, the score between him and Ning Xian was far from settled.
Ning Xian was the mastermind behind it all. He knew that Loulan Xue and the rest were still in Battle Sage Palace, and as such, Ye Futian would definitely return for them. That was where the assassination attempt had taken place. If it had not been for Long Yitian showing up, Ye Futian, Hua Jieyu, Yu Sheng, Ling’er, and the others would have probably died in that battle that day.
It was a score that could only be settled with blood, and there was no way Ye Futian would have just let it slide. But then again, what mattered most at the moment was his training. He needed to first make it to a Grade One Noble Plane before attempting to break into Sage Plane.
“Another year is almost up.” Ye Futian sighed. Hua Jieyu nodded. Indeed, time flies and yet another year is about to end.
Year 10009 of the Divine Prefecture Calendar was almost near its end, and memories of the case with Ye Futian’s assassination attempt had softened considerably.
The Holy Zhi Palace returned to its usual peaceful days. However, many students could not help but feel something was missing. Maybe it was because someone in the past and in their midst had been too important a figure, and his absence caused some kind of vacuum in the Holy Zhi Palace. It was especially so when the day of the sparring session arrived and Ximen Hanjiang was serving as the host. If that person was still around, he might have been the one to host the sparring sessions. He had once made himself famous on the sparring platform before, yet he left the Holy Zhi Palace not having truly hosted one of those sessions.
On that day, all students of the Holy Zhi Palace stopped training and gathered around the sparring session grounds. It was indeed a lively event. The great figures watched the event from behind the scenes. They hoped that some other geniuses would rise to take the place of Ye Futian, Yu Sheng, Hua Jieyu, and the others after since they left the Holy Zhi Palace. However, the chances of something like that happening again were simply too slim. Geniuses of the likes of Bai Luli, Ye Futian, and Yu Sheng were something that happened only once in a hundred years.
At that very moment, there was a group of mighty ones descending from the sky. The group of people exuded an air of exceptionality. There was a young man and a middle-aged man taking the lead, while many mighty ones followed closely behind.
“Who are you people?” The guards of the Holy Zhi Palace took to the air in attempts to stop them. However, at the very instant where they unleashed their might, intense pressure filled the air, causing the guards to feel suffocated. The group of people went straight into the Holy Zhi Palace unannounced and uninvited, without any regard for the guards.
“Someone has intruded the Holy Zhi Palace!” one of the guards shouted. Was there actually someone in the Barren State who dared intrude the Holy Zhi Palace? One mighty one after another leaped into the air in attempts to stop the intruders but knew as soon as they felt the aura exuded by those intruders, that they were utterly incapable of stopping them. They had no choice but to inform the lords.
The young man who was taking the lead glanced at the people of the Holy Zhi Palace and said, “Have you told Brother Zhan about this?”
“I did. We will meet in the sacred ground of the Barren State,” someone beside him answered. They were composed and paid no heed to the mighty ones around them.
The Lord of Tianxing Pavilion arrived with a group of mighty ones to stop them. He looked incredibly serious as he questioned the intruders, “Who are you people?” He scanned the two taking the lead. The young man was calm and composed, exuding confidence in silence. It was as if he cared for nothing around him. The middle-aged man right beside the young man felt as if he melded entirely with his surroundings, bringing immeasurable might to bear.
“We came from the sacred ground of Yu State, here to visit the sacred ground of the Barren State,” the young man said calmly. While he called the intrusion a visit, none of them bothered telling anyone about anything before they came throwing their weight about inside the Holy Zhi Palace. It was obvious that they did not find the Holy Zhi Palace a sacred ground on par with theirs.
“Zhisheng Cliffs,” Sage Tianxing said. The people of the sacred ground of Yu State came indeed, and they came right inside the Holy Zhi Palace.
“I heard that it was Liu Chan who is in charge of the Holy Zhi Palace. Where is he?” the middle-aged man of immeasurable might asked. It was obvious that he knew of Liu Chan.
Many of the students below looked up in the air and felt stunned. The mighty ones from Yu State came and asked directly for the Assistant Palace Lord. They knew that the middle-aged man was some force to be reckoned with.
“Kong Yao,” A voice was heard. Many turned their eyes in the voice’s direction and saw Liu Chan heading their way. His eyes were locked on the middle-aged man. He indeed knew of Kong Yao from Zhisheng Cliffs of Yu State, and Kong Yao was known to be the number one figure below sainthood in Yu State.
Many of the mighty ones ranked on the Barren Sky Ranking had ventured outside the Barren State before. They went on pilgrimages throughout all nine states, and some even witnessed the attainment of sainthood and knew many people.
Kong Yao left a very deep impression on Liu Chan. He had once killed several top-notch sages all by himself. However, even a figure like Kong Yao was unable to attain sainthood, but he remained adamant in his efforts to attain it.
Liu Chan never thought Kong Yao, a figure renowned throughout Yu State, would have been among the intruders. In actuality, Kong Yao’s name was renowned throughout all nine states instead of just Yu State alone. Like the Barren Sky Ranking, there was yet another ranking with even more authority spanning throughout all nine states: the Sage and Saint Ranking of the Nine States.
The Saint Ranking documented the existence of saints throughout all nine states, as every saint was someone at the pinnacle of their respective states. The number of saints in all nine states was few and far between. As such, every single saint was documented on the Saint Ranking.
The Sage Ranking consisted of 81 places, made so from nine times nine equaling 81, and the number ‘nine’ served as a standard for all nine states. Any state with less than nine members in the ranking was deemed weak, while a state with more than nine members in the ranking was deemed strong.
Right now, however, there was no one from Barren State ranked in the Sage and Saint Ranking of the Nine States. As there was no saint from the Barren State, it was only natural they were unable to be ranked on the Sage and Saint Ranking. As such, the right to even be ranked on said ranking was taken from them, and only the Barren Sky Ranking was known throughout the Barren State. In actual fact, however, the very ranking that was held in very high esteem throughout the Barren State was seen as a lesser ranking in the eyes of other states. Liu Chan especially thought that to be quite a shame. Due to the fact that Barren State had no saint, they were robbed of the right to even be ranked on the Sage and Saint Ranking, and the sacred ground of the Barren Statethe Holy Zhi Palaceran the risk of being taken from them. It was due to such reasons that he was anxious to create saints.
There were 81 sages in the Sage and Saint Ranking of the Nine States, and Kong Yao of Zhisheng Cliffs was one of them. He was ranked ninth and was near invincible to all below the Saint Plane. Throughout all nine states, only eight were deemed capable of beating him.
“Liu Chan, this is the Son of Zhisheng Cliffs, Qin Zhong,” Kong Yao introduced the young man standing right beside him.
“I’m honored to make your acquaintance, senior Liu Chan.” Qin Zhong nodded as a gesture of respect. While he exuded plain, gentle respectability, it was unable to overpower his brimming confidence.
Qin Zhong, one of the Nine Warriors of Zhisheng Cliffs, was known to be the one most talented among the nine. While he was only at the pinnacle of the Noble Plane, he did nothing to mask the admiration and importance Zhisheng Cliffs showed him. Kong Yao, the number one on Sage Ranking would not have been the one escorting him otherwise.
Kong Yao himself was a figure who was standing right below the Saint Plane, and he was the most powerful one in the Zhisheng Cliffs. There was only one explanation of having him escort a man who was his juniorthis junior displayed potential for sainthood.
Liu Chan nodded to Qin Zhong. He was able to tell that the youth before him was not some ordinary figure. Having Kong Yao by his side meant that he was probably the most exceptional one among the younger generations in Zhisheng Cliffs.
“Sir, why is that that all of the Holy Zhi Palace’s students are here today? Is there something going on?” Qin Zhong asked Liu Chan.
“Today is the last day of the year and the Holy Zhi Palace is about to inspect the results of the students’ progress throughout the year. It was a sparring session to be held among the younger generation,” Liu Chan elaborated.
“What a great coincidence indeed.” Qin Zhong smiled. “Now that we’re here in the sacred ground of the Barren State and we meet under such circumstances, would you mind if I had a look, sir?”
“Please.” Liu Chan nodded. Qin Zhong knew his manners, and he knew there was no way Liu Chan could have refused him asking in such a way.
The group made it to the grounds where the sparring sessions were held. The students saw the group arriving and knew that those were the visitors from the sacred ground of Yu State.
“Please continue,” Liu Chan said plainly. Ximen Hanjiang nodded and began hosting the sessions!