Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
The news of the battle at White Cloud City spread all over the Barren State. MOre news followed right afterward. Kong Yao of Zhisheng Cliffs had invited all the top forces in the Barren State to gather at Xuanwu City in order to find ways to create a saint. That piece of news soon became the talk everywhere. There was no one who did not know that Zhisheng Cliffs intended to clash with the Zhuge family. There was no one who was able to fathom the meaning of the people of Zhisheng Cliffs inviting mighty ones from all over the Barren State to gather at Xuanwu City at a time like this.
The news that the people of Zhisheng Cliffs released was reserved, with the only notable thing being the intention of the search of Divine Paths. However, no one outside of the Zhuge family knew what lied behind such an event, but Kong Yao of Zhisheng Cliffs knew that those ranked on the Barren Sky Ranking knew what he meant.
The end of year 10009 of the Divine Prefecture Calendar was an unsettling time. Many in the Barren State felt they were at the precipice of an epoch, witnessing the arrival of chaotic times. When year 10010 of the Divine Prefecture Calendar finally arrived, Ye Futian was training in Moon Tower at Crouching Dragon Mountain. It was the day before was the very last day of the year 10009, yet there was no banquet to celebrate the arrival of the new year. The place was not lively and was completely devoid of any festive mood.
Ye Futian sat silently, sensing the Spiritual Qi around him. Other than training his spiritual powers, he was also trying to develop a comprehension of the sage will. Ever since he came to the Barren State, he had been visiting many ruins to experience the power of the sage’s past. He had even stood on Yuan Hong’s back just a while ago, experiencing how sages fought first hand. He became very knowledgeable of what kind of powers sages possessed. However, knowing was one thing, and comprehending it was another thing altogether.
Gu Dongliu and Zhuge Mingyue walked up to him quietly from behind. They had no intentions of interrupting Ye Futian’s training, yet he opened his eyes and turned to face both of them. He then smiled and greeted them, “Second Sister, Third Brother.”
“Little Brother, are you trying to comprehend the will of the sage here?” Gu Dongliu asked.
“Yeah,” Ye Futian nodded, “I seem to have grown to understand something, but I can’t pinpoint what it is yet.”
“That’s normal.” Gu Dongliu nodded and continued, “You’re only a Grade Two Noble. While your highly exceptional intellectual capacity allowed you to sense a sliver of the sage will, you’re still unable to get to it just yet. That is because when nobles advance to become sages, the very nature of the plane changes. In all the cultivation stages before reaching Sage Plane, it can be said that you see mountains when you see mountains and water when you see water. Yet when you reach the Sage Plane, you don’t see mountains when you see mountains, and you don’t see water when you see water.”
“Third Brother, I think you’re making it a little too deep for me,” Ye Futian smiled and commented.
Gu Dongliu looked forward. He activated his will and a leaf fell before them. He then asked, “What powers do you feel when you see the leaf fall?”
“I feel the will of the wind,” Ye Futian answered.
Gu Dongliu did not respond to his answer. His eyes remained on that very leaf, tracking it as it kept falling, finally ending up on a rock. The leaf had no way of continuing its path, yet at the very next moment, Ye Futian’s eyes were practically frozen by what he saw. That seemingly light, helpless leaf went on to break the rock open. The very weak, powerless leaf had surprisingly functioned like a very sharp knife, cutting the rock it landed on.
“Wha…” Ye Futian felt touched somewhat.
“This is what you’d call ‘will.’ The will melds with the heavens and the earth, and the will of sages is the very will of the heavens and the earth. When you have finally developed comprehension of that rule, you will find your will to be everywhere, turning into rules. That leaf you saw was infused with my will, and with that, it came to possess the power of rules of the sword,” Gu Dongliu elaborated.
“I understand now.” Ye Futian nodded, feeling himself having touched something, yet it slipped through his fingers before he could grab it.
“All the elemental Spiritual Qi of the world can be used to bolster the power of rules. But some more powerful rules were born from the elements themselves, yet they cast off the nature of elemental powers. You have begun to grasp this very level. When you were using the powers of noble will, that will itself was a fusion that gave birth to all new willpowers,” Gu Dongliu continued.
“Right, I know about that,” Ye Futian said while nodding. His teacher back in the cottage all those years ago guided him to practice fusion spells to serve as a backing for future training.
“You’re versed in powers of all elements. The way with cultivation dictates that the higher your plane level, the more apparent your elemental advantage becomes. Sorcerers who train with a single element will develop comprehension of rules that aren’t all that different from others doing other elements. Yet, at the Sage Plane, the difference between one individual to another can be frighteningly huge. It goes without saying that it works the same with saints. As such, there is the Sage and Saint Ranking of the Nine States all across the nine states. Any from the Barren Sky Ranking who are able to make it onto that ranking would definitely be the stuff of legends,” Gu Dongliu elaborated further.
“If the Barren Sky Ranking was to be rearranged, you’d definitely be able to get ranked on there,” Ye Futian said with a smile. Of course, his Third Brother definitely had no interest in the Barren Sky Ranking.
“These things hardly matter.” Gu Dongliu shook his head. Fame and fortune were little more than fleeting clouds to him.
“I’m going to go train with the staff for a bit,” Ye Futian said. From the sixth strike of the Nine Heavenly Attacks, he became able to touch some of the powers of the sage.
“Right.” Gu Dongliu and Zhuge Mingyue nodded and they both left soon after.
“Is Jieyu still on Taihang Mountain?” Gu Dongliu asked Zhuge Mingyue.
“Our Little Brother is naturally concerned for her. With things being so shaky all over the Barren State, and Crouching Dragon Mountain being the center of this whirlpool, there is a risk of the odds stacking against us. He won’t let her come here, and that is for her own good.” It was only natural for Zhuge Mingyue to understand what Ye Futian’s thought.
“But that kid won’t be able to fool Jieyu for long.” Zhuge Mingyue sighed. It was impossible for Ye Futian to bring Hua Jieyu along when he went to White Cloud City back then. He also came to Crouching Dragon Mountain instead of returning to Taihang Mountain, leaving her there instead. If Hua Jieyu knew what he intended to do back then, she would have followed him to White Cloud City as there was no way she would have let him leave her behind.
The apes of Taihang Mountain listened to Ye Futian, and that meant it would have been difficult for Hua Jieyu to come to Crouching Dragon Mountain alone.
Gu Dongliu did not say anything.
Xuanwu City gradually turned more lively over the next few days as mighty ones from faraway lands came. Many masters and leaders of top forces arrived one after another. There were even some mighty ones ranked on the Barren Sky Ranking that were hardly seen anywhere. Xuanwu had never been so busy.
Many were unable to fathom why Kong Yao’s words carried such weight, being able to call such an impressive crowd. Are these forces that show up here really going to ally with Kong Yao of Zhisheng Cliffs to take out the Zhuge family? they wondered.
The Zhuge family estate on Crouching Dragon Mountain was seen to be a city in crisis at the moment, one that could collapse any moment. Mighty ones of Zhisheng Cliffs released more news that they would be meeting the mighty ones of the Barren State at the center of Xuanwu CityXuanwu Tower. Mighty ones of the Sovereign family of Zhongzhou City stayed in one of the palaces of Xuanwu City. Huang Xi of the Sovereign family came personally.
Huang Xi was training with his eyes closed in one of the compounds of the palace. A young man was seen there, and it was none other than Huang Jiuge.
“Zhisheng Cliffs is obviously trying to do something against the Zhuge family, with the meeting of the mighty ones from all over the Barren State set up at Xuanwu Tower and all. Why do we even need to be here?” Huang Jiuge asked.
“No harm in coming to see the event.” Huang Xi opened his eyes to look at Huang Jiuge and said, “Furthermore, two of the Nine Warriors of Zhisheng Cliffs are here. One of them is Qin Zhong, who is known to be the number one among the nobles of Zhisheng Cliffs. When he fought Ximen Hanjiang in the Holy Zhi Palace, Ximen Hanjiang was rendered totally helpless. Don’t you want to see the one known to be the top-class genius, invincible among all under the Sage Plane from Yu State?”
Invincible among all under Sage Plane, huh? Huang Jiuge thought. While the skills of that person were indisputable given how he had easily defeated Ximen Hanjiang, there was still no certainty that he was indeed invincible. During the engagement banquet at Zhuge family estate, Ye Futian demonstrated what he was capable of as a Grade Two Noble, and the one known to be number one among nobles of the Zhuge family had been helpless against Ye Futian as well.
“You thought of Ye Futian, didn’t you?” Huang Xi asked.
“Indeed.” Huang Jiuge nodded.
“Peers that you’re impressed of. I guess he’s probably the first one, and that speaks a lot about him. But getting involved with the matters of Zhisheng Cliffs and bringing the demonic beasts from Taihang Mountain to kick up a fuss in White Cloud City, he indeed seemed like he had a death wish.” Huang Xi added, “You probably need to be concerned for that friend of yours.”
“The Zhuge family had divine implements and Yuan Hong defeated the City Lord of White Cloud City. Zhisheng Cliffs can’t do anything to move Crouching Dragon Mountain. Are those forces from the Barren State really going to lend their hand to a foreign force?” Huang Jiuge asked.
“You are familiar with the Orthodoxy’s creation of saints, aren’t you?” Huang Xi looked at the sky and added, “Who would actually give up the chance to become a saint? How many were there in every generation who pursued that goal single-mindedly and without regret? With the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace completely silent, is everyone in the Barren State going to really believe that he is simply training in seclusion? He definitely had suffered grave injuries in that battle. Other than that, it’s anyone’s guess how many of those legendary figures died from that battle. Zhisheng Cliffs is sacred ground in Yu State with a saint. Even with the saint taken out of the picture, the power that Zhisheng Cliffs have under their control is also been incredibly frightening. Kong Yao is ranked ninth on the Sage and Saint Ranking of the Nine States. Those people also understand that the mighty ones from Zhisheng Cliffs are also after the same goal of creating a saint, and they aren’t helping the foreign force for real. But if such efforts gain Zhisheng Cliffs’ favor and they are able to form good relations with each other, there will be more hope for them all. When it comes to the matter of saints, even such slivers of hope would prove tempting. The further up one’s place on the Barren Sky Ranking, the stronger the temptation.” Huang Xi knew of their thirst for the Saint Plane, as he had been after the same thing.
Huang Jiuge went silent. He did indeed hear about such things, but he was still too far away to be able to consider such things.
“Just wait and see. That day will be just as lively as that engagement banquet back then,” Huang Xi said. Huang Jiuge nodded and left.
Just as Huang Xi had predicted, Xuanwu Tower was in chaos when the day actually came. The group from Zhisheng Cliffs sat quietly. There was a banquet thrown and many mighty ones arrived at Xuanwu Tower.
“We are from the Nantian House, and it is an honor to meet you, Mr. Kong.” A group of mighty ones from Nantian House arrived at Xuanwu Tower.
“I have heard stories about the Godly Spear of Nantian,” Kong Yao nodded and said.
“We are from the Sword Saint Villa.” A voice was heard far away. Sword aura whooshed above and a group of mighty ones was seen arriving, riding on their swords. The one who took the lead was none other than the leader of the Sword Saint Villa, the Wuji Swordsman, a renowned figure ranked on the upper spots of the Barren Sky Ranking.
“I’ve heard that the place used to be a sacred ground of the sword,” Kong Yao smiled and said. If some among those who were there were to combine forces with him, taking out Crouching Dragon Mountain would be as easy as squishing an ant.
Many other forces, such as the Vermilion Bird Sect, Ximen clan, Taixuan Mountain, and Sacred Fire Sect, came one after another. More than half of the mighty ones from all over Barren State were gathered inside and out of Xuanwu Tower. What was more notable was that all who showed up were big shots. The place had never been busier.
Some from the far corners of Xuanwu City watched all of that, feeling extremely restless.
Crouching Dragon Mountain was in danger!