Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
In yet another battlefield, the Sword Saint and Kong Yao were fighting a monstrous battle up in the sky. Kong Yao’s every strike packed the power to overwhelm the heavens, while every slash and thrust of the Sword Saint’s blade was imbued with force so terrifying that the heavens were in danger of being cleaved open. Their battle kept escalating.
Kong Yao, who was clad in a bronze divine implement, fought ferociously. He stood tall in the heavens and a mystical phenomenon appeared around him. A boundless, huge Divine Elephant stood in the middle, bringing boundless powers to bear. His eyes remained fixed on Sword Saint before him.
People practicing demonic arts trained by going against the flow. They swallowed all powers and then unleashed them in full force. Their might was extremely overbearing and one strike could have easily proven fatal.
The Sword Saint held onto the broadsword in his hand, as streaks of black air currents flowed in reverse, rushing to his body and vaguely conjuring a shadow of a demon behind him. The broadsword disappeared from his hand, seemingly turning into sword will, merging with his body. Every single dark current flowing in the air seemed to all be sword wills.
Boom. A terrifying dark current burst from the Sword Saint’s body, turning into a demonic blade. Their surroundings turned incredibly dark. He held the blade up high with both hands and siphoned massive power into it. He then brought the demonic blade down, and at that very instant, it seemed to have cut the space around open.
Kong Yao clenched his fists and moved downwards. His surroundings shook and the mystical phenomenon around him trembled. An elephant roar shaking the heavens was heard as Kong Yao’s fists conjured fearsome devastating light. He lashed out at the air, clashing with the blade coming at him. A dark whirlpool swirled wherever his fists went, seemingly about to swallow everything in that space.
The attacks of both men clashed in midair and a devastating storm whipped out. It seemed as if the space they were in was about to collapse. A silhouette was seen penetrating that very devastating space. That silhouette felt more like a blade than a person.
The demonic blade had become one with the sword saint. That slash back then was not dealt by the blade itself, but the sword will of the blade.
The heavens and the earth felt like they were being cleaved apart by the demonic blade. Kong Yao roared and the Divine Elephant went on a stampede. Another punch was brought to meet that incoming blade.
Sharp, creaking noises were heard. A dazzling demonic flash swept by as the blade landed on its target. The Sword Saint’s body was thrown behind while Kong Yao ended up bleeding in many places.
The shadow of the Sword Saint disappeared yet again, streaking through the air while Kong Yao cranked his power to the maximum. He, invincible under the saints, conjured devastating light in the air continuously. Kong Yao finally dropped from the air and was no longer on the battlefield. His body was then covered in blood as an untold number of sword will pierced through his body, but he knew well that the Sword Saint was not doing all too well either.
“You crazy fool,” Kong Yao roared in rage. The Sword Saint glanced at him before disappearing as a flash of darkness, cleaving that wheel of stars that Sage Wanxiang had laid out, entering directly.
Ye Futian turned around and saw his Eldest Brother appear before him, staring at the figure across with cold eyes.
“Chunyang, do you still wish to continue?” the Lord of Ice Temple asked. She and Sage Chunyang were ranked second and first on the Barren Sky Ranking respectively, so it was only natural that they knew each other. Chunyang sighed, looking at the Sword Saint and the battlefield before him.
Everyone took notice of the situation there. One figure after another ceased fighting and headed for them. The Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace, Sage Chunyang, had appeared.
“Here you are, finally,” Huang Xi said to Sage Chunyang.
“Luli.” Bai Gu rushed to his son side, seeing him injured.
Many had funny looks on their faces. Sage Wanxiang had laid out the wheel of stars before. Did Ye Futian and Bai Luli just finish fighting?
From the looks of things, Bai Luli was injured. This…
“Teacher,” Zhuge Qingfeng walked up to Sage Chunyang and called out to him.
“Qingfeng, I’m so sorry,” Sage Chunyang said.
“You were acting for the sake of the Holy Zhi Palace, and I have nothing to say to that. No one can truly tell all the rights and wrongs in this. From here on out, the score between both us is cleared, and we are done with each other.” Zhuge Qingfeng cut a piece of his shirt and then bowed deeply to Sage Chunyang.
“I know little in the way of truths and principles, but I do know that the Holy Zhi Palace is just as selfish for sacrificing others for its ideals. You have no place to talk about having a saint emerge in the Barren State. If it is truly to have a saint emerge, the result before our eyes is very obvious. How did the Holy Zhi Palace go about carrying out its beliefs?” Xu Shang’s voice sounded rather lazy, yet his words were true and blunt.
Sage Chunyang looked at everyone around him and said, “The Holy Zhi Palace is a sacred ground of the Barren State. I can hardly absolve myself from blame for all that has happened. Liu Chan followed my will and went throwing his weight around. From here on out, both Liu Chan and I will no longer be the Palace Lords of the Holy Sage Pavilion.”
Many shuddered at the words of Sage Chunyang. They had never anticipated him to be so decisive in the matter. He quit his job as the Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace with Liu Chan.
“Luli, I and Liu Chan wanted nothing more than to have you become a saint, but things backfired and we roped you into a disaster instead. I hope you won’t be all that affected by all that has happened,” Sage Chunyang turned to Bai Luli and said.
Bai Luli was calm hearing Sage Chunyang’s words. He had nothing to say about his defeat. For years, he had been showered with adoration, ranked tenth on the Barren Sky Ranking, and known by all as the number one genius in all of the Barren State. If Ye Futian had not appeared, he might have glittered just as dazzling as he had. However, as another emerged to take his place, he saw it fit to step down.
Bai Luli turned around and bowed deeply to Sage Chunyang and Liu Chan, saying, “I have been training diligently all these years with the will of the Holy Zhi Palace held close to my heart, caring little for the affairs of the outside world. Starting from today, I will be going on my pilgrimage to the mortal world, and White Cloud City will no longer be involved in the affairs of the Barren State.” He knelt and kowtowed to both Sage Chunyang and Liu Chan before turning to pay his respects to the Holy Zhi Palace.
He stood up and looked at his father, the City Lord of White Cloud City, saying, “Father, let’s go.”
“Are we?” Bai Gu looked at everyone and everything before him. All he did was in line with the Holy Zhi Palace’s wishes, to have his son Bai Luli become a saint.
So we’ve lost everything now? He had not been able to fathom why the ones ranked first, third, and he, who ranked fourth on the Barren Sky Ranking, ended up like this for standing by Bai Luli.
Bai Gu glanced at everyone around him and said, “We will be seeing you on the Divine Path.” He left as soon as he finished, without saying goodbye to his teacher, Sage Chunyang or his uncle, Liu Chan. It was very obvious that he did not want to admit defeat.
“Chunyang, are you arranging for what is to come after you leave?” Kong Yao said coldly, “I care not for your Holy Zhi Palace. The ones I came for are still on the loose. From here on out, anyone who stands in the way of Zhisheng Cliffs or Yan Wuji and the others, I will see them all as acts of war against Zhisheng Cliffs. Those who act in such ways will suffer the consequences.” Kong Yao was apparently threatening Huang Xi, Xu Shang, and the others. He had intended to kill some of them right there and then, but he had changed his mind, opting to first take Ye Futian and Gu Dongliu away. While he did not know what happened in the battle before, he knew that Ye Futian had defeated Bai Luli. That was something worthy of immediate attention and he deemed that Ye Futian must be taken away.
Cold eyes glared at Kong Yao. He is now threatening the forces of the Barren State on behalf of Zhisheng Cliffs then?
“Is Zhisheng Cliffs threatening Barren State now?” Chunyang looked at Kong Yao.
“What if we are?” Kong Yao asked coldly. An aura coursed around Chunyang. Many people of the top forces in the Barren State turned around to glare at Kong Yao.
“Brother Ge,” Kong Yao called out. Ge Feng walked to Kong Yao’s side.
“It seems that the Holy Zhi Palace is turning its back on the will of the Head Saint. Please call out to him,” Kong Yao said.
“Indeed.” Ge Feng’s eyes were ice-cold. He had not wanted to bother his teacher if things were not in such dire states. He closed his eyes and cranked his spiritual power to fearsome levels. A dazzling light was unleashed from within his body, with a streak of power that did not seem to belong to him vaguely emanating. A projection was thrown in the air before them, turning into an incredibly imposing and regal form.
“We bow to the Head Saint.” Everyone in Zhisheng Cliffs bowed.
“Teacher, I’m very sorry for interfering with your training,” Ge Feng bowed and said.
The illusory figure glanced at everyone around and said, “Chunyang, are you going against my will?”
“Greetings to you, senior.” Sage Chunyang bowed slightly. That saint then said, “Some of the people from Zhisheng Cliffs were killed in the Barren State. I’m having Kong Yao take those two responsible away, and I assume you are not against that?”
Ye Futian turned to look at that regal figure. Is that a saint?
Huang Xi, Xu Shang, and all the others looked incredibly troubled. There was no one who dared defy a saint, after all.
“I beg for your forgiveness, senior. I have made the wrong decision before and now, I’m sorry to say that I cannot hand them over to you,” Chunyang said.
“How dare you?” A cold voice was heard. The might of its voice permeated the air to bear on everyone present.
“Brother, you asked what Wanxiang saw before, didn’t you?” Chunyang asked Liu Chan telepathically. Liu Chan looked at his senior and Chunyang continued, “The main palace crumbles before the light of hope appears in the Holy Zhi Palace. That was what Wanxiang saw.”
Liu Chan shuddered before smiling as if he was laughing at himself.
It is ironic indeed.
The main palace, the Holy Sage Pavilion of the Holy Zhi Palace.
“Brother, I’m so sorry,” Chunyang said.
“You’re not to be blamed.” Liu Chan smiled and looked awfully sad.
“Do you still remember what our teacher told us before he died?”
“I do.” Liu Chan nodded.
Everyone present then saw their bodies begin burning. It was their spiritual will that burned, turning into incredibly mighty powers. They looked as if they were offering themselves as sacrifices, burning their very own lives.
Liu Chan turned around and cast his gaze at everyone before him, saying, “I did what I did with the best interests for the Holy Zhi Palace in mind, and I have made a grave error in my actions. For that, I’m willing to shoulder the dire consequences of that very error by offering my life to carry on the will of the Holy Zhi Palace. May the Holy Zhi Palace live and prosper.”
“For the Holy Zhi Palace,” Chunyang said.
“For the Holy Zhi Palace.” Liu Chan’s voice was no longer heard. The spiritual will of both men seemed to have merged into one before turning into a dazzling mark, flying deep into the palace, all the way to the Holy Sage Pavilion.
“Chunyang,” the Head Saint of Zhisheng Cliffs said coldly.
“I call upon Emperor Xia,” A dazzling light burst from afar, deep within the Holy Sage Pavilion. The bodies of both Chunyang and Liu Chan were no longer around, yet that voice was an incredibly solemn one.
The Lord of Ice Temple, Huang Xi, Zhuge Qingfeng, and the others watched as they trembled inside. The Sword Demon, Sage Daozng trembled as well.
The nine states were all from the line of Emperor Xia Orthodoxy. Legend had it that Emperor Xia left a mark in the grounds of Orthodoxy in all nine states, and only the heads of the Orthodoxy knew how to activate the mark. However, it was also said that only saints were capable of such a feat.
Palace Lord Chunyang was near the end of his days and Liu Chan was not a saint. They should have had no way of activating the mark unless they used secret arts. However, doing so clearly came with a terrifyingly hefty price. In this case, their lives.
With the Head Saint of Zhisheng Cliffs descending personally, even though it was simply a will, everyone knew what that meant. Nobody had a way out. After rounds of brutal battles, it was still deemed necessary for Ye Futian and Gu Dongliu to be taken away, and the Holy Zhi Palace remained split with the Barren State.
There was only one way to resolve all that way—call upon Emperor Xia.
The deed was accomplished through the sacrifice of both Palace Lords of Holy Sage Pavilion.