Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There seemed to be a mark being opened deep in the Holy Zhi Palace. A dazzling light burst afterward. An image slowly came into being above the sky. It was a great, regal figure. He was standing at the top of Nine Cloud Palace and looked below. His silhouette seemed to have encompassed the entire sky.
“Renhuang.” Everyone’s minds shuddered. The insurmountable legendary being. A figure who stood at the Renhuang Plane.
The emperor who ruled all of the nine states—Emperor Xia.
“All hail Emperor Xia.” Chunyang and Liu Chan bowed and paid their respects.
“All hail Emperor Xia.” The saint of Zhisheng Cliffs bowed as well. While he was a saint of Zhisheng Cliffs and was extremely irked about Chunyang, he had no choice but to bow down to the Emperor Xia all the same.
One figure after another bowed to show their respect for Renhuang.
“Barren State, the Holy Zhi Palace.” Emperor Xia opened his mouth calmly. His voice sounded as if it was imbued with the might of the heavens.
“Indeed,” Chunyang bowed and said.
“What is the matter?” Emperor Xia asked. The Holy Zhi Palace had been a part of his Orthodoxy and he had left a mark to show it.
“Brother.” Chunyang looked at Liu Chan beside him.
“I beg you to look at this, Emperor Xia.” Liu Chan’s burning spiritual powers walked to Emperor Xia and turned into images to be presented to the will of Emperor Xia. The emperor came to understand what had transpired soon enough.
“Zhan Xiao, a student of Zhisheng Cliffs killed many of the Yu State and set up Gu Dongliu of the Barren State to take the fall, pursuing the man to this land. As for what happens next, I took the liberty to call you, Emperor Xia, as I do not see any other way of solving this now that a saint from Zhisheng Cliffs is here. Please forgive my trespasses, Great Emperor,” Chunyang said.
“This place belongs to the Barren State. Why did you help Zhisheng Cliffs before then?” Emperor Xia asked coldly.
“It is a crime of mine to have the Holy Zhi Palace bear such a shame due to my personal agendas. I deem myself no longer fit to be in charge of the Holy Zhi Palace as the Palace Lord, and I’m willing to atone for my crimes with my death,” Chunyang said.
Emperor Xia’s expression was calm. He then looked at the saint from Zhisheng Cliffs and said, “Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
“Emperor Xia, I knew not of what transpired before. What I did know was that a Son of Zhisheng Cliffs was killed. As such, I sent people to look into the matter. I will investigate the matter thoroughly after I return. I beg for your forgiveness, Emperor Xia,” the Head Saint of Zhisheng Cliffs bowed and said.
Emperor looked at him plainly. The Head Saint then continued, “Emperor Xia, a saint has not emerged from the Barren State for many years, yet the Barren State still calls itself a member of the Orthodoxy. The Holy Zhi Palace was not fit to be called such and I suggest for the place to be taken apart.”
Chunyang and Liu Chan looked incredibly troubled. If it had not been Emperor Xia, the other states might have taken over Barren State a long time ago.
They knew that there was not much time left for the Barren State. It was only a matter of time before the day would come. As such, they had gotten anxious and did everything they could to have a saint emerge from the Barren State. They had not expected such rushed, anxious efforts would lead to such wrongs in the end.
Emperor Xia scanned everyone present and then said, “If there is to be no one at the Saint Plane emerging from the Barren State when the next Battle of Saints is held, the Holy Zhi Palace shall be taken apart. Before that day comes, Zhisheng Cliffs shall not lift a finger against Barren State.”
“Indeed, Emperor Xia.” The Head Saint of Zhisheng Cliffs bowed. He was a saint and thus making him a being right beneath Emperor Xia. While the matter at hand concerned the Holy Zhi Palace’s survival, it was something that hardly mattered to Emperor Xia. Why does Renhuang care about a force that doesn’t even have a saint among them?
Even Zhisheng Cliffs would not have had such a high status in the eyes of Emperor Xia, and that was the reason why no one dared to get on the bad side of Emperor Xia.
“Thank you, Emperor Xia.” Chunyang had not expected Emperor Xia to punish Zhisheng Cliffs as he knew there was simply no possibility for that to happen. The Barren State had a not had a saint emerg among their ranks, and it was obvious that the status of Holy Zhi Palace had gotten very low in the eyes of Emperor Xia.
“Are they any other matters to be discussed?” Emperor Xia asked Chunyang.
Chunyang bowed and said, “The Holy Zhi Palace needs a successor. I would like Ye Futian to take my place as the next Palace Lord after I perish, and he shall be assisted by all members of the Holy Zhi Palace. I would like to seek your agreement on this particular matter, Emperor Xia.”
Many great figures from the Barren State shuddered as they looked at Chunyang. The Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace had wanted a saint to emerge from Barren State so badly that he went to nurture Bai Luli regardless of the cost, yet his efforts practically turned the Barren State upside down.
However, he was still a man of charisma and persistence. There was no one who had expected him to pass on the place of Palace Lord to a noble right before he perished. It was an act totally against convention. Nobody had done so before, and there would probably no one else doing the same thing ever again. Furthermore, he brought the matter up right before Emperor Xia was about to disappear. It was obvious to many what his intentions were.
The mess that they were in that day was brought up by Ye Futian and Zhisheng Cliffs determined to get their hands on him. Furthermore, while Emperor Xia had decreed that Zhisheng Cliffs shall not touch the Holy Zhi Palace, he did not say anything about not moving against Ye Futian. Now that Chunyang placed Ye Futian on the seat of the Palace Lord, Zhisheng Cliffs probably dared not move against Ye Futian, as it would have defied the will of Emperor Xia.
The Holy Zhi Palace was practically in shambles and Chunyang was doing whatever he was able at the last moments of his life to keep the place in one piece. He was also doing it so that the hope for the future other than Bai Luli lived.
Ye Futian lifted his head and looked at Chunyang. He had not expected the elder sage to be doing such a thing for him.
But am I fit to become Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace?
“I acknowledge your decision.” Emperor Xia nodded plainly.
“Then I have nothing else to bother you with, great emperor.” Chunyang bowed. The silhouette of Emperor Xia gradually faded away.
“We shall see you off, Emperor Xia.”
Voices were heard and the silhouette above the sky disappeared. The mighty ones from Zhisheng Cliffs looked extremely irked, including the Head Saint. We really got played today by Chunyang.
Bringing out Emperor Xia just to threaten me, eh? Good move.
“Let’s go.” The Head Saint’s silhouette disappeared as well. Kong Yao and the others with him scanned everyone present. So we just go home empty-handed like this?
Furthermore, they had suffered great losses this time. They came to the Barren State and waged several wars with the inferior state, yet they returned with their wings clipped every single time.
“Let’s go.” Kong Yao scanned everyone present with deep eyes. It was a score he intended to settle at a later date.
Yan Wuji of Sword Saint Villa, Godly Spear of Nantian of Nantian House, Di Kai of the Emperor family and the others turned pale as the ones from Zhisheng Cliffs left.
What about us? With the Holy Zhi Palace calling upon Emperor Xia and making Ye Futian the next Palace Lord, the will of the Holy Zhi Palace was reunited once again.
This time, it had the agreement of many great figures from all over Barren State.
However, to those people, such turn of events spelled their doom. No one cared about what those few thought about anything. Chunyang and Liu Chan’s silhouette faded, as if they had indeed come to the end and turning invisible.
They looked at everyone in the Holy Zhi Palace and Chunyang said, “You all heard what I said. From this day, Ye Futian shall be the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace.”
“Hey, I didn’t agree to any of that,” Ye Futian said as he turned to look at Chunyang. He was feeling very complicated at the moment. Should I resent all this happening to me?
The battles fought today had many severely injured and their lives hanging by a thread, which included his teacher, Jieyu, Hua Qingqing, and many others.
If the Holy Zhi Palace had only allowed him to battle with Bai Luli when he was there, none of all that would have happened. That was why he had gone to the Holy Zhi Palace in the first place. He was there to return everything to how it was before. He had achieved what he set out to do in the first place. Everything turned to how it once was, yet said result came too late.
He was feeling very complicated deep inside at the moment, and very exhausted as well.
“I know it is hard for you to accept what the Holy Zhi Palace did. But your teacher, the Sword Demon and Daozang, did any of them do anything untoward towards you?” Chunyang said, “Now, Liu Chan, Tianxing, and I will all be a page in history books. What happens next, take it as something you do for yourself as well as for the friends you have in the Holy Zhi Palace.”
Ye Futian looked at his teacher, Sage Douzhan, and then at the Sword Demon, Sage Daozang, then at Yun Shuisheng, Phoenix, and the ohters. He closed his eyes and felt a storm whipping up in his mind.
“For many years, countless from the Barren State lost their lives in their journey to achieve sainthood. I myself was one of those people. The Barren State had the least hope out of the nine states of achieving such a goal. We were weak and yet we dared to challenge, but that also meant that we suffered the highest casualties. As such, I nurtured Bai Luli and put all hopes onto him. I hope that one day, someone from Barren State will be able to reign supreme, overwhelming top notch figures from the other states and let a saint be born. Only by doing so will the Holy Zhi Palace be able to achieve what it was made to do in the first place. Only with a true saint present will the Holy Zhi Palace and the Barren State truly achieve greater prosperity.
“I’ve always had a wish, that I would be able to see a saint from the Barren State emerge before I breathe my last breath. I clung to that belief with all I had. Now, I will never see that day come, but I do not wish for this place to be taken over by the states. If such a thing was to be allowed to happen, what happened today is doomed to happen in the future. Someone like you will have emerged, but they will have been even more powerless to change anything.” Chunyang continued, “None of these would have happened if there had been a saint in the Barren State. Your talents would have been discovered and you would have been a student of a saint. Bai Luli would be studying alongside you. The geniuses all over the Barren State would be known throughout the nine states. It is my fault that none of those came true. I would never see all that happen, but I hope you will bring all of the things that I have dreamed of to reality.”
His body gradually turned into bits of light as he talked.
The Sword Demon, Daozang and many others listened with heavy hearts.
“Assist him the best you can. Long live the Holy Zhi Palace.” Chunyang looked at everyone present. At that moment, he recalled the hopes his teacher had for him all those years ago. It was a pity that he never had the honor to truly tutor Ye Futian.
“Brother.” Seeing Chunyang disappearing, Liu Chan turned to Ye Futian and said, “I know you hate me. I had hopes for you when I permitted you entry to the Sage Hall. I had wished for none of these events to happen. I’m a sinned one of the Holy Zhi Palace. Your achievements in the future will be great, while I, the sinned one, will be nailed on the stakes of shame. The world shall come to loathe what I did, and I will be very pleased if such a day is to come.” He lifted his head after he finished talking. His body turned into specks of light, following Chunyang in the netherworld.
Countless watched all that happening. Two of the figures ranked on the top three places of Barren Sky Ranking, the Palace Lords of the Holy Zhi Palace, perished.
The number one and number three on Barren Sky Ranking were no more since that day.
Many vaguely felt that an era had come to an end.
What will the next era hold for us indeed!