Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ye Futian turned his eyes at Liu Zong. So, this is the real him?
He had felt something about Liu Zong that he was unable to understand before. He had an impressive and exceptional background; a student tutored by three saints and possessed supreme talents; a saint of the future and an idol of all youths of the Eastern State. Even the princess of the sacred dynasty fell in love with him. Furthermore, he was humble and polite, holding himself with an exceptional bearing, all of which made him very amicable.
Even those proud sons and daughters were all willing to help him break the Celestial Dragon Chess Game, seeing themselves to be accessories. It was easy to see that Liu Zong was one of the few who stood at the pinnacle of his generation, a figure who enjoyed extreme prestige.
Yet at that very moment, Liu Zong did not bother masking any of his arrogance with words. It was something innate, surpassing that external air of pride demonstrated by Mo Jun, his junior. The very reason he spent his time alone was that he detested having to spend time mingling with common people. He deemed few in the entire Eastern State were worthy of walking alongside him. He had turned his eyes away from competing with people of his generation a long time ago. His ambition was far greater. He wanted to create an era.
“What era are you talking about?” Ye Futian asked calmly.
Liu Zong wore a plain smile and turned his deep eyes to Ye Futian. He was rather surprised. Ye Futian was too composed after hearing his words. Ye Futian was not shaken at all.
Liu Zong had been right about Ye Futian. The man before him was destined for great things.
“An era which will enable the Barren State to shine once again,” Liu Zong smiled and said. If Ye Futian’s goal was to make the Barren State great again, Liu Zong deemed it to be something rather easy.
Ye Futian looked at Liu Zong and said, “You might have overestimated me. My current goal is a simple one. I just want a saint to emerge in the Barren State to prevent our sacred ground from being taken apart. Furthermore, this is my mission as the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace, which I will see to its completion.”
Liu Zong looked deeply at Ye Futian. While Ye Futian did not say it explicitly, it was obvious that Ye Futian had rejected his invitation.
There might have been a variety of reasons why Ye Futian did so, but Liu Zong did not bother guessing why. It was a rejection, clear and simple. From his perspective, he would still achieve great things in the future.
The reason why Ye Futian rejected the invitation was actually simple. As a student tutored by three saints, Liu Zong was immensely arrogant. His pride was something etched into the very core of his being. Despite inviting Ye Futian to walk alongside him, it was obvious that he had not done so because he wanted to create a new era along with Ye Futian. That much was obvious from how he had invited the Holy Zhi Palace to participate in the forum, making promises to help make the Barren State great again. The point where he talked about helping mighty ones from the Barren State in the Battle of Saints made it apparent that Liu Zong was drawing people to his side.
If the Barren State indeed became great again, the Barren State would become part of his power base.
Before Ye Futian arrived at the pavilion, he saw Zhou Ziyi leave smiling, who remained all giggly even after seeing Ye Futian, who she resented. A tinge of embarrassment was seen in her eyes. It was apparent that Zhou Ziyi was infatuated with Liu Zong, and she did not bother concealing such feelings. Ye Futian was able to guess as to why she behaved in such a way. It was obvious that Liu Zong had done something to buy her over as well, but Ye Futian did not bother trying to figure out what had Liu Zong had actually done to her.
Regardless, it was impossible for someone like Liu Zong to simply fall into the trap of emotion like Zhou Ziyi. While Zhou Ziyi was indeed pretty, she was not strikingly gorgeous and her personality was ordinary, which meant that she had no way to steal Liu Zong’s heart easily.
It was apparent that Liu Zong was simply using her.
All that meant was both men would be incapable of walking side by side for long. If Ye Futian had agreed to Liu Zong’s invitation, it would have only been a matter of time before they had serious disagreements.
Liu Zong was hardly bothered by Ye Futian’s rejection. He nodded nonchalantly and said, “To each his own. You’re of exceptional talent and will one day achieve sainthood. I look forward to what it holds for the Barren State in the future.”
“You have my thanks.” Ye Futian said, “If there is nothing else, I shall take my leave.”
Liu Zong nodded slightly, and Ye Futian turned around to leave. Liu Zong sighed in pity as he watched Ye Futian leave, but what happened was expected. A person who was capable of breaking the Celestial Dragon Chess Game on their own would inevitably have immense pride. Only someone who had broken the game knew how difficult it was to do so.
Liu Zong had studied it for many days, and he knew what Ye Futian being capable of breaking the game meant. All paths were interconnected. If one was capable of such feats in chess, they would be just as impressive with their cultivation training.
After Ye Futian returned, Zhuge Mingyue asked curiously, “What business did Liu Zong want with you?”
“Second Sister, Liu Zong’s ambitions are terrifying. He wanted me to join him in creating a new era. Maybe he doesn’t like the era where the sacred grounds in Eastern State are on par with each other,” Ye Futian smiled and replied.
“He has good eyes, knowing to come for you and all.” Zhuge Mingyue smiled faintly and said, “What did he offer you?”
“He offered to make the Barren State great again and to help with the Battle of Saints,” Ye Futian answered.
“Sounds interesting.” Zhuge Mingyue smiled. “With the event in Chess Saint Villa over, what do you plan on doing next? Are you going to participate in the Nine State Forum?”
“The Nine State Forum will be held in Xihua Sacred Mountain, but since they look down on the Barren State, there is no need to go be a part of the ruckus,” Ye Futian said.
“Right.” Zhuge Mingyue smiled as she nodded. She was thinking the same thing. The ordeal they had gone through on this trip irked them somewhat. Xihua Sacred Mountain was a sacred ground of the Eastern State; there was simply no reason to go kissing up to them and be part of an event that the Barren State was not even invited to. It would have made them look more desperate instead.
“Emissary from Xihua Sacred Mountain seeking permission to see Palace Lord Ye of the Holy Zhi Palace.” A voice was heard from outside. Ye Futian and Zhuge Mingyue were both dumbfounded. Everyone around them lifted their heads to look outside. Ye Futian then said, “Please, come in.”
A figure was seen walking in from outside. It was a middle-aged man whose aura was reserved yet he sported incredibly bright eyes. He looked at Ye Futian and the others around him. Ye Futian and the others had seen him before. He was one of the people who came to Chess Saint Villa from Xihua Sacred Mountain.
“What’s the matter?” Ye Futian felt curious. He and his Second Sister were just talking about Xihua Sacred Mountain a moment ago and an emissary showed up. As the person claimed to be an emissary of the sacred ground, the invitation would have been an official one.
“For many years, the Barren State has hardly had any relations with the other eight states and never participated in the Nine State Forum, as the Barren State was easily overlooked every time the forum was held. Now, news of the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace visiting the Eastern State personally reached the ears of the saints of Xihua Sacred Palace, which then reached the Chess Saint Villa, and I was ordered to officially invite the Holy Zhi Palace, sacred ground of the Barren State, to participate in the Nine State Forum,” he said.
Ye Futian and Zhuge Mingyue looked at each other. They had just been talking about not attending the forum since they were not invited. Now, there was an emissary extending a formal invitation to them. While it was just one person extending the invitation and it was done rather unceremoniously, it was nonetheless a show of sincerity on Xihua Sacred Mountain’s part.
“Is this the will of the saints of Xihua Sacred Mountain or Liu Zong’s will?” Ye Futian asked as he was compelled to verify the invitation since it was only moments ago Liu Zong talked about the matter. If it happened to be Liu Zong’s personal will, there was no need for them to show.
“I came as an emissary, and as such, I’m naturally representing the will of Xihua Sacred Mountain. This is something I dare not lie about, and there is no need to be alerted, Palace Lord Ye,” the man answered.
“Yeah, it’s just me overthinking things.” Ye Futian nodded and said, “Alright, in that case, the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State shall attend the Nine State Forum in time.”
“Very well, I shall return and report to Xihua Sacred Mountain to prepare for a proper welcoming of Palace Lord Ye.” He then bowed, excused himself, and left.
Ye Futian looked doubtful after the man left. Is this really a coincidence? Or was it that Liu Zong had already known about the news but chose to keep it secret for the moment? The possibility of the latter was entirely possible. If he had agreed to Liu Zong’s proposal, then Liu Zong would have been doing him a personal favor instead. However, at this point, none of that mattered, and Ye Futian decided not to keep thinking about it.
“Interesting,” Zhuge Mingyue smiled and said. Both Sage Wanxiang and the Sword Saint walked up to them. Sage Wanxiang then asked, “The Nine State Forum is an event that even nobles from all nine states are welcomed to participate in. Shall we return to the Barren State and rearrange our personnel?”
“The best of all nobles to be found in the Barren State are probably all here right now.” Ye Futian chuckled and laid his eyes on Yu Sheng. “I heard that the hosting sacred ground in every Nine State Forum presents a holy item as a prize.”
“Indeed.” Sage Wanxiang nodded and added, “It is a show of strength taking place under the table. That is how the rules work in every forum held.”
“A holy item is something that even a sacred ground could not afford to ignore. They will, of course, fight for it with all their might,” Ye Futian said. The first time Kong Yao of Zhisheng Cliffs visited the Barren State, he was unable to do anything to threaten the place due to not having a holy item with him. It was for that very reason he got more people to bear on the Barren State, bringing several holy items.
That also meant that holy items were incredibly precious. While sacred grounds usually kept a good number of them, they would not easily bestow any of those items to their own members. Furthermore, those items were managed by saints of the sacred grounds and were passed down through the generations. Every single item was immensely precious.
“Will the strongest nobles from all nine states be there?” Huang Jiuge’s eyes sparkled. It was a pity that he had already become a sage; however, there would still be many top notch genius sages there still.
The very reason they ventured outside the Barren State was to get to know more of the geniuses of the nine states, and the forum worked similar to the holy roads in the Barren State. The difference between the two was only in scale.
“Send a message back to the Barren State, spread the news to all of the students of the Holy Zhi Palace. Anyone who would like to meet superior nobles, bring them to meet us at Xihua Sacred Mountain,” Ye Futian said. While most of the best nobles in the Barren State had gathered around him, the Nine State Forum was still a very huge stage, which meant that it could serve well to temper the powers of the students of the Holy Zhi Palace. It would also allow them to meet geniuses from all of the nine states, making it a rare experience.
Ye Futian was compelled to not to waste the opportunity since they already decided to participate in the event.
“Alright.” Sage Wanxiang nodded as he had similar thoughts himself. The Nine State Forum was an incredibly rare opportunity for the young generations to get to know the world better, making preparations for people of the Barren State to venture out to all other eight states in the future.
“No. Don’t limit this to just the students of the Holy Zhi Palace. Deliver the news to all major forces in Barren State. Any top-notch nobles are welcomed to participate in the event,” Ye Futian added.
The Holy Zhi Palace was the sacred ground of Barren State and they served as leaders of the Barren State. As such, they needed to see things further instead of simply limiting their sight to the students of the palace.
Many of the younger generations of top-notch forces were of exceptional talent. If they were given the chance to grow, they would become a part of Barren State’s power.
Sage Wanxiang smiled and nodded. He was naturally happy that Ye Futian was able to think like that. It was how a leader of the sacred ground of the Barren State should see things!