Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
After Xu Que returned to his corner, Sage Wanxiang, Zhuge Qingfeng, and the others, who were at the grandstands, all went to look at Ye Futian. Even they were hardly clear about how strong their own people were, the one who knew all the participants best was Ye Futian.
The young Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace trained with them in the Sage Hall and emerged from the hall after training for one whole year in isolation. No one knew what they had been through in the Sage Hall for one whole year or what have they learned. Ye Futian was the only one who fought right after he emerged from the Sage Hall, beating Ximen Hanjiang.
On that stage of the Nine State Forum, the powers of those eight continued to be showcased to all present.
If they are so powerful, what about the others who had gone into the Sage Hall as well? The Sword Saint, Zhuge Mingyue, Gu Dongliu, Xue Ye, Luo Fan, Huang Jiuge, Yun Shuisheng, and the others. What are their powers like now?
But then again, it was a given that they were most curious about Ye Futian. He had demonstrated genius talents unlike any other even when he was in the Noble Plane, and had yet to enter the Sage Hall. The young leader of the Barren State had broken into the Sage Plane right after he emerged from the Sage Hall. How much power had he come to develop at this moment?
No one knew for sure at the moment.
Huang Jiuge looked at the forum stage. Xihua Sacred Mountain had wanted the Barren State to be little more than accessories and have them be eliminated soon after letting them announce their presence. But things were probably not so easy for them anymore.
Huang Jiuge was one who emerged from the Sage Hall and naturally knew how much those eight had progressed over that one year. They trained together more often than not and had shared what they had come to comprehend and develop in the Sage Hall with each other. Furthermore, Ye Futian helped all who trained within with his special talents by finding out key points within the lineages left behind by the ancient saints in the Sage Hall, which he then went on to discuss and share with everyone within, guiding them in their respective paths of training. He had heard that before he arrived in the Holy Zhi Palace, Ye Futian had often helped students of the Holy Zhi Palace train. As such, he had earned himself an incredible reputation and many looked up to him.
Ye Futian hardly thought much about all that. His gaze remained on the forum stage. The Barren State had bagged four consecutive victories and it was the turn for the extreme geniuses of all sacred grounds of the other states to fight them. It would either be a clash of titans or they would have simply gone evading the Barren State. If they chose to evade, there would be eight from the Barren State remaining in the next round still. A clash of titans would happen sooner or later.
When the elder announced for the battles to continue, the air turned rather peculiar. After all, the Barren State had just seen a streak of four consecutive victories.
It was Xihua Sacred Mountain’s idea, so we’ll just let Saint Xihua take care of the problem then. Many members of sacred grounds thought silently. Both Luohou Palace and Hall of Holy Light had dispatched geniuses to fight in the previous rounds, and both of them ended up eliminated. In truth, however, both of them were people with very high chances of making it to the top hundred.
The capabilities of those remaining from the Barren State were almost unknown, but they were probably tougher than imagined. None wanted to field their own capable of making to the top hundred to fight those eight from the Barren State. If they were to clash head-on, it should be done so on the stage of battles between the top hundred. It would have been rather vexing to be eliminated so early. As such, it was up to Xihua Sacred Mountain to deal with the problem.
They were mighty ones who walked into battle. The one from the Eastern State this time was one studying under the Glass Saint clan. It was obvious that Xihua Sacred Mountain did not deliberately try to make a move.
The one from the Barren State to fight this time was Phoenix. After Hua Jieyu’s veil was taken off by Zhou Ziyi in the previous battle, Phoenix stopped wearing one herself. Her stunning looks attracted the attention of many when she emerged onto the forum stage. Beautiful girls drew attention easily, after all.
Power of rules of flames flowed about on Phoenix. Dazzling light emanated from her body, and the aura of rules of flames spread throughout the entire place. A huge shadow of a fire phoenix appeared on the forum stage.
The shadow of that dazzling phoenix continued to grow increasingly large until it was able to block out the sky. The air went to be filled with terrifying fire aura, and the others felt their bodies about to combust.
The one from Glass Saint clan had a directly opposite specialization. They were versed in the power of rules of ice. The icy aura emanated and went to cover the entire area as well. Two powers that were direct opposites of the other clashed; one hot and one cold. All the others on the stage had yet to develop matured rules and they suffered immensely, being caught in the middle.
“It seems like this battle will be fought between two people then,” many said to themselves silently.
There were over 3,000 nobles from all nine states participating in the Nine State Forum this time, but there were only hundreds who developed matured rules and went on to acquire access rights early, which meant that the ones who had developed matured rules were still a minority. However, even calculated from the average, there would have been one or two emerging from the nine nonetheless.
Phoenix and that student of the Glass Saint clan did not fight up close. They went at the battle by unleashing powers of rules instead. Hot and cold powers traded blows, and the powers quickly came to tangle with each other. However, the rules of flames went to encroach the icy force like undying fires, yet the icy power was unable to break through the fire’s defense.
“I lost.” The student from the Glass Saint clan admitted defeat soon after. That battle was set with little left to the imagination by then. That was the easiest battle out of the five fought. The Barren State continued with its streak, bagging five consecutive victories.
Everyone from Xihua Sacred Mountain naturally knew what such a simple battle meant. All those from other sacred grounds grew reluctant to clash head-on with the ones from the Barren State. It was apparent that all of them had their own thoughts and plans about the situation.
In the next battle, Xihua Sacred Mountain sent out a student who had developed matured rules to gauge their opponent, but the ending was as expected. The student was defeated by that golden ape.
The Barren State bagged six consecutive victories.
“In previous Nine State Forums, all other states, except the hosts, had been rather close in power difference with each other. Such situations seen today would have never happened. But now, there are six of the Barren State who fought three rounds each, and all of them won. The other two bagged two victories themselves. All of them probably have what it takes to fight for the top hundred,” a leader from Xia clan said.
“Indeed, while the selection battles were fair and it was the Barren State’s problem for fielding so little of their own, they have proven themselves nonetheless,” someone from a Nine State College said in agreement.
Saint Xihua turned his eyes at the forum stage and said, “What do you all think?”
The ones from the Xia clan and the Nine State College had enough weight to give suggestions. Furthermore, if he had wanted to eliminate those from the Barren State, he would have needed to field the most powerful few from Xihua Sacred Mountain. However, the Barren State had only eight participants, and Xihua Sacred Mountain was incapable of fielding many who were capable of steadily overwhelming those eight.
“The Nine State Forum has been divided into three great rounds. The first being all nine states fielding one student to battle; the second is an extension of the first, which is a free-for-all; and the third are duels between the top hundred. How about we have those from the Barren State who won three battles progress to the second great round then?” the soothing voice of the Glass Saint suggested.
“The Glass Saint made a good point, and I agree,” the Great Zhou Sacred King said in agreement. Saint Xihua took a look at both of them. The Great Zhou Sacred King indeed has a thing for the number one beauty in all of the Eastern State.
“Alright, since both the Sacred King and Glass Saint put it that way, we’ll then give those younger generations one more opportunity. If they are able to win for the third time, we will stop the battles in such rounds and let them progress into the next round. That way, the students of the Barren State will then be able to stay within the Nine State Forum and have opportunities to make it to the top hundred,” Saint Xihua said as he went with the flow. He turned his eyes at Ye Futian and said, “What do the ones from the Barren State think about this?”
“If you are willing to give the Barren State such an opportunity, senior, then I, as the junior, have no objections to it. I thank you, saint, on behalf of all students of the Barren State.” Ye Futian smiled and nodded, behaving just as polite and humble as he had been.
If Saint Xihua said to give them a chance, then give them a chance it is then. He never thought things would have worked out as Sage Wanxiang had predicted. Just three rounds and the Barren State went breaking the old rules, having the forum make an exception and letting the ones from the Barren State make it to the second round of battles.
It was a good thing for all of them. Yu Sheng and Hua Jieyu could not be so exhausted. They could now sit around, resting and watching the fights taking place between the other eight states.
“If no one objects to it, that shall be the decision. The Barren State already has six participants who won three battles, and the six do not need to continue battling. If the remaining two are able to emerge victorious in the upcoming battles, they will progress to the free-for-all round immediately,” Saint Xihua said.
Behind Saint Xihua, Liu Zong took a look where Ye Futian was at. The Barren State performed surprisingly and interesting this time indeed.
There was little left to the imagination in the upcoming two battles. Yi Xiaoshi and Zui Qianchou were both able to easily win. If it had been decided for the ones from the Barren State to move to the next round, there was simply no need to clash with them head-on.
With that, the Barren State’s first great round of the battles between the nine states was concluded. The remaining eight states continued battling.
“There are quite a number of people from all nine states who have developed matured rules. Yu Sheng, while you have no need to battle for now, do keep your eyes on the battlefield, because your upcoming opponents will be among these people,” Ye Futian said to remind the eight of them below.
In the previous battles, there were people who had developed sealing powers, rules of light, devouring rules, and many other rare powers of rules. There would definitely be more to come. There had only been over 50 battles fought in the Nine State Forum so far. It could be said that the Nine State Forum was still at the beginning.
“Indeed.” Yu Sheng nodded, and all the others understood Ye Futian’s intentions. They sat in the Barren State area of the forum stage and watched the battles going on in silence. As expected, there were very powerful people seen in the upcoming battles every now and then. Exceptional people emerged from Nine State College of Summer State, Jixia Holy Palace of Qi State, Holy Temple of Ten Corners of War State, and other sacred grounds for training.
A tremendously powerful figure had emerged from the Hundred Thousand Great Mountain of Cloud State.
A mighty one from the Vajra Region of War State unleashed the Palm of Mahavairocana, which boosted frightening power. Furthermore, that mighty one had an indestructible body, making them terrifyingly formidable.
The battles went on for three days. Too many powerful people emerged within those three days. Many from all over the Eastern State in the grandstand area were incredibly excited. They would not have believed battles between nobles could be so frightening if they had not seen it with their own eyes. There were many top-class geniuses who had an intimate understanding of wielding the power of rules.
There were fewer and fewer participants left from all of nine states. Other than the Eastern State, Summer State, Qi State, and War State had more remaining than the others. It was a given that the Barren State had the least number remaining. Other than the Barren State, Yu State and Ocean State were the ones with fewer participants remaining.
All participants from the eight states, other than the Eastern State, had participated in the rounds of battles, which meant that the great round of battles came to an end. There were still over a hundred participants who had yet to battle. Those people were those who had come from other places in the Eastern State to participate in the Nine State Forum, and they made it past the selection rounds prior.
“I’m sure all of you know the rules for the next round well. The remaining ones from Eastern State will challenge mighty ones of other states. The winners were to remain while losers are eliminated. When they have all finished challenging the other states’ participants, all participants throughout the nine states will continue to fight, taking turns to fight, challenging others to one-on-one battles, starting with the Eastern State. The round will go on until a hundred participants remain,” the elder at the edge of the forum stage announced. That was also a rule in all previous Nine State Forums. The host had an advantage. The extra ones were allowed to take turns to make challenges, eliminating participants of other states!
“Other than that, the Barren State is to continue being a part of this ground.” The elder looked at the eight from the Barren State. It was inevitable for Barren State to fight those one-on-one battles.
The remaining eight from the Barren State continued with the odds stacked against them.