Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Saint Xihua scanned the forum stage area after taking a look at the seven from the Barren State. He then smiled and said, “After spending so many days battling continuously, I’m sure most of our guests from all over the nine states are rather worn now. I propose to bring this segment of the Nine State Forum to a close. What do you all think?”
Everyone nodded with a smile and had no opinion about it.
As per tradition, the host of the Nine State Forum would throw a banquet for the guests and participants when the top hundred participants were finalized. The participants would be given three days to recuperate and prepare for the ultimate battles of the later stages of the event.
“I’ve ordered for a banquet to be prepared, and all present here may make a move. All who hail from sacred grounds, as well as friends and family members of the top hundred, are welcomed to join,” Saint Xihua said. They were obligated to treat all of the guests throughout all nine states regardless if they were able to make it to the top hundred, as they had all come a long way. As for those who were not of sacred grounds from the Eastern State, there were actually only three who made it to the top hundred, and they were invited to the banquet as well.
Saint Xihua stood as soon as he finished, and everyone present at the event stood as well, walking towards the inner parts of the Xihua Sacred Mountain. The mighty ones from all over the Eastern State at the grandstands felt rather disappointed for not being able to witness the fights between the top hundred in one go. It made them feel rather dissatisfied but they were unable to do anything but wait.
The Nine State Forum’s ultimate battles were to be held three days later. The clashes between top-class geniuses were ones to be looked forward to by all.
Ye Futian and his people stood as well. Yu Sheng, Hua Jieyu and the others flashed and came before him.
“You guys did well,” Ye Futian smiled and said. Their performances had given him, the Palace Lord, quite a lot of prestige.
“We’re not done yet,” Yu Sheng said. The people of the other eight states looked down on the Barren State, and Xihua Sacred Mountain never afforded them with ample respect. The top hundred was not yet enough, and they saw themselves needing to go further and higher in the ranks before they were able to stand tall for all from the other eight states to see.
“I look forward to it.” Ye Futian smiled and took a look at him. This guy has been fighting, feeling irked about things from the very beginning. His goal is, of course, higher than just the top hundred.
“Things were awful,” Zui Qianchou said rather dejectedly at the side.
Ye Futian looked at him and smiled. “You’ve your luck to blame. It wasn’t that you were weak.”
“I’m weak and that’s the truth. It has nothing to do with luck. If I had been strong enough, I wouldn’t have lost.” Zui Qianchou turned around and looked at the side where the ones from Xihua Sacred Mountain were. If Hua Yunshu had picked Yu Sheng instead, the outcome would have been unknown.
“Stop feeling sad for yourself and let’s go party,” Ye Futian smiled and said, feeling better than he had been before.
The Nine State Forum was off to a good start. The Barren State would be able to stand on equal footing with other states in the future, and they may even be higher.
“Let’s go,” Sage Wanxiang said. Everyone walked, heading for the depths of Xihua Sacred Mountain.
Xihua Sacred Mountain had thrown a huge banquet. The vast venue of the banquet was divided into nine separate areas. The banquet, which was capable of holding over ten thousand people, was intricately and elegantly done.
People from all nine states arrived, and the Barren State, naturally, was still the one arranged the furthest from the host, being assigned to the very rear. However, Ye Futian and the others cared little about the arrangement as they had gotten used to it. They had to accept things due to them having no saints among them. While they still did not feel comfortable about it all, the only way to remedy the situation was for all of them to get stronger.
The banquet was filled with fine drinks, and Zui Qianchou helped himself to it without any reservations. He did not forget to delicately savor them as he kept saying, “Good stuff indeed.”
Servant girls passed through the seats time and again; all of them pretty girls. There was also an area at the center where the beauties danced, accompanied by beautiful music, making the scene looked splendid and elegant.
As a sacred ground of the Eastern State, Xihua Sacred Mountain had three saints. Being of such a prestigious status meant that their words held great significance, wielding unimaginable power in all sense of the word. Furthermore, those pretty servant girls were not ordinary folk. They were all cultivators, and some among them were even daughters of renowned clans in Huatian City. Such was the power wielded by people of great prestige.
Ye Futian arrived at his seat quietly, admiring the lively scene before his eyes, thinking to himself that the sacred grounds from all over the nine states might have been at each other’s throats under the table, but they still put on a friendly, peaceful facade. The sacred grounds had only been fighting each other moments ago in the event, yet the scene before him felt like a gathering of good friends instead.
“We cultivators don’t go out a lot. It’s a rare chance for us to be able to meet so many geniuses of the younger generations from all nine states. We’ve all gathered here today and there is no need for reservations. Treat the banquet as you would in a family gathering. Chat and drink to your hearts’ content. Discuss anything throughout the nine states. No status differences, no separation between sages and saints at this moment,” Saint Xihua held his cup and said with a smile. His voice was calm and gentle. Everyone toasted. After all, it was a saint proposing a toast, and no one dared to not give face to a saint.
“Sky Saint, we were all like them once upon a time. We were young and full of life, but time flew and here we are,” Saint Xihua smiled and said.
“It is quite amusing to see that even a saint, a being envied by countless throughout all nine states, has something to say about the passage of time,” the leader of the Xia clan quipped with a smile. He knew that Saint Xihua was simply being polite. There was no one who did not want to break into the Saint Plane; a plane where one’s own powers and lifespan would undergo drastic changes. It was also a plane enabling those who reached it to become the most powerful of all men throughout the nine states. A single word from those people would affect the lives of countless people.
“How is Senior Xia doing?” Saint Xihua asked the mighty one from Xia clan.
“The old man is doing fine.” The mighty one from Xia clan nodded. Saint Xihua might have been ranked high in seniority, but the old man in Xia clan was someone who was practically a living relic, so much so that even Saint Xihua had to address the old man as his senior.
“I’d like to pay the old man a visit if the chance presents itself,” Saint Xihua smiled and said.
“You’re being too kind, saint,” the mighty one from Xia clan said.
On the other side, the Great Zhou Sacred King’s eyes fell onto the Glass Saint, who was sitting right beside him. He said, with his cup held up, “Glass Saint, how have you been doing all these years?”
The Glass Saint took a look at the king with a smile and said, “I’ve been training in the Lapis Lazuli Holy Temple all this while, and I’m doing fine.”
The Glass Saint’s students all turned their eyes at the Great Zhou Sacred King. They all heard the rumor about the king having gone after their teacher once upon a time, and the rumor seemed to be true after all. Their teacher was unparalleled in terms of appearance and was known to be the number one beauty throughout the Eastern State. She had turned to become more beautiful with an air of holiness about her after becoming a saint, looking like a goddess who cared not for the mundane world. However, their teacher had been training alone for years, and there seemed to be no chance for the king to do anything further with her.
Saint Xihua, who sat beside them, had naturally heard the king ask how the Glass Saint was doing, and he smiled inside. Despite the Great Zhou Sacred King having the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty in his grasp and the title of Sacred King, enjoying a level of prestige and power unimaginable to many, there were still people that he was unable to get his hands on. The Glass Saint had probably become something the king clung to.
“Sacred King, the Glass Saint has always been renowned for her astounding beauty. Now that she has achieved sainthood, how can she be anything else but fine?” Saint Xihua added with a smile, “She is now just like you, Sacred King, a glorious symbol of a generation.”
Saint Xihua was more senior than the two of them as he hailed from an earlier time.
“Please, Saint Xihua, we’re all of such advanced age now,” the Glass Saint smiled and said. Her voice sounded crisp clear and gentle, hardly different from a girl who was in her twenties.
“Since when did cultivators care about age?” Saint Xihua shook his head and said.
“While that is indeed true, the time now belongs to them.” The Glass Saint turned her eyes at the young geniuses from all over the nine states.
Saint Xihua and the Great Zhou Sacred King, as well as the mighty ones with them, turned to look at the ones from all over the nine states. Saint Xihua smiled and said, “Every era has its own symbol. Many performed astoundingly well in this year’s Nine State Forum. The Xia clan, Yue clan, Yi clan and the Nine State College of Summer State; the Qi clan, Jixia Holy Palace, Hall of Holy Light, and Yue House of Qi State; the Vajra Region, Luohou Palace, and Holy Temple of Ten Corners of War State; and the many other sacred ground geniuses of Yun State and the others; all of them shone brilliantly, and it seems that our Battleax of Judgment won’t be staying with Xihua Sacred Mountain for long.”
Everyone naturally knew that Saint Xihua was half-joking. If he had taken out such a holy item to serve as a prize, he was naturally prepared to part with it sooner or later.
“Hua Yunshu of Xihua Sacred Mountain and Zhou You of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty are people who will become the champion in the end. Maybe, the holy item will stay with the Eastern State or Xihua Sacred Mountain,” some mighty ones smiled and said
“There are indeed many mighty ones to be found in this year’s event. Even I have grown excited about it all.” The Sky Saint smiled and said, “Speaking of which, there is the previously underestimated Barren State. Those youngsters have indeed demonstrated uncommon prowess, especially Yu Sheng. He might actually be a dark horse.”
Many turned their eyes to where the Barren State was assigned. Yu Sheng had indeed left quite an impression. He might have actually been able to go further now that he was ranked among the top hundred. However, all who remained in the event at the moment were truly the best that the sacred grounds of all nine states had to offer, especially when it came to the later stages of the event. If Yu Sheng wanted to make it to the top ten, he would be met with the most powerful figures from many sacred grounds. The difficulty remained great. It remained to be seen if the dark horse had cards up his sleeve, and how powerful such cards were.
“I guess we can indeed look forward to the growth of this batch’s younger generations from the Barren State,” someone smiled and said.
“I have heard that Ye Futian, the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace, was a successor appointed by the previous Palace Lord—Sage Chunyang—personally. He paid a great price having the young man take over the place, going so far as to call upon Emperor Xia. If the students from the Barren State were able to perform so well this year, the Palace Lord himself must be someone more exceptional,” someone looked at Ye Futian and said.
They were not the only ones with such a thought. Many shared the same opinion. Yu Sheng had proven himself as someone incredibly exceptional. Other than him, there were Hua Jieyu, Xu Que and the rest. All of them were proud sons and daughters, and all of them were willing to simply play at the sides. The Palace Lord from the Barren State, Ye Futian, was someone of the same generation, and all those people were willing to follow his lead. As such, it was anyone’s guess what the Palace Lord of a sacred ground of the Barren State, who currently was seen sitting quietly, would be like.
Many felt curious about him.
“I have heard from Qingni, a student of mine, that Ye Futian led the students of the Holy Zhi Palace to break the Celestial Dragon Chess Game at the Chess Saint Villa, capable of playing nine different play styles all on his own.” The Glass Saint turned to look at Ye Futian and smiled faintly. “If he had not broken into Sage Plane, he would have participated in the Nine State Forum, and we would have gotten to see what he is truly made of.”
“You’re being too kind, Glass Saint. My plane is still weak and there are so many talented people to be found in all the other eight states. I dare not speak of my own talents in such a place,” Ye Futian lowered his head and said, not looking at the eyes of the Glass Saint. While the Glass Saint was a saint, she was, nonetheless, a beauty like none other. If he were to somehow end up leering at her, he would have gravely offended a saint.
“You’re too humble,” the Glass Saint smiled and said.
“All nine of the students of Chess Saint Villa are here.” Someone looked behind Saint Xihua. All nine of those students were standing beside Liu Zong.
“While Ye Futian demonstrated his uncanny talents by breaking the Celestial Dragon Chess Game, the Chess Saint chose Liu Zong. It seems that Liu Zong will perhaps become a successor of the saints,” the Great Zhou Sacred King smiled and said.
“You’re being too kind, Sacred King. I was only the earlier one to break the game instead of Palace Lord Ye. His prowess at chess is in no way inferior to mine,” Liu Zong said with a smile, in a dashing manner.
Many praised him in their hearts. That is Liu Zong indeed.