Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The people of the Barren State glared at Zhou Ziyi leaving with cold expressions.
Zhou Ziyi had indeed sounded very overbearing. They all knew what Zhou Ziyi meant by those words. She wanted Ye Futian to back out and stay out of the competition, regardless if he was the designated successor of the Tombkeeper Village. The Barren State was still the Barren State. Regardless of how well they performed in the Nine State Forum, they were, at the moment, unworthy of the fight at hand.
Yu Sheng swept the Golden Phoenix Army in the air with cold eyes. He grew to resent Zhou Ziyi immensely back in the Chess Saint Villa. Despite being repeatedly humiliated, she had no intention of toning down her abrasive, arrogant attitude.
Ye Futian watched on with cold eyes. She had probably only been able to do what she did due to the backing from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty. He understood as well that Zhou Ziyi’s words were not without reason. Regardless of how well the Barren State performed in the Nine State Forum, the Barren State was still the Barren State and nothing had changed. The Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State would remain the weakest sacred ground in all of the Nine States until they had a saint among them.
Even though many great figures admired the students of the Barren State, and many had even extended invitations to Yu Sheng and Xu Que to become students of saints, but that was hardly more than just admiration.
Be it Xihua Sacred Mountain, the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, or any other sacred grounds for that matter, none of their people cared if he was the one chosen by the Tombkeeper Village. It was as if he had been automatically ignored.
“We are all here and there is no more time to comprehend the diagrams. Let’s go then.” Ye Futian stepped out and went in that same direction. They were heading to where the Chief was.
Ye Futian and his people arrived before the Chief moments later. Many mighty ones had gathered there. A good number of them were from sacred grounds, and mighty ones were aplenty. Some among them even exuded powerful auras.
Many villagers were there as well, gathering around the village chief and looking at the outside guests with cold eyes. The chief said that this scuffle had the survival of Tombkeeper Village on the line. It was possible that their village would have no longer exist after this.
Many spared a look at Ye Futian when he came. The very eye-catching palace lord of the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State was there earlier than all of them. They were curious to see if he would choose to resign or to fight by them.
Zhou Ziyi had a cold look in her eyes seeing Ye Futian and his people arrive. So, they are prepared to fight Liu Zong over this?
“Elder, I hope you’ll be able to help us out in this,” Liu Zong said to the village chief.
“It’s not that I don’t want to help. Tombkeeper Village has been around since the Nether Sword Mound existed. We do not interfere with the affairs of those who choose to enter the Sword Mound. You are all to try your luck in the Sword Mound, and there is no reason for us to interfere. I’m sorry to say that I can’t be of help to what you propose,” the Village Chief replied calmly.
“There is no need to be so humble, elder. I know from the Chess Saint that he had witnessed people of Tombkeeper Village train within the Nether Sword Mound. I’m certain that the people from all Nine States have been careless enough not to notice that the people of Tombkeeper Village have always been the protectors of the Nether Sword Mound.” Liu Zong continued, “Since you’re the protectors, I’m sure you know the place like the back of your hand. As such, you will definitely be of help.”
“Tombkeeper Village has always been here. While we do have knowledge of the Sword Mound, we do not know the place like the back of our hand, as you put it. Many of you have sent people to look at how things are in the Village after the Nine State Forum, and I’m certain that you know a thing or two about the village,” the Chief said coldly. It was apparent that he knew well that sacred grounds of the Nine States had been keeping a close eye on Tombkeeper Village. Furthermore, many of those people had gotten there earlier than Ye Futian.
Since all of them had speculated that the village was probably about to choose a successor, there was simply no way they would sit by and do nothing while the lineage of the Sword Mound fell into the hands of others. If Ye Futian had made a move earlier, they would have acted earlier as well.
“The Nether Sword Mound is within the Eastern State, and both Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty placed a lot of importance on it. Furthermore, the Chess Saint is also trapped within. I’m sure that you know how much that means to the Eastern State as a whole, so we have to be cautious with the matter,” Liu Zong said.
Yaya came to the Village Chief’s side and looked at Liu Zong and the others, saying, “Why do you think you have the right to force the Village Chief to do something for you?”
Liu Zong looked at Yaya with a peculiar sheen in his eyes. The Old Village chief had taken Yaya to participate in the Nine State Forum, and the girl had been able to become number two of the event at the tender age of 15. Her top-notch talent and her monstrous performance were probably due to training in the Sword Mound.
She is probably very important to Tombkeeper Village, no?
“If the Chief is unwilling, it is best that we do not pursue the matter further. However, we would like to ask for guides to lead us into the Nether Sword Mound. I’m sure the Village Chief would not oppose that?” Liu Zong asked.
“Who would you like to be your guide?” The chief looked at Liu Zong.
“Yaya has immense talent, and I like her. She will be one of the candidates. Other than that, I have heard that Ying and Hou are also very capable people among the younger generations of Tombkeeper Village. I’d like them to join as well,” Liu Zong added.
“You’ve really done your research.” The Village Chief smiled. Liu Zong had chosen the best three young people in the village.
“Can’t do.” A voice was heard, and everyone turned their eyes around. They all looked at the one who spoke. It was none other than Ye Futian.
Liu Zong turned his eyes around and smiled, saying to Ye Futian, “What do you mean by that, Palace Lord Ye?”
“I mean you can’t have Yaya as your guide,” Ye Futian answered.
“Why not?” Liu Zong asked.
“She’s my little sister and she’ll be going into the Nether Sword Mound with me,” Ye Futian answered calmly.
Liu Zong stared at Ye Futian. That was a clear statement that meant Ye Futian intended to enter the Sword Mound as well.
The people of the sacred grounds looked amused. So the Barren State people are going to fight over her with Liu Zong?
A cold glare was seen in Zhou Ziyi’s eyes. It was apparent that he had not listened to her words.
“So, you did not hear what I said to you earlier?” Zhou Ziyi looked at Ye Futian.
Ye Futian spared a glance at Zhou Ziyi and asked, “Who are you again?”
“You…” Zhou Ziyi’s eyes turned bone-chillingly cold.
“What place were you in the Nine State Forum?” Zhuge Mingyue, who was standing beside Zhou Ziyi, glared at the princess as she asked coldly.
Zhou Ziyi became embarrassed immediately. She lost to Hua Jieyu in the very first battle and was eliminated right away in the Nine State Forum.
“While the Barren State is indeed weak, we have the number one of the event among us. So, who are you to talk like that to the Palace Lord of a sacred ground of the Barren State?” Zhuge Mingyue smirked coldly at Zhou Ziyi and said, “If you’re doing so as the princess of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, I’d advise you, Princess, to be careful of your actions. It is best that you not throw your weight around despite not having the power to back your action. You risk embarrassing the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty by doing so.”
“You…” Zhou Ziyi looked increasingly frustrated. So this b*tch is humiliating me now?
“Then who are you to speak to the princess of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty in such a manner?” Someone of formidable training from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty walked out and glared at Zhuge Mingyue coldly.
Zhuge Qingfeng, the Sword Saint, and Gu Dongliu all walked up at the same time. Zhuge Mingyue smiled and said, “As the elder sister of the Palace Lord of a sacred ground of the Barren State. You have any problem with that?”
Ye Futian quietly watched from the side without doing anything to stop his second sister. Zhou Ziyi indeed needed to be taught some manners. She was arrogant and lacked tact in her way with people. She was far inferior to Liu Zong in that regard.
Ye Futian, of course, knew that the sacred king of the sacred dynasty did not like him much, but he was not concerned enough to fear offending some members of the younger generation of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, like Zhou Ziyi.
Should I just be listening to every word Zhou Ziyi is going to tell me? Ye Futian thought to himself, amused. Furthermore, since he had decided to enter the Nether Sword Mound, there were some people whom he deemed necessary to offend.
“The Nether Sword Mound is undoubtedly within the Eastern State, but it is still a place of the Nine States. Its existence said that it belongs to no one and no force. Many people from many sacred grounds are here for it now, and we of the Barren State are no different. If Saint Xihua and the Sacred King are here today, forbidding everyone else but you people from entering the Sword Mound, then I shall give up.” Ye Futian then continued calmly, “Or else, we of the Barren State will enter the Nether Sword Mound.”
Someone like Saint Xihua and the Sacred King would not have said something like that in the first place. As such, Ye Futian made his stance firmly and forcefully. The Barren State would enter the Sword Mound.
The Old Village chief watched everything from the side, quietly. He was very satisfied with Ye Futian’s attitude. The Chess Saint had entered the Nether Sword Mound and had spread the news of its existence, attracting the attention of sacred grounds from all Nine States. That was why he needed to make preparations in advance, and that was why he had someone participate in the Nine State Forum. It was fortunate for him to not only encounter Yu Sheng but Ye Futian as well.
Ye Futian played a key role in his plans. Furthermore, Ye Futian played said role in a splendid, even perfect, manner.
The place turned silent all of a sudden. Many from Tombkeeper Village looked at Ye Futian and grew to like him more. Ye Futian was standing up to protect Yaya, preventing Liu Zong and the others from taking her.
“If Palace Lord Ye wants to try, I see no problem with it.” A voice was heard, and many turned around to see Liu Zong say, “I do not mind Yaya going into the Sword Mound with Palace Lord Ye. You have also broken the Celestial Dragon Chess Game at the Chess Saint Villa, so I’m sure you are very adept in matrixes. I think it’d be splendid to have you come along into the Nether Sword Mound. Maybe we all will have something waiting for us within.” Liu Zong finished and turned to face the Village Chief, saying, “What do you think, elder?”
“Alright, since you want someone from Tombkeeper Village to show you the way within, I hereby allow Ying, Hou, and Yaya to take all of you into the Sword Mound. But I have to remind you that the dangers lying within are not something that they’re capable of handling,” the Chief elaborated.
“I understand, and I have no intentions of troubling them,” Liu Zong smiled and said.
“In that case, better make a move then.” The Village Chief turned and said, “I’ll send all of you into the Sword Mound personally. What awaits any of you within is up to you. Beware that the Sword Mound is not a friendly place, so please do keep your guard up at all times.”
“Thank you for reminding us,” Liu Zong replied. He then followed the Village Chief with his entourage behind, walking in the same direction.
Yaya came to stand beside Ye Futian and glanced at him.
Ye Futian patted her shoulder and said, “Relax, I’m here.”
“Yeah.” Yaya nodded lightly.
All of them arrived at the back of the Village and kept walking. The shadows of the mountains shrouded the ground between them. There was no sunlight to be found.
The place was incredibly cold, just like a graveyard. Many stood outside and looked at the graveyard before them, feeling a chilling cold seeping into their bones. They could not help but shivered. There was also a faint, sharp aura seeping out of the place. The shadows before them stretched far, and no one was able to see to their end. Even their spiritual will was blocked out in that place.
“This is the forbidden ground: the Nether Sword Mound. Countless swords were buried and hidden within. Please remember to be careful,” the old man reminded everyone and looked forward with a cold expression. He seemed to be able to see into the terrifying sword matrix deep within the Sword Mound, as well as the very core of the place itself.
A figure sat right there, trapped by extremely fearsome sword matrixes. A blood-colored sword was stabbed into the ground, with a terrifying storm whirling around, capable of tearing everything in its path apart.
At the very moment, the figure opened his eyes all of a sudden and looked sharp.
The one that he had chosen had arrived!