Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Saint Xia’s Birthday Banquet was finally here.
Countless gathered outside the Xia clan at early morning that day, waiting somewhere far outside their gates. They knew that legendary figures throughout the Nine States’ holy lands would be there to attend the event that day.
The Xia clan was the most powerful holy land belonging to a clan in the entire Nine States. Their territory was sprawling, so much so that even the clan’s outer walls looked like that of a city’s, grand and magnificent.
Many servant girls were busy receiving guests from all over the Nine States at the moment. Mighty ones continued to descend from the sky afar, landing near the outskirts of the clan before walking up to their gates and handing up their invitations, which allowed them passage into the Xia clan.
Most of those who arrived hailed from top-notch forces from Central Plains City. While the city itself was not a holy land, the city was nonetheless second only to holy lands in terms of power, as it was attached to the Xia clan. However, while the attendees all hailed from top-notch forces, they themselves were probably not very powerful individuals. Everyone knew well that the banquet was mainly held for the holy lands throughout the Nine States.
“Look over there.” Someone looked up far away at that moment. A group of incredibly dazzling people was seen walking over. The sky seemed to be dominated by four distinct camps.
There was a camp with dragons pulling carriages and another basked in dazzling light and looking impeccably regal… All four camps exuded a thick, magnificent bearing. When they came near that area, many who were watching outside felt rather compelled to worship them, and they responded subconsciously by slightly bowing their heads, not daring to look in the eyes of those above.
“The four major holy lands of the Qi State—the Qi clan, the Jixia Holy Palace, the Yue House, and the Hall of Holy Light—are all here.” Many were trembling within. The entourage from the four major holy lands of the Qi State was unspeakably grand, which was why they were able to emanate such terrifying pressure on those below. Every single holy land had saints arriving.
“That is Saint Qi.” Many looked at the figure sitting on the dragon, behaving regally and imposingly, like an emperor. The Qi clan from the Qi State had once been the sovereign ruling over the entire Qi State, like a nation, after all.
“Saint Ji.” Some looked at the other direction and saw a figure standing at the center of the entourage from the Hall of Holy Light. His entire body seemed to be shimmering with holy light, making him look like a god, and many grew wary of looking at him directly.
It seemed that the surname, Ji, had a privileged status at the Hall of Holy Light.
The Head Saint of the Hall of Holy Light all went by that title.
The two remaining forces were naturally the Jixia Holy Palace and the Yue House. As expected, both the Palace Lord and the Chief of both holy lands attended the event personally.
Many core members of the Xia clan received the combined entourage consisting of four holy lands from the Qi State personally, in order to show their respect. It was a treatment that those top-notch forces never received. It was something specifically reserved from those hailing from holy lands.
Shortly after they were invited into the clan’s territory, representatives from holy lands of the Feng State arrived. Mighty ones from the Si clan, the Fengdu House, and the Daluo Sacred Mountain arrived together. Holy lands from the Cloud State and the War State followed suit. Some representatives from different holy lands came together while some others arrived after one another.
More than half of the mighty ones ranked on the Sage and Saint Ranking were expected to gather there that day. It had been quite a while since a grand event of such scale was held in the Nine States.
“Which holy land is that one?” someone asked.
“Xihua Sacred Mountain, and Saint Xihua is here personally,” someone answered.
The mighty ones from Xihua Sacred Mountain were in no hurry to enter the Xia clan and waited for a while outside instead. Whipping noises of the wind were soon heard, and many pairs of eyes froze at the sight of an even greater entourage coming their way.
“The ones from the Nine State College is here, as well as those from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty and the Holy Zhi Palace.” Many looked sharp as they stared at the figures who had just arrived. Saint Li and the Great Zhou Sacred King both stood out from the crowd.
They caught sight of Ye Futian from the Barren State shortly after. While most people saw him for the first time that day and he was not a saint, they were able to tell him apart from the others very quickly. It was something one could have easily deduced from their position and the bearing emanated. Furthermore, Ye Futian was extremely good-looking, and Hua Jieyu was standing right beside him, which made them all the more recognizable.
While Ye Futian was not a saint, the attention he drew was definitely on par with those who had achieved sainthood. Some even said that he drew more attention than some saints. After all, all people from the Nine States saw saints to be supreme beings, no longer treated as mere citizens. Ye Futian, on the other hand, was still growing, and many wanted to be there to witness the birth of a legendary figure of their generation.
Saint Xihua saw the others land and cupped his hands in Saint Li’s direction, saying, “Greetings, Saint Li.”
“There is no need for formalities, Saint Xihua.” Saint Li nodded slightly. While all of them were saints, seniority was still being taken into consideration. Saint Li was a high ranking figure both in seniority and his rank on the Sage and Saint Ranking, which was tenth. Furthermore, he was the college chief of the Nine State College, which made him all the more revered by others.
“Greetings, Sacred King.” Saint Xihua looked at the Sacred King then smiled as he nodded.
The Sacred King nodded in return as a sign of courtesy. Saint Xihua then turned to look at the Barren State. Ye Futian saw the saint looking in their direction, which prompted him to cup his hands. He said, “Greetings, Saint Xihua.”
Saint Xihua looked as if he was pondering something. Ye Futian seemed to have little liking for Xihua Sacred Mountain. It was quite a considerable surprise to Saint Xihua that Ye Futian had actually been able to corner the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty to such extent in the Sacred War.
No one batted an eye at the Barren State when Xihua Sacred Mountain was holding the Nine State Forum back then. The same went with Saint Xihua, the host of the event.
“It seems like your reputation has grown to precede you throughout the Nine States since we last met,” Saint Xihua smiled and said.
“You’re too kind, Saint Xihua.” Ye Futian behaved politely though his eyes lacked sincerity.
“Are you waiting for someone else, Saint Xihua? Shall we enter together?” Saint Li asked Saint Xihua.
“Let us go in together then.” Saint Xihua gestured and said to Saint Li, “After you.”
Saint Li did not hesitate and walked at the front, heading towards the Xia clan. Many who came to greet him bowed slightly and exchanged greetings before leading the way.
Ye Futian continued to walk forward after entering with the Xia clan, arriving at the vast, sprawling place where the banquet was held. Many from other holy lands arrived by then. Several notable figures came to greet Saint Li and his entourage personally when they caught sight of him, before leading them to their seats.
Ye Futian instructed some of his people, and the mighty ones from the Holy Zhi Palace took their seats without giving too much heed to anything. Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu, on the other hand, followed the saints from the holy lands to sit at privileged areas at the front.
It was the day when the birthday banquet of Saint Xia was to be held, and guests from all over the Nine States were received. The area where the banquet was held was incredibly huge. There were two rows of seats after climbing the steps, and guests seated at such seats were led by mighty ones from the Xia clan.
Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu were to be seated at the end corner, but Ye Futian did not feel anything to be out of place that day, which differed from the treatment he received back at Xihua Sacred Mountain.
When the Nine State Forum was held back then by Xihua Sacred Mountain, only saints from the holy lands of the Eastern State were there. Ye Futian was the odd one out, as all the other holy lands from other states sent representatives. Furthermore, the Barren State was arranged to be seated near the servants.
In contrast, that day was one where leaders of the attending holy lands arrived personally, and all of them were saints, with him being the odd one out again as he was not a saint. As such, it was only natural for him to be seated in the corner.
Ye Futian eyed many who were seated after he had taken his seat. While there were many who had yet to arrive, he nonetheless was able to sense that the seats above the steps seemed to be arranged according to the ranking on the Sage and Saint Ranking. For example, Saint Xihua and the Rain Saint from Xihua Sacred Mountain had both arrived, yet the Rain Saint did not sit with Saint Xihua; the Rain Saint sat quite a distance away instead.
The saints from the various holy lands made small talk. Many came to receive Saint Li when he arrived, something which spoke volume of his status in the Nine States.
While Ye Futian had become renowned throughout the Nine States, he was practically non-existent in a place filled with saints. The Moon Saint from the Yue clan was the only one who nodded and smiled at Ye Futian, while he simply returned the courtesy by bowing slightly. Neither of them spoke to each other. The Sacred King caught sight of what transpired, and he knew that the people of the Yue clan had paid a visit to Ye Futian before. His expression turned rather cold, but he dared not make a move against the Moon Saint.
A grey-robed figure looked up slightly at that moment and took a look at Ye Futian, which was more than enough to make him sense danger like no other lurking about. He turned his eyes at the grey-robed figure, who was seen to harbor a faint smile. However, that did nothing to alleviate the tension he came to feel.
“Greetings, Senior Si Saint.” Ye Futian bowed slightly and was able to guess the identity of the figure. He was none other than the head of the Si clan of the Feng State—Si Ming—who was known as the Saint of Killers. He was an incredibly dangerous figure and an object of worship among the assassins. Xu Shang and Xu Que below both turned to look at the Si Saint. Admiration was seen from their eyes.
“Good job for being able to guess at my identity,” Si Saint smiled and said. The saint did not emit any aura at all, but Ye Futian was still able to sense the danger coming from the saint, as if it was a kind of pressure that the saint was born with.
“Your signature is rather apparent after all, senior,” Ye Futian smiled and said. While he looked calm, he still shuddered inside. The highest leaders of the holy lands of the Nine States were gathered that day at one place, and he was the only one who was not a saint.
Despite the saints doing little but making small talk with each other, the aura emanating from them was more than enough to make anyone feel tense after all. But then again, it was a sign of privilege to be able to sit where he was sitting at the moment, a sign that the saints of holy lands of the Nine States acknowledged him.
More came and the saints of the major holy lands took their seats one after another. The Sky Saint was there as well. He and Ye Futian shared eye contact, and both nodded to each other as a gesture of respect. When the Glass Saint arrived, the chatter dimmed noticeably and many turned to look at the Glass Saint.
While the Glass Saint was not considerably eye-catching for her rank on the Sage and Saint Ranking, she was the only woman who was the leader of a holy land, and she was also known as the number one beauty in the Eastern State. Her looks were such that she ranked at the top among beauties throughout the entire Nine States considered. All that coupled with her status made her stand out considerably.
Thoughts welled in the Sacred King’s mind when he saw the beautiful saint walk in his direction. He picked up his glass and took a sip, yet his eyes never left the Glass Saint.
Ye Futian was seated at the corner and so the Glass Saint walked past him before everyone else. She smiled at him before walking past soon after. However, Ye Futian still seemed dazed at the encounter as his eyes lingered on her silhouette. Hua Jieyu smiled sheepishly at him, and he felt felt a strain soon after.
Ye Futian took a cold, deep breath and Hua Jieyu asked him telepathically, “Very nice to look at, isn’t she?”
“Yeah.” Ye Futian nodded in all honesty while his eyes looked at her rather exasperatedly and thought, Weren’t you the one who proposed this in the first place?