Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
If you traveled all the way to the western part of the Nine States and passed through the Summer State, you would come to the border of the Nine States.
Here laid a city of wonders.
This city was not large, and it did not have many cultivators, but visitors from the Nine States would often come to see the marvelous city.
Now, Ye Futian, Yu Sheng, and the Village Chief had come.
Before them lay a white-jade staircase that led up into the sky. If they looked up, they could faintly see that this staircase led through the clouds and reached up into the vaults of heaven. It was rumored that this was the road to the Upper Worlds, the Path that Ascended to Heaven.
This white-jade staircase that stretched into the sky was almost 60,000 meters high. If you wanted to get to the sky, it could not be ignored.
Countless people had tried to fly up. They flew up into the sky and then went in the direction of the staircase, but they could not get close to it. It was rumored that the Upper Realms had a marvelous power that made it so that unless you had set foot upon the Saint Plane and mastered the rule power of the Great Path, you could not break through the barrier that separated the sky from the Upper Worlds. Otherwise, if you wanted to go to the Upper Worlds, there was only this Path that Ascended to Heaven.
There were many legends in the Nine States. It was said that there was an abode of immortals up there, that it was the abode of Emperor Xia, and that there was a peerless Divine Chamber. The rumors that had circulated through the Nine States were half true and half false. Only those from the holy lands and the top powers were faintly aware of the truth.
“The Sky Stairwell, the path to the Decree of Ascension.” Ye Futian looked at the beautifully made staircase and sighed inwardly. The powers of the world were really marvelous. Those who sought to rebel against heaven had no way to capture the creations of heaven and earth.
Those who went up this 60,000-meter staircase could obtain a Decree of Ascension and gain access to the Upper Worlds for cultivation, and moreover, could travel freely between the Upper and Lower Worlds. However, some of the rumors said that the success rate for the Sky Stairwell was even lower than that of the Battle for Proving Holiness, so much so that the people of the Nine States had gradually forgotten that this method for entering the Upper Worlds existed.
“Holy Elder, wait for us in the Upper Worlds,” Ye Futian said to the Village Chief.
The Village Chief nodded. “Be careful.” After he said this, he shot up into the sky like a sword of light, passing through the clouds in the blink of an eye and disappearing without a trace.
“Let’s go, Yu Sheng,” said Ye Futian, and the two of them walked to the staircase.
There were many people below the stairs looking at the two of them. Two more guys wanted to try the stairway, but they were wasting their time. They might not even be qualified to deal with dangers they might meet. They would be shocked by what they would run into up there.
Ye Futian and Yu Sheng ignored them. They began to walk up extremely quickly.
Soon, if you looked up into the sky, you could see that the two of them had pierced through the clouds and were gradually disappearing. They had already made it to high up in the sky.
Clouds and mist drifted across the stairway, revealing its magical atmosphere. Ye Futian and Yu Sheng felt an invisible pressure pressing down on them, but they looked like they didn’t care. The two of them were shooting up into the sky at an incredible speed.
Rumble. Suddenly, an incredibly strong gravitational force pressed on them, making it feel like they were bearing ten thousand pounds of pressure on their bodies. It was Gravity Rule Power, and it stifled them. They slowed down a bit, but they did not stop. They continued to climb.
The pressure grew stronger and stronger. A terrible airflow flowed down the staircase. It hit them like a ferocious wave, making their clothes flutter, and the sound of it impacting their bodies was frightful.
At the end of the staircase was a majestic palace. If one stood in the air above the palace they could overlook the entire staircase. The entire palace formed a pitch arc, and a soaring celestial gate stood in front of it.
In front of the palace and on the promenade on top of it, there were many cultivators standing guard. They were all wearing armor of the same color and looked very grave. At that time, there were two figures at the very top of the palace who were eating and drinking, appearing at ease.
“Don’t worry too much, Qingyun. Although guarding the Sky Stairwell is a leisurely job, you can use the opportunity to train your temperament. Isn’t this period of peaceful cultivation great? You only have a year, and I have to guard here for three.” At that moment a middle-aged man was smiling as he said this, and clinking glasses with the youth sitting before him.
“Please don’t try to comfort me, Commander. How can I train my temperament here? There’s nothing here but boredom.” Li Qingyun smiled bitterly and shook his head as he took a sip of wine.
“Haha, it is because of the boredom that you are able to train your temperament,” the middle-aged commander laughed. Just as he spoke, a sword of light flashed and he saw a figure standing outside the palace waiting quietly.
“Hmm?” A strange look came over the middle-aged commander’s face. It was a cultivator of the Saint Plane. He didn’t know from which power of the Nine States he had come.
“There have been very few cultivators from the Nine States who have come to the Upper Worlds these past few years,” the middle-aged commander said. “But more than three years ago, Princess Qingyuan summoned them together for a trial. At that time, there were many people from the Nine States who qualified to come to the Upper Worlds, and even to cultivate with the Princess. Speaking of which, you come from a great household, Qingyun. You will probably have a chance to cultivate with the Princess, but you will have to grasp the opportunity when it comes.”
When Li Qingyun heard Xia Qingyuan’s name his manner became a bit more dignified. She was the unparalleled princess born of Emperor Xia and the foremost beauty of the realm whose beauty shocked the world. Emperor Xia said that her talent surpassed his own, and one day she may surpass his achievements. She was destined for greatness from birth. She was like a goddess. Who in the realm had not thought this?
But he was afraid that it was nearly impossible to gain her attention. Even if one was exceedingly talented, she had so many heroic figures around her. Moreover, it seemed like she did not have any thoughts along those lines. Her whole heart was set on cultivation, and she even traveled wearing men’s clothing. And Emperor Xia doted on her.
To become Xia Qingyuan’s lover would be glorious.
He could only say that he had a chance.
“Most of the heroes of the realm don’t understand what the Princess went down to the Lower World for. Although the Nine States occasionally produces some talents, how can they be compared with those of the Upper Worlds?” There was a sense of superiority in Li Qingyun’s voice. He came from a famous family, and his ancestors had followed Emperor Xia, and so he naturally looked down on the Nine States, the so-called land of orthodoxy.
“Although this is the case, there are occasionally some shockingly brilliant talents. There is a Saint Ranking in the Lower World, and the top three on it are all outstanding figures. Moreover, there are some people who have great fame in the Upper Worlds. You probably have heard of them,” said the middle-aged commander.
“But in the end, they are as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns,” said Li Qingyun. “There was a group of people from the Lower World who went to Jiutian Temple. I really don’t know if they lived or died. If the Princess gave them a fair chance they might have survived.”
“That’s true.” The middle-aged commander nodded. “Let’s keep drinking.”
Far away, the Village Chief furrowed his eyebrows. Even here people knew about what had happened at Jiutian Temple.
At that moment, there was a violent shaking from the stairway below them. The middle-aged commander’s eyes flashed, and he said, “There seems to be some movement on the stairway. Let’s go see.”
“Could it be that there was someone who couldn’t climb the stairway?” An interesting look came over Li Qingyun’s face. It seemed to be a bit disdainful. He picked up his wine glass and walked over to the edge of the palace. He looked up into the sky and saw the violent fluctuations in the airflow. A wild sound echoed faintly through the air.
Their eyes suddenly became sharp. Their spiritual energy went down the stairway and they saw two figures walking up step by step.
“It seems that no one has made it this far on the stairway in a long time,” the middle-aged commander said softly. And moreover, this time, it was two people.
“They probably didn’t know that it would have been safer to not come here.” Li Qingyun lifted the wineglass and took a sip. Because he had been sent here to guard, he had had a bit of a bad attitude all along.
And now, Ye Futian and Yu Sheng were walking up the stairway. When they looked up they could see the end of the stairway. A magnificent palace stood there, and celestial soldiers wearing armor. Brilliant rays of sunlight shone down from above. Their steps were heavy, but they continued steadily on towards the top.
“Who goes there?” A voice rolled out, full of billowing power, echoing endlessly in their ears.
“Ye Futian, from the Barren State.”
“Yu Sheng, from the Barren State.”
Their voices pierced the air and swept up into the sky.
“If you turn back now, we will not attack,” another voice said from the direction of the palace.
Thump. The response was the sound of footsteps.
In the palace, the middle-aged commander said indifferently, “Magis, sound the drum matrices.” As he was speaking, a cultivator of the Magi Plane suddenly walked to the war drums in front of the palace. An incomparably solemn invisible force swept out.
Boom. The fierce sound of drums rang out. The cultivators beat the drums and, in a flash, Ye Futian and Yu Sheng felt their hearts tremble. An extremely powerful force pressed down on them from the sky. The war drums seemed to carry the Great Path Rules as the power struck them, making Ye Futian’s hair dance wildly and tearing his clothes.
Ye Futian’s steps slowed, but he still continued forward. There was a loud bang and a violent force descended, penetrating everything like a death knell.
“Do you think they can withstand a few drums?” asked Li Qingyuan calmly as he leisurely lifted his wine.
“Their temperament is extraordinary, they can probably withstand the sound of five drums,” said the middle-aged commander. The sound of the third drum swept out like a huge wave billowing into the sky. Each time a drum sounded, it was like facing the force of all of them overlapping, becoming more and more terrible.
Cracking sounds came from Ye Futian and Yu Sheng’s bodies, but they continued upward. The fourth and fifth drums sounded in turn, and each time, the power became more violent.
A demonic light seemed to flow over Yu Sheng’s body with dark yet golden radiance.
Boom. Another drum sounded, penetrating his body and piercing inside of him.
“The sixth drum.” A strange look came over the middle-aged commander’s face. “These two are very strong.”
“Anyone who dares climb the Sky Stairwell can’t be too weak. Let’s see if they can get through this next one,” said Li Qingyun indifferently.
The sounds of the sixth and seventh drums rushed out and attacked Ye Futian and Yu Sheng. Their bodies were extremely strong, and their Spiritual Wills were equally as unshakeable.
Boom. As the sound of the ninth drum swept down, the music overlapped like a mighty pressure overwhelming everything and rushing towards Ye Futian and Yu Sheng.
Ye Futian relied on the power of his flesh to resolve the attack, whereas Yu Sheng directly absorbed it.
Suddenly, a boundless golden glow shone out, and a halo blazed.
“Roar!” Yu Sheng opened his mouth and a loud noise swept out. A huge golden lion appeared behind him, hundreds of meters tall. The world trembled at this roar, and the sound of the war drums seemed to break against it as he pressed upwards.
Boom…boom…boom… The cultivators who were beating the war drums went pale. Their bodies shook and they spat up blood. The surfaces of the drums trembled without stopping.
The drums echoed through the air, and the golden lion gradually dissipated. Yu Sheng glanced into the sky and continued forward like a demon.
A strange look came over the faces of the middle-aged commander and Li Qingyun on the palace. They were naturally shocked. In the process of climbing the Sky Stairwell, they had actually launched a counterattack?