Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo [email protected]
The warm embrace of a woman serves as the bane of heroes.
Many legendary figures who had been kicking up a storm at the Upper Worlds just a while ago had all put their training aside.
The night was pitch black and Ye Futian held his wife in his arms in the quiet bedchamber, enjoying the peaceful, beautiful moment. The figure in Ye Futian’s arms moved and he pulled his arms away. Hua Jieyu sat up quietly and put on some robes, walking outside with light steps.
“Jieyu, what’s the matter?” Ye Futian, who was lying on the bed, opened his eyes and followed the beautiful silhouette walking away. Moonlight showered onto Hua Jieyu. Her slender body was alluring and the pair of legs looked like sculptures made of white jade. The skirt of the pajamas that she had casually draped over her swayed, looking very enticing.
“I’ll be going to train.” Hua Jieyu turned around and smiled at Ye Futian.
“So you’re fine with leaving me alone in the room?” Ye Futian added, “Jieyu, you’ve spent more than three years out there. Get some rest.”
“It’s exactly due to having trained out there and seeing many, many excellent figures that I need to work even harder. You were the one who said that one day I need to be more exceptional than Xia Qingyuan, no? She trained really hard and there’s no way I can just slack off.” Hua Jieyu then added, “Have a good night’s sleep. No need to worry about me.”
“Well, I’ll go train with you then.” Ye Futian got up, came to Hua Jieyu’s side, and took her hand. He knew Hua Jieyu had been feeling stressed.
“Yeah, but I need to work on my psychic powers at the training platform and I cannot be disturbed, so sorry, but you have to train at the compound instead,” Hua Jieyu said to Ye Futian with a smile.
“Have it your way.” Ye Futian nodded. There was no one to disturb them there. It did not matter which spot he had to train at.
Both of them walked outside, and Ye Futian arrived at the compound while Hua Jieyu went up to the training platform on her own. It was an independent space that looked like a sealed room. Matrixes had been laid to ensure absolute silence. Hua Jieyu sat cross-legged and saw a shadow floating about. It was none other than the saint residing within Hua Jieyu’s body.
“Why didn’t you tell him?” the woman asked Hua Jieyu.
“Teacher, I don’t want him to be worried,” Hua Jieyu answered. The saint had been residing in her body for years and she had been instructing Hua Jieyu. It was only natural for Hua Jieyu to address her as “teacher.”
“I’m against you continuing to train. Lots of unknown factors at play here and you need to talk to him about it,” the saint added.
“It’ll be fine.” Hua Jieyu smiled and said, “The fact that she chose me meant that I was a good fit for the training.” Hua Jieyu finished and closed her eyes. The saint looked at her and sighed deep down before disappearing and returning to Hua Jieyu’s body.
Spots of light emanated from her body and shot for the skies. She felt as if her powers reached a faraway place, traversing the space between the heavens and the earth. Every sliver of Spiritual Qi felt crystal clear, so clear that she had never known it to be clearer before.
Dazzling light glimmered around her, which gradually enveloped her body, making her look like a fairy. Boundless spots of light gathered behind Hua Jieyu and they coalesced into a visceral form. The glittering silhouette looked incredibly sacred as if it was a sculpture of a goddess. The appearance of the sculpture resulted in more and more spots of light gathered from her surroundings.
Hua Jieyu’s appearance had always been unparalleled. With her basking under the holy light, she looked like a goddess of the heavens, utterly flawless and peerless.
It had been a month since Futian and the others’ return. All of the holy lands throughout the Nine States caught wind that the ones from the Barren State had returned. They were all rather surprised but they knew little specifics. News hardly traveled between the Upper and Lower Worlds after all.
Saint Xia was surprisingly one of the few who caught wind of the news and had their saints visit the Upper Worlds. When Ye Futian left after paying a visit to the Xia clan back then, he had speculated that Ye Futian would go to try his luck at the Sky Stairwell.
With Ye Futian and the others from the Barren State back, he grew rather curious about what happened and wondered if something happened at the Upper Worlds. It was a given that he held little hopes about getting much from the saints visiting the Upper Worlds. Even if Ye Futian were to succeed at the Sky Stairwell, he would have been able to do little there, and news regarding Ye Futian would have been limited.
Saint Xia was not the only one who was concerned about Ye Futian, as the ones who were most keen on anything regarding the Barren State would have been the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty. It was a given that none at the Sacred Dynasty knew where Ye Futian went. It was just that Ye Futian had been keeping an unusually low profile after Saint Xia’s birthday banquet three years ago. He hardly showed himself outside other than paying a visit to the Nine State College. There had been news every now and then regarding appearances in various places throughout the Nine States, but hardly any of that was verified.
As for Ye Futian himself, he had been training quietly at the Holy Zhi Palace with the students after returning. After the continuous battles at the Upper Worlds and the time he spent training after returning, he finally made a breakthrough and stepped into the Upper-level Magi Plane. He was a step away from the Archmage Plane.
At one of the training grounds of the Holy Zhi Palace, Ye Futian was seen standing somewhere high above. The wind blew and his clothes billowed. He cast his glance below and felt rather relieved to see cultivators training in all corners. The students of the Holy Zhi Palace had been hard at work and their powers had grown considerably. It was but a matter of time that the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State became the number one holy land in all of the Nine States.
As such, he was in no hurry with the Sacred War. The more time they had, the greater their chances of coming out on top. When both he and Yu Sheng made it into the Archmage Plane, he would cease using his imperial will powers. There was simply no one throughout the Nine States below Saint Plane capable of standing in their way by then. What concerned him more was the power struggle at Saint Plane. The five-year ceasefire agreement between saints was little more than a year away from expiring.
A fierce sword will burst somewhere below. Ye Futian then saw a one-armed figure coming up to him. It was none other than Ye Wuchen.
“It seems like your sword will has grown considerably, Wuchen,” Ye Futian smiled and said.
“It’s a given. Try asking him about the level he is at now with the three types of sword will he had been hard at work to refine.” Xu Que and Zui Qianchou came on their swords and dropped beside Ye Futian.
“Are you guys jealous?” Ye Futian smiled and said.
“I sure am envious,” Zui Qianchou said as he took a gulp from the gourd in his hand.
“Renhuang Sword Will,” Ye Wuchen said with a gentle voice.
“Some words are better left unspoken, Wuchen,” Ye Futian said in a rather serious manner. He was naturally happy for Ye Wuchen, but the Renhuang Sword Will had a lot of symbolic importance, so much so that even the Sword Saint up in the Upper Worlds wanted to take it for himself. If the news of him possessing the Renhuang Sword Will were to spread, many would come to target Ye Wuchen’s Life Spirit.
If it had not been for Xia Qingyuan being a descendant of Renhuang and, as such, having little interest in the Renhuang Sword Will, even she would have had thoughts about that particular Life Spirit. But then again, if Xia Qingyuan had not been of such high status in the first place, she would not have been able to get all of them to train in the Renhuang Ruins.
“But this particular sword will is just too powerful. While I have succeeded in melding it to become my Life Spirit, but I’m still unable to fully make it become mine, and I’ve only been able to comprehend something from it. Even the Jueying Sword Saint would not have been able to truly assimilate this sword will,” Ye Wuchen elaborated. He had little to hide from Ye Futian and the others.
“You’re one hell of a crazy fellow indeed. When you were about to refine the sword will, I thought that your Life Spirit would burst trying to do so. It’s a good thing that you made it through,” Xu Que said. It was apparent that Ye Wuchen had been putting his life on the line to refine the Renhuang Sword Will.
“What about you two? Didn’t any of you get anything out of your ordeals?” Ye Futian asked with a smile.
“Of course we do, but they aren’t worth mentioning compared to what this guy has. But then again, all who had been able to survive during their pilgrimages would have gotten something one way or another. That Heavenly Chosen list was filled with people of unparalleled talents with great things ahead of them after all. Xia Qingyuan had probably titled them to be Heavenly Chosen Ones so to have them train in the Upper Worlds in the future, who would , inturn, come to serve her,” Xu Que said.
“Are you saying that Emperor Xia intends to pass his throne down to Xia Qingyuan?” Ye Futian mumbled. Bringing people from both the Upper and Lower Worlds to train, is she trying to nurture her future power base? However, all from the Barren State had relinquished their status as Heavenly Chosen Ones due to the case with Ye Wuchen. According to them, Xia Qingyuan was rather irked by their decision. Ye Futian hardly concerned himself over that, as both Upper and Lower Worlds made little difference to him.
Every single one who returned had grown by a considerable margin. Oftentimes, a cultivator’s growth was stunted not by their lack of talents, but their lack of exposure to the greater world outside. All cultivators possessed immense potentials. For example, if Ye Wuchen had only been staying behind at the Cangye Kingdom within the Hundred Lands, there was no way he could have achieved what he had achieved then. The highest plane there was to be seen there was little more than the Noble Planes.
“Uncle Ye.” A tiny, childish voice was heard. Ye Futian looked up and saw a little condor gliding about and swooping down. A tiny figure was seen leaping down from the Black Wind Condor.
Ye Futian took her in his arms.
“You’ve grown up and gotten heavier and heavier, Little Grass. Your Uncle Ye won’t be able to hold you soon.” Ye Futian looked at the little girl in his arms and smiled. The girl was about six or seven years of age and looked like a porcelain doll. She was very good-looking, as her father, Xue Ye, had been a handsome man, and You Xi had been a renowned beauty at the Alchemy City.
“Well, I’ll come down then,” the little girl said.
“No need for that. Your uncle can still carry you now.” Ye Futian squeezed her nose.
“You’ve been sneaking out and disturbing your Uncle Ye again, Little Grass.” Xue Ye and You Xi appeared. You Xi glared at the little girl, and she tucked her head away in response.
“Little Grass is still a kid. Just let her play.” Ye Futian knew that his Fourth Brother and You Xi were strict with Little Grass and had been exposing her to all sorts of books at a very young age.
“Don’t spoil the kid.” Xue Ye felt rather exasperated. The little girl was more friendly to Ye Futian than to her own father. But then again, he had not been around Little Grass much, having been gone for three years.
“If she gets spoiled, then so be it. I’ll teach her in the future,” Ye Futian smiled and said. When You Xi was pregnant with Little Grass, Ye Futian had been wreaking havoc at Alchemy City. He then went through dark times for a while, but You Xi did a lot for him and even got You Chi to help him when she was still pregnant.
The little girl had been born during shaky times. The Holy Zhi Palace was never stable after that particular storm passed still. It was only natural for Little Grass to follow her parents and move to the Holy Zhi Palace. The truth was, if it had not been for Ye Futian, his Fourth Brother and You Chi would have been able to live very comfortably at Alchemy City. Little Grass would have grown up being doted by many at the city.
The City Lord Office of the Alchemy City had been moved into the Holy Zhi Palace and the young Little Grass had been running all over the place with her parents since then. Ye Futian saw her as his own daughter, and the little condor often played with her.
“Alright, spoil the brat all you want.” You Xi shook her head in exasperation, eliciting a smug look from Little Grass.
“Of course, she’s the first daughter of the Cottage after all,” Ye Futian replied with a smile.
“Palace Lord.” A silhouette was seen coming from the air. Ye Futian turned around and asked the one who came, “What’s the matter?”
The messenger handed an invitation to him with both hands.
Ye Futian took the invitation and scanned it. His eyes had a peculiar look after that.
“Where did this thing come from?” Xu Que asked.
“Xihua Sacred Mountain.” Ye Futian closed the invitation and added, “Liu Zong is about to marry Zhou Ziyi. Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty are planning a marriage alliance, and I’m being invited to the event.”
“Liu Zong is one hell of a fake and he is very ambitious. He is very powerful and gained a lot from the pilgrimage, now titled as a Heavenly Chosen One. I guess both Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty are piling their hopes onto Liu Zong now.” Xu Que then added, “With the relations between the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty and the Holy Zhi Palace considered, this marriage alliance is apparently one that is made against us. This banquet isn’t going to be a good one.”
“With the ways things going between us and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, there is no need for us to attend the event,” Ye Wuchen added. Xihua Sacred Mountain might be planning something against the Holy Zhi Palace!