Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The body of the Flame Saint moved all of a sudden and retreated backward. Douzhan caught up to him and the Village Chief followed suit. With the Village Chief holding the fort, there was no way the Flame Saint of Zhisheng Cliffs would have been able to run.
At that moment, terrifying dark red will burst from the Flame Saint’s body, heading towards the tablet at the highest point of the Zhisheng Cliffs. When the dark red will fell below, the entire place seemed to have been stained in red. Frightening aura exuded from within the tablet, staining the sky. At that moment, immense pressure descended from the sky, shrouding Zhisheng Cliffs.
“I call upon Emperor Xia.” The Flame Saint’s voice resounded throughout the sky. With the Barren State’s people assaulting Zhisheng Cliffs, the two saints knew well that they would not have been able to deal with the intruders. As such, they made a snap decision and called upon Emperor Xia.
Douzhan and the Village Chief halted and Ye Futian went up. It was something that he had never expected, however, it was also what he came for.
With three holy lands declaring that they would work together to fight against the Holy Zhi Palace, if the saints from those enemies were to simply invade the Barren State, there would have been no doubt that the Holy Zhi Palace would have been wiped out. If he was able to cheat, it would have been the same for the other side.
As such, he needed Emperor Xia to be present personally and set the rules of the Sacred War, in order to decide what would have been the course of action to take from then on out. It was the very reason why he had attended Liu Zong’s wedding—to be clear of the situation that the Barren State was facing, in order to lay out plans for breakthrough.
Immense pressure came from above. Renhuang needed only a sliver of will to subjugate all living beings. Emperor Xia’s silhouette appeared once again. The solemn and imposing face appeared in the sky and said, “Zhisheng Cliffs of the Yu State, what would be the matter?”
“Emperor Xia, Ye Futian of the Holy Zhi Palace led an ambush against Zhisheng Cliffs without gaining permission first, in order to wipe out Zhisheng Cliffs, a holy land of the Orthodox,” the Flame Saint reported as he bowed to Emperor Xia, presenting himself to be immensely respectful.
Emperor Xia looked up and turned his eyes at Ye Futian.
“It’s you.” It was in the Barren State during the last time his will manifested. The previous Palace Lord of the Barren State passed down his position to Ye Futian. The little guy who was still in Noble Plane back then was of formidable training at the moment. Furthermore, said guy seemed to have refused Xia Qingyuan. Someone had actually reported that incident to Emperor Xia, which he found to be rather amusing.
“Greetings, Emperor Xia. I’m Ye Futian, Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State.” Ye Futian bowed solemnly and continued, “The Flame Saint is deceiving you, Emperor Xia, and I would like to implore you to punish him accordingly.”
“B*llshit.” The Flame Saint turned his eyes at Ye Futian. The flaring red eyes seemed to almost wanted to burn Ye Futian down right there and then. Emperor Xia was the master of the Nine States, and no one was able to answer to a crime as severe as to deceive Emperor Xia.
A word from the Emperor Xia back all those years ago had razed the holy land led by Ji Yuan, a figure ranked second on the Saint Ranking who was known as the Reaper. Ji Yuan disappeared without a trace. Emperor Xia was the absolute overlord of the Nine States, and the shared master of both the Upper and Lower Worlds.
“Elaborate,” Emperor Xia looked at Ye Futian and said.
“Emperor Xia, you were present to judge the matter regarding the Holy Zhi Palace back then, and it was only natural that you knew what happened. Zhisheng Cliffs had killed their way into the Barren State all those years ago, and they had not bothered to ask for your permission to do that. I’m now simply here to settle the score. Is it so that while the Zhisheng Cliffs of the Yu State is allowed to bully the Holy Zhi Palace, we’re not allowed to retaliate?”
Ye Futian continued, “Furthermore, not long before the marriage alliance between Xihua Sacred Mountain and the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty was sealed and all from the Nine States were invited to the wedding, Saint Xihua had declared, with Saint Zhi, that they were to join the Sacred War in an effort to eliminate the Holy Zhi Palace. We of the Holy Zhi Palace just began to show signs of rising when three holy lands came to attack us, in an effort to suppress our rising by eliminating us outright. That infuriated me and thus, I brought my people to attack Zhisheng Cliffs.
“Emperor Xia, if the three holy lands were ally themselves and bully us like that, the Holy Zhi Palace will be wiped out without a doubt. Saint Zhi of Zhisheng Cliffs declared that he would join the Sacred War personally in order to raze the Holy Zhi Palace. Is the Holy Zhi Palace not allowed to retaliate then? Are we of the Barren State to simply roll over and die? This is not an ambush, and if it were to be ambush, it would have sufficed for the two of our saints to massacre Zhisheng Cliffs. However, we know Zhisheng Cliffs to be a holy land of your Orthodoxy, and as such, we dared not overstep our border, resorting to fighting in accordance to the rules of the Sacred War laid out previously.”
Ye Futian’s voice was filled with sorrow and rage, heard throughout the entire place, so much so that he seemed he would soon break down in tears. The way he put it, the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State was in an extremely miserable predicament, as if they were at the brink of total extermination. The three holy lands were shameless bullies, and Zhisheng Cliffs of the Yu State had gone out of its way to wipe the Holy Zhi Palace out. They of the Holy Zhi Palace were only out to set things right and they had been right to retaliate. Even the ones from Zhisheng Cliffs were rendered speechless by his words.
The Flame Saint glared with wide-opened, angry eyes. It had been Ye Futian who had led two saints, bringing a whole army to bear upon Zhisheng Cliffs, and now it was the Holy Zhi Palace that was wronged instead.
That moment marked death for Zhisheng Cliffs.
“Emperor Xia, he is distorting the truth,” the Flame Saint retaliated furiously.
“If any of my words prove to be a lie, please sentence me to death, Emperor Xia.” Ye Futian’s voice drowned the Flame Saint’s angry shout, putting his life on the line to set the matter right.
Emperor Xia did not doubt Ye Futian at all. No one throughout the Nine States dared to deceive Emperor Xia. Furthermore, what Ye Futian had said was something that could have been verified with just a bit of digging.
Emperor Xia then turned his eyes to the Flame Saint and asked, “Which part of his words is a lie?”
The Flame Saint looked deplorable. None of Ye Futian’s words had been refutable. If the master saint of Zhisheng Cliffs had declared that they would join the Sacred War against the Barren State, Emperor Xia would not have stopped them. In truth, Saint Zhi never said that they were to join the Sacred War, but the meaning was close enough, and Ye Futian had interpreted it that way. If Emperor Xia were to actually investigate the matter, it would have easily gone in Ye Futian’s favor, as everyone knew from what was said very clearly—Zhisheng Cliffs would act against the Holy Zhi Palace.
Emperor Xia knew what was going from the Flame Saint’s expression. He looked at everyone beneath him and said coldly, “The odds were stacked against the Barren State and three holy lands joined hands to bully them. If that was so, on what grounds do you see yourself fit to call upon me?” Emperor Xia flared in anger and brought his might down on everyone below. Countless from Zhisheng Cliffs were so terrified that they dared not look up.
“I’m only doing it for the sake of Zhisheng Cliffs.” The Flame Saint’s face was ashen.
None throughout the Nine States would be capable of standing against Emperor Xia’s wrath. It was clear that Emperor Xia was convinced by Ye Futian’s words and would not interfere in what happened that day.
“You have disturbed me twice within just a few years. If you’re so eager to fight each other, then from this day on, if anyone throughout the Nine States’ holy lands intends to wage a Sacred War, there will be no more need to ask for my permission. However, given the holy lands throughout the Nine States are of my Orthodoxy, you’re forbidden to kill indiscriminately. Per the rules of the divine path stated prior, saints are not allowed to move against anyone below the saint plane. The same goes with sages. You can inform the Nine State Guards when you’re done fighting each other.”
Emperor Xia scoffed coldly and seemed very displeased. Countless were shivering beneath. Someone of Emperor Xia’s status would not have been bothered much even if the Nine States were to be overturned.
Emperor Xia’s true base and roots were at the Upper Worlds, but given that the Orthodoxies of the Nine States were capable of supplying him continuously with saints, Battle of Proving Holiness was set in place, providing the people of the Nine States with opportunities to attain sainthood and become truly exceptional figures. Only such people would have been noticed by Emperor Xia, such as the Sword Saint of the Void and the Great Shaman.
Given how the Nine States kept getting into trouble with each other and waging Sacred Wars, he saw it fit to just let them duke it out, letting only the truly worthy ones remain. How far Ye Futian would be able to grow was entirely dependent on his luck and ability.
“As you wish, Emperor Xia,” Ye Futian bowed and said. It was his plan to invoke Emperor Xia’s appearance. The Flame Saint had been but a chess piece in this round of his game. He would have had no way to call upon Emperor Xia to set the rules down otherwise.
If Emperor Xia did not show himself, and if the ones at Xihua Sacred Mountain decided to not play by the rules, he would have died without knowing how he died. As such, before he left Xihua Sacred Mountain, he asked the Glass Saint if the holy lands of the Nine States had the will of Emperor Xia remaining in place.
“Relay my orders to all of the Nine States.” Emperor Xia was heard saying before the heavenly pressure dissipated gradually until the emperor’s silhouette was no longer seen. It was clear that he sanctioned what was going on in Zhisheng Cliffs.
The Flame Saint’s face was ashen. With Douzhan and the Village Chief being present, there was simply no way he could win.
The rule laid out by Emperor Xia was clear—only saints were allowed to fight saints.
The Flame Saint waved his hands and brought a terrifying firestorm seemingly out to burn everything to ashes, going straight for Douzhan and the Village Chief. His body turned around, intending to leave as he said, “The saints can’t lift a finger against you all, get into fighting formation and give it your all.”
“You want to run?” The Village Chief snickered. His body turned into a sword and punched straight through the flames, flying straight for the Flame Saint. Douzhan stepped out with gigantic steps, making craters on the ground explosively as his stout body chased after the Flame Saint like some heavenly god. With Saint Zhi not being around, they would not let the Flame Saint live.
The score of the past had to be settled.
Ye Futian scanned the mighty ones of the Zhisheng Cliffs with cold eyes, before seeing a dazzling beam of light heading straight for him. It was Ge Feng, a mighty one ranked on the Sage and Saint Rankings. He held a trident in his hand, which was a holy item used in the battles outside the Holy Zhi Place back then. The sky turned and a devastating storm brewed as if the apocalypse was near, raining down straight from above and bombarding the ones from the Holy Zhi Palace.
As a student of Saint Zhi and a figure ranked in the Sage and Saint Ranking, there was no way he would have shirked from a true crisis. His mind had been wavering before, but presently, he had steeled his mind and wanted nothing more than to kill Ye Futian right there and then.
The Celestial Thunder coming from the heavens was a large scale rule spell which was of terrifying magnitude. Zhuge Qingfeng moved and the Eight Trigrams Matrix appeared around him. The holy item was activated and the eight trigrams image appeared in the air, blocking the Celestial Thunder.
Ge Feng himself had gotten near his target and the holy item in his hand pointed at Ye Futian, a terrifying lightning storm burst with powers out to tear everything apart.
“Streaking Cloud.” The trident lashed out before him. The apocalyptic thunder turned into a blinding beam of devastating light.
Nine figures appeared before Ye Futian: Qin Zhuang, the Sword Demon, Xu Shang, and the other six major swordsmen formed a sword matrix. Even though the holy sword was not there to boost the matrix, the power of the resulting matrix was still able to emanate boundless sword might and coalesced into a sword, under the joint effort of the nine. The sword clashed with the lightning coming at them. Devastating light flashed about in the air, so blinding that many were unable to open their eyes.
Countless mighty ones from Zhisheng Cliffs took to the air high in the sky and burst with their Life Spirits, bringing raging auras of rules.
Yet another figure stepped forward—Nie Yan—a mighty one ranked on the Sage and Saint Ranking. His pupils were crimson, as if he would have only taken one look to kill anyone. He extended his hand forward, bringing the will of ashes and seemingly about to turn everything around him to dust.
Another brilliant figure flew towards him. It was none other than Yun Shang, who held a holy item in the form of a scepter. She sealed the air around her with ice, blocking the will of ashes.
Roar. A frightening angry roar was heard. The Heavenly Battle Matrix was seen being formed in another corner. The one who took the lead in the matrix was no longer Douzhan, but Yuan Hong instead. He brought the power of the battle matrix and launched himself downward in a wild, unruly manner. Golden sheen shone brightly in the air. He held a ritual implement in his hand, a holy item instead of the Polearm of Divine Destruction. The holy item used was none other than the Infinite Ruler, borrowed from Sage Wuliang.
When Zhan Xiao killed his way into Taihang Mountain, the place became practically soaked in the blood of Yuan Hong’s people. As such, no one else hated Zhisheng Cliffs more than Yuan Hong.
The wild unruly figure descended from above, and the Infinite Ruler in his hand burst with holy might. The shadow of the ruler appeared and slapped hard downward. It worked like a staff despite being a holy ruler, blocking out the sky with its might.
“Evade!” a voice shouted. Yuan Hong took the might of the Heavenly Battle Matrix in his own hands, and one could have imagined how terrifying that would have been. Ruler shadows filled the air and shrouded the space they were in. One instant was all it took to evoke the pain shrieks of his enemies. Those who were hit by the ruler were killed immediately.