Ye Futian had already comprehended fire, metal, and earth-elemental noble wills. As such, he was experienced in comprehending noble will, which enabled him to learn its way through its workings. Furthermore, he himself had all manners of Life Spirits corresponding to each element. If he had been able to open up more great ruins in the Holy Road, he would have been able to comprehend greater types of noble wills.
As he had made it out of the Holy Road, the pressure emanated by the holy tablets bearing on his will could have also worked as a kind of power of will, and they each bore different elemental traits. As such, Ye Futian was able to use them to comprehend the power of the noble will.
Of course, the starry will of earth element remained the most powerful out of all types of noble wills, followed by fire. It was because both will powers matched well with his training methods, especially the starry will. It was not something he had acquired from the ruins, but something he had learned solely from his own efforts. The flame intent was acquired from the Sun Scripture coupled with what he comprehended from the great ruins in the Flaming Prison City. As such, it became comparatively easy for him to comprehend the lightning will at the moment.
After acquiring comprehension of the noble wills, Ye Futian's attitude towards sensing the holy tablet pressures changed. It was not just a trial, but also an opportunity.
All nine holy tablets seemed to have different types of spiritual will pressures based on different types of elements. When the lightning will inside him was secured, he protected his willpower with holy will, then turned his focus onto the holy tablet bearing water-elemental will. His mind seemed to be assaulted with an absolute will of ice, as if to implore him to stop thinking, turning everything absolutely silent. He even began to feel his body turning stiff, the spiritual qi coursing through his body and the blood flowing within all seemed to be told to stop by the intruding will.
Fire was the yang, and water the yin. He recalled the Shadow Scripture practiced by the headmaster of the Bright Moon School and went on to activate it. The spiritual power of water became crystal clear to him, and it seemed that he was surrounded by mist and frost. A full moon hung above him, and Ye Futian felt his body shrouded in extreme coldness. Everywhere he searched was cold to the extreme, as if the space itself was entirely frozen.
There were people who looked in Ye Futian's direction and they looked at him funny. The guy seems to be resisting the intrusion of the power of wills, yet he seems to be training at the same time.
"Is all that really bearable to someone who is only of Arcana Plane?" some murmured to themselves. But the assault from the pressure felt from the tablets would probably have been less intense to someone of the Arcana Plane.
Ye Futian's body felt incredibly cold after a while, and even those who sat beside him were covered in frost. His body seemed entirely be encased in a cage of frosty mist, while the cold light of the moon shone on his body. Power originating from the will of the yin gradually emanated from within. It was apparent that the noble will of water element was born within him as well.
The number of people staying behind on the battlefield continued dwindling. Those who managed to stay were all extraordinary figures.
Ye Futian knew he was running out of time. If he were to use the tablets for training, he needed to be quick with comprehending noble wills. He laid his eyes on yet another tablet soon after. It was one with wind-elemental will infused within, and he went on to comprehend its secret. Gales whipped up around him shortly after.
Those who took notice of Ye Futian early on seemed to be more certain about their previous speculations about him. So this Arcana Plane guy is really using the will pressure of the tablets to train. Furthermore, he is training with powers of different elements.
"That kid is sure an interesting one," one of the mighty ones from the Holy Zhi Palace standing near the sky stairwell quipped as he laid eyes on Ye Futian.
"Interesting indeed. He hasn't been able to develop any comprehension of noble will powers before, yet noble will seemed to appear within him one after another when he endured the pressure from the tablets. It seems that he has just gained comprehension of them." Someone nodded to the comment.
"What is his name?" one of them asked.
"Ye Futian from the Eastern Barren territory. The kid seems to have talents, and it was him who acquired the Ukiyo song on Sky Mountain. Now he has made it this far to the Holy Zhi Palace through the Holy Roads," the one who had been keeping tabs on him elaborated.
"Both emperors left a guqin tune in the remote Sky Mountains in the Eastern Barren territory. It could be said to be the work of fate for him to get his hands on it, but many would have gotten it now." Someone turned their eyes on the other side of the sky stairwell. There was a figure sitting there quietly with a guqin in front of him, and it was no other than Bai Luli.
Bai Luli had played the Ukiyo song before.
"Luli, what do you think about that kid's talents? One of his seniors seemed to have challenged you before," that person asked with a grin.
Bai Luli recalled Gu Dongliu's challenge, and there was admiration seen in his deep, clear eyes. "The teacher from the cottage in Eastern Barren territory was quite a marvelous figure himself, being able to nurture a disciple like the kid here. Given more time, Gu Dongliu would have made it to the Barren Sky Ranking. Mingyue was also someone from the cottage, and now the junior before us has talent as well. It's a pity that his level is rather low at this point. If he had been able to come here when he had reached grade seven Noble Plane, he would have been able to do a lot more great things."
Everyone nodded in agreement to Bai Luli's apt comment.
It was anyone's guess how Ye Futian would have performed from here on out, and whether it would be good enough to keep their eyes on him. However, if Ye Futian proved excellent enough as a cultivator, there was still the question of taking him in and letting him train at the core islands of the Holy Zhi Palace.
The reason why Gu Dongliu had challenged Bai Luli was because Zhuge Mingyue and the Holy Zhi Palace were hoping that Bai Luli would have been a couple with Zhuge Mingyue. If it was done, there might have been a fissure between Bai Luli and Gu Dongliu, as well as the ones with Ye Futian. If they were to let Ye Futian train in the Holy Zhi Palace, it would have been anyone's guess what Bai Luli would have thought about that. Perhaps Bai Luli himself, with his current status, would not care about things like that. However, it was imperative to consider such matters from the Holy Zhi Palace's point of view.
Bai Luli's place in the Holy Zhi Palace was an extraordinary one. He was like the face of the palace itself.
"The numbers are close," someone quipped without considering such problems, as it was still rather too early for them. Compared to the rest of the participants, Ye Futian was actually not that much of a standout.
A voice came from the sky stairwell after all, "That will be all."
The nine holy tablets took to the air and flew in the Holy Zhi Palace's direction after the announcement was heard. Many sighed a breath of relief, feeling the air around them relax. Those geniuses, however, did not show much of a reaction, and they looked calm instead.
Ye Futian felt the power of the will of the wind around him, and then quickly put it away. Time was too short indeed, and he was not able to keep training. However, he deemed himself to be doing well at the moment. Only the wood element was left out of the seven elements to be comprehended.
Ye Futian stood up and turned to look at the ones behind him, finding several of them gone. Only Hua Jieyu, Yuan Zhan, Mu Zhiqiu, Yu Sheng, Ye Wuchen, Zui Qianchou, Xuanyuan Bashan, and the Black Wind Condor remained. Qin Yin and Xie Wuji were unable to make it. It was quite a pity, as it was time for the Holy Zhi Palace to select disciples to be taken in.
Only 1,000 were left on the humungous battlefield, and the small number of people left had the place feeling rather empty. Everyone who remained on the battlefield, however, were true elites.
Countless watched the ones who remained on the battlefield from the outside. Many were mighty ones from all over the Barren State, and some were from the Thousand Holy Islands.
The true objective of the trials would take place soon, as it was time for the Holy Zhi Palace to pick their disciples. Those candidates had proven themselves by getting past the last round, meaning that they had earned the chance to be disciples of a training place that was thought to be the most powerful in all of the Barren State.
The elder spoke on the sky stairwell, his eyes on everyone below, "Everyone, disperse and head to the edge of the battlefield."
Everyone went rearward towards the edge of the platform. Ye Futian and his group took a corner for themselves.
The air was tense.
"And now, it will be time for the Holy Zhi Palace to select its disciples. The selection will be done through battle, using only one's own powers, no implements or instruments of any kind allowed. Who among you is willing to be the first to accept the challenge?" the elder said at the stairwell.
The remaining thousand all looked serious. The last stage was also the most important one, as it would determine if they were able to make it as a disciple of the Holy Zhi Palace, determined by the battles that were about to take place. Only actual battles proved to be the one true standard for measuring one's talents.
"I will." A figure walked out among the huge group of people. Countless eyes went in that figure's direction. That figure was someone walking out from beside Zhuge Xing. A member of the Zhuge family, Zhuge Ping.
At the side of the Holy Zhi Palace sky stairwell, Zhuge Mingyue and Zhuge Canyang stood, feeling startled. They then saw Zhuge Ping cast his glance at a single spot, where Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu stood.
"I will challenge him for my first battle." Zhuge Ping pointed at Ye Futian and sounded rather lazy as he said so.
Ye Futian's performance prior had been rather eye-catching as he took out Du Ao alone. However, that was mostly attributed to the immense powers of the superpowered ritual implement. With the actual battle coming up and Ye Futian's level of training stuck at the Arcana Plane. It was anyone's guess how someone not even on the Noble Plane would perform.
Being able to come this place, there was hardly any doubt about Zhuge Ping's talents. He was among the ones anticipated to come out on top among the younger generations of the Zhuge family.
"It seems like it was Zhuge Xing who told me to come out," Zhuge Canyang murmured. "This is the first battle of the Zhuge family, and also Ye Futian's first. Who do you think will come out on top?"
"Zhuge Xing has had a thing for Hua Jieyu for quite a while, and Zhuge Ping was never one to know his place. This battle will serve as a good lesson to humble him." Zhuge Mingyue grinned. Not of Noble Plane, so what? My little brother in training is not someone that can be judged by usual standards.
The interest of the ones standing outside was piqued as well. Zhuge Ping was a member of the Zhuge family, and Ye Futian was Hua Jieyu's lover, as well as Zhuge Mingyue's little brother studying under the same teacher. They should have been nice to each other instead. However, the first person Zhuge Ping, a member of the Zhuge family, had challenged was none other than Ye Futian, and it seemed to be a rather peculiar thing to happen. Regardless, the battle seemed to be an interesting one.
"Chen Yuan, a member of Zhuge family just challenged your Son. What do you make of that?" Mu Chuan of the Zhaixing House asked Chen Yuan, who was beside him, seemingly taking pleasure in his upcoming misfortune.
"We'll see," Chen Yuan answered plainly.
"Alright, I'll look forward to it." Mu Chuan turned to look at the battlefield. Despite what he had just said, he was actually hoping that Ye Futian would win. The reason was none other than Ye Futian had defeated Mu Zhiqiu despite suffering a disadvantage in plane differences.
Ye Futian walked out slowly, and there was nothing much to make from his expression. He lifted his brow slightly and looked at his opponent rather funnily. He had not expected that the first one to come to fight was someone from the Zhuge family, and the person they picked, was him!
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