Ye Futian scanned them and felt anger welling up inside, but it was not anger at how those people berated him sarcastically; it was anger caused by how they only saw their own interests and the interests of their family. They never gave any thoughts about what Second Sister wanted herself. The marriage arrangement between Bai Luli and his Second Sister was something everyone in the Zhuge family agreed to. Zhuge Xing and Bai Ze got close as if they became brothers. His Third Brother showed up, demonstrating talents that were in no way inferior to Bai Luli, and it was his Second Sister who asked to be married. But everyone else jumped out in objection.
What are these people taking my Second Sister for?
"Only ants think about sucking up to people and climbing ladders. I would sooner spare myself the shame and agony of being around filthy, wretched beings like you all," Ye Futian said coldly at the younger generation of the Zhuge family, giving them no face at all. He believed that Zhuge Qingfeng sided with Zhuge Mingyue and that the clan leader would have been embarrassed to have this younger generation be in his family.
"How dare you!" the youths burst out in anger. Some even went pointing fingers at Ye Futian. It was the day of the grand banquet in the Zhuge family, yet the discarded filth of the Holy Zhi Palace actually dared humiliate them like that.
"You want to have a go?" Ye Futian scanned all those pointing fingers at him and said, "Any of you below the Sage Plane are welcomed to take me on all at once."
"You..." It was craziness like no other. Ye Futian never so much even batted an eye at them.
Huang Jiuge and Xu Que watched the scenes unfold in amusement. There were other young geniuses of the Barren State, like Di Gang, present. Ye Futian's glorious history with battles was such that even if all the cultivators below the Sage Plane were to actually take him on, their chances at beating him would have been slim still.
What he said, boy, that was some roasting indeed.
"I'd like to see for myself, how powerful the former number one on the Law Rank actually is," a cold voice was heard and a figure was seen standing up.
The members of the Zhuge family turned in his direction. It was none other than Zhuge Qing, a youth of immense talent at the pinnacle of the Noble Plane. While he had never trained in the Holy Zhi Palace, he was the number one noble in the Zhuge family. Furthermore, he was actually halfway to the Sage Plane, and that alone spoke volume of his terrifying prowess.
Ye Futian turned his eyes at Zhuge Qingfeng and shouted, "Uncle."
"He wants to try his hand, so show what you're made of," Zhuge Qingfeng said.
"Understood." Ye Futian nodded and looked at Zhuge Qing. "You mind going up?"
"No need for that. There are many seniors here. The damage won't be too great," Zhuge Qing said plainly. He took one step forward as soon as he finished his sentence. Lightning fell from the sky at that very second and a terrifying was soon seen all over the place, imbued with devastating power.
Many great figures went to isolate the area right outside where both of them were. Zhuge Qing's eyes turned especially demonic. Extremely terrifying lightning will invaded Ye Futian's mind right there and then. Zhuge Qing's body turned into thousands of mirages in the very next second, and lightning bolts headed for Ye Futian. Crackling, devastating forces bombarded Ye Futian's body. Yet he stood there completely unfazed, taking on the lightning bolts with nothing but his own body.
Ye Futian glanced at Zhuge Qing with plain eyes. One look was all it took to slow the thousands of streaks of lightning to almost a standstill. The mirages were almost frozen in place. Everything at that moment seemed to have stopped altogether.
"Get lost." Ye Futian lifted his palm and vibrated it in the air. Meteors streaked the skies, shattering the mirages, which then coalesced into a single being—Zhuge Qing.
Zhuge Qing was being bombarded heavily at that very moment. Blood spewed from his mouth as he was thrown hard on the floor, destroying the tables and chairs below.
The youths of the Zhuge family turned pale. That was only one move.
The number one noble in the Zhuge family was totally helpless.
Zhuge Xing and many others were filled with envy as they watched Ye Futian at work. No one in their generation was even able to match Ye Futian blow for blow.
The great figures of the Barren State present at the banquet were all shocked. They had long heard that the young genius from the Holy Zhi Palace was a powerful being like none other, but they did not have any idea how powerful he actually was. They were able to see for themselves that very day that Ye Futian was indeed very powerful.
There was no one of his caliber to be found in the Zhuge family, or rather, there was no one of his caliber to be found among all the nobles in any of the top forces.
"Grade Two Noble now." A tinge of bafflement was seen in the eyes of Huang Jiuge, Xu Que, and the others. Ye Futian defeated Di Gang and Ximen Hanjiang when he was a Grade Three Noble. Now that he became a Grade Two Noble, it stood to reason why Zhuge Qing looked so helpless in front of him. It was Zhuge Qing's unlucky day to fight a genius like Ye Futian.
"Anyone else feel like having a go?" Ye Futian scanned the younger generation of the Zhuge family, and as expected, none dared answered.
"Ye Futian, would you consider joining the Sovereign family? I'll train you like how I train the rest of the members of our family," Huang Xi said.
"Come to Alchemy City instead." You Chi interjected, "You have your senior here for company."
The faces of the younger generation of Zhuge family turned even more sour as the two great figures extended their invitations. The burn was intense.
Discarded filth of the Holy Zhi Palace? Dreaming of sucking up to the Zhuge family? A genius like Ye Futian would have doors open for him throughout every single top force in the Barren State even if he was indeed expelled from the Holy Zhi Palace.
"I thank you both for your kind invitations, however, I currently do not have any thoughts of joining any force," Ye Futian said. The two nodded while smiling. They were not actually being serious to begin with. Of course, if Ye Futian had actually said yes to any one of them, they would have been very happy nonetheless.
"Uncle," Ye Futian looked at Zhuge Qingfeng and said, "I do not have any intentions of interfering with the affairs of the Zhuge family. I showed my concern because the matter at hand involved my Second Sister and Third Brother."
Zhuge Qingfeng had, of course, understood his intentions. Ye Futian practically handed his life to Zhuge Qingfeng the day before. His relationship with Mingyue was that so long as the Zhuge family did not let Mingyue down, it was all the same whether he ended up joining the Zhuge family or not.
Zhuge Qingfeng turned to look at his daughter. The eyes he saw said that even if he were to object, it would all turn out the same anyway. The girl would have ended up running away with Gu Dongliu regardless. She had done the very same thing all those years before, after all.
"Very well, the marriage will have my blessing," Zhuge Qingfeng smiled and said.
Gu Dongliu and Zhuge Mingyue were stunned for a bit, before turning to smile at each other. Many great figures at the banquet smiled as well. The lovebirds tied the knot, and it was a rather happy ending to things. However, the ending brought some measure of pressure with it nonetheless.
"Clan leader." Some elders from the Zhuge family looked at Zhuge Qingfeng. They found how he handled the matter to be rather haphazard, as he did not even bother discussing it with them.
"Mingyue is my daughter. I ask that you all let me decide on the matter," Zhuge Qingfeng said with a certain measure of might. His tone was such that no one else said anything further.
Many present looked at Zhuge Qingfeng. When the one ranked sixth on the Barren Sky Ranking was determined to get something done, none in their family were able to do anything to stop him. His attempt to marry off his daughter to Bai Luli was one done against his conscience. His current attempt to prevail against dissenting views was considered penance for his daughter.
"Thank you, sir," Gu Dongliu bowed and said.
"What did you call them?" Zhuge Qingfeng smiled at Gu Dongliu and said.
Gu Dongliu was stunned and then looked rather funny. He seemed to have trouble bringing the words out from his mouth.
"What are you hesitating for?" Zhuge Mingyue smiled sheepishly at him and said.
Gu Dongliu turned serious and shouted, "You have my thanks, father-in-law."
"Well said," Zhuge Qingfeng answered.
Zhuge Mingyue practically smiled ear to ear at that. She turned to look at the sky and felt rather relieved. The dust settled, and the ending turned out to be a happy one.
"Today is a big day for the Zhuge family. Everybody, drink up!" Zhuge Qingfeng said with a clear, booming voice, and his words were heard throughout Crouching Dragon Mountain.
A tinge of firm will was heard from his booming voice. No matter what the future held, he would naturally stick to his decision made on that very day. At the very least, it was a decision he made by listening to his heart.
Many who heard the voice outside Crouching Dragon Mountain were stunned. Bai Luli had left long ago.
What is that big day the Zhuge family is talking about? What is happening in Crouching Dragon Mountain right now?
Ye Futian, Hua Jieyu, Xue Ye and all the others were happy for their Elder Brother and Sister. Ye Futian's mind was on the verge of collapse when he heard that his Second Sister was to marry Bai Luli. While he made his way to the Zhuge family, there was no way he would have been able to stand against the will of the entire Barren State. That felt very, very bad to him. It was fortunate all of that was in the past.
He, however, did not mind much about being expelled from the Holy Zhi Palace. The path of cultivation was a long journey, and the Holy Zhi Palace was little more than a stop on that journey, instead of everything there was to it. The opinions of the world mattered even less to him.
"Little Brother." Gu Dongliu looked at Ye Futian.
"Third Brother," Ye Futian shouted in response. They smiled at each other as Gu Dongliu recalled their first meeting back at the Cangye Kingdom all those years ago.
Our little brother has finally grown up.
The banquet resumed. While the engagement between Bai Luli and Zhuge Mingyue was completely ruined that day, that seemed rather insignificant compared to all the other hurdles that happened in Crouching Dragon Mountain. News of what happened would travel throughout the Barren State soon enough.
Ye Futian toasted to many great figures as a gesture of gratitude: Huang Xi, You Chi, Yu Shang, and all the others. All of them helped him one way or another on that day, and he owed them for it.
None of those great figures took Ye Futian as just another face among the younger generation. Within just a few years, Ye Futian would have become yet another Bai Luli. Zhuge Xing and the others burned with jealousy seeing how the great figures treated Ye Futian.
Ye Futian came before Monk Qingdeng and said, "Thank you, master."
Monk Qingdeng smiled and nodded at Ye Futian.
"How is Hua Qingqing doing?" Ye Futian asked. Chen Yuan told him back then that he would send Hua Qingqing to Qingdeng Temple.
"She is doing fine. She has a destiny with the Buddhist way, and I thank you for sending her to the temple," Monk Qingdeng smiled and said.
"You said that she asked you to come see me. Did she ask for you to bring any word?" Ye Futian asked.
Monk Qingdeng replied, "Only that I send her regards to you."
"Thank you, master." Ye Futian smiled.
"Brother Futian," Long Ling'er came at him and said, "I think I'm not going to study in the Holy Zhi Palace."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Ye Futian glared at her and said, "Train hard in the Holy Zhi Palace. When you return, go to Battle Sage Palace and tell Loulan Xue that I will go pick them up in the Holy Zhi Palace."
"Okay," Long Ling'er answered with some reluctance.
"Any word you need me to bring?" Xu Que asked.
"Tell Wuchen and the others to train hard. Don't worry about me," Ye Futian said to Xu Que.
"Alright." Xu Que nodded.
Ye Futian turned his gaze far away. He still needed to head back to the Holy Zhi Palace at least once, and he still needed to say his goodbyes to his teacher at the very least!
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