A month later, on top of Book Mountain at the Eastern Barren Territory.
Hua Jieyu was lying on a bed inside a room of a compound, attended to by an elder looking at her injuries. The elder shimmered with jade-green light and exuded incredibly thick life energies. A beautiful girl was standing right behind the elder. She was none other than Phoenix, a student of the Holy Zhi Palace.
The Barren State was undergoing a metaphorical earthquake after the war at the Holy Zhi Palace. Many forces were busy recuperating from the ordeal while the Holy Zhi Palace needed time to get things together again. Ye Futian and the others had all returned to Book Mountain at the Eastern Barren Territory. Phoenix had requested for her teacher to treat the injuries sustained by Douzhan at the Holy Zhi Palace, and he came to the compound right after treating Ye Futian's teacher.
Ye Futian, Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin all stood to one side and looked at the elder nervously. The shimmering jade-green light on the elder subsided after quite a while. He turned around and said to Ye Futian, "She overtaxed her spiritual powers in battle and used powers that did not belong to her. It is fortunate that she had ritual implements that helped keep her spiritual powers intact. Furthermore, the person you said to have possessed her probably held back as well, keeping her will from crumbling altogether. Phoenix had her take some pills before and I will work to repair her damaged spiritual powers in the next few days. She is not in any life-threatening danger, but she might undergo quite a long sleep, and it's anyone's guess when she will waking up."
"Thank you, elder," Ye Futian said softly. He had been very worried for the past several days. The Undying Old Man's words put him at ease right there and then. He would have waited regardless of how long she would sleep, so long as she was safe.
"Let's move. We'll let her rest." The Undying Old Man walked outside the room and the others followed. There were many waiting outside. Gu Dongliu, Zhuge Mingyue, Yu Sheng, Ye Wuchen, Yi Xiaoshi, and the others were all on Book Mountain now.
"How is she doing?" Zhuge Mingyue asked.
"The elder said she was in no danger, but she will probably spend quite a while sleeping," Ye Futian answered.
All breathed a sigh of relief. If anything were to happen to Hua Jieyu, Ye Futian would have probably spent the rest of his days feeling guilty and beating himself up. The matter about him taking over as Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace would have been for naught.
"All will pass," Zhuge Mingyue said softly.
"Yeah." Ye Futian nodded, then smiled and said, "What's with the grim looks? This is good news, isn't it?" That was probably his attempt at comforting both himself and the others, seeing how everyone looked so grim.
"Little brother." Two figures walked in their direction. Ye Futian lifted his head and saw his Eldest Brother and Goddess Wangyue.
"Look who's here," the Sword Saint said with a smile. Ye Futian peered behind his Eldest Brother and saw Xue Ye, Luo Fan, You Xi, and the others. You Xi was seen carrying a baby in her arms.
"Fourth Brother, Fourth sister-in-law." Ye Futian went up to greet them. He took a look at the baby girl in You Xi's arms. The baby had huge eyes and looked at Ye Futian without feeling shy at all.
"Here you go." You Xi handed the child to Ye Futian. He held her in his arms and said with a smile, "Well, are you looking at Uncle here because you think uncle is good-looking?"
The others around them laughed. Xue Ye then said, "Well, her uncle has is quite different from her dad here in terms of looks, but her uncle is a handsome one nonetheless."
"Brother, please." Ye Futian then turned to look at Xue Ye. "I'm her uncle and yet I don't even know her name."
"Xue Cao. Just call her Little Grass," Xue Ye smiled and said.
"Grass." Ye Futian said, "So you're naming her after the Cottage then  ?"
"Indeed, if she has a little brother in the future, I'll name him Xue Tang." Xue Ye nodded with a smile.
Ye Futian looked at the baby girl in his arms and felt tears welling up in his eyes. He lowered his head and kissed Xue Cao's forehead, then said with a smile, "I call myself her uncle and yet I don't even have a gift for her."
"I'll keep that in mind then. When Little Grass grows, I'll let her come ask for it from her uncle," You Xi smiled and said.
"Alright then, you keep tabs for Little Grass here, sister-in-law." Ye Futian nodded and then looked at the Sword Saint and Goddess Wangyue, saying, "Eldest Brother, when are you going to marry the goddess? And Third Brother and Second Brother. You both are my elders. Don't drag things out for too long."
The Sword Saint looked at everyone. Even Beitang Xing'er and Yi Xiaoshi were there as well. Every single student of the Cottage was accounted for.
"There is our teacher." The Sword Saint turned his gaze far away.
Ye Futian was exasperated. Eldest Brother is really closeminded when it comes to these things.
"Yeah, enough with teasing your sister here. What about you and Jieyu then? You two seem to be the pair with the longest history," Zhuge Mingyue said, looking at Ye Futian.
Ye Futian returned Little Grass to her mother, recalling the days when he was far younger.
Over ten years had passed.
Ye Futian smiled, shut his eyes, and then took a look at the sky. He then turned around and looked at Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin.
"Teacher, mistress, I want to marry Jieyu and I seek your approval," Ye Futian said all of the sudden.
Both Hua Fengliu and Nandou Wenyin were stunned.
"When?" Hua Fengliu asked. Jieyu was still in a coma at the moment.
"A month from now. Regardless if she wakes up by then or not, I will marry her, right here at Book Mountain." Ye Futian's words rendered everyone around him silent. It was obvious that no one had expected him to bring that up so suddenly.
"Futian, I don't have any objections to that, but if Jieyu were to wake up and find herself already married without knowing what her wedding looked like, wouldn't that be quite a pity?" Hua Fengliu said.
"If Jieyu wakes up after the wedding. So long as she is willing, I'll throw her another wedding." Ye Futian smiled brightly. Nandou Wenyin felt her eyes getting red and she lowered her head, not knowing what to think.
"Very well." Hua Fengliu nodded.
"Thank you, father-in-law." Ye Futian smiled and everyone around him smiled as well, but they all felt their noses wrinkling and sand getting in their eyes all of a sudden. Regardless, it was still a beautiful thing.
The news of Ye Futian ready to marry Hua Jieyu shook everyone at Book Mountain. While the people of Book Mountain did not know what exactly happened when Ye Futian and the others returned, they knew that a war took place in the Barren State; a war which the Sword Saint had participated in and Hua Jieyu returned from severely injured and in a coma. Yet, Ye Futian was about to marry Hua Jieyu.
The people of Book Mountain naturally knew a lot about Ye Futian and Hua Jieyu. Everyone shuddered within. Gu Biyue and Chu Yaoyao felt less calm about the whole thing as they knew Ye Futian and the others best.
Time really flies. Is he really getting married already?
The news quickly spread throughout the entire Eastern Barren Territory. Many people headed for Book Mountain suddenly, wanting to witness the wedding.
A great incident happened in Liu Kingdom several days after the news spread.
Ye Wuchen brought the princess of Liu Kingdom, Liu Chenyu, and the prince, Liu Feiyang, back to Liu Kingdom for a bit. Several lord palaces that had been renowned for a while and the residences of the ministers of Liu Kingdom all went through a bloodbath. Ye Wuchen, as the one-armed god of killing, killed all those who had betrayed Liu Kingdom in the past, taking revenge for Liu Kingdom. It was something that Book Mountain had not been looking into for quite a while, and it was a task handed over to Ye Wuchen.
No one had expected the day to arrive so quickly. Just how many years have passed since then?
Ye Wuchen had already become a superior noble within that span of time, and all the mighty ones of Liu Kingdom who had seen him in action claimed that Ye Wuchen's prowess was on par with the king back then.
If Ye Wuchen had already grown to be so powerful, it was anyone's guess how powerful Ye Futian and Yu Sheng—the two who had been legendary geniuses back then in Eastern Barren Territory—had become.
Have they reached that plane told in legends: the Sage Plane?
Sages were insurmountable legends in the Eastern Barren Territory.
The news of Ye Futian about to get married spread not only in the Eastern Barren Territory but out in the Barren State as well. Many top forces and top-notch figures ranked on the Barren Sky Ranking were prepared to make the trip to the Eastern Barren Territory to attend the wedding. They insisted to go even though Ye Futian had not invited anyone.
Ye Futian knew nothing about all that and paid no heed to it all. He trained in peace at Book Mountain, and any time he had to spare was spent visiting Hua Jieyu and talking to her.
A group mighty ones arrived at Book Mountain that day. They were all young people. Xu Que, Huang Jiuge, Yun Shuisheng, Zhong Li, and many others went looking for Ye Futian right away.
"I heard that you're getting married." Xu Que walked up to Ye Futian and said, "Congratulations."
Ye Futian looked at Xu Que, Huang Jiuge, and the others. He smiled and said, "I have yet to apologize about what happened to you all before." Xu Shang and Huang Xi participated in that war. Their participation naturally had something to do with Xu Que and Huang Jiuge. Furthermore, he already knew that it was Ye Wuchen who killed Bai Ze and Xu Que was in it as well, helping them escape with the powers of the Tingxue House.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Xu Que shrugged.
"I'll tell you something. I'm in the Holy Zhi Palace now," Huang Jiuge said to Ye Futian.
Ye Futian looked peculiarly at Huang Jiuge.
"What? You find that weird?" Huang Jiuge shrugged and added, "The Holy Zhi Palace doesn't have a head now and all of the lords are waiting for you to get back. Yet, here you are, getting ready to have your wedding."
"How is my teacher doing?" Ye Futian asked.
"Lord Douzhan is just fine." Everyone nodded.
Ye Futian nodded slightly, feeling at ease.
"You should really head back after the wedding." Xu Que added, "There are many expecting your return. You can't just keep staying here at the Eastern Barren Territory, can you? Furthermore, I'm still waiting for you to get back and grant me my permission to enter the Sage Hall," Xu Que said without bothering to hide anything.
"..." Ye Futian looked at him, feeling speechless. So this is why he is persuading me to go back to the Holy Zhi Palace and become Palace Lord?
The Sage Hall of the Holy Zhi Palace was the place where the lineage of saints was. There was no one in the Barren State who did not want to get in that place. As the next Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace, he now had the right to give such privileges.
Ye Futian did not respond to that. Xu Que shrugged, speechless. "Well, it seems like I can't be of any use in this case. But no matter, the old guys will come get you in a couple of days anyway."
"How many years do we have before the next Battle of Saints?" Ye Futian asked all of a sudden. The issue with Zhisheng Cliffs was one he had no intentions of forgetting.
"The event is held once every 20 years. We have less than 10 years until the next one." Xu Que added, "No one ranked on the Barren Sky Ranking had any certainty about things in the last one. They didn't even really get involved in it. The other eight states were the ones mainly fighting back then. Palace Lord Chunyang suffered a crushing defeat back in that one."
"Short indeed," Ye Futian mumbled to himself. It was no wonder why the Holy Zhi Palace rushed to create a saint. It would have been difficult for even Bai Luli to reach the pinnacle of the Sage Plane in such a short time. It was even more than difficult for Ye Futian, given how he was just a noble.
: The Cottage is called 'Cao Tang' in Chinese where 'Cao' means 'grass.'
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