Once Ye Futian had given his orders, the palace immediately got to work. Tianxing Pavilion was already refurbished once before, but with the Sword Saint as its new lord, it would be renamed as the Sword Saint Pavilion. Gu Dongliu and Zhuge Mingyue would also stay to assist the Sword Saint.
People were starting to notice that the selected people to enter the Sage Hall were all Ye Futian's closest friends. Battle Sage Palace had Yu Sheng, Yi Xiaoshi, and Yuan Zhan; Daozang Palace had Yun Shuiseng, Phoenix, and Hua Jieyu. Of course, Jieyu was already the lord's wife by then, and no longer a simple disciple. Sword Palace had Ye Wuchen, Xu Que, and Zui Qianchou; and last but not least, Huang Jiuge of the Holy Sage Pavilion, as well as Zhuge Mingyue, Gu Dongliu, Xue Ye, Luo Fan, and You Xi of the Sword Saint Pavilion would not require an introduction by now. Yet, the people of the palace did not suspect that Ye Futian had made these decisions by favoritism. Upon ascending the role as the lord of the palace, these scenarios were bound to happen. Furthermore, these friends of his were also all gifted and competent in their own right, to have them cultivate their disciples in the Sage Hall, therefore, did not come as a surprise either.
Additionally, these were the people that would be campaigning by Ye Futian's side in the future. The majority of them have stepped up for Ye Futian once before, supporting him through his most dire times. Without need for much further assessment, it was clear that if anything were to happen to the palace lord, they would definitely stand up for Ye Futian without a second thought.
The lords also came from various backgrounds of immensely prominent forces in the Barren State. Even the chief of Alchemy City had personally brought his daughter, You Xi, and son-in-law to the palace to learn, not long after their child had been born. The significance of such a decision was a clear testament.
The chief of Alchemy City was never an avid participant of the activities within the palace, independently occupying the western regions as their leader, but he had changed his attitude since then, supporting Ye Futian wholeheartedly.
Everything within the palace had been reconfigured around Ye Futian's influence, which seemed to have fulfilled Sage Wanxiang's prophecy that with this newfound energy, the palace would be revitalized and reinvented.
Ye Futian's influence extended beyond the palace as well. To uncover the power of the Ukiyo song on the likes of the Mortal World and Taixuan Mountain, several of the strongest candidates were sent to the palace, bearing gifts as an effort to bury the hatchet. This was also why they had hiked up Book Mountain to congratulate him, and if Ye Futian had decided to look into it, it was also likely that they wanted to copy the ways of the Sword Saint Villa.
When the top three schools in the Divine Sky City of the east were officially merged, and Zhaixing House was also to be returned to Starry School, despite the unwillingness of college chiefs Yang Ding and Gong Kui, they knew that they could never raise a finger against Ye Futian's decision. They had no choice but to accept.
They wondered if they had listened to Chen Yuan and assisted Ye Futian in the past, to have been a part of the three schools, would they be able to roam about the palace on their own by now?
A month later, the number of problems started to dwindle, and the palace had returned back to its usual routine. The turmoils of the Barren State had also been fully resolved.
Presently, the relationship between the people of the Barren State had become closer, with a collectively singular resolve, and it was hard to imagine that all this was brought about by someone of the younger generation—a noble descendant collectively elected by both the palace and the Barren State alike. Compared to Ye Futian, his predecessor Bai Luli was elected by people of the palace alone.
At the moment, Ye Futian was having a chat at the Holy Sage Pavilion. Standing with him were Sage Douzhan, the Sword Demon, Sage Daozang, and several seniors, as well as some of the more exceptional disciples of the palace—Hua Fan and Dou Kun, both of whom were respectively first and second on the law rank.
"Master, Uncle-Master, what is the Saint Plane?" The three lords had gathered here to visit Ye Futian and took this chance to ask for his advice.
"Saint Plane…" A few of them immediately looked curious. To them, the Saint Plane was of another unimaginable dimension, a realm only in fantasies and dreams.
"Rumor has it that the people of the Saint Plane are faultless. They'd have to experience some sort of heartbreak to achieve a certain level of perfection, so as to witness the legendary plane. Even people of great perseverance and of a steady heart are said to be incapable of achieving it. If one were to even have a sliver of regret or an unstable grade in skills, it would be undeniably detrimental and unsalvageable," said Sage Daozang.
Ye Futian, fully engrossed, replied, "Is the Saint Plane really that difficult to reach?"
"Yup." The Sword Demon nodded. "It's even more difficult for the people in the Barren State, as they have no experienced individuals from the Saint Plane to consult, hence their only chance is the orthodoxy battle. The Nine States are in the same situation. The battle of the Divine Path that Emperor Xia had planned is one of their most significant events. For the Barren State, since there are no saints in the first place, the participation numbers are low for this, and even the strongest competitors are eliminated early on."
"What is it about the battle of the Divine Path that the strongest competitors of the Barren state do not dare to face?" Ye Futian asked.
"There is the opportunity of attaining the status of a saint. It's a battleground for the best sages from the Nine States. The elites of the Nine States bring divine instruments that were originally wielded by saints themselves, most of whom were top candidates from Zhisheng Cliffs. As for our Barren State, we don't have the best candidates, and we also lack the capable instruments. Even if we take the chance to use one, it'll definitely be targeted and snatched away in an instant," Sage Daozang explained with an exasperated laugh.
"That's devastating," Ye Futian murmured under his breath, discouraged at the sad reality of being at a disadvantage. To gain an opportunity to the Divine Path, those top candidates definitely would not let one off easy.
"Without any saint for so many years, the Barren State is starting to severely lack resources. Back in the day, people of the Nine States used to visit us, but as the years have passed, the Barren State seems to have been forgotten by them."
"In that case, all the more we should effectively utilize the resources of the Sage Hall," Ye Futian claimed. "Hua Fan, you've been at the Sage Hall for a while now, how do you feel?"
Hua Fan turned to Ye Futian and said, "In time, I hope I can comprehend the rules involved upon reaching the Noble Plane and reach the status of a sage."
Ye Futian nodded at this remark. In the past, Liu Dan also joined the Sage Hall upon crossing the threshold of the Noble Plane.
"Joining the Sage Hall this time, you'll come out with greater revelations," said Sage Douzhan, facing Ye Futian and Dou Kun. To that day, Dou Kun was still one of Battle Sage Palace's best disciples and would also be training in the Sage Hall.
"Understood." Futian nodded. "The current cohort joining the Sage Hall will define the palace's future."
"You should make good use of your time," Sage Douzhan claimed. He trusted Ye Futian, but Emperor Xia did not give them much time. To ask this group to excel in such a short amount of time was an incredibly difficult task.
"We'll enter straight into the Sage Hall tomorrow," Ye Futian said. They didn't have much time to wait.
"Alright, I'll inform the rest and let them prepare for the disciples to join the Sage Hall immediately." Sage Douzhan got up and left, with a trail of his followers behind him.
Futian looked on as Sage Douzhan left, expectant and eager about finally reaching the Sage Plane upon entering the Sage Hall.
"My lord," a voice uttered from next to Ye Futian. Bowing, he said, "Zhuge Xing wishes to see you."
"Zhuge Xing." Futian's expression changed immediately. "Let him in."
"Yes, my lord." The servant retreated without another word.
Moments later, Zhuge Xing walked in, and with his hands clasped in front of him out of respect, he said, "As a superior noble myself, I request to join the Sage Hall." Zhuge Xing did not look too willing. Nowadays, to have a meeting with Ye Futian required prior notice, and he even had to bow when he approached Futian, yet Ye Futian had excluded Zhuge Xing when selecting people to enter the Sage Hall.
"You? I'd recommend you go back and continue your training." Giving Zhuge Xing the side-eye, Futian coldly rejected him.
Upon this remark, Zhuge Xing raised his head, unnerved. He already knew that Ye Futian did not like him, as Zhuge Xing himself used to go against him, but he was part of the Zhuge Family, after all. Where would Ye Futian be today without the Zhuge Family? Definitely dead.
"Ye Futian, I understand your prejudice against me, but for the Zhuge Family, don't think you can behave this way," Zhuge Xing asserted. "Don't forget what the Zhuge Family has done for you."
"Zhuge Xing, you're being presumptuous," Hua Fan quietly muttered beside him.
Ye Futian stared straight at Zhuge Xing and flatly retorted, "What the Zhuge Family has done for me? There is a difference between speaking of the whole family and the sole kindness of your father."
Back then, Zhuge Qingfeng had protected him, yet how had the Zhuge Family treated him? They would've handed Gu Dongliu and Ye Futian over if they could have. However, Ye Futian would not bear this grudge, after all, Zhuge Qingfeng was the clan leader of the Zhuge Family. Even so, how dare Zhuge Xing use the Zhuge Family's name as an excuse?
"What is the difference?" Zhuge Xing rebutted.
"If you weren't part of the Zhuge Family, do you think I would've met you today?" Ye Futian replied, turning to Hua Fan. "Hua Fan my brother, what is the punishment for disrespecting his elder and the palace lord?"
"There are not many rules and regulations within the palace, but respecting your elders and teachers is vital. For punishment, it would be appropriate to expel him from the palace," Hua Fan stated.
"Escort Zhuge Xing out of the palace," Ye Futian softly declared.
"Ye Futian, how could you?" Zhuge Xing convulsed in embarrassment and agitation.
"Leave. If you resist, your powers will be relinquished," Ye Futian said, unconcerned. A golden ape immediately stepped forward, forcefully dragging Zhuge Xing out. Zhuge Xing stared at Ye Futian in livid disbelief, his face completely white.
"You can make a complaint when you get back," Ye Futian remarked, before leaving, undeterred. Back then, Bai Ze and Ye Futian had decided not to take revenge on Zhuge Xing out of courtesy for the Zhuge Family. Yet, Zhuge Xing simply had to cause trouble for himself regardless.
At dawn on the following day, there was a passageway at the back of the Holy Sage Pavilion that led to the Sage Hall. On this momentous occasion, several lords and headmasters were present to witness the entering disciples.
Ye Futian, Hua Jieyu, the Sword Saint, Gu Dongliu, Zhuge Mingyue, Yu Sheng, Ye Wuchen, Huang Jiuge, and many others were standing at the entrance of the passageway, looking expectantly at the magnificent pair of gates at the end of the tunnel. They could almost make out the majestic temple beyond the gates, and of course, the sacred Sage Hall. Within that space, there were six different temples, each representing the six pavilions of the Sage Hall.
"Teachers, Uncle-Masters, the palace is in your hands now," Ye Futian said in Sage Douzhan's direction.
"Go on." Several of them nodded.
"As promised, we'll be out in a year," Ye Futian reassuringly stated, before following the footsteps of the other disciples, stepping into the sacred Sage Hall!
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