The turmoil within the Barren State had been resolved, and everything had gone back to its usual state.
As the seasons passed, time really had flown by. Ye Futian and the other disciples had already been in the Sage Hall for half a year. Within these six months, the many lords who had come to the palace had occasional gatherings where they would discuss how to let the disciples learn as fast as possible, as well as making a few scattered guesses on how well Ye Futian and the others in the Sage Hall were doing.
Within a year, the powerful Ye Futian should already have reached the Sage Plane. For the others who had already become superior nobles, they would at least have reached the higher levels of the Noble Plane and would hopefully comprehend the rules of maturity and become sages themselves. This was how they would be qualified to join the next upcoming Battle of Saints.
During the year of 10010 under the Divine Prefecture Calendar, Ye Futian and the others stayed within the Sage Hall. And when it became the year 10011, after going through one grueling year, the major forces of the Barren State were all eagerly anticipating a new era. The legendary figures had already made history. When the time was right, there would soon be new legends created.
Presently, as a few people were practicing before the great statue at the temple within the Holy Zhi Palace, a ruckus had started. Huang Jiuge and Yu Sheng were standing facing each other. A terrifying shadow slowly emerged from Huang Jiuge's body, moving towards where Yu Sheng stood. Similar to a demon, the shadow's overpowering energy absorbed all power around him, adopting the energy of the attacks as his own.
As a counterattack, Yu Sheng stepped forward, conjuring an indomitable shadow of his own. It raised a fist and sent a flying punch in the direction of the other, to which Huang Jiuge let out a cry and blasted unassailable energy in retaliation.
An earth-shattering loud clamor echoed throughout the space, shaking the ground. By then, more and more people came over to see what the commotion was for. Following the loud noise, Huang Jiuge backed away and said to Yu Sheng, "Cease-fire, cease-fire."
Yu Sheng nodded and instantly retrieved his conjured powers. The onlookers started laughing, while Xu Que said, "Huang Jiuge, aren't you known to be arrogant, why did you yield?"
"Do you want to try this yourself?" Huang Jiuge retorted.
"I won't fight," Xu Que said with his arms folded before his chest. To fight Yu Sheng would only result in disaster.
"The beginning stages of your rule powers are taking shape. All of you should take the time to get in touch with the energy of the Battle Sage Hall. If you try carefully and sense it, you will eventually find the underlying rule power hidden within yourself," Ye Futian said as he walked up to them. "For cultivators practicing spells and those under martial arts, there are differences. I predict that the martial arts cultivators will be able to shape the rule power's Dharma body. The masters have said before that the body is your temple. I'm wondering if the body itself is the manifestation of the rule power."
The battle form that the masters have imparted, was that a prior stage before having one's body as the main power itself?
Sensing the power of the saints in the Sage Hall, he had attained multiple revelations. His intuition had never been more acute since the masters' teachings, and he had been seeing more truths and realities during his Freedom Meditation sessions.
Huang Jiuge and Yu Sheng nodded. Both of them majored in martial arts, and other spiritual forms of cultivation were secondary to them.
"What's the progress with your own practice?" Zui Qianchou asked Ye Futian.
"Do you want to feel what it's like?" Ye Futian jokingly replied.
"Don't be too harsh," said Zui Qianchou, looking at Futian cautiously.
"Don't worry, I'll moderate it," Ye Futian said with a smirk, making Zui Qianchou a little uneasy.
"This is what I achieved from training at the main pavilion within the Sage Hall, combined with every other energy I've gained so far, fused into a single move. Feel this," Ye Futian said while looking in Zui Qianchou's direction. His voice dropped, and suddenly, all Zui Qianchou felt was tension around him; some sort of rule power surrounding him.
A subtle noise started to emerge, similar to the buzz of electricity. Following this, Ye Futian's eyes started to become incredibly strange, as purple lightning-like tendrils made their way into his eyes. As Zui Qianchou stared on, Futian's pupils started to resemble vortexes, and the tendrils were lightning rods indicating something dire was definitely to come.
Zui Qianchou's immediate thought upon seeing this was how dangerous this was and to flee. In cold sweat, he stood up but suddenly felt as if his whole body had been electrocuted. He writhed as his Spiritual Will suffered a large blow. In that moment, Qianchou felt his own Spiritual Will getting sucked into a deep spiritual vortex. His body continued to tremble in agony as his legs had started to give way.
"This is too far," Xu Que said sympathetically from the side. Right at that moment, Ye Futian retracted his rule power, smilingly looking at Xu Que, sending a chill down his back.
"I…" As Zui Qianchou tried to recover and was just about to burst out in anger, upon seeing Ye Futian blithely looking at him, he instantly shut his mouth.
In the future, he would never consider sparring or practising with Ye Futian again.
"The strongest candidates of the Sage Plane only have murderous intent. That's a fact. Although Ye Futian has not reached that plane yet, he is already more intimidating than the average sage, and his aggressive rule powers are exceptionally strong. For someone of a lower caliber, they'd definitely be defeated even by a single look, unless they're protected by another person of the same level," Huang Jiuge claimed, feeling a little helpless. To have attained the rule power of freezing space and then using Eye Sorcery to directly attack someone else's Spiritual Will, who in the world could defeat him?
"How were you able to do it?" Phoenix asked quietly from the side.
"Upon understanding, you'll unlock countless powers. If you follow the method I mentioned, concentrate on comprehending the energy of the Sage Hall, Spiritual Energy, and the body. In order to resonate with the worldly powers, you have to consolidate all your existing powers, and upon reaching a certain threshold, you'll find that it's not that difficult to discover more abilities. As you slowly breathe in and out, over time, the rule power will naturally arise within you," Ye Futian replied. "And also, the rule power I just used hasn't matured yet. If it had, I might have destroyed his Spiritual Will even as a passing thought."
The people around him stared on, speechless. It was definitely easier said than done.
"And why haven't you reached the status of a sage yet?" Xu Que asked, incredulous.
"My Spiritual Energy isn't very strong at the moment, I suppose. It'll come when the time is right, and I have a feeling that'll be very soon," Futian responded softly. "There's still half a year to go. If there is anything that any of you don't understand, we can figure it out together. Feel free to consult me, as well as Big Brother or Second Sister here. Jieyu has been cultivating alongside Second Sister recently and has improved tremendously. You could spar one another during training as well. I don't request all of us to leave the Sage Hall as sages, but I'd like all of us to at least have mastered the rule power, and not just the simple kind."
To master the rule power, reach the peak of the Noble Plane, and to integrate all their existing powers, wasn't an easy feat. Even Ximen Hanjiang, who was once at the top of the law rank, had never been able to do it. Considering these were Qin Zhong's standards as well, Ye Futian already had unattainably high expectations. However, this was the Sage Hall, and within a sacred place such as this, Futian's standards didn't veer far from Qin Zhong's. Since they could even consult one another, Futian naturally would expect more from them.
If they couldn't achieve this, how would they be qualified to engage in war against the Nine States and face the top geniuses within that region?
It was also this very reason why Futian felt he had to cast his powers onto Zui Qianchou in front of the other disciples. It wasn't to show off, but rather to trigger them and give them the motivation to improve their own powers.
"Alright, continue with your training," Futian said. The people around him gradually started to dissipate. They were a little unsettled as they knew that they were the first batch under Futian's rule to enter the Sage Hall. There was pressure for them to do well. They'd have to go beyond what they already mastered to truly reach the next step.
As time went on, a year had finally passed, and the day for Ye Futian and the other disciples to come out from the Sage Hall had arrived.
Outside the Sage Hall, the various pavilion lords and several seniors were already waiting to greet them. A long and magnificent path extended before them, where Ye Futian stood at the end. A row of people slowly walked behind him.
Ye Futian looked exceptionally different from a year ago, radiating an aura of confidence that even made him look a lot more handsome than before. The disciples around him also gave off a sense of exalted pride.
To witness this new confident generation, the various lords of the palace were filled with anticipation and pride. Over the past year, the clock at the Sage Hall chimed countless times. With every chime, it represented the recognition of the older generation as well. In the history of Sage Hall, there had never been a more magnificent sight.
"Masters, Uncle-Masters," Ye Futian cheerfully called out.
"Reached the plane?" Sage Douzhan inquired.
"Yup," Futian responded, nodding his head. By that point, he had already reached the Sage Plane several months ago and was considered a principal sage of the highest nobility.
Besides him, Yun Shuisheng was the first to reach the Sage Plane. She had been stuck at her previous plane for years prior, holding back her progress on purpose, as she intended to let her rule power mature first. This was to allow for a greater impact for her body and Spiritual Will upon crossing the threshold of becoming a sage. Huang Jiuge had also recently reached the Sage Plane. As for several others, they were still at the peak of the Noble Plane, but they would become sages soon enough!
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