The Nine State Forum continued, and in the following battles, the Summer State took over as the dominant force in the forum stage.
Xia Yi of Xia clan overwhelmed Bai Yu from Yunmeng City of Cloud State.
Yi Jiuyang of Yi clan won against Song Chi of Fengdu House of Feng State. All from Ocean State and Feng State were eliminated by then, without a single participant left.
Yue Mengqi of Yue clan had also defeated Yue Yang of Yue House of Qi State.
Ye Guhong of Nine State College won in the challenge brought forth by Qi Haoran, a member of Qi clan, the old royalty of Qi State, showing unparalleled might and elegance.
Summer State won in all four of their battles, demonstrating their prowess as the number one state in all nine states.
Zhuge Yi of Jixia Holy Palace of Qi State had also demonstrated incredibly overwhelming prowess, defeating Tantai Bashan of Hundred Thousand Great Mountain of Cloud State.
Moluo of Luohou Palace had also brought incredible powers to bear by defeating Su Tu of Li Palace of Cloud State.
Chu Xiang of Great Chu clan walked out when Cloud State was down to last man standing, defeating Shi Yan of Holy Temple of Ten Corners of War State.
Every single battle was incredibly intense.
After those battles were over, only 12 were left in the top 24. Among those battles, as Yu Sheng had defeated both Zhou You and Hua Yunshu, there was then only one participant who had yet to fight.
That last person was none other than Hua Jieyu of the Barren State.
It was unknown if it had anything to do with Yu Sheng, but all who went up to choose their opponents avoided challenging Hua Jieyu. As such, Hua Jieyu became one of the remaining 12 at the end.
Two more battles and the top ten participants would emerge.
At that time, another figure walked out. It was Zhuge Yi of Jixia Holy Palace of Qi State. He had been the one challenged before. As such, he was able to pick his own opponent without having to wait for others.
"Who will you challenge?" the elder asked. Every single participant of the remaining 12 was tremendously powerful.
"No one from the Summer State has been eliminated so far, and I'd like to try them out." Zhuge Yi continued and said, "I challenge Yi Jiuyang, a member of the Yi clan of the Summer State."
The Nine State Forum was a grand event throughout all nine states. If the Summer State was able to take four places out of the top ten, it would reflect rather badly on the other states.
The pupils of all the spectators dilated somewhat. Yi Jiuyang was tremendously powerful.
But then again, Zhuge Yi was just as powerful.
Both of them stepped onto the forum stage. Bright flames burst from Yi Jiuyang's body. Suns seemed to have appeared on top of his head, making him look like a fire god.
A whirlpool of flames was found in all of those suns, and sun arrows appeared within the whirlpool, pointing at Zhuge Yi. At that moment, the light of the suns showered everything, despite both participants being so close to each other, making it seemed like the ground below was bathing in the light of fires. Zhuge Yi's body shimmered with light. Sizzling sounds were heard. He extended both arms. In an instant, rings of light spun and five ancient symbols appeared behind his back.
Metal, wood, water, fire, and earth! All five major ancient symbols turned into five beams of light, absorbing spiritual qi from the air in an instant. Furthermore, the power of the five elements in their surroundings seemed to have resonated with Zhuge Yi's body. The light from his body encompassed the entire forum stage as if he was able to mobilize the power of all five of those elements with his will alone.
"Life Spirit." Many turned to look on with peculiar looks. That was the very first time Zhuge Yi unleashed his Five Element Spirit. He had never even used the power of his Life Spirit in all of his previous battles.
"Five Element Spirit." Many great figures looked on feeling amused. There were many among cultivators who were versed in wielding multiple elemental powers. There were even those capable of wielding all elements including wind and thunder, aside from the five elements. But then again, being adept at wielding the elements and being born with Five Element Spirit were two totally different concepts.
The later was a type of physique.
Many looked at the corner where Jixia Holy Palace was assigned. Every one of the great figures of Jixia Holy Palace was looking at the scene with calm expressions. Zhuge Yi was the most powerful one in Jixia Holy Palace for the past century, making him a rare genius seen only once a century. Having a body born with five elemental powers meant that he was destined to become a saint.
Jixia Holy Palace had to bring Zhuge Yi along in that year's Nine State Forum.
That action alone said a lot, as they knew who would become the champion of that year's Nine State Forum. They believed, without a doubt, that it would be none other but Zhuge Yi.
"You people from Jixia Holy Palace have been hiding Zhuge Yi for so long. Now, you finally found the right time to unleash him," someone from Qi clan of Qi state said to the people of Jixia Holy Palace. They were both from the same state, and Jixia Holy Palace had been founded by the Qi Kingdom. As such, the Qi clan knew him better than others. Zhuge Yi had been training in Jixia Holy Palace for a long time, and yet the palace never let him outside on a pilgrimage. Even people from Qi State did not know what Zhuge Yi's true powers were like. The stage of the Nine State Forum was truly the first time Zhuge Yi went to train in the outside world.
"Divine birds do not cry for three years, and when they do, their cries will definitely shock all who hear them. Zhuge Yi had been spending so long training in Jixia Holy Palace, and he finally had to come out to the world to train," a mighty one from Jixia Holy Palace said calmly.
"So this is to say that Jixia Holy Palace is confident in taking the title of champion of this year's Nine State Forum then," a mighty one from the Hall of Holy Light said. Ji Hua from the Hall of Holy Light was a genius who was just as brilliant.
"The powers of the participating students in this year's Nine State Forum exceed those from three years ago. Let us wait and see," a mighty one from Jixia Holy Palace said calmly, and everyone nodded in silence. While the top ten had yet to emerge, everyone felt the same about the situation. The top ten participants of that year's Nine State Forum were more powerful than participants from all past events.
The battle had erupted on the stage. Beams of dazzling arrows shot at Zhuge Yi, who then performed mudras with his hands and conjured a ring of light, which turned into a golden disk spinning before him. Zhuge Yi went on to create further seals on the disk, making the disk burst in power all of a sudden. Patterns emerged on the disk, seemingly containing art of rules.
The arrows streaked through the air and collided with the disk, rattling it violently. Fearsome explosions were heard. Those arrows were apparently more than simple projectile attacks. They were imbued power of rules. However, the attacks proved inadequate to pierce the disk.
Yi Jiuyang's body turned to look even more massive all of a sudden. A silhouette looking a fire god appeared behind him, and countless arrows appeared, blocking out the sky and rained down his opponent.
Zhuge Yi cranked the powers of the risk up to ridiculous levels, but cracks continued to appear. However, Zhuge Yi continued to look calm. The five elemental symbols behind him burst with light looking even more brilliant, resonating with the powers of his surroundings and doors seemed to begin to appear before him. Every door was dazzling, and the marks in them surrounded the spaces around them.
Zhuge Yi waved his hand and the golden disk before him disappeared. He gestured with both hands and took control of the marked doors hovering in the air instead. Countless arrows streaked through the air intending to render everything before them to ashes, but Zhuge Yi looked very calm still, gesturing with both hands. The doors combined before him and formed a wall, extending to the skies. The sides covered the entire forum stage, like a godly door standing between the earth and the heavens, blocking everything in its path.
The thousands of arrows streaked through the air imbued with frightening power of penetration, violently shaking that godly door. However, the door shimmered with tremendously dazzling golden light and was impenetrable. It also unleashed a cold will capable of freezing everything before it, rendering all the arrows frozen, before cycling to flow with devastating fire of lava, melting all arrows into nothing.
"He is uncannily versed with the use of the Five Element Rules."
Everyone looked at Zhuge Yi. His eyes were closed and his black hair billowed in the wind. His handsome appearance shone with mystical light. His body hovered in the air as if he was one with his surroundings. Both hands waved around and the door moved again, splitting up into separate smaller doors again, flying towards Yi Jiuyang, zipping about before him and caging him within.
The aura around Yi Jiuyang grew even more fearsome. A regal silhouette of fire seemed to have merged with him. The fire god-like figure he had become struck with a palm attack, but the doors simply circled around him in a frenzy to avoid his attack. The doors soon stuck with one another once again, forming a tower and descended from above, intending to pin Yi Jiuyang down below.
Boom. A rumble was heard, and the boundlessly huge tower landed on the ground. Yi Jiuyang was trapped within, and fearsome noises of collisions were heard. It was apparent that he was attempting to break free, yet the power of five elements continued to rush into the tower, making the colors of the tower shift constantly and the change of the Five Element Rules unpredictable. Eventually, a voice was heard from within the tower, "You won."
Jiuyang apparently gave up the fight.
Zhuge Yi dispersed the tower with a thought and the doors dissipated.
Many turned their eyes at Zhuge Yi. He won the round very easily and his breath was completely still, without any unrest felt from within. It was obvious that he was having it easy. Zhuge Yi ended up kicked out one of the four mighty ones remaining from the Summer State, with his overwhelming power.
Yet another terrifying being, many thought. What will the clash between the top ten be like?
There were only eleven remaining by then. One more person being eliminated and the top ten would be decided.
"Who will fight in the last round?" the elder at the edge of the forum stage asked.
There were only 11 left behind on the vast stage. There were nine who were not allowed to be challenged, and thus did not need to fight any further to make it to the top ten.
At that moment, a person walked out, and many looked troubled upon seeing her.
Hua Jieyu of the Barren State.
She was the only one who had not fought in the rounds deciding the top ten. She might have made it to top ten without having to fight at all if she simply waited, but she walked out on her own instead.
It is a battlefield of the Nine Stage Forum. There is simply no meaning to winning without fighting. Ye Futian was not taking students to participate in the Nine State Forum to merely rank themselves, but to allow students to experience the true prowess of the mighty ones from other states. As Ye Futian himself put it, before the battles, he had no idea what the top-class geniuses of the other eight states were like.
Ye Futian smiled on the grandstands, seeing Hua Jieyu walk out. The outcome of the fight did not matter.
"I challenge Yue Mengqi of Summer State," Hua Jieyu said. They were both the only two adult women left on the stage of the Nine State Forum. Hua Jieyu chose Yue Mengqi of the Yue clan as her opponent in her quest to make it to the top ten.
Yue Mengqi stepped onto the battlefield. She was also a top-class beauty, cold and emanating an inviolable sense of beauty.
"Pleased to make your acquaintance," Hua Jieyu said with a bow.
"Likewise." Yue Mengqi returned the gesture. They both emanated incredibly power auras right after. Both unleashed their Life Spirits at the same time. A crown shone with dazzling light, a moon rose into the air, basking the ground below with its light.
Both participants were able to feel the other's tremendous spiritual will within that instant.
Hua Jieyu was a Divine Spiritual Sorcerer while Yue Mengqi was adept at sealing powers. Her spiritual will was equally as powerful.
The moonlight shone on Hua Jieyu's body. She was able to vaguely feel a powerful spiritual will power from within the light, isolating her from her surroundings and preventing her will from sensing her surroundings, intending to put a seal on the connection between her and her surroundings. As such, she was prevented from unleashing her powers altogether, regardless of how powerful she actually was.
Hua Jieyu's eyes looked deep and dark as terrifying telekinesis power emanated from within and wandered in the space around her. Streaks of lightning shimmered in the air and zipped across the space, blasting the moon. Slivers of formless power were blasted to pieces right there and then.
The moonlight continued to bask and shine around Hua Jieyu. Cold will struck and icy powers continued to form under her legs, spreading through her body. That was the power of the Seal of Cold, invading her body.
"A spiritual will that permeates everywhere?" Hua Jieyu's black hair billowed and brought greater telekinetic powers to bear. Streaks of lightning will power wandered around her surroundings. She looked up and blue light shone from her eyes. Countless bolts of lightning burst in an instant. The spiritual will around Hua Jieyu's body crumbled, and the sealing icy power stopped covering her body. Within Hua Jieyu's perception, there was simply no spiritual will power capable of getting to her through using sealing powers.
The moonlight being, Yue Mengqi, shone with an even more brilliant light and continued to rise, becoming a huge moon. Yue Mengqi's body melded with it, making her look like a goddess appearing in the moon. Moonlight of greater intensity shone, and countless ravens flew from within the moon, blocking out the sky, forming into storms of darkness as the moonlight continued to shine, making their surroundings looked dim and dark. Hua Jieyu felt her powers unable to pierce through, being isolated by the area encased in the moonlight.
The darkness shrouded the space around Hua Jieyu, and the ravens blocked out the sky. Hua Jieyu's body remained hovering in the air. The Crown Life Spirit continued to shine with dazzling light. She turned her eyes at the sky, and spiritual qi throughout the space coalesced at a certain point. Her powers were focused within that point at the same time.
An incredibly huge figure appeared before Hua Jieyu like an ancient god of lightning, filled with raging power of devastation.
Godly Creation of All Things was a power that had been passed down through the lineage in the Wanxiang Hall of the Sage Hall of the Holy Zhi Palace. It had been a power that Bai Luli had been most versed in years ago. Hua Jieyu was a spirit elemental type cultivator and she was also suited to learn Godly Creation of All Things, directing the powers of her surroundings with her spiritual will, taking the form of an ancient god of Wanxiang.
Countless ravens flew in an attempt to drown out Hua Jieyu, turning her surroundings pitch black, making it very difficult for even spiritual powers to penetrate. However, that ancient god of Wanxiang extended countless arms, each imbued with the terrifying power of lightning, which was also infused with incredibly powerful telekinetic powers.
The arms of lightning and the dark ravens clashed, penetrating the dark area. Bursts of lightning erupted in an instant, tearing the dark space apart. Hua Jieyu's body was then infused within the ancient god of Wanxiang, and lightning continued to flash around on the outside. The ancient god stepped out, and countless arms of lightning lashed out where Yue Mengqi was like whips.
The dark ravens were torn apart in a frenzy, and a frozen sky river appeared before Yue Mengqi, cutting off the space between them. But the whips seemed to be directly lashed out at Yue Mengqi's spiritual will, and the river crumbled.
The ancient god of lightning then shone with boundless flashes of lightning as it stepped through the air. Lightning of even greater intensity coalesced, and they grew incredibly powerful, spreading out throughout even the entire forum stage. The wandering power of lightning seemed to intend to cage Yue Mengqi within.
The sealing arts were directed using spiritual powers, but Hua Jieyu's attacks were directed at said spiritual powers, extending to even those attempting to keep her sealed. Yue Mengqi was then being suppressed by Hua Jieyu's powers.
Yue Mengqi took a look at the beautiful silhouette while sensing the telekinetic powers all around her. She then said, "Congratulations, you are qualified to make it to the top ten." The moonlight dissipated as soon as she finished. Hua Jieyu looked at her and rescinded all the telekinetic powers she had been spreading out in her surroundings. Her breath was rather unstable and she was being washed over by overwhelming exhaustion. In truth, it had been incredibly difficult for her to sustain herself in such a battle, as it was tremendously taxing to her spiritual powers. But she prevailed nonetheless. There were two from the Barren State making it to the top ten in the Nine State Forum.
Hua Jieyu turned around and looked at the grandstands where the people of the Barren State were assigned to, and she smiled brightly. Her beauty was stifling.
"You idiot." Ye Futian smiled, looking at Hua Jieyu.
With two participants from the Barren State making it to the top ten of Nine State Forum, no one dared question the powers of those from the Barren State anymore.
Hua Jieyu returned to where the Barren State was, and everyone turned their eyes to the remaining top ten.
Xia Yi and Ye Guhong of the Summer State.
Zhuge Yi and Ji Hua of Qi State.
Yaya of Eastern State.
Chu Xiang of Cloud State.
Wubei and Moluo of War State.
Yu Sheng and Hua Jieyu of the Barren State.
Participants from Feng State, Ocean State, and Yu State were all eliminated!
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