Emperor Li convened King Tiandao, Prince Regent, King White for a meeting, and the rest of the crowd gradually dispersed.
Li Yao walked to Yan Yuan and Ye Futian's side and said, laughing, "The Seventh Swordsman, just now if you had said yes, from now on you would have to call me 'brother-in-law.'"
"I hope Your Highness didn't mind," said Ye Futian.
Li Yao shook his head and said, "Of course not, since you are emotionally attached to Master's daughter. My sister Li Xiao is very unruly; if you had nodded, she would still cause a disturbance."
The Seventh Swordsman was such a proud person, and the first time he met with Li Xiao, the two had already had an intense confrontation. If Li Xiao married Jian Qi, the scene… must be quite horrifying. Li Yao guessed they could fight every day.
Ye Futian didn't say much. Yan Yuan, who was standing aside, cut in, "It takes a while for His Majesty and the Imperial Advisor to discuss issues. The Seventh Swordsman and I should return now, Your Highness."
"I will see you out, Elder Brother," said Li Yao.
"Please stay, Your Highness," said Yan Yuan respectfully. And then they returned.
Li Yao watched Ye Futian leave and had a thought in his mind: In the Battle of Empty Realm, Ye Futian of Emperor Xia's Realm was peerless, and no one on the battlefield dared to fight him; today the Seventh Sword was also unrivaled in Emperor Li's Realm. If both appeared on the battlefield, who would defeat the other?
The message he received recently was just about Ye Futian.
If Li Yao had known the two people that he was comparing were the same person, nobody could understand how he would feel.
Of course, they looked like two utterly different people. Ye Futian was good at using halberds, and the Seventh Sword was good at using swords. Li Yao had made close contact with Ye Futian several times, and he felt their life forces were completely different. Li Yao was smart, but he did not think they were the same person; the thought had never even occurred to him.
Anyway, who would suddenly think two completely different people were one for no reason?
It was said that after Ye Futian and others left the Imperial Palace, Li Xiao was furious in her palace, and claimed she would kill the Seventh Swordsman, who had embarrassed her so much. How could he reject the Emperor's betrothal in public? Did he think she didn't deserve him? She heard that the Imperial Advisor's daughter had a severe illness, could not see, and had to sleep all the time.
And his heart belonged to her? Was a princess not better than a half-dead patient? Wasn't it an embarrassment?
Even though the patient was the Imperial Advisor's daughter, it was an open secret. Nobody dared to mention it during the Court Meeting, but they all knew.
The people in Princess's Residence lived their lives in apprehension, but most people in the Palace enjoyed it as a farce. After Li Xiao was mollified, she would soon forget about it, but if the Seventh Swordsman had promised to marry her, she probably would still make a fuss.
Ye Futian wasn't even aware of all this; he didn't care what Li Xiao thought.
In Emperor Xia's Realm, Black Wind Condor was being beaten like hell.
While in the villa where the Cottage was located, on the back side of the mountain, the Sword Saint stood on the edge of a cliff in silence, his black clothes blowing in the wind.
Behind him, a person came and asked, "What are you thinking about, Brother?"
The person was the Cottage Villa Third Disciple Gu Dongliu.
"It has been 19 years," Sword Saint said abruptly.
However, Gu Dongliu understood what he meant. He walked to Sword Saint's side and nodded. "Yes, 19 years."
In Year 10004 of the Divine Prefecture Calendar, the peerless Princess Donghuang came to the Book Mountain of Eastern Barren Territory and took away Sir Du of the Cottage Villa.
Today was Year 10023 of the Divine Prefecture Calendar. It had been 19 years.
Others might not understand what Sword Saint meant, but Gu Dongliu understood it.
Too many things had happened over these 19 years. They had reached the height they'd never dreamt of before. They had experienced numerous trials. So many times, they had been on the edge of death, until they came to be who they were today.
Even so, it seemed they still had a long way to go.
The Sword Saint looked up at the sky dome and asked, "Dongliu, how high do you think the sky is?"
When people in the Lower Worlds looked up, what they saw was the sky; hen people of the Upper Worlds looked up, the sky was still there.
How high was the sky?
"Infinitely high," said Gu Dongliu.
"How far can we go?" asked Sword Saint again.
"Infinitely far as our hearts," said Gu Dongliu.
Sword Saint nodded, smiling. The sky was infinitely high, as the hearts, as the Paths.
Once upon a time, people called him a genius and said his state of mind was exceptional, that he could witness history.
He didn't care if he could witness history or not. What he cared about was nothing but when he could see Master and achieve his wish with him.
However, all seemed too far away. The more he thought, the more intangible everything seemed.
"Dongliu, I am going to enter the Saint Plane," said Sword Saint.
Gu Dongliu paused a second and grinned, saying, "That's great."
The Brother had finally made a breakthrough on that level.
Since he said he would enter the Saint Plane, he would make it. Gu Dongliu had no doubt, whether or not the Brother was a saint.
Sword Saint laughed. He reached out one hand. All of a sudden, demonic might pervaded the space, and in the roaring waves of demonic might, a demon sword gradually formed. All the might converged in his body, which made him bawl to the sky and earth.
"Even though it is infinitely far, I will chase after it." Sword Saint took a stride forward and lifted the Demon Sword into the air. Stronger demonic might kept rolling, growling, and merging into the sword. The Demon Sword greedily swallowed the terrifying radiance; an aura of force surrounded the whole villa.
People in the villa looked up in the sky. Yaya, Lapis Saint, and the Village Chief all looked at Sword Saint, who was soaring up in the mid-air as if he was attempting to touch the bound of the sky.
"Brother." Zhuge Mingyue, Luo Fan, Yi Xiaoshi, and Beitang Xing'er also caught sight of Sword Saint and looked toward the sky.
As Sword Saint rose higher, the demonic might also grew stronger.
The light of Catastrophe flickered above the upper sky. The storm and clouds turned dark as if the end of the world would come.
The sky transformed.
"His Catastrophe!" People in the Villa were in shock.
"Brother is entering his Saint Plane Catastrophe."
Zhuge Mingyue tucked her hair behind her ears using one slender hand; her eyes were crystal-clear and gorgeous when she looked toward the empty sky.
A Cottage Villa disciple would become a figure of the Saint Plane.
From now on, the Older Brother would become a Sword Saint in the true sense of the word.
If Master had been able to see the day to come, he must have been very happy.
Besides the Older Brother, Dongliu, and Ye Futian were also in the last stage of Sage Plane, and one day, they would experience this, too. Especially Ye Futian. He had caught up with everyone in cultivation. Maybe he would meet the master's expectation one day.
"Today is such a good day, Sister," Beitang Xing'er walked to Zhuge Mingyue and said.
On the first day of Year 10023, according to Divine Prefecture Calendar, the Older Brother entered Saint Plane.
Ye Futian would also be happy for his Older Brother if he had been here.
Black clouds loomed in the upper sky as if the demon catastrophe was about to come. Everyone's catastrophe differed depending on their cultivation styles.
The intensity of Sword Saint's catastrophe was much higher than the catastrophe of Douzhan.
The force seemed to be able to crush Sword Saint.
But no Cottage disciples doubted whether or not Sword Saint could pass this catastrophe. Just as what Master had said during the Cottage cultivation, although the Older Brother's talent was ordinary among all Brothers and Sisters, he continued to make steady progress.
Since he was experiencing the Saint Plane Catastrophe, he had completed all the required conditions.
It was an automatic outcome. Even though the Saint Plane Catastrophe might be a tough one, all disciples believed the Older Brother would overcome it.
The Sword Saint continued soaring up in the sky as if he was attempting to run into the Catastrophe of Law. The sword was held tight in his hand; the boundless reflection of catastrophe light dripped down from the sky.
Followed by an appalling thunder, the Catastrophe befell him.
Sword Saint raised his sword and heaved a heavy strike toward the Catastrophe. The Catastrophe was chopped up. Even the sky dome seemed to be torn apart.
The scene was like a thump on everyone's heart.
Soon, the Catastrophe converged again. Sword Saint put down his hand and the sword faded away. The light of Catastrophe fell upon him and washed across his torso.
The Catastrophe of the Law was dangerous, but it was a necessary path to becoming a saint; one could only become a saint by accepting the purification of the Law.
That strike was not aimed at destroying the Catastrophe. It was a manifestation of Sword Saint's fearless heart.
Even though heaven was infinitely high, the Path was infinitely far, he must rise up in person and see them with his own eyes.
Under the dome of the boundless Catastrophe, Sword Saint stood straight up in the air like a god. Even people far from the Villa looked up and watched toward the direction, full of awe.
In the Imperial Advisor's Residence, Emperor Li's Realm, at dusk Ye Futian heard from the Condor that the Older Brother had entered the Saint Plane. He woke up from the status of cultivation, and a grin spread across his face.
He stood up on his feet, eyes fixed on the sky.
Finally, a Cottage disciple set foot on the Saint Path.
The only pity was that Ye Futian was not in the Cottage to witness this historical moment.
Now the older brother had entered the Saint Plane. One day, Ye Futian would, too. So would the Third Brother.
They would all reach a higher place.
"What makes you so happy?" someone said in a soft voice. Ye Futian turned around and saw Fei Xue, who was facing him. She said, "I can sense how excited you are from a far distance."
"A happy thing, of course," Ye Futian said, laughing.
"Really? I heard in today's Court meeting His Majesty wanted to betroth Princess to you. If you were happy about this, you shouldn't have rejected it," Fei Xue said with a smile. "And when did you fall in love with me?"
"Ehh…" Ye Futian was very embarrassed.
Fei Xue smiled carelessly. She was able to sense emotions, so she knew Ye Futian was never in love with her.
Otherwise, he could not hide it in front of her.
"Why did you decline the Emperor's betrothal? Don't tell me you really have someone you love?" Fei Xue said, grinning. She suddenly wanted to know about Ye Futian's thoughts; it must be interesting.
Ye Futian heard Fei Xue's questions, and it felt like an icy needle was pricking his heart. Even after so many years had passed, he was still heartbroken whenever it came to his mind.
Fei Xue's smile vanished; she immediately realized her curiosity was not appropriate. She lowered her head and softly said, "I'm sorry."
She knew she asked a bad question.
"Never mind, it's not about you," Ye Futian said. He knew Fei Xue didn't mean to.
"I should go now. Please forget it and continue thinking about that happy things," Fei Xue said quietly and turned and left, worrying she would affect Ye Futian's mood.
Seeing her leave, Ye Futian shook his head with a bitter smile. How could he easily forget it since it had already come into his mind?
But the news that Sword Saint had entered the Saint Plane still made him happy from the bottom of his heart!
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