Ye Futian then began to train in isolation once he returned to the Cottage Villa. There had been changes to his state of mind once he decided to give up at Dali Imperial City.
The imperial advisor and Yan Yuan sent him off later, escorting him to the Nine States. Ye Futian's mind was opened up, and he came to develop an even more significant comprehension of the world around him. It seemed as if there were signs of a breakthrough in that space measured in square inches. As such, he sensed that he was not far away from attaining sainthood.
It was probably because he had not arrived at the pinnacle of Sage Plane for long, and his plane had yet to stabilize, that he was unable to make the breakthrough right away.
Everyone came to different realizations when they broke into Saint Plane, after all. There was a myriad of ways of practice throughout the world, yet all led to the path heading towards sainthood.
Time flew, and several months had passed.
The silver-haired figure clad in white sat cross-legged at the mountain behind the villa. Mystical aura ebbed about him, and his entire being seemed to glow with a holy sheen.
At that time, Ye Futian's eyes were shut. He felt as if his will permeated the world around him, making him feel as if he was traveling through the void, and that his will had melded as one with the world around him.
Will of the great path flowed around him, and there were people behind him who were watching him.
Both Yaya and the Glass Saint were there.
Ye Futian became shrouded by holy light at that moment. Yaya and the Glass Saint were able to clearly sense's Ye Futian's will in their surroundings, touching the wills of their own. It was a mystical feeling, and only saints were capable of emanating such a mystical feeling.
Yaya and the Glass Saint both knew that Ye Futian was getting increasingly close to the Saint Plane. All he had to do was to wait for his plane to stabilize. When his plane reached the true pinnacle, and his will was able to communicate without hindrance, that would be the day he made the breakthrough.
The Sword Saint back then knew that he was about to make a breakthrough, as some people were able to sense something when a cultivator around became able to make the breakthrough without fail.
It was the same with Ye Futian. He came to have the same feeling about himself. It meant that the distance between where he was and the Saint Plane was no longer that of a chasm nor even a barrier; he was simply one thought away from it.
That was how it had been with Wang Chuan back then. He knew that he was only one step away, and it was not a step in terms of plane but a step in terms of state of mind. That was why he was able to make the breakthrough into Saint Plane through the battle with Ye Futian.
The Sword Saint watched Ye Futian train from afar. Gu Dongliu, Zhuge Mingyue, and the others stood by his side.
"Our little brother is not far away from Saint Plane. He should be able to make the breakthrough soon," the Sword Saint said. Gu Dongliu smiled and said, "So, our little brother is going to break into Saint Plane before I do. It seems like the trip to the Dali Dynasty did a lot to elevate his state of mind."
"Indeed." The Sword Saint nodded. They came to know something about what happened in Dali Dynasty.
While Ye Futian was training, the weather changed above the Xiao clan's manor. Terrifying clouds of calamity actually gathered above.
Countless in the Xiao clan looked up, and their minds were shaken.
"Who is the one making the breakthrough?"
Countless were confused. It was the Divine Path's Ordeal.
Who is it that was about to break into the Saint Plane in the Xiao clan's manor?
Elders flashed, and their wills were felt all over the place. They turned their eyes in one direction.
It was a compound in the Xiao clan's manor that was almost forgotten at the time. Few paid attention to that place.
The one who had once been known as the number one genius among the younger generations in the Xiao clan lived in that compound of the manor. It was none other than Xiao Sheng, who had once been known to be one of the handful of extreme, top-notch geniuses known as the Edge of Pinnacle below Saint Plane. He had been nurtured as the future leader of the Xiao clan.
However, the incidents that happened with him as of late caused Xiao Sheng's status to fall in the Xiao clan. Many had begun to slowly forget that genius who was known as Edge of Pinnacle below Saint Plane, thinking that his future was no more. The royal palace no longer liked him, and his clan no longer bothered to nurture him. His state of mind would have been affected, hindering his path in cultivation.
But then again, just as Xiao Sheng was about to be forgotten, he was visited by the Divine Catastrophe.
Xiao Sheng was actually about to make the breakthrough into Saint Plane.
The people in Xiao clan's manor were shaken. Even Old Man Xiao took to the air, looking where Xiao Sheng was. The light of catastrophe of the Great Path rained from above at where Xiao Sheng was. An intense rumbling was heard. It was as if it was doomsday right there.
Xiao Qianhe flashed and came to Old Man Xiao's side. He looked in that direction as well. He was just as shaken deep down.
Xiao Sheng was actually about to make the breakthrough into the Saint Plane under such circumstances.
"His state of mind should have been affected, yet he was able to reverse the flow and make the breakthrough. What happened to him?" Old Man Xiao sighed. He had doted on that grandson of his, as he was chosen as one of the candidates to take over the leadership of the clan. It was due precisely to having high hopes for him that he had been made to enter Emperor Xia's Palace and was put at Xia Qingyuan's side to train.
"He should have had a challenging time as of late." Old Man Xiao felt pity for him at that moment.
Xia Qingyuan was, for better or worse, Xiao Sheng's cousin. However, she placed him under house arrest for Ye Futian's sake. It almost robbed Xiao Sheng of his freedom, despite having no evidence for their suspicions.
That, coupled with how the clan had been treating him since that incident, meant that Xiao Sheng seen his darkest times.
Yet, Xiao Sheng was able to make the breakthrough under such circumstances nonetheless, which made the breakthrough all the more rare and precious.
Perhaps the clan had been too harsh towards him?
What happened to Ye Futian later had nothing to do with him after all.
The raging Divine Path's Ordeal continued to rain down on him. Every beam of light seemed to be striking on the minds of the people of the Xiao clan.
"Qianhe, do you think we should give Xiao Sheng another chance?" Old Man Xiao asked.
Xiao Qianhe was dumbfounded. He knew that the matter had something to do with Xiao Sheng. However, Xiao Sheng was his son. As such, when Old Man Xiao said that, he was apparently moved.
If the old man was willing to vouch for him, then there was still hope to turn things around.
Xiao Sheng might be able to rise again.
Queen Xiao was Xia Qingyuan's birth mother, and the old man was Queen Xiao's birth father.
If the old man is willing to vouch for Xiao Sheng, then little sister would have to yield one way or another, no?
Even Emperor Xia would have to give face to his father-in-law, after all.
If they were able to prove that Xiao Sheng had no part in the incident, then the case would be settled, and Xiao Sheng would have had a chance to rise again.
"If you're willing to give him a second chance, father, I'm sure he will make good use of it," Xiao Qianhe said.
Old Man Xiao did not say anything and continued to look where Xiao Sheng was. The Divine Path's Ordeal continued to rain, and the beams only dissipated a short while later until they were all gone.
One figure after another flashed and went to his side. Old Man Xiao came to the sky above and cast his gaze there. In that broken ruins of a compound, slivers of holy light were seen coursing about Xiao Sheng's body. He had achieved metamorphosis after braving the ordeal.
"Xiao Sheng, it is extremely commendable that you were able to rise above the bonds of your state of mind and make it into Saint Plane. You will be able to serve his majesty after becoming a saint. I'm willing to vouch for you to the queen and have you train within the army. What do you think?" Old Man Xiao asked.
Xiao Sheng looked at Old Man Xiao and said, "I'll leave it to you, grandfather."
"Right." Old Man Xiao nodded and said, "Do you have any wishes or anything that you'd like the clan to do for you?"
Xiao Sheng turned his eyes around and shook his head. "No."
He was a cultivator. Eventually, only cultivation mattered. He had once chased after fame, benefit, power, and status, wanting to become someone of importance, someone that Xia Qingyuan would have held in high regard, but his priorities had actually been upside down.
He got nothing in the end.
At that moment, he no longer cared what his clan, the authorities, and even Xia Qingyuan thought of him.
As for Ye Futian, he would someday fight the man in earnest.
"Good." Old Man Xiao nodded satisfactorily. Being able to make it to the Saint Plane was a testament to some things, among them being that Xiao Sheng had seen through it all.
He was getting ready to have Xiao Sheng distanced from the center of political power in Emperor Xia's Realm. That way, it would have invited less trouble, and it would have probably allowed him to dedicate himself better to his training.
There might be a day where a top-notch figure was to emerge from the Xiao clan.
His actions were considered to be one giving a chance to Xiao Sheng, and he was hoping that the young man would not let the Xiao clan down again.
The news of Xiao Sheng becoming a saint rocked things. There was news about Old Man Xiao visiting the royal palace and met Queen Xiao.
The queen allowed to have Xiao Sheng train in the army. That news astonished many. From the looks of things, it seemed that Xiao Sheng had truly seized the opportunity to turn himself around by becoming a saint.
If he proved to be excellent enough, he might just have been able to return there one day, standing at the center of the Xiao clan yet again. The punishment of forbidding him from entering the palace might even be revoked someday.
After the matter was settled, the Xiao clan was getting ready to give Xiao Sheng a send-off as he left the clan to join the army.
Many of the adjoining forces of the Xiao clan came to pay them a visit that day. Some other forces acquainted with the Xiao clan, like the Divine Cloud Valley, paid a visit to the manor to see Xiao Sheng off.
Despite not having deliberately sent out invitations, guests swamped the manor of the Xiao clan on that day. All of them showed up at their own volition. Judging from how Old Man Xiao went to the royal palace to vouch for Xiao Sheng and how Queen Xiao allowed him to join the army, it seemed that there were signs that Xiao Sheng had regained the trust of the Xiao clan. The queen was willing to give him another chance.
As such, many were willing to show up at the send-off.
Xia Qingyuan stood on a tower in her place at Emperor Xia's Palace, gazing far away.
The wind blew at her clothes, and yet, she remained standing unmoving, like a statue, sighing deep down.
From her understanding of Ye Futian, the man would not just let things slide like that.
He already told her that whatever she, a princess, found inconvenient to pull, he would do it in her stead.
At that moment, the Xiao clan was about to send Xiao Sheng off, and Ye Futian would show up.
"Let's head to the Xiao clan's manor," Xia Qingyuan stepped forward and said.
At that moment, Ye Futian, who was training in the Cottage Villa, opened his eyes. Slivers of holy light coursed about him. Despite having yet to become a saint, he was extremely close to making the breakthrough.
He rose and turned around. Many were looking at him at that moment.
Xiao Sheng had become a saint, and the Xiao clan was giving him a send-off. The news of his departure would reach the villa as well.
Ye Futian cast his gaze far away.
You're a saint now, huh? he thought.
Do you think you can just wipe everything you've done away now that you're a saint?
He stepped forward. His silver hair billowed in the wind, and his deep eyes were devoid of emotions. There was only one plain line heard from him.
"Head to the Xiao clan's manor and give Xiao Sheng a send-off!"
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