Guests filled the Xiao clan's manor, and the scene was extremely lively.
Old Man Xiao sat at the leading seat, and Xiao Sheng sat quietly, not far away below him. Many came to greet him, toasting him as a gesture of his send-off.
Xiao Sheng would have returned the gesture whenever people came to toast him, appearing amicable and humble. However, there was a tinge of indifference below all that amicability and humbleness.
That indifference felt rather alienating to many.
Many were able to sense that the young master of the Xiao clan felt rather different than before. His entire bearing seemed to have changed after making the breakthrough and becoming a saint.
Xiao Sheng used to be smooth and well-rounded, which made others feel congenial. He had once been silently proud underneath all that well-roundedness; however, at present, there was only that indifference.
He seemed to have held all those social rituals with little regard now.
Xiao Sheng, as he was now, had indeed come to put a lot of things down. The guests notwithstanding, he had come to hold little regard of what the clan itself thought of him.
Only one's training proved to be the most fundamental path in all paths of the world.
"Xiao Sheng." A gentle voice was heard at that moment. An elegant figure stood before Xiao Sheng, and it was none other than Gongsun Ni. She once had an engagement with Xiao Sheng. The Xiao clan and the Divine Cloud Valley had arranged a marriage alliance for them. However, that was voided after what happened during the incident in the Empty Realm.
"Congratulations on becoming a saint," Gongsun Ni smiled and said.
Xiao Sheng nodded and said, "I owe you for all that happened back then."
He did not hold any resentment against the Divine Cloud Valley for voiding their engagement after breaking into Saint Plane. That was a price he had to pay for what he did, and he had caused Gongsun Ni a lot of trouble.
Gongsun Ni smiled and said, "What's past is past."
She was able to tell that Xiao Sheng had put the past to rest, and he looked even more extraordinary than he used to now that he became a saint. There may have been a day where he would regain enough recognition to allow him to assume leadership of the Xiao clan.
Gongsun Zhong came to congratulate him as well. Gongsun Xuan—Gongsun Ni's younger sister—did not go to greet him. She asked her sister telepathically after Gongsun Ni returned, "Don't tell me you head over heels in love with him again now that he is a saint!"
Gongsun Ni glanced at her, and she continued, "What is done is done. I do not forgive him for all that."
Gongsun Ni did not say anything else. The scene remained lively.
Old Man Xiao took note of the attitudes of the guests, as well as Xiao Sheng's, feeling rather gratified. He hoped that Xiao Sheng would make something out of his time training in the army.
At that moment, however, Old Man Xiao looked outside of the Xiao clan's manor. Powerful aura was sensed closing in. A storm howled from the sky far away, heading straight for the Xiao clan's manor.
His will extended out there and quickly caught what was happening far away. His expression changed somewhat.
Old Man Xiao was not the only one who felt it. Other saints had also sensed what was happening, and all of them looked up.
A group of people descended from above and landed outside the manor. They were the people of the Cottage.
Ye Futian was at the forefront. He eyed the Xiao clan's manor as his silver hair continued to billow in the wind. He said, "Ye Futian, here to pay a visit."
He stepped forward as soon as he finished, entering the Xiao clan's manor. Yaya, the Glass Saint, the Sword Saint, and others were at his side.
One mighty one after another flashed about. The people of Xiao clan intended to stop them before hearing Old Man Xiao's voice.
The others all parted to make way for the group upon hearing that. Ye Futian and the others walked straight and came to where the banquet was being held, appearing before all the guests.
Someone murmured his name, and everyone eyed the silver-haired young man clad in white. He looked incredibly handsome, and even though he had yet to make it into Saint Plane, his bearing was comparable to Xiao Sheng's, so much so that he seemed to look even more extraordinary.
Ye Futian caused Xiao Sheng's downfall back in the day. He disappeared for quite some time after that, and then there he was, appearing before everyone again.
Furthermore, Ye Futian came right before Xiao Sheng was about to leave the Xiao clan's manor. What was he up to?
Based on what had transpired between Xiao Sheng and Ye Futian, no one present thought that Ye Futian was there to send Xiao Sheng off.
Furthermore, he had brought the Sword Saint of the Void with him, and one could easily feel that ready-to-fight tension within the group.
They were up to no good.
Ye Futian did not look at Xiao Sheng after he came but instead bowed to greet Old Man Xiao, saying, "Ye Futian, here to greet Senior Xiao."
Old Man Xiao nodded and asked, "May I know what business you have, bringing your people here?"
"I'd like to ask you a few questions, senior," Ye Futian said.
"Ask away," Old Man Xiao said.
"During the period where I seemed to have disappeared, I have made a trip to Dali Dynasty. Did you know that, senior?" Ye Futian asked.
"I learned of it as of late," Old Man Xiao responded.
"Someone tried to do something against the Holy Zhi Palace, then tried to harm two young women, almost killing them with poison while I was away at Dali Dynasty. Did you know that, senior?" Ye Futian asked again.
Old Man Xiao frowned and continued, "I heard that the incident was caused by someone who was infatuated with a young woman from the Holy Zhi Palace. His love turned into hatred before doing something crazy."
Xia Qingyuan had investigated Xiao Sheng due to that. There was no way he would not have known.
Ye Futian did not explain as he continued, "When I was at Dali Dynasty getting ready to return to Emperor Xia's Realm, someone sent a message to Li Yao, prince of Dali Dynasty, blowing my cover, almost killing me there. Did you know of that, senior?"
Old Man Xiao's expression worsened. He said, "I would say the same thing. I have only learned of that as of late. What are you getting at?"
"Since you already knew all that, senior, did you think it was all simply a coincidence?" Ye Futian asked again.
"The Princess is already looking into those matters. Whether they be coincidence or not, the Princess will find out," Old Man Xiao said.
"The Princess is half a member of the Xiao clan. There are things she knows well but is unable to do anything due to her relationship with the Xiao clan." Ye Futian continued, "As such, I'll be the one to do it.
"All of it has to do with Xiao Sheng."
"Ye Futian, Xiao Sheng was training here all that time, and there would have been no way he could have participated in whatever was happening outside. Watch your words," Xiao Qianhe, at the side, said coldly.
They were about to send Xiao Sheng off that day, yet Ye Futian showed up at the manor.
"Ye Futian, do you have any evidence that any of this has to do with Xiao Sheng?" Old Man Xiao asked coldly.
While the Princess trusted him and Emperor Xia had rewarded him as well, the Xiao clan was the clan where Queen Xiao was from. Ye Futian's actions looked incredibly unruly, and it seemed that he did not hold any respect for the Xiao clan.
Even the queen herself had agreed to let Xiao Sheng leave and train in the army.
"I'm here today to prove it," Ye Futian replied before turning his eyes to Xiao Sheng, who was sitting quietly. He then continued calmly, "You have stepped into Saint Plane, and since you wanted me dead so badly, I shall give you a chance to do so today. If you can win, it will be the end of the fiasco. The Princess shall no longer look into it, and I shall die."
Everyone present looked up, and their minds were rattled as they gazed at Ye Futian.
Is he nuts or something?
While his bearing was extraordinary, he was nonetheless at the Sage Plane, while Xiao Sheng was already a saint.
Ye Futian is about to fight Xiao Sheng? many wondered.
Furthermore, he is saying that he will let it all slide if he dies in battle?
Gongsun Zhong, Gongsun Ni, and the others from Divine Cloud Valley looked at that silver-haired figure, finding him to be crazy indeed.
Xiao Qianhe's eyes were gleaming as he glared at Ye Futian.
As for Xiao Sheng, he looked up and gazed at Ye Futian with a cold expression. He was getting ready to venture out to train to fight Ye Futian in earnest in the future. He never expected Ye Futian, who was still a sage, would challenge him, a saint.
"Ye Futian, watch your words. His majesty and the Princess trust you. The odds are stacked against you. If you die in battle, the Princess shall blame us for it," Old Man Xiao said coldly. Ye Futian appeared rather insolent.
Saints were saints, after all.
However, as soon as he finished, a powerful aura was sensed in the air. The Blue Phoenix sacred beast dove down, and many mighty ones descended from above. A voice was heard from the sacred beast, "Grandfather, I agree to this arrangement."
All eyes were drawn to the sacred beast that descended from above. Xia Qingyuan was right behind the beast. All of them felt shaken deep down.
So, even Xia Qingyuan thinks that Ye Futian is able to fight a saint, then?
Xiao Qianhe looked at Xia Qingyuan and felt speechless.
"Xiao Sheng, if you lose, then you shall give me the answer I seek. If you refuse, I shall seek it on my own," Ye Futian looked at Xiao Sheng and said.
Xiao Sheng looked at Ye Futian. He had broken into the Saint Plane, but Ye Futian actually wanted to fight him despite being a sage.
He turned to look at Xia Qingyuan, and it was apparent that Xia Qingyuan thought that Ye Futian, despite being a sage, was able to fight Xiao Sheng, a saint.
That was some level of trust.
He had made it through that chasm and broken the shackles in his mind, becoming a saint, yet that silver-haired young man continued to be as unruly as ever.
Xiao Sheng did not say anything. He rose up and stepped forward before flashing and shooting into the clouds, standing in midair.
Saintly aura shrouded the place at that moment. The will of the great path was extremely overpowering.
He looked down at Ye Futian below and said, "Come up, then."
Ye Futian took one look at the sky. His body was covered in dazzling brilliance as he stepped into the air. Both of them came to stand in the sky.
Countless rose up and looked at the sky at that very instant.
Xiao Sheng of the Xiao clan had broken into the Saint Plane.
Ye Futian, a sage, was about to fight a saint.
Xiao Sheng's eyes glanced at Ye Futian in midair. Powerful might of the great path expanded in an instant, seeping everywhere, and pressing onto Ye Futian. In that instant, Ye Futian felt as if Xiao Sheng had become one with the great path, and he was everywhere.
Xiao Sheng lifted his hand and grabbed at Ye Futian. The pressure of the great path pressed down in an instant. The palm of the great path descended from above, heading straight at Ye Futian.
Their surroundings rattled as the power of the great path seemed to be in Xiao Sheng's control. One thought was all it took for him to put all the powers in his surroundings to use. Stifling might of the great path pressed onto Ye Futian, and the palm print squeezed the space around him, preventing him from escaping.
The ones below saw the incredibly huge palm coming down right away in a direct, overbearing fashion.
Saints were able to shake their surroundings simply by lifting their arm.
Dazzling golden brilliance burst from Ye Futian's body at that moment. Matrix images materialized, and the might of the great path of all attributes circled about him. The power within him seemed to have resonated with the great path.
In that instant, Ye Futian's body seemed to have become a furnace of the great path, capable of refining the great path of the world around him, siphoning power into his physical body.
His body melded with the great path, and holy light shot up. His aura continued to climb and had gotten infinitely close to the Saint Plane.
It was the training method that the imperial advisor of Dali imparted to him—the Deed of Thorough Comprehension.
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