Ye Futian's party returned to the city lord's office at Qianye City.
Ye Futian pondered the Star Plucking Saint's intentions during the return trip. He was still puzzled as to why the saint had done that.
From what Shen Jun had told Ye Futian, the saint was powerful enough to take the Flames of the Way away and the Saint Lord of Jiuyang wouldn't be able to do anything about it. The Star Plucking Saint's skill at transforming was peerless. No one knew if anyone in the Crimson Dragon Realm less powerful than the Renhuangs would be able to capture him alive.
Regardless, the Renhuang-level Flames of the Way were theirs. However, it was the backing of Emperor Xia's Realm that had allowed him to pull what he'd pulled. It would have been nearly impossible for him to bring those flames back with him otherwise.
The Xi clan would have been the first to get in his way.
Ye Futian looked for Shen Tianzhan after he returned to the city lord's office to talk to him about it. He asked, "Do you have any idea what the Star Plucking Saint was actually up to?"
Shen Tianzhan was at the same level as the Star Plucking Saint. He might be able to share some insights about the enigmatic saint.
However, Shen Tianzhan simply shook his head and said, "The Star Plucking Saint has always kept to himself. No one knows what he is up to. But then again, I have heard that he once went to the Ancient Imperial City intending to steal something, but he failed. Furthermore, it is said that there is a very high possibility that he was injured in the fight with the Ninth Servant. As for the flames, do you mind if I take a look at them?" Shen Tianzhan said.
Ye Futian nodded and took the Flames of the Way out. Terrifying heat radiated from them and swept all over the place. The light of the flames shot to the heavens.
Shen Tianzhan's pupils dilated slightly as he sensing the will of the great path within the flames. He then said, "Put it away."
Ye Futian put the flames away. Shen Tianzhan continued, "The flames were something left behind by Emperor Kua. If you're able to internalize the flames, you will be able to head to the Nine Tribes of the Kua and have the chance to enter the territory of Emperor Kua."
Ye Futian was puzzled after hearing Shen Tianzhan's words. He asked, "So you're saying that there are other uses for the flames? That they allow passage into a Renhuang territory?"
He recalled the moment right after he'd acquired the flames when Zhuo Xu of the Black Flame clan had asked if he could take a look at the flames.
Zhuo Xu was a descendant of Renhuang. The Black Flame clan was a top-notch force. This meant that Zhuo Xu had been able to figure out a thing or two about the flames, driving him to make such a seemingly stupid request.
Ye Futian had not bothered with him back then.
"Indeed." Shen Tianzhan nodded and said to Ye Futian, "The Flames of the Way of Emperor Kua appear once every few years. There is rarely more than one wisp of the flames to be found at a time. However, many would have appeared at the same time in the Crimson Dragon Realm. All the top-notch forces throughout the realm were out to get them secretly. Some groups obtained some and then lost them before they were able to do anything. Some traded them away to make extreme profits. In the end, a handful was taken away for training purposes, while the rest were used to gain access to the Nine Tribes of the Kua."
"And I just happened to pick this up for free?" Ye Futian asked.
Shen Tianzhan looked rather puzzled by the question. He'd indeed been lucky in an eerie, unnerving way. He wondered if the Star Plucking Saint had indeed set up the events to play out this way.
"The Saint Lord of Jiuyang probably decided to not turn hostile against you because of your identities and backgrounds. But having lost the flames to you, the Xi clan will try to get the flames elsewhere," Shen Tianzhan said. After all, Ye Futian was not the only one in possession of flames left behind by Emperor Kua.
The flames had appeared all over the place in the past.
"Where are the nine tribes?" Ye Futian asked.
"They are found in the western regions of Crimson Dragon Realm. That place used to be the territory of Emperor Kua. The current nine tribes are nine of the major forces in Crimson Dragon Realm. They are all very powerful. They're like our cities here," Shen Tianzhan elaborated.
Ye Futian nodded. Forces that had once served directly under the Renhuang territory would undoubtedly be extremely formidable.
"Seems like there will be secret fights over the flames starting in the Crimson Dragon Realm again. We'd better watch ourselves out there," Shen Tianzhan said. Despite what he'd said, the people of Crimson Dragon Realm would hesitate to make a move against them. However, it was still prudent to be cautious.
Many would guess that Ye Futian had gotten his hands on Flames of the Way of Emperor Kua. Even Zhuo Xu had begun to have his suspicions.
"Will do." Ye Futian nodded. He had no intention of leaving Qianye City just yet.
"Try and see if you can do anything with the flames. I've heard that the flames pick their masters," Shen Tianzhan said.
"Alright." Ye Futian nodded and left.
Ye Futian went to a training ground and temporarily sealed the place off. He then took out the flames. They began to warm the entire place with their scorching heat within mere moments, filling the entire space. A scorching aura of extreme intensity swept throughout the place.
Ye Futian closed his eyes and extended his holy will into the flames as, melding with it. His will circled the flames and sensed the powers within. He then seeped into the flames properly, bit by bit.
Ye Futian sensed the flames' terrifying will of devastation within a split second. He felt as if his will was about to be burned to cinders.
The Flames of the Way were, in truth, something materialized from the will of the great path. The flames had been conjured without any will of attack. However, he nonetheless still felt as if his will was about to be reduced to nothing just by getting near the flames.
Ye Futian did not try to work on it. Holy light sparkled at the center of his brow. His body was then bathed in divine essence and became extremely brilliant.
Divine imperial will shot out and entered the flames, sensing the might of the flames from within.
Ye Futian was immediately able to sense an extremely elegant and magnificent image.
A god-like silhouette stood tall and proud beside the sun high above. He seemed to be devouring the fires of the sun. The celestial body, which hung high in the sky, burned with true fires, melding with the body of the god of war. The god of war's eyes turned even more brilliant than the sun. It was as if one look from him could make the world burn.
In comparison, Ye Futian discovered just how insignificant and weak his sun Life Spirit was. It was no wonder that other cultivators had gained abilities to communicate and manipulate the world around them when they reached the Saint Plane or even the Renhuang Plane. They had forged their ways and methods into their Life Spirits which could then be passed down to the later generations. When one reached such plane levels, they transcended. The ability to absorb the fires of the sun was extremely formidable and overwhelming on its own.
The abilities of those trained by the Xi clan were similar. It was no wonder that they wanted the flames back so badly. It must have caused them quite a bit of heartache to part with those flames.
As he sensed all of this, the will of the great path in the flames shot into Ye Futian's will and melded with it. At that very instant, the holy brilliance of the Renhuang showered onto Ye Futian's body. It was as if he had earned the approval of the flames.
The flames ceased to hurt Ye Futian directly. He began to try to internalize the Flames of the Way into himself, sensing and absorbing the powers within.
Others were incapable of learning such overpowering ways of training. They would only be able to slowly communicate and work with the flames. No one else could bash into it as he could.
He spent quite a long time afterward training in isolation, internalizing the flames and attempting to forge his own.
It was not that he would be training with the very flames that he worked with and internalized. Depending on his level of comprehension, he would be able to create a new one that belonged only to him.
Everyone was capable of comprehending the experiences of those who came before them, but their training had to be uniquely their own nonetheless.
Someone arrived at the city lord's office of Qianye City while he was training, claiming that they wanted to trade for the flames. None of them thought that Ye Futian would train in the powers of the flames, so they thought that the flames would be of little use to him. They hoped that they would be able to get the flames at a high price, but their proposal was rejected right away.
Other than the scuffles and skirmishes that broke out time and again between the top-notch forces in Crimson Dragon City, hardly any clashes occurred. It was as if the fight for the flames was taking place in secret. But then again, none of that had anything to do with Ye Futian.
Shen Tianzhan came looking for Ye Futian one day and told him a piece of news. Many of the top-notch forces in Crimson Dragon City and the surrounding cities were departing.
Ye Futian also decided to depart right away and make the trip with Shen Tianzhan.
The territory of Emperor Kua consisted of ruins left by Emperor Kua. There was no way he would miss seeing it.
A city known as Emperor Kua's City was located in the western regions of Crimson Dragon Realm. The old city had once been the residence of Emperor Kua.
The nine tribes who served Emperor Kua were tasked to stand guard around the city.
Emperor Kua's City had recently become extremely lively. People of the top-notch forces from all over Crimson Dragon City were going there. The people of the city could guess why they were there.
Emperor Kua's City had a rustic feel to it. Emperor Kua's Castle stood within the city. There was a skyscraping statue of Emperor Kua basking in boundless fires right in front of the castle. His likeness stood tall and proud, looking very alive.
Mighty members of the Xi clan, who had recently fought Ye Futian over the flames, were one of the forces found there. Xi Chan was there as well.
After the flames were taken away by Ye Futian, the Xi clan paid a great price to get themselves another wisp of the flames of Emperor Kua before coming to the city.
Xi Chan stood before Emperor Kua's statue and displayed the Renhuang will about her. They were many around who extended invitations to her. All of them were members of the nine tribes that had once served the emperor.
Ye Futian and Shen Tianzhan were there as well. Shen Tianzhan learned a lot about the matter and explained quite a bit about the ruins of Emperor Kua on their way to the city.
In addition to Ye Futian, there were many people from other forces there as well. The Chang clan of Jianmu City was there too.
Mighty figures from Flaming Prison City and Crimson Cloud City were also present.
Ye Futian was wondering just how many wisps of the Flames of the Way Emperor Kua had developed.
"Go. Getting into the ruins requires support from the nine tribes, and their powers complement each other. The nine tribes are not of the same level. They often compete with each other. I have introduced the tribes to you before. It'd be best for you to work with the strongest tribe," Shen Tianzhan told Ye Futian telepathically. Ye Futian nodded and walked up to the statue of Emperor Kua. Holy light shrouded his body. He looked as if he was basking in divine, fiery light.
"And you are?" Many pairs of eyes turned toward Ye Futian.
"Ye Futian, City Lord of Qianye," Ye Futian replied.
The people nodded at once. Those of the nine tribes stared at him, seemingly watching him while weighing their options. They were wondering if Ye Futian was someone worth extending their invitations to.
They had naturally paid attention to news from Crimson Dragon City. Ye Futian of Qianye City hailed from Emperor Xia's Realm, but they knew little of his powers. They knew only that he had defeated Shen Jun, son of Shen Tianzhan. He had also killed the young palace lord of the Bliss Palace. However, those achievements hardly seemed worth mentioning.
At the very least, he appeared to pale significantly in comparison to Yu Sheng, who had participated in the Battle of Crimson River. That was why the tribes were wondering if Ye Futian was someone worth betting on.
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