Things calmed down as the news of what had happened at the Realm Emperor's Palace spread. Even after these things happened, the palace was still standing, and was, in fact, even more prosperous than before. Many people could faintly guess what was going on.
But those who had actually been present for the events kept their lips sealed, and no one brought them up. The Sky River Great Elder did not ask about anything that had happened. He seemed to have been badly shocked, and gradually people stopped trying to guess what had happened to him. Moreover, since he did not ask about outside affairs, the Realm Emperor Palace soon became an invincible force within the Tianhe Realm.
But now the Realm Emperor Palace's power was called into question. Qi Xuangang's questioning voice still rang through everyone's ears. The Realm Emperor Palace had thoroughly sold out the Sky River Great Elder. By extremely despicable means they had been allied with him on the surface, while secretly working with the Shen Clan in order to wipe out his disciples.
Duan Qing had certainly deserved to die. He had done everything for the benefit of his family, but what about all those who had died as a result of his actions?
However, winners wrote history books. Even though people knew of the Realm Emperor Palace's treachery, they still stood at the peak of the Tianhe Realm, so no one dared to say anything.
Presumably, they had always been afraid of the Sky River Great Elder.
They had not done anything about Duan Qing's death.
As time passed, fewer and fewer people were talking about these events. Ye Futian spent his time cultivating on the mountain.
The Deed of Thorough Comprehension contained the will of the five elements and the eight trigrams, making it extremely mystical. It even allowed one to use these powers in their own cultivation. This was incredibly useful to someone like Ye Futian, who cultivated many different techniques.
Moreover, the Deed of Thorough Comprehension was connected to the Worldly Great Path. Just like the people of the Tianhe Realm wanted to become the Sky River Great Elder's disciples and get closer to him, the Deed of Thorough Comprehension allowed one to get closer to successfully forging a spirit of the Way and rush towards the Renhuang plane.
Ye Futian cultivated day by day, and his understanding grew deeper and deeper. He felt that it would not be long before he reached the next level. His divine spirit was integrated into the Worldly Great Path. He was one with the Way. He had no personhood nor self, no possessions, nor self-image. He was the Way.
He was being raised to a higher level. This was why, although the next level seemed to be only a step away, it was a very difficult step to take.
The 10,034th year of the Divine Prefecture Calendar gradually drew to a close. Ye Futian had been here for almost a year. It began to snow in Tianhe City, and for many days, the city was covered in a blanket of white, making it look magnificent.
The mountain that Ye Futian was on became snowy as well. The land and sky around him became even more ethereal.
Upon the snowy mountain, an elderly man was training a woman in the art of cultivation. The two of them were very serious about this.
Naturally, this was the Sky River Great Elder and Ping'an. She had been advancing very quickly under his tutelage. She was already very talented. After all, the blood of the foremost Sword Emperor of the Tianhe Realm flowed through her veins. Thus, she was naturally skilled at swordsmanship.
Xu Ping'an was training with the sword amidst the snow. The Sky River Great Elder watched her calmly. His gaze gradually lifted into the sky. He whispered, "It's been almost 50 years."
"What has been almost 50 years, Master?" came a voice. A white-haired figure strode towards him through the snow, leaving footprints behind him. He was dressed all in white. It was as if he was a part of the snow. Only his eyes were dark.
Ye Futian strode to the Sky River Great Elder's side, and the two of them watched Xu Ping'an train.
"How is your cultivation going?" the Sky River Great Elder did not answer Ye Futian's question, instead asking a question of his own.
"I will not need too much longer," said Ye Futian. He had a feeling that he was not far away from full comprehension.
"Ah. Well, if you have an epiphany, don't rush yourself to break through to the next level. Don't become a Renhuang for the time being," said the elder.
"Why?" A look of doubt came over Ye Futian's face. What did he mean?
He had told him to rush towards the Renhuang plane, but not to actually enter it.
"Didn't you ask what had been almost 50 years? Something is going to happen next year," said the Sky River Great Elder.
Ye Futian was silent for a moment, then nodded. He did not ask anymore.
"How old are you, Futian?" the Sky River Great Elder asked curiously.
"I will be 50 this year," said Ye Futian.
"Exactly 50?" asked the Sky River Great Elder.
Ye Futian nodded. "Yes." Without realizing it, he had reached the age of 50. If he had been a normal person, he would already be old.
"What a coincidence," said the Sky River Great Elder with a smile. He did not say anything else.
Ye Futian did not know what the Sky River Great Elder was speaking of. He did not say anything else, and Ye Futian did not ask.
Ye Futian sat down, right on the snowy ground beside the Sky River Great Elder. He watched Ping'an training before them.
Although she was at the Noble level, she still seemed like a little girl in his eyes. This must have shown a change in his state of mind. In the past, he had looked at Nobles as if they were so high above him. He thought they could be rulers of their own small countries.
Now when he looked at them, they seemed like his juniors. He could not quite express the feeling this gave him, but it was only natural that this should happen.
And in reality, he was only 50 years old. In the past, many Nobles had been much older than that.
This showed how his state of mind had gradually changed. Even though he was only 50, he had much more experience than most people his age. He had even lived a more colorful life than some people who were several hundred years old.
Fifty years of cultivation. He had come from the smallest mortal world all the way to the peak of the 3,000 Realms of the Great Path, the Supreme Realm. Every step had been sure and steady, and he had experienced so much. His state of mind was probably better than those old men who were hundreds of years old.
"You are still watching Ping'an cultivate," came the Sky River Great Elder's voice from behind him, bringing him back to the present.
Ye Futian nodded slightly. His gaze was still upon Ping'an, watching her train with the sword. His eyes softened. It was as if he was watching his own junior. Ping'an was indeed his junior. He knew that the Master felt a great deal of guilt towards Ping'an. She was the last member of the former Sword Emperor of the Tianhe Realm's bloodline.
Snowflakes filled the air. Although her sword will was full of murderous intent, Ye Futian could still feel the beauty of her swordsmanship. As she trained in the snow, her sword cut through flying snowflakes. Ye Futian watched her, once again falling into distant memories.
He thought of when he was young. The snowflakes that filled the air seemed to pull him back to decades long ago. When he was still young and cultivating at Qingzhou Academy, Yu Sheng had been there, as well as Jieyu, Qin Yi, and Master Hua Fengliu.
He would never forget that time. It seemed so wonderful when he remembered it now.
He also thought of Donghai City, of the Cangye Kingdom, of the Eastern Barren Territory, of Book Mountain, and of the Cottage.
More figures appeared in his mind: Yi Xiang, Ye Tianzi, Mr. Du, forming scenes from his memories. These memories were imprinted in his mind, and he would never forget them. Thinking back on them now, it was like they were happening right before his eyes. That was how beautiful they were.
At this moment, Ye Futian was very relaxed, more relaxed than he had ever been before. He had not felt like this since he had come to the Supreme Realm because he had so much on his plate and had experienced so much. Just this year, he had seen his Master get taken away, and who knew what kind of effect that had had on him?
He had been silent at the time, so only he knew what he had been feeling.
The wind blew, and snowflakes fell upon Ye Futian. He was still watching Ping'an train. She seemed to blur before his eyes.
Gradually, her figure seemed to grow further and further away. She was no longer right in front of him. His consciousness seemed to fly to a faraway place. He was no longer standing on the ground but was high up in the sky.
His consciousness became a snowflake in the wind. He danced in the air. He could see not only Ping'an, but also the entire snowy mountain, then the entire mountain range. All of it was before his eyes.
The snow grew deeper and deeper as he danced in the wind like a feather. He did not know how long he remained like that. Finally, the sword stopped, and the sword will dissipated. Ping'an had stopped cultivating. Previously, the snowflakes could not fall upon her due to the sword qi, but now that she had stopped, they began to land on her.
She reached out and picked up a handful of snow. A bright, beautiful smile appeared on her face, as pure and unblemished as jade.
"What is wrong with him?" A look of confusion came over her face when she saw that Ye Futian was completely covered in snow, standing there as peacefully as a snowman. His breathing was even. Other than the snow that had been melted by the heat of his breath, the rest of him was covered in snow.
He did not react when Ping'an stopped cultivating. A strange look came over her face. Could it be that he was cultivating?
Thinking of this, she decided not to disturb him. She feared she would break his concentration.
At that moment, a burst of wind blew over the mountain, sending snowflakes flying. The snow danced as it flew off of Ye Futian.
The wind blew on Ping'an as well, making her shiver. She seemed to feel something, but could not quite grasp it. It was a marvelous feeling.
"What is this?" she whispered. As the wind blew, Ye Futian opened his eyes and stood with a smile.
"You're awake," said Ping'an.
Ye Futian nodded. "Yes," he said. "PIng'an, I have cultivated swordsmanship as well, and thus have some small understanding of it. Let me show you something. Perhaps it will be helpful."
"Alright," said Ping'an with a slight nod. Was Ye Futian going to teach her some of his swordsmanship?
He had taught her a little bit already, but not like this.
At that moment, Ye Futian's eyes became brilliant, and sword will seemed to swirl around them.
"Do not resist," he said. He looked at Ping'an, and she felt spiritual will enter into her mind. She saw one sword at first, and then countless swords of the Great Path. Each word seemed to contain the essence of the Great Path.
In a flash, her mind was filled with swords. All that was left in the world were swords. She had entered into a world of swords.
Ye Futian looked away quickly, and his eyes became calm again. The understanding of swordsmanship that he had gained over the years had been directly imprinted into Ping'an's mind in a unique way. How her swordsmanship would develop from here depended on her.
Ye Futian turned and walked away through the snow. Snowflakes were still falling upon him.
Ping'an still stood there, as if she had frozen. Sword will flowed through her endlessly. After a while, her sword qi rose within her. Xu Ping'an had broken through to the next level!
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