The capital of Great Zhou was getting livelier.
Most of the sects within the Great Zhou dominion had arrived by the final few days.
Under the lead of Array Peak’s master, Xuan Yi, and Talisman Peak’s master, Liu Hui, the group from Ethereal Peak arrived in the capital as well.
Apart from the two Golden Cores, Ethereal Peak only had less than ten disciples.
“Look! They seem to be the disciples from Ethereal Peak! To think that there would be so few of them!”
“It’s good enough that they’re even able to come here. I heard that Ethereal Peak suffered a huge blow after the battle at Dongling Valley and almost all of their Foundation Establishment realm disciples are dead.”
“Yes, I reckon they’re just here to join the fun. There’s almost nothing Ethereal Peak can do for the four ranking rolls.”
Xuan Yi and Liu Hui were expressionless as they walked through the streets and could vaguely hear the discussions around them.
However, the disciples behind them let out indignant expressions.
“They’re really spouting nonsense. Senior Brother Ji is at five meridian Foundation Establishment and he’ll definitely be able to get a spot on the Spirit Ranking,” The person who spoke was round like a ball – it was none other than little fatty of Ethereal Peak.
The Senior Brother Ji that little fatty was referring to wore gray robes and he had slender limbs – he was Ji Chengtian.
Ji Chengtian was already one of Ethereal Peak’s three great legacy disciples to begin with. At the same time, he was the only legacy disciple that survived the battle at Dongling Valley.
Three years ago, Ji Chengtian was only at four meridian Foundation Establishment.
Now, his cultivation realm was at five meridian Foundation Establishment and he was the strongest of the inner sect disciples.
When Ji Chengtian heard little fatty’s words, he let out a bitter smile and his gaze darkened.
Qin Yu, who was initially lauded as the number one of the inner sect disciples and had hopes of breaking through to six meridian Foundation Establishment before the sect competition, had died at Dongling Valley.
Right now, apart from him, the strongest in Ethereal Peak was only at three meridian Foundation Establishment.
The sect did not even have any disciples at three meridian Foundation Establishment.
In other words, there was little hope for everyone else apart from him to vie for a spot on the Spirit Ranking of the sect competition.
Ethereal Peak still had some hope for the Talisman Ranking.
Leng Rou had a deep attainment in terms of talisman crafting and she was best among all the inner sect disciples.
As for elixir and weapon refinement…
Even though the sect had sent a disciple in each segment over, they were merely taking part and had no chance of retaining a position on the Elixir and Weapon Rankings.
Xue Yi said softly, “Actually, if Junior Brother Su was still alive, I’m sure he’ll be able to retain a position on the Weapon Ranking given his capabilities.”
When they heard the words ‘Junior Brother Su’, everyone from Ethereal Peak fell silent and sighed.
The two Golden Cores, Xuan Yi and Liu Hui, shook their heads and let out regretful expressions as well.
Ji Chengtian and the others had the most complicated feelings towards Su Zimo.
In that battle three years ago, Su Zimo had slain the young master of the Blood Crow Palace and sacrificed himself to lure more than half of the opposing cultivators away. By doing so, he caused huge chaos in the ranks of their opponents. If not for that fact, all of them would have perished in Dongling Valley!
Leng Rou lowered her head and her gaze was cold. However, there was a flash of sadness in her eyes.
“Get your spirits up!”
Xuan Yi hollered, “Xue Yi, part of the reason why you’re here is to take part in the sect competition. But more importantly, it’s for you to witness the magnificence of the number one Weapon Refinement Master of the Great Zhou Dynasty!”
Talisman Peak’s master, Liu Hui, nodded. “It’s said that Mr. Mo will appear during the sect competition as one of the judges for the weapon refinement segment. If you can obtain a couple of insights through Mr. Mo’s opinions, you might be able to save yourself ten years of hard work!”
Xue Yi nodded heavily.
Many Weapon Refinement Masters within the Great Zhou dominion idolized Mo Ling almost blindly and it was the same for Xue Yi as well.
In his opinion, Mo Ling’s rise to prominence was like a miracle that left everyone in awe!
Throughout history, there had never been a Weapon Refinement Master who could customize supreme-grade spirit weapons like Mo Ling!
Every single Weapon Refinement Master wanted to see for themselves what the legendary Mo Clan’s Spirit Gathering Technique was like.
This day, the capital was already bustling with people by the time the sun rose.
There were more than a thousand sects together, let alone the number of disciples each sect had.
At a glance, it was packed with people as the crowds snaked through the streets and alleys, rushing towards the southwest corner of the capital.
Today was the day of the sect competition.
All eyes were on him!
Every sect competition would always be held at the southwest corner of the capital where there was a large and spacious venue that could accommodate hundreds of thousands of people with ease.
The Scarlet Vulture, Azure Falcon and White Hawk guards were all mobilized, all of them riding their spirit beasts as they circled the skies, maintaining order on the streets.
Apart from some itinerant cultivators, most of the sects had Golden Cores leading the teams.
There was a sunken area in the middle of the square where the cultivators taking part in the sect competition would refine weapons and elixirs or create talismans to decide the eventual victors.
There were four huge jade pillars erected in the four corners of the sunken area. White as ivory, they shone with a mysterious luster.
Those four jade pillars represented the four ranking lists for spirit, talisman, elixir and weapon of the sect competition!
Each jade pillar had ten slots for names.
In other words, after the sect competition ended, the forty names shown on those four jade pillars would be the eventual victors of the sect competition!
The sunken area was squarish with four faces, three of which were spectator zones provided for the Foundation Establishment Cultivators of the various sects to watch the sect competition.
The final area had a golden carpet paving the ground and it ascended upwards with 999 steps towards an exquisitely supreme throne right at the top!
That was the seat of the Emperor of Great Zhou!
On both sides of the golden carpet, there were several rows of seats and tables. They were filled with spirit fruits, immortal peaches and jade liquid, giving off a fragrant scent.
Those seats were prepared for the Golden Cores of the various sects.
As Golden Cores, there was naturally no way they could squeeze together and watch the sunken area like the rest of the Foundation Establishment Cultivators.
Naturally, the proximity towards the seat of the emperor was indication of a Golden Core’s fame, strength and background!
The seats at the furthest ends were filled mostly with itinerant cultivators.
While they were also Golden Cores, they were weaker and were purely there to join in the fun and expand their horizons.
The commanders of the three city guard squads, Bald Vulture, the bearded man and Bai Yuhan, guarded the edge of the golden carpet – all Golden Cores who wanted to get a seat had to go through the three of them.
The three of them would size the Golden Cores before making the appropriate arrangements.
The group from Ethereal Peak arrived at the sunken area. Turning around, Xuan Yi said in a low voice, “Don’t feel pressured for this sect competition. Just do your best.”
Little fatty and the others responded.
Even though they replied readily, every single disciple of Ethereal Peak looked slightly nervous.
The scene before them was way too grand and the number of cultivators surrounding the sunken area increased as more streamed in constantly!
Xuan Yi and Liu Hui exchanged glances – both could tell of the helplessness and worry in the other’s eyes.
Before the battle even began, the disciples were already showing fear.
They were without a leader.
The battle at Dongling Valley had dealt way too much damage to Ethereal Peak.
While they had a five meridian Foundation Establishment Cultivator like Ji Chengtian, he lacked sturdiness and dominance. He did not possess the type of fearless confidence that could always push forth.
“If he was alive, perhaps… things would be different.”
Scenes flashed through Xuan Yi’s mind.
It was a green-robed cultivator with exquisite features. Although he was young, he always maintained his composure – the number one of four peaks who could refine elixirs, weapons, clear the Ten Formations Pagoda and defeat all his foes!