Divine Sky City was the only major city within the eastern region of the Barren State. As such, not only were the Top Three Schools located there, but many great clans flourished there as well. But for how great the eastern region of the Barren State was, there were places that were just as powerful.
The Zhaixing House was definitely unparalleled divine grounds within Xuantian City and its wider regions. As a true unchallenged power, they had even nominated a City Lord to create laws and govern the city. The competition here may not be as intense as that in Divine Sky City, but the influence of the Zhaixing House in Xuantian City was unbeatable still.
In the skies of the outskirts of Xuantian City flew a figure headed straight for where the city was. It was Ye Futian and company, flanked by powerful figures from the Starry School who were there to protect them. Members of the West Mountain Dragon Clan and the Gu Clan had come along as well. Long Ling'er had tagged along too after clamoring to join Ye Futian and see the world. Madame Long had eventually acquiesced.
Gu Yunxi from the Gu Clan had also come along as a representative of the clan and a disciple of Divine Sky City. The Jin Clan would be coming as well, but they were not traveling with the group.
"We'll be there soon," whispered Gu Yunxi.
"Right," Ye Futian nodded. "Yunxi, how should I go about obtaining the Divine Destruction Polearm from the Zhaixing House?"
As Ye Futian and Gu Yunxi grew familiar with each other, Gu Yunxi had allowed him to call her by her name rather than an honorific.
"It's your task from the college chief, how would I know what to do?" The corners of Gu Yunxi's lips lifted slightly. The college chief was being rather cruel by ordering Ye Futian to take the Divine Destruction Polearm from the Zhaixing House.
The chief of the Zhaixing House treasured the Polearm to death and loved flaunting it. There was no way he would just hand it over to Ye Futian.
"Ah…" Ye Futian's head ached. Along the way, he had found out some information about the ties between the Zhaixing House and the Top Three Schools.
Back in the day when the Top Three Schools had not been separated yet, the saint had several disciples to whom he personally imparted his skills. Each disciple inherited a skill respectively. When the saint fell, rifts had appeared between his disciples, and they split apart to set up the Top Three Schools.
The predecessor who had set up Zhaixing House had been a disciple of the saint as well. He had parted ways with the senior who set up the Starry School after clashing over differing opinions.
The founder of Starry School obtained the Starry Treasure Book, while the ancestors of Zhaixing House inherited the Divine Destruction Polearm. After many years, the Top Three Schools became sacred training grounds in Divine Sky City. They were the best of the best, yet those of the Zhaixing House refused to acknowledge the schools. The ancestors of the Zhaixing House firmly believed that only they were the legitimate heirs to the Divine Path. Up till today, members of the Zhaixing House never enrolled in the Starry School, preferring to head over to Zhongzhou City to pursue their education.
With this sort of history, Ye Futian was suspicious of College Chief Chen's intentions in sending him to take the treasure of the Zhaixing House.
As the group moved forward, a vast ancient city appeared beneath the cloudy skies.
"We've reached Xuantian City," an elder announced. That elder was Master Yun, who had previously headed for the Evil Dragon Zone. Many top-tier cultivators of the Noble plane had been sent to accompany the Son as he traveled. Master Yun was one of them.
The Starry School had previously asked its disciples of the Noble plane if they were willing to accompany the Son and defend the Divine Path. But no one had responded to the call.
It was true that Ye Futian had revealed unparalleled talent the other day. But as top-tier nobles, their pride prevented them from agreeing to protect the Son on his journey. To them, it would be akin to being Ye Futian's attendants, and no one was willing to do it.
"Let's go down," Yang Xing, who was behind Long Ling'er, spoke amidst the rumblings of the dragon. The demonic dragon then dived down towards Xuantian City with its riders, attracting the gazes of many people in the city.
But the people of the city were not too surprised as well. When the chief of the Zhaixing House held his birthday banquet, many powerful figures would come from all sorts of places. This was a yearly occurrence and nothing to be astonished over.
Once the group landed in Xuantian City, they found an inn to settle down in. News of the newcomers spread very quickly, and they were soon visited by people from the City Lord Office of Xuantian City.
Discussion was rife outside of the inn. Everyone was trying to guess the identities of these people who had just arrived in the city. It was a rather large group, and they had arrived by dragon. Furthermore, the son and daughter of the City Lord had come to visit at the first opportunity.
At this moment, Ye Futian was meeting his visitors from the City Lord Office at the banquet room of the inn. At the head of the group of visitors was a young man and woman, both with exquisite looks.
"You have all traveled a long way from Divine Sky City. Why not come over to the City Lord Office to rest instead of putting up at an inn?" The young man greeted them with lightly clasped hands, smiling as he spoke. He gazed at Ye Futian, who was sitting in the center of the room and tried to guess his identity.
The Starry School had never sent a representative so young, nor had they ever sent anyone lower than the Noble plane to the chief's birthday banquet. It seemed as though the Starry School was beginning to not take the Zhaixing House seriously, and was only going through the formalities.
Of course, the young man dared not to comment. No one would have dared to comment even if the Starry School had not sent a single person. The Top Three Schools in the eastern region of the Barren State were officially recognized as divine grounds. They came to visit every year with a motive of their own.
"This is the Son of the Starry School," Master Yun quipped coldly from the side. He felt that the young man's attitude towards Ye Futian was overly lighthearted and casual.
The young man was taken aback for a moment before he laughed. "So this is the Son, I've been rude then. I'm Shi Yanfeng, and this is my sister Shi Qinglan."
Shi Qinglan was also observing Ye Futian, her eyes glittering with a curious sparkle. She didn't remember the Starry School conferring the title of Son onto anyone previously.
The coronation of the Son had rocked Divine Sky City, but Xuantian City was a great distance away. Those in Xuantian City would also not be bothered to find out about news from Divine Sky City. As such, they still didn't know about the happenings in Divine Sky City. However, they assumed that the young man was of great talent if he was able to be coronated as the Son of the Starry School.
"If you are only here to tell us this, then please leave. We won't bother you any further," Ye Futian said calmly from where he was seated. His tone was cool. This young man hadn't sounded any sincerer, and the sparkle in his eye made it seem even more like he had come only to patronize them. Ye Futian had no time to deal with useless formalities.
Shi Yanfeng and Shi Qinglan were taken aback. They had not expected that the Son would not even be bothered to entertain them and send them back immediately. This Son seemed like an arrogant guy, they thought, as expected of someone from the Starry School.
"If that is the case, then we will take our leave now. Please feel free to send someone for me at the City Lord Office should you require anything," Shi Yanfeng spoke again after a moment of contemplation. He then clasped his hands in farewell and left. It seemed as though he too was not too bothered about feigning civility.
After the visitors left, Master Yun spoke, his expression cool, "For these people from the City Lord Office under the Zhaixing House to behave like this, they really are beginning to not care about the Top Three Schools."
"Is it because of the Zhaixing House's influence?" Ye Futian asked. He remembered the time when they were at Yunyue City, where the Wang Family had been incredibly respectful towards disciples of the Top Three Schools. However, it could have been because Yunyue City was incredibly weak. Xuantian City had its own top-tier clan—the Zhaixing House. As such, they probably were not as easily impressed.
"Yeah," Master Yun nodded. "If it wasn't for the backing of the Zhaixing House, they wouldn't dare to have such an attitude at all."
Ye Futian chuckled and stood to leave, speaking at the same time, "Master Yun, I'm not going to bother myself with these sorts of things from now on, why don't you give me a hand?"
"Sure," Master Yun nodded.
After Shi Yanfeng and Shi Qinglan left the inn, a cool smile could be seen on Shi Yanfeng's face.
"I don't remember the Top Three Schools having a Son. Was he only coronated this year then?" Shi Qinglan asked.
"Probably. This Son of the Starry School is really arrogant though," Shi Yanfeng chuckled, "sending us off without even bothering with the niceties."
"Well, he is a disciple of the Top Three Schools. He's probably incredibly talented if he can be coronated as a Son," Shi Qinglan guessed.
"A Son as young as this? What is the Starry School thinking? Were people really convinced by their choice?" Shi Yanfeng raised his eyebrows questioningly. "As for talent, that's definitely a given," he continued.
Naturally, Shi Yanfeng did not doubt the judgment of the Top Three Schools. There definitely weren't any idiots amidst the authoritative figures there.
"Who cares about that though, we have our own beliefs and totems." Shi Yanfeng's expression grew solemn as he spoke. He gazed at a tall mountain in the distance. Their belief lay in the Zhaixing House.
These days, the younger generation of Xuantian City had hero figures of their own to look up to. Two figures, in particular, were two remarkable geniuses from the Zhaixing House. One of the geniuses had already entered the Holy Zhi Palace—the best training grounds of Zhongzhou City—to train. In light of this, the Top Three Schools didn't seem like much, for the Holy Zhi Palace was the holy grail of all training grounds in the entire Barren State.
"The other guests have arrived as well. We should go visit them too. Who knows if the Blazing Sun School and the Bright Moon School have coronated Sons too?" said Shi Qinglan. She did not think too much of all this. Just like her senior said, they had their own beliefs and totems.
The next morning, many powerful figures of Xuantian City began to gather in one place.
A chain of mountains lay next to Xuantian City. Upon lifting one's head, one would see palace after palace situated endlessly amidst the mountains. This was the renowned Zhaixing House.
Strong figures guarded the base of the mountains. There was only one entrance and only one staircase that led up the mountain. At this moment, powerful individuals from all over the land were gathered at the bottom of the staircase.
"Those are people from the Blazing Sun School."
"And that's the group from the Bright Moon School."
"The guests from the Starry School have arrived as well," someone announced upon seeing Ye Futian and his entourage.
The Top Three Schools were naturally in the center of attention.
"That's the group from the School of Heavenly Arts," observed another. A group of people stood there, emanating a powerful aura.
"Those from the Red Phoenix Clan are here too." At another spot, a group of startlingly beautiful women waited, dressed extravagantly in flaming-red phoenix-feather clothing. They were the disciples of the Red Phoenix Clan.
"People from Mount Xuanyuan and Qinglei Court have come as well," the crowd chattered amongst themselves. These groups were not as outstanding as the Top Three Schools, but they were still top clans within the Zhaixing House's circle of influence, with Sages within their ranks. Other than these clans, other groups of varying levels of influence had come to pay their respects as well.
At this moment, even powerful figures from the other groups were looking over at the disciples of the Top Three Schools. Some had looks of respect, others shot challenging gazes as if they were raring for a fight. But Ye Futian ignored all these people. He looked up at the mountain and Zhaixing House, which was situated at the top. The difficult task he had been set was on his mind still.
Ye Futian wondered just how he was going to successfully take the treasure of the Zhaixing House.