Chapter 245 - The First Grand-Orient Battlefield

The First Grand-Orient Battlefield was easily the most volatile location in all of the sect. Most of the grand sect events were held there, whether they were yearly evaluations, outer disciple promotion battles, or even fights between seniors. Too many births of monstrous geniuses had been witnessed there over the past millennia.

Most of the legendary figures that emerged there were the ancestors of the Li Saint Clan, who had spread their name far and wide at the battlefield in their youth. From a distance, the chaotic battlefield was covered by forests, rivers, and lakes and surrounded by a heavenly pattern formation. On some of the blades of grass and rocks was the blood of those that came before that hadn't been cleaned up even now.

Around the battlefield were ten thousand seats, located high up so they had a good view of the battlefield. Being able to show off their skills in front of an audience of so many people was the dream of every disciple.

From a vantage point at the north end of the battlefield, a tall, white tower stretched high into the clouds, giving off an ancient and arcane sensation. The disciples of the sect knew the tower was the sect's treasure and holy ground: the Prime Tower.

The Prime Struggle would be taking place there. Two precious treasures had been hidden within for the most powerful disciples' taking, and today, the first battles would take place. There were sixty-six participants and thirty-three battles in total.

Currently, the seats had all been filled, and booming cheers from the audience resonated throughout the arena. All ten thousand of the audience members were inner disciples or above. Many seniors of the sects such as chiefs, hall prefects, exalted masters, and mountain lords were there to observe the battles. As for outer disciples, not a single one of them was qualified to watch the Prime Struggle.

For instance, Azure Dragon Sword Mountain's Yuan Huntian could only bring his disciples and hall prefects to watch the battles from the normal seats. Nowadays, Azure Dragon Sword Mountain was rather low profile, preferring not to antagonize disciples from other mountains or be compared with them. It was mainly due to the ones that would be representing them in the Prime Struggle, which turned out to be quite the laughingstock.

To most other disciples, Tianming was too foreign, and Qingyu didn't even qualify. Gu Yu, who was just barely acceptable, didn't get a chance to join, which was why this affair was so awkward. As such, Yuan Huntian took the initiative to sit at the corner to avoid any embarrassment.

"To be honest, it would've been better if he just gave up on the prime struggle than doing this, as he only recently became an elder," Yuan Huntian said with furrowed brows.

"Master, we will definitely have our chance!" Gu Yu said. He was quite dissatisfied with the turn of events. Turning back, he saw the other exalted masters and hall prefects of Azure Dragon Sword Mountain watching with their arms crossed, as if they dreaded the start of the Prime Struggle. Some would've not come at all if they could.

"Let's hope it ends quickly. I still have to go back to train."

"That's right. Nowadays, the standards of Azure Dragon Sword Mountain are falling. Those of our generation should snap out of it and rise back up again."

"I really don't know what this elder has planned. Isn't it a little bit of a waste for him to just give out two Saintbeast War-Souls like that?"

The chatter revealed their displeasure with the whole matter. It had been a long time since the disciples of that mountain could stand proud before the other disciples, yet it didn't seem like that would change even with their new elder.

The participants in today's battles didn't only include the elders' direct disciples. Instead, it was a matter of pride for all thirty-three mountains. Yet most of Azure Dragon Sword Mountain's disciples were already crestfallen before the battles had begun. At least it wouldn't be as embarrassing as losing without even putting up a fight.

The most eye-catching thing apart from the Prime Tower was no doubt the thirty-three large halls built upon the battlefield. Each of them had a large sign with the name of their mountain. For instance, the hall right in the middle had a plaque with the words 'Fengyun Immortal Mountain' written on them.

Fengyun Immortal Mountain was founded by the first elder, Huangfu Fengyun, who was already more than a century old. He was the eldest in the council of elders. During his youth, he had earned much merit for the sect and had often defended their borders from their oppressive foes. Even now, he still held a large sway over the whole sect, his authority eclipsing even the third elder, Yuwen Fengtian.

The hall behind that belonged to Fengtian Mountain. To its right was Taiji Mountain, and the rightmost hall was one with a brand new sign with 'Azure Dragon Sword Mountain' inscribed on it. The halls were where the elders and their family members would watch the battles from.

At this moment, First Elder Huangfu Fengyun was seated in a tall seat at the very center spot beneath the tower. At the age of hundred, even saints would look old, but his age belied his actual bodily condition. His eyes were still sharp and beaming, and it seemed like he would live for decades more.

Among the thirty-three elders, only the fourth elder was of the same seniority as Huangfu Fengyun. She was Shangguan Jingshu, the highest-ranked female elder. A few years back, she was ranked in third place, but Yuwen Fengtian had replaced her after his grand contributions to the sect. Shangguan Jingshu sported white hair, just like Huangfu Fengyun, but she seemed really charismatic for an elder. Each of her steps and movements were filled with vigor.

Before the battles began, Shangguan Jingshu came over to Fengyun Immortal Mountain's hall to visit the man himself.

"Old Fengyun, I hope you don't mind my intrusion."

"Oh, it's you, Jingshu. Long time no see." Huangfu Fengyun smiled and waved. "The Grand-Orient Sect hasn't been this lively for a long time. Sit down, Jingshu, and watch this spectacle with me. Let's see how the young'uns of the new generation perform."

"That was my intention as well."

Being roughly the same age and two of the most reputable figures in the sect, they had few others to hang out and chat with. Even the second and third elders were considered their juniors by age. The two old elders sat in their tall thrones and patiently awaited the start of the battles.

"Jingshu, I've been hearing something interesting lately," the old man began.

"Is it about Li Wudi's illegitimate son, the pentabane?"

"That's right. Ye Shaoqing even took him as his disciple." The old man squinted his eyes. Given their age and vast experience, there were few things that perplexed them.

"I asked Ye Qing about it, and heard that the child broke through two levels in half a month. He can even fight opponents three or four levels above him. Also, he only started cultivating half a year ago and had never touched cultivation before in his life. Ye Qing thinks he’s unquestionably a pentabane," Huangfu Fengtian said.

"Then he probably is. The Li Saint Clan's ancestors have finally decided to bless them," Shangguan Jingshu said as she quietly scanned the arena. They seemed rather calm about pentabanes.

In the eyes of these people, even the likes of Li Wudi, or other geniuses on his level, were mere bugs they could squash if they wanted. All they treasured were those belonging to their families. Killing anyone else was of no huge consequence to them, regardless of how ridiculously powerful they were.

"What do you think about that, Jingshu?"

"We'll see how it goes. I don't really intend to meddle. Yuwen Taiji's family, on the other hand, will definitely not let him live."

"No, I was asking what you thought about Ye Shaoqing taking disciples."

"I’m rather troubled by it as well. Yuwen Taiji had given him face and wanted to rope him in to their side. Why would he do something against the Yuwen Clan like that?"

"I really don't know what’s up with Ye Shaoqing. Perhaps Ye Qing is problematic as well. Don't tell me they really intend to work toward the revival of the Li Saint Clan. I know that isn't beyond Ye Qing, but I still can't really figure this out. I have a feeling we're missing something even more crucial."

"I think I can accept that result," Shangguan Jingshu said.

"What do you mean? The two from the Yuwen Clan aren't happy with the current state of affairs. They want to reclaim the Grand-Orient Sword at all costs, and the moment they do, the council of elders will be destabilized."

"Come to think of it, I find it quite laughable that I'm actually hoping Heaven's Elysium will retain the Grand-Orient Sword," Shangguan Jingshu said with a pained shake of her head. "The moment Yuwen Taiji gets the sword, the council of elders will fall to ruin like all other things in the sect before it. I really don't know if even the two of us will survive it."

"We'll see. These matters aren’t ours to interfere with. The Realm Wars must be fought fairly. Additionally, Heaven's Elysium has managed to produce monstrous geniuses. While Yuwen Taiji said he prepared his son, Yuwen Shendu, to fight, it sounds like a wasted effort."

In relation to the battle to reclaim the Grand-Orient Sword, Ye Shaoqing's pentabane disciple paled in importance.

"The Grand-Orient Sword and Prime Tower are relics the first ancestor, Li Shenxiao, fought to obtain from the Theocracy of the Ancients. It's said that they’re the handiworks of gods themselves! If Yuwen Taiji manages to obtain it, even being able to use a tenth, or two-tenths of its power will be terrifying enough. Historically, only those of the Li Saint Clan could use them... but now...."

At that thought, the two elders looked each other in the eye.

"Talented people are sprouting in every empire. We'll let things go their natural course. If Shendu really can do it, I’ll give the top seat to Yuwen Taiji as a gesture of goodwill. What about you, Jingshu?" He looked at her with a complicated gaze.

"What else can I do?" Shangguan Jingshu looked at the arena solemnly, having accepted her fate.

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