Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
Beautiful scenery all around, extremely rich World Energy, subtle barriers and formations scattered in and around the surrounding mountains, isolating this stretch of land from the outside world.
Nine Heavens Holy Land!
This ancient force had exited for countless centuries, leaving behind an illustrious history. Its strength was outstanding, with few Sects throughout Tong Xuan Realm being its equal.
However, when Yang Kai arrived here for the first time, he felt that this Holy Land was submerged in a somber atmosphere, probably because the old Holy Master had died and the new Holy Master had yet to appear.
Nine Heavens Holy Land, like Soaring Heaven Sect, was situated amongst a mountain range, but unlike Soaring Heaven Sect’s Hundred Peaks Formation, Nine Heavens Holy Land only had a Nine Peaks Formation.
Although this number was relatively small, the arrangement of these nine mountains had a great agreement with the Heavenly Way, so the Spirit Array based on them was no worse than Soaring Heaven Sect’s; in fact, it was even stronger.
Whether it was defensive strength, or the rate at which it gathered World Energy, this Nine Peaks Formation was superior to the Hundreds Peaks Formation.
Amidst these nine spirit peaks, beautiful palaces were scattered about, providing enough shelter for over ten thousand disciples. The entire Nine Heavens Holy Land was like a paradise, brimming with life and vitality.
When Xu Hui and the other Saints brought Yang Kai and An Ling’er back to the Holy Land, they didn’t bother concealing themselves and instead landed right in the centre of the Holy Land’s great square, as if trying to announce their presence. The old man then leading the way towards a magnificent palace.
On both sides of the road, a large number of the Holy Land’s disciples rushed over to respectfully greet Xu Hui and the other Saints.
Upon seeing An Ling’er’s figure, these disciples would all loudly and enthusiastically call her name while wearing near fanatically expressions regardless of whether they were male, female, young, or old.
As the only unfamiliar face, Yang Kai also gathered a fair amount of attention.
Such a young man, being respectfully escorted by Great Elder Xu Hui and the other Sect Elders, it was easy for these Holy Land disciples to infer this newcomer’s identity.
Whispers immediately spread throughout the crowd as the various disciples of Nine Heavens Holy Land quietly pointed to Yang Kai, all of them spiritedly discussing whether this youth was the new Holy Master the Saintess had found, their faces filled with a mix of excitement and curiosity.
It was as if as long as Yang Kai succeeded the position of Holy Master, Nine Heavens Holy Land would be saved!
Those who had slightly better vision and had determined the truth of the matter even began respectfully cupping their fists and bowing to Yang Kai.
Yang Kai on the other hand showed no response, remaining as indifferent as always.
Xu Hui and the other Saints secretly nodded their heads upon seeing this, their evaluation of Yang Kai rising even further.
Although Yang Kai was a disciple of Soaring Heaven Sect, he was still a young man; they had deliberately led him along this path to allow him to experience the wealth and prosperity of the Holy Land as well as evaluate the strength of its disciples. However, even in the face of all of this, Yang Kai had not shown any signs of panic or fluster and remained perfectly calm, as if he had experienced great winds and waves, allowing Xu Hui and the other Saints to hold him in high esteem.
This future Holy Master’s mental strength and temperament were both extraordinary!
Xu Hui and the others all silently exchanged glances, becoming even more determined to make this youth inherit the position of Holy Master.
The entire way was filled with great hustle and bustle.
In front of Yang Kai was a grand palace built of precious stone with many magnificent columns upon which were carved vivid images of dragons and phoenixes.
When they arrived here, Xu Hui turned around and waved his hand gently.
The spectating Holy Land disciples saw this and quickly dispersed, each of them still carrying much curiosity and doubt in their hearts, wondering who this unnamed youth was and whether or not he would inherit the position of Holy Master and save the Holy Land from its current predicament.
“Little brother, please!” Xu Hui lowered his head slightly in a respectful manner.
Yang Kai sighed reluctantly and frowned, “Senior, I have simply come to the Holy Land as a guest, is there any need to be so formal?”
Hearing this, Xu Hui understood that Yang Kai was still reluctant to accept the Holy Land, smiling lightly as he nodded, “What little brother said is right, let us go together.”
Once inside the palace, under the arrangement of Xu Hui, everyone was seated around a magnificent table and soon, a grand banquet was prepared. Just from looking at it, it was clear that Xu Hui and the other Elders were giving Yang Kai a welcoming reception.
At the banquet, Yang Kai didn’t show any urgency or nervousness, as if he was just an ordinary passerby, only exchanging a few toasts with Xu Hui while enjoying the lively scene.
Yang Kai found that it was actually quite easy to get along with this old man as long as the latter didn’t mention anything about the Holy Land or Holy Master.
Xu Hui’s strength was high and his background was not shallow, but he was still friendly and approachable; however, Yang Kai knew that this was because this old man was trying to build a good rapport. If Yang Kai was just some other youth, it was unlikely Xu Hui would be behaving so patiently with him.
As wine was served, a group of young girls were called in to perform various songs and dances.
These girls were all quite beautiful and wore thin, yet tasteful robes, revealing just enough to entice one’s fantasies. With a variety of temperaments, yet all showing a refined grace, these young girls were a dazzling sight to behold.
Yang Kai appreciated this show very much but his vision remained clear throughout, without the slightest obscene light.
Sitting beside him, An Ling’er saw this and couldn’t help smiling with satisfaction.
After some excitement, the banquet wound down and Xu Hui and the others also took their leave, never once mentioning anything about the Holy Master position to Yang Kai, appointing a maidservant to lead him to his room.
Yang Kai was taken to a giant room in one of the palace’s wings, its floor covered in luxurious carpeting and its walls decorated with exquisite stones which provided soft lighting. There was an incense burner in its centre that gave off a gentle scent that caused one to relax and feel their tension melt away.
“Young Lord, do you wish to bathe? There is a large pool in the adjacent room with warm water already prepared,” The maidservant asked softly.
Yang Kai glanced over at her briefly before slowly shaking his head and signaling for her to draw back.
The maidservant politely nodded, bowed, and then retired.
After waiting for this young girl to leave, Yang Kai walked over to the door, opened it, and looked at the somewhat hesitant An Ling’er who was outside, “Why are you just standing out here, come inside?”
“Ah… en…” An Ling’er nodded and slowly stepped inside.
“You came at just the right time, I wanted to talk to you about something,” Yang Kai said, grabbing hold of An An Ling’er’s hand and bringing her over to the bed.
An Ling’er’s face blushed slightly but she didn’t put up any resistance and simply let Yang Kai lead her around.
A moment later, sitting on the edge of the bed, she wore a somewhat flustered expression but still managed to maintain her calm.
Yang Kai also sat down on the bed, turned to look at her, and smiled bitterly, “Xu Hui showing me off to your Holy Land’s disciples and bringing in a group of dancers to seduce me. Obviously, he doesn’t have any good intentions.”
“Great Elder just wants you to inherit the position of Holy Master, why do you make it sound so insidious? Also, those girls weren’t mere dancers, they are all excellent disciples of my Holy Land who have gone through a strict selection process. Only when the most distinguished of guests arrive will they be called out to perform,” An Ling’er bit her lip gentle, a slight bit of resentment appearing on her face as she asked once more, “You really don’t want to become Holy Master?”
“I don’t!” Yang Kai shook his head firmly before wrinkling his brow, “Tell me honestly, is what Xu Hui said before really true?”
“After you chose me, you can no longer choose another.”
An Ling’er paused for a moment before gently nodding.
“Your Holy Land is really strange, regardless of how you think about it, I’m just an outsider; how can you hand over such an important position like Holy Master to a strange? Why don’t you just select a candidate from within your own ranks?”
An Ling’er simply smiled softly, “This has been our custom since ancient times. I think you’ve heard by now that every Holy Master of our Holy Land has been brought back by us Saintesses from the outside world, yes?”
“While that is basically the case, there was one exception… If I recall correctly, the Holy Land’s ancient records state that about nine hundred years ago, the new Holy Master was actually a disciple of the Holy Land. At that time, several Saintesses reacted to him so he was chosen as the new Holy Master, but since then, such a situation has not occurred again. Haa… if a disciple of the Holy Land could become the next Holy Master, we Saintesses wouldn’t have had to go out searching for candidates, then Xiao Lian and them…” Suddenly recalling the fate of her sisters, An Ling’er’s eyes became slightly red.
“I’m sorry…” Yang Kai stuttered awkwardly, not knowing how he should comfort her.
An Ling’er rubbed her eyes, took a deep breath, and calmed herself down, hesitating for a moment before continuing, “If you insist on not becoming Holy Master… I will help you speak to Great Elder and the others.”
“Don’t bother, you’ll just be wasting your time,” Yang Kai shook his head, “Since Xu Hui has already determined that I am the only possible candidate now, no matter what you say, it won’t work.”
“Then what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know…” Yang Kai sighed helplessly. Although Xu Hui wouldn’t dare use too forceful of an approach, he also wouldn’t give up no matter what, causing Yang Kai no small headache.
If it weren’t for the life of each Holy Master of Nine Heavens Holy Land being so short, Yang Kai probably wouldn’t have any problem inheriting the position. After becoming Holy Master and increasing his strength to a certain point, he could just clean up Xu Hui to solve the grudge in his heart.
But the drawbacks of inheriting the position of Holy Master were enough to put Yang Kai off.
An Ling’er looked somewhat embarrassed, her brow knitting slightly as she whispered, “Regardless of anything else, you should stay here for a while. Saintess Nan may be waiting outside, it’s not safe for you to leave right now. Wait a few days and then take a look at the situation again.”
“Good, it seems that’s the only choice,” Yang Kai nodded, “Right, I’ll have to trouble you to send a message to Soaring Heaven Sect telling them that I am well so they don’t worry.”
“Rest assured, I’ll certainly relay your message,” An Ling’er nodded.
“No need to be polite…” An Ling’er smiled, her mood becoming slightly better, leisurely standing up as she said, “Then you rest for now, I’ll head back first. If you need anything, just tell me, I’ll let Xu Hui arrange it for you.”
After An Ling’er left, Yang Kai’s expression became solemn as he quietly released his Divine Sense into his surroundings.
As Yang Kai expected, the palace had a large number of masters hidden just outside, quietly monitoring his every move.
Yang Kai snickered but didn’t care, he knew that Xu Hui would make sure of such arrangements.
However, he had no plans to leave Nine Heavens Holy Land right for the moment. Just as An Ling’er said, Saintess Nan may be waiting outside. Leaving the Nine Peaks barrier now would be akin to walking into a death trap.
Before he could come up with some practical way to evade Saintess Nan, Yang Kai didn’t want to act rashly.
The people of Nine Heavens Holy Land didn’t have any malicious intent towards him, they simply wanted him to assume the position of Holy Master. So long as he continued to stubbornly refuse, they probably would have no way to force him. In short, this was a battle of wills.
In the meantime, Yang Kai felt he could take advantage of this opportunity to consolidate his cultivation after his most recent breakthrough. Having decided on his short term course of action, Yang Kai’s mood noticeable improved.