Translator: Silavin & Danny
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Yang Kai refined it for three months.
But when he opened his eyes, a trace of helplessness appeared on his face.
The refining progress of the Golden Armour Heavenly Book was pretty good, he had now branded his own Soul Imprint onto this Emperor Artifact and could trigger a few of its abilities, but he still could not control the Golden Armour Heavenly Book with high proficiency like Tan Jun Hao could. Regardless, it gave him some extra cards to handle his enemies.
What dejected him though was in fact his own cultivation.
He had reached the peak of the First-Order Emperor Realm, and clearly felt that he was just a half-step away from the Second-Order, but there seemed to be a giant wall that hindered him from reaching it.
His Emperor Qi was indeed purer and more vigorous after refining millions of High-Rank Source Crystals, but his cultivation remained the same.
He did not feel anxious though, because the biggest taboo in cultivating was rushing.
He was still young and had a lot of time. Compared with those Emperor Realm Masters who had lived for hundreds or even thousands of years, his youth gave him a matchless superiority over them.
There was a saying, ‘youth is capital.’ Yang Kai did not lack time, so there was nothing to worry about.
Therefore, he put aside his cultivation temporarily and focused on the management of High Heaven Palace; he was the Palace Master after all. Even though the Sect did not have many disciples yet, there were a few hundred people taking shelter here. As a host, Yang Kai felt he had to do his best to arrange things well for them, so that they came to feel like this place was their home, hopefully to the point where their hearts became tied to this place…
Although he had such intentions, Yang Kai did not know where to start when he really had to take action.
Last time, when he established High Heaven Sect on Shadowed Star, he did not place much attention on management as he simply left everything to Ye Xi Yun. He was used to having a competent subordinate who could handle all the administrative matters for him, making him realize just how unsuited he was for this job.
In the end, he decided to visit the Thousand Leaves Sect disciples, thinking he could ask Ye Hen for some advice, seeing as he had experience as a Sect Master.
At this moment, all the Thousand Leaves Sect disciples had taken up residence on one of the Main Peaks with rich World Energy. There were more than a dozen Main Peaks like this in High Heaven Palace, and since they had no idea what the name of this particular peak was, they just called it Thousand Leaves Peak for now. It was just merely a name, so no one really cared about it.
When Yang Kai arrived at this place, he found that everything was in order. None of the five hundred disciples was idling as they were all either cultivating, exchanging pointers, or refining puppets.
As the Eldest Senior Brother, Du Xian was giving lectures in the main square, explaining the key points and essentials of Puppet Arts. A group of Thousand Leaves Sect disciples with low cultivations were mesmerized by his teachings, shaking their heads in awe with their eyes full of worship.
Yang Kai listened for a while, but it was enigmatic to him and he had no idea what Du Xian was talking about.
It was fine that he did not understand though, because many of these people may become High Heaven Palace disciples in the future. [En, this little fat boy who is shaking his head seems to look gifted. He should have his own opinions on Puppet Arts.]
[Let’s wait for him to grow up more, then I shall bribe him with benefits. I don’t believe he won’t accept and bow to me if I spoke to him with reason and compassion. At that time, when he becomes a disciple of High Heaven Palace, I think Ye Hen won’t say anything about it either.]
The voice suddenly stopped, and Du Xian shouted, “Brother Yang!”
Yang Kai was spotted, but since he didn’t hide in the first place, Du Xian wouldn’t think he wanted to steal Puppet Dao secrets from Thousand Leaves Sect. In fact, if Yang Kai had such intentions, he could have just taken away the ancestral records and books when he first activated the Space Array that led to Emperor Heaven Valley.
Yang Kai nodded and smiled, “I’m just looking around, you may continue your work.”
All the disciples turned around, got up together, and saluted respectfully, “Greetings, Senior Yang!”
They had the chance to cultivate here thanks to Yang Kai’s blessing. Knowing that Yang Kai was the owner of this place, how could they be disrespectful to him?
“Sit, sit!” Yang Kai waved his hand and felt rather embarrassed. He felt a little guilty for disturbing their lecture because of his leisure visit.
But since he had come, he also felt he should say something. Therefore, he cleared his throat and asked, “Do you all feel comfortable living here?”
Du Xian replied with a smile, “This is an inspiring place which produces outstanding people, rich in World Energy and resources. How can we not like it here? All of us are completely satisfied.”
All the disciples nodded vigorously with bright smiles on their faces. Compared with the original Thousand Leaves Sect, it was a world of difference. Their efficiency of cultivating here was much higher.
“That’s good to hear,” Yang Kai smiled, “Just make yourselves at home.”
After all, one would not think of leaving if they treated this place as their home…
“If you need anything, find Hua Qing Si. Sister Hua is the Head Manager of our High Heaven Palace, in charge of all affairs.”
“Many thanks, Brother Yang!” Du Xian said gratefully, “We will have to trouble Senior Hua in the future then.”
Yang Kai smiled and patted him on the shoulder.
The disciples were excited and marvelled at Yang Kai’s warmth. This person was an Emperor Realm Master, and also a Palace Master, but he did not act haughty at all, even treating their Eldest Senior Brother like his own brother.
The more they looked at him, the more they respected him, and thought that this should be the attitude that an Emperor Realm Master should have. Back then, they always had the impression that Emperor Realm Masters were arrogant and looked down on cultivators below the Emperor Realm like they were ants, bugs that could be crushed at will… Such people were totally unworthy compared to Senior Yang!
“Right!” Du Xian suddenly clapped his hands, and turned to the disciples, “Junior Brothers and Junior Sisters, didn’t you always ask this Senior Brother to teach you about his cultivation experiences? It’s not that this Senior Brother doesn’t want to teach you, but this Senior Brother’s strength is poor, and I’m afraid of misleading you. Now that Brother Yang is here, how about we ask Brother Yang to share some of his wisdom with us? Brother Yang is an Emperor Realm Master, and his experiences must be countless times greater than that of this Senior Brother.”
Everyone was dumbfounded for a moment before they shouted yes in unison.
Yang Kai replied stiffly, “But I know nothing about Puppet Arts…”
Du Xian continued with a smile, “Cultivation has nothing to do with puppets. Moreover, stones from other hills could be used to polish a jade here. This Little Brother also wishes to learn from Brother Yang. We hope Brother Yang will not hesitate to give us advice.”
“This…” Yang Kai was a little stunned. Why did he come here in the first place? Why was he suddenly put on the spot like this? Didn’t he just finish establishing a friendly image? If he were to refuse now, wouldn’t his previous efforts be in vain?
The group of Thousand Leaves Sect disciples cheered like a tsunami, their eyes full of expectation and longing.
“Brother Yang, just give us a simple talk.” Du Xian pleaded.
“Alright.” Yang Kai accepted unwillingly, “Then I’ll just say a few words.”
Du Xian was delighted and hurriedly yielded the stage to Yang Kai while he took a seat among the other Thousand Leaves Sect disciples.
Looking at the group of youths with varying cultivations below, Yang Kai could not help feeling a bit nostalgic.
He was once just like them. Along the way, he became stronger step by step, and finally reached the Emperor Realm. However, he was different from them in that he never had a Master Sect, and did not have a Master to teach him. He had fought all alone, risking death many times over. He met various enemies and allies along the way, overcame calamities time after time, enduring great storms until he arrived at this point. He truly lived his own unique style of life.
However… If he had a good mentor or a helpful friend on the path of his growth, he could definitely have avoided many detours.
Who could have anticipated that he would actually stand here today, bearing the title of mentor? No matter how much or how little these younglings benefited from him sharing his experiences today, when they recalled this moment many years later, they would definitely remember that at this wide square in High Heaven Palace, on Thousand Leaves Peak full of grass and trees, he was the one who stood before them and guided their way forward, like a shining beacon in the dark night.
All of a sudden, Yang Kai felt like he had grown a lot taller!
Initially, he did not know what to say, but he suddenly felt unprecedented clarity in his mind and began, “The reason for cultivators to cultivate through bramble and thistle and risk their lives is for nothing more than two words – Martial Dao!”
“What is the Dao? If there are a hundred parts, the Grand Dao would be fifty, the vast Heavens would be forty-nine. There are three thousand paths of the Grand Dao, each of which winds on infinitely.”
“Some people say that struggle is the Dao, others say that arts are the Dao. Some say that nature, the trees, rivers, and lakes are the Dao, some even claim the ants on the floor are the Dao!”
“If you ask me though, I would say that I am the Dao. Wherever I am, there exists the Dao!”
His voice was not loud, but it was clearly transmitted to everyone’s ears. It seemed that it contained a profound magic, hypnotizing the listeners involuntarily. Listening to Yang Kai’s voice, it was as if a magnificent scroll with vast paintings slowly unfurled before everyone. Sometimes they would feel palpitations, sometimes ecstasy, and sometimes helplessness.
Standing there, Yang Kai seemed to embody the essence of thousands of cultivators who pursued the Martial Dao and fought one another to build the bright era they lived in and strove to achieve.
At first, there were less than one hundred Thousand Leaves Sect disciples gathered before him.
However, as time passed, the crowd became larger and larger. More and more people quickly rushed here upon hearing his voice, sat down cross-legged, and listened attentively.
An hour later, nearly five hundred people sat before Yang Kai, almost all the Thousand Leaves Sect disciples besides the few who were in secluded retreat.
Even though Yang Kai had no teacher to guide him throughout his cultivation journey, he still managed to reach the Emperor Realm. Therefore, he definitely had his own unique perspective and experiences.
However, he did not teach these youths about those experiences as Du Xian had pleaded before. Instead, he eloquently laid out to them his personal views on the meaning of cultivation itself. Rather than teaching by giving examples, it was more like he was sharing his comprehensions, allowing them to gain their own enlightenment from his musings.
Some people who understood wore thoughtful expressions, while others frowned, feeling that Yang Kai was babbling and talking all kinds of nonsense, for his teaching was full of irrelevant answers and questions. Despite thinking so, they dared not to have the slightest doubt. They all believed that the reason they could not understand what Yang Kai was saying was that they had yet to reach a sufficient level to comprehend his words, secretly feeling annoyed. [An Emperor Realm Master is indeed different. It’s still understandable if you listen to his words one by one, but when they are strung together, they become mysterious and ethereal.]
“Walk your own path, and make your own Dao. Following another’s way will only leave you pursuing behind them forever!” Yang Kai wiped his mouth, and it seemed like he was not finished yet. He looked around, and asked, “Do you understand?”
The whole audience was silent. No one dared to say that they understood.
All of a sudden, World Energy surged, thunder roared, and lightning flashed in the sky. Black clouds shrouded the top of Thousand Leaves Peak, while a World Energy funnel began to form as the Power of Heaven and Earth gathered slowly.
“En, it seems someone understands!” Yang Kai turned to the peak and grinned.