Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
The banquet ended in the middle of the night and the people of Azure Sun Temple were led to their accommodation by a maidservant soon after, arriving on a mountain peak with rich World Energy and beautiful scenery, covered in soft moonlight that spilled across the ground and illuminated the land.
There was a palace on top of the peak where the people of the Azure Sun Temple were staying. The disciples had long arrived to rest and the maidservant respectfully took her leave after leading them here, while local staff led them to their respective guest rooms.
It didn’t take long before everyone was settled in, and after tidying up a little, Yang Kai’s brow furrowed slightly. Taking out a communication artifact and studying it for a bit he frowned slightly and opened his door to walk out. Turning a corner, he came to another room and knocked gently on the door.
“Come in.” Gao Xue Ting’s voice came from inside.
Yang Kai pushed the door open and entered the room only to see Wen Zi Shan, Luo Chen, Xiao Bai Yi, and Murong Xiao Xiao inside the room, so he couldn’t help but curiously ask, “What’s going on?”
Wen Zi Shan held up a jade slip and waved it slightly, “You have work to do.” Saying so, he threw the jade slip over.
Yang Kai reached out his hand to catch it. Closing the door behind him, he swept his Divine Sense over the jade slip and murmured, wondering, “What is this?”
The jade slip contained a series of name lists, and each name had a corresponding number associated with it. Reading this list Yang Kai felt utterly bewildered as he saw his name appear more than once.
Gao Xue Ting explained, “The reason we brought so many Elders here is not only to encourage the disciples to do their best in the competition but also to act as referees.”
“Referees?” Yang Kai was stunned.
“That’s right.” She continued explaining, “The Martial Gathering is divided into three categories, namely the Dao Source Realm, Origin King Realm, and Origin Returning Realm. Putting aside the Origin King Realm and the Origin Returning Realm for the time being, the fights between the disciples in the Dao Source Realm should not be underestimated. An Emperor Realm Master is needed to act as a Referee. The first reason is to ensure that the competition is fair while the second reason is to ensure that there are no accidental deaths during the competition.”
After listening to her explanation, Yang Kai understood the situation a little. The Martial Gathering was supposed to be a friendly competition, but many things could go wrong during a fight. The probability of unnecessary injury or even death occurring was very high, so a stronger Master was needed in order to prevent such occurrences from happening. However, only an Emperor Realm Master could stop or provide emergency assistance in the competition between cultivators in the Dao Source Realm; after all, it would look very bad for all involved if hundreds of people died in the Martial Gathering.
Upon learning this, Yang Kai studied the jade slip carefully again and then asked, “In other words, I am in charge of the Eighth Arena for a total of five days?”
Gao Xue Ting nodded, “Yes. The Martial Gathering will be held for a month. Junior Brother Yang, you only need to be in charge of the Eighth Arena during the individual rankings. Don’t forget the time slots. The rest will be taken care of by the others in turn.”
Yang Kai nodded, indicating that he had memorized the information. Many of the Emperor Realm Masters in the Southern Territory were here this time around, and for that reason, he only needed to participate for five days rather than for thirty days all by himself.
Mulling over it, he asked, “Doesn’t that give some people the opportunity to cheat for personal gain? If the disciples from my Sect are on the stage, I will inevitably be more biased towards them.”
Wen Zi Shan chuckled, “Everybody has their pride, so even if they have this opportunity, nobody would be too obvious in their actions. They will try to ensure fairness as much as possible. Besides, there will be many others watching the arena aside from the Referees in charge, so I’m afraid it won’t be that easy to cheat.”
Gao Xue Ting added, “In any case, there is only one thing you need to keep in mind. There must be no deaths. Other than that, you can use your own judgement.”
Yang Kai nodded, “I will do my best.” He did not take this duty too seriously. Although he was being a Referee the first time in his life, protecting and preventing two Dao Source Realm Masters from killing each other was no big deal with his current strength.
Aside from Yang Kai, Xiao Bai Yi and Murong Xiao Xiao were also given the same task and they all had to act as Referees for approximately five days each. Wen Zi Shan talked about a few other things before everyone dispersed. Following that, Gao Xue Ting took out a communication artifact, summoned the disciples participating in the competition, and gave another round of explanation.
At the same time, in a secret room on another Spirit Peak, a burly man sat on the ground. His body was wrapped in black Qi that filled the entire room, constantly twisting and writhing like a snake. It was a terrifying sight.
A knock sounded on the door, and the burly man suddenly opened his eyes that were swirling with red and black light. There were no whites in his eyes whatsoever and a less courageous person would have been frightened to death by the sight.
As soon as he opened his eyes, the black Qi wandering aimlessly in the secret room swiftly retracted into his body as if it was being summoned by something. The red and black colours in his eyes gradually returned to their original colours, and the black Qi disappeared. He now looked no different from an ordinary Human.
“Come in!” An imposing voice rang out and the door was opened, after which an elderly man walked in.
The burly man looked up at the elderly man and asked, “Why is that boy here?”
The elderly man frowned and replied, “I was extremely surprised too. I have not heard from him for more than ten years and it was said he was no longer in the Southern Territory. I don’t know why he appeared here at this point in time.”
The burly man cursed, “Damn it, is this Wen Zi Shan doing? He couldn’t have called that boy over just for the Martial Gathering, right?”
“Maybe it’s all just a coincidence?”
The burly man coldly snorted, “Coincidence or not, this person cannot remain. He will become a huge obstacle to my plans.”
The elderly man frowned, “Sir, do you mean…”
“We need to prevent trouble before it happens. Think of a way to get rid of him.”
The elderly man was silent for a while before he frowned deeply, “He won’t be easy to dispatch.”
“If he were easy to remove, would I call you here? The Martial Gathering will last for a month, so find a safe way to do it within that time, and be sure to leave no traces.”
“Yes!” The elderly man bowed, and seeing as there were no other instructions, he took his leave. He came out of the secret room and let out a long sigh. It would not have mattered if it were just an ordinary Emperor Realm Master. If that was the case, all he needed to do was gather enough manpower and it would all work out somehow. However, that person had a particularly annoying ability, he was proficient in the Dao of Space. Even if he couldn’t win a fight, he was good at escaping, and if he were to escape and spread the news of their existence, their plans would be endangered.
[This is going to be difficult!] After mulling over it for a long time, the elderly man made up his mind. [It looks like I can only ask the people over there to take action. Besides, only those people can stealthily sneak up on him and strike a fatal blow.]
After making up his mind, he left in a hurry.
The sky was clear for tens of thousands of kilometres as though it was washed clean. Banners were being displayed and people were crowded around in a huge valley surrounded by mountains. This was the place where the Southern Territory Martial Gathering was being held. Tens of thousands of cultivators from across the entire Southern Territory had gathered in Orthodoxy Temple, and apart from this valley, there was no other place that could accommodate so many people participating in the competition together.
There were hundreds of arenas scattered around the inside of the valley like chess pieces, all of which were carefully crafted and protected by Spirit Arrays. There were enough to ensure several hundred pairs of cultivators could fight to their heart’s content at the same time.
On the eastern side of the mountain, there was a row of stairs lined with newly built pavilions that were set up with tables. Sitting in this spot gave one a full view of everything in the mountain valley. The Emperor Realm Masters of each major Sect in the Southern Territory came here in twos and threes. They took their seats after some polite talk. Naturally, the people of the top three Sects sat at the top of the stands.
The Sect Masters of all three top forces made an appearance on the first day of the Martial Gathering, whether they wanted to or not. That was because people even more important than them would be arriving on the scene, and they could not afford to be impolite.
In the mountain valley, tens of thousands of cultivators who were about to participate in Martial Gathering held their breaths in silence as a tense atmosphere spread across the area. Many looked up at the mountainside with a look of reverence, secretly fantasizing about sitting there one day. The Martial Gathering was the best stage for them to achieve great success overnight. As long as their performance stood out in the Martial Gathering, those that already had good backgrounds would receive better resources for cultivation while those from humble backgrounds might obtain the chance to join a more powerful force.
Unfortunately, the Emperor Realm Masters in the stands seemed oblivious to this mood and continued to talk and laugh happily among themselves.
All of a sudden, a stream of light came from the distance and headed straight to the stands.
“They’re here,” Lei Gu smiled and got up first. Everybody else hurriedly stood up too. At first, some people secretly wondered who it was that dared to fly into Orthodoxy Temple so arrogantly; however, they could make a guess after seeing how Lei Gu was acting and did not dare to be disrespectful either.
The light landed in front of the crowd to reveal several figures. The leader looked magnificent and heroic. He was a Third-Order Emperor Realm Master with an imposing aura. The people behind him were well-groomed and had extraordinary temperaments, regardless of their cultivation. The people from Star Soul Palace had arrived. Moreover, their leader was none other than Xiao Yu Yang.
“Greetings, Brother Xiao.” Lei Gu and the others bowed in unison.
Xiao Yu Yang smiled and responded politely, “Please rise, it was this Xiao who was tardy. I apologize for being late.”
Every time the Southern Territory Martial Gathering was held, Star Soul Palace would surely send a representative as this was a huge event. As the patron saint of the Southern Territory, Star Soul Palace would definitely participate in it as the hegemon Sect. Be that as it may, they did not send their disciples to participate in the event but took on a supervisory role instead.
“Not at all, not at all, Brother Xiao is right on time.” Lei Gu chuckled. Although their cultivations were technically the same, Xiao Yu Yang came as a representative of Star Soul Palace, so how could he be disrespectful?
Lei Gu showed Xiao Yu Yang to his seat and made casual small talk along the way. Then, Xiao Yu Yang declared, “It’s almost time. Let’s begin.”
Nodding in response, Lei Gu signalled Feng Ming with a look. Feng Ming immediately stepped forward, took out a scroll, unfurled it with both hands, and read out loud from it, “Today, tens of thousands of young handsome men and women from the Southern Territory have gathered together for the Martial Gathering. Orthodoxy Temple is honoured beyond words. Led by Star Soul Palace, several rules for this competition have been drawn up and all participants are expected to abide by them. If these rules are violated, severe punishment will be given…”
His voice wasn’t loud, but it spread throughout the mountain valley under the use of his Emperor Qi and allowed everyone to hear clearly.
There were not many rules of course, as that would be meaningless, but some restrictions were still necessary. For instance, attacking a person who had already given up was not allowed; and the use of Spirit Pills during the competition was not allowed, especially those items that stimulated one’s potential to increase their strength temporarily. If the consumption of Spirit Pills was detected, not only would the participant be punished severely, but the Sect they belonged to would be in trouble too.
These rules were the same for each Martial Gathering so before coming here, the Elders of their respective Sects would have repeatedly told their disciples about them. As such, the tens of thousands of participants had already memorized these rules. Nevertheless, certain procedures were still necessary and had to be carried out.
For a time, Feng Ming’s voice was the only sound echoing in the mountain valley. Once all the rules were read out, the rewards would be announced, which was the real highlight of the day. Most only joined the competition to fight for these benefits; thus, the tens of thousands of disciples in the mountain valley were all looking forward to this announcement.