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Her face looked rather pale before seeing Ye Futian swiped and rescinded his sword. The sword will then dissipated.
The royal members on the drill ground looked at Ye Futian, astonished by the power demonstrated by the number one below Saint Plane of Dali Dynasty. He was indeed overwhelmingly powerful. Li Xiao was a princess of the royal family, and her powers were not as appalling as they appeared. However, she was unable to even lift a finger against the Seventh Swordsman's sword. That was a testament to his absolute power.
"The Sword of Kasyapa." Many royal members came to have thoughts when they saw that sword at work. His majesty was indeed generous towards Dali Academy. The Sword of Kasyapa that King Tiandao had sent from the royal palace was something many of the royal kin had not been even able to lay eyes on, and yet there the Seventh Swordsman was, having already trained in the use of said skill.
Li Xiao's chest heaved, and the sword aura had cut several strands of hair at her forehead. Her eyes were seen glaring at Ye Futian. That b*sard sure didn't bother giving her any face.
"Alright, Li Xiao. The Seventh Swordsman long proved his powers. You're practically asking for a beating to have him draw his sword," Li Xun smiled and said. He then turned to the crowd and said, "Well, the crowd is almost ready. Where is third brother, by the way?"
The Royal Hunt this time was in charge by the third prince. He was the one to lead the way.
"The third prince is here." Many turned their eyes in one direction at that moment. A group of people was seen walking up to the crowd. The few at the very forefront exuded supreme bearing. The young man who took the lead resembled the eighth prince somewhat. They were full-blooded brothers from the same mother.
The people around the third prince were royalty as well. Ye Futian looked puzzled as he turned to look at their direction. That was because there was a familiar face behind one of the royal members, who was at the third prince's side.
Di Hao of Daoli Mountain.
Well then, those are people of King Tiandao, Ye Futian thought.
Ye Futian was not wrong. The person at the side of the third prince was the biological son of King Tiandao, Li Ze.
Ye Futian came to have some thoughts seeing all that. It seemed that the factions among the royalty were more apparent than he imagined them to be.
Being the Renhuang, Emperor Li did not concern himself with the fighting between those below him. Regardless of the power struggles between them, they would not be able to threaten his position, nor would they have dared to do so. Those people were mostly fighting over ideological differences.
Compet.i.tion on a fair scale would have been beneficial. As such, the factions held themselves out in the open.
The third prince walked with the people of King Tiandao while Li Xun and Li Yao chose to get near the imperial advisor of Dali. Li Xun and the others were the ones present in the battles at Dali Academy back then.
Furthermore, Li Xuan was at the Prince Regent's side. He and the eighth prince were of the same team, and both princes were of the same line.
Things became apparent when they were to be looked at that way. The third prince and the eighth prince was close to the royal kin, and they distanced themselves from the ones taking the side of the imperial advisor.
Most royal kin were actually neutral or had no intentions of partic.i.p.ating in the fight, and then some were deemed unqualified to be part of the power struggle.
King Tiandao and the Prince Regent, as well as the imperial advisor of Dali, were the three who stood at the pinnacle right below Emperor Li.
But then again, Ye Futian knew that the imperial advisor would not have bothered with any of that.
"Brother," Li Xun and the others called.
"Your Highness." The others cupped their hands. The third prince had a high status among the nine princes of Dali Imperial City. His talents had even eclipsed that of the eldest prince and the second prince.
Many expected the third prince to be able to achieve great things in the future.
"Brother, someone pointed a sword at me," Li Xiao went up to him and began making accusations.
"Well, who would be bold enough to do that to you?" the third prince smiled and asked. It was apparent that he knew well of the temperament of his little sister.
Due to her being the youngest among the sibling and a woman, the princes tended to spoil her, and it had always been her who went about bullying others.
"Him." Li Xiao pointed at Ye Futian.
Ye Futian frowned and felt faint disgust at the flippant temperament of Li Xiao.
Xia Qingyuan was also a princess, and both of them had great pride. However, Xia QIngyuan's pride was borne out of solid prowess, while Li Xiao's pride was something resulting from her spoiled upbringing instead.
The third prince looked at Ye Futian, then smiled and said, "I have always wanted to see the new student of the imperial advisor up close and personal. I saw what Di Hao was capable of. It was quite a pity that I wasn't able to witness that fight being pinnacle figures below Saint Plane that day. But here at west mountain, we will be able to compete."
"Your Highness," Ye Futian called as he cupped his hands. The third prince was a saint, and it was a given he would not have behaved like Li Xiao.
"Brother," Li Xiao called.
"You were the one who told the Seventh Swordsman to draw his sword, no?" The third prince took a look at Li Xiao, who was pouting.
"Alright, we're all here now. Let's go," the third prince said, and howls of dragons were heard throughout the drill ground. One carriage pulled by holy golden dragons after another took off. The princes took their places in the carriages while the rest stepped onto the backs of the dragons. They all took flight while the dragons howled as they shot into the clouds.
The west mountain was not one mountain, but a region of mountains that seemed endless. A gigantic matrix enveloped the mountains. Any demonic beasts that were exiled there would have only been able to survive in the mountains.
Only members of the royal family of Dali were allowed access to the winding mountains, which served as a ma.s.sive hunting ground.
And only royalty would have had the spirit to maintain a hunting ground with sacred beasts in it to be used to train the students of the royal family.
The west mountain was a place where demonic beasts gathered.
The dragon carriages descended from above onto a tall mountain in the west mountain region. Ma.s.sive groups of mighty ones of the royal family descended and set their eyes forward. The place was filled with demonic aura and looked rather desolate.
"The west mountain was a place where demonic beasts gathered a long, long time ago. There were many races of demonic beasts found here, and the royal family had been here hunting for a very long time. As the number of hunts grew, some powerful sacred beasts began to leave the west mountain. As such, the royal family created a huge matrix to place the region in a lockdown, and the west mountain became a hunting ground specifically for the royal family," Li Yao said to Ye Futian as he walked out of the carriage.
"Furthermore, the royal members never attacked and killed any demonic beasts that were of lower training than they were in every hunt. Those beasts were allowed to grow, and the royal members only acted against demonic beasts of similar or higher levels to their own."
Ye Futian nodded and asked, "So there shouldn't be demonic beasts that were too powerful in the west mountain then?"
"Most are below the level of demon saints. Even if there were demon saints, they would be at the first level. Most of the great monsters left back then. There were also demonic beasts that proved useful to the royal members, and they were placed under control. Those who refused to submit were exiled to the west mountain. Demonic beasts at the second level of Saint Plane had indeed almost gone extinct. But then again, there were times where demonic beasts evolved and changed.
"As such, it is imperative never to allow oneself to drift away from the group. Demonic beasts of higher training have intelligence on par with humans, and they, too, would hunt us. There have been casualties in every hunt in the past, and most resulted from some being too sure of themselves in the hunt, thinking that they would be okay going solo. Of course, there have been cases where demonic beasts ganged up and killed the royal members as well. As such, despite being here to hunt, we need to be on guard.
"Seventh Swordsman, if you find rare, powerful demonic beasts, feel free to tame them and make them your steed."
"Sure." Ye Futian nodded, but that thought never actually crossed his mind. It was acceptable for him to temper his powers by fighting the demonic beasts of the west mountain.
The third prince took to the air, and many powerful saints followed. They came to the air and said, "It's up to you people from here on out. Let's go."
One figure after another went forward and made for the inner parts of the mountains. The hunt in the west mountain was mostly meant as a training for the younger generations of the royal family, tempering combat capacity of mighty ones at Sage Plane. Some saints made a move occasionally, taking on sacred beasts.
The mighty ones among the royal members moved with br.i.m.m.i.n.g spirits. They were all of the younger generations. Powerful saints were in charge of things from above.
"There is a basilisk about a hundred miles southwest," some powerful saint in the air said. The royal members then hasten their steps as they headed southwest.
They saw a hundred-meter-long basilisk slithering between the mountains, trying to escape soon enough.
The basilisk had a blue head and a black body. It emanated extremely dangerous aura all over.
Some mighty one among the royal members held a bow and an arrow. Golden flashes glimmered as dazzling light pulsed. The arrow was shot through the air with a terrifying force.
That basilisk opened its mouth and blew a breath of great stench. A devouring vortex appeared on that mouth, swallowing the arrow, and the snake continued to run after closing its mouth.
It was a basilisk at the pinnacle of Sage Plane and had talents of devouring powers. It was capable of devouring an elephant in one go.
Some royal youths at the pinnacle of Sage Plane sped up and moved forward, quickly catching up to the snake, intending to make their first kill.
The basilisk knew that it had no hope of escape and turned around to spit venom. The fluid flew at the crowd. It opened its huge mouth and began sucking in a direction, intending to devour someone.
That person retreated backward in a hurry. Another dazzling light was seen, and charged into the devouring power, heading straight into the snake's stomach. A loud rumble was heard as the basilisk was blown up from the inside. A mighty one of the royal family emerged basking in dazzling light.
"Uninterested?" Li Yao asked Ye Futian, who never budged at his side throughout the whole time.
Ye Futian nodded. He was indeed uninterested as he wanted to test his hands against demonic beasts at saint levels.
"Your Highness, I'd like to train on my own," Ye Futian said.
Li Yao was dumbfounded. He looked at Ye Futian and said, "You should have heard what I said earlier. There are demonic beasts who will hunt us in the west mountain. Going solo is dangerous."
"You've also said that there are few great monsters of saint level around. Even if I come across any, I'm confident that I'll be able to protect myself. Fear of the unknown has no place in the training in swordsmans.h.i.+p. If something turns out to be more than what I can handle, I will send signals to inform you, Your Highness," Ye Futian said. It was rather inconvenient for him to be going along with a huge group.
"How insolent," Li Xiao said coldly from not far away.
"Do you care to join me, princess?" Ye Futian looked at Li Xiao and said.
Li Xiao glared at him. There was no way she would have gone off on her own.
"Alright then," Li Yao nodded in agreement, seeing how insistent Ye Futian was.
"Your Highness, I'll be off then." Ye Futian flashed and left, riding his sword. Many watched him leave and thought, That guy is indeed the Seventh Swordsman.
Unruly and bold.
"I'm going solo as well," Di Hao said and stepped forward. If Ye Futian dared to do so, he did not see any reason not to do so himself.
"The Seventh Swordsman and Di Hao are not royal members, and yet they are daring enough to go solo. While we, by no means, are doing the same, there is indeed no need for so many of us to be grouped together. Let's split up," the third prince said.
"Alright." Everyone agreed. Past hunts had always been separated into smaller groups. While doing so was a lot more dangerous, training by doing so would prove more fruitful.
"Be careful," the third prince said. The groups split up and headed into the depths of the west mountain in different directions.