"Welcome back, Sect Master Zhong."
Somewhere in Snowfall City, the Divine Sword Sect's disciples and sect elder greeted Zhong Chao Huang, who'd just returned from a few missions that had been given to him by Lord Xie.
"I apologize for returning so much later than I said, as I had run into a few unexpected situations." Elder Zhong said to them.
"There's no need to apologize to us, Sect Master. You were busy under His Majesty's commands, after all."
One of the Sect Elders poured tea for him as he sat down.
"Mmm…" Elder Zhong nodded after tasting the flavorful tea.
"By the way, our first match for the regional tournament should be coming up tomorrow. Who's our opponent? It should already have been announced by now."
The Sect Elders and Disciples exchanged worried looks with each other.
"What's the matter?" Elder Zhong raised an eyebrow in puzzlement.
Because Elder Zhong had been away this entire time, he was unaware of the situation with Hong Yu'er and the Fang Zhelan.
"Our match tomorrow is the Profound Blossom Sect…" said one of the Sect Elders.
"The Profound Blossom Sect?!" Elder Zhong nearly spat the tea in his mouth after hearing their name.
"They actually managed to last this long?! Unbelievable!" Elder Zhong said with a surprised expression.
"Sect Master, you may not know this since you have been away this entire time, but the Profound Blossom Sect has two monsters at the Earth Spirit Realm, and one of them is even in the seventh level… whilst we only have three… and the highest one is at the third level..."
"What?! Seventh level Earth Spirit Realm?!" Elder Zhong's eyes widened with shock.
"It's some young lady named Fang Zhelan. However, that's not even the worst part. Even if we somehow manage to defeat her and the Profound Blossom Sect, we will have to deal with the Azure Cloud Sect..."
"The Azure Cloud Sect also managed to last this long? Although they are definitely better than the Profound Blossom Sect in terms of position, they shouldn't have the capabilities to enter the semifinals! What happened to the other Elite Sects? Did they all decide to not participate in this year's regional tournament?" Elder Zhong was gobsmacked by the current situation of the regional tournament, as he truly did not expect all of the Elite Sects to lose to these low-ranking sects.
"No, they were beaten fair and square by them. In fact, one of them even had their status revoked. The Azure Cloud Sect has been bestowed the elite status by His Majesty not long ago."
After a moment of silence, Elder Zhong spoke, "Who is it? Who's this genius from the Azure Cloud Sect?"
"Her name is Hong Yu'er, and she's at the Heavenly Spirit Realm..."
"Heavenly Spirit Realm?!" Elder Zhong coughed out the tea in his mouth and stood up from the shock.
"You must think that I am easily fooled now because I am getting old, huh?! If there's really someone at the Heavenly Spirit Realm in the tournament, there would be no point to even host one!" Elder Zhong shouted angrily, thinking that they were playing jokes on him.
If the Heavenly Spirit Realm is so easily achieved by some junior, his entire life would lose its meaning!
The Sect Elders exchanged glances once again.
"But Sect Master, we're not joking." They said to him with serious expressions. "That Hong Yu'er is truly at the Heavenly Spirit Realm, and she's not even twenty years old. We witnessed it with our own eyes."
"Enough!" Elder Zhong quickly interrupted. "I will witness for myself whether she's really at that level tomorrow! Tell me about the Profound Blossom Sect for now. Who are their fighters, and what about that Fang Zhelan?"
Although it was almost unbelievable that the Profound Blossom Sect would have someone at the seventh level Earth Spirit Realm, it was much more believable than a junior reaching the Heavenly Spirit Realm before the age of twenty. Not to mention they also have Su Yang, who is an unfathomable swordmaster even in his eyes.
"Besides two of their fighters, the rest are within the True Spirit Realm with the exception of one, who is only at the Profound Spirit Realm. The first individual at the Earth Spirit Realm is named Sun Jingjing, and she is at the second level. As for Fang Zhelan, she was revealed to be at the seventh level just two days ago."
The Sect Elders began explaining.
"With that being said, I have watched their abilities for the past few days and realized that besides their impressive cultivation base, their techniques and overall combat experiences are lacking."
"Thus, we don't have to worry about their disciples at the True Spirit Realm. As for those two at the Earth Spirit Realm, we can only drag out the fight and exhaust their spiritual energy as much as possible before sending out our own disciples at the Earth Spirit Realm."
"However?" Elder Zhong raised an eyebrow.
"That disciple with the Profound Spirit Realm cultivation base… he's an odd one."
"Odd? How?" he asked.
"Even though he's only at the Profound Spirit Realm, he was able to beat a genius at the Earth Spirit Realm from the Burning Lotus Sect, and none of us were able to see the full extent of his powers. He's basically unfathomable."
"What? Someone at the Profound Spirit Realm defeated someone at the Earth Spirit Realm? What kind of nonsense are you spouting again? That's even more unbelievable than some junior reaching the Heavenly Spirit Realm!" Elder Zhong scoffed at them.
"It's true, Sect Master. All of us were there to witness it. Perhaps he's cultivating some kind of devilish technique, but his powers were simply too profound and mysterious." The Sect Elders showed bitter expressions on their faces, as they were well aware of just how ridiculous they sound right now.
"If I recall correctly, that young man was named Su Yang…"
Elder Zhong shouted so loud that everybody there could feel their eardrums trembling.
"I-I-I-Impossible! There's no way that he could enter the tournament!" he continued shouting.
After all, he wouldn't be surprised even if Su Yang was older than him.
"That's it! I will be right back!" Elder Zhong said before rushing for the exit.
"Eh? Where are you going, Sect Master?"
"To speak with Lord Xie!"
The Sect Elders mumbled in a bewildered voice as Elder Zhong's figure disappeared from the place.