Li Qiye’s thirteen palaces left many people feeble and despairing.
“Thirteen palaces…” So many people lost their minds as they murmured: “Why was I born into this generation? Do the heavens want to oppress me so? Li Qiye will certainly become the Immortal Emperor of this era!” Even the previous generation who considered Li Qiye an enemy had to admit as much.
Li Qiye ignored the crowd and took the girls to the City of Emperors.
The City of Emperors was gigantic. In the Imperial Border, there was not another city of the same size. In the old ages, this city belonged to the Imperial Lord. He used to rule over the border from this location.
After so many years, the city had lost its master, resulting in its appearance becoming a bit gloomy. Its imperial momentum no longer soared to the sky.
A huge bell was hanging above the city. It had not been rung for who knew how many years and had a greenish bronze tint to it.
According to legends, only Imperial Kings could ring this bell. Other people, regardless of how powerful they may be, wouldn’t be able to.
Li Qiye glanced at this bell hanging high in the sky and gently knocked on it.
“Clang! Clang! Clang!” The bell echoed across the entire border. Every single soldier heard the noise.
In fact, it wasn’t only Imperial Kings who could ring the bell, it was only those who had an imperial sword. Li Qiye intended on summoning the three other Imperial Kings holding the special swords by ringing this bell.
“Creakk—” The shut gate of the city slowly opened after the bell sounded. It had been closed for so long that when it opened, an ancient gust of air immediately rushed out.
“You guys stay outside.” Li Qiye told the girls before entering by himself.
The girls didn’t question it and waited outside.
Many people saw this scene and were quite surprised. All along, outsiders couldn’t open the gate to this city, not even Godkings. But today, Li Qiye managed to do so with ease.
A common cultivator murmured: “First it was the Dark Maxim Palace, now it is the City of Emperors. Fiercest is truly too devilish, it’s as if nothing in this world can trouble him.”
“What is more devilish in this world than having thirteen palaces?” Someone next to him responded: “If he has thirteen palaces, nothing else really matters.”
The first speaker couldn’t help but smile wryly after hearing this. It was indeed the truth. Nothing in this world was more astonishing than having that many palaces.
“Evil Buddha, Devil King, Imperial King, he can transform so freely. Just what is his dao heart?” A knowledgeable expert became quite curious.
Even if he could put on the disguise, the evil energy and imperial momentum weren’t things that could be fabricated. It truly required the person to have a devil or an imperial heart.
“Boom, boom, boom!” While many were curious, the sky suddenly shook. A cavalry approached from the sky. It was a huge imperial army.
Leading this army was an Imperial King with an engulfing imperial momentum. He was blind in one eye while the other one had a demonic feel to it.
This was one of the three grand Imperial Kings of the border — Evil-eyed Emperor!
Even though the border had many kingdoms, only the kings of the three great empires were eligible to show up!
This cavalry quickly reached the City of Emperors. The Evil-eyed Emperor jumped down from his chariot and ordered the soldiers: “Stay outside.”
With that, he entered the city. Right afterward, another explosion detonated. A different cavalry approached. The Imperial King leading this troop looked quite scholarly. He was titled Erudite Emperor. 1 combined with [page/leaf]. I didn’t find any references to this title and translating it literally can be weird. I’m guessing “page” here stands for being an intellectual, so erudite can fit well.]
He also left his troops outside of the city and went in alone. Not long after, the last emperor came — Triumphant Emperor. He did the same as the previous two and entered by himself.
Inside the City of Emperors, Li Qiye, in his imperial armor, sat imperiously above and glanced at the three new arrivals.
Erudite slowly spoke: “War, you have finally returned.”
Li Qiye only smiled. His imperial momentum was even stronger than the other three.
“Hah…” Evil-eyed Emperor sneered: “War, you think it is appropriate for an outsider like you to sit here and give out orders?”
Li Qiye only glanced at him and answered: “Evil-eyed, don’t try that sarcastic tone in front of me. Does it matter whether I am an outsider or not? The important thing is that I have an imperial heart, one that is stronger than yours!” His eyes turned cold as he went on: “If you aren’t convinced, you can challenge me. I will suck you dry of your momentum so that you can start as a foot soldier all over again! I trust that there are many Imperial Kings at the border right now who would be more than happy to have your sword!”
Evil-eyed only scowled and didn’t want to continue this conversation. He was only a junior before War Emperor. Moreover, Li Qiye was right. One’s identity didn’t matter here, only the dao heart had importance.
War Emperor had received an imperial sword, this meant that the Imperial Border recognized him! In fact, he was the only outsider for millions of years to have been accepted by this place.
“It isn’t easy for all of us to come together, let’s have a nice talk.” Triumphant Emperor mediated.
“I’m an easy person to speak to.” Li Qiye lazily sat there while still having an unreachable temperament: “However, if someone wants to challenge my authority, it won’t be a nice talk anymore.”
Evil-eyed snorted in response. Even though he had an unfavorable view of War Emperor, he wasn’t willing to break all pretenses of cordiality with him. After all, the border knew just how strong the Kingdom of Emperors was.
“What is your plan for coming back this time?” Erudite Emperor quickly changed the topic.
The Kingdom of Emperors had been sealed in the icy mountain for a very long time now without coming out. This was a great matter for the Imperial Border and especially for the three great empires.
Triumphant Emperor also inquired: “Do you want to enter the Expedition Path?!”
It has been a long time since an empire has embarked on the path.
Li Qiye glanced at the emperors and flatly asked: “You three don’t want to do it?”
Erudite Emperor wanted to say something, but he only gently sighed in the end. Triumphant Emperor spoke instead with some hesitation: “I do! But compared to the empires that have done so in the past, my empire is still not capable enough, so I want to wait for several more generations before going.”
For the imperial soldiers and everyone at the border, time was not an issue. Normally, if they weren’t fighting or mining, they would be slumbering.
“You actually think that is possible?” Li Qiye gently shook his head: “Waiting for a few generations?”
“What do you mean?” Evil-eyed Emperor raised his brows at Li Qiye and asked right away.
“For us, time is not an issue, the last thing we needed was time. However, that is all in the past. Right now, time is especially precious for the entire border.” Li Qiye explained.
The other two emperors were startled. Triumphant tried to get some clarification right away: “War Emperor, what do you mean…”
“The Buddhist Funeral Plateau will not give you time.” Li Qiye elaborated: “According to a quick estimation, the plateau might take action in this generation.”
“This is only your speculation.” Evil-eyed scowled with distrust.
Li Qiye coldly stared at him: “Evil-eyed, do you think I need to deceive you? If I wanted to rob you of everything, must I resort to treachery? With my imperial heart, I can control all the momentum in the border. With that, I can devour your momentum. It would be as easy as turning my hand over!”
Evil-eyed’s expression sank. Even though he was not happy about it, he had to admit that this was true. He would lose everything and have to start over again as a new soldier.
“Don’t forget, I can come and go whenever I want.” Li Qiye slowly said: “I understand the plateau and those old monks much more than the three of you. I have seen his current status and he is ready to fight whenever!”
The emperors glanced at each other for a bit. If the plateau was really ready to fight, then time was not on their side anymore. What was in abundance before had become quite scarce, resulting in an urgent situation.
Erudite Emperor asked: “Do you have any suggestions?”
Li Qiye stared at the three and answered: “I came this time to discuss this matter with the three of you. My Kingdom of Emperors along with your three empires can work together to enter the Expedition Path.”
“Work together?” The emperors became quite moved after hearing this. They knew just how strong the Kingdom of Emperors was. Plus, it had a frightening amount of Regal Gold.
“However, there is no free lunch in this world.” Li Qiye slowly added: “Our kingdom can let you come along on the path, but I have a condition.”