Li Qiye spoke while sitting in his chair and staring at the chaos: “As long as you take out that item, I will not mistreat your temple. I shall satisfy your requests.”
Old Xian pondered for a bit before sighing: “If Your Excellency needs it, how could we not give it to you?”
“Very good.” Li Qiye gently nodded: “This is the War God Temple for you, wise and always making the correct choice.”
Old Xian didn’t say anything. He could only lament the fact that since the start of time, there were only things that the Dark Crow wanted and nothing that he couldn’t have. Plus, Li Qiye was not taking their item without giving anything in return. An exchange was the best result for the temple.
“Your Excellency, this lowly one is still confused.” Old Xian asked: “With your invincible capabilities, who in the nine worlds could oppose you? Why do you need our item?”
“You are aware of the item’s origin.” Li Qiye smiled: “Yes, I don’t need to borrow it if I only wanted to sweep through the nine worlds. However, if I need to open a path up there, then I must have it.”
“Your Excellency wants to go there again!” Old Xian’s heart started beating faster. He had heard of this legend from War God Mu before.
Li Qiye slowly replied: “Yes, it’s time to end it in this generation.”
Old Xian was aghast inside the chaos. He murmured: “Your Excellency wants to raise the banner again? This little one knows very little, but I have heard Immortal Emperor Bing Yu talk about it before. She said that you have started an expedition once, is that true?”
“It is a path of no return. This applies to everyone, and I wasn’t the only one who started one before.” Li Qiye flatly stated: “Many have tried to do so across the eons, thus the path is paved with many bones.”
Old Xian was quite shaken. Thousands of thoughts ran rampant in his mind in a split second.
Old Xian asked: “Your Excellency, I have heard a few legends about this matter. For instance, is it true that some people can take advantage of this and go up as well? Can it really be done?”
“Haha, are you talking about the illegal crossing?” Li Qiye laughed and replied: “Yes, it is true, but you need an Immortal Emperor to preside over the whole process. The success rate is not very good even with an emperor. Deaths will surely happen.” 1
He continued: “You should understand that once you go to the heavens, you will become prey. Those existences won’t ignore you, and you should know the result of being prey.”
Old Xian was startled once more because this has exceeded his imagination.
“Why, are you tempted?” Li Qiye laughed: “If you really are curious, then I will tell you some good news. There’s no need for illegal crossing in this generation, the door will open and if you are strong enough, you can definitely go up there. Of course, you will become prey at that point, got it?”
“But how is that possible?” Old Xian finally regained his sanity and spoke with astonishment: “Outside of a few mythical opportunities, only Immortal Emperors could ascend.”
“This generation is different.” Li Qiye smiled: “I am the ruler of this generation; the door will open for sure. Of course, it depends on your own power if you can go up there and who you go with.”
Old Xian’s heart that had been quiet for a long time suddenly thumped faster and faster. It became full of life as if the old man in the chaos suddenly became younger.
“So I take it that you are tempted.” Li Qiye smiled: “No more protecting the Hidden Immortal Hall, do you want to come out and do some stretching?”
Old Xian mused the thought a bit before speaking: “I don’t know what kind of world it is, but I heard that above the heavens, emperors and deities coexist in harmony…”
Li Qiye smiled: “It is not necessarily a good thing. Where there are people, jianghu exists. With jianghu comes disputes. From disputes stem violence and bloodshed. You can imagine a brilliant era, but you can also imagine a scene of carnage. No matter the location, the most radiant era will also have the most horrifying destruction.” 2
“Gods and deities together!” Despite Li Qiye’s response, the old man in the chaos was still in a daze. One could imagine this era even though it was quite far in the past.
Eventually, he calmed down and recalled some of the things Immortal Emperor Bing Yu told him.
He asked once more to confirm: “Does your Excellency want to reach the very end in this generation?”
Li Qiye laughed in response: “It seems like Little Bing Yu told you a lot of things. I told her back then so that she could prepare and avoid being caught off guard.”
“Ah, Your Excellency, this is not the Immortal Emperor’s fault. Before leaving, the emperor discussed many things with the War God Temple; I only got curious, that’s all.” The old man smiled wryly. 3
Li Qiye chuckled and said: “Immortal Emperor Bing Yu made a transaction with the temple, correct? Outside of leaving some things for the Ice Feather Palace so that it could rise again after suffering a decline, she should also have taken a personal letter that descended from up there, right?”
“Your Excellency’s prediction is flawless.” Old Xian smiled: “Immortal Emperor Bing Yu did indeed make a deal with us back then.”
He softly spoke: “Forget it, I do not care about it. Little Bing Yu can partially be considered a pupil of mine. Without my indulgence, she wouldn’t have told this secret to your temple anyway.”
Old Xian could finally breathe easy because some secrets weren’t meant to be leaked. No one would want to talk about this stuff, including Immortal Emperors unless it was their closest family. It related to too many secrets that the weak had no place in knowing.
Li Qiye glanced over into the chaos and spoke: “Does your temple have any objections? Tell me your requests. As long as they are reasonable, I shall fulfill them.”
Old Xian contemplated for a bit before speaking: “Is Your Excellency still recruiting?”
Li Qiye couldn’t help but laugh after hearing this: “Do you want to climb out and go up there for real? If I’m not mistaken, your War God Temple has always been the same, acting like an old geezer. The temple probably wants to worship you nonstop until you can’t extend your lifespan any longer.”
“Maybe Your Excellency was right. There is no rebuilding without breaking.” Old Xian sighed in the chaos: “The War God temple is still immersed in the glory of the previous generations; it is thriving due to the shelter of old prestige. If our old selves are still here, the temple won’t be able to truly prosper.”
“As long as we are still alive, the younger disciples will live comfortably with no sense of crisis. At the same time, we are wasting a lot of the temple’s resources. This is robbing the youths.” He lamented with regret.
Though the temple rarely involved itself with the world, it was indeed very powerful and not weaker than any other imperial lineage. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have stood strong for so many millions of years.
However, its power was not built on the foundation of a rising younger generation. Unlike other imperial lineages, it didn’t have fresh Immortal Emperors that would bring about fresh blood for the sect.
The main reason for its strength was due to its establishment during a brilliant era. This left behind an astonishing legacy and resources for the temple, including many mighty ancestors.
Having powerful ancestors was not a bad thing for a sect. After all, this was part of their strength. However, it was not necessarily a plus either.
Outside of the younger generation not having a lot of motivation due to their existences, they also consumed a lot of resources from either life prolongment or blood energy enrichment.
It was just like Old Xian said, this was robbing from the younger generation.
Li Qiye responded insipidly: “Your temple has adhered to old ideas for too long and should have had a reformation long ago. For instance, there were many good opportunities back then, yet you failed to grasp them. You actually sent out a great seed for an Immortal Emperor. If I knew that this was going to happen, I would have trained Little Bing Yu myself.”
Old Xian didn’t dare to comment after being scolded by Li Qiye. To the ancestors of the temple, they regretted gifting an Immortal Emperor to someone else the most.
If they kept the young Immortal Emperor Bing Yu, perhaps they would have broken this stagnation and brought about some fresh blood to the temple.
Unfortunately, they failed to do a good job. In the end, the proud emperor left the temple.
In fact, Li Qiye had scolded them in the past about this matter before since he also lost the chance to train Immortal Emperor Bing Yu.
There was no chance for them to reconcile because the emperor was a proud person. She would never come back after leaving.
“Your Excellency’s criticism is just, our temple has indeed festered.” Old Xian sighed again and openly admitted their mistake that year.
1. Illegal crossing as in illegal immigration or human smuggling. 2. Most readers have probably seen the word jianghu before, meaning lakes and rivers. Another translation I see for this is “Pugilist World”, but I don’t agree with it fully because it consists of more than just martial artists. It is a culture, a way of life described in ancient China that was brought to life in wuxia novels and extended to modern web novels as well. 3. I know that Bing Yu should be empress, but her title is Immortal Emperor. Only Hong Tian is an empress in title (raw is Female Emperor). I don’t know if the distinction matters at all, but I’ll keep it this way.