Li Qiye smiled after hearing Nan Huairen: “That day will come eventually. When it is time to leave, I’ll have to leave.”
Nan Huairen looked at him and asked: “Will you return?”
His heart was full of gratitude. Everything he had today was thanks to Li Qiye. Without Li Qiye, there would be no him of today, and the same could be said for the current Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect.
“The path towards the grand dao is endless. If fate allows, we will meet again.” Li Qiye gently patted his shoulder and said: “Huairen, one cannot deny your cleverness and good nature, but you are very noncommittal and prone to giving up. Cultivation requires perseverance. It is a very lonely path, so if you can work on your dao heart, you will be able to show your worth in the future and go even further.”
Li Qiye did not pass anything down to him. Huairen had already cultivated merit laws from Cleansing Incense, so Li Qiye only wanted to point out the failings in his character.
With regards to talents, he was worse than Luo Fenghua and Xu Pei. Although his quick mind made him good at reading people, it was not something that could help his cultivation.
“I will remember First Brother’s words very well and will certainly re-evaluate myself.” Nan Huairen bowed. If other people told him this, he wouldn’t have listened due to his personality, but he would firmly memorize Li Qiye’s words.
Li Qiye smilingly said: “Go! Men are ambitious and their hearts will always drift to faraway realms. There will be goodbyes, so there’s no need to be sad.”
“First Brother, take care.” Nan Huairen fixed his robes and bowed respectfully once more. Even though he knew that his First Brother might not be leaving right away, his departure was inevitable. Perhaps on that day, he wouldn’t have the chance to say goodbye.
Li Qiye sighed after the boy left. Through the long years, this type of farewell has happened so many times that he had grown used to it.
There was nothing he could do. Like Bu Lianxiang had said previously, nothing in this world could stop his path. No one would be able to slow him down. He would always walk forward with courage.
Even Qian Suyun couldn’t stop him from going on this path of no return, no regrets, and no faltering. The only thing he needed to do was to reach the end of the world.
Very soon afterward, he publicly announced his will of designating Xu Pei as the next successor to the rest of the sect.
All the echelons in the sect were surprised after hearing this. They all had the same thoughts; the sect master was still young and Li Qiye was the current successor. Thus, they didn’t understand why he suddenly made this decision. Many disciples were lost and didn’t know what was going on.
However, at Cleansing Incense, Li Qiye’s will was absolute. Among both young and old, no one’s words carried more weight than his right now. He had absolute authority and absolute status in the minds of the disciples, so his will shall be carried out.
If, say, Su Yonghuang was the one appointing the next successor, many disciples would be convinced of her choice, but not all of them. This was not the case for Li Qiye. No one would feel that something was wrong or voice their objection to his decision! They would only show obedience and convincingly execute his orders.
Although the younger disciples were still fairly confused, some older people like Gu Tieshou — who had always been supportive of Li Qiye — realized something.
“A true dragon will eventually take off one day.” Gu Tieshou sighed: “It would soar to the nine heavens and leave their home.”
He understood that Cleansing Incense was a pond that was too small for Li Qiye. There was no way he would stay here forever. In fact, he knew that it was not just Li Qiye. Su Yonghuang, Li Shuangyan, and Chen Baojiao wouldn’t possibly stay here for the rest of their lives either. They were destined to loom over the nine worlds for this was their real pursuit.
After making proper arrangements, Li Qiye was ready to leave for the Heaven Spirit World, but before it was time for his departure, he met up with Bu Lianxiang.
“I should get going.” He looked at her and said: “Outside of finding the sect master, I also have to conclude a few things during this trip to the Heaven Spirit World.”
She held his hand and said in a serious manner: “Everything needs an end. I hope that you can walk without any burdens or worries in the future.”
Li Qiye smiled and stared at the beauty before him: “When I come back, it’ll be just the right time to marry you.”
“This is the phrase I wanted to hear the most in this life. I’m already satisfied just to hear you say it.” She caressed his cheeks and softly continued: “But I can’t marry you. Even if we were to get married, I can’t follow you forever.”
“No matter what world you are staying at in the future or if you have opened up a new world entirely, I don’t want to see the position behind you being empty.” She continued: “Someone will take up the position of the imperial queen. A person full of life and intelligence who can accompany you to the very end. She will always support you unconditionally. Because of you, she can tolerate and pardon the entire world; she shall plan everything for you as well…
“… At the same time, she is also the person who trusts you the most regardless of the circumstances. She will always be your uncompromising cornerstone. But most importantly, she must be capable enough with strength and experience to suppress your followers and command respect out of them!” Bu Lianxiang concluded with this phrase: “Only such a woman can be your wife and assume the position of the imperial queen.”
Her eyes were full of resolution after making her statement.
Li Qiye hugged her tightly and softly said: “I understand. It is a true pity that you weren’t born in this generation.”
She embraced her lover back and declared in a gentle yet firm tone: “There will be… there will be a woman like that, yes.”
Li Qiye’s heart was quite heavy as he held her in his arms.
“I won’t send you off too far as I’ll preside over Cleansing Incense in your place.” She spoke: “You are the soaring sect’s enemy; it will return one day, but if Magu and I are here, the sect won’t dare to do anything. Go to the Heaven Spirit World with peace of mind, I’ll wait for your return.”
He gave her a deep and passionate kiss as if they were about to melt into one…
The girls went to see him off. After seeing them, Li Qiye smilingly said: “Even if you see a friend off for a thousand miles, you will still have to part in the end. Go back now and train well. I hope to see improvements in your Immortal Physiques before we go up there.”
Li Shuangyan and Chen Baojiao both gave him a deep hug and said: “Young Master, be careful!”
Even Bai Jianzhen gave him a hug without saying anything; she stayed true to her personality.
Li Qiye looked at her and gently brushed the hair from her forehead while speaking in a serious tone: “I don’t doubt your talents. In fact, no one in the contemporary is your match with regards to the dao of the sword. Your talents are worthy of pride.”
Bai Jianzhen remained silent like a sword that had yet to leave its scabbard.
“The thing I find insufficient in you is your unwillingness to let go.” Li Qiye continued: “The sword is not a cold weapon. In fact, after embarking on this path, you should try and feel it. The sword and its dao both have emotions, it is not just a murderous tool.” He paused for a bit before explaining: “If, say, you only consider it as a weapon and a cultivation path, then even when you stand at the peak, you won’t be able to break through the real limit. After the peak and the limit is a vaster grand dao.”
“Beyond the limit?” Her eyes came together with an incredible glint.
“Yes, beyond the limit.” He added: “This path can actually go very far. For millions of years, very few Immortal Emperors could devote their entire life to one weapon to reach the dao and became the ultimate bearer of the Heaven’s Will.”
“It could be said that your patriarch, Immortal Emperor Ye Ti, was almost one of them.” He went on: “However, I want you to understand that the path he took is not your path. That path becomes increasingly narrow and, in the end, not to mention surpassing him, I’m afraid you will find it difficult to even reach his level.”
Bai Jianzhen wasn’t the only one listening closely, the other girls paid great attention as well. They knew that this was the fundamentals of the grand dao.
He was urging her on in order to reveal a path for her, a path that she had not previously seen so that she could embark on the true path towards the grand dao.