Lei Yu and his robust followers couldn’t contain their laughter after seeing an ordinary human like Li Qiye.
Lei Yu mocked: “Boy, what now? You want to stand up for your fellow race? But before doing that, you need to weigh yourself—”
“Boom!” But before he could finish his spiel, his five followers were rendered into pulp, their blood staining the stone slabs on the ground.
These men didn’t even know how or why they died. They couldn’t even react before being crushed completely.
Meanwhile, Lei Yu started seeing stars. Li Qiye had one foot on his body, so he couldn’t move at all.
The previously captured old man was also frightened out of his mind. He stared at Li Qiye in disbelief since he couldn’t even see part of the process.
His followers being annihilated as well as his lack of ability to retaliate while being trampled upon made Lei Yu’s soul leave his body.
Li Qiye chillingly spoke: “No one is allowed to defile the Hundred-Saints Hall!”
Lei Yu shouted: “Little, little boy… do you, you know who I am? I am the young lord of the Ironscale School and my father is the schoolmaster. If, if you dare to hurt me, my father will not only kill you, he’ll annihilate the entire hall as well…!” He was quite afraid, so he had to bring up his father.
“Crack!” Bones were broken, causing him to scream. Li Qiye had crushed his face with a stomp. Flesh and blood went flying as Lei Yu writhed in agony.
Li Qiye emotionlessly declared: “I am sparing your dog life so that you can tell your father to personally cut off your head and bring it here as an apology. His failure in teaching you will also result in his decapitation as well. If he heeds my words, then I shall spare your Ironscale School. Otherwise they will not see tomorrow’s sun!”
With that, Li Qiye lifted his foot from Lei Yu and kicked him off the island before saying: “Scram.”
Lei Yu was kicked into the ocean and pissed his pants from fear. He immediately dived down and escaped out of sight.
The old man was still in shock and couldn’t stand up from the ground. Li Qiye gently sighed while looking at the old man before helping him up.
Li Qiye asked: “What is your name?”
The old man took a while before answering: “My, my surname is Zhang. Everyone calls me Baitu.” Having said that, he felt quite dejected despite his stubborn nature. However, his head was still held up high the entire time.
Li Qiye lamented while looking at him: “Why did the descendants of the Zhang Clan fall to this level?”
The stubborn demeanor of the old man reminded him of someone.
Li Qiye threw a medicine bottle over to Zhang Baitu and said: “You are badly hurt, so take this.”
Zhang Baitu accepted the bottle and poured a pill into his palm. His heart jumped after seeing the shining golden hue. He looked over at Li Qiye in astonishment. Despite his lack of knowledge, he still knew that this piece of medicine was a big deal.
“Take it.” Li Qiye waved his sleeve as he didn’t want to waste more words.
After a short silence, the old man quietly took the medicine.
Li Qiye stood before the temple and looked at the old plaque that was hung up high, gazing at the crow engraved above the three words “Hundred-Saints Hall”. He stood there, silently looking at this plaque for a long time.
Eventually, he looked back at the old man and asked: “Aren’t clans like the Zhang and Hong responsible for taking turns to protect the hall?”
Zhang Baitu was surprised to see a human junior aware of this matter. He eventually replied: “My ancestors accepted the responsibility of protecting this place.”
After hearing this, Li Qiye nodded: “I understand. Your ancestors lost the conflict for power at Dongting Lake back then and had to move out, correct?”
“How, how do you know that?” Zhang Baitu was surprised. Even the elite disciples of the lake didn’t know about the power struggle of their ancestors.
“For power, even blood brothers can become enemies, let alone mere friends.” Li Qiye stated without answering the question. He sighed once more while looking at the plaque.
Zhang Baitu eventually calmed down and bowed towards Li Qiye: “Young Noble, how should I address you?”
Li Qiye answered: “Li Qiye, just a passerby.”
He didn’t have a big reaction after hearing this name and only nodded. He was only a little character and hadn’t heard of Li Qiye’s name before.
“Squeak—” Li Qiye pushed open the wooden doors to the hall. Lei Yu used all of his strength to desperately smash open these doors to no avail, yet Li Qiye opened them so easily.
“How, how can this be!” The old man couldn’t believe his own wide-open eyes.
“Why not?” Li Qiye turned back at him.
“Because, because these doors have never been opened by anyone.” Zhang Baitu was stammering. In his memories, no one had been able to open these doors. His seniors and even many big shots from Dongting Lake all failed.
According to the legends, the hall was protected by the wise saints of the world; their power safeguarded this hall.
Li Qiye didn’t reply as he stepped inside. The astounded old man calmed down and quickly followed.
He had to ask: “Young Noble Li, are, are you one of the saints?”
The unopened doors had been opened by Li Qiye, so perhaps this was one of the legendary saints.
“Saint? Are you referring to the saints that protect the hall?” Li Qiye laughed and said: “If you believe so, then I can be considered one.”
With that, he went inside. This hall was very simple without any further decorations other than a stone pillar. Contrary to people’s expectations, the end of the hall contained no treasures. There was only a line of memorial tablets with names engraved on them.
Li Qiye was caught in a long silence while looking at these all-too familiar names. He began to bow in front of each one while feeling quite sentimental inside.
This was Zhang Baitu’s first time seeing these tablets and names. However, the majority of them had the surname Zhang, Hong, or Xu.
After a while, he quietly asked Li Qiye: “Are these, are these the tablets of my ancestors?”
“Yes.” Li Qiye softly nodded: “They are the wise sages of the human race, the pride of humanity. Even during the era of darkness, they continued to defend the dignity of our race and protected its final dawn.”
Zhang Baitu had no comments. He didn’t know anything about his ancestors. Only he remained of the Zhang Clan, and he rarely mingled with Dongting Lake.
“Unfortunately, the descendants did not inherit the ambition or beliefs of their ancestors. After so many generations of friendship, they still couldn’t avoid the temptation of one thing — power.” Li Qiye bemoaned while looking at the tablets.
The ancestors of the Zhang, Hong, and Xu were friends for generations. Their clans all followed Li Qiye, and they eventually settled down in this place, creating Dongting Lake. It was meant to be a shelter for the human race in the Heaven Spirit World.
The lake was once a prominent power. In its heyday, even the Exquisite Valley was far from being comparable.
Regrettably, the descendants of these friends betrayed each other later on. They fought for power to the point of life and death.
Because of this, Li Qiye didn’t want to bother with the lake’s unfilial mindset or power struggles.
After a long time, he withdrew his gaze and glanced over at Zhang Baitu, flatly stating: “Even if your Zhang Clan lost the fight back then, it shouldn’t have deteriorated to this state.”
Zhang Baitu smiled wryly and responded: “I don’t know much about the ancestors’ business. I heard that after leaving the lake, they decided to stay here and act as guards. It is we descendants who were useless and failed to pass on our lineage. By the time my father’s generation arrived, we were already finished. During my youth, my father and uncles departed one after another, unable to maintain the inheritance. In the end, I could only learn a few superficial things.”
In the past, the three clans ruled the lake together. Later on, the Zhang Clan lost the internal conflict. Their ancestors were stubborn as well, so after losing, they moved out of the lake and settled here.
Because their clan had lost a lot of resources, it was sent into a nosedive; each generation became worse than the previous.