If Dongting Lake was a jewel before the dragon mountain, then Rainbow City was situated by the very end of its tail.
The tail of the mountain range was dotted with many islands like the stars in the sky. All of them were quite small yet exquisite. The inhabitants here used the trees in the surroundings to build pretty little houses.
At the mountain range and Rainbow City, people usually brought up another lineage, one that was very mysterious in the Heaven Spirit World — the Giant Dragon Kingdom.
Some believed that it indeed existed while others denied this claim. Who knows the truth in this matter? According to the legends, the ancestor of the kingdom was the Giant Dragon God. The existence of this deity was widely accepted, unlike the kingdom.
It was considered the apex existence of the sea demons. After dying, its huge body turned into the current Giant Dragon Mountain Range. From then on, its descendants prospered and populated this area. The kingdom was also established by them within the depths of the range.
Nevertheless, the kingdom’s location and characteristics were still mysteries to outsiders. However, one could find some traces of this kingdom at Rainbow City. Some said that this city was a window of the Giant Dragon Kingdom. It was purposely established as an outreach towards the secular world.
Meanwhile, the Rainbow Islands were only the beginning of the city itself. One must go through the islands before being able to reach the city.
Li Qiye entered one island and faintly smiled while staring at the sky. A series of islands appeared before him with people coming and going. Humans, sea demons, and treants — all of these cultivators were only stopping by for a bit before attempting to enter the actual Rainbow City.
He saw a carriage going through this island. It was very extravagant and its body was made from the precious metals of the Profound Dynasty. Eight different compartments spewed out water that paved a path in the sky so that the carriage could move forward even faster.
Eight of the rarest phoenix-steeds in the Heaven Spirit World were pulling this luxurious ride. Scintillating lights accompanied them and made it seem like their owner was a deity on patrol.
Many pretty maids were behind the carriage while younger servants were throwing flowers next to the carriage. Wherever it was on its path, the surrounding ten miles would be filled with fluttering flowers. It was the most ostentatious showing of wealth and nobility.
Not too many people would put on such an overbearing posture in the Heaven Spirit World. Most importantly, the majority of cultivators did not pursue this type of luxury, so this type of lavish travel was quite rare.
It also easily attracted jealousy and even trouble from others. However, the master of this carriage probably never spared a thought for such a problem.
In fact, the moment people saw the little flag on the carriage, they quickly gave way, let alone cause trouble. They knew that this was the banner of the Profound God-Monarch. Only those closest to him were allowed to use this banner.
A cultivator murmured: “Gongsun Meiyu is here.”
His friend reminded him: “Shh, quiet down. You better call her Queen Gongsun. I heard people from the Abyss Sea say that she likes being called queen the most. Otherwise, she might randomly kill people if she is in a bad mood.”
People had different emotions while looking at this luxurious carriage. Some were awed while others were envious, but regardless of what they felt the most common reaction was to retreat.
Gongsun Meiyu was a concubine of the Profound God-Monarch and was known to have earned his favor. Rumor has it that she might even be promoted from concubine to wife, the new queen of the Profound Dynasty.
In fact, she didn’t only rely on her beauty to win his love. Before marrying him, she had already been famous among the younger generation of charming spirits. Her cultivation was very powerful as she was once a prodigy.
Someone speculated: “If Queen Gongsun is here, maybe the monarch is on his way as well?”
His companion quietly replied: “Don’t speak carelessly. I heard Queen Gongsun is very grumpy right now. Her favorite maid was killed by a kid named Li Qiye. She is probably on a trip to feel better, or maybe she is trying to find that kid.”
Li Qiye ignored the carriage. He entered an inn and quietly drank, waiting for Zhang Baitu to come.
He quietly sighed while gazing outside the inn to look at the ocean as well as the faint dragon mountain range in the distance.
In fact, many resting cultivators were gazing at it as well.
A cultivator asked his friend sitting next to him: “Are there really dragons in those mountains? Or rather, does such a race truly exist in this world?”
An older elder pondered for a moment regarding this question before answering: “That would depend on how you define the dragon race. Whether they exist in those mountains or not is difficult to say. However, dragon demons indeed exist in the Heaven Spirit World. They are supreme among our Sea Demon Race. Some ancestors believe that the dragons in there are part of the sea dragon demons as well.”
“Speaking of dragons, I have heard of a certain legend.” A friend at the same table added: “A very long time ago, a little black dragon used to play around these mountains and this sea region. It swam through the Rainbow Islands, but who knows if it is real or not.”
Another friend happily joined in: “I’ve heard about that too. This little black dragon caused a lot of trouble at Dongting Lake. Later on, it was subdued by an immortal.”
The cultivator that initiated the conversation became quite curious and quickly asked: “Immortal? A real immortal?”
“It’s probably just a fairy tale. Where can you find immortals in this world?” The elder smiled and shook his head.
One of the friends added: “I heard a version that is a little different. It says that the person who subdued the little black dragon was not an immortal at all, it was a heinous devil king. After this devil king took down the dragon, he skinned it and drank its blood before boiling the meat and eating it.”
Li Qiye, who was sitting in a corner, almost spat out his wine. Some rumors kept on spreading and eventually, the tale became completely different.
Li Qiye didn’t really mind this small talk. He gently smiled and stopped listening.
After a good while, Zhang Baitu finally arrived. He saw Li Qiye and quickly bowed. Li Qiye nodded and signaled for him to sit down.
“You are late.” Li Qiye casually spoke while drinking and enjoying the scenery outside.
“Something happened that slowed me down a bit, just a small matter.” Zhang Baitu smiled awkwardly while rubbing his palms.
Li Qiye slightly frowned and asked: “Someone came looking for trouble?”
“No, no—” Zhang Baitu saw Li Qiye’s expression and his soul almost left his body. He quickly waved his hands to deny the claim.
But how could a little character like him withstand Li Qiye’s glare? He eventually gave up with a bitter face: “Young Noble, really, it is no big deal. Because of the big commotion earlier, the disciples from Dongting Lake were afraid that something had happened to me, so they came asking questions, that’s all. They really didn’t trouble me at all, really.”
In his eyes, Li Qiye was definitely not a good-natured person. A single discordant conversation could lead to a bloodbath. He probably belonged to the type of people who would kill as many provokers as possible. Because of this, he was afraid that Li Qiye would misunderstand and kill the disciples from the lake. He would never be able to forgive himself if that were to happen.
Li Qiye gave him a quick glance before shifting his gaze towards the mountains.
After seeing Li Qiye no longer pressing the issue, Zhang Baitu finally felt relieved. He thought about back then when the disciples saw the corpses that were hung on the trees. How could they not be frightened?
Of course, he didn’t want these disciples to provoke Li Qiye, it would be the same as courting death.
He eventually gathered his courage and softly asked: “Young, Young Noble, where are we going now?”
Li Qiye withdrew his gaze and replied: “To Rainbow City to grab a few things for you. We have to prepare certain things in order to destroy your dao foundation and start over.”
“Destroy my dao foundation?” The old man was startled after hearing this. Even though his foundation was very shallow, it was still the fruit of several dozen hard-fought years. He couldn’t accept this so quickly.
Li Qiye looked at him with one eye and said: “There is nothing to feel lost about. I’m not trying to belittle you, but your dao foundation is as good as not having anything at all — it’s completely dispensable. Destroy to rebuild from the beginning — this is the way to go.”
Zhang Baitu had to admit that his foundation was indeed lacking and dispensable.
He asked with some concern: “But I’m not young anymore, can I handle it?” He was quite old already. Destroying the foundation at his age could easily lead to exhaustion, he’d croak for sure.
Li Qiye casually replied: “Don’t worry. With me here, it would be difficult for you to die even if you wanted to.”
“Then we’ll do as you say, Young Noble.” He made a decision after a moment of hesitation. In his eyes, Li Qiye had no need to harm him. If he did, just one finger was enough to take care of him, there was no need to go through so much trouble.