Li Qiye gave a nod and continued to look at the hazy mountain range in silence.
This Giant Dragon Mountain Range stretched for ten million miles like a dragon lying on the ocean. It was completely engulfed in mist and fog; a dragon with a visible head yet indiscernible tail. This made the whole area even more mysterious. 1
Unwittingly, his vision of the mountains turned a bit hazy during this long observation. Who knows if it was his eyes becoming blurry or the mountain range itself losing definition?
He became absent-minded for a long time. Some unwanted memories resurfaced and his heart jumped as if it was being clutched by something.
Zhang Baitu quietly sat there and didn’t say anything after noticing Li Qiye’s intense stare.
“Young Noble.” Eventually, Li Qiye’s expression became very strange, prompting him to ask: “Are you alright?”
Li Qiye was startled and regained his wits. He gently sighed and lightly replied: “It’s nothing. It is only that the mountain range is too incredible. A few things from there are truly unforgettable.”
Zhang Baitu misunderstood him and scratched his head while agreeing: “Right, this mountain range has always been incredibly enchanting. It is extremely mysterious, so it invokes curiosity from just about anyone. They all want to know if the Giant Dragon Kingdom truly exists or not…”
“… But no one has ever been able to verify this. According to legend, unless they were granted permission from the kingdom, no one would be able to get in there. There have been many attempts to enter it, but none were publicly successful. Do you want to go there for a look too?” He thought that Li Qiye wanted to enter the mountain range, but Li Qiye was actually thinking about something else.
“Maybe.” Li Qiye only smiled and casually asked: “How is the Jian Clan right now?”
“Are you referring to the Jian Clan from Rainbow City?” Despite being a nobody, Zhang Baitu still knew a few things about Rainbow City due to how close it was.
“Yes.” Li Qiye nodded. His mind was a little unfocused.
“The Jian Clan is still doing very well in Rainbow City. Everyone says that they are the number one clan there.” Zhang Baitu told Li Qiye everything he knew: “I heard they are very close with the human race. Some also say that they are related to the Giant Dragon Kingdom. It is a relatively low-key clan, but we all know just how powerful they are. The Jian Clanmaster has lived for several thousand years, but he is still as vigorous as ever.”
Li Qiye remained impassive after hearing this, but he was sighing on the inside. The brat from the Jian Clan was still alive. Unfortunately, he didn’t want to face it…
The Heaven Spirit World was not a place that he wanted to visit either. There were many memories that he preferred to be forgotten.
During his silence, a woman wearing a tight green outfit arrived outside the inn. Her curvy figure contrasted her cold and determined demeanor. This was Hong Yujiao who met Li Qiye back at Dongting Lake.
Zhang Baitu was surprised to see her. Meanwhile, she immediately came over when she saw him and cupped her fists: “Senior Brother Zhang, long time no see.”
Although Zhang Baitu was not a disciple of the lake, in accordance with their ancestors’ hierarchy, Hong Yujiao still needed to call him senior brother.
“Ah, Sister Hong, long time no see. Your cultivation has increased yet again.” Zhang Baitu smiled wryly and turned away with the intention of blocking Li Qiye from her view. He didn’t want her to see Li Qiye.
He was not worried for Li Qiye but rather Hong Yujiao’s safety because he could faintly guess why she came to this place.
It was of no use because she had spotted Li Qiye and spoke with a hint of surprise: “It’s you?”
Li Qiye was still contemplating while looking at the mountain range, so he didn’t hear her.
She didn’t like his attitude, but this was not Dongting Lake. She didn’t want to make it difficult for him since she came for Zhang Baitu.
As for Zhang Baitu, he lamented in his mind. He knew that this was unavoidable and only wished for Hong Yujiao to mind her words.
“Brother, I was entrusted by my father to ask you about a few things.” She sat down and looked at him in a serious manner.
Her father was the current Dongting Lakemaster, Hong Tianzhu.
“About what?” He asked quickly, despite knowing full well what she wanted to talk about. This was the matter he didn’t want her to mention the most.
She said: “I heard some news about people from the Ironscale School coming to cause trouble for you.”
True to his expectations, he tried to divert the subject: “Oh, about that? It’s over now. They wanted to buy my Hundred-Saints Hall, but how could I sell the ancestors’ home? So I said no.”
She softly said: “What happened on the island then? Brother, this is no small matter.” This was not an attempt to blame or interrogate him, she needed to know the truth of this big event.
Out of nowhere, a divine aura suppressed the entire Demon Dragon Sea. Next, news of the destruction of the Ironscale School spread. A bit later, Dongting Lake found out that the corpses of the Ironscale Schoolmaster and more than one hundred of his followers were hanging at the Hundred-Saints Hall. How could the lake not be startled by this?
Of course, they didn’t connect the aura that destroyed the Ironscale School with the hall. However, it was still a big deal when those corpses were located on that island. After all, their lake was a prime suspect to these deaths.
In fact, after finding out, they disposed of those bodies. Zhang Baitu didn’t dare to let Li Qiye know since he was afraid that Li Qiye would become angry and make his way in to destroy the lake.
“Well…” Zhang Baitu didn’t know how to respond. He was not someone who was good at lying, so he coughed and said: “Well, the responsibility does not fall on us. It was the Ironscale School forcing a sale.”
Li Qiye withdrew his gaze and slowly said: “Why make such a big deal out of something so trivial like destroying an Ironscale School?”
Zhang Baitu was alarmed. He was not worried about himself, he was afraid that Hong Yujiao would provoke Li Qiye. His shallow cultivation did not blind his vision, he knew that Hong Yujiao had learned the arts of her father, but she was nothing before Li Qiye. She would be crushed by just one of his fingers.
Hong Yujiao’s expression changed as she looked at Li Qiye with a stern look and asked: “May I have your name?”
Zhang Baitu wanted to say something, but he refrained from doing so. Li Qiye looked back at her and smiled: “My name doesn’t matter. I just want to say that your Dongting Lake is becoming worse with each successive generation, losing sight of the grand picture just for petty gains in power.”
He laughed and continued: “Look at your lake now. Unlike your ancestors who protected the vitality of the human race, you’re now just a bunch of cowards hiding in the city. All of their glory has been thrown away by your generation.”
“Today, you have even forgotten about the souls of your ancestors as well as your spiritual totem. I’m curious, how many years has it been since the last time your lake went to worship the Hundred-Saints Hall? Has it been fifty or a hundred generations? I’m afraid that your lake has even forgotten who the ones enshrined in the hall are.” With that, he sighed and didn’t want to look at her anymore.
She couldn’t answer due to lacking knowledge about this matter. She only knew that some ancestors from the lake speculated that the Hundred-Saints Hall might be storing some treasures.
“We descendants are not qualified to comment on the matter of our ancestors.” Eventually, she answered: “I just want to ask you, did you kill the Ironscale Schoolmaster’s group?”
This was the thing she was most concerned about. After all, the schoolmaster and elders of a sea demon lineage had died very close to Dongting Lake, and even their sect was destroyed. Once this news spread, their lake would become the prime suspect.
Of course, she understood that Zhang Baitu couldn’t kill that group, so the only possibility was this person sitting in front of her.
“I understand your lake’s intention.” Li Qiye smiled: “It needs to find a murderer in order to wash away this suspicion.”
1. This idiom was used before and is slightly modified here. It means magnificent/unfathomable.