While Li Qiye was still at the Rainbow Pavilion, Zhang Baitu was striking while the iron was hot in order to comprehend the grand dao he saw earlier.
Of course, Li Qiye was not in a rush to attend the birthday celebration. It was not his main purpose for coming here.
Hong Yujiao came as well. Her father was with her, along with some disciples from the lake. He was the current master of the lake, Hong Tianzhu. 1
Despite his domineering name, he was not a tall or muscular man. White hair could already be found on his head. Despite his humble stature, he gave off a shrewd and capable feeling instead of looking like a pushover.
“Young Noble Li, this is my father.” Hong Yujiao introduced him to Li Qiye.
Li Qiye was sitting in the lobby and only nodded. He didn’t bother to stand up after seeing Hong Tianzhu. Hong Tianzhu cupped his fists and said: “Virtuous Nephew, your fame is thunderous. It is a type of fate to be able to see you today.”
At this time, Hong Yujiao left with the other disciples because she knew her father wanted to talk to Li Qiye.
However, before she could leave, Li Qiye interrupted: “Yujiao, stay behind. You need to listen as well.”
She was slightly dazed and looked over at her father before deciding to stay behind.
In just a moment, only the three of them were left in the lobby.
After everyone sat down, Li Qiye looked at Hong Tianzhu and spoke: “I heard Yujiao say that you wanted to meet me to talk about something. What is it about?”
Hong Tianzhu carefully took a glimpse at Li Qiye again. The guy was sitting there imperiously as if he was guarding the entire world. Anyone would feel an uncomfortable vibe after seeing Li Qiye’s attitude. After all, he was only a junior, yet he was so arrogant. Not too many would appreciate this kind of gesture.
“There’s no need to think too much.” Li Qiye broke the silence: “Don’t think that I would give you more consideration just because you are the current master of Dongting Lake. I granted you this audience not because of how strong your lake is, but purely because of the blessing of your ancestors. I’m here to give Dongting Lake a chance.”
Such words would drive many people away in exasperation. After all, Hong Tianzhu was the leader of an entire region. He enjoyed a great status with his position, but today, someone told him that this meeting was only out of respect for his ancestors. This was simply demeaning and humiliating. No one would like to hear such words.
Hong Tianzhu’s expression slightly shifted after hearing Li Qiye. It would be a lie to say that he was unaffected by these claims. However, as an experienced leader, he didn’t become angry and feel the need to defend his prestige.
“Young Noble Li, I respect your status and your character.” Even Hong Yujiao had to defend her father: “But please, show some respect to us and our Dongting Lake.”
Her displeasure was warranted. He might as well be pointing straight at her father’s face and criticizing him. As his daughter, she naturally had to uphold his dignity.
“Yujiao, the fact that I am sitting right here is showing respect to both you two and your Dongting Lake!” Li Qiye opened his eyes wider. A brilliance instantly blossomed like the flashing of a star. The world floated around his divine throne that loomed above the nine heavens.
He glared at her and slowly uttered: “You think I would bother to correct some randoms on the street and give them a chance at a fortune?”
Hong Yujiao was shaken when Li Qiye glared at her like this. Even though he was only sitting there, she felt an immense pressure, rendering her breathless and giving her the urge to prostrate before him. This was a very strange feeling.
She heaved a sigh of relief once he took his eyes away. The suppressive atmosphere slowly dispersed and she woke up from this trance.
She couldn’t believe it. This Li Qiye ahead looked even younger than her. Despite his ordinary appearance, he could actually instill a primal fear in her, like an eternal existence.
Hong Tianzhu took a deep breath and subdued his displeasure. He cupped his fists again and said: “Virtuous Nephew, the truth is that I did come here today with a particular topic in mind.”
Li Qiye flatly replied: “Go ahead.”
Hong Tianzhu paused for a moment before speaking: “You are the disciple of the Peacock Treefather, the current successor of Peacock Land. My Dongting Lake wishes to formalize a pact with your land.”
Li Qiye slightly raised his eyebrows and asked: “A pact?”
Hong Tianzhu elaborated: “With your consent, we will send disciples to Peacock Land to start a training garrison so that they can become accustomed to the mainland. This will also deepen the friendship between our two lands. Of course, you can also send disciples to my Dongting Lake so that they can train and get used to the sea as well.”
Even though Dongting Lake was huge, its actual landmass was far smaller than Peacock Land. There were more lakes than anything else here. Meanwhile, Peacock Land was one of the biggest continents in not just the Jade Sea, but the entire Heaven Spirit World. There was a reason why it was considered such a great haven for the human race.
However, despite its great size, Peacock Land has never allowed outsiders to be stationed within its territory. No one dared to challenge the Peacock Treefather’s authority in this regard either.
“There are not many humans in Heaven Spirit. Our Dongting Lake and your Peacock Land are two of the biggest strongholds of our race. You should know that if we cooperate with each other, it will not only be beneficial for our lands, but also for the entire human race.” He finished his suggestion.
“I am actually not an acrimonious person.” Li Qiye said with an indifferent tone: “But you yourself should be laughing at how ridiculous your statement is. Your clans have been vying for power all this time, scheming for all kinds of positions. Don’t you think its funny when your lake talks about the interests of the human race?”
“You can’t even tolerate and accept your own people, what is this talk about helping others?!” He coldly stared at Hong Tianzhu after stating this.
Hong Tianzhu’s face turned red to the point of being slightly ugly after hearing this.
“Young Noble Li, you are speaking out of line.” Hong Yujiao once more interjected on her father’s behalf.
Li Qiye shifted his glare to her and responded: “Your Dongting Lake needs to reflect on this issue. Go back and tell those old geezers there what I have said today. I initially didn’t want to talk about this kind of nonsense as it’s not even worth a fart in my eyes!”
His glare was chilling at this moment: “However, I will give your lake a chance out of respect for your ancestors. Go back and tell those old bones that if they don’t wake up, I will personally take action!”
Hong Tianzhu rose from his seat and lowered his voice: “Young Noble Li, your words are too condescending. My lake will take care of our own business. If you do not wish to befriend us, then forget it. Goodbye.”
“Sit down!” The glint in Li Qiye’s eyes bloomed. An oppressive atmosphere came from his eyes; it was as if they could annihilate eternity itself. Hong Tianzhu seemed to be imprisoned by gods from the glare.
He involuntarily sat back down with a bang as if a hand of god had directly pushed him down.
“You still don’t understand.” Li Qiye continued his scolding: “Do you really think the phrase “protected by the wise sages of the Hundred-Saints Hall” is merely empty words? When was the last time you all visited and worshiped the souls of your ancestors?”
“The wise sages of the Hundred-Saints Hall?” He couldn’t come up with an answer right away, but he knew of this particular phrase.
“Forget it.” Li Qiye gently sighed: “I am too lazy to care about you all. If you want to work together with Peacock Land, I will show you the way by writing a letter to Kong Qinru of the Exquisite Valley. She will make the necessary arrangements for you.”
“The Exquisite Valley Lord?” Hong Tianzhu was taken aback.
He didn’t know the relationship between Li Qiye and Kong Qinru. In theory, Li Qiye was the successor of Peacock Land, so he should be in charge of this business.
“Go, Qinru will assist you.” Li Qiye gently waved his sleeve.
He was tired of this problem with Dongting Lake. Only his love for their ancestors kept him involved.
Hong Tianzhu hesitated and asked: “Well, will the Exquisite Valley agree to assist us in this matter?” He felt that he by himself was not enough to deal with the valley.
Li Qiye couldn’t help but look at him and ask: “Don’t tell me you haven’t been communicating with the Exquisite Valley?”
“Well…” Hong Tianzhu rubbed his palms together awkwardly and replied: “Our Dongting Lake do have some dealings with the Exquisite Valley, but, but it is only by chance most of the time.”
He became a bit embarrassed at this point and didn’t know what else to say.