With the banner before him, Li Qiye spoke forlornly: “An imperial legion was nothing. They were mercilessly killed after provoking the supreme prestige!”
Back in those years, the Zhang, Hong, Xu, and Lin ancestors decided to retire from the Indomitable Battalion, so he personally gave them this banner. Their descendants were allowed to hold onto this banner, the symbol of his will!
Unfortunately, after they passed away, their offspring declined one generation after another. This banner was never again raised in Heaven Spirit, it was just left in this corner as a rotting piece of tribute.
The youths felt their blood churn while clenching their fists. They wondered when their lake would be able to relive their old might and glory.
“What a shame, this banner can’t shake Heaven Spirit with its gallant dance on the battlefield anymore.” Li Qiye gently sighed.
Hong Yujiao’s group became dejected as well after comparing the old prestige to the dysfunctional power grabbing situation in the present.
“One day, our ancestors’ war banner will flutter again!” Hong Yujiao clenched her fist after making this claim.
Li Qiye only smiled and didn’t say anything. He slowly sat down on the big chair in the middle, situated higher than the rest of the chamber.
For some odd reason, the others didn’t feel that this was out of place at all. It seemed as if the chair was created just for him. Him sitting there was a natural occurrence.
“Squeak.” At this time, the door to the chamber was opened. Some elders walked in, followed by protectors and supervisors.
After entering, this group darted their eyes at Hong Tianzhu and then Li Qiye, who was sitting in the main chair. They quickly exchanged glances.
They went and sat down in their own seats. One elder looked at Tianzhu and spoke after a short contemplation: “Sect Master, why have you dragged an outsider to this place?”
“Drag?” Tianzhu took a deep breath and coldly answered: “Even if Young Noble Li is an outsider, what about Yujiao and the others? How did the ancestors treat them? Their most important life decision was decided in secrecy. It is one thing to betroth them to humans, but why are we sending off our most excellent bloodlines to be used as incubators for the sea demons!”
“Wyvern and the Bloodshark Village have always harbored malicious intentions towards us. They are hungry tigers and bloodthirsty sharks that prowl our lake. Sooner or later, they will try to divide us. Marrying our own blood to them is simply inviting wolves to our home!” Hong Tianzhu harshly scolded the elders and the others.
For him, today was the day that he would break all pretenses with them. He abandoned caution and chose to go all out, even if the situation was unfavorable!
“Everything in Dongting is decided by us old men. We have our own reasons.” A cold voice sounded at this time.
Powerful auras came in one by one; gray-haired old men filed inside. Despite their old age, their eyes flashed with shudder-inducing glints.
The lower-tiered members didn’t dare to say anything after these old men arrived since they were only juniors in the hierarchy. The old men were all ancestors of the lake from the great clans, aside from the Zhang who had left in the past.
The ancestors here were at the paragon level. Their power was enough to suppress all the juniors here, so they had complete control of Dongting Lake.
Because of this, even if the juniors disagreed with them, there was nothing they could do to resist.
The ancestors’ flashing gazes swept by the crowd. When they saw Li Qiye in the high chair, they scowled. One of them coldly said: “It is good that you are here!”
They knew who Li Qiye was without a doubt.
“Tianzhu, since you want a trial, we shall give you a trial!” A Xu Ancestor began: “You colluded with an outsider and indiscriminately killed the innocent, leading to creating powerful enemies for our lake and causing a great disaster for us all. On the basis of these crimes, we hereby remove you from your position as the sect master!”
Tianzhu powerfully retorted against these accusations: “Ancestor, even if we assume that I am colluding with an outsider, at the very least, he is still a human! Ancestors, ask yourselves, are you not inviting wolves to our home? Against the wishes of your own disciples, you all chose to betroth them to the sea demons, our most excellent bloodlines at that! What kind of crime is this compared to mine?!”
“Ancestors, it is better to be direct and frank from the start, so I’ll speak.” Hong Tianzhu sneered: “The disciples of the lake aren’t properties of the clans. They are the resources of our lake. Each of them belongs to the lake, not any individual clan! They follow the laws of the lake and not the will of any ancestor who wants to influence the fate of the lake!”
“I am not the one violating the iron creeds of our lake, it is all of you ancestors!” He continued on: “So the first to be removed from your positions should be you, not me.”
“If the lake wants to oust me, fine, I have no problems with this. As long as everyone follows our creeds, remove the ancestors first, then remove me as well!” Tianzhu had decisively and completely sided against the ancestors since he had made up his mind prior to this.
An ancestor shouted: “How impudent, you unfilial brat!”
“Tianzhu, you have crossed the line.” Even an ancestor of the Hong Clan deepened his tone: “Marrying Yujiao to Wyvern is for the sake of an alliance. Is there a better union than this? It will give us another ally.”
Tianzhu responded with a deep breath: “Ancestor, you are my senior, so I should respect you. However, what you have done in this matter leaves the hearts of myself and that of our disciples cold! Don’t be bringing up the lake with such cliche excuses. If you want to berate me, then take out the agreements that you have with Wyvern and Shangguan Feiyan. Show it to all of us disciples.”
Tianzhu gazed at his own clan’s ancestor and said: “Ancestor, don’t think that I don’t know about your selfish motives for these unions! Don’t tell me that you ancestors didn’t ask for longevity pills from the Roaring Conch with Feiyan as the middleman.”
“This so-called union for allies is only a guise for your own sake, for the pills from the Roaring Conch! In order to live longer, you don’t give a damn about the lives of your disciples! They are only objects to trade, mere cattle in your eyes!”
The Hong ancestor’s embarrassment turned into fury as he cried out: “Enough, Tianzhu, this is not only disrespectful, you are also betraying your ancestors! It is a capital offense!”
“I agree that I am being disrespectful, but as for betrayal? I, Hong Tianzhu, can use my true fate to swear that if I am betraying my ancestors, lightning shall condemn me to eternal damnation!” Tianzhu angrily shouted back: “There, now, dear ancestors, do you all dare to pat your chests proudly and swear that you haven’t betrayed your ancestors? Who are the ones who have abandoned our laws and creeds?! Who betrayed the ancestral teachings?! I was not the one to do so, take a moment to reflect on who the real traitors are!”
Hong Tianzhu’s rage was at its limit. He had thoroughly lost all vestiges of faith in these ancestors after he found out that they wanted to hand him over to Wyvern. They were only working for their own benefits with wanton regard for the lives of their disciples!
Several ancestors were tongue-tied and unwilling to face this topic. Meanwhile, the elders, protectors, and supervisors didn’t dare to interject.
“Tianzhu, as long as you recognize your mistakes and apologize to us and ask for forgiveness from Wyvern and Bloodshark Village, I’m certain they will forgive your misdeeds.” An even older ancestor from the Hong Clan with a higher position spoke austerely.
“Ask for forgiveness?” Tianzhu snorted: “Ancestors, I’m already standing here today, there is no chance I would beg the enemies for mercy! I can accept being tried and admit my mistakes and incompetence to the old forefathers, but don’t even think about making me apologize to the enemies!”
“I was born in Dongting Lake and I shall die a ghost in Dongting Lake. Behead me if I was wrong, I shall die without uttering a single complaint! But if you ancestors must act so servile towards those two powers, then go ahead, take my head and hand it to them!”