Inside the chamber of the lake, Li Qiye returned to the master chair with a natural and nonchalant demeanor, yet he still gave off a stately and imposing aura.
He was supreme in his throne and capable of deterring emperors and gods. No one would dare to disobey his orders.
The elders, protectors, and supervisors of the lake all participated in this gathering. They quietly sat in their positions while respectfully looking at Li Qiye.
The walls were still decorated with the portraits and a banner in the center. In the past, even the disciples of the lake didn’t care about these portraits.
But today, everyone from the lake felt an instinctive reverence towards these decorations without exception. Before entering the chamber, they would tidy their clothes and posture without showing the slightest sign of disrespect.
It was because this place represented the glory of their ancestors and the highest authority of the lake.
The four Virtuous Ancestors had been killed while the other ancestors were imprisoned. This caused a great stir in the lake and a monumental change to its current power structure.
Li Qiye coldly looked at everyone present. The high-ranking members here felt a chill running down their spines from his glare.
“After today, everyone should understand the glory of the lake as well as your own responsibilities.” Li Qiye flatly said: “I have returned the glory of past to all of you once more as well as the control of the lake and its future direction…”
“… In the future, whether Dongting Lake shall deter the world and illuminate the nine continents or continue to fall like a group of stray dogs vying for bones and power will be up to each and every one of you!”
Li Qiye went on: “Its future is in your hands now. The younger generation will be the ones to hold the reigns, not the old geezers blinded by power!”
With that, he shifted his eyes over to the outstanding disciples like Hong Yujiao.
In the past, not even the elders could show up in these deliberations. The majority of the grand events were secretly decided upon by the ancestors. Now, even the young disciple was allowed to participate.
“Your ancestors have laid a solid foundation for everyone, a magnificent starting point.” Li Qiye stated: “I have restored this foundation. With such an ace, I won’t get involved again regardless of the lake’s fate if all of you can’t amount to anything.”
“Young Noble, rest assured. From today on, we will not dishonor the glory of our ancestors or disgrace them in any way. Our generation shall obey the iron creeds and inherit the union. We swear on this with our true fates and definitely won’t let you down.” Hong Tianzhu prostrated on the ground and resoundingly swore with his true fate!
In his eyes, this was the best time to change the lake. If they were to miss this moment, it would be prohibitively difficult to try again later on.
The other members glanced at each other and read the situation very well. They quickly prostrated just like Hong Tianzhu and swore with their true fates as well: “Our lake shall obey the iron creeds and inherit the union once more without regret!”
Li Qiye slowly nodded approvingly: “Very good, it is for the best that everyone has this much determination. Do not bring dishonor to your ancestors’ glorious bloodline.”
These high-elders and those of lower rankings had all the authority in the lake right now and have sworn with their true fates to obey the ancestral teachings once more. From today on, the lake would usher in a new page.
“Dongting Lake was created together by the Xu, Lin, Hong, and Zhang Clans. As their descendants, remember this, your lake also includes the Zhang Clan!” Li Qiye flatly said: “I don’t care how your ancestors divided the docks in the past, just remember that from today on, the eighteen docks belong to the lake and not any individual clan! It is time to hand over these resources in a sensible manner.”
Zhang Baitu was also present. Li Qiye’s words left Hong Tianzhu’s group and those of the previous generation embarrassed. The Zhang Clan was squeezed out of the lake completely while the other clans divided up their docks.
Hong Tianzhu hurriedly said: “Young Noble, the Hong Clan shall hand over our seven docks back to the lake. We will distribute the heavenly grottos and roads as well in accordance with the iron creeds.”
In fact, the Hong Clan was very powerful right now since they had seven out of the eighteen docks. Nevertheless, Hong Tianzhu was the first to give these resources back to the lake.
“Our Lin Clan is also willing to return our five docks.” The others came forward and willingly gave back their territories.
Li Qiye nodded: “This is for the best. The lake’s future will be in your hands. Remember, your clans must unite with great solidarity just like your ancestors. Competing for petty authority and power will only lead the lake down a path of destruction. Your internal conflicts will destroy you before your enemies can even make a move.”
Some elders felt their face burning after hearing this. It wasn’t that the lake wasn’t strong or lacking resources. Unfortunately, ever since those Virtuous Ancestors focused on gaining more power, outsiders started to think that the lake was easily bullied. Ultimately, even lineages like the Bloodshark Village and Wyvern threatened them with military expeditions.
“The four regiments have returned to their positions. The iron creeds shall take effect once more.” Li Qiye looked at them and said: “From today on, a new page shall turn for Dongting Lake. This is all I will do to help, the future will be up to you all.”
With that, he got up from his chair and took one last glimpse at the banner and portraits before leaving the chamber.
The members present were quiet. They lowered their heads with countless emotions running in their minds.
Li Qiye was an outsider, yet he could control their lake’s spectral army and the Trident. Moreover, his own power could suppress everyone here. However, he didn’t even take a single glance at this great force before him. He had no love for the authority here nor did he demand their resources.
As for themselves, the lake clearly belonged to everyone, but they selfishly killed and marginalized each other, resulting in great disunity. As the descendants of the clans, they never treated the lake as their own home, only a feast to be divided.
No matter how they looked at it, it was a very shameful matter. They had let down their ancestors.
While drowning in this shame, many elders and protectors clenched their fists. If they didn’t cherish and protect their own home, why would others respect them? The lake was the home of every disciple and descendant, it didn’t belong to an individual.
Li Qiye didn’t leave the lake right away. He stayed for several days to bask in the atmosphere of this place while fully enjoying the scenic waters.
This might be the last chance for him to stay at the lake. In the future, he might never come back, so he wanted to rest in order to make some new memories.
He sighed while looking at the sparkling water. Countless heroic souls were buried at the bottom of the lake. In their final moments, they decided to refine their souls and turned into spectral soldiers that permanently rested in this place.
In the eyes of others, such actions prevented them from entering the reincarnation cycle. To be reincarnated was a source of hope for many cultivators, so they would never be willing to do such a thing.
However, this once invincible battalion ultimately chose to do so. It was because of their great love and attachment to this land. Even in death, they must protect this land and their descendants.
Li Qiye sentimentally reflected: “Perhaps this is the best place for home.” In the long years, everyone had their own path.
At this time, someone knocked on the door.
Li Qiye focused his mind and said lightly: “Come in.”