“Hmm…” The elder grew indecisive under the egging of the two girls.
He glanced at Li Qiye several times in the meantime while pondering. Eventually, he spoke: “Schoolmasters, I don’t have the authority to make a decision regarding your proposal, but I can talk to the ancestors about it once I return.”
In fact, this suggestion had left his heart thumping fast. Judging by Li Qiye’s performance, he really did have the aptitude to become an Immortal Emperor. However, Meng Zhentian’s current prestige was too strong.
However, if their Hallowed Ancestor were to become Li Qiye’s dao protector and help him survive the difficult parts, he really would have a chance to compete against Meng Zhentian.
Meng Zhentian’s strength was undeniable, but it was not as if the younger generation couldn’t surpass him. What they lacked was time. If a true overlord was willing to stop Meng Zhentian to buy time for the youths, then maybe the Heaven’s Will would have a different master.
Moreover, the marriage between an Immortal Emperor and a sea goddess was too promising to be left out. The truth was that the pavilion had thought about working together with Meng Zhentian as well. The problem was that he was too powerful. The person in charge of the alliance and the overarching situation would be Meng Zhentian, not the pavilion. At that time, there was a chance of them giving away a bride yet still losing an army on top of it. 1
Li Qiye laughed after noticing that the elder was tempted. He shook his head in response: “Don’t listen to their nonsense. If you all really want to renew your ancestor’s life, I can show you the way.”
The elder hurriedly bowed: “Young Noble, do enlighten me.”
Li Qiye spoke after smirking: “I can renew his life and even guarantee success. My demand isn’t outrageous either, I only want one thing from your pavilion.”
“May I ask what you want?” The elder was glad to see Li Qiye’s interest. A chance had finally appeared. He didn’t care what Li Qiye wanted, as long as he was willing to participate…
A thick grin appeared as Li Qiye answered: “The seven styles.”
“The seven styles?” The elder staggered back with a shocked expression after hearing this.
Ruyan and Jianshi wryly smiled as well. This wasn’t an outrageous demand? Could there be a higher demand in this world?
The seven styles was the foundation of the pavilion. Rumor has it that the pavilion was established because of the seven styles.
There were too many legends about this particular technique. Some said that it was the most powerful martial style in the nine worlds. It was extremely heaven-defying with no equal.
To call it the best technique in the nine worlds since the start of time might be an exaggeration, but many people — including Immortal Emperors — thought that these styles were more powerful and scarier than Heaven’s Will Secret Laws if the users didn’t shoulder the Heaven’s Will.
It was much more precious than secret laws and physique laws. There were other secret laws and physique laws, but the seven styles was unique.
There were reports of the seven styles actually originating from one of the nine heavenly scriptures, the Dao Scripture. Alas, no one in the world could verify this claim. Nevertheless, the prestige of the seven styles had been untouchable the whole time. Even an existence like Immortal Emperor Yan Shi had to admit that it was unparalleled after experiencing it herself.
“Young Noble, you must be messing with me.” The elder finally regained his wits. He coughed and gently shook his head: “I’ll be candid, everything is up for discussion except the seven styles.”
The elder firmly stated this. In fact, if such a day came for the pavilion when they had no other choice, they would be willing to lose or trade anything outside of the seven styles.
Li Qiye smilingly replied: “I don’t want anything else from your pavilion besides the seven styles.”
“Can’t you change your mind? Maybe a few sea god’s weapons or merit laws? As long as it is within a reasonable limit, we can talk about it.” The third elder tried once more. If this life renewal were to be successful, there was a high chance that they could have another sea god.
Thus, trading two or three weapons and a few merit laws for a sea god was a great deal.
“Frankly, I’m not interested in them. The seven styles is what I want. Your pavilion should know better than anyone else, if you could do it yourself, you wouldn’t be asking an outsider for help…
“… How much longer can your Hallowed Ancestor survive? He has been living since Immortal Emperor Yan Shi’s generation and has come into being twice since then for his junior sea gods. Even though these sea gods personally helped seal him again and spared no expense in prolonging his life, too much time has passed. He won’t be able to endure the relentless years for long.”
Li Qiye paused for a bit before continuing: “Think about it, your ancestor has used countless longevity pills, medicines, and immortal vegetation. It could be said that he has tried virtually every method of life renewal…”
“… From an alchemy perspective, it is simply impossible to prolong your ancestor’s life any further, let alone help him come into being to protect someone else.” Li Qiye laughed at this point, knowing that he had the upper hand.
“But Young Noble, you seem to be very confident.” The elder pondered before replying after listening to Li Qiye’s spiel.
Li Qiye was right about the circumstances, true to what little he had heard before. Even though he didn’t know how many panaceas his ancestor had used, he was certain that the pavilion had given everything possible to the ancestor in the past.
Li Qiye smiled and said: “Yes, I do have a method for a successful life renewal so that he can happily become the dao protector of the goddess. But ultimately, I only want the seven styles.”
The elder had no response because this was an impossible demand.
“You should understand that given your ancestor’s circumstances, replenishing his life wouldn’t be easier than doing so for the Peacock Tree. For a life renewal of this magnitude, do you honestly think a few weapons and merit laws can move me? I have Immortal Emperor True Treasures and Heaven’s Will Secret Laws, so I’m not interested in your pavilion’s items outside of the seven styles.”
“Well, regardless of the situation, we can’t trade our seven styles.” The elder shook his head.
“If that’s the case, then I can only say that this is quite regrettable.” Li Qiye waved his sleeve and said: “The problem is not on my end but yours.”
He continued on with a smile: “If I refuse to save your ancestor, you can say that I am cruel and emotionless. That’s a reasonable statement to make. However, the truth is that I have agreed, it is your side that won’t accept. Thus, you can’t blame me for what happens, it’s your problem now.”
The elder found himself to be stuck at an impasse and didn’t know what to say.
“You can reconsider, I still have some time. Don’t keep me waiting though, I’ll be leaving Heaven Spirit eventually.” Li Qiye smiled.
The helpless third elder had to bid farewell to Li Qiye: “I’ll go back and discuss your demand with the ancestors.”
With that, he reluctantly left. There was nothing else to negotiate since the seven styles was absolutely not up for trade.
After he left, Li Qiye looked at the two girls and said: “Pretty grand scheme the two of you had earlier.”
Jianshi smiled awkwardly with her head hanging low like a young wife.
Ruyan, on the other hand, was still very playful: “It is mutually beneficial. If the martial goddess can ascend and you become the Immortal Emperor, your marriage would be a match made in heaven.”
She grew even bolder and charmingly smiled: “Young Noble, you have been allied with our three schools for generations. If you become an emperor with a sea goddess as your imperial queen, our schools can bask in your glory as well, right?”
Li Qiye chuckled after hearing this; he didn’t mind their attempt at all. Of course, they had their own opinion about trying to match Li Qiye with the Seven Sea Goddess.
Jianshi eventually lifted her head and asked: “Young Noble, do you really want to replenish the Hallowed Ancestor’s life?”
“Oh? It looks like the two of you think very highly of the Seven Sea Goddess. Do you really want to see her ascend?” Li Qiye batted his eyes and smiled.
“I just want to help you marry a sea goddess.” Ruyan winked back with a charming smile.
“We have met the Seashield Prince and Seven Sea Goddess before.” Unlike Ruyan who was rather sly, Jianshi was frank and sincere: “I would rather have the Seven Sea Goddess as the victor. We don’t have an optimistic view on the Seashield Prince, at least with respect to Heaven Spirit and our Void Imperfection Schools.”
1. Idiom, the most popular case being the one between Wu and Shu in the Three Kingdoms. Sun Quan married his little sister to Liu Bei, hoping to trap him in Wu when Liu Bei came to Wu to pick up his bride. However, Liu Bei managed to escape with his little sister. Zhou Yu gave chase and fell into Zhuge Liang’s trap afterward, so they lost troops on top of everything. If memory serves me right, Zhou Yu died soon after in the novel, coughing up blood from being angry at Zhuge Liang. That’s probably one of the earliest usages of coughing up blood from anger in Chinese literature.