“You did well, there is no need to force what isn’t meant to be.”
Protector Hua gently consoled his disciple.
Yu He approvingly nodded his head.
“To be able to enter the seventh level at this age, it is very commendable within the younger generation.”
Xu Hui gathered his wits, took a deep breath, and coldly stared at Li Qi Ye.
“Your turn! It is not too late to give up.”
Xu Hui widen his legs, and shadily smiled.
“If you do it now, I won’t make things harder for you later. If you wait until after you have failed the test, it would be harder to predict what your fate will be.”
Li Qi Ye ignored the salty taunts and entered the Chaotic Heart Forest, step by step.
In front of him was a sea of fire. It was a world filled with lava, fire crackles surrounded the four spheres. Inside this illusion, his feet were burnt to a crisp; no one could even begin to imagine this pain, but Li Qi Ye just strutted on without a single groan.
Li Qi Ye did not mind the Chaotic Heart Forest. During the Desolace Era, he spent his time being tortured; his soul severed from his body. He had suffered from the hands of heavenly demons, trapped by the Ancient Ming. He spent what felt like an eternity without sunlight and underwent many torturous ordeals. Although the body of the dark crow was immortal; the pain did was still there.
One million years had passed, he traversed through all of the Forbidden Burials, spent time in the Heavenly Land, and fallen into the Forbidden Ghost City, the most dangerous place in this world. Compared to those places, the Chaotic Heart Forest was nothing more than a short stroll. It couldn’t break his willpower.
In the blink of an eye, he had passed the first level. In the illusion, the sea of fire disappeared; Li Qi Ye was now in a frozen world, surrounded by the icy cold auras of a tundra.
Outside of the forest, countless disciples were waiting for Li Qi Ye to be kicked out. Protector Mo and Nan Huai Ren were still turning their gazes away, unwilling to see Li Qi Ye’s being humiliated. But, as the moments passed, the silence encroached the surroundings. You could hear the drop of a needle from a mile away. Surprised by the lack of jeers and cheers for his failure, the two turned their heads around and what met their eyes was an inexplicable sight.
“Level… Level… Level eight…”
A disciple softly whimpered in shock.
“Level nine, ten, eleven…”
Li Qi Ye paraded through the levels as if he was walking on an empty street; his speed remained as swift as it was during the first level.
“Level… Level… Fourteen…”
In the end, Li Qi Ye went straight through the Chaotic Heart Forest with full confidence, and he leisurely stepped out of the last level.
Everyone was now frozen. Passing through the fourteen levels of Chaotic Heart Forest; this was an impossible feat. From the ancient past until now, none of the younger generation of the Nine Saint Demon Gate had ever accomplished it. Even Li Shuang Yan, who had the highest aptitude and willpower, couldn’t do the same.
“This is impossible… impossible! This cannot be!!!”
Xu Hui fell deep into confusion, but this was the reality that laid before his eyes.
Protector Hua has his mouth wide open as well. He couldn’t close it due to his bewilderment.
Even the sect master could not pass through the fourteenth level of the Chaotic Heart Forest. What kind of willpower was this?
“Eh, this is only the appetizer.”
Li Qi Ye came back and casually spoke. It was as if he had just taken a walk in the comfort of his own garden.
“Okay, kneel down and start crawling!”
Li Qi Ye glanced at Xu Hui, and declared.
“No… No, this cannot be happening!”
Xu Hui loudly howled. Not only him, but everyone else also found themselves in disbelief.
“Was there something wrong with the Chaotic Heart Forest?”
Protector Hua wondered.
“Surely, surely that is the case. Maybe the prohibiting spells of the forest have lost their power.”
It was as if Xu Hui was trying to find a tree branch when he was drowning; he quickly added:
“It doesn’t count this time, the Chaotic Heart Forest has lost its effect.”
“There is no chance.”
A while later, Grand Protector Yu He gathered his thoughts, shook his head, and continued:
“From the creation of the sect, the forest has never been ineffective. I will go and check.”
Finishing his words, he personally entered the Chaotic Heart Forest.
Yu He was indeed formidable, befitting of his Grand Protector status. His willpower was substantial, and he easily made it through the first nine levels. Reaching level ten, his speed decreased.
A loud noise roared through the air; Yu He could not go through the entire forest. He was kicked out before reaching the eleventh level.
“The Chaotic Heart Forest did not lose its power.”
Yu He stated this with complete confidence. He stared at Li Qi Ye with curious eyes, not understanding the event that had transpired.
Li Qi Ye, who was only thirteen years old, was capable of finishing the Chaotic Heart Forest? Unless there was a mysterious force at work here. Otherwise, his cultivation willpower was immutable. However, a mere thirteen year old boy could not have this level of willpower. It required centuries and millenniums to have such a mind. Although he has a mortal body and low innate talents; with his willpower alone, it was only a matter of time before he became a Virtuous Paragon.
“You, are you carrying a sacred treasure?”
Protector Hua inquired.
“That has to be the case.”
Xu Hui raises his voice.
“The Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect is an Immortal Emperor level sect; maybe he is hiding an Immortal Emperor’s sacred treasure.”
This was indeed the most logical explanation. Right now, everyone was thinking that this was the case. Ultimately, even though the sect was weak now, it was not unreasonable to think that there were one or two Immortal Emperor’s sacred treasures left behind. If he used just one of them, then he could indeed pass through the Chaotic Heart Forest unharmed.
“Using a sacred treasure to cheat, this bet does not count!”
Protector Hua boldly proclaimed. He was sure that Li Qi Ye had committed foul play.
“Protector Hua, that is unfair.”
Protector Mo had no time to think about how Li Qi Ye passed the trial. He gravely said:
“This is a test designed by your sect. You cannot lose and then relinquish the test.”
“Using a treasure to cheat; of course, it cannot be counted.”
Protector Hua replied.
Taking Li Qi Ye’s side, Protector Mo continued:
“It does not matter whether he used external tools or not. Your sect did not declare that he could not use treasures to pass the test. Our disciple has went through the forest, this round is ours.”
Protector Mo did not want to waste time, he turned to Yu he and asked:
“Protector Yu, did the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect win this round or not?”
“About this matter…”
Yu He was undecided. He did not believe that Li Qi Ye had actually passed the forest without external help. However, the Nine Saint Demon Gate also did not add the rule that one couldn’t use sacred treasures.
“I walk my route straight and sit tall; my heart has no shameful secrets to the heaven. Unlike the people of the Nine Saint Demon Gate, betting and losing, yet unable to accept the loss. If you think I am hiding a treasure, then try and find it. If you can find it, then I will give it to you.”
Yu He contemplated for a moment, lifted his head, and then spoke to Li Qi Ye:
“If you want to prove your innocence, we have a solution. The great ancestor left behind a treasure named the Immortal Bone Mirror; it can see through all hidden objects. If you are willing to let us use it, then we can tell whether you bear a treasure or not.”
“I agree to the usage of the Immortal Bone Mirror.”
Protector Hua was the first to speak:
“If the mirror cannot find anything, it means that he did not carry a hidden treasure.”
The disciples banded together and roared:
“Yes! If you don’t want to do it, then it means that you cheated.”
“I pity you guys.”
Li Qi Ye stared at them and agreed:
“I will allow the mirror test. Bring it out.”
Yu He sent people to grab the mirror. This mirror had a deep history; it was said that its heritage dated back to the Desolate Era, and that it had been honed by an Immortal Emperor. The Immortal Bone Mirror was much stronger than the mirror that was used by the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect’s to test new disciples.