Li Qiye chuckled at the old man’s introduction and replied: “I am Li Qiye, an idler.”
After hearing the name “Li Qiye”, Huang Nengquan’s expression changed. He subconsciously took one step back as if he had just stepped on a snake.
“It looks like my reputation isn’t very good.” Li Qiye noticed all the changes to the gate master’s demeanor and smiled.
The gate master immediately smiled back: “No, no, of course not. Young Noble Li, it is just a misunderstanding. Your reputation precedes you and I am lost in admiration. I can’t believe you are actually gracing us with your presence today, what an honor for our sect and this lowly one.”
Despite his smile, he was lamenting inside. Although their sect was far removed from the Dragon Demon Sea, some cultivators from there had visited Godhalt so he had heard of Li Qiye’s notoriety.
The gate master was very afraid of this monster who had a penchant for race annihilation. Even if the guy didn’t come to the Undying Gate to cause trouble, he had enemies everywhere in the world. Therefore, Li Qiye’s presence might turn their sect into a battlefield.
Their fallen clan could no longer be compared to the past and wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure. Turning into a battlefield might result in them turning into smoke.
“Is that so?” Li Qiye showed a mirthless smile in response.
The gate master was alarmed and immediately answered: “Of course, of course. Young Noble Li is the pride and glory of our human race. All humans in Heaven Spirit are proud of you, who is vying for the imperial throne and prestige. All humans will celebrate when that day comes.”
Even though his flattery slightly betrayed his true thoughts, the last sentence came from his heart. The gate master was afraid of being implicated by Li Qiye’s presence, but he was still a member of the human race and desired for Li Qiye to be the next emperor. If the humans could have one this generation, its people could finally walk with their heads held high and no longer have to rely on others like they are now!
Li Qiye laughed after hearing this and asked: “If that’s the case, are you not going to invite me in?”
The gate master calmed down and coughed: “Young Noble Li and young miss, please come in!”
He bowed and welcomed them in. In fact, Yujian was also next to Li Qiye, but since she was in stealth, the gate master couldn’t see her.
They found the entire Undying Gate to be quite vast with magnificent mountains and rivers, a showing of the uncanny workmanship of its creators.
Countless mountain ranges ran above the steep cliffs in the sky. This magical scene was enveloped in mist and fog just like a realm of immortals.
If one could stand on a sufficiently high elevation overlooking Godhalt, they would find that the Divine Tree Ridge occupied a vast amount of land on this continent in spite of its gargantuan size.
It could be said to be the center of everything. There were many mountain ranges outside of the ridge, but they all originated from this place. With the same vantage point, one could also see that the Divine Tree Ridge looked like an immeasurable and towering tree that fell on top of Godhalt.
With this imagery in mind, the Undying Gate would be situated right at its root. These mountain ranges hanging in the sky were formed from its unbelievably thick and long branches.
Alas, after being led inside by the gate master, the group was met with a melancholic atmosphere. Despite its majestic appearance, the gate itself was in a state of disrepair. Many mountains were broken as if people had excavated this land to pieces. Many temples and pavilions had collapsed as well. Even the mountain ranges and buildings left intact were declining from many years of neglect while showing signs of collapse, evident by the weeds everywhere.
One could only imagine how prosperous this place used to be despite its current feeble appearance. Back at its peak, this sect might have had ten thousand temples with hundreds of thousands of disciples.
The land was still majestic, but the sect was unfortunately far from it. The prosperity of old never came back.
Among the valleys and mountains were the places where disciples searched for the dao. Bridges used to connect these great mountain ranges. Back then, male and female disciples would meet each other above these heavenly bridges and partake in romance beneath the moonlight…
Today, there were only several hundred disciples all living in a single corner. The majority of them traveled to the four oceans as well, so this vast sect looked even more desolate.
The gate master led them into the main hall and served some tea. This was the central area of the Undying Gate; only ancestors could stay here in the past. Alas, the lower population made it so that even disciples could stay at this ancestral ground now.
After exchanging some cordial formalities, the gate master respectfully said: “May I ask why you are visiting our sect, Young Noble? If we can be of use, you only need to say the word.”
The gate master had already prepared for the worst with Li Qiye’s arrival. Compliance was his creed in dealing with Fierce. After all, going head-on against this man was suicidal. He didn’t want the gate to end by his hands.
“You’re too nervous.” Li Qiye smiled after seeing his expression: “I might be fierce, but not to the level where I would swallow your Undying Gate.”
“Ah…” The gate master forced a smile: “Young Noble Li is unparalleled and matchless. Our Undying Gate is only a shrimp in the vast ocean, of course we wouldn’t get into the sight of a true dragon such as yourself.”
Li Qiye chuckled from knowing what the gate master was thinking about. He smirked and revealed: “Don’t worry, I’m only here to take a look for a few days.”
“Only a few days?” The gate master was surprised.
In fact, he was ready to give Li Qiye whatever he wanted as the worst case scenario.
“What, am I not welcome here?” Li Qiye looked at the master in disbelief and chuckled.
The gate master regained his wits and quickly said: “No, no, we definitely welcome you. This is our honor, this lowly one’s honor.”
“Rest assured, I know the rules of the Undying Gate. I won’t stay for nothing since I’ll be renting your Crane Beak Peak for a few days.” Li Qiye casually threw a small black pouch with refined jades inside onto the table.
The master was caught off guard once again and didn’t dare to check to see how many jades were in the pouch. He quickly gave it back to Li Qiye and said: “Young Noble Li, you and the princess visiting us is our honor. How could we take payment from our guests?”
After its decline, many people had ideas about the Undying Gate. Many powerful lineages had attacked them in the past. The sect fought back, but they only managed to repel the enemies.
The decline never faltered. The gate eventually became helpless as outsiders still tried to enter since everyone believed a supreme treasure was hidden here.
Later on, the Undying Gate sent out a message and opened the majority of its territory. Those who were interested in the gate could rent a peak or mountain inside. The sect wouldn’t care what they were going to do, even if it meant excavating every inch of the land.
Of course, the so-called rent was only an attempt at saving face. If some powerful cultivators and sects didn’t wish to pay, the Undying Gate couldn’t do anything about it. However, the truly powerful wouldn’t mind paying such a little amount of money. After all, they were all people with great statuses and could afford the meager sum of some refined jades.
Li Qiye smiled and had no intention of taking back the black pouch.
The gate master saw Li Qiye’s demeanor and understood. He busily cupped his fists in response: “Deference is no substitute for obedience. This lowly one will take the payment then.” He put away the black pouch afterward.
He told Li Qiye: “To be honest, Young Noble, the Crane Beak Peak has been abandoned for a long time. I will tell some disciples to go clean it up, I hope you don’t mind staying here for now.”
He didn’t know why Li Qiye wanted to go to that place, but he didn’t dare to ask too much lest he incites a sect-destroying disaster.