The atmosphere was serene as Li Qiye and Tantai Ruonan sat by the window to watch the sunset.
“Young Master, is there no chance for a turnaround at Heaven Spirit?” A long period passed before Ruonan softly broke the silence.
“Yes.” Li Qiye chucked: “If not, I wouldn’t have negotiated with the Seven Martial Pavilion. When that day comes, you might have to take the reins.”
“If that is my fate, I am willing to face it.” She spoke very gently, but her words carried a resounding determination no lesser than a man.
He patted her head and softly said: “But you know, your father asked me to cut off your bloodline since he didn’t want to see you on this path. He wished for you to soar farther, even out of the nine worlds to see new sceneries!”
She answered: “I know, I can only say that I’ll be letting his love down. After all of that, I’ll still be staying at Heaven Spirit in the end.”
After a quick rumination, Li Qiye stated: “You must be mentally prepared. This path will not be easy, even I don’t dare to predict the outcome. When it comes, the chance of your death is very high.”
“If you are the one planning everything, I will put my trust in you.” She smiled: “Who are you? Someone who has hunted emperors and gods and even massacred them above the nine heavens. The fate of Heaven Spirit is surely within your grasp.”
“You are too confident in me.” He couldn’t help but smile and gently shook his head.
Shortly after, he turned austere: “Ruonan, I’m not certain in this matter. This is Heaven Spirit, not above the nine heavens. There are too many limitations in this world while lacking the same circumstances from the upper world. If the nine worlds were blessed with these conditions, I would flatten everything in Heaven Spirit as long as you say the word. Alas, this is not the case.” He gently sighed at this point.
“Right. Ultimately, there are too many limitations here.” She understood and nodded.
“All along, the Immortal Emperors in this world have worked very hard. One can’t say that they haven’t amounted to anything. However, success is impossible for just one emperor. Moreover, even if one of them could do it, it would break the balance. Who knows what would happen then? Thus, these emperors in the past could only try to maintain this balance.”
“After the changes this time, I’m afraid the balance won’t last much longer.”
“It’s coming.” Li Qiye pondered for a moment before replying: “But I can’t wait until that day, so I can’t lend you a hand then.”
“Young Master, you have your own pursuit while I have my mission.” Ruonan revealed a carefree smile: “For millions of years, you have never stopped for anyone. I don’t wish to be the shackles that force you to stop since you will cease to be the young master that always courageously treads forward in my heart!”
This was a beautiful and charming smile. Every spectator would be intoxicated by this sight.
“If you didn’t have this inhibition, I would definitely take you with me.” Li Qiye couldn’t help but sigh with a feeling of disappointment.
Despite wanting her to stay by his side, he wouldn’t force her to do so just like how she wouldn’t ask him to stay and give up many million years of persistence.
She held his hand and declared: “If I didn’t have this hangup, I would also want to go with you to the end of the world!”
He smiled back while holding her hand.
“Okay, Young Master, let’s not talk about these sentimental things.” After a long time, she began: “Why not visit my True Martial Island? You haven’t been there since last time.”
“Sounds good.” He agreed: “I’ve played enough here at the Divine Tree Ridge. There’s only one more thing to do, but there’s no rush. I’ll visit your island then. You guys should go first, I’ll go shortly after.”
Ruonan calmly left. She brought her disciples and All-Martial out of the citadel.
“Your Highness, I have something on my mind.” All-Martial couldn’t help but ask after they were on their way.
She slowly answered: “All-Martial, my father regards you as family as do I. You don’t need to hesitate if there is something you want to say.”
The general carefully mused for a while before speaking: “Please excuse my insolence, but I feel that Your Highness’ actions this time of supporting a human is not optimal. This will offend our own kind.”
“So what?” She shook her head: “They don’t know who they are provoking. There are too many idiots among the sea demons who don’t understand their own precarious position.”
“Well…” The general was startled, but he took his time absorbing her answer: “Your Highness, offending the sea demons is fine, but I believe that placing the imperial throne over the three royal thrones was not wise. Your father was a sea god…”
“All-Martial, I know what you mean.” Ruonan interrupted him and chuckled: “You think that it is an affront to a sea god’s prestige. However, the truth is that even if my father was still in this world, he wouldn’t object Young Noble Li looming over him!”
“What… this…” The general was stunned speechless.
“All-Martial, you don’t understand, I acted to save those fools. Do you really think that bunch could do anything to Young Noble Li? If they don’t know when to stop and actually anger him, that would be extremely terrifying. In his wrath, he would wash the sea demons with blood; the Dragon Demon Sea will become a scene of red for several years…
“... At that point, the entire region would be deafened with lamentation! Because I came forward, Young Noble Li gave me some face. Otherwise, a massacre would have come to Heaven Spirit. The Roaring Conch and the Ancestral Terra think they are invincible, but in his eyes, they aren’t even street thugs!”
“Really, is this true?” The general was completely taken aback: “How, how could this be possible?”
Massacring the sea demons wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Aside from Immortal Emperors, few could accomplish this task.
She flatly replied: “It is because you still don’t know his identity. Such a thing isn’t difficult for him at all.”
“Forgive my ignorance, Your Highness, who is he then?” The general had to ask: “How come I haven’t heard of his name in the previous generations?”
“All-Martial, his name is taboo, not just anyone can talk about it.” She shook her head: “It is normal to not know who he is before reaching a certain level. Moreover, even those who know about him wouldn’t want to talk about this type of forbidden existence…
“... He has influenced one era after another in the nine worlds. From the Desolate Era to the expansion then the Ancient Ming Era and finally, the Emperors Era, he has always been the ruler with a firm grasp on the development of the nine worlds.” Her eyes lit up while recalling his tales.
“The dark hand behind the curtains!” All-Martial realized something and thought about a particular legend. He took a deep breath and said: “He’s the dark hand behind the curtains? His Majesty has mentioned this to me when he was still in this world.”
“Yes, that’s him.” Ruonan nodded: “Remember, when the day comes when I’m no longer in this world, the True Martial Island must stay respectful towards him!”
The general finally realized who he was facing and trembled inside. The True Martial Sea God had talked about this matter to him before. Even an existence like True Martial didn’t dare to say much about the dark hand; he would always have a wary expression when this existence was brought up.
Who was True Martial? He was the supreme of the sea demon race, an existence praised to be on the same level as Prime. In the past, he fought evenly against Immortal Emperor Min Ren even without the Trident. Min Ren was no slouch either since he brought about the Emperors Era. From this, one could extrapolate just how strong True Martial was.
Nevertheless, an existence like this still kept his mouth shut regarding the dark hand, he even feared him. This showed just how terrifying the dark hand was.
The general knew very little about this story. Like Ruonan had said, one wouldn’t be able to find out until they reached a certain level.
Because the sea god mentioned it to him in passing, the general realized that the most terrifying being in this world was not an Immortal Emperor. There was another eternal being that sea gods had to take the long way around.