It looked to be built from an old era. The years have polished everything and left marks on the street.
Both sides had willow trees stirring gently to the wind. The buildings were made from wood. This painted a simple picture with an indescribable ambiance.
“Woodmen Alley.” An ancestor quietly repeated.
Many didn’t know what was going on. This street contained ancient architectures, looking quite cozy with an idyllic grace.
‘What is it?” A young genius asked right away.
His ancestor answered: “It is a powerful mechanism personally made by Martial Ancestor. Each step is a technique. When one walks through it completely, they will learn all the techniques of the court. Furthermore, these techniques contain the power of their progenitor, so this is a place where their True Emperors are tested. In other words, only powerful True Emperors can finish this path. Who would have thought that the matron would use it on an outsider today?”
“The court has produced many emperors, but not all of them could make it all the way through. I think there have been less than five.” A different ancestor added.
Everyone held their breath after hearing their ancestors. They wanted to see how Li Qiye would make it through.
They were relatively confident in him since he was someone on the same level as Dracoform. The question became - how?
Li Qiye smiled and trekked forward. After taking the first step on the street, a wooden fist appeared. It carried the might of the progenitor and the power of the stars.
This punch was no different from a galaxy descending down with unlimited power - more than enough to destroy an Ascender or force an Eternal back.
Li Qiye easily deflected with a wave and took a second step only to be met with a finger strike.
This wooden finger could crush the celestials, encompassing eight hundred changes in variations - completely surrounding him in the process.
Li Qiye simply knocked in the air and was able to take the third step.
The third step looked like a Buddha subduing evil with a force belonging to the yang affinity. All evils would certainly turn to ashes.
This was easily solved with a wave of his hand again before he took the fourth step. The four steps took a long time to explain but happened so quickly.
Each step didn’t rely on speed but rather a smooth mastery without any trouble.
His speed increased continuously until the last step. To a normal mortal, the entire process from the start to the end of the street only took the blink of an eye.
The other spectators only saw the after images of his swift movements before he appeared right in front of the matron.
“Rumble!” The techniques found on the street suddenly crumbled.
A wooden punch had stars in its grasp but due to an imbalance of power, the stars moved from the initial trajectory and the punch shattered.
The finger strike that could destroy the sky had all of its power condensed in the same place. This destructive power was unimaginable. However, this channeling passage was sealed so the built-up power in the finger blew up…
The Buddha palm exerted an unreal pressure on everything beneath. Space itself seemed to be lifted upward. However, it also lost control of its power, resulting in a backlash from below. The palm was destroyed by its own sealing force.
Li Qiye used such simple motions to deal with each technique, like a flick of the finger or a hand wave.
“Boom!” Eventually, the street itself exploded in entirety and became ruins. He didn’t destroy it but the implosions of techniques losing control over their own power had this result.
Everyone was astounded because they couldn’t perceive the transpired events nor his actual methods.
“Incredible, so cleverly done.” One powerful ancestor praised after seeing some clues: “Enough to reach the apogee. Success or failure was determined within the tiniest margin.”
This was too shocking for those who could understand because Li Qiye didn’t waste his own power. His minute actions were perfect - the culmination of accuracy and precision. This allowed him to unstabilize the techniques from the wooden street.
He had full control over such little details and imperfections from the techniques.
Apogee - the profundity that he had comprehended from the cliff. He also named this merit law as such.
From now on, Vermillion Martial Court would no longer have this alleyway.
“How about now?” He chuckled while standing before the matron.
The matron was naturally aghast and couldn’t react until she heard his voice next to her.
She retreated as fast as she humanly could. Not even in her dream would she ever see something like this - the test of True Emperors being defeated so fast by Li Qiye.
Alas, her speed was meaningless. With a loud blast, Li Qiye’s palm came crashing down like a millstone.
Time and space became frozen. A powerful Ascender like her couldn’t move at all.
“Boom!” All shattered along with her body.
“Master, save me!” She screamed, terror-stricken.
Alas, Dracoform didn’t appear to save his disciple. Her body immediately turned into a mist of blood and dispersed.
The entire scene became silent; everyone stared at the outcome speechlessly.
The most shocking thing was not her death, but rather that it had happened in Vermillion, right under Dracoform’s nose.
The mist engulfed the streets, turning them into a blurred mess. It eventually dispersed and a long street appeared before Li Qiye, seemingly with no end.