Right now, not only just the First Elder, but the rest were also trying to read Li Qi Ye’s mind. If killing Xu Hui could be attributed to luck, then it was also due to his arrogance that Li Qi Ye was able to sneak an attack on him. Fate was unpredictable, and a person could be lucky sometimes.
However, the Chaotic Heart Forest was not like that at all. The Six Elders were aware that during the last one hundred thousand years, no one from the young generation had successfully passed through all of the levels, unless that person was of the Virtuous Paragon level.
Being pressured by the Six Elders’ gazes, Protector Mo and Nan Huai Ren were sweating in place of Li Qi Ye.
“Honorable Elders, the Chaotic Heart Forest was meant as a way to test the minds of those who have entered. It can’t be consider a cultivation strength test. As long as one’s spiritual willpower is enough, then he can cross through the whole forest; it has nothing to do with one’s cultivation.”
Li Qi Ye responded to the First Elder’s question.
“Hmmmph, your mortal spiritual willpower is stronger than a Royal Noble’s?”
Elder Xiong unhappily exclaimed.
Li Qi Ye furrowed his brows, and said:
“Elder, spiritual power has nothing to do with cultivation strength. A high cultivation achievement does not equate to strong willpower. Throughout the ages, plenty of Enlightened Beings and Heavenly Emperors, due to their unstable willpower, have suffered a pitiful death from Qi Deviation.” (TL: I will use Qi Deviation here. The literal translation is “bursting into fire and joining the demons”)
“This thing… who doesn’t know how high the sky is or the range of the earth? A person like you dares to criticize Enlightened Beings and Heavenly Emperors?”
Elder Xiong quietly spoke.
Li Qi Ye impatiently said:
“I’ve only spoken the truth. If the Elders want to keep on thinking that I am lying, then you can go to the Nine Saint Demon Gate and verify the truth!”
Seeing Li Qi Ye losing his patience, Elder Xiong rolled his eyes and a storm was about to brew, but the First Elder coughed and interjected:
“We’ll let this go as well. How about your marriage with Princess Li?”
Even though they weren’t content with his explanations regarding Xu Hui and the Chaotic Heart Forest, the most important thing was the marriage. The Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect and the Nine Saint Demon Gate needed to be in laws! The Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect needed a strong backing like Nine Saint Demon Gate.
“This matter you will have to ask the Nine Saint Demon Gate; it is not my decision.”
Li Qi Ye no longer wanted to continue this conversation, and he abruptly answered:
“The discussion concludes here!”
The First Elder had no choice but to give up. They couldn’t force Li Shuang Yan to marry Li Qi Ye; they lacked the strength to negotiate with the Nine Saint Demon Gate.
The First Elder continued:
“You have done a great deed for the sect. According to our prior agreement, anything that was promised will be given to you…”
Elder Xiong wanted to interject, but the First Elder softly gestured with his sleeves, telling Elder Xiong to be quiet.
The First Elder stared at Li Qi Ye and continued:
“First, once you have reached the stage of Yun Physique, we will grant you an King Grade medicinal paste. Second, for Physique, Life Wheel, and Fate Palace techniques; you will get to pick one cultivation method for each of the three. Of course, you can also pick different techniques, but you may pick no more than three manuals. Are you satisfied with this?”
“That is fine! However, I still have one more request.”
Li Qi Ye nodded his head.
The First Elder responded:
“You may, tell us.”
“I still need a weapon, so I want to pick a Life Treasure or a True Treasure!”
Li Qi Ye replied.
The First Elder agreed:
“Fine. From the Life Treasures, True Treasures, and Life Wheel Treasures below the third floor, you can pick any of them.”
“My gratitude, Elder.”
Li Qi Ye respectfully gestured his hands, and then turned around to leave.
“Huai Ren, you go with Qi Ye!”
The First Elder commanded Nan Huai Ren after Li Qi Ye had left.
After Li Qi Ye’s departure, Elder Xiong proclaimed:
“Brother Gu, I’m afraid this boy is problematic. He might be a spy sent from the Nine Saint Demon Gate.”
“How can you say that brother Cao Xiong?”
A different Elder slowly shook his head and disagreed:
“Personally, I don’t think that is the case. The Nine Saint Demon Gate currently is many times stronger than we are. They are reigning over the Old Ox country and are already a gigantic monster; why would they need to have a spy in our sect?”
“Brother Sun speaks with reason.”
An Elder agreed:
“The Nine Saint Demon Gate has no need to be devious against us.”
“That is not for certain; maybe the Nine Saint Demon Gate covets our Emperor Merit Laws or even our Heaven’s Will Merit Laws.”
Elder Xiong spoke with a grave manner.
After hearing these words, the rest of the five Elders stared at each other.
“I don’t think that would be necessary.”
Fourth Elder Sun shook his head and said:
“Li Qi Ye had the Cleansing Incense Ancient Order. If he wanted our Emperor Merit Laws, he only needed to open his mouth and we couldn’t say no. Take a step back; if the Nine Saint Demon Gate truly wanted our Emperor Merit Laws, who here could stop Demon Emperor Lun Ri in our sect?”
This resonated with the rest of the Elders, and they contemplated silently. If the Nine Saint Demon Gate truly wanted the Emperor Merit Laws, then they could annihilate all of the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect. If Demon Emperor Lun Ri personally took action, no one in the sect could stop him. In reality, even the Elders of the Nine Saint Demon Gate would have been enough.
“Brother Gu, I feel like we cannot be careless; precautions are necessary.”
In the end, Elder Xiong quietly stated:
“This has to be reported to the Sect Master!”
The First Elder formally announced; he didn’t show his feelings regarding the topic.
“So be it!”
Elder Xiong slightly scowled; his voice contained unfavorable opinions regarding the Sect Master.
-The Elders think you are a spy from the Nine Saint Demon Gate.
After leaving the chamber, Nan Huai Ren whispered to Li Qi Ye. He was a sharp person; his best discipline was predicting the thoughts of other people; of course, he knew what the Six Elders were thinking.
“They can think whatever they want.”
Li Qi Ye only smiled. The Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect’s weakening was not without reasons. Although the six are Elders, their cultivation couldn’t be higher than Royal Nobles. More importantly, they couldn’t work independently and make decisive decisions.
Regarding this topic, Li Qi Ye asked:
“What about Elder Xiong?”
That day, when he wanted to be the Prime Disciple, Elder Xiong was supporting him. However, his behavior today was contrasting the past.
“Be careful of Elder Xiong.”
Nan Huai Ren looked left and right, then he whispered:
“Second Elder Cao Xiong was competing for the Sect Master position with the current Sect Master, but he failed. Later on, he wanted his disciple, Leng Shizhi, to become the Prime Disciple, but he was rejected by the Sect Master. Regarding the Sect Master position, he had always wanted it. Even if he couldn’t climb to the position, he would wish for his disciple to become the Sect Master. Plus, Cao Xiong’s backing included the guest masters.”
“I understand. If I was a piece of trash, then I couldn’t become the Sect Master; even if I were the Prime Disciple. If I have relations with Li Shuang Yan, then it is another matter.”
Li Qi Ye understood Elder Xiong’s contrasting intentions.
Nan Huai Ren nodded his head and added:
“Elder Xiong has always paid attention to the Sect Master; he feared that the Sect Master would take in a genius Prime Disciple. Due to the Prime Disciple seat having always been empty, he had discussed with the Elders numerous times about promoting Leng Shizhi. However, the Sect Master has always declined.”
“Well, where is the Sect Master?”
Li Qi Ye felt it was strange that after him joining the sect, he had never met the Sect Master, Su Yong Huang.
Nan Huai Ren didn’t know the answer:
“Sect Master had never stayed within the sect. She had always cultivated outside; in reality, I’ve only met her a couple of times.”
Nan Huai Ren started whispering because he saw people nearby:
“There is a rumor within the sect. It is that Sect Master was forced to leave by the Elders. No one knew the specifics. In short, when the Sect Master left the sect, she also brought along some Protectors and Leaders as well.”
Li Qi Ye stroke his chin, and conjectured:
“From this, it seems like there are a lot of internal fighting within the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect. It appears that the current situation of the sect is a lot more complicated than I first thought.”
“Some say there are four factions.”
Nan Huai Ren answered:
“There are a number of Protectors and Leaders with the Sect Master. Some Leaders are with Elder Xiong, and they hope that Elder Xiong will become the Sect Master. Another group belongs to the First Elder while the remaining four Elders have always been neutral.”
“The First Elder also wants to be the Sect Master?”
Li Qi Ye inquired.
Nan Huai Ren shook his head:
“No one knows what the First Elder is thinking. He had not supported the Sect Master completely, but he also had never competed for the role. However, his influence is great in the sect. He controls the disciplinary squad in the sect and is very strict. Thus, the majority of the disciples are scared of him.”
From Nan Huai Ren’s words, Li Qi Ye had a grasp of the current situation of the sect. Thinking about it, Li Qi Ye lightly chuckled and did not speak on it anymore.
Heavenly Crow Peak was an important location of the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect. Some even said that it was a forbidden ground. WIthout permission from the Sect Master or the Elders, no disciple could enter the peak.
Also, the Heavenly Crow Peak was the highest mountain in all of the sect. On top of it was a triangular old building. In here lies all the manuals, techniques, life treasures, jewels, metals, and everything valuable of the sect.
The mountain was heavily fortified. There were patrols every three steps as well as a defense post every five; even a mosquito wouldn’t be able to get through. The entirety of the peak was also protected by the elite disciples and two rotating Elders of the sect.
To the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, the Heavenly Crow Peak was too important. The most valuable things of the sect were all located on this mountain.
In addition, there was also a legend regarding the Heavenly Crow Peak. It was said that before Immortal Emperor Min Ren’s ascension, he was blessed by the will of the heavens. The heavens sent him a godly crow from the sky. It arrived at the top of this peak, and Min Ren was taught by this crow. This was why the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect was situated around this mountain.