“Possessing knowledge and knowing how to use it - that’s the way towards success. Unfortunately, no one is using this treasure grove correctly.” He said, looking at the youth before glancing at the books while shaking his head.
Jianchuan stood there, seemingly comprehending a little bit. A long time ago, their sect specialized in information gathering and secret selling.
They relied on their perfect network of intelligence to find the secrets of Imperial and greatly benefited from it.
Furthermore, they always had the initiative and were one step ahead for any big event - a great advantage. This naturally resulted in them yielding a greater harvest than the rest.
They grew stronger and stronger before ending up as one of the five great powers. Unfortunately, the result was fewer and fewer disciples being interested in this business.
What brought them to greatness suffered a swift decline. No one bothered reading the ancient scrolls in the depository. It meant that they had fewer and fewer relevant secrets, losing the advantages altogether.
Of course, the ancestors thought that they didn’t need to rely on this old business now that they have grown stronger. They could sweep through the world using force instead.
Jianchuan had a newfound perspective like seeing the light of a guiding torch in the mist, telling him which direction to go.
He increasingly found this king to be different from the rumors and faintly realized that the king was only putting up an act.
But why did the king pretend to be such a person, even until the fall of his kingdom? Jianchuan couldn’t come up with an answer at all.
Li Qiye lived like a monk at Godstep with only the lamp and books as his companions. Moreover, he didn’t care about external events, not bothering to ask a single question.
“Your Majesty, are you not curious about the dynasty?” Jianchuan was familiar enough to ask a sensitive question.
He was in charge of intelligence so he still received a number of reports every day. This allowed him to know about the world without leaving Godstep.
“What’s there to find out?” Li Qiye said: “War Saint has fallen out of grace while the rest of the world chases for the ultimate authority. Unfortunately, no one has been able to seize it. Given the current political climate, who can be in charge? The other sects are useless and only the five great powers are in the picture. Actually, the dynasty with its six legions can do something as well. However, the legion commanders, your five supreme ancestors, and the other experts; none of them are willing to submit to each other! Without a person capable of rising up above the others, total authority will need to wait, replaced by stagnation and deliberations.”
With that, he turned towards the youth and smiled: “The geezer hasn’t shown up recently, I’m sure he’s at the imperial city then. The five of them must be screaming there, but no one will give up.”
This casual analysis left Jianchuan slack-jawed because Li Qiye was completely spot on about the current political climate.
Though Nine Secrets System no longer has a real ruler, the great powers here didn’t wish to submit to each other. No one can suppress the entire world like Lucidity and no one had the claim to the throne like Li Qiye, the rightful successor.
Because of this, though the coalition armies managed to take over the imperial city, no one could really sit on the throne for total control. The five great powers would never yield to someone else. They didn’t want to see a second Lucidity King and actively worked against it.
This created a deadlocked stalemate at the capital. The five powers also sent their legions there, completely occupying the area.
Even the five supreme ancestors needed to go themselves to preside over the situation. After all, a change in the government could affect any of them for generations to come. No great powers wanted to let this go.
Jianchuan found Li Qiye’s insight to be incredible. He knew everything that was going on without taking a single step out of the door - quite unbelievable.
The youth calmed down and quietly said: “Your Majesty, the ancestor is indeed at the imperial city right now.”
“It’s only a waste of time.” Li Qiye shook his head and smiled: “The five great powers and these supreme ancestors will, one day, come to see that they are running around blindly. This land still belongs to whom it meant to belong to, everyone else has no idea what they're doing, mere chess pieces. Only the players can decide the fate of Nine Secrets.”
“Your Majesty, who are the players then?” Jianchuan asked, perplexed.
“You’ll find out later.” Li Qiye smiled mysteriously: “The answers are usually unexpected and will astonish people. However, there is one idiom pertinent to the situation - the mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind. Who knows who the real players are, but many certainly think they are, unaware that they are mere chess pieces.”
Jianchuan shuddered. Though he didn’t fully grasp the meaning of Li Qiye’s response nor who the chess players were, he knew that something earth-shattering was going to happen.
Though the depository had many scrolls, Li Qiye had gone through most of them and got all the information he wanted about the things he was searching for - a great success.
“Didn’t your progenitor leave behind a plain tablet?” Li Qiye put away the scroll and looked at Jianchuan today.
The youth nodded: “Yes, the Null Slate is located on the ancestral peak.”
“Alright, let’s go take a look.” Li Qiye said: “There’s not much to look at here in Godstep, we’ll see if this tablet will be different.”
Jianchuan was surprised because Li Qiye has been staying indoors the entire time. Now, he wanted to go take a look at the Null Slate?
“This lowly one will prepare for you, Your Majesty.” Jianchuan quickly agreed.
After taking care of minor details, he led Li Qiye to the ancestral peak.
This area was rumored to be where Godstep True Emperor meditated in the past. Later on, it became a place for the disciples to come and reminisce about their patriarch.
It was naturally the tallest peak in Godstep with numerous buildings. However, people were most interested in the stone tablet on top, bereft of any engraving.
The Null Slate was next to the precipice, personally erected by the emperor - or so they say.
No one knew why the emperor left this wordless tablet here. Perhaps it was to test the descendants, and that it contained a supreme art. Others believed that it was a meteor from an external realm; the emperor left it here for the descendants to study.
No one has been able to comprehend it since the foundation of Godstep. Plenty of True Emperors and Eternals from the sect have tried and failed.
In fact, they have even invited the ultimate genius of the Mu, Shaochen, to come take a look. The youth still couldn’t see through it and the mystery remained.
All in all, the Null Slate’s purpose and the emperor’s intent became an age-long question. Despite the futility of it all, disciples from Godstep still came to take a look, hoping for a miracle.
Zhang Jianchuan became jolted after listening to Li Qiye. He didn’t realize it yet but Li Qiye was slowly opening a new door for him.