He smiled while gazing at the prison: “Looks like Lucidity King himself coveted this place despite not being able to see through the mysteries.”
In fact, many people knew the name of Grand Desolate Heavenly Prison. It wasn’t because of the prison in and of itself, but rather Lucidity King.
Rumor has it that back in the olden days, this prison had imprisoned very powerful beings. There was no escaping either.
Another one stated that the progenitor of Nine Secrets used it to imprison a few murderous people. The system also repeated this in future generations.
This practice stopped later on because of a very simple reason. If one could subdue the enemy enough to put them into the prison, it meant that the enemy was helpless and could just be killed easily.
Moreover, there was no escaping after entering this prison. Throwing someone into this place was no different than killing them.
If this was the case, then why bother wasting energy to trap a monster or an enemy in this place? Killing them was far simpler.
For some unknown reasons, after Lucidity obtained sovereignty and reached the peak, he began using this prison for some of his foes.
They were his mighty enemies, some used to be even stronger than him! No one knew why he chose this to painstakingly capture them alive instead of just killing them.
A few ancestors speculated that it wasn’t meant to be a punishment. He was using them to find something - perhaps an item he wanted to locate was in the heavenly prison.
Some wise sages and True Emperors extended this notion back to the ancient ages. Perhaps even their progenitors or forefathers didn’t send prisoners here to trap them. They were meant to be experimental subjects for something.
Thus, the prison must contain something coveted even by Nine Secrets Ancestor. Unfortunately, the progenitor couldn’t obtain it.
“It’s my turn if others can’t get it.” Li Qiye smiled before entering a stone hall.
His stay at Grand Desolate Mountain began just like that. Though he was a guest, no disciples from the sect came to serve him.
Of course, this was the case for just anyone. Even Lucidity himself didn’t have servants and was only registered. That’s why when he came to dao search, he brought his own servants.
The brilliant Emperor Zhang didn’t have any special treatment either in the past. Nine-linked Mountains has always been like this - a very unique place indeed.
Nevertheless, no one would find this offensive. For millions of years now, no one dared to go crazy, not even the invincible emperors. They kept a low-profile and just carried out their business in peace.
Li Qiye didn’t mind the lack of hospitality. For him, staying outdoors to weather the wind and early-morning dew was fine as well.
He didn’t immediately start looking into the prison. He chose to take in the air here for dao enlightenment instead. Whenever the sun rose, he would already be sitting on top of the mountain facing the prison in a meditative state.
There was no brilliant aura or auspicious phenomena; he didn’t look different from a mortal meditating.
The Primordial Tree appeared inside his palace. The pine cone and acorn were mature enough to fall at any moment. Meanwhile, the third dao flower had a golden luster, seemingly made out of gold and looking quite pure.
The blossoming of this third flower filled the tree with primordial energy and a source of life. The tree itself couldn’t handle producing another flower and fruit by itself but everything was going well because Li Qiye added his own power.
The tree required a massive amount of supporting energy, but it also brought endless primordial aura to him. He could turn this force into his own as he fused them into his flesh. His physical constitution became different from everyone else - far superior.
Days of serenity and dao enlightenment went on. The entire world seemed so tranquil.
After all, this was the deep south of Nine-linked Mountains, its most deserted area. No one was here to bother him with the exception of another soul.
It was an old man wearing a woodcutter outfit - a shabby and old robe made of cheap cloth with a hemp rope around his waist holding up an axe meant for wood cutting. The handle was entirely rusted but the blade was still as sharp as ever.
He was full of wrinkles with a dark-yellow complexion, seemingly polished by the harsh weather across the years - the picture of a worker grounded in reality.
His eyes weren’t exceptional outside of being as clear as the water in a stream. One could sense something cool out of them even in hot weather.
He would be at the foot of the mountain before sunrise and meditate before the heavenly prison. He faced the murderous energy coming out, seemingly wanting to devour it.
Once the sun came up, he would stop and begin cutting wood. After filling two full loads held on a shoulder stick, he would go down to the lake and wash his face before leaving.
“A mortal like me shouldn’t go to the immortal garret…” He loudly sang a folk song while departing.
The warm sunlight illuminated the mountain range while his song echoed. It was as if this was the scene of a painting - lasting for the ages. Li Qiye seemed to enjoy this work of art with a smile on his face.
This process would repeat each day, seemingly part of the natural order in this mountain.
On this day, the man started chopping wood and Li Qiye finished his meditation early. He leisurely strolled around and saw the old man.
“Young friend, calling it early today?” The old man stopped and asked.
It looked like he was aware of Li Qiye’s stay at the peak but never bothered him.
“Just having nothing to do.” Li Qiye smiled and stared at the axe. The blade seemed to be made from mortal steel.
“Not a bad axe.” He casually praised.
“Oh, need it for a living, you know?” The old man smiled back: “I polish it each day so it gets sharper. Cutting wood is very easy now.”
“The axe isn’t the only thing being polished, your dao heart is as well.” Li Qiye shook his head and said.
The old man was raising his axe for another chop but paused after hearing this. He looked at the youth and said: “Wise words from you, young friend.”
“Just running my mouth without thinking.” Li Qiye sat down on a dried trunk lying on the ground.
The old man became interested and put down the axe. He sat down as well and took out a tobacco pipe. He inhaled once then said: “And just running your mouth is enough to spew out priceless words. I’m not educated but I know that much.”
“It’s not called knowing for you but rather, profound understanding.” Li Qiye praised.
Li Qiye remained aloof about the mountain and the lake, only caring about the great pit.