The mood was good as if they were old friends.
Li Qiye then continued into the forest, no longer chatting with the old man.
He came before a cave - the entrance to the great prison leading all the way to hell. It was unfathomable and as dark as ink.
No one could see what was inside regardless of their cultivation and heavenly gaze. This has always been a mystery. Was it an actual prison or something else?
The ones pushed inside couldn’t come back out so no one knew anything about the inside.
While standing at the entrance, he was naturally met by the powerful murderous energy resembling a violent gale. Each strand was as sharp as a blade, capable of flaying a person.
His eyes narrowed, intending to pierce through the darkness to see the deepest area.
“It’s bottomless, who knows how far it goes without entering?” A person clicked their tongue behind him.
The old man from before appeared out of nowhere and was sitting on a boulder nearby while smoking his pipe.
Li Qiye smiled and agreed: “Indeed, or perhaps there is no bottom so one can’t see it.”
With that, he sat down on the boulder as well and glanced at the old man: “Using murderous energy to train, it’s not a bad method.”
“I’m just a clumsy man using a silly method.” The old man puffed out smoke, clearly happy with the praise: “No talents, not cultured, just a brute compared to the geniuses but I love cultivation. I’m aware that only through arduous hardship will I be able to reach perfection.”
“It’s good logic, you’re not quite cultivating for power but rather just training your dao heart.” Li Qiye said.
The old man replied: “I don’t understand grand logics but I always remind myself to not be shaken with temptation or weakness. There are many ways in this world to train the mind and dao heart, I’m simply using a method suitable for me and probably can’t try anything else.”
“A different method might not yield the same harvest.” Li Qiye turned towards the entrance: “This energy is tough to handle for so long but also certainly beneficial.”
“Right.” The old man didn’t deny this: “It was outside of my expectation. I only wanted to toughen up mentally in the beginning, not expecting to gain so much.”
“If we were to discuss the various grand dao, this is an orthodox path.” Li Qiye smiled: “Using the heart to find Buddha will result in finding Buddha, gaining buddhist laws is only a side benefit. A clear disparity between the dao and laws.”
The old man shook his head: “You think too highly of me, young friend. I’m not that smart and only got lucky. It must be a blessing from heaven.”
Li Qiye’s eyes became profound: “This dao grants you longevity. Whether it be by chance or through planning, it is still an incredible choice.”
The old man put down his pipe for a bit, lost in rumination. It took a while before he started smoking again. The nearly extinguished pipe lit up once more with tiny sparks.
“It is thanks to this dao that I can live for so long.” The old man said with a serious tone.
“Because of this, Lucidity King was interested in this place, searching not for treasures but rather - lifespan.” Li Qiye chuckled.
The old man was surprised to hear this. He eventually puffed out a smoke ring and said: “Longevity is one thing, but eternal life is too greedy.”
He was referring to Lucidity’s reign for three long generations. This was an incredible miracle in Imperial. The only way to continue surviving was to enter Immortal.“It’s a shame that Lucidity didn’t completely understand.” Li Qiye said.
“How many can truly understand Nine Secrets?” The old man murmured: “Comprehending is one thing, but to actually grasp them? Easier said than done. So many wise sages and progenitors have experimented but failed across the ages. Lucidity’s ambition was only a pipe dream.”
“That old man was ambitious indeed. Unfortunately, throwing people in there is the same as throwing a meat bun at a dog.” Li Qiye smiled and shook his head.
Lucidity threw several powerful enemies and ferocious characters into the prison across a long period of time. However, he had no choice but to give up eventually.
“Lucidity was only testing the water but throwing more and more still didn’t yield any feedback.” The old man said.
“Because they weren’t strong enough, that’s all.” Li Qiye smiled.
The old man paused for a bit before replying: “There were many powerful foes during his reign, mainly Eternals and five stood out the most with one easily occupying the first place.”
He then stared at the entrance and said: “These five, whether it be power or influence, weren’t inferior to Lucidity. The top person was exceedingly strong.”
“To what extent?” Li Qiye smiled.
The old man stared deeply into the cave and said: “A big shot that had lorded over Imperial. Lucidity back then wasn’t his match and had lost too. If it wasn’t for True Emperor Jiu Ning, the capital would have been gone. Later on, several clans worked together with Nine Secrets System and managed to capture him alive. Lucidity then threw him into the prison. Unfortunately, this guy didn’t come back out either. The guy was one of the strongest Eternals in Imperial, famous at the same time as Yugu Yifei. Very few could match him.” The old man said sentimentally.
An outsider would be stunned right now. Remember, Lucidity King reigned for three generations. His power was immense and unquestionable, not just in Nine Secrets but all of Imperial. Some even said that he could be placed among the top three of masters.
But this powerful foe overwhelmed Lucidity King. Virtually every power in Imperial joined in the coalition just to capture him alive, just how powerful was this guy?
Yet, an existence of this level still disappeared after entering the prison, seemingly dead without a grave. The prison was a frightening location.
“Still too weak.” Li Qiye said flatly: “Maybe throwing in a progenitor can be effective, the rest are only going there to die.”
The old man had no response after hearing this.
In this world, how many people can throw a progenitor into this prison? Only another being at the progenitorial level. Anyone inferior would find this harder than reaching the sky.
The old man puffed out smoke rings and said: “It’s understandable. Nine Secrets Ancestor failed too, so everyone else is just being overly optimistic.”
Back in the ancient era, this progenitor also researched the prison but didn’t dare to go in. Perhaps a progenitor could come back out alive, but the cost must have been unimaginable.
“Nothing is certain in this world.” Li Qiye smiled and left for his peak.
The old man knocked his pipe to get out the ashes before putting it away. He placed his axe on his waist since he had finished collecting his wood and began to leave.
This process would repeat every day. He would gather wood then sell it in the city outside in exchange for food.
“A mortal like me shouldn’t go to the immortal garret…” His song would always echo in these parts, becoming eternal. It would still be there a hundred years from now.
“It’s an honor to be praised by you, young friend.” The old man inhaled his pipe again before breathing out a long puff of lingering smoke.