“What?” Li Qiye said while looking at her.
She kept her head low on the floor while begging: “The elders of the clan were foolish to oppose you, Your Majesty, and have committed a grave sin. I have failed you as well, so please punish me.”
“You haven’t done anything wrong.” Li Qiye gently waved his sleeve.
She maintained her pose: “The elders’ sin is worthy of clan destruction. Insignificant I may be, I wish to accept the punishment instead.”
“So you’re beseeching for your clan’s sake.” He glanced at her and chuckled.
“I only hope to lower the punishment by a little.” She said softly.
Li Qiye said flatly: “Out of consideration for you, I won’t destroy your clan. However, a punishment is still justified. Expurgation will happen.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” She rejoiced, still staying on the ground.
She was ready for the worst during this whole process, thinking that her clan would face total destruction and that she herself would be punished. Who would have thought that Li Qiye would forgive them?
“Your Majesty, I will spend the rest of my life to repay your kindness.” She cried emotionally.
“Hmm, yes. Stand up, just do your best now.” Li Qiye nodded.
She hurriedly got up to prepare to wash his face and various other tasks, completely acting as a maid.
After Li Qiye finished washing, Southpeak Woodcutter came for an audience.
“You’re right on time after hiding for the last several days.” Li Qiye smiled while glancing at him.
“Ah…” The woodcutter forced a smile and smoked his pipe: “Your Majesty’s invincible aura suppressed the nine heavens. My cultivation is nothing so all I could do was hide in fear. There was no way I could come out to see you.”
“Alright, enough flattery, state your intent.” Li Qiye didn’t mind.
The woodcutter rubbed his palms and said: “Your Majesty, you are the first to leave the heavenly prison alive, an unprecedented feat in this world. My knowledge is shallow so I would like to hear your experience inside if possible.”
“Just get straight to the point instead of darting around the issue.” Li Qiye said flatly: “You just want to hear more about immortality.”
“You are so wise, Your Majesty, I would like to broaden my horizons and fix my inaccurate beliefs by listening to your guidance.” The old man coughed.
“Enough flowery talks.” Li Qiye shook his head: “Very well, since you acted with propriety, I shall reward you. I’m sure you have been researching the prison for a lifetime just like Lucidity King.”
“Please don’t laugh at my futile attempt to live longer.” The old man smiled wryly.
He spent his days absorbing the murderous energy of the prison and cultivating the grand dao, wanting to learn more about immortality and the mysteries of the prison.
Of course, someone strong like him had the rights to learn about immortality. Everyone searched for it, from True Emperors to progenitors. Everlasting life was too tempting.
“I’ll make an exception and let you have a look.” Li Qiye took out the black soil.
“This is…” The old man became startled and accepted the soil with both hands in a respectful manner for careful observation.
“This is the immortality item you have been searching for.” Li Qiye smiled.
The old man was meticulous and treated this soil as the most precious and peerless thing in the world.
“This divinity… how can such divinity exist in this world?” He murmured.
“You tell me.” Li Qiye replied.
“Maybe it doesn’t belong to the mortal world.” The erudite old man still didn’t know where this soil came from.
“All of this doesn’t matter.” Li Qiye said: “One could even say that in a sense, even immortality itself doesn’t matter, at least to the grand scheme of things.”
“I don’t quite understand, Your Majesty…” The woodcutter said. What will happen in the future if immortality doesn’t matter? He was shaken due to his knowledge and insight.
“It shows that someone has brought this thing here.” Li Qiye’s eyes became profound: “It doesn’t belong to this world or any other, at least under the blue dome, yet it still appeared. Three Immortal Worlds aren’t necessarily unbreakable, nothing is.”
“Is there another safe place then?” The woodcutter shuddered, thinking about the worst.
“I would say yes in the past, but who knows about the present. There is a perfect saying for this situation, a toppled nest will result in broken eggs. Three Immortal Worlds have enjoyed peace for too long, considered to be indestructible. We’ll see about this in the future.” Li Qiye said.
“If this is the case, then where should we go?” The old man asked in a daze.
Li Qiye chuckled: “A cynical way to put it is that one should just wait for death since no one can escape it anyway, just a matter of time.”
The woodcutter didn’t know how to respond since this was indeed the case.
“And you, Your Majesty?” He calmed down and asked after a long while.
Li Qiye gazed towards the distant, piercing through time and space.
“Me?” He eventually looked back and smiled: “What else can I do but fight? War has always been a companion of mine, so it doesn't matter who the enemy is, a battle they shall have.”
“Continuously struggling.” The woodcutter suddenly felt respect towards Li Qiye: “Your Majesty, you are a role model for all of us. Your immovable dao heart is beyond all of us.”
“Not again.” Li Qiye waved his sleeve once more.
Of course, the woodcutter wasn’t flattering Li Qiye this time. The praise came from the heart.
He attentively looked at the soil again and noticed something: “Hmm, this presence, I believe it has shown up at Stone Harmony System before.” 
“Oh?” Li Qiye smiled.
The woodcutter quickly added: “A presence like this erupted during my vacation to Stone Harmony in the past. It came and went quickly so my search attempt yielded nothing as if it was just a random occurrence. Nevertheless, it left a deep impression of me so I can still remember it right now.”
“No, it makes sense. That’s how it should be. Unfortunately, it does indicate the gravity of the situation.” Li Qiye’s expression became serious.
“It is a blessing to see such a divine item in this lifetime, thank you, Your Majesty.” The woodcutter returned the soil with both hands.
Li Qiye pinched a tiny piece and said: “Here is a little gift for your propriety. Even though it won’t grant you immortality, it should be ample lifespan.”
Surprise turned into joy for the old man. He knew just how precious this black soil was so he got on the ground: “Thank you, Your Majesty.”
He accepted the tiny piece and carefully put it away.
“Nine Secrets will require your help in the future. Do your best.” Li Qiye said.
“Are you leaving…?” The woodcutter didn’t expect this to come so soon.
“This kingdom isn’t mine so it’s not worthy of my stay.” Li Qiye said: “It won’t be easy to take care of it though.”
“I understand.” The woodcutter bowed: “If Her Highness ever requires Nine-linked Mountains’ help or mine, all she has to do is summon us.”
This was a vow of loyalty towards both Li Qiye and Liu Chuqing.
1. The title for Stone Harmony is a hard one to translate without more context, it might be changed later
Li Qiye woke up very early on the second day and saw Bingchi Hanyu kneeling in waiting.