Everyone else seemed to be in a hurry but he walked with a slow and leisurely pace.
“Benefactor!” Suddenly, an old man shouted and got on his knees in front of him.
Li Qiye had no impression of the old man who took his time showing respect before standing up.
“Young Noble, you forgot me? You saved me from the tree demons in the valley.” The old man hurriedly said.
Li Qiye remembered and nodded: “I remember, your name is Wu Youzheng.”
“Yes.” The old man was ecstatic to hear this: “I am Wu Youzhheng indeed. I will never forget your kind act.”
“It’s no big deal.” Li Qiye said flatly and continued on forward.
Youzheng followed his step with a happy expression: “I didn’t expect to see you here, Young Noble. You are a true master, so to be able to see you again is a blessing of three lifetimes. My sect, Stoneclearing, is located right here in Mingluo. If you don’t mind, how about going there so I can show you my hospitality?”
“Maybe later.” Li Qiye responded.
“May I ask what you’re here for? I’m very familiar with this place so if you ever need assistance, just say the words.” Youzheng said.
Li Qiye smiled and looked at the old man: “If you really want to help, I actually have something you can do.”
“What is it? I will not refuse, Young Noble.” Youzheng became spirited.
Li Qiye calmly said: “It’s not hard, but if you have enough influence, then tell the citizens of Mingluo to evacuate quickly.”
“Er…” Youzheng didn’t expect this order from Li Qiye.
“May, may I ask why?” He couldn’t come up with a reason.
“Because your city is about to be destroyed, run as far away as possible if you want to stay alive.” Li Qiye said.
Youzheng became stunned. This wasn’t his first time hearing this.
“You again, Li!” A sharp and clear voice resounded. A girl with a sweet fragrance blocked Li Qiye’s path.
“I warned you yesterday and here you are again, spreading this nonsense! You’re really asking for it!” She angrily threatened. It was none other than Lin Yixue.
She just happened to hear his voice while shopping and couldn’t help rushing over to yell at him, just a bit short of pointing straight at his face.
“Yue’er, don’t be disrespectful!” The old man regained his wits and saw his disciple being so rude to his benefactor. He became frightened and started yelling.
“Master?!” Xiyue was startled as well, not expecting to see her master here. She didn’t see him at the start because she was so hellbent on Li Qiye.
“Apologize to the young noble already.” Youzheng sternly said.
“Master, he’s clearly spreading rumors everywhere with nefarious intents towards our city…” Xiyue indignantly said.
“Absurd! The young noble is a hidden master who saved my life in Crescent Moon Valley. I would be food in the tree demons’ stomach right now if it wasn’t for him.”
She stood there, frozen, before taking another look at Li Qiye. This guy was a hidden master?
Her master told her about being saved by a youth once he returned. She thought that this youth would be transcending and flawless - the opposite of Li Qiye.
Nevertheless, she lowered her head and cupped her fists: “My mistake for being rude, and thank you for saving my master, Young Noble.”
Xiyue and Youzheng weren’t only master and disciple, but also father and daughter. She was truly grateful.
“However… even if you are our benefactor, you can’t spread these rumors to the detriment of our city.” Her last line showed her unyieldingness.
“Brat, I must have been too doting on you!” Youzheng cupped his fists towards Li Qiye and apologized: “Young Noble, I’m sorry about my ineffective education. I will be stricter on her in the future.”
“It’s fine. If it’s really a rumor, no wise men will take it seriously.” Li Qiye looked at her and smiled before going forward.
Youzheng followed right behind him, the unwilling Xiyue as well.
“Where are you staying, Young Noble? I wish to visit and hear your guidance…” Youzheng hastily said.
“Here.” Li Qiye stopped before the old man could finish since he was back to the entrance of the ruins.
“Heavensound Ruins…” The old man was surprised but still walked inside.
Li Qiye got back to his spot and sat down, cross-legged. He was as calm and natural as always regardless of whether he was inside a palace or ruins.
“You are staying here? But it’s outside.” Youzheng said. He assumed that Li Qiye would be inside a broken palace or something, but after thinking about it again, hidden masters are always eccentric.
“Being outside is just fine.” Li Qiye replied.
“Excuse me then. Being exposed to the weather is also a type of cultivation for true masters.” Youzheng smiled awkwardly.
Li Qiye didn’t respond and closed his eyes.
Youzheng looked around the desolate place and became emotional: “This used to be the divine temple of Heavensound. During the golden age of our system, Heavensound used to give orders to the world here, but look at it now… prosperity passed by like ephemeral clouds.”
“Isn’t Heavensound our original sect?” Xiyue asked.
Youzheng nodded: “Yes, Stoneclearing was only a side branch of Heavensound back then. The decline of Heavensect was swiftly followed by the decline of the system.”
“Master, what was the reason behind its decline? You said that it was peerless during its reign.” She said.
“No one knows. It used to have three True Emperors at the same time, that’s matchless.” Youzheng spoke with pride.
“They also turned into ashes in just one night.” Li Qiye casually said.
“...” Youzheng stopped and looked at Li Qiye with astonishment: “You know about this secret history, Young Noble?”
“It’s no secret since the story is in many ancient scrolls. Any avid reader knows about it.” Li Qiye replied.
“I see.” The old man couldn’t do anything but nod his head: “Yes, our sect’s records state the same. Heavensound and Stone Harmony fall from grace in just one night.” He sighed disappointedly.
“Really, Master?” This was Xiyue’s first time hearing this: “Who could actually take down Heavensound when there are three True Emperors around? And in one night?”
“It’s a mystery.” Youzheng shook his head: “Heavensound was ridiculously strong back then. It had plenty of Eternals, not just three emperors. How could they rule the world otherwise? Nevertheless, it still only took one night.”
She was in disbelief. Not to mention Eternals and True Emperors, one would be hard-pressed to find an Ascender in Mingluo.
Youzheng continued: “This is the central location of Heavensound, look carefully, do you see anything different?”
“Not really?” She tilted her head in contemplation. After all, there were plenty of ruins in Mingluo City since it wasn’t as prosperous as before.
“The other ruins are because of abandonment, the architectures are still around. However, this place suffered something incredible. The impact crushed everything down to pebbles. That’s why you don’t really see any slightly-broken building here.” He explained.
“You, you’re right.” She took another look around and this was indeed the case. No intact building could be found.
She didn’t realize this little detail before despite growing up here.
Li Qiye enjoyed his time with a smile on his face while walking on the busy street.