There was nothing inside when Li Qiye opened the yellow trunk, and this caused his expression to change.
Suddenly, a lazy voice rang out: “Are you looking for this?” The appearance of this person shocked Chi Xiaodie. The old daoist who was sleeping in the dao shrine was standing right next to them without any warning.
His eyes still contained a blurry drowsiness and were half opened. The old daoist carried a clay cannon in his hand. The cannon was not huge, but it seemed to be very heavy from his posture.
Li Qiye jumped out from the mud as his eyes gazed at the clay cannon in the old daoist’s hands.
The old daoist lazily said: “Coming to my dao shrine to steal stuff is not good.”
Li Qiye looked at him and nonchalantly replied: “Steal? You are the one who is stealing. My ancestor once buried the Space Crossing Earthworm at this place for generations just so that, one day, I could come and take it back in the future.”
With his tired eyes, the old daoist glanced at Li Qiye and asked: “Your ancestor? Who is it?”
His question was also something Chi Xiaodie wanted to ask, but she didn’t want to pry.
Li Qiye slowly placed the earthworm down and said: “You ask too many things. There are some matters that shouldn’t be asked. Otherwise, one will die an unsightly death.”
“Really now?” The old daoist beamingly smiled and said: “This old daoist has been wanting to die for a while now, but it is simply not possible. Since you dug out the earthworm, you should just give it to me, right? Hehe, last time, this thing escaped way too fast; otherwise, it would have been a side dish to accompany my wine.”
“Old Daoist, you shouldn’t touch such a thing.” Li Qiye slowly spoke: “Did the Patriarch of the Lastingness Courtyard not tell you?”
The sleepy old daoist didn’t care, so he grinned: “Hehe, Little Demon, don’t boast too much, this old man doesn’t believe your ruse.”
Li Qiye narrowed his eyes while staring at the old daoist and asked: “Where is Ma Gu? Where did Ma Gu go!?”
The old daoist suddenly stood up and the initial drowsiness was dispelled completely. His old eyes gazed at Li Qiye intensely; they became extremely frightening as if they were capable of swallowing all things.
Chi Xiaodie was quite startled. Although she hadn’t seen a real expert before, she knew that this old daoist was very scary. However, she didn’t understand why the old daoist was so alarmed after hearing the name, “Ma Gu”.
The old daoist was aghast while he stared at Li Qiye. He then said with a grave voice: “You… Who are you?” The old daoist then unleashed a bloody light. Chi Xiaodie could feel the suppressive aura that was capable of destroying all things. The old daoist tried his best to hide his blood energy, but even the faint bloody light was enough to make Chi Xiaodie feel as if there was a dragon in front of her.
Li Qiye slowly said without a worry in the world: “Old Daoist, it is best not to make a move against me. Even if Wang Yuan of your Heavenly Dao Academy crawled out of his grave, he would not dare to take any actions against me! Otherwise, I will destroy your Heavenly Dao Academy!”
Chi Xiaodie cried out after hearing the name: “The Second Sage!”
Wang Yuan — this name was like thunder in one’s ear, especially at the Eastern Hundred Cities. Wang Yuan was not an Immortal Emperor, but he was no less prestigious than one. In an ancient era, he once revived the Heavenly Dao Academy, causing the fallen academy to rise once again. Because of this, his status in the academy was the same as its progenitor.
Millions of years had passed and Wang Yuan had died a long time ago, but the academy still remembered his contributions so they called him the Second Sage. Only Wang Yuan alone carried this title in the Heavenly Dao Academy.
The old daoist was stunned with his eyes wide open as they locked onto Li Qiye. He didn’t dare to take any reckless actions so he slowly converged his blood force.
Li Qiye ignored him and gently knocked on the yellow trunk of the earthworm with a rhythmic tapping pattern.
A noise suddenly appeared: “Phooo!” A moment later, the Space Crossing Earthworm woke up and scurried far away.
After creating some distance, it started cursing: “Ai ya! My mother ya! Which bastard sneak attacked your father?”
Chi Xiaodie was frozen; she had never seen a talking earthworm that knew how to curse at people. This was really going too far. Hundreds of different flowers bloomed in the Eastern Hundred Cities, and Chi Xiaodie had seen many great demons, but she had never seen an earthworm successfully cultivate the dao.
The Space Crossing Earthworm saw the old daoist and then jumped up to exclaim: “Ai ya, my mother, it is this smelly daoist ah!”
Seeing the old daoist carrying the clay cannon, it became angry and yelled out in an angry tantrum: “Bastard daoist! Stinky daoist! Quickly give me back my divine cannon! Otherwise, this divine immortal will blow up your little shrine!”
The old daoist narrowed his eyes and laughed: “Such a loud earthworm! Watch out or I will make you my wine’s side dish.”
“My ass, your bullshit stinks so bad! You only managed to sneak attack me a couple of times. With just your lame skills, you still dare to dream about stealing my divine cannon? Bah, bah, bah, stinky daoist, return my divine cannon!” The earthworm angrily threatened the old daoist: “Otherwise, this boss will banish this place, this place where the chickens don’t even want to lay their eggs at, to a different dimension! Damn your ancestor! If this boss didn’t promise to not leave this place, then I would have banished you and your shitty shrine a long time ago! Hurry up and give me back my divine cannon!”
Chi Xiaodie was shocked. It was not strange for a person to curse someone else like this, but a cursing earthworm was quite an unbelievable sight.
Li Qiye patted the position next to him and told the earthworm: “Okay, Little Autumn, hurry up and come over here, I will get you back your divine cannon.” 1
The earthworm was extremely arrogant; it glared at Li Qiye and scolded: “Brat, just who do you think you are? You dare to call me Little Autumn? Do you want me to blow you into a strange dimension with a single cannon shot!? Call me Little Autumn again and see if I won’t banish you to a different realm, never to be able to return again!”
Li Qiye looked at the earthworm and slowly said: “Little Autumn, don’t make me throw you back to the Nihility Temple.” 2
The earthworm jumped and stared at Li Qiye in astonishment while saying: “How do you know about the Nihility Temple?” He was in disbelief and asked: “Who are you?” The earthworm with the foul and vicious mouth suddenly became cautious.
Li Qiye leisurely replied: “I even know the bird that clipped you out from the Nihility Temple. If you keep running your mouth, I’ll have it eat you!”
“Mother!” The Space Crossing Earthworm suddenly jumped up as if it had seen a ghost, and it started to stutter: “This… are you being serious?”
“You tell me.” Li Qiye spewed out a true mantra, and this true mantra turned into an orderly universal law that entered the earthworm’s body.
The earthworm then shivered and deafeningly shouted: “Oh my god! Young Noble! Young Noble is invincible in this world, in the Nine Heavens and the Ten Earths, in the Five Desolaces and the Six Dao, in all the realms and myriad dimensions… This Little Autumn knew that nothing could stop Young Noble from returning! The king is back to reign over the world and all existences in the universe, to create three hundred billion imperial concubines in your harem and marry millions and millions of fairies…”
The earthworm started to spew out a plethora of praises towards Li Qiye in just a moment. Chi Xiaodie and the old daoist’s eyes opened up wide. The arrogant earthworm that was cursing at everyone earlier could actually act like a sycophant in this manner.
Li Qiye then told the earthworm: “Okay, if you keep on talking rubbish, I will throw you back to the Nihility Temple.”
The Space Crossing Earthworm hurriedly ran over to Li Qiye’s side and dawdled around with an incomparably affectionate appearance; it seemingly wanted to win Li Qiye’s favor. Li Qiye had to tap the yellow trunk on its back before it laid down next to him.
With Li Qiye as his backing, the earthworm became even more arrogant: “Stinky daoist, give me back my divine cannon!” He shouted loudly at the old daoist: “If you don’t give it back, my Young Noble will knock all your teeth to the floor and break your home, no, he will destroy this rotten temple of your Heavenly Dao Academy!”
Li Qiye tapped the earthworm again and said: “Okay, stop talking so much.” The earthworm immediately became silent.
Li Qiye looked at the old daoist and said in a carefree manner: “Daoist should give the divine cannon back to my pet now.” Li Qiye spoke in a polite and formal tone.
There was no longer any trace of drowsiness in the old daoist’s sleepy eyes. He carefully looked at Li Qiye and pondered for a bit before forcing a laugh: “I was just kidding, it was just a joke with the earthworm and its rotten mouth. I only took its divine cannon when it was unprepared, but there is no malice behind it.”
The old daoist then handed over the divine cannon in his hands over to Li Qiye.
Li Qiye then placed the divine cannon back in the yellow trunk on the earthworm’s back.
However, the earthworm did not let it go so easily and cursed: “Your grandmother, you dared to sneak attack me before? This boss will let you off this time, I want to find Ma Gu…” The earthworm was out of control with Li Qiye behind him.
The old daoist’s face became frozen after hearing the name “Ma Gu”.
Li Qiye appeased the earthworm and said: “Okay, Fellow Daoist has given it back to you so just let it go. You also borrowed the heaven and earth vein of the Heavenly Dao Academy.”
“Hmph, it seems like this smelly daoist is lucky this time!” The earthworm was still feeling indignant, but it had no choice other than to eventually drop the matter.
1. After thinking it through, I chose Little Autumn instead of Little Fishy. Little Fishy actually makes more sense, and it carries the meaning of the raw over better, but it is still strange to call an earthworm a fish in the English translation. Just know that this fish would have been an eel or a loach, so it does resemble an earthworm. 2. Raw would be Old Hollow/Void/Emptiness Temple, but I do use the word void and emptiness a lot, and Nihility sounds pretty cool with a sense of oldness within, so Nihility Temple instead of Old Void Temple.