The closed doors of this pavilion deterred others from approaching; people would not even dare to take half a step closer. The wind would become slow as it blew near this place. The flying birds would not dare to sing their songs as if they were afraid of disturbing the person sleeping within!
Countless divine mountains and giant peaks surrounded this area with many old halls and treasure monasteries, but this pavilion caused this space to be tranquil as if it was a quiet night. The elders of the academy did not dare to come near, and the disciples were not eligible to access this area in the first place.
They were afraid of disturbing the sleeping existence inside this pavilion. It was an extremely important location to the academy, and it could even be its biggest hope in the future.
Li Qiye stood there in a daze while he looked at the old pavilion. He was too familiar with it, and it had not changed after so many years!
A long, long time ago, Li Qiye had lived in this old pavilion as his occasional resting place.
Later on, this old pavilion was transferred to the Heavenly Dao Academy. From that point on, he rarely returned to the Eastern Hundred Cities. And even if he did, he would stay in a different location for a brief moment before leaving in a hurry.
Seeing Li Qiye gazing at the old pavilion for a long time, Old Daoist Peng started to speak: “This is the place where our Everlasting Courtyard’s Patriarch sleeps. We call it the Everlasting Pavilion.”
The truth was that the Everlasting branch didn’t previously exist at the academy. Only after Magu came did it become a branch. Although the Everlasting Courtyard had just a single inheritor each generation, it was still one of the strongest branches in the academy, and its Patriarch still lives to this day.
Li Qiye finally sighed with a tinge of emotion in his heart and asked: “How is Magu?”
Old Daoist Peng gently shook his head and answered: “The truth is, I also don’t know. I met the Patriarch once when I was very young, and it was when I joined the Everlasting Courtyard. At that time, my master took me to pay respects to the Patriarch. From my memories, that was the only time she was awake. Very few people in the academy have seen the great ancestor in an awakened state. Even the older people, like the Seven Ancestors, very rarely see her. Someone told my master that unless someone destroys the academy and advances all the way to this area, it would be very hard to wake up the ancestor.”
Very few people knew about the Patriarch of the Everlasting Courtyard, Immortal Xu Chong. Even the few that did were most likely dead by now.
Since a long time ago, many people sealed themselves to survive from an ancient generation to the present, and they used Blood Era Stones to bury themselves. This was no different than dying, but there would be a day when they would be awakened, or “come into being” as the world would call it.
Immortal Xu Chong was someone who didn’t seal herself, yet managed to live to this day. The only thing she needed to do was to enter long periods of hibernation in order to not use the Blood Era Stone to withstand the withering of time because she cultivated the Eternal Physique — the most difficult, the most time consuming, and the most willpower dependent physique out of all the Immortal Physiques!
In fact, many elders of the academy understood very little about the Everlasting Patriarch, and some didn’t even know Magu’s daoist title. The upper echelons simply knew that there was an extremely powerful ancestor sleeping in this place.
Among them, some considered Immortal Xu Chong and the Realm God to be the two gods of the academy, but no one knew who was stronger!
“Do you want to see the Patriarch?” In the end, Old Daoist Peng couldn’t help but pry further. He found it strange that an outsider would know not just the Patriarch’s title, but also her real name.
In fact, Li Qiye seemed to know of her in great detail! And this only further piqued the old daoist’s interest in Li Qiye’s origin.
Li Qiye finally withdrew his gaze and gently shook his head before saying: “No need.” To him, it was better to not see her! Magu finally found her own path. She was no longer the young girl of that year, and she no longer needed her teacher’s guidance. She could go on her own path, thus his responsibility was finished.
Li Qiye eventually asked: “To what level has your Patriarch cultivated the Eternal Physique to?” Li Qiye had always researched this physique and had attempted to train someone to reach grand completion, but all of it was to no avail. Magu, perhaps, was the exception.
To be more accurate, Magu was not someone chosen by Li Qiye. It was a case of inadvertently planting a willow tree that eventually became a forest. 1
“I don’t know the specifics, but my master said that the Patriarch was only a single small step away from reaching grand completion. After this step, perhaps she will reach eternality.” Peng Keng continued on: “The truth is that the Patriarch is the only person in our Everlasting Courtyard that is still persevering; we are no match for her.” Having said this, he could only sigh in shame.
Peng Keng was the seventh generation’s successor of the Everlasting Courtyard. All the previous successors had said their goodbyes to this world by entering an eternal slumber underground, yet the Patriarch continued to live on.
The reason was very simple; the other successors could not persist until the very end. Although Eternal Physique users lived for a very long time, the reason why they couldn’t stick to it was also because of this longevity. With such a long lifespan and strong cultivation, in the end, who could actually withstand this lengthy loneliness?
“The world is so bustling while the grand dao is very lonely. With the ability to sweep through this world, who would want to guard a little courtyard for an eternity of solitude?” Li Qiye looked at the old daoist and said. He understood this simple reasoning very well because this was the reason why his past attempts failed.
The old daoist forced a smile and lamented: “Too true. Who is willing to be alone with such great power? Regarding this old man, I might not have the ambition to conquer this world and bask in all the glory, but my biggest temptation is food. I cannot bear the long reclusiveness; I would rather run around this world to catch divine fishes and immortal chickens to satiate my hunger with tasty dishes. In the end, I could not persevere.”
Li Qiye didn’t say anything, nor did he blame the old daoist. After millions of years, many determined people had tried, and they ultimately failed. It was understandable that the old daoist couldn’t persevere either.
They eventually stepped into the deepest territory of the academy where the Realm God was located.
It was not strange for the world to not know of Immortal Xu Chong, but the fame of the Realm God was spread throughout the nine heavens.
The Mortal Emperor World once had two great gods: the Calamity God from the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, and the Realm God of the Heavenly Dao Academy. Although the two were not given the title through a formal investiture, the world had accepted the two as gods. They were True Gods, not false gods claiming to be gods!
The Realm God had accompanied the academy through many trials and tribulations as its protector. Future generations even said that the Realm God had the chance to accept the Heaven’s Will and become an Immortal Emperor, but it couldn’t bear to leave the academy. It chose to stay behind as the academy’s protector, so it could not soar out into the world and become an Immortal Emperor!
Before reaching the Realm God’s place, Li Qiye saw more than ten old men with pure white hair, controlling a gigantic dao platform that created a grand formation.
This dozen old men were busily chanting true words and immortal scriptures, causing the grand formation to send down sweet drops of dew. As the sweet dew descended, immortal sounds emanated from the inside of the grand formation, creating a tranquil atmosphere. Even a butcher would be forced to put down his knife and have the vicious thoughts in his heart washed away.
Since the Realm God was uneasy and was on the verge of going crazy, the elders tried their best to calm it down. They intended to wash away the evil in the Realm God’s heart, but the results were not clear.
Old Daoist Peng went to these elders first, then he spoke to Li Qiye: “You and I will go to see the Realm God, but I’m afraid we won’t be able to communicate with it.”
“No, I will go in myself.” Li Qiye said with a serious tone.
Old Daoist Peng discussed this with the elders before nodding his head and replying: “But you have to be careful. With the Realm God’s current state like this, I cannot guarantee anything. Make sure to immediately leave once something bad happens.”
The Realm God’s dwelling was more than one thousand miles wide. This place had not been so vast prior to it entering this problematic state. Because of its maddened rage, the academy had to vacate this area and seal the Realm God in order to contain and minimize the damage caused by it.
This was an extremely delicate situation for the academy. With something at the Realm God’s level, one sweep of the hand could destroy the heaven and earth. The academy managing to persevere for so long was not only due to the Realm God trying its best to not descend into depravity, but also because of the academy’s indispensable efforts.
Many sealed elders came out and built this great formation, and they used a supreme heart-calming technique to chase away the madness so that the Realm God could calm down.
A stream of hot air immediately smashed into his face the moment Li Qiye stepped into this place. A burning atmosphere filled the entire sky.
Keep in mind that the deepest area of the academy was an ancestral ground filled with the essence of this world; it was an extremely rare and sacred ancestral ground. However, the scene before Li Qiye’s eyes did not resemble a sacred ancestral ground at all! He could only see a barrenness that spanned for a thousand miles with cracked earth and a lack of lush vegetation. The land before Li Qiye was dead without the slightest signs of life.
1. A prose from an old saying from ‘增广贤文’. The full version is ‘purposely planting a flower only for it to wither, inadvertently planting a willow tree that grows into a forest’. It is a metaphor for going with the flow of nature in daoism. It could also be praising the vitality of a willow tree.