For many eras, if a group of people claimed to know the secret of the Thousand Carp River, then Li Qiye would definitely be a part of this assembly. Moreover, within the current generation, Li Qiye might be the person who understood this river the best.
He would sometimes see ancient cities and declined clans along the river while he headed south, and he could only respond with a sigh. He saw the ruins of the magnificent and prosperous sceneries of the past. He gazed into the misty river for a long time in silence. O how many heroes, glories, and beauties passed away… None were able to withstand the test of time!
However, as the mulberry fields turned into blue seas, this surging river still remained the same as if nothing in this world could affect its torrential flow. It was like a dragon entrenched in this land.
Li Qiye’s southward journey had almost reached the estuary of the Thousand Carp River as he entered the territory of the Static Stream Country. Li Qiye became emotional after recalling such a familiar name as he gently bemoaned: “Static Stream Estuary — it is still the same after so many years!”
The Static Stream Country at the Distant Cloud region was an average-sized nation and its power could only be considered second-rate.
Moreover, it was a tribute to the Thousand Carp River for the millions of years till now. There was a reason for this; the progenitor of this country was a general under Immortal Emperor Qian Li. Legends state that after becoming the emperor and ruling over the Nine Worlds, he erected the sect next to the Thousand Carp River.
And as his general, the Static Stream Progenitor had always followed after the emperor. Eventually, the emperor bestowed the southern region of the river to the general so that he could form his own country!
This was why the Static Stream Country had always been attached to the Thousand Carp River. The truth was that the country used to be very powerful in the past; it was classified as a first-rate power. Unfortunately, after so many years, the country had fallen and lost its previous prestige. Despite this, because of its attachment to the Thousand Carp River, no other lineages dared to seize its territory in spite of its contemporary weakness.
As long as the Thousand Carp River remained standing, a lineage like the Static Stream Country could live in peace even if it was not as strong as before. 1
Stepping into the Static Stream Country and seeing that his destination was close, Li Qiye remained unhurried on his journey down south along the grand river.
As he leisurely strolled downstream, a thunderous rumble suddenly came from above. Li Qiye looked up and saw a flying ship in the sky that was also heading south!
Li Qiye did not find this matter strange at all and paid it no mind while the giant ship kept on flying south. However, not much time passed before it suddenly turned around and hovered above Li Qiye, only to slowly land beside him.
“Where are you going?” A girl who stood on the ship’s deck asked Li Qiye.
Suddenly being approached by a girl slightly took Li Qiye by surprise. Of course, he wasn’t narcissistic enough to think that he was handsome to the point where it caused girls to hit on him.
“Me?” Li Qiye pointed at himself and then said: “I’m going to the Thousand Islands!”
“Come up.” The girl said: “We are also going to the Thousand Islands, so we can give you a ride.”
Li Qiye was quite amused about his first time hitching a ride. He laughed and jumped on this gigantic ship. After he boarded, the ship made a loud bang and flew towards the south.
The moment he boarded, he found that there were more than ten cultivators already sitting on the deck. Some were young and some were old. All of them wore the same colored clothing. It was easy to tell that they were all from the same sect.
The cultivators onboard nodded their heads at him as a friendly greeting.
The girl who called for him to board said: “Just sit anywhere. The Thousand Islands is already very close so we’ll be there in a flash.”
Li Qiye sat down and couldn’t help but to take another look at this girl. She was around the age of twenty, the spring of her youth — beautiful and alluring.
Li Qiye had seen so many beauties that it was too many to count, but this girl ahead of him was still enough to brighten people’s eyes.
Her short hair was down to her shoulders — this was quite an eye-catching sight. It gave her the appearance of a straightforward and decisive woman.
Although her beauty was not overly supreme, her bright eyes and full lips gave others the impression of purity. The armor she wore also accentuated her air of valor.
Despite being young, she carried the aura of a big sister. It was apparent that she was the leader of this group.
“My name is Li Qiye, how should I address you, Miss?” After looking at her, Li Qiye introduced himself with a smile.
“Lu Baiqiu.” The girl was also very straightforward and said: “Region Lord of the Static Stream Country’s Thousand Islands!”
Li Qiye had not seen this type of girl in a long time and couldn’t help but smile: “I am truly grateful to Miss for giving me a ride.”
“Heh, our Region Lord fancies you, Little Fella, and wants to take you as her husband!” A middle-aged man on the ship joked.
The other disciples on the ship, both young and old, couldn’t help but explode in laughter after hearing this.
“Dazhu, you feeling itchy?” Lu Baiqiu rubbed her fists and gazed at this man with her pretty eyes as if she intended to beat him up.
“Oh, Region Lord, I was just joking, just joking!” Seeing those fists, the man thought about how his Region Lord would ruthlessly beat people up and quickly forced a smile.
The other disciples were all just loudly laughing with gloating expressions. Despite their difference in age, they were very close to each other.
Lu Baiqiu ignored the other disciples and spoke to Li Qiye: “At the Sacred Nether World, we humans should unite and help each other.”
Li Qiye smiled and thought that her ideal was not bad. Alas, reality was cruel. No matter which world it was and no matter what race one was from, killing would always exist.
“What are you going to the Thousand Islands for?” Lu Baiqiu was the Region Lord of the islands. The area was under her jurisdiction so her curiosity was piqued.
“To pick up some medicinal herbs.” Li Qiye answered with a smile: “I heard that the Ghost Locust Tree grows at the Thousand Islands. Recently, I have been crafting a new medicinal paste so I need the resin from these trees. This is the reason for my trip.”
“Ghost Locust Tree?” Lu Baiqiu immediately replied: “There really are a lot of Ghost Locust Trees at the Thousand Islands. It is an indigenous tree at our islands.”
Although many lineages did not allow outsiders to harvest the resources of their territories, Lu Baiqiu didn’t mind after hearing Li Qiye’s goal of taking some tree resin.
At the Thousand Islands, the estuary of the great river, the torrential current started to flow into the ocean.
Gazing ahead, one could see a misty scene with surging ocean water while little islands emerged one after another. Some were big, some were small; the large ones were the size of a continent while the small ones were only akin to a small hill. Above them were bustling cities with tens of thousands of mortals!
Although this place was called the Thousand Islands, someone had calculated that there were only ninety-nine islands here. There was also speculation where there used to be one hundred islands, but one of them sunk into the sea.
This was the limit of the Thousand Carp River’s jurisdiction; if one went any further beyond this place, they would find the endless southern sea. The Thousand Islands was also the southernmost territory of the Static Stream Country. The Azure City was on the largest island, thus the island was also named as such.
The Azure City’s isle spanned for one thousand miles and had more than one hundred thousand inhabitants!
The main establishment of the Static Stream Country presided on this island, and Lu Baiqiu, being the Thousand Islands’ Region Lord, meant that she was the person with the most authority! Being a Region Lord at such a young age meant that her own abilities were not shabby.
Once the ship flew above the islands, Li Qiye told her: “I’ll get off the ship here.”
Lu Baiqiu ordered for the ship to halt. After Li Qiye got off, she told him: “If there is any trouble, you can come find us! We will help you to the best of our abilities!”
“Young Man, try a bit harder!” An older cultivator on the ship winked at Li Qiye and said with a smile: “Our Region Lord has been single for a very long time now. Maybe you have a chance, we are very optimistic about you!”
These misleading words only left Li Qiye silent while Lu Baiqiu glared at the laughing disciples.
As the giant ship flew into the Azure City, Li Qiye took a look around. He went to a high peak that overlooked the Thousand Islands in the far distance.
“The Static Stream protects the Thousand Islands… What a shame, he didn’t build the capital at this place.” Li Qiye lamented as he looked at the scenery ahead.
During the era of Immortal Emperor Qian Li, the Static Stream Progenitor established his country after listening to Li Qiye’s advice. Unfortunately, he only founded the country and didn’t build its capital right on this spot!
1. I know it is confusing because both the sect and the river have the same name. I tried my best to use river alone when applicable.