However, even these great characters and their imposing words couldn’t affect Li Qiye. His dao heart was as strong as a rock. He couldn’t be shaken by the words of these Heavenly Sovereigns and Heavenly Kings. Li Qiye remained calm and leisurely without a care.
Lan Yunzhu noticed these great characters using this opportunity to spew out mantras to shake Li Qiye’s emotions, so she snorted loudly: “Truly shameless.”
The unperturbed Li Qiye only smiled and said: “Ignore them. In a little while, they will know that their bag of tricks is useless.”
After reaching the 25th step, the Evil Child couldn’t handle it anymore. His face was beet red from the pond’s pressure. Eventually, he gritted his teeth and mustered one last step for a total of twenty-six steps. At this point, he couldn’t handle another one, so he had to give up and step out from the pond.
“Twenty-six is already very amazing. The Bronze Tree Ancestor disappeared after the twentieth step.” The great ghosts were very proud of his achievement after seeing him retreat safely.
Meanwhile, the Saint Child continued on with many eyes fixated on him in anticipation. They wanted to see how many steps he could take.
Seeing the withdrawal of the Evil Child while the Saint Child was holding on, Lan Yunzhu asked: “The Saint Child is going further than the Evil Child, could it be that he has an Immortal Emperor True Treasure with him?”
Li Qiye took a look at the Saint Child and shook his head in response: “No, it is not a true treasure. He can go further because he has something that is connected to the Prime Ominous Grave.”
After hearing this, Lan Yunzhu suddenly remembered a tale that had been passed on for a long time: “So Immortal Emperor Ju Tian got a heaven-defying treasure from Necropolis!”
Li Qiye nodded and said: “Right, it is that thing from the Ghost River. Alas, the Saint Child does not understand its profoundness.”
The world all knew that Immortal Emperor Ju Tian obtained a great treasure from the Ghost River. This was half the reason why future generations went to the Ghost River; they were tempted by the tale of Immortal Emperor Ju Tian.
“Thirty!” He finally reached the 30th step. This was the same as the Jadewater Queen from the Charming Spirit race.
At this time, the Saint Child was drenched in sweat, but he still bit his teeth and exerted all of his potential to strugglingly take another step.
“Thirty-one!” The ghost experts roared powerful mantras when they saw him take another hard step. These cheers served both to encourage the Saint Child and to demoralize Li Qiye.
“Thirty-two!” He took another step, but it was near impossible for him to go any further. If he kept on forcing the issue, then he would disappear just like the Bronze Tree Ancestor.
The Jadewater Queen shook her head and commented: “What a shame. He still couldn’t understand the mysteries of the pond. There is a limit to using an emperor’s weapon to force it.”
The Saint Child safely left the pond and was met with many cheers from the ghost cultivators. A royal lord praised: “Being able to take thirty steps is an achievement higher than an ordinary ancestor. So promising! This youth will surpass us in time.”
“The Saint Child’s victory is certain. An ordinary ancestor, I’m afraid, could only go thirty to forty steps. Haha, I do not believe that this Li fella is better than an ordinary ancestor. There’s no way he could go more than thirty steps in.”
The ghost cultivators were at ease, especially the great powers that chose to side with the sacred ground. They were certain of their victory and of Li Qiye’s defeat. They didn’t think that Li Qiye could take thirty steps since it was difficult for even an ancestor. For him? It was not worth mentioning.
The Saint Child stepped out of the pond. The Evil Child immediately came to congratulate him: “Brother Titanic Crescent is quite amazing, you took six more steps than me!” 1
“Nothing of the sort, this little brother was only lucky.” The Saint Child humbly responded.
Before this, these two were rivals, but now they were working together. This was not surprising at all since, in order to compete against heaven-defying geniuses like Di Zuo, they had to work together.
The Phoenix Maiden also praised him with a graceful charm: “Brother Titanic Crescent’s brilliant talent truly convinces me. Geniuses always come out from the Titanic Crescent Sacred Ground and Insect King Lineage; my husband has always praised Brother Titanic Crescent and Brother Ghost Insect as contemporary heroes and role models. From today, we can see that your fame is indeed well-deserved and has opened my eyes.”
The maiden’s praise was one thing, but praises coming from Di Zuo was different. Both the descendants became quite proud because of this. Although it did not personally come from Di Zuo, it was still very glorious to hear the Phoenix Maiden’s words.
The two of them quickly replied: “We’re nothing that great, Brother Di Zuo’s praise is too much.” Despite their humble spew, they quite enjoyed this on the inside.
Li Qiye looked at the sure-win attitude from the two of them and burst out in laughter before speaking: “Oh? Already celebrating before the victor has been decided? Are you that certain of victory?”
Li Qiye’s provocation darkened the two’s expressions. However, the Phoenix Maiden took the initiative and coldly replied: “Li Qiye, do not be arrogant; there is always a higher mountain. Brother Titanic Crescent and Brother Ghost Insect are two excellent prodigies of our ghost race. Their thirty steps are equivalent to that of Virtuous Paragons, and very few young people could match this. Perhaps even you won’t be able to.”
The two happily listened with pride as the maiden defended them before they had the chance to. Now, they had an even better impression towards the maiden and Di Zuo.
Her scheme was quite amazing and she easily changed her attitude. She was trying to win more allies to oppose Li Qiye.
“A higher mountain?” Li Qiye smiled and responded: “This proverb is correct, but the higher mountain for me is not you guys.”
“Such ignorance.” The maiden coldly spoke: “The truth is before your eyes. It is not too late to accept your defeat before Brother Titanic Crescent and Brother Ghost Insect…”
“Accept defeat my ass!” Li Qiye bluntly interrupted the maiden and declared: “It was only thirty-two steps yet you still dare to brag before me as if you are unbeatable in this world? Very well, if you want to be humiliated, then allow me to do so. I can close my eyes and still walk that far.”
With that, Li Qiye really closed his eyes and began to head towards the pond. As he stepped inside, Lan Yunzhu quickly helped him with the counting: “One, two, three, four…” However, Li Qiye was too fast and Lan Yunzhu couldn’t keep up.
“Look!” The moment Li Qiye got in the pond, everyone quickly looked at how far he could go with their Heavenly Gazes. However, he was too fast; once their gazes were ready, Lan Yunzhu had already counted to thirty.
“Impossible—” The entire ghost race was astounded by his pace.
The moment their senses came back to them, Li Qiye already made his way back as if he had never entered at all. It was as if he simply took a leisurely stroll.
“Sixty steps!” Lan Yunzhu reported the number while being completely astonished. Li Qiye was way too fast even for her to count. If it wasn’t for seeing how the two descendants had struggled even with emperor’s weapon to take their final steps, she would have thought that this was only an ordinary pond after watching Li Qiye’s stroll.
Suddenly, the atmosphere became quiet while everyone was sent into a daze. Li Qiye’s casual walking made people think that this was not a magical pond at all. However, those who had entered before knew that it was not simple since one step was equivalent to one world. Even an ancestor or a legendary master wouldn’t be able to walk sixty steps as easily as Li Qiye.
Sixty steps in just the blink of an eye silenced all the ghosts and rendered them responseless.
Before, when the Saint Child managed to take thirty-two steps, the ghost race was certain of his victory since even an ancestor could only do so much. Such an achievement was already too amazing.
Li Qiye’s leisurely sixty steps was a slap to the ghost race! They didn’t know where to put their faces, especially the Saint Child and Evil Child.
The Titanic Crescent Sacred Ground felt the painful slap after thinking that their descendant won and that the Prime Ominous Key would belong to them.
The hidden undyings in the ground became dejected since they themselves weren’t confident in taking sixty steps. And even if they could, it wouldn’t have been easy.
Li Qiye took a stroll in just a second, then he safely withdrew. This was too heaven-defying.
1. Ugh, sentences like this is why I like the pinyin form more for names.