One glance as long as an eternity; millions of years passed in just a moment. The blue sea had turned into mulberry fields, and all were gone like dispersing smoke.
Back in those days, crying and smiling, losing in dark times yet still persistently treading forward, never admitting defeat until the apex, eternal invincibility… All of this had become meaningless.
Back in those days, during her moments of tears, he silently stood by her side. When she swept through myriad realms, he was a quiet companion.
Then one day when they stood at the peak with no opposition, the two of them broke apart the firmament and went their separate ways to never see each other again.
While gazing at the woman in the distance that was capable of causing the nine worlds to give birth to strange phenomena by materializing realms, Li Qiye was at a loss for words. The past was so far away and this world was a source of so much pain…
Regardless of the reason of how they became strangers from then on, Li Qiye tried not to pay it any mind. To him, time could grind away all things! Eventually, he gently sighed. There was no need for words; all was gone with the wind!
Inside Alchemy City were countless cultivators kneeling on the ground. Under the invincible auras, all were fearful. However, many were still shocked to see the old figure kneeling inside the ancestral ground.
“He is…” A great existence from the distance saw the figure and murmured. Many disciples and masters from the kingdoms as well as ancestors were shaken while they continued to prostrate on the ground.
Eventually, Li Qiye gently nodded towards the woman as a greeting. No one could see her face, but it seemed that they were able to hear a soft sigh from the distant past.
The woman raised her palm to the sky. Before everyone could calm down, they were instantly transported out of Alchemy City. Both young cultivators and current ancestors lost control of their bodies in this process.
Such a development shocked everyone. Even Virtuous Paragons couldn’t resist this forceful transfer. There were no portals, yet her slight gesture was enough to move all of them away.
The spectators in the city were not the only ones sent away, even Madam Zi Yan and Yuan Caihe were gone as well.
The woman disappeared at this time along with the three unrivaled figures from the ancestral ground.
Inside the ancestral ground, all echelons of disciples quietly stepped away. On the mountain was only an old, prostrating figure.
Li Qiye stepped inside the ancestral ground and went towards the mountain where this old figure was located. This was an old man on the verge of death. It could be said that his lifespan was nearly depleted, having almost no time left.
He knelt there while raising something with both hands. It was a cauldron with an ordinary appearance. It resembled stone and metal but was made from neither.
“Hundred-Life, oh Hundred-Life, you keep on using this trick over and over again.” Sentiments rose in Li Qiye’s heart as he gently sighed while looking at the kneeling old man.
“My lord, you can call me Shi Qian.” The old man spoke sincerely. He acted as a junior before Li Qiye.
“It’s fine, I would rather call you Hundred-Life.” Li Qiye gently shook his head: “If my memory serves me correctly, you did this before back then when I wanted to destroy your kingdom.”
“I know.” The old man nodded earnestly: “My lord bestowed this cauldron to me and showed me great kindness. I have never forgotten this.”
“Okay, rise. You are old now, so there is no need to kneel.” Li Qiye sighed again: “I didn’t forgive your kingdom in the past because I gave you this cauldron. Today, I shall forgive your kingdom once more, but it’s also unrelated to this cauldron.”
“Although I am one who cherishes old sentiments, this cauldron alone is not enough for me to value them this highly!” Li Qiye dismissively said: “I forgave the kingdom in the past and I shall do so again this time not because of this cauldron, but because of you! Because I trust and think highly of you.”
The old man stood up and candidly spoke: “I will never forget my lord’s kindness. If my lord didn’t teach me back then, I would have no future.”
“There is no need for this.” Li Qiye waved his sleeve: “Gold will always shine no matter the location. I simply noticed that you were teachable, so I casually taught you a thing or two, that was all.” Li Qiye looked at the old man and continued: “How much longer do you think you can live for? One or ten years? Or rather, how much longer can you be buried underground? Another generation, ten more, or one hundred more?”
The old man remained silent for a long time with no response.
Li Qiye lightly said: “You can protect the Alchemy Kingdom for one generation, but will you be able to protect it forever? For a million years, you struggled on in this manner! Yes, your kingdom is a behemoth so its group of geezers has become restless! Honestly, I don’t mind, but do you really think that someone from this group of senile old men would be able to start a reform like Immortal Emperor Bi Shi?”
The old man eventually composed himself and gently sighed to say: “My lord, in the end, I am old with not much time left. Being buried underground is the only method for me to survive, so after many generations, I have not been able to contribute to my people.”
“So you didn’t mind wasting an incalculable amount of essences and treasures of the kingdom to allow Ming Yexue to come into being?” Li Qiye smiled.
The old man wryly smiled: “Whether or not Yexue can become an Immortal Emperor is not important to me. I only hope for her to be like Forefather Bi Shi and bring about change to the Alchemy Kingdom, another reformation!”
“Yexue belongs to me. I always had confidence in her. If I was not here in this generation, then she would surely become the Immortal Emperor. However, I am here, so I shall take her away to the place where Immortal Emperors should go!” Li Qiye uttered.
“I’m too old and won’t have the chance to go take a look.” The old man was dejected and sighed in disappointment.
Li Qiye shook his head and smiled: “I hold you in high regard even now. You had the ability to become the Immortal Emperor back then. Alas, you were born in the wrong era. To be in the same generation as Hong Tian is a predestined tragedy. Even someone with peerless talents back then didn’t have a chance.”
“No one could do anything during the overwhelming era of the Empress.” The old man said: “Although I competed for the Heaven’s Will with the Empress, I lost convincingly. Even if the Empress didn’t claim the throne to suppress myriad realms, no one would have been able to overcome her during that era anyway.” His expression turned into one of admiration after saying this.
“Unfortunately, the Alchemy Kingdom did not have the same thoughts as you!” Li Qiye commented: “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have let Hong Tian suppress your kingdom for an eternity!”
The old man smiled bitterly, and a long silence ensued. If Li Qiye didn’t show mercy back then, the kingdom would have ceased to exist. This was something he would always remember.
Li Qiye looked at the ancestral ground and slowly said: “I have not set foot on this land for a long time, let us take a look.”
The old man did not object and immediately went with Li Qiye to enjoy the beautiful sceneries.
This place had been split apart earlier, but it was perfect once more without any signs of damage. Even the shattered earth had recovered in just a short period of time.
This was the magical property of this land that hid the Alchemy Vein. Although the kingdom’s ancestral ground was not the source of the vein, Immortal Emperor Yao Zu used a great method to connect this place to the Alchemy Vein so that the kingdom could enjoy the focused essence of this world.
Although it was far from being comparable to the source, it was already incredible. It was difficult for the kingdom to not become powerful when it occupied such a location!
Sacred Springs were overflowing as they walked throughout this land. One could see treasure grasses in every corner and spirit birds soaring in the sky. One could be sure that there were divine turtles diving to the bottom of the rivers…
It was a peaceful and holy land. Anyone would be overwhelmed with greed after seeing this priceless earth. Treasures were everywhere along with bountiful spirit medicines. Herbs that eluded the world were abundant in this land!
The old man took Li Qiye everywhere to view the ancestral ground’s beauty while the kingdom’s disciples quickly hid without daring to come out. Even its ancestors didn’t dare to breathe loudly at this moment.
No one was stronger than this old man before them. The majority of the ancestors in the kingdom were only juniors to him! All of them held him with reverence. Even Ancestor Wushuang, who was older than this old man, was very respectful to him.
Only the ancestor level characters knew about this old man’s earth-shattering identity. Very few people in this world even knew that he was still alive.
If outsiders knew about his identity, they would be frightened breathless or even scared to death.
The other ancestors were trembling in fear. When even their forefather kneeled down, they wouldn’t dare to oppose Li Qiye any longer. Among them, only two of the oldest ones knew what was going on.
They thought about the past and grew even more fearful. They commanded that no one bother the forefather and Li Qiye. Any who watched or listened without permission was to be killed without exception. They understood that their kingdom had finally provoked a legendary taboo just like back then when the kingdom faced complete destruction!