Sect Master Forheaven regained himself from his excitement and prostrated before Li Qiye: “The return of the Emperor shall be our sect’s glory…”
Li Qiye interrupted him by waving his sleeve: “Sect Master, I do not plan on staying here for long. There’s no need to speak about other things, the sect shall stay as it is and continue on its course. Nothing should change because of my return.”
“But Emperor…” Forheaven was stunned after hearing this, not knowing how to respond.
Li Qiye slowly spoke while looking at him: “Sect Master, I know you are thinking about many things right now, but what I bring to the Heavenguard Sect is not glory, only death!”
“For generations, our disciples have all been willing to fight for the Emperor. Death on the battlefield is our glory!” Forheaven emotionally spoke: “The Heavenguard exists for the Emperor. If we do not protect the Emperor, how can we continue to be the Heavenguard?!”
“I know.” Li Qiye gently sighed before replying with some weariness and forlorn: “I have never doubted the loyalty of the Heavenguard Sect. Until now, all of you have been absolutely devoted, but you have paid too much. Your sect was almost destroyed in the Ancient Ming War. It only recovered after the great struggles of the two Immortal Emperors, Zhen Yu and Mu Tian.”
Forheaven solemnly spoke: “We, the Heavenguard, are willing to serve the Emperor even if it costs all of our lives. This is the oath and ancestral teaching left behind by our progenitor, Immortal Emperor Qi Zhen!” 1
Li Qiye shook his head and said: “No, you don’t understand. To be frank, Qi Zhen does not owe me, I owe Qi Zhen! Qi Zhen created the Heavenguard Sect back then after countless efforts! I do not wish to see the sect be destroyed by following me!”
“We…” Forheaven wanted to speak.
Li Qiye interrupted him with a wave: “I understand what your ancestors are thinking. I know that they want to come back under my banner. I understand it very well. However, ask your oldest ancestors, do they still remember the Azure Dragon Legion back then?”
Forheaven didn’t know how to answer this.
Li Qiye sighed and said: “Even time is unable to erase some things. I understand the Heavenguard’s loyalty towards me. For many millions of years, especially during the Ancient Ming period, your sect sacrificed too much. I was the one who brought them along to fight everywhere, but how many of them actually returned alive?”
“Guardians of the human race and the Mortal Emperor World — these glories do not belong to me. They belong to those who fought and died on the battlefield, to those whose bones are buried in lands foreign to them!” Li Qiye lamented: “If your Heavenguard Sect has a candidate to become the Immortal Emperor, then I will strongly support them. To tell the truth, I do not wish to see you all following me on my conquest anymore.”
Forheaven grew quiet after hearing this.
With that, Li Qiye looked at him and asked: “Which generation of disciple are you of Worldguard?”
“Dear Emperor, I am Master’s direct disciple.” Forheaven was still prostrating on the ground while shouting: “Master has told me of Emperor’s magnificent deeds, I have always kept it in my heart…”
“Rise, your master has worked hard and contributed greatly.” Li Qiye waved his hand and said: “As a True God, it really hasn’t been easy for him to live until now.”
Worldguard True God — there might not be a single person in this world who still remembers this name. However, he was a very frightening existence, someone capable of withstanding the long years. Not many were qualified to meet him, even within the Heavenguard Sect.
Although Forheaven was his disciple, the fact is that the true god rarely taught him anything. Forheaven was taught cultivation by a different ancestor of the sect.
Li Qiye emotionally sighed after hearing that his old friend was still around. Not many of his followers were still alive after so many years.
“Does Emperor want to meet my master?” Forheaven asked for the command.
“No.” Li Qiye gently shook his head: “It will be hard to seal Worldguard again if he comes out. I don’t have anything particularly important either, so there’s no need to bother him.” Li Qiye stared at Forheaven and continued: “This time, I came to get an item from you. Once I’m finished with it, I will return.”
“What might that item be, Emperor?” Forheaven asked with haste.
Li Qiye slowly said: “I left something to Mu Tian back then. If I remember correctly, he left this thing behind the mountain.”
“That thing…” Forheaven immediately knew what Li Qiye wanted. He hesitated for a moment while rubbing his palms nervously with a slightly embarrassed look.
“What, not convenient right now?” Li Qiye stared at him inquisitively.
Forheaven was put in a tough spot. He coughed and slowly said: “Emperor, umm, this, this item, we…”
He hesitated for quite a while and still didn’t utter the whole sentence. In fact, his scalp was tingling as well since he didn’t know what to say.
“What? You guys don’t want to?” Li Qiye stared at him with narrowed eyes.
“No, no, that is not our intention…” Forheaven was startled by Li Qiye’s expression. Others might be unaware, but he knew very clearly the type of existence that stood before him.
He hastily spoke: “Emperor, hmm, it is not that we are unwilling, but, but we have our own problem… We, we are only juniors, so we can’t be the ones to say it.”
Li Qiye waved his sleeve and said: “Speak, I shall pardon you.”
Forheaven was on pins and needles. He was very distressed at this moment; he finally understood why the ancestors didn’t want to come out and pushed him into this fire pit instead.
However, he had to face it. He smiled awkwardly and spoke: “Umm, this, this is how it goes, if Emperor doesn’t stay behind, or, if, if you come to take the item, then you will have to marry our Empress.” 2
“Empress? Since when did your sect have an Empress?” Li Qiye narrowed his eyes and stared at the sect master.
Forheaven was lamenting his fate in his mind. Why did he have to be the one to say this? Nevertheless, he braced himself: “This, this claim is a bit strange. It actually dates back to the generation of Forefather Mu Tian. Well, it didn’t appear before, but in this generation, we actually have an Empress of the righteous bloodline.”
Li Qiye slowly uttered towards Forheaven: “I don’t care for this Empress or whatever. Moreover, my business is not for someone else to decide. Sect Master Forheaven, you should know that I don’t need your approval to take that item away. I came today out of respect for everyone.”
“Emperor, please, please don’t misunderstand.” Forheaven was startled and quickly replied: “We, we didn’t mean it like that. We absolutely will not cause trouble for you, it’s just that we cannot breach our ancestral teachings either. Forefather Mu Tian left it behind and said that you yourself agreed to it.”
“I agreed to it? Since when did I agree to marry your Empress?” Li Qiye glared at the sect master.
“Emperor, we, we have the forefather’s personal letter, this isn’t just us making things up.” Forheaven was scared out of his mind. Those ancestors knew that something like this would happen, yet they still pushed him in. They truly had no honor!
“Fine, bring Mu Tian’s letter to me.” Li Qiye waved his sleeve. He truly couldn’t recall when he promised Mu Tian to marry this Empress.
Forheaven immediately went to get the forefather’s ancestral letter. After a while, he finally came back while respectfully holding a divine box with both hands.
Li Qiye took it and opened the box containing the letter. After flipping it over, a majestic and supreme Immortal Emperor aura poured out. There was no way to fake this kind of aura. It could only come from the inheritance of an Immortal Emperor.
“Fuck, this brat Mu Tian actually dared to trick me!” Li Qiye couldn’t keep from cursing after reading the letter.
At the same time, Forheaven down below was quivering in fear. He was afraid of Li Qiye becoming angry. This was the agreement between their Emperor and Immortal Emperor. Juniors like them could only be trapped in distress in this matter.
Of course, the one suffering the most was him, unlike the hiding ancestors who were using him!
Li Qiye sat down on his chair and casually threw the letter back into the box with a wry smile. All along, he had been the one to deceive and fool others, but now, he had been duped by Immortal Emperor Mu Tian!
Back then, Immortal Emperor Mu Tian tried to persuade him to come back to the Heavenguard. However, Li Qiye didn’t do so and only agreed to accept one request from the emperor. He didn’t expect for something like this to be the request.
“Emperor, about this…” Forheaven hesitated for a long time before mustering the courage to say: “About this matter, what do you, you…” 3
Li Qiye exasperatedly sighed at this entrapment set up by Immortal Emperor Mu Tian.
“If that Mu Tian brat was still here, I would beat him to death!” Li Qiye said: “I was the one who taught him about tricking people, yet he actually used it against me!”
“That, that is our forefather’s business, it has nothing to do with us juniors…” Forheaven quickly denied their involvement. He didn’t want to suffer the wrath of the Emperor.
1. Qi Zhen = Truth Starter. Truth here is most likely dao related. 2. Daughter of Heaven. 3. “You” is respectful here; someone would use this “you” to refer to an elderly man or the patriarch/high-ranking member of a clan/government respectfully.