Chapter 21 – Saint Cavern (1)
The next day, after preparations were completed, the Elders invited Li Qiye. Yu He personally became Li Qiye’s chaperone to take him to the deepest place of the Nine Saint Demon Gate.
With Yu He’s strength and cultivation level, even in the entirety of Old Ox country, he would be an influential person. However, he was now the chaperone for Li Qiye; no one would believe this even if rumors were to be spread.
At the end of the Nine Saint Demon Gate was a lone mountain, and under the mountain was a sealed cave. It was unknown how long the cave had been sealed for; it was covered by wild grass and mushrooms, and the front of the cave was worn by the test of time with hallowed erosions.
This was the forbidden zone of the Nine Saint Demon Gate, only Elders and above could enter.
Legend has it that although Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon left behind his cultivation lineage for the sect, there were still certain treasures left behind in the cave. It goes on to say that, because he feared his future generations would be weak and vain, he created the Saint Cavern so there would always be a chance for revival should the actual sect be destroyed.
One thing all the Sect Masters and Elders were sure of though, was that there existed at least one Immortal Emperor Life Treasure.
When Immortal Emperor Min Ren received the Heaven’s Will, it was told that he gave Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon an Immortal Emperor Life Treasure for his accomplishments as Min Ren’s fate protector. However, the descendants of Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon did not have it in their possession. This was why everyone believed that the treasure – was indeed – located in the Saint Cavern.
The Immortal Emperor Life Treasure was a weapon that Min Ren personally created during his conquest in the Nine Worlds. This Life Treasure was many times stronger than even a Virtuous Paragon True Treasure.
Although this was not an Immortal Emperor’s True Treasure, a Life Treasure was enough to inspire greed from everyone.
(TL Note: This wasn’t made explicitly clear before, but there are two types of treasures: True and Life. True is a much stronger version than Life because it is imbued with true energy from its master as well)
There are calligraphies ingrained to the side of the cave; radiant and alive in contrast to the surrounding scene.
“Only Demon under the Heavens”
These words exerted a powerful and majestic atmosphere. Each vivid word, vibrant with their own spirit, was highlighted with the impeccable penmanship. It was as if these heavenly words were ready to pierce the heavens at any moment; like a flying dragon or dancing phoenix. Tested by the vigor of time, for many moons, the aura of the Virtuous Paragon still remained.
These four words were left behind by Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon himself. The descendants of the Nine Saint Demon Gate all believed that this was the key to opening the Saint Cavern.
To the left side was “Only Demon under the Heavens” but the right side was left empty. That was why the descendants believed that if they could correctly match the wordplays to the right side, the cavern would be opened.
However, there were others who thought that the four words “Only Demon under the Heavens” was the real key. It hid untouchable mysterious truths; each stroke possessed supreme Merit Laws. As long as one could understand its meanings, he could open the cave himself.
Both of these predictions were tested by the disciples throughout the ages. There was one disciple with the highest innate aptitude in the Nine Saint Demon Gate who cultivated next to these words in order to understand the true meanings. Another time, the Sect Master personally went to the mortal world; he found a peerless literature expert, hoping that this person could write a matching prose to the right.
However, the cavern remained closed despite trying all of these methods throughout the years.
As for Li Qiye, after seeing the cavern and the words written to the left, he immediately knew how to open the cavern. However, because there were Elders watching, he couldn’t immediately open it.
He stepped close to the cave, moving side to side. He randomly knocked the walls, bent down to the ground, then dejectedly shook his head as if the answer was not where he thought it was. After a while, he intensely focused on the words “Only Demon under the Heavens”.
Seeing Li Qiye’s actions, without results, made the Elders restless. However, they didn’t dare say anything; they were all just holding their breaths while anxiously watching Li Qiye’s every movement.
Eventually, he sat in a meditative pose in front of the cave. Time slowly passed by, from the morning to noon, from noon to the fall of the sun in the west. The sun reddened the sky; Li Qiye still remained motionless.
Li Qiye meditating for a whole day made the Elders lose their patience.
“Will this be a success?”
One Elder spoke to himself.
“Is this little devil just pretending?”
Seeing that there was no connection between Li Qiye and the cave, their trust in him started to wave. Maybe his miracles with the Chaotic Heart Forest and the four Heavenly Guardians were just that.
“Hmmph, maybe he only got lucky.”
This Elder didn’t actually trust what he was saying. He knew Li Qiye had secrets; he was only voicing his dissatisfaction of having an outsider in their sacred ground.
“Pen and ink!”
When the Elders were rambling amongst themselves, Li Qiye immediately stood up and said. After having sat here for a whole day, his butt was in agonizing pain.
An Elder brought him a calligraphy pen and ink; Li Qiye acted mysteriously. He shook his head and lamented:
“That’s how it is, that’s how it is! Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon is indeed unfathomable.”
He then carefully dipped the pen into the ink while holding his sleeve gracefully and started writing to the right of the cave.
“Mere Chicken above the Earth”
He was not an expert calligrapher; he hastily wrote these four words. They contained zero aura, let alone, when compared to the words of the Virtuous Paragon.
(Nahct: Although in English it’s five, in Chinese, they are 2 groups of four characters each.)
“Only Demon under the Heavens, Mere Chicken above the Earth”
The two lines have such opposite meanings, and did not mesh well together.
(TL: This is a historical chinese poetry play; each word has to either match or have opposite meanings for their corresponding counterparts in the same order, and the two lines also need to have the same meanings or opposite as well.)
After Li Qiye was finished, the Elders’ faces went black because these words simply dishonored their patriarch. They were not worthy to match with the phrase “Only Demon under the Heavens.”
“How bold, to shame our Nine Saint Demon Gate!”
An Elder deafeningly roared.
Li Qiye glared at him, and retorted:
“You are an ordinary martial artist, what would you know about the enigmatic meanings behind literature? You don’t even know the thoughtfulness of your ancestor, yet you dare to stand there and scream?”
After hearing Li Qiye’s response, the red faced Elder was ready to explode.
A heavy sound rang, and the Saint Cavern started to open.
The Elders rolled their eyes; they couldn’t believe what they were seeing! How could the words “Mere Chicken above the Earth” open the cave?
“How is this possible?”
Li Qiye perched his lips, and thought:
“Because your patriarch was a chicken that reached the apex to become a demon, that is why I wrote those words.”
He naturally didn’t tell them the real secret. Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon didn’t used to have this name. He used to be known as Nine Saint Heavenly Demon, a name with great arrogance. When the Dark Crow Li Qiye asked him to become the fate protector for Min Ren, he immediately refused. He praised himself as the “Only Demon under the Heaven” which was why he chose not to be under anyone.
Since he dared to rudely say no to Li Qiye’s invitation, it made Li Qiye angry; he beat up the Virtuous Paragon. He also forced him back to his original form and plucked all of his feathers out of anger as he laughed:
“Haha, “Mere Chicken above the Earth.”