Chapter 3 : Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect (1)
“Three days later, after honoring the ancestors, you will formally become the prime disciple of our sect.”
The first elder, while very discontent, still managed to grunt out a response.
Li Qiye was still sitting casually, without a trace of surprise. He only chuckled out loud.
“Me becoming the prime disciple should warrant a weapon or two for my personal safety, right?”
Seeing his comfortable state under heavy pressure, all of the six elders were surprised. In the end, the boy was only thirteen years old, but his calm demeanor resembled a tyrant that dominated one sphere, having everything under his control. How could a mortal like him have such a courageous spirit.
The first elder glanced at Li Qiye, shook his head and told him:
“Although we accepted you as the prime disciple, we can only give you a normal weapon. If you desire a formidable treasure or an Immortal Emperor Merit Law, you would have to contribute enough merits to the sect.”
Li Qiye smirked; his goal was certainly not an Immortal Emperor Merit Law or a peerless technique. His true aim was the black wooden stick lying on the pedestal. Averting his gaze to the stick, Li Qiye continued:
“Fine, I want that wooden stick.”
“That wooden stick?”
The six elders’ bodies staggered in surprise.
The stick was only used for gathering the ashes after a ceremonial burning to honor the ancestors. It had always been there and no one had any interest in it.
The elders thought Li Qiye would ask for treasures using his new status, but he simply wanted a wooden stick. This request was outside of their expectation.
Li Qiye said with ease.
“Since I am the prime disciple, my position is worthy of respect. The stick belongs to the grand chamber, and this is the Ancestral Grand Chamber of all of the sect. Its symbolism represents the power of the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, so it is worthy relative to my current position as the prime disciple…”
After hearing Li Qiye’s continuous logic, the six elders looked around themselves with their eyes wide open. They thought to themselves, this idiotic brat and that goddamn playboy San Gui Ye definitely belong together. Just like how an ox seeks another ox, a horse would find another horse. 1
“So be it, we shall bestow this stick upon you.”
The first elder was happy to give this worthless stick to Li Qiye if it meant that he doesn’t have to hear his incessant blabbering anymore. To him, this thing was only a regular wooden stick to move the ashes. Might as well give it to Li Qiye so he didn’t have to listen on to his rambling.
“Many thanks to the honorable elders.”
Li Qiye was eagerly waiting for those words. Before his words finished coming out of his mouth, his hands were already holding the stick. This action in the eyes of the six elders was seen as being very naive.
“Huairen, take him to his resting quarter.”
Finally, an elder became impatient and told a nearby disciple to send Li Qiye away.
Today’s events had greatly stressed the six elders; a wastrel becoming the Prime Disciple of the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect. Even if the sect had long gone passed its glory days, it was not destitute enough to accept a waste of a human being as the prime disciple.
Led by the disciple, Li Qiye approached a solitary single peak. It was not small; on top of it laid a small villa the size of 36,000 square meters.
The villa had been abandoned for a long time, surrounded by weeds and wild plants. Although it is far away from everything, it is still a part of the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect.
Opening the door, the disciple immediately said:
“Junior Disci-, no; Senior Disciple, this place will be your home from now on.”
He only spoke two words, but quickly realized his mistake.
Based on the time Li Qiye joined the sect, Li Qiye was his junior disciple; however, because he was the prime disciple, anyone within the third generation – no matter how young or old – would have to call him senior disciple.
Li Qiye glanced at this wily disciple, and looked around then nodded his head:
“This peak far away from everything is a good place.
“Plus it is very fitting with its name, Lonely Peak.”
The disciple smilingly said. He peeked at Li Qiye a few times, then finally spoke:
“You will be the master of this peak in the future.”
The truth was, according to the rules of the sect, the Prime Disciple has the right to live in a peak closest to the center. The sect owned many peaks, and the Prime Disciple could choose any peak for himself.
But most of the main peaks of the sect were occupied. Moreover, all six elders were unhappy with Li Qiye. Thus, he was exiled to this faraway place away from any main peaks.
The main peaks located near the center contained thicker world essence than the collateral mountains and inferior peaks.
“This place will be just fine.”
Li Qiye naturally proclaimed. He was not a petty man regarding such trivial matters.
“I have brought all the daily necessities to senior disciple earlier.”
This Junior Disciple thoroughly handled matters with ease and experience. After taking care of all the items needed for daily activities, he politely said:
“If you need anything else, just come to the outer area to find me.”
“What is your name?”
Before the disciple departed, Li Qiye casually asked.
The disciple was surprised by the sudden question. He did not think highly of Li Qiye. His talents were lacking to the point that he would not be accepted as a regular disciple here.
In the chamber earlier, the actions of Li Qiye caused others to feel that he was stupid. But the current Li Qiye who was calm and natural made this disciple feel perplexed inside, and didn’t know whether Li Qiye was crazy or thought about everything beforehand.
“Senior Disciple, this Junior Disciple’s name is Nan Huairen. I am a caretaker of the outer court.”
This disciple quickly regained his wit, and answered Li Qiye.
“My name is Li Qiye.”
Li Qiye gently nodded.
In the last million years, the ones who knew his true origin and name could be counted on the fingers of one’s hands.
After Nan Huairen’s departure, Li Qiye did not sit idly by. He began to clean up the yard and tidied up the whole mountain. After completing the task to an acceptable standard, the deserted mountain resembled more of a home.
Li Qiye did everything in a systematic and neat manner, slow but steady. If any accidental bypassers were to witness his cleaning actions, they would not believe that he was only thirteen years old.
After the tedious labor, the sky slowly darkened. Li Qiye felt tired and hungry; he slowly sat down in front of the villa. Taking in a deep breath, he took out the wooden stick that people used to move the ashes that are now placed by his waist and carefully observed it. His memories slowly came back to him, causing him to have a bitter smile.
The world believed that if an Immortal Emperor succeeded in carrying the Heaven’s Will, they will truly become immortal. However, if that was the case, where were Immortal Emperor Min Ren, Immortal Emperor Tun Ri, and all the peerless cultivators from each era? Where was their end?
Li Qiye slowly regained his composure; he removed the dust and ash from the stick. The stick eventually revealed its real form. This was a stick spanning one meter; after being doused in fire for thousands of years, it still retained its original form without faults. In the eyes of other people, however, this was only a regular wooden stick without any magical elements.
Li Qiye whispered as he gently wiped the wooden stick:
“Serpent Punishing Stick!”
With this wooden stick in his hand, his memories caused an inexplicable emotion.
That day, when Min Ren was without the Heaven’s Will, Li Qiye, as the master of this future Immortal Emperor, had taught a group of children that would be the loyal support for Min Ren. Since he wanted to groom them well, he specifically took the Serpent Punishing Stick from the Demon Forest.
Those teenagers that would stomp the Nine Worlds under their feets were all victims of this stick. After concluding their training, he left the stick there in the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect; and there it has remained until now.
Gripping the stick tightly, Li Qiye immersed himself even deeper within his memories. Escaping the Immortal Demon Grotto was successful, and he finally regained his body and soul from the control of the Dark Crow.
But time was not merciful. Everyone who used to be his friends and families such as the Alchemy God, Immortal Emperor Xue Xi, Immortal Emperor Min Ren… even the illustrious Black Dragon King that survived three eras have all left this world.
At the beginning of the Desolate Era, he was only a young shepherd. In order to find a lost sheep, he went into the grotto and became imprisoned by the Immortal Demon Grotto, he was forced to follow the trajectory envisioned by his master in his crow body from era to era.
At that moment, Li Qiye was very scared. Unable to resist, he flew without rest across the Forbidden Burials, travelling across the Nine Lands, across the Nine Worlds… and in the end, he still had no choice but to return to the Immortal Demon Grotto.
However, because of this, he had experienced the countless dangers and mysteries of the world. He had trodden through lands that even an unbeatable Virtuous Paragon would stray from. His willpower, basked by hardships throughout the eras, became unshakable.
From then on, he was unwilling to become an immortal slave to the Immortal Demon Grotto. He formulated a grand plan in order to cut off all the immortal spirit seals and formations within his soul.
In order to escape the Dark Crow, for his own freedom and to regain his body, he continuously led all the geniuses on the road of cultivation. The best of these young ones were able to fight on the peerless road, under the sky, to obtain the Heaven’s Will.
But today, when Li Qiye had returned to his old body, and became a human again, all of his friends have soon left him.
Taking his last, deep breath to forget his pain, he has once again strengthened his resolve to destroy all obstacles and penetrate the souls of those in the Immortal Demon Grotto.
- Stupid people come together would be the meaning here, it doesn’t translate as poetically in English; however, I don’t know if we want to keep it in to keep the translation loyal ↩