Chapter 1693: The Past

"I know that I have lost my chance since I refused your tutelage back then, letting down your good intention." The middle-aged man smiled and said.

"No, that's not the case." Li Qiye shook his head: "I wanted to make you my disciple but this wasn't out of anything personal. I was hoping that someone could shoulder the heavy responsibility of fighting against the Ancient Ming in the nine worlds, a sky-piercing genius from the human race that could defeat the young Tian Tu and take the Heaven's Will to stop that race's monopoly. It wasn't about me training an emperor; the nine worlds needed one, the human race needed one."

Having said that, he stared at the man and said: "But you! you refused. You believed that you could oppose Tian Tu alone based on your talents, to go against the Ancient Ming and win, no need to rely on me, an outsider to become your dao protector! But you lost against Tian Tu and the nine worlds lost against the Ancient Ming! If my recruitment was due to personal reasons, I wouldn't have pushed back the Ancient Ming with the arrow for you back in the bamboo forest. I wouldn't have led my army to protect your rear at the Towering Heaven either so that you could fight against Tian Tu! I wanted the nine worlds to have a spark capable of stopping the Ancient Ming. Alas, your pride and arrogance were the reasons for your continuous failures!"

He became cold here and said flatly: "An eonic genius is indeed amazing and precious. However, how many of them have actually become Immortal Emperor?! What was the reason behind the high failure rate? It was out of sheer arrogance and blind confidence in their talents. They believed that they were untouchable, no need to learn from anyone!"

"If it wasn't to stop the Ancient Ming, do you think I would have saved you so many times? One needs to seize the moment instead of just relying on sheer talents and fortunes. Otherwise, everything will be wasted."

"I did let you down and you are right about my lackings." The middle-aged man smiled: "I don't have many regrets about the past, only that I had never been able to defeat Tian Tu even once while he made me suffer for generations."

"The grand dao is endless, talents alone won't do. One needs vision and a strong dao heart." Li Qiye said.

The man laughed: "I'm sure you're not here to make fun of me, Your Excellency. You're not one to hold a grudge."

"If I was that type of person, I would have destroyed you or let you die long ago, not just come here to mock you. I'm here to tell you something, your enemy is still alive. He will take action sooner or later, can you come out again?" Li Qiye replied.

The man shuddered. He calmed his emotions but his trembling hands betrayed him.

"Even if you could come into being for the second time, you will only be slaughtered." Li Qiye shook his head: "Even if your wound were to heal, allowing you to return to your peak, you're still no match for him just like before! I once had great hopes for you but now, I see that you are not capable of shouldering the heavy responsibility!" Li Qiye was very disappointed and sighed after seeing the man's current state.

The man took a deep breath. After a brief lull, he smiled wryly and said: "You are right. Even if I come out again, defeat is imminent. Certain things can't be reversed. It is impossible."

Li Qiye didn't want to say anything else. He could tell that even if the man were to come out, he wouldn't be of much use.

"Are you here this time because of the Ancient Ming?" The man asked with a solemn expression.

Li Qiye didn't hide it and nodded: "That's right, the Ancient Ming still has remnants left in the nine worlds and will come back when the time is right! They will not accept peace for they covet the fat land that is the nine worlds. Darkness will return, thus, the nine worlds need protectors. I want some to be around after I leave."

The man bitterly smiled: "It's so embarrassing. Your Excellency, you have always cared for and protected the nine worlds for many generations. But I only think about my personal feud, unable to quell my desires and stubbornness instead of worrying about the nine worlds and its inhabitants. Back then, I have always wanted to settle the score with Tian Tu. I wanted revenge for my sect, that was the only thing on my mind. But I never thought about their enslavement of the myriad races and the terrorizing darkness. I deserve all of this right now." He gently sighed.

"Wait and keep at it, perhaps something will change for the better." Li Qiye said slowly: "it is up to your own effort whether you are worthy of taking up the mantle as a protector of the nine worlds. I can't force you to do anything, you will have to make up your own mind and walk on your own path. Will you keep on burying yourself here or go all out when the darkness returns and offer your strength? It is up to a single intent from you."

The man became quiet after hearing this. Li Qiye no longer wished to continue the conversation and left the peak.

After a long period of contemplation, the man gently sighed and gazed towards the horizon in a daze.

What was left in this world? Anything that he was still attached to? The people of the past were gone; his sect had turned into ashes; the ones he loved and those who loved him have returned to the soil.

The only thing that he couldn't let go, the driving force behind his will to survive was his one desire!

The coffin closed again with a loud bang and his disappointment.

Li Qiye marched onward, deeper into the burial ground. However, a series of orderly noises exploded before he made it to the deepest area.

A coffin appeared before him, carried by a group of ants. The speed was unbelievably fast. How could these ants have such power and speed?

Li Qiye smiled and murmured: "This is it, riding it this generation. Not a bad start."

"Boom!" Some ants opened the lid, revealing the empty content.

Li Qiye couldn't help but smile and thought about an old phrase - the appearance of the Underworld signals the rise of rebirth; the path to heaven debuts the way to the divine stone. Enter the heavenly coffin to obtain eternality; awaken the corpse earth to achieve the everlasting blessing of the heavens! 

"This is all I can do for the nine worlds. Its fate is in its hands." Li Qiye gently sighed and stepped inside without any hesitation. He laid down like a corpse.

"Boom!" The ants closed the lid instantly. With a series of rumble, they carried the coffin towards the deeper region of the burial ground.

It was completely quiet inside the coffin. Li Qiye couldn't hear anything or even feel the movement of the coffin. It was especially comfortable inside, like lying on one's own bed and quickly met with a sweet dream.

He wasn't afraid or anxious while inside and didn't care where it was taking him. If the place came to greet him like this, it didn't have any malicious intent.

The concept of time didn't exist here. Who knows how long he had been inside before reaching the destination?

The ants were no longer there when the lid came off once more. A gloomy palace stood before him, one that had been split into two halves.

Many things here were broken beyond description. However, a large chair remained perfect. The aura of this chair made people wonder whether a lord used to sit there and gave orders to the rest of the world.

The separation gap was a bottomless abyss. There was no light below, no sound either. Any creature falling into this abyss would be swallowed instantly.

The mood here and the fact that this was the Heavenly Corpse Burial Ground would scare even the most courageous.

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