Chapter 975: Enemies Arrive

The Executors of the Ancient Road had finally come.

Yang Qi had only learned of them after joining the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect. But he had heard a lot, and knew that they were all Terrifying experts who killed people like scything wheat. They sought to keep order on the Ancient Road to the Gods, and their attitude was submit to me and prosper, or oppose me and perish. Everyone feared them, both righteous and evil cultivators alike. And no matter how much everyone opposed them and wanted them destroyed, no one had ever succeeded.

At a certain point in the past, resistance to them had grown so fierce that they had suffered severe losses and disappeared for a time. But now they were back.

Actually, Yang Qi was curious to see exactly what these executors were like. Were they really as superhuman as the rumors implied? Why exactly did they dare to try to enforce laws on the Ancient Road to the Gods?

And what laws did they enforce?

‘For my whole life I’ve always hated people who go around waving flags, enforcing laws, and doling out punishments. The mere fact that they call themselves ‘executors’ is already a big turnoff for me.’ [1] 

In all the stories he remembered, those who enforced the law were usually notorious for their misdeeds. They were often murderers who were worse than actual wretch-devils, and if he were to guess, these executors were probably like that. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be such stiff opposition to them on the ancient road.

Furthermore, he had to wonder if his own progress toward the god world would be hindered by them.

Expression turning cold, Emperor Heart-Celestial raised his voice and said, “Disciples, our priority now is to defend our respective mountain peaks. Get in position and stay ready for anything! According to the oldest stories, the Executors of the Ancient Road are the kind who don’t go to the temple for no reason. When they visit sects, they often wipe them out. However, they’ll find that taking down the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect won’t be an easy task. All of you need to be ready for brutal fighting!”

“Yes sir!” the disciples replied. Sword energy surged and heroic passions ran wild.

“Kill any executors we find!”

“If they dare to invade the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect, they’ll all die!”

“We’ll risk life and limb to defend our sect!”

“Slaughter the executors, and the Ancient Road to the Gods will finally be free and clear!”

The disciples from both Memory Peak and Celestial Peak all flew into position, manning spell formations that began glittering with shining light.

As it turned out, the mountains themselves were formed from magical treasures. They had been formed hundreds of millions of years in the past, and were filled with god formations that could unleash immense power.

RUMBLE!

Looking out, Yang Qi saw that the entire Will Manifestation Heaven Sect was astir thanks to the warning bells that were sounding out. Spell formations were being activated everywhere, and bright light shone up from all corners of the sect. And the magical fluctuations coming from the central palace were particularly impressive.

At the same time, the magical laws became vastly stronger, reminding Yang Qi of the Cave Temple of the Vajra Māyādevī. Almost instantly, there were numerous disciples who found that they couldn’t fly at all.

By that point, though, it didn’t matter, as the disciples had generally already reached their assigned places in the formations and were ready for any invasion.

Meanwhile, the chief disciples from the various mountain peaks were all tasked with bringing three of their top subordinates to the meeting in the palace.

Obviously, An Yiru and Yang Qi were to represent Memory Peak. They were joined by a female disciple who had recently made amazing progress. Her name was Mo Yunlian, and she cultivated a very difficult energy art called the Merciless Heaven Tome. Thanks to Yang Qi’s tutelage, she had become the third-most powerful disciple on Memory Peak.

As for Celestial Peak, they sent Emperor Heart-Celestial and Emperor Rain, plus someone named Emperor Swallowking, who cultivated something called the Dark-Cloud Nine-Transformations Will-Manifestation Giant-Spirit God-Dao. Although it couldn’t measure up to Yang Qi’s True-Devil Unspoiled-by-Myriad-Kalpas-and-Tribulations Body, it still made him a top expert outside the sect. In fact, he could slaughter sect leaders from other top sects as easily as drinking water.

All of the various representatives flew toward the central palace.

Swish!

There was a staircase leading up to the central palace that had at least ten thousand stairs. At the top was the receiving hall, where guests would be received. It was already packed.

Hosts of chairs had been set up, at the head of which was a throne, upon which sat an old man wearing a tall crown. He was powerfully built, beardless, and had piercing eyes. The psychic fluctuations rolling off of him were terrifying to the extreme, making it obvious that he was the sectlord.

Seated on either side of the sectlord were a dozen or so Terrifying experts, who could only be the old-timers that made up the council of chief elders.

After them were the fifty peaklords, including the little girl from Memory Peak, who was sitting on her throne with her eyes closed, seemingly indifferent to everything around her.

As the top disciples from the fifty mountain peaks entered the reception hall in ranks, Yang Qi could immediately sense many gazes locking onto him. That included the sectlord himself, although the man didn’t attempt to pierce through to any of his secrets, but only assessed his substructure.

‘What’s this?’ Yang Qi thought. ‘This sectlord is interesting. You’d think that he would try to analyze me inside and out.’ His heart thumped a bit, but in the end, the sectlord truly hadn’t sought to dig down into his secrets.

There were some people who were openly glaring at him, and he had no need to guess who they were. They were Peaklords Nāropa, Spiritwall, and Grand Might.

As for the peaklord from Celestial Peak, he didn’t even open his eyes.

‘I need to be careful,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘Those three peaklords obviously hate me for beating up their chief disciples, and will probably try to retaliate at some point.’ Considering that the peaklords were all consummate Terrifying experts, he knew he couldn’t afford to take them lightly.

His original reason for coming to the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect was to find the psychic scaling systems. Unfortunately, it was in the central palace and too well guarded.

Now that his energy arts had advanced so much, he was a lot more confident in trying to achieve his original goal.

Soon, everyone was present.

Yang Qi, An Yiru and Mo Yunlian stood behind their peaklord, the little girl. Interestingly, as soon as Yang Qi took his place, he suddenly felt all of the gazes that had been locked onto him suddenly shift away. Apparently, the psychic field surrounding the little girl was offering him a measure of protection.

“Ladies and gentlemen...” the sectlord said, his voice resonating like the booming of a bell. Everyone present was shaken, and Yang Qi felt something warm stirring in his sea of consciousness after hearing the man's voice, causing his nascent divinity to climb to the highest state possible.

It was obviously a secret magic, some primeval god skill designed to bolster the psyche.

In fact, Yang Qi recognized it from the Eternal Heavenly Aria. It was called the Light of Wisdom, designed to bless one’s psychic power.

Unfortunately, Yang Qi’s cultivation level wasn’t high enough to do what the sectlord was doing, and give out the blessing in a way that no one could see.

‘Right. It’s been a long time since I used the godskills of the Eternal Heavenly Aria. Now that I've made so much progress, I wonder what they’ll be like. With enlightenment of the True-Devil Unspoiled-by-Myriad-Kalpas-and-Tribulations Body, all of my energy arts should have reached a much higher level.’

Even as he considered such things, the sectlord continued speaking and interrupted his train of thought. 

“You're all aware of why this important meeting has been called. Six hours ago, this notice appeared in my sealed meditation facility.” He held up a slip of paper. “It is none other than an Executors’ Notice, something that can strike dread into the hearts of any of the trillions upon trillions of organizations on the Ancient Road to the Gods. This is the notice that is sent down when the Executors of the Ancient Road announce that they plan to exterminate a sect. From the distant past until now, there has never been a sect that survived after the executors issue a notice like this. So, what do you think we should do?”

Snorting coldly, Peaklord Celestial opened his eyes and said, “Elder Brother, I don’t think the matter is as simple as that. The current Executors of the Ancient Road are not like the executors from long ago. In the past, they were more powerful than any other organization, but nowadays, not so much. They would have to pay a huge price in blood to wipe out our Will Manifestation Heaven Sect.” When Peaklord Celestial spoke, everyone remained silent and waited to see his opinion before forming their own.

“That goes without saying,” the sectlord said. “However, the fact that they could deliver the Executors’ Notice right into my secure facility without me detecting it goes to show that they are astonishingly powerful.”

“That’s true,” one of the chief elders said. “Sectlord, your secure meditation facility is in the very core of the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect. How could they possibly deliver a notice there without anyone noticing? It's very worrisome. The Executors of the Ancient Road come and go like ghosts. Are we really going to have to fight them openly?”

“The executors are obviously after the corpse of their fellow executor,” another of the chief elders said. “Why not just hand it over to them. What reason would they have to wipe us out then?”

“We can’t do that!” Peaklord Celestial said. “Wouldn’t that just give them the evidence they need to condemn us? In other words, it would be handing them the perfect excuse to wipe us out. Elder Brother Sect Leader, I say we vehemently deny any of their accusations. Better to deny than to beg forgiveness.”

“Good point,” the sectlord said. “I agree that we should deny any and all accusations. Otherwise, the executors will have a perfect reason to act without the slightest restraint.”

Almost as soon as the words left his mouth, a cackle rang out, followed by a voice from afar. “Deny accusations? You really think the situation can be resolved so simply? Your Will Manifestation Heaven Sect has offended the Executors of the Ancient Road so deeply that the only way to atone for your crime is to be executed!”

Everyone in the reception hall looked around in shock.

How could they have ever guessed that someone would be able to listen in on the secret conversation playing out in the tightly-sealed receiving hall? Didn’t that imply that there were no secrets the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect could keep from the Executors of the Ancient Road?


1. Reminder that the word I'm translating as “executor” literally means “to enforce laws”.

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