“Everyone, prepare to receive the guests!” the sectlord said, sitting up straight in his throne, causing him to radiate a sense of majesty and willpower. Raising his voice, he said, “Who would’ve thought that the Executors of the Ancient Road would be so unexpectedly underhanded? You actually used spies to listen in on our conversations?”
Everyone else in the hall looked around in surprise.
After all, what other explanation could there be for how the Executors of the Ancient Road would be privy to the private conversations in the receiving hall?
Many people present were looking specifically at Yang Qi, who was obviously the most suspicious person present. He had only just joined the sect, yet had already made a huge name for himself. His cultivation base was profound, and he could inspire enlightenment with a single word. Yet no one knew much about him.
“So, bastard, you’re the spy!”
Thunderous rumbling erupted as Peaklord Grand Might shot to his feet and thrust his palm out, causing energy flows to roll toward Yang Qi that could conquer mountains and devour rivers.
Yang Qi didn’t move a muscle. Even as the palm strike closed in, Peaklord Memory opened her eyes and intercepted the attack, resulting in Peaklord Grand Might staggering backward.
During the exchange, Yang Qi was able to see that Peaklord Grand Might had unleashed a consummate art known as the God-Might Heaven-Enshrouding Palm, whereas Peaklord Memory had used the Silk-Cloud Gentle-Dao Palm. In other words, she had countered hardness with softness and had come out of the exchange without even being hurt. 
“How dare you shield him, Peaklord Memory!” Peaklord Grand Might Peak shouted angrily. “He’s been hiding in our Will Manifestation Heaven Sect as a spy! Don’t you know that we're in deadly peril right now?”
“We need to see some evidence before we pronounce a verdict,” the little girl said. “Besides, how could I possibly just sit back and allow you to kill my disciple? What if he's innocent? Will you take responsibility for that?”
“If he's innocent and I kill him, of course I’ll take responsibility,” Peaklord Grand Might growled.
“You will? You’ll go and kill all of your own children in compensation? It wasn’t easy to recruit a genius like him to Memory Peak. He spent the past few months helping all of the disciples to improve their energy arts. At this rate, it’ll only be a few thousand years before Memory Peak reaches unprecedented levels of glory. Do you really think your trashy disciples could possibly compare to him?”
When Sorrow Might heard that, his face turned green with rage, but he obviously had no room to interject.
“Enough bickering,” the sectlord said. Looking at Yang Qi, he said, “The spy isn’t this one. The executors aren’t that stupid. Do you really think they would use someone as obvious as him? Besides, he ranks too low to enter the central palace on his own, so how exactly could he have delivered the notice? No, it was one of the old-timers, and they’re keeping themselves well-hidden.”
A minor uproar resulted in response to the sectlord, who had just personally cleared Yang Qi of any suspicion. At the same time, everyone’s attention shifted to the old-timers in the council of chief elders as they tried to figure out which of them was a spy for the executors.
However, down to the last one, the old-timers looked around with righteous indignation, making it impossible to determine which one might be the spy.
In fact, from their expressions, it seemed like none of them could possibly be the guilty party.
An atmosphere of confusion was rapidly forming in the reception hall. Not even Peaklord Grand Might could say anything. He knew that he had made an error in judgement, and considering that the sectlord himself had proclaimed Yang Qi innocent, there was no way that he was the spy.
Even worse, he had deeply offended Peaklord Memory.
Finally, Peaklord Celestial couldn’t hold back and asked, “Elder Brother Sect Lord, who is the spy? From the look on your face, it seems you know who it is. Please, reveal the truth. I’ll be the first to exact punishment!”
“There’s no need to get anxious, Junior Brother,” the sectlord replied coolly. “We’ll clean house later, if necessary. I just hope this person will turn over a new leaf by helping the sect to drive away the executors. If they do, then perhaps some lenience can be shown. After all, they’ve served the sect for many years, and in many dangerous circumstances. But if this person insists on being stubborn, I’ll have no other alternative than to personally eliminate them.”
At this point, everyone realized that whoever the spy was, they were an important person in the sect, and likely one of the chief elders.
‘Very impressive,’ Yang Qi thought. The sectlord was obviously a very shrewd schemer. Whoever the spy was, they must be very alarmed at the prospect of being outed. But now they were being given a chance to renounce the darkness and seek the light, possibly earning forgiveness.
It was some high-level psychological warfare on the part of the sectlord.
“Well, I'm glad you’re not the spy,” An Yiru said. If he had been, she would have borne some of the responsibility. Furthermore, all of the advancement Memory Peak had made because of him would have been completely in vain.
“Executors of the Ancient Road, please show yourselves!”
Fluctuations rolled out from the sectlord as he continued, “In honor of your visit, I've gathered all of the outstanding disciples of the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect here in our receiving hall. Obviously, we have no desire to be impolite.”
“Your reputation is well deserved, Sectlord,” echoed a piercing voice that made everyone feel distraught with anxiety. There were even a few disciples who involuntarily vomited. Clearly, this executor was using some sort of energy art, although it was impossible to say which one.
A moment later, a swish was heard as five people appeared right in the middle of the hall.
Everyone present was deeply shaken, and even felt like they were being suffocated on the level of their nascent divinity. These were the Executors of the Ancient Road, and they pulsed with a killing intent that seemed strong enough to transform the entire area into a land of death.
Yang Qi quickly let loose an energy art to protect himself, and at the same time, noticed that other disciples were turning pale in the face; even Emperor Heart-Celestial was physically trembling. The peaklords were forced to resort to measures to protect their disciples.
All of the executors were tall and godlike, and radiated valiant auras. They looked like domineering emperors, including their garments. Four of them were strong enough that Yang Qi didn’t even need to check with his divine will to be certain they had Terrifying will. They were such killers that, if they joined forces, they would definitely surpass Lord Blood River or the three fiend-devil experts he had faced.
‘So, these are the Executors of the Ancient Road, huh?’ he thought. He obviously didn’t dare to assess them with divine will. However, he could sense that they had extremely frightening constitutions, to the point that they were neither humans nor devils. Instead, they were more like gods. There was no question that they had heaven-defying fighting prowess. In fact, their blood seemed to thrum with characteristics of all three thousand of the special constitutions. No wonder the executors had long since been declared the most domineering figures on the Ancient Road to the Gods.
The fifth in the group was a young man without Terrifying will. Instead, he was in the Destabilizing level. Obviously, he was a lesser figure among them, which begged the question of what exactly he was doing here.
“You’re finally here, Executors,” the sectlord said. Waving his hand, he caused a gentle wind to spring up. It was obviously a consummate ability, and it immediately settled the aura in the hall.
When everyone else in the hall realized that there were only four Terrifying executors, they breathed sighs of relief. However, there were many more executors in existence, most of them holed up in their headquarters. The ones present here were obviously just emissaries.
“Why, might I ask, did you deliver an Executors’ Notice to our Will Manifestation Heaven Sect?” the sectlord asked.
“Oh, no reason!” one of the executors said, taking a few steps forward. Everyone who looked at him felt themselves going as numb as if they had been struck by lightning, and realized that this person’s cultivation base was extremely profound.
“It’s just that we heard about you killing an executor and keeping the corpse for research. Did you think that wasn’t a big deal? If so, you’re wrong. It’s a major crime. And we're here to wipe you all out of existence, down to the chickens and dogs.” This particular executor was a man who wore a Crown of the Peaceful Heaven and carried an iron ruler in his hand, which appeared to be inscribed with magical rules. 
“That’s rubbish,” the sectlord said. “Nothing like that ever happened.”
Yang Qi couldn’t help but marvel at how brazen the sectlord was to just lie like this.
The sectlord continued, “Where did you hear that story, anyway? Matters like this require evidence! The Executors of the Ancient Road can’t just come and randomly enforce laws!”
The executor threw his head back and laughed uproariously. “What an outstanding lack of shame! Really. I heard everything you said a moment ago in your ‘private’ meeting when you talked of vehemently denying accusations. Let’s put aside these children’s games.”
“Then show us your evidence,” the sectlord said. “Furthermore, what reason did you have to place spies in our sect?”
“No reason,” the youngest of the executors suddenly said. “Look, it doesn’t matter if you admit your guilt or not. We Executors of the Ancient Road have never needed to rely on outside evidence. Our words are evidence enough. If we say you killed someone, then you killed them. If we say you didn’t, then you didn't. As for matters of spies, well of course we need to keep an eye on you. How else would you expect us to treat dogs? We can’t have you going around doing whatever you want. Understand? Did all of that get into your thick skulls?”
In response to his words, some of the elders reacted with open anger.
“How dare you, boy!” Peaklord Grand Might shouted. “Who do you think you are? What gall you have to talk like that!”
“You’re the one with gall!” said the first of the executors to have spoken, his eyes shining with killing intent. “This here is the son of one of our superintendents! Talking to him like that will earn you the death sentence! Get on your knees! Otherwise, everyone here is going to die right here and now!”
“What?” Peaklord Grand Might blurted, his face falling. Considering that the young man didn’t have Terrifying will, he had assumed he was some low-ranking disciple. And low-ranking disciples didn’t have the right to run their mouths in front of Terrifying experts. It was a well-known rule.
Unfortunately, Peaklord Grand Might had completely misjudged the situation.
1. The “gentle-dao” here could also be translated the “gentle way”. In other words, it's the literal translation of “judo”. So an alternate version of Peaklord Memory’s move is the Silk-Cloud Judo Palm.