Everyone present was shaken to the core at the realization that Peaklord Grand Might had made a grave error.
The Executors of the Ancient Road were fundamentally dangerous to trifle with. And here he had provoked the ire of the son of one of its superintendents. In other words, this young man was a junior superintendent. A few rude words to the wrong person could provoke catastrophic results.
As the saying goes, a loose tongue can cause a lot of trouble.
Peaklord Grand Might’s face was ashen, and his lips moved up and down as if he were about to speak, yet no words came out. For one thing, he was scrambling to think of a way to get out of the situation, but on the other hand, he was trying to avoid causing even more trouble.
“Peaklord Grand Might, apologize immediately to the junior superintendent,” the sectlord said. “We don’t tolerate arrogant claptrap here in the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect.”
Peaklord Grand Might had been given a chance to extricate himself, so he quickly clasped his hands and said, “Junior Superintendent, even an important peaklord like myself can fumble with his words sometimes.”
Considering his status, it was a big loss of face for him to formally clasp hands to someone of lower rank. And in the end, Peaklord Grand Might was simply unwilling to suffer such humiliation. Thus, he slipped in the fact that he was a peaklord to try to at least keep some face.
“You’re an important peaklord, huh?” the junior superintendent said, his eyes glittering coldly. “Seems you aren’t really convinced you made a mistake. On your knees, now. Kowtow. If you do, I’ll forgive you. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to retaliate.”
Peaklord Grand Might was so stunned he just stood there with a blank look in his eye.
“Junior Superintendent,” the sectlord said, “when the enemy yields, you should spare his life. I think you might be pushing things a bit too far here. You’re guests, so we welcomed you with open arms. If you’d rather be enemies, we’ll be more than happy to fight you to the death. Either way, we of the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect will not wag our tails and beg for pity from the Executors of the Ancient Road.”
“Fight to the death?” the junior superintendent said, his voice dripping with menace, making him seem very much like an emperor. “Do you really qualify to do that? We Executors of the Ancient Road have been resting and recuperating for long enough. Our time of inaction is over. We’re back. Presumably, you people think that after being betrayed and ambushed in the Primeval Age, we executors had become a thing of the past, so you dare to treat us with such overwhelming arrogance. In the past, whenever the Executors of the Ancient Road visited a sect, even the sect leader himself would kneel to meet them. It was a rule. So why, pray tell, are you not kneeling!?”
“Junior Superintendent, like it or not, the Executors of the Ancient Road are just another sect,” the sectlord replied calmly. “As for kneeling, I’d be happy to do that as soon as you produce a true god. The instant I see a god, I’ll gladly kneel.”
The junior superintendent snorted coldly, his face flickering with killing intent. “Are you making fun of the Executors of the Ancient Road for not producing a god? You think all we can do is enforce the law?”
“That’s not what I said,” the sectlord replied. “But if that’s what you think, junior superintendent, then I have an idea. Let’s not beat around the bush here, shall we? If you Executors of the Ancient Road are strong enough to exterminate our Will Manifestation Heaven Sect, then you would have shown up with your war banners unfurled. But you didn’t. So tell us. What do you want?”
The sectlord was essentially saying outright that the Executors of the Ancient Road weren’t strong enough to wipe out his sect.
Lip curling, the junior superintendent said, “First, return that executor’s corpse you have. Second, hand over the killer, as well as everyone in his clan, down to the ninth generation. Anyone related to him must die. Third, starting today, the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect will be an auxiliary branch of the Executors of the Ancient Road. You’ll give us godhood as a tribute on a regular basis, and provide us your most beautiful women as slaves. Fourth, we demand an immediate tribute of a hundred pieces of godhood. Fifth, this person who was just disrespectful to me will also face the death penalty, and we demand you give us his entire clan, too.”
The junior superintendent’s demands could hardly have been more overbearing. With the exception of the first, they were all as vicious as a sentence of sect extermination.
Peaklord Grand Might's face was as white as death. Two of the stipulations pertained directly to his own death. Furthermore, all of this was happening because his son had hoped to benefit by taking the life of a dying executor. And then, Peaklord Grand Might had made things worse by insulting one of the executors.
For a brief moment, he considered attacking unexpectedly and killing the executors.
However, he knew that although he might be able to take out the junior superintendent, the other four executors were vastly superior to him. They were all Terrifying experts, so if they joined forces, they could probably fight their way out of the sect.
Besides, that wasn't to mention the possibility that they had reinforcements waiting outside.
The sectlord thought for a moment, then said, “We refuse all five of your demands. First of all, we didn't kill that executor, so how could we hand over both corpse and killer, much less give you compensation for it? As for being an auxiliary branch, well, that’s tantamount to slavery. And if you take all of our godhood and beautiful women, you might as well just destroy our sect. Besides, we don’t have any godhood.”
“So, you're saying you choose to just be destroyed outright?” the junior superintendent said.
“If that’s what you want to do, go ahead and try,” Peaklord Celestial interjected. “Except, I don’t think you have the authority to make the decision, do you, Junior Superintendent? Did you really come here at the behest of the Executors of the Ancient Road? Or did you come here on your own? Does your father the superintendent know about all this?”
Looking at Peaklord Celestial, the junior superintendent snorted coldly and said, “Who the hell are you? How dare you meddle in the affairs of the Executors of the Ancient Road!”
Lifting his chin up, Peaklord Celestial replied, “I’ll tell you who the hell I am. A Terrifying expert!”
The junior superintendent burst out laughing, although his laughter was clearly tinged with rage. “Are you making fun of me for not having Terrifying will convergence? Fine. I know the rules on the Ancient Road to the Gods. Terrifying will convergence is the hallmark of the true luminaries. Anyone without Terrifying will is a nobody.”
“I'm glad you understand how things work, Junior Superintendent,” Peaklord Celestial said in a cool voice. “It’s an unwritten rule that was originally established by you Executors of the Ancient Road.”
“So, you people really aren’t willing to shed a tear until you see the coffin. I can accept that. For now, I won’t fight any of your Terrifying experts. The reason I came here today was to show you how strong we executors are. So whether you surrender or not, this is going to happen. You see, it's said that there is virtue in sparing animal life, so I'm going to give you a chance to survive this. If any disciple in your sect who is beneath the Terrifying level can beat me in a fight, we’ll call everything even. How about that?”
“So that’s what’s going on here...” was what many of the outstanding disciples in the sect began whispering to each other. Plenty of disciples had already developed a strong dislike of this junior superintendent, a Destabilizing junior who dared to glibly talk back to the sectlord himself. Considering that level of disrespect, many of the lower-level disciples who weren’t aware of how powerful the Executors of the Ancient Road were already hoped they could go teach this junior superintendent a lesson.
The sectlord thought for another moment. “That’s fine. It wouldn’t be appropriate for us in the Terrifying level to spar with you. But it would be fine for some of the lower-ranking disciples to compare notes with you. Do any of the other executors present have any input on the matter?”
“We support any decision the junior superintendent makes,” said one of the four true executors. “If he asks us to kill everyone in the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect, we will. We won’t even spare the chickens or the dogs. On the other hand, if he orders us to stand down, we won’t harm a single person.”
“Alright!” the sectlord said, glancing over at the disciples present. “If any of you here today can defeat this junior superintendent, it will count as a huge service to the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.” It was definitely not going to be an ordinary reward, as the sectlord went on to say, “This service will count as saving the entire sect from destruction!”
A buzz spread through the sect. Obviously, the level of the reward would be based on the level of service provided.
And there could be no greater service to the sect than saving it from destruction. A person who did that could ask for just about any reward they want, even the right to succeed as the next sectlord. The junior sectlord in any sect would be able to call the wind and summon the rain! The Will Manifestation Heaven Sect was one of the superpower sects from the Ancient Road to the Gods, and it had massive amounts of resources and power. Whoever became the junior sectlord of a sect like that would have immense honor and power.
When it came to experts that were qualified to throw their hat in the ring, there were the top disciples in that group of a hundred and fifty elites from the fifty mountain peaks. There were also the apprentices and children of the chief elders and elder kings.
Altogether, it was a group of over a thousand people, all of them extremely powerful fighters. After all, some of them could be considered royalty who had received training and resources that surpassed what the disciples of the fifty peaks had access to. They were people who were very, very close to the Terrifying level.
The mountain peaks were like feudal vassals, whereas the children of the chief elders were like royalty from the imperial court.
Almost immediately, some of the children of the chief elders flew out into the open, hoping to snag the first chance to win such an incredible reward.
“Back up, all of you,” the junior superintendent said to the four executors.
They nodded in compliance and backed up a bit, leaving plenty of open space for the fighting. Apparently, they weren’t worried at all about their junior superintendent, and in fact, were completely confident in how strong he was.
“This reward belongs to me, Meng Ao!” 
In addition to this Meng Ao, there were already four other sons of chief elders who had also flown out to compete for the reward.
“Absolutely not, I'm going first,” one of them said. “How could I let anyone else have the chance to save the sect?”
Chuckling, one of the other disciples said, “How about we play rock-paper-scissors for it? Whoever wins gets to go first?”
“Rock-paper-scissors?” another disciple said, eyes flickering with treacherous light. “How about we first have a fight amongst ourselves, and whoever wins gets to go first?”
Even as the disciples were bickering, the junior superintendent shouted “Morons!” and blurred into motion.
The five disciples looked up and saw darkness spreading above them, as energy arts and psychic power were unleashed that seemed strong enough to spell the end of the world. A hand appeared, filling the sky, growing wider with every moment before crushing down on them with such pressure that they couldn’t even scream.
Pop. Pop. Pop! POP! POP!!!
Five screams rang out, and five heads exploded. Five nascent divinities flew out into the open, whereupon the junior superintendent inhaled, sucking them toward him to assimilate them.
“Stay your hand!” people from the council of chief elders shouted.
1. Meng Ao: Same surname as Meng Hao. Meng is a common surname which also means "great, grand, princal, etc.". Ao means “proud”. And yes, I accidentally did type Meng Hao when I initially typed out this sentence. 😅