Although he understood the truths behind the technique, his body couldn't keep up with his mind. He demanded perfection, but it was difficult to reach.
However, Li Qiye was not deterred. He kept on practicing the martial art that became more refined after each swing. After one night, he had swung the blades more than three hundred times and slowly grasped the profound truth. Slowly, each of his blades became more and more accurate.
Even though he had innumerable memories and heaven-frightening secrets, he understood that if he wanted to completely decimate the Immortal Demon Grotto, he must increase his efforts by ten fold, no, a hundred fold in order to achieve his goal. No one understood the Immortal Demon Grotto better than him in the current era.
In these three days, Li Qiye had not left his villa. He imprisoned himself in the inner sanctum to perfect his blades. There were too many uncertainties in life, so he must be in peak shape to combat any disaster that may come.
Three days later, the journey to the Nine Saint Demon Gate was about to begun. Only Nan Huairen and a sect protector with the surname Mo were coming along.
The Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect had a total of six elders, twelve protectors, and thirty-six sectional leaders. To visit a grand sect such as the Nine Saint Demon Gate with only three people, the highest ranked member being a mere protector... there were no words to describe this.
Before the departure, Li Qiye looked at the shabby members and asked: “Only us three?”
Protector Mo, the master of Nan Huairen, was very frugal with his words. After he heard the question, he only glanced at Li Qiye without answering.
Opposite of his master, Nan Huairen was a playful fellow; he coughed once in shame and opened his mouth: “First Brother, all of the elders are in secluded cultivation; they could not make the trip.”
Li Qiye perked his lips and coldly declared: “Secluded cultivation? They are only afraid of losing face. In the end, they believe I have no chance of passing the trial. Me not passing is a small matter to them, but them being there and losing face would be a big deal, right?”
Nan Huairen couldn’t say anything and only shamefully smiled. How could a mortal expect to pass the trial of an Emperor level sect? The elders had the same thoughts. This was why they refused to go, since the result was already clear as day.
“Don’t worry, Honorable Brother.” Nan Huairen kept his positive attitude: “The Nine Saint Demon Gate has kept its distance from us in recent times, this is why the elders don't want to go and create unnecessary conflicts.”
“Hmmph, it is only the Nine Saint Demon Gate, they can’t reach the apex. In that era, even if the Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon was alive, they would still have to bow down to the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect.”
Protector Mo could only ignore Li Qiye’s arrogance. He only coldly snort, not bothering to say anything.
Nan Huairen was afraid that Li Qiye would say even more outrageous things, so he interrupted: “First Brother, this is my master, a protector of the sect.”
“Please take care of me on this trip." Li Qiye bowed with just the right amount of courtesy and respect — not too forced yet not too weak.
Protector Mo gave him another glance and said: “Let us go.”
Finished with his words, he turned around and walked away. Protector Mo was one of the older protectors, so his cultivation was above average. However, he doesn't know how to socially interact with others. Thus, his position in the sect was quite low relative to the other protectors. Otherwise, he would not be a part of this great expedition that was doomed from the start.
The upper echelons of the sect knew that this trip would become a comedic play with Li Qiye as the main character. If the audience was not happy, death might be inevitable, and that was another reason why the six elders evaded it. The other protectors were not willing to lead this group, so this assignment eventually fell on the shoulders of Protector Mo.
Protector Mo also thought that no positive results would come out of this trip, which was why his mood had been even sourer than normal.
The long trip was filled with silence until they reached the grand temple of the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect. The grand temple was huge and could contain ten thousand people. Looking through all of the Grand Middle Territory, it would be difficult to find a comparable temple within the other heritages.
The jade-colored temple was extremely ancient. It was built with heavenly stones and crystals. Up above was calligraphy personally carved by Immortal Emperor Min Ren. The words exuded a courageous aura, deep beyond fathoming. Each word and phrase seemed as if it could erase existences. From this grand temple, one could appreciate the old power of the dying sect.
This temple was the starting point for all of the conquests the great Emperor took part in. Min Ren would conduct ceremonies here before embarking on his expeditions that would encompass the entire Nine Worlds. Only an Immortal Emperor sect could possess such a temple.
“Bang…” As the entrance was opened, a gateway could be seen inside. Colored and tempered by divine crystals, the hulk was covered by empty holes and Immortal Emperor carvings. The empty holes were there to be filled with refined jades.
Refined jades were formed by the natural spiritual power of the heaven and earth, the very essence of what makes cultivation possible. Its main purpose was to operate gateways in order to traverse far distances. The distance of travel was determined by the quantity and quality of the refined jades.
Unfortunately, the current gateway only had a few refined jades inside. Once again, Li Qiye was saddened by how far the sect had fallen. In the past, this gateway, with its abundance of jades, had brought many armies to faraway places in the Nine Worlds. Any location was possible as long as the coordinates were known.
They entered the gateway and, in the blink of an eye, warped to a different location.
The Grand Middle Territory was huge and spanned billions of miles. There were countless sects spread across fifteen countries. However, there were gigantic monsters like Kingdoms and Ancient Kingdoms that spanned billions of miles by themselves.
If one wanted to cross a country by flying, it would take many years unless they were an Enlightened Being or Heavenly King. Any Named Hero or Royal Noble would be wise enough not to attempt this feat. Plus, the Grand Middle Territory was only one part of the Mortal Emperor World.
The Mortal Emperor World was also known as the Emperor Boundary or Emperor Country and consisted of five different regions. In the north lies the Northern Grand Sea, the south has the Barren Earth, the east forms the Hundred Cities, the west contains the Desolate Wasteland, and the middle was the Grand Middle Territory.
“Bang…” Li Qiye and his companions arrived at the gateway of the Nine Saint Demon Gate.
As they stepped out, they felt that the natural spirit essence was denser than any place they had been to. This was truly a heavenly sect as far as the eye could see.
The location of the Nine Saint Demon Gate spanned for millions of miles. It was filled with mountains and rivers with majestic waterfalls and heavenly trees that could pierce the heavens. There were also marble palaces floating and hiding in the clouds as far as the eye could see. In the deepest recesses, one could find penetrating auras that radiantly shone across the land. One would believe that the origin of these auras stemmed from shocking heavenly treasures.
This was the picture of a powerful sect. With this atmosphere and location, it was no wonder why it could rule over a country. In comparison, the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect was akin to a destitute old man at the end of his life.
“I see that it is Older Brother Mo, long time no see.” When the three of them left the gateway, an old man could be seen leading his disciples for the welcoming party.
The man was a sectional leader of their sect. His last name was Fu, the owner of a cold and stoic face. His eyes contained a powerful gaze and his body radiated a shining aura. His natural disposition was one that could instill fear in weaker souls.
Even though he was only a sectional leader, he possessed the strength of a Named Hero made evident by the aura being exuded from his body. In the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect, only an elder would be eligible for the title of Named Hero.
“Is this your prime disciple?”
“That is correct, Li Qiye is the prime disciple of my sect.” Protector Mo bitterly smiled. Li Qiye's talents and constitution were nothing to be proud of.
“The trial, it is but a friendly competition. Brother Mo does not have to worry about it.” Sectional Leader Fu showed a gentle smile.
Li Qiye smiled back at Sectional Leader Fu and elegantly expressed his feelings: “Only a trial, it can’t reach the peak.”
Sectional Leader Fu ignored Li Qiye’s sly remark and conversed with Protector Mo instead: “Brother Mo, please follow me.”
In his mind, a Named Hero arguing with a junior like Li Qiye would be unbecoming for a man of his status.
Protector Mo, on the other hand, angrily glared at Li Qiye.