Silence engulfed the hall; the grave atmosphere suffocated all the participants.
“We, we really have no hope?” Heavenly Emperor Lin spoke feebly without any confidence.
“None.” The oldest ancestor shook his head: “Everything is decided the moment the Azure Dragon Legion is out. But nothing changes otherwise anyway. There are the Brave Tiger Legion and others still.”
“The moment we crossed the line, everything has been determined. Even emperors can’t do anything about it, they will only manage to struggle for a bit and cause the war to be even more devastating. Our sect is very powerful but can it compare to the Ancient Ming back then? Even if we can produce an emperor right now, they won’t necessarily be stronger than Immortal Emperor Long Ming either.” Another ancestor sighed.
To which the oldest ancestor responded: “The Ancient Ming was still rendered into ashes. Immortal Emperor Long Ming was crucified on top of the divine peak, his screams echoed across the nine worlds… How unfortunate that our sect will be lost during our generation. We are all sinners, there is no escaping this. We have shamed our ancestors.”
The other ancestors had nothing to say. They were invincible and well-respected by other cultivators and sects. However, they were helpless before this disaster and finally felt their age. Their spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.
“But we can still go convince the imperial princes about giving up on revenge. Maybe we can get His Excellency and the princes to have a peace negotiation.” Lin still didn’t give up. Soaring Immortal had given him so much; it was a second home to him. There was no way he could stand and watch.
“You don’t know them.” The oldest ancestor shook his head: “Their vengeance cannot be stopped, otherwise, we wouldn’t be under house arrest.”
The ancestors sighed again. If they were still young and brimming with vitality, they would have had a chance for victory when fighting against the imperial princes.
Alas, they were old now and couldn’t last long in a fight. Meanwhile, the imperial princes didn’t grow old in the prison. Their age was the main factor in their victory against the ancestors.
“Despite being forced to hide in the prison, they still profited from the disaster.” The young Lin commented.
“This isn’t only for themselves, they want revenge for their father as well.” The oldest ancestor said.
“For Immortal Emperor Ren Xian? Why?” Lin was surprised to hear this.
A different ancestor explained: “The humiliation, at least in their eyes. Soaring Immortal is a sect with five emperors. Their father is an invincible emperor yet he still had to concede and forced to submission with chains on his limbs. They felt that this was the biggest disgrace in their father’s life. That’s why they want vengeance for their father’s sake.”
“That’s probably the reason why they participated in this plan.” Another ancestor added: “They probably knew they had no chance of opposing His Excellency, so they want to groom the strongest bloodline in order to produce the strongest Immortal Emperor from a pool of the best disciples in our sect in hope that this will be enough to defeat him.”
“What about the emperor himself?” Lin had to ask.
The other ancestors glanced at each other. They were the strongest ancestors in the sect so they were privy to information unavailable to others.
“Even His Excellency praised the emperor for his insight.” The oldest ancestor explained: “Despite all the unpleasantness back then, the emperor remained at peace after his ascension and never spoke an ill word about His Excellency.”
In fact, some ancestors wondered if the emperor had done something or left an item behind which eventually allowed for the current mastermind to carry out the plan.
However, even the Dark Crow denied this. It showed that the emperor had nothing to do with this and didn’t let down Asura who supported him back then. His restraint made it possible for the Dark Crow and Soaring Immortal to coexist peacefully.
“If the princes aren’t the masterminds, then who?” Lin couldn’t come up with anyone else in Soaring Immortal who could order the princes.
The oldest ancestor helplessly said: “That’s the crux of the problem. We have someone hiding among our ranks, quite an elusive fellow. It is a leech that is latching onto our sect in the darkness but we have no idea who it is!”
Lin felt a chill after hearing this. The so-called strongest sect in the world was being engulfed by darkness. Outsiders would never believe such a thing.
“We can’t find this mastermind?” He said in disbelief.
“No.” The youngest ancestor shook his head: “This devil is hiding very well and probably has been doing so for a very long time now through crafty planning. This was the reason why I came into being before the appointed time. It was to investigate this matter but nothing came of it. In fact, it’s not just me. The other ancestors in the past couldn’t either. In the end, they died after running out of lifespan.”
These near-death ancestors would never leave their hibernation because one more day was one more day closer to death. However, several extremely powerful ancestors personally investigated this matter but they all failed.
“It’s a shame that time doesn’t wait for us.” The oldest ancestor said dejectedly: “Maybe if I had another thousand years of life, I would be able to bait out the mastermind.”
“Or maybe if you were born several generations earlier before we were sealed, you could have become an emperor too. That probably could have baited this person out or an available emperor could have eliminated this threat.” He continued while looking at Lin.
Lin became ashamed and lowered his head: “I have let you and Soaring Immortal down.”
“It’s not your fault.” The ancestor shook his head: “You were simply born in the wrong period. Even without Long Aotian, you couldn’t have become one either. All of this was already decided by fate.”
“Then we can only wait for death?” Lin murmured.
A different ancestor replied: “There’s nothing we can do. The Ren Xian branch already had control even before the princes came back. Now, their grasp became even tighter.”
“The ancestors from the Ren Xian branch and the princes aren’t the only ones with this belief. This is the ambition of all the youths in our sect. They crave power and an even larger stage, the nine worlds. They want to shine brighter than everyone else. This irresistible ambition made the disciples break the pact. The current situation was decided then and there. Our old bones can’t do anything even if we want Soaring Immortal to calm down. The youth will not accept boredom by being locked in this domain. Because of this, it didn’t matter whether the princes came back or not, or Ancestor Long having control, Soaring Immortal would eventually come into being. We can stop them for a generation but not forever. Old people like us will eventually die and the young faction will take over. This boundless ambition has overwhelmed our sect. Even if the princes weren’t there and no Ancestor Long, people like Long Aotian would still show up.”
He sighed and continued: “In other words, the moment we picked Immortal Emperor Ren Xian, this outcome was decided. Perhaps this was all part of someone’s scheme - the cultivation of the Ancient Ming bloodline, the forceful search, and the current youthful ambition.”
“This is a devious strategy, planned for many generations now. There are only two outcomes for us because of this. First, victory and become the invincible sect for the ages. Second, defeat and destruction!”
Lin found it astonishing. Just what kind of characters was preparing this plan for many generations behind the shadow? The other ancestors were quiet because they realized this way too late. They have lost control of the situation and couldn’t do anything about it.