The true god smiled wryly after hearing this: "I really don't know whether the will of the high heaven is good or bad. Perhaps the powerful existences all curse this while regular beings treat it as their guardian and hope."
"The high heaven will not show empathy even if the regular beings reach that step. Otherwise, why do people need to try so hard every epoch? No one can escape their fate under the high heaven, hence the common adage - the will of the high heaven is unopposable."
"My fate is mine alone! Only the imperial level would worry about this problem." Worldkeeper brought up another common phrase used by powerful existences, especially Immortal Emperors.
He gently sighed at this point since this wasn't his pursuit and question. His meaning of existence was to protect the nine worlds and stop the Ancient Ming.
"So Your Excellency, you went to the Heavenly Corpse Burial Ground to find an ally against the Ancient Ming?" Worldkeeper was still amazed at how Li Qiye couldn't let go of the nine worlds even when he was about to leave.
"Yes." Li Qiye gently nodded: "If the Ancient Ming were to go all out, their emperors would come out too. Just the Azure Dragon Legion alone is not enough, so I had to invite that burial ground to join, hoping for one decisive battle."
"I'm afraid the Ancient Ming won't fall for the same Gong Yang trick again." Worldkeeper joked.
"No more schemes this time. The Lord of the Heavenly Corpse Burial Ground will personally take action, that's the only way. Even if we used trickery, it's not enough to wipe them out in full." Li Qiye shook his head.
"It's a good thing that the Ancient Ming fell into the trap back then and lost a considerable amount of forces or we would have to pay an even bigger price." Worldkeeper said.
"That's true. I used the Immortal Demon Grotto to bait the Ancient Ming back then. They didn't prepare sufficiently so the Corporeal Zone was suppressed, resulting in the great loss in several overlords. They didn't dare to come out again after that." Li Qiye said with a smirk.
"You wanted to capture the Corporeal Zone and that item in the grotto at the same time. Alas, it didn't go as you wish. The two sides didn't annihilate each other."
"The Ancient Ming knew that they have fallen into a trap after seeing the unfavorable situation so they immediately retreated. At the same time, the grotto wouldn't let me watch and harvest the aftermath so they purposely let the Ancient Ming go. Not everything can go as you plan, it's fine to lose the two items." Li Qiye chuckled.
The story of Gong Yang was told by Li Qiye back then to Imp at Necropolis. He baited the Ancient Ming into attacking the Immortal Demon Grotto back then with the intention of obtaining the Corporeal Zone and the other treasure.
The Ancient Ming lost that battle. Even their emperor with the Corporeal Zone couldn't take the grotto down. This made it even harder for them to control the zone after losing several overlords.
The true god felt regretful about how the event went. If the grotto didn't purposely let the Ancient Ming run, that could have been the decisive battle that Li Qiye wanted - not paying a heavy price yet still able to capture both the grotto and the devious race on top of obtaining two eternal items.
Despite the lack of a total success, this still laid the foundation for the Immortal Slaying War since the Ancient Ming was weakened. Without this plan, the nine worlds would have needed even more sacrifices to defeat the Ancient Ming.
Keep in mind that the wise sages of the nine worlds worked together and still suffered heavy losses. Not too many actually survived the war. The myriad races had a force numbering at one hundred million. However, less than one million had actually survived. One could easily imagine the grotesque brutality of the war.
Li Qiye sighed emotionally and said: "The legion has been resting after the war and I had no intention of bringing it back to the cruel battlefield. This was a big reason why in each generation, I would try to find the Corporeal Zone by searching all around. I hoped to personally finish the Ancient Ming but alas, I have failed because the Ancient Ming learned from the previous massacre. Who would have thought that I would need to start with the legion again, giving you the responsibility once more."
Even though he was the ruler of the nine worlds, there were things beyond his control.
After the massacre, the Ancient Ming with their Corporeal Zone knew that the moment they gave the smallest clue to their location, the greatest of armies would instantly come running. That's why they didn't recklessly take action and continued to hide.
Li Qiye kept on searching but the Corporeal Zone made it impossible for him to uproot them completely!
"This is our mission." Worldkeeper solemnly said: "Like you have said, you feel sorry for us. We can not go to the other battlefields but we must fight against the Ancient Ming to the bitter end. That was your initial goal in forming the legion, right? If they dare to show themselves again, we are responsible to keep on fighting until the death. You can't let go of the nine worlds before leaving, still caring and working for it. So why can't we, its inhabitants, do the same?!" Worldkeeper sonorously stated.
Li Qiye could only sigh: "This is all I can do. It is up to you all in the future and the nine worlds itself. If I can't return, I hope everyone will work hard instead of relying on someone else to save them. There is no savior."
"No, in my eyes, you are the savior and the guardian of the nine worlds." Worldkeeper disagreed: "It doesn't matter how much the world fears and curses your name, no one had paid more attention to the nine worlds than you in history. Who had paid a bigger price to keep it safe?! No one! You toiled on and on not only to accumulate resources but to also stop the Ancient Ming! Otherwise, you wouldn't have returned after coming to the tenth world. Others aren't aware but I know full well. After Empress Hong Tian, you have trained enough emperors to sweep through the thirteen continents yet you still returned to the nine worlds. It is out of fear of the Ancient Ming rising, you want to let them know that you are still guarding this area!"
Li Qiye gently sighed and said: "That's in the past now. I used to go back and forth but this generation is different. I might never be able to return! If I'm prepared sufficiently up there, then I shall begin the final expedition while swearing to never come back before victory."
Worldkeeper became quiet, realizing that this was the last goodbye and while His Excellency was so meticulous. Li Qiye had never said goodbye to him before leaving the nine worlds in the past.
"Take care." Li Qiye said: "Live on, the nine worlds still need all of you to defend its last ray of dawn."
"You too, Your Excellency. May you return triumphantly." Worldkeeper kowtowed ceremoniously on the ground.
Even though they were master-follower, they were also master and disciple. They have experienced moments of near-death together across the dark times and bloody battlefields.
Today might be the final goodbye which was why Worldkeeper chose such a grand and respectful gesture.
Li Qiye didn't lift Worldkeeper up this time and accepted the gesture.
"Your Excellency, you should take Su Zhen with you. Even though she can't do anything at the moment, her blood is different from everyone else and worthy of further grooming. Perhaps she will be able to lend you a hand in the future." Worldkeeper said after standing up.
Li Qiye agreed: "I was going to take her even if you didn't say anything since I have promised him and Mu Tian. Tell her to get ready at Cleansing Incense, time is not waiting for us."
"I shall." Worldkeeper nodded.
Worldkeeper personally saw Li Qiye out of Heavenguard's entrance. After making some distance, Li Qiye glanced back at the word "Heavenguard" and became disappointed for various reasons before leaving.