On this peaceful night, Li Qiye was sleeping on his bed while still absorbing primordial chaos energies. The Mortal Reversion Art never halted regardless of one’s current state. It was the most ordinary merit law but also the best one.
A reticent scene engulfed this prosperous city. After a while, Li Qiye suddenly opened his eyes and came out of the door.
At this moment, there were four men waiting with a palanquin placed in front of the entrance.
They seemed like specters that came without notice. No one detected them for they were one with the night.
The two in front lowered the palanquin and waited. None talked from start to finish.
Li Qiye calmly got up on the palanquin and sat down. One of the men lowered the curtain before raising the palanquin. The four carried it to the sky before disappearing altogether. No one noticed them at all.
In a courtyard in an unknown location, there was only one flickering lamp yet it could illuminate the entire sky.
The palanquin quietly descended and Li Qiye slowly came out.
There was already an old man waiting who instantly kneeled after seeing Li Qiye: “I didn’t know Your Excellency was visiting, please forgive my short-sightedness and lack of a proper welcoming ceremony.”
If Shen Xiaoshan’s group was here, they would be startled and recognized this old man. He was the shopkeeper of the Imperial Cabinet.
“Ignorance is not a sin.” Li Qiye gently waved his sleeve in response.
“Your Excellency, please come in, the elders are waiting.” The shopkeeper led the way.
There were more than ten old men inside, dressed in a very simple manner. However, everyone would be focusing on their bright eyes anyway. The flash inside was sharp enough to cut through the celestials and the yin and yang. Such power was quite admirable.
They quickly bowed their head towards Li Qiye without saying anything.
“Your Excellency, the elders here are the current messengers for the different branches.” The shopkeeper hurriedly introduced him: “I might be incapable but the elders trusted me so I’m in charge of the portal at the moment.”
“It’s good that we can continue the tradition.” Li Qiye looked at the old men and nodded: “Meeting is a type of fate, have a seat.”
The shopkeeper sat down and waited respectfully with the others for Li Qiye to speak.
“Your Excellency, I didn’t dare to make a decision without your order so I didn’t message the gods and the other elders.” The shopkeeper said after sitting down: “Do you want me to give the order for them to come?”
“No need.” Li Qiye waved his sleeve: “Just let them know that I’m safe, no need to come. They will know when I need them.”
The shopkeeper replied: “Your Excellency, we’ll send the message. Back during the opening from the nine worlds to the tenth, the thirteen continents were closed off and all visions blocked. We didn’t know you were coming so the emperors couldn’t come to help, letting World Emperor stole the initiative.”
This group belonged to a mysterious and powerful legion that had continued for many generations so they knew the thirteen continents very well.
“A junior like you can’t grasp the intricacies within. It’s fine that there was no reinforcement because I had made arrangements with the emperors already. If they were going to help, they would have done it long ago. World Emperor couldn’t have sealed everything forever.” Li Qiye said.
The elders here were surprised to hear this but it wasn’t too strange. Only characters of the imperial level were privy to these secret plans. It didn’t matter how powerful they were, juniors like them could only run errands at this particular scale.
“Do you want to meet the emperors?” The shopkeeper asked.
“Not right now.” Li Qiye turned it down: “Just let the high gods tell the emperors that I’m fine.”
“We’ll arrange it right away for the emperors.” The shopkeeper answered.
Juniors like the elders here wouldn’t eligible to meet the emperors. Only high gods had this privilege.
Li Qiye pondered for a moment before asking: “I heard the sixth expedition was started by Immortal Emperor Qi Zhen, how many emperors participated?”
“There were many this time.” The shopkeeper put on a dignified expression as he answered; it was the highest respect of juniors toward the emperors and sages. Ordinary experts didn’t understand the significance of the final expedition but they did.
He continued on: “This ultimate expedition is also called the Empress’ Campaign or Empress’ Expedition. I heard there were around twenty or thirty female emperors participating with Immortal Emperor Xiu Shui being the first to show her support. Immortal Emperor Wu Gou, Immortal Emperor Bi Lian, Immortal Emperor Qing He, Immortal Emperor Dao Huai, Immortal Emperor Bing Yu, Immortal Emperor Qian Li, and the others joined after.”
The shopkeeper told Li Qiye all the emperors he knew that have embarked.
This expedition wasn’t limited to the hundred races or only emperors from the nine worlds. Even Grand Emperors and Immortal Monarchs from the three races joined as well.
If there was something in the thirteen continents that could temporarily halt the racial conflict and made everyone work together, it would be the ultimate expedition.
In fact, in the distant era, the races have fought together during the third expedition started by Deepsouth Divine Emperor and Immortal Emperor Fei. They left their racial feud behind and fought to the death together on the battlefield at the final battle.
“They’re amazing women.” Li Qiye gently sighed after hearing the list. Qi Zhen has long informed him early of her preparation and plan.
She finally embarked when the moment was right with only empresses participating. It was also to show the world that women were just as capable as men.
These expeditions have never stopped since the olden times. Origin Grand Emperor, Deepsouth Divine Emperor, Immortal Emperor Fei, Immortal Emperor Gu Chun, and Immortal Emperor Min Ren and so on… These emperors continued to start the expeditions.
Many emperors answered their call each time. It can be said that nothing else in this world could involve so many emperors. However, the majority of expeditions consisted of male emperors. Very few female emperors joined the fray until the sixth expedition that was all female, sending quite a powerful message.
The ultimate expedition was a serious topic because people went and never returned. The path was paved with bones. It didn’t matter how powerful and brilliant one might be, there was a chance of falling down along the way.
“Did Empress Hong Tian participate?” Li Qiye eventually broke the silence.
The shopkeeper thought carefully before answering: “Hmm, I’m not sure about this, only the emperors would know. Rumor has it that she was involved but juniors like us can’t know for sure. We can’t calculate that level of divination.”
“Are there any news about her?” He inquired again.
“We don’t have anything for now. The empress has always been elusive, we can’t predict or find her.” The shopkeeper replied.
Li Qiye nodded and stared wistfully outside for a bit. After a long while, he commented with a forlorn expression: “How many can actually survive the expedition…”
1. The word for “portal” here can be both a portal or a sect. Not sure what it is without further context.