On the third day of his return, a servant came in and reported: “Your Majesty, Qin Jianyao of Calm Lotus is waiting for her punishment outside . ”
“A bit interesting . ” Li Qiye smiled, not surprised in the slightest .
A group of people kneeled outside the palace . Some had gray hair, clearly ancestor-level characters . A few were Eternals as well . None dared to breathe loudly .
Those who cared enough to take a careful look would notice that they were all from Calm Lotus Monastery .
The one kneeling up front was the beautiful Qin Jianyao . She quietly prostrated with her head lowered .
Calm Lotus was one of the five great powers, perhaps the strongest among them . It had two secret words, allowing it to be evenly matched against War Saint Dynasty for a long period of time .
These ancestors were all famous, successfully deterring the world before . Alas, all they could do now was wait for punishment from the new king .
The spectators didn’t dare to say anything and could only watch in silence .
After what seems like an eternity, someone shouted: “His Majesty is here . ”
The crowd glanced over and saw Li Qiye slowly walking closer . Although he wore a regular robe instead of a dragon one, he still looked as supreme as ever .
“Your Majesty . ” Everyone got on their knees .
“Your Majesty . ” Qin Jianyao bowed her head; the ancestors did the same thing, not daring to look up .
Li Qiye looked at her and said insipidly: “Little girl, you moved quite fast . ”
“Your Majesty, I am here to plead guilty . ” She remained composed yet respectful, devoid of fear and anxiety .
“Mmm . ” Li Qiye simply nodded in response .
“Our Calm Lotus Monastery failed to see the flow of things and betrayed you, Your Majesty . Rebellion is a great sin . ” Jianyao said: “I know that we can’t escape the inevitable punishment so today, the ancestors and I are here to face the consequences . ”
The ancestors remained still, awaiting his decision .
They were all prideful, especially the experienced Eternals . They weren’t afraid of death and could face it without any problem .
However, they couldn’t watch their sect being destroyed . A while, their supreme ancestor wanted the immortal rope and had earned their support .
Today, the king would definitely destroy their sect . They didn’t wish to become sinners - the reason for the end of their sect . How could they face their ancestors and sages in the afterlife? That’s why they were here today with Qin Jianyao, ready to accept their fate .
“I see the sincerity . Unfortunately, death is warranted . ” Li Qiye said .
“We understand . ” She didn’t become afraid: “The elders and I are ready for death, hoping that our lives will wash away our great crimes . Please show mercy and spare the youths in our sect . They are only normal cultivators who didn’t get involved in the decision-making process . We are the only ones at fault, the ones deserving death . ” She said .
She had tried to convince the ancestors to not oppose Li Qiye, but the supreme ancestor and fellow elders didn’t listen to her . She was even imprisoned for disobedience .
However, in this crucial moment, she still took responsibility and gathered the ancestors here in order to trade their lives for the wellbeing of Calm Lotus .
She knew that it was only a matter of time before Li Qiye attacks their sect . The only thing she could do was try and find a way to save the young disciples even if it meant throwing her life away .
“Spare their lives, huh?” Li Qiye didn’t seem to be moved .
“Yes, please show mercy, Your Majesty . ” Jianyao continued: “We are willing to give up our territories and treasuries as well so that our disciples can be spared . They are weak like ants and won’t stand in the way of your conquest at all . ”
Everyone held their breath . Giving up all of these things meant that Calm Lotus would cease to exist .
One of the strongest lineages in Nine Secrets was going to disappear in this manner? This result made people take a deep breath .
Alas, they knew that there was no other choice . Jianyao picked the wisest course to earn the king’s forgiveness .
At the very least, the young ones would be able to escape this disaster . Their sect would continue on with this branch .
Stubbornly resisting would only incite the king’s fury . Blood would flow like the rivers then . All of Calm Lotus would turn to ashes and all of their disciples would be killed . Their sect would lose their legacy from then on .
“The offenders will obviously die, but the innocent shall be pardoned . ” Li Qiye smiled and said: You haven’t disobeyed me, so no punishment . ”
“ . . . ” The calm Jianyao finally became surprised .
“Yes, you have your flaws but are still smart enough to see the grand scheme of things . ” Li Qiye waved his sleeve: “No punishment for you, but the rest of the ancestors shall pay . Calm Lotus Monastery will be made an example as well . ”
Jianyao came prepared for death in order to save the young ones, not expecting to be spared by Li Qiye at the last second .
“I am willing to die as an atonement for my sect’s mistake . ” Jianyao bowed her head with sincerity .
Li Qiye dismissed her comment: “No crime, no death . As for the rest of you, there’s no avoiding this . End yourselves . ”
Jianyao didn’t know what to say and could only look back at the kneeling ancestors .
Among them were her seniors, even her master . They watched her grew up and treated her like family . Today, they were going to the Yellow River one step ahead of her .
“Child, we count on you to take care of Calm Lotus in the future . ” One ancestor nodded seriously at Jianyao and said: “We are paying for our crime now, take care . ”
He groaned afterward as blood dripped down the corner of his lips; his body fell straight to the ground .
After seeing the first to go, the other ancestors took action and killed themselves by severing their veins and destroying their true fate . One corpse fell after another until no one was left but Jianyao .
These beings used to be the strongest masters in Nine Secrets . All of them chose to die today in order to save their sect .
This was already the best outcome for Calm Lotus . Their youths managed to survive, and Qin Jianyao was the most important member . There was still hope yet .
Her eyes glistened with tears but she didn’t vocally cry .
“Go, I won’t destroy your sect but other punishments will be carried out . ” Li Qiye said .
“Thank you, Your Majesty . ” She kowtowed again before gathering the corpses of her ancestors .
“Ill Lord . ” Li Qiye said .
“Young Noble, do you have an order for me?” Ill Lord appeared and bowed before Li Qiye .
“Go with Golden Dragon and the others to sweep through, hmm, the five legions and Myriad Formation Kingdom or whatever . I almost forgot about this . ” Li Qiye ordered .
“Affirmative . ” The other four masters stood behind Ill Lord and shouted in unison .
The spectators outside the palace gasped, realizing that carnage was about to ensue in Nine Secrets .