Deity Xuan entered the Black Tortoise Celestial Palace with him and summoned a god with a turtle's back. He retrieved a divine whip and ordered, “Prince You Ming has been too talkative, and it cost me 99 Five Thunder Pots. You shall take my whip and whip him 99 times.”
That god took the whip and left.
Qin Mu hesitated, but in the end, he didn't try to plead for the prince.
The dragon qilin and Yan'er looked at one another. Yan'er whispered, “Why doesn't Master plead mercy for Prince You Ming? He was the one who guided us. He has a good temper too. Now he's getting 99 whips.”
The dragon qilin whispered, “Cult Master's words are taken lightly due to his low stature…”
Qin Mu stared at him, and the dragon qilin shut up.
A stone statue was in front of them, and it resembled Founding Emperor Qin Ye.
Qin Mu walked forward to examine it. It was Founding Emperor's statue, but it was of a younger version of him. It emanated vigor, unlike the Founding Emperor of today.
“Founding Emperor had good relations with us. During the dawn of the Founding Emperor Era, before the Founding Emperor Celestial Heavens was built, he was here.”
Deity Xuan said, “The place around his statue was a sword academy that he founded named the Real Martial Sword Academy. A lot of our younger disciples studied the blade under him. I even had an exchange with him there and learned his Sword Dao. In exchange, I taught him formation spells. Now that 40,000 years have passed, we have many experts of the sword called the Real Martial Sword Sect.”
He brought Qin Mu around, and he saw many cornerstones of the academy. It was large, and it likely had thousands of Black Tortoise disciples learning in it.
“However, after the Founding Emperor Era ended, the celestial heavens ordered the destruction of the academy. The only thing preserved was this stone statue.”
Deity Xuan continued, “If those disciples heard of your arrival, they would surely be delighted. Qin Ye also brought two girls and a woodcutter. They were Di Yiyue, Yan Yunxi, and Wen Tiange, respectively. They were very well-mannered. Di Yiyue learned the Great Dao of Black Tortoise from me, Yan Yunxi learned formation arts from me, while the woodcutter learned algebra from me. They were extremely smart, and their accomplishments superseded mine. I learned a lot from them too.”
“Heavenly Teacher Zi Xi and Teacher Woodcutter were here too?”
Qin Mu's heart fluttered as he asked, “Has Founding Emperor been to the East Pole?”
Deity Xuan continued, “Qin Ye also established an academy at the East Pole. It was called the Real Dragon Path Academy, and it was popular too. I heard that the one who cultivated with him was a real dragon called Qing Wang that came from the dragon bloodline of Founding Emperor's nation.”
Qin Mu thought about it. He had seen no signs of Founding Emperor being in the East Pole. It must have been completely wiped away by East Deity.
From this, one could see the different administrative styles of Deity Xuan and East Deity. East Deity was more stubborn and authoritative. If he couldn't control something, all of it would be wiped out.
Meanwhile, Deity Xuan cared more about old ties. Despite the fall of Founding Emperor and the end of his era, he left behind his stone statue and allowed many disciples to continue cultivating the sword.
Founding Emperor pushed Postcelestial Great Daos like the Sword Dao to the extreme, which constituted reform. Outside of the Sword Dao, there were other Postcelestial Great Daos developed in the Founding Emperor Era, such as the formation path, forging path, and knife path. It was the peak of the Postcelestial Great Daos then.
One could say that the Founding Emperor Era was the era that Postcelestial Great Daos exploded and became competitive with the Precelestial Great Daos!
Deity Xuan was skilled with formations and algebra, which showed his acceptance of Postcelestial Great Daos. It was just that he was hindered by Precelestials, which prevented him from pushing these two Postcelestial Great Daos to the extreme for him.
They moved on, and Qin Mu saw more marks left behind by Founding Emperor. There was a stage to discuss the sword, a pool to wash the sword, a Heaven and Earth chess game left behind by Yan Yunxi, and a wall containing the Black Tortoise Six Directions Scripture left behind by Di Yiyue.
“If you had such good relations with Founding Emperor, why did you lend out your divine weapon to end the Founding Emperor Era?” Qin Mu asked.
Deity Xuan explained, “I was forced to by the circumstances. I was thinking about how if the Founding Emperor Era lasted for 300,000 years like the High Emperor Era, the Postcelestial Great Daos would be imprinted into the void and the gods of the Founding Emperor Era would be able to use Postcelestial to become Precelestial and form the new ancient gods. In that case, one could fight against the celestial heavens.”
Qin Mu's heart shuddered. The reason that the ancient gods supported the Founding Emperor Era was to create a new batch of ancient gods!
“Then, Founding Emperor's benefits would have aligned with ours. They would have become new ancient gods, and we could have worked together to eradicate the celestial heavens. In the end, Founding Emperor would have become the new ancient Celestial Emperor.”
Deity Xuan said, “Even if the Founding Emperor Era had only lasted 100,000 years, it could have become independent and sustainable still, which would have allowed us to split ourselves from the celestial heavens and prevented them from being able to attack us, the ancient gods. However, unexpectedly, the celestial heavens only gave it 20,000 years, which forced us to cooperate or die.”
He walked to the Jade Stage, shook his head, sighed, and whispered, “Only 20,000 years… As for Eternal Peace, hehe, 800 years.”
Qin Mu followed him and hesitated before asking, “Deity Xuan, there's something that I don't know whether I should ask. Your relationship with Deity Wu seems to be broken. Why is that?”
“You could tell that too?”
Deity Xuan sighed. “We were saints born from the celestial river. We controlled a part of it each, and we didn't interfere with each other's affairs. However, more ancient gods were born, and our individual strength was weaker than the big guys like Green Dragon and Celestial Empress. However, together, we were stronger than them.”
He led Qin Mu through the Jade Pool, which was also split into two.
The Black Tortoise Celestial Palace was smaller to the celestial heavens. If they walked anymore forward, they would reach the God Execution Stage.
Qin Mu's expression expressed his curiosity. The God Execution Stage was cut neatly as well. Even the God Execution Mysterious Knife, which had two Daos tangled together, was cut neatly too. All that was left was blood-colored baleful air.
Deity Xuan said, “We combined to protect ourselves and our status, which was why people called us North Deity Xuan Wu. However, later on, we found out that we had incompatible tempers, and we had a small fight every three days and a big one every five days. Life couldn't go on like that. Add to that how we were the strongest of the four deities, which caused people to instigate a split, and life got harder. Thus, we separated when we separated ourselves from the celestial heavens during the Dragon Han Era.”
He laughed. “The witch even wanted the kid to be cut in two! It was a good thing that You Ming made a mistake and got suppressed, or else he would've really been cut in half.”
Qin Mu was visibly perplexed. They were stubborn masters who even wanted to cut their child.
“Later on, the males came under my domain, while the females became hers. This became the norm for the North Pole as time went on.”
Deity Xuan said, “If that witch doesn't apologize, neither will I. I'm used to the split anyway.”
Many younglings were cultivating their divine swords with the blood-colored baleful air on the God Execution Stage. Those younglings criss-crossed through the knife light of the God Execution Mysterious Knife, which was treacherous, to help toughen their sword skills.
The divine swords they cultivated weren't sword pellets. Instead, they carried large gourds that contained the celestial river sword aura. When the gourds were opened, an ever-changing sword aura that resembled a torrential celestial river would fly out. Add to that the formation skills and Di Yiyue's Black Tortoise Six Directions Scriptures, and it became extremely powerful due to its grand magic power!
Qin Mu watched on the side of the God Execution Stage.
Using a gourd as a sword pouch was something unique to the North Pole. The combination of sword skills and formation skills befitted the unique Great Dao of Deity Wu and Deity Xuan, which was a new sight.
Deity Xuan asked, “What do you think, Celestial Venerable Mu?”
Qin Mu nodded and said, “There are unique things about the North Pole's Sword Dao. However, it's outdated, like the Founding Emperor Era's sword skills.”
Deity Xuan said, “We are most sensitive to changes in the Great Dao of Heaven and Earth. The reform of Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor opened three great basic sword skills, which pushed the stagnated Founding Emperor Era Sword Dao three steps forward. Celestial Venerable Mu's reform opened another two basic sword skills, which pushed it forward another two steps. Not long ago, I felt that the Sword Dao imprint became denser and stronger, meaning that someone opened another basic sword skill. As such, the strength of the Sword Dao is now comparable to that of the Precelestial Great Daos. Thus, the North Pole's Sword Dao pales in comparison to that of Eternal Peace.”
Qin Mu said, “The one who opened the twentieth sword form was Founding Emperor. His Sword Dao is too strong. I used his sword skills to beat up East Deity's reincarnation. He has returned.”
Deity Xuan's heart shuddered as he asked, “Is his accumulated power enough to fight against the celestial heavens after he hid in Carefree Village for 20,000 years?”
Qin Mu shook his head and laughed coldly. “Not at all. Instead, the corruption became comparable to that of the celestial heavens. If you want your Sword Dao to improve, you can send people to Eternal Peace. Eternal Peace continued the academic system of the Founding Emperor Era. There, the North Pole's Sword Dao experts can improve themselves.”
Deity Xuan hesitated. Suddenly, the gods of Xuan collected their celestial river sword aura and jumped from the God Execution Stage to look at Qin Mu.
A boy said, “To get us to learn in Eternal Peace, Celestial Venerable Mu must first prove that Eternal Peace's sword skills are superior to ours!”
Deity Xuan smiled and said, “Children are very competitive. Please don't blame him, Celestial Venerable.”
Qin Mu laughed and boarded the God Execution Stage. The God Execution Mysterious Knife cleaved towards him, yet it was cut in half by his sword. However, the knife was made from baleful air, so it reassembled itself and continued cleaving at him.
Qin Mu lifted his sword, and the God Execution Mysterious Knife was cut into 33 parts by one sword! It couldn't reassemble itself anymore.
“Superb sword skill!”
The gods beneath the stage cheered and said, “However, that's from the Founding Emperor Era, which is unrelated to your Eternal Peace!”
Qin Mu retrieved his blade, and the God Execution Mysterious Knife reassembled itself and cleaved towards him once again. Qin Mu lifted a finger, and the sword in his hand became the drill sword form, which broke the knife and cut it apart!
The sword reassembled itself, and Qin Mu turned his fingers. The sword light became rotating sword forms that almost annihilated the God Execution Mysterious Knife!
When the God Execution Mysterious Knife reassembled itself after much difficulty, Qin Mu's sword skill became the swim sword form, which swam with the God Execution Mysterious Knife. No matter how the divine knife of this devil was used or changed, it couldn't touch Qin Mu one bit.
Qin Mu formed the eighteenth sword form again, and the God Execution Mysterious Knife was cut to the point of becoming a deluge of heavenly flowers with no power at all.
When it reassembled itself, Qin Mu deployed the nineteenth sword form, and with one sword, the blood-colored baleful air was eradicated.
The expressions of the gods of the academy changed greatly. They looked at Deity Xuan with pleading expressions.
Deity Xuan's expression was uncertain. He was hesitant.
Qin Mu put away his sword and said, “The Knife Dao in Deity Xuan's God Execution Stage is too lowly, paling greatly in comparison to that of Eternal Peace. If you reforge it and hire a master of the knife from Eternal Peace, it wouldn't be so easy for me to break the God Execution Mysterious Knife.”
Deity Xuan clenched his teeth, shook his head, and said, “I can't decide. I was wrong about Founding Emperor. If I'm wrong again, the North Pole might face a drowning disaster! I can't gamble with your lives, I can't do that anymore…”
A god from the academy kneeled with his hands over his head and said, “If I knew what the correct path was, I would be able to die without regrets. However, we can't turn back from entering the sword path. We can only go towards the highest peak and climb it. Deity, please grant our wish!”
Deity Xuan was speechless.
The other gods of the academy kneeled and shouted, “Please grant our wish, Deity!”
Deity Xuan set his mind and said, “It's fine for all of you to go, but for the safety of the North Pole, I would chase you out of my clan. You would no longer be my descendants! Is that something you all want?”
Those sword gods of the academy looked at one another and hesitated.
Qin Mu stood there with his hands behind his back. The dragon qilin and Yan'er saw his palm trembling. He had clearly underestimated the God Execution Mysterious Knife by only using basic sword forms to annihilate it. The muscles on his arms were almost crushed.
Qin Mu leisurely said with an unchanged demeanor, “Founding Emperor is heading to Eternal Peace now. As his disciple, you might be able to see him if you rush there now.”
“We are willing!” the sword gods of the academy said in unison.