The Peacock Peak was where the treefather died and turned into a gigantic tree.
It was tall enough to pierce into the white clouds and blue sky, a giant standing and protecting everything on this continent.
Not just anyone could come here. Only cultivators at a particular level who could withstand the power of the peak could climb up.
One would see that the top of the peak was completely flat like a small martial ground. The stone surface seemed to have been polished.
In the past, countless treant disciples came here and meditated when the Peacock Tree was still exuberant with life. They wanted to rely on the tree to understand the grand dao.
Countless people came and went, leaving their footsteps behind which was why the stone surface here was so shiny.
Li Qiye came very early to perform an offering ceremony for the Peacock Tree. In fact, this was him sending away one of the great treefathers to the end of his journey.
The withering of the tree was only a matter of time. Everything would turn into ashes afterward. The world would lose the remaining traces of the treefather.
When they arrived, some people could be seen already worshipping the tree.
The tree itself was not very tall, only around three meters tall. The body was old with hardened bark. The cracked bark resembled dragon scales. Although they had lost their luster, one could still feel their toughness.
There weren’t that many branches left, only around three or five with very few leaves growing on them. Although these leaves were still quite green, they gave off a sense of withering.
Plumes of smoke were curling before the tree. People were lighting incense in order to worship him.
There was a young man wearing a hemp robe. Even though he didn’t emit a powerful aura, a very majestic power emerged when he blinked.
His whole body exuded the breath of vegetation, making others want to approach him. He was clearly from the Treant Race. Three old men stood behind him, all with vast blood energies. One didn’t even need to look at them to know that they were experts. It was easy to infer the young man’s status if he had these three old men as his company.
In fact, people besides Li Qiye and this young man came to offer their respects from all over. Everyone knew that in the near future, the Peacock Tree will die.
The human cultivators in this world were grateful for his protection for so many generations. This land gave them a place to live and work.
After offering the incense, the young man stood there and watched the smoke drift away without saying anything.
Once Li Qiye and Kong Qinru made it to the top, the young man finally said: “Let’s go.”
With that, he and the old men left. As he was walking by, he bowed to greet Li Qiye and Kong Qinru in a very polite manner.
Kong Qinru nodded back to reciprocate the gesture while Li Qiye didn’t say anything, he only gave a quick glance.
After that group left, Li Qiye flatly said: “A good pair of wood pupils, it has been awhile since someone like that showed up from the treants.”
She was surprised to hear him say this. With a single glance, Li Qiye could discern the person’s secret — this was a bit too terrifying.
She stated: “He is one of the descendants of the Heavenvine Citadel, Teng Jiwen. He has reached Virtuous Paragon a few years earlier, a very promising youth.”
Because of her concealment, the youth from earlier couldn’t recognize her. However, since she was the valley lord, she recognized many famous cultivators in this world.
Li Qiye didn’t say anything else and stepped before the Peacock Tree. He placed down his incense sticks and stared at the withering tree in silence for a long time.
Eventually, he gently sighed and said: “Eternal life is too far away. Even a treefather cannot escape death and has to return to the origin in the end.”
With that, he lit up the incense and bowed towards the Peacock Tree. In his eyes, the treefather was still an amazing existence. Moreover, he had protected the humans for many generations.
Kong Qinru did the same with reverence straight from the heart.
After the ceremony, Li Qiye gently touched the tree’s hard bark. With a buzz, his hand suddenly disappeared into the tree like passing through a portal of water.
He closed his eyes and stood there as if he was sleeping. After a while, he withdrew his hand and concluded: “The Peacock Tree will die within fifty thousand years.”
This was shocking to Kong Qinru. She thought the treefather could still hold on for another two or three generations, so this was much faster than she imagined.
She murmured in a daze: “Only fifty thousand years?”
Li Qiye spoke emotionlessly: “To be exact, it could struggle on for another forty thousand years. The rest of the time will depend on how much it is attached to this land. Regardless, that day will come when it has to let everything go.”
Suddenly, she became quite dejected. She felt helpless because there was nothing she could do to change the situation. She could only sigh and say: “Even treefathers will die one day. No one can save them. I just hope that it will come slowly.”
“Who told you that?” Li Qiye chuckled under the tree: “It depends on the person. Going against the heavens to replenish one’s longevity is not an impossible matter.”
Such words were like bells ringing in her mind. She immediately looked up to stare at the nonchalant fella in disbelief while trembling.
“You, you mean to say that you can replenish the Peacock Tree’s lifespan?” She nervously stared at him while shaking despite being a great valley lord.
He glanced at her then back at the tree and lightly said: “Even though these treefathers take root in the earth, they are still similar to cultivators with a chance to replenish their life. This applies to the Peacock Tree. Moreover, it has never undergone this procedure before, so the probability of success is even higher.”
“Are, are you telling the truth?” She suddenly became spirited with hope filling her heart while looking at Li Qiye with excitement.
“My words are a hundred times more precious than pearls.” He looked at her and stated: “Besides, this is common knowledge. Going against the heavens to replenish life is the most basic technique of an alchemist.”
If any alchemist was present, they would be vomiting blood in anger or be struck with such great insecurity that they would feel the urge to commit suicide by slamming into tofu.
Life replenishment was a very lofty goal for alchemists, only Legendary Alchemists were able to accomplish this. Moreover, success was not certain either. But now, according to Li Qiye, this was the most basic of means.
“So you are saying that you can replenish the tree’s life?” Her eyes were bright as she tried to get confirmation.
“It’s possible.” He said while looking at the tree: “Since it has never done this before, the first life replenishment has very good odds and the length will be quite long. For an existence like this tree, living for another eight or ten generations would not be a problem if the procedure is successful.”
She exclaimed: “Then what are you waiting for? Hurry and replenish its life!”
He slowly looked back at her and said: “Why should I replenish its life? It is not my relative or an elder.”
“You are a human!” She stated: “The tree has protected the human race so long that it’s only right for you to reciprocate the kindness.”
Li Qiye chuckled and shook his head in response: “Little girl, why do you think so? There have been many people who have accomplished many things for the human race. Does that mean that I have to do something for them or their descendants as well? Countless wise sages and invincible existences have fought for the survival of the human race; compared to them, the things that the Peacock Tree have done can’t reach the apex.”
“You…” Her face turned red; she didn’t know what to say in this situation.
He glanced over her direction and flatly said: “There are choices in everything and everyone. For example, the old wise sages pushing the human race forward or the Peacock Tree taking root in this place; they have made their decision. They walked on this path not to ask for repayment from the future generations. They simply walked on their own path with great responsibility and perseverance, staying true to their pursuit to the very end.”