While leisurely drinking his wine at the tavern, someone finally came. It was Teng Jiwen, followed by the three old men.
Li Qiye gave a faint smile after seeing him and said: “You all have been following me for a long time now, so this can’t be a coincidence.”
Teng Jiwen didn’t hide anything after hearing this. He came forward and bowed: “This little brother’s name is Teng Jiwen of the Heavenvine Citadel. Sir, I admire you, so I have decided to stay here to watch you. Please excuse us.”
He was quite polite and candid. As someone from a treefather’s lineage, he was not arrogant at all. This was quite rare.
Li Qiye glanced at him and said: “If I cared about it, you wouldn’t be standing here and talking to me right now.” Having said that, he tapped on the table with his finger.
Teng Jiwen bowed again with cupped fists before sitting down. He looked at Li Qiye but was quite hesitant for he was searching for the right words.
Li Qiye chuckled: “Speak, my time is very precious so I can’t sit here all day to entertain you.”
Teng Jiwen took a deep breath and spoke: “Sir, you have a supreme dao of alchemy. Your techniques are wonderful, to be able to see your method of revival—”
“No need to flatter me.” Li Qiye waved his sleeve with a smile: “I know my alchemy dao is supreme and matchless. I am the best alchemist in the nine heavens and ten earths.”
Teng Jiwen was suddenly dumbfounded. If Li Qiye praised himself like that, there was no need for him to say anything else.
He lamented this situation deep inside. Other people would start acting quite humble, but this person actually boasted even more!
Teng Jiwen went straight to the point after making up his mind: “Sir, can you really replenish the life an ancestral tree?”
Li Qiye gave a mysterious smile: “I can also cure your ancestral vine. After the calamity, its situation should be quite bad.”
“You…” Teng Jiwen’s expression shifted as he stood up and took several steps back. The chair behind him was knocked down in the process.
The three old men had similar expressions. They stared at Li Qiye intensely, making the situation tense. This was because only the upper echelons of the citadel knew about this matter. Teng Jiwen was a descendant-level disciple, so he knew as well. Ordinary disciples didn’t know about it.
Li Qiye sat there nonchalantly while sipping more wine: “Don’t have any stupid thoughts such as killing me to keep it a secret or I’ll bury you under the Peacock Tree as fertilizer.”
In just a moment, the elders glanced at each other. They didn’t know what kind of power this man ahead had, but they didn’t dare to act carelessly.
Teng Jiwen took a deep breath and gently waved his hand towards the three elders. They then converged their auras and slowly retreated to the side.
He went back to the table and cupped his fists: “Sir, you are quite well-informed. May I ask how you found out about this?”
Li Qiye lazily replied: “Why dwell on this dull topic? Not too many things can hide from me in this world. You stayed behind to see my dao of alchemy, so this is naturally what you were aiming for.”
Teng Jiwen responded: “Sir, the truth is that this little brother is very interested in your dao of alchemy. After all, very few people in history are capable of such a feat.”
Li Qiye waved his hand dismissively: “There’s no need to waste time with polite formalities. You just want to ask me to save your ancestral tree.”
“Sir, you are correct.” He knew he couldn’t hide it any longer and decisively stated: “I do have this thought simply because your dao of alchemy is matchless.”
“Requesting my service is not difficult, but you need to be mentally prepared. My asking price is very high.” With that, Li Qiye turned around and left.
However, he left one last message as he was walking away: “You better decide soon. My time is precious; if you miss this opportunity, it will be your lifelong regret.”
Teng Jiwen mulled over the situation left in silence after Li Qiye.
One of the old men said: “Asking an outsider with an unclear background to cure our treefather is too dangerous. I’m afraid the ancestors will not agree.”
A different one shared this sentiment with a nod: “We don’t know anything about this person. It is still too early to know if his dao of alchemy is actually matchless or not. If he can do it, then it’ll be easy. If he can’t, it will be a big disadvantage to you. Your opponent will use this against you and, with one misstep, you will never be able to redeem yourself. At that time, not to mention competing for the position of the citadel lord, you might not even have a place to stay in the city.”
“I know that full well.” Teng Jiwen wryly smiled: “But if he is truly a master, isn’t this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? In the present times, how many people in the Heaven Spirit World actually have the ability to cure a treefather?”
He paused with a sigh: “I know, the wise decision is to recognize the complexity that lies within and focus on winning the position of the citadel lord first. However, if we truly miss this chance, then it would be a huge regret for our city as a whole.”
“That might be true, but such a great event should be decided by the elders.” The old man called Third Uncle said: “Just focus on becoming the lord for now. If you are truly determined, it won’t be too late after you take the position.”
“But the issue is, will this opportunity wait for us?” He replied: “If he is truly able to replenish the Peacock Tree, then it shows just how heaven-defying his alchemy is. He would become famous the moment he successfully carries out this task. At that time, people all over the world would come begging him, including many imperial lineages and treefather heritages, to prolong their ancestors’ life and trees!”
“And once the nine worlds are reconnected, there would be an even larger world in front of him; even more would kneel before him to ask for life replenishment.” Teng Jiwen said: “At that point, he would be the ultimate alchemist, would he bother looking at us then? It’s just as he had put it, this will become our lifelong regret.”
The man called Third Uncle responded: “But these are only his words. He might not have this ability. Otherwise, he would be famous already.”
“Some things in this world can’t be judged with common sense. The world is too vast with many great and eccentric people.” Teng Jiwen said with a tinge of helplessness: “In my opinion, he isn’t a man of empty words. Without absolute confidence, no one would say such things. It is unwise to deceive and offend our Heavenvine Citadel unless he is powerful enough.”
After hearing this, the three old men glanced at each other. One of them said: “Even if you believe so, the other ancestors might not necessarily agree with you.”
Teng Jiwen took a deep breath and replied: “Rest assured, I will certainly be able to convince them. I’m confident in this.”
The three old men had nothing else to say after seeing that Teng Jiwen had made up his mind. In fact, his good foresight was one of the reasons why he was a top candidate to become the citadel lord.
Li Qiye went back to the Exquisite Valley’s abode for several days and, sure enough, Teng Jiwen came to find him.
Kong Qinru asked: “Young Noble, were you waiting for him to come?” She knew that Li Qiye was no joke. If he didn’t wish for it, Teng Jiwen wouldn’t be here right now.
“Yes, I have been waiting for him to come since I do need to go to the Heavenvine Citadel.” Li Qiye chuckled.
“The Heavenvine Citadel?” She was surprised and asked: “What about the Peacock Tree then?”
Li Qiye shook his head in response: “Can’t rush this matter. We have done what we need to do for now. Give it time to digest. When the time is right, I will carry out the last step.”
He looked at her and continued: “This is mainly because in order to have a successful replenishment, we still need some more special items.”
She said with haste: “What else is needed? The Exquisite Valley will get them for you.”
Li Qiye shook his head: “They aren’t things you lot can obtain. I have to do it in person.”
She realized something and asked: “Does the Heavenvine Citadel have them?”
“Yes, a very important item, the key to replenishing the Peacock Tree.” He replied with a smile.
She said: “I think the citadel won’t give it up so willingly.” How could a treefather’s lineage give away their treasure to an outsider, and a human at that?
“I have always gotten what I wanted.” Li Qiye smirked.
Such domineering words left her slack-jawed. She eventually said: “Young Noble, you want to rob them?”