After an internal deliberation for his next question, Teng Jiwen asked Li Qiye: “If the citadel doesn’t hand the calabash over in two days, will you take it by force?”
“Correct.” Li Qiye chuckled: “Two days is all you have before you must hand it over.”
“You…” He didn’t know whether to be scared or angry. Li Qiye was being quite blunt with his intentions.
Li Qiye raised his teacup again and took an elegant sip: “There’s no need to be angry. Trust me, even though I am a fierce person that is unreasonable at times, I won’t take your calabash for granted. I will cure your ancestral tree, a quid pro quo.”
Teng Jiwen had been finding it difficult to choose his words when talking to Li Qiye. It was just as the man said, even if he took the calabash by force, as long as he were to cure the ancestral vine, the ultimate outcome would still be the same. The only thing different would be the process.
“But you should ready yourself.” Li Qiye drank another mouthful and smiled: “I am not a nice guy. I won’t show any mercy to those who try to stop me, and you are no exception.” A light flashed in his eyes after uttering these words.
Teng Jiwen felt a cold chill after seeing the glint as if something sharp had pricked his heart. At the same time, he felt death looming over him. He took a deep breath and said: “The Heavenvine Citadel isn’t a place where people can come and go as they please. Not even a Godking could tread freely within our walls, let alone become our enemy.”
His statement was not a threat, he was simply telling the truth. The citadel was powerful enough to the point where no one could look down on it. Moreover, who would dare to do anything foolish while the ancestral vine was protecting it?
“You underestimate me too much.” Li Qiye laughed and shook his head: “You still don’t know who you are facing or the gravity behind your citadel’s choice. Do you think I am scared of the citadel after choosing to come here all by myself? Do you think I even place it in my sight?”
Such words left Teng Jiwen breathless. They were arrogant and aggressive to the point of being humiliatingly offensive.
Someone was blustering and viewing his citadel in such a contemptuous manner. As its descendant, even though he was very well-mannered, a blazing fury still rose in his heart. Even a mud Buddha would become angry at times.
“Sir, your words are too outrageous. In the entire Heaven Spirit World, not too many people would dare to say them in front of me.” He took a deep breath and glared at Li Qiye while deepening his tone.
“Look me in the eye.” Li Qiye retorted: “Do you see the Heavenvine Citadel in there?!”
Teng Jiwen shivered and subconsciously stared straight into Li Qiye’s eyes.
He immediately felt something with just a glimpse and took several thumping steps backward with a shocked expression.
What he saw was bloodthirst, a bloodthirst that blotted out the sun; one that would slay any god that attempted to block its path! This direct and naked bloodthirst couldn’t be faked.
A wanton will to murder was the most terrifying emotion. It was a force that instilled an instinctive fear in others, thus it was also the most authentic sensation.
Teng Jiwen was frightened by this murderous aura. At this second, he understood that Li Qiye truly wasn’t lying to him and that he would really kill anyone that stood in his way.
Regardless of where his confidence stemmed from, he knew that Li Qiye really didn’t care for the Heavenvine Citadel. He would truly start a massacre in this place.
“You…” He stared at Li Qiye with awe and anger. At this time, he was full of regret for bringing a wolf into his own home, an unlucky star to the citadel.
Li Qiye withdrew his gaze and blinked before putting the teacup down again: “There’s no need to feel regret or anger, you did not bring an enemy to the citadel.”
The dazed youth asked: “What do you mean?”
Li Qiye smiled and said: “Think about it, even if you didn’t bring me here, how would that stop me from wanting the calabash? I need it in order to heal the Peacock Tree, so whether you led me here or not doesn’t matter at all.”
Nevertheless, Teng Jiwen still felt guilty because it was him who took Li Qiye here.
Li Qiye began: “Instead of standing there hating me or feeling regretful, why not seize the opportunity?”
He looked at Li Qiye and asked: “What opportunity?”
“A chance to maintain the peace of your citadel.” Li Qiye lightly said: “Me telling you to bring me here was to give you and the citadel a chance for peace. Complete the trade willingly and there will be no need for killing, for blood to stain these walls. This is a transaction beneficial to both sides.”
“Take this chance and I won’t have to bother cutting people’s heads off one by one, and your citadel won’t have to lose that many people. Finally, everyone would happily end this deal with a smile on their faces.” Li Qiye glanced at the youth after saying this.
The boy blurted out: “But you are just forcing us! How is this a deal? Do we actually have a say in this matter—”
Li Qiye interrupted him with a wave of his sleeve: “What you are choosing is the trade or the collapse of the ancestral vine and your citadel turning into ashes! To be frank, right now, your citadel only consists of a bunch of idiots…”
Having said that, his glare turned cold: “A group of greedy fools that only want everything without paying the price. Your ancestral vine’s calamity has lasted for how many years? Yet you all have failed to eradicate it. Were you willing to pay a fortune to look for an alchemist in the nine worlds? The answer is no, the effort has never been there. This so-called search for an alchemist was only a little sham…”
“… To be even harsher, the descendants of the Heavenvine Citadel are a bunch of parasites latching onto the vine itself! You’re all only worrying about your own desires instead of thinking about the ancestral vine. Meanwhile, those undying geezers struggling to live till now, are they actually thinking about trading away the calabash? No, they simply don’t want to die! In their eyes, their dog lives are more important than the calamity that is tormenting their ancestral vine!” He sneered with disdain.
“If you weren’t the treefather’s descendant, I’m sure it would have trampled all of you to death, a bunch of vermins and parasites!” He was particularly harsh this time.
This denunciation left Teng Jiwen’s complexion red and white. At this moment, he had even forgotten to refute.
“We, we still have plenty of time…” He replied weakly. In fact, he didn’t know if this was true or not. If Li Qiye was speaking the truth, then they didn’t have that much time left.
“Plenty of time?” Li Qiye laughed: “How many times do you think those geezers have been repeating this phrase? Ever since the end of Immortal Emperor Bu Si, how many generations have passed?”
“Your ancestors only know how to spiel this worthless drivel and have never proven it with any actions! Just a bunch of trash!” Li Qiye sneered in disdain and said: “Go repeat every single word I have said to them. Let them know that they are all talk, a bunch of useless parasites! So what if they are strong? Using the calabash to prolong their own lives without doing shit, there is nothing more useless than them!”
Teng Jiwen was quite stimulated by this blatant disdain. He wanted to retort, but no words came out of his gaping mouth. He felt completely powerless to refute Li Qiye.
“If I didn’t want the calabash to save the Peacock Tree, I wouldn’t bother coming here. Your ancestral vine’s fate has nothing to do with me. To be frank, if I didn’t have to save the Peacock Tree, even if your ancestors prostrated before me while handing over the calabash to save your ancestral vine, I wouldn’t care about your citadel’s bullshit!” Li Qiye coldly stared at the youth.
Teng Jiwen stood there for a moment, speechless. At this minute, he felt his voice waning away. This was because Li Qiye’s words had penetrated his innermost thoughts. He was right, the citadel had never cared or tried to save the ancestral vine.