Li Qiye’s criticism deeply stabbed into Teng Jiwen’s deepest fear. It was mercilessly striking at the scar of their Heavenvine Citadel.
“We are not trash, parasites, or vermin to the ancestral vine!” In the end, he could only utter this sentence.
Li Qiye dismissively glanced at him: “In my eyes, there is not much of a difference. What are you all if not that? Your old geezers are all talk. Prove it, then, by acting as real descendants for the ancestral vine to see.”
Teng Jiwen took a deep breath and bowed to say: “Sir, keep waiting. The citadel will give you an answer within two days!”
He turned and left, determination evident in his firm steps.
Li Qiye smiled and closed his eyes for a moment of repose without a care. In his mind, it didn’t matter if the boy was going to ask for reinforcements or to persuade the ancestors. When the time was up, he would take away the calabash and do what must be done.
After Teng Jiwen left, the island became quiet; no disciples came to capture Li Qiye. It seemed like the youth didn’t go tell the ancestors to capture him.
On the evening of the second day, Teng Jiwen came back in a hurry with a gaunt demeanor, but his eyes were bright and full of vitality.
He took a deep breath and told Li Qiye: “Sir, our ancestors have agreed to the deal. As long as you can cure our ancestral vine, the calabash will be yours.”
Li Qiye looked at the boy and smirked before speaking: “It seems like I must reevaluate you. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to convince those geezers from your citadel. This requires great determination.”
“This is all to the credit of Master’s group.” Teng Jiwen sighed without any signs of complacency: “I have only done what any disciple of the citadel should do.”
“Very good, if the citadel comes under your leadership in the future, it will certainly be prosperous.” Li Qiye nodded.
The youth remained humble even after being praised. He bowed and asked: “Sir, may I ask when you will begin the treatment?”
“Right now.” Li Qiye flatly replied: “Time waits for no one. It is time to end the business here as I must go elsewhere.”
This startled the youth. He didn’t expect Li Qiye to start so soon. Keep in mind that many powerful alchemists had tried to cure this calamity to no avail.
Li Qiye told him: “Tell your ancestors to prepare. I will go to the forbidden area to cure your ancestral vine.”
The youth took a deep breath and went to carry out the command. Eventually, the citadel agreed for Li Qiye to begin anytime. It also opened the forbidden ground for him.
Many wise sages implemented an incomparable seal on the land near the ancestral vine. Without their permission, outsiders would have difficulty moving in this area, let alone launching an attack.
The citadel’s response and actions were quite swift this time. Who knew what Teng Jiwen did to lobby them? To be able to do so in just two short days was quite impressive for a junior like him.
Of course, Li Qiye wouldn’t care about such things. This was the citadel’s business, he only cared about curing the ancestral vine and taking the Heavenvine Calabash.
When everything was ready, Teng Jiwen and the citadel lord led Li Qiye to the forbidden ground.
In fact, the boy was only able to successfully persuade the ancestors because of his master’s support. Otherwise, a junior like him trying to convince those ancestors would have been much harder.
A couple moments later, they stood right outside of the forbidden ground. This was the most important location in the whole citadel. It had the densest amount of worldly energy. Legend states that one could enter the inner world of the ancestral vine through this forbidden ground, but no one had entered since the death of the treefather’s son.
Many disciples and ancestors were standing right outside of the forbidden ground at this moment. They were all important characters of the protector level and up. Some were supreme elders as well.
The treatment of the ancestral vine was of the highest importance to the citadel. Whether it was to be vigilant against Li Qiye or fear of accidents occurring during the process, in short, the citadel’s powerful forces were here to cope with any unexpected circumstances!
Li Qiye only gave this crowd a quick glimpse. Regardless of their preparations, he didn’t mind killing those who stood in his path.
“Hold it!” As Li Qiye was about to enter the forbidden ground, a shout rang out. Hao Yuzhen stood up.
This made Teng Jiwen and the citadel lord furrow their brows. They had reached a unanimous agreement regarding this deal. They didn’t want any complications that might cause the deal to turn awry, thus they had a bad feeling as she stood up.
Li Qiye glanced at her and lazily asked: “What’s the matter?”
She put on a business-like appearance as she coldly said: “You must hand over all of your belongings outside of the materials required for the healing process. Other items aren’t allowed inside the forbidden ground.”
Teng Jiwen raised his voice: “Junior sister, what are you doing?”
Hao Yuzhen was causing trouble on purpose. She didn’t know how he managed to convince the ancient ancestors in the sect, but at this moment, his position had soared and it was a great threat to her.
Therefore, she wanted to use this opportunity to stop Li Qiye. Stopping Li Qiye was the same as stopping Teng Jiwen!
“Ancestor, we reached an agreement about this matter, so what are these sudden complications?” The citadel lord was unhappy as well and looked over at Ancestor Hao.
Ancestor Hao slowly said: “The deal and agreement are still unchanged, but we must be cautious for the safety of the ancestral tree. Your alchemist is here for our treasure, who dares say that he won’t do anything shady in secret?”
The citadel lord glanced over at the other older ancestors here and asked: “Ancestors, what are your thoughts?”
“Alchemist Li can still bring items inside, but as a preventative measure, we must ask to check your items first.” An old ancestor spoke with a deep tone.
They were still very wary of Li Qiye. After Hao Yuzhen’s comment, they were indeed afraid of Li Qiye doing anything to the ancestral vine.
Despite being annoyed, the citadel lord and Teng Jiwen had no retorts. The reasoning was sound. Even though they weren’t necessarily cautious of Li Qiye, they still didn’t want to complicate the deal. Otherwise, all of their efforts would have been in vain.
“Did you hear that? Let us perform a full body search; every item of yours must be checked as well.” With the approval of the older ancestors, Hao Yuzhen was emboldened.
Li Qiye didn’t bother looking at her. He glanced over at the old ancestors from the citadel and smiled faintly while shaking his head: “There are a few excellent members in this place, so I thought that there would have been changes. It seems that in the end, it is still just a bunch of inflexible old men. What a disappointment.”
The older ancestors were not happy to hear this disdainful comment. Meanwhile, the master and disciple pair turned bitter. This matter had taken a sudden turn for the worse.
“Naive fool, you dare to shame our citadel? Take this!” This was a rare opportunity, so Hao Yuzhen naturally wouldn’t let it go. Her palm aimed for his face. 1
However, before this slap could reach Li Qiye, her hand was suddenly gripped by him. He stared directly at her face and smiled: “An idiot like you dares to scream in front of me? You don’t know life from death!”
“Crank! Crack!” He crushed her slender, jade-white arm before even finishing his sentence. 2
“Help!” She screamed for assistance. Her reaction was too slow, Li Qiye’s right hand was already clutching her milky pale neck.
He was way too fast. Even the ancestors here had a difficult time seeing him move. Before they knew it, he already had her raised into the air by the neck.
1. “Take this” in the raws was actually “Slap (his) mouth”. It’s fine in Chinese because people know that she is referring to slapping the face as a punishment for disrespect. It just sounds weird in English that she is announcing her own punishment while carrying it out herself. “Take this” makes more sense as a localization versus “Slap him” or “Take this slap”. Maybe “you deserved to be slapped” would make sense as well. 2. Raw here is jade-white arm like a spring onion. The root of a spring onion is white, so it is describing that color.