Despite Li Qiye’s denial of being a Vine Controller, the Sunflower Forefather was still very excited: “After so many years, we have finally waited long enough for a Vine Controller to appear. We shall be able to rise in this generation…”
“Old man, you are overthinking things.” Li Qiye interrupted the forefather again and spoke in a lackadaisical manner: “This Vine Controller thing or the citadel rising… I don’t have any interest in this. I am only here to make a deal.”
Despite Li Qiye’s lack of interest, the forefather pressed on with some wishful thinking. He shouted at the experts and said: “What are you waiting for?! Come and greet his venerable Vine Controller. His will is the will of the ancestral vine!”
In the mind of the forefather, this was a one and only chance of this generation. This was a Vine Controller! If he could keep the guy here, his ability would be absolutely priceless for their citadel.
The experts here felt quite confused, but after carefully thinking things through, it made a little sense. Even though Li Qiye was an outsider, he has clearly been accepted by the ancestral vine. Now, even the forefather has recognized Li Qiye’s identity. This meant that Li Qiye had won the will of the ancestral vine.
The experts came forward to bow towards Li Qiye. This sudden reversal was like a dream. A few moments ago, they were trapped in a fight to the death against Li Qiye, but now he had become the representative of the ancestral vine.
“Go back and do some personal reflection. There are things that can be done and things that shouldn’t be done.” In the end, the forefather yelled at the experts from the citadel before chasing them away.
Eventually, the only juniors left were the citadel lord and Teng Jiwen.
“Vine Controller, since you are already here, please stay at our citadel. There are many juniors that require your guidance…” The Sunflower Forefather smiled brightly.
Li Qiye was not interested in being this so-called vine controller. He halted the forefather again: “I won’t bother with this kind of laborious undertaking. My time is limited, I am only responsible for curing the ancestral vine. After taking the calabash away, I will have nothing to do with this place.”
“Er—” The forefather couldn’t find an excuse to reject his refusal. He could only smile wryly: “That’s fine, that’s fine, we’ll focus on the ancestral vine then.”
He was someone who understood the logic that an impatient person shouldn’t be eating hot tofu. It would be troublesome to push Li Qiye too much. 1
He led Li Qiye into the forbidden ground. Meanwhile, the master-disciple duo finally regained their composure and quickly followed. Even in their wildest dreams, neither of them could have expected the change of tides.
After Li Qiye killed Hao Yuzhen, they knew that the deal was over and that ultimately, they might not escape unscathed. Even if their citadel was strong enough to catch Li Qiye, the two of them would still be responsible for this disaster.
But in the end, Li Qiye was in complete control of the situation. At this time, Teng Jiwen finally understood why Li Qiye was so confident about forcing this transaction. He now realized Li Qiye’s ace and where his confidence stemmed from.
The group saw a majestic landscape with peaks towering all the way to the sky dome. Vine leaves were whirling high above. This place truly gave the sensation of being a kingdom of elves.
These protrusions with lush trees and flowing rivers as well as the gigantic vine towering to the sky would make the unaware believe that they were lost in an untouched eden.
The worldly energy was plentiful. Of course, there was also the force of life coming from the ancestral vine. This was the most important location in the Heavenvine Citadel, hence its exuberance.
This was definitely a holy land for cultivation, but not just anyone was eligible to train in this place.
Eventually, the forefather brought Li Qiye to the highest peak of this area. A vine was drooping down from the sky. It was quite thick and resembled jade pillars. It emitted a faint luster as if it was the green vein of the heavens.
This sight would make people recall a certain legend. When a cultivator dies and becomes an immortal, their body would also turn into jade. This vine branch was awfully similar to this legend, so it made people envision the scene of the Heavenvine Treefather meeting his end and turning into this tree.
“A treefather’s atavistic end to return to the earth, it is quite an incredible sight.” Li Qiye looked at this vine and said: “During that great moment, heaven and earth would shift with wondrous images as the treefather ascends into a jade form.”
Teng Jiwen and the citadel lord were surprised because they hadn’t heard of this description before.
The forefather praised: “My lord, you have such great knowledge, worthy of admiration and awe. When the treefather returned to the earth, those images were indeed present.”
Li Qiye gave the forefather a dismissive glance” “Don’t rush to praise me, I’m about to be frank. After the treefather returned to the earth, there should have been two of these jade pillars, but now there is only one left and even it is about to disappear. Everything has been ruined by the hands of his unfilial descendants.”
The forefather coughed awkwardly after hearing this while the duo kept quiet without daring to say a word. In the citadel, who would dare to talk this way to their forefather? But right now, he was being scolded by Li Qiye like a junior. There was no way they could add their own comments in this circumstance.
“From the two jade pillars back then, one bore fruit to the Heavenvine Calabash. Later on, when Immortal Emperor Bu Si collapsed, my senior brother wanted to go all out and tried to steal from the heavens so that another fruit could come to be…” The Sunflower Forefather lamented at this point with a soft sigh.
Back then, not only did they fail in their attempt, they also suffered grievous losses.
“Not everything will go according to plans in this world. One can only say that you old geezers were too greedy for wanting another calabash. Were you all trying to squeeze your ancestral vine dry?” Li Qiye sneered.
The forefather rubbed his palms while showing an awkward smile: “Because of that, my senior brothers also wanted to pour the essences of the Heaven’s Will into the ancestral ground to revitalize the ancestor…”
“You all were too bold, greedy, and insane.” Li Qiye snorted: “A treefather from the Treant Race returning to the earth and taking root to live on is already an act against the heavens, but you all even tried to steal its essences? What was this if not courting death?”
The forefather helplessly replied: “No one knew that such a thing would happen back then. It was already too late once we realized it. The other jade pillar was destroyed while the heavens unleashed its scourge upon us.”
Li Qiye coldly said: “Greed is one thing, but to not understand your own limits to this point… Of course the heavens would send down its punishment. If you all had an Immortal Emperor overseeing things, then it might have been a successful struggle. However, relying on you old bones alone? Heh, it was already very fortunate that the villainous heavens didn’t render your citadel to ashes.”
The forefather sighed again. Several of his senior brothers died miserably during this disaster, not to mention the calamity left behind on their ancestral vine.
Meanwhile, the duo quietly listened. Even though the citadel lord knew a lot, this was the first time he had heard about the details of the past.
While looking at the jade pillar that resembled a tendon of the heavens, Li Qiye ordered the lord: “Go up there and break it!”
“Break it?” The lord felt his legs suddenly become weak and thought that he had misheard. This jade pillar was extremely significant to their citadel. Smashing it was tantamount to smashing their own treasure.
“Break it?” Even the forefather turned silly. He stared at Li Qiye in disbelief and said: “This is the only one left, if you break it now—”
Li Qiye dismissively countered: “Break it and you will understand.”
The citadel lord glanced over at the forefather. He didn’t dare to do such a thing.
The forefather took a deep breath and commanded: “Break it. If his lordship orders it, it must be correct.”
The citadel lord took a deep breath then flew into the sky with a huge hammer in his hands. Both of his hands were trembling at this moment. With one smash, he would personally be destroying the most precious treasure in the Heavenvine Citadel. Perhaps he would even become a sinner of his sect.
1. Okay, the explanation for this is that when you cook tofu, an outer layer is formed, trapping the heat inside so it won’t look hot. Someone impatient would start eating right away and burn their tongue.