Eventually, he took a deep breath while tightening his grip on the huge hammer. He clenched his teeth and made up his mind before ruthlessly slamming it down.
“Clink!” With a pleasing sound, the jade pillar shattered in one hit as if it was made out of glass. Countless fragments fell down from the sky like dust.
The citadel lord and the Sunflower Forefather both shouted: “Impossible!” They were both aghast and lost in disbelief.
The citadel lord looked in bewilderment at his hammer since he didn’t expect to destroy the jade pillar in just one smash. He wondered if his hammer had always been this strong.
“What… this can’t be. The seal is still here with the surviving jade pillar, but why is it completely undamaged?” The Sunflower Forefather was overwhelmed with shock.
As for Teng Jiwen, he stood there looking silly because he didn’t know what was happening. He had never been here before, so he had no clue about this seal or the calamity.
“Where is the calamity? It isn’t here!” The forefather swept through the entire citadel with his divine intent, but there was no trace of it.
“Oh no, damn it!” In the end, even someone in a high position like the forefather cursed vulgarly. He thought of one possibility!
“Fuck, don’t tell me, the calamity has secretly invaded the ancestral vine!” His soul left his body when he came up with this conjecture and he felt his knees giving in.
“The ancestral vine has been invaded—” The citadel lord had the same reaction after hearing his forefather. The hammer in his hands fell straight to the ground.
“That’s… impossible…” The lord was dumbfounded. Until now, all the ancestors and even the Sunflower Forefather were confident in sealing the calamity within the seal. It was just that they had no way of destroying it.
Because of this, they had always been confident. The sealed calamity couldn’t cause any damage. It was only a bit problematic that they couldn’t destroy it. The seal gave them confidence and the illusion of having ample time to find the right alchemist to get rid of it once and for all.
“It is gone…” The distressed forefather dropped to the ground. At this moment, he knew where it had gone and what they would have to face.
He was scared out of his wits just imagining it. No one would be able to reverse this disaster. The citadel lord thought of the vine’s imminent demise as well. He was dazed while his legs trembled.
“Is it that serious?” Teng Jiwen didn’t know the implications of the calamity escaping the seal, so he had to ask after seeing his seniors act this way.
“Very serious.” The forefather calmed down and stood up to take a deep breath: “A disaster is looming over our heads. Within just two generations, our citadel might turn into ashes!”
“In just two generations?!” Teng Jiwen was shocked. This timeline felt far too short when a real disaster was approaching.
The forefather glanced over the broken jade fragments that contained nothing. He was still as amazed as before: “How could this have happened? The seal is untouched so our citadel was not notified. How could it have escaped?”
“You have to understand what this is.” Li Qiye flatly said: “All of you wanted to steal from the villainous heavens, do you think the punishment it sent down would be this easy to seal? If the bastard was so easily dealt with, it would no longer be the villainous heavens. If it was so easy to oppose him, there would be more than just one Immortal Emperor in each generation.”
Teng Jiwen looked over towards Li Qiye: “Sir, can you cure it?” At this moment, Li Qiye was the only hope for their citadel.
The Sunflower Forefather smiled wryly and said: “It is not a matter of just treating it anymore. The calamity has fled into the ancestral vine’s body and could even have taken root deep inside. We have to go there and remove it at the source, but that might mean uprooting the entire vine.”
Teng Jiwen’s heart fluttered after hearing this. He didn’t expect the problem to be so serious. Prior to this, Li Qiye had said that their ancestral vine didn’t have much longer to live. He was skeptical back then and felt that it was only a threat. Who would have thought that it was the truth?
“The real issue is that we can’t enter, no one has been able to do so for many generations.” The citadel lord was almost paralyzed on the ground. This news was completely devastating to the citadel; it caught them off guard like thunder in a clear sky.
“No, one person was able to enter.” The forefather explained: “The Supreme Forefather was able to do so. He was the only child of the progenitor; not only was he a Vine Controller, he also inherited the bloodline.”
Teng Jiwen had to ask Li Qiye: “Sir, you are also a Vine Controller, can you go inside?”
Li Qiye looked at them and smiled: “Right now, I feel like the Heavenvine Calabash alone is too low of a price.”
The forefather immediately looked at Li Qiye: “My lord, what do you want? Just say the word and our citadel will make it happen!”
He felt that Li Qiye could actually succeed in curing the vine at this time.
The citadel lord added: “Yes, please. Anything will be fine.”
If this was before, they wouldn’t be so anxious since they thought that time was on their side. But now, with the new findings on the calamity, they finally understood how insignificant they were. Each and every disciple of the citadel was willing to protect the ancestral vine regardless of the price.
Li Qiye glanced at the forefather and slightly narrowed his eyes: “If I wanted other things from your citadel, would I need to wait until now? I already reached an agreement with your ancestral vine, just the calabash will be enough.”
The rest of the group became quite emotional after hearing this. Keep in mind that regardless of what Li Qiye wanted, the citadel would have to give it to him. However, he only wanted the calabash in the end.
“My lord, the citadel will forever remember your kindness. If you ever need us in the future, just send the command. Our citadel will answer your call and run through fire without question!” The forefather kneeled to the ground and made a solemn promise.
The citadel lord and Teng Jiwen prostrated as well. In their minds, they would owe a debt to Li Qiye, one that was higher than the sky and deeper than the sea.
“Let’s go.” Li Qiye looked at them before turning and walking away. The forefather calmed down and immediately followed behind him.
The group eventually came before a mountain. Li Qiye slowly pressed his hand against its rocky wall. With a buzz, vine branches drilled out from the muddy ground.
The snake-like vine branches instantly wandered all around the cliff. In a short period of time, they wove into a door on its surface.
The Sunflower Forefather murmured after seeing this: “The portal into the inner world of the ancestral vine is right here…”
For millions of years, only the son of the ancestral vine was able to enter this inner world. Li Qiye stepped inside with the rest of the group hurrying after him.
The scene inside was an eye-opener even for the forefather since this was his very first visit.
The master and disciple duo were amazed as well after seeing the branches that resembled dragons. This truly made them understand how invincible their treefather was.
Teng Jiwen eventually asked after calming down: “Can cultivators reside in this world?”
Li Qiye smiled: “Why should its descendants be allowed to stay in this place? So that they can extract the immense vitality within as well? To suck out all of the essences from the depths of the earth? The reason why an ancestral tree can live for so long is due to the life force and essences of this world circulating around their roots without rest. The loss in this process is very minimal. Otherwise, the trees wouldn’t last more than two generations.”
He felt that Li Qiye’s answer was very reasonable. If future generations were allowed into this world, they would refine these energies into their own. After a while, they would squeeze their ancestral tree dry. He understood why they weren’t allowed inside either. This was another defensive measure.