Within the vine was a vast world of gigantic and circling roots. Some soared to the sky to reach close to the clouds…
Waterfalls descended from above with mud piles as high as mountains. Some green roots intricately twisted together to resemble gigantic monsters.
Dazzling glimmers shone from all over the sky, as if many stars were hanging up there.
If there was a difference between the inner worlds of the Peacock Tree and the Heavenvine Tree, it would be that the roots here were much more powerful and full of life. The stars above were brighter as well.
Teng Jiwen noticed the starlight above and asked: “Are those stars?”
The Sunflower Forefather and the citadel lord lifted their heads as well since they didn’t know the answer.
“Those are Age Stars.” Li Qiye glanced at them and explained: “The dimming of these Age Stars signifies the time of withering. It is just like the life rings of a tree — they signify how long the tree has left to live.”
Teng Jiwen continued to observe the sky. There were too many stars to the point of them being innumerable. However, it was not difficult to find that some of them were significantly darker than their peers.
Teng Jiwen heaved a sigh of relief after seeing the countless stars. The forefather and citadel lord felt the same way. The plentiful stars meant that their ancestral vine still had a long lifespan left, so long as Li Qiye takes care of the calamity.
After a long search, he finally found the main root. It was huge and thick. Standing before it was the same as standing in front of a cliff.
He stood at a particular position to peer over everything before speaking: “Right here.”
The rest of the group looked over to find a little hole. Inside was a blade of grass only around three inches tall. There was nothing about it that warranted any attention. It was light green in color with a shade of white due to the lack of sunlight.
However, upon a closer inspection, this was not a small blade of grass but tiny particles invisible to the naked eye. These little green particles connected together to form a green electrical arc that looked just like a small grass.
“Why is it like this?” The forefather’s expression changed after seeing this, forcing him to take a deep breath.
“This is our ancestral vine’s calamity?” Both Teng Jiwen and the citadel lord were surprised as well.
In their minds, their ancestors had been helpless for generations because of it, so it should at least be a frightening and dangerous existence. They imagined that this calamity would have the body of a devil with a demonic smile. Each strand of its aura could burn everything in this world.
Who would have thought that this little blade of grass was actually the calamity agonizing their ancestral vine?
“We can pull out something like this with one hand.” Teng Jiwen blurted, but he immediately realized that he was wrong. If that was possible, why didn’t the ancestors do it before instead of waiting for generations? Were these invincible ancestors weaker than a junior?
“Then you can try to pull it out.” Li Qiye smiled.
The citadel lord realized that his disciple had chosen the wrong words. Not only did they offend Li Qiye, they also insulted all the generational ancestors, including the forefather before them.
He busily tried to smooth things out: “Sir, well, my little disciple is ignorant without any sense of propriety. He doesn’t see how dangerous—”
Li Qiye gently waved his hand to interrupt him: “It’s nothing, I’m not mad at him. He can go ahead and try it once to understand the situation.”
With that, Teng Jiwen glanced over at his master. The lord, at this moment, was helpless and couldn’t do anything but nod. In fact, he also wanted to see what kind of ability this little blade of grass had.
Teng Jiwen took a deep breath and reached for the grass to pull it out. However, before even touching it, his hands started to tremble; he no longer dared to do so.
The reason was very simple: this was their ancestral vine’s calamity. Just how frightening and dangerous was this thing? If he touched it, wouldn’t it be the same as throwing his life away?
“Relax, pull it.” Li Qiye naturally could tell what he was thinking and smiled: “I’m right here, I won’t let you die.”
With this guarantee, Teng Jiwen calmed down and finally made up his mind. After gritting his teeth, he reached for the grass once more.
“Bzzz—” However, the moment his hand touched the grass, a series of lightning crackles came about. The grass dispersed into countless particles that disappeared into the main root.
The whole process gave a sense of something proliferating into the main root with extreme speed. No one could react in time, let alone catch those tiny particles.
“What is going on?” The masters and disciples were lost.
At this time, all the roots, regardless of their size in this world, had little lights flashing and crackling inside them.
Because of the many roots here that were tightly clinging together or completely woven as one, a lightning arc emerged when all of them flashed together. It came as quick as a bolt of lightning before instantly disappearing.
Even though the individual lights were not bright, all of them appearing together was another story. This world completely lit up with each crackle.
It was a shocking process like a sun exploding; it was quite difficult to keep their eyes open in the midst of this light. Who could imagine that this was a scene created by these tiny flashes?
Darkness ensued soon afterward. This sudden change was quite difficult to get accustomed to.
Teng Jiwen eventually calmed down and asked in horror: “What is this?”
“The calamity.” The forefather took a deep breath and replied: “It has invaded every root of the ancestral vine. Once it gathers enough power, it will squeeze the ancestral vine dry until there is nothing left.”
Teng Jiwen shuddered. Every single root that made up the foundation of their citadel was infected.
Li Qiye dismissively commented: “It is because you all dragged it out for too long. The countless years gave it this chance.”
The others could only sigh. They never thought that it would escalate to this level.
The citadel lord couldn’t help but ask: “The ancestral vine is invincible, why can’t it crush this calamity?”
Li Qiye chuckled and pointed at the sky to say: “Do you know what kind of existence is suppressing your ancestor? It is that thief, the high heavens! Returning and taking root in this earth is already going against him. If your ancestor rebels again, it would bring about a supreme repression that would instantly render the tree into ashes unless there was someone as strong as an Immortal Emperor helping to stop this heavenly punishment. Otherwise, the relentless onslaught from both inside and out isn’t something it can withstand!”
“Rather than immediately turning into ashes, it is better to live a borrowed life and wait for you juniors to expel the calamity.” He looked at the Sunflower Forefather after saying this.
The forefather’s old face turned red as he coughed. This situation was the fault of ancestors like him. He had to admit: “It is all due to our incompetence. We couldn’t help our ancestral vine and thought that the calamity had been successfully sealed.”
“Bzzz—” A tiny crackle resounded from Teng Jiwen’s body. Faint lights emerged from his body in the form of bright particles. He was suddenly wrapped in this layer of lightning.
“What’s happening?” He was scared out of his wits after seeing this. He tried to pat the particles away from his body, but before he could touch them, the particles immediately dispersed and entered his body.