These were carefree days as Li Qiye spent his time recovering and researching the Death Scripture in Shi Hao’s room.
Today, he woke up early and left the room to see Shi Hao watering half of the Jadeblood Bamboo. He couldn’t help but nod approvingly after seeing Shi Hao’s busy and diligent figure.
Shi Hao paused his task after seeing Li Qiye and went up to give his greetings: “Good morning, Brother Li.”
Li Qiye saw the boy watering the bamboo, so he said with a smile: “I see you watering this large group of bamboo three times a day. It’s very rare to see someone so hardworking.”
Shi Hao revealed an awkward smile and said: “I have to water them three times a day. I have to hand over a group of bamboo stalks in half a year, and they have to be above two transformations to be considered adequate. If I don’t do my best, it would be too difficult to grow a bunch of them that had transformed twice.”
He was not the county envoy only for the money, it was also to earn some merits. He yearned for the day he would be able to enter the county court and find an alchemist to apprentice under.
The Jadeblood Bamboo stalks were ingredients for alchemists. Although they grew in the wild, they were very rare, so most sects had to personally grow them in order to refine low-level fate pills.
The alchemic materials needed to undergo transformations, just like the stalks of these bamboos. The higher the number of transformations, the more precious it would be, but it wasn’t easy for these bamboo stalks to transform.
Li Qiye looked at the fertilizing water in the big tank and asked: “You made this fertilizing liquid?”
“No.” Shi Hao shook his head and replied: “I am only a newbie Junior Alchemist so how could I have the skill to make this type of fertilizing water?”
For alchemists, cultivating plants was a profound field of study. This field was vast and difficult; for example, outside of picking the right location for this type of bamboo, the fertilizing water was also very crucial.
Each sect had their own secret formulas regarding plant cultivation that were not passed onto outsiders. The majority of alchemists would not reveal their secrets.
Shi Hao was a new Junior Alchemist, so he naturally didn’t know how to make fertilizing water for the bamboo.
Li Qiye sniffed the water then dipped his finger in before licking a little bit and said: “Burn Autumn Grass down to ashes then add a bit of Charred Mind Mud to it — this is only a common formula.”
Shi Hao noticed that Li Qiye knew the formula after just tasting it so he startlingly asked: “Brother Li knows how to cultivate medicines?”
“Not too much.” Li Qiye responded with a grin: “In the past, I had a friend who liked to keep a medicine garden. I would occasionally help him so I picked up a thing or two. However, my hobby isn’t related to this field; I can’t be considered knowledgeable.”
“Oh, I see.” Shi Hao was an honest person and Li Qiye’s explanation made sense, so he didn’t suspect anything at all.
He didn’t know that the friend Li Qiye was referring to was the Alchemy God who created the laws for the alchemy dao. However, this trivial matter was nothing to Li Qiye. In the past, he and the Alchemy God didn’t only refine unbelievable pills, they also grew countless medicinal herbs. A few soulgrasses were even created by them.
“I know a method to cultivate Jadeblood Bamboo.” Li Qiye said: “Catch some Tiny Earth Scorpions and stew them completely. Afterward, gather a little excrement from a Jackal-Elephant, then burn Flowertree, Negative Goldgrass, and Wailing Bloodvine into ashes. Mix them together with a 1:30 ratio of water to create this fertilizer — it is very beneficial to Jadeblood Bamboo.”
“Is… this for real?” Shi Hao was a bit doubtful after hearing Li Qiye’s formula.
Li Qiye patted his shoulder and reassured him: “Don’t worry, I won’t mess it up for you. If you want to earn some merit, then follow my instructions. In the past when I was bored, I also planted Jadeblood Bamboo, and the effect was amazing.”
After hearing this, Shi Hao quickly responded: “Okay, I’ll give it a try then!”
One week later, Shi Hao ran into Li Qiye’s room and couldn’t speak properly due to his overwhelming excitement: “Brother Li… It was really successful! The bamboo stalks transformed within just a week. This… is… a miracle!”
“I didn’t trick you, right?” Li Qiye replied with a smile.
Shi Hao excitedly rubbed his hands together and said: “It’s too amazing. If it goes on like this, then I can hand over bamboo stalks that have transformed three times. I’ve never grown them to such a level before!”
Li Qiye smiled after seeing Shi Hao jumping around happily. Li Qiye’s formula was the finest when it came to Jadeblood Bamboo. It took a while for him and the Alchemy God to come up with it, but it was still no big deal to these two.
For Li Qiye, this was an insignificant formula, but for Shi Hao, it was an incredible matter; it was capable of changing his fate!
Shi Hao hesitantly spoke while rubbing his palms together and asked: “Brother Li… Umm… Can I keep on using your formula?”
The honest Shi Hao wanted to become an alchemist, so he knew that there were some rules. For example, formulas were not to be disclosed to others without permission. Without permission from the owner or the sect, secretly giving a formula to someone else would end with a manhunt.
Li Qiye smiled and said: “It is no problem, you can keep using it. It is just for fun after all, I have no interest in growing medicines.”
Shi Hao bowed to Li Qiye and said: “Thank you, Brother Li!” This had the possibility to change his life, so how could Shi Hao not be appreciative?
“We’re no strangers, yeah? This is how it should be.” Li Qiye said as he patted Shi Hao’s shoulder.
In the following days, while Li Qiye was recovering and cultivating, Shi Hao was watching his Jadeblood Bamboo grow. He was ecstatic to see the process of them transforming.
Meanwhile, a meeting was convened by the royal lord of the Giant Bamboo Country.
The Giant Bamboo Country was not considered a big lineage in the Alchemy Realm of this world, and its influence was far below the first-rate great powers.
It was once powerful back during the era of its progenitor, an expert who made many great powers came to offer their respects. At that time, it was not due to the country’s power, it was because their progenitor was worthy of respect from all the sects and even the entire Nine Worlds.
The past of the Giant Bamboo Country was not recorded in detail. Future royal lords only knew that when their progenitor established the country, many sects and even imperial lineages from all over the Nine Worlds came to congratulate its founding.
Even behemoths like the Alchemy Kingdom and the Jianlong Clan came to celebrate along with many other giants of the Nine Worlds.
Each time the successor royal lords read these writings, they became incredulous. The Giant Bamboo Country never produced an Immortal Emperor so it was quite strange when so many great powers came to celebrate its official creation.
It was a country of demons, and the succession process was not hereditary. After establishing his country, the Giant Bamboo Progenitor established a creed that allowed the most virtuous and talented to rule.
At this minute inside the palace of the Giant Bamboo Country, the current royal lord was Madam Zi Yan; others also referred to her as Her Majesty Zi Yan.
A woman was sitting on her throne with a violet aura and flickering shadow. Her beauty shamed even the flowers and the moon with her mature allure. However, her sensuality did not diminish her noble elegance, especially her calm and natural demeanor that accentuated her beauty even more.
This was Madam Zi Yan, the current Giant Bamboo Royal Lord. She was called madam not because she was married to someone, but because it was a title of respect. 1
She was originally a violet bamboo who finally succeeded in the dao. With a great dao foundation, she was able to take the form of a human. She was a virtuous ruler; she was both adept at strategy and adored talents. She was also very humble and benevolent.
Although she was not the oldest Demon Monarch in the country, she was loved by the other monarchs and citizens, so they choose to call her Demon King.
Keep in mind that it was not easy for a royal lord to be addressed as Demon King or Mortal King. These were titles of respect; only royal lords of the Heavenly King level carried titles such as these.
Today, she called for a meeting with all the other Demon Monarchs to discuss an important matter.
Madam Zi Yan sat on her throne, overlooking all the other demons and subjects to say: “Not long from now, the Alchemy Conference will begin. Our country will participate this time as well.”
Her declaration caused these demons and subjects to look at each other. One subject stepped out to voice his concern: “Your Majesty, alchemy is not our strong point, so it is very difficult to participate. The finances are not an issue, but it won’t be good if we damage our reputation.”
Madam Zi Yan replied: “Victory and defeat are part of life. With lineages like the Alchemy Kingdom and the Bailian Clan participating, it isn’t shameful for any other participating sects or countries to lose. This conference is very important to us as well, so we must participate.” 2
One Demon Monarch pondered then asked: “Where do we go to find candidates?”
1. This was one of the things that doesn’t translate very well. My first translation for this was Lady, but it didn’t fit with this context very well, so I chose Madam. Mistress was another one I considered, but Mistress has too many other connotations that won’t fit in this case. Matron was another one, but it doesn’t have the marriage connotation described in the text. I think in English, most Madams are older/married, so maybe Madam is an okay choice. 2. Bailian is Hundred Refinements Clan; Jianlong is Annihilating Dragon Clan.