Since Shi Hao was an honest man, Li Qiye was worried that he might accidentally tell the truth, so Li Qiye especially warned him.
Shi Hao answered: “Don’t worry, Brother Li. I am an alchemist that had been accepted through an official process. I will use a True Fate Oath to never tell anyone about the formula or the refinement process.”
With that, he solemnly vowed using his True Fate. He was a true alchemist who had gone through the official qualification procedure and not a haphazard one. He clearly knew the laws of alchemists, such as not passing on formulas to other parties.
The Jadeblood Mountain was not that far from the Stonetreading County, so Shi Hao walked down. He also wanted to let Li Qiye take a look at the scenery of the town.
The Stonetreading County was not a big one in the country, but it was not particularly remote and rather prosperous.
On a big street, one could see stones rolling and golems of all shapes and sizes. Some stones only started to roll; the majority of them came down from the mountain for the first time and watched the world with curiosity and anticipation.
This was the Stone Medicine World, the world of golems and the demon race, so pedestrians were not surprised at all to see new golems since it was a common sight.
Outside of new stones that had only recently learned how to roll, there were all shapes and types of golems. The best ones were in the shape of humans while the worst had a human head with animal bodies made out of stones. The ones who didn’t progress very far were just stone animals.
Those who had part of their bodies made out of flesh and blood were powerful golems or were mixed-race offspring. Those who were completely made of flesh and blood were even rarer, and they were definitely offspring from powerful bloodlines.
In other places, golems were considered part of the demon race, but the golems themselves did not embrace this classification.
In fact, this had some logic to it because the golems naturally had life. These were stones that finally gained intelligence and achieved the dao after millions of years. In this race, the majority of them were just little pebbles that suddenly were able to sense the heaven and earth and gained their own source of life to walk in this world.
It was a common occurrence for random stones to suddenly feel the world and gain life. Of course, some golems required a long time to gain a higher degree of intelligence to the point where they transformed to have flesh and blood — a sign of their strength. There were three different types of golems: celestials, progenies, and mixed-bloods.
In the golem race, celestials were those that were pure golems and gained life from sensing the world then continuously transformed and increased in strength. These were the first generation of golems.
Progenies consisted of the offsprings from the first generation. When a golem reached a particular power level to gain flesh and blood, they were able to reproduce. The first generation needed to reach a particular level to have the physical requirement needed for having offspring.
Progenies were usually born with flesh and blood and also inherited the golem race’s powerful strength. They normally were considered nobles and came from great clans or great lineages. Their ancestors were all powerful existences.
Mixed-blood were the product of golems taking a shortcut to reproduce. When golems reached a certain level of strength, they were able to come together with a human or someone from a different race that was capable of reproduction. Of course, the most ideal were humans. Their offspring were called mixed-blood. Mixed-bloods had flesh and blood, but they lost the natural advantages of golems, such as their innate strength.
All three types had their own advantages and disadvantages, but the most advantaged were still second generation progenies. Celestials required a long time to sense the world and transform. There was a chance that they might die before reaching a flesh and blood form.
Because they could sense the heaven and earth, they were very close to its energy. However, this was offset due to their stone bodies; because there are no meridians, their merit laws were both limited and restricted to refining worldly energy for cultivation.
Due to this, it was a long and arduous process from when a celestial was born until they reached a powerful stage.
Progenies were the nobles among celestials, and their ancestors were already extremely powerful existences. The moment they were born, they already possessed a blood and flesh body for the most part. Moreover, they were still golem and had innate spiritual power with superb talents. They also retained natural advantages of golems, such as a strong body.
However, there was one weakness — atavism. If the offspring was not stronger than their ancestor, then atavism will occur and their natural advantages would weaken. If these progenies continued to grow weaker, then ultimately, they would cease the transformation process and revert into stone.
Making mixed-bloods was the shortcut for reproduction, but these offspring lost the natural advantages of the golem race, and their bodies were quite weak in comparison. However, if they had a human bloodline, then their resonation with spirit energy as well as intelligence would be quite high.
All three types had their trade-offs, and no one dared to say which was the most ideal. However, it was undeniable that progenies held the greatest advantages within the golem race. The shortcoming was that these progenies required an extremely powerful ancestor of at least the Virtuous Paragon level. Therefore, among the three types of golems, progenies had the highest starting point but also the most stringent requirements. It made sense for them to known as the nobles of the golem race.
As they walked along the big road towards the Stonetreading County, most of the pedestrians were mortal golems and some were cultivators. Among the golems, those who had life but hadn’t started to cultivate were called mortals. There was another type that consisted of descendants of previous great clans, but they stopped cultivating so they became mortals.
Outside of golems, there were demons as well. The Giant Bamboo Country was a demonic country, but very few demonic cultivators were walking on the streets full of golems. Only mortal demons were walking around in all shapes and forms; some had a bird head and a human body, others had a human head and a snake body, and some maintained their beastly appearance.
The starting point of demons was different from golems. The first step for golems was sensing the heaven and earth, but it was different for demons. Their roots date back to the ancient times.
Some said that demons were the oldest race in the Nine Worlds. This claim required further deliberation and research, but the demon race was indeed very archaic.
As long as the world continued to exist, so would the demon race. The flowers and grasses, the flying birds and swimming fishes, the tall mountains and flowing rivers… All could give birth to the demon race.
A stone could give birth to either a demonic stone or a spirit stone that would be different from the rest of the golem race.
Demons were basked in the essence of the world. While enduring countless years, they eventually obtained intelligence and understood the heavens to finally communicate with the grand dao.
Golems were born by being able to sense the heaven and earth, and demons were born thanks to the incubation of worldly energy or from powerful cultivators’ dao preaching and protection.
Due to their different origins, it made sense why the golems refused to be classified as part of the demon race for billions of years. The demons themselves didn’t consider golems as part of their group.
At this time, Li Qiye and Shi Hao finally entered the Stonetreading County. This particular town was very crowded and was bustling with people coming and going. Some street hawkers were yelling to attract customers. Some mortals were going shopping with many cultivators walking among them. Weaker cultivators walked on the roads while stronger ones flew in the sky or rode the path underground.
The Stone Medicine World had existed for countless years as demons and golems took root in this place. Stonetreading was not a large county, but it still had several tens of thousands of mortal demons and golems living here.
In this lively city, meeting a human or a demon or golem in full human form that had full flesh and blood bodies was very difficult since very few experts walked by this place. In a bigger location, such as the Giant Bamboo’s capital, one could see demons and golems in complete humanoid form.
Because of this, a regular human like Li Qiye appearing in the Stonetreading County attracted a lot of attention. Someone with a human head like Shi Hao was already quite rare, not to mention a human like his companion.
Many mortals and cultivators pointed at them as they gazed with curiosity. One mortal asked: “Is that a golem noble or a demonic expert? Could it be a human?”
One cultivator took a look and answered: “He’s surely a human. His blood energy is not showing up and is without any aura; it seems that his cultivation is not strong at all. Having a humanoid form without a strong cultivation would surely make him a human and not a golem noble or demonic master.”