“Wow, there is a human here at the Stonetreading County!” The crowd looked at Li Qiye as if he was an exotic beast. This scene continued throughout Li Qiye’s walk with many passersby staring at him.
Shi Hao was quite embarrassed at being the center of attention of this many gazes, so he told Li Qiye: “Brother Li, don’t mind it, very few humans ever come here.”
Li Qiye only chuckled in response. He had experienced numerous adventures so such a matter was not worth his concern. He felt that this was very normal; this was the world of golems and demons, so humans were quite a rare sight. They were considered exotic creatures since rare things were considered precious. Meeting a human in this county was surely an uncommon event.
Shi Hao led him to the county’s government office. As the envoy and an alchemist, he still had some status in this place. They went all the way to the center of the hall since he wanted to meet the county lord to turn in the bamboo stalks.
At the center, there were also many other envoys who were in a line, waiting to turn in the spirit medicines they had been cultivating. Shi Hao was afraid that Li Qiye would become impatient from waiting, so he spoke: “How about Brother Li take a walk around the government hall? I’m afraid it will be a while before I can finish turning in the medicines.”
Li Qiye smiled and nodded his head as he began to walk around the office. Although the county was quite small in size, there were many cultivators in this humble office. Li Qiye’s stroll didn’t last too long; he leisurely walked into a medicinal garden.
It was a decent sized garden with many soulgrasses, spirit medicines, and lingzhi. Their ages spanned from several decades to a century; the oldest one being several thousand years old.
Such a medicinal garden was not enough to enter Li Qiye’s eyes, but it was not a bad stash for a small land like the Stonetreading County. As he walked deeper into the fresh garden, he suddenly heard a voice.
“Oh my Crimsonwolf Grass, what do I have to do to get you to transform one more time? I’ve waited for you for centuries and done everything I could already. You are going to wither at this rate…”
Li Qiye came closer and saw a jar with a soulgrass inside. It was crimson red with the shape of a wolf’s tail. It emitted six different bright colors in a pulsing cycle as if it could go out at any moment. This was a sign that the life of this soulgrass was dwindling and on the verge of death.
An old man stood before this soulgrass. He had normal features with white hair; only his nose was a bit strange. With a quick glance, Li Qiye knew that he was part of the demon race — a bulbul bird with a decent cultivation.
The old man’s eyes narrowed and shot out a glint the moment Li Qiye got closer. His attitude was a bit fierce as he said: “Kid, who are you?”
This was understandable since Li Qiye was a stranger who suddenly ran into his medicinal garden. It would be strange if he was acting friendly.
Li Qiye answered with a smile: “I came with Shi Hao to turn in some Jadeblood Bamboo stalks. I got bored so I was taking a look around.”
The old man relaxed after hearing this and smiled back at him: “Oh, so a friend of Little Shi Hao.”
Li Qiye looked at the fiery soulgrass in front of him and casually asked: “So Grandpa knows Brother Shi Hao?”
The old man replied: “Little Shi Hao has okay talents for alchemy, but he is quite hardworking. It is a shame that I am too old and already have disciples as old as him. Otherwise, I might have taken him in as well.”
At this point, the old man looked at Li Qiye and asked: “You are a human? That is quite a rare sight in the Stone Medicine World, let alone this county. Where are you from?”
Li Qiye kept on looking at the soulgrass while answering: “I am only a vagrant cultivator traveling everywhere and coincidentally arrived in this region.”
The old man nodded approvingly and said: “It is good for young people to travel. Plus, your human race is very rare in this world, so if you travel a lot, maybe you will meet some noble ladies from the golem race. You should know that humans are very popular here, so you could become the son-in-law of some noble clan, making your status soar!”
The old man was very talkative. He could happily chat it up even though the two were strangers.
Li Qiye didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after hearing this. However, the old man was right, both male and female humans were very popular in this place, especially to the golem race since humans were the best mates for reproduction.
Therefore, the old man bore no malicious intent when he said this. After all, this was not a bad proposal.
Li Qiye only smiled while shaking his head while saying: “This Crimsonwolf is about to die. If this continues on, I’m afraid it won’t make it for three more months.”
The old man suddenly became unhappy and said with a serious expression: “Child, one can eat indiscriminately but cannot speak indiscriminately.”
He had spent a lot of effort to cultivate a Crimsonwolf Soulgrass with six transformation that was on the verge of getting the seventh. Now, Li Qiye’s unlucky words naturally made him upset.
Li Qiye looked at the old man and said: “I am only speaking the truth. Crimsonwolf is not a bad soulgrass, it’s only a bit worse than a Silkworm Dragon Soulgrass. It seems that you have spent a lot of effort taking care of it. If I am not mistaken, after its sixth transformation, it has been stuck like this for a long time. Recently, it was about to transform again but became stuck at this stage.”
Li Qiye paused for a moment before continuing on: “You became impatient in the face of this stagnation and fed it more nutrients. My guess is that your fertilizer consisted of Silverwolf’s blood mixed with Ash-steel Wood, Holy Ash-radish, and some Sacred Wolf Water.”
The old man was startled and took a deep breath after hearing Li Qiye explain his process in such detail: “How did you know?” He was the only one who knew this matter and his fertilizer formula was a secret known only by him, yet Li Qiye was able to state it so smoothly.
Li Qiye answered with a smile: “It’s nothing, I can smell the blood so I knew you used Silverwolf’s blood, but this blood has to be mixed with Ash-steel Wood and Holy Ash-radish to take effect, and the Sacred Wolf Water is there to increase the potency.”
Li Qiye only smiled when he saw the old man be sent into a daze, then he looked back at the Crimsonwolf Soulgrass and lightly said: “It seems that you have laboriously worked on this root so it is precious to you. One needs to truly put their heart into cultivating it in order to have good soulgrass, so I will give you a solution.”
Li Qiye cleared his throat and said: “Your line of thought was not bad. This would normally work, but that would only be under regular circumstances. I see that the root of this grass is very pale. If I am not mistaken, you dug it out of a wetland, a place that buried many corpses. You moved it to this place and did a good job of caring for it, so why did it stop at six transformations?”
Li Qiye gently went on: “This is because your soil is not suitable. After many years, it finally reached the seventh transformation level, but now, it needs the land where it was born in order to powerfully soar to the next.”
“However, you were impatient and couldn’t wait any longer, thus you chose to use your unique fertilizer formula. Your soulgrass was born in a land of extreme Yin, but your Silverwolf’s blood mix is of the fire affinity. The fertilizer not only failed to help grow the Crimsonwolf Soulgrass to the seventh transformation, it also weakened its medicinal source. At such an important moment, you weakening its medicinal source was the same as taking its life.” Having said all of this, Li Qiye then glanced at the old man who was lost while listening to him.
The old man stood there looking silly since he was completely blown away. Li Qiye could tell his fertilizer and where he obtained the soulgrass with just a quick glance. This ability was too frightening and was indicative of a deep understanding of medicine cultivation. Even an old geezer like him was not a match.
Li Qiye could only smile while shaking his head when he saw the old man standing there in such a state and continued on: “You still have a chance to save it. Neutralize your fertilizer then go back to where you found the grass. Dig out some soil and bring it here, then place it around the soulgrass. Only then will you be able to save it.”
“Really?” The old man finally returned from his shock after slightly shivering.
“Brother Li!” At this time, Shi Hao had finished turning in his stalks and was standing by the door while waving at Li Qiye.
Li Qiye gave the old man one last look. He didn’t say anything else before walking away. The old man was frozen and didn’t hear Shi Hao greeting him.
Shi Hao and Li Qiye left the government hall. Along the way, Shi Hao asked: “What were you talking about with the Alchemy Chief?”
Li Qiye looked at him and asked: “Alchemy Chief?”
Shi Hao answered: “That old man earlier. Grandpa Bai is the Alchemy Chief of the Stonetreading County and also the best alchemist here. He had reached the Alchemy Master level a very long time ago. I also heard that he is about to become an Alchemy Grandmaster.”
An alchemist of this level staying at a small place like the Stonetreading County was quite rare; he was worthy of having a higher position.
“It was just some small talk.” Li Qiye said with a smile, but he then noticed Shi Hao’s uncontainable cheerful expression and asked: “It seems that something good happened to you?”