“… I will meet Huangfu Hao.” Madam Zi Yan coldly spoke: “But not now. With the presence of their ancestor, it would seem as if we were afraid of them. If their clan wants to threaten me, then I welcome it anytime! The Royal Lord of the Giant Bamboo Country is no coward!”
Having said that, Madam Zi Yan commanded the confidant: “Tell Huangfu Hao that I am not seeing guests today!”
The moment their Royal Lord made her decision, the eighteen monarchs didn’t say anything else. The confidant quickly acknowledged the command and left.
Li Qiye was cultivating in Ancient Pine’s mansion. Although he came back to the Giant Bamboo Country for a look and he still had a place that he needed to visit, he was not in a rush because he had more important things to do at this moment.
For the past several days, he still hadn’t left his room. He trained within the confinement of the pentagate, not allowing anyone to disturb him.
With a solemn expression, Li Qiye sat cross-legged on the ground with his eyes closed while channeling his merit law.
Divine rings pulsed around his body as laws appeared along with a majestic grand dao. His Life Wheel was rotating and continuously refining blood energy. Every drop of Longevity Blood created from these blood energies was rolling around like pearls inside the wheel.
However, Li Qiye was not paying attention to his merit laws. Three souls were hovering about his head as if they had their own life and were engraved with the ultimate profundity of what it meant to live in the world!
Of course, these were not the three souls that belonged to Li Qiye’s three souls and seven spirits, they were the three Death Souls that he created using his True Fate with the laws inside the Death Scripture.
Thirteen Fate Palaces floated above his head and poured down the most supreme law in this world and carved them on the three fluttering souls. Meanwhile, the pillars of life were also carving complex dao laws in an attempt to refine these three souls.
Again and again, Li Qiye refined the three souls using a mysterious art so that they would contain the strongest laws in the world.
The Death Soul was one of the four gates of the Death Scripture, and it could even be said to be the most important of the four. As long as one of the three souls remained, he would be unkillable until his lifespan ran out.
He separated the three souls and continued to bombard them with the most abstruse and powerful laws, allowing the ultimate grand dao to reside within them.
This was only the beginning. After he finished his refinement, he would use the strongest seal to store them in three different items and then hide them in three of the most heaven-defying locations.
Only by doing this would Li Qiye be unkillable. In the future, even if someone knew of his secret, it wouldn’t be easy for them to find all three souls and destroy them.
Day after day of strengthening and refinement passed, and Li Qiye finally finished the process. He let out a sigh of relief and withdrew the fortified souls before standing up.
He left the room only to find Ancient Pine standing there, waiting. The monarch cheerfully smiled and went up to greet Li Qiye in a respectful manner: “Young Noble is finally done with your isolated cultivation.”
There was only Li Qiye here since Shi Hao and Bai Weng had left. Shi Hao was sent to special training since he was going to be a court alchemist, and Bai Weng, as his caretaker, also went along with him.
“Is Young Noble about to take a stroll?” Ancient Pine asked: “How about you take a trip to the palace? Today, Her Majesty also came to see you but didn’t want to bother you after seeing that you were in isolated cultivation. Her Majesty told me to ask you to come visit the palace whenever you have time.”
“To the palace?” Li Qiye stroked his chin and said: “I also had this thought. I want to visit the back of your palace to broaden my horizons.”
“You want to see the back?” Ancient Pine’s eyes lit up and said: “What a coincidence! Tomorrow, the alchemy garden behind the palace will have a party with many young alchemists from our country participating. How about Young Noble come to take a look as well? It would be our country’s honor if you could give a few pointers there.”
“Is that so.” Li Qiye answered nonchalantly. He looked towards the horizon; of course, he was not gazing towards the alchemy garden since the thing that he wanted was not there.
Ancient Pine quickly explained: “Even further back beyond the alchemy garden is the Bamboo Garden, the dwelling of our deity. Our country has the Immortal Nectar desired by countless alchemists in this world, but very few outsiders know that the nectar is inside the Bamboo Garden.”
As a pillar of the country, the monarch naturally wanted Li Qiye to stay as a guest alchemist, so he purposely brought up the Immortal Nectar to pique Li Qiye’s interest.
Li Qiye withdrew his gaze and looked back at the monarch.
The monarch was secretly ecstatic because, judging by Li Qiye’s expression, he thought that Li Qiye was interested in the nectar.
He continued on: “Young Noble, it has to be said that our Immortal Nectar is unique in this world, a divine item craved by all! Even an Alchemy Emperor from the Alchemy Kingdom wished for just one drop, but he couldn’t obtain it. If Young Noble is lucky enough to obtain the nectar in the Bamboo Garden, then we will be more than happy to gift it to you.”
This phrase was meant to tempt Li Qiye. It was the same as painting a cake on a piece of paper or exchanging a favor with an empty hand. 1
For generations, the experts of the country couldn’t enter the garden, let alone an outsider. Ancient Pine’s words were akin to them doing Li Qiye a favor.
Li Qiye laughed and said: “Demon Monarch, is this your idea or Madam Zi Yan’s?”
“Hahaha!” The monarch busily smiled and said: “This is a little goodwill from our entire country.”
Li Qiye shook his head and said: “Demon Monarch’s words might be able to fool others, but not me. Let me ask you, do you know the effects of the Immortal Nectar?”
“This…” The monarch was stumped and couldn’t give an answer. The rumors that their Immortal Nectar was coveted by all had always existed. However, in the country, especially this generation, there was very little understanding of what the nectar was or how it could be used.
Li Qiye laughed and said: “You are painting a cake for me. Outsiders might not know, but I am aware of a few things, such as the part where outsiders are not allowed into the Bamboo Garden. However, the even more pressing reality is that no one in the country can enter it at all. Moreover, are you sure that the nectar is inside the garden? Perhaps even you guys don’t know and are only tricking me.”
The monarch became very after embarrassed after Li Qiye revealed everything. He indeed wanted to tempt him and thought that Li Qiye wouldn’t know about it, so Li Qiye laying everything bare made it very awkward for him.
Ancient Pine didn’t know what to say as he stuttered: “Ummm…” He didn’t expect to be caught by Li Qiye.
Li Qiye continued on: “Demon Monarch only wants to tempt me so that I will stay at the Giant Bamboo Country. However, you have picked the wrong person; others might be convinced, but unfortunately, you met me.”
The monarch’s heart skipped a beat as he quickly prostrated and apologized: “Young Noble, this is my own doing, thinking that I was smart I tried to scheme. I hope that Young Noble…”
Li Qiye saw the monarch’s fear and trepidation, so he gently waved his sleeve to say: “Stand up, this matter is over. You bore no malicious intent and only wanted me to stay as a guest of Giant Bamboo.”
The monarch heaved a sigh of relief after being forgiven by Li Qiye. He bowed his head and admitted his mistake: “This was all my doing, Her Majesty didn’t agree either.”
Li Qiye only smiled and didn’t say anything else. He stared into the distance and said: “If there is a party at the alchemy garden tomorrow, then I’ll come and take a look.”
“Your participation will add countless brilliant colors to the party!” After the initial shock of Li Qiye agreeing to go to the party, Ancient Pine happily exclaimed: “I will go tell Her Majesty.”
Li Qiye didn’t stop Ancient Pine. He looked towards the sky to gaze at the huge bamboo standing proudly among the nine heavens. The rays of sunlight piercing through the gaps of the leaves were quite soothing to the soul. This tree had always protected this area, bringing peace and tranquility.
This was the truth for millions of years. This bamboo tree had always protected the capital.
The next day, the feast began at the alchemy garden. Many promising young alchemists from the sects in Giant Bamboo were present, and some came from the other countries as well.
This was actually a farewell party hosted by Madam Zi Yan. Prior to this, she announced that there would be rewards for young alchemists who participate in the Alchemy Conference.
Many young alchemists didn’t mind traveling the long distance to pass this test. However, with Li Qiye’s promise to attend the conference, there was no longer a need for other young alchemists, so Madam Zi Yan hosted this party.
She was a wise ruler and invited not only those who passed the initial test but also unknown young alchemists.
The young alchemists who passed the test were slightly unhappy with the farewell party because they initially had a chance of being selected as the conference participant.
1. Both of these are idioms that apply to this situation. A cake on a piece of paper looks pretty, but you can’t eat it. The empty hand one meant that the country never possessed the nectar in the first place since they don’t know how to get it, but they are speaking as if they’re doing Li Qiye a solid favor.