The knowledgeable alchemist spoke again: “Not necessarily. The rumors are right, Fairy Ming and Huangfu Clan are indeed related, but it is a very distant relationship that has a gap of many generations. If Fairy Ming was Huangfu Hao’s first cousin, then the Huangfu Clan would have wagged its tail everywhere already.”
At this point, many alchemists were staring at Huangfu Hao, especially after Madam Zi Yan had left his side. With his impressive aura, he was like a crane among a flock of chickens. Alchemists with humble upbringings didn’t dare to start a conversation with him. Only an excellent talent like Qing Yu would strike up a conversation.
At this time, a disciple ran over in a hurry and reported to Madam Zi Yan: “Your Majesty, Young Noble Li is here.”
After hearing this news, Madam Zi Yan’s spirit suddenly became better and went out herself to greet him without the slightest delay. Even Huangfu Hao didn’t enjoy such treatment.
All the alchemists were glancing at each other after hearing about Li Qiye’s arrival. They became even more curious when they saw Madam Zi Yan personally going to greet him.
They all knew that the Giant Bamboo Country erased all the alchemists from the list, even Qing Yu, just because of this unknown Li Qiye.
They were very interested while simultaneously shocked to see what kind of god Li Qiye might be in order to be so highly regarded by the Giant Bamboo Country.
Qing Yu’s expression sank after hearing about Li Qiye. It would be strange if he was fine with it. Li Qiye was the reason why Qing Yu lost the chance to show himself and become renowned throughout the world. If given the chance, he wouldn’t mind killing this nobody, Li Qiye.
At the same time, Huangfu Hao’s glare became cold with flashing glints akin to needles. He had this expression because even his treatment had been inferior.
As the First Young Noble from the Huangfu Clan, his nobility was without question, yet Madam Zi Yan didn’t go to the door to greet him. Alas, this was still reasonable because Madam Zi Yan was at the highest position as the ruler of a country and a Heavenly King. It was normal for her not to personally greet Huangfu Hao.
But now, this nobody Li Qiye was enjoying this grand gesture, causing Huangfu Hao to hate Li Qiye even more.
More important, there had already been a brewing feud between these two. Back at the Golem Square, Huangfu Hao had wanted to buy the heavenly cauldron from the Hundred-grass Alchemy Emperor. With great difficulty, he managed to convince Jian Wushuang and had to pay an exorbitant price. He thought that he would be able to own the cauldron, but who would have thought that Li Qiye would bid even higher and paid several times the price, drowning out his beautiful dream of owning the cauldron?
He wanted to kill Li Qiye due to this hatred since that cauldron was extremely rare. It was an opportunity for him to get closer to the imperial family of the Alchemy Kingdom as well as suck up to his little cousin, Ming Yexue. However, Li Qiye’s unexpected interference made him lose all hope of this.
Li Qiye entered the garden with Madam Zi Yan as his escort. He took a deep breath to feel the pure worldly energy from the alchemy garden.
He couldn’t help but become a bit sentimental once he stepped on this familiar land as he felt an intimate connection with it. It was as if this place had a beating heart and remained the same since the last time he had visited.
Madam Zi Yan, playing the role of escort, was very attentive: “This is our Giant Bamboo’s medicinal garden that contains a few spirit medicines. Our alchemists’ skills are limited, so I hope that Young Noble Li can teach us a thing or two.”
She didn’t only lead him to see each plant, she also introduced them very carefully. Her goal was to take him throughout the entire garden and hope that he could give them some pointers. As long as he was willing to depart with a bit of his knowledge, the country would greatly benefit from it.
Her care, patience, consideration, and enthusiasm as a guide made all the onlookers jealous. Huangfu Hao didn’t get nearly the same level of treatment.
People realized now that earlier, Madam Zi Yan was only fulfilling her duty as the host when she took Huangfu Hao around. Her demeanor was completely different as she took Li Qiye around; it was clear that she was entirely driven by a sincere passion.
However, the young alchemists were greatly disappointed after seeing Li Qiye. Everyone here knew that they were removed from the list because of Li Qiye. Prior to them seeing his face, they all thought that he was a grand and untouchable character.
But now, it turned out that Li Qiye was only an ordinary human, an inconspicuous junior.
They secretly looked at him with scorn: “Why does the Giant Bamboo Country value this Li Qiye? Could it be that he is very gifted at pill refinement?”
This doubt was understandable because any alchemist with some achievements would have a different appearance. It could be due to the sweet aroma of herbs or something special about them. However, there was nothing special about Li Qiye outside of his origin — the human race.
An alchemist had heard of a certain rumor and spoke: “I heard that he threw around enough money to scare people to death.”
An unconvinced young alchemist snorted and said: “What does being rich have to do with this matter? The Giant Bamboo Country is looking for an alchemist, not a financial backing.”
Some of them had the urge to challenge Li Qiye. They didn’t believe that this ordinary human brat was better than them. However, out of fear of Madam Zi Yan’s imperial aura, they didn’t dare to go forward.
Others might be scared, but this didn’t mean that Qing Yu was afraid. He snorted after seeing the madam accompanying Li Qiye the entire time.
He had been annoyed this whole time after being replaced by Li Qiye even though he was the number one young alchemist of the country. He felt especially snubbed after seeing Madam Zi Yan treating this nobody with the highest level of courtesy.
This difference in treatment greatly exasperated him, so he wanted to take it out on Li Qiye. He walked closer then bowed towards Madam Zi Yan before directly asking Li Qiye: “You are Li Qiye, correct?”
It was apparent to everyone that Qing Yu wanted to cause trouble with his aggressive demeanor. Madam Zi Yan couldn’t help but grimace.
Meanwhile, the other alchemists were becoming more excited. Many of them were already displeased with Li Qiye, but out of fear for Madam Zi Yan, no one wanted to do anything. So now, they were more than happy to watch Qing Yu provoking him.
However, Li Qiye didn’t bother looking at Qing Yu who wanted to cause trouble and continued to nonchalantly gaze at the spirit medicines.
This attitude enraged Qing Yu even further. Who was he? Although he was not as famous as Huangfu Hao, he was quite popular in the Giant Bamboo Country and was referred to as its number one young alchemist. Furthermore, his skill showed that this title was well-deserved.
Qing Yu coldly spoke: “Oh? You don’t have the courage to admit who you are?”
Madam Zi Yan’s brows furrowed as she said: “Qing Yu, halt your impudence. Everyone in the alchemy garden is a respected guest of the Giant Bamboo Country, do not overstep your bounds.”
Madam Zi Yan’s words were an explicit warning to Qing Yu. Although the Qing Clan was quite large in the country, and sometimes, even the imperial palace required its existence, Madam Zi Yan knew very clearly who was more important between Li Qiye and Qing Yu. Even the entire Qing Clan was not comparable to Li Qiye.
The madam was the Demon King of an entire country, so she commanded respect even when displaying signs of anger. Everyone’s hearts thumped after hearing her; her imperial aura was unstoppable.
Others who wanted to challenge Li Qiye as well didn’t have the same confidence as Qing Yu, so they stood to the side to watch. Huangfu Hao smirked on the sideline as well since he wanted to see what Li Qiye could do. He was going to test Li Qiye, but he was more than happy to watch Qing Yu try him first.
At the same time, Madam Zi Yan, who was emitting her imperial aura, caused Qing Yu to become nervous. Her clear partiality to Li Qiye made him even more annoyed.
He took a deep breath and calmed his mind before biting his teeth and decided to take a risk. He didn’t believe that the Qing Clan’s position in the Giant Bamboo Country was not as great as this nobody!
Although he knew that his actions were impinging on Madam Zi Yan’s prestige, he had great confidence in the Qing Clan’s influence. He trusted that this matter would eventually become no big deal.
He prepared himself and placed his hands together to bow towards the madam before speaking in a stern manner: “Your Majesty, you are the ruler of our country and I did not intend on offending you. However, I am also an alchemist who follows the rules of alchemy. If Li Qiye is to participate and represent our country at the conference, this means that he is the most excellent young alchemist in Giant Bamboo and only he alone is qualified to participate…
“I am not questioning Your Majesty’s decision. Your Majesty is wise and brilliant, so this choice will naturally not be wrong. However, as an alchemist, if Li Qiye is the number one, then I wish to challenge him to see if he is qualified to be our candidate or not!”