Madam Zi Yan grimaced and deepened her tone: “Young Noble Li’s skill of alchemy is flawless; all of the monarchs had witnessed his supreme pill refinement ability.”
Qing Yu quickly said: “I trust Your Majesty and all the Demon Monarchs. However, as an alchemist speaking on behalf of alchemy, discussing and exchanging alchemy arts is how it should be. Moreover, Li Qiye is here to represent our country, so everyone should see his alchemy dao with their own eyes. What do you think, Your Majesty?”
The other alchemists all clamored: “Yes, Your Majesty. If Li Qiye’s alchemy dao is peerless, then let him broaden our horizons!”
It was only natural for the dissatisfied crowd to support Qing Yu. This was their chance to let out their dissatisfaction without truly offending Madam Zi Yan’s imperial prestige.
Madam Zi Yan’s eyes became serious after seeing Qing Yu’s refusal to yield. It was not difficult for her to chase him away, but she still wanted to see how Li Qiye wanted to deal with this situation.
Li Qiye stopped looking at the spirit plants and glanced at Qing Yu. He smiled and said: “Ah? You want to challenge my alchemy dao?”
A flame lit up in Qing Yu’s heart after seeing Li Qiye’s attitude. He tried his best to contain his anger and coldly said: “That’s right! I want to challenge your alchemy dao to see if you are qualified to participate in the conference or not!”
He was very confident since he didn’t believe a nobody like Li Qiye was better than him. After all, the number one alchemist of the Giant Bamboo Country should be confident in his own abilities.
Madam Zi Yan was not happy with Qing Yu’s aggressiveness, so she furrowed her brows and said: “Qing Yu, how do you want to challenge Young Noble Li?”
“Pill refinement!” Qing Yu replied, full of confidence: “We’ll bet on our pill refinement skills, and the victor can do whatever he wants. I will accept any bet you make, so if you are confident enough and want to bet your life, I will take that on too. The losers will have to fuel their cauldron’s Fire Source.”
These words shocked everyone. Alchemists might settle grievances with alchemy, but betting their lives and fueling their own Fire Source was too grave.
Generally, unless if it was an irreconcilable feud, no one would make such a bet since it was too serious. Not only would the bet take the opponent’s life, it would also humiliate them. A cauldron was a lifelong friend to an alchemist, so killing oneself using their own Fire Source was an extreme means of humiliation and much more brutal than a simple death.
Madam Zi Yan’s expression sank as well after hearing this. She could understand Qing Yu’s desire to challenge Li Qiye. After all, he suddenly lost his qualification to represent them, so his dissatisfaction was justified.
A simple challenge was tolerable, but now, it was not just a challenge since Qing Yu’s aim was to humiliate Li Qiye.
“Qing Yu, do not act rashly!” Madam Zi Yan raised her tone: “Do not mention this again lest you wish for a severe punishment!” Even without any trace of anger in her voice, she still carried a mighty prestige worthy of a Demon King. However, the moment her anger was ignited, her noble and powerful aura would be unstoppable and suppress all directions, rendering people breathless.
Qing Yu’s expression greatly changed as the imperial aura caused him to take several steps back. Although he was the number one young alchemist of the country, he still couldn’t withstand the madam’s aura that caused him to turn pale.
She didn’t purposely want to suppress Qing Yu, but her anger was enough to deter him.
Li Qiye only smiled and didn’t bother caring about him as he walked forward. A person like Qing Yu was not worthy of consideration, so it was enough that Madam Zi Yan chased him away. Li Qiye didn’t want to make a move against such a trivial character unless Qing Yu ignorantly continued to jump and shout in front of him. Then, Li Qiye wouldn’t mind personally taking care of him.
The other young alchemists didn’t dare to say anything else since Madam Zi Yan’s imperial aura was indubitable. They were not as strong as Qing Yu, so how could they challenge her aura?
Huangfu Hao became disappointed since he wanted to see Li Qiye’s abilities. Who would have thought that Qing Yu would be swiftly dealt with by Madam Zi Yan?
Back in the Golem Square, he saw — with his own eyes — Li Qiye’s generous spending and extremely arrogant attitude. He wanted to see just what type of person this human junior named Li Qiye was.
As the First Young Noble of the Huangfu Clan, Huangfu Hao had never been afraid of anyone. He still wanted to learn more about Li Qiye. If Li Qiye had no backing, then he was only a fish on a cutting board in Huangfu Hao’s eyes!
Li Qiye went to another field and was surprised to see a particular spirit medicine here: “Ominous Star Flower.”
This field only had one large flower around the size of a table surface. It had the appearance of stars with its flashing petals akin to starlight.
The huge flower had so many layers of petals that one couldn’t see its pistil. In the center was a darkness that resembled a black hole.
The flower was very bright and beautiful, but do not be fooled by the appearance of this flower.
Its name was the Ominous Star Flower. Outside of its star-like appearance, the most important word in its name was “Ominous”.
It was certainly vicious and would capture all existences close to it; not only animals, even other spirit plants would be devoured!
Because of this, the plot where this flower grew was devoid of other plants. The older it was, the stronger it became. Once it reached a particular level, it could then even fly around.
This flower was extremely malefic but also exceeding rare and precious with a sky-high price.
Madam Zi Yan explained after seeing Li Qiye’s interest in the flower: “We bought it several years ago from an auction. At that time, it was only a seedling, but it was quite vicious already.”
Li Qiye only gave a passing glance at the flower and nodded his head approvingly: “It is growing well, it seems that your alchemists have a bit of skill.”
Others would think that Li Qiye was arrogant without peer after hearing this. The imperial palace had many alchemists, but Li Qiye said it as if they were not worth mentioning.
Madam Zi Yan didn’t think anything of it. Since she had seen his pill refinement skill personally, she knew he was qualified to make such a statement.
However, the other alchemists were very unhappy, especially Qing Yu who responded with a scowl.
Madam Zi Yan smiled and said: “Young Noble is too kind. This is only a display of insignificant skill and is not worthy of your approval. Moreover, the palace can’t take all the credit for this. It was really difficult to grow this Ominous Star Flower. After planting it, it would prey on the other spirit medicines, never settling down…
“Luckily, an elder alchemist from the Qing Clan and Qing Yu researched and created a new fertilizing water meant for this flower. With it, we were able to calm it down and the flower was able to grow much better.”
Qing Yu’s actions caused her displeasure, but she was a wise ruler and didn’t want to bury a good talent, so she asserted his contributions to this matter.
Qing Yu couldn’t help but reveal a smug look after being praised by Madam Zi Yan. This was one of his greatest achievements since mixing fertilizer was a test of skill. Even though it was not mixed by him alone, he indeed contributed greatly to its creation.
Li Qiye looked at the flower and shook his head to say: “This is only treating the symptoms and not addressing the root cause; it’s only an illusion of wellness. This strain of fertilizing water can only hold on for two to three more years. Afterward, the flower will become even fiercer.”
Madam Zi Yan’s heart thumped upon hearing this, so she quickly inquired: “Does Young Noble have a way to save it?” Although she didn’t understand the inner workings of this matter, she was very confident in Li Qiye’s alchemy skill.
The smug Qing Yu’s expression quickly changed after hearing Li Qiye’s critique. Li Qiye belittling the unique recipe was the same as provoking him!
“Hmph! How arrogant!” Qing Yu coldly said: “Anyone can see that this Ominous Star Flower is growing well, don’t comment haphazardly and delude people with lies!”
This unique fertilizing strand was one of his proudest achievements, so he became furious when Li Qiye put it down. He had previously viewed Li Qiye as an enemy, but he became even more aggressive now.
Initially, Li Qiye was too lazy to bother with a little character like Qing Yu, but this ant jumped in front of him once again so he had to teach him a lesson. He didn’t bother to give a glimpse at the guy as he slowly spoke: “This fertilizing formula only has Corruption Ward Sacred Water, the other ingredients are not worth mentioning. The flower is calm because of this water.”