Li Qiye silently walked across the mountain range while measuring the earth. This land was calm without any commotion; Li Qiye knew that this was the result of the Godking’s countless efforts. He didn’t fly while he was in the Celestial Peak, he only slowly trod towards his destination since he needed the measurement.
The Celestial Peak, at the moment, was quite hilly and sparsely populated; it was a garden for beasts and birds. At the same time, due to the dangerous and steep terrain full of unknowns, many spirit medicines flourished here. There was even a rumor that there was a King Medicine around, but until now, no one had been able to catch it. As Li Qiye walked alone on his path, he had not seen a single person. It might be difficult to find even a single cultivator in this place.
It wasn’t until one day when Li Qiye went through a deep valley that he saw a woman picking herbs. Moreover, she was a human.
It was not easy to meet a member of the human race in the Stone Medicine World; it was even rarer than meeting a charming spirit, especially at an area like the Celestial Peak. Within the radius of 100,000 miles, almost no people could be found, so meeting a human here was even rarer than meeting a King Medicine.
This woman was nailing sharpened pieces of thorn into the ground all around the valley. She was trying to pick a particularly rare spirit medicine that was hiding underground, so she had begun to seal the valley. After she had done so, she began to pour alchemy water into the valley. This special strand was specifically created by her. When poured onto mud, it would act like little serpents that drilled into the ground.
The woman was using it in order to chase the spirit medicine underground and bait it into a trap she had prepared well beforehand.
Li Qiye was standing above the mouth of the valley and quietly watched this woman’s every move. The woman also knew that Li Qiye was here, but she only turned and smiled at him before completely focusing on chasing the medicine underground.
Li Qiye watched this scene with a smile and took another look at the woman. She wore a commoner’s dress that was embroidered with pure lotus flowers, giving a very fresh and elegant appearance.
She was elegant and refined with beautiful features and a pair of bright eyes without any cloudiness. Her body exuded the aura of a lotus in a valley — lucid and delicate. She carried herself with a calm demeanor, giving off the gentle feeling of jade.
In the eyes of others, this woman would be a gem adored by all. She would give off a serene feeling to anyone who set their gaze upon her.
Li Qiye just stood there, watching while enjoying her every move. He had seen too many beauties in this world, whether they were fairies or arrogant noble daughters, but he appreciated this type of warm and elegant lady the most.
Inside the valley, the spirit medicine underground finally appeared after being driven around by the woman. This was a spirit root with a smoky purple color. The moment it came out, it turned into a wisp of purple smoke that erupted from the ground and bloomed to take form. This was a Seven-petals One-flower spirit medicine.
However, the moment it got out from the ground, it fell into the trap that the woman had prepared well in advance. With a popping sound, it was immediately sealed; any attempt at escape would be in vain.
The woman couldn’t help but reveal a smile after seeing the trapped spirit medicine. She quickly approached and wanted to put the flower into her treasure container.
“Slow down, slow down.” When she wanted to act, Li Qiye started to speak: “Watch out for the murderous aura under the third petal.”
After hearing Li Qiye, the woman paused and took a careful look at the third petal on the flower. She couldn’t help but feel a chill after seeing the situation of this petal. She then took out a medicine bottle and moved it closer to this petal.
The moment it got close, the medicine bottle spewed out a blue mist that quickly surrounded this petal. With another popping sound, a poisonous insect as thin as a cicada wing fell into the bottle.
The woman quickly sealed the bottle and heaved a sigh of relief. After determining that everything was fine, she finally put the spirit medicine flower into her container. After she confirmed that the flower had been secured, she finally relaxed.
“Thank you, Dao Brother, for the reminder.” The woman came out from the valley and approached Li Qiye, expressing her gratitude.
Li Qiye smiled in response and said: “It is nothing much. With your alchemy skill, it wouldn’t have made it hard for you, it would have just been a little troublesome.”
The woman couldn’t help but give off a smile that radiated a peaceful glow. She spoke: “I didn’t think that I would meet a kinsman at the Celestial Peak; this is quite a rare occasion. I am Yuan Caihe from the Serene Garden, may I have your name?”
Li Qiye smiled and calmly answered: “Li Qiye.”
Yuan Caihe was a bit surprised to find Li Qiye acting so calm. Li Qiye smiled and continued: “I know the Serene Garden, it’s a famous alchemy heritage in the Stone Medicine World that was started by Alchemy Emperor Tian Weng.” 1
Yuan Caihe was a bit embarrassed, but she didn’t lose her cheerful confidence as she said with a smile: “Excuse me.”
It turned out that Yuan Caihe was one of the four alchemy prodigies in this world, the descendant of the Serene Garden. As for the garden, it was a famous alchemy lineage in the Stone Medicine World that was established by Alchemy Emperor Tian Weng.
Although the Serene Garden stood aloof from worldly affairs, its dao of alchemy continued to prosper since it was as famous as the Bailian Clan. Moreover, its plant cultivation arts could be considered number one in the world with no rival. 2
Not long after her debut, Yuan Caihe’s fame spread far and wide. Although she was a quiet and peaceful person who had no intention of competing with others, her plant cultivation had no peers in the contemporary era.
Despite not trying to win fame, she had helped several great powers and imperial lineages by planting supreme medicines — this feat added her to the list of the four alchemy prodigies.
Alchemists were extremely prominent in the Stone Medicine World, so as one of the four prodigies, everyone knew her name, especially cultivators. When anyone else heard her name, they would feel astonished or excited, but Li Qiye was still calm. This really surprised Yuan Caihe a bit. After he gave his answer, she now knew that he was aware of the Serene Garden, but she didn’t know who he was.
Nevertheless, she was a brilliant woman with an open mind, so she didn’t mind such a thing. She asked with a smile: “Is Dao Brother also an alchemist?”
Among all the women Li Qiye had met, her smile was not the most beautiful and enchanting, but it carried a tranquil force that soothed the hearts of others.
Li Qiye shook his head and smiled to say: “No, the dao of alchemy is only a hobby of mine.”
“To understand the location where this purple flower ambushes its predator so well, you must really like your hobby.” Yuan Caihe smilingly responded.
Li Qiye chuckled and said: “I do some research on rare occasions, but I can’t compare to the number one plant cultivation arts of the Serene Garden.”
Yuan Caihe laughed and gently shook her head to say: “Your praise is too much. Brother Li shouldn’t mind that matter from earlier.”
Li Qiye didn’t say anything else, he only smiled. If someone who knew Li Qiye were here to witness this, they would be shocked to see such a scene. Li Qiye acting so humble was the same as the sun rising from the west. Those who knew him were well aware that Li Qiye didn’t know what the word “modest” meant.
Li Qiye’s rare modesty was due to the Serene Garden truly having a brilliant take on plant cultivation and also because Li Qiye appreciated girls like Yuan Caihe. He was in a particularly good mood, so his speech became correspondingly gentler.
They began to walk together. Yuan Caihe didn’t ask where Li Qiye was going, she only followed along while discussing how to grow different types of plants.
Yuan Caihe was a very dedicated person regarding the dao of alchemy and plant cultivation. She put all of her energy into growing different types of vegetation. It could even be said that she was the authority in this regard, and no one else in the Stone Medicine World could compare to her.
If it was someone else, even alchemists, they wouldn’t be able to keep up with her on this subject because she really was the best. Her views on alchemy plants were insightful and detailed, but who was Li Qiye? If he claimed to be number two regarding the dao of alchemy, then no one else would dare to claim to be number one! Even the four alchemy prodigies were lacking compared to him.
Because of his great knowledge on this topic, Yuan Caihe was very excited, especially when Li Qiye revealed some of his thoughts on the subject that caused her eyes to light up.
As a very devoted woman, she got along very well with Li Qiye and regretted that they had not met sooner. She couldn’t help but tell Li Qiye everything she knew, even her most precious knowledge that shouldn’t be revealed to outsiders.
However, for someone like Yuan Caihe, a friend who could keep up with her was hard to meet; it was lonely at the peak. Other alchemists couldn’t maintain a long conversation with her on this topic, but now, after meeting this new friend, she told him all her insights and questions regarding the dao of alchemy.
Li Qiye also gave her some ideas on this matter. After countless years of accumulating plant cultivation knowledge, his ideas were priceless. He wouldn’t easily pass it down to someone, but he still told Yuan Caihe.
Meanwhile, some of her long unsolved questions had been answered today, so she was both happy and frightened after hearing Li Qiye’s thoughts.
1. Tian Weng = Old Farmer. 2. Bailian = Hundred/Amazing/All Refinements. Refinement here refers to alchemy.