After the carriage was no longer visible, one person had to say: “This Li Qiye… He’s only a junior, so why does he get to meet the treefather? My master, the Ancient Tusk Monarch, is the most talented demon monarch from the previous generation of the Alchemy Realm, but he still didn’t get to see the treefather.”
“Maybe it is because of the Giant Bamboo Country’s Divine Guardian. It and the treefather are the two demon forefathers of our world, so this might be why. Li Qiye and Madam Zi Yan are from that country, so it isn’t that strange for the treefather to see them.” An older cultivator speculated.
Many guests felt that this rationale made sense since it would be normal for the treefather to want to see the descendant of the other demon forefather.
The carriage ran along the wooden bridge. Although squeaking sounds could be heard, the journey was very smooth. It didn’t take long before the carriage made it to a peak.
The worldly energy on this peak was as vast as an ocean. Everything was dyed in a lively blue, giving the area the appearance of a grand ocean. Although this peak was not large, it felt as if it was the prime power of this land.
On top of the peak was an old pine tree that had experienced the turmoils of countless years. It took root in this land for millions of years, and nothing could shake it.
Upon Li Qiye’s arrival, an old man sitting below this tree stood up and came to greet him with an amiable smile, saying: “My younger generation is ignorant like a frog at the bottom of a well and didn’t know that Young Noble Li is exceptional, so they offended you. Please forgive them.”
This old man was the famous Allpine Treefather, the highest existence in the current Stone Medicine World. The old pine tree behind him was his real body.
If an outsider were to hear this, they would be completely dumbfounded and think that they must have misheard. A character like the treefather actually apologized to Li Qiye!
“I am curious, was it your idea, or did your disciples take it upon themselves?” Li Qiye sat calmly on his carriage and inquired while staring at the treefather.
The treefather met his gaze and responded with a genuine smile: “Little Maple had good intentions. He thought that Young Noble Li had a way to solve my problem, so he wanted to keep Young Noble Li behind. If you want to blame someone, I’ll take the blame. This is our Allpine Mountain’s fault.”
Li Qiye chuckled and disembarked the carriage. After gently patting the bull, he said: “Mmm, I do feel some sincerity. As for the reparations, I’ll think about it.” Having said that, he sat down next to the treefather without any reservation.
The treefather looked at the Imperial Draco-Bull standing to the side and couldn’t help but voice his praise: “What a divine creature! Once it turns into a True Dragon, we simply wouldn’t be able to compare to it.” Others might not be able to see it, but the treefather immediately knew that this was an auspicious beast with the bloodline of a True Dragon. Meanwhile, the bull calmly remained standing there, ignoring the treefather’s praise.
“Only a great man like Young Noble Li would be able to be the master of such a divine beast.” The treefather sat down next to Li Qiye and smiled kindly.
At the same time, Madam Zi Yan went to stand behind Li Qiye, waiting. Although she was a great demon and a king, her status and identity were not enough to gain her an audience with the treefather.
Li Qiye looked at the treefather and smiled to say: “Smart people find me very easy to deal with. As for this past matter, whether it was the Maple King personally taking the initiative or something else entirely, it is no longer important to me. Since you wanted to meet me, let us not waste time walking in circles. Get straight to the point.”
The treefather looked at Li Qiye and eventually sighed before speaking: “I have lived for countless years. In the Stone Medicine World, outside of the Giant Bamboo Divine Guardian, I’m afraid no one else has lived for as long as I have. For millions of years now, my eyes have seen many people, but I cannot see through Young Noble Li.”
“Not many people can see through me, so don’t mind it.” Li Qiye lightly responded.
The treefather pondered for a moment before speaking: “I have a certain problem, and Little Maple heard that you were able to communicate with the Giant Bamboo Divine Guardian, so he wanted to know the situation of the guardian to see if it could solve my problem. However, in my opinion, Little Maple went about it the wrong way. The same problem does not exist for the guardian. Although both of us are referred to as the two great demon forefathers, I know that Senior Divine Bamboo doesn’t share my problem.”
“You are right about that.” Li Qiye responded: “You are a true demon forefather, but the Giant Bamboo isn’t.”
The treefather gently nodded and added: “Which is why I said Little Maple was looking at things the wrong way. In my eyes, the real method to solve this problem is dependent on Young Noble Li and not with your ability to communicate with Senior Giant Bamboo. Your dao of alchemy is supreme, so today, I invited you here to see if you could solve this problem for me.”
“You are mistaken about this.” Li Qiye shook his head and explained: “Your problem isn’t something that can be solved by alchemists. I have picked up on the scent of medicines while sitting here. If I am not mistaken, you have recently gone to find the old alchemist of the Alchemy Kingdom to diagnose your problem.”
The treefather was momentarily stunned before voicing his praise: “Young Noble Li is truly unfathomable, indeed worthy of having an unparalleled dao of alchemy.” At this point, he nodded his head and admitted: “My situation is not looking very optimistic. Recently, things have been getting worse, so I had no choice but to shamelessly ask the old alchemist for help. Unfortunately, he was powerless as well.”
“It seems like you are pretty confident in me.” Li Qiye said with a chuckle.
The treefather smiled back in response and said: “I heard Young Noble Li could refine pills like cooking. Even those from the Alchemy Kingdom are incapable of such supreme pill refinement, so my hopes are quite high when it comes to you.”
“I know your problem very well.” Li Qiye seemed to have known this beforehand and said: “When the heavens want to end life, no one will be able to escape — this is part of nature.”
“Truly incredible, you know right away before even conducting a diagnosis. You are an incredible doctor.” The treefather’s expression changed after hearing Li Qiye’s words.
Li Qiye said with a smile: “This has nothing to do with being a good doctor. This is a tribulation; at the very least, only an existence like you would have to withstand such a tribulation.”
“One might be able to survive an act of god, but no one can survive a self-brought calamity.” The treefather wryly smiled and stated: “As such, this old life of mine depends on Young Noble Li. If even you cannot help me, I’m afraid I won’t live for much longer.”
After hearing the treefather, the madam standing behind Li Qiye was shocked and had to utter: “Is Treefather not like our Divine Guardian? Are you not able to live for tens of millions of years in this world?”
“No, I am not like Senior Giant Bamboo. I am a demon, but the senior is not.” The treefather slightly shook his head and said: “Senior Giant Bamboo chose not to gain his own sentience and remains unstained by the world. Without any emotions, he is an immortal bamboo, a tree that took root in the Elegant Azure Great Vein. He can continue to live on as an immortal bamboo, not caring about mundane matters.”
“But Senior is also rooted at the Allpine Great Vein.” The madam couldn’t help but say.
The treefather smiled and said: “Correct, I am indeed rooted in this great vein. However, I have sentience and have become a demon. Although taking root at this vein can allow me to live for three to five more generations, I am doomed to die in the end.”
Li Qiye grinned and commented: “Mmm, you can live for three more generations at best, so you are a bit unwilling.”
The treefather responded with a sad laugh: “Young Noble Li took the words right out of my mouth. Although I have countless divine techniques, after taking root at the great vein, I have become one with it. I can be anywhere in the millions of miles where the Allpine Great Vein stretches, but I can never leave it. Not even my avatar is able to do so.”
“Senior wants to go outside?” The madam was a smart person, so she immediately understood the treefather’s intent.
The treefather gently nodded and said: “That’s right, I have lived for generation after generation, but I have never left Allpine Mountain. While I can live for a few more years, I want to go see the world outside and wait till the day where my life comes to an end so that I can pass on without any regrets.”
“Unfortunately, you underestimated the power of the old villainous heavens.” Li Qiye chuckled once more.
The treefather smiled back and said: “In fact, I have lived for many years, and it was also my first time seeing the heavens slashing one’s lifespan. I wanted to leave this place, but I have to remove my main root first. I was well prepared to do so after tens of thousands of years…”
The madam was shaken after listening up to this point. For an existence like the treefather, his main root was not much different from his life. What price and efforts must he pay to cut off his own root?
The treefather paused for a moment before continuing: “Everything went smoothly as I was cutting off the main root. It’s just that I didn’t expect… at the very last moment, the high heavens sent down a mighty tribulation in an attempt to annihilate my lifespan. At my level, unless I wanted to become an Immortal Emperor and seize the Heaven’s Will, there would be no tribulation that I cannot handle. A mighty tribulation capable of slashing my very lifespan… It was my first time seeing one of this level.”