When one’s gaze is set upon the Alchemy City, they would see endless rolling hills and majestic mountains. There were large rivers that resembled silver serpents. Everything here was full of life, and the worldly energy even permeated the air. Spirit grasses and shining alchemy materials could be seen as far as the eye could see.
The entire Alchemy City was just a huge landscape with no walls or boundaries. Inside the mountains were huge pavilions that reached into the sky. Among the straight precipices were suspended temples. Inside the valleys were floating ancient shrines…
Hidden buildings were everywhere in this place, and divine bridges spanned across thousands of miles. Rainbows connected one mountain to another, making spectators think that this was a land of the immortals.
An older legend said that this city was not named Alchemy City in the past, others referred to it as Phoenix City. As for the reason, very few people — later on — could say why. Even the imperial family didn’t know the exact details.
There were many speculations regarding the name “Phoenix City.” However, these speculations themselves were just hearsay and were without concrete evidence.
However, one of them was more reliable. In ancient times, there were no human inhabitants in this place. There were no golems or demons either since they couldn’t take half a step into this location.
This was because a divine tree took root and protected this great landscape. Later on, a phoenix came to this area and chose the divine tree as its nest. From then on, the phoenix lived on top of this divine tree, looking down on the nine heavens. Not a single cultivator could come close to this amazing land.
However, both the phoenix and the divine tree, despite their invincible and mystical strength, would still have their lifespans wither until the eventual day of their demise.
The legend went on to say that during that period, both of these creatures were unwilling to die and wanted to be reborn. Thus, the phoenix burned the divine tree and used its supreme divine flame to bathe itself, hoping to obtain the nirvana of rebirth.
Unfortunately, both of them were unsuccessful in the end. This supreme divine flame burned for ten thousand years before leaving only ashes behind! Of course, these were still divine creatures, especially the tree. Although they were burnt to ashes, they still left behind an extremely fertile land.
From then on, in just a short thousand years, countless spirit medicines and treasure trees appeared in this land. Countless auspicious beasts came to this place. There was even a rumor stating that in the deepest areas, the phoenix bones and the tree root were still burning!
After so many years, very few people in this world could remember that Alchemy City was once Phoenix City. However, this land remained full of life and energy.
Li Qiye’s group didn’t directly go to the reception of the kingdom. He chose a remote mountain within the city and stayed there.
There were many buildings and temples in the city, but there were even more mountains and peaks; many of them were unoccupied.
It could even be said that anyone who came to this place could pick a mountain to stay at. However, it would only be for a short period of time and not something permanent.
Those who could erect a foundation and create their own sects here had to earn the approval of the imperial family. Moreover, this crowd consisted of either subjects of the kingdom or were part of the side branches of the imperial family. Such a good opportunity was not available to outsiders!
Outsiders only came and stayed at these mountains and valleys for a short amount of time. No one dared to stay long since it would be akin to challenging the kingdom’s autonomy.
Li Qiye picked a great mountain that reached all the way into the clouds. This mountain seemed to be quite old and tattered as if someone had crushed it or it had been scorched by flames.
No vegetation grew at this place since it was very dry. Standing on this mountain, a dry heat assaulted their faces. Anyone, at this time, would feel very annoyed.
Despite its towering size, this desolate mountain was out of place among these rich lands.
The madam couldn’t help but say while standing on top of this place: “The worldly energy of this mountain seems to have been drained.”
Li Qiye stood on the highest point to look at the four directions, but he didn’t say anything.
Tie Yi also looked around to the distant lands. He noticed that the vegetation around here was not flourishing and the worldly energy was quite lacking. He immediately said: “It’s not just the mountain’s energy, it seems that all the locations around it are affected as well.”
Li Qiye withdrew his gaze and revealed a faint smile to say: “We’ll stay here for the time being.”
The madam was confused and asked: “Young Master, the Alchemy Kingdom prepared a main hall to receive all the alchemists from their respective sects for this conference. Why are we not going there?”
“It is more convenient to kill while outside.” Li Qiye responded with a grin.
The madam couldn’t help but chuckle at this reasoning. Compared to this reasoning, nothing else could be more silence-inducing.
She said: “If Young Master wants to kill people, you should pick a prettier location. This place only agitates people. Perhaps this is an ominous place and would cause people to be flustered.”
“You’re right.” Li Qiye commented: “This is not a good location, but it is a very decent place to kill. We’ll stay here, there will be a good show later on.”
The madam stopped talking and immediately summoned a treasure pavilion. In the blink of an eye, a square courtyard fell down to the mountain. The sound of flowing water could be heard from the garden. Otherwise, this dry mountain would drive people crazy.
While the madam was preparing the rooms, Li Qiye ordered Tie Yi: “Take a stroll around the city to see if there is any good news or not.”
Tie Yi quickly became spirited and asked: “What kind of news does Young Noble require?”
Li Qiye gave him a glance and said: “Aren’t you really good at guessing people’s thoughts? What kind of news do you think I want to hear?”
Tie Yi answered: “Okay, you can rest assured. With my service, you’ll hear exactly what you want.” Having said that, he immediately took his leave.
Li Qiye smirked and asked the ant: “Wait, are you not drilling into the ground?” Until now, Tie Yi had always been traveling underground.
“Young Master, you must be joking.” Tie Yi coughed and said: “The lands beneath the Alchemy Kingdom are very dangerous — this is known to all past dwellers. Moreover, Young Master picked a location like this, so how could I easily just dive underground? At best, I can only dive a couple meters below the surface and not any deeper. What if there is something down there that will devour me? I would be finished! What’s even more frightening would be if I touched the forbidden magic beneath the kingdom. At that point, wouldn’t I truly be done for?”
“So, it appears that you’ve been down there before?” Li Qiye remarked cheerfully.
Tie Yi awkwardly smiled and didn’t dare to say anything else. He quickly left as if he was running away.
After the madam prepared Li Qiye’s living quarters, she went into the garden and saw her Young Master playing around with some pots and bowls as well as sprinkling some powder onto the ground. He left a lot of strange things on the mountain.
After seeing all the pots and bowls as well as the small pool of water that emitted a very pungent smell, the madam curiously asked: “Young Master, what are these things?”
Li Qiye kept himself busy while answering: “Just preparing a few things. One always needs to prepare before killing. My hands have been itching lately, and I have a few methods that I haven’t played with in a while. Constantly killing people instantly is very boring.”
“Is this the method Young Master is talking about?” The madam looked at the pots. There were many things she had never seen before.
Li Qiye said with a smile: “To be more exact, this is a part of alchemy. Alchemy is not only about refining pills or curing wounds. It is a very rich art that incorporates beast mastery, changing of tribulations, and stealing from the heavens…”
He narrowed his eyes and continued on: “Since people say that the Alchemy Kingdom is the model for alchemy, we have to play with alchemy to be tasteful, right? Always using force can be quite tiring.”
The madam couldn’t see through what her Young Master was planning. After a while, he was finally finished with these pots. They all had strange shapes and seemed very bizarre, leaving the madam completely confused.
After a while, Li Qiye finished and brushed off his palms while saying: “It has been a long time since I last played with these items, so I was a bit rusty. The treefather’s inventory was truly amazing; it had exactly what I needed. Otherwise, it would have been troublesome to collect them one by one.”
Before coming to the kingdom, the madam knew that her Young Master had taken a trip to the treefather’s treasury. So it was to take these materials.
“What purposes do these things serve, Young Master?” The confused madam didn’t try to guess and directly asked Li Qiye.
“You’ll find out very soon.” Li Qiye responded with a grin. He focused his gaze and said: “I hope the enemies will not disappoint me, or else this game will be very boring.”