Emperor Discussion

Chapter 1177: Ancestral Vine’s Calamity

Li Qiye sneered at the citadel lord: “Really, if your ancestral vine ever lives again one day, then it would crush all of you into meat paste out of anger. It would be so disappointed at how greedy its descendant is. Back then, in order to bear another calabash, you all tried to seize the essence of the Heaven’s Will but didn’t expect for a punishment from the heavens that left behind an eternal calamity on your ancestral vine.”

“How, how, do you know!?” The citadel lord was feeling quite ashamed but he became shocked after hearing this.

This was a great secret. Outside of the citadel lords across the generations, even very few ancestors knew about it.

Teng Jiwen was stunned as well since he didn’t know about this matter. As one of the descendants, he only knew that the ancestral vine was in trouble and needed an invisible alchemist. He didn’t know that this illness was caused by their ancestors in the first place.

“This is no secret at all. Even if your citadel has been quite deliberate in your concealment attempt, it still can’t hide from me.” Li Qiye smiled: “Back when Immortal Emperor Bu Si collapsed and the Heaven’s Will returned to the void, your group of ancestors became greedy and wanted to seize its essence in order to use it to produce another calabash so that they can live on with life replenishment. Alas, it was a complete disaster and the heavens answered with a punishment. If your ancestral vine wasn’t extremely powerful back then from being young, your Heavenvine Citadel would have been rendered to ashes!” 1

The citadel lord fell into silence after hearing this. Teng Jiwen was frightened as well. He didn’t expect that there was such a secret about their citadel. He looked over at the lord and asked: “Master, is this true?”

After a good while, the lord smiled wryly and said: “Since sir has already known about it, then there is no need to hide it from you. Yes, it is true.”

Teng Jiwen was stunned. He didn’t expect that the ancestral vine’s was inflicted by their own ancestors. His prior understanding that it was just a natural punishment from the heavens.

“It was a very long time ago and only a few ancestors had personally experienced it.” The citadel lord had to tell the story: “You are qualified to become the next citadel lord so there is no need to hide it from you. Back then, Immortal Emperor Bu Si fell into ruins and the Heaven’s Will returned to the origin. The Sacred Ancestor’s group had an extremely bold idea in order to gain another calabash but it only ended with the wrath from above.”

He was quite shaken after hearing this because it contained too much information.

“The collapse of an Immortal Emperor, so many priceless things came out to incite the greed of the salivating crowd.” Li Qiye chuckled. Even he was moved by this event.

Immortal Emperor Bu Si was praised as an undying who possessed true eternal life. However, his death was real. Moreover, he was the only emperor among them all with a known ending.

The legend told that he was unkillable throughout his entire life. He was put down time and time again. It was real death, not a type of suspended animation. However, he always climbed out of the dirt and revived successfully regardless of how he was killed.

After so many deaths, he eventually became Immortal Emperor. However, no one could have imagined that he would eventually collapse and die! Such a thing was too unbelievable. It became a stirring mystery.

For millions of years, everyone wanted to figure it out. Why was Immortal Emperor Bu Shi unkillable? Why did he collapse? Alas, an answer was not found.

The only thing people knew for certain that this was the only emperor whose final fate was known to all.

The boy stood there frozen. There were too much within this matter that he didn’t know about.

“I don’t want to talk to you about the individual aspects in this matter since there are too many.” Li Qiye gazed at the citadel lord and said: “I came with a message instead, your ancestral vine doesn’t have that much time left.”

The lord was shaken and immediately stood up again: “Sir, are you certain!?”

“You can also think of it as mere alarmist talk, an attempt to scare you, and not worry about it. However, I can only say that I have told the truth and laid out the opportunity. Whether you wish to seize it or not, it is up to your citadel now.” Li Qiye answered.

The flustered citadel lord didn’t believe Li Qiye at all in his mind. Nevertheless, he still asked: “Then, sir, how long can our ancestral vine hang on for?”

“If I was motivated by my own gains, I can scare you and say ten years, or it is on the verge already.” Li Qiye smiled: “However, no need to do so. Your ancestral vine can still survive a bit longer than the Peacock Tree.”

“That is impossible!” The citadel lord simply didn’t believe Li Qiye and blurted.

In fact, Teng Jiwen was skeptical as well: “Sir, that can’t be. Our ancestral vine is still full of vitality. It can shoulder the stars and grasp the sun and moon. If it wasn’t doing well, we would have recognized it already.”

This was an understandable reaction. After all, the tree was still in its prime with exuberant life force. How could it collapse so easily?

“This has nothing to do with life span.” Li Qiye said lightly: “It is due to the calamity. Despite it being very strong, it won’t be able to handle this stress for much longer.”

“Sir, our ancestors have sealed the calamity. If it could break through the seal, our citadel will know right away. I’m afraid your words are not very persuasive.” The lord replied.

Li Qiye looked at him with one eye and said dismissively: “It is your business to believe it or not. Go ahead and think about it but let me remind you, my time is limited.”

There was nothing left to say so the citadel lord stood up and bowed to say: “Since it is so, I will have to discuss this with the ancestors.” He turned and walked away afterward.

Teng Jiwen was one step behind his master. After the citadel lord, he hesitated for a moment and looked at Li Qiye then spoke with sincerity: “Sir, is this the truth?”

Li Qiye stared at him and smiled: “You can think that I am deceiving you but the person making the choice is no longer me. I’m giving your citadel exactly one chance. Think about it carefully.” Li Qiye pointed at his own head and said: “I can replenish the life of the Peacock Tree, what else can’t I do? Do you really think that I must beseech your citadel for the calabash?”

Teng Jiwen mused quietly. It was definitely not wise for Li Qiye to try to trick them for the calabast. After all, it wasn’t that easy to trick them. Plus, if he offended them, there would be no place for him to stay at Heaven Spirit. Lastly, the truly capable people wouldn’t resort to suck trickery.

He eventually said: “Sir, even if I trust you, the ancestors won’t.”

“That is your business. As the descendant, you can go do something about it. The fate of the Heavenvine Citadel will be up to you or those old geezers.”

“I’ll try.” He said weakly: “But I’m not sure whether I can convince them at all.”

At this moment, he believed Li Qiye more. The person didn’t need to trick them. Moreover, curing the ancestral vine was much better than one Heavenvine Calabash. Eventually, he bowed and left.

The citadel lord immediately met several ancestors upon his return. After hearing the claim, they immediately went to check the seal of the calamity. The seal remained completely untouched.

Nevertheless, for prudence’s sake, the citadel lord still convened a meeting and invited several more ancestors. Many old ancestors disagreed with Li Qiye’s claim and thought that he was simply trying to scare them for the calabash.

However, the citadel lord still carried out this meeting solemnly. He personally met Li Qiye and though he still had a lot of questions, from their conversation, he felt that the possibility of Li Qiye lying to them was quite low. After all, this was their territory, don’t even think about leaving if he was trying to trick them. On the other hand, those strong enough to leave their citadel forcefully would look down on such trickery.

After the meeting, many ancestors denied Li Qiye’s argument. They thought that even if he wasn’t trying to trick them, it was still exaggerated.

The citadel lord’s idea was to ask Li Qiye to treat the ancestral vine. In his mind, regardless of how long the vine had left to live, it indeed was trapped by a calamity and they have always wanted to eradicate it.

Chapter 1178: Negotiation

Meanwhile, the Hao branch strongly opposed the citadel lord’s proposal. They were quite adamant in this regard.

The Hao branch was a powerful family in the Heavenvine Citadel. They had an ancient and powerful bloodline, especially their main disciple, Hao Yuzhen. He had an old regal bloodline. Both his background and bloodline were extremely noble.

The reason was very simple. Hao Yuzhen and Teng Jiwen were evenly-matched competitors for the seat of the citadel lord.

At the same time, the current citadel lord and Teng Jiwen were from a different branch. Though this competition between the two branches has not escalated to a life-and-death level, it has never ceased.

In particular, the rivalry between Hao Yuzhen and Teng Jiwen was quite fierce. The old regal bloodline from Hao Yuzhen made his cultivation quite strong. On the other hand, Teng Jiwen had his wooden eyes so he was equally powerful. Both of them had potential to become the new lord here.

Thus, the Hao branch naturally wouldn’t agree with this matter. If Li Qiye could actually cure the ancestral vine, this would result in a great merit for Teng Jiwen.

“He is only a charlatan of unknown origin, why should we trust his words?” An ancestor from the Hao branch was certain that Li Qiye was here for the calabash: “If our ancestral vine’s calamity is really as grievous like he says, we would have felt it already. Even our forefathers don’t seem to think so. The calamity is clearly sealed, he is just trying to be sensational.”

Many ancestors outside of the Hao branch agreed as well. After all, there was no negative signs on their ancestral vine.

If it was on the verge of collapsing, the citadel would have felt it. There should at least be some ominous signs but none were to be found right now. This was indicative of the vine’s current status. Moreover, their seal was completely untouched as well.

“I don’t think so.” The citadel lord went against the crowd: “If Mister Li is a liar, he should know that there will be no place for him to stay at Heaven Spirit after tricking us. But if he is confident enough about his own strength to deal with us, then does he need to lie in the first place?”

With that, he glanced at each ancestor and said: “Moreover, he knows more than even our imagination, secrets unknown to outsiders. How could a mere charlatan be privy to these things?”

“Some things will be found out if people try enough to learn about it. Plus, who dares to say with certainty that no one else has leaked the secret.” The Hao Ancestor coldly retorted.

The lord ignored him and focused on the other ancestors instead: “Let us take a step back and assume that Mister Li is simply exaggerating, but our ancestral vine is indeed wrapped by this calamity. Because of this, we have been trying to find treatments from one generation to another yet we still haven’t found an alchemist capable of doing so. But now, Mister Li is confident in his ability to cure our ancestral vine, this is a once in myriad generations opportunity for us.” 2

“What if he is just bragging in order to scheme for the Heavenvine Calabash?” The Hao Ancestor asserted.

The citadel lord looked at him and said flatly: “Gentlemen, all of our ancestors are here. Do you think a single junior can deceive all of us? If Mister Li is able to cure our ancestral vine, it will finally solve this timeless agony. Even if he doesn’t, what do we have to lose? If we don’t even have the courage to try, we will never be able to cure our ancestral vine.”

These words were quite logical. The ancestors here gandered at each other and felt that how could a junior trick all of them?

“We can indeed let Mister Li try it once.” One ancient ancestor finally spoke: “It is great if he could actually do it but he is asking for too much. You should know that the Heavenvine Calabash cannot be traded.”

“That’s right!” The Hao Ancestor immediately parroted: “Do you know what it means to not have the calabash for our citadel? We have so many old ancestors relying on it to renew their lifespan!”

Many ancestors fell silent about this topic. At this moment, they had several heaven-defying ancestors that needed the calabash in order to live longer. Otherwise, they would have fallen long ago. One could even say that without it, it would be a huge loss for the citadel in the near future.

The citadel lord contemplated quietly for a second. In fact, he meticulously considered this problem before the meeting and has made up his mind.

He stood up to look at the ancestors and raised his voice: “Ancestors, apology for the incoming disrespectful words from this junior. Even though the calabash is very important to us, but what is more important than the ancestral vine…”

“… Without the ancestral vine, the citadel will cease to exist. Upon its collapse, what will be left of this place? Only a few islands scattering at sea!? This alone cannot help us reach the pinnacle in Heaven Spirit! Without the ancestral vine, our children will have to leave their home! Please ask yourselves, is the calabash important or is the ancestral vine!?” He was very solemn in this speech.

This was difficult for many of these ancestors. Of course, the ancestral vine was the most important for them. However, those who don’t put themselves first would be scorned by the heaven and earth. This was especially true for the dying ancestors. They would be doomed without the calabash! Moreover, they still thought that there was still room to delay the treatment since they had ample time! 3

“Collapse, this matter is still too far away from us.” The Hao Ancestor coldly said: “We have plenty of time to find an alchemist who can heal it. We don’t necessarily have to rely on this Junior Li!”

“It might be far away or we might have enough time find the right alchemist, but one thing is certain. For many generations now, we have never been able to find one!” The citadel lord uttered clearly.

The ancestors here found themselves in a dilemma. If Li Qiye could actually cure the ancestral vine, it meant that they must pay a great price! Not everyone would be willing to do so.

“On this matter, I will have to consult some of the older ancestors.” The oldest ancestor here made his decision.

The citadel lord and the younger ancestors could only agree. They would make a final conclusion after the ancient ancestors have made up their mind.

Regardless of whether they would employ his service, the great hospitality did not go away. Li Qiye was still treated as an esteemed guest.

He stared at the vast sea on top of his room above the giant leaf. His eyes then full on the distant horizon.

The truth was that he didn’t care for the ancestors’ decision. Regardless of the result, he must obtain the Heavenvine Calabash with or without their consent.

A sweet breeze blew by. A woman suddenly floated closer and stood by his side.

She was very beautiful and emitted a fresh aura like a pearl placed on top of a green leaf.

“You are the alchemist invited by Senior Brother Teng?” She looked at him and asked.

He looked at her and smiled faintly: “Yes, that’s me.”

“I am a Heavenvine disciple. Senior Brother Teng asked me to come here to tell you to leave right away!” She said.

Li Qiye laughed in response: “Leave? Why do I have to leave?”

“Sir, you might be unaware of this but the situation is quite unfavorable for you.” She explained: “The ancestors think that you want to steal our calabash so they want to imprison you…”

Li Qiye bursted out in laughter before she could finish as if he has just heard the funniest thing.

“Why do you laugh?” She didn’t understand.

Li Qiye observed her for a bit before leisurely replying: “An ancient regal blood flows in you. At the Heavenvine City, only the Hao branch has this old treant bloodline!”

“There are two main branches, Hao and Teng. For millions of years, sometimes, the citadel lord would have someone from a different last name, but the majority of the time, this position would be taken by one of these two branches.” Li Qiye smiled and looked at the girl: “Teng Jiwen has wooden pupils so he is qualified to be the citadel lord. Your regal bloodline could keep up with him, but barely. When his wooden pupils reach the peak, it could sentence one’s life and death!”

The girl was startled and had to stagger back after hearing this. She stared at Li Qiye as if he was a ghost. Not even in her dream would she expect this seemingly insignificant person would be able to reveal her identity.

“Only a junior yet you still dare to scheme before me? You don’t know your own limits.” Li Qiye lazily sneered: “You just want to scare me away first, then you’ll tell everyone that I have escaped from being found out before putting the blame on Teng Jiwen in order to smear him. This little trick is not enough to get into my sight.”

The girl’s complexion turned white then green in a short time. Her tricks were exposed in such a humiliating manner!

  1. Bu Si = Undying Immortal Emperor or Everlasting Immortal Emperor
  2. Once in a lifetime sounds so much better but it has been used recently. This phrase sounds silly in English, but it does elevate the scale and stay true to the raw
  3. This is a common idiom that has a twisted meaning in this particular usage. The original intent is: Those who don’t cultivate themselves would be scorned by the heaven and earth. Cultivating oneself is one step to benefit society and others, not just for the self. However, the new meaning in literature is: Those who don’t put themselves first would be scorned by the heaven and earth. It is a justification for selfishness. Everyone is selfish, so you have to be as well in order to survive. Of course, there are other interpretations of this idiom. Another one is: Those who don’t better themselves (by taking actions) will be scorned by the heaven and earth. One must be active and working for improvement or the heavens will not help you

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