Damnit, why do we have to kneel? I’m not used to that. Looking at everyone else kowtowing to the statue devoutly, Long Chen couldn’t help being stupefied. He was too conspicuous now as the only one standing.
He knew this was the Wine God’s statue, a symbol of the Wine God’s inheritance, as well as representing the Wine God’s Dao. Kneeling toward it was to display their respect to the god.
This wasn’t a form of surrender, but simply etiquette. However, for a long time now, Long Chen hadn’t been able to force himself to kneel.
But with everyone else kneeling, standing would make Long Chen appear rude. Long Chen repeatedly told himself that this was just a kind of etiquette, no different than a bow.
He had only just managed to bend his knees when the High Priest’s voice suddenly rang out, “Everyone, come in. The wine has already been prepared, so I’d like to invite you to try it.”
Thank you High Priest. You’re really handsome, graceful, and smart! Don’t worry, I definitely won’t swindle you of your wine. Long Chen was delighted to be able to dispense with the kneeling etiquette.
Everyone only got up now. But seeing Long Chen, their expressions became odd.
The reason why they had knelt was because they had had no choice but to do so. They hadn’t been able to stop themselves. It had come from a reverence in their souls toward a god, and only by kneeling could they calm themselves.
“Long Chen, how brazen! Even the Wine God isn’t worthy of you kneeling?!” Han Wenjun directly insulted Long Chen upon seeing that he refused to kneel to the Wine God’s statue. He hoped to get the High Priest to expel him.
“Does it have anything to do with you?” Long Chen rolled his eyes at Han Wenjun. He was truly a petty little person. What kind of crappy prince was he?
Zi Yan looked at Long Chen in shock. She wasn’t jealous, she simply wanted to know how Long Chen could ignore a god’s divine might. Was he really so arrogant that he could even ignore a god?
They quickly advanced forward after hearing the High Priest’s summoning. They had only just left the statue when…
The statue suddenly became covered in fine cracks. The cracks were very tiny, and the sound was also very light. With their cultivation bases stripped, they ended up not sensing it.
In truth, the instant Long Chen had started to bend his knees, the statue had quivered ever so slightly. And it was also in that instant that the High Priest summoned them in.
Once they were inside the main hall of the palace, they saw a kind-looking old man with long white hair sitting and smiling toward them.
“Disciple greets the High Priest!”
They all hastily bowed. This High Priest was the one with the highest authority in the Wine God Palace. They all felt respect for him.
“There’s no need to be so courteous. Please, sit.” The High Priest pointed toward the mats in front of him.
From left to right, Zi Yan, Long Chen, Xia Youluo, Xia Yunchong, Han Wenjun, and Li Wanji sat down on the mats, looking at the High Priest before them.
The High Priest looked like a very ordinary elder. No one could sense any cultivation base from him. He wore simple hemp robes and had a cane by his side. It looked to be made out of ordinary wood and was not a martial weapon.
Sitting in front of the High Priest made them all feel exceptionally peaceful. They could be natural and familiar with him without constraining themselves.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken with guests. Today, I was lucky enough to speak so much with youngsters. It feels like I’ve even grown younger.” The High Priest smiled.
“Grandpa High Priest, you’re not old at all.” The frank and outspoken Xia Youluo directly comforted him.
“If you turn grandpa to big brother, he really won’t seem old at all.” Long Chen smiled slightly, but his expression quickly stiffened.
He didn’t know why, but the words he had only been thinking inside had popped right out of his mouth. He looked in shock at the High Priest. Just what kind of ability was this?
“Long Chen, don’t be rude.” Zi Yan glanced at Long Chen. He was going too far to even dare to joke at the expense of the High Priest. The others were too stunned to even react to that.
“Hahaha,” the High Priest laughed, “It’s fine. Youngsters should act like youngsters. Otherwise, by the time you reach my age, you’ll regret being too cautious in your youth.”
Long Chen was embarrassed, as well as apprehensive. The High Priest was probably even more terrifying than he had imagined. He wasn’t even able to be duplicitous in front of him.
“Disciple Zi Yan pays her respects to the High Priest. I beg the High Priest for his guidance,” said Zi Yan respectfully.
“This old man has nothing to teach you. The only thing I can do is give you a few jugs of old wine.” The High Priest shook his head.
A jug suddenly appeared in his hand, and he poured a bowl of wine in front of each of them, gesturing for them to drink.
Long Chen raised his bowl. He found that the wine seemed to be extremely turbid, but a careful examination shockingly revealed that the turbid entities were actually runes.
The wine actually had runes within it. All its energy had been locked into the runes, and when the wine was swallowed, the runes instantly dissolved, their energy crashing throughout the drinker’s entire body.
Buzz. Everyone’s bodies began to glow. Heaven and earth’s energy surged rapidly toward them, whirling around. But there was one exception. That was Long Chen.
Long Chen felt the runes dashing throughout his body, constantly nourishing it. All his pores were opened as if to drink in heaven and earth’s energy.
But that energy ignored him. It entered his body and then exited it, flying toward the other five. It was like there were six hungry hatchlings begging for food. The others were all fed but not Long Chen.
“This is a wine I made in the prime of my life. It is able to connect to heaven and earth’s energy to temper the body. Here, try the second wine.” The High Priest poured another bowl of wine for them, but this wine was completely clear. It would be assumed to be water if it weren’t for the fragrance coming from it. Entering their stomachs, the wine energy slowly spread throughout their bodies.
Compared to the previously fierce torrent of energy, this second wine was more gentle and mellow, leaving behind a rich aftertaste. Long Chen wasn’t able to sense the Heavenly Dao energy, but he saw Zi Yan and the others had content and relaxed expressions. They were clearly in a special state.
Long Chen couldn’t help but bitterly smile inside. It seemed he had come for nothing this time. These final wines seemed to have no affinity with him.
“This is the third wine. It is something new I’ve been developing over the past few years. Please, have a taste.”
Long Chen raised the third bowl. When he drank it, he couldn’t help being dumbfounded. How was this wine? It was clearly water.
Not only was Long Chen dumbfounded, Zi Yan and the others also did not comprehend. They clearly also felt like they had just drunk water. But comprehension suddenly flashed within Zi Yan’s eyes.
“Many thanks for High Priest’s pointers. The starting point is also the end point. Rebirth, breaking out of the cocoon, leaping onto a new track in pursuit of higher points.” Zi Yan respectfully bowed toward the High Priest.
“The true Dao is the peak of simplicity. It can be found in the curving of a square into a circle, in a surface broken by a dot, in a body covered by a surface. Even if it’s the inheritance of a god, the Dao can still progress,” said the High Priest.
Zi Yan once more bowed to the High Priest delightedly, filled with gratitude. “Disciple was lost and unable to break through the next barrier. Your pointers have allowed me to comprehend how to break through.”
“Haha, I don’t have the qualifications to give you pointers. I just offered you a few bowls of poor wine.” The High Priest smiled. “The rest of you can wander around the other places of the Wine God Palace. Perhaps you will be able to make a few gains. I have a few things I wish to say to young friend Long Chen, so please stay behind for a moment.”
Everyone was startled, looking at Long Chen with disbelief. The High Priest wished to speak to Long Chen alone?
There was no way for them to refuse. Han Wenjun and Li Wanji were both jealous. Han Wenjun had come this time just to see the High Priest. For this, he had spent three years studying wine, completely mastering wine tasting, winemaking, and all kinds of etiquette and knowledge.
Just by smelling it once, he could tell a wine’s craftsmanship, maturity, and composition. That was all so he would be able to appraise wine better and win the favor of the Wine God Palace’s disciples.
But now, although he had managed to see the High Priest, he had only drunk three bowls of wine, without even gaining the qualifications to speak to him before being shooed off. He panicked.
“High Priest, my Grand Han wishes to invite the Wine God Palace to establish a branch in my Grand Han, allowing the Wine God’s glory to shine in even more places,” said Han Wenjun hurriedly.
“That’s a good thing. I will consider it,” said the High Priest.
Han Wenjun was delighted to hear that. Only then did he leave with the others. Once they were gone, Long Chen said, “High Priest, you absolutely cannot establish a branch in the Grand Han.”
“Oh? Why is that?” asked the High Priest.
“Because if you go the Grand Han, the Wine God Palace will very likely become the Grand Han’s,” said Long Chen gravely.
“Haha, where the Wine God goes is not important. As long as it’s possible to properly lead the path of the Wine Dao, it’s enough. The only danger is certain people harboring improper intentions and misrepresenting the Wine God’s will. Now that we’re alone, if young friend has any questions, you can go ahead and ask them. If I can answer them, I definitely will.”
Even Long Chen didn’t know why the High Priest would treat him so specially. He couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by favor.
“Disciple truly has something he would like the High Priest’s help with…” Long Chen hesitated and told the High Priest about the medicinal wines he had made. He also brought them out for the High Priest to appraise.
“Just through a final combination, you were able to create such an effect. It’s practically a divine ability.” Even with the High Priest’s calm nature, he was shocked.
“This little one has some understanding of the Pill Dao. I hope to be able to undergo a mutually beneficial exchange with the Wine God Palace’s Wine Dao. Right now, these medicinal wines are just the result of compounding the wine’s effect with medicinal pills, making their effect limited. For the Pill Dao to merge with the Wine Dao requires them be combined in the brewing process.
“During this process, the Pill Dao and Wine Dao will corroborate each other, and I trust that it will be greatly beneficial to the Wine God Palace’s disciples’ cultivation. Otherwise, the Wine God Palace would not have agreed to cooperate with Pill Valley back then. Furthermore, I swear on my very life that I definitely won’t betray your trust like Pill Valley. All the medicinal wine will only benefit the people by my side, and I definitely won’t do anything to blaspheme the Wine God,” said Long Chen solemnly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter