The duo continued their journey at a relaxed pace. Li Qiye seemed to be measuring the area during the trip. What was even stranger was that he looked to be refining this place. Each of his steps aimed to leave behind an imprint.
He also took his time observing every village and town that had the withered.
After having to stop by each village and city, she eventually asked: “Ego King, why are you researching? What is your goal?”
“What goal? I’m just researching.” Li Qiye casually smiled: “In fact, the withered are great references. From nothing to something, they are seeds that will give birth to a race. Even though they have all kinds of deficiencies and shortcomings, there is a lot of value in studying them.”
“And then?” She was still puzzled. In fact, most cultivators wouldn’t care about this issue even if they knew that the withered started from seedlings. The majority of them would worry about how to obtain treasures or how to cultivate certain merit laws. Thus, who would care about this trivial matter of the withered and their origin?
“It’s nothing.” Li Qiye smiled: “Just an interesting and valuable reference for the start of a race. What experience they need, how to change — this information is all priceless. They start by borrowing a body, so there is a huge issue right away. However, after transforming and changing, they become something unimaginable. Such a shift requires millions of years that cannot be exchanged.”
He became solemn as he went on: “Humans and treants don’t have the same strange origin as the withered. After all, the withered weren’t blessed by the heavens like the other races, especially the charming spirits. The other races were born and relied on the world. In contrast, the withered are not protected by the world and not loved, so they have no choice but to be born with this strange method. Nevertheless, from birth to forming groups — a gradual process of becoming a race, this is all interesting and worth exploring.” He sighed at this point.
“It sounds like you are trying to create a race.” Her demeanor shifted while looking at him.
Despite her tender age, she was still from a treefather’s lineage and understood the significance of this unbelievable task. Like Li Qiye had said in the past, creating life is the business of the high heavens!
If he could accomplish this task, it would be simply terrifying. Not even Immortal Emperors have accomplished this.
“Who says I want to create a race?” Li Qiye gently shook his head: “I only want to understand the world a bit more. As a frog at the bottom of a well, I want to understand what the damned heavens is thinking by exploring the creation of the withered.”
Such casual words would cause others to be astonished. Her knowledge far exceeded ordinary cultivators, so she realized something after hearing this.
Understanding the thoughts of the damned heavens! Such a nonchalant remark was more than enough to shock others.
Just think about it, how many cultivators would try to do so? This has exceeded their scope of comprehension. Only characters that have reached the emperor level would ponder about this issue.
“Trying to understand the heavens? What are you thinking, do you want to replace it?” Her eyes widened in disbelief.
“Who says that I want to replace it?” Li Qiye smiled: “What’s so good about being the villainous heavens? An ultimate state of indifference is nothing pleasant. However, some tasks need to be explored and accomplished in the end.” No one could see through Li Qiye’s unfathomable eyes at this time.
There were many towns and villages along the way. However, they were antagonistic towards outsiders and refused to allow any integration. Of course, there were exceptions, such as the Divine Tree Citadel! This city accepted everyone, even outsiders. It permitted all-inclusive trading as well.
At the same time, this was the largest establishment of the withered and one of the largest cities in all of Godhalt.
It was built at the intersection of two mountain ranges. If one could see the city with their own eyes, they would definitely be shocked by the spectacle. This place had two mountains pierced into the earth and crossed each other all the way to the sky. The city itself was built in this intersection by the withered, so it was hanging spectacularly in the air.
Ye Xiaoxiao grew excited at the sight of the city and cultivators coming and going: “So the Divine Tree Citadel is built here. I had always thought that it would be on the ground.”
Li Qiye smiled and brought her to climb along the mountain range. There were a few withered heading for the city along the way as well.
Xiaoxiao asked Li Qiye: “Why do the withered here interact with outsiders and even trade with them?”
Up until now, she had always asked Li Qiye whenever a question came up. She found that he knew much more than the ancestors of her sect.
He smiled: “This is a process that a race must go through to advance from a low to high-level civilization. Village to town to a great city... For these withered, the small villages are for recently transformed withered. Once they are independent, they can head to a town or even a big city like this one.
“How can one become a true race without trading and interacting with others? For example, even if they could stay independent like the charming spirit and human sects, they would still choose to communicate with others. This is a necessity in order to grow stronger.”
She nodded repeatedly while listening to Li Qiye. After all, she was still too young and, despite her vast knowledge, she couldn’t grasp all of it and the topic he was commenting on.
Eventually, they arrived outside of the city gates. There was a great tree protecting this citadel. It towered all the way into the sky with four extremely old roots supporting the base. Each root guarded one of the entrances.
When looking upward, an old face could be seen on the tree. It looked very benevolent and had a long, gray beard. Its features were friendly just like a neighboring grandpa.
At this moment, its eyes were closed as if sleeping.
She felt inquisitive and asked: “What is that? Another withered?”
“Yes and no. It can be said to be a withered but also something else entirely. It is the city lord of this place as well as the divine guardian of the withered.” He smiled.
“They have a divine guardian too?” She was surprised by this revelation.
“It’s unique. The other withered all transformed from corpses. Before becoming a divine guardian, it was already famous and was referred to by others as the Terminus Divine Ancestor. Its prestige once deterred the rest of the world.”
“Terminus Divine Ancestor!” Despite not knowing this withered ahead, she was all-too-familiar with the name Terminus after hearing it many times in the past.
She asked with astonishment: “Isn’t this one of the most powerful geniuses during the generation of the Golden Bamboo Ancestor?”
She knew this name very well because Terminus used to be the strongest rival of her own ancestor, the Golden Bamboo Ancestor.
Even though Terminus couldn’t become a treefather in the end, their illustrious achievements still shone across the nine worlds. Since she grew up in the Golden Isle, she had heard of the progenitor’s tales, hence her familiarity with the name Terminus.
“Yes, that’s the Terminus Divine Ancestor, your progenitor’s rival.” Li Qiye smiled: “After failing to become a treefather, he voluntarily merged with a seed here at the ridge. The most incredible part of this whole thing was that he stayed alive after fusing with one. Ultimately, he took root here and became the guardian of the withered and this city!”