Chapter 1041 – Shadow
“Not yet. I plan on refining the Soul Cycling sword once I get a good grasp over the path of the sword. What, is it a problem?”
Li Qingshan gripped the hilt of the Soul Cycling sword. The icy-cool sensation was extremely comfortable in his hand. He had almost become somewhat convinced that he truly had a destiny with the Soul Cycling sword.
Hua Chengzan said, “It’s not a problem. That works too! Given your strength, it doesn’t really matter whether you have a sword or not anyway.”
“Junior brother Hua, so you’re here too!” Ji Xuanri’s voice suddenly rang out as he stepped into the gloomy Sword Collection pavilion with a warm smile.
“First senior brother.” Hua Chengzan lowered his head and bowed. The hand in his sleeve trembled slightly.
“You’re both old friends. If I’m not busy, I’d definitely invite the two of you to a drink.” Ji Xuanri nodded towards Hua Chengzan and said to Li Qingshan, “Qingshan, have you heard?”
“Heard what?” Li Qingshan asked.
“We’ve just received the news that the One Will master has already been granted the title of Monk King. The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga will be holding a conferment ceremony on Great Buddha mountain. They’ve invited cultivators from across the Green province. I’ve been invited too.”
Ji Xuanri walked over and glanced at Hua Chengzan for some reason. Hua Chengzan’s hand stopped trembling again.
Li Qingshan was surprised. He understood that this probably was not only for the sake of celebrating Xiao An’s achievements, or it would have never been so hurried. They were probably using this opportunity to discuss their plan against the Soaring Locust King together, just in case they startled him.
“You’ve spent quite a few days in the Pavilion of Heaven and Earth. Looks like you knew already. If I recall correctly, you’re the One Will Monk King’s cultivation partner! I’m basically filled with admiration with how quickly you cultivate.” Ji Xuanri smiled.
“You’re too kind. When do you plan on setting off?” Li Qingshan asked.
“Probably today. Would you like to come along with us?” Ji Xuanri asked.
“Probably not. You can go first! I’ll spend a little more time reading here. The breadth and depth of the knowledge in the Sword Collection pavilion is simply tremendous. I’d also like to catch up with Chengzan.” Li Qingshan gazed at Hua Chengzan beside him.
“Fair enough. Then you should stay here and study the sword techniques first! Oh right, junior brother Hua, come to the Heaven Leaning peak. The palace master has some things to pass onto the swordsmasters and elders of the various peaks before he leaves,” said Ji Xuanri.
“Yes, senior brother!” Hua Chengzan followed the orders and made his way out of the pavilion. Right when he was about to step out, he glanced back and smiled. “Qingshan, don’t refine the sword.”
The sunlight illuminated his face, rendering it half light and half dark. It outlined his handsome figure, which was filled with ease and joy.
Ji Xuanri’s eyes narrowed. His warm smile stiffened on his face.
“Why?” Li Qingshan followed up closely.
“I don’t think you’re particularly suited for the path of the sword. You should try a blade instead,” said Hua Chengzan.
“C’mon, let’s go get a drink together!” Li Qingshan rushed over and placed his hand onto Hua Chengzan’s shoulder.
“Maybe at night! It’s been so many years since I last saw you. I also want to have a good talk with you.”
Hua Chengzan waved his hand with a smile and stepped outside, entering the charming sunlight.
Li Qingshan was about to go after him when Ji Xuanri blocked his path, shaking his head with a smile. “Junior brother Hua is overly intelligent. He just likes to make decisions for himself sometimes.”
“Really? Or is there something wrong with the Soul Cycling sword?”
With a clang, Li Qingshan drew the Soul Cycling sword and pointed it at Ji Xuanri’s throat.
“I heard that Li Qingshan is someone who keeps clear tabs on his debts. Our Sword Collection palace has only treated you kindly, not only making you an honoured guest elder, but even allowing you to comprehend the Sword Collection Manual of Heaven and Earth. Is this how you pay us back?” Ji Xuanri questioned.
“Clear tabs on my debts!” Li Qingshan sneered. “That’s correct, I do keep clear tabs on my debts. When others show me a droplet of kindness, I will obviously show a spring of support. I can serve as an honoured guest elder of the Sword Collection palace, and I can write out the Sword Collection Manual for you. Even refining the Soul Cycling sword isn’t an issue. However, no matter what you’re up to, I’d advise you to give up on it. I’m not an enemy that you’d like!”
“You should believe that what I want is a friend, not an enemy. As for whether you write the sword manual or not, or refine the Soul Cycling sword or not, that’s completely up to you. I won’t force you to do anything.” Ji Xuanri moved the sword aside gently.
Li Qingshan sheathed the sword. This was the Sword Collection palace. He could begin a great battle recklessly, but he had to take Hua Chengzan’s safety into consideration. Hua Chengzan had clearly come to warn him despite the great risk. Once he fell out with them, there would be no more room for reconciliation.
Ji Xuanri turned around and took his leave gracefully. Li Qingshan sank into his thoughts for a moment and gripped the Soul Cycling sword, drawing out a portion of it again. It was as thin as the wings of a cicada, filled with moonlight.
Is the sword where the Sword Collection palace’s scheme lies? Whatever. No matter what, I have to protect Hua Chengzan first! Li Qingshan thought.
Right when he was about to leave the Sword Collection pavilion and catch up with Hua Chengzan, there was a flash of light before his eyes, which wove into a wall.
Streaks of light rushed over from the various peaks, converging above the Sword Collection peak in the sky. A beam of light shot down from the Sword Collection peak, enveloping the Sword Collection pavilion and sealing Li Qingshan inside.
Li Qingshan raised an eyebrow. “The audacity!”
A while later, there was a great rumble, and the beam of light from the Sword Collection peak twisted and shattered. The Sword Collection pavilion, which had stood for several thousand years, was reduced to countless splinters, spraying out in all directions.
Li Qingshan stood in the centre of the ruins with the Frenzy Flower Blade of Path’s End placed before him. He looked around, but there was no ambush like he had been imagining.
The surroundings were peaceful. Only thousands of pages fluttered through the air like great snow.
He raised his head and glanced at the Sword Collection peak. Clearly, the might of the protective sword formation had not been completely unleashed.
Just what is the palace master thinking? Did he only want to trap me here for a moment?
Li Qingshan expanded his soul sense and searched around, but he was unable to find Hua Chengzan’s aura.
Beneath the Heaven Leaning peak, swords glimmered as sword qi rampaged about.
Li Xiaoyao currently concentrated on circulating his true qi as hard as he could as he powered the sword in his hand. He was involved in a serious spar with his seniors and juniors.
After they heard a great rumble, everyone stood and looked in the direction of the Sword Collection pavilion.
Li Xiaoyao looked over, before continuing with his training. Suddenly, a large figure appeared before him. “Where is Hua Chengzan’s dwelling?”
Li Xiaoyao was taken aback. He had never expected Li Qingshan to appear before him out of his own accord and strike up a conversation with him.
Everyone lowered their swords and bowed in a hurry. “Honoured guest elder!”
“Honoured guest elder, elder Hua has left with the palace master and everyone else,” Li Xiaoyao said politely.
“Did any other elders and swordmasters accompany them?” Li Qingshan’s heart sank as he questioned closely.
“I don’t think so.”
“Damn it!” Li Qingshan cursed.
It was basically impossible for anyone but great cultivators to be involved in the plan against the Soaring Locust King, and if it were only an ordinary ceremony, there was even less reason to take Hua Chengzan along with them.
“Honoured guest elder, is something wrong?” Li Xiaoyao could not help but ask. Hua Chengzan had shown him much care over the years, so he was obviously concerned for him too.
“Which peak is Yu Zijian on?”
Li Qingshan then learnt that Yu Zijian had gone out travelling with Fu Qingjin, which made his frown deepen even more. Fu Qingjin had suffered such heavy wounds, so what was he doing travelling outside instead of staying in the Sword Collection palace and recuperating?
A shadow was cast over his mind. Li Qingshan made up his mind. “Whatever. I’ll pay a visit to the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga and see just what kind of tricks you’re trying to use!”