Chapter 1157 – Inherent Nature
The building stood alone in the snowstorm, located in the centre of the mountain manor. It was the core of the entire formation, as well as a place of cultivation. Down below was a secret room that extended into the mountain, which also served as a treasury.
Li Qingshan and Gu Yanying arrived on the terrace at the top of the building. The wind and snow there was particularly intense. The manor below their feet had already become a blur. If they were any further away, it would have become a hazy-white.
Gu Yanying pulled her cloak around her. “No wonder the White Ape King is so difficult to communicate with. His aloofness was probably developed here.”
Standing on the highest peak, all the other mountains seemed small.
Even just scaling up a mountain every now and then would result in sentiments like that. If he remained so high up every single day, coupled with his unrivalled martial arts, it was unavoidable for his disposition to be affected.
“There’s nothing wrong with swordsmen possessing a bit of aloofness, but there’s always a mountain higher. The wind and snow is far too intense here. Let’s head down. Try not to catch a cold.”
Descending from the terrace, Li Qingshan left Gu Yanying in the study room on the second floor of the building to rest as he ventured alone to the secret room deep underground. It was pitch-black and icy-cold down there, not only lacking any light, but also lacking all facilities to provide warmth. The White Ape King’s body was tough enough to be impervious to the cold, and he did he need any light. However, as long as even a glimmer of light reached here, the precious treasures within the nooks of the walls would immediately shine and glow.
Li Qingshan did not look at the precious treasures around him. He only stared at the mountain rock below his feet that had been polished to a mirror-like surface, enough to make the fine texture. There was not a lot of it worth any attention, but in his eyes, it was even more enchanting than any treasure. He stared at it extremely seriously, even dropping down to one knee and touching it gently, feeling the hardness of the rock. His gaze seemed to lie in an extremely distant place, passing through the mountain and directly penetrating underground.
Actually, he was slightly different from Gu Yanying. As opposed to the vast, spacious sky, he preferred the firm and solid earth that bore everything on its back that would never be aloof. Even the cliffs and mountains were only equivalent to small bumps compared to the entire ground. Even mortals could scale precipitous mountains with a bit of effort, even complacently claiming they had conquered the mountain.
Does this world really restrict all of my powers?
Li Qingshan did not believe and refused to believe he only had the Divine Talisman of Great Creation. He sucked in a deep breath and sensed the deep earth below his feet quietly. Time trickled by.
The weather turned the mountain rock into something that was cold like metal. The coldness seeped into his body from the base of his feet, and his blood carried it to the rest of his body, making him gradually turn stiff. He did not use the Divine Talisman of Great Creation to stay warm. He even cast his cloak aside.
His body temperature rapidly plummeted, gradually approaching the verge of death. The obscure will of the heavens restrained everything, like a stern and cold father. He remained where he was, without moving, like a rebel son that would never yield.
Gradually, the icy-cold ground emitted warmth. The firm rock seemed to soften as well.
Like a needle that had pierced some kind of barrier, a sliver of power flowed from the ground beneath his feet into his body. It was an extremely insignificant amount, but it was endless. It bore some resemblance to his innate ability, the Strength of the Earth, but it was definitely much more than that.
The Ox Demon, with its Great Strength, Sinks in the Mud!
Unlike the other transformations of the demonic and divine, the Ox Demon Transformation was his foundation. From roaming the jianghu to running amok in the world, it had always been his most powerful transformation. Today, he had cast everything external inside, which instead revealed something that was most inherent to him.
The familiar and intimate power poured into his body, purging away the coldness as if it refused to see him die. He was the rebel son of the heavens, but the beloved son of the earth.
Li Qingshan was emotional. He bent down and kissed the ground firmly before standing up again and throwing a punch!
Bang! The thump of air echoed through the secret room.
He shifted his feet backwards and twisted his waist, throwing both fists. The indomitable ox demon bucks its horns.
It was as if he had returned to many, many years ago, to the same youth who focused on practising martial arts below Crouching Ox hill. However, he was just not that youth anymore. Every single move and strike was slow and heavy, channelling the very spirit he had developed through his entire life.
However, before long, a grumbling sound rang out in the darkness. It took Li Qingshan a good moment of surprise before he discovered it was his stomach. He could not help but rub his belly and smile. He had to continue eating meat and drinking alcohol!
Gu Yanying slept very deeply. She dreamt of wandering through outer space, where it was boundless, dark, and spacious. But this time, she was no longer clinging onto a pair of wings. Instead, she had become the kunpeng.
When she woke up, she was still in a daze. She lay on the soft bed and raised the dark azure feather high up, playing around with it in her right hand like she was emulating how it drifted through the air. She let out sounds like “swish” and “swoosh” as if the feather was sweeping up fierce winds and traversing through outer space.
“What are you doing?” Li Qingshan grinned. She was basically like a child who could not be bothered getting out of bed, having a daydream.
Gu Yanying blushed for once. She stowed the kunpeng’s feather away and sat up. “What did you do today?”
“You won’t be able to tell here. You’ll know later,” said Li Qingshan. His connection with the earth was still extremely weak, such that it did not exist when he was in the building. “C’mon, let’s get something to eat!”
Gu Yanying also noticed she was famished. She glanced at the hourglass. “It’s time to release the second page, or these guys are going to run out of patience.”
When they left the building, Gu Yanying immediately noticed Li Qingshan’s change. Every single step he took was grounded and firm, possessing a familiar sense of power. “Your power has recovered?”
“A little bit, but at least I’m not that feeble anymore.” Li Qingshan gripped his fist firmly. “You seem to have changed slightly as well.”
“Really? I didn’t put in as much effort as you. I just slept.”
“Then feel free to sleep a little more from now onwards.”
The two of them arrived in the hall of the external courtyard after a leisurely stroll. All of the swordsmen were already waiting there. The hubbub immediately vanished as they watched them nervously and eagerly. Basically none of them had caught a wink of sleep the entire night, constantly studying the page of the sword manual. They only found it to be absolutely ingenious and well beyond anything that words could describe. Apart from Hou Hongtao and a small number of innate masters, most of the others had not even understood what the page was dictating.
Hou Hongtao also noticed their differences. In particular, Li Qingshan’s changes were most obvious. His resolute and firm bearing actually made him feel immovable. If they still wanted to deal with them, he had already lost his best opportunity, but none of them had the time or energy to think of anything else with the page of the sword manual before them.
Li Qingshan sat on the throne forged from swords. All he saw was a woman emerge from the crowd and call out, “Greetings, manor lord!”
The swordsmen were forced to copy her. “Greetings, manor lord!”
Only after a daze did Li Qingshan recognise the woman. She was the one who knelt in the snow naked in the morning. She had already changed into a set of clothes that were easy to maneuver in, and she now carried a sword on her back, having changed her appearance completely. He truly struggled to recognise her after she had put on clothes.
Seeing how she was still pale, he could not help but ask, “Are you a little better?”
“Thank you for your concern, manor lord. I’m already much better, but my three sisters did not have inner force as great as mine, so they were affected by the cold. Even now, they’re still coughing away. I, Fei Hong, would like to thank the two manor lords for saving their lives in their place!”
“That’s not a problem. Hou Hongtao, don’t you practice Fierce Fire true qi? Help cure them!” Li Qingshan ordered him around casually.
“I don’t practice martial arts for something like that,” Hou Hongtao said proudly. Even the White Ape King did not have the courage to order him around like a servant.
“Then let’s do it!”