Chapter 1173 – Treasure
The town was filled with busy figures, gathering at the harbour and making final preparations before setting off.
At the same time, a wrinkly old man in the courtyard halfway up the mountain said to Li Qingshan, “Hero king, the tunnel is already over a hundred and fifty meters deep, but we’ve only encountered rock. We haven’t found any mineral veins!”
Towards the end, he even felt slightly shameful, as if it was his fault they did not discover a mineral vein.
Right when they first settled down here, Li Qingshan had gathered a group of old miners unsuited for the army and had made them dig up a mine here. For this, he even dismantled a manor and destroyed a garden, but the end result was nothing. They did not even find a single piece of ore.
“Don’t worry, I’m not looking for some kind of mineral vein, or rather, a mineral vein already exists here.”
Li Qingshan patted the old miner on the shoulder with a smile. Through his connection with the earth, he had sensed it the moment he arrived here. On top of that, the manor they had dismantled also happened to be the original mine owner’s training room, which only verified what he felt.
The old miner was puzzled. He was confused about what kind of vein it was that he had not seen before. However, he also felt slightly flattered. The person before him was different from all the other important figures he had seen before. He possessed a sense of sincerity.
Li Qingshan peered down. The dark tunnel plunged straight into the heart of the mountain, radiating with chilly air. “How are the fortifications?”
“My king, you have nothing to worry about. It definitely won’t collapse. The mineral veins on this mountain are quite sparse, so there aren’t a lot of mines in the first place. That’s why that Ma person was bold enough to build an estate here. If we have some more time, we can even build a set of stairs for you.”
“That won’t be necessary. I’m not that entitled and useless. You’ve done extremely well. Once we leave here, you’ll be rewarded heavily.” Li Qingshan looked around as if he was waiting for something.
With a series of clanks, Gu Yanying arrived with around a hundred soldiers. Her footsteps were swift and gentle like the wind, finally free from the shackles of fate. She could move around as she pleased now.
The two of them exchanged a glance, and Li Qingshan leapt into the dark hole, arriving at the bottom instantly. As he had instructed, the bottom had been expanded into a small, stone room, and it was instead slightly warmer there.
Spiritual qi flowed like water in the rocks beneath his feet, which made Li Qingshan smile.
Yes, this should have been a spiritual stone vein, but because the spiritual qi in this world was far too thin, it failed to form any spiritual stones. However, it was still a blessed place for cultivation.
He was unable to draw spiritual qi from the air, but he could receive nourishment from the earth. When he tried to draw out the strength of the earth like usual, the spiritual qi within the rocks flowed into him as well, spreading and merging with his body with a cool sensation.
The quality of the spiritual qi was nowhere close to the nine provinces’, but it was like a well in the desert to him. It was much more precious than any river or lake he had encountered in the past.
For a “sip of this water”, he had taken an extremely great risk too. A single earthquake was enough to bury him here. Even if the heavens were unable to stir up any large activity in this reinforced earth, he still had to guard against others. After all, destruction would always be easier than construction.
But now, he could finally relax slightly, as she was watching over him outside.
“Everyone, what do you want?”
Gu Yanying’s dignified voice rang out from beneath the mask. She looked around with her hawk eyes.
Around a dozen swordsmen, almost a third of the total, inched closer to her with swords in their hands, their eyes filled with hostility. The three leaders had all reached the innate realm.
“We want to eliminate a great pest for the martial arts community and avoid throwing the world into misery.”
The swordsmen were all filled with a sense of righteousness. As Li Qingshan had said, many of these people were from a social hierarchy that objected to a movement like this. Many of them did not truly agree with his ideology, and they would stir up trouble at critical times.
“Oh? And what is the great pest you are referring to?” Gu Yanying asked.
“That demon, Li Qingshan!”
Before Gu Yanying could even get a word in, the soldiers had already flown into a rage. Li Qingshan was their great hero. How could they let others insult him?
Gu Yanying raised her hand to comfort the soldiers. “Heh, I originally thought I’d be a pest too!”
“Yes, you are a pest too! But in consideration of the fact that you’re just a feeble woman, coerced by Li Qingshan, we obviously won’t harm you as long as you surrender obediently.” None of them could forget about the unmatched beauty under the silver hawk mask.
Gu Yanying smiled. “No wonder you’re so bold. So you’re just harassing a feeble woman. When the demon you spoke of was around, why didn’t any of you stand forward?”
Shame flashed across the faces of the swordsmen. That was true. If Li Qingshan was here, they would not even have the courage to utter the word “no” to him. For the first time in their lives, they truly understood what “haughty” meant. They could not even muster the will to put up any resistance before him.
It was exactly because Gu Yanying had never demonstrated any martial arts that they were bold enough to stir up trouble at a time like this. In fact, she appeared even weaker than regular people, where she had to be carried down the mountain on Li Qingshan’s back.
“Great people don’t bother with trifles. As long as we can eliminate evil for the martial arts society, why should we let something as small as this bother us?”
“Don’t you want to study the White Ape Sword Classic?” Gu Yanying said in a teasing manner.
“We can obviously find it from his corpse. It might be a little troublesome digging him out of the ground again, but the last thing we’re lacking here are lowly miners!”
Apart from people who were infatuated by the path of the sword and could truly understand the wonders behind Li Qingshan’s swordsmanship like the two protectors, the others only coveted the White Ape Sword Classic. They had gone from a holy land of swordsmanship to these mines, spending every single day with those filthy, crude miners, which had already filled them with resentment and anger.
The soldiers stirred again. They had all been lowly miners in the past, but they were no longer accustomed to being treated so worthlessly after all these days of inspiration from Li Qingshan.
Gu Yanying smiled. “You don’t need to go that far. The White Ape Sword Classic is on me.”
“That’s perfect then.” “Everyone, don’t fall for her attempt at buying time. Let’s strike together and quickly. We can capture her first before burying Li Qingshan alive!”
As they said that, the swordsmen rapidly approached her. They could not help but look towards the tunnel, afraid that Li Qingshan would suddenly burst out.
“Sure! I just happened to be worrying that we had no one to sacrifice to the flag for a successful expedition!” Gu Yanying waved her hand, and the soldiers all raised their metal swords.
“Hmph, do you really think you can stop us with a bunch of trash like them?”
However, Gu Yanying’s calmness took the swordsmen by surprise slightly. One of them called out, “Give up. Do you really think you’re the greatest in the world? You’ve already sent everyone else to the harbour. No one can save you. Once Li Qingshan dies, there will be no more World’s society anymore.”
Gu Yanying’s reply was a cold bark, “Kill them!”
“Kill them!” The soldiers all yelled out and swung their swords at the swordsmen.
Three figures leapt over the group, the three powerful swordsmen that had reached the innate realm. Their swords whistled as they went straight for Gu Yanying.
This was why armies did not exist in this world. Even if a weakling had an army a hundred thousand strong, they could not fend off the assassination of masters, while the strong would rather use the time and energy they had to devote to an army to strengthen themselves.
“I sent everyone away precisely to draw you out!” Gu Yanying muttered to herself.
With a swish, she opened her metal fan and swung it gently.
The three swordsmen froze, their faces filled with pain and horror. They were hacked to pieces as soon as they fell to the ground.
“W- what is this demonic art?”
The other swordsmen were stunned, even more shocked than when Li Qingshan killed the Marquis of the Fierce Fire Sword in a single palm strike. They clearly did not see her launch any attack at all, yet the three swordsmen had died horrifically. For a moment, they even forgot to advance, forced back by the soldiers.
The hot winds of hell were invisible but ever-present.
After standing on the platform and being acknowledged as the general, Gu Yanying’s strength had rapidly recovered. Despite that, she had only just reached the innate realm, which was nowhere near enough to fend off these swordsmen. However, she could use this power to penetrate the restraints of the world and resonate with the Hot Wind Hell.
Of course, the wisps of hot wind she had drawn in were insufficient to cause any lethal damage. They were like snakebites, with the wounds caused being completely insignificant. The truly lethal aspect was the venom contained within the bite—the suffering of hell.
“If Li Qingshan said I wasn’t the greatest in the world, then so be it, but even a bunch of trash like you have the courage to tell me what I am and what I’m not?”
Gu Yanying emerged from the group and strode forwards. Her silver hawk mask radiated with a brutal sense of might and prestige.
The soldiers automatically shifted to the sides, also filled with shock. Originally, they still did not completely approve of this mysterious and cold society leader, but now, they were sincerely convinced. This power was well beyond what any mortal could withstand.
One of the swordsmen was confident in his movement techniques. Watching her press closer, he leapt onto the eaves in a single movement.
Gu Yanying swung her fan without even looking at him, and he fell down heavily from the eaves. His face twisted painfully, such that it no longer seemed human.
The other swordsmen were all frightened out of their wits, turning around to flee, but even their courage to run away ran out. One of the swordsmen dropped to the ground and bowed his head again and again. “Spare me, society leader. I- I had a momentary lapse in judgement. I’ll never do it again!”
“I believe you all only had a momentary lapse in judgement,” Gu Yanying said camly. If it were not for the influence of the will of the heavens, perhaps these people would not have done this, but right when the swordsmen developed a sliver of hope, she said, “However, military law is without mercy!”
Her voice went from a warm spring to a chilly winter as if she had turned into someone else altogether. “Kill them!”
Li Qingshan walked out of the cave in satisfaction. He had already absorbed all the spiritual qi in the ground here, and his Ape Demon Transformation had progressed further. Right now, he was extremely eager for the first innate ability of the ape demon. What welcomed him outside the cave was a series of cheers.
Li Qingshan looked around and saw many soldiers bloodied. “So they did come.”
“Thank you!” Gu Yanying said sincerely. Originally, he could have commanded this army personally and enjoyed this power alone.
“Only through the division of labour can there be cooperation. You’re welcome.” Li Qingshan smiled. He roared to the soldiers, “You lot, which ones of you killed the traitors with your own hands?”
“I- I killed one!” “I killed one too!” “I killed half of one!”
“Kid, that’s dishonest of you. What’s half of one supposed to mean?” Li Qingshan smiled, leading to a roar of laughter.
“When I swung down, the guy was already almost dead. Number five just had to dish in another strike!”
“What are you on about, number six? The guy was very tenacious. You wouldn’t have been able to kill him with that attack of yours!”
“Comrades, comrade number five is absolutely correct. Never forget to finish them off. When you encounter enemies in the future, you’re welcome to throw in a few extra slashes and strokes. I’ll be rewarding anyone and everyone who managed to cut someone today! If you missed out, don’t be disappointed. You’ll have an opportunity in the future!”
The soldiers no longer experienced the discomfort from killing someone the first time anymore. Instead, their blood boiled enthusiastically.
Gu Yanying shook her head with a smile. If this guy became the general, he definitely would have obtained more morale than she did.
Li Qingshan swung his hand. “Fellas, it’s time to set off. The world is ours!”
The army moved out. Almost a hundred boats of various sizes went with the flow. A large, iron-clad boat served as the flagship, smashing through the floating ice.
Around a dozen heads hung high from the mast. No one dared to underestimate this leader of the World’s society anymore. Their morale became even more consolidated than before.
An ape’s howl suddenly rang out, without any sorrow at all. It was filled with a sense of loftiness, to take on the world.
The world is different when I’m around.