Chapter 1197 – Martial Arts and Practising Qi, a Prisoner of Solitude
A streak of red light rushed into the air, ripping through the dark night. Murderousness swept out like furious gales.
Zhang Yuntian’s expression changed. That was from the Myriad Flower parlour’s direction. Had he run out of patience and turned against them? However, even when two supreme masters ventured inside earlier, something like this had not happened, so how did Zhang Xuanfeng anger him?
Li Qingshan had not been angered. What had been angered was the Blade Spirit of Frenzy Flower. The murderousness she erupted with immediately turned the Myriad Flower parlour into an asura battlefield.
Everyone paled in shock. Some of them even wailed out in fear.
Yang Miaozhen could not maintain her composure either. She felt like an army was roaring through her head. Her body shook uncontrollably like a fallen leaf in the wind.
Many of the young masters and young heroes in the parlour hid beneath the tablets, unable to endure the terrifying murderousness.
Zhang Xuanfeng’s face paled. She could not help but take a step back, falling back on her bottom.
Li Qingshan reached behind him and grabbed the hilt of the blade. “C’mon, don’t be so agitated!” Only then did the violent murderousness ease up slightly. He said to Zhang Xuanfeng, “Little girl, you’re still not worthy enough to make me put my blade up as a wager!”
“Yes, I’m unworthy. Farewell. Sister Yang, take care.” Zhang Xuanfeng leapt up, about to turn around and flee.
“Stop right there. You’ve even said such immensely ignorant and arrogant words, and you think you can just leave?” The corner of Li Qingshan’s lips curled up. “You’re not enough to make me wager my blade, but look. There’s a monk here, the Suffering Subduing master of the Salvation temple. If you can win him over, he’ll definitely thank you properly. C’mon, c’mon, there’ll be no room for regret in this! It’s too late for any regret anyway.”
“Alright.” Zhang Xuanfeng turned around unhappily and made her way over to Yang Miaozhen’s side slowly.
The Suffering Subduing abbot brought his palms together. “Amitābha. Thank you for coming to save this lowly monk, lady Zhang.”
“There’s no need to be so polite, master. This is something I should do.” Who the hell would want to save an old monk like you? Then Zhang Xuanfeng said, “Hero king, why don’t we make this game of chess public, so the entire city can witness your extraordinary abilities on the chessboard?”
“You’re worried I’ll use tricks or go back on my word? Alright, whatever you want!”
A while later, a huge chessboard woven together by cloth hung down from the parlour.
With a clank, a black piece was placed on the board. Yang Miaozhen actually ended up taking the first move. “Please, hero king! May I ask what the name of the treasured blade on your back is?”
“The Frenzy Flower of Path’s End.” Li Qingshan casually made a move.
“A hero at path’s end. This name might be a little ominous.”
Yang Miaozhen glanced at the board. The move he had taken was not backed by reason or strategy at all. Was he really unskilled at chess? After a slight thought, she began to make moves as she pleased.
“The blade is a weapon, so why should it be auspicious? Since I am a hero, why should I be afraid of the end of my path?”
Li Qingshan made another casual move, without much thought at all.
“Well said! May I ask where you’re from and what martial arts you practise, hero king?”
“What I practise isn’t martial arts. Aren’t you no different?”
“So you can tell. I don’t like fighting and killing with others, so I don’t like martial arts. I practise the Scripture of the Grand Profound from daoism.”
Yang Miaozhen’s hand paused slightly as she revealed an expression of surprise. The path he walked was actually the same as hers.
For the sake of cultivation, she had paid an extremely great price. She had not set a single step out of the Abstruse temple because she completely lacked the ability of self-preservation. Once she entered the jianghu, it was very likely that she could not even match a regular martial arts master that had not reached the innate realm.
She never took part in the martial arts competitions within the sect either. She did not even have any interest in fighting, even when others mocked her, saying how she possessed all that true qi yet had no idea how to use it. She believed she took a dazzling path, so she also looked down on those competitive martial arts practitioners. She thought of them as a group of wild dogs fighting over food.
As a result, she was probably the last person to care about Li Qingshan’s infamy. She thought he was a vicious wolf at most until this very moment…
“Your disposition is not bad. It’s suited for cultivation.
Li Qingshan glanced at her. Under the effect of the Blade Spirit of Frenzy Flower’s murderousness, she was basically the one who had recovered the fastest, so her mental composure and disposition was very impressive. Actually, from the moment she set foot in the parlour, he had sensed that her bearing was different from others. It was closer to a cultivator’s than a martial arts practitioner’s.
There was no clear distinction between practising martial arts and cultivation, but their main goals were drastically different. Martial arts was for triumphing enemies, while practising qi was for longevity. One was about fighting and a clash of guts, while the other was about the cultivation of personal character.
The path for the latter obviously reached much further, but in this small world, it clearly was not as practical as the former. If they could not even survive the constant battles, how could they focus on longevity? If Yang Miaozhen was not from a great sect like the Abstruse temple, she would have absolutely no right to make a choice like that. She might not even come across a proper method for practising qi.
He had taught the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi to Xue Bing because her identity gave her the opportunity to not pursue immediate strength in exchange for greater future developments and a greater chance at ascending.
“I’m just naturally passionless,” Yang Miaozhen said. That was what many people had labelled her as.
“Those who are overly passionate have never been suited for cultivation. The paths of martial arts practitioners will be adorned with splendour and fascination, but the path of cultivation is destined to be lonesome.”
For once, he encountered a cultivator in this small world, which left Li Qingshan impressed. With her talent and disposition, she would definitely have a great future ahead of her if she was born in the nine provinces.
“I didn’t believe you walked the same path as me originally, but I’m convinced now… But are you lonely, hero king?”
“If I weren’t lonely, why would I stir up a mess and sow discord throughout the entire world?” Li Qingshan confessed calmly.
Trapped in this world, even if he could do whatever he pleased, he was still like a prisoner. Separated from Xiao An, even if there were thousands of people cheering him on and admiring him, he still felt solitude.
Yang Miaozhen let out a smile of surprise. “If I had the ability, I might be the same as you.”
“You will have this ability. At the very least, you’re greater than everyone here. That old man’s life isn’t worth wagering yours. Coincidentally, I said something similar to someone else just last night.”
“Was it first young miss Bing Xue?”
“Then what did you give in exchange, hero king?”
“A method of practising qi.”
“A method… of practising qi. Is it similar to the Scripture of the Grand Profound?”
“Recite the Scripture of the Grand Profound. Let’s hear it.”
Yang Miaozhen began reciting after a moment of hesitation, as the Scripture of the Grand Profound was not exactly a great secret to the Abstruse temple. Even outer courtyard disciples could view it freely, but no one ever wanted to practice it.
Li Qingshan listened along quietly and discovered that it bore some resemblance to the Innate Method of Practising Qi. As a matter of fact, it was even worse than that. At the very least, the Innate Method of Practicing Qi was simple and direct. Everyone who practised it knew what part they were up to, and it could only be regarded as a rudimentary course for cultivators. It was not profound like the Scripture of the Grand Profound, nor did it go on about some great dao ignorantly.
“Abstract, obscure, and filled with nonsense. It’s complicating things that should be straightforward and simple. Perhaps even the author himself doesn’t really understand it!”
He casually pointed out a few mistakes, and Yang Miaozhen immediately felt enlightened. An innocent light flashed through her eyes. So there was something wrong with the cultivation method! If it were not for the fact that the leader of the Abstruse temple was lying on the floor right beside them, perhaps she would have changed the wager to a cultivation method.
“If you win, I’ll give you a cultivation method, but unfortunately, you’ve already lost.”
As they spoke, multiple moves were made, and Li Qingshan’s bearing gradually changed. His eyes were no longer bright and lively, instead giving off a sense of depth and tranquillity. That was the gaze of the spirit turtle.