Chapter 343 – Alchemy Success
“Fall into formation!” With an explosive bellow, a huge snake raised its head within the military formation. Compared to last time, it was even more consolidated. Clearly, their past few months of effort had not gone to waste.
Li Qingshan bent over slightly, like a huge bow being slowly drawn. The invisible bowstring was drawn to the limit, and at the same time, a wave formed below his feet.
Thrum! It was like the sound of a bow’s release.
Li Qingshan vanished from his location. He turned into a black shadow and passed through the densely-packed rain droplets, carving out a temporary gap. He arrived almost a hundred meters in the air before slowing down.
However, he immediately took a step backwards, stepping through the illusionary wave. With a bang, it turned into a gust of wind that blew away the rain, pulling him even higher up. As if there was an invisible flight of stairs below his feet, he quickly turned into a black speck in the grey sky.
What was he trying to do? The military disciples all thought of the same question, Is he running away?
No, they immediately dismissed this thought. Li Qingshan was wretched, but he was not a coward!
After calming down from their joy from their last victory last time, no one needed any explanation to understand that it should have been impossible for them to win. They developed even more respect towards Li Qingshan. This guy was truly a courageous one, an opponent worthy of respect. It was not a coincidence that he had managed to steal senior sister Han’s heart.
However, exactly because of this, they needed to defeat him fair and square. They could not embarrass the school of the Military. They could not embarrass the Han family. The huge snake raised its head and flicked its tongue.
Behind the formation, Han Tieyi stood with his hands behind his back, gazing at Han Qiongzhi from afar. He could see her clenching her fists and gazing at the sky, her face rosy and beaming. She seemed like a completely different person. She had gained a hint of feminine beauty.
He subsequently looked at the sky too and said quietly, “Well done.”
Ru Xin shielded her eyes and gazed into the distance. What a stupid idea!
The wind whistled fiercely. Li Qingshan had already arrived at an extremely high altitude, so high that he could even see all the islands of the academy below. The scattered islands were like huge vessels that floated on the deep blue lake.
Suddenly, he pivoted his body and up and down reversed instantly. The grey clouds became the vast ground below his feet, while above him, the green clouds drifted through the deep, blue sky. He began to climb once again.
“He’s coming!” someone called out. Everyone raised their heads, and all they saw was the tiny, black speck among the grey clouds rapidly growing larger and clearer. It was a blue ball of light.
A ball of water spinning rapidly wrapped around Li Qingshan firmly. Its surface was turbulent, forming a suction force. It drew in all the drizzle in the air, allowing it to rapidly expand.
Ocean Wielding—The Vortex Form.
This was the only move capable of defence within Ocean Wielding. The method of defence differed drastically from the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell. It did not create an indestructible structure. Instead, it could deflect and nullify the attacks of enemies like a vortex.
Water had to move, whether it was for attacking or defending, and the faster, the better. This move was similar to the Wave Treading Form. It required an extremely high control over true qi, but it did not place a particularly great focus on true qi quantity, which was why Li Qingshan could use it.
With the Wave Treading Form, he accelerated again and again, like a blue comet falling towards the sky. Without skewing away at all, it fell towards the snake head.
Whistling and roars filled his ears. The ball of water had become extremely large now. As it fell from the sky, it was an utterly shocking sight.
All the military disciples were fearless. They circulated their true qi as hard as they could and produced a combined roar.
The snake head and the water ball collided instantly. The water ball collapsed and revealed Li Qingshan in the very centre, who was surrounded by blue eddies of true qi. The snake head was unscathed, only dimming slightly. The collision had missed by a millimeter.
The actual collision happened in the next moment. Like a drill, Li Qingshan bore deeply into the snake’s head, spinning and drilling down.
The ground shook and shockwaves sent soil sweeping out in all directions. The huge snake that had been pierced slowly dispersed.
Li Qingshan had finally struck the ground as he had wished. However, he only felt like he had touched the greyish-yellow sky and that he was light-headed. If it were not for the protection of the true qi vortex, if it were not for reaching the third layer of the ox demon, which pushed the toughness of his body to a whole new level, he definitely would have ended up heavily injured from this.
Li Qingshan stood up as he tried to regain his footing. He discovered that he was standing in a huge pit, and his true qi had been depleted without a drop left once again. He would be forced to receive the enemy with his body alone again. He emerged from the pit.
He discovered the military disciples were all unconscious on the ground. None of them were still standing. As it turned out, the huge snake conjured by the military formation was an aggregation of their true qi and wills. Forceful dispersion would lead to a backlash. As the ground shook and the wave of earth rose, they had all fainted.
Ru Xin clapped her hands gently. Here comes business! Whether it was the backlash of true qi or the mental backlash, all of it could be easily treated with her school of Medicine around.
Li Qingshan stood beside the pit and laughed aloud. Now this is the satisfying way to defeat you all!
Han Qiongzhi flew over from the platform and directly hugged Li Qingshan. After over a month of spending time together, they had already become extremely close to one another. Li Qingshan was like dry timber to Han Qiongzhi’s blazing flames. He began raging with her before he knew it.
The nine core disciples who had stood aside under Han Tieyi’s orders were all furious. They were tempted to approach him right now and challenge him. However, none of them were confident they could achieve victory. He was just too strong, unreasonably strong. If Li Qingshan had ripped apart the military formation, it would have been easier for them to accept it, but destroying it head on like this was simply beyond imagination. Was he really still a seventh layer Qi Practitioner?
His unbelievably tough body and unbelievably pure true qi had been combined together by the immeasurably ingenious battle skill. Powered by his natural talent for battle, he had managed to achieve something so startling.
Under everyone’s gazes, Han Qiongzhi’s face still reddened despite how bold of a person she was. She had become utterly enchanted by Li Qingshan earlier. With no other choice, she released Li Qingshan in a hurry, but she never expected Li Qingshan to have wrapped his hand around her waist already, pulling her towards him as she became helpless once again. She wanted to resist, but when she was met with his resplendent smile, her heart melted away. She just let him be.
Li Qingshan looked around. Was he not completing the great oath he had swore in the past bit by bit?
Han Tieyi said to the core disciples around him, “Next time, prepare for battle!”
Time flew by, and it was already the height of summer.
Li Qingshan sat within an alchemy room. A bronze pill cauldron stood before him, with handles shaped like dragons and tigers. This was the most common Cauldron of Dragons and Tigers among pill cauldrons. It copied the design of the actual Cauldron of Dragons and Tigers, and they were all produced to a certain standard.
This was obviously one of the many items Li Qingshan had collected from underground. It was just a mid grade spiritual artifact, but it had already reached the highest possible level for mid grade artifacts. The most difficult artifacts to forge were alchemy cauldrons, followed by artifact forges.
If he were forging a flying sword, there was room for mistakes for its various properties. However, when it came to alchemy cauldrons, the slightest instability or inaccuracy could destroy a whole batch of pills. When it was severe, there might even be the danger of cauldron explosions. This was a great test of the artifact smith’s abilities.
A good cauldron or forge could drastically increase a cultivator’s success rate given they were skilled in this aspect in the first place. They were basically like cornucopias, so they held quite the significance. As a result, the price of cauldrons and forges would always be extremely high. The value of a mid grade spiritual artifact cauldron and forge could rival regular supreme grade spiritual artifacts.
Li Qingshan had already been very lucky to be able to find a mid grade spiritual artifact cauldron from over a thousand hundred treasures pouches.
A few days ago when he was about to formally begin refining pills, he saw a high grade spiritual artifact cauldron being sold in the school of Miscellany. It managed to reach a sum of five digits. All he could do was sigh as he looked at it.
That might have been fine in the past, but now, he had exchanged all his spiritual stones for pills already. Even if he exchanged all his merit in the Hawkwolf Guard for spiritual stones, he would be able to reach three digits at most. He would not even come close to four digits.
“Stop letting your mind wander. Focus on the pill cauldron!” Ru Xin barked.
Li Qingshan dismissed his thoughts. He had already refined the cauldron of pills before him for three days and nights now. If everything fell apart at the final moment, all of this would have been a waste.
And, he had collected the spiritual herbs for the pills from the academy. He had to hand in this batch of pills for the mission. If he messed it up, his three digits worth of spiritual stones would probably end up shrinking to two digits. If it were not for an alchemy expert like Ru Xin agreeing to watch over him, he would have never been bold enough to accept such a difficult alchemy mission.
Li Qingshan raised his head in some confusion. “Didn’t you say I’m basically all done now that I’ve reached this step, and all I have to do is wait to open the cauldron?”
Ru Xin smilled. “Yep. I just wanted to scold you a little.”
Li Qingshan was tempted to choke her again. He had always been a man who did what he wanted, so he spread his fingers and reached out viciously—towards her ankle. He couldn’t help it. He was sitting, while she was standing, and he had to watch over the cauldron too. There was no way he could go higher.
Ru Xin said, “How dare you!”
Li Qingshan reconsidered and pulled his hand back. If he really did grab her, this woman probably possessed the nerve to rat him out to Han Qiongzhi. She was a fantastic girlfriend, but once she became caught up in jealousy, she would be beyond reason.
A while back, they had visited the school of Miscellany, and there were female cultivators who received them warmly. He joked with them a little—okay fine, perhaps he had gone a little too far—and she almost blew it in the end. When they went back, it took him quite the effort to calm her down. If Ru Xin ratted him out now, the volcano would actually end up erupting.
“Actually, even if you do grab me, I won’t tell her anything. I’m not that evil. Come, you want to give it a try?” Ru Xin purposefully lifted her dress and exposed her slender ankle, taking a step towards Li Qingshan.
“I don’t want to.” Li Qingshan glanced at it, completely unfazed.
Ru Xin patted Li Qingshan’s head gently. “What a good boy!”
Li Qingshan curled his lip and just let the matter slide. They had already become very good friends, or why else would she watch him refine pills for three whole days?
Although she had struck him with an exorbitant price, demanding a thousand spiritual stones right off the bat, it ended up being a free service after joking around a little. If it were not for her timely warnings, he would have almost destroyed the batch many times.
They waited for another fifteen minutes. The pill cauldron flashed, and the lid slowly opened. White steam hissed out, enveloping the two of them and filling the entire room. It was filled with an intoxicating herbal fragrance.
Before the steam had even dispersed, Li Qingshan made his way over to the pill cauldron eagerly. He saw that all the herbs had merged to form a white paste, laying at the bottom of the cauldron. There was not the slightest impurity at all; it was as pure as the thick steam.