Chapter 383 – Climbing up the Green Vine Mountain Again
Yu Shukuang was alarmed and stared at Li Qingshan. Yu Lian happened to be wondering why Xiao An was with Li Qingshan, and he seemed to come to a realisation at this moment. Only Diao Fei was left at a loss.
“What’re you calling out for? You want to come along?” Li Qingshan turned around slowly. He spoke calmly, and his expression was natural. Having undergone the baptism of dual identities, he had become quite the actor. He would not give himself away just because a girl had called him out like this.
“You…” Yu Zijian stared at Li Qingshan as she walked over. She became uncertain once again.
“If you’re not coming, then we’re leaving.” Li Qingshan let out a sigh of relief inside. As it seemed, she was not particularly certain.
“I’ll come.” Yu Zijian leapt onto the cloud. She refused to let this matter go. She sat down beside Li Qingshan and continued staring at him closely, like a swordsman constantly searching for openings in their opponent.
Yu Shukuang shot Yu Lian a furious glance, and Yu Lian lowered his head.
The cloud shot off, and both hair and clothes ruffled in the wind. The Clear River city became a tiny speck in the blink of an eye, disappearing into the horizon.
“Great hero Yu, has your daughter taken a liking to me?” Li Qingshan became unnatural from how Yu Zijian stared at him.
“Zijian, don’t be rude!” Yu Shukuang scolded.
“Father, tell me…” Yu Zijian pointed at Li Qingshan.
“Tell you what?” Yu Shukuang furrowed his brows in a very serious manner.
The main hall towered on the top of the Green Vine mountain. It had actually been repaired completely through some unknown method, now exactly the same as before.
“Fellow Fu, the Sword Collection palace truly lives up to its name with its infinite power and miraculous abilities.” The Green Vine Elder’s eyes shone brightly through the tangled beard on his face. He seemed very much like a hermit of great influence and renown, but his eyes were filled with reverence as he stared at the young man in front of him. As a matter of fact, he even seemed a little like he was trying to flatter him.
“All structures, no matter how magnificent, cannot avoid the fate of being reduced to ruins.” Fu Qingjin paced around the hall, as if he had not heard the Green Vine Elder at all. He was filled with melancholy as he said that to himself.
His condescending behaviour and pessimistic view made the Green Vine Elder frown. He ended up asking politely, “Will that daemon really come again?”
“He will. All daemons are creatures of arrogance, while he is the arrogant among the arrogant.”
A light flashed through Fu Qingjin’s eyes. The momentary sharpness gave the Green Vine Elder chills, but he also eased up slightly at the same time.
“You have a guest.” Becoming melancholic and exhausted again, Fu Qingjin’s figure gradually vanished, stepping into the sky.
“Sect master, senior brother Diao and senior brother Yu have returned. A Hawkwolf guard has come with them too. He says he has come to investigate the deaths of the two elders.” At this moment, a disciple rushed in and reported in a hurry.
The Green Vine Elder beamed at first before frowning again. The Hawkwolf Guard?
When Li Qingshan stepped onto the terrace and gazed at the majestic hall he had destroyed with his two hands, he became slightly astounded. He found this to be interesting before continuing forwards.
“I am a Scarlet Wolf guard of the Clear River prefecture, Li Qingshan. I’ve come to investigate under commander Wang Pushi’s orders. I hope sect master Green Vine can cooperate with me.” Li Qingshan bowed politely after entering the hall before studying this old enemy of his again.
“Where’s your commander Hua?”
The Green Vine Elder saw that Li Qingshan was just an eighth layer Qi Practitioner, so he became rather unwilling to put up with him. He felt like the Hawkwolf Guard’s negligence of this matter was as clear as day simply by looking at who they had sent. He could only rely on the Daemon Suppression alliance now if he wanted revenge. After all, even Gu Yanying was half a daemon.
“Our commander Hua is currently in secluded cultivation.”
“Then you can go. You can go back and tell your commander Wang that our Daemon Suppression alliance will never spare this daemon.” The Green Vine Elder waved his hand around like he was shooing away a fly. He would be stooping to a lower level all for nothing if he spoke with someone as insignificant as him.
“I’ve only come to investigate. Something like that is beyond my responsibilities. Please cooperate with me, sect master. The Hawkwolf Guard will do its best to get to the bottom of this,” Li Qingshan said proudly, completely ignoring the glances from Diao Fei and Yu Shukuang from beside him.
“Please see him off!” The Green Vine Elder swung his hand. A Qi Practitioner who had no idea how to respect his seniors like him was even more annoying than a fly. Did he really think he could stand on equal footing to Foundation Establishment cultivators just because he was a Hawkwolf guard?
Yu Shukuang stood up and accompanied Li Qingshan to the foot of the mountain. He grumbled, “Qingshan, you should have been more polite with the sect master. He might have been willing to tell you something.”
“I’ve come as a representative of the Hawkwolf Guard. Your sect master finds my cultivation to be low, so he belittles me, but I’m not going to belittle myself. None of this is too important anyway. Tell me, what’s going on with Zijian?”
Yu Zijian was currently strolling around the mountain in boredom. She was neither a disciple of the Green Vine mountain, nor was she a Hawkwolf guard, so she had no right to seek an audience with the Green Vine Elder. All she could think about what was going on with Niu Juxia. She held a flower in her hand, plucking off the petals one by one.
“He is. He isn’t. He is. He isn’t…”
The thrum of a sword interrupted her thoughts.
Yu Zijian suddenly looked back. She followed the path and entered the forest.
In a series of ruins, Fu Qingjin fished with his sword. He looked back and smiled. “You’re here.”
“It’s you. Why have you come again?”
“I feel like I’m not very welcome.” Sunlight filled the pavilion as Fu Qingjin smiled slightly, radiating with grace and ease.
“I’m going.” Yu Zijian glanced at the Green Ruins sword.
“It’s not very appropriate for a man and woman to be alone.” Yu Zijian turned around and swung her hands, leaving quickly. She knew he would try to convince her to go to the Sword Collection palace or something along those lines if she remained.
“Master has been very good to me. He said he would accept me as a formal disciple once I go through the heavenly tribulation. I’m never going to the Sword Collection palace.” All of her ties were here, her father, her master, her senior brother, her fellow disciples of the school of Daoism, and Niu Juxia. Before she had gotten to the bottom of all this, how could she leave?
Fu Qingjin was taken aback for quite a while. He was almost tempted to trap her there so he could speak to her a little more. He let out a long sigh. “Is the time still not right?”
Emerging from the Green Ruins illusion, Yu Zijian lifted up her flower again and was just about to continue plucking petals. “Oh no, what was I up to just then?”
“If that’s the case, I don’t have to worry.”
Yu Shukuang patted his chest, guaranteeing that he would take care of everything and that Li Qingshan had nothing to worry about.
“Oh right, you’re acting like you don’t want Zijian to know. Are you looking down on me?” Li Qingshan raised an eyebrow.
“How can you say that…” Yu Shukuang immediately behaved like he had been wrongly accused of a tremendous crime, but he wiped his brow inside. Li Qingshan seemed like a very reasonable person, but he definitely was not a good or honest person. He was someone who could be truly cruel.
“Alright, alright. I’m just kidding with you. You don’t have to be so nervous. I’m going to go. Oh right, if things aren’t going well on the Green Vine mountain, feel free to come to Clear River city to seek shelter under me.” Li Qingshan patted Yu Shukuang’s shoulder with a smile and signalled at Xiao An, who was waiting at the bottom of the mountain. He took off on a cloud.
“Is it a trap?” Xiao An asked.
“Most likely. The old bastard is far too composed.”
“Are you still going to go?”
“Of course. I need to see what kind of trap it is at the very least.” Li Qingshan smiled. If the trap was too simple, it might end up being ripped to shreds by the wild beast.
The cloud turned towards a lake. Deep within the mountains and forests, there was no one around at all. Li Qingshan flattened all the ripples from the lake such that its surface became like a mirror, a perfect reflection of the sky.
Li Qingshan stood in the centre of the lake as his red hair danced.
Ripples appeared, and the water became agitated, remaining like that for quite a while.
A hand extended out from the centre of the ripples, pushing off the surface of the water and leaping up. Scarlet eyes shone like fire, and the red hair danced around. He was even stronger and more nimble than the past.
After reaching the third layer of the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression, his daemon core had turned into a turtle shell, and Li Qingshan’s daemon qi had become even more powerful. Following this, the power of his Watermirror’s Image had become greater. It was almost twice as strong as the mirror clone from before.
Otherwise, with his original mirror clone, it probably would not even have been enough to deal with the Green Vine Elder, so there would be no point in investigating at all.
A crescent moon hung in the sky, surrounded by many stars.
The security on the Green Vine mountain was lax. Only a single protective formation operated constantly, such that even Hua Chengzan had managed to infiltrate this place in the past, let alone a Daemon General. All of this basically pointed to something being amiss.
Two patrolling disciples discussed quietly,
“Senior brother, has third senior brother and the others returned?”
“They haven’t. They’re probably going to be labelled as deserters. The daemon is far too scary.”
“If you’re so afraid, why’d you return? Are you afraid of being hunted down by the sect? Don’t tell me you’re taking the master-disciple relationship seriously!”
“What would you know? I’m not afraid of being hunted down by the sect at all. It’s just far too difficult being an independent cultivator. Even master is brave enough to return, so why wouldn’t I be too?”
At this moment, a figure emerged from behind a tree and appeared on the mountain path.
“Who is it!?” “Senior brother, I- I think that’s daemon qi!” “Oh no, it’s a daemon!”
They finally made out the person using the moonlight. They did not see a pair of sharp horns on his head, nor did they see an ice blade in his hand. They did not take note of any special features. They only saw a pair of scarlet eyes flickering in the darkness, giving them an impression even deeper than the moon and stars.
Li Qingshan did not disguise himself at all, whether it was his daemon qi or figure. He just walked up the mountain like that.
The two disciples stood on the path and stared at him as he walked over towards them. Even their courage to flee or to seek help had collapsed. They felt like they were watching a mountain collapse on them.
“Excuse me,” Li Qingshan said softly after arriving in front of them.
Only then did the two of them return to their senses. They scampered out of the way, just watching helplessly as Li Qingshan continued his way up. They glanced at each other before rushing down the mountain together.
The Green Vine mountain was just too dangerous. They would never return, even if their lives depended on it!
In the main hall, the Green Vine Elder snapped open his eyes, which shined in the darkness and flickered with unease. He only settled down after looking around.
Li Qingshan had only just reached the mountainside when all the disciples had already become alarmed.
Diao Fei was covered in cold sweat as he forcefully composed himself, barely able to rile together all the disciples. Since the sect master had not fled, he could not flee. However, all he was bold enough to do was watch from afar as Li Qingshan made his way to the mountain top.
“Green Vine you old bastard, today is the day you die!”
Li Qingshan’s lips curled into a smile, revealing his long teeth as he called out. It boomed through the clouds as daemon qi surged into the air, making the entire mountain shake.
“How dare you, wretched daemon! You’ve killed my fellow cultivators, and you’ve insulted my sect. Today, I will make you witness my power!” The Green Vine Elder responded in a similarly loud manner. “All disciples of the Green Vine mountain, disperse into the distance. There is no need for you to interfere. Watch as I slay a daemon!”
In the hall, two voices conversed.
“Is it his real body?”
“From the daemon qi, I think so?”
With a swing of the ice blade, Li Qingshan pointed it at the ground and climbed up several hundred stairs with a single step, causing three long, red and blue streaks to tail behind him. He arrived on the peak in a flash and shattered the ground. His blade rose up, pointing towards the sky.
A blade of light whistled through the air, illuminating the gloomy hall and the Green Vine Elder’s sunken face.
PS: Mental illness taking a turn for the better…