Chapter 432 – Even Deeper Underground
In the dark, quiet tunnels, a few night roamer guards patrolled around. With their status, they did not possess the right to take part in the turmoil within the central cavern. Suddenly, a figure rushed past them with a fierce gust of wind.
Strongboulder and Bloodshadow raised their heads. Tremendous daemon qi was rapidly drawing closer. They both smiled. However, his daemon qi had actually grown so much over the three years.
Ye Liusu’s face lit up. “He’s here.”
The wings of wind were not in the shape of wings right now. Instead, they seemed like two spraying whirlwinds, pushing Li Qingshan ahead swiftly. The cavern rapidly rose and fell.
If he flew at such high speeds underground in the past, he probably would have lost control already and ran into a wall head-first, but now, his mental processes were intricate and meticulous, and his control over daemon qi was almost miraculous. He moved faster and faster instead.
In the blink of an eye, the space ahead of him opened up. Ye Liusu, the night roamers, and the two Daemon Generals, Strongboulder and Bloodshadow, all appeared before him. Their expressions varied.
Li Qingshan narrowed his eyes. He did not slow down at all, running right into them like a swooping bird of prey.
Strongboulder suddenly rose up and threw a punch. It expanded to the size of a pillar and pierced the air like a clap of thunder.
Li Qingshan raised his eyebrows and clenched his fist. Bloodshadow arrived beside him in a flash and struck out viciously with his claws.
The simultaneous attacks from the two powerful Daemon Generals did not fluster Li Qingshan at all. He shifted his gaze and looked at Bloodshadow.
Met with the clear, still eyes, Bloodshadow felt like he had been seen through. Before he could even react, he felt his wrist tighten.
As if Li Qingshan had been anticipating this, he casually grabbed Bloodshadow by the wrist and pulled him forward.
Strongboulder’s colossal punch landed on Bloodshadow with full force, and blood erupted from his mouth. He seemed like he had delivered himself to Li Qingshan to serve as a meat shield.
With a flap of his wings, Li Qingshan did not slow down at all. He brushed past Strongboulder’s huge arm, gripping Strongboulder’s head and flying off.
All of this happened in a single instant. Even Ye Liusu felt rather dazzled. In the blink of an eye, he had easily taken away the two powerful enemies that had forced her into a corner.
A great rumble rang out from underground in the distance.
At this moment, Li Qingshan’s mirror clone that remained in the cavern spoke, “I’ll venture underground to see the Spider Queen right now. Ye Liusu, tell me about the situation over the past three years.”
As his thoughts became intricate, he was able to comprehend the beginning and end of each thought of the four hundred thousands that occurred in each flick of a finger. Splitting his focus was no longer an issue. He could now control both his original body and his clone at the same time, and it would not interfere with one another.
With Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo in the lead and the other night roamers behind them, they all said, “Greetings, sir!”
Ye Liusu began to tell him about everything that had occurred during the three years, as well as the trade with the humans.
Li Qingshan listened quietly. He smiled. “You’re pretty capable, aren’t you?”
“It’s all because of the inspiration master’s given me,” Ye Liusu said. It was exactly because Li Qingshan had begun the trade between human and underground resources that she did this.
“Have the clans been offering up spiritual herbs on time?” Li Qingshan was not particularly fazed by Ye Liusu’s actions. Who didn’t want to live a better life? Apart from spiritual herbs, he was unable to directly convert other resources into his cultivation right now. If he sold them above ground, it would easily attract suspicion, which was not worth what the resources could be exchanged for.
Seeing how Li Qingshan did not choose to pursue the matter, Ye Liusu let out a sigh of relief inside. She immediately offered up a hundred treasures pouch. Li Qingshan opened it and took a look. His eyes lit up, and he smiled. Ru Xin’s got plenty to do now.
Deeper underground, Strongboulder was trapped in Li Qingshan’s grip as he threw a punch at Bloodshadow furiously.
“Piss off! This is my battle!”
With a plop, Bloodshadow was forcefully smashed to pieces, turning into droplets of blood. It twisted in the air and turned into a whip of blood, lashing at Strongboulder viciously. Fragments of rock scattered as a deep, white mark was left behind.
It made Strongboulder even more furious. He turned around and charged towards this rival of his. Li Qingshan simply let go of them, continuing to fly towards Cobweb city. Bloodshadow and Strongboulder exchanged glances before lunging at Li Qingshan together.
The three daemons basically constantly ventured deeper in their entanglement. The collisions of the three powerful groups of daemon qi shook up the underground world.
Spider Queen Lolth emerged from Cobweb city and arrived on the high terrace, gazing out with the frown.
Li Qingshan shook his arms, and the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell suddenly expanded, pushing aside Bloodshadow and Strongboulder. With a flap of his wings, he landed on the high terrace, arriving before the Spider Queen. “Ma’am, I’ve returned.”
Strongboulder and Bloodshadow arrived right behind him. Before the Spider Queen, they were afraid to act up.
Spider Queen Lolth studied Li Qingshan first. “Your daeon qi really has grown by quite a lot. If I hadn’t sent Strongboulder and Bloodshadow, did you plan on remaining in seclusion?”
“Of course not.”
The Spider Queen said coldly, “Do you know what the night roamers under your command have done in the past few years?”
Bloodshadow said, “That’s colluding with the enemy. Ma’am, please punish these night roamers and relinquish the authority to rule over the night roamers from Li Qingshan.”
“I just learnt about it. It’s just a few transactions. Can you even call that colluding with the enemy?” Li Qingshan understood the Spider Queen’s cruelty and brutality very well. She basically detested peace like that. His past efforts were basically nothing to her. Once he displeased her, she would never show any mercy.
“Since you’ve already emerged, I await your upcoming performance.” The Spider Queen looked at Li Qingshan threateningly with her vicious gaze. She turned around and returned to the hall as soon as she said that. Her long dress dragged behind her. “My patience is limited. Do not disappoint me.”
“Yes, I understand, I understand,” Li Qingshan lowered his head and said softly.
“As long as you understand.” In Bloodshadow and Strongboulder’s eyes, he had obviously weakened in vigour before the Spider Queen’s pressure. From the clash earlier, they had also discovered that Li Qingshan had not become absurdly powerful. His daemon qi was still below theirs. If they actually began fighting, the outcome would not be predetermined. It was clearly just an offhand remark when he said he would make them pay.
However, they failed to notice the flickering light in Li Qingshan’s clear eyes between his drooping hair. It was not particularly sharp or murderous, just peaceful and confident. He did not need any of these people on the path he would take. All he needed to do was follow his heart and do whatever he wanted.
At the same time, Li Qingshan’s mirror clone said, “Liubo, summon all the matriarchs and have them gather here.”
“Everyone else is dismissed. Liusu, you stay here.” Li Qingshan patted Milliped’s head. “You aren’t injured, are you?”
Milliped swayed around to indicate that he was fine. Li Qingshan smiled. “As long as you’re fine.” He thought inside, Don’t worry. I’ll help you recover your strength very soon. I just need to obtain a daemon core that suits you.
Ye Liusu asked, “May I ask if master has any orders?”
“It’s just us, so there’s no need to be so polite. Come sit down.” Li Qingshan patted the stone platform beside him. Ye Liusu wavered slightly before sitting down gently. She asked apologetically, “Did the Spider Queen reprimand you because of me?”
“How did you know? Whatever, you’re not the one responsible for it. You’ve already done very well.” Li Qingshan stared ahead. The conflict of their ideologies definitely did not appear with the night roamers alone. He was not afraid of challenges, even liking battle, but he did not become blinded in the endless slaughter like the tiger demon, losing his target.
“Thank you.” Ye Liusu’s heart softened. She stared at the handsome, flawless face silently. In that moment, she felt exactly what Ye Liubo constantly said, He’s utterly enchanting!
“Liusu, the Spider Queen’s already given me orders. The times of peace are going to end. We must enter the battle.”
Although Ye Liusu had been expecting this, she still could not help but let out a gentle sigh. Once they lost their neutrality, the trade could not continue, and who knew how many night roamers would lose their lives in all this.
Li Qingshan changed the topic. “Oh right, how’s the propagation of your ideology been going?”
“There are many people who agree with me, but they’re all regular night roamers. They lack the ability to protect themselves. As for the strong ones, they all snort in contempt. They all think I’m out of my mind.” Ye Liusu returned to her senses and felt rather helpless. When she remembered how they would be sucked into the war soon, she became even gloomier.
“Habits developed over all these years won’t change so easily.” Li Qingshan patted her shoulder to comfort her. Afterwards, he said, “The humans have a saying, where the new cannot come without destroying the old. Perhaps this might be an opportunity.”
“An opportunity to remove the differences between the clans and unite all the night roamers.”
Growing up underground, Ye Liusu’s character was different, but she was still influenced by those around her. She was not unfamiliar with these tactics. Her own mother, Ye Mingzhu, had discussed this aspect with her countless times.
“Even when the weak shout themselves hoarse, no one cares. However, even the whisperings of the strong can leave behind a firm impression.” Li Qingshan smiled.
“I understand now.” Ye Liusu’s gaze became determined.
“As long as you understand.” Li Qingshan smiled. No one liked to serve someone else, or act like a fool to amuse others. Li Qingshan hated it. Of course, with his current strength, it was insufficient for him to confront the Spider Queen. However, he could not let her order him around.
There would be a day when the Spider Queen would discover that all her loyal subordinates were dead, with only a group of treacherous night roamers remaining. When that day arrived, she would have to personally partake if she wanted to continue playing that perverse game of hers.
Were Daemon Commanders unkillable? Li Qingshan refused to believe that.
At the same time, Li Qingshan’s original body ventured even deeper underground. The air grew colder, such that the dripping water turned to ice. He personally witnessed an underground river freeze up.
However, after venturing past a certain depth, the temperature began to rise again, soaring with no sign of stopping and becoming scorching, enough to melt metal. The underground rivers gradually lessened, and fire-red rivers of magma gradually increased, flowing freely.
Within his senses, the auras of living creatures lessened, almost being reduced to none. It had truly become a world of deathly silence.
Li Qingshan stopped and took in a few rapid breaths. He felt a similar discomfort to altitude sickness. He was forced to maintain the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell as he ventured forward. Even cultivators would call this place a forbidden zone.
However, he smiled instead, as he could clearly sense the interference from the underground magnetic field gradually growing stronger. He could not even use the simplest techniques he knew. He could only barely use his innate abilities as a daemon, but even they were beginning to be affected.
Li Qingshan took out the sumeru ring. Gritting his teeth, he continued forwards, venturing a little deeper just to be certain.
In the Boundless mountains within Black Rat mountain, a large rat scurried into a cave and reported, “Great king, great king! There’s a human outside.”
The great rat king stroked his thin beard. “Oh? Let’s see who it is!”