Chapter 687 – Forgetting About Love
The faint, purple liquid flowed into his belly, and the Water of Oblivion spread slowly. Like he had drunk a thousand cups of fine wine, Hua Chengzan’s vision immediately began to blur. Li Qingshan and Ru Xin’s figures both became blurry.
He was unable to describe the taste. It was neither sweet nor bitter, just empty to the bone. Wherever it passed by, his heart began to numb as well.
“Fellow Hua, please close your eyes and try your best to recall what you want to forget so that the Water of Oblivion can come into effect!”
Ru Xin’s voice seemed to come from a distant place. It was as flimsy and obscure as a strand of air; it was like the wind could scatter it at any time.
Hua Chengzan closed his eyes. He did not have to try his best at all. Certain things could not be forgotten. From believing she was a fairy when they first met to the various conversations and scenes that occurred between them, everything flooded out from the depths of his memories eagerly. Every twinkle and smile from her was as sweet as it could get, but it was also the source of his pain.
But suddenly, all of his memories faded as if water had washed them again and again. They drifted away uncontrollably.
Hua Chengzan extended his hand subconsciously as if he wanted to grab these memories. He resisted almost instinctively, refusing to forget about her. However, his efforts instead pushed the effects of the Water of Oblivion to the limits.
Li Qingshan watched on from one side, only to see Hua Chengzan frown heavily and kneel on one knee. His face was filled with pain and reluctance, which made Li Qingshan sigh. “Perhaps compared to him, I really don’t know what love is!”
Ru Xin said, “Born as humans, who doesn’t feel love? If you place a tea leaf in a pot of water, it’ll become a pot of tea. However, if you place it in a tank of water, the taste will become very faint. If you toss it into a pond, can anyone still notice the difference?”
Li Qingshan laughed. “Thank you for your praise. It’s rare to hear something good come out of that mouth of yours, but we’re not a pond. Instead, we are all-encompassing, accepting all rivers, turning into an ocean.”
“Actually, what I wanted to say is you’re not human!”
“… I know. You’re not human either!”
“Otherfolk are also people!” Ru Xin raised her index finger and waggled it gently.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
At this moment, a violent knocking rang out from outside the door. Li Qingshan went to open it, and Han Tieyi barged in. Seeing Hua Chengzan kneeling on one knee with his eyes firmly shut and his face overcome with pain, he grabbed Li Qingshan by the collar. “What did you do!?”
“Big brother!” Hua Chenglu helped Hua Chengzan up in a hurry. She looked back. “Commander, how can you do this?”
“Let go! You might be my brother-in-law, but I’ll still give you a beating!” Li Qingshan warned Han Tieyi before saying to Hua Chenglu, “Don’t worry, this is all for his sake. I can guarantee you that once he recovers, he’ll have turned over a new leaf and thoroughly reformed himself.”
Hua Chengzan slowly returned to his senses. He could still remember Li Qingshan bringing him to the academy, but he had completely forgotten about the reason. With how clever he was, he discovered many blanks had appeared in his memories very soon, and a few matters he still remembered made absolutely no sense. It was like a story that had been cut up into parts and scattered.
Oh right, I just drank the Water of Oblivion, but what exactly did I forget?
He recalled out of reflex, but he found nothing. All of his thoughts had been sucked into a hole, and his heart felt empty, but never did he feel so lively.
Li Qingshan waved his hand gently, and Han Tieyi flew out, falling into the lakewater. He crouched down in front of Hua Chengzan and said curiously, “Oi, Chengzan, do you still remember Gu Yanying?”
“So she’s called Gu Yanying!”
Li Qingshan raised his head and said to Ru Xin, “The quality of your medicine is no good. What’s the point of just forgetting a name? I want a return and compensation!”
Ru Xin frowned. “But that’s impossible! Don’t tell me so-called infatuation can actually resist the effects of the Water of Oblivion?”
Hua Chengzan stood up. His eyes shone with a bright and sharp light. “That’s not true. I have indeed forgotten about her, but through my other memories, I can still deduce her existence. I even roughly know her gender and identity. Fellow Ru’s medicinal skills are truly outstanding. You have my thanks.”
With his intelligence, using a large number of facts as a basis to fill in these blanks was nothing difficult.
“Big brother, is that true?” Hua Chenglu was overjoyed. If it were not for this holding him back, he would have established a foundation successfully a long time ago. It might have even been possible for him to reach late Foundation Establishment by now.
Han Tieyi flew back. He too was taken aback when he heard that. He understood what it meant. He had known Hua Chengzan since young. His talent was already extraordinary, but he personally believed quite a large gap still existed between them in terms of talent and intelligence.
“To think I was worried about the many potential side-effects. If it were a regular person, then perhaps it would throw their thoughts into a mess, but seeing how well fellow Hua is, I don’t have to worry. Since it works, pay up!” Ru Xin extended her hand.
Li Qingshan said, “This costs money?”
Ru Xin shot a glance at him. “Am I supposed to compensate you when it doesn’t work, and then not charge you when it does? If you want to demonstrate your loyalty to your friends and keep up your appearance, pay it yourself.”
Li Qingshan asked, “How much?”
“A million spiritual stones.”
“Are you saying that fellow Hua isn’t even worth a million spiritual stones? I’ve turned him from a pig-headed piece of trash to a clever and sensible genius!”
A pig-headed piece of trash! The corner of Hua Chengzan’s eye twitched, but he never expected Li Qingshan to say firmly, “Of course he’s not worth a million spiritual stones!”
“Then how much do you think he’s worth?”
“A hundred spiritual stones at most!”
Hua Chengzan wanted to speak up, but he faltered.
Ru Xin wanted to continue disputing with him, but after gazing at Hua Chengzan, she sighed. “Fine, let’s just say that’s reasonable. A hundred it is!”
Hua Chenglu burst out laughing.
A vein popped up on Hua Chengzan’s forehead. What’s this supposed to mean? Just earlier, you said I was a clever and sensible genius, but even after treating me, I’m just worth a hundred spiritual stones? So after all this talking and bickering, it was just to indirectly curse me?
“Please stop discussing my worth!”
Hua Chengzan bowed deeply towards Li Qingshan. “Qingshan, thank you.”
Li Qingshan waved his hand in an exaggerated manner. “You’re welcome.”
Hua Chengzan said, “But since medicine like this exists, why did you have to slap me twice?”
“About that, haha, alright, let’s not bicker over the small details. Let’s go back and keep drinking. We need to celebrate for you!”
Hua Chengzan said helplessly, “Let’s go elsewhere. Everyone happens to be here anyway. I think the bamboo forest on Cloudwisp island will do.”
A few streaks of light flew through the night sky. Liu Zhangqing and the others returned to the academy too.
Li Qingshan said, “There are no beauties for company on Cloudwisp island!”
Hua Chengzan said proudly, “There are many beautiful women in life, but I only want a single person’s heart!”
Li Qingshan, Hua Chenglu, and Han Tieyi looked at one another. Had he been cured or not?
“Everyone, don’t worry. I’m not referring to commander Gu. We might not be fated to be together, but I believe there will be a woman waiting for me somewhere throughout the nine provinces. Before that, I’m not going to sleep around and become entangled with other women.”
Li Qingshan had no idea how to react. In other words, he was looking for another hole to jump into? Was this an instance of personality determining fate? Just this aspect alone made him very compatible with Qiu Haitang. Out of the two of them, one was highly skilled in dealing with people and affairs, while the other was as clever as they came, yet they just had to be almost-naively obsessive over the word “love”.
Li Qingshan felt deep admiration towards this. Although he possessed the ambition of the Nine Heavens, not everyone was supposed to be like him.
Travelling to the corners of the world, fighting the oceans, picking the stars and moon from the sky, attaining immortality—these were all great, lofty, intense dreams, but to many people, perhaps it even paled in comparison to the ease and comfort of drinking a cup of tea at home. Living in the world, as long as a person could persevere and stick to their heart, that was enough.
“Big brother, you’ll definitely find that person!”
Hua Chenglu encouraged before glancing at Li Qingshan. She could not help but become slightly resentful. This promiscuous man completely paled in comparison to her elder brother in this aspect.
Over the past year, Li Qingshan had spent a little more time at the Hawkwolf Guard. He seemed much more diligent, but actually, he paid no attention to anything just like before. He tossed it all to her. Every time he came, he would tease her, which made it feel like he had specially come to tease her. The most detestable part of it all was he still visited the Hawkwolf Guard as infrequently as before.
Li Qingshan patted Hua Chengzan on the shoulder. “You better give up. You’re no longer a virgin.”
Hua Chengzan shuddered. Sure enough, he behaved like he had just received a huge blow to his morale.
Li Qingshan could not help but laugh. Oi, are you still a man? Don’t tell me you actually care about your “purity”?
“That’s happened already anyway, so you better just keep your eyes fixed on what’s in front of you and cheer up for now! You better not see commander Gu again in the next second and pledge your very life to her at first sight. That’ll be hilarious if that happens.” Li Qingshan shook his head with a smile. Meanwhile, Hua Chenglu became worried.
Ru Xin added, “If you drink a lot of the Water of Oblivion, the effects will weaken.”
Hua Chengzan sighed heavily. “I’ve already made a huge mistake, so I better not repeat it! I will submit a request to switch with Chenglu so that I can continue serving as the vice commander. I won’t see commander Gu again.”
“But… my cultivation is insufficient. I probably don’t have the right to become a White Wolf guard…” Hua Chenglu became hesitant as her eyes shone with uncertainty.
Hua Chengzan felt helpless over that. During the past year, he had been completely absorbed in the anguish he was immersed in, and he neglected his younger sister’s guidance. Originally, he thought she would have a bit more control after receiving the Great Banyan Tree King’s Wisdom Imbuement, but he never thought she would still end up being stuck in trouble.
Li Qingshan smiled. “If you don’t want to become a White Wolf guard, just go back and enter secluded cultivation! Stop trying to take my vice commander away from me!”
“If you want to talk, go out and talk. If you want to drink, go out and drink!”
Ru Xin asked for them to leave, so Li Qingshan went to Cloudwisp island and began a new banquet. Liu Zhangqing and the others drank a little more before returning to their dwellings, while the others bade farewell and took their leave in threes and twos. In the end, only Li Qingshan and Hua Chengzan remained, drinking with one another.
Under the bamboo loft, serenity arrived with the late night. Hua Chengzan suddenly said, “I want to see her!”
Li Qingshan stopped drinking. He obviously knew who Hua Chengzan was talking about. Apart from Qiu Haitang, there was no one else that he would require permission from him to see.
“The sooner the better!”
“Then we’ll go after this cup!”
“Actually, I’d rather you turn me down.”
“Because it would prove you care about her enough.”
“If she changes her mind, I definitely won’t insist on this happening. Going with the flow has always been better than insisting and then failing to get what you want.”
“That’s only because you still haven’t met someone you truly love. Even if you lose her, you won’t feel too much pain.”
“If you want to talk about love again, I’m going to start slapping you again before plunging you into water.”
“You impure man, you should be drowned in a wicker basket!”
TL: Drowning people in a wicker basket, or placing them into a wicker basket and dipping them into a river, leaving just their heads exposed, is a punishment for male adulterers in ancient China. Hua Chengzan is no longer a virgin, which means he’s been sleeping around with “other” women, making him an “adulterer”.