Chapter 711 – The White Lotus Appears Again
Goldie A’bao picked up the basket and set off on the path to the Fragrant Flower market. The forest receded around him rapidly. Gradually, he grew accustomed to his new power. His footsteps became faster and faster, such that nothing could stop them anymore, whether it was the heavy darkness or the entwined roots. Just by kicking off the ground gently, he could leap across several dozen paces. He was ravished with so much joy that he virtually forgot about the danger behind him.
“Travel in a straight line!” Li Qingshan said suddenly.
Goldie A’bao was taken aback before returning to his senses. He was no longer the Goldie A’bao of the past.
The path through the forest was not straight. Instead, it twisted and turned due to the terrain. If the Bone Eating tribe really came after him, they would definitely send people straight for the Fragrant Flower market and intercept them mid-way. Traveling in a straight line would be much faster than following the path.
As a merchant who had lived in the Mist province his entire life, he actually needed the reminder of someone else, so he could not help but become rather ashamed. Actually, he had yet to completely adjust to this new power and forgot that many of the dangers and obstructions in the jungle were no longer a big deal to him.
When he arrived at a bend, he travelled straight, leaping off the cliff. He constantly bounded off the rocks and slowed down his fall before landing gently on a tree within the forest. The branch bent, and he used the force to leap to another large tree, continuing on the way.
“You won’t get lost, right?”
“Don’t worry, sir. I definitely won’t!”
“Be careful of the snake!” Li Qingshan said casually.
Goldie A’bao was taken aback, confused by what was going on. He leapt over a few more trees, and a thick vine suddenly sprang alive. It was actually a python with a pattern extremely similar to tree vines, lunging towards him with its big, gaping mouth!
The lunge was as fast as a fired crossbow bolt. In the past, he would have lost his life then and there, but it was different now. He extended his left hand and grabbed the snake right below its head.
“Leave it to me! Don’t stop!” Li Qingshan added. He extended his tiny hand to the snake, and the python immediately began to writhe.
Goldie A’bao obliged, rousing up with even more force and spirit. As he carried the snake, he leapt between the trees.
A while later, a withered, dead snake was tossed down from a tree. Another ball of blood-red flames appeared in Li Qingshan’s hand.
“Sir A’yue, do snakes work too? The Bone Eating tribe only eats people!” Goldie A’bao was rather worried.
“How can I be compared to those barbarians?”
With his experience of undergoing nirvāṇa rebirth, he possessed the comprehension from truly visiting the boundary between life and death. The life force he harvested was extremely pure. The divine powers of the phoenix could not be compared with a shaman tribe that had primitive shaman arts passed down generation to generation. He casually sent the life force into Goldie A’bao’s back.
“Thank you, sir!”
Goldie A’bao stopped worrying. He felt like he had truly struck it lucky this time. Even the complete annihilation of the merchant group was worth it, but it was not because he was heartless and cruel. It was all too common for people to die in this remote rainforest. After spending several decades as a merchant, this was not the first time he had encountered something like this. He had grown accustomed to it a long time ago. Only his personal strength was the most important.
“But that doesn’t mean there aren’t side effects!” Li Qingshan changed the topic, which made Goldie A’bao’s heart lurch. “What side effects?”
“If your life force is overly impure, it’s actually not good at all. I think you can undergo the first heavenly tribulation at most for the rest of your life. You can forget about going any higher!”
Goldie A’bao was only fixated on the two words he had only heard about in legends. The existence of the heavenly tribulation was already an existence akin to gods. He could even look down on the Bone Eating tribe by then.
This was just like telling a penniless beggar, “Sigh, you can only be a millionaire in your life. You can forget about some billionaire tycoon.” They would only be too happy to agree to something like that!
“Please, sir, you have to let me take on these side effects. I’m willing to toil away for you as a beast of burden!” Goldie A’bao said from the bottom of his heart. He had already understood how great of a person he was latching onto. Toiling away as a beast of burden for an existence like that was definitely not a disgrace, but glory.
“Then that’ll be up to your performance. You still don’t have the right to toil away as a beast of burden for me. If you were a beauty, I’d consider riding you, but you better save it with how you’re like right now!”
“Sir, if you like beauties, there’s as many as you’d like in the Fragrant Flower market. I can guarantee your satisfaction, sir!” Goldie A’bao chuckled.
Li Qingshan glanced at his crotch and said in exasperation, “Shut up! Get going!”
The sky began to light up, and the red sun began to rise in the east. A figure leapt through the sea of trees, climbing to the top of an extremely tall tree with just a few bounds.
Goldie A’bao gazed into the distance. He discovered that a night of travelling was already equivalent to two or three normal days. He did not have to rest. He did not have to take detours. This was the benefit of strength. Actually, he still ended up taking some detours. As he travelled through the forest, Li Qingshan specially told him to detour around certain places.
Goldie A’bao had no idea what he was avoiding, but he knew that if he ran into it, death would be guaranteed. Fragrant Flower market was already in the distant view. He pointed at a rising and falling outline at the end of the sea of trees. “Look, sir! Fragrant Flower market is right beneath that hill!”
“You better take a look backwards instead!” Li Qingshan leaned on his arms and said lazily.
After a night, Li Qingshan’s scarlet hair had become much thicker, and it was no longer as soft as when he was first born. He closed his eyes gently. Nothing was more delightful than breathing the fresh morning air and sensing his strength grow.
Goldie A’bao looked back and squinted his eyes. He finally saw it. The sea of trees in the distance moved unnaturally, heading right in his direction!
A sneer formed on Li Qingshan’s perfect baby face. “Guess!”
“The Bone Eating tribe!” Goldie A’bao leapt down from the tree and rushed towards the Fragrant Flower market desperately, running even faster than a mouse after seeing a cat. Even right now, he had yet to recover from the soul-stirring incident last night. The terrors of the Bone Eating shaman had already become firmly embedded in his heart. “Sir, please unleash my potential!”
“You’re not afraid of reducing your lifespan?”
“I’m not!” Goldie A’bao said resolutely. He could make up for lost lifespan, but if the Bone Eating tribe caught him, his entire life would be lost.
Li Qingshan smiled gently and pressed his hand against Goldie A’bao’s back. “Once you flee to the Fragrant Flower market, they’ll stop coming after you?”
“The Fragrant Flower clan has their own shamans. Although the Fragrant Flower shamans are not as ferocious as the Bone Eating shamans, the first daughter of the matriarch is a disciple of the White Lotus cult. Even the Bone Eating tribe won’t offend them!”
Goldie A’bao felt his blood boil, suddenly accelerating and fleeing even faster.
“The White Lotus cult?” Li Qingshan was taken aback. It sounded similar for some reason. Surely it was not the White Lotus cult Gu Yanying had chased out of the Green province? “What’s the name of their cult leader?”
“No one knows her real name, but she’s the White Lotus Mother. It’s said that she is a mortal incarnation of the White Lotus Bodhisattva who’s come to help people in distress and bring salvation to all. And their vice cult leader, venerable Black Lotus, has a heart of benevolence too. They’re both immortal-like figures. The people here originally revered the ‘Snake God’, but they’ve all converted to the White Lotus cult now. Goldie fort reveres the White Lotus cult too. Oh right, when Huangliang Fei said I was protected by the bodhisattva last night, he was talking about the White Lotus Bodhisattva!”
Li Qingshan could not help but laugh aloud, but his voice was far too childish, so there was not exactly a bold and valiant spirit to it.
Goldie A’bao asked tactfully, “Sir, may I ask why do you laugh?”
“I never thought I’d still be able to run into people I know!” Li Qingshan said.
“People you know? Don’t tell me you’re talking about the White Lotus Bodhisattva and venerable Black Lotus, sir!” Goldie A’bao’s heart trembled. Although he knew “sir A’yue’s” identity was special, he without a doubt felt even more shocked when he found out he was connected to these truly powerful existences. “Once we’ve reached the Fragrant Flower market, you just need to mention the White Lotus cult’s name, and these Bone Eating shamans will definitely melt away without even fighting, sir!”
“I’m not done speaking! It’s a pity that I know them, but they don’t know me. Oh right, don’t tell anyone about this!” Li Qingshan made it clear. Before his strength had recovered, he did not want to have any dealings with the White Lotus cult.
“Yes, yes, yes!” Goldie A’bao was greatly disappointed, and he could not help but become rather afraid. Don’t tell me sir A’yue means they’re his enemies by saying he knows them? How can I still divulge anything rashly?!
This was only because the White Lotus cult had been around for a relatively shorter period. Otherwise, with their ability to brainwash, if they had been around for a few decades longer, Goldie A’bao would probably even consider betraying “sir A’yue”.
“Anyways, the rules in the Fragrant Flower market are extremely strict. Even the fiercest barbarians dare not fight in the Fragrant Flower market. These Bone Eating shamans are all different from regular people, so they probably can’t even get through the city gates. As long as we stay in the city, we’ll be safe.”
Li Qingshan said nothing. Instead, he sank into his thoughts. He had a very deep impression of this altar lord Black Lotus. He was a man of extraordinary bearing who could slip away easily even when Zhou Tong and the school leaders surrounded him. After all these years, it was very likely he had already condensed a golden core. The White Lotus Mother had probably recovered from her injuries too. She was a powerful figure who had clashed with Gu Yanying multiple times back then after all.
Back then, he still did not have a very thorough understanding of the meaning behind this. Only now did he somewhat understand just what kind of power this represented. That “bird woman” hid her strength extremely well, such that even now, he had yet to see it in full perspective. Even if she treated fighting against the White Lotus Mother as a game, the game would be completely pointless if the opponent was far too weak.
The first time he heard about the White Lotus cult was when the White Lotus Mother slaughtered a city to forge an arcane treasure. Back then, he was stunned by the words “slaughtering a city”, but now, he was stunned by the words “arcane treasure”. That was an arcane treasure after all. Even now, he only possessed a single arcane treasure, and that was only because he had taken advantage of Si Qing. The major objective of Si Qing, a mighty prince, in coming to the Ruyi commandery was just to forge the Dragon Arena into the Asura Field, a true arcane treasure.
Now that he would be entering the range of influence of the White Lotus cult, it could not exactly be described as a coincidence. If those two worked together without any suppression or restraint from the Hawkwolf Guard and a few orthodox sects, influencing the range of a few thousand kilometers would be far too easy. If the low population density of the Mist province was taken into account, this range might have been even larger.
They wanted to rebuild the White Lotus cult, so they refused to enter too deeply into the Mist province. The organisations there were twisted together in a complicated way, so getting a hand in there would definitely be difficult. Just the range directly under the Great Banyan Tree King’s control spanned tens of thousands of kilometers.
Li Qingshan had not actually ventured deeply into the Mist province as he fled for his life. The place here could still only be regarded as the outskirts of the Mist province. The Fragrant Flower market was merely the location of a disciple’s clan. They were probably still a few thousand kilometers away from the actual headquarters of the White Lotus cult.
Goldie A’bao suddenly cried out, “Sir, they’re moving so quickly! If this continues, they’ll catch up to us!”