Chapter 723 – During the Journey
Outside Fragrant Flower market, Xianghua Man and her clansmen watched the envoy of the White Lotus cult leave with a long, trailing group. A third of the group were shamans with a certain level of strength, while the rest were all children below the age of fifteen. Li Qingshan was among them. Perhaps it was a test or a form of training, but they all travelled on foot. The envoy of the White Lotus cult travelled at the very front. His huge sleeves floated about, bearing some resemblance to the gracefulness of an immortal.
“The envoy truly has an extraordinary bearing. It’s no wonder the holy mother sent him to undertake such an important job,” said a person as they sighed in admiration.
Xianghua Man sneered slightly, An important job? He clearly has no future, which is why he’s been sent out to waste his time! What shitty envoy? He’s just a lecherous old man. During the past few days, he’s spent plenty of time with women in the clan, even trying to make a move against me. He should check his own age first.
I’m just worried about A’lu, but both A’hong and A’zi have joined the White Lotus cult now, and A’hong has even gone to the main headquarters as a formal disciple, so even that old coot shouldn’t go too far. Moreover, he’s around too!
The envoy glanced back from afar and waved his hand at Xianghua Man gracefully. He also sneered inside, She’s just a puny matriarch, yet she has the courage to turn down my request? Does she really think she’s a paragon of chastity? And that bitch Xianghua Zi is no different. After getting on good terms with the altar lord, she started completely looking down on me.
He could not help but glance at Xianghua Lu. He was determined to make up for the annoyance of their mother shutting him down on this little girl. How easy would it be to coax a little girl who had yet to experience the aspects of human life into bed? As long as he did not use force, even if her sisters found out, they could not do anything to him!
Xianghua Lu was completely unaware of this. She currently stared at Li Qingshan cautiously with hostility. Li Qingshan did not look at her, advancing at a gradual pace. “Is there something on my face?”
“There’s shit!” Xianghua Lu fumed. He had clearly committed all kinds of audacious outrage towards her in the hot spring, yet he acted like she completely deserved it, which was utterly despicable. And, her mother just happened to tell her to consult him about everything. She clearly had no idea what she was saying! Just who here did not treat her better than how he did?
Xianghua Lu was Xianghua Man’s youngest daughter, and she was pretty as well. As she remained in the group, the group could be described as her entourage. The barbarians, regardless of their age, all treated her politely. Some of the bolder ones even sang love songs loudly and gave various gifts. As a result, she did not find the outside world as dangerous or as horrid as her mother had described it, apart from this little shit-faced bastard.
Li Qingshan turned around and smiled. “So you’re a dog then!”
“How dare you call me a dog!?” Xianghua Lu was taken aback before flying into a rage to pull him by the ear. Li Qingshan caught her casually, and Xianghua Lu put up a slight struggle before completely giving up and letting him drag her along. She only pouted and swore, but there was not a lot of anger on her slightly-red face.
Li Qingshan only treated it as a small, pleasant distraction. Actually, during the past few days, he did not really go out of his way to provoke Xianghua Lu, as he was worried about Ru Xin. However, the girl had come at him time and time again, so he treated it all as a diversion from his thoughts.
Countless hostile gazes shot over from the surroundings. If it were not for the sake of the envoy at the front, probably a lot of the younger people would have jumped in involuntarily and tried to play the hero already. The older shamans shook their heads. The girl was clearly interested in the pretty kid, or why would she not be able to break free with her strength? After all, she could be regarded as a proper shaman.
Cold light flashed through the envoy’s eyes. Did this overconfident kid really think he could touch his meal just because he had some talent?
“Kid, you’re called Goldie A’yue, right? Did Bone Eating barbarians eat your parents? I wonder whether they ate the hands or the legs first,” a young shaman smeared with colours said maliciously.
Li Qingshan thought about that question and spat out two words, “Piss off.”
The young shaman’s face changed drastically. He drew his blade with a swish. “What did you say?”
“Oi, aren’t you just trying to make trouble? What’s the death of A’yue’s parents got to do with you?” Xianghua Lu frowned.
“Hiding behind a woman! What a coward!” The young shaman spat viciously and turned around, making his way to the front of the ground. He sensed how the envoy was right beside him, and his anger vanished. He whispered, “Sir, I’ve already gotten to the bottom of this. Goldie fort does have a person by the name of Goldie A’yue, but his age is completely off. I tried to talk to him a few times, but he completely ignored me. When I try to aggravate him, he says nothing either. There’s something completely off with this kid’s origins!”
“We’ll deal with him tonight!”
Li Qingshan blinked his eyes. He had anticipated a long time ago that he would run into some trouble during this journey, but these troubles did not seem to come from these barbarians. That was what the senses of the spirit turtle told him.
The sun fell and the moon rose, and so did the campfire blazing away.
After travelling through the rainforest for an entire day, the shamans could still hold on, but the children had become utterly exhausted a long time ago.
Li Qingshan sat under a dark tree far away from the campfire calmly. Xianghua Lu sat right beside him and said proudly, “If it weren’t for my fragrance, those venomous insects would have bitten you to death already!”
Li Qingshan simply laid down casually, using her lap as a pillow without holding back at all. He crossed his legs and assumed a comfortable pose.
His shamelessness stunned Xianghua Lu. She extended her hands and pinched away at his face, except her actions were overly gentle that it felt more like intimate contact than punishment. Gradually, her expression sweetened. Ever since that day in the “Unaging Spring of Youth”, he had cast a shadow in her heart. He was the first man to treat her as a woman and kiss and caress her, even though he was only a child.
She never thought she would meet him again a few days later, and during the several days of contact, the shadow rapidly grew heavier. She simply found him different from all the people she had seen so far. He seemed to glow as he stood in the crowd, overshadowing everyone around him.
At this moment, singing rose up from the campfire. It was a ballad from a young man, seeking for love from a young woman. Ten days ago, Li Qingshan found this to be pretty interesting, but by now, he had grown sick of it already, especially when the song targeted Xianghua Lu who was right beside him.
“Look at how nice their singing is. Do you know how to sing?” Xianghua Lu saw how annoyed he was and giggled.
“Of course!” Li Qingshan said. Back then, he had even sung until prince Si Qing’s face sank.
“Let’s hear it!”
“If you want to hear it, sure, but give me a kiss!”
“I don’t believe you. You definitely can’t sing. I’ll never fall for this!”
Li Qingshan raised his head and kissed her gently on the lips. Before she had even returned to her senses, he began singing softly, “Under the moonlight, the fernleaf hedge bamboo, soft, beautiful like the green mist. The fine lady in the bamboo loft, dazzling like luminous pearls…”
TL: The lyrics come from the song “Fernleaf Hedge Bamboo in the Moonlight”. You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoOCghRRNPE
The moment he began singing, even Li Qingshan himself found it unusual. The singing by the fire immediately stopped. Everyone looked over and listened closely. Never had they heard such touching singing before. It was as magnificent and light as the sounds of nature.
By the time the singing stopped, everyone was still taken away by the song, and Xianghua Lu who was only inches away was completely enamoured. Li Qingshan shook his head. The songs of a young phoenix surpasses the old. Let’s just say this is an advantage from the Phoenix Transformation too!
“That’s so nice! What is this song? How come I’ve never heard of it before?” Xianghua Lu returned to her senses, overwhelmed with excitement. She completely forgot about being angry from having a kiss forced on her.
“There are plenty of songs you haven’t heard!” Li Qingshan yawned, and his ears suddenly twitched. He seemed to be listening for something!
At this moment, a group of people pressed closer. The barbarians of various ages stared at Li Qingshan viciously. Over the past few days, Li Qingshan had never talked to anyone. Even when people tried to talk to him, he ignored them. He had absolutely nothing to say to these people, but he came off as wildly arrogant in the eyes of others, which led to everyone’s discontent.
The reason why they had done nothing yet was because they feared the envoy of the White Lotus cult. Now that he was impelling them on, they all leapt forward. The flames of envy blazed in them, burning even hotter than the campfire.
Xianghua Lu said, “What are you trying to do?”
“Goldie A’yue, we want to challenge you!” “A’lu, this has nothing to do with you, so step aside!”
Li Qingshan laid leisurely in Xianghua Lu’s lap and said in an unconvinced fashion, “I can see death looming over all of you, so just forget about it tonight!” His gaze landed on the sagely, white-haired, white-bearded envoy of the White Lotus cult by the fire. His face seemed sunken too. He dared not use force directly against Xianghua Lu who had a background, but that did not mean he dared not lay his hands on a kid who tried to slip into the White Lotus cult with malicious intentions!
“You’re still so stubborn when death is right in front of you! Hack him to pieces!” The barbarians drew their blades loudly and swung around madly, dealing with the problem in the way they were most adept at.
Xianghua Lu cried out. She had no idea why these people who had been so kind the entire time would suddenly become so vicious and try to kill A’yue! Right when she was about to take action, the young shaman that Li Qingshan had told to piss off slipped over silently, prepared to seize the opportunity and stop her.
Blades shimmered and blood spattered. A violent howl rang out. The barbarians who had raised their blades at Li Qingshan had all cut themselves for some reason. They rolled on the ground in pain. Two of them even directly hacked themselves to death.
With that, everyone became stunned. Xianghua Lu had no idea what had just happened, and the young shaman was puzzled too. The people by the fire were even more clueless. Only the envoy of the White Lotus cult changed drastically in expression. At that moment, he seemed to see a mirror.
The Watermirror Image could reflect the enemy’s attack. Li Qingshan shook his head. Using it on these barbarians was basically overkill.
“What did you do?” the young shaman roared at Li Qingshan, putting on a tough front.
The envoy stood up as well. He said righteously, “Kid, how dare you injure the foundations of our White Lotus cult? There’s no need to keep you around today! Everyone, listen up! Take him down!”
The young shaman was about to take action when a gust of foul wind swept over, sucking him forcefully into the darkness behind a tree.
A huge python with golden mottling, radiating with daemon qi, extended its head out from behind the tree. Its neck wriggled, and it swallowed the shaman.
“A daemonic beast!” the barbarians cried out.
“No, a daemon!” Li Qingshan corrected.
Suddenly, the snake daemon turned its head. Its cold eyes stared at Li Qingshan and Xianghua Lu as it flickered its forked tongue, only inches away.
Xianghua Lu felt her blood freeze. She had only ever heard about the terrors of daemons. Never had she witnessed it before. Now that she saw one today, she found them to be even more frightening than rumored.
Li Qingshan waved his hand restlessly. “Piss off! Go eat them!”
The snake daemon shrank back with its head and nodded in an extremely human-like manner, turning away and slithering towards the barbarians and shamans around the fire.