Chapter 725 – Within the Zi Lotus Altar, the Asura Field Appears Once More
The heavy mist permeated the surroundings, completely limiting visibility. Looking down from above, it seemed like a thick blanket had been spread over the endless sea of trees, or the sea of clouds had descended from the sky.
A mountain jutted out of the sea of mist like a floating island. Wind whistled on its peak, ruffling the flags. They depicted white lotuses.
Xianghua Zi stood on the top of the mountain and cast her gaze into the sea of mist. She frowned slightly and thought, If I check the time, A’lu should have arrived yesterday, so why is she still not here? Don’t tell me something happened?”
After joining the White Lotus cult, she learned that the cult that seemed all-powerful was not without opponents. She just never realised it in the past because it was all beyond her reach. Although the Snake God cult had been defeated, their remnants were still terrifying. Destroying a tribe of shamans like the Fragrant Flower clan was as easy as crushing an insect.
“Ma’am, a boy and a girl arrived at the bottom of the mountain. One of them claims to be your younger sister!”
“Just the two of them?”
Xianghua Zi arrived below the mountain, and some disciples of the White Lotus cult had already gathered there. She dispersed some of the mist and saw Xianghua Lu and Li Qingshan through the formation. She asked in surprise, “A’lu, where are the others?”
“Second sister, we ran into a huge snake. The others all died. We barely managed to escape!” Xianghua Lu was teary, constantly glancing backwards nervously as if a huge snake could dart out of the mist at any time.
Li Qingshan felt admiration. It was no wonder that people said that women were natural actors. He never realised that despite her young age and innocent appearance, her acting was actually so great. Of course, this was also the result of several days of guidance from him, the director and scriptwriter.
I can’t lose to her! With that determination, Li Qingshan bit his lip and held Xianghua Lu’s hand firmly. He behaved like a pitiful child who was forcefully holding back his fears and was completely reliant on Xianghua Lu.
“The Snake God cult!” Xianghua Zi was startled, and the expressions of the other disciples of the White Lotus cult changed as well.
“Open up the formation!” Xianghua Zi said.
“Their identities are unconfirmed. We can’t let them in!” A middle-aged man walked out of the mist. He was stern and had a sedated aura. He could be regarded as a high-level Qi Practitioner.
“She’s my younger sister, so how is her identity unconfirmed?!”
“What about the child? Do you know him too?”
“Hmph, don’t tell me you’re even afraid of a child!”
“This involves the Snake God cult, so without the altar lord’s orders, we can’t let any strangers into the Zi Lotus altar! If they actually ran into the remnants of the Snake God cult, how could the two of them escape alive?” The middle-aged man was suspicious.
“Alright, I’m not going to argue with you. Then just let in my younger sister!”
“I’m the envoy’s disciple! I’m also a disciple of the White Lotus cult! You can’t leave me outside!” Li Qingshan called out and pinched Xianghua Lu in the process.
Xianghua Lu said in a hurry, “Yeah, sister. He’s called Goldie A’bao. He’s not some stranger. He travelled here with me from Fragrant Flower market. If you leave him outside, he’ll die!”
At this moment, a voice rang out from the mountain slowly, “Let them in. I’d like to ask them what happened exactly!”
“Yes, altar lord!” everyone said.
Xianghua Zi said, “A’lu, come with me. The kid too!”
Xianghua Lu and Li Qingshan successfully set foot in the Zi Lotus altar.
The corner of Li Qingshan’s lips curled slightly. As long as he made it past this, everything would be a piece of cake. He could sense Xianghua Lu tremble slightly, so he held her hand to comfort her.
Xianghua Zi glanced at Xianghua Lu. As siblings who had grown up together, she clearly sensed Xianghua Lu did not relax after entering the Zi Lotus altar. Instead, she became even more nervous, probably because she would be seeing the altar lord soon. The child beside her was instead abnormally relaxed, and his extremely handsome appearance made him stand out very much!
The group of people arrived in the main hall on the top of the mountain. A man dressed in white robes embroidered with lotus flowers gazed down coldly from his lotus throne. His figure was strangely and terrifyingly thin, like a skeleton that was only skin and bones. His thin, grizzled hair dangled down, which made him seem sinister and eerie.
“Greetings, altar lord!” the people said loudly.
Li Qingshan learnt from Xianghua Man that the altar lords of the White Lotus cult were all powerful shamans of the jungle in the Mist province. All of them had undergone the first heavenly tribulation. They had been subdued one by one and conferred the title of altar lord, establishing twenty-two branches named after the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches. Every single one of them was loyal and devoted to the White Lotus cult. As a result, even though they were altar lords of the White Lotus cult in name, they still practised the shamans arts from their own tribes, so they were obviously different from regular cultivators.
Xianghua Lu explained what had happened. Almost everything she said was true, and she went into great detail. Even the lies she came up with for Li Qingshan were convincing. Without detailed investigation, it would be very difficult for their story to fall apart. As long as Li Qingshan took back the Asura Field from Xianghua Zi, everything could be dealt with.
The lord of the Zi Lotus altar nodded from time to time. When he heard how the huge snake had swallowed the envoy, he even bellowed out, “All those who touch the people of the White Lotus cult will die, no matter how far away they are! Death awaits the remnants of the snake god!”
The followers all called out as well, “All those who touch the people of the White Lotus cult will die, no matter how far away they are! Death awaits the remnants of the snake god!”
Li Qingshan loathed this, but he could tell that the altar lord had been speaking from the bottom of his heart, almost zealously. Meanwhile, although the followers below repeated after him loudly, they did not exhibit much sincerity.
The altar lord suddenly looked at Li Qingshan. “Even a tiny tribe of barbarians can produce such a handsome talent?”
Li Qingshan lowered his head and murmured quietly, just like a nervous child who had no idea what to say!
“Kid, the altar lord is talking to you!” said the middle-aged man who had refused to let Li Qingshan in earlied
“He’s still young, and he’s gone through so many hardships. He probably still hasn’t even returned to his senses yet! You can go and rest up! The White Lotus cult won’t abandon any of its followers. The holy mother, the bodhisattva, is watching you from above! A’zi, you stay behind!”
After the followers had all dispersed, the altar lord said coldly, “Your sister is lying! There’s something wrong with the child too.”
Xianghua Zi shivered inside. “Our Fragrant Flower holds complete loyalty towards the holy mother and the altar lord!”
“I believe your Fragrant Flower clan is loyal to the holy cult, but others can always be deluded. Go ask about this carefully. It’s still not too late for her to realise her errors and mend her ways!”
“What if they still say the same thing?”
“Then bring them over here. I have my ways of making them tell the truth!” A brutal smile appeared on the altar lord’s face.
“Yes!” Xianghua Zi shivered inside. If that actually happened, then they would probably end up begging for their deaths.
“Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about your contributions. As long as you don’t let your personal feelings get in the way, it won’t involve you!”
Xianghua Zi visited right after Li Qingshan and Xianghua Lu had settled down in their residences. Before she could even say anything, Li Qingshan passed Xianghua Man’s letter to her.
Xianghua Zi accepted the letter doubtfully and read through it. Her face changed a few times before rubbing her hands together and reducing the letter to pieces. She said viciously, “There really is something wrong with you! Just how did you mislead A’lu and my mother?”
Originally, she thought only Xianghua Lu was under coercion, but she never expected Xianghua Man to lose her mind too. She actually told her to cooperate with the kid and listen to all of his instructions. This was the White Lotus cult. Was she really trying to destroy the Fragrant Flower clan?
Li Qingshan no longer kept up his act. He sat on a seat leisurely. “Please hand that item over to me. You don’t seem to be carrying it on you. Let’s go and grab it quickly!”
“I’ve already offered the item you speak of to the altar lord. If you want it, then come with me!” Xianghua Zi said flatly.
Xianghua Zi had absolutely no need to make a choice between the White Lotus cult and a kid of unknown origins. Right now, all she was thinking about was how to relieve the Fragrant Flower clan of their crimes!”
“The lord of the Zi Lotus altar from earlier? Is it still with him right now?”
Li Qingshan frowned. Regular people could not tell it was an arcane artifact, but the altar lord definitely could. He was clearly under the influence of the Heart Cleansing Technique of Clear Ripple, so there was already something wrong with his head. If he directly offered the Asura Field to the White Lotus Mother out of his devotion to the cult, then things would get messy.
“Of course!” Xianghua Zi sneered inside. Sure enough, he’s afraid. You better decline meeting the altar lord with me. Then I can kill you on the spot in the name of non-compliance and trying to fight back!
But to her surprise, Li Qingshan said urgently, “We’ll go right now!”
Although Xianghua Zi’s words had brought him some relief, he was still unconvinced. Delays led to trouble, so his priority was to retrieve the Asura Field as quickly as possible.
Xianghua Zi furrowed her brows silently and radiated with murderousness. She did not want him to speak nonsense in front of the altar lord!
Li Qingshan said calmly, “Take me there now. Do it for the sake of your sister, A’lu!”
He seemed to be pleading with her, but it made Xianghua Zi gasp instead. He did not want to maintain his disguise any further, nor was he thinking about running away. Did he not know about the strength of an altar lord? Or perhaps there was another possibility, the only possibility that could make her vicious mother pen a letter like that!
“Alright, come with me!”
The two of them travelled back along the same path and returned to the main hall on the top of the mountain very quickly. The altar lord was still seated there, gazing down doubtfully. Did she get something out of him so quickly?
Before Xianghua Zi could speak, Li QIngshan took a step forward and gestured with his hands. “Have you seen an object around this size that seems to be made out of cloth?”
Cold light erupted from the altar lord’s eyes. He took out an item from his sleeve. “Are you talking about this?”
The Asura Field!
“Thank you! Please return it to me!” Li Qingshan exhaled deeply and completely stopped worrying.
Actually, Li Qingshan had been worrying too much. The Heart Cleansing Technique of Clear Ripple originated from the Wisdom Imbuement technique. Although it could achieve effects almost akin to brainwashing and make them develop a completely new way of thinking, destroying a cultivator’s free will and sense of identity and reducing them to a slave was not as easy to achieve. Moreover, the detriments far outweighed the benefits to the White Lotus cult.
After seeing the Asura Field in Xianghua Zi’s possession, the altar lord realised it was a legendary arcane treasure very quickly. He stored it away carefully, treasuring it even more than his own children if he had any. He had constantly wanted to refine it during the past year. Although he was loyal to the White Lotus cult, he also wanted to increase his cultivation and status to at least above the other altar lords.
When he heard that Li Qingshan had come for this item, he was basically triggered. Suddenly, he erupted with murderousness, which flooded towards Li Qingshan like a wave.