Chapter 732 – The Great Marsh of Cloud Dream
The Snake God cult had opposed the White Lotus cult for many years. If they were clueless about the upper echelon of the White Lotus cult, who knew how many times over they would be destroyed already. From the moment she saw her, Gold Thread recognised Ru Xin to be the White Lotus cult’s renowned lord of the Clear River hall—the stone maiden, Shi Ji.
Although Gold Thread had never clashed with her before, she had heard about her impervious, rock like body, as well as how vicious she was. Anyone who ended up in her hands would suffer an extremely horrific fate, where they would be better off dead than alive. It was even enough for ferocious shamans to pale. She was a capable member of the White Lotus cult, earning the White Lotus Mother’s favour.
She had refused to tell him this immediately because she was worried this powerful child of unknown origins might have some close connection to the White Lotus cult. By then, not only would the Snake God cult gain a powerful enemy, but she would probably lose her life in the process too.
Now, all she could do was resign herself to fate!
Li Qingshan was taken aback. Although he had expected nothing to happen to her, he never thought she would actually become the lord of a hall for the White Lotus cult. Her status seemed even greater than the lord of the Zi Lotus altar.
It also gave him a slight understanding over the structure of the White Lotus cult.
Back in the Green province, the White Lotus cult did not have any hall lords. It was only the White Lotus Mother and her group of altar lords that ran around as terrorists. However, after coming to the Mist province, they were not suppressed by the Hawkwolf Guard and could develop without any run-ins with the law, so they added hall lords to their hierarchy.
The twenty-two altar lords watched over branch altars scattered through the land, while the hall lords remained at the headquarters with the Heart Washing hall for punishment, the Lotus Pad hall for nurturing disciples, and so on. They possessed various kinds of authority in the White Lotus cult. It was impossible for them to assume a position like that unless they possessed extraordinary strength and were deeply trusted.
“What’s the Clear Ripple hall for?”
“I- it seems to be for espionage…”
Gold Thread did not tell him everything. Once they discovered any clans or tribes that resented the White Lotus cult and wanted to oppose them, they would take action and purge them. The Clear Ripple hall never spared anyone wherever it went.
Li Qingshan thought to himself in a rather pleased manner, Don’t tell me she did it for me? Looks like worrying for her has been completely unnecessary. With her wits and cultivation, she’ll do well no matter where she is. The only thing I’m worried about is the Heart Cleansing Technique of Clear Ripple brainwashing her, but maybe I don’t have to worry too much. Even Qian Rongzhi could withstand it in the past, so she should be fine!
He waved his hand at Gold Thread indifferently. “Seeing how cooperative you’ve been today, I’ll spare you!”
Having been spared, Gold Thread was tempted to take off immediately and get as far from him as possible. However, she halted and asked in a probing manner, “Sir, you seem to have promised me something earlier!”
“Huh? Oh, you’re talking about that! You sure are bold. Forget it. In an hour’s time, come collect it yourself!” Li Qingshan took a step, and in the next moment, he vanished into the jungle, leaving absolutely nothing behind.
Collect it myself? Gold Thread sank into her thoughts. She paced around in the forest for a while before suddenly stopping and gazing in the direction of the Zi Lotus altar. Then I’ll wait for an hour!
In the Zi Lotus altar, the main hall was bustling with activity. Disciples of the White Lotus cult surrounded the siblings and A’zhong, calling out together.
“Where’s the altar lord? Where is the altar lord?” “A’zhong, didn’t you say the altar lord entered secluded cultivation?” “Where is he?” “Xianghua Zi, what the hell are you doing? If you still don’t explain yourself, you better not blame me for being merciless!”
The Snake God cult had attacked them, yet they had not even seen a shadow of the altar lord from beginning to end. There was something far too strange about this. Combined with the strange disturbance earlier, all of the disciples had gathered around the main hall.
A’zhong was the caretaker, but he still was not capable of something like misleading the masses. Among the disciples of the White Lotus cult, there were many people with around the same strength as him and many more people with greater seniority than him. They had grown tired of his arrogance a long time ago. In the end, they all barged into the hall like a swarm of bees, only to see that it was empty. They could not help but become suspicious.
Twisted faces looked around. Once shamans became vicious, they could kill on a whim.
“I swear on the name of my ancestors that this has nothing to do with me. It’s the two bitches who brought in the strange child and harmed the altar lord. I was worried for the altar lord’s life, which was why I had to follow through with their demands!”
In the face of danger, A’zhong redirected the trouble and placed all the blame onto Xianghua Zi and Xianghua Lu. Immediately, pairs of furious eyes swept over.
“You old bastard, you better stop pouting lies, or your son will…” Xianghua Zi placed her hands on her hips and cursed A’zhong furiously, but she felt bitter inside.
Right when the hall had descended into a mess, a figure climbed up the altar as if no one else was around and suddenly pulled a person out of his clothes, placing him on the pedestal. It was the altar lord!
“Altar lord!” “Altar lord, what happened to you?” “Who are you!?”
Swish! Swish! Swish! They drew their weapons and erupted with murderousness. Who knew how many vicious shaman arts and gu were on the verge of being unleashed.
“A’yue, are you fine?” Xianghua Lu approached him and asked.
“Sir, A’zhong just sold you out!” Xianghua Zi riled up and pointed at A’zhong, who was silently backing away in the crowd. His face immediately became sheet-white.
“I heard you still have a sister at the headquarters of the White Lotus cult?” Li Qingshan held Xianghua Lu’s hand and made his way out of the hall. Xianghua Zi followed behind them in a hurry.
“Yeah! Sister Hong is a disciple at the headquarters. Her status is much higher than ours!”
“Let’s go seek refuge under your sister then!”
“Because the Zi Lotus altar is about to be destroyed!” Li Qingshan was obviously attempting to use the same trick so that he could go to the headquarters of the White Lotus cult and find the lord of the Clear Ripple hall he had not seen in a long time.
“Kill him!” The disciples of the White Lotus cult swarmed over. Various gu insects buzzed through the air.
An invisible, murderous aura enveloped the entire hall. In that moment, time seemed to come to a standstill. Everyone froze up, unable to move. Even the gu insects fell to the ground.
Li Qingshan made his way out while holding Xianghua Lu’s hand, making his way off the mountain in a short while. He glanced backwards. Xianghua Zi followed behind in a hurry and saw how he looked over, so she bowed in a hurry. “Sir, aren’t you going to silence these people?”
“That’s not for you to worry about!” Li Qingshan said.
There was one when he came, and there were two when he left. He was a step closer to Xianghua Man’s promise.
Li Qingshan opened up the mental map of the Mist province Gu Yanying had provided him with and gazed at the entire land. It was over ten times larger than the Green province. He found the location of the White Lotus cult’s headquarters, which was rather far from here. With their cultivation, they would probably have to walk for several months, and they had to find somewhere appropriate to rest up first. Once time was right, he could simply fly over them with them.
An hour later, another rumble rang out from the direction of the Zi Lotus altar. Light filled the night sky constantly.
At this moment, it began to rain heavily. The lightning rumbled and roared, making the two different sources of light merge together.
Gold Thread reverted to her true form, a huge, gold-scaled python. She constantly attacked the formation. The formation was powerful, but no one was controlling it, so it could not escape the fate of being destroyed.
“Let’s go and report the news that the Zi Lotus altar has been taken by the Snake God cult. We might even be able to earn ourselves a position as disciples at the main headquarters!”
Li Qingshan swung his hand, and clouds rose up beneath his feet.
When dawn was about to break, a streak of light sped over from the south-eastern direction, landing on the mountain peak in the blink of an eye and turning into an old man with white hair. Her face was filled with wrinkles, but she seemed extremely kind. Her deep smile lines made her seem like she smiled at all times. She held a white lotus flower in her hand.
The White Lotus Mother glanced around, and she frowned slightly. The Zi Lotus altar had already been reduced to ruins, without a single living person in sight anymore. Moreover, the residual daemon qi had already become extremely faint, preventing her from tracking them down.
Obviously, Gold Thread was not foolish enough to kill the altar lord first. Instead, she took the Zi Lotus altar first and wreaked destruction before killing the altar lord. Originally, she wanted to ask what was going on in the White Lotus cult, but as soon as she woke up the altar lord, he immediately flew into a frenzy.
Li Qingshan had casually tossed the altar lord into the Asura Field, so the aura of the Asura Field had influenced him. He did not possess the slightest rationality at all, so all Gold Thread could do was swallow him whole.
“How useless!” the White Lotus Mother said.
As for Li Qingshan who was behind this all, he currently sat on a cloud leisurely and flew towards the south.
“Look, sister. We’re flying so high and so fast!” Xianghua Lu leaned on the edge of the cloud and peered down. The endless sea of trees was like a furry, green carpet.
“Sir, this doesn’t seem to be the direction of the headquarters!” Xianghua Zi said.
“We’re not going to the headquarters!” Li Qingshan said.
The headquarters of the White Lotus cult was to the south-east. He obviously had his reason for choosing this direction. He discovered a palm-sized region of water on the mental map of the Mist province, which was one thousand five hundred kilometers due south!
Several hours later, the rising sun turned into a setting sun and rippling light appeared on the horizon.
“We’re finally here!”
Li Qingshan’s eyes lit up, and he accelerated. The rippling light soon turned into a boundless region of water that stretched as far as the eye could see, reflecting the rosy clouds in the sky. It was like a magnificent crystal embedded in the sea of trees. Even when he flew up to the edge and sat on the cloud, high in the air, he could not see its end.
Xianghua Lu, who had already grown rather numb to flying, sighed in amazement. “Is this the ocean?”
“Don’t tell me this is the legendary Great Marsh of Cloud Dream!” Xianghua Zi said in surprise. Since young, she had heard people mention just how large and vast the Great Marsh of Cloud Dream was in the south, but never had she seen it for herself.
Li Qingshan sucked in a deep breath and sensed the dense water spiritual qi in the marsh. Sure enough, this was an unexplored, unexcavated virgin land!
On the map, it was only the size of a palm, but in reality, it was a huge region of water that stretched thousands of kilometers. It even covered an area larger than the entire Clear River prefecture. The major lakes of the Ruyi commandery all seemed tiny compared to it. If he wanted to refine this place, it would be rather tough even with the Water God Seal in his possession.
Although the Mist province was a chaotic, lawless land, taking out such a large Water God Seal was basically impossible. As a result, there were several powerful clusters of daemon qi in the lake, but no existence of a water god.
He found a lone island and descended on the cloud. Li Qingshan did not take out the Water God Seal to begin refining this place immediately. Time was still not right. His visit this time was more for knowledge and investigation, as well as to find a suitable place to cultivate.
There might be some problems during his visit to the headquarters of the White Lotus cult, so he needed to push the Demon Suppression Statuary to the peak of the sixth layer. Aside from that, he also needed to…
He took out a ring.
The Soaring Dragon sword was right in there!