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Chapter 756 – White Wolf Commander, Xiaoyao Learns the Sword
Li Qingshan smiled and gazed at the rain pattered bamboo outside the window. As it seemed, he had guessed correctly. His identity as a secular disciple was perfect for this. He would possess identities in two large sects of the Green province at the same time. Although he would not be a core member of one or the other, his status would not be low in either. On top of that, he happened to be a daemon. The matters of the world truly were unpredictable.
“Qingshan, are you really going to the Sword Collection palace to become a guest elder?”
Liu Chuanfeng asked carefully on the side as if he was afraid he might anger Li Qingshan with anything he said. Although Li Qingshan never put on any airs, he had already established a sense of power after so many years of fighting and killing, naturally giving off a bearing of might.
The Cloudwisp association developed with great ease in the Ruyi commandery. Today, Liu Chuanfeng had specially invited Li Qingshan to come to Cloudwisp island so that he could continue with writing. Originally, he did that so he would not forget about his identity as a disciple of the school of Novels, but he never thought he would actually agree to it.
Li Qingshan constantly had the feeling that the Divine Talisman of Great Creation would play a role in the future, so he brought Xiao An with him to find the feeling of the past. There was no need for him to drink something like Water of Recollection either. With his current cultivation, there was nothing he could not recall as long as he tried to remember it. As a result, he got going as a plagiarist, and after having Xiao An edit it for him, it left him feeling extremely pleased.
“How could I turn down someone’s courteous invitation? Xiao An, take your time with the editing. I’ll go check out that Yin Xiaochou.”
Li Qingshan stood up and took off. When he was in the air, he glanced at the school of Painting nearby and remembered how Chu Danqing had not attended Hua Chengzan’s banquet on Soaring Afterglow mountain that night. He wondered how the repair of the Three Absolutes Calligraphy was going, so he landed on the island and pulled the first painting disciple he came across to the side. He asked, “Where’s your school leader Chu?”
“C- commander Li! The school leader is currently in secluded cultivation. He said that no one is to disturb him!” The disciples trembled.
“I sure am troubling him!” Li Qingshan said. He understood that repairing an arcane treasure like the Three Absolutes Calligraphy was not an easy feat. If he had the opportunity, he had to do something to make it up to him.
Soon after Li Qingshan took off, a streak of light flew over from the direction of the Clear River prefecture, landing on Cloudwisp island. It was Hua Chenglu. She furrowed her brows slightly, struggling to hide her worries.
Liu Chuanfeng went up in a hurry to receive her. “Commander Hua, what brought you here?”
“Is commander Li here?”
“You’re quite unlucky. He’s just left for Soaring Afterflow mountain.”
“Then he should already know.” Hua Chenglu let out a long sigh.
In the bamboo loft, Xiao An stopped and glanced out of the window before lowering her head again. Nothing could distract her as she edited away stroke by stroke.
“Fellow Yin, my master has already given permission. Let’s prepare to set off!”
Li Qingshan arrived on Soaring Afterglow mountain again and found Yin Xiaochou, cutting right to the chase.
“Fellow Li, something has happened regarding that…”
Yin Xiaochou was not surprised at all, but he was a little troubled.
“You haven’t seen Chenglu?” Hua Chengzan interrupted.
“I haven’t! What happened with Chenglu?”
“So you still don’t know. The Hawkwolf Guard has already appointed you as the White Wolf commander of the South Sea commandery!”
“White Wolf commander!”
Li Qingshan frowned. What was it just a White Wolf commander? There was actually still a White Hawk commander in a backwater of a place like the South Sea commandery? Whatever. His primary reason for going to the Mist province was Ru Xin and finding the divine wutong tree anyway. His rank did not matter.
“But what’s the matter with that? I’ll just assume office a few days late. What, is the Hawkwolf Guard supposed to punish me for that?” Li Qingshan suddenly understood what was going on. He smiled. “So the Sword Collection palace is afraid I’d get butchered in the South sea and lose the treasured sword of your palace. Have I guessed correctly?”
“That’s right. The South Sea commandery is a dangerous land of wilderness. If the sword is lost there, even the Sword Collection palace will struggle to retrieve it.”
Yin Xiaochou confessed. Every single sword on the Sword Collection peak was a precious treasure that the Sword Collection palace could not afford to lose. With Li Qingshan’s comprehension of the path of the sword, it was very likely for him to draw an arcane artifact from the mountain. The Sword Collection palace definitely could not afford to lose that.
Losing the Soaring Dragon sword had already racked the Sword Collection palace with worries. With Northmoon’s death, they had even lost their leads, unable to find it again.
“Wealth begets trouble. Taking an arcane treasure to the South sea is not necessarily a good thing.”
Yin Xiaochou never would have imagined that Northmoon who was guaranteed to be dead was currently standing in front of him, alive and kicking. He was even discussing whether to take another sword from the Sword Collection palace.
“Understood. Then I’ll directly assume office in the Mist province. We can talk about the matters regarding the sword once I get back.”
Li Qingshan was not angered by that. He was only willing to become a guest elder of the Sword Collection palace to take advantage of them. Even now, he still felt hostility towards the Sword Collection palace, so he obviously would not ask them to trust him. It was merely a sword. He would be getting his hands on it sooner or later, so there was no need to rush.
With how easily Li Qingshan accepted the situation, Yin Xiaochou instead became a little embarrassed. He took out a jade slip. “Since you’ve agreed to become a guest elder of our Sword Collection palace, please accept this jade slip!”
Li Qingshan accepted the jade slip and sent his soul sense inside. His eyes gradually lit up, and he smiled. “Thank you, fellow Yin. I won’t be holding back then.”
There were over a dozen nameless sword styles recorded within the jade slip. Some were light and flexible, while others were simple and heavy. They were all extremely subtle, basically the essence of the various different sword styles. There were almost a hundred sword techniques as well. If he had not seen it with his own eyes, he never would have imagined a sword could actually be used in so many different ways.
They really are a sect of sword cultivators after all. Sure enough, they really do know their stuff. Once I study this closely, my path of the sword will definitely reach a whole new level, allowing me to unleash the full power of the Demon Dragon sword!
However, what delighted him the most was not these sword styles and sword techniques, but a manual called “Heart of the Sword”. It was broken up into three sections for nurturing the sword, refining the sword, and tempering the sword. It went into detail about how to increase a sword’s quality through refinement and tempering.
This was basically timely help to Li Qingshan right now. He just happened to be trying to refine the Traitorous Demon sword into a true demonic artifact. Although the Traitorous Demon sword could increase its power through devouring demon hearts, the rate of increase was relatively slow. Even with the demon hearts of several dozen Demon Commanders in his possession, he could not say with certainty that he would succeed. Now that he had this manual, the success rate had increased drastically. It was not a guaranteed success, but he was seventy to eighty percent confident now.
Heh, looks like I still ended up taking advantage of them!
Completely satisfied, Li Qingshan then asked, “When do you plan on setting off?”
“In the next day or two.”
Hua Chengzan answered before suddenly gazing down the mountain. “Someone is here. That’s strange. Why has he come to find me?”
A man stood before the formations at the foot of the mountain. He was dressed like a farmer, giving off a very rustic vibe, but he possessed a bearing that no regular farmer possessed. He stood tall, giving off neither a sense of inferiority or arrogance, like a framework of wood and earth.
Beside him stood an adolescent child in new clothes. He carried a sword on his back, and he seemed rather uncomfortable.
It was the leader of the school of Agriculture, Li Long. With him was Li Qingshi, who had his name changed to “Li Xiaoyao” by Li Qingshan.
Li Xiaoyao said, “Master, why don’t we just go back?”
Thunk! Li Long smacked Li Long over the head. “Damned brat, you’re the one who said you wanted to study the sword at the Sword Collection palace, which was why I brought you here. Now that we’re here, you’ve lost your courage. What kind of man are you supposed to be?”
“It’s all cultivation. It doesn’t matter where I am.”
“How doesn’t it matter? My school of Agriculture tends to the land, primarily focusing on “life”. We comply with the variations and fluctuations of life. The sword is a lethal weapon that primarily focuses on “death”. You need to be staunch and resolute! You’re still young right now, so your character is still undecided. If you tend to the land for a few more years with me, it’ll be too late for you if you want to learn the sword again.”
“Will they want me?” Li Xiaoyao said uneasily.
To anyone that wanted to learn the sword, the Sword Collection palace could be regarded as a “holy land”. Yin Xiaochou had made a name for himself too after defeating the genius cultivators of twenty-two prefectures, which caused him quite the pressure.
“How will you know if you don’t try? If it doesn’t work out for you, you still have other places you can go. You’ll end up somewhere no matter what. You don’t have to be afraid either. He might be powerful, but wasn’t he still defeated by your- a person from the same hometown as us?”
When Li Qingshan was mentioned, Li Xiaoyao riled up with vigour. Sure enough, he became a little more courageous.
During the years he had spent with Li Long, he had become much more mature. He leant about many matters of the past, and he also understood Li Qingshan’s difficulties, so his resentment vanished. His uncle that refused to recognise him was still his role model.
At this moment, the formations opened up.
Holding onto Li Xiaoyao, the land beneath Li Long shrank and contracted, and they arrived on the mountain peak in a short while. Seeing how Li Qingshan was also here, Li Long became a little more confident.
“What brings school leader Li to my place today?” Hua Chengzan asked with a smile.
Li Long had always focused on farm work, and Hua Chengzan had spent a lot of the past few years in secluded cultivation, so they did not have much contact with each other. All he knew was he came from the same hometown as Li Qingshan.
“I heard you were about to go to the Sword Collection palace, so I specially came to see you off. It’s just a small gift to express my respect towards you!”
Li Long took out the basket of fruit he had prepared, which consisted of apples, pears, and various other fruits. They were all abundant with spiritual qi and glossy in colour. Hua Chengzan tried to turn down the gift before accepting it at Li Long’s insistence.
Only then did Li Long say, “There’s something else I’d like to ask. This child is my disciple. He’s always been smitten with the path of the sword, so I was wondering if fellow Yin could take him to the Sword Collection palace to be tested?”
Li Xiaoyao glanced at Li Qingshan before becoming afraid to look at him again. Then he raised his head and gazed at Yin Xiaochou who carried the Breaking Water sword on his waist. His face became filled with respect and admiration.
“If he wants to become a disciple of the Sword Collection palace, he needs to undergo strict testing. It’s not something I can decide with a word from me. This child’s talent is mediocre, and he lacks a decisive air about him, so he’s not suited for the path of a sword cultivator. It’s better if he continues cultivating in the school of Agriculture.”
Having inherited the sword intent from the past masters of the Breaking Water sword, Yin Xiaochou had developed some ability to judge people. It had already been rather difficult for this child to set foot on the path of cultivation. He had a very small chance at undergoing the first heavenly tribulation, but to the Sword Collection palace, a good chance at undergoing the first heavenly tribulation was the very basics they were looking for. Otherwise, they would not even accept them as a formal disciple.
Li Xiaoyao lowered his head, his face reddening and paling at the same time.
“He’s still young, so he hasn’t undergone any trials to toughen up yet. He does have some kind-heartedness, but he wholeheartedly wants to become a sword wielder. Even I can’t change his mind!”
Li Long sighed gently and rubbed Li Xiaoyao’s head, but he looked towards Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan said, “Just test him out, fellow Yin. If he can’t pass the tests of the Sword Collection palace, then just make no more mention of this and send him back. I didn’t exactly possess any startling talent or decisiveness back then either.”
“Really? But I found you extraordinary from the first time I laid my eyes on you. This child also has Li as his surname. Don’t tell me he’s your relative?” Hua Chengzan smiled.
Li Qingshan only smiled.
“I must learn the sword!” Li Xiaoyao suddenly raised his head and said loudly.
“Oh? Why?” Yin Xiaochou asked.
“My parents were killed by a crook!”
“You want to avenge them?”
Li Long shook his head. “That crook died a long time ago!”
“I- I want to kill other crooks up and uphold justice!”
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