Chapter 757 – A New Journey
Li Xiaoyao clenched his fist, actually exhibiting a sense of determination. Li Qingshan nodded to himself. At least he did not pick up the foolishness, crudeness, and deceitfulness of his parents.
“If that’s the case, then I’ll take you with me. But whether you can become a disciple of the Sword Collection palace will be up to your fate,” Yin Xiaochou said.
“Yeah!” Li Xiaoyao nodded heavily, overjoyed. Then he looked at Li Long and felt rather reluctant to leave.
Li Long said, “Stop acting like a little girl. Study the sword properly and don’t embarrass us Crouching Ox villagers!”
“Yes, master!” Li Xiaoyao glanced at Li Qingshan again and secretly made up his mind. His talent might be mediocre, but he believed there was hope as long as he did his best.
Then Yin Xiaochou said to Hua Chengzan, “There’s no need to be reluctant to leave. We’ll set off right now! I need to enter secluded cultivation for a while once I get back to the Sword Collection palace. Once I undergo the second heavenly tribulation, I’ll definitely challenge you again, fellow- no, elder Li!”
“Alright, but you better let me draw a fine sword from the Sword Collection peak before that.”
Li Qingshan was hostile towards the Sword Collection palace, but he could not help but admire their heritage. Both Fu Qingjin and Yin Xiaochou were elites among cultivators, possessing extraordinary bearing. Even the Soaring Dragon Elder was bold and daring. It was not without reason that the Sword Collection palace was still standing after so many years.
Hua Chengzan said, “It’s just a pity that I can’t see you off, Qingshan.”
“You don’t need to be so polite. Until we see each other again!”
Li Qingshan clasped his hands and bade farewell, watching the three of them vanish into the horizon. He turned to Li Long and said, “I’ve troubled you for the past few years.”
“He’s my disciple. Of course, I need to go to some trouble for him. Just what step he can reach in the future will be up to him.”
Li Qingshan returned to the prefectural city of Clear River and arrived before the office of the Hawkwolf Guard. He gazed up.
Upstairs, Hua Chenglu currently leaned against her chair and gazed out of the window, thinking about something with her eyebrows furrowed. She tapped against her armrest gently with her finger.
Ever since he emerged, they had only met a few times briefly, but it did lead to a lot of ripples in her heart. However, since it was already too late, all she could do was accept this outcome calmly. She was not a little girl, much less Hua Chengzan. She would never want to become all caught up over love.
Just seeing him every now and then was fine. It was nothing even if he teased her. But now, even that would be impossible, as he was going off to the Mist province!
If they were simply parting, then so be it, but he happened to be going to the most dangerous South Sea commandery. How could she not worry for his safety?
At this moment, a familiar figure appeared outside the window and smiled. “What’re you thinking about?”
“Big brother Li!”
Hua Chenglu stood up and opened her lips, considering how to tell him this “bad news”.
“I already know where I’m being transferred to.”
Li Qingshan stepped into the room and smiled when he saw how troubled she was.
Hua Chenglu took out the transfer order, and Li Qingshan stowed it away as soon as he took a glance at it. Sure enough, it was White Wolf commander!
“Oh right, your brother has just set off, Chenglu.”
“Sigh, didn’t he say he’d wait for another day or two?”
“Probably because he doesn’t want something like a departure ceremony! He’s gone to his Sword Collection palace. It’s about time for me to set off too!”
Li Qingshan gazed outside the window with a smile. The sun that had just broken through the rain made the sky seem transparently blue. His heart had already drifted thousands of kilometers away. No, it had gone tens of thousands kilometers away, to the unfamiliar South Sea commandery, making him imagine the boundless South sea!
“What’re you frowning for? I’m getting promoted, so why don’t you give me a hug as a celebration?” Li Qingshan spread his arms.
“Big brother Li, aren’t you worried at all? That’s the South Sea commandery, the southwest part of the nine provinces, a land of wilderness within a land of wilderness. Not only do Hawkwolf guards possess no special authority there, but everyone is hostile to them. Even then, you’re still in the mood to joke around!” Hua Chenglu worried.
“If I don’t joke around, am I supposed to cry instead?” Li Qingshan was rather touched by how concerned she was for him.
“Go find commander Gu and get her to speak for you. Your master too. You’re a disciple of the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga after all. The Sword Collection palace too. Didn’t they want you as a guest elder? Anyway, you can’t accept this assignment. Sigh, it must be that bastard Si Qing pulling strings, using his identity as a prince to do as he pleases!” Hua Chenglu fumed.
“Thank you, but I’ve already made up my mind. The South Sea commandery is indeed a land of wilderness within a land of wilderness, so it’ll definitely be filled with dangers. That’s exactly what makes it worth visiting. If I don’t go and take a look at the ends of the world, wouldn’t it be a waste of a life? As for that kid Si Qing, there’ll be plenty of time for him to cry!” Li Qingshan said firmly.
He did not take Si Qing seriously at all. All he had to do was find an opportunity to resolve this tiny grievance in the future.
“Big brother Li… After what you’ve said, even I want to go and take a look. I still haven’t seen the real ocean yet! If it weren’t for the fact that I’d drag you down, even I’d want to become a White Wolf guard and go with you.”
Hua Chenglu was infected by his bold spirit, making all of her worries vanish. Why would this man need any worries from her? He was Li Qingshan after all.
She could not help but imagine the scenery of the South sea in the Mist province. Even since young, she had always been a restless person. She even felt an urge to go to the South sea with him without any regard anymore.
“Then come. You won’t drag me down at all.”
Li Qingshan studied Hua Chenglu. It had been a few years since he last saw her, but this girl had become more and more charming. Her picturesque face and her beautiful figure were perfect, such that even growing slightly plumper would make her seem fat and growing slightly skinnier would make her seem thin. She gave off a delicate sense of beauty.
“If I really went with you, sister Han would curse me to death.” Hua Chenglu reddened from how he stared at her and stuck out her tongue.
“Oh? Why would she curse you? What do you want to do to me?” Li Qingshan took a step back and said in great surprise.
“Big brother Li!”
“Haha, just a joke. You’re still very young. You still have a long road ahead of you! The greatest benefit of cultivation is you’ll never know just how far you’ll go. The matters of the Hawkwolf Guard need to be dealt with, but there’s no need to pay too much attention to it either. As long as you constantly increase your cultivation, there’ll be one day when you can go anywhere across the nine provinces!”
Li Qingshan patted Hua Chenglu’s shoulder and said sincerely.
“Yeah, I will work hard on cultivation! I heard the Merfolk of the South sea are all extremely beautiful, and their songs have magical powers. When sailors on the seas hear their singing, they’ll leap into the water without any regard, drowning to death just like that. You better not be bewitched by them, big brother Li.”
Hua Chenglu said, but she completely refused to believe there was a woman who could bewitch him with beauty. In particular, she had become even more confident about this after seeing Xiao An a few days ago. The otherworldly beauty even left her sighing in amazement.
“Sigh, there’s nothing I can do about that. You know that I’m most vulnerable to being bewitched by beauty! I even ran into someone from the same hometown as me, Li Long, on Soaring Afterglow mountain just then. We bade farewell to each other after a few words, yet I’ve accidentally talked so much with you already. That’s a very good warning, which I better keep in mind. I’m going!”
Li Qingshan laid out his hands helplessly. Technically speaking, he had already been bewitched by a merperson, except it was not through some touching songs, but foul language.
“So soon! You’re travelling to such a distant place, so surely we need to hold a farewell banquet!” Hua Chenglu said in surprise.
“Don’t worry about that. We just had a gathering a few days ago. Holding too many baquets is boring anyway. Not to mention that it’s not like I’m going to any good place. How pointless would it be if you make it sound like a suicide mission?”
Li Qingshan waved his hand and declined. He said, “Take care.” before making his way towards the window.
Hua Chenglu gazed at his departing figure and experienced a multitude of emotions. Once he left, who knew how long it would be before she could see him again and who knew how many dangers lay ahead in his path!
“Big brother Li!”
Li Qingshan turned around, but before he could even finish speaking, Hua Chenglu had rushed over and kissed him on the lips. Right after that, she pulled away again. She lowered her head and said softly, “Be careful on the road.”
“Girl, what’s that supposed to be?”
Li Qingshan licked his lips. The soft, warm feeling lingered on them. He lifted up her chin, and her delicate face was shrouded in an enchanting, red haze. Her long eyelashes trembled, afraid to make eye contact with him.
“Huh? What?” Hua Chenglu’s gaze drifted away, beginning to feel deep regret. She had really been too rash just then.
Li Qingshan said nothing more. He brought his arms around her soft, thin waist and pulled her into his arms, lowering his head and kissing her on her pink lips. Afterwards, he went straight in, prying open her teeth and making contact with her tongue, tasting away recklessly.
Hua Chenglu’s eyes suddenly widened before closing again. This was the first time in her life a man had kissed her like this. She felt like she was being violated, yet she also happened to be powerless to resist. Her body stiffened because of her nervousness, but with his kissing and touch, she gradually loosened and lay limply in his arms.
“That’s what you call a kiss!”
Only after a long while did Li Qingshan say with a smile. Seeing how enamoured and vulnerable she was, his mind began to heat up. In the past, he probably would have swallowed her whole already, but after so many years of toughening up, he was no longer in such a rush anymore, so he let go of her gently.
“Big brother!” Hua Chenglu said tenderly.
“This is your first time, so I’ll give you a light punishment. I hope you learn your lesson. If this happens again, it won’t be that simple anymore.” Li Qingshan smiled, but he was very serious. He had never been some kind of abstaining gentleman. As a matter of fact, it could be said that he accepted everything that fell into his lap. There was nothing such as turning down food that was delivered right to his mouth.
However, Hua Chenglu had saved him in the past, and she had called him big brother for all these years. Their relationship was something else, so he could not be so unbridled with her.
“I’m going to tell sister Han that you harassed me!” Hua Chenglu wiped her lips harshly and shot a vicious glance at him. The Wisdom Imbuement and all these years of growth and experience seemed to vanish. It was like she had gone back to being a girl in her teens.
“Hmm? You’re even bold enough to talk back? Alright. Let’s go find her right now for a discussion and see just who is in the right.” Li Qingshan grabbed Hua Chenglu by the wrist and made his way out.
“No!” Hua Chenglu put up a frantic struggle and broke free easily. She rubbed her wrist and fumed. “Big brother, you’re shameless!”
Li Qingshan laughed aloud.
“Big brother Li, you still owe me something!” Hua Chenglu said.
“I almost would’ve forgotten about that if you hadn’t mentioned it. You better think about it carefully while I’m at the South sea!”
Li Qingshan left, and Hua Chenglu returned to her seat. She continued to think, except it was about something else that bugged her.
Around dusk, Li Qingshan and Xiao An set off on their journey to the Mist province.