Chapter 758 – White Wolf Commander, the Commandery City of South Sea
Flying over several thousand kilometers of mountains was merely the beginning of the journey. Finally, he arrived at the boundary of the Green province again. The endless sea of green stretched southward towards the end of the world.
Li Qingshan took out the mental map of the Mist province and glanced at it. His eyes landed on a chain of mountains. That was where the Fire Melt mountains stood, the location of the divine wutong tree.
He had specially asked the Great Banyan Tree King about this, but this matter was rather troublesome, as the Fire Melt mountains were currently where the royal clan of the Fire Devouring Folk resided. The wutong tree even happened to be their divine tree, which made it almost unapproachable.
There was nothing strange about that. Everyone wanted a good place, and in the end, it would definitely be occupied by the strong. After the phoenix had flown away, those that would become the new masters of the divine wutong tree definitely would not be the weak.
Li Qingshan said to Xiao An beside him, “We’ll go to the Great Marsh of Cloud Dream first and check on Ru Xin.”
The Great March of Cloud Dream shimmered with colour. The boundless mists surged about.
The dense spiritual qi in the marsh vaguely seemed to condense together. All of its glistening waves fell to the control of a tiny Water God Seal.
“She seems to be cultivating,” Li Qingshan sensed and said.
“Why don’t we go to the South Sea commandery first and remove all the dangers before having her come over?” Xiao An said.
“That works too. We can leave her here to properly cultivate for a period of time!” Li Qingshan nodded. Having such a large region of water under her control was quite a rare opportunity for her as she possessed the bloodline of Merfolk. Compared to cultivation, everything else could be shifted backwards a bit.
As a result, the two of them flew over Cloud Dream marsh and continued south. Their destination was not the South Sea commandery, but the Mist capital.
The Mist capital stood in the centre of the Mist province. It was where the provincial lord’s estate was located, the city that belonged to the King of Southern Yue. It was the second largest city in the Mist province. The headquarters of the Hawkwolf Guard in the Mist province was near it too.
Under the gloomy sky, a huge, golden hawk with a wingspan of three hundred meters gripped the mountain firmly with its talons, overlooking the Mist capital in the distance and giving off a heavy sense of surveillance and warning. The Hawkwolf Guard had always been an important force that watched and guarded the wild boundaries for the imperial court, but after several thousand years of wind and rain, even the golden hawk that had been created through great lengths seemed to dull a little.
The Great Xiao empire had already lost control over the Mist province. All that existed now was subservience in name. The imposing Hawkwolf Guard had instead become a target of all, disliked by all organisations. Basically only its organisational system for commanderies remained in the Mist province, and even they had holed up in a defensive state.
At this moment, Li Qingshan and Xiao An stood at the foot of the mountain, gazing at the golden hawk that perched proudly on the peak of the mountain.
After reporting their arrival, they stepped onto the mountain under the lead of an attendant. The vegetation on the mountain was lush, and the huge trees formed forests. The scenery was beautiful. The pavilions, terraces, and halls were all majestic, and they were not influenced by the customs of the Mist province. They possessed prominent features of the Dragon province.
However, there were not a lot of people present, which made it seem rather quiet. They came across a few people from time to time, and they were all Qi Practitioners that were much more powerful than mortals. They played the role of attendants, maintaining the basic operations of this place.
Li Qingshan arrived at the mountain peak. Halls stretched from place to place, beautifully decorated, but after walking around, he failed to find the Gold Hawk commander, realising that he was currently in secluded cultivation.
In the end, Li Qingshan followed the lead of an attendant in black again and retrieved his uniform and waist tablet as the White Wolf commander. Afterwards, he did not receive any other particular treatment, so he left the mountain, feeling rather stumped.
He was a White Wolf commander for heaven’s sake. That was a prominent figure in the Green province, someone that could already be regarded as towards the higher end of the ranks available in the Hawkwolf Guard, yet he actually received such cold treatment in the Mist province.
However, he already understood what was being implied behind all this. “No matter what kind of danger you run into, don’t rely on anyone standing up for you. Even if you’re killed, no one will be there to avenge you!”
“Message received!” Li Qingshan smiled. He said to Xiao An, “This place doesn’t want me, but there’ll be a place that wants me. Let’s go!”
As a result, he did not stop in the Mist capital and headed straight to the South Sea commandery. The two of them stopped every now and then. After a dozen or so days of flying, they finally reached the commandery city of South Sea at dusk.
The air became hotter and more humid. When he took in a breath, he felt like he had sucked in a lung full of hot steam. Trees that stood over a hundred meters tall were commonplace and several-hundred-meter-tall trees were not rare either. If this were his past life, they would be hundred-storey-tall skyscrapers instead. They formed a primitive yet three-dimensional world, and the commandery city of South Sea happened to be built within it.
More accurately, it was built on a huge tree that almost stood one thousand five hundred meters tall. The bark was riddled with holes and wrapped in pathways constructed from wooden planks. People in strange attires entered and emerged from these holes, making their way around the wooden pathways like tiny ants.
The thick tree branches supported structures upon structures and forts upon forts. People made their way around on skyways woven from vines, moving between the branches. The place was clamorous and bustling, no different from a regular human city.
Before Li Qingshan had come to the South Sea commandery, he had done some homework. He knew that the further south, the thicker and larger the trees would become. Everyone lived among the trees, and unless it was absolutely necessary, they would never go to the ground. Some people had never even visited the ground in their entire lives.
Sunlight struggled to penetrate the thick canopy, so the ground never saw the light of day. Thick mist floated along the ground constantly as life-threatening miasma. The layers upon layers of leaves formed a terrain that was akin to a bog, which was heaven to various daemonic beasts and venomous insects. Even the plants that lived in the shade all year round were filled with aggressiveness.
Under an extreme environment like this, even cultivators would be in danger, let alone mortals. It was impossible for barbarian tribes composed of mortals to exist. Only powerful shaman tribes could survive here, and they had to constantly face the test of death.
As a result, the boundary between good and bad became extremely blurred. Only survival took priority. Most of those who managed to survive in these circumstances were gritty, vicious, and crafty, willing to do anything for the sake of survival. Whether it was man or woman, old or young, they all desperately seeked power.
As a result, demonic and evil arts that could rapidly increase strength were prominent, regardless of how bloody the cultivation method was or how severe the side-effects were. It was absolutely impossible for a pure and peaceful cultivation system to exist here. If they could not even survive today, why would they think about what happened in a decade’s time?
Gambling their lives went without saying. Lives were worth nothing, whether it was someone else’s or their own. The more afraid of dying a person was, the shorter their lives would be. As a result, no matter if demonic cultivators prospered or declined, they could never be completely eradicated. The strong that emerged from this piece of land all bore the deep marks of demonic cultivators no matter what cultivation method they practised.
“From today onwards, we’ll be living in a place like this. Doesn’t seem too bad. It’s a pity that we’re still very far away from the sea. Once I visit the Hawkwolf Guard, let’s go take a look at the ocean!” Li Qingshan said in complete anticipation.
Despite practising the Arts of the Boundless Ocean for all these years, he had yet to see the ocean of this world! The true ocean surged with waves and was boundless.
As the landmark structure of the Hawkwolf Guard, a silver-white hawk perched on a massive branch high up on a huge tree. At first glance, they actually matched together, like a regular hawk perching on a branch.
Li Qingshan flew over and attracted countless gazes. A vigilant voice rang out from the Hawkwolf Guard.
“Who are you?”
“The White Wolf commander, Li Qingshan!”