Chapter 762 – Going to Them
Li Qingshan shook his head. Sure enough, most things in life worked against someone. In the past, when he wanted to cultivate discreetly, there would always be endless trouble. Now that he had finally accomplished something with his divine arts, this dangerous land of wilderness had actually become a place of peace.
The Marquis of Serene Sea felt some pity too. If Li Qingshan had spared Huang Siqin, allowing him to go back and make his arrangements, there would definitely be endless troubles waiting for him.
Huang Siqin was a person who schemed deep and possessed a complicated network. He could come up with machinations endlessly. By then, as long as Li Qingshan stepped into the first trap, he would definitely become a target for all even if he could continue killing his way through the obstacles, facing a miserable fate in the end.
Li Qingshan’s seemingly crude and rash battle happened to hit the sweet spot, earning him infamy. Now, even those who were technically supposed to be on his side had to handle him carefully, afraid that this lawless madman would suddenly turn his blade towards them.
“Alright then! You really can’t take shortcuts with whatever you do these days. Really have to take it nice and steady, step by step. If you want to kill people, you’ll need to go to their homes. How can you depend on them coming to you?”
Li Qingshan slapped his knee in self-reflection, while the Marquis of Serene Sea felt a dreadful chill run down his spine. They were in his home right now. The hand hidden in his sleeve tightened into a fist.
“Don’t worry! I’m not the type to kill the innocent, heh, probably!”
Li Qingshan smiled and said something that brought the Marquis of Serene Sea absolutely no relief before standing up and leaving the estate.
The Marquis of Serene Sea blanked out slightly and let out a sigh of relief. He loosened his fist, which had grasped a tiny stamp inside. It was his most powerful weapon, the Seal of Mountains and Rivers.
The friendliness he had forcefully put on immediately vanished. His face twisted viciously. Since when had he, the mighty Marquis of Serene Sea, been harassed to such a degree by a foreign kid?
With each day this kid remained alive, he would never find peace. The feeling of living in the same tree city with someone like him was absolutely horrible.
But even the Marquis of Serene Sea felt rather troubled when it came to the exact details of killing him. He had constantly been contemplating this question during the past few days, but he truly struggled to find a perfect plan. It was not exactly because he could not come up with anything. The issue was once it fell through, even if only the slightest news of it had been divulged, this madman would definitely do everything he could to kill him.
The well-off shunned risks! With his status and identity, there was no need for him to take a risk like that.
In the end, the Marquis of Serene Sea let out a long sigh. “I’ll put up with what you do. Let’s see just how long you can stay arrogant for!”
“Looks like it’s true that even demons are afraid of bad people in this world!”
Li Qingshan returned to the branch where the silver hawk stood and glanced back at the Marquis of Serene Sea’s estate high above. He could obviously sense the Marquis of Serene Sea’s caution and vigilance against him, which made him sigh with a smile.
If people were kind, they would be harrassed. If horses were kind, they would be ridden. If a person was too soft, everyone around them would come and harass them involuntarily, even if they derived no benefit from it. It would purely be to satisfy their ego and sense of superiority. However, against people of great violence and wickedness, even if they suffered and were wronged, they would be patient. They would curse them inside and hope for fate to punish them.
The sky was hazy, and the surroundings were dark, like it was almost night. The air became more and more moist. The Mist province experienced a lot of rain. Even when it was not raining, there were rarely any sunny days, let alone in the southern region near the South sea.
Heavy rain poured down, landing on the verdant leaves and creating a silent form of ruckus. The rain penetrated the canopy after great difficulty and turned into a slow drizzle, dancing about in the air and merging with the rising mist, making it impossible to distinguish between the two. The surroundings became obscured.
Xiao An held a book and sat on the wooden floor. Her blueish-grey monk robes and beautiful, black hair draped down freely. The drizzle outside the window constantly drifted in. She silently turned another page.
Around here were tall bookshelves, staring down silently on this rare visitor. This was the archives of the Hawkwolf Guard, which had recorded various cases and missions since its establishment.
After several thousand years, even with the protection of formations, the pages had already yellowed, and the writing had already blurred. As time went on, the number of cases went from more to less. The records became hasty and careless too, filled with a sense of just playing along for the sake of it.
“Didn’t I give you a jade slip? What’re you reading these old books for?”
Li Qingshan walked in and sat down beside her. He had obtained many spoils from Huang Siqin’s hundred treasures pouch. Pills, arcane treasures, and talismans went without saying. There were also many specialties of the south, as well as a jade slip that recorded information regarding the Hawkwolf Guard of the South Sea commandery.
“I’ve already read through that.”
Xiao An slanted to one side and leaned against him, flipping another page.
“Have you found anything?” Li Qingshan brought his hands around her shoulder, peeking over her to see the contents of the book.
“Qingshan, can we enter secluded cultivation?” Xiao An used her head to nudge him.
“Sure! But we need to find a suitable dwelling first. I feel like a monkey living in the trees. Is there anywhere you like?” Li Qingshan looked away from the book and smiled at her.
“There are a few places. Let’s go take a look at all of them!” Xiao An’s eyes shone brightly. She unfurled a mental map of the Mist province and pointed at a few places with her slender finger.
If the Marquis of Serene Sea were present, he would definitely cry out in alarm when he saw the places she pointed at.
Li Qingshan also had some vague impressions of these few places. He agreed readily. “Alright, sure.”
“Then, what about here?” Xiao An pointed at a mountain valley.
“That should be a good place, but it’s occupied by some unwelcome guests. I have no choice, do I? For the sake of our Xiao An, I’ll have to take action and clean them up!”
“I’ll help you out.”
As a result, the two of them happily made their decision like that.
The first stop, Savage mountain, the Lair of Demons!
The four crucial requirements for cultivation were wealth, companionship, method, and environment. Although “environment” ranked last, it was still vital. A good dwelling could drastically increase a cultivator’s cultivation speed. Whether it was absorbing spiritual qi of the world or comprehension, it would give them a natural advantage.
Large sects like the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga, the Sword Collection palace, and the Umbral Yin sect were all established on such blessed lands, which allowed them to thrive for centuries, millennia, or even tens of millennia.
The southern region was extremely vast, but the actual number of blessed lands were still limited, and none of those who occupied these places were weak. They were either cultivators with powerful cultivations or tremendous sects. Often, it would be both.
Among the blessed lands of the south, Savage mountain ranked among the top five, but it was not occupied by a certain cultivator. Strictly speaking, it was not a sect either.
Who knew how many years ago, the cultivators of the south kicked off a storm of blood over Savage mountain. However, even if someone managed to take it for themselves, they would often die to unnatural causes before long.
The party that occupied it for the longest time was a powerful demonic sect back then. Their power and influence almost rivalled the greatest sect of the south, the Myriad Poison cult, but several decades later, they were breached through the combined efforts of many demonic cultivators who slaughtered the mountain and annihilated the sect, causing it to vanish into the dust trail of history.
Afterwards, the demonic cultivators decided to share the place, establishing dwellings independently. They nominated eight cultivators that had undergone the second heavenly tribulation as the eight cave masters. They swore an oath of blood to not encroach on one another, and if any foreign enemies attacked, they would work together against them.
It finally brought the contention to an end, continuing like this for generation upon generation. They also constantly absorbed new independent cultivators. The number of cave masters varied over time, but they became a great force, one that no one could shake anymore. It became known as the Lair of Demons.
Apart from the native demonic cultivators of the south, many cultivators that had broken laws of the empire and had become fugitives fled here too. Even an entire millennium ago, the Hawkwolf Guard of the South Sea commandery had already deemed it to be a forbidden zone, kicking off a war that lasted several centuries. As the Great Xia empire declined, losing control over these distant places, the Lair of Demons no longer had an opponent, and their renown grew.
The most hilarious part of all this was that the master of the White Wolf guard Li Qingshan had smashed to a pulp was one of the cave masters. They really were working hand in hand with no clear distinction.
The cloud took off, passing through the canopy, passing through the rain, and passing through the cloud layer.
They had a clear view all around. The sea of clouds surged, and the sunlight shone everywhere. The scenery was magnificent.
Li Qingshan sat on the cloud as Xiao An leaned against his head, her lips curled into a smile. Just like before, she preferred silence over talking.
Many years ago, when she recovered her ability to talk, there was a period of time when she liked to talk a lot. However, that did not last for too long, as there was nothing she had to say to others, and there was no need for her to talk so much with him.
Simply by exchanging glances and smiling, they understood.
However, Li Qingshan liked to listen to her talk a lot. Her voice did not have the sweetness and beauty of a young girl. Instead, it was clear and ungraspable, bearing some slight resemblance to the timbre of gold or jade.
“You’ve gone to a lot of trouble in the past few days.” Li Qingshan touched her cheeks. He said he was looking for a dwelling, but actually, she was helping him find opponents. They could not be so weak that it bored him, but he did not want to go as far as to provoke third heavenly tribulation cultivators either.
“You have to make sure you’re careful. They possess a geographic advantage, and they’re capable of various things. Just Li Qingshan alone can’t win, and it’s not like you can expose your identity as Northmoon.”
“That’s easy then. I’ll just make sure that no one leaves!”
Savage mountain sat on the earth, curving into a horseshoe shape and forming a large valley. There was water on top of that, which criss-crossed the region as countless gullies.
This location was different from the other places of the south. There were no towering trees. The valley was peppered with structures, standing as a prosperous city.
Li Qingshan stood at the entrance of the valley, in front of a gateway that reached over a hundred meters tall. To one side, four large words were written on the cliff face that reached into the clouds, “Death to All Intruders”. The words were red and glossy as if they had just been written with fresh blood.
“Who’s there below!?”
Someone called out from on top of the gate.
“The White Hawk commander, Li Qingshan!” Li Qingshan stretched out his voice, making it boom like thunder and reach the entire valley.
“Ah!” The person was surprised. He widened his eyes and closely studied Li Qingshan’s white clothes before smiling. “Sir commander, are you tired of living? Aren’t you afraid that our cave masters will cut you up and eat you alive for paying a stroll to our Lair of Demons?”
A roar of laughter rang out from above the gate, completely unfazed by Li Qingshan’s identity and cultivation.
“I’ve come to visit the various cave masters. Open up!”
The laughter from the gate became even more violent. Over all these years of battle against the Hawkwolf Guard, they had already emerged complete victorious, but never had a White Hawk commander visited them. Someone even clamoured and said, “The renown of the Lair of Demons spans far and wide. Even the Hawkwolf Guard has come to demonstrate their subservience!”
As for the possibility that the newly-appointed White Hawk commander was here to kill them, they had not even considered it. How was that possible?
A while later, as if they had received some kind of order, a tiny corner gate opened up at the base of the entrance.
“Come on in, sir commander. Our cave masters wish to see you.”
Li Qingshan did not budge. “Please open the main gate! Thanks!”
Like a droplet of water falling into boiling oil, the laughter that had just subsided surged once more.
“Haha, he said ‘please’! He even said ‘thanks’! I’m going to laugh to death!” “He really is from an orthodox sect of the Green province. He’s probably come to sweep up us demons!”
“Hehe, if you still don’t open up, I’ll have to knock on the door!”