Chapter 780 – The King of Savages
A gust of fierce wind swept across the sea of trees, making them ripple like waves. The Marquis of Serene Sea doubted his ears. He subconsciously asked, “What did you say?”
“Don’t act deaf!”
Li Qingshan smiled. The eight, cloaked figures behind him sneered as well. Their eyes under the hoods all took pleasure in his suffering. Since they had already suffered misfortune, then watching others suffer the same misfortune was one of the few delights in life.
Coldness welled up from the bottom of the Marquis of Serene’s heart. He could not help but take a step back, wanting to retreat into the estate. Three black figures appeared behind him, their killing intent cold like ice. After consecutive battles with Ghost Shadow’s guidance, the coordination between the three sisters became greater too.
Others could not see them, but the Marquis of Serene Sea could sense them. He shivered inside. Assassins of the Shadow palace! Only peak assassins of the Shadow palace could silently reach his side. He immediately seized up on the spot.
He barked, “Li Qingshan, what are you trying to do? I’m the lord of the South Sea commandery, the Marquis of Serene Sea that was conferred by the emperor!”
“Alright, you can stop fooling around. You’re the exact person I’m looking for!” Li Qingshan said.
The laughter behind him became even more reckless, filled with ill intent.
Li Qingshan was satisfied. One of the greatest benefits of these demonic cultivators of the south was that they were very sensible. After seven consecutive days of attacking and fighting, not a single person that survived the combined assassination of Ghost Shadow and the sisters chose death over submission.
And once they swore the blood oath, they adjusted mentally very quickly, showing enough compliance on the surface. One of them even shamelessly said he wanted to take Li Qingshan on as his foster father, saying that he had been waiting for this exact day during the several centuries he spent cultivating. It had been quite the blow to Li Qingshan. If you were a woman, then so be it. I could perhaps be your foster father, but you’re clearly an old man. You have absolutely no sense of shame!
This was just how the south worked. There was no sense of propriety, justice, honesty, or honour. Only the strong were revered. As long as your fists were tough enough, no one would want to throw their heads against it.
A hubbub erupted in the estate, and a great group of cultivators surged out. Some of them were guards, while some were guest elders. There were several hundred of them in total, all wielding various kinds of spiritual artifacts and arcane artifacts, controlling a great variety of gu insects. They surrounded Li Qingshan’s group.
Faced with this, not only did Li Qingshan turn a blind eye to it, but none of the eight cloaked figures behind him took it seriously either, as none of the several hundred people had undergone the second heavenly tribulation.
“Commander Li, how dare you be so disrespectful to our marquis? Do you know that all the White Wolf guards were killed while you were gone? You better wait until the Hawkwolf Guard denounces you! If you’re sensible, perhaps our marquis can even put in a few good words for you,” said Caretaker Zhou of the estate.
He saw how they possessed an advantage in numbers as well as in geography, so he was confident that Li Qingshan would never be bold enough to act violently. As a result, he leapt out to express his loyalty. With regards to the eight cloaked figures behind Li Qingshan, he still could not make an accurate judgment about them with his cultivation, and he completely failed to sense the three black figures behind the marquis.
“Oh? Who did that?” Li Qingshan really was clueless about this.
A voice answered from the empty space, which caught the Marquis of Serene Sea’s attention. It was Ghost Shadow’s voice.
As long as Ghost Shadow was the one carrying out the assassination, even if he failed, he could still distract Li Qingshan. He could use that moment to flee into the estate and enter the secret room. It contained a path of retreat he had specially prepared, a formation that could teleport him hundreds of kilometers away. Unlike escape techniques, it did not turn him into a streak of light, so it was absolutely untraceable.
Assassins of the Shadow palace are impressive, but they’ve already given themselves away, so there’s nothing terrifying about them. In terms of strength, the three of them definitely aren’t on par with Ghost Shadow, the greatest assassin of the south.
Sure enough, Ghost Shadow took action!
However, the hint of delight in the Marquis of Serene Sea’s heart immediately turned to fear.
Caretaker Zhou currently glared at Li Qingshan. A speck of blood appeared between his eyebrows. The speck was so small that only a bead of blood oozed out. As if he had felt something, he subconsciously extended his hand to touch it before falling backwards in that same posture.
“Third cave master!” The Marquis of Serene Sea paled in fright. His heart sank completely.
“I could tell long ago that the lot of them were colluding with demonic cultivators! It’s good that they’re dead! That’s perfect for me to collect my reward from the Mist capital!” Li Qingshan said without much concern.
“Marquis, you better come to your senses and let go of your hopes. Even the boss and I pledged loyalty to commander Li. Third brother Shadow is no exception. If you still refuse to send away these several hundred pieces of trash and they piss me off, I’ll eat them all.”
The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber patted his belly, and the fat on him jiggled.
“Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber, it really is you!”
“Who else could be so plump apart from me?”
The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber laughed, extending and closing his huge hand the size of a banana leaf. A guard over thirty meters away wailed as he flew over. The Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber’s mouth widened to an unbelievable size, and he actually swallowed the guard in a single gulp. A figure could be vaguely made out from his belly, struggling a bit before vanishing.
“Ah, it’s the second cave master of Savage mountain, the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber!” “And the third cave master, Ghost Shadow!”
The people cried out and moved away. All of the cave masters of Savage mountain were infamous.
The Marquis of Serene Sea’s gaze was fixed on the cloaked figure behind Li Qingshan, the one to his right. White hair draped down from within the hood, and he carried a sword on his back, which filled the marquis with disbelief. If it were just the others, then so be it, but he was a sword cultivator who wielded an arcane treasure. With how proud he was, why would he submit to Li Qingshan?
Holding onto a final sliver of hope, he called out, “Cave master Yu!”
“Marquis of Serene Sea, stop wasting time!” Yu Wufeng gripped the Fogbow sword and said coldly.
“Yeah, do you want to die or do you want to live? I’d rather hope you choose to live. Although finding second heavenly tribulation cultivators is quite easy in the vast south, there really aren’t a lot of truly useful masters. But if you really want to die, I’ll help you out!” Li Qingshan said.
The Marquis of Serene Sea felt despair. Li Qingshan was already an extremely powerful opponent, and on top of that, there were still the three peak assassins of the Shadow palace and the three strongest cave masters of Savage mountain. He also managed to identify the six remaining people, all renowned demonic cultivators of the south, but they were all standing behind Li Qingshan now, listening to his command. This was a force to be reckoned with across the entire southern region.
His voice trembled. “I’m a marquis. Are you really bold enough to kill me?”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Kill him!”
Before he had even finished speaking, the three black figures behind the Marquis of Serene Sea vanished. Ghost Shadow drifted over, locking onto him with killing intent. The Fogbow sword exited its sheath, and the Gentleman of Heavenly Blubber extended his hand. The remaining six figures in cloaks struck out at the same time, forming a wave of certain death that hurtled towards him like a tsunami.
The Marquis of Serene Sea could not dodge, escape, or block. All he could do was yell at the top of his lungs, “I want to live!”
Li Qingshan raised his hand, and all of the attacks halted as if the tsunami had been frozen up the moment it was about to slam down.
“It’s good that you want to live. Come and swear an oath!”
If the battle of Savage mountain had only shaken up the south because of its inconclusive outcome, then Li Qingshan’s appearance in the commandery city of South Sea had answered all of the questions. Not only did it reveal the end result of the battle of Savage mountain, but it also revealed the change in the overall situation of the south.
After getting the Marquis of Serene Sea to swear the oath, he arranged a banquet in the marquis’ estate to entertain the ten cave masters.
These ten renowned figures of the south toasted Li Qingshan together, formally swearing their allegiance to him. The cultivator who recognised Li Qingshan as his foster father even referred to him as “my king”, no longer calling him sir or commander.
Li Qingshan was confused by that. He asked for the reason, and the cultivator said, “Who doesn’t know in the south? He who unifies Savage mountain is known as the King of Savages.”
Li Qingshan laughed aloud, accepting the title in delight.
The Marquis of Serene Sea called him shameless inside, but he forced out a smile on the surface and also sang his name loudly, “My king.”
After the banquet, Li Qingshan immediately set off and continued his battles. He basically took down all the second heavenly tribulation cultivators of the south apart from the Myriad Poison cult, completely realising the boast he made when he first came to the South Sea commandery—Those who abide by me will prosper, and those who defy me will die!
Savage mountain basically rose up overnight, becoming a tremendous organisation only second to the Myriad Poison cult. If it were not for the fact that Li Qingshan had yet to undergo the third heavenly tribulation, he could have founded a major sect.
The Mist province was astir!
When Li Qingshan accepted the orders and took office in the Mist province as the White Hawk commander, he had already attracted the attention of countless. This was both due to the brilliance of the two great geniuses, as well as the fact that the cultivators had all wanted to use this to predict the future situation of the Mist province and the Green province.
Some people guessed that this was the Great Xia empire’s plan, intentionally sending them to the Mist province, which was equivalent to sending political hostages to alleviate the situation between the two provinces. However, even more people believed that the Great Xia empire was no longer trying to intervene between the two provinces like in the past. Instead, they intentionally wanted the provinces to weaken one another while maintaining absolute strength in the central Dragon province.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An were merely two chess pieces to accelerate the war, two pitiful sacrifices. Plenty of people wondered with ill intentions, How will the Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga respond when they lose two genius disciples?
The moment Li Qingshan arrived in the South sea, he killed the White Hawk commander and successfully replaced him, demonstrating viciousness that was completely unbefitting of his identity as a buddhist disciple. However, this was instead a minor matter across the Mist province. Over two years had passed since then, so Li Qingshan’s name gradually faded from view. He would only be mentioned from time to time when they tried to guess the outcome of that battle.
Only when Li Qingshan used the Blood Oath Scroll to rein in ten cave masters and waged battle throughout the entire south did his name ring once more, but the prefix to his name was no longer his post, “White Hawk commander”, or his identity, “the Unraging monk’s disciple”. Instead, it was “King of Savages”.
The title of king had always been a term of reference that only third heavenly tribulation existences had the right to possess. The King of Chu, the King of Yue, Monk Kings, Daemon Kings, Great General Kings—they were all supreme cultivators, where only a single one would emerge from millions. They stood on an absolute level of authority across the nine provinces.
With Li Qingshan’s cultivation, he did not have the right to be known as a king, but the first cave master of Savage mountain from the founding generation had once said that anyone who underwent the third heavenly tribulation could refine the Blood Oath Scroll and unify Savage mountain. If this happened, the other cave masters would refer to him as the “King of Savages”. The seven other cave masters of that generation had agreed with him.
According to everyone’s belief, this was something only a powerful cultivator of the third heavenly tribulation could achieve, so it made perfect sense to call them “king”.
However, no one expected someone to actually achieve this with a cultivation at the second heavenly tribulation.