Chapter 781 – A Guest from the Sword Pavillion, a Prince of the Kingdom of Yue
The sky was sunken. The lead-like clouds weighed heavily as if they could directly blanket the sea of trees. It was as dark as night.
A streak of light shot across the sky. A man of short stature rode on his sword. He was not tall, but he had a square face and a wide mouth, giving off a sense of valiance. The sword beneath his feet happened to be an arcane treasure.
The streak of light landed on the ground, and the man sheathed his sword. Looking over, he saw Savage mountain towering into the clouds, but when he wanted to take a deeper look, all he saw was surging mist, sealing off the entire place. Even his soul sense could not penetrate the mist.
This is the Mist Sea Formation of Eight Directions! That old monster Zuo really died to him. Even his protective formation has been uprooted and taken away. It hasn’t even been a month, but those renowned figures of the south have all been either slaughtered or forced into swearing the blood oath, becoming his servants. The Chan Monastery of Deva-Nāga truly lives up to its reputation. Just how powerful is this Li Qingshan?
The man wondered. Right when he was about to take a step forward, he suddenly looked back, gripping his sword in caution.
A green cloud passed through the cloud layer, also drifting towards Savage mountain.
The colour of the green cloud was not a verdant green or an inky green, but a brutal green. It surged about like it was alive and actually moved no slower than the man on his sword. It also landed before the valley in the blink of an eye.
The brutal-green cloud seemed even stranger. It surged about as if it wanted to lunge towards the man, producing a strange buzz like a man-eating monster. At a closer glance, it was no cloud at all, but thousands of tiny, green insects almost invisible to the naked eye.
“The Myriad Poison cult!” The man frowned.
“Cough, cough. Fellow Peng, aren’t you supposed to be drifting about on the sea? Why have you come to our southern region?”
A delicate voice rang out from the cloud of insects, and a tall, thin figure emerged. He was a young noble in luxurious clothes with a sickly appearance. The cloud of insects surged and drew in, returning to the vine container on his waist.
“So it’s the Sickly Prince. How important this Li Qingshan must be for you to come in person!” Peng Jingni smiled. Battle intent roused within him, and he drew half of the Startled Salamander sword from its sheath.
“Both you and I have a task to attend to today, so just save it! Since you’ve come first, then you can go in first! If you really can’t accept this, we can fight after the matter.”
The Sickly Prince gestured elegantly with his hand for Peng Jingni to go in first, but Peng Jingni was no fool. He knew that since the Sickly Prince wanted him to see Li Qingshan first, the Sickly Prince would definitely be planning to ruin everything for him afterwards.
Although the Myriad Poison cult dominated in the south and the South Sea Sword pavilion stood aloof over the seas, they had numerous disputes over the many years they spent as neighbours.
The Myriad Poison cult was a standard demonic sect, while the South Sea Sword pavilion claimed to be a part of the orthodoxy. As a sect of sword cultivators, they did have a hint of gallantry about them. However, the most basic reason was still a conflict of interest. Once an arcane treasure appeared or a spiritual herb emerged, there would be quite the struggle both out in the open and in secret.
Throughout the years, who knew how many disciples died to one another. It would instead be strange if they got along when they saw each other. As the most outstanding disciples of their respective sects, they normally would always fight when they met.
“If you’re not in a hurry, then I’ll be going in first.” The Sickly Prince smiled and took a step forward. Sword qi swept past his face, producing a deep ditch right in front of him.
“Don’t even think about it!” Peng Jingni drew his sword. This person has a silken tongue. If he goes in first, he’ll definitely ruin everything for me.
“Not this and not that. What do you want? How mighty of the South Sea Sword pavilion! You better not forget that this is the southern region of the Mist province!” The Sickly Prince’s pale face sank.
“Let’s fight it out first and see who wins! Wait until you see me send a sickly bastard like you scurrying away first.” Peng Jingni smiled.
“Fair enough. Poisoning a tiny dwarf like you to death won’t take much time anyway.”
“I think the two of you should come in together!”
Right when a battle was about to erupt, a voice rang out from the valley, and the mist dispersed, revealing a path.
Both of their hearts skipped a beat. The sickly prince took a step back and made an inviting gesture, while Peng Jingni let out a cold snort and sheathed his sword. The two of them entered the valley, and the mist surged back together.
Peng Jingni passed through the Mist Sea Formation of Eight Directions first, guarding against the Sickly Prince behind him while moving quickly.
With no opportunity available to launch a sneak attack, the Sickly Prince just gave up on it. The Lair of Demons of Savage mountain that had once had its moments of renown and influence in the south had become very quiet. The old structures of the city had been flattened, reclaimed by nature.
So it’s merely a facade. They’ve only constructed a defensive formation. What a waste of resources!
The Sickly Prince sneered inside. If he possessed the Blood Oath Scroll, he would definitely turn Savage mountain into a closely-knit organisation, but Li Qingshan clearly had no plans for that.
Right when he was about to fly to the main peak, he suddenly saw Peng Jingni change directions. Beneath the west side of the mountain, someone waved at them from afar. “Over here!”
A waterfall that resembled a white dragon seemed to fly down from the clouds, landing in the deep pool. The vegetation beside the pool was vibrant, blooming with exotic flowers.
Li Qingshan sat on a boulder beside the pool and said to Xiao An beside him, “Doesn’t this place look like where we first started cultivating?”
Xiao An nodded. She wore a string of shiny, white prayer beads on her wrist, twenty-seven in total. She had spent a very long period of time to refine the Skull Prayer Beads again. Although they had only increased by another one or two in number, she had spent a tremendous amount of effort and resources. The Skull Prayer Beads had reached the third level too.
Every single Skeleton Demon had become even stronger, and the Skeleton Demon Formation grew in power too. It was possible to say that even without Xiao An, the ten people bound by the blood oath would not be the opponent of this string of prayer beads.
And that was why Li Qingshan had no plans to found a closely-knit organisation. His strength came from himself and Xiao An beside him, not the messy group of demonic cultivators.
Everyone gathered their attention on the great force he had amassed, but little did they know it was merely the tip of the iceberg of his true strength. Anyone who thought they could trample over him would run head-first into an iceberg.
However, Li Qingshan also had a feeling that it would not be long before this secret was exposed, as far too many people knew. Although he had various kinds of safeguards, he was no longer some unnoticed, insignificant figure. He had definitely left behind traces that could give him away with everything he had done in the past.
From a certain perspective, it was all thanks to the Dragon King of Ink Sea killing “Northmoon” that he could keep this secret until now. No one believed the Dragon King of Ink Sea would fail, so even if some people had been growing suspicious, they would not be able to draw a connection between Li Qingshan and Northmoon now.
It would be best if he maintained this secret until the day he went dragon-slaying in the Ink sea. By then, even if everyone found out Li Qingshan was Northmoon, it would not matter.
But that would probably be very difficult. Li Qingshan understood that very well. Having reached the fourth layer of the spirit turtle, the gut feeling he experienced definitely was not from overthinking.
“Hmm? Some people have come to visit. They’re from the Myriad Pison cult and the South Sea Sword pavilion. Have I really alarmed them?” Li Qingshan raised his eyebrows and smiled.
Xiao An said, “The disciple of the Myriad Poison cult is known as the ‘Sickly Prince’ in the south. He’s a part of the royal clan of the Kingdom of Yue, one of the potential successors of the throne. He probably represents much more than the Myriad Poison cult.”
“I see. Then let’s let them in!” Li Qingshan said. These two people were known as geniuses, but he was not worried about them. The people he needed to worry about were the Myriad Poison Ancestor, the master of the sword pavilion of the King of Southern Yue behind them.